We have many street vendors in Dhaka. This flower seller’s expression caught my attention. It’s turned out to be more aggressive mostly because of what I read into the situation and the stories that I built around him which kept me occupied when painting.
Using oils after a break. The first painting is yet to be completed. This one, I’m calling done. It’s the first signed painting in 2009!
“Flower Seller”, 20″ X 22″, oil on canvas.
I’ve been a fan of Karin Jurick‘s paintings for a while now and have been lurking around her new blog Different Strokes from Different Folks since it started a few months ago. But it was a portrait challenge that gave me the push to jump in and also the fact that we had 3 weeks to complete it. With all the travelling that I’ve been doing this time frame was crucial for me.
It’s been a great opportunity participating in this portrait challenge and seeing all the fabulous work posted on her blog Different Strokes from Different Folks. It’s also been great putting faces to the names.
Painting and drawing have been going on since I last posted though at a slower pace than usual as I have been away from home for a while. Now that I’m finally back, I’ll be posting more regularly. Seeing all the fantastic artwork on DSfDFs has had me wanting to pull out my oils from where they’ve been lying neglected these last six months. This piece, though, has been made using acrylics on canvas and is approx 12″ X 16″. The paints were easier to travel with.
This may go through several iterations yet but I’m happy to be back on track and doing what I like best – painting portraits.
The Asian Biennale has come to an end and today we went and picked up our paintings. It felt good to have “Stop or Else!” safely back at home.
“Responsibilities” 12″ X 16″ acrylic on canvas panel
I’ve been attempting to paint more than a portrait for the last few months but there is something special about this lady that has had me breaking that self imposed rule. She’s been the subject of my paintings four times already in the last 3 months. And I know that I’m not done yet! You can see the others versions here, here and here.
She is the Tea Lady with a low open stall outside the entrance to a disused railway track. She was selling tea and some eats and had one customer at the time the photographs were taken. I like the fact that she is looking down and away as I find it easier to let my imagination run free when I’m painting.
The track later took us past a few shops and then a line of shanties on either side of the track leading to a dried fish market which is a popular addition to local dishes in Bangladesh. Further ahead was Karwan Bazaar, one of the biggest wet markets in the city.
Photograph copyright Anil Advani. Used with permission.
It’s a pattern. Build it up, scrape it down and refine it. I’ve really enjoyed the sessions with both the teachers, Philip Sherrod as well as Barney Hodes. I recommend both of them as great teachers to learn from. Barney Hodes talked about common pitfalls to look out for to the class as a whole which was wonderful. He also pointed out various facets in different pieces.
I had some structural problems in mine and started the 3rd full day just scraping it down to half its size. It had grown to monstrous proportions with all the adding I’d done. 😀 Clicked a couple of photos midway through the scraping. Took much more away before starting to rebuild. I’m pleased with the results even though it is unfinished it bears quite a resemblance to the model. I must confess I’ve had tons of fun. You can see my earlier attempt at a clay portrait of almost 3 years ago here.
One of my fellow classmates commented on the fact that with her extra long neck she looked like a Masai. Made me wonder if I had not been influenced by the fact of having drawn wooden Masai Lady sculpture at home a couple of times.
The words of Queens song by the same name have been playing in my head for a while now. I did want to break away from the way I was painting earlier. I didnt get to where I thought I wanted to be. Where I am now is more free (sometimes, like today) than before and I’ll be happy here for a while.
The title of this piece is “A woman’s work is never done”. I’m at my sisters for a months holiday. She has recently had a baby boy. She also has a toddler who also wants quality time with Mummy. I see her on her feet all day and it seems to be almost all night. Everyday. It’s feeding, pumping, changing diapers, playing with the two year old, working and the list goes on. And she has help! This one is for all the women who look after their children, homes and also work. Hats off to them!
12″ X 16″ on a canvas panel. Based on a Photo ref by Anil Advani. Used with permission.
I’m back at The Art Students League after two years and having a great time this time around too. Painting is with Philip Sherrod and sculpture with Barney Hodes. The piece above is from todays painting session.
Learning to photograph paintings to look close to what they are in life is something I’m working on.
Take this painting for example. I took a close-up (below) first, less that a foot away and a second one (above) from a distance of around 3 ft. I found that the close-up shot had focused on surface details which you dont see while viewing even if you go up close to peer at it. In the second one the surface details have disappeared almost completely. The actual piece is closer to the image on top – you can see a bit more colour on top than is visible here.
Keeping a distance from the source and later zooming in and cropping give a more faithful copy of the original.
There are a few subjects that never fail to inspire me. Father and child is one of them. This quick drawing made a while ago was based on a photograph in the newspaper but bears little resemblance. The look in their eyes or what I imagine to be there is what continues to draw me to this piece.
5″X7″ on handmade paper in my sketchbook
Everyone is looking for answers to life, its meaning, what lies ahead, who we are and the list goes on and on. Sadhus, Indian holy men, have given up domestic life, its responsibilities and pleasures to search for answers. Hoping to find the key that will unlock the door. Hoping that behind it will be answers to all those questions. Hoping that it will lead to Nirvana. Sadhus lead a very austere existence and even though he is colourfully dressed here and leaning against an equally colourful door that’s not what his life is all about.
20″ X 16″ acrylic on canvas. Photo ref copyright Sanzen used here with permission.