Lucien Freud – Take 2

Take 2

from a self portrait by Lucien Freud

As part of my efforts to improve I have been copying the works of some master artists. Lucien Freud is one of them. I’m drawn to this self portrait of his. You can see an attempt that I made recently and one made in 2005 side by side. And though they’re nothing compared to the original , inspite of seeing the mistakes, I liked them both when they were made. I guess my mind figures out what I’m capable of at a given point in time and gives me credit accordingly. I’d love to try this piece again after a year.

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Looking forward to 2008!

Jan 08 Pen & Ink

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 The craze for gadgets has been replaced by an equally strong one for art supplies.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! 😛

1. Conceptis Puzzle

2. Digital Photography Review

3. Lifehacker

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.

4. HassleMe

5. Zen Habits

Wish me luck!

Sketch : A copy of Lucien Freud‘s portrait of Frank Auerbach, painted in 1975/76. Pen & Ink on handmade paper in my sketchbook.

An afternoon in Ashulia

Ashulia Lady

And now my “series” has a name! An afternoon in Ashulia. This makes it all of three pieces in my newly named series. 😀

The Ashulia Lady was accompanied by a gentleman and came down the road along with the garment factory workers. The two held themselves a little aloof from the others but stopped by to see what we were up to and to inquire as to why? No, we told them we were not journalists. I don’t know if our reply disappointed all the people who asked us. When Anil asked her permission she looked at her companion and seeing that he was okay with it she gave us the go ahead. In the short time it took Anil to focus his camera, I think she felt all the attention suddenly focussed on her and was overcome with shyness! I hope some of that comes through.

Oil on a 10″ X 12″ canvas board. Photo reference copyright Anil Advani used with permission.

Stop or else!

Stop or else!

Tentative. Uncertainty. Fear.

Each of us has a boiling point and when we were younger we got there faster. Experience hadn’t taught us the lessons of self preservation, forbearance, good sense, patience as yet and we were not ready to listen to it from those who were wiser. Hot headed, hot blooded and extremely loyal, our actions took us to the point of no return and we made a stand for better or worse.

Was there fear, uncertainty – of course! And what did we have in our arsenal to fight with – words? Would it have made sense to deal harshly with us then? It seems not having had to take a stand on tough issues made us luckier that some of the youth before us and since. We got away lightly for whatever little misdemeanors we committed. I feel bad when i read about tasers, lathi charges, rubber bullets and what-nots. Seems too inhumane and unfair.

24″ X 30″ Acrylic on canvas

Wake up!

Peace

I think it is very childish of me but when friends and family nap in the afternoons, after a while I have this urge to go wake them up! 😀 I’m sure I must’ve done it too when I was younger but manage to restrain myself now!  She does look relaxed though doesn’t she?
This painting has been based on a sketch made while visiting my friend Sangeeta earlier this year. I took some photo references then and have used those to make this piece.

My first Sale!

Mother and child

Earlier last month I was left a comment on one of my posts indicating an interest in purchasing the drawing “Mother and Child” or a print. Initially, I wasnt sure whether it was a spam comment and while I was trying to make up my mind I was contacted again. I decided to write back and found a wonderful person at the other end who loved this particular piece of work. Living in Bangladesh makes it difficult for me to ship things out and so I opted for selling a print. And he was happy to own the print. His words and attitude have made my first sale very memorable.

The artwork was scanned at 300 dpi and uploaded to my gallery on the print on demand service, ImageKind. After the sale was made, unsure of how it would turn out, I waited with bated breath. It was only when I heard that the print had been delivered and looked good, did I relax.

This has been a wonderful experience. And while what I earned is a fraction of what I used to earn when I was on a regular job it gave me much much more pleasure.

Paan khaye

paan khaye...

I first noticed him standing across the road, arms akimbo, watching us take photographs. After a while he came over unasked and posed confidently for Anil. He had this glint in his eyes, a wide open smile showing teeth stained with betel nut juice and a look suggesting we were bananas taking photographs of people passing by. And when I saw the photographs I was thrilled as Anil had captured him beautifully on film.

This piece gets its name from an old hindi song called “Paan Khaye Saiyan Hamaro” since it was on my mind when I was painting. There’s been a long tradition of eating Paans ( betel nuts, anis and other mouth fresheners rolled into a betel nut leaf ) in South Asian culture. There are mentions of paan as early as the 3rd century in the Kamasutra. It is supposed to be a digestive and a mouth freshener but is an acquired taste. Those who indulge swear by it. My husband is a big fan. A few Paan related clicks for those who’re interested in finding out more.

Wikipedia entry on Paan
Muchhad Paan – sells paan online!!
Watch a paan being made.
Hear the Bollywood song “Paan Khaye Saiyan Hamaro

Oil on a 10″ X 12″ canvas board. Photo reference copyright Anil Advani used with permission.

Learning to use charcoal

Aaliyah 1

Full of enthusiasm after this mornings session at Kuhu’s, I got back home and tried another portrait, from Life, using Sudha crayons ( Indian equivalent for Conte Crayons ). Its overworked but if i dont do some of these how will I learn? I’m thinking of making the background darker hoping that it will help the face come up a bit.

Aaliya – 12″ X 18″ approx – sudha crayons on cream coloured light weight paper

The one below is the one I liked most in this mornings session. Made with different kinds of charcoal sticks with brown drawing ink. Both have been made on a slightly creamish light weight paper.

LD at Kuhu's 4

Ramesh sleeping 2

Ramesh Sleeping

This time I tried to be clever and sketch Ramesh from behind. But I think he has a sixth sense that alerts him to the fact that I’m trying to sketch him! After sleeping like a log he shifted positions when I was a few minutes into my sketch and then i had to use my imagination to complete the pattern, shadow effect and I dont have a very good one.

The paper seems to have been affected by the wash that i’d laid on the page above it. It blotted and spread more than usual. I also need to work on perspective. I always manage to mess that up. The headboard and the books all look skewed. I need to do that Betty Edwards exercise of drawing on perspex before putting it down on paper. It helps you see better. I last used it in 2004 and a review is overdue.

I have a whole series of Ramesh sleeping and a couple of earlier posts here and here. I’ve put together a few on Flickr and will add to the set as I locate them in old sketchbooks.

Nothing comes from nothing…

Nothing comes from nothing...

Nothing ever could…. or so I firmly believed. Actually, that is a bit of an exaggeration. I felt that I needed to learn a lot more before I could just sit in front of a blank canvas and start to paint.

I was given two challenges by my friend Sangeeta during my recent visit. One was to make an abstract piece and the second was to paint something without a reference. This started out as my attempt at making an abstract piece and then before I knew it it had turned into a face or at least what I thought resembled a face 😀

Acrylic on canvas. Made the background first with a largish bristle brush and the face with a palette knife. Roughly 18″ X 12″.

Update: Aug 1, 2007 : Decided to get adventurous while framing my first painting. Lesson learned – tried and tested ways may be better 😛 I need to find a way to subdue the colour of the inner frame either with a rough coat of paint or with a mat insert. What do you think?

First framed work