Saturday, April 30

Tribal Woman - Acrylic on canvas



14X18 Acrylic on stretched Canvas. Done sometime ago.

Friday, April 29

Lighthouse blues - Acrylic with Palette knife




12X16 Acrylic on canvas board.Abstract done with Palette knife. Click on the picture for a closer look.

Acrylic is great for Impasto technique. For someone who is allergic to turpentine and can't use oil paints,Acrylic is such a boon.No stink and enormously forgiving.Wonder what the great masters would have created if someone had discovered Acrylics before the 20th century.The chunkiness in texture leaves you with a kind of joy that can't really be explained. Only problem I had was getting detail work done with the knife. Especially the lighthouse and the clouds were a challenge. But then, I am learning and there's nothing practice can't sort out.

Thursday, April 28

From my sketchbook- Woman with a pot



From my sketchbook.Size: A4. Click on the image for a clearer view.

Wednesday, April 27

Alice-Pen and India Ink




Pen and India Ink .10X13 on Canson paper.

Thursday, April 21

India Ink and Pencil experiments



New medium I've fallen in love with- India Ink. The colours are weak enough to give a watercolour effect and strong enough to block out any areas you want.Reference photo from the net.Thanks for looking.

Monday, April 18

Dream zone..


I have always felt that the twilight zone between sleep and wakefulness is often ephemeral and sometimes unsettling. Strange graphically ,weird dreams and snippets of distorted reality have been a mainstay of my REM cycle as much as happy,cheery dreams about unrelated things have for as long as I remember. Sometimes, I’ve wondered if it’s just a safe way of my brain to “let off some steam” and take me off on some wild-goose flight of fantasy or whether these are more significant and hold a key to a part of myself that I am not privy to in my wakeful consciousness.Something like a Jeckyl and Mr Hyde situation.The second thought,to me is more disturbing than the first.Wistful buffoonery by a bunch of my neurons, I can tolerate. Dark, distorted frames of reality constructed carefully or thrown haphazardly to leave a strangely “real “encounter is something I somehow can’t stomach. Not that we all have a choice ;-).The brain creates a rhapsody that we have very less control over.

I’ve waded fitfully through Freud’s humongous tome , Interpretation of dreams in search of answers ,but have been unsuccessful in getting past 30-40 pages.Not that I am a huge fan of Freud or anything . So, this subject continues to fascinate me. Any recommendations for books that deal with dreams is welcome. Recently, something happened, after which I am more or less convinced that our dreams draw heavily from our memories,repressed or otherwise and have made me wonder about potency of dreams in keeping us sane . I had conversation with someone and promptly forgot what I spoke about in less than a day .When the hubby wanted to know what I was chuckling so much about,I drew a blank. Not a single word came to my rescue. Much mulling over didn’t result in anything tangible. And then,it came back to me randomly right after some mish-mash of a dream ,lucid and clear like a plastic duck sailing through a ripple-less zen pond. Needless to say,I had an“Eureka” moment right at 1:30AM,with dogs howling in the background cheering me on my discovery.

The brain and the human body amazes me to no end. It is such a wonderful “contraption” and is like having a 70mm reel running 24X7 in our head. The bakwaas and entertainment never stops. No wonder it needs such flights of imagination to stay grounded.What do you think about dreams?.Do you think about them at all?.

Image : I downloaded the angel wings from some site long time back and forgot to save the link,so am not able to give credit to the person who created the angel image.The background was put in by me in PS. If you recognise you image I've used here , do drop me a line and I'll credit you in this post.


Friday, April 15

Anita and Me - Book Review




Book name : Anita and Me
Author: Meera Syal
Genre : Fiction (semi-auto-biographical)
Awards won: 1996 Betty Trask Award ; Shortlisted for Guardin 1996 Fiction Prize
Publisher: Harper Collins ( Flamingo)
My rating : 4/5


Synopsis from Good reads

The prize-winning coming-of-age novel about a young Indian girl in northern England. Winner of the Betty Trask Award and finalist for the Guardian Fiction Award, Anita and Me, which has been compared to To Kill a Mockingbird, tells the story of Meena, the daughter of the only Punjabi family in the British village of Tollington. With great warmth and humor, Meera Syal brings to life a quirky, spirited 1960s mining town and creates in her protagonist what the Washington Post calls a "female Huck Finn." The novel follows nine-year-old Meena through a year spiced with pilfered sweets and money, bad words, and compulsive, yet inventive, lies. Anita and Me offers a fresh, sassy look at a childhood caught between two cultures

What I thought of the book :

Oh,I loved this book!. The comparison to "To kill a mockingbird" is not misplaced,but the style of writing is different.Anita and Me ishillarious,irreverant,refreshing and poignant at the same time. This semi-autobiographical book by Meera Syal is about a young immigrant girl growing up in a British mining village in the 60's. Meena (the protagonist) is torn between two cultures: her Punjabi roots and the need to fit into the mainstream Tollington culture. She prefers Fish and Chips to Chappatis ; Christmas to Diwali. The narrative is slow and idyllic ,but is spiced with exceptionally cheeky writing by Meera. Her take on her parent's friends-the uncles and aunties that visit them and her parent's relationship with one another is heart-warming and funny at the same time. The way she describes the neighborhood and her neighbors is chuckle-inducing.

Meena's life changes when Anita walks into her life.Anita is brassy and in-your-face and everything Meena is not.This is precisely what fascinates Meena and she desperately wants to be Anita's friend. Meera expertly paints the relationship between the two girls in not just blacks and whites but in shades of grey. Meena and Anita become the best of friends,despite several undercurrents that run between them and Meena finds herself doing uncharacteristic things like lying and stealing. She knows on some level that Anita is bad influence on her,but continues to toe Anita's line,listening to her whims and fancies.Rest of the story is about what happens between the two girls and other members of their "gang". Meena learns hard lessons in life about love ,friendship ,bereavement and "grows" up in the process.

The narrative is not fast-paced,but it felt like every word in that book was there for a purpose . You can find oodles of witticisms thrown liberally in the book .A must read for anyone who likes witty, coming of age stories. I am so glad i picked this book!. My last book was also a coming of age story (The secret life of bees), which I didn't like too much This book is feisty and spirited,whereas I found secret life of bees needlessly meandering and(a little) boring.

Anyway,pick up this book- you won't be disappointed.

My rating : 4/5





Wednesday, April 13

Doors..

This post is going to be chock-a-bloc full of pictures- pictures of doors that caught my fancy in Pondicherry . I have always had a fascination for French architecture and the colonial houses in the White town in Pondicherry.They are delightful and uplift your spirit in a strange way...Love the whites ,tans ,yellows and earthy tones of the houses here. Did i mention that Pondicherry is one of my favorite places on earth?With no further yakking,let me allow the photos to talk to you ;-)



It's not an embassy or some Govt building.Just a house that has normal people living in it ..I would love to live inside a house like that ...Love it !.



The most colorful building on the street. Ah,so charming!



Another lovely one...




Isn't this doorknob just gorgeous?



My favourite of them all....A round door!. Wonder what it would be like to live in a round house? Must be better than living in a house with a round door,I think ;-).



An old colonial house ...



We're having the elections in TN today and am off to cast my vote. Have a super week,people.

Monday, April 11

Bags of Love

When Pina from Bags of Love wrote to me about featuring her awesome shop on my blog ,I was thrilled. I had come across the site when Violet had featured their photo book on her blog. Bags of Love is an UK based company and specializes in personalized gift solutions.You can have your photos printed on a wide variety of surfaces like canvas panels,bags, coasters, place mats,cushions , chairs etc - all made in the UK. They can make photo-books,photo collages and pop-art inspired stuff in their shop.They also have an idea generator on their site that helps you choose gifts. The items are even listed by occasions and recipient,so it's really easy to pick out gifts for specific occasions and people,like say Mother's days gift.

Pina very sweetly sent me some gifts from the shop,which I loovvvee!.I picked out a graffiti bag and set of 4 coasters from all the amazing stuff the shop has. In fact ,it took me almost 2 weeks to decide on what I wanted, as everything on their site is so cool ;-)




Close-up of the make-up bag..Oh,it has the names of my favourite books.The zipper is really cute and shaped like a heart. Delightful,no?.



Let me show you the coasters now..The coasters are really beautiful and super glossy.I doubt I will ever use them.I'll probably get them framed ;-).



Stacked up..



Want to see more ?.. For perfect gifts to family and friends head over to Bags of love.Thanks,Pina..You made my day !.

Monday, April 4

This and that..

Wasn't the India Vs Srilanka finals a nerve racking match?.I had quit following cricket matches because i get really worked up and pace around with tension. Well,my old habit is now!. Everytime Dhoni or Gambhir went after a loose ball, my heart lept into my throat and that's when i realised how nerve-wracking it would have been for the players out in the field trying to fight back.The last 2 weeks I've been going off on mini-vacations and have loads of pics of Tirunelveli,Madurai,Dakshin Chitra and Pondicherry to share. Yeah,that's a lot of travel in 2 weeks ;-)..

Finally,picture of Sunflower girl painting that I did sometime back. Summer to me has always been synonymous with Summer hols. This painting was inspired by a trip to a sunflower field. I have a vivid memory of running through the field with my hair streaming all over the place. and the wind blowing softly,almost caressing my cheeks. I am talking of something that happened when I was 4-5 years old.Crazy how you remember the most obscure things,no?.


Acrylic on canvas.8X10

Have a super week ahead...

Friday, April 1

You want it back too ?



If you grew up in India in the 90's,chances are that you'd have seen the Bournvita Quiz contest on TV. To me, Sundays were never complete without tuning in to my favorite quiz show that was hosted by Derek 'O'Brien. I doubt if there is any other quiz show for kids that has been as successful and as widely watched (and loved) as the BQC. Actually,I don't even think it was just watched by kids, as my parents seemed equally taken in with BQC too.

Too bad this generation can't experience the magic of BQC.There is hope,though.A bunch of BQC fans and quiz enthusiasts have started this movement "Bring the BQC back ". I whooped in joy and went on a nostalgia trip when I got a mail asking me if I would like to write about the movement. A bit of flashback before I get into the details of the movement..

BQC actually started in 1972 as live contests that were conducted in various cites. It became a radio show which later got hosted by Amin Sayani (Remember Cibaca Geeth Mala?).In 1992, BQC migrated to the television and went on to become "The Baap of all quizzes".

Derek has joined the movement to revive BQC and has even written to Cadbury asking them to bring BQC back. The movement is catching like wild fire and has over 1 lakh people who have "Liked" the Facebook page.Their wall ,interestingly, is littered with quiz questions volleyed by quiz aficionados and BQC fans.Sounds like fun,right?. Head right over here to join the Bring the BQC back FB page.



They have special banners designed that you can download and put up on your pages as well. Hop over to their FB page to join thousands of Quiz enthusiasts on this crusade. Let's bring back BQC,folks!.And do spread the word around..