maya changeover

This site has had a mini changeover.   The colours and layout have changed and the focus on the main page is in on a current favourite piece with a slide show of recently finished work.  This blog which is now being updated infrequently has moved off the main page.


An Invitation

ujwala solo 29 May 09

Do stop by if you’re in town.

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.

I’m in a book!

a month 6 artists and a book

Well, it didn’t come as a surprise 😀 Friend and Photographer, Anil Advani, asked if I’d be a part of a book that he was producing for SoFoBoMo and I readily agreed. It was especially exciting as the book was to be about six artists and their art. The photo below is one amongst many taken at a photo session. The book turned out to be fantastic. You can browse through it here.

a photo from the book

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 with  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.


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

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.

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.

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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