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Artsy Leisure Time with the Whole Family

My henna-inspired doodling. I do these often to release stress..!

This past weekend, as the hubby was traveling, Pari and I ended up spending most part of Saturday and Sunday doing art and reading story books. 

Pari doodling a peacock surrounded by Christmas trees! A plain paper and a simple black marker can inspire quiet artful time.

Our Artsy Leisure Time

On Sunday evening, we were joined by my mom (who lives close to our place) in our artsy leisure time. I just coined this term and I really like it – spending some leisurely time in the company of art! 

After dinner, we continued at the dinner table – not for some more food – but for family doodling!

As the three of us were doodling away to glory, I could see how much each of us was enjoying and relaxing. Mom seemed as overjoyed as Pari. Actually, even more, I would say. She reflected back on her past and recalled stories about her passion for embroidery. I have always known how much she loved doing embroidery in her young days. We still have those bed-sheets and pillow covers and her skits on with beautiful embroidered motifs. 

Pari used water colour pencils here to draw some abstracts. She ran a couple of strokes with wet brush to bring out beautiful water colour effect.

Pari was listening to her stories and asking her questions about what she liked to draw etc. I, too, was listening with amazement as mom narrated how the her girls gang would sit through night, after dinner, completing one full bed-sheet at times, with intricate embroidery designs.

Mom's floral motif reminded me of her embroidered bed-sheets that she has preserved after all these years.

It had been years since she did any such artsy activity, though, she likes decorating her home and cooking is a deep passion for her. Her eye sight has become very weak and that gives her frequent headache. Hence, embroidery is out of question. But, I suggested that I get her a bunch of ivory paper and a pack of colour markers and some paint and brushes that she can fiddle with once in a while.

Art and Traditions

Come to think of it – art can be an inspiring way to connect with each other in the family by doing some artsy activity together.

In some parts of India, like – my native Rajasthan, during festivals and weddings, women folk form big groups and do henna on each other's palms, singing songs all the while! It's nothing short of a carnival – a henna/mehendi and music carnival. The spirit is euphoric. No matter how tired they may get by the end of the day, they gather again for more, for days on end to revel in this artful bliss.

It's no surprise that art can cut across age, gender and geographical barrier and provide peace to one and all. 

How true are these words by Thomas Berton: 

"Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time"


What has been your personal experience with art?

Does art help you find peace and solace and some tranquil moments?

{ 11 comments… add one }
  • maggy, red ted art July 28, 2011, 11:59 am

    Oh how beautiful!!! I love the doodling – I can’t believe you call it that – as it is so wonderful!! love love love!

    Thanks for joining Kids Get Crafty!


    • Rashmie Jaaju August 3, 2011, 5:37 am

      Dear Maggy,
      Thank you, as always, for stopping by to leave encouraging words. I am so glad you like this…
      Coming from you, who’s an artist yourself, it means a lot :)

  • Ashu July 29, 2011, 6:45 pm

    Rashmie…just loved ur family doodling.Yes missed Dilli’s Mehendi evening here in the b’lore.Great to know about that art is in your blood…lovely floral paint by auntyji.

    • Rashmie Jaaju August 3, 2011, 5:44 am

      Yeah, the euphoria over mehendi in Delhi and other cities like Jaipur etc is quite something – particularly during festivals like – Teej – which was yesterday :)
      I am not sure art is in my blood but the passion keeps us going :)
      Thank you, dear Ashu, for your constant support.

  • Susan Stephenson August 4, 2011, 10:44 pm

    I am so pleased to read that you equate doodling with art. Doodling is about all I can do in the art area, but I’d never thought of it as art! Well, certainly not my doodling, although your pictures here are great. I do find it very relaxing but oh, I would love to be able to draw!

    • Rashmie Jaaju August 11, 2011, 9:01 am

      Dear Susan,
      So glad you liked this mehendi/Henna style art. Oh, I referred to it as doodling as it was done much casually, without any intention or purpose…
      I hope I am not sounding boisterous here… :) Don’t mean to…at all… :))
      So glad to ‘meet’ you Susan :) And, hey, it doesn’t matter whether we can actually ‘draw’ or not as long as we draw peace from doing it.. :)

  • Chhavi August 8, 2011, 5:02 am

    Ohh boy! Simply freaked over Aunty’s beuatiful motifs. Can imagine how beautiful her embroidery must be. Reminds me of Mom who is also a pro at embroidering. And since I completely lack this knack – the admiration sees no bound. I guess its meant for women with immense patience. This artistic flair is definitely in ur DNA:) Dont forget to compliment Aunty from my side. Would love to see her embroidery one day.

    • Rashmie Jaaju August 11, 2011, 9:08 am

      Yeah, you’re so right – the art of embroidery sure needs tons of patience besides an artistic flair.
      I will tell mom you liked her design so much. :)
      I, too, would love to see Auntie’s embroidery and stitching works some day…!

  • Kasia August 9, 2011, 5:12 am

    I love the henna doodles. When I was in my 20 I used to put on comfy shoes on sundays and go to the indian neighborhood exploring. I was spending hours in little cram packet stores where no one spoke english looking at all the objects they had to offer. There I disscovered henna tatoos, had some done by a local woman and soon infected all my friends by making henna tatoo party. We ofcourse ment no disrespect to the tradition or culture I think I still have all the supplies to make those. I think it is wonderful that you take your time to let your child express herself and to learn about her culture through play. I believe that being creative allows to find our own selves and to discover and develop new facets. I also believe that being creative, especially together (family activity) strenghtens the child allowing it to acquire self confidence, feeling of safety, etc- not to mention developing and improving communication skills. Thank u for visiting my blog and for the nice comment

    • Rashmie Jaaju August 11, 2011, 8:49 am

      Dear Kasia,
      So glad to know your beautiful thoughts about art, culture and the impact of art on children’s learning and self-esteem. I so agree with all this.
      Also, am so delighted that you love henna and explored this art with your friends in the Indian neighbourhood. It must have been exciting to discover something exotic and then spread the fever among your friends!
      Your blog is so beautiful. I will be there, often… :)

  • Michelle September 3, 2011, 2:02 pm

    Wow! That’s gorgeous! Are you already on Triberr? I would love to tweet your posts on a daily basis through Triberr. If you’re interested, just email me at heartfeltbalancehandmadelife(at)yahoo(dot)com.

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