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.
Just like cabbies, the rickshaw wallahs stop right by you along the pavement, to check if you want a ride. You will also find them parked in a line along lanes, like taxi stands. Unlike other cities, the rickshaws of Dhaka are brightly coloured and decorated with a lot of care by their owners. The men too dress in brightly coloured clothes as though the better they look the better their chances of attracting a fare.
10″ X 12″ acrylic on canvas.
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.
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.