Saturday, April 23, 2011

Circles on Wheels

digital photography 

To understand is to perceive patterns.
-Isaiah Berlin

Monday, April 18, 2011

Drawing Fire

Delicate Dance  watercolor on Yupo

Last summer we enjoyed many Calla Lily blooms in our garden. This past week, I finally got around to painting one on yupo sheet many times before I was satisfied.  It was a tremendous learning experience to try out different colors and varying backgrounds simply by repeatedly painting and washing  off  until I settled on this rendition.  I am experimenting using only washes and water for texture. 

I borrowed the title of the post from a series of articles in New York Times  by Michael D. Fay. On June 6 2010, in the introduction to the series, NYT explains:  'In 2005, then Chief Warrant Officer Michael D. Fay traveled to Iraq in his capacity as official Marine Corps artist. There he fought with Marines engaged in Operation Steel Curtain against insurgents along the Euphrates River, and documented the events in sketches, photographs and audio recordings. Mr. Fay describes that experience here in “Drawing Fire,” to be published in five consecutive parts this week in Home Fires. It is based on material from his memoir, “The War Artist,” (earlier drafts appeared on his blog in January), and includes artwork and photographs from his time with Marine units in Operation Steel Curtain.'  His accounts of the war and the accompanying sketches paint the horrors that is deeply riveting and moving. Check out his blog 'Fire and Ice' and also the Joe Bonham Project, where you will find more sketches by 'group of illustrators dedicated to recording the faces and experiences of America's returning wounded warriors.'  Kandhahar Journal  has sketches and accounts by war artists in Afghanistan.  The artist soldiers give a different picture of the war. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Happy Vishu

A Day in the Life-page 6 color pencils and pen

Happy Vishu - New Year to all. Today is New Year for most of the people in southern India. I did this page in my sketchbook for the Fiction project 'A day in the Life - in Blue Jeans with Gold Embroidery' a few weeks ago and waited to post :) The entry describes a ceremony from most Hindu households in the south on Vishu-Ugady day.

The copy reads:
I light the lamp on my altar. A mirror is the latest addition -a reminder of a special kind. In southern India where I grew up, the New Year is ushered in with a ceremony many centuries old. The night before, a special shrine is assembled in prayer room/corner with season's first fresh vegetables and ripe fruits, arranged around a mirror draped with fresh flowers and gold jewelry. The next morning, each family member is led to the shrine with the eyes closed. We open our eyes in front of the shrine looking into the mirror, now surrounded by lit lamps. shining in the midst of this beauty and abundance is our own face in the mirror. It is a beautiful reminder of the divinity in each of us. The same divinity that pervades all. I wanted to have that reminder everyday of my life.

I did assemble the special 'kani' shrine last night and looked in the mirror  this morning :) And a mirror has been a permanent addition in my altar since January 1 - the new year in the western calendar.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Lines or Forms?

Skylight at National Gallery of Art  Washington D.C. digital photography

Always lines, never forms! But where do they find these lines in Nature? For my part I see only forms that are lit up and forms that are not. There is only light and shadow.
- Francisco de Goya 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ideas and Doubts

A Day in the Life - Swirl of Doubts page 5 color pencils

Generating ideas for the sketch book has been an interesting process.  The challenge has been to have  continuity in the theme and connecting one page to the next. Frustration with the paper has translated into not looking for perfection in my sketches or in the writing.  Letting go of the fear of failure is very liberating and I am somewhat enjoying the process of filling up the sketch book.  I read somewhere that Pablo Picasso once said "You have to have an idea of what you are going to do, but it should be a vague idea."  Seems like I have taken that to heart. I have completed fifteen pages so far and have a few more to go. I am looking forward to see what I will come up with next :)  
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