Monday, February 13, 2017


First there was snow and then there were icicles. Then the high winds that kept you awake at night. Supposed to warm up this week. Let us see.

Linked to Image-in-ing

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Music Sheet Collage

This collage started with a scan of an actual leaf. I printed the leaf and added lots of doodles around it and which I colored in bright red and purple. I painted a blue dragon fly on the leaf to give the pale yellow some pop of color. Finally, I glued the whole ensemble onto a vintage music sheet. I always liked using music sheet in collages and  below is another piece that I did a while ago.

It was a balmy 54 degree yesterday. The night was cloudless and I was able to take this photo of a waxing gibbous moon.

And today we had this!

Linked to Paint Party Friday  (many thanks to Eva and Kristin for hosting) and Moo-Mania Music challenge.

Monday, February 6, 2017

How To Celebrate February

February is upon us and yet on Thursday,  Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow and declared that we are in for another six weeks of winter. Here in New Jersey, we have been experiencing bright days and almost balmy temperatures. But February can be deceiving. Sandwiched between wintry January and springy March, it can never quiet make up its mind which way to go and we too go along for the ride with one eye cocked over the shoulder for a late-winter storm while searching with another for fugitive signs of spring on the frozen ground. In a forward looking mood, I was inspired (by the seed catalogs in Bio Diversity Heritage Library) to paint these cheery dahlias.

February is also the month of my engagement and wedding thirty-five years ago and the birth of my daughter two years later. I love February! Here are a couple of doodle to celebrate love and togetherness.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

DIY: Painted and Doodled Canvas Floor Cloth Tutorial

I created this canvas floor cloth as an alternative to area rug for my studio. I had all the materials on hand: yards of canvas that I had bought for making painted journal covers, bottles of acrylic and India inks and dozens of Sharpie pens. It seemed that this could be a project where I could put all of these to good use. Since I wanted to finish this project within a week or so, I decided that I will not overthink or overplan the design and that I would fill it with whatever doodles that popped in my head at that moment. I used a couple of doodles from the official Zentangle patterns and the rest were all my own.

The design process itself was quiet simple. I painted the canvas cloth with acrylic inks first. Then, doodled the patterns using Sharpie markers. Finally, I added white highlights where I thought the design was too dark.

Overall, I enjoyed making it very much. It was like coloring a giant page. Except for one thing: the pungent odor of the markers irritated my eyes a lot. I thought of switching to Prisma brush pens but found Sharpie to be the best tool for doodling on canvas. Next time I do something I like this, I will wear a mask.

Here are step-by-step instructions 


1. One 36" by 60" unprimed canvas cloth
2. Daler Rowney FW Acrylic Inks (I used Indian Yellow and Purple Lake)
3. Sharpie Markers (Fine or Medium Point)
4. Craft acrylic paint (white)
5. Inexpensive sponge brushes (available in any craft store)
6. Inexpensive acrylic paint brushes (available in any craft store)
7. A plastic cup
8. Water
9. Wax paper
10. Newspapers or plastic garbage liners


1. In a well ventilated room, spread the newspapers or the garbage liners on the floor. These are to protect the floor from any color seepage from the canvas cloth.
2. Spread the canvas cloth on top of the sheets and wet it thoroughly with water using a sponge brush.
3. Decide on the colors that you want to layer the canvas with. You can choose a single color or two or more complimentary colors. Pour a few drops of the acrylic ink in a cup and add 4-6 tablespoons of water to dilute the ink. The ink is highly pigmented and a few drops diluted with water can easily cover the whole cloth.
4. Paint the canvas with the ink using the sponge brush. Add one or more coats to achieve the color intensity that you want (see below). Let the canvas dry.

5. Once the canvas is dry, start doodling with the markers. I would recommend using doodles that can be scaled up. This will help you to cover large areas fairly quickly. Use different color markers for interest.

6. 6. This step is optional. If you like, you can add highlights using inexpensive craft acrylic paints. I used white paint for this step.


7. Finally, hem stitch the four sides of the canvas to keep the threads from coming loose. If you choose, you may also attach a slip resistant rug pad to keep the floor cloth from moving on the floor.

Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Chinese New Year: Year of the Rooster

Unlike the western new year which is fixed, Chinese new year is based on lunar calendar and will fall on the first new moon between 21 January and 20 February. The 2017 Chinese New year begins on January 28 and is called the Year of Rooster according to 12-year cycle of the animal zodiac. Those born in 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993 and 2005 are known as Roosters. Specifically, 2017 is the year of Fire Rooster. Fire Roosters are known for being trustworthy, punctual and responsible. To commemorate the Year of the Rooster, I made this paper cut of a rooster crowing with the sun breaking out in the background. I used three layers of paper to get this effect. I particularly enjoyed the cutting the details on the rooster. 

I have been working on a series of herbal-themed papercuts and here is one I made this week. Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs and I can almost smell its heady fragrance!

I also finished this illustrated recipe. A while ago, I posted here a version of it drawn on vinyl cloth using chalk pastels. This time, I drew an enhanced and a ore permanent version on wood using a hot pen.

Thanks for stopping by.

Linked Paint Party Friday. Thanks to Eva and Kristen for hosting.

Monday, January 23, 2017


It is very windy and grey outside today here in New Jersey. Looking to brighten the mood, I found these sunny photos that I took during my trip to Santa Fe. New Mexico is called the Land of Enchantment and you realize why when you look at its vast blue skies and large fluffy cheerful clouds. New Mexico is also a land of colors, predominantly copper and blue. These photos were taken at the Native American Museum and the Folk Art Museum plaza and at Abiquiu.

Linked to Our Beautiful World and Image-in-ing.

Also linked to ABC Wednesday. My words for C are Clouds and Colors. See below.

Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Creativity in New Year

So far, January 2017 has been very productive for me. I have been doing good amount of art and craft. I have been a tad slow in sharing them here but hope to make it up in this post.

The top photo is a sketchbook doodle I did consisting of only spirals drawn using just dots. It was a good exercise to perk ones spirits up. I finished it off with a semi camouflaged word. Can you spot it? I am linking this to this week's Moo-Mania.

The one below is a cigar box that I altered using a coat of black chalk paint and Martha Stewart's copper foil. The gilding was done using a woodburning tool since I did not foiling adhesive. I like the soft effect this technique has produced. Linked to Try it on Tuesday's Anything but Square.

The one below was inspired by museum piece at Victoria and Albert museum. As a kid I used to love drawing Indian jewelry. I thought I had outgrown that. Obviously not! This is an 18th century turban jewel made of gold and encrusted with rubies, diamonds, emeralds and sapphires. Sketched and colored on black vinyl cloth using Prism Nupastels.

Linked to Paint Party Friday. Thanks to Eva and Kristen for hosting.

The pillows below are made from the end piece (called pallu) of old saris. Indian saris have three parts: border, body and end piece. It is on the border and the end piece that the designers and the weavers unleash their creativity and which end up being work of art in and of themselves. Long after the body of the sari is worn out, the end piece invites to be displayed in new ways. 

Thanks for stopping by.