Thursday, January 31, 2013

Beautiful Sounds and Sights!

India Art Journal Oct 22 2012 by Meera Rao

Almost every morning I woke up to various birds singing their hearts out. I really enjoyed just laying on the bed  listening to the songs -- I  didn't need the alarm at all! It took me a while to locate the Indian cuckoo or koyal  in the tree by the bedroom window and catch a glimpse of him with my camera's zoom lens! I didn't know till then how striking the red eye was! Waking up to the birds is one thing I miss here in the US during the winter months.  Here is a link to the cuckoo singing I found on You Tube - enjoy the music! and one more 

India Art Journal Oct 24 2012 by Meera Rao

The bottlebrush tree gets its name from the bright red 'bottle brush' like flowers that hang pendulum like from the tree.  When the tree is full of blooms its a wonderful sight ! The tree in front of my brother's house was filled with the blooms in only a couple of days with very little green showing :)

India Art Journal Oct 23 2012 by Meera Rao

We celebrated 'navaratri' the festival of goddesses for nine days during the last few days of my stay in India.  On one of the days, 'aayudha puja' day all equipment, vehicles, musical instruments, tools, writing/painting implements, gas station pumps, even computers,  are all decorated, honored and thanked for their service to us during the rest of the year. I loved how this ambulance was all decorated with banana leaves and yet ready to take off at a minute's notice. 

India Art Journal Oct 25 2012 by Meera Rao

There is a swing in the balcony that is a favorite place to sit, read, chat or just watch the world go by :)  Swinging slows down the time, and makes one appreciate the beauty of the bottle brush, the birds and squirrels on its branches etc and  meditate about life. 

India Art Journal Oct 22-25 2012 by Meera Rao

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Daily Excitement

India Art Journal Oct 18-21 2012 by Meera Rao

The last ten days of my four month stay was really hectic and it was rather difficult to make time for the daily sketches.  I became adept at quickly sketching something for the day and postpone the coloring with watercolors to when  I had more time.  I think my Mother-in-law was as pleased as I was that I had maintained a sketch a day habit throughout my stay!

India Art Journal oct 18 2012 by Meera Rao
The yellow flower laden Acacia trees always brightened my day -especially when overcast skies stretched for days! The petals leave a carpet of yellow underneath the trees and brings a sense of sunshine  on such days :) 

India Art Journal oct 19 2012 by Meera Rao

Overcast or not, there is always work to be done. These two road construction ladies were filling pot holes.  It was easier to capture their movements as they were working manually and very slowly with hot tar/damar.  

India Art Journal oct 20 2012 by Meera Rao

The small house lizard stakes out its victims in the corner of a wall coming out at dusk.  It has pink and blue translucent skin. The big toes with suckers hold on to the wall as it waits to unfurl its tongue  at the unsuspecting little insects.  The lizards are left alone as long as they don't hang out in or near the kitchen!  

India Art Journal oct 18 2012 by Meera Rao

I spent the last week with my parents and my brother.  Their dog Rowdie is a 'rescued' street dog - it has claimed my brother's family as his own.  He loves to watch the street activity from the second floor balcony and alerts everyone to the comings and goings of the street vendors and of course other dogs :)

Below are the last of the sketches that need individual spotlight. I wrote about them in my earlier post Playing, Working, Dreaming, Playing. 

India Art Journal Aug 20 2012 by Meera Rao

India Art Journal Aug 19 2012 by Meera Rao

India Art Journal Aug 21 2012 by Meera Rao

India Art Journal Aug 22 2012 by Meera Rao

Monday, January 14, 2013

Mixed Messages

India Art Journal Oct 14-17 by Meera Rao 

I just realized the 'unintended/not conscious of it until now' connection between the top two sketches -pigeon or a mail box to send your messages ?  May be neither in the internet age!

India Art Journal Oct 14 2012 by Meera Rao

I often saw the pigeons getting in and out of these windows and loved watching their movements! They were free wild birds and definitely not used as messengers :)

India Art Journal Oct 15 2013 by Meera Rao

The Indian red mailboxes scattered around the city are quaint and charming. I saw some mind boggling numbers and dates connected with Indian postal system: as of March 2011 there were some 1,55,866 post offices in India and the East India Company opened the very first post office  'Company Mail'  in 'Bombay' in 1688!  

India Art Journal Oct 16 2012 by Meera Rao 

I did a double take when I saw this scene beyond the gates of an office building and quickly snatched a photograph before the guard shooed me away.  I was amused to see the shadow cast by the scooter resembling the all too familiar silhouette of resting cow that one can find everywhere -especially quite often right in the middle of the road! I guess it is a great way to show the two 'breeds' that most occupy the busy roads :)

India Art Journal Oct 17 2012 by Meera Rao

I was impressed by this enterprising boy. He would fill up the green plastic pots with  water from the public water faucet, tie them up to his bicycle to supply the roadside vendors whose cooking and cleaning required water.  I saw him busy most evenings as the vendors' business picked up. 

The following once again are four sketches shown individually.  I wrote about them earlier in the post  Stacks and Rows 

India Art Journal Aug 15 2012 by Meera Rao 

India Art Journal Aug 16 2012 by Meera Rao 

India Art Journal Aug 17 2012 by Meera Rao 

India Art Journal Aug 18 2012 by Meera Rao 

Monday, January 7, 2013


India Art Journal Oct 10 2012 by Meera Rao 

The only way to have a friend is be one.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson~
There are couple of schools in our neighborhood and I saw everyday groups of girls and boys walking or biking to and from school chatting up a storm, laughing and giggling  and exchanging notes. I enjoyed watching them and noticing the dynamics among friends and strangers.  The four girls in uniform went to one school and the other lone girl passing them was from a different school as the different school colors proclaim. 

India Art Journal Oct 11 2012 by Meera Rao 

I just had to sketch the three forms of coconut - oil in a bottle,  the shell that has fresh white meat for cooking and coconut water from tender young coconut to quench the thirst. These were used almost everyday especially since I claim my heritage from the coastal Karnataka in India! That particular day all three were side by side on the shiny black granite kitchen counter with the pink tiles on the wall. 

India Art Journal Oct 12 2012 by Meera Rao

I passed by this house everyday and saw the colorful laundry hanging on the second floor balcony without fail :) I wonder if they ever lost any pieces to gusts of wind as I never saw the clothes secured in any way. 
India Art Journal Oct 13 2013 by Meera Rao
My friend Suniti took me on surprise excursions every so often to special places around Mysuru and I loved spending time with her and away from the daily chores.  These cattle were all either old or invalid in some way and were being taken care of in a huge 'Goshale' - old folks home for the cattle run as a charity. The place had a serenity and beauty that was very  calming. 

Below is all four vignettes together on the page:
India Art Journal Oct 10-13 2012 by Meera Rao

The following four sketches are from the  sept 5 2011 post "the Whole Life lies in the verb-seeing"  enjoying individual limelight :)

India Art Journal Aug 11 2012 by Meera Rao

India Art Journal Aug 12 2012 by Meera Rao
India Art Journal Aug 13 2012 by Meera Rao
India Art Journal Aug 14 2012 by Meera Rao

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

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