Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Congrats Giveaway Winners!

We had more than a hundred participants in the giveaway. I sorted the names in alphabetic order and used a random number generator to pick my three contest winners! 

I initially planned to have two winners, but then the number of participants increased and I decided to add one more joyful picture to the giveaway. Here it is!

All three beautiful watercolour paintings!

Congratulations to the winners! Thanks to every single person who participated! :)
Much love,

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Watercolour Art Giveaway!

When was the last time you received something personal addressed to you by post? When was the last time you went inside a post office to buy stamps or inland letters? I am sure it must have been atleast a decade ago.

Today is a special day for us and I have decided to host an art giveaway on this blog. You have to di a very simple thing to enter yourself into this giveaway. Enter your comment on the facebook entry and tag two of your friends who might be interested in an art and craft blog like this one. You and your friends will be included in the giveaway final draw.

Two lucky people will get a chance to receive a beautiful water colour painting each by post. The art work is done on a post card. The artwork will undergo the wear and tear of the process of getting transferred through mail. Let your postman come to your doorstep and deliver them beauties to you.

 Postcard paintings!

Spring Flowers!

And love.

Enter your names today itself to win these pretty paintings. Once you receive them in good shape (now that is a risk I am taking), you can frame it and keep it or use it as bookmarks :) It is your chance to enjoy the feeling of getting art by post :)

All you have to do is write a comment here, or on the facebook post and tag two of your crafty friends who might like this space and wait for me to announce the results tomorrow evening. You can enter names till tomorrow evening.

On a different note, the first time I painted a post card and sent it off, it was sent to Tihar Jail sometime in March 2013 when she was in the Tihar Jail, Delhi. The post cards were part of a the one billion rising campaign and I sent it to Soni Sori when she was in the Tihar Jail. I hope she received them. I really hope the paintings put a smile on her face for at least a moment, given the hardships and injustices she was going through. I also hope she wins the lok sabha elections this time.

Panda House for Daniel

A child's attention span is anywhere between one minute to five minutes. You get them the expensive toys and you can see your money going into the trash in less than ten minutes. I am always trying to make inexpensive recycled toys and other play elements for the boy. It is one way of quick crafting for me. I don't spend a lot of time, patience or expensive supplies while making toys for the boy. It will be destroyed in a matter of minutes, so cheaper, quicker crafts is what I plan when I make stuff for him. 

We have a small collection of Panda's that comes with the Cadbury's Gems packets. Daniel is fond of them Pandas. So when a couple of friends visited us with a box of Rasgulla's, I thought I could whip up a small house for the pandas from the cardboard box cover. I used rangeela tempera colours and camel drawing ink. 

Presenting the panda house.

The doctor panda.  

The biker panda. Since my brother the biker is the only biker this boy knows, we call the panda with the helmet "maman panda".

The magician Panda.

The detachable roof. I kept the roof detachable so that the kid can take it out and put it back, like you do in a building blocks game.

The pandas are very happy with their brand new home.

The boy was thrilled too :)

See, detachable roof :)

Much love. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Story of a Rooster

Daniel is fond of crows, hens and roosters. I made a simple rooster sketch for him and he loved it. The rooster sketch was played with to his heart's content and was then tossed and torn away.

Umma to the rooster!

This boy's fondness to the rooster made me take a closer look at the very domestic bird. The rooster is a mighty thing to look at.

The rooster on the way to becoming origami.

Anyway, the story didn't end there. I took it a step further and sketched a big detailed rooster for Dan. This one will not be torn away, it will be framed and kept on the wall for him to enjoy.

This is one more experiment with paint and poetry. See the other poetry-paint experiments here and here.

The poetry on the painting is Elizabeth Bishop's "Roosters" which appeared in her first collection of verses "North and South" (1946). The poem is considered as a War Poem. The poem begins with a description of roosters in the country side. The poem moves on to the popular stories about roosters, specifically the christian story of Peter's denial of Jesus.

The layers of symbolism Bishop crafts into the poem is brilliant. Read the poem for yourself. Enjoy the painting too.


At four o’clock
in the gun-metal blue dark
we hear the first crow of the first cock

just below
the gun-metal blue window
and immediately there is an echo

off in the distance,
then one from the backyard fence,   
then one, with horrible insistence,

grates like a wet match   
from the broccoli patch,
flares, and all over town begins to catch.

Cries galore
come from the water-closet door,
from the dropping-plastered henhouse floor,

where in the blue blur   
their rustling wives admire,
the roosters brace their cruel feet and glare

with stupid eyes
while from their beaks there rise   
the uncontrolled, traditional cries.

Deep from protruding chests   
in green-gold medals dressed,
planned to command and terrorize the rest,

the many wives   
who lead hens’ lives
of being courted and despised;

deep from raw throats   
a senseless order floats
all over town. A rooster gloats

over our beds
from rusty iron sheds
and fences made from old bedsteads,

over our churches
where the tin rooster perches,
over our little wooden northern houses,

making sallies
from all the muddy alleys,
marking out maps like Rand McNally’s:

glass-headed pins,
oil-golds and copper greens,   
anthracite blues, alizarins,

each one an active   
displacement in perspective;
each screaming, “This is where I live!”

Each screaming
“Get up! Stop dreaming!”   
Roosters, what are you projecting?

You, whom the Greeks elected
to shoot at on a post, who struggled   
when sacrificed, you whom they labeled

“Very combative ...”
what right have you to give   
commands and tell us how to live,

cry “Here!” and “Here!”   
and wake us here where are   
unwanted love, conceit and war?

The crown of red
set on your little head
is charged with all your fighting blood.

Yes, that excrescence
makes a most virile presence,
plus all that vulgar beauty of iridescence.

Now in mid-air
by twos they fight each other.   
Down comes a first flame-feather,

and one is flying,
with raging heroism defying   
even the sensation of dying.

And one has fallen,
but still above the town
his torn-out, bloodied feathers drift down;

and what he sung
no matter. He is flung
on the gray ash-heap, lies in dung

with his dead wives   
with open, bloody eyes,
while those metallic feathers oxidize.

St. Peter’s sin
was worse than that of Magdalen   
whose sin was of the flesh alone;

of spirit, Peter’s,
falling, beneath the flares,
among the “servants and officers.”

Old holy sculpture   
could set it all together
in one small scene, past and future:

Christ stands amazed,   
Peter, two fingers raised
to surprised lips, both as if dazed.

But in between
a little cock is seen
carved on a dim column in the travertine,

explained by gallus canit;
flet Petrus underneath it.
There is inescapable hope, the pivot;

yes, and there Peter’s tears   
run down our chanticleer’s   
sides and gem his spurs.

Tear-encrusted thick   
as a medieval relic
he waits. Poor Peter, heart-sick,

still cannot guess
those cock-a-doodles yet might bless,
his dreadful rooster come to mean forgiveness,

a new weathervane   
on basilica and barn,
and that outside the Lateran

there would always be
a bronze cock on a porphyry
pillar so the people and the Pope might see

that even the Prince
of the Apostles long since
had been forgiven, and to convince

all the assembly
that “Deny deny deny”
is not all the roosters cry.

In the morning
a low light is floating
in the backyard, and gilding

from underneath
the broccoli, leaf by leaf;
how could the night have come to grief?

gilding the tiny   
floating swallow’s belly
and lines of pink cloud in the sky,

the day’s preamble
like wandering lines in marble.
The cocks are now almost inaudible.

The sun climbs in,   
following “to see the end,”   
faithful as enemy, or friend.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Twin Babies :)

Inspiration comes in many ways, today it came in the form of two wee little kids :) 

It was the happiest thing today to see the twin babies Dhwani and Thanmay  Congrats Proud parents, Smitha Vallathol and Shrihari Achayath  I took my liberties to make a sketch for the little ones. I hope you guys don't mind!

My messy work desk!

Closeup of the wee little ones.

Another view.

All my best for the little ones and the parents, for now the game begins. Double fun, double love, double diapers, double hunger pangs and double tantrums! You don't know what you have signed up for yet :)

This picture was also incidentally my first goof up on this blog. It so happened when the father responded saying that Tanmay is a boy. Now that is a terrible mistake from my part, and i did a cover up too. 

Presenting tanmay in a top hat. 

Much love, 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

From the sketch book: Exploring pattern

Once again, a quickie from my sketchbook.

I was flexing my pattern muscles. The sketchbook is my favorite place where I love to relax. This leaf doodle was done using sketch pens.

So much fun!

I might want to try this out in a bigger platform soon. :)

Doodling on a sketchbook is one excellent way to explore different patterns, try out different colour combinations and the best part is, you feel good after finishing a pretty page.

I currently keep three sketchbooks, one is a small sized one on which is one was sketched. We have another living room sketchbook were I sketch, and the boy sketches too :) There is also a big sketchbook which I haven't started sharing with the boy...

 This sketchbook was a gift from my cousin. It has beautiful handmade paper as pages and gives an amazing effect with sketch pens...

A lot of my previous doodling happened on exam question papers, class note books, the note pads I had in my previous corporate offices and so on. I lost some of them somewhere and I feel bad. I will be documenting my sketchbooks and journals too in this space from now on.

Watch this space for more doodles and sketches :)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Wax Resist Tutorial

This is a very basic water colour technique which can be put to use in all kinds of projects. The supplies required are very minimal.

You will need a sketchbook, wax crayons, water colours and sketch pens.

The first step is to do a simple sketch using wax crayons.

Next step is to paint over the crayon sketch using watercolour. This is a quick one, not very neatly done. Excuse that.

Next and final step is to give an outline and a simple design all over with a sketch pen.

A nice background will give a stunning effect to just about anything. I tried to put the same design as a background for a simple lettering.

It is nice to look at just the wax crayon and watercolours, don't you think? I couldn't resist the temptation of keeping my bunch of easter eggs next to the sketch. 

Once again, excuse the shabby quick sketch.

Final outlines all done.

This might look good if framed and put up on a wall, don't you think?

You are so loved!  My boy with the sketch. :)

Easter Eggs 2014

Easter might celebrate Christ's resurrection or celebrate the godess Ishtaar. Whatever the reason might be, decorated easter eggs are sure a fun craft idea. Check out the eggs we made today :)

One for the father, one for the mother and one for the little boy....

Chevron egg 

I can never have enough chevron in my life. It is a simple to sketch, yet stunning pattern.

Poetry Egg 

When it comes to picking one favorite poet among many, I always always go for e e cummings. Read the full poem "and this day it was spring" here.

Flower doodle egg 

 All of them sitting pretty in a nest full of seashells. The seashells were collected from a beach in Pondicherry. When you want memories and mementos of a place for free, collect something from the nature.

I hope everyone likes my easter eggs. These were hard boiled and then given a light wash using water colours. Once the water colours dried, I used a black sketch pen to do all the drawings.

The best part about making easter eggs is the texture of a hard boiled egg. It feels like fine quality drawing paper  when you put a sketch pen to it.

Pretty pretty!

Happy Easter everyone. :)
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