Friday, June 23, 2017

I wanted to be a feminine animal sometimes – Paula Rego

Paula Rego is a Portuguese artist who pounced upon me, to my utmost elation, unawares. It was an artist friend who introduced her by bringing a book - Paula Rego by Fiona Bradley - and asking me to read it. This was sometime in May last year. I think it was one of the greatest feat by my friend as it turned out to be one of the best reads so far. Paula Rego’s work is something I would have loved from the very beginning had I known it before. An artist who doesn’t stick to the norms, who explores new territories, plunges and expunges into the unknown, makes tangible social commentary and moves vigorously forward with surmounting enthusiasm. I lovingly recall now the phases as I like to call it when her work transform and transcend to a new depth and height as they glide through it. Each one distinct and a treasure...a treat to the eyes, the senses and the conscience while rattling our depths very often with an inexplicable sense of empathy, guilt and perhaps even shame.

While Paula’s collages stir you up, ‘Girl and the Dog’ series start to nudge you somewhere. There is a menacing quality to it where you come across intense complex relationship with inimitable ambiguity. Printmaking is quite satisfying for Rego. Her etchings seem to sway you towards her with a newness both in the application and in the feel of it. Rego’s etching on ‘Captain Hook and the Lost Boy’ is one of the most surprising interpretations. ‘Flood’ is one of my favourites along with ‘Flying Children’.

As they move along to the murals, grandeur replaces it and the intricate details start to impinge you as if you are a witness to the happenings. The ballet women series is one we would have ever seen anything like it...the women who are caged in ‘girls’, who are disillusioned and who appear to have grown up and yet cannot escape from the tutu. They are all tied up! When the ‘Dog Women’ (pastel drawings) happens then there is no are in chains and there’s no escape from the shared guilt and lets loose the beast/wild in you...Rego speaks of it as being a positive quality to be able to do so. It's not undermining or making the women downtrodden instead it's letting the wild side free.

Lila is given much credit for being one of her favourite models and perhaps a muse to Rego. The Dog Women series originated by one of the poses that Lila naturally conducted.

Rego’s ‘revenge’ through her works is also a unique way of expressing repressed feelings. She reacts through her art. Faces fear through her work. It is revenge that she exemplifies through them. That I find is a kind of catharsis which if applied could purge one of all negativity and recharge one with renewed enthusiasm. In art, I suppose, it could enliven the entire picture and realm of creativity. 

Paula reminds me of Gerard Richter only in her diverse ways of expression. She is a seasoned artist whose varied interpretations and de-interpretations, the social comments... have all created a consortium of consciousness which could point out to the exigencies of ‘nature’ both within and without, more so with the inner realm. These fine vagaries of fancy are what haunt me the most. Thus said I present the most exotic blossom to this exotic goddess as my humble tribute. 

images from pinterest

Friday, June 9, 2017


How often do we think of ourselves in terms of our body? Do we see us as we are when we look in the mirror? Do we feel ashamed, guilty, wrecked even or do we feel that we embody something? dDo we do justice to our body? Such queries started popping up in March when I made one of my usual visits to Connie Solera's Dirty FootPrints Studio who often puts me into trouble with some self-nibbling queries. She is one of my favourites, mind you, she doesn't know though.

I have been following her for a long time now. I have watched all her 21 Secrets conversations and I have enjoyed everyone of them. It was there I had seen and heard Bebe Butler for the first time and loved her, she would live in the heart of the art sorority. So when Connie started 'emBODY' it was a little bit of self-awakening... in a really nice way. I started looking at me in bits and parts...all fragmented!

Though I couldn't complete the whole list because of my travel to Dubai and then our moving to a new apartment in Ernakulam (now I finally have a room of my own for creation!!) I did try some and here it is... 





these aren't my lips! its from a photo!



So which one did you like???

The complete list was this:(I shall complete the list sometime hopefully)

Friday, June 2, 2017

Sketches, Some more.

Indian Bloggers

Being in Dubai for a month provided me with some ample time for sketches. It had become a routine. Now that I am back and got hold of the other necessities a family environment demands particularly with buying a new space and settling in, I hadn't been able to post anything new for sometime now. A continuation of the previous post...these are sketches from Dubai, from magazines, photos and the right-hand down is a reproduction of the renowned Nikolai Roerich's .

These are called E26 series named after the number of our residence in Dubai.


Forms and faces
In multitudes
Dance in awe
The repeated shackles
Of mundane existence
Caught up in
Neck-tied situations
Perspiring from morn
To night
To make ends meet
Some luxuriously
Some laboriously
Some with smile
Some with wry smirk
Some with plain face
Yet there’s a smile
Born every now and then
Reigniting, reinventing
The little joys of life.


Friday, April 28, 2017

Sketching people

I have been in the practise of doing art almost daily until and unless I am travelling. I like to paint more than I sketch but in the last couple of days I am sketching more because I have been travelling and all my supplies aren't easy enough to carry. And know what I am enjoying this process too!

People are one of the most interesting to observe. Sometimes our own detached selves! It is interesting not only to note the expressions and mannerisms but also the fact that what we perceive would be different from what they really are. Every person would have parallel stories taking place in their lives. Not all stories would be known to the people knitted in their lives; each story known perhaps to a certain number of the close ones alone. It’s amazing when you think how many stories are going on right at this moment in this whole world. Truth is stranger than fiction!

Except for the first and the last the rest are from life. The first one is a reproduction of Jenny Halstead which is the picture on my Derwent charcoal box. The last one is an image I came across in google. The rest from pictures I shot. I had bought a moleskine some 2 years back and wasn't brave enough to use it lest it should go wrong!! Finally, it's moleskine time! Second and third are on Derwent sketch book.

These are called E26 series named after the number of our residence in Dubai.


charcoal, pen and pencils

So, what's going on at your end? What do you like to capture? What do you carry while travelling - pens, pencils, paints?

Sunday, March 5, 2017

I have just 9 more months

I have just 9 more months
until the nadir is upturned.
Revolutionaries build their castles
on distant islands, hoofed
among the strong forces of
Oceanic lands, where mirages
mirror one another
until it’s just one huge labyrinth
and the eye cannot see the truth.
Wandering aimlessly, fighting a vain war
often we end up on shores
seeking shelter, we assume it
houses just one for comfort
while invisible hands slice the throat
silently by night, relentlessly!
Muffled cries. Moans. Sighs.
But that’s just it...
I have just 9 more months
until the nadir is upturned
else death will dawn on all of us.

*Just a scarred story of a common soldier

‘This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

Image courtesy here

Friday, March 3, 2017

Self and the Other

My series in my show 'Repercussions' which happened in October 2016 was all about duality showcasing the external and internal turmoil, implications, suffering, conflict and at times even submissive passivity while the lamp of hope is still lambent. It was a mix of abstract art and surreal images with concoction of Haiku poetry to sum it all. This painting is not from the series, but was painted during the course of it though.

"Sometimes you find yourself as a vessel of your different self. Duality always perplexes me (or for that matter, anyone sensible). It is such dualities that make and break us. It is such dualities which when confronted in life that carves a niche, a haven or an abyss. As much as one wants to avoid it, it keeps happening though. It is the unclear voice within oneself that directs the whole show feeling the reigns in the grip of supposedly strong and focussed hands and yet every turbulence happen. It’s quite inexplicable to fathom that, leave alone explain it to the world. It is one such life I am in!"

That's the character below speaking!

Self and the Other

Shadows, silhouette,
Dangled lives
Sometimes one,
Sometimes separate
Cobbled and torn out.
I perceive,
Sometimes try hard
To visualize what is
And what is not.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Kala Samuha - an art marathon

Srishti- creation - is the essence of art. Coincidentally, an art gallery and an institution bearing the same name co-hosted the event, Kala Samuha an art marathon; an amalgamation of creatives. Srishti Outpost of Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, stationed in Mill Hall in Mattancherry has been the venue of several events organized as part of the Collateral project of Kochi Muziris Biennale. It was co-hosted by Shrishti Gallery, Hyderabad under Lakshmi Nambiar. Around 100 artists’ took part to spur this creative force in the second week of February. Painting, installation, sculpture, video and performance art under one roof for 3 consecutive days. Each artist had 40 minutes to showcase his/her art. The aim to bring in more talents and project their creativity – for both art students and professionals alike. It was a platform to connect with different artists’ and different forms of creative expression.

A few pictures from Kala Samuha, courtesy Srishti Outpost page and the Curator Meena Vari.













Another event of Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology's Video Vortex XI – Video in Flux: Art, Activism and Archives is happening from Feb 23rd to 25th in No.18 Hotel, Fort Kochi and Mill Hall Mattancherry.

Srishti's concept note reads as:
“Srishti Outpost @ Mill Hall is a space that masquerades as a classroom, a gallery and a community hall. It will focus on the performative, the playful and the process oriented while supporting the various positions of art making. Outpost @Mill Hall celebrates ‘Making, as an Expanded Form of Expression and Engagement’. The curated program overlaps and intersects in, material and mediums, Art & Science, traditional and contemporary as well as multiple associations and collaborations. The idea is to bring together artists, curators, theorists, technologists, traditional makers, and the local communities to interact, share and learn. ‘Outpost@Mill Hall’ will be a series of events; exhibitions, symposiums, permanent installations, workshops and a live makers’ space, will ensure a thorough involvement of audiences, both as participants, as well as spectators.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Silence is so accurate

The hum-drum,
the din,
the chaos
the pandemonium,
Silence is so accurate.

Don't you agree? 

"Silence is so accurate" is a quote by Mark Rothko, the renowned abstract expressionist.

A study - acrylics on board

Do you love micropoems? I have been writing it for long but now I know it has a name. 
Do you have your micropoems to share? Do post it in the comments. I would love to read them.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Man in White and Sketches

Today let the images speak for themselves. I feel like a parched cloud with nothing to offer. Words shy away from me, I have been trying to woo them though!

The 'Man in White', is from one of  Deepti Naval’s (famed Indian actress) photos (her photos are just as awesome as Deeptiji itself). I just fell in love with the deep reds and the contrasting white. Colours do allure. 

Man in White
acrylics on handmade paper

Trying to sketch and/or paint every day. Some days it’s easier while on other days it turns out to a great task to steal time to sketch. But I do love it all the same. 

The Girl-charcoal-HuesnShades
 The Girl
charcoal on paper

Girl - White
charcoal on paper

I am working on the next Hopper but haven't been able to complete it yet. A few more finishing touches left. If you wish to see the other can see it here and here.

Friday, January 20, 2017

And so our life becomes.(and a Hopper again)

Ascent or descent both are intriguing. While one soars high, the other counts and misses the rings one has been somersaulting into. It’s a fanciful flight. One where there’s no reaching the limits. It’s an ongoing one, in diverse directions just depending on the time and circumstances. One may see the birds and imagine how free their realm is, grow wings and fly with them...then again one may see the fish (any one, varied one), grow fins and take deep plunge. In both ways there’s mysterious urge to delve high and deep for it carries embedded memories of the distant past and yet to be future for we come from earth and belong to its grains...each tiny one...and its our true call of nature. Yet we miss that, forget that, ignore that...and claim to be evolved. These intricacies of existence is however luring and whimsical for we seem either to enjoy it or despise it...and so we are involved, either ways. And so our life becomes.

Just being pensive and the 'Hopperian' effect continues...the first Hopper attempt can be seen here.

Stairway-at-48-rue-de-lille-paris-1906 EdwardHopper Series Hues n Shades
Acrylics on handmade paper
Edward Hopper Series

Stairway-at-48-rue-de-lille-paris-1906 EdwardHopper Series Hues n Shades

Friday, January 13, 2017

A Few Sketches and a Hopper

Some serious readings on art, some serious sketches and some serious pondering, all for fun is what I like when I work. I just started reading on Edward Hopper, one of my favourites. I love his eerie push and pull of light and shade, enigmatic characters all aloof from their normal surroundings becoming somewhat extraordinary, quirky perspective defining space and its relation to the characters as if reminding a hidden sense of humour somewhere in one of those nook and corners; perhaps suggesting an approaching decadence while one is possibly being a little too absorbed in one's own thoughts. I am no art critic, just an art lover and so this is entirely my personal view.

A trial of Hopper's work - not an exact replica, yet I wanted to try...a practice.


A few charcoal sketches





I am seriously looking into figurative now, getting as much practice as possible. I used to be more drawn towards abstracts when painting as there is a natural flow when creating, while figurative needs more planning. It demands to be organized. I like to let go and let flow, being intuitive which is appropriate with abstracts. And yet sometimes that too needs some planning when you are creating particularly for an exhibit and if you are considering a series. My series exhibited in last October did have elements of figurative in it though. It was then that I became more interested in doing figurative works.

So what are you interested in abstracts or figurative?  Which do you enjoy more (even if not as an artist, as a viewer)?