My name is Reena Mandal Devi, and I am currently residing in Kuwa-12, Rampur, Janakpur with my family members. I belong to a family of farmers, but I earn my living by portraying my skills in Mithila art. In addition, my husband works as a worker in a foreign country to support the family.
When I got married, I had the opportunity to join as a trainee at the same NGO where my mother-in-law had already been working for many years. I have received extensive formal training in Mithila painting. I have been painting for nearly five years. When I learned most of the details of Mithila art, I also worked in the sewing and stitching department. We were given materials to stitch on, such as bags that depicted some of the entities used in the Mithila paintings, such as elephants and horses. As of now, I can make paintings through my imagination and creativity.
I had the utmost support from all family members, and especially from my mother-in-law. In particular, I got support from my sisters-in-law. They used to care for my children in my absence. This made it easy to work in a peaceful environment.
As known to me, paintings on paper and clothes are very difficult to deal with at times. However, I managed to learn and, on average, I can complete paper paintings in 2-3 days and cloth paintings in 4-5 days.
Although I like everything in the art form, my favorite part would be the normal, social, and daily life interpretation in paintings, which I call “Jeevan Kahani”. I could not get a formal education as educating girls was not necessary for my society.
Whenever I sit with my colleagues and friends to discuss and make paintings together, it gives me immense pleasure and happiness. If an artist like me and social enthusiasts collaborate, then Mithila’s paintings could be more famous and popular.