The Owl


‘Come, quick! You have to take a look at this!’

My father’s voice conveyed both his excitement and the urgency of the moment. We rushed to where he stood – at the door to the balcony. He signalled us to wait there and pointed outside.

A huge white bird sat perched on the railing of our balcony. All around it, the crows cawed as loud as their hoarse voices allowed them. This new bird was clearly not welcome. But the commotion didn’t faze the uninvited guest. We gazed in awe at its majestic presence. That was the first time I had ever seen an owl.

My grandmother (father’s mother) was sitting on her bed, when we asked her to join us. She was weak with old age and walked slowly. We prayed that the bird would wait for her. We didn’t dare step outside, fearing we may scare her* away. And she obliged. My grandmother was as excited to see the bird as we were. ‘Goddess Lakshmi has paid us a visit,’ she said.

She must have sat there for half an hour, clearly in no hurry to go anywhere. The crows could caw straight into her ear, and she couldn’t care less! We looked outside from our door to the balcony the entire time she sat there. We just couldn’t get enough of her!

* * *

The owl is called ullu in Hindi, and the word ullu also refers to a fool. I wonder why. With eyes wide open, they seem to be observant creatures. With greying hair and a deep thoughtful expression, to me, they are at once a picture of wisdom, peace and soft, furry, cuddly goodness. I’ve also seen very few owls — which may be the real reason why I find them fascinating.

As northern India prepares to welcome Goddess Lakshmi to their homes on Diwali, I wonder, will they call her consort a fool?

Wishing you a Happy Naraka Chathurdasi (and a happy chhoti Diwali, for those of you in the north!)

* I’m not sure if the owl was a him or a her. But I’d like to think of it as her. 🙂

One of the several bird paintings while I was in high school
One of the several birds I painted while I was in high school. It is now perched on the mantle at my grandparents’ (mother’s parents) home

nanopoblano2015lightThis is post #10 in this year’s NaBloPoMo, or as Ra calls it Nano Poblano

NaBloPoMo = National Blog Posting Month = Thirty straight days of blogging

In Pursuit of Inspiration


A speck of dust
A stitch on a rag
The artist’s note
The labourer’s hand

The rainbow above
A bug below
Dense air around
A journal unbound

Can it be seen?
Can it be heard?
Pray, tell me!
Where can it be found?


This evening, inspiration came to me through the electricity. Or rather, the lack of it! With no computer or wifi, I decided to pick up an unfinished drawing (and there are plenty of them!). I’m not sure when I started drawing it, and I’m not sure when I will complete it. I don’t even know what it is that I am creating! Hopefully I’ll be able to complete this soon and show it to you.

Meanwhile, I can’t seem to move away from seashells. Some of them made their way to my painting!

Work-in-progress
Work-in-progress

Explore what inspires bloggers around the globe with the Daily Post.

Forces of Nature


A couple of weeks back, the Daily Post asked us to show forces of nature.

While I did not have a photograph to show, I was inspired to paint something involving as many forces of nature, and a few forces that are influencing nature. How many can you identify? Who’s the strongest of them all?

Forces of Nature - Abstract Art
Forces of Nature – Abstract Art

When You Want Something


Achieve It

When I began sketching out the letters of this quote, my sister-in-law asked me. ‘You really believe that…? You need to work your bum off to achieve things. The universe won’t hand it to you on a platter.’

This is a quote I strongly believe in. And so I defended it thus, ‘No. Who said anything about things being given on a platter. You have to work. And the universe will make you work towards achieving it.’

Sure, it may seem like things are going the wrong way, and you may even feel that the universe, and that mysterious concept of fate/destiny is against you. But in the grander scheme of things, they are actually guiding you towards the path that is best for you, and ultimately, towards your goal.

* * *

I tried arranging the letters in an image editing program. But I just couldn’t get around it. I wanted to get into the screen, and tweak the letters with my hand, to my liking. And it was then that I decided I would sketch it out. After three hours of drawing, I finally got what I felt was a good arrangement, and then the letters came alive. I could see a personality to the letters and tweaked them. This is perhaps how master typographers view their letters – alive, and like little children, waiting to be picked up, guided, and moulded into something better.

Now I don’t claim that I can make good letter forms. Quite far from it, as is evident from the picture, but even with the flaws I really liked the outcome because I had fun painting. I’m happy I didn’t sketch it out as I had initially planned. It has helped me appreciate the typographer’s skills, as well as helped in overcoming my fear of painting.

The Good, Bad, and the Incomplete!


One Confession

This year has been quite a roller coaster.  A year filled with lots of firsts. I attempted the Weekly Photo Challenges, Writing Challenges, and even the Daily Prompts. Truth be told, I got lucky with some of the topics. Perhaps some one at The Daily Post sneaked in to my head, and posted appropriate challenges (including this one)!!

Two Realisations

At the end of the previous year, I had one follower. (I’m not counting my friends and family members – who were forced to visit my blog after my constant nagging). This year, I have discovered, and learnt a lot from other bloggers. Thanks to the aforementioned lucky coincidences, I have more readers, and I kick myself for not participating in challenges often.

I cannot have my cake and it too. While I love to participate in all the challenges, and I do have things to say, real life also needs priority – hence, my posts will always come at irregular intervals.

Three unfinished works

I have two sketches, and an acrylic painting that are waiting for me to complete them. I am not including the sketch from last year, and the oil painting I started many many years ago! I would have shown them to you, but I’m just too lazy to photograph them. Also, the painting is in the art room of my institute, and I’m too cowardly to face my teacher (whom I am sure I have disappointed with this one).

Four projects

This year has been one in which I have little to show – At least not as much as I would have wished. Blogging has, to a certain extent, distracted me from my studies, and at the same time, has encouraged me to create something, with the sole intention of posting it here.

I learnt a lot this year, especially about 3D animation, and spent a major part of the year on two projects – a character, which I built from scratch, and a short film, in which I rigged a character, and oversaw other member’s work. These are quite amateurish, and hence I haven’t posted much about them. The sheer effort involved in creating a 60 second 3D animated clip, was overwhelming. I can only wonder what magic must be required to produced full length feature films in this medium.

My best creation to date, and one I hold close to my heart is ‘Mr Paper’. It was made in the early part of the year, and has made me a bit of a celebrity 😀

And finally, dear reader, if you found most of this article vague and has left you confused, it is probably because I am currently working on my fourth project – capping one of the busiest years of my life.

Many Memories

I’ll leave you with a small collage of stills – which visually represent what I have been up to this year – the things I’ve made, the places that I have seen… Here’s wishing the entire blogging community a very happy and prosperous New Year.

How To Destroy A Great Idea


Weekly Writing Challenge – And Now For Something Completely Different. DIY gone wrong.

Step #1: Draw

Drawing
The pencil drawing

Step #2: Colour

Fill
Started with water-colour pencils

Step #3: Brush

Water-colour pencil fill
Brushed on a little water

Step #4: Repaint

Acrylic fill
Painted the areas with acrylic

Step #5: Complete the destruction

Details
Tada! And the destruction is complete!

Congratulations! What next?

  • Claim to be an awesome artist and charge an extremely large amount of money for your work of art, enough for you to live the rest of life without having to work;

OR

  • Frame it and gift it to a friend, as you had originally planned, and then pray you still have a friend

Note for existing readers (if you’re still reading):
Taking inspiration from a fellow wordpress-er, I thought I would try my hand at creating a DIY post. I promise you won’t have to withstand this torture beyond one post.

Note for new readers (if any):
This is not how things are on this blog! Wait! Please don’t run away!

Weekly writing Challenge : And Now For Something Completely Different

Happy!


The theme for this week’s ‘Weekly Photo Challenge‘ is happy. The gallery below includes photographs of the bag I bought at a handicrafts bazaar, and an assortment of pencils and brushes – some unused, and some very old!

Unfortunately, the photographs didn’t quite turn out to be the way I wanted them. Here are some images I managed to salvage. Hope you enjoy!

Landscape


Landscape
Landscape

Using a landscape image from the internet as reference, and under the guidance of our teacher, I painted this landscape.
The paint reflected a little light, so I uploaded a little larger image, than the ones I usually upload, to compensate for the lack of clarity. As a result, it is likely that moire patterns will appear on the image.