Thursday, July 28, 2011

Unexpected Pleasures!

A Day In The Life... sketchbook project  page 14 color pencil

I had a pleasant surprise last week when the talented artist Crystal Cook tagged me in her post The Seven Links Project , which is "to unite bloggers from all sectors in a joint endeavor to share lessons learned and create a bank of long but not forgotten blog posts that deserve the light of the day."  As a result, my Seven Links Project - which is in the making right now - will be revealed in my next post :) In the mean time, please do check out her project  and admire her beautiful sensitive paintings!

Regarding page 14 of my Art House Co-op's Sketchbook project "A Day In the Life - in Blue Jeans with Gold Embroidery" :  it is the first time I had sketched a heron in color.  I always hesitated to paint the big beautiful birds because I didn't think I could do justice to their grace and elegance.  The surprising reward of the sketch book project is that it has been wonderful for my skills and self confidence. It forced me to tackle subject matters that I kept putting aside and pushed me beyond my comfort zone just so I could fill the book up!! Now, my newest resolve is to just sketch everyday without regard to subject matter and to paint some of those sketches from my book "A Day in the Life -in Blue Jeans with Gold Embroidery " on bigger sheets of watercolor paper :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Want or Need?

A Day In the Life Blue Jeans with Gold Embroidery  - Page 13 (Sketchbook/fiction Project )color pencils

Do I call this co-incidence? This page done months ago was next in line to be posted. And as it happens,  I just returned from a week of retreat at the Arsha Vidya Gurukulam where the teaching is all about how to deal with desires, aversions, dispassion, work with the attitude of worship and to accept everything in the spirit of blessing.  This teaching more than anything reinforces how I should put forth my best effort, enjoy the process of painting and not get hung up on the final product. Over the years I have realized that it really frees up the creative process when I do the preparatory work,  trust my instincts and let things just be. I read and hear again and again that meditation and mindfulness will take  creativity and life to a different level - hope to be able to follow that advice consistently one of these days! 

What philosophy nourishes your artistic endeavors? 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Framing Nature

Framing Nature : A Window at San Antonio Museum of Art - digital photography 

I think most of the time it is hard to improve what nature has to offer.  Copying nature is challenging and I often feel humbled as I sketch and paint.  Nina Tandon in a TED talk experiences this in a completely different way in what she calls 'Biomimetic Paradigm" - as she copies nature in the lab. She engineers artificial tissues for transplants and therapies.  Watch her short video as she talks about this amazing process.  

Friday, July 1, 2011

Taking Liberties

Pause  watercolors 12x9"

Taking liberties with color  and composition is what I aimed for in this painting.  I had taken a photograph many years ago at Colonial Williamsburg of a costumed interpreter taking a break. As soon as I asked permission to take her photograph, she straightened up and posed in a stiff stance.

This past week I played around. I changed and simplified the background colors. I managed to give her  back the look I had wanted to capture on that particular day. I observed a few ladies carrying babies on their hips and chatting - that helped me to paint  her this way. I was pleased to be able to make the changes and complete the painting.  When I straddle between realistic and conjured depictions, I feel a different sense of accomplishment  as I finish the painting.  
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