Showing posts from April, 2014

Prehistoric Art- Paintings in Charcoal and Ochre

Deep,   dark, freezing underground caves. Who would want to go into these unwelcoming spaces? But they did and what we see on the walls of these caves is prehistoric art, created by early man about 40,800 years ago. Yes, that’s right! Can you imagine nomadic groups of men, women and children who braved the harsh weather and took refuge in these caves from time to time? With the help of lit torches, these hunter gatherers, created paintings throughout the length of these caves. Was it merely man’s need to create? Or perhaps their reasons were religious, ritualistic or were these records left for other wandering groups? That will always remain a mystery. Whether it’s the Lascaux Caves, or the Chauvet Cave in France or the Cave of El Castillo (cave of the castle) and the Altamira Caves in Spain, the style of drawing was the same throughout. These artists used Charcoal, Ochre (a colour which ranges from yellow to a deep yellow orange) and dehydrated iron oxide, which has a reddish
I must have been nine or ten years old when I saw my first Van Gogh. It was a picture of, 'The Starry Night' on a postcard and I was completely in awe of it. Unaware of the name of the painting at that time, I was just so fascinated by the colors the way in which the sky had been painted. There was so much movement in the drawing. Were those clouds? Stars? Lights?  I wanted to know, why the artist painted the picture this way? Was he in a hurry? Or maybe excited about something? I copied it and put it up in my room. Of course, it was much later that I found out the reasons for those frenzied strokes and the tragedy of this great artists life. But that's for later on in our story. I hope as we go back in time together and embark on this exciting journey, you too will feel the same passion for these artists and their work as I do. So the next time you visit a new place, or have a couple of hours to kill, ditch the mall and go to the local museum or gall