Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Boat People in Cambodia

I have been itching to paint since I came into Phnom Penh a week ago....but just haven't had the time as there has been so much work. So I decided to take a few hours off today...and this is the result!! Actually I finished the drawing on Sunday and just did a basic wash....then just had to finish it today. I have used a photograph for the reference, besides a couple of sketches. I have only just begun to see the value of doing a small sketch, even though there is a photograph...the sketch certainly helps you to remember what you saw, especially with regards to light and shade.
Its a great country for a visit, and many images one can paint....but like India, there is also so much poverty, and so little that people subsist on!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

This an old lady in Wan, the first village from where we started our trek... a steep walk where we climbed 4000 feet in 10 kms! Anyway she is the grandmother of the young mule porter who was with us, and asked us to sit in her court yard and catch our breath!
I loved the picture she made so Viveck took the photograph which I have since then painted. I love this picture. Finally I have begun to understand working with water colour a bit, and am beginning to get the tones and shade i think, and also the perspective! I am also begining to understand painting washes and not making my colours thick and muddy! Still a long way to go though!

Its been such a long time since I wrote in my blog. To start with we went on a trek to Roopkund in the Himalayas and that meant I couldn't attend my painting classes for a bit and now they are shut for a month so I have missed doing that! But am firmly back!! This was the last still life I painted before class shut. I enjoyed putting in a dark backgriound....the red was good. Still havent quite got the hang of painting fabrics! But guess practice will help.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

I'm supposed to practice drawing so tried to draw Flea using a 4B pencil...Found I loved the drawing bit...and will probably work to develop this while I learn to paint. I can see how capturing tones in pencil, helps focus on tones and hues while using paints. So I am busy drawing everything in sight!!!!
I am beginning to get the hang of showing perspective in my work now, and also capturing light and shadows.
Still feel that the work is too 'heavy'. Need to get the transparency of water colour!
I decided to just paint a 'still life' for practice....but this came out so well and didn't take too much time to do either. Viveck thinks this is one of my better ones!

More Art!

This was a challenge to do...had to try and capture the transparency of the bottles, the reflections...But I was keen as I think the composition is great as the blue bottle just adds that bit of colour!
Painting folds in cloth is a real challenge and I still need a lot of practice.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Habib says to master any form of art one has to practice painting still life. I Must say I am beginning to agree with him. Last week was a disaster, and I think possibly because I am still learning, but also I didn't like what I had to paint. This week has been great. I loved painting my wooden spoons in Ma's old white jug...and the checked jharan. .Today at class we decided on an arrangement of fruit, which proved a challenge, but I loved it.
I find I look forward to my afternoons now, not to sleep, but to paint!!!!


The view of Lagos from David's terrace. I seem to have messed up the sea a bit, and will probably paint this again...but its a wonderful reminder. It was hot...not humid, but pleasantly hot and impossible to pint from the terrace, so did the drawing and then have painted the rest from a photograph that I took.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

the colours of Portugal

The colours of Portugal. A pot of geraniums in front of the wonderful green door in the varandah. A typical cobbled street with sheer white houses and so many plants!

The olive tree in Lagos

What an amazing holiday in Portugal! Ever since I have started painting I seem to be consciously aware of colours around me, tones and shades and have this constant urge to capture as much as I can....I guess all aspiring artists feel the same. What struck me was that the colours of the country are so different to ours in India...the sea is an amazing blue, the trees with shades of greens and browns which needed me to mix different colours than I would do at home to get those tones. During our drive from Lisbon to Lagos in the Algarve we drove through Alenteju. The countryside was dry and dotted with cork and olive trees. I was facinated that in the hot sun the tops of the olive tree leaves shine almost silver!
I managed to do a little painting while at David's place. The atmosphere was great for that, and I was inspired by all the colours and the general feeling of well being that I seem to feel throughout. This is a 400 year old olive tree in his garden. I did 2 versions of it...Naeeda liked the first so has taken it!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Looking outside the window at Moore Avenue

I completed this today...and am so very pleased with it. Its not perfect, as I still seem to make the paint opaque...when it should be translucent! But I have managed to get the depth...which is a good feeling.
What is interesting is that with each painting I seem to learn a little more and realise where my mistakes have been! This is view from the window from my class! I loved the spiral stairs!

2 more 'works of art'

I thought I'd paint the Dhobhi ghat for Naeeda as a present...but the first one came out very badly...the perspective was all wrong! This one is better but the perspective is still not as I want it, so I am uploading it and not giving it to Naeeda. She is going to have to wait for a better one! This is a good way to keep a record as well...and the next one (which will be my third attempt) will probably be goodish!!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

I did this yesterday and am 'mighty' pleased with it, as my friend Jyoti would say! We have been doing still life paintings as Habib says the more we master still life the better we will be at everything else. He insists we observe details and try and be as accurate as we can... When I compare my pintings from when I started, I can actually see improvement...and what is even more fascinating is that I seem to be developing my own unique 'style'! Jyoti did the same picture and the way she represented it was so different to mine!

Its been 6 weeks since I started my painting classes. Its been an amazing experience. I look forward to the classes and am making time during the week as well. I come away from each session totally relaxed and definitely feeling all's right with the world!!I am learning to concentrate and observe..see shadows and lights in everything around. Unconsciously I seem to look around to see images I can paint...think about how reflections and movements can be captured on paper. I think water colour is fascinating as it is so fluid, and yet certainly difficult to actually work with, but then thats the challenge...
I have taken Naffy's advice and carry a drawing book in the car with me and try and draw things as I spot them... Its certainly helping.
I enjoyed doing this one, as I tried to capture the shine on the brass, and the colours of te brass itself. Its facinating how many tones each image has.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I am learning to use colours, trying to get the exact shades by mixing colours

Learning to paint in water colours

This is my latest fascination...learning to paint using water colours. Again something I have been wanting to do forever. I love the softness of pictures painter with water colours, the transparency of the medium..There are 3 of us in class, which is held in my friend Jyoti's (a practicing) art gallery. Its a lovely space in a quiet part of Kolkata, and certainly inspiring.
This is my first attempt...a sprig from a bougainvillea plant, and I felt very pleased when I finished it. Habib, the teacher, is a gentle soul and spends his time telling me not to be afraid to experiment and that I need to practice. So lets see where this takes me....

Monday, April 13, 2009


Its exciting to be starting this blog. Seeing my children creating their own blogs, or introducing me to others which are so amazing, creative and moving....I have decided to start my own.
Its the age I'm at, a point when the girls are grown and I move on to the 'introspective' phase of my life.... a point when I do want to be quiet, and think through those moments which were my very own...those bits of needle work I did, the drawings I made, the recipes I created which added a fullness and made me grumble that I never had enough time to do all I want! In retrospect, though, I have given quite a bit of time to my 'creative' side.