Monday, February 22, 2010


Light, reflections and shadows always add drama and interest to any scene. This photograph was taken last December in New York city, from the Museum of Art and and Design looking at buildings around Columbus circle. The exhibits in the museum were also innovative and breath taking -- especially 'Slash- Paper under knife' which showcased artists from around the world using paper as a medium in very creative and unusual ways.

digital photography

Thursday, February 18, 2010

New Possibilities

I am always trying out mixing different media and experimenting with shapes, values and color in my quest to improve my art. Painting this particular abstract piece was a compositional challenge especially since I did not have a blueprint to follow. So, in a way, it was liberating to just 'let-go' and play with watercolors, gouache, pastels, gesso and acrylics.

Another way to improve would be to draw everyday. It is pretty impressive that New York artist Jason Polan is on a mission to draw every person in the city. He has so far drawn over 8000 people from New York city. Check out this video by my daughter of Jason sketching.

untitled mixed media 22x23"

Friday, February 12, 2010

Sunrise Meditation

In the morning
Heaven descends
in all its glory
to become
the morning sun.

Digital Photography

Monday, February 8, 2010

Lunch Break

I finished this painting yesterday. In most cities, there is at least one place like this where office workers take a break, reflect and enjoy the outdoors. I painted this in my head a few times before plunging into sketching and painting it using different water media on cold press watercolor paper. I am still wrestling with detailed vs loose and less is more. I am hoping some day soon my technical skills will catch up with my mental image of the finished piece :)

Speaking of 'reflecting,' I just watched an amazing video on TED on the 'uniqueness' of being a 'human.' Primatologist Robert Sapolsky offers an informative and hilarious look at human and animal behavior, ending the inspiring talk given at Stanford University by urging the new graduates with what resonates as Gandhiji's quote "Be the change you wish to see in the world." It is also interesting that he looks like the 16th century artist Albrecht Durer and peppers his talk with illustrations from the art world.

Lunch Break watermedia 9x12"

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Patience and Perseverance

I put aside paintings that I am unable to complete to my satisfaction out of my sight and usually work on them years later as a warm up exercise before I start a new painting. This is one such painting that I have tinkered with over the years --yes, thats right -years!! A few years ago, I had set up some shells on a table and painted them. I couldn't resolve the background and so, of course, I shelved it. Couple of years ago, I took it out and added the lace doily and did not know how to finish it. Much later, I added iridescent white acrylic paint on one of shells. Finally a few months ago I glazed it with blues and deepened the darks. I decided it looks better this way and turned the painting upside down and now I have to paint over my signature I foolishly put down many years ago even before it was anywhere near completion!!!!

Working on a painting that I have kind of given up helps me experiment and take risks that I wouldn't otherwise take. It also helps me to work on a second painting to keep my brush wielding hand busy when I am waiting for paints to dry so I won't create 'mud' and ruin the one I am trying to create. I am not sure this particular painting is worthy of framing and showing but I have thoroughly enjoyed taking it through its metamorphosis.

Recently, while reading about various artists, I was comforted to know that many of them -notably Leonardo and Michelangelo, worked on some pieces for years and even had many unfinished pieces. So, it is surely unreasonable for someone like me who has been painting as hobby, on and off for 10-15 years to feel I should complete every single painting to perfection quickly and without struggle. I am looking forward to a long slow journey ahead in my art.

Shells watercolor 18x24"

Monday, February 1, 2010

Snow Blanket

Sunrise over frozen waters and a blanket of snow greeted me this morning. I spent some time taking pictures through the windows - I did not want to disturb the snow and didn't want to leave the warmth of indoors. I was contemplating what snow scene I should paint, but soon I was feeling nostalgic as I reminisced about the snowmen, forts and games my kids played and the various adventures they had with their friends with, of course, regular hot cocoa breaks in my kitchen only a few years ago.

Soon I was chuckling remembering Calvin's explanation to Hobbes regarding snow as his medium of art in a comic strip that was on my refrigerator for a few years "This sculpture is about transience. As this figure melts, it invites the viewer to contemplate evanescence of life. This piece speaks to the horror of our own mortality." I am a fan of Calvin's creativity and here is a link for collection of the comic strips featuring his brilliant and bizarre snow art. " I tell you Hobbes, its tough being the sole guardian of high culture"
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