Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Splashes of Water and Touches of Paint

Sharing art is something I love to do. So when a friend of mine suggested that we should paint together, I was excited. Our session was quite brief, though; we painted in the forty minutes that we had before she had to leave to catch the train back to Chennai.

This is what we did: my friend, who's new to watercolours, doodled and splashed colours randomly on ATCs and one A4-sized sheet of watercolour paper. Then the two of us searched the mess for anything we could recognise. We teased out the shape from the splotches, and suddenly we had six paintings, and just forty minutes left to catch the train, forget about going to a bookshop first, and then buying kababs to eat for dinner, and taking photos at the station...

Some reds and yellows and reserved white space turned into this flower.

This ATC also started out as a red and yellow experiment. Not sure whether it suggests wild flowers growing upon an embankment...

This one was the last we did. Patches of yellow and blue with a lot of white space to the right led to some bushes, and then some water, and then a tree leaning over the pool, and then us running out of time. We were thinking of some blue waterlilies, perhaps... or lifting out a white heron...

This little bird we consider to be a poor, ruined thing. Ah, you should have seen this ATC when it was mere splotches of burnt umber and indigo lines. We darkened the indigo lines to bring the bird to life. At that point the painting looked beautiful... very Oriental... even minimalist. And then things got out of control, with a dash of quinacridone here, and a touch of terre verte there. If only this had been our last painting, we wouldn't have had the time to fuss over it.

This painting is slightly more than A4 size. A jellyfish created out of the colours on my friend's t-shirt. My friend now claims to have fallen for watercolours hook, line and sinker.

There was one more ATC, but I've decided against loading that here... it showed a couple making love in the sky, and I might have had to change the settings to warn the innocent or something.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Banana's Journey

Here are bananas being sold, by cheerful people.
From photo on Flickr Creative Commons by Manjeet Bawa

From photo on Flickr Creative Commons by MeanestIndian

From photo on Flickr Creative Commons by MeanestIndian

From photo on Flickr Creative Commons by Stig Nygaard

From photo on Flickr Creative Commons by O.Pirata

And bananas managing to look beautiful, with the help of props, of course.

From photo on Flickr Creative Commons by Indiewench

Wheeeeee!!! Bananas on wheels!

From photo on Flickr Creative Commons by Mckaysavage

From photo on Flickr Creative Commons by gailf548

And, finally, the end of the banana.
From photo on Flickr Creative Commons by wharman

From photo on Flickr Creative Commons by KungPaoCajun

From photo on Flickr Creative Commons by sa-ku-ra

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Phallic Symbol :)

These are pictures from the last project I was on, in WetCanvas. We had to paint 24 kinds of whatever we chose to paint. There was an artist who painted flowers, another who painted bottles, a third who painted cats, another who painted songbirds... I decided to paint... b a n a n a s. A nice and cheerful fruit, the banana. Associated with babies and picnics and pushcarts and athletes and monkeys and madness and hilarious slip-ups. Easy to paint, too. Also, a banana could lead to just about anything. You could paint banana flowers or leaves, bananas on display or on the tree. Possibilities, endless possibilities. Just what I needed to get back to painting after nearly a month of doing nothing. A phallic symbol, a jumpstart to creativity, laughter-causing not awe-inspiring, which is otherwise the case with these symbols.
AAWWRRRGGGHH! I'm finding it horribly difficult to arrange the images the way I want to. Wonder why. I need to credit the photographers whose images in Flickr Creative Commons I painted from.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Vacation/Holiday Memories

Though Vacation/Holiday Dreams was the second exchange I joined on WetCanvas, some of my paintings are still to reach their destinations. It was like this: I decided to paint in oils, on canvas. I found out that painting on such a small scale (6"x4") using oils was not at all easy. And then, I'm not temperamentally suited to oils. They take an age to dry, and I'm always in a hurry. But oh, man, am I still skidding.
Here are some of the paintings of this exchange.

People bring places to life.

A woman sells items for puja outside Pasupatinath Temple, Kathmandu.

A little girl at the carnival in Patras.

A Konda Reddy woman in her hut in the Khammam forests.
Many of the picture-pretty places in India are pilgrimage centres.
Morning dawns in Benares, as photographed by my husband.

A girl and the Buddha. This was some sort of a burial shrine in Nepal.

Trees can have so many place-related associations that most vacationeers have at least a couple of snaps of the leafy denizens that they came across on their travels.

Trees in the Himalayas, photographed by my son when he went on a trek.

A lone tree, braving the elements in the Himalayas.

Toddy palms in the South of India. Ah, what can I say about toddy... a little sweet, a little white, a little, just a very little, fermented... the blessings of a bountiful Earth.


A WetCanvas artist, Rose, introduced us all to zentangles. There are zentangle sites out there, and they sell you pre-cut cards, and suggest designs. However, it's easy enough to do if you simply let go, and slide down the years to when you were at school, doing what you did best in all those boring classes... d o o d l i n g.

Just boldly block in some spaces in a small square or rectangle of paper, and go ahead and doodle. Patterns will emerge all on their own, and you will know when you have finished.

If ever art could become a sort of meditation, then this is it. Reminds me of white-clad women and their rosaries, orange-clad monks and their japamalas, Greek seafarers and their kombolai... you put down mark after mark after mark with your pen, and lo and behold you've forgotten what you were worried about, and you marvel at what your worry has transformed into on that little bit of paper.

At the Anything Goes Exchange, some artists did not want my... ahem... divine creatures. I did these zentangle-inspired ATCs for them, all Micron pen on watercolour paper.

Scattered Yin-Yan


Nautilus (on lokta paper)

Petal Lash

Winding Melodies


Palm Lines


In Flight

Monday, April 20, 2009

Gods and Goddesses

Anything Goes, proclaimed the WetCanvas exchange. I thought, 'why not paint women (and men) of spirit and substance?' I had a great time painting these ATCs, all in watercolours except for the laurel-wreathed god.
She who favours a pink lotus and a white elephant, and she of the blue waterlilies and the wild boar...

She who attends upon childbirth, and she of the harvest...

She of the veena and the peacock, and she of the lute and the dragon...

He who herds cows, she who fled her mother, and he of the laurel wreath.