Sunday, September 30, 2012


Since last week, I have started on a new habit...spending an hour or so every night drawing and painting. To keep my enthusiasm going, I decided to start with birds. These are Indian birds. The image sources for these bird paintings are photos that I had taken and the wonderful Wikimedia Commons. Birds 1, 3 and 4 are from Wikimedia Commons.

These are small art, done on Arches rough watercolor paper. I used watercolors, acrylic ink, brush and pen. I also added a bit of collage using old maps.

Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Shooting the Breeze

This is my first submission for the VirtualPaintOut monthly project. This is an intriguing project, about which I found out from a a very unlikely source the polymerclaydaily.

Hosted by Bill Guffly, the idea behind the Virtual Paintout is to "give artists opportunity to gather virtually, and paint or draw in the same area". How is it accomplished? Every month Bill selects a geographic area from the Google Street view. The participants take a virtual walk of the area using the Street View maps and create a drawing or painting of something  they have seen. This concept appeals immensely to my love of travel, map reading and painting.

This month's project is island of Zealand in Denmark.  Zealand's largest city is Copenhagen. Having grown up in a megalopolis, my painting usually inclines towards urbanscapes. I "walked" around Copenhagen for an hour trying to find out what kind of city it is. This is what I found:

a. Bicycles galore--whether neatly arranged on the racks, propped against the wall or thrown carelessly on the ground. The street views were obviously captured during the warmer months and there were many folks navigating the city on bikes. Obviously, there is a strong bicycle culture there.

b. Copenhageners are not given to colorful or splashy dressing. The people were dressed in summer clothes of shorts and tees in very pale, being muted colors. 

c. Finally, Copenhagen is a very homogeneous city--a vast ocean of white devoid of any black, brown or yellow specks.

Given the general lack of vibrant or splashy colors, it was a surprise to find the garishly painted Palads Theater, a mega multiplex theater in the Hammerischsgade district. The colorful theater became the inspiration for the painting above. 

Thanks for visiting.

Monday, September 10, 2012

September Sky

On September 22, the Sun will be exactly above our head as it crosses the Equator moving south. This phenomenon is called the equinox, when the sun rises directly on the east and sets exactly on the west. From our side of the earth, these  are the constellations visible on the September sky.

Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Night Sky: Sept 9-15

Both Venus and Jupiter are currently visible in the morning sky now. The Moon joins Jupiter Sept 8 and 9 in Taurus (Moon is exalted in Taurus). (Moon-Jupiter is a powerful beneficial combination.) It will be conjunct Venus in Cancer on Wednesday, Sept 12. Cancer is Moon's own sign and astrologically, two luminous planets together makes the sign shine brilliantly

If you are interested in seeing any of these planetary displays, look towards the eastern sky, early morning between 1a.m and 4 a.m.

Moon and Jupiter together, Sunday Sept 9, 2012

Moon in Gemini from Monday Sept 10 to Tuesday Sept 111, 2012

Moon and Venus together in Cancer, Sept 12, 2012

(Artwork by Indira Govindan based on Astronomy Class, Star-Ledger)

Thanks for visiting.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Photographic Glimpses of the Mall in D.C.

Edith Haupt Garden, Smithsonian Castle

Subcommitte by Tony Cragg, Hirshhorn Museum

Smithsonian Castle

Dhobi Flower

Coatroom sign at the Museum African Art. So Imaginative!

Sun and Moon Signs Etched on the Doors of the Museum of the American Indian

Japanese American Memorial

Japanese American Memorial

I hope you enjoy this little tour of some of the attractions of the Smithsonian Museums in Washington D.C.

Thabks for visiting.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Straight From Paris!

Beautiful cotton ribbons straight from Paris, a gift from my daughter! A piece of it is already wrapped around this lovely journal at my Etsy shop 

Thanks for visiting!

Ai Wei Wei's Circle of Animals (Zodiac Heads)

On a recent trip to Washington D.C., I got the chance to see the Circle of Animals (Zodiac Heads) exhibition by Ai Wei Wei at the Hirshhorn's Museum. A well-known artist and sculptor, Al Wei Wei has become more famous recently as a tough and outspoken critic of the Chinese government for which, he has been beaten, detained, imprisoned and charged with tax evasion.

The Circle of Animals is an outdoor art exhibition consisting of the twelve animal heads  of the Chinese Zodiac: snake, horse, ram, monkey, rooster, dog, pig, rat ox, tiger, rabbit and the dragon. Each head, located on slender pedestal is 10 feet tall and is displayed around the perimeter of the fountain in the Museum's central Plaza.

If you are interested in Chinese astrology but apolitical, you can enjoy this collection for its masterly craftsmanship. Though many of the characters are cast in a bland mode (like the grinning monkey), some are so startlingly fierce and angry you could almost imagine their jaws snapping at you.

A Grinning Dog!


Yet, to those who are familiar with Chinese history, the collection refers to a very painful chapter in imperial China's encounter with the European powers. It is based on a original 18th century sculptures that were designed for the clock of the Yuanming Yuan ( Garden of Perfect Brightness), an imperial retreat outside Beijing, and were pillaged by the British and French soldiers during the Second Opium War in 1860. Since 2000, the Chinese government has successfully retrieved some of them but the whereabouts of several others remain unknown.

For more photos, check my Facebook page

Enjoy and thanks for visiting.

(Photos by Indira Govindan)