To earn more money, we worked in people’s houses, washing their dishes.
When we were done, I liked arranging the pots and pans in rows.
When I grew up, I still did the same work. I had never gone to school, so I was not trained to do any other job.
Sometimes I wished I could do something else. Everyday was the same, as it had been from the time I was a small girl.
Then one day, when I was passing the village pond, a strange thing happened. As I stood and looked, the scene turned into a picture in my mind. It came alive, bright and lively, telling stories. I was happy the whole day, thinking of my picture.
Following My Paint Brush is the story of Dulari Devi, a domestic helper who went on to become an artist in the Mithila style of folk painting from Bihar, eastern India. Dulari is from a community of fisherfolk whose occupation is river-fishing. Used to a life of hard and relentless labor, she discovered painting while working as a domestic helper in an artist’s house.
Dulari learned by doing, and very soon came to adapt artistic rules and conventions to her own expressive needs. Following My Paint Brush narrates Dulari’s momentous journey from a worker who knew no rest to an artist who is willing to go where her imagination leads her. This is Dulari’s first book.