Thursday, October 11, 2012

Spotlight on Warli

A warli painting by Jivya Soma Mashe image via

Let’s talk art! Truly, nothing is more pertinent than artwork when it comes to customizing your home décor and putting a personal stamp on it. Your home is a reflection of who you are and a well-curated art collection is a great way to allow your home décor to speak for your personality. Collecting artwork can be a daunting task especially if you are a novice. But remember - there is really no right or wrong way.  Building your personal art collection is a creative process that takes a sense of appreciation, a lot of intuition and a great deal of patience! Retail outlets, online curated sales, antique stores, flea markets and art fairs are all excellent avenues to find the right pieces of art that tie in to your unique décor philosophy.  

 I own art work sourced from all of the above and I am also very lucky because I own a few treasured pieces of art made by dear friends– my very own one-of-a-kind paintings!
Today, I want to share one of those paintings with all of you. This was made by a dear friend of mine in the Warli style and holds a very special place in my heart. 

My warli made by my friend RM, photo credits: Uj, my better half

 So, are you familiar with the Warli style of painting? 

White figures on a red background - the warli!, Image via Herve Perdiolle gallery

The Warlis are a contribution of the Warli tribe from Maharashtra, India and a part of India’s heritage. Lacking a script to communicate in writing, the Warli tribes invented their own art form as a way of expressing their relation with nature and thus the Warli paintings were born. With their unique art, the aboriginal Warlis infused life into tiny circles, triangles and squares and captured the essence of human interaction with the elements, pictorially. The original paintings feature miniature white figures painted from rice paste on a background of red earth and cow dung that gave the paintings their distinctive red hue.  Primarily, drawn as murals in the huts of the Adivaasis (first inhabitants), the Warli paintings became a portable art form only in the 1970s largely due to the works of Jivya Soma Mashe –a pioneer Warli artist.
The warli serves as a  backdrop for performing artists. Image via photographer Ed Bock

Do you want more information on Warli paintings ? Click here and here . Check it out, dear readers. There’s so much history behind this art form – it is a fascinating read!
Image via Rekha Kantak

There’s many ways to incorporate this art form into your décor - a backdrop, a mural, a vase or a painting or even a head board as seen above. The possibilities are endless! The versatile Warlis can work in any décor-scape. 
Paired with a fenton glass hobnail vase in a serene blue and a few gerberas in a gorgeous pink - my maroon, black and white Warli makes a lovely statement - don’t you think? 
A corner from my home, photo credits: Uj, my better half
Next time you see a Warli painting do not hesitate to add it to your collection. It's inherent graphic nature not only makes the Warli an appealing piece of art but also a great conversation piece.  Every Warli has a story to tell. Mine tells the story of “ the dancing circle of friends” as my 9 year old very imaginatively explains!
 And, if you like to paint  - why not try your hand at painting a Warli and contribute to keeping this ancient art form alive?


  1. Love this piece on Warli! Warli art form is one of my favorites...thank you for sharing. :)

  2. You are very welcome! Thanks for reading! I love the warli style of painting too -they bring with them a touch of whimsy!
    Please do come back for more - we have an interesting line-up of posts planned!

  3. A classy blog !!!

    Lovely write up too.

  4. Thank you! Means much. Join us for plenty more!


  5. I never really considered the many ways in which we can work Worli art into our lives.

    Why don't you guys do a feature on eastern Indian alpona one day? It's used to decorate floors and walls in these parts. A bit of a dying art.

  6. Sue: We learn as much from our readers as we hope our readers will learn from us. Thanks for bringing up Alpona. Rangoli as it is called in our neck of the woods will definitely be featured, now we'll include Alpona too.


  7. Thanks for visiting my blog! I love that Warli painting by your friend RM. It's in the shape of a Warli, but the figures are more rounded, which is so cute! Love the twist to it. Very nice.

  8. Thank you as well for coming back to visit! Yes! this painting creates so much interest and conversation - its truly one of a kind!


  9. Madam

    Great post on Warli paintings.Also a great blog with nice information.

    Madam these are my Warli Paintings Greetings Cards. I got them from a charitable organisation in Thane.

    Madam did you have any Warli or any other Indian paintings related postcards etc. for sharing them in my Heritage of India blog.

  10. I love Warli too! I always wanted it on atleast one wall in my home and finally I did it. Please check out my work at

  11. Thank you for such an informative blog post! Figure out the collection of paintings