Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Electronic Sketch Pad and Grid Painting

I was not really excited about my iPad...... It was a mother's day gift from my hubby and I was happy to get the newest toy to hit the market but seriously do I need one more "toy" to keep me connected to the world? But this was before I discovered the astonishing world of sketch apps! I can't believe how many are there! One of my good friend suggested a number of them and I got all of those and some extra to boot! Finally I got hooked to my iPad and became one of those strange people who brings out their tablets in the grocery store! The fact that I can sketch anywhere and anytime is such  an exciting thing! And I did not need to carry my sketch books, pens/pencils or anything other than my handy dandy iPad!

Anyhow, for last couple of months I have been trying to distill my art into two categories: color and shape. Well, I throw in texture for good measure but my main focus is to capture simplest of forms.  And now that I have my "sketch" pad with me at all times, I can jot down my ideas in a jiffy, whenever inspiration strikes me! Here's  my very first electronic " grid"sketches:

Ishita Bandyo, Electronic Sketch 1                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Ishita Bandyo,Grid 1, Mixed Media Collage,16"x20"


This collage evolved from the sketch even thought the final product is a bit different.....
I gotta say though, in my research I came across  late Margo Hoff's astounding collages! She explores the same ideas even though her's more evolved and involved ! Lisa Call, a quilt artist has the same idea of exploring grid shapes in her works. I feel, I have references for now and can't wait to come up with my next project!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Missed you too!!

I saw the dreaded line on top of my blog: last Posted on May 4th!!!

Alright, I dropped the ball on this one. My goal has been to write at least once every week but it seems this time I went for almost a month without writing one! Not that I have any dearth of ideas! They are always swimming in my head and making my nights miserable. I always feel my head is like this antenna with all these vibrations coming through but sadly most of them just vanish……. But nonetheless, as I was saying I have notes strewn around with ideas for new posts and more than enough ideas for paintings to fill up my entire year! So you ask, "What happened then? How come none of your ideas and sketches materialized?" Umm, I say, it is allergies!! For last month I have suffered as no human should. Sneezed for 60 times at a row and had my brain matter come out of my nose!! And I was denied the luxury of breathing of course!! Ah to breathe! Even with one nostril, seemed like a treat!

Well, now that the pollens and other natural pollutants are taking a break, it seems I am getting my breathing back! And hopefully I will be able to get back to my easel and my notebook soon.
So as not to bore you with my struggle with allergies I just wanted to include this line from one of my favorite book, Art and Fear,

The seed of your next art work lies embedded in the imperfections of your current piece. Such imperfections (or mistakes, if you’re feeling particularly depressed about them today) are your guides -- valuable, reliable, objective, non-judgmental guides -- to matters you need to reconsider or develop further.” -- David Bayles and Ted Orland, Art and Fear.

Food for thought……And yes, I am sort of feeling depressed about the last months output……And I am going to use today, a relatively allergy free day, to regroup.

See you!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

In Honor of Moms

This blog post is in honor of all the mom's in the world! Some of my fellow mommy bloggers are taking part in this blogging adventure (Blog Hop)!

Pieta, Michaelangelo
I am a mom and like all mom's I am always terrified that  my baby might get hurt......Whenever she is not with me and the phone rings, I am pretty sure something awful has happened to her! To my horror I am becoming a "helicopter" mom! You know, the  one that always hover and rushes to their children when they get even the slightest boo-boo (I talk baby talk these day......including horsey and doggy)!! I don't  like my own  paranoia and my daughter who has recently turned three is starting to resent my intrusions! She even called me "bad mommy" when I asked her to get down from the jungle jim!!

Whenever I think of a mom suffering because of her child getting hurt, I think of Madonna and Christ! I am not a religious person at all(and not even sure of the historical occerance of the event)  but I shudder when I think of a mother having to witness the massacre of her child....... And to me one of the best work of art that captures the pathos is the Pieta by Michaelangelo Buenorati. I consider the sculpture as one of the most beautiful one in the world.....Someone of course might ask why would a sculpture that shows Mary as a young and unperturbed mom should make me cry everytime I look at it!

Of course I can go on and on........ But in short, the contradictions in the sculpture makes it so interesting. In terms of formal contradiction: even though it is a very symetrical work of art with a pyrmaidal structure as well as the circuler pattern created by the vortex of Mary's drapery, the drama comes from the interaction of the figures! Only a master can marry the stable formal elements with the disproportionate figures and make it work. If we look at the sculpture carefully and think about the relationship between the two figures, we can see how disproportionate the figures are! A grown man cannot fit on the lap of a woman in real life. But by creating the volume in Mary's drapery, Michaelangelo has effectively turned the viewer's attention from that fact!
Another contradiction is that the artist has represented Mary as a young girl rather than a older woman that Mary should be (and Christ as a much older and gaunt man). The artist has an explanation for this! He is known to have said this about his interpretation of Mary's youth:
Do you not know that chaste women stay fresh much more than those who are not chaste? How much more in the case of the Virgin, who had never experienced the least lascivious desire that might change her body?

In other words, Mary, being untouched by any sin, is shown as the young innocent with all her virtues intact! In one art historical interpretation, it has been pointed out that we are experiencing two different passage of time: a young Mary actually holding the Christ child and being content, while the viewer is experiencing the future. Anyway, I really did not want to talk about other's interpretation but my feelings about this work. A serene Mary holding the  dead Christ is probably a symbol of resignation and the belief the mother has of her Son's resurrection. That face in its other worldly beauty is puryfing and calming to our soul.....

 I would like to be resigned to the fact that things will happen in my daughter's life that I will not be able to fix. She will be hurt by friends and perhaps her dreams will not be fulfilled..... But as a mom I will always get hurt when she gets hurt, whether physically or emotionally! I wish that, this representation of Mother and Child will give me courage to deal with whatever  befalls my child. If the God's choosen vessel Mary could endure the pain of holding her son's broken body, perhaps, I should be able to endure my baby's bruised knee........
(My heart goes out to all moms around the world who has lost their children through meaningless violance.........)
And here are my fellow Blogger Mom's with their takes an "mommyhood"! Lets start the Blog Hop(Claudine Itner's brain child!)
  • May 1st – Claudine Intner

  • May 2nd – Melissa Liban

  • May 3rd – Lynn Krawczyk

  • May 4th – Ishita Bandyo

  • May 5th – Jeri Greenberg

  • May 6th – Kathleen Mattox

  • May 8th – Amanda Ruth

  • May 9th – Judi Hurwitt

  • May 10th – Kathleen Murphy

  • May 11th – Hannah Phelps

  • May 12th – Helen Hiebert

  • May 14th – Hannah Klaus Hunter

  • May 15th – Claudine Intner

  • Thursday, April 21, 2011

    Have Tea with an Artist

    We all have our blah moments....... Not only creatively but personally as well. Well, for artists the personal and professional are so intertwined that creative blah generally leads a personal one!! In one of my earlier blog post I have talked about "how to get out of creative funk"...... But as I was dealing with a sense of apathy today I thought one of the best way to renergize myself is through connecting with people who are completely passionate about what they do!! That is, other artists.

    Surrounding oneself with passionate people has  direct influence on psyche of another. I have noticed that after spending time with one of those neurotic, " about me" people for sometime my spirit droops and I also start to think in that negative way...... Not to talk about the headache they give!! But when I am surrounded by artists (or anyone who is completely passionate about something) I come out with a sense of excitement!!

    Their passion transforms me into a better artist. I can't wait to get up in the morning and head for the easel with that residue excitement! So if you are feeling strangled, find someone who is brimming with excitement about art or life and that infectious feeling will get you bouncing! I think painting groups are a great way of inspiring one selves! I have learned more from my fellow artists than all the professors at the art school! Some artists feel that they are isolated from other artists because of their locations but at this age of social networks that is such a non issue! I have met some of the most passionate people on social netwoks than I could ever have ever imagined!!

    Off to the easel for now! Have a creative week, my friends!

    Monday, April 11, 2011

    Criticism is Easy, Art is Difficult*

    Soar, Mixed Media Painting ,6"x6" 2011
    "Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing and being nothing" -Aristotle

    It is hard for creative people to be criticized. Most people who are artists have rice-paper thin skins and negativity can erode their confidence to shambles! I for one have a very thin skin when it comes to criticism (even though I am my worst critic)!  But when I am thinking rationally (and not crying or asking people to fuck off) it has occured to me that many criticisms are coming from people that actually want me to improve. Well, some are just jerks!

    But, it is a fact that being an artist is being inevitably open to critics! When you are doing something other than being utterly ordinary, people will find faults with you, personally or professionally! And as Bertrand Russel pointed out:

    ‘Conventional people are roused to fury by departure from convention, largely because they regard such departure as a criticism of themselves!

    So, how do we actually navigate this sea of criticism?

    Firstly, say nothing!I gotta admit, I very rarely take my own sane advice! I remember, in one of our Art Crit class  another student started to make scathing remarks about my art...... I should have taken a matured approach, but what I did was equally childish! I said equally nasty things about her work! It was immature and made me look petty! After all these years, I wish I was not so childish.

    So, I would reccomend that you think about the criticiam and analyze where it came from. Was it made to help you or was it simply a jealous ranting? Or more often than not, some one might be having a bad day and you were caught in the cross fire!

    Ooh, I think another way to deal with it is to engage the critic in a dialogue! Ask him why he made the comment that he did? And more importantly maybe also consider if it has any merit! If some one points out that your measurements of a figure is all wrong, than ask her how to improve on it! I mean, if someone is criticizing you than they must have the tools to help you! Do I make sense?

    And you know what is the best way to answer a criticism? To be even more amazing! You, being an artist is exceptional anyway!You are a sensitive and a creative person and that makes you a stand out! Why not be even more amazing? Make art that blows your critics away! Make something so extraordinary that your critics will be ashamed that they ever doubted you.

    You can never predict "success"! But just believe that being an artist is success in itself. And if your family criticizes you for being poor, just tell them that what you have, most don't! You have the gift of creativity! That should put your critics to place!

    * Philippe Destouches

    Monday, March 28, 2011

    Here I wander in April.....

    Here I wander in April
    Cold, grey-headed; and still to my
    Heart, Spring comes with a bound, Spring the deliverer,
    Spring, song-leader in woods, chorally resonant;
    Spring, flower-planter in meadows...........
    .R.L Stevenson

    An Abstract Take on Nature, Mixed Media 14"x14", 2011

    Spring is here! That's what the calender keeps telling us ; as well as the racks at the departmental store, with their skimpy clothes already out! But here in Connecticut, old man winter just refuses to leave! We actually had a few inches of snow on last Friday! Ridiculous.But spring is in my heart, that's for sure.  I decided to do a whole series of paintings on spring! Or in other words, what I associate with spring: Life! Floweres are bursting throught the hardened grounds, the birds are returning to my window sill and I anticiapte the warmth that is sure to come ! Hopefully soon. After the winter we had,  no one should deny us the  pleasure of  bright sunshine, gentle breeze and heady aroma of floweres!!
    Well, we might have to wait for few more weeks for that , but I am already there, though my paintings!

    First puff of perfume mingled, Mixed Media, 8"x10", 2011

    Undertones of Life, Mixed Media 9"x12", 2011

    Off to the land where dreams come true.Mixed Media, 12"x16", 2011

    Tuesday, March 15, 2011

    Bragging for Bliss

    How do you feel about bragging? Do you ever do it? If you are like me, probably you shy away from talking about yourself (and I do talk a lot!).  Heck, I tend to shy away from people who brags! Nothing is more annoying than people who turns everything into self praise! I understand, if we don't promote ourselves, no one will.... But to be flagrant about it does not sit well with me.Obviously I want to know about other artist's work and accomplishments but I don't want to be assaulted by their" bragolouges" !

     Author Peggy Klaus, in her book How to Toot Your Own Horn Without Blowing it, discusses how to effectively brag about yourself without boring people to death! She suggests that bragging can be pretty effective if you know how. If you don't like the word brag then she advises to think of it as advertisement. And the best way to do it is through stories. If you know how to weave your accomplishments in a story format you stand a chance of people at least paying some attention. As long as you are telling the truth and telling it in an entertaing way people will listen. Instead of saying, " I got into this prestigious galley", it might sound much better if you say, " I am very fortunate that the gallery has decided to show my work". You are basically saying the same thing but the second version doesn't make you look like a braggart!

    To effectively brag about yourself you should obviously be prepared to talk about yourself! And Klaus, provides a questionnaire on her website to help through the process. I have provided a link to the page. But just in case here is the list:
    1. What would you and others say are five of your personality pluses?
    2. What are the ten most interesting things you have done or that have happened to you?
    3. What do you do for a living and how did you end up doing it?
    4. What do you like/love about your current job/career?
    5. How does your job/career use your skills and talents, and what projects are you working on right now that best showcase them?
    6. What career successes are you most proud of having accomplished (from current position and past jobs)?
    7. What new skills have you learned in the last year?
    8. What obstacles have you overcome to get where you are today, both professionally and personally, and what essential lessons have you learned from some of your mistakes?
    9. What training/education have you completed and what did you gain from those experiences?
    10. What professional organizations are you associated with and in what ways_member, board, treasurer, or the like?
    11. How do you spend your time outside of work, including hobbies, interests, sports, family, and volunteer activities?
    12. In what ways are you making a difference in people's lives?
     So, brag away my friends and do let me know how it is going! So far I am still tongue tied and embarrassed about bragging. Maybe you can help me with your insights!