Afternoon Siesta watercolor and ink by Meera Rao
"Only mad dogs and English men go out in the noon day sun"
When I saw this fellow taking a power nap in the middle of the day, looking quite comfortable on a mattress propped inside his autoriksha, I had to sketch him. He was on a side street - directly in view from my balcony ! I quickly took a couple of photos just in case he woke up and went off, then set to sketch him. I had enough time to finish the sketch but colored it later.
Afternoon siestas used to be the norm everywhere in India. I remember my father, grandfather always came home from work for lunch at mid day, took a nap and then went back to work during the cooler part of the afternoon and evening. Now it is a luxury enjoyed by few who can rearrange their day to their liking! Whoever is home during mid day, the elderly, the retired, the housewives, kids and a few lucky folks who are their own bosses, all take a nap almost everyday. No one goes knocking at someone's door during the afternoon!
I quickly adapted to mid day power naps too during my stay in India. It has to be power naps because longer naps makes one groggy the rest of the day and wide eyed awake at night! I always set an alarm but it was so hard to make myself getup when it went off! As recent studies show, the mid day nappers especially in the tropics were on to something. They are not lazy slackers. As this article "7 surprising benefits of an afternoon nap" explains they knew its power to influence the overall wellbeing, boost energy and increase productivity among other things :) And more importantly, for us artists: 'Daytime sleep can, “enhance creative thinking, boost cognitive processing, improve memory recall and generally clear out the cobwebs," James Maas and Rebecca Robbins, co-founders of Sleep for Success, wrote in The New York Times. :) That ought to be a good reason to squeeze in my nap habit now that I am back in USA!
Btw, I am the Artist of the Month displaying at the Poquoson Public Library during February. I am sharing the wall with a friend who is showing his photography for the first time. Here is a photograph showing the half with my paintings. Please stop by if you are in the neighborhood :)
Wall with my paintings at Poquoson Public Library as February Artist of the Month 2016
time for afternoon siesta 5.5x8" watercolor and ink on 140 lb Strathmore visual Journal