I have always painted human feelings and emotional stories..whether it is a love story, a broken heart or a new life. Sometimes I paint a series of scenes from a pre wedding (say an engagement) to after the wedding ceremony to show the journey a couple takes.
I paint as the couple get engaged, on a park bench, or on a beach or on an icy ground in front of cascading and rugged snowy mountains. There are many innovating ways that a couple can get engaged and it deserves a painting.
As the wedding day approaches, there are wedding dress trials,
buying bangles or churros in the markets,
and many ethnic or traditional ceremonies
like the henna ceremony, the 'haldi' or a bridal shower.
This is a scene from my older daughter's 'haldi' ceremony
where she wanted to wear the traditional cotton yellow sari and
use traditional flower ornaments.Her husband to be wasn't south
asian, but he gladly put on the ethnic clothing for the ceremony
and allowed us to smear turmeric all over his face!
Then comes the big day! So many emotions and so many scenes leading up to the wedding ceremony.
Ceremonies are sometimes in the church, the temple or under the big blue sky on a beach or lake front.Every wedding ceremony
I paint ,I am in awe of the
grandeur of nature as the
backdrop or the architectural
details of a church.
There is no need to imagine a
scene to paint, nature provides and
my paint and brushes oblige. The
blue sky, the flowering bushes and
the castle ...all laid out for me!
The evening receptions come in so many colour schemes...from the flowers,to the chandeliers and the curtains flowing. The bride and grooms first dance is the start of the fun and rhythm of the night. I have so many things to paint. The love of the couple, the pride of a father and a mother, sisters, aunts and uncles having a wonderful evening. Often I find the flower girls and page boys joining in the dancing or just playing in the corner. Endless and priceless moments.I like to capture these in my paintings.
In a South asian weddings there are other scenes to paint after the wedding ceremonies.Different ethnicities have different customs of receiving a daughter in law into her new home, and these are wonderful scenes to paint too
The events and emotions flowing and
colours are many.Imagine the red and
gold wedding attire of the bride.
The flower garlands and the dholuk playing.
I can make a wedding love story book with paintings and some words or verses. A trip down memory lane you can say. A gift to give to your partner on a wedding anniversary?
Sindura's wedding story
When Sindura met Aneesh for the first time (or as she would day Aneesh saw her photograph at a friends place) she thought hmmm, maybe, but he thought she was it! Needless to say many months later, he won her over and asked us for her hand in marriage. We gave our permission. He had an unique way to propose---took her sky diving and asked her the big question just before jumping out of the plane! Sindura was surprised, but had no time to think before she also jumped. And when she landed safely (thank goodness) Aneesh was waiting on his bended knees with the ring out. With a lot of crying etc, Sindura accepted and called us on the phone (we already knew what was going to happen) very excited and happy.
Then we were officially in the planning stage for her wedding (a big old Hindu/Muslim/Bengali/Nova Scotian wedding). A daunting task indeed, We hired a wedding planner and had to learn some of the rituals and ceremonies that could include all cultures in the wedding and then instructed/helped her to slowly organize the three days of festivities we were planning.
The first even was 'Gaye Holud'..a Bengali pre wedding function where the bride and groom have to go through a torture of being plastered with turmeric paste and fed lots of sweets by all relatives and friends who were there. The bride to be wore a yellow cotton saree and adorned with flower ornaments. You can see above that she needed her older sister's help a lot to go through the ceremony. It was a very emotional day for me (the Bengali in this mix) also a happy day as I gave her my blessings.
Next came getting ready for a Hindu wedding ceremony that was going to be held at noon two days later. It took a lot of face wash to get rid of the belly stain of the turmeric from her face (I am sure Aneesh had a similar problem). Since neither Sindura. her sister or I had any experience in putting on a Chunni part of the wedding attire we took to you tube to learn how it is draped from the head to partial come to the front. Her lahenga was made in India and brought over here by a friend a few months ago. The lahenga was a soft coral colour with blue velvet and gold border with a blue velvet blouse. It was very pretty and so like Sindura as she refused to wear the usual bright red! With a lot of help we were able to dress her in this and also put on for the other cultural wedding adornment like the special Kashmiri earrings and the Punjabi bangles (churros).
Her father and I led her down slowly to the mandap. The mandap was designed by Sindura and constructed with the help of our wedding planner, garden gazebo and yards and yards of fabric and tonnes of fresh flowers. She took her place on the mandap next to Aneesh with the two families on two sides and the ceremony began.
Flower garlands were exchanged, walking around the fire done and sindoor applied on Sindura's forehead.
Then the wedding ceremony was over...for more blessings we showered fresh flower petals on the couple as they sat under a big shawl (a Kashmiri tradition).
There we're many other Punjabi traditional/rituals that were part of the afternoon.
The evening reception was all fun. Sindur and Aneesh changed into different outfits and we partied.
There will be more paintings that I will do in future to describe the evening.