Monday, January 30, 2012

A Grand Little Bundle of Joy

Kallie watercolor study 4x6"

On Jan 26th we became grandparents for the first time - we now have precious little Kallie. The very next day I did the small study above --didn't think I could do a watercolor portrait but this little piece seemed to painted itself :) I forgot to take the final photograph -after I cleaned up some lines (by the nose bridge) etc before I framed it and gave it to the new parents ! Its been wonderful to hold, cuddle and love the little bundle of joy.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Cooking Up a Painting

  Fruity Goodness watercolor 5x3"

Last week we bought some apricots and a week later they were still hard, not ripening and sour :( So two days ago I chopped them up, added pulp from one mango tucked away in the freezer last summer, mixed in  pomegranate juice, a bit of sugar, ginger and red pepper flecks.  A few minutes in the microwave gave me a bottle full of delicious chutney to be savored for a few days !!!  

As the jar sat on the kitchen counter basking in the sunlight, I quickly painted this small watercolor.  I used my water brush and the small field paint kit with mostly transparent colors. The glass jar was a bit daunting to capture but I am pleased with both my cooking and painting --a day well spent :) 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

On the Train

Now Serving.. (Brindavan Express -somewhere between Bangaluru and Chennai) digital photography

“How do they taste? They taste like more.”
- H.L. Mencken

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Lily Pond  color pencils 8x10

Today I came across a Japanese term wabi-sabi. And it couldn't have happened at a better time. 'Wabi-sabi is the quintessential Japanese aesthetic. It is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. It is a beauty of things modest and humble.'    Wikpedia explained  'Wabi sabi can change our perception of the world to the extent that a chip or crack in a vase makes it more interesting and gives the object greater meditative value.'  It further explained that  'In art books, it is typically defined as ″flawed beauty.' I am going to fully embrace that word! 

The 'Lily Pond" was framed and hanging for a number of years. A few days ago, I  took it off the frame and reworked it some, deepening the colors, mainly the darks and the shadow areas. I see  compositional  and technical flaws.  But I am going to embrace the philosophy of 'wabi sabi' as well as the  "How innocent"  outlook of my wise old Sumi teacher from a one day workshop long ago as she urged me to accept my art work with open arms and move on. :) 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Spicing Up the Sketch Book

A Day in the Life - Sketchbook project page 25 color pencils 

The spice box has a place of honor in an Indian Kitchen and I treasure mine :) I knew from the beginning that I wanted to include it in my sketchbook project

I approached the subject with lots of anxiety but  really loved sketching my special shiny Indian Spice Box, its contents as well as the red peppers, tomatoes, lemons, chilies etc.  The different textures, colors, sizes and shapes were fun and a huge challenge to sketch.  The decision to just sketch the objects and not worry about background was freeing.  I learned that paying attention to  the mass of each variety of spice and hinting about the space between most individual mustard/cumin/coriander/dal gave the finished image more unified look. Spraying the finished sketch with Krylon Kamar varnish was a good idea too. Even though better  quality paper might have made a difference,  I am glad I put forth a lot of effort and time into this particular sketch :) 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Fleeting Patterns

 Fleeting Patterns  digital photography

I wonder if the little duckling was aware of distorted reflections, colors, and patterns around it as it swam about that particular morning  few months ago in San Antonio, Texas! Do ducks see color? depth? patterns? They must - because drakes - Mallards, Mandarin and Wood ducks are colorful and patterned. And I see duck hunters wearing camouflage and hide in covered boats.  Anyway, I am really grateful I was in the right place at the right time to capture a fleeting moment in time. 
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