Hi there!

Absolutely nothing beats the joy of watching water colours play on paper from the touch of a brush in my hand. I have and always will enjoy painting even though it sometimes takes me ages to get into the momentum of painting. ‘Scribbles and Splashes’ is a blog that I once began when I wanted to let go of the pent-up urge to splash with water colours and share pictures and the behind-the-scenes thoughts with my family sitting kilometres away from me. Over the years, it has been dormant for months (nearing a year and sometimes even more such as when motherhood beckoned!) and then been active in fits and starts.

Mid-2013 is when I feel like looking into the mirror and declaring this as “The Moment” that this becomes the year of the revival and flourish of ‘Scribbles and Splashes’, the blog and its growth into a self-sufficient near-full-time engagement for me.

I thrive in art. Period. If I could, that’s all that I would do all day long. It seems like a distant dream right now, but this is where I start playing around with a wish and seeing how it takes shape. I’m splashing, I’m scribbling about it and I’m becoming “an artist”. From exactly right now.

October 12, 2009

The Rise and The Fall

She was teary-eyed when she saw it. Perhaps because she's given up hope of its every seeing the light of day! As I confessed in my earlier post, this was the promise that I'd made, the promise I'd procrastinated acting upon and the one thing that made me feel my lowest low in a long, long time.

On the last weekend of the term, I sat with the resolve to have fun and finish it by 4pm. I didn't care about reference pictures or technical flaws. I just needed the final painting to have enough detail and tons of warm colours - the yummy yellows, the ornamental oranges and oh-so-radiant reds. This was also the first painting where I used water colour pencils, though I haven't yet experimented with them enough. I used them for the bark of the trunk and branches at first, but what's more clearly visible are the brush-marks. I used some spray-painting for the finer details and a little oil pastel instead of masking fluid in very insignificant parts (Wish I'd used them more!).

It was just not going to be a smooth ride, I realised within 10 minutes into the process. There was a dinner-party in the evening that I had to cook for a dozen people. New recipes, few supplies, even lesser time. Random incidents demanded me to run out, walk half a kilometer to and fro various nooks of the campus. Tons of distractions later, I saw myself panting to her house with one arm outstretched. That I don't need a CHUNK of time to myself to sit to paint was quite a discovery - yay (that's the usual grouse for procrastinating. I just don't seem to have 7 hours to myself!)!

I finally did it! I was thrilled to bits with the whole process. Not really with the final product. I think I've broken the mental block that I'd developed for a 6 months... now. I can't tell you how much lighter I feel. Here is how it looks.

October 09, 2009

Ecologically yours affectionately...

These are perhaps the first two paintings in years that I have made without ANY reference pictures. I thought it would be more difficult than this - but I was surprised at how much I enjoyed painting these. These pictures are part of a presentation that a teacher needs to make for little kids to introducs/remind them of the difference between an artifical, mechanised, interfered world and one that is left to work on its own.

The first picture's got a perfect produce - the end product that all our energies are focussed upon - but lifeless, dull flora and fauna. The second picture shows the diversity and vibrance in a natural environment where the produce is more diverse, as rich, but perhaps takes somewhat longer to grow. There are other subtle differences that I'd rather not point out. Of course, the shadow of the photographer in the second one is one of them :)

Hmmm... now for the splash of colour for my perky friend!
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October 05, 2009

Calvin and Hobbes... and me!

The date on the last post in this blog. Then the pictures in this post. No explanations so far. And now I turn up with a plethora. Let me explain.

Where have I been all this while? I wish I had an answer to that one! I've been here - regularly clicking the URL to this blog and having a look at my previous paintings. Only, I didn't have a reason to log on. It's a rather new phase that I entered sometime earlier this year. there have been days that I announced, "There's going to be a creative outburst tonight!" and 30 minutes later, I would have fallen asleep. On other days I've felt panicky at not having anything to do - having the day (or the larger chunk of it) to myself - uh oh, NOW what do I use as an excuse for not painting? I've run away from it. For 6 months now.

But you know what?
The more you run away from something, the more are the chances that you'll run into it!

A friend asked me to paint something vibrant for her 2 months ago - she's a keg of energy herself. She needed something that would spice up her mornings at first sight. Her excitement was infectious. I sat to paint. And froze. I was avoiding her eye subconsciously. Then last week she came up to me and accosted me. Was there anything that she had done, she enquired, innocuously. WHAT??? OH Gosh... I was embarrassed., to say the least. I don't remember the last time that I was this angry with myself.
Then another dear friend mentioned off the cuff if I could make some posters for the library. Children need to be taught library-etiquette lightly and in a fun-way. For some strange reason, I jumped at it. I've never thought about it earlier but somehow - just as inexplicably as anything possibly can be - I knew EXACTLY what I wanted to make! I browsed through all of the C&H strips that I had and began scribbling ferociously. (Yup...that's why the colourful post!!!) But it took me 3 days to muster up the courage to put brush-tip to paper. A senior staff member came about 2 weeks ago and asked me to make a picture for her. She needs to make a presentation to the children with pictures. She knew exactly what she wants in the pictures - which corner has what, how many elements, even the time of day! You see, this one's slightly different - tick-tock! I need to submit BOTH by tomorrow.
Aha... Like I said, you're pushed to 'it'. I'm back. Especially after painting these posters - can't wait for my 9 o'clock library-class tomorrow!

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April 17, 2009

He’s be cursed, Hibiscus…

…for being such a delicate and enticing flower!

I had been looking at them for a while, every time I crossed the path to the school. I’d seen them bloom. I’d seen them radiant every afternoon.

Shamelessly, I plucked one little one from our garden last afternoon, resolute that I’d found my muse for the day. I played around for about 10 minutes, holding my little treasure, putting it under sunlight with its back towards me, then with its glaring face, then its profile, then peeking at me, then cold-shouldering me, then looking up, then looking down, and finally smiling straight at me, saying, “Now pick up the pencil and begin!”

I did – and one wasn’t enough. Irresistibly iridescent.

No reference photo, no inspiring painting – this is purely my mind’s game one April afternoon!


By the way, you can have a look at the yellow one's face here!
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April 13, 2009

Where stories unravel...

Those shadows are understated - the sun is at its sunniest best this afternoon. I decided to push myself a little and go out, around the campus and sketch a little something here, a little something there. I ended up walking straight to the "Round Hut" in the Junior School.

It's a lovely little straw-and-mud hut that we listen to all kindsof stories in. Stories from children and why one of them hurt the other last evening. Stories of children and their silliness, shenanigans or secrets. Stories for children and how white-winged fairies swung them around with their magic wand. Stories about childhood stories that teachers look back fondly on as anecdotes or life's lessons. And every other kind of story that this one little hut often tends to evoke.
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April 11, 2009

...And I'm back!

I can't paint - oh, I just can't paint.

Three days ago, I decided to vacate my art-shelf in the cupboard and put it to better use. I'll remember it as one of those fleeting fancies of life, I told myself (almost) tearfully.

It seemed like ages ago that I last picked up the paintbrush and it certainly has been a really long time that I painted something that I was a tad proud of. I didn't know where to pick up the thread from - I had lost it! The lack of practice translated itself into a complete lack of confidence. The earlier notes would tell you about how wishful (and dramatically ambitious) I was (and continue to be) to begin a floral series (just can't keep the awe-inspiring intricacies of flowers out of my mind). I must confess, when I sat to get back to painting now that the long stretch (two FULL months - the perks of being a teacher- yeeehoooo!) of summer vacation's finally begun, I sketched the ever-inspiring Iris. I began painting it, too. But that was that. Soon enough, I realised that I had to give it up. Read the first couple of lines of this note, and you'd know what thoughts my mind was resonant with.

It was only when I became conscious of the fleeting calendar that I decided to 'fight back' this obnoxiously nauseas feeling. I decided to get back to the basics - these sketches came, all in an hour and a half. The idea was to familiarise myself with the feeling of the process of being patient (difficult -SO difficult!) and thoughtful while putting in the brush-strokes rather than the final outcome.

This felt good. Really good.

For some reason, I chose to explore landscapes (thanks to David Bellamy's watercolours - he's SO inspiring!). My mind was cloyed with all the floral reference pictures that I had been satiating my hunger for, all this while. So I got back to painting without an underdrawing (pic.1), painting for colour (pic.2) and finally painting with a limited pallete (pic.3 - monochrome!). It was so much fun, that I couldn't sleep till the wee hours of the morning. Yes!!!!!

The floral series is on its way. I promise. But before that, I need to get the rust off my fingers - and mind.

I'm back :)
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February 10, 2009

With wings outstretched

Isn't the Bird of Paradise such a picture of wellness anticipated, hope and the change of tide to some refreshingly new chapter? It's the one emotion that most pictures of the flower have always evoked in me. Isn't it the perfect birthday wish?

Until I downloaded some classic BoP snaps, I didn't know it was so vibrant with so many different shades - I was particularly taken aback at the blue arms that seem to artistically outstretch from the centre - almost as if those of a princess waking up to a warm sunny afternoon. Something luxuriously blessed about the flower makes me wonder if it conjures up the picture of a dignified royal heir more than the picture of an energetic pixie!
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January 30, 2009

In The Prime

I've realised three things with this painting - exactly when think you've finished all those bugs and beasts on your to-do list to make time for this one evening that you want to paint, you'll be bombarded with unexpected work from all quarters. There were children who needed to talk 'suddenly', a colleague who needed help with a class activity 'suddenly', a post-dinner meeting that went on for MUCH longer than anticipated, and then of course, a sudden tiredness and procrastination that seemed to engulf me last night the minute everything else was at bay.

The other big discovery - I enjoy day-paintings a lot more than night ones! If for nothing else, night-paintings seem to have a ticking timer for the upcoming morning that makes me somewhat impatient. Day-paintings, on the other hand, promise me that just in case I can't wind it up by dusk, there's a whole night that's waiting!

The third lesson - Paper Matters. The puddles on this painting that uses regular cartridge paper made me squirm at myself for not switching to the handmade paper files that I bought last year (and are still waiting, stacked daintily in one corner of my art-cupboard!)

So here is today afternoon's painting - in line with the promise that I declared on Facebook yesterday :) This one's only about colours - I had a gala time swishing and swooshing my paintbrush with yellow and crimson every now and then. The reference picture is one that I found in a book titled 'Roses' that caught my eye in the Botany section of the library a while ago. I was overwhelmed with what the book had in store for me... Ahh...More florals coming up - I prooooooomise!
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January 27, 2009

Turning White in Spring

I was flipping through books in the library looking for pictures for a painting that I'm now working on and stumbled across a teeny-weeny picture of this tree. To be honest, the fine brush-work that painting this might involve struck me first and then the white flowers. And then the thought, "Gosh - and I thought Spring to always bring colour!"

It was one of those moments when a picture demands to be painted! I finished it in an hour, with the phone between my ear and my shoulder, catching up with everyone while I was off for the latter partof last week on an excursion. While I initially thought that would be a distraction, I was surprised to realise that the painting seemed to flow on its own to progress. Maybe a little lessthought helps. Maybe a little less of the consciousness about the end result ensures the painting becomes what it's meant to become, and not what it's intended to be. (Is that too much of a random word-jumble? I mean it :) )
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January 23, 2009

Visteria, stare ya!

I looked at Jelaine's blog, clueless about the new coats on her work-in-progress piece that she promises to be full of detail. I'm extremely humbled for her to mention my name (that's SO sweet of you, Jelaine) - and just as much, somewhat mentally blocked with the blue she used in her painting. The minute I saw it, my hands were itching to paint. It was just the blue - that blue - all it's shades - but that very hue. I needed to touch it then and there.

I remember making a painting full of visteria. It was such a delight to paint that when I finally came across the close up of the bunch, I couldn't resist it. It was, however, one thing to appreciate it botanically, quite another to interpret it artistically!

Something told me that this was meant to be a wet-in-wet play of colours. Cobalt Blue sheet-one had me as cheerful as my little kiddos in class. A second layer ushered in some details of the petals. I finally brought in loose strokes of my old favourite, Mr. Prussian to waltz around a wee-bit, every second resisting the temptation of telling him to take smaller (and more precise) steps. I HAD to push myself to forego the details. That's the visteria of my wall - fuzzy and deceptively delicate.

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The Happy Bush!

Like all grand plans, I'd thought tonight would be the night of endless paintings - what I refer to as 'the churn'. I had recently picked up a dusted book from the 'botany' section of the Junior School library for lack of a trigger/inspiration even though I have been dying to paint for the last one week! I've stuck bookmarks all over the book - it's a delight!

I just wanted to keep the pencil at bay. This wasn't as bad as I'd prepared my mind for. Neither was the Visteria - what do you think? More florals coming up - watch out!

The title's spun a pun... unintentionally - I promise :P
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January 03, 2009

Melt 'n' Mirror

Born Bunched!

Hello, 2009!

May this bird of paradise be the harbinger of the same for everyone in 2009...

Happpppyyyyy Neeeeeeeewww Yurrrrrr !!!