Three blind mice, three blind mice,
See how they run, see how they run,
They all ran after the farmer’s wife,
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife,
Did you ever see such a thing in your life,
As three blind mice?
When there is a heavy load to bear and you find that there’s no company, sometimes you need to walk on alone.
Inspired and named after Tagore’s beautiful, nationalistic poem, “Ekla cholo re”. It is an exhortation to follow your heart, alone if necessary.
“Ekla cholo re”, 24″ X 36″ acrylic on canvas.
with apologies to Tagore
If they do not answer to your call, walk alone.
If they are afraid and cower mutely facing the wall,
open your mind and speak out alone.
If they turn away, and desert you when crossing the wilderness,
trample those thorns under your tread,
and along the bloodied track travel alone.
If they do not hold up the light on that stormy night,
with the flame of pain ignite your heart
and let it shine alone.
“unfortunate” – as indeed you are the opposite if you follow your heart
In December, the Standard Chartered Bank opened an art gallery in its main branch to encourage upcoming artists by showcasing their work. My friend Smita Srivastava and I decided to take advantage of this opportunity. You are invited to our very first exhibition together, “Friends and Faces” from March 16th to 31st at the Standard Chartered Bank, 67, Gulshan Avenue, Dhaka.
For the time being I’ve decided not to offer my work for sale. The tricky question of pricing has been neatly side-stepped temporarily.
The gallery is small and can accommodate about 20 large paintings. The step of selecting the ones to display are over and now 3 are ready, 4 of them are with the framer and the last lot waiting to be signed before being framed. We’ve been talking about an exhibition together for 6 months now and are thrilled to realize it.
Self Portrait : 12″ X 14″ with charcoal on brown paper.
Update : While mentioning to a friend that I looked as though I’d been cleaning a chimney I got the name for this piece. She said that it was a bit early for being a “Santa’s helper”. That is going to be the title for this one then. Santa’s Helper.
The teasing, taunting and sometimes worse that women have to endure while on the roads is a reality in quite a few cities in our world today. Many are the excuses that are given as if to say that in the saying it makes it alright. That she was dressed inappropriately, that she walked suggestively, she looked too pretty, she shouldn’t be walking alone , that men are hunters etc. etc. Makes my blood boil.
While, like this woman, you might feel like taking a stand, it would make better sense to ignore and move on. I blame cinema and violence for this increase of harassment in our country. Cinema because most of them show that a girl while initially resisting actually enjoys and falls in love with the youth who chose to accost her. And violence, as in the past, if a situation on the road went a bit out of hand you would have passers-by willing to help you. Now they too fear retaliation and violence from these goons.
The thought that ran through my mind while I was painting this was predators. In reality the lady was turning back to reply to her companions who were right behind her. They were taunting / teasing her too but it was as you would with friends and not strangers.
I have a great selection of references to work with from that one afternoon in Ashulia thanks to Anil‘s photography skills and generosity. And having been there, seen these people, interacted with some of them has made it interesting to capture them with paint. This is the 4th completed painting in the Ashulia series which is being renamed “On the road to Ashulia”.
18″ X 30″ Mixed Media (acrylic + oil) on stretched canvas.
Firstly, Happy New Year! Got back from a nice, long vacation, spent with family, last night.
Bob Martin, an artist I admire and who has helped me find my “painting” feet, often, in these past two years, had tagged me to list 5 little known facts about myself, then to “tag” five other artists to do the same.
Because of the vacation, I’ve taken a lot longer than intended to put them down. Here are my five.
1. In Grade 3, I was selected for the Inter-House Elocution Competition. I suspect only because of my loud voice. When it was my turn and I saw a hall full of people looking at me expectantly, I went blank and ran off the stage!
2. On average, I spend 7-10 hrs a day surfing the net or on other computer related activities.
3. My first exposure to a Mac was when I worked with Apple (96-99). 10 years later, I’m still crazy about Macs. If Apple introduces a Tablet PC, I’m willing to wait in line outside the store to get one. Something I haven’t wanted to do for the iPod or the iPhone.
4. The craze for gadgets has been replaced by an equally strong one for art supplies.
5. Would love to learn to sing! My family is a bit wary of that ambition as I’m sort of tone deaf.
I’m sorry but I’m going to be a meme buster 😦 Instead of tagging 5 more artists there is a list of 5 non-art sites that I frequent excluding Gmail, Flickr, Facebook, Youtube or my blogs though that’s where I spend my day! 😛
I did not realise until yesterday just how tough this task would be! Discovered that in addition to Mail and social sites, I surf with a narrow focus on art and related information!! Here are two new links that I hope will help me with my resolutions in 2008.
5. Zen Habits
Wish me luck!
We’re having people over for dinner tonight and suddenly there is this urge to draw. Must be something to do with the fact that there are chores that need to be taken care of. 😛
While looking for the crossword puzzle in yesterdays newspaper I came across an ad promoting a music concert “James Unplugged”. There was a photograph accompanying the copy, of an intense, handsome young man which grabbed my attention and I’m assuming he is James. I hope the concert is going well for him. He must be playing at the Sheraton Hotel as I type this.
Continuing to enjoy the freedom of using any medium I fancy and the current flavour of the month is pen & ink. Used the 0.30 Rotring with brown ink and tried for some values by varying pressure and the number of passes.
And now I’d better get going before my guests arrive!
Approx 4″ X 4″ Pen & Ink on handmade paper in my sketchbook.
Drawing a portrait using “mechanical” lines is a part of the assignment given after this weeks Creative Drawing and Art Appreciation session with Javed Jalil. I chose a reference that I’ve used last week for a pen & ink. I know I shouldn’t be asking but if you squint you’ll get a better feel of what I was trying to achieve 😀
I’m not sure it meets the given requirements. I shall find out next week 😛 I did enjoy making it this morning. Unlike all the earlier exercises we’ve been allowed to use monochromatic washes for the home assignment this week.
We’re all victims of Hollywood’s romantic way of portraying things. Artists in the movies always seem so confident, like they know exactly what they are doing, what they want, how to achieve it and so on and so forth, in between passionate rolls in the hay with the female lead. In fact, in the movies you seldom see anyone actually working. It’s all glamour and passionate inspiration, and no cursing and throwing of drawing implements.
In real life, we’re caught in a neat little Catch-22. We are never entirely
satisfied with any particular drawing, leading to frustration. But this
dissatisfaction is also the thing that keeps us going, because we keep on
thinking that the perfect drawing is just around the corner. Tantalizingly,
it remains just out of reach.
I think if we ever became perfectly satisfied with our work, it would there
and cease to hold our interest. The frustration would be gone, and so would the incentive to keep at it. So you are either a frustrated artist, or the frustration ends, but with it the art as well.
Brian van der Spuy
Pen & ink in my little sketchbook.