Following My Paint Brush by Gita Wolf

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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.


About Gita Wolf

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A highly original and creative voice in contemporary Indian publishing, Gita Wolf is known for her interest in exploring and experimenting with the form of the book. She has written over twenty books for children and adults, many of which have been translated into multiple languages and recognized internationally. Joydeb Chitrakar is an artist working in the Patua scroll painting tradition from West Bengal in India. The Enduring Ark is his second project with Tara Books, the first being the handmade scrollbook Tsunami, an accordion book which he collaborated with his wife Moyna to produce. He lives in Nirbhaypur Village, West Bengal, India with his wife Moyna & their children.
Published June 21, 2011 by Tara Books. 32 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Arts & Photography, Children's Books.

Unrated Critic Reviews for Following My Paint Brush

Kirkus Reviews

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In an afterword, Devi is described as combining community traditions with modern themes, and her double-page spread of “Raju Ice Creame Wala” (“The Ice-Cream Man”) surrounded by eager children in traditional dress, under a spreading leafy tree with a highly decorated trunk, is the best example of...

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Publishers Weekly

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"I am an artist, but I wasn't always one," opens this autobiographical picture book, told from Devi's first-person perspective and written by Wolf.

Jun 13 2011 | Read Full Review of Following My Paint Brush

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