Thursday, March 27, 2014

Eyes Wide Open

Street Cricket watercolor by Meera Rao

I am excited that my painting Street Cricket was chosen for the Tidewater Artists Alliance Juried Exhibition "Eyes Wide Open" Portsmouth Art and Cultural center, Portsmouth VA.  The show was juried by Professor Brian Kreydatus of the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA and will be up till April 20th. The center also has an outdoor sculpture exhibition that is pretty neat too. 

On the topic of play, Here is a link for a really fun and fantastic TED talk on the importance/interactivity of play and creativity by Tim Brown. 

It is a happy talent to know how to play.
~Raplph Waldo Emerson~

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Tangled Shadows

Tangled shadows Photography by Meera Rao 

“Art does not in fact prove anything. What it does do is record one of those brief times, such as we each have and then each forget, when we are allowed to understand that the Creation is whole.”
Robert Adams

Friday, March 14, 2014

Making Art and Viewing Art

Art Institute of Chicago -watercolor sketch on Arches postcard by Meera Rao

"Making art and viewing art are different at their core. The sane human being is satisfied that the best he/she can do at any given moment is the best he/she can do at any given moment........Making art provides uncomfortably accurate feedback about the gap that inevitably exists between what you intended to do, and what you did. In fact, if artmaking did not tell you(the maker) so enormously much about yourself, then making art that matters to you would be impossible. To all viewers but yourself, what matters is the product: the finished art work. to you, and you alone, what matters is the process: the experience of shaping that artwork. The viewer's concerns are not your concerns (although it's dangerously easy to adopt their attitudes.) Their job is whatever it is: to be moved by art, to be entertained by it, to make a killing off it, whatever. Your job is to learn to work on your work "
~Davie Bayles & Ted Orland in "Art and Fear" 

"Art & Fear - Observations On The Perils (and Rewards) of ARTMAKING"  is a book I read often. Today as I am trying to get comfortable and not let the shingles that showed up on my abdomen consume me, I am reading it again. The book always inspires me and motivates me to keep on working. I am convinced in the end to give my best shot -as the very last sentences in the book declares: "It becomes a choice between certainty and uncertainty. And curiously, uncertainty is the comforting choice. "

Co-incidentally, I sketched the Art Institute of Chicago building while waiting for the exhibits to open one cold morning in Dec, looking out the glass window of a coffee-shop right across the road.  I was hesitant to take out my sketch kit in the crowded shop but the desire to sketch to kill time till the doors opened won over my fear.  And I am glad I gave in to the urge to draw. 

"Life is short, art long, opportunity fleeting, experience treacherous, judgement difficult" - Hippocrates (460-400B.C) 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Pecking Away A Painting

Woodpecker, watercolor on Yupo By Meera Rao

Woodpecker 2, watercolor on Yupo By Meera Rao

I heard and then saw the woodpecker rat-tat-tating away a few days ago while on my walk at the trail. I needed to sketch a woodpecker for a personal project and was pleased with my luck!  I watched him for a while trying to notice all the details and then took a picture with my phone as I had forgotten to carry my camera. Two days later we saw him again on our walk and managed a couple more photographs. 

For the top painting I lightly sketched the outline and did controlled painting. I layered wet paint, let it dry and the added more layers! I liberally used the spray bottle with just water and a tooth brush to splatter paint to  get the texture of the tree. 

No sketching for Woodpecker 2 - just free flowing watercolors on Yupo :) For texture I sprinkled some salt, sprayed a hint of rubbing alcohol and splattered with toothbrush.

As the quote by Coleman Cox states,  "Even the woodpecker owes his success to the fact that he uses his head and keeps pecking away until he finishes the job he starts,”  I played with the paints trying not to overwork yet pecking away till I was satisfied! Now to decide which one I prefer! Or I may yet paint one more ;)
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