Traditional Art – Painted Easter Eggs

Everyone loves chocolate eggs at Easter time, but for some cultures, eggs have always been much more significant than a sweet treat, and have evolved into a traditional art form in itself. This month, in Traditional Art From Around the World, I showcase some examples of Painted Easter Eggs from Eastern Europe.

Hand-painted-Easter-eggs-from-Budapest
Hand painted Easter eggs from Budapest

 

Poland, The Czech  Republic an d other Eastern European countries, follow a tradition of decorating eggs, in specific designs and colors, at Easter. The designs themselves are painted on hen or goose eggs, not wooden eggs, as some might think, and are executed with great care using age – old techniques.  The egg yolk and white are either allowed to dry up over time, or are removed by blowing through a small hole in the egg.

The designs are highly indicative of not only a cultural region but, in some cases, also a particular family, as can be seen in the following photo, from  http://polishfolkdolls.blogspot.com.au/

folk art eggs
[Source: http://polishfolkdolls.blogspot.com.au%5D
Czech Republic

The practice of covering an egg,with knotted wire, first developed as a Slovak tradition, but is also used in egg creations in the Czech Republic. Motifs and color combinations can at times appear cross cultural, and while traditional styles prevail, egg artists add their own individual form of inspiration in order to personalize the decorated Easter eggs.

Folk art - Czech egg

The most recognizable symbol of Easter, in Prague and the Czech Republic, is a hand-painted or decorated egg known as “Kraslice.” These eggs are made from ordinary eggs and ink, by the village girls, and are given to the village boys, on Easter Monday. On Easter Sunday, the boys make a kind of twisted cane/whip that usually decorated with a ribbon. On Easter Monday, they then travel to the houses, to visit the girls, and hit them around the legs with this whip, (an old tradition supposedly thought to increase fertility), after which the girls then give the boy an egg which the girls themselves, have decorated!

[Where were women’s rights in those days?]

These days the eggs are not so much a gift of love, from girl to boy, as a general reminder of the heritage and beauty from the region according to the differing techniques unique to each geographical, or cultural, area.

Kraslice eggs from httpforeignholidays.net

In Valassko, (Wallachia, Romania), Easter eggs are decorated in red, orange, and black with figural motifs like girls and roosters, whilst South Moravia is known for eggs created using the scratching technique.

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Ukraine

Painted and decorated eggs is a traditional art form that dates back to ancient times in the Ukraine. As such, each regional area and indeed, each family developed rituals, symbols and meanings for Easter, along with their individual brand of decoration for the Easter Egg.

Pysanka” is often taken to mean any type of decorated egg, but it specifically refers to an egg created by the written-wax batik method, utilizing traditional folk motifs and designs. In the western Ukrainian town of Kolomyya, there is a museum dedicated to ‘Pysanky’, with several thousand eggs on display.

ukrainian museum eggs

The word pysanka comes from the verb pysaty, “to write”, as the designs are not painted, but ‘written’ with hot beeswax, using a stylus or a pin-head. Wooden and beaded eggs are also known as “pysanky,” because they mimic the decorative style of pysanky, but in a different medium.

[Source: Wikipedia]

ukainian

Several other Ukrainian techniques of decorating eggs can be identified throughout the region. All but the krashanky and lystovky are meant to be decorative, (as opposed to being edible).

  • Krashanky –from krasyty (красити), “to decorate”– are boiled eggs dyed a single color (with vegetable dyes), and are blessed and eaten at Easter.
  • Pysanky –from pysaty (писати), “to write”– are raw eggs created with the wax-resist method (batik).
  • Krapanky –from krapka (крапка), “a dot”– are raw eggs decorated using the wax-resist method, but with only dots as ornamentation (no symbols or other drawings). They are traditionally created by dripping molten wax from a beeswax candle onto an egg.
  • Dryapanky –from dryapaty (дряпати), “to scratch”– are created by scratching the surface of a dyed egg to reveal the white shell below.
  • Malyovanky –from malyuvaty (малювати), “to paint”– are created by painting a design with a brush using oil or water color paints. It is sometimes used to refer to coloring (e.g. with a marker) on an egg.
  • Nakleyanky –from kleyaty (клеяти), “to glue on”– are created by glueing objects to the surface of an egg. Eg Lace
  • Travlenky –from travlenya (травлення), “etching” – are created by waxing eggs and then etching away the unwaxed areas. This is not a traditional Ukraine practice, but has become popularized recently.
  • Biserky –from biser (бісер), “beads”– are created by coating an egg with beeswax, and then embedding beads into the wax to create geometric designs.
  • Lystovky –from lystya (листя), “leaves”– are created by dyeing an egg to which small leaves have been attached.

Other Eastern European countries also may use wax resist techniques to decorate their Easter eggs:

Belarusians (пісанка, pisanka)
Bulgarians (писано яйце, pisano yaytse)
Croats (pisanica)
Hungarians (hímestojás)
Lithuanians (margutis)
Romanians (ouă vopsite, incondeiate or impistrite) Russians (расписанное яйцо “rаspisannoe yaitsо”)
Serbs (pisanica)
Slovaks (kraslica)
Slovenes (pisanica,pirhi or remenke)
Sorbs (jejka pisać). [Source: Wikipedia]

Image

Marie Jukubickova (R) and Ludmila Vlasakova wearing traditional costume decorate Easter eggs in Vacenovice, South Moravia, Czech Republic. The women use the old method of scraping colored eggs with a nail file to decorate them and are the last two women in southern Moravia who know this method decorating Easter eggs for almost 70 years. [Source: http://forum.lovelimes.com/general-disc-f13/hand-painted-easter-eggs-t31235.html#.VSTRAuHE7Dc%5D

Traditions that are in danger of dying out.

Something to Ponder About.

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Traditional Art – Polish folk art

The beauty of the traditional arts is that they are by ordinary folk, untrained and unskilled. The techniques used, are taught, from family to family, father to son, mother to daughter. Their charm and naivete belies the history, long tradition and meaning in the work.

The vibrant colours and cheery designs are a way for the peasants to brighten up their daily lives.

This month I showcase Polish Folk Art

Folk arts comprise sculpture, embroidery, painting,and pottery as well. It differs from region to region, and is sometimes very old.  A little known area for decorative flower painting is Polish folk art in the southern or Lesser, Poland.

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/3f/81/07/3f81073bf676b8a677756d848eb0fdca.jpg

https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS_ZPRzNcloMJXOAbGm7tON57SG_KQGJtjMIaGAQgt19-7gY8A22w

Zagroda Felicji Curyłowej

The Zalipie style was popularised mainly by Felicja Curyłowa (1904-1974). She was a versatile folk artist. She was asked to paint e.g. interior of the famous Kraków restaurant “Wierzynek” or the dining room on the cruise ship “Batory”. The artist’s homestead became an attraction even during her life. After her death, it was bought by Cepelia (Center of Folk and Artistic Industry) and handed to the care of the District Museum in Tarnów.

https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcR8vXXyJ-s9w67Jhrv3yZUOMPQX78-rWdEkue6SOwJXpPZxVFvJ

https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQT0ylsYrHeekvv9dqkSjVteJO4PwV8Q5G9rs9qqJV24NnsBxFwpg

 

 

 

 

 

And Old cowshed in the Felicja Curyło’s cottage, Zalipie, has been turned into an exhibition-workshop hall where paintings by local artists are presented.

Zalipie as a painted village was discovered in 1905 by Wladyslaw Hickel. He was fascinated with the local tradition of painting houses in colourful floral patterns. This custom started at the end of 19th century when old-fashioned furnaces were replaced with more modern enclosed fires and chimneys. Before that, the soot-blackened walls were only brighten with circular patches of lime mixed with wood ash but since the new furnaces with chimneys appeared, ornaments started to be more sophisticated. Women started to decorate not only interiors of their cottages but also outer walls, farm buildings, fences and even dog kennels and tree trunks.

The most talented and famous painter was Felicja Curylowa whose farmstead was turned into the museum in 1978, four years after her death. But Felicja Curylowa was well known not only in Zalipie. She also painted interiors of famous restaurant Wierzynek in Krakow. She was frequent winner of local house-painting competition that have been organized annually in Zalipie since 1965. The name of this contest is Malowana Chata (Painted Cottage) and it takes place on the first weekend after the Corpus Christi Feast. This is also the best time to visit Zalipie. Zalipie village is not an open-air museum, most of the buildings are actual functioning households. Also school, post office and church were painted in colourful flower compositions. Zalipie is a unique place to visit and there aren’t many other tourists (yet).

[Source:http://www.intopoland.com/what-to-see/local-products/zalipie-painted-village.html%5D

Traditional Art is definitely Something to Ponder About

 

Weekly Photo Challenge – Express Yourself

Express Yourself

Screenshot_2014-(Small) 

Expressions tell us a lot, we read the body language, we pick up cues

graffitiart (Small)

The graffiti artist is extremely expressive through his creations

Hearts on waterfeature (Small)

Others send a message through the things they leave behind

H Handstand on beach (Small)

You can tell how someone feels by their actions – a form of expression

scarecrow at Carseldine markets (Small)

Some are hard to read, a complete mystery or devoid of emotion!

I like to express myself through my artwork, my crafts,  photography and just life.

What about you?

Express Yourself with the Weekly Photo Challenge

Something to Ponder About

Proverbial Thursday – Proverbs and Sayings from around the World

I find profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader. Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and across cultures, and speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned. Quotes like proverbs, can make us think more deeply about something.

Each Thursday, I post a Proverb or Saying and a Quote that I find thought-provoking.  I hope you will too.

From Africa this week:geranium1

“A building of sand falls as you build it.” – Cameroonian Proverb

Aesop once wrote, “In trying to please all, he had pleased none.”

 

Something to Ponder About