Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Recently I found a website/blog called Zenhabits. One of the posts that I liked is called the Lost Art of Solitude! The post talks about how solitude is one of the most important thing artists need to create art! Or rather, any creative person needs time away from the general society.I agree with this wholeheartedly! I create best when I stay away from  people ! I might sound unsocial or reclusive but I have found that when I am interacting too much with people, I somehow lose that edge I need to create.Maybe I am one of those people who can't compartmentalize......When I am out and about with friends or family too much,  I am emotionally too exhausted to actually focus and reach deep down within myself that holds the well of creativity! Silence makes me eloquent! Is it true for you too? Do you feel that by being still you are able to speak more?

I have a feeling that I am creating less now that the Holiday season is here. I am out and about too much! When I am not really "out" I am thinking of the stuff that I need to do before I have to get out again! Saying "no" to all the engagements that takes us away from our art  is perhaps not possible.... But I am looking forward to maybe staying away  from society  for next couple days...At least till the weekend, when I will be sucked into the vortex of merry making...... Let me end with this quote:
“I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude. We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than when we stay in our chambers.” ~ Thoreau
 You can read more about this topic here: Zenhabits 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Portrait of Paloma

Drawing children takes a different kind of skill. There  is always a chance that they might end up looking too mature for their age and be a parody of themselves! Only a very few artists, in my opinion has been able to capture that essence of childhood. Mary Cassat is one of the painters, I feel who was able to do it with aplomb! Even though Sargent is one of my most favorite painters , I always feel his portraits of children lack the innocence I would love to see in them . The portraits of the daughters of Edward Boit,  specially has a sense of mystery and secretiveness  that makes for a great work of art but it does lacks the sense of innocence and vulnerability! Of course I have to add here, that romanticizing children and sugar coating their portraits is not something I am advocating! What I want from a child's portrait is to glimpse his character but at the same time have that sense of  sweetness! But it is always easy to critique someone else work than to do one's own!
Portrait of a Child, Marry Cassat

Daughters of Edward Boit, Sargent Boston MFA
Paloma, Ishita Bandyo
The case in point is my rendering of Paloma, my two year old (going on three) ! She looks way older than her true age. I think the harsh lighting has something to with that. I feel proportionally it is not too bad but somehow, there is something missing ...... Something that makes it Paloma. She looks not only older but sort of wiser! Maybe that is who she  is, but  being her mom I still see her as the  little infant I brought home?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Man, Myth and Sensual Pleasures: Jan Gossart's Renaissance

I recently caught the Gossart exhibition, "Man, Myth, and Sensual Pleasures", at the Met, NYC. It was really exciting to see the evolution of an artist! I think the exhibition  was pretty comprehensive as it not only followed Gossart’s development as an artist, but  also placed him in the broader artistic scene of the time.

In the early part of his career, his style was no different from other Antwerp based Mannerist painters! His work at this juncture shows the same devotion to line, bold colors and overcrowded compositions! Fastidious rendering of architectural details and improbable relationship between these structures and the human figures were completely mannerist in style. He fit in perfectly with the artistic environment at this point in his career. In many of the paintings at the show, the architectural details are obsessive! In one "Madonna and Child" triptych the background was so crammed, it takes away from the central theme of the painting! Not to mention the garish colors!

As the exhibition  moves on to the next phase of his career, the shift in his style is palpable.Even though his paintings still remained somewhat mannerist, there was a marked move towards a more natural style! It seemed to me there was  some hesitancy to his approach at this juncture but  no doubt  he was moving away from his earlier style! In  a painting of the holy family (sorry about lack of pictures, everything everywhere is copyrighted) we can discern overlap of styles! While the background has the same crowded and detailed look as his earlier paintings, the holy family seems to be painted in a more naturalist way! The form seems fuller and the acid colors of mannerism seemed to have softened! I really did not understand why Joseph was rendered as an ugly old man, whereas Mary and Jesus were painted to look like royalty! But that is another topic all together!

His trip to Italy with Phillip of Burgundy at this point, leads to more acute change in his style! He copied sculptures tirelessly and the drawings show his endeavor towards a natural rendering of the human form! The drawings of Cain and Able and those of Adam and Eve are beautifully rendered with fluid gestures but with attention to anatomy! No more strangely dragged out and distorted anatomy that was still part of  Northern Art! A Durer Adam and Eve etching was nearby to show the divergent style! I absolutely loved his sculptural rendering of a sorrowful Jesus! The controposto of the seated Jesus was actually  copy of the  torso of the Apollo Belvedere but the expression on face of Christ is so human, it almost brings tear in one’s eyes! Gossart has finally come to his own! He is made the cut into that elusive definition of a “Master”. His humanity and technique has molded together to make great art!

The exhibition  next moves onto his commercial portraits..... They are done superbly with flawless technique of course! But to me the high point of the exhibition  was the Sorrowful Jesus, where, I think the Gossart , who changed the Netherlandic painting to its later form, came into being!

"Man, Myth, and Sensual Pleasures: Jan Gossart's Renaissance" ran at The Metropolitan Museum of Art through January 17, 2010. 

I have included a conservation Clip at the bottom from You tube, Really interesting !

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Artist's Dilemma

Artists create for a variety of reasons.... So for expression, some for fame and some for money.....
I make art for an entirely different reason! Other than wanting to be immortal (I have another blog post on that), I think I have a deep rooted psychological need to make art! To me, making art is to "being". I make art feverishly just to prove to myself that I can and that I am actually an "artist". There is a deep seated fear that I am not a "real" artist and that if I don't create every waking moment, I won't "be" anymore! See, making money is not as big a deal to me, as the fact that people actually like my art to the point, where they are dropping their hard earned money to own something I have made! That I am valued as a real "artist" and not an impostor!! Narcissism? Maybe! But this constant fear that if I don't produce, I will cease to be considered an authentic "artist" just makes me obsessive to a point where I even refuse to get a regular paying job.... All I want to do all day, everyday is to make art! To Be! Every time I feel insecure and feel I am losing my "self", I have to absolutely do something creative. I really have no other life..... I refuse invitations and make my husband go alone...... Whenever I talk to "regular"  people, I find that I have nothing much to say!.....This can't be healthy! Can it ? I wonder if all my fellow artists feel that way? If they feel alive and "be" only when they are working? I don't know. Is it?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Drawing: Again!

So, bored with my drawings yet? I hope not! Since I am having such a ball! I am thinking of starting another drawing tomorrow. I wish I had more patience to take more time to finish a drawing! To make the modeling more precise..... I am making myself slow down but it seems I can't slow down any more! My drawing teacher, Jon de Martin will probably make me erase the whole thing but I am okay with this one! Hope you enjoy this.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Drawing-Head III

I just wanted to add this picture to the drawing series. I need to finish at least one painting this month and I have been so engrossed in drawing that I haven't kept up with painting. With the holiday show coming up at the gallery (www.mapleandmaingallery.com) I need to step up!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Drawing-Head of a Man

Ugly men are so much  fun to draw! That did not come out right; what I mean is men with rugged face and prominent features are fun to draw/paint! Whew, that sounds much more politically correct! I think babies and pretty women are hardest to paint with their smooth skin and regular features....Maybe some artists drawn more to imperfection than so called ideal beauty.... Leonard loved to draw  deformed people.... And personally, I think those drawings are far better than his drawings of beautiful women. They have a pathos and integrity that the others lacked (again, my personal opinion and I understand if people disagree)! I wanted to include of some of the drawings by Leonardo that I absolutely love!. Here is a link to a drawing  of a hunchback that he drew. I want to copy it but I can't find a high resolution drawing to copy from...... Time to hit the libraries! 


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Drawing a day, keeps the cobweb away?

Back to Drawing I! Finally got to the head! I think I will take a break from drawing for this week! I got to get a couple of painting done for the Holiday Show at the Gallery! I can't believe the holidays are upon us! Macy'has been playing Old Santa songs since October..... So here it goes: Another Copy from Charles Bargue Drawing Lessons!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Drawing a day : Still at it!

So this is the new one for today......
The pages are getting too dirty though! Next time I am going to do what my favorite teacher Jon deMartin did! Draw the whole thing on a tracing paper and when all the kinks are worked out,  transfer the drawing to the paper... No dirty smudges and eraser mark! So, now that I have some idea about how to draw, I think I will venture into more scary prospect of drawing the head! Yup, you heard me right!! Onward now..... I will paint with color for the rest of the day.... I think!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Follow up on drawing

I think I have made some headway in my drawings!  Not fighting with the medium as much but still struggling with the proportions.....I think I am getting a little obsessed by technique and not enough "creativity".I am not sure if that's good or bad but obsession can be dangerous sometime.... I was just thinking what if I get so bogged down by the grass that I fail to see the meadow anymore(or something like that)! Is creativity more important than technique? Or the other way around? I think the best way will be a marriage between the two? Are there any happy marriages out there??Ah well, here it goes: