Girl In The Red Sari

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Of late, I have taken a small fascination to saris.

Actually, I used to wear them twice a week during my days at the university. During that time, I didn’t give saris any thought, for me they were a burden because they would take up a lot of precious time, after which I wouldn’t look near as elegant as I should have. Amongst the challenges of wearing a saree is managing the pleats at the front. There would be a weird bump around my midriff, where I would manage to have the pleats all bunched together.

Lately, I realised that the saree, being a traditional attire in India, and one that thrives so well ( there is no other national costume in any other part of the world that has thrived so well unto our modern age, part from the salwar kameez of course), there is so few art around them. I decided to create a series of art around the beauty of the sari. Here, this artwork has been inspired by the photo below, something I found off Pinterest, very cute and very different where the print was concerned. If anyone is interested, the name of the saree company is Queen of Hearts :

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My artwork during the work in progress stages:

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I get inspired by women wearing sarees with interesting compositions, like reading a book, wearing glasses, doing yoga, cooking etc. I prefer to see a woman wearing a sari, with an activity, rather than just making a model pose. If you think you have a photo that could interest me, you are welcome to let me have a look at it! 🙂

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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.

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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Calcutta sketches : Stories within storeys

It’s been such a while that I paid serious attention to improving my sketching skills.. The last two months I spent in Calcutta, I tried to get some time off from looking after baby T to spending some time with my pen and artbook.  Here’s just a very few that I (miraculously) managed to get done. My aim during the sketches was to complete them in a time gap of under an hour. This was to help get me started with my sketches instead of getting bogged down under too many details of the work. Here’s one work for today.

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What’s this art about? I live in a residential community block in Calcutta, where big blocks of building are squeezed next to each other, with a garden and a playing ground in the center. When I look out of my window, I only see these tall buildings all around. So many people with so many stories taking place in these apartments. The day I drew this, something horrific had taken place in one such building. A woman died. She committed suicide by lighting herself on fire. I felt quite sad to hear the story. I have no idea what made her take such an extreme step, but she must have been in deep pain. I added her in my artwork as a way to let myself remember her. The title of this sketch is ‘Stories within storeys’.

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