I subscribe to About.com’s Painting newsletter run by Marion Boddy-Evans.  Today it led me to a post on What Hurtful Things Have People Said When Commenting on a Painting? I read a few and discovered that while I didn’t have the same experiences I had shared some of the same feelings.

When I started out six years ago I wanted everyone (!) I came across to comment on my work. It was new to me, I was finding my way and thought that family, friends, acquaintances and online friends were all in a position to help. Sometimes it was frustrating because no one wanted to put me down or be harsh to a newbie. Sometimes they liked the very things that I didn’t.  I also learnt to my dismay that positive comments affected me too.  I’d get stuck, too timid to add anything more in case I messed it up!
netra - another attempt

Netra – another attempt – pen & ink – based on a beautiful photograph taken by Sudarshan used with permission.   An earlier attempt made in 2005 using the same reference.

But that was then.  I still love to hear from people but what I take from it now and how it affects me is different.  It’s more about whether they like the piece and not what they find right or wrong with it.   When I see a painting or a movie or a dress I form an opinion about it.  We all have opinions.  And sometimes mine don’t match with the way others around me think.  It doesn’t upset them or me that our views are different.  And with that in mind  I hear what people have to say about my work as their opinion.  Sometimes, good or bad, it matches mine and sometimes it doesn’t.

pen & ink

pen & ink –  earlier sketches and a painting made last year – Lost in though


Out of the Frame

I have been busier painting these last few weeks than in quite a while.  The first is a secret online project for which I have a deadline of Jan 31st and will be able to blog about only mid Feb.   Decided to also begin work on portraits something that I had been going slow on last year but these really help me jump back in.  I’m thrilled to be painting again but it is still a daily struggle to get myself in to the studio.   I’m hoping that that will change in the coming weeks.

Likeness is eluding me mostly with the fineness of the features of my friend.  I hope that in the end it will resemble her more closely.  I have used her as a subject in earlier sketches and a painting made early last year – Lost in thought.  I’m back to using oils and so each of these is going to take me longer to finish.  I’m looking to slow down a bit and this medium is going to help me do just that.  I will also begin work on portraits of people I do not know as I have much more freedom then to play around with working on getting form over likeness.    I aim to start working on some still life pieces too as soon as i’ve created more space in my studio.

a layer of paint

I miss the daily exchange and encouragement with Smita about what we were working on.  Part of an expat existence, leaving or getting left behind.  I’m happy to hear that she is continuing to paint in Delhi despite a full time job and is currently dabbling in soft pastels.

Like in the past, I will be updating the wip’s on this page to track progress and the final image will be posted on Maya.

WIP’s of Out of the Frame – 12″ X 16″  oil on canvas panel

sketchdrawing - firstdrawing - almost donea layer of paint

Year end challenge

Happy New Year!   I havent been painting regularly and hence not been blogging either.  I hope to change all that this year.

I’ve known for a while now that I needed another jump start and decided to take a leap by signing up for Karin Jurick’s year end portrait challenge.  Read more about it on her blog.

Karin Jurick Portrait Challenge 2009

I didn’t get the likeness I was looking for ( Sorry Andrea! ) but I’m hoping it will help me continue with painting regularly in 2010 : )   One thing that this exercise reinforced is the fact that I definitely need to go slow in the early stages : )  It’s been fun though.  And if you paint too I recommend you sign up for Karin’s regular challenges.

It’s been great fun heading off to Karin‘s Different Strokes from Different Folks blog to check out the entries as she was posting them.  A lot of hard work on her part through the year but this challenge required all of that and more right through the holiday season as there were 180 participants!!   Thank you Karin for doing this again.

8″ X 8″ Acrylic on a linen canvas panel.

Intricate : Illustration Friday

peace pipe - wip 1 Peace Pipe - wip 2

I see the results and not the intricate workings of my brain or why it took me from stage one to a different stage two. Mind you, i’m not complaining, I prefer the brighter colours!

In case you’re wondering the man in the painting is smoking a super sized pipe! Hopefully things will be clearer once the piece is finished. 😀


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Pretend : Illustration Friday


Pretend you’re happy when you’re blue
It isn’t very hard to do
And you’ll find happiness without an end
Whenever you pretend

Remember anyone can dream
And nothing’s bad as it may seem
The little things you haven’t got
Could be a lot if you pretend

And if you sing this melody
You’ll be pretending just like me
The world is mine, it can be yours, my friend
So why don’t you pretend?


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Loose or Sloppy?

Sherrod sketch 1

Above: Ran out of ideas on fixing the first one and so started on a smaller piece. It still needs work.

Below : Looks like I didnt manage to make the head bigger even though I thought I had. Thinking too about ways to improve on the background.

Sherrod 2

Born (not) to be Wild?

I’ve learnt a few new things in these past two days, some not so exciting. Firstly, my classes will be on for 2 weeks instead of the 4 that I had assumed. 😦 The school closes down for cleaning and preparing for the next term. I’ll be looking around for other learning opportunities in NYC. If you know of any for the last two weeks of August do leave me a comment.

Secondly, you cant be who you arent. In conversation with Philip Sherrod I said to him that I had really liked the painting put on his page by the ASL and signed up for his class. That I wanted to paint more loosely with freedom.  And his reply made complete sense. He said that painting is a part of you and that he had a wild cowboy in him which you could see in his work but that if you didnt have that “wildness” in you, your work couldnt be wild either. Now I understand that whatever style I settle down to will be very much a part of who I am.

He did encourage me to at least try and deviate from my current method. I did but not very successfully yesterday. On one of his rounds he took the palette knife picked up some paint and applied it to my canvas and said that he knew I could’nt wait to take it off. Well, I told him the truth that I didnt want to take it off.  But I was beginning to understand that i may not be able to dab on some more spontaneously.  Just before class finished since I felt that I was just getting sloppy he asked me to see if I could get back to what I had been doing earlier.

Today, after trying that for a while with my limited palette of Primary Red, Blue, Yellow, White and a secret hoard of Burnt Umber I gave in and ran to the store and picked up Yellow Ochre, Bone Black and Titanium Buff :P. When they didnt help me  ( I really need to do something about learning to mix colours!!! ) I gave up and used the palette knife to mix colours and started laying it on the canvas. I had fun and was happier with the results. What do you think? How does it compare with my earlier work?

Seeing it smaller on screen a few things are clear. I need to increase the size of the models head in proportion with the rest of her body. And the face definitely needs more work! And her outer left thigh needs to go in a bit. Shall try and fix them tomorrow.

Lastly, this is my 200th post on this blog 😀

Sherrod 1

At TASL NY once more

I’ve signed up for a month of painting, 5 days a week and a sculpture class all day on Saturdays at The Art Students League New York for the month of August. TASL follows the atelier method of teaching. I’ll be writing more about my classes here through the month. For now I’m posting a couple of sketches and progress on the clay bust.

The models change or the pose changes on a weekly basis. Aug 1st was a Friday and the last day of the models pose and so I decided to spend the time getting comfortable with drawing from life. Two pen & ink sketches from day 1.

pen & ink pen & ink

It’s been over two years since I last messed around with clay. It was exciting to be doing so once again. Decided to work on a bust. These progress shots were taken during the lunch break. Worked on it for about 3 more hrs that day. Hopefully I’ll remember to take some shots before I start work on it this coming Saturday.

after 3 hrs after 3 hrs

A full day

Reading two of Robert Genn’s recent letters, The Early Morning Club and Control has left me wanting some discipline in my painting life. After a looooong time of trying I’ve had a full day today. Two half hour singing practice sessions, lunch with a friend, painting, taking photographs, surfing and now relaxing, blogging.

A gorgeous view – the light was perfect today. The photograph is much darker but you can still get a feel of the magic.
todays view

With the setting sun came an added bonus of a rainbow and that too without rains! I didnt know that that could happen.

Continued work on a painting I started last night. At 20″ X 36″ it’s a bit larger than most of my recent work.


Electricity : Illustration Friday

I’m sort of stuck on this one. Not a new experience at all 😀  I was fiddling around with the image and trying out a few possibilities. The first photo is of where the painting is at now. The second one is a crop that I thought might make it look better as the empty spaces seem too evenly spaced in the first. And the 3rd is based on this weeks Illustration Friday topic “electricity”. I’ve created a kind of spotlight effect on the subjects. I’m leaning towards the 3rd as it fills up the space better but I’m not sure I can paint that effect 😛

What do you think? Any preferences? Any other suggestions?

Hum do Hamare do

Hum do Hamare do



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