My Drypoint in “The Moth”

drypoint features in the latest issue of the moth : )

I was delighted when I heard from the editor of the arts and literature magazine, The Moth asking to include one of my images in the March issue.  I, of course, said yes!!   Several blogs have used my work to date and one piece even features on the cover of a digital book on Dissociative Identity Disorder but this is the first one in print.  Thank you Rebecca!  The piece accompanies a poem by Tishani Doshi titled Lesson 6: Saying Goodbye to Love in Butoh Class.

And below are two stages of an incomplete portrait of my nephew started a few weeks back.  Took the opportunity to try out a different crop from the rectangular one in the actual painting while uploading the image for this post and discovered that this clearly appeals to me more.  Very grateful for all the digital tools available to us.

P1250833 P1250839


3rd Portrait Swap at WetCanvas

7th Annual Portrait Swap is underway over at WetCanvas.   The deadline for signing up was the end of October.  And once that passed, the admins paired up folks randomly and you got a partner to exchange photo references, paint and swap portraits with.  The work this year and feedback has been of a high standard.  This link will take you to the fabulous work in their various stages on display in this thread.

My partner on this adventure is Max and you can see his take on me on his blog, Silver and the Birds.  He’s done a fabulous job and soon it will be winging its way to sunny Colombo!

Here’s where I’m at today on his portrait.   I had great refs to work with.

wip 6

And I’m almost done.  I’ll put in some more work on the hair, sweatshirt and background over the next few days.  Below are some progress shots so that you can see what it went through to get here.

KMP 55/100wip 2
wip 3wip 4


KMP 37/100 - final

Boredom. Loneliness. Anonymity.  All the things we’ve learnt to avoid and in the process lost our ability to spend time on our own with just our thoughts for company.   I found that journaling helped me get into the mode where I would spend time thinking about things.  I’m a product of our time and cannot get away from the Net for long.  It’s long arms pull me back and hold me closer every time I try.   6 months ago or so I did 12 weeks of the morning* pages once more and came across this very interesting article on Solitude, why it is important and an equally interesting interview (audio) with the author based on this article.  A must read!

What does the contemporary self want? The camera has created a culture of celebrity; the computer is creating a culture of connectivity. As the two technologies converge — broadband tipping the Web from text to image, social-networking sites spreading the mesh of interconnection ever wider — the two cultures betray a common impulse. Celebrity and connectivity are both ways of becoming known. This is what the contemporary self wants. It wants to be recognized, wants to be connected: It wants to be visible. If not to the millions, on Survivor or Oprah, then to the hundreds, on Twitter or Facebook. This is the quality that validates us, this is how we become real to ourselves — by being seen by others. The great contemporary terror is anonymity. William Deresiewicz.   

Read his full article “End of Solitude

And hear his interview based on this article.

* When i did the morning pages the first time I wrote in a file on my computer when I could and it was mostly last thing at night.  The second time around I tried to follow the rules wrote long hand and on most days managed to write first thing in the morning.  I haven’t as yet managed to go back in and separate the nuggets of info from the drivel.

Stages that the painting went through over 3 sessions.

KMP 37/100 KMP 37/100 - wip

KMP 37/100KMP 37/100 - final

Oil on Canvas.

Update : June 11, 2010 : And a song by Suzanne Vega to go with the title of this post.

Easier ways to make money

Publishing books to make money…………

is a little like hanging out in a singles bar if you want to get married.

It might work, but there are way better ways to accomplish your goal.  If you love writing or making music or blogging or any sort of performing art, then do it. Do it with everything you’ve got. Just don’t plan on using it as a shortcut to making a living. Seth Godin

KMP 29/100

KMP’s are skill building exercises advised by Kevin Macpherson in his book Fill Your Oil Paintings with Light & Color. I started these in 2007 and am continuing with it in 2010. If you want to know more about this set of exercises click here.

Struggling for form and likeness

Oil painting is likely to go the way of digital painting until I have more control.  I’m over blending in this medium sometimes inadvertently as the layer below hasn’t dried.  While I do love this quality of oils, the pleasure of moving paint around, I often do not like the over blended result.  The patchy kind of work where the strokes are distinct appeals to me more.   Maybe I should use Liquin to speed up the drying process.

kmp 27/100 reworked

KMP 26 & 27.  Stopping at the half hour mark continues to be a goal which I’m struggling to get at.  The answer may be to start a new larger painting which I could switch to after crossing the half an hour mark on the starts.

kmp 26/100

KMP’s are skill building exercises advised by Kevin Macpherson in his book Fill Your Oil Paintings with Light & Color. I started these in 2007 and am continuing with it in 2010. If you want to know more about this set of exercises click here.

Thank you Karin!

Karin Jurick is a favourite painter of mine for a number of years now.  Do check out her blog and website to see for yourself.  I promise you it will be a special treat.

Back in September 2008, Karin started a blog called Different Strokes from Different Folks to help fellow artists practice and improve.   She puts up a photo challenge regularly and it’s for the  online artist community and enthusiasts to use by drawing, painting or sketching and show their  interpretation of the shared photograph.  There are usually at least a 150 people participating and all the images that are emailed to her, she collates and posts to this blog.  All this is done manually which, believe me, is a MAMMOTH task!  In addition, she puts up her interpretation of the piece.

Different Strokes from Different Folks

I’m sure all who’ve participated and those who visit the dsfdf blog will agree that she’s been doing a fantastic job.  There are not many who are willing to take so much time away from their own work to help others improve.   We all appreciate it very much but so far have only been able to thank her through emails and comments left behind on the blog.

Jill Polsby came up with this wonderful idea to thank Karin with a surprise – her portrait made by different artists.   She left behind messages as comments on blogs for many of those who’d participated in Karin’s December Portrait Challenge.  I got one such message on my blog and asked her to count me in.  Many more would’ve participated I’m sure but there was no way to get in touch with them and yet keep it a surprise for Karin.  You can see all 118 portraits here and the book that Jill made and sent to her on Snapfish.   Jill put in a LOT of work on behalf of all of us who participated – Thank you Jill!

And most of all, Thank you Karin for all the time, effort and encouragement!  I wish you the very best for your exhibition in March!

Thank you Karin!

Oil on Canvas – 8″ X 10″ – Thank you Karin!

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.

Portrait swap with Nadine

nadine - pen & ink

I was thrilled to hear from Nadine regarding a swap and accepted immediately. One of the activities I enjoy is portrait swaps. Lately I’ve had the chance to do a few but with the holidays just a week away this will be the last for a while.

Nadine‘s work is a pleasure to see and I’ve been admiring them over at The Portrait Party blog. Recently when visiting her blog I asked her about her technique soon after found that she had very generously shared a step-by step of her process. Have a look. She’s made it look easy and it’s something I’d certainly like to try out too. I’m looking forward to seeing her version of me 😀 ( Update :  You can see it here and she has done a great job 😀 )

The photograph above is a crop of the drawing I made of Nadine this morning ( 3rd attempt 😛 ) . It’s more of a sketch actually. You can see the full piece below.

nadine - pen & ink

Trading ATC’s

my first atc

My first portrait swaps were for the Annual Portrait Exchange over at WetCanvas! and I learned from and enjoyed the experience. Then there was The Portrait Party blog where I found the quick exchanges exciting and refreshing. Recently I joined Bearuh girl’s Monday Artday ATC exchange network and decided to combine the two 😀 And Mellanie agreed to both. This is my first ATC and you can also see the swap at the Portrait Party blog.

Acrylics were used because of the earlier experience of painting the Altoid tin cover. Problems of painting in that size had been forgotten and secondly getting a likeness had not been important then. It was quite difficult to control the brush in the 2.5″ X 3.5″ space. And getting a likeness successfully evaded me. Several smaller sized brushes should’ve been kept handy or at least that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it! I have a new respect for all those artists who made miniatures!! Mellanie has been very sporting and has accepted the results. Cant wait to get a hold of the beautiful one I will get in exchange. Here’s a preview and you can read more about it on Mellanie’s blog, See.Draw.Share.

A couple of facts about these tiny art cards. ATC is the name used when they are traded and ACEO when they are put up for sale. These cards can be of at least 3 varieties – originals, limited edition prints and prints. The ones we are exchanging are original ATC’s. It’s been a great experience. Mellanie has started trading in earnest and I’m sure I’ll be trying out more soon.

Monday Artday ATC is a place for Artists to trade cards. Do visit to see what it’s all about.