Red

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Here’s a little artwork I had made yesterday. It is my little tribute to the great movie director, Satyajit Ray who had his birthday on May the 2nd. He was born 1921, and he received an Oscar award for lifetime achievement. In this sketch, I have merged two of his best movies, Charulata and Mahanagar. Both have the actress Madhabi Mukherjee play a pivotal role. The dialogue is from Mahanagar, where Madhabi’s work colleague asks why she doesn’t use a red lipstick. The visual is from Charulata, where Madhabi plays a lonely housewife who entertains herself by uses her binoculars to spy at people down the street.

Message in a bottle – Papercutting

Message in a bottle

This is my first papercut art after my return from my long stay of two months in Kolkata, India.

Maybe it was still the influence of the relatively warmer days spent in India, and the many water bodies around Newtown, an area in Kolkata. I wanted to do a theme around a water body, with waterlilies. Upon searching for photos with waterlilies on the net, I came across this beautiful image captured with Thai child monks. Unfortunately, I cannot give the credits to the photographer as there was no information or links provided! But this photo gave me the inspiration to the particular mood I wanted for my art : simple, pleasant, heartwarming and charming. I must add that I came across several absolutely stunning photos of waterlilies, and most of the photos were taken in south east Asian countries.

I made several sketches, I am never be satisfied with my first go, and for the moment, at least I got the  girl on the flower done. Why the bottle with the message in it? No particular reason, I wanted a certain interesting look to what the girl would be doing.

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Who could she be handing out the bottle with the message to? A postman!! A fishy postman. Well, I did start off with a fish postman, but I wasn’t very satisfied with how my fish looked. Once again, I was influenced with my recent trip to Bengal, India. To me, Bengal is all about the fishes. It is a part of almost everyday diet of the people. I had the chance to visit a Book Fair in the city (amazing how in this age of everything electronic, book fairs can still be so popular!), where there were also amongst the book stalls, many indigenous artists selling their work. Here is a shot of the artists below. There were various motifs displayed,  but I was attracted most to how they captured fishes. The most popular fish artwork is a pair of fishes getting married, and a big fish coming and eating the little fishes ( he is angry because he was uninvited) :

 Too bad, the fish idea didn’t work for me. I asked on my Facebook page for suggestions and someone ( my cousin it was) suggested ‘How abt a big frog with his mouth open and a really long red tongue twisting up to grab the bottle..’

And I thought, Yesss this is much more interesting. So I made a female toad, and she’s a post personnel collecting the bottle. How cute, and it makes sense too!

Thank you dear cousin, you made my art so much better!

I love taking photos of my finished artwork, and I decided I needed to have a water lily next to my frame for the final photo. But hey, we are in the month of March, and water lilies grow only during summer. I had to made do with this fabric water lily which actually looks quite convincing. I love the shade of deep pink that matches so well with my frame! But hey, what’s that cat doing here? This cat was so curious at what I was upto, it came over so politely and sniffing gently at the flower and then the frame. After it’s curiosity was satisfied, it just sat away and kept watching at what I was upto.

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Calcutta sketches – my grandaunt

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What’s this art about? Here’s one of my quick under-an-hour sketch that I made of my grandaunt. Well, the time taken for sketching was shorter because she was watching TV and unable to stay still for long. The flouncy pillow behind her adds to her cute feminity. Psst…little added info on her : she loves wearing lipstick everyday!

What did she say when she saw herself?..

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Nothing. She just gave a genuine pleased smile, which made me happy. Here she is holding a big plate of sun dried cauliflowers which she is preparing to make pickles of, a big favorite in the family.

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Steaming hot cauliflowers, anyone?!

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Calcutta sketches : Morning prayers

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What’s this art about? It’s a classroom somewhere in India and morning prayers are being held in the class. This is a little unusual, because morning prayers are usually done in the wide courtyard or in a big room that fits all of the school together. My art was inspired by a photo from the local newspaper where the students of each class prayed for the children who died in the Peshawar shooting (by the Taliban). There was a big gap in the second aisle so I decided to fill in the gap with the figure of a teacher standing. The figure is me actually in my Indian attire of salwar kameez, and my big glasses do make me look strict like a teacher :) .

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A snapshot of happy smiling faces of schoolchildren in India.

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