Welcome to the Palace
Welcome to the beauty that is Jaipur City Palace, a place that I am lucky enough to call my 'office' for the next couple of months. I arrived back in Jaipur (the Pink City) in mid September, and will be here for most of Autumn studying once again with Sri Ramu Ramdev and his crew of royal artists, learning the secrets of Indian Miniature Painting.
The palace lies in the heart of the old city of Jaipur, built in 1729-1732 and was the home and seat of the Maharaja of Jaipur (the ruler of the kingdom and head of the Kachwha Rajput clan). The last ruler was Man Singh II, who ruled until 1949 when the Jaipur Kingdom merged with the Indian Union following the Indian Independence of 1947. The royals continued to live in part of the palace though, and still do to this day, while the rest is open to the public under the museum trust operating as a gallery and heritage site.
In January 2017 I was just like one of the many other tourists that pass through the palace, drawn here by the elegance of the place and the in-house gallery of masterpiece paintings. Next door to the gallery there's a section called 'Friends of the Museum', and it was in here that I stumbled upon a group of royal artists; four brothers who are masters of Indian Miniature Painting and dedicated to sustaining excellence in this traditional art.
I was enchanted and got to talking with the artists, a long conversation and some practice drawing with their brushes, the result of which meant I returned in late February for a couple of weeks, for some one-on-one study of the technique. That small amount of study had a profound impact on my art and style of painting, even though it was just the smallest glimpse into the practice.
And so now I'm back, here with the artists for two months, dedicating my time for some intenseive self-study with the hope to access more of this deep grace and let it trickle its way into my work and teachings. A residency that came about pretty organically, all through conversation and connection and saying yes to opportunity.
I'm spending half my time here learning the traditional brush-drawing and painting techniques, and the other half my time in service to the artists; helping with English translations and assisting on a new creative project... more on that to come later ;)
Right now I'm just honoured to be here, enjoying these long days of deep immersion. Things feel a little dreamlike right now, but this dream is real and I owe all that to yoga and meditation practice; the work that allows us to remove the boundaries and literally step into the impossibilities. Vision that is supported by diligent focus can lead to the most beautiful of places. As Yogiji said, keep up and you'll be kept up.
Stay tuned for more updates regarding all things art, meditation and Jaipur related.