Monday, November 30, 2009

Art and Life

Yesterday started out as a foggy morning in Chicago and I captured the skyline as I walked to the Art Institute of Chicago. I spent most of the day wandering through their collection of Indian Art, before venturing to check out the new "Modern Wing" building and art work there. The contrast in the individual works in the two sections had me musing about 'art' in general, and about creativity, skill, aesthetics, and emotions. Definition and evaluation of art is definitely neither easy nor clear cut!

I am always in awe of the skill, talent, beauty and spirituality expressed in the sculptures from ancient India and yesterday was no different. Its interesting that the oldest part of this current museum complex was opened in 1893 in conjunction with the World's Columbian Exposition, to host the World's Congress of Religions. A century later, Swami Vivekananda's inspirational speeches during that conference on tolerance and universal acceptance are still very relevant.

I also enjoyed Caravaggio's stunning painting Supper at Emmaus on loan from National Gallery of London. The special exhibit Apostles of Beauty: Arts and Crafts from Britain to Chicago had innovative designs of Morris, Ashbee, Strickley, Wright and others and was fun to see. In the modern wing, I admired the impressive collection of art by Dali, Kandinsky, Matisse, Miro, O'keef and Picasso. I left feeling humbled but inspired and determined to continue my meager attempts at creating my kind of art!

S. Michigan Ave, Chicago. Digital Photography

Friday, November 20, 2009

Flower Power

It has been a week now since the storm raged through our area. We saw some flooding on the roadways, experienced power outage and no phone connection for over 24 hours, and now are left to deal with lots of debris in the yard. Thankfully we did not have to contend with much damage to the property or life around here. Yesterday as I continued raking and picking up the yard, I was pleasantly surprised to see clusters of clover blooming and a few dandelions sprinkled around the lawn. We still have some clearing to do but as the annual Thanksgiving holidays approach, I am reminded of all that I am grateful for.

I still have not managed to get any painting or sketching done in the past few days and am dipping into my dwindling collection of finished paintings! The Bouquet in watercolors was done with no sketching and from a still life set up. I really enjoyed painting the flowers impulsively.

The Bouquet watercolor 11x5"

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Amazing Beauty

Its barely four in the afternoon but its dark and stormy outside. We are bracing for a sever nor'easter here. says a nor'easter is winter's most ferocious storm and Wikipedia calls it a macro-scale storm . True to its description we are already experiencing coastal flooding, high surfs, hurricane force winds and lots of rain! The movie "The Perfect Storm" was based on a true story of a swordfishing boat Andrea Gail that was caught in one in October 1991 -based on a book by the same title by Sebastian Junger. We are hoping and praying for minimal damage and flooding as the storm passes by this area in the next two days.

I took the above photograph couple of months ago as the sun was going down by the beach. The same scene today in sharp contrast is violent and stormy. And yet, its truly amazing that there is still so much beauty in mother nature's fury!

Digital photography

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Exciting Challenges

Autumn is always an occasion for harvests and celebration. Every culture has festivals around it. This past weekend though, I was part of a celebration - a harvest of different kind. Our son and daughter-in-law completed the New York City Marathon in 4:22:10!!! After months of grueling training they ran a terrific race showing grit, determination and grace. We happily chased them around the course -in Subways, fortunately for us! We caught up with them at four different points, waved our banners, and screamed our hearts out as we cheered them on! I am grateful that the weather was just perfect and wonderful. We are all in awe of them and very proud too!

In Harvest -mixed media, 8x10", I learned to be patient and persevere as I mixed watercolors, color pencils and graphite to bring out form and texture. This is one of my early works and I remember finally feeling a little confident and enjoying the process as things began to take shape on the paper!

I have been away from blogging, sketching and painting for the past couple of months with my various trips and other things -in general, life coming in the way and taking time away from my art :). I plan to get back to it in full swing soon.

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