Monday, August 29, 2011

Messages for Life

A Day In the Life -sketchbook project page 16 color pencils 

Once again, I am given a new perspective on life - life that is exceedingly fragile, unpredictable and where change is the only constant. We were away in India coping with the untimely, unexpected loss of my  husband's beloved brother when we read about the earthquake that shook our area. Two days later, it was hurricane warnings and evacuation orders for our area as we landed back in USA, hours before the airport closed  due to inclement weather. 

We were lucky to wait out Hurricane Irene at our son's house just far enough from the dreaded path. I fretted and watched the Weather Channel with memories of Hurricane Isabel's destruction too clear in my mind, bracing for the worst but hoping and praying for a miracle. I am thankful for our wonderful neighbors and friends who generously secured our house and yard as Irene furiously spiraled her way up the Eastern seaboard. In the end, Irene spared us - our town, our house and our yard is intact. We drove back home on bright beautiful dayafter and  now only have to clear a bit of debris. And we did not loose power, water or gas service.

For days, sorrow, worry and fear has gripped my heart as I struggled with the uncertainties of life. Now, I am forced to learn to appreciate every single moment; to not take anything or anyone for granted; to be just grateful.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Foliage for a Dream

A Day in the Life... Sketchbook Project page 15 color pencil

In the peak of summer if trees look like these, it is definitely cause for worry!  When I was working on my Art House Sketchbook Fiction Project earlier in the year, the trees were still bare and looked nothing like the lush green ones I see outside now.  From my first Fall and Winter in the USA many many moons ago, I have never ceased to be amazed by the bareness of the trees when the temperatures dip and seasons change. I still wonder if the very first people ever knew that the trees would burst back into life in a few months.  

'The place is all awave with trees,
Limes, myrtles, purple-beaded,
Acacias having drunk the lees
Of the night-dew, fain headed,
And wan, grey olive-woods, which seem
The fittest foliage for a dream. '

-Elizabeth Barrett Browning 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Balcony Seats

Balcony Seats Digital Photography

'Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.' 
Rabindranath Tagore 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Mini Sacred Pause

Slow Sunny Day watercolor 2.5"x6.5"

When I was in Istanbul two years ago, this scene by the square near the Blue Mosque caught my eye. I can't remember what she was selling as she sat there on that very sunny hot hot day. The square was quite crowded with pilgrims and tourists but I saw how the lady watching the child and the child joyfully chasing after the flock of birds were each in their own world.  In this miniature, I choose to paint just that. It was a challenge to paint small and only some of details but I loved the process. 

I read the other day in a article "Sacred Pause" written by Hugh Bryne and Rebecca Hines :"In the midst of daily life there are simple ways to take a “mini sacred pause,” bring awareness to what is alive here and now, and relax into presence" Doesn't it look like the lady and the child know how to integrate those mindful principles? As it is life is very fragile - we definitely need to take and appreciate these 'sacred pauses.'

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Seven Links Project

Hanging Fire watercolor 16x12 

Here it is, 'Hanging Fire' selected by my husband as my most beautiful  painting for my Seven Links Project. As mentioned in my previous post,  The Seven Links Project is courtesy of Crystal Cook who tagged me to post seven links in my blog for

Your most beautiful post
Your most popular post
Your most controversial post
Your most helpful post
A post whose success surprised you
A post you feel didn't get the attention it deserved
The post you are most proud of

The idea behind the project 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 to see the light of the day again"  

I could never settle on any of my paintings as my most beautiful one (being partial to all of them (-: ), so,  I finally asked my husband for his pick.  I agree with him that the peppers in Hanging Fire look gorgeous in their luscious red. Please let me know what you think is my most beautiful painting -- I know that is  a very subjective selection !

Resplendent  Watercolor on Yupo 11x14"

Resplendent on Yupo is definitely my choice for 'your most popular post'  if going by the number of hits it gets every single day.  The blogger picked it as my most popular post for the side bar! This painting gave me confidence to continue my experiments on Yupo paper.

Ignorance mixed media 12x15" 

'The post you are most proudest of '  has to be my mixed media painting  Ignorance.  That particular day I had picked up one of my failed paintings of a street scene of a town in India to see if I could salvage it.  Listening to the news about wars in various parts of the world, I started  a collage  on it from torn pieces of rice paper from another failed calligraphy attempt about "Truth alone triumphs.' I was guided by a photograph from one of the newspapers from couple of months before that had etched in my memory - even today I see clearly in my mind's eye the dark figures in a chaotic city scape with blue smoke from a bomb blast.  I am proud of how I channeled my frustration with the violent world out there, my failed paintings and brought together various mediums and styles to express myself.  I am also proud that my daughter within minutes of my posting the painting e-mailed me to ask me if she could have it!

Collateral Damage  water media 9x12 

'Collateral Damage'  surely qualifies for  the 'your most controversial post'.  I consider it controversial for the artistic liberties I took in painting the  disaster caused by the Gulf oil spill. The scene is from my imagination and I closed that post with the thought :  'My hope is that the message doesn't get swept away in the debate about realistic depiction'.

Sketch of a sculpture, white Prismacolor pencil on black paper

The honor for 'A post whose success surprised you' goes to Negative Drawing  showing the sketch of a sculpture done with white Prismacolor pencil on black paper.  I am pleased that I was successful in sketching the sculpture from Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, VA  as well as how according to Stats it has become the second most popular post on my blog!

'A post you feel didn't get the attention it deserved'  goes to Show-off time :

Bangle Pedlar  color pencils 14x10" 

I wavered between Bangle Pedlar and Mandala Meditation - both color pencil portraits. I settled on Bangle Pedlar  from my second blog post but very first post of a painting  -a portrait in color pencils. I guess it is understandable that I never got any feedback on the painting as my blog was still very new :) The painting hangs in my living room and always elicits a happy reaction from all who see it.

At the Art Institute of Chicago digital Photography

As for the 'most helpful post', I would like to think that all my posts are helpful in some way as I strive to include a link or two or some information that one might find useful or worthy of contemplation :)  I consider  my post on 'Universal Acceptance' most helpful - as my attempt at shining a light on how important it is to accept one and all and find  unity in all our diversity.

Now, I pass the Seven Links Project challenge on to :

I really enjoyed doing this challenge - wonderful way to go back and see how my blog and my artistic abilities have evolved  :) 
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