My name is Leela Nanhu Pachalkar, I live in Zari village of Talasari in Palghar district. I am 22 years old and have studied until SSC level. My family consists of 8 members who depend on farming to make both ends meet. My brother runs a small general store that supplements the family income.
Financial constraints in the family forced me to abandon my education after the 10th standard. I began working at the Umargaon GIDC and earned ` 6,000 a month. A little while later, I also joined a local group of Warli artists. I was unaware of the technical aspects of the art, but understood the cultural context.
In 2016, I had an opportunity to work with Padma Shri Jivya Soma Mashe, who holds the distinction of putting Warli art on the global stage. My work found buyers at exhibitions across the country.
Motivated by these sales, I enrolled for a course at the Warli Art Center at Talasari, run by Pratham InfoTech Foundation and the LTPCT. At the outset, I thought that I knew many things about the art, but soon realized that I had much to learn.
'Warli' is not only about drawing or sketching randomly. But it is a reflection and expression of our deep-rooted beliefs. I learnt various drawing techniques such as line alignment, colour combination, colour science, 2D Warli art, preparing background colours, giving finishing touches and representing subjects like dance forms, animals, insects, etc. I am thankful to the Warli Art centre for polishing my skills.
I have learnt creating assorted products using Warli art.
Assignments done by other students, have helped me learn more about my own culture, adding value to my painting style, and helping me earn more through my art.
My dream is to be as famous as Padma Shri Mashe. And I am confident that with some support, I will realize my dream soon.