Tuesday, February 24, 2015

India Via A Palette Knife

"Noma's Diya on The Ganges"
By Johanna Spinks
Oil on board via palette knife
24" x 18
Image copyrighted

Close up

I'm excited to finally have India process through my art brain and come to life via my palette knife on board. I met this little girl Noma on the ancient steps of Varanasi last November. She was selling diyas which are little earthenware pots filled with marigolds and candles.

Moni sitting with me early morning while I painted, my new BFF
These are lit and then put into the sacred Ganges River as part of a ceremonial prayer ritual. I put one there myself.

I could write a book on Noma. She was a Donald Trump in the making. This was the job she did both before and after school and she knew how to work the tourists those old steps of Varanasi like a pro.

She hustled me hard, even waiting for me outside my hotel one day demanding I come down. She was there at 6 a.m. on another day when I was trying to paint a temple. By this point I had got used to her stalking me. Noma sat with me thru the whole painting session getting me chai tea from the nearby vendor when I needed it. I had to pay her to do this of course but that was fine.

Finally her brother came over and told her she was going to get in trouble if she didn't leave me NOW. We discussed the importance of her getting an education, especially as a female in India, Finally, I paid her to leave me and get to school. That was the only way she was going to go.

I made her promise that she would work hard at her studies.

By the way she spoke exceptional english and was really very charming in her 'hustling the American tourist' kinda way.

I sure hope I get to see her one day again. She left a lasting impression on me hence this painting.

No after school play for Noma...a life of hard work for one so young.


Mary Aslin said...

You have really captured the determination in her eyes....

Great story....

johanna spinks said...

Thank you Mary. Hopefully one day I will see this young lady again.