Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Reality Check!

India Art Journal Sept 6 2012 by Meera Rao
The house next door has a solar tank on its roof top and this is a pretty typical scene in and around Maisuru - conservation in electricity and water is quite widespread and people have adopted the solar water heaters widely.  Shortage of water, electricity, gasoline, and cooking gas is very acute in India and conservation and global warming is on everyone's mind!
India Art journal Sept 7 2012 by Meera Rao
This 'petrol bunk' is a landmark for giving directions to our flat and the orange accents of the building  contrasts starkly with the green of the trees all around it! 
 India Art Journal Sept 4,5,6,7 by Meera Rao
Here is the page with all four sketches together.  As I have mentioned before, I am way behind in posting and hope to catch up now that I am back in my home in USA.  I was fortunate to land in DC just before the airports were closed on sunday for the 1000 mile wide hurricane Sandy!  We drove back home to Poquson yesterday as Sandy left the area towards New Jersey.  I am very grateful that Sandy spared us major damage especially since we were not around to secure the house! Other than some flooding and debris in yard, our house and property is in tact; we have power, water and other amenities :) As others hard hit by the hurricane cope with the destruction my heart goes out to them.  I am deeply thankful for our luck as I  get busy unpacking, getting to laundry, mail, house back in working order and of course cleaning up the yard!
The following sketches are from july 10 -13 getting individual attention  from my original post The Kitchen is a Country. 
India art Journal July 10 2012 by Meera Rao
India Art Journal July 12 2012 by Meera Rao
India Art journal  July 11 2012 by Meera Rao
India Art Journal July 13 2012 by Meera Rao

Monday, October 22, 2012

Reminders of The Ancient Past.

India art journal Sept 4 2012 by Meera Rao
I did not see this scaly anteater in person, but it made the news for a couple of days! It emerged from the forests in a nearby village and scared the inhabitants since no one had seen a specimen until then.  The police captured the animal and handed it over to the forest department officials who identified it as the Scaly Anteater, tagged it and released it back into the wild. I am not sure who was more scared - the rare scaly anteater Pangolin or the villagers! But the excitement till it was identified was well documented :)  I read that despite their looks the closest relatives are the carnivorous mammals cats and dogs and not reptiles! The  scales are sharp enough to wound lions and tigers and are made of compressed hair. 

India Art Journal Sept. 5 2012 By Meera Rao
Right in the centre of busy section of the neighbourhood is a Buddha Vihar - a Buddhist Temple with a beautiful golden Buddha statue.  The temple is an unexpected quiet place for reflection and meditation right in the middle of noisy hubbub with its serene blue walls accented with orange trims and marigold flowers artfully arranged on  the black shiny alter. I enjoyed visiting the place whenever I felt lonely or lost. 

Two more sketches below from earlier pages of the journal as well as the whole page look at the journal sheet with sketches from Aug 3-sept 3 2012.

India Art Journal July 8 2012 by Meera Rao

India Art Journal July 9 2012 by Meera Rao 

India Art Journal Aug 31-Sept 3 by Meera Rao

Thursday, October 11, 2012


India Art Journal Sept 2 2012 By Meera Rao
India Art Journal Sept 3 2012 By Meera Rao
The idea is transportation whether it is an old man trying to move his wares on a bicycle or shiny two wheelers on sale, waiting to catch someone's fancy!  I am always in awe as to how many different kinds of vehicles share the road in India from fancy cars, various size trucks, buses, a fleet of all different kind two wheelers from bicycles, scooters, motorcycles, three wheel autorikshas, bullock carts, horse carriages and a few ingenious transformations of some kind of a motorized or other vehicles :) It is indeed a wonder the traffic moves at all!!! 
And a closer look at a tropical fruit and and a vegetable sketches from july that didn't get individual attention earlier :)  
India Art Journal July 7 2012 by Meera Rao
India Art Journal July 8 by Meera Rao  
I am having trouble cropping, sizing or otherwise editing my posts on the very moody computer here in India. Hope to correct a few of these quirkes when I get back to my own computer later in the month. Right now I am happy to be able to find the time to sketch and  share whatever I can of my adventures :)  

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Everyday Pleasures

India Art Journal Sept 1 by Meera Rao
Here is another 'newspaper reader' that I came accross early morning sitting in front of  yet to open row of stores.  As noted in the earlier post  I am fascinated by the number of people reading the daily paper in all different places and postures!  

India Art Journal Aug 31 by Meera Rao
No part of mini sweet pumpkin goes to waste! The inner meat is cubed, cooked into tasty sambar or some kind of curry, the skin cooked and ground to paste with coconut gratings into a delicious chutny and the seeds are roasted and happpily munched on!!!
The sketches below are once again from the first few pages of my journal which I didn't post individually.  The red acacia flowers were abundant in early july but now I see the yellow variety blooming all along the roads.  I read that the use of the flowers in paints, perfume and medicine dates back centuries.  Please check my post A blessing a Day for more on the these two sketches.
India Art journal July 4 by Meera Rao 
India Art Journal July 5 2012 By Meera Rao
I finished my 100th daily sketch on Oct 5 but am really behind in posting them - hoping to catch up in a few weeks! I am totally thrilled that I have managed to sketch each day during my stay here despite the hectic schedule and hope to keep up untill I head back home end of this month. Please do leave a comment let me know what you think of my efforts. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Moving slow But Changing Fast

India Art Jornal Aug 30 by Meera Rao
It is not unusual to see cars and cattle sharing the road. The bullock carts have been around since ancient times and still used to transport people or cargo when modern vehicles are too expensive or even not supported by the existing roadways. Googling I discovered these are called as carretas in Costa Rica, and Mexico.  Check out this clip of Punjabi style bullock cart racing or read a delightful little story here :)  There are even schemes "Rent a Bullock cart" for farmers who can not afford a cart  but do have live stock to pull them. 
India Art Journal aug 29 by Meera Rao
There are some grand old houses in the neighbourhood with beautiful ornate wood decorations on the varanda rooflines, pillars, doors and window awnings. This particular house is very elegant and was undergoing renovations when I first saw it. Now it has been somewhat hastily but not completely  restored and convereted to a young boys hostel.  The blue boxes are the newly retrofitted electrical fuse boxes and did you notice a switch between the door and the window?
Below are the full journal page look at the sketches from Aug 27,28.29.30 : 
India Art Journal Aug 27,28,29, 30 by Meera Rao
 And one more page: ( my ancient computer here has decided it won't justify the margins nor give me a bigger size of the photo below.... sigh!  but then its letting me post :)
India Art Journal Aug 23,24,25,26 by Meera Rao
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