Story of Rangreet
As the Rangreet School of Traditional Indian Art enters its 25th year, I reflect on over 48 years of cultural focus and artistry. From a humble beginning in the early 1970’s, when the dream of a studio merely existed in my mind, to decades later having established the Rangreet School in 1996, I have dedicated my life to the craft. The mission of Rangreet would be a clear step forward; (1) to contribute to the preservation of the dying craft of Indian Miniature Art, and (2) to create a sustainable Art school – for thousands of new and young Artists and Art lovers - for the long-term. Through Rangreet, the organization continues to place importance directly on teaching Arts’ culture in depth, and more extensively transferring my lifetime of artistry into the hands of those who will indubitably carry the traditions forward.
Since its inception, we have demonstrated lessons found in the Rangreet School of Traditional Indian Art in: Jaipur, Jodhpur and upon invitation to several renowned institutions, like:
Art institute of Chicago - Alsdorf Galleries – Chicago, USA
Oxford University – United Kingdom
Detroit institute of Art – Detroit, USA
Indianapolis Institute of Art – Indiana, USA
And contributed to the ossification of research and historic preservation of the roots of Indian Miniature Art through many renowned institutions and publications, such as:
Punjabi University – Journal title, “Intensive Understanding of the Arts of Chamba and Jaipur”
The Bhavan Centre UK, Institute of Indian Art and Culture
Art institute of Chicago
The British Museum
As we continue to push our mission forward, I reflect on its importance as I look back towards my roots, as a young Artist. A driving force for establishing Rangreet was found in my early learning phase as a student. Most great Artists of the time were reluctant and anxious to share their techniques and often never permitted anyone to set foot in their atelier. This created a nearly unbreakable barrier between students and their desire to learn the roots and Art of traditional Indian paintings. Rangreet was established to change the script. The establishment of the school would put a ladder on the barrier walls - which kept savvy and eager new entrants out – creating a path for the learner to the basics tools and artistic tactics of Indian Miniature Art.
Today, we have students from all corners of the world. Some of which have taken the opportunity to pursue deepening desires to understand and produce Indian Miniature Art. Some have come to Rangreet to broaden their exposure to a historic style. And others have come to seek our organizations method of teaching, supplementing their educational armoire by utilizing our structure to teach and earn a livelihood independently while helping keep the traditional Indian Art alive.
As the world continues to evolve, we face an unprecedented lockdown, one of which has a distant connection to past pandemics.
For decades, Rangreet, taught students directly and in person within a studio. I am proud to say, for the first time, Rangreet will host a range of classes online. Many of which will play to the chords of Indian Miniature Art, from basic skills to advanced introductory courses.
Rangreet Online comes after offering, for free, a 15-day course for more than 180 students who actively participated at different skill levels remotely in Gujarat, Delhi, Mumbai, Himachal-Pradesh, Mysore, Pakistan, USA, Canada, Dubai, Jakarta, and London. Students were taught the importance of lines, and their significant role in Indian Miniature Art. How they are not just mere lines, but a force to lean into which develop a distinct and classical interpretation. Illuminating classical brush strokes and the lasting impact of natural stone and mineral based paint colors continue to drive a long list of significant factors in establishing a strong base of knowledge needed in Indian Miniature Art. And following the traditions, students are asked to keep in mind the practice of meditation, pranayama (control of breath), maunavrat (a vow of silence), guru ke prati samarpan (devotion to the teachings), baalman, (continued curiosity in learning), and modesty.
We are fortunate, thankful, and proud of our students and feel grateful for their love and admiration continued through education in the Indian Traditional Arts. We hope to see new and returning students, those who find their inspirations guiding them deeper into a generational age-old craft.
We heartfully invite you to explore our mission, to learn the craft, and to ensure the longevity of Indian Miniature Art.
A review from one of our past international students: Victoria Leader
Indian Yellow (Gaugoli)
Various Incredible hues flourish Indian Art but Gaugoli plays a significant role in Miniature painting, popularly known as INDIAN YELLOW in the entire world . It was noted for its intense luminance which would beautify any of the art work. Indian yellow pigment is claimed to have been originally manufactured in rural India from the urine of cattle fed only on mango leaves and water. The urine would be collected and dried, producing foul-smelling hard yellow balls of the raw pigment, the process discontinued around 200 years ago.
There’s another color, PEVARI in two different shades (Orange and lemon) which we could find in Gaugali as well.
Gaugoli and Pevari are indistinguishable but when seen under UV light, one can easily distinguish between the two as Gaugoli will illuminate like a gold while Pevari and the real gold used in the painting seem blackish. This is the beauty and speciality of Indian colors.
In 2010, to revive the Indian Yellow, we went to Art Institute of Chicago where I along with my brothers tested the color in which we almost succeeded but still the research continues.
Indian Yellow -Shines like gold under UV light
Art Institute of Chicago 2010 ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE
The Art Institute of Chicago presented master miniature artist Ramu Ramdev and Shyamu Ramdev.
Mr. Ramdev were in residence from 6 june through 12 june 2010, offered a rare opportunity to see the artist at work.
Art In Action 2015
Every July up to 400 artists, crafters, performers and musicians gather together in Waterperry Gardens to demonstrate their skills and show their work. In the ever popular Practical Classes section, you will be able to have a go yourself at the art or craft of your choice with the guidance of an expert teacher.
Being an expertise and a fine artist Mr ramu ramdev and shyamu ramdev got the opportunity to showcase their skills and demonstrated exclusive techniques on indian miniature painting.
Bhavan Center London
Ramu Ramdev & Hemant Ramdev
“Ramu Ramdev concluded his third cycle of five-day workshops for enthusiasts at the Bhavan Centre of art in West Kensington. But it’s almost certain that he will return to wider acclaim, because Ramdev’s work ties in nicely with the resurgence of interest in Indian or South Asian art. Also, his masterclass training of amateurs is a cheaper and easier alternative to trying to get into the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts in London, patronised by the Prince of Wales and heir to the British throne. The school teaches South Asian and Islamic miniature painting but as part of a degree course.”
As Famous Art Critique Mr Sazid Rizvi wrote on Eastern Art Report
Art Institute of Detroit 2010
Ramu Ramdev & Shyamu Ramdev
“Ramu Ramdev has just concluded his third cycle of five-day workshops for enthusiasts at the Bhavan Centre of art in West Kensington.