Thursday, December 17, 2015

After Midnight

This is a mixed media collage based on a photo I took of the marquee of the musical After Midnight. It was a dance musical revue based on the 1930s Harlem Cotton Club and featured songs by Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway and many other jazz luminaries of that period. It was a fabulous 90-minute non-stop song and dace show. I greatly enjoyed it.

The year is coming to a close and this is probably my last post for the year. I wish you all a happy and healthy holiday season and a very happy 2016.

Before signing off, here are some more pictures from my visits to various museums in Santa Fe.

First Native-American Saint

The photos below are from the Museum of Indian Arts ad Culture. These are artwork installed outside on the museum grounds called Sculpture Garden.

Thanks to Kristin and Eva. Linked to Paint Party Friday.

Monday, December 7, 2015

No Sew No Glue Sari Journal: An Immigrant's Journey

It was my favorite sari. Handwoven from the finest softest silk cotton, it was one of the best specimens of the Oriya hand loom weaving style. I brought it with me to the US thirty years ago. When the number of suitcases I could bring with me was limited to two, I gave away several of my saris to my sister, but not this one. But quickly it became obvious that the very same qualities that made it so lovely in India made it an impractical garment in the US. It slowly sank to the bottom of the pile and languished there for thirty years. I could not bear to throw it away. Then one day,  as I was making my rice bag journals it came to me that I could make cloth journals out of it. I cut the six yards into three parts, washed and starched each one individually. I tore them into roughly equal sized pieces and using the slot and tab technique created the journal you see above . I used the pieces as they were which led to some interesting variations among the pages. The top page above , for example, comes from the end piece of the sari and has fringes while the two below come from the border and the body sections.

I was very pleased with the way it come out. I decorated, wrote on it, painted---oh, the possibilities were endless. On one of the pages I wrote a little message "Bloom where you are planted" which is what this old sari  and I have done.

Last summer, it was published in the Cloth Paper Scissors Pages issue. This sari has reinvented and replaced itself in such creative ways. I wonder where and what it will be next, I wonder.

A popular Chinese saying (from the Book of Dao-De-Jing), this page was created using various fabric markers and Prisma brush pens.

This fabric collage page was created using remnants from old silk saris on which I stamped paisley
print using hand-carved wood blog from India. The image of the cranes came from an 18th century Chinese painting. The quote around the image is from T.S. Eliot : "The end of all exploring will be to arrive where we started and to know the place for the first time".

This is fabric post card that I made with the word "Aseema" meaning "without borders" hand embroidered. 

 Handwritten using Prisma brush pens and collaged with ephemera.

Embroidered, painted and handwritten. 

Silk and stamped with jacquard paints using wood block stamps.

This is a favorite quote from J.R.. Tolkien: "Not all those who wander are lost".  I used a bamboo stencil for background and collaged with an applique cut out from an old dress and a little carved bone tortoise.

Below are some additional photos from my trip to Santa Fe. These were taken at the Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu where Georgia O'Keefe spent the second half of her life and the scenery around her became her muse.

These photos are untouched except for cropping. New Mexico skies are really this blue.

Thanks for visiting. Linked to Art Journal Journey 
and Paint Party Friday

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Dia De Los Muertos Flamenco Dancer

Last week, I took my third trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico. This time, the five days of vacation was spent primarily museum hopping and soaking in a lot of Georgia O'Keefe. One of the museums I went to was the International Folk Art Museum. Apart from the permanent collection of folk art from all over the world (huge and delightful), the museum had a special collection called The Flamenco. Unsurprisingly, it was all about the flamenco dance showcasing the dresses worn by women and men. The dresses were lovely, of course, yet, hung on the mannequin they looked inert with nothing to hint at the great waves  of motion they can produce when the dancers move in them. But, I did take a lot of photos.

When I came back, I wanted to do a painting of the dress with a human figure in it. Yet, I was reluctant to do a female figure mainly because it felt like objectification of the female body. So, I settled for a Day of the Dead  image. After all, it is very New Mexican and seemed a perfect medium for what I want to portray.

I used pencil, gel pen and watercolors to do the little painting above.

For some eye candy, below are many of the photos of the dresses. Enjoy.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Tripoli Triptastic and the Leaf

I am sure you have figured out by now that I like painting leaves. This was a huge leaf that has turned completely yellow with hints of rust here and there but was still supple and soft. After I finished painting it, I felt that it needed something more but could not decide what. When I found out that this week's challenge at I am the Diva czt was Tripoli, I decided to surround the leaf with bits of Tripoli in combinations with other patterns. The mosaic patterned pot was entirely accidental.

Below are a couple of shots of my studio as it looked in the morning light.

Linked to Paint Party Friday and Iamthedivaczt and Art Journal Journey.

Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Painting a Slice of Islamic Art in Istanbul

I grew up in Delhi which is not only the capital of present day India and the capital during the later half of British rule, was also the seat of several Islamic empires, grand and small, during the medieval times. The neighborhood where I spent my childhood and early adulthood, I was surrounded by the monuments of that era from grand and small mosques to tombs of sultans and emperors. My awareness of the splendor of these historical remains grew into deep appreciation in college where I majored in Indian History at both undergraduate and graduate level. And I never lost that love.  Next to Asian art, Islamic art is my most favorite section in any museum.

When Istanbul, Turkey was chosen as the place to view and paint for this month's challenge at the Virtual Paintout, I was excited. Istanbul offers plenty of subjects to paint and I chose to paint one of the  distinctive Islamic  architectural features, arched lattice stone window, known as jhali. The building itself is pretty drab but I liked the windows. 

Below are some  beautiful examples of Islamic art and architecture from various American museums. Enjoy. (Photography by Indira Govindan.)

Linked to Virtual Paintout and Paint Party Friday.

Thanks for visiting.