On being compared to Frida Kahlo

On being compared to Frida Kahlo

I’ve just unwrapped one of the large canvasses I bought at the start of this year and put it up on the easel. A vast 28×28 inch sea of blank canvas faces me. And as always, staring that huge expanse down is a little bit scary.

Does that fear ever go away, I wonder?

I think not. Because painting is no longer just a hobby, something I do to fill the hours or just for fun. It’s much more than that. Much deeper.

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On becoming: musings on the intersection between chaos and liminal time

On my art table - intuitive art journal process - on becoming

Sometimes, things come together almost effortlessly – like this art journal spread. I started this spread in my art journal with swatches of paint, randomly painted on, to cover the entire page.

I then sketched in the figure, blocked it out with some dark blue paint, and softened the colors on the rest of the page with some white and titanium buff paint. I added in some paint to the figure’s hair, added a spiral symbol, a touch of shading, a little bit of etching, and before I knew it, the art journal spread just felt done!

I think this is one of the quickest art journal pages that I’ve ever created. And it all came from being in a state of complete openness and flow.

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On my art table: Desolate Hope

On my art table desolate hope

I call this: desolate hope.

It’s a painting for our times. For the strife and the hatred; the othering and the brutality; for the climate apathy and the ringing of the bells of war.

For the coming together in solidarity and love; for saying enough, no more, not in my name. For holding our leaders accountable; demanding climate action and social justice; holding out for peace and love and equality and brotherhood.Continue reading

On my art table: Angel’s Wings + dreaming an impossible dream

On my art table Angel's wings and how to make an impossible dream come true

Are you afraid of your dreams? Those big dreams and desires that seem to come out of nowhere and spill into your journal. The ones that seem to come from an expanded state, but that make ‘little you’ want to retreat into your shell because it seems TOO BIG and TOO IMPOSSIBLE a dream to achieve?

Yes, those ones.

The ones you won’t tell anyone because it makes you uncomfortable to even hold the dream, and you’re convinced that you will be laughed out of the room if you state it aloud.

I had one of those impossible dreams…it sneaked into my morning pages a few months ago…and it made me gasp aloud. I felt that beautiful expansive energy of the dream for a fleeting second before Prissy Missy, my inner critic, jumped in and said NO!Continue reading

When it rains

Is August a good time to visit Goa

 

“Rainy days should be spent at home with a cup of tea and a good book.”
― Bill Watterson, The Calvin and Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book

Or in my case, a sketchbook and watercolours.

But I must admit that I’m not a huge fan of the rains, especially in Delhi-NCR, and particularly on week days. Because when it rains, the roads invariably get flooded, and new potholes appear miraculously and there’s no way of knowing where they may have decided to spring up.Continue reading

100 days of painting intuitively: an update

100 days of painting intuitively an update

When you take on a big project, accountability and tracking your progress – both the successes and the failures – is important to not only see how far you have come, but also to see what is working and what isn’t. As I approach the half-way mark of my 100 day project – 100 days of painting intuitively, which I started back in April, I figure the time is ripe for an update.

My 100 day project is taking longer than 100 days!

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How to bloom where you are planted + an intuitive painting demo

how to bloom where you are planted

As motivational quotes go, bloom where you are planted is one of the most ubiquitous phrases. But what does it mean? And more importantly, how does one know that they have it in them to bloom where they are planted?

The phrase stems from the natural world, where you can find plants, flowers, and trees blooming wild and free, often times in areas where you would least expect them. Like the Ginko trees in Hiroshima, Japan, which survived the nuclear blasts. Or the deodar trees that grow at the Tarkeshwar Mahadev temple near Lancedown, but are not found anywhere else in the area, because they actually grow at higher altitudes.

What this seems to symbolize is that with the right attitude and resilience of spirit, we can find within us the  strength to survive almost any adversity.Continue reading

On my art table: Enter the mystery

I’ve been spending some time at the painty table almost every day since last month, when I started my 100 day project. This immersion in painting intuitively has been a learning experience in more ways than one.

One the art front, I’ve found new supplies that I enjoy using; experimented with different tools for mark making; embraced art as process rather than product; and understood how to combine a variety of mediums. I’ve surprised myself with the ways in which my paintings have evolved and with the themes that have appeared on the page. And each of the paintings has brought forth something from deep within my soul, each of them with lessons of their own – on life, on love, on being.Continue reading

On my art table: Melancholia

black and white sketch melancholia
melancholia
/ˌmɛlənˈkəʊlɪə/

1: severe depression characterized especially by profound sadness and despair

Tense, irritable, I crashed into a fit of melancholia and found myself crying over inconsequential problems.— Susan Wood

2: a sad quality or mood

There’s a touching melancholia to his voice …— Ralph Novak

Like Wallace’s breakthrough novel, “Infinite Jest,” “The Pale King” is pervaded by an air of melancholia, an acute sense of loss.— Tom McCarthy

Merriam WebsterContinue reading

On my art table: Constellation of Hope

art journal techniques abstract art constellation of hope

I’ve been experimenting with abstract art recently, and it has been fun – challenging too, but fun. I find that I tend to slip back into slightly familiar territory when I am painting abstracts – adding in leaves, plants, flowers, or figures as a focal point and to try and bring everything together.

In this latest piece that I did, I was determined to keep it completely abstract, using only lines and shapes and color to tell a story. And what a story it turned out to be!Continue reading