Saturday, March 13, 2021

#oneweek100people2021 day5

#oneweek100people2021 #81-85

100 people sketched !!! I am happy with my efforts this year.  I am more confident in my sketching, faster in getting the shapes and lines down, and also have managed to fill in the gaps when the subject moves on. 

#oneweek100people2021 86-90

I still take and keep photos handy to refer and check. It is fun when the sketching goes smoothly :) 

#oneweek100people2021 91-93

It took me about 30-40 minutes to sketch these people at the dealership finalizing the purchase of a car. I was sitting far enough to watch them and sketch leisurely as I knew they would be there a while filling out forms etc.  I even managed to include the desk, computer, and a bottle sanitizer :) 

#oneweek100people2021 94-100

Icing on the cake was sighting a Penny Farthing bike on the trail on my walk. I sketched that mostly from memory as the photo I took was blurry. I was confused to see the small wheel in the back - so I googled  images and  discovered this bicycle is different from a unicycle ! 

The trail we walked circles a golf course and there were many golfers out enjoying the day. 

On the whole I feel a sense of accomplishment. Next time I hope to use watercolors . 


Thursday, March 11, 2021

#Oneweek100peple2021 day4

#oneweek100people2021 #62-65

I see the watermen working hard hauling their catch by the dock, taking care of the nets etc... whenever I go down there with my fellow volunteers for our monthly water quality check.  This time I asked permission to take photos.  I could not take the time to sit and sketch as we had to move on to the next site of the morning. I am happy with these sketches - hoping I will one day soon paint them in watercolor.

#oneweek100people2021 #66-73

Back at the park on a beautiful sunny day in March and there were many like me enjoying the day.  I don’t know if I like sketching masks on faces - but glad that almost everyone was wearing one. 

#oneweek100people2021 #74-80

More sketches from my walk and the playground.  There was a kid with a pogo stick trying again and again to get on it. I was glad she was persistent :) 

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

#oneweek100people2021 day3

#oneweek100people2021 56-61
Seeing the Buddhist Monks join the protests in Myanmar on tv in solidarity against the military, I was moved to sketch them. I learned the symbolism of the 3 finger salute - for democracy, freedom and solidarity  

#oneweek100people2021 49-52

The two girls looked quite comfortable sitting up in the nook of the branches of the huge tree and chatting away at the park :)  The lady with the dog sat long enough on the bench for me to complete the sketch. 

#oneweek100people2021 45-48

The park benches and dog play area was a great place to sketch - people linger and that gave me time to sketch them - or easily replace one incomplete figure with another :)  

#oneweek100people2021 53-55

The guy with the mustache drawn on the mask had to sketched - not often you can see such sights! I am trying different poses on figures trying to get lines and shapes - I think it’s been ok so far - have to keep reminding myself not every single sketch is going to be perfect :) 

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

#oneweek100people2021 day 2 #21-44

#oneweek100people2021 #32-42
 This was from a news clip - I felt sad that this is happening in so many parts of the world :(  Sketch wise I felt comfortable to draw in micron pen and pentacle brush pen. 

This was from some magazine ads - I was still sketching with pencils. 

More from ads and videos.

First few shaky attempts at drawing with ink and brush pen:) 

My go to after the zoom meeting live sketches  ( unsuspecting participants) on day one have been print media  and videos! Almost half way thru :) 

Monday, March 8, 2021

#oneweek100people2021 day 1

#oneweek100people2021  1-5 

We had a small group for zoom meeting and I sketched even fewer slowly moving from one to another. I finished all except one which I completed the next day. I am very happy I was able to sketch as people were participating in the meeting. Wish I had worked a little faster and sketched more people. 

#oneweek100people2021 6-8

#oneweek100people2021 9-10
My vaccine experience documented ;)  

#oneweek100people2021 11-13

#oneweek100people2021 14-15

#oneweek100people2021 16-17

#oneweek100people2021 18-20

I have also had to resort to newspapers stories, tv, advertisements, some photos from my phone camera roll to make it to 100 !! This is my third time doing the challenge in the past four years :)  I will post 20 each day till I reach 100. 


Friday, February 19, 2021

Way of the Warrior

Edo Samurai Armour with Swan crest watercolor & ink by Meera Rao 

I was very impressed with the ceremonial samurai armor from the 1700s at the British museum. The colors and the ornamentation were very impressive. The elegant Swan crest on number of the artifacts also caught my eye. 
Edo samurai armour by Meera Rao 

From the label I gathered that metal, lacquer, leather, and horn were used to craft the beautiful suit. It made me wonder if Darth Vader’s black suit was inspired by this and other Japanese armors! I read in their blog that it took the restorers over 8 months and 250 hours to restore and repair the armour.  Do check out their blog for photos of restoration in progress and detailed notes about what was involved. 

A very interesting article Beauty in Battle: the refined artistry of samurai armor and photographs of a few different armors are at LA county museum of Art exhibit website.  There is also a great pdf  Samurai: art of armor.  for educators and students.  Here’s a little fact from there : The name “samurai,” stems from the word saburafu, meaning “to serve by one’s side.” These warriors followed a code of idealized behavior known as the “way of the warrior,” or bushido, which focused on seven virtues: honesty, courage, respect, benevolence, rectitude, honor, and loyalty. Bushidō also prescribed acceptance of death, as exemplified by the fact that samurai preferred to commit ritual suicide by disembowel- ment, known as seppuku or harakiri rather than seem disloyal or suffer a stain on their character.


Saturday, February 13, 2021

Lunar New Year

NewYear Celebration, China Town, London watercolor ByMeera Rao 

A year ago we were in London in January. We bumped into a Lunar New Year celebration as we got out of the tube at Westminster Bayswater area to head to the Hyde park - a favorite playground for our grandson.  The ‘dragons’ danced in front of Chinese Restaurants and stores. The owners ‘fed’ lettuce to the dragons and then gave money in red envelopes.  I captured the festivities on video and later sketched in my travel art journal.  Fun fact is that an American of Indian heritage enjoyed a Chinese dragon dance celebrating the Asian Lunar New Year celebration in London, UK :)

“Chúc Mừng Năm Mới”

“Gong hei fat choy”


Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Set In The Midst Of Knowledge

British Museum Great Court watercolor and ink Meera Rao 

‘And let thy feet millennium hence be set in the midst of knowledge’

This quote by Lord Tennyson is engraved in the floor of the beautiful and imposing Great Court of the British Museum. It is taken from his poem ‘The Two Voices’ . I read that he used to visit the Museum’s Reading Room often when it was still housed there (in the 19th century).  Above is the tessellating glass and steel grid roof giving it that airy open space look.  Check the Museum blog here to read and see photos of the engineering marvel the glass roof and the Great Court is. 

My sketch is from our visit there in 2019. The place was teaming with people but I opted to sketch just a few to show the scale. I hope to be able to travel again to see more of the museum sometime soon post Covid ! 

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Fierce Colors

Fierce Colors watercolor Meera Rao 

Before covid put a stop to all travel, we had visited London and this watercolor is from my travel sketchbook. I realized  I had forgotten to share those sketches. This Lion etched in glass graced the doors of British Museum in London. I loved how colors outside the door shone through and it showed me a way to paint the glass lion:)  So it’s a full circle as illustrated by a quote from Leo Steinberg : “Whatever else art is good for, it’s chief effectiveness lies in propagating more art” 

Monday, January 18, 2021

A Promise

Creeping up the wall.watercolor by Meera Rao

Against the textured wall
Creeping up Moving sideways
smooth green leaves
Soft buttery petals
Hot yellow of the Sun
Cool blue sky 
Memories of yesterday’s rain 
A Promise 
of tomorrow’s buds
Hopes for next years seeds
And secrets of 
The Universe.

~ Meera Rao ~

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