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!

    Monday, March 7, 2011

    Case for Not Setting "Goals"

    It might sound like a strange topic but do we really need goals to succeed? Most of you (and I) will say, of course! This quote by Bill Copeland  puts it very succinctly:

    “The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score”! 

    Without goals we will just float around and have no anchor to hold us to a vision! Our goals might be small or big, but I would say that we do need them, right?

    Well, I came across an article in a blog I follow (Zenhabits), which states that we really don't need a goal to succeed! Actually, according to the author, setting goals limit us and binds us to a single path and kills spontaneity. Having a goal that was relevant for us a year for even weeks before, might not be relevant anymore. And doggedly following that goal will only make us miserable! This quote by the author sums up the crux of the whole article"

    "Being liberated from goals means you will always be excited about what you’re doing. And yes, you’ll accomplish things. You’ll get somewhere great — you just might not have known you’d ever end up there when you started."-Zenhabits

    The Zenhabits author, instead asks us to "focus" on what we want and that will help us get it (um, we need something to focus on : a goal, perhaps?). By being excited about something is enough to get it done! 

    I find this article contradictory. Focus to me is the handmaiden of goals. We need something to focus on! Maybe what the author means, is that we should not "laminate" our goals and put it on the mantle? That we should leave some room to evolve and as we change so would our goals? I agree  that we should stay flexible but  I can't agree that setting goals should be chucked all together! Specially for simple mortals like myslef! Without a beacon I would just flounder and probably sleep all day!!

    So, what do you think? Should we set goals for ourselves or learn the art of "focusing" to get what we want?

    Saturday, February 26, 2011

    Accidental Artist

    Are artists born? Or are they made? I have been dwelling on this question, on and off for a long time......Was Leonardo born an artist? Cezanne left his job to become an artist.......Did these artists (and many many others) knew what they wanted from the very beginning or art somehow sneaked into their lives? I can assure you, I am no closer to the answer than I was 5 years ago..... But I have come to the realization that art making is the result of an unique temperament. A temperament that seeks something out of ordinary! Whose daily existence is infused with excitement for creating something new..... I have always felt an unfulfillment in whatever I was doing. There was always an yearning for something "more". My parents always told me that, this was because I had ADD!! It never occurred to them or myself that maybe my imaginations needed an outlet and without  the outlet it festered and made me feel disconnected from  the world around me!

    Candies, 18"x18", Oil on Canvas
    When at last I stumbled into art, I found a a measure of peace. I could leave home without leaving at all! I could lose myself in daydreams without seeming dimwitted. And being paid for my dreams, is an added bonus!!  I wonder how other artists feel... Did all of them know, they wanted to be an artist from the time they could hold a pencil? Or was it a slow realization? Or was it something like what happened to me? Like suddenly colliding with art and losing oneself? I know this post is sort of a  rambling one and I might not be making much sense...... But I really want to know how you feel about it....... How did you become an artist?

    Tuesday, February 22, 2011

    Painting with Pigments-Pastel

    I am a restless soul. I wish I was not..... I wish I was one of those people who are  consistent in their art. I, on the other hand thrive on challenge. Just when I started to feel I am sort of getting comfortable doing mixed media paintings/collages, I jumped into a completely new medium, Pastel!! I was a pastel "virgin", so to say! Never really worked with this medium before. We had to take pastel in collage as a mandatory course but I am sorry to say, I learned nothing from that class! First of all the teacher was not enthusiastic and as a result the course was more like a chore rather than being a pleasurable experience!

    I wanted to really learn this medium and thankfully I met Claudia Post, a master pastelist, exhibiting  at the same gallery where I show my work! Under her guidance, I am learning so much!! I had no idea that you can actually paint with pastel! We used turpentine with pastel to actually block in the shapes before we went into the" pastel"(hatching, scribbling, pointillism, etc) aspect. Once washed with turp, the under painting doesn't look that different from a oil painting in its initial stage.......I learned that pastel can be used as flatly or  as texturally  as we want!

    I love to draw, so  drawing with color appeals to me!. Combining my love of color and drawing to create an artwork seems like best of  both worlds. The fact that soft pastels are mainly pure pigments, can give a painitng such depth that it fascinates me! It is just a start but I am going to pursue the medium till I get comfortable with it and its many nuances. The  response I am getting for my pastel work is very encouraging and that will keep me going! Not that I will stop my mixed media works! It will always be my primary medium..... They appeal to me for completely different reasons! I can use unrelated objects to make a cohesive painting and at the same time do my share, in a very small way, to recycle products that has been relegated to trash.....It is such a cerebral enterprise, like solving a puzzle and who doesn't like puzzles??

    Onto the studio for me and a happy creative week to you!

    Pear and Citrus 12"x16", Pastel, 2011

    Arrangement in Blues, 12"x16", Pastel, 2011

    Green Jar, 11x14", Pastel, 2011
    Creeping Shadows, 8"x10", Pastel, 2011

    Sunday, February 13, 2011

    Overcoming Pricing Pain

    Pricing a painting is painful. I am always at a loss about how to price my work. I can never figure out whether I am under pricing or over pricing.....Theoretically I know what I should be doing when pricing a piece. But when it comes right down to it, it is always hard. Most of us would rather just make art and not worry about the business end of it, but sadly we gotta make a living out of our art!

    I think the first thing we should try when pricing is  to distance ourselves from our work.We should look around and figure out how other artists with our experience level (and doing similar works) are pricing their work. I mean, in the end people not only pays for a particular piece of art but our past accomplishments/experience as well. They want to feel they are not only getting a piece of art but also getting  bang for their buck. They want to invest in an artist who has been around for a while. We have to practically judge our standing in  the community where we are marketting our art and then price our's competively. My mom might think my painting should be priced in thousands, but seriously unless I am taking a broader view of the art community I am  are just setting up myself for failure.

    I don't know about others but many times I end up pricing my art proportional to my emotional attachment to it. Just because an artwork has a special meaning to me, does not mean a thing to the dealers or customers! If we do that, we might end up looking like amateurs. This is something I am trying hard to overcome. If I charge $500 for a little painting because I love it and $300 for another, it will just make me look silly!  I have come up with a way to deal with this dilemma: I just don't put the work I am particularly attached to up  for sale! I assign it as "Artists Collection". Ingenuous, huh?!!

    Over pricing can be avoided but what about under pricing? Specially emerging artists like myself tend to under price their work. We want to please the buyer and make a sale and end up treating our work as orphans! Again I think the best way to price is to look around and find out what artists of our experience/niche are charging.

     Recently, I chanced upon a way to price my work! What I am doing is actually giving myself a salary. If I charge say, $20 an hour and spend 10 hrs on an work, the price of the work will be about $200. And we might also want to add the cost of materials. That's a sensible approach, even though a little depressing. But when you are an emerging artist, you have to start somewhere. When I have acquired that experience and that CV, I will probably end up with a different formula to price my work.

     I was talking to another artist a few days ago, and  she told me how she prices her work. She calculates the square inches and multipiels that by 4 and comes up with the price. So, if the work is say 10x10, the price is 100x4=400. Of course there is always a little twicking involved. It seems like a practical way to do things!
    So there! I would really like to know how you price your work.  Maybe that will give me some clues on pricing......!

    Thursday, February 3, 2011

    Give Up, "Giving Up"

    I am a quitter. I admit it! I give up all the time! Heck, one of my resolution for 2011 is to give up giving up! I quit dieting because I did not shed that 10 lbs I have been trying to lose for last 10 years......I quit art every other day when things don't go well! And so forth! But I think I have figured out how to keep myself grounded! These are few of the things I am trying out when I feel hopeless and ready to give up!

    1.Walk away When  going gets rough and my head is ready to explode, I just try to walk away. Leave my studio and recharge my batteries.Take some time off to regain my composure. The distance really helps. I read and watch movies. I read somewhere reading novels and watching movies are the best ways to forget "self"! And that's what I have been doing! By virtue of our profession, I think we never really get a vacation! So I just give myself forced vacation where I don't' even allow me to come near my studio! By walking away I get a fresh take on things and stuff don't seem so`` hopeless!

    2. Accountability Whether we like it or not, our actions affect others.And that can be a positive thing too.When I am feeling like chucking it all and walking away for good, I just think about how many people I will disappoint!. My husband is my biggest cheerleader and he had put me through art school at  great expense and sacrifice! And if I just quit, I will disappoint him the most! This is one of the most important motivator for me to do well. I want him to feel that he had not sacrificed in vain! I am sure there are people in everyone's life they don't want to disappoint. Maybe this is what they call accountability?!

    3. Non perfection: All right, that might not be good English but this is what I am trying to say: giving up that desire for perfection can actually make us happier! At least that is one of my problems. When I am doing something I want it to be flawless! I  always have this picture in my head about how a finished work should look like! And when it does not,  it disappoints me. If this keeps happening a number of time, then I am on the verge of chucking the project all together. But, I am trying to focus more on the process than on the result. I hope this will reduce my disappointment if the work does not turn out as I want.

    4. Baby Steps: Like I mentioned, I have this vision about what a painting will look like even before I have begun it! I think when we have a goal like that, it makes it harder on us and every time we don't realize the goal we feel bad about ourselves. But if we focused only on the task at hand and not try to obsess about the result , we might not feel like quitting! Taking small step towards big goals can be helpful because it would not overwhelm! I have to really try that.....Compartmentalization , I think is the answer. I just hope I will take my own advice!

    I have these little rules right in front of my desk so that whenever I am feeling like quitting, I can look up and see what I need to do! I have not quit blogging yet, see? They  just might work!What are your strategies? Let me know! Soon again, my friends!

    Thursday, January 27, 2011

    Ways to Deal with Creative Funk

    I have been in a creative funk all this week!! Seriously! All I have been doing is chatting on facebook and twitting! That too halfheartedly! The continuous onslaught of snow storms has not helped either!! After wallowing in self pity and lethargy, it dawned on me, that if I don't pull myslef out of this abyss, no one will! And I resorted to my true and tested methods of getting out of funk! I am not saying these are "methods to get your creativity going", but they seem to work for me! I thought I would share them with you too!

    1. Read, Read, Read!  This is something that almost always gets me out of my lethargy! Popular novels  relaxes by taking my mind off daily cares! Heck when you are fighting Vampires and werewolves, who has time to worry about unpaid bills? Most importantly the books that are truly inspirational to me are my art history books! If you have read my blogs, you know that I am an art history buff! I even did a minor in art history! At this time I am reading a couple of books; one is What makes a Masterpiece, edited by Christopher Dell and another is Women, Art and Society by Whitney Chadwick. Jeez, those chicks had to really fight to get accaptance and to be able to do what they loved!! Wasting away precious time when I have been lucky enough to do what I love, seemed like blashphemy! This book was like a quick kick to  my backside!!

    2. Spy, Spy! Yup, I browse the internet and spy on other artists to get myself going! Also I visit the museums and galleries to see what everyone is up to! When you  see everyone else is creating amazing art and all you are doing  is wandering the halls in  pajamas, it only makes you feel like a loser! Looking at other artists successes is the best way to start myself going!Okay, I admit, I suffer from artists envy! But it can be a good thing specially when I am being a mope!

    3. Clean Clean Clean! Giving my studio and kitchen a good cleaning always makes me feel better! A cluttered studio, most of the time makes for a cluttered mind! So I cleaned my studio, and since I was in  the mood, I cleaned the kitchen too! With everything spruced up, my spirit uplifted and I felt like I can take on the world!
    4. Supplies! Yeah, shopping for supplies gets me going! I don't know any artist who doesnt feel excited in an art store! As I am lucky to have an ASW store within 30 miles from my home, I spent a few hours there! After spending a few hundred bucks, you can't really not work in a good concience! Ahh, the smell of turpentine and linseed oil, the touch of paper and canvas! Sure fire way to get into creative bliss. A little expensive to get into it but heck, when you are feeling like I was, it is worth it!

    5. Diversify! I have been working with mixed media collages at this time..... Since I have been feeling a little bereft of ideas, I decided to focus on separate medium to get myself excited! By doing drawings and little pastel works, I felt my spirit lifted! Pastel is a completely new medium for me and working with  pastel excited me so much, I forgot to mope!! In other words, when feeling creatively bankrupt, it is always helpful to delve into some other medium. The newer the medium the better! As artists we get so excited when mastering a new medium, it gets our creative juices flowing!

    Temptation, Oil on Canvas, Ishita Bandyo
    I am not saying these are going to work for everyone. But they work for me most of the time! And if it helps you a little all the better! Heck, if nothing works, then there is always candy to give us a sugar kick!! Until next time! Ciao.

    Monday, January 24, 2011


    Head of a Horse, Graphite on Bristol Paper

    Head of a Man, Charcoal on Paper
    I think each artist chooses their medium because it suits their personality. I would sometime wonder why some one decides to work with graphic mediums and not delve in the beauty of color? But I now understand that some material appeals to our inner soul and that becomes our tools to express.

    I have been doing some cast drawings for last couple of months, to keep my drawing skills going and have been using charcoal for that purpose. The rich black darks that you can get with charcoal is fabulous. Its velvety and smooth and makes a drawing striking with its richness. But one trouble that I have been having, is that, I can't get the smooth transition from one value to the next.I want the transition to be seamless! I have been asked, why would I want that, since the drawings are good as they are! But the thing is I want to learn how to do it! Even if I never do it again after I have mastered the technique!!

    I decided to try graphite and see if I will be able to get that smooth transition through this medium. And viola! I could! I should be happy right? I wans'nt! I missed that darkness achieved through charcoal! The values transitioned beautifully in graphite but it didn't matter!I want my dark! I tried stumping and that gave me some richness but still it was not as dark as I would like to have! I guess, I can't have both at the same time! Or I need to seek out teachers who can help me with that! Sigh! Decide for yourself and your comments would be very helpful!

    Wednesday, January 19, 2011


    Equus 16"x16", Mixed Media Collage 2011

    Flight, 10"x20" Mixed Media Collage, 2010

    Take Me to the Moon, 12"x16" Mixed Media Collage 2010
    Gemini, 16"x20, Mixed Media Collage, 2011
    I  love painting in series. It gives me an opportunity to explore my ideas to the fullest! I am at this moment very much intrigued the the imagery of horses! The horse can be a symbol of strength or sexuality, depending on how one wants to explore the symbol. Since I saw the movie, Equus, I have been thinking about horse in terms of being a sexual smybol and a sort of god figure...... But once I started painting them I could not see the horse as much as a sexual symbol but as a symbol of freedom! How many time do we use the terminology "riding off  to the sunset"? And by painting them over and over again, maybe I am trying to achieve that freedom without leaving home and my responsibilities. Maybe painting is not only about color and design but psychological longings that even the artist is not aware of?

    Monday, January 10, 2011

    Paintings with Biographies

    Sargent, Daughters of Edward Boit,

    Tyler Green’s blogs are always fun to read! In one of his recent blog post he talked about painting’s biographies! And that got me thinking! There are some paintings that intrigue you and makes you come back to them again and again!And you want to know about their “life”! When you think about these paintings, you always wonder who the people in the painting were…. What were their relationships with the artist, what were their lives like….!

     One such painting is The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit at Boston MFA. Whenever I visit the  MFA, I stand  in front of this painting and wonder about these grave little girls. What was the story of their lives? Why do they look like they have a secret to keep? It was really interesting when Tyler Green wrote about the new book published by the MFA called, Sargent’s Daughters: The Biography of a Painting. The book talks about Sargent and the Boit family and interweaves their stories with the atmosphere of the American Expatriate community. The book also follows the painting's journey from the Boit family collection to the MFA collection. In other words the book tells the “biography” of the painting from its inception to its final resting place.

    Below are some of the paintings that can have amazing biographies written about them! These are some of my all time favorite paintings!

    Velazquez, La Meninas
    The first on my list is La Meninas. It has host of characters and intriguing placement of figures and the general air of mystery! Think about all the characters and that looming figure of the artist himself! This biography can ran for 500 pages, at least! I would call the book, “The Ghosts in the Mirror”!

    Manet, Bar at Folies-Bergere

    Another painting that has always captured my imagination is The Bar at Folies-Bergere, by Manet! Again there is that puzzle about the mirror! But I wonder about the girl…. Who was she? What was her story? How did she meet Manet? What was he thinking when he made the painting? Oh, the things we can find out if these paintings could talk! I would call the Biography, “Puzzling Reflections”

    Rembrandt, The Night Watch
    The third painting on my list is The Night Watch by Rembrandt.The possibilities!! Who are these people? Why are there women in the painting, which is essentially about men with arms? What was Rembrandt’s relationship with the patron/s? We do know that, this was one of his last major commissions. After this painting, he lost much of his patronage and declined into poverty! Coincidence? I will call the biography, “The Night Watchers and Rembrandt’s Fall”.

    So these are my three choices for today! I would love to hear about your choices!