Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Balcony Love

As the year winds to an end, it is time again to sit back and reflect. Recapture the moments of the past twelve months, the hits and the misses, the highs and the lows, the joys and the sorrows... for Life is like a pallette, with all kinds of colour!

Here's signing off for this year by offering you a chair to sit on, in a peaceful ambience, as you embark on your reflections.

Balcony Love, as I call this painting, is a view of my living room sit-out from inside. Hope you enjoy the view! :)

And hope the new year 2010 adds more splashes of colour to the pallette of your life!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Jodhpur Blue

I got snooping around the internet on Jodhpur (of all places) only because a friend called to inform about his wedding in February next year. The said friend belongs to this glorious city of Rajasthan, and that set me searching for sightseeing locations.

But what completely took my breath away were the pictures of the old town, with the Mehrangarh Fort overlooking the famous blue houses. You can read more about this interesting bit right here. As I browsed around, I settled on the picture below.

It seemed to call out to me, waiting to be painted! And this is what I made of it.

I don't know if I have done enough justice to the stunning vista but I sure am ready to visit Jodhpur, to attend the wedding and to experience the view first hand! :)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Nasturtium, Again!

Remember how the first post for this blog featured my favourite flower, the nasturtium. Well, that was a computer painting (created in MS-Paint) and this is an actual one.

Done with acrylic on corrugated cardboard. Quick and satisfying! :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Idyllic Countryside

I'm doing a landscape after quite a while. If you scroll down through my previous few posts you'll realize how long it has been - almost three months!

It is always fun to take a break and then go back to a particular style of painting, so I quite enjoyed doing this one. Especially all the texturing in the foreground.

This was inspired from a picture I came across in some blog that I can't seem to remember now (ok, I admit I'm lousy at maintaining my source details). But here's the original photo.

Doesn't this seem like such a gorgeous place to live in? Well, all I remember is it is somewhere in Ireland... Since I can't go there on a whim, the painting will have to suffice for now! ;)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

In Remembrance: Mumbai 26/11

I created this sketch of the Taj Mahal Hotel, Mumbai on the first anniversary of the ghastly 26/11 terrorist attack on Mumbai.

This is my tribute to all those lives that were needlessly lost, and to their families that had to bear the brunt.
I wanted to colour the sketch the same day but a sick child and other household duties held me up. I finished the colouring today, and here is the final painting.

What I especially like about this painting (taken from a photograph that appeared in the Times of India, Delhi edition on 22Nov09) is that the picture shows birds in flight in the backdrop of the majestic Taj.
This is the vision that we would all rather remember than the smoke-billowing image of the Taj that is now so commemorative of the 26/11 attack.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Cityscape: Flatiron, Colorado

We lived in the Westminster-Broomfield area of Denver, Colorado in 2004. One of our most favourite places to visit during our stay there was the Flatiron shopping area in Broomfield.

It was a large area having outlets of some of the biggest brands, but more importantly, it was the scenic location that made it such a pleasure to visit. Vast open spaces, landscaped greens, the Zip shuttle and sunny days with deep blue skies made it a stunning vista.

This painting is my ode to those lovely days. I have taken the setting from a combination of two of my pictures taken in the shopping district.

Let me have your comments on this one.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Lonely Lady With Her Flowers

One fine morning this picture just flashed in my head. Even as I painted it, I held a long debate with myself about showing this piece... mainly because it resonates with my personal situation. On any given weekday, after the hubby and kids have left for office and school respectively, I am left alone with my flowers for company.

And then this picture also identifies with the condition of womankind in general (especially in India) - always waiting passively. Maybe surrounded by beauty, luxury, and comfort but unable to share it with anyone when she wants, as she is left alone. I have tried to capture this situation in this painting titled Lonely Lady With her Flowers. Hope it brings out all that it is supposed to portray.

I shall post the third painting - another cityscape - in a day or so. Do come back to check that one out. Meanwhile, hope you all are having a good weekend!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Blue Ginger

I know I've been away from the blog for long (changing weather and resultant sniffles are to be blamed) but the good part is that I'm back with three new pieces of artwork.

This first one is based on a picture I came across while surfing. The picture looked fabulous but I feel my paints couldn't bring out the same effect. Anyhow, here's a peek into my rendition of the blue ginger flower.

Come back tomorrow to see the second one!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Floral Outings

Check out my floral outings this week. I painted these flowers on corrugated fiberboard pieces with acrylics, using pen outlines.

The first picture is of a flower that is currently blooming in my garden. The second picture was inspired by a photograph I came across while browsing.

Pity the camera didn't capture the shades of mauve too well. However good your camera may be (and mine is a high-res Sony), sometimes the naked eye works best! :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cityscape: San Francisco Street

I tried out a new style in painting yet again. And this time it was the urban setting of San Francisco (SFO) that caught my fancy.

Going through one of my favourite blogs, Different Strokes For Different Folks by artist Karin Jurick, I came across this picture of the SFO street.

My first reaction was 'How can anyone paint something so drab and grey?' But the responses that came in were such a learning experience. It taught me how to look at a subject from your own imaginative viewpoint so that even the most regular of shots could be interpreted in an aesthically pleasing fashion.

So this was my version of the SFO street, and I must admit I'm quite pleased with the end result. What do you think, dear readers?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Forced Creative Break

Duh! Am in the middle of dealing with a forced creative break. Its been over a month that I haven't touched my brushes. Just made some paper lanterns for Diwali with the kids, and a spot of rangoli, and that was it.... no more creative outings in the festive season. tch! tch!

Can't say I'm too happy about this scenario. Rather I'm starting to get withdrawal symptoms.... Now wait, my creative brain says that is a good thing, a sign of the tumult inside. Let's see where this leads....
Promise to be back soon with something to show! And hope you all (from India) had a fabulous Diwali.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Lighthouse

Way back when I was in high school, I had the opportunity to go up a lighthouse. I still remember the name of the place - it was the Chandrabhaga Lighthouse near the famous Sun Temple of Konark in Orissa.

We were on a trip to Orissa; on a rainy, drizzly afternoon as we went up the lighthouse, I still remember how breathtaking the view from top was! As we laboured up the long flight of steps, the deep-set windows brought in wafts of fresh sea breeze. I climbed right up to the top where the reflector is installed, and as I looked down the glass windows, one side was deep green forest and the other was a deep blue sea. Simply gorgeous! One day last week I was suddenly reminded of that experience, and so decided to paint a lighthouse.

This is again one of those quick acrylics on paper, completed over an afternoon. Making this helped me connect with that precious past experience once more.

P.S. : Posting is likely to be thin as the festive season starts, and I'll get to paint much less with all the moving around and socialising. But do keep checking in for updates.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Tea And Cakes

I'm in experimentation mode. So I decided to do this one.... it is a little different from my usual landscapes.

Though an acrylic on paper again, this painting doesn't come from any photograph but has been entirely conjured up in my head. Not a very difficult thing to do for a woman, given the subject! :)

I have always been charmed by the round-bottomed traditional ceramic teapot that comes along with its matching set of cups. This painting is simply an ode to one of the biggest pleasures that we take for granted - sipping tea while nibbling into a piece of cake. Mmmm...

Hope you enjoy this as much as I loved painting it.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Orange Hills

This time I kept my promise to be back soon! :)

And this time I worked using poster colours instead of the usual acrylics. Well, poster colours spread better with water but the colours do not have as much vibrancy as the acrylics do.

I also captured the progress of my work through its various stages. So the first wash looked like this.

After the first wash was completely dry, I worked on the details of the railway track and its surroundings.

Then the final painting turned out this way....

My inspiration photograph for this painting came from the very interesting travel blog of Mridula Dwivedi called Travel Tales From India.

This picture was taken on a walk from Barog to Solan during one of Mridula's trips to the Himachal, accompanied by her young nephews. Click here to read the associated article.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Vanishing Trick

I never seem to be able to keep my word, do I? I make promises of showing you all my new creative projects and then disappear! Well, some of the reasons of my disappearance are given right here.

As for what I've been upto, I'll leave you with this teaser of an unfinished project for the kids. Hope to complete it over this weekend.

And yes, I just finished another painting, this time using my kids' poster paints. :) You'll get a peep into that too... very soon.... promise!!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Falkenberg Series: Contemplation

I'm back with another painting based on the photographs of Falkenberg that I saw here. This one also required a lot of underpainting, washes and layering but I really enjoyed doing it.

Perhaps because I finally seem to be getting the hang of how to do a painting in bits and parts rather than at one go. And have gathered the patience to let dry between coats! :)

Here is the photograph that inspired Contemplation. I really like the serenity that the picture exudes.

So what do you think of this one? In my next post I'll show you what I do in between my painting sprees. Now that is another story.... so stay tuned!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Road To Eternity

Just finished my latest work; it was a tough one to do. There were too many colors and too many washes involved, and perhaps this wasn't the correct choice of picture for a raw beginner like me.

Anyway, I have come away from the experience with quite a few learnings. And most importantly, I have realized that I have to be a more patient artist. I just can't seem to wait for previous washes to dry before starting out with my loaded brush again!

Though when I look at this picture of the drawing, it does feel like the camera did not quite do justice to it. The interplay of light and shade in the finished painting does look much better upfront, believe me! For the record, this one is also inspired by the Cotswold countryside in the UK.

How I envy my friend for actually being able to travel down this road and watch these glorious Fall colours. And thank her for sharing this lovely photograph that inspired me to be creative with my colors and brushes. :)

Till the next paint outing....

Monday, August 10, 2009

Coastal Europe: Falkenberg

As promised in my last post, here is the official preview of my next painting. This was inspired from a photograph of the European coastal town of Falkenberg that I came across in the blog A Home Far Away.

Do hop over to see some more of the lovely pictures that blog author Gunilla has put up of her vacation in this area in July.

Meanwhile I am trying to work on my next. I have to work out a way of not getting interrupted in the middle of my work... that by far seems to be my biggest challenge right now. Phew!

Comments, suggestions and reactions are welcome, as always.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

New Email ID and Painting Update

Hello there! This blog now has a brand new email ID. And no prizes for guessing the email address... It is, very predictably, You will find the link in my right sidebar. So hope to hear from my readers soon!

As for the painting update, August has started off totally wasted. I have slipped my target again and have not been able to paint anything for almost two weeks... and worse, I have spent the last couple of days moping about it. Not the best place to be in for doing anything remotely creative! But then I was unwell last weekend, and budding artists are allowed some sick leave.

Today my dearest hubby has been an angel in disguise and has bailed me out of my sad plight by chipping in whole-heartedly with humdrum housework. So this afternoon I finally got cracking again, and finished another as-yet-unnamed painting. Will show it around here soon... be on the look out! :)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Magnet Makeover

Had a tooth-shaped fridge magnet around for ages. It said "Smile! Keep your bite bright." Obviously, it came from a dentist.... and so had his contact details on it. Not much use when you have moved houses, and countries! :)

So I decided on a makeover. At least the message on it remained relevant even otherwise; a smile never hurt, did it! So I added some artwork, and gave it a new look.

The kids loved it, identifying each of the food items I'd drawn. And the fridge looked a tad brighter for the splash of colour on the white magnet.

p.s. - Sorry about the picture quality; I know they are hopelessly hazy but I used my cellphone camera as the digital ran out of battery. Lazy ol' me! :)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Flowing Brook

Yippee! I can't believe I finished my second painting in two hours flat. No exaggerations, I swear.... I worked on it like a woman possessed, and so enjoyed the experience!

This is my rendition of the English countryside in Cotswold, UK. It has been inspired by the photographs of a very dear friend who visited the area a few years back.

So what do your think of this one?

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Lotus Ganesha

Here's introducing you all to The Lotus Ganesha, my very first acrylic on paper. As I said in my last post, I carried around a sketch of this for months, and am so relieved to have finally done some justice to it. Reactions, comments, suggestions?

Though I do have a confession to make. I slipped on my target of 'one painting in a week' with my very first painting! tch, tch... :(

From the sketching stage right upto the final layers of paint, it took me two whole weeks to finish The Lotus Ganesha. Somehow I got so entagled in household chores, kids' homework, weekend travel and so on, that the poor painting had to take a backseat.

But the good news is, it is finally complete. And I am already working on the next one!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Addicted To Acrylics, Again!

Seems like my ceramic paints phase is over for a bit. I’m back with my old love, the box of acrylic paints and am enjoying using them on paper.

What I love most about them are the vibrant colours, and the umpteen luscious shades one can come up with. Yes, some of the mix-n-match shades look downright yummy and edible!

I have also promised myself to take my acrylic-on-paper phase more seriously. My target is one painting per week. Lets see if I can keep up the resolve!

Am currently working on the first one, and hope to share it soon. This sketch has been lying with me for perhaps six months now…. am so glad to finally see it getting done.

The monsoons sure inspire my creative juices! Hope you all are having an inspired phase too.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Fun Kiddy Projects

We did some fun projects last month, me and the kids.

Started with some finger-painting…

Then moved on to ladyfinger printing!

Don’t these turtles give the Olive Ridley’s some serious competition? :)

Made an octopus out of a paper plate and cut-up straws…

And used the remaining part of the paper plate to create an African-style neckpiece! That, incidentally, is my three year old daughter posing so gleefully with the neckpiece.

Finally we did some palm prints to make the scorching sun (as if we needed any more of its heat…. Phew!!)
What did you all do to keep the kids busy during their summer vacations?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Today I am sharing the technique I used to create the toothbrush holder written about in my last post.

1. Draw out the design you want on a piece of paper. Make sure before drawing that you fix the width of your drawing as per the size of the bottle you want to paint. We don’t want any pattern overlaps now!

2. Affix this paper inside the bottle using tape so that when you paint on the outside, the design doesn’t move.

3. Now paint directly or draw out outlines using a non-permanent marker.

4. Fill in all the details of your design, including a background.

Tip: If you want to add a background to your creation, then ensure you start the painting process with that. It’ll be easier to paint on the design details over the background color rather than make your background fit in with the lines of your design.

The second alternative if you are using a wide-mouth jar is to paint in the background color from the inside of the bottle.

5. Enjoy your creation! :)

P.S. - Remember the bottle-vases I painted a few months back? You can catch them in action here.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Painted Toothbrush Holder

Have just finished painting on a jam bottle with my ceramic paints. And voila! It has metamorphosed into a toothbrush holder for the kids’ bathroom.

Froggy with his red umbrella and the giant mushrooms all add a dash of fun to the morning chore of brushing, making it that much easier for the kids and us.

This time I tried a more complicated design than my previous attempts at painting on glass bottles. And learnt some invaluable lessons.

I used Fevicryl’s ceramic paint pack which comes with basic colors. The paints are so quick-drying that you cannot work with them under a fan. Mixing colors is also pretty tough since you have to constantly keep thinning them with water else they dry up. And all that water wrecks color consistency.

So while this activity requires immense patience and a fair amount of careful planning before you start, the end result more than makes up for it. When my kids saw their new brush holder, they made friends with Froggy instantly and loved the mushrooms. :)

I’ll share the technique I used to paint this bottle in my next post.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Making A Paper Parasol

Try these easy-to-make paper parasols at home for your kiddy parties. They do not have wooden spines like the commercially available ones. But if you use stiff paper, you can get the right look anyway.

The steps are:

1. Cut a circle of 1.5"-2"(inches) diameter out of stiff paper. I used both card paper from a pamphlet and glossy newspaper, and both worked for me.

2. Fold it neatly into half, making sure the edges match perfectly.

3. Fold it into further halves, twice over, so you are left with something that looks like this.

4. Now take a pair of scissors and snip off a tiny bit on the top. This will form the centre of the parasol or umbrella, from where we can slip in the straw.

5. Turn your scissors to the broad arc of the circle and cut out a jagged motif, so that when we open the folds, it forms a decorative pattern. You can be really creative here and create motifs as you like. Or use a pattern scissor to help.

6. Open the folds of your paper parasol and fit it right below the bend of the straw.

Go on, serve the drinks! What are you waiting for?? Oh, the compliments… they’ll come soon! :)


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