Thursday, October 25, 2012

Mentioned on Marion-Boddy Evan's Painting.

Title :  Inspired by Van Gogh's Sunflowers
Size : 13" x 17"
My Van Gogh sunflowers collage on Marion's Painting website.    Click this link to take you there.

Marion Boddy-Evans, Painting Guide, says:

A beautiful example of collage as a medium, and of translating a famous artist's style/work into something that has an evident source of inspiration but is your own.

Wow.   Thank you Marion!      I do love Van Gogh's  brush strokes.  Here is the link to the original blog entry on this collage.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Celebrating the Festival of Ganesha

Mumbai is celebrating the festival of Ganesha with its usual pomp and splendour and I am reminded of one of my early collages - one of Lord Ganesha.  This one.
Size : 9.5"x 8"

Ganesha is a much loved diety of the Hindus.   He is depicted with the head of an elephant but with a human form.  Everything in Hinduism is symbolic and so it is with each body part of Lord Ganesha. 

He is called the 'remover of all obstacles' and is considered the epitome of wisdom.   It is customary to say a small prayer to Ganesha before commencing any activity that one wishes to accomplish well.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Mixed media art in Warli Style

Title  :  Welcoming Ganesha,  Warli style
Size 14" x 10 "

This is a mixed media collage in acrylic and paper on paper. This is in traditional tribal painting style of Maharashtra called Warli Painting. I have used acrylic paint for the fine details and collaged the larger details with paper. The subject is the festival that our state of Maharashtra is preparing for this month. The festival of Lord Ganpati that starts on Ganesh Chaturthi (19th Sept this year) and celebrations that last for 10 days.

I was inspired to make an artwork on this festival in the Warli style after attending a workshop on Warli painting last week. The Warli painting art form is over 1200 years old. The tribal women folk used to decorate the walls of their mud huts coated with cow dung and mud or terracotta with designs made with ground rice paste. The subjects were usually restricted to pictorial representation of their daily activities or were of folk lore and myth. Though their paintings are two dimensional, lacking in perspective and are monochromatic, the eye is drawn in to study the detail which is used very economically. Thus the viewer is forced to read the story being told by the pictures.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Gond painting

Today I took a tribal painting workshop taught by tribal artist Durgadevi Vyam. She spoke on how the art form originated, how the paintings are done and some of the folk lore associated with it.

The Gonds are originally a forest dwelling tribe of Central India. Their brilliantly coloured paintings are found on walls and floors of their houses. The subjects for their paintings are usually animals and trees, local deities and depiction of their daily lives and folk tales. It is important for Gonds to regularly wipe off and make new paintings in their homes in preparation for celebrations whether religious or social. Usually the paintings narrate a story.

The colours used are all natural and derived from locally available material. Bright reds, yellows, black and white are from rocks and mud found on river bank. The greens, browns, blues are obtained from obtained from barks of trees, leaves and flowers. Each drawing is meticulously filled in and then decorated with dots and dashes or swirls and squiggles made in a contrasting colour. The simplicity of the drawing style and bright colours used make this art form very engaging.

Now this artform is produced on paper and canvas using acrylic paints.  Here is a sample of what I did in the workshop.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Hug

There is nothing more comforting than hugging your cat as every cat lover knows.   This collage portrait is one of my sister and our cat.  

Size :  10.5" x 13"
This collage was created in June 2012.  The true reason for the late posting is that I was unable to make decent photos after I upgraded to a smart phone! My digital camera is also not satisfactory. So taking a good photo took me a while. Now that I have a better phone with an 8MP camera I am able to post pictures online :-)  

July has been a very busy month for me so the July collage is still a work in progress.  I hope to be able to complete two this month so I dont break my new year resolution!.

Temple town by the river

This is my collage for May 2012. 

The subject is a holy city on the banks of a river. Actually I had Nashik in mind when I started though it is not an exact reproduction of any particular spot but is more a general feel of sunset by the river minus the crowds ofcourse! 
In making this collage I felt inspired to use bold colours by the works of collage artist Kathryn Uster.

Size :  13" x 10.5"

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Art in April

April is a busy time for me as in my other life I am a bean counter.  So even with ideas galore, there was little time to convert them into collages.   However, true to my resolution for this year I did make two small ones and a third one is almost complete.  

I sometimes feel envious about those who use paint as a medium.  They just have to squeeze it out of a tube.  With collage, one has to  accumulate the material first or one just can't get started.  And this can be time consuming.  So for a change, I played around with paints too.    I made an abstract geometric painting in acrylic  that I have now hung up on my living room wall.  This I have painted over a faded print so I made good use of a frame.  Recycling feels good and I  must confess that I am quietly pleased with how it turned out.

I also made some papier mache sculptures but that is work in progress. They are still drying out and I will post pictures when they are ready.

Here are the two completed collages. 

The first one is a painted face from Kathakali.  This is a classical dance in drama format of mythological stories from the southern Indian state of Kerala.  Katha means story and kali means dance.  In this dance form the dancers have vividly painted faces and large costumes. The elaborate facial make-up is the most striking feature of Kathakali. The face paint colours indicate the character of the person portrayed.

Title :  Kathakali
Size :   12" x 12.5 "
Green make up is used for portraying the virtuous and divine, green  with red streaks stands for person of high birth with a streak of evil, exceedingly evil persons are portrayed with red painted faces and red beards,  black face paint and black beards depict forest dwellers,  black with red streaks are for demons and bright yellow painted faces for women and ascetics.  The female roles are also played by men in Kathakali!!  

This collage here has a green face with a white beard so we can safely say that he is a good guy.   And the sideways look that's amore.  ('Amore' as in the Dean Martin song... when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie...that's amore)       

The second is a limited palette collage of Phalaenopsis - my favourite orchid.  

Title : Phalaenopsis
Size : 10" x 12"  

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Bodhisattva Padmapani

In Sanskrit, Bodhisattva (बोधिसत्त्व; Pali: bodhisatta) is either an enlightened (bodhi) existence (sattva) or an enlightenment-being. Padmapani is ‘Holder of the Lotus’. This is the Sanskrit name of the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara - “The Lord who looks down (with compassion)”. He is the one who embodies the compassion of all Buddhas and is one of the more widely revered bodhisattvas.

Title : Padmapani
Size : 20" x 30 "

This collage is a depiction of the oldest and most famous of murals in India – ‘Padmapani’. 
Photo of Padmapani at Ajantha
Sometime during the 7th century, Buddhist monks painted frescoes on cave walls in what is now famous as the Ajantha caves in India.

Padmapani - the embodiment of compassion is one of these.

Buddhahood can be attained only after various lives of bodhisattva. Bodhisattvas are beings who work for the enlightenment of others, not just themselves. Sometimes it is said that Bodhisattvas make the ultimate sacrifice of giving up their own salvation (Buddhahood) out of compassion for other sentient beings.

The Buddha is not decorated; statues of bodhisattvas are for they need not be monks. They may live in society and dress like everybody else. The only difference is on the inside. Bodhisattvas exist in the world just to help others.

It is believed that Bodhisattvas manifest where they are needed in many forms. They might be friends or strangers, young or old, a tradesman, a salesperson or anyone. They might be you. Whenever needed help is given without selfish attachment, there is the hand of the bodhisattva. When we see and hear the suffering of others and respond to that suffering, we are the hands of the bodhisattva.

Trees in Evening light

Size :  10.5" x 7.5 "

The evening light in Mumbai just before the beginning of summer is beautiful.

All colours take on a golen hue. It is as if one were looking through yellow coloured glass.

When the light turns everything golden at the twilight hour, we know that summer has arrived.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

My first guest post

I have just had the opportunity to do a guest post and that too on the blog of an accomplished artist and collagist of many years experience - Kathryn Uster. What can I say, I am thrilled!!

Here is the link to my post on Kathryn's blog
(btw, I believe this counts as my art blog post for the month of February).
And this is the link to Kathryn’s website

Kathryn's art is brilliant.  Her eye for detail and bold colourful palette draw the viewer in and impart a sense of peace.   I urge you to visit and view her remarkable collage artworks.

And this is my guest post on Kathryn's blog.

Finding Our Zen 

I met Kathryn at the yahoo collage group and since then, she has been my guru in many collage related ways. As a collagist I still have a long way to go and the sum total of my knowledge and experience is limited by the number of years I have spent doing this. So in my guest post on her blog today, I thought I would share what collage means to me. 

I think creating a collage is almost like Zen meditation. It is uplifting and fulfilling at the spiritual level. Let me explain. Zen is the Japanese word for the Mandarin Chán, which in turn is derived from he Sanskrit word dhyāna meaning ‘meditation’. 

Personally, I find meditation tedious. Have you tried it? I find it difficult to sit down quietly for a length of time, with legs crossed, eyes shut, and concentrate on thinking nothing so we can give the brain a chance to rest and reboot as it were. I am told one needs discipline and training to be successful in meditation. Rather unregretful, I admit to being not concerned that I am not good at meditation, because I have a happier alternative. 

I love making paper collage. This is the next best thing to Zen meditation. I am convinced of it. I usually collect all the paraphernalia required and either stand at the dining table or sit on the floor. One could compare this to getting ready for meditation. Once I have decided on the broad idea of what I want to do, all I have eyes for is the colours that I am looking for. I find that without any effort on my part I am able to block out all the ambient noise and focus just on the tiny pieces of colour paper that I need at the moment. Sometimes I might spend hours bent over adjusting tiny bits of paper with tweezers and paint brush, unmindful of physical exhaustion. I am in Collage Heaven.

Meditation is said to calm the mind, so does collage making. Collage making is a very soothing and relaxing activity. I find that it quiets my mind, makes it more tranquil. It helps me forget the stresses of daily life. As a consequence, sometimes I also forget to fix dinner. 

Meditation is the process to know your consciousness – that you are not defined either by your body or your mind. You are just the witness to what is happening around you. Collage making does the same for me. These bits of paper have a mind of their own, and somehow they make themselves into a picture while I just watch out that they are glued well and flat, and stay within the overall theme. Sometimes these bits of paper can even change the theme and one can do nothing about it but go with the flow and bear mute witness. But that is a story for another day. Each torn piece of paper finds the right spot for itself like a jig-saw puzzle. Slowly the hazy idea in my brain gets created on paper. Each piece of paper torn by hand is unique in shape and size; thus, the collage creates itself to which I am merely a witness. So I believe collage is a kind of Zen. What does your Art mean to you? Do write in with your views and let’s compare notes. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Zebra on Chessboard and other artworks

Rush Hour
Size :  8.5” x 11”

 Hurry now; it will soon be rush hour at the reef! :-) 

I just love marine life. But I have to admit that the closest I have come to undersea life so far is only on the Discovery channel or at the aquarium. I do hope to get closer than that. The number one item on my list of things to do before I die is meeting these guys at rush hour at Great Barrier.

The colours are vibrant, the combinations mind boggling and the diversity is just magical. It is great to be alive and to experience all this – even if only in my mind so far. This collage hopefully represents a school of fish I very likely might run into one day.

Size : 42” x 19”

Look, there is a mermaid!

And I think she has discovered a treasure box!
Could it be from a sunken ship?
Maybe it is pirate treasure! How exciting!
Don’t you wish you could be there right now?
Well, I do.
Have I told you I just love marine life?
I did? Well, I also love mermaids.
I suppose they are a part of marine life.
Yes, I know mermaids are not real and they exist only in fairy tales.
Hey, wouldn't that make this collage fantasy art!  :-)

At 42inches wide (3 ½ feet) this is a big collage and has lots of little things tucked away to be discovered!

Here is an abstracted representation of knick knacks, accessories and such other collectibles women seem to accumulate over the years.   
Size :   9.5” x 7”
Size: 3.5” x 8 “
This small collage could also be called a large miniature!


Zebra on Chess Board 

It Don't Matter If You're Black Or White !
Ooh Ooh, yea yea yea....

But seriously now; have you ever wondered if a zebra is black with white stripes or white with black stripes?

Is a chess board black with white squares or white with black squares?

To contemplate this, I present to you ‘Zebra on chess board’.   :-)
Size  :  28” x 22”

Visit Gallery for better resolution pictures.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year 2012

One of my resolutions should be to keep up regularly with my blog posts.   There is a reason I haven't been doing this as well as I should have.   I find photographing my artwork difficult.  There is always a little glare on the photo or the colours dont seem exactly right or there is the problem with perspective and having to crop off all the edges to get an acceptable photo.  It always gets put in the too hard basket. But in the end, these are all excuses.  So this year, I resolve to be more regular with creating artwork and posting pictures.