Monday, October 27, 2014

A surprise treasure

A mud hole in arid areas of Rajasthan, or a large crater lake in Lonar, Buldana District, Maharashtra: I guess an aerial view would look a bit like this:






What a surprise it is to suddenly find a treasure house of clean water, in the middle of parched land! This painting shows such a precious find of clear, cool water. It is a 30" X 30" oil on canvas painting. 
Smooth brush strokes have been used to paint the water, and knife and palette work is used to show the different texture of the surroundings.

On display at my ongoing exhibition at the Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi till the 1st November.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

How Green was my Valley

"How green was my valley then, and the valley of them that have gone." -  Richard Llewellyn, How Green Was My Valley.




This one is a tribute to all such memories, of calm skies, green valleys, peaceful times. It is a 3 feet by 4 feet, oil on canvas,

On display right now, at my exhibition at Lalit Kala Akademi, Gallery 4, Rabindra Bhavan, New Delhi, till the 1st November.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Ganges at Rishikesh

It is in the region of Rishikesh that the Ganges leaves the mountains and spreads out on to the plains. I feel the river slows down here, and is cruising along singing quietly to itself.

Well, this painting is inspired by this "feel" of mine:



Rishikesh is quite a center for Yoga, Ayurveda, and several healing practices. I am sure what people come most to get healed by, and carry a memory of, is the soothing presence of the river, specially on the ghats, and during the evening prayers.


This painting among others is part of my on-going exhibition at Lalit Kala Akademi.




For those of you, who have missed the invite earlier, I am adding it here again. If you are in Delhi-NCR, do come over:



Thursday, October 23, 2014

Flotsam and Jetsam

I have been busy completing paintings for my upcoming exhibition at The Lalit Kala Akademi. Hence the lull in blog entries.
All the compositions are inspired by the patterns of flowing water.


Water itself forms fascinating patterns, whether we are watching waves on a sea shore, the running water in a creek, or like a little child, stirring the water in a mud-hole with a stick.

Along with the water itself, little objects that float around in the water all form their own complex patterns, and all of them suggest a story.

This painting is inspired by all the flotsam and jetsam you see in the water twisting and turning around, and floating away swiftly, or getting untangled sometimes. They are made up of a medley of objects, and over time, their size and appearance goes on changing. Sometimes they add more objects, and sometimes they shed some of it..

This painting is a 24" by 30" acrylic + oil on canvas.

All of you who are in Delhi/ NCR, do come for my exhibition at Gallery 4, Lalit Kala Akademi, Rabindra Bhavan, Feroz Shah Road, New Delhi- 110001, from 26th October to 1st November, open all days 11 am. to 7 pm. entry free. (This is at the Mandi House round about, so you could catch the metro to Mandi House station).





Monday, September 15, 2014

The great pumpkin

The pumpkins that Markandey Jajware from Jharkhand, India uses are not very large. But he has figured out a way to dry them out, carve them, and give them a fine finish. The themes are from his world around him: men, women, gods and goddesses, characters from the great epics Ramayana and Mahabharata, animals and birds.








He would not share the exact process he employs, but he says he dries the pumpkins for almost two years, in the open, back in his village at Deoghar. He keeps a studio office in Delhi, for completing the final finish, and of course as a store for his works.






With both the materials as well as the process being low cost, he was able to keep prices low. Also, the sculptures being made out of pumpkin, were very light. All this, Mr. Jajware explained, helped him get a broad base of clients, which included homes and schools, and not only collectors or museums.




I chanced upon his exhibition during a visit to the Lalit Kala Akademi recently. What I liked most were the male and female figures. As you can see, they all had a great "attitude"!





Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The dance of Shiva

The Nataraja, or dancing form of Shiva is full of mystery, strength and grace. A young artist Himanshu Rai, makes various modern day variations in fiberglass of the dancing form of Shiva, or just small installations by using a few features from the Nataraja.

I saw his works at an exhibition at the Lalit Kala Akademi and found him hugely talented.
What was a distinguishing feature in Himanshu's works was the fluidity, strength and beauty that we associate with the dance, or Nritya of Nataraja.


Himanshu also works a lot on the illustration and animation fronts. One could see the influences in several of his sculptures.



What I also found very interesting were the modern day avatars of Devis and Devatas with all sorts of paraphernalia. They were life size figures and looked straight out of a sci-fi movie!




Monday, August 4, 2014

The story of Madurai

I was familiar with photographs of the facade of the famous Meenakshi temple of Madurai, or photographs of the Madurai skyline showing Meenakshi temple. But for pictures that tell a story about Madurai, you should see the work of Manohar Devadoss:



I chanced upon his work because of an article about him in The Hindu. But I got impressed more and more about the man as I read about his life. Struck by a "retinis pigmentosa",  a degenerative eye disease as a teenager, and hardly able to see now, Manohar

Devadoss has continued his work aided by special tools and strong halogen lights.
His wife Mahema initiated him into oil painting in the 1960's, and supported him in all his writing and drawing, but a cruel accident when the family was driving from Chennai to Madurai, paralyzed her from neck downwards. This was in 1972.

Not one give up, Manohar has produced hundreds of drawings, and also written several books. His wife Mahema continued to support as much as she could in both writing and drawing activities for more than three decades, with all her disabilities.

Manohar lost his wife about six years back, but continues to write and draw as much as he can. The Hindu article came about after the recent publication of his latest work "From an artist's perspective". He has described in the book his understanding of the concept of perspective in art.






As I browsed through his work, I got glimpses of life in the the city of Madurai which is a backdrop for a lot of his work. The sketches reproduced here are to record some of this admiration for an exceptional artist and his work.







http://www.thehindu.com/books/literary-review/sketch-and-the-city/article6274889.ece

http://www.maduraimessenger.org/printed-version/2012/december/in-conversation/