People watching

waiting for a fare

People watching while waiting for a fare.

10″ X 12″ acrylic on canvas.


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

Life drawing at Kuhu’s – 3

LD3 at Kuhu's

I was disappointed with my work at last weeks life drawing session and havent got around to taking photos to put it up.  Todays class went well in the end.

We were supposed to do several small sketches to improve our compositional skills.  I misunderstood.  Initially, I got carried away and spent the larger part of the morning concentrating on the model sitting on the sofa and planned on adding just her face to the right eventually.   Then after a clarification I was sure that we’d been asked to put several faces together to make one composition!

Luckily both Kuhu and I are quite pleased with this outcome.  I’ll be making a painting out of this at a later stage.  I’ve even got a name for it – “Haunted” and spent the ride back home thinking of the colours I’d use.

Now that the penny has dropped  ~ finally ~ I plan to draw several smaller sketches next week 😀   Kuhu makes a great teacher.

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.

Life drawing : Alice and Pinky

Alice -1

Alice - 2

Pinky 1

At Sangeeta’s in Mumbai.  The drawing and painting is coming along slower than expected.  Busy having a blast!  Here is this mornings effort. The first is by Sangeeta and the next two are mine.  Paintings are still works in progress 😀

Street Vendor

Cigarette Vendor

We were stuck in a traffic jam in Dhaka a while ago and we have plenty of those :D. I looked around and took a few photographs of cart pullers, rickshaws and street vendors. This cigarette vendor was on the pavement a few cars away waiting for his next customer. Smoking is fairly popular here in Bangladesh and on just a short stretch you’ll find several such cigarette vendors.  They have a couple of empty soft drink cartons stacked and a glass box to hold the stock and display it.

The number of photographs I’m taking of the streets and the people has dwindled to zero 😦 As of this morning my husbands camera (it’s smaller) has been appropriated and I intend to take many more.

I’ve noticed that in almost all my drawings and painting the focus is on either a face or a person and the background is completely ignored. For this one I decided to add the background. It got overworked and I’ll be trying it out again.

Baba – my first painting in art college


My very first painting at art college. This is my second oil painting. Surprisingly both were on large canvases. I was a little apprehensive when they asked us to get full size sheets to draw in the first week so it wasnt a surprise when we were asked to get a 30″ X 40″ canvas for the painting week. We collectively chose Baba over the other model for this as he would hold his poses better. With no pressure of grades or past performance expectations, I just let myself go and had fun. I had a bit of a problem with his face and asked for help. The nostrils and eye have been worked on by our teacher of that week, Ramesh. I’m very proud of this effort and like the colours and brush strokes. I can see now that I needed to work on defining edges.

Follow me

Folow meAfter Vasant Vihar and prior to starting Art College, I had a month. Decided to get some extra pointers in sculpting and I joined the course at Anandgram. My understanding was that I would not be able to do large sculptures but would be guided in the making of them through slab work etc. Turned out that they were only interested in teaching pottery.

Spent half of those 8 classes learning centering and the rest trying to do some slab work on my own.  The earlier sessions with Ebenezer really came in handy. Finally decided to try something on my own and this was it. I was inspired by a photograph that i had seen in a magazine of a man leading his wife out of the river in Benaras. This piece was based on my recollection of it. I had wanted to put the flakes in to represent water.  Maybe someday I’ll have another go at making this.

Took it with me when i started sculpture classes in college but by then it had become very fragile and it broke into several pieces. I managed to save the man and now i have him with me in biscuit form.

Update: July 2007 : It fell of a ledge and is now sitting in a shoebox in a many many pieces.  Havent had the heart to chuck it out.

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After spending a couple of months painting at Sangeet Shyamala, Ebenezer, our friendly and very able teacher, agreed to help me learn about sculpture. I made a few bas relief pieces which I shall put online soon.

He wanted me to take things slowly at first and not jump right into trying my hand at making a bust. He hadn’t wanted me to get disheartened. Ebenezer got me to try out a small piece first. This was it. I made a couple of drawings to express the ideas that I had in mind. This one was approved and I started building the base with coils of clay. It kept evolving and is different from my original drawings but not waaaaay different.

Ebenezer is a great teacher and he helped me turn this into something I had visualised.  He is also a  well known artist and several pieces of his work are a part of the collection of the National Gallery of Modern Art in Delhi.

After keeping it damp for rework for many months I took it to college thinking that maybe I would work on it further and then bake it. And 2 years later, it is still on its way to a kiln to get to the biscuit stage.

This is about 10 ” in height, made of clay. It hasnt been fired. I’ll put up an update if it ever gets to that stage.

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