Saturday, June 29, 2013

Toys and Pods

2013 India sketch Journal June 15 by Meera Rao

Between Bangalore and Mysore is the town of Channnapatna where a particular form of wooden toys are made from Aale mara/Ivory wood and lacquered in brightly colors.According to Wikipedia "This traditonal craft is proteced as a geographical indication, under the World Trade Organization and admistered by the Government of Karnataka" Every town, city, and village around here sell these toys with colorful road side displays. Please do check out the links and a get a glimpse of these brightly colored toys! 

2013 India Sketch Journal June 16 2013

The tree lined streets of Mysore are also littered with various kinds of seed pods. Sadly, I found the people around are also ignorant of even colloquial names or which pod belongs to which tree!I have been scouring the internet in search of name of the long pod for a while now. If you know what these are, please let me know! 

Once again the page in almost full view :( I realized I cropped the top of the page while photographing !)

2013 India sketch journal Page 5

Monday, June 24, 2013

Have a Sip But avoid a bite!

2013 India sketch journal June13  by Meera Rao

I love going to the little coffee shops that only sell freshly ground coffee powder made to order! These shops are really small, with bright red 'coffee grinder', sacks, tins and bags of coffee beans. I learnt very quickly that I need to know if I preferred 80:20, 70:30, or pure coffee and coarse or fine ground.  The numbers refer to the ratio of coffee to chicory in the mix. The chicory fine-tunes the bitterness in the coffee.  Check out the Indian filter coffee details here and also on my sketchbook page from "A day in the life" 

2013 India Sketch Journal June 14 by Meera Rao

It is Monsoon season in India now and mosquito repellents are a must to have around. This year I see a lot of plug ins with liquid repellents in little containers being used by all. For the past several  years the gold standard was the 'odomus' tube  -which last year I sketched one right after smearing some on me before bedtime :)  

2013 India sketch Journal June 13-14  Page 3 

These two were sketched horizontally but photographed vertically and no amount of rotating is good enough for the blogger to load the photograph with the right alignment! I don't know if its the old pc, chrome, or something else that is stubborn about turning it horizontally! Any suggestions to fix it? I guess I will just post it and hope to remember to correct it when I get back to my own computer in september!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Road Trip

2013 India Sketch Journal June 11 by Meera Rao

While traveling from Bangalore to Mysore these massive rock formations can be seen looming over acres of lush greens of coconut grooves and forests. The huge mountains never go out of sight for miles! It is a favorite location  for rock climbers and hikers. It was also where a super hit Hindi movie "Sholay' was shot. Do check out  the gorgeous  scenery of the place collected on Google images here.  Only the huge garish bill boards take away from the sheer beauty and serenity of the place.
2013 India Sketch Journal June 12 by Meera Rao

I try to go for a walk every day to get away from the monotony of house work, to do the daily marketing and to photograph local scenes, fauna, and flora :)  On this particular evening, I had a close encounter with a fierce looking bullock that came a little too close for my comfort! I actually did not take my camera out to take a snapshot but hurried off to the side and away, all the while keeping an eye on those long curvey sharp horns! Fortunately, they had been capped off with an ornamental golden covering - probably a well deserved precaution! Check out some really beautiful ornamental fittings for the sharp cattle horns  here,  here and here

And, here is page 3 of my 2013 India sketch Journal with both the sketches on one page.  

2013 India Sketch Journal Page 3

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Magic Formula for Sketching Jet Lag?

2013 India sketch Journal June 9 by Meera Rao

There is nothing like a refreshing hot water shower to fight jet lag! The nine and half hour time difference between EST and Indian Time makes it hard on the body to adjust.  According to a WSJ article, "seeking out day light at certain time and avoiding bright light at other times, are some of the main strategies researchers recommend for resetting the body clock faster. Daylight is one of the key clues the master clock in the brain receives from the retina that it needs to resynchronize. In general, travelers going east are advised to seek out afternoon light and travelers heading west should seek out morning light."  Unfortunately nothing seems to work for me and I muddle through my entire trip fighting sleep during the day and struggling to fall asleep at night! 

I just noticed that the sketch above says July 9 - proof of jet lag affecting performance? I am off by a month! 

2013 India sketch Journal June 10 by Meera Rao

After a must trip to the 'Mangalore Store" that stocks up on my hometown's specialties, the sweets and savory munchies were fun draw ( and eat!).

Below is the page with both the sketches. So far it has been a delightful challenge to come up with sketches that are different from last year's sketchbook journal :) 

2013 India sketch Journal Page 2 June 9-10  by Meera Rao

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Sketching Every Day

2013 India Sketch Journal: At Dulles Airport June 7 by Meera Rao

I started another journal this year as I do my turn at my M-i-L's place in India till end of August. As always the journal starts with sketches at the airport and this time I challenged myself to choose vignettes showing something different :)  While waiting at Dulles, DC I sketched the wide corridor with huge black board gate info etc and various colorful national flags hanging from the high ceilings.  It was late night and our flight was delayed and there were few passengers wandering around and even fewer shops or restaurants that were still open. 

2013 India Sketches: At London Airport June 8 by Meera Rao

At Heathrow in London, I sat in the lounge waiting for the gate to be announced. I had a perfect to place to watch and sketch people as they came by to check the Departure board with the 'time planner.'  It was a challenge to get the moving people down on the paper! But the positive was that almost everyone slowed down or paused near the gates and boards long enough for me to notice and commit a part of a gesture, a limb, a slant of the head, a pose or piece of clothing on to the page :)  So mostly, the people are composites of a few passengers!

2013 India Sketches : Page 1 by Meera Rao

 Above is the first page from my journal with both sketches showing. I am using 8.5x6" Strathmore Mixed Media Vellum Surface 300 series 90lb  sketchbook with 40 sheets of paper.  I have my trusty Koi watercolor pocket Field sketch box,  3 waterbrush pens, a 3B pencil, and a ball point pen for sketching. I also have a few color pens, sketch pens but not in my carry on. I intend to use them once I am unpacked! So far I am excited about my second journal and am looking forward to sketching about 80-90 sketches this time, one a day, two to a page mostly and every now and then one or four :)  Now to make sure I am able to sketch every day at least for 30 minutes!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Word in Art

Can you spot my sketches on the Exhibit Invitation? 

Exhibition details at The Charles Taylor Art Center in Hampton, VA.

My two sketchbooks displayed . 

And I gave a demo during the show opening on the sketchbooks! 

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