UNWA Auction Update

UNWA Mascara Ball 2007 UNWA Mascara Ball 2007

The Annual UNWA Art Auction is one of the main events in the Bangladesh Art Calendar. It took place on December 7th last year. Unexpectedly, it turned out to be a juried show. I was happy to hear that my painting was amongst the 24 selected and I had many well know artists for company. A day after the auction, I was told that the painting had done very well 😀 The silent auction raised approx 350,000 taka ($5000) and mine contributed approx 27,000 taka ($400) towards the Hurricane Sidr Relief Fund.

(these figures will updated, if necessary, when I receive the letter from UNWA)

UNWA Mascara Ball 2007

UNWA Mascara Ball 2007

The piece put up at the auction
UNWA

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I can get no satisfaction…..

self portrait

Brian, a fellow EDMer, had the following to say and it matches how I feel. I was sure I would not be able to express it as well and so I asked him If I could quote him here.

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
on EDM

Pen & ink in my little sketchbook.

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.  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 😀 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. 😀

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.

Ashulia series

Ashulia man 2

I’ve just finished the second Ashulia portrait and I’m already calling it a series 😀

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

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.

Lady from Ashulia

Shy

One more from the exciting references provided by Anil after our road trip to Ashulia. He’s been a gem and has allowed me to use any of them for my art. The paper has been provided by another friend, Kuhu, who is a well known figurative artist and designer, in Bangladesh. This is the largest portrait that I’ve worked on to date.

I’m planning to work on my art resolutions for the year and anticipate longer gaps between posts here. However, posts on my other blog draw the line should go up dramatically 😀

Mixed Media (charcoal and acrylics) on 30″ X 36″ toned paper.

Update: August 6, 2007: I couldnt leave it alone 😦 Wanted to tone down the charcoal in some areas but it came off completely. Tried adding some back but the remaining charcoal sticks didnt match the colour or texture of the original and left dark scratches on the paper. Finally found the charcoal sticks – Pebeo’s Charcoal Sticks superior-extra smooth and it is!! Just not as black as the others. I cant even remember where these were picked up and now only 3 remain in the box of 5. Here’s where I’ve stopped for the moment. Find that I liked the earlier version more as it was spontaneous. Cant go back to it so i’m going to try some more.

ashulia lady