#KashmirDiaries: Doodhpathri – Where water turns into milk

In our quest to be far away from the maddening crowd, we visited some truly stunning, less touristy places in Kashmir. The one that really stood out for me is Doodhpathri, which is still being developed and promoted by the Jammu and Kashmir tourist board. Located in the Budgam district, it is a roughly 3 hour drive from Srinagar. And what a drive it is! There are some breath-taking valley views and lots of cute little villages along the way. In fact, the entire route is dotted with rivers and streams and small, tinkling waterfalls.


Winding roads, Doodhpathri, Kashmir

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Passion projects, personal transformation and overcoming resistance

Tarot guidance for personal transformationI start each morning with a moment of mindfulness, spending some time with a simple question and a single card drawn from my Tarot deck.

Each morning the cards reflect back a nugget of wisdom – it could be a simple reminder telling me to stay focused on the task at hand; a not-so-subtle push to stop day dreaming and start doing already; or an indication of a broader energy that I may need to work with during the day.

For today’s daily Tarot pull, I sat with this simple question:

What do I need to know about personal transformation?

When I drew the card and wrote down the message in my Tarot journal, I immediately knew that this was something that needed to be shared. Continue reading

Monthly Tarot forecast for May 2017

April seemed to rush by in a bit of a haze. When I wasn’t thinking about work, I was focusing on the A to Z Challenge – creating videos (so fun and also so annoying), writing the few posts that I hadn’t managed to pre-schedule, blog hopping and finding interesting new blogs to follow – just writing it all out has me exhausted! But now that April is over, it’s time to say hello to May! Which means it’s time for…

Your Monthly Tarot forecast for May 2017

Monthly Tarot forecast for May 2017

Remember, this is a general reading, and my intention with this one was: What do my blog readers need to know most in May.

This three card reading looks at our blessing, challenges and how we can make the most of the month ahead.

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Zen pencils: a quick look at drawing pencils

Choosing the right pencil for drawing and shading

Let me start by saying that I am not an authority on pencils. I like to roughly sketch in a drawing and then go in with paints. But when I was starting out, I did quite a lot of research on pencils and grades, and I remember that some of this information was really hard to find. A lot of this information has been sitting in a note on my phone; I hope you find it of use.Continue reading

Yummy color stories

No artist’s toolbox can be complete without a talk about color. But this isn’t your regular post on color theory – for that, read my post on Decoding Color Theory. Today, we will talk about using color stories, i.e., story telling through the medium of color.

Storytelling through color

yummy color stories color associations

Have you heard of color psychology? According to studies, it has been found that different colors have the ability to determine human behavior. For example, red and orange pills are generally used as stimulants – explains why we get such colorful drug capsules, doesn’t it? Color psychology is also used extensively in marketing and branding, in designing window displays, shop fronts and even hotels foyers. The combination of colors can change the energy and mood of a space, and even have an impact on your mood. Hence, the importance of color stories.Continue reading

The Xciting world of watercolours

Watercolours are available in a variety of forms – there are the popular pan and tubes, as well as watercolour pencils and crayons, and watercolour brush pens.

Watercolours have a beautiful, ephemeral quality, which also makes them somewhat hard to master. For the beginner, the best way to approach watercolours is to give up the desire to control the exact outcome – watercolours do wonderful, magical things on paper. Give in to that magic, and things can be fun!Continue reading

Whimsical art: Let your imagination run riot

Alice par John Tenniel 30Rainbow colored animals, bright happy colors, make believe world, fairies and mermaids, gnomes and elves, monsters and angels – that in a nutshell is whimsical art. Most whimsical artists produce light, airy, happy pieces of art that are meant to fill the viewer up with joy.

But it isn’t all glitter and fairy dust in whimsical land. There are also dark, brooding monsters and sinister characters – like the Corpse Bride and Tim Burton’s more gothic whimsical style.

Whimsical artists play firmly in the field of imagination – flowers with a human face, unicorns, phoenix girls, centaurs – it’s all about the quirky. Continue reading

Vanishing lines: let’s talk about lightfastness

When you start to research artist supplies, one of the conversations you soon run into is that of the longevity of the piece of art you’re creating. One of the things that determines the longevity is the lightfastness of the materials that you’re using to create art.

What is lightfastness?

It’s a measure of how resistant a pigment is to change when it is exposed to light.Continue reading

Understanding layers: why I hide collage below layers of paint

For a long time, I simply did not understand the importance of building up layers in art journals. I looked at mixed media artists with astonishment. Why would they do that, I’d wonder, as they put down beautiful scrapbook paper on the page, only to hide it under gesso and layers of paint. Or I’d watch in utter fascination as they laid down beautiful doodles and stamps and stencils, and then again hid it under layers and layers of paint.

But why? Those looked like complete paintings too!Continue reading

Take 10: How to create stunning art journal pages in 10 minutes a day

I hear ya – you’re busy, what with work, home, socializing, blogging…all the other roles, responsibilities, and activities that make up your day. Where and how will you find the time to make art, you wonder?

What if I told you to take out just 10 minutes a day? You know you can do it – after all, we spend a lot more than that mindlessly scrolling through our Twitter and Facebook timelines!

But can you really create an art journal page in 10 minutes a day?Continue reading