'Light and Lemony'
A quick perusal of my recent paintings took me by surprise - there wasn't a single still-life painting! How can that be! An impulse-propelled perusal through an art book got me hurriedly flipping pages and once I saw in one of the projects, the reference picture for MY painting, I began working on it immediately.
The stern light excites me in this painting - especially the resplendent curve on the top of the rolled-down lemon. While I ended up committing the same mistake of focussing more on the picture than the painting as I was painting the huddled lemons, I let myself free while painting the one off-the-gang. But what gave me a kick was making the texture of the wooden table in the backdrop - it wasn't great, but after a long while did I get to use my big flat brush for more than just wetting the space!
'Luxurious and Luscious'
I just wanted to paint a forest. But it had to be one of the last layers of forest. that layer of trees which knows that they are just one layer short of touching sunshine. I needed that hint of light shining through. And I needed to use every shade of green in my paintbox. So I did just that.
The painting didn't live up to it's name or the namesake mood when I splashed for 30 minutes. I wanted to paint. And badly so. But I closed my eyes and my mind drew a blank. It had nothing - no image, no fancy, no fantasy... not even patience. So I picked up a magazine full of pictures and pulled out a page randomly, hoping to paint whatever it shows up. Colourful inspiration from two pages of minute black and white text is hard to imagine. Impatiently, I flipped further - the deal being, I'll paint the first 'paintable' picture.
I was grumpier at the end of the 30 minutes.
Calling It A Day
This is the tiniest by size, the quickest by time and one of the most fun pieces that I've done in a long while. The blend of the sun and the sea has always been awe-inspiring. The last time I remember seriously painting one, I now recollect, is ironically, the largest painting that I've ever done. And believe it or not, it's signed " '98 "... exactly 10 years ago! (Yup - unlike some, these things keep me giggling for a while)
Oil, Old Pal
I was in Pune for a fortnight before the impending grand fortnight. The oil paints I once used, sat snugly with those same brushes, the familiarly soiled rug, ceramic tiles leftover from construction of our earlier home (built 15 years ago) and the docile and dear little friend, the turpentine bottle. The one hassle that keeps me away from oil painting is the care it requires while it dries for weeks and months. My first ever oil series was a set of 3 ceramic tiles for home and that was some lesson in quarantining such painting - I repainted one spot 4 times!!!
Let bygones be bygones. The sight of these old friends was too thrilling to overcome - and to be honest, I didn't try too hard either! The new home had a grand, shiny, patterned tile leftover from it's recently completed construction. All I now needed was an idea. Mum's chinese painting book came in handy - how I've always adored and admired that 30 years old book! I just loved the 5 hours I spent twirling around while curling up the petals of these imaginary flowers, though I know the tiles I painted 12 years ago are technically so much superior.
My little sister had fallen ill and urgently flown in from Delhi. Her quarantine and the crashing dreams of her jubilant exuberance at the impending wedding only broke my heart. She just needed some colour to pep her up. I'm not sure if this lived up to it, but she set the dance-floor afire 5 days later - and I'm still smirking!
Primary Palette. Period.
What comes to my mind when I think of the three primary colours - red, yellow, blue? I closed my eyes, and opened my eyes, gleaming with the surprisingly crystal-clear imagery of what I wanted to paint. Painted nearly free-hand, and faster than the mind could ask questions like what flowers are these, etc. etc, this accentuated the hunger-pangs to paint ruins. I guess all artists hit this point - there are simply SO many watercolour paintings with that single-minded fascination for melting browns and yellows and reds and greens and blacks and even blues! More on that later :)