Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Weekly Challenge #15: Love Your Curves

This week's challenge on I am the Diva is called "Love Your Curves". This is a colorized and a stylized version of a familiar motif in my art. At first glance, the peacock is an unlikely candidate for this project but with the right curves in the right place, he made the cut!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Tiffin Carrier or Bento?

In Tamilnadu, it is called a tiffin carrier, stack of containers used for packing lunch (typically rice, vegetables, yogurt etc). They are called "dabba" in Bombay and bento in Korea.

I asked my husband to get me one when he was visiting his family in Chennai last week. He got me three!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Weekly Challenge #14: I Walk the Line

This week's challenge on I am the Diva is called "I Walk the Line". I knew what I wanted to do. The challenge was finding the time for it. I had fun adding color, though the paint job is a little bit imprecise.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Yoga Art


The inspirations for my yoga art come from my long practice of yoga and, from raising a family with all the ups and downs that go with it. We know as parents, the joy of when our children want to be exactly like us, the puzzlement of when they absolutely do not want to be like us and the satisfaction of when they learn to find a balance.

Lochanadevi, as the mother elephant is called, like all modern mothers, is super busy juggling multiple roles on a daily basis. And, setting aside some personal time for yoga and meditation practice is a big challenge. Luckily for her, her young ones like to hang out with her. The tree pose or vrikshasana in this yoga art gives a beautiful upward stretch and a wonderful sense of balance that the mother elephant is symbolically reaching for.

I depict mother elephant and her calf instead of humans in my yoga art humans because elephants are matriarchal and very family oriented animals. Elephants are also the most beloved of Indian animals and they are also very agile and flexible and it was entirely possible to imagine the mother elephant doing all those yoga poses while the little one watched. Hathi means elephant in Hindi and hence the play on Hatha yoga as hatha (i) yoga.

The painting is done in Indian folk art style--the images are unidimensional but have great details. In the typical folk art style, the watercolor paper was first dyed into variegated brown shades using several natural dyes. The painting itself is done mostly with primary colors. There is also a border around the central image, also typical of this style of painting.

The elephants are heavily decorated which is a commonly found in Indian paintings and in real life also.

You can find this and other yoga art in my Etsy and Artfire shops

Friday, March 11, 2011

Weekly Challenge #12: Shades of Blue

This week's challenge on I am the Diva is called "Something Blue". I had fun coming up with the tangle. I also suspect this may be the beginning of more color in my tangles!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

What is Hidden in an Empty Box

What is hidden in an empty box is a well known zen koan. Introduced by Dogen (a major figure in Zen Buddhism), koans are an important part of Zazen or the seated meditation. Koans are questions posed by the teacher to the disciple. There is really no answer to the question but sitting meditation is the way to understand what the question means. With understanding comes enlightenment.

This handpainted, decorated wooden box symbolically plays on the theme with the placement of an antiqued key on the lid along with a Chinese zodiac coin. The text on the cover is the koan itself and the tilt of the birds' head gives the impression that they too are asking the same question! Thanks to Graphics Fairy for the vintage birds image. The box comes with a handmade micro journal on which you can jot down down your meditative thoughts.

The box is painted, distressed and weathered on the sides. The lid is decoupaged with a lovely distressed patterned paper. The aged look of the box is absolutely lovely.

The box measures approx 2 1/4" x 5 3/4" x 4 1/4". It is available in my Etsy shop

This box is completely handmade by me and I donate the proceeds from the sale to supporting physically handicapped children and adults. For more information go to htpp://www.sukriti.org

Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Weekly Challenge #11

This week's challenge on I am the Diva is called "Monotangle". I had fun coming up with the tangle. As you can see, this would have fitted well with last week's challenge "space within" too.

Abhaya Tian Tan Buddha

It took me two years to come up with the perfect way to use the photo I took of the Tian Tan Buddha in Lantau Island, Hong Kong. Tian Tan Buddha is the second largest outdoor seated Bronze Buddha statue (112 feet tall) in the world, conceived as a representation of the harmonius relationship between humans and nature.  The right hand is raised in abhaya (fear not) gesture while the left hand rests on the lap in a giving gesture. It is truly a magnificent icon, and amazingly, the size does not in any way deter the serenity and the calm expression on the face of the Buddha.

The top of the cigar box seemed extremely suitable to evoke the magnificence of this image. I have used several layers of chiyogami papers and finished the collage with a scroll incribed with a Buddhist saying and the word dhyana (chan) in Chinese script.

Everything I make is special to me, but making this gave me great joy, and practitioners of Buddhism will understand why.

This box is available at my Etsy shop for purchase.