The Mike Guy

mike guy

Decided to take the day off from the two things that I’m currently working on – singing practice and a painting as yet unnamed. Managed to finish a ball point sketch this morning and then found this ref while looking for something else to sketch.

He was the mike technician at the recent exhibition inauguration at Chitrak. There was something about him and I knew immediately that I’d like to paint him. This is a digital study and I hope to use it for a larger painting in oil/acrylics.

Painted using Art Rage and a wacom tablet.

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Fair & Lovely?

Fair & Lovely ?

We Indians, it seems, place a high value on fairness. Scan through a few matrimonial classified ads and you’ll see that a requirement that appears frequently, for a girl, is fairness. I’d thought that with our generation we would see this disappear but a recent dinner conversation reminded me that we still have a long way to go 😦 This goes out to all Indian ladies who continue to suffer the teasing and taunting of friends and family because they are dark complexioned.

In case you’re interested, links to a few articles/comments saying it so much better than I ever could. A Darker Side of Fair, Fair = Lovely, Bollywood delusions,

20″ X 24″ acrylic on canvas

3 Blind Mice

Three blind mice, three blind mice,
See how they run, see how they run,
They all ran after the farmer’s wife,
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife,
Did you ever see such a thing in your life,
As three blind mice?

3 Blind Mice

Fair game?

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The teasing, taunting and sometimes worse that women have to endure while on the roads is a reality in quite a few cities in our world today. Many are the excuses that are given as if to say that in the saying it makes it alright. That she was dressed inappropriately, that she walked suggestively, she looked too pretty, she shouldn’t be walking alone , that men are hunters etc. etc. Makes my blood boil.

While, like this woman, you might feel like taking a stand, it would make better sense to ignore and move on. I blame cinema and violence for this increase of harassment in our country. Cinema because most of them show that a girl while initially resisting actually enjoys and falls in love with the youth who chose to accost her. And violence, as in the past, if a situation on the road went a bit out of hand you would have passers-by willing to help you. Now they too fear retaliation and violence from these goons.

The thought that ran through my mind while I was painting this was predators. In reality the lady was turning back to reply to her companions who were right behind her. They were taunting / teasing her too but it was as you would with friends and not strangers.

I have a great selection of references to work with from that one afternoon in Ashulia thanks to Anil‘s photography skills and generosity. And having been there, seen these people, interacted with some of them has made it interesting to capture them with paint. This is the 4th completed painting in the Ashulia series which is being renamed “On the road to Ashulia”.

18″ X 30″ Mixed Media (acrylic + oil) on stretched canvas.

UNWA Fundraiser and Exhibition

I was delighted to receive an invitation from Nahid Osman of Art Club Bangladesh, to participate in the Annual UNWA Exhibition which will be held on the 7th of December 2007 at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel, in Dhaka.

Here are the two pieces that I have entered. The photos and my resume have been submitted to the gallery and the paintings handed over to the framer earlier this evening. The Portrait is for sale at the exhibition and the two men heading to the field for a days work is the entry for the Fundraiser.

UNWA

Acrylic on Illustration board, 8″ X10″ – Exhibition

UNWA

Acrylic on canvas, 14″ X14″ – Fundraiser

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.

Kishori Amonkar

Kishori Amonkar

This was one of my favourites for the longest time and Ramesh’s too, probably for different reasons. I’ve known that Kishori Amonkar is one of Ramesh’s favourite classical singers ever since I first met him. I found this photo ref of Kishori singing in the Maurya Hotel magazine. The minute I laid my eyes on it I knew I wanted to paint it. The photographer had captured an intensity that transported you to a place where you could almost hear her sing.

I was using acrylics at the time and this is a part of the series that was painted on the cardboard that our shirts came back with from the laundry with! I found it to have the right rigidity and texture. The size, roughly 11″ X 8″ was not too intimidating. I spent many pleasant afternoons painting. Churned out quite a few as I could complete them in one sitting usually. I knew then that I wanted to pursue this further.

A journey begins

amina 3

It all started thanks to my younger sister, Gala.

I had taken some drawing lessons in Feb and was stuck on wanting to paint but couldn’t/hadn’t taken the first step. And it was around then that I came to visit my sister in July 2004. She sort of nudged me to it by giving me a large

amina 2amina 1

canvas (4′ X 3′), her paint supplies, an easel and space in her studio. And that seemed to have been all the encouragement I needed. I painted over 2 days pausing only because i hoped the paint would dry the next day.

The first effort didn’t quite go the way I wanted it to and each subsequent effort seemed to steadily take it away from the original. In the end, I felt that the first effort had been the best! But that’s not as important as the the fact that I fell in love with the feel of painting and decided that this was something that i wanted to pursue.

And when a few months later I was stuck in a hotel, remembering this experience pushed me to locate an art supply shop and start painting in earnest. I chose acrylics having decided that oils took too long to dry and turpentine would be toxic in a closed room 😀