People watching

waiting for a fare

People watching while waiting for a fare.

10″ X 12″ acrylic on canvas.

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Finding Beauty in Print – 2

Jantra 1

“Jantra” (tool) is the result of an intense and satisfying printmaking workshop with Shahid Kabir held at UODA on May 30th/31st ( extended later for another 10 days ). Having completed the previous workshop just a week before gave me a headstart and it was exciting to take the learning a step further.

There is an exibition, Kormoshala Chapchitra Pradarshini, of the work produced at the workshop at Gallery Chitrak for a week, starting June 13th, 2008.

Update : July 17th, 2008 : I had been told during the exhibition that a buyer had booked my print but was waiting for a confirmation. Today I met the Gallery owner and he handed me the money from the sale. Thrilling I must admit. It is the first time that I have had money in hand from a sale.ย  This brings the count of work sold to 3. Starting November this year, I shall begin a concerted effort to sell my work online.

And if you want to know a bit more about 4 printmaking techniques – etching, woodcut, lithography and screen print, check out the excellent step-by-step animated demo provided by MoMA.

An artist and his muse

Jamal Ahmed pagla

Jamal Ahmed is a successful Bangladeshi artist with 41 solo exhibitions to date. Pagla has been featuring in his work for many years now. With many artists you see a recurring subject, model or colour something they keep coming back to. Do you have one?

The reference for both these pieces have been taken by Anil Advani for his SoFoBoMo project and used withย  permission.

Below I’ve tried a close crop of the digital painting made of Pagla. I’m not sure if it is better or worse.

paglaa

Jamal 12″ X 18″ charcoal in my sketchbook.
Pagla digitally made using Art Rage 2.

Walk alone

ekla cholo re

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

Walk alone

If they do not answer to your call, walk alone.

If they are afraid and cower mutely facing the wall,
“unfortunate” one,
open your mind and speak out alone.

If they turn away, and desert you when crossing the wilderness,
“unfortunate” one,
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,
“unfortunate” one,
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

Fair game?

P1010878.jpg

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.

It’s been a long time…

.. been a long time,
Been a long lonely, lonely,
lonely, lonely, lonely time.
Rock & Roll, Led Zeppelin

Portrait Swap

Vacations seem to unsettle me. Now, dont get me wrong I love them like everyone else. The problem is that well before they start and for a long while after I cant get started on painting.ย  I’m on my way to starting again and the next vacation is a few weeks away. Have to find a way to tackle this. If you have any ideas please leave me a comment. I’m willing to try most things ๐Ÿ˜€ but not stop holidaying!

8″ X 10″ Pen & Ink and white chalk 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. ๐Ÿ˜€

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! ๐Ÿ˜€ I’m sure I must’ve done it too when I was younger but manage to restrain myself now!ย  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.