Sunday, October 27, 2013

There is Only Opportunity

India Sketch Journal 2013 July 23 by Meera Rao

The man who can smile at his breaks and grab his chances gets on.
Samuel Goldwyn

I was impressed to see the entrepreneurship of this man --he had himself a bicycle tire patching business with only a few inner tubes hung on a tree trunk, some simple tools spread on a sheet under a tree!  And of course, he was busy with his little cell phone while waiting for customers.  Every time I went past his spot on the sidewalk I hoped he had enough people stopping by so he could earn enough! 

India Sketch Journal 2013 July 24 by Meera Rao

She may be living in a shack by the roadside, selling pots that she and her family members crafted right there- but she had a place to sit comfortably - a two seat bench discarded from some automobile and again a cell phone to keep her busy while she waited for customers.  What I also noticed is that her surroundings were spic and span, and the recycled materials used on the tent were very neatly assembled and tied together.  I admired the relentless resourcefulness! 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Evil Eye, Hungry Mouth

India Sketch journal 2013 page 23 by Meera Rao 

Whether it is protection from evil eye or hungry cows and goats, there is a way to safeguard what you cherish - be it magic, superstition or a practical solution!

India Sketch journal 2013 July 21 by Meera Rao 

These red masks of fierce looking faces with horns and a scorpion on the tongue can be bought on the road side from migrant artisans who camp on the sidewalks, establish a workshop and a set up a retail outlet right there :)  The whole family pitches in to make the masks from molds to which they pour plaster of paris or clay, paint and then sell them in various sizes. The masks are bought to place on  houses, buildings, and new construction sites.  What caught my eye was that the sidewalk makeshift enterprise selling talisman masks had a classic talisman of its own - that of seven green chili peppers and lemon hanging so that no evil eye is cast on this thriving business ! Please do click on the colored phrases above and you will be able to see my sketches from my art journal 2012 :)

India Sketch journal 2013 July 22 by Meera Rao 

This is little sapling by the roadside had its own fence to fend off the hungry cows and goats that wander the streets.  The effort was worthwhile as the plant still had its leaves and was showing signs of growth! The tragedy sometimes is that the sticks from the little fence can also disappear - to be used for kindling by someone.   I was attracted to the geometry of the lines, the organic shapes of the leaves, the colors and had to record it in my sketch book. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Art is Not What You See

Laundry  Watercolor on Yupo 3.4"x4.7" By Meera Rao 

Break time from Shoe Shine Watercolor on Yupo  5"x2.3" by Meera Rao 

Beverage Service Watercolor on Yupo 3.5"x4.3" by Meera Rao

"Art is not what you see, but what you make others see"
~Edgar Degas~

I have three small paintings on Yupo in "Small Works: Miniatures by Hampton Roads Artists "  The show will run from October 12-December 1, 2013 at the Charles Taylor Arts Center in Hampton, VA. All the pieces had to be 20 square inches or under and it was fun to once again paint on yupo after months of only sketching in my sketchbook/journal! I am always amazed how vibrant and brilliant colors remain on the yupo unlike regular watercolor paper where the colors dry lighter than what goes on. I also love how the differently the textures and details show on the yupo. 

All three pieces are composites of my sketches, photographs and my imagination. So when I came across the quote by Edgar Degas, I chuckled and knew I had to include it here! Laundry is of course a scene from India, Break time from Shoe Shine is a scene I still see in some airports in USA and the  Beverage Service is from one of my airplane trips :) I was pleasantly surprised and pleased when all three were accepted for the show.  It is a beautifully curated exhibit with many wonderful pieces in all media.  If you are in that neck of woods do drop in and enjoy the creativity on display. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Unspooling Beauty and Mystique

Photography By Meera Rao 

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

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Corner Florist

2013 India Sketch Journal July 19 Meera Rao

2013 India Sketch Journal July 20 Meera Rao
This corner florist really brightens up the dusty drab sidewalk with colorful and fragrant flowers. I was impressed by what a brisk business he had making flower bouquets and arrangements.  All he had was a bright blue tarp and a little shack with blue paint to match.  But it made for a lovely corner lifting my spirits every time I went by on my errands! I decided to sketch it on two days giving the corner and the shack its own space in my sketchbook :)
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