Artilicious

Let it flow..

Experimenting with colors and patterns is fun for any artist. I treated myself to a vibrant set of acrylic paints soon after my semester ended. Colors give you the needed break and relaxation from the overly packed semester. I also call it my gift to me for winning the BEMOSS project Phase 2.

Blue..

The color of the sky, the image of which brings sunshine, peace and tranquility to the soul. Lie down on your back and look at the bright blue sky. Doesn’t it calm your nerves, reducing stress, and enhances self-expression.

Here is what the color blue did to me.

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The dark outer shades represent the need for relaxation, and as I moved my paint brush toward the center, I was relieved to see some brightness. The need for some fun is portrayed in the form of gray tint for leaves. The subtle reflection gave me the much needed calm.

I hung this 24”x36”painting in my living room such that I can view it sitting on my couch. How I wishedAcry I lived away from the busy streets in a quiet and peaceful neighborhood!

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I doodled..

Doodling is often unfocused drawing made on a paper. I have often looked at doodling as fun, and do it all the time, or if I am in deep conversations over the phone. I have always felt that doodling relaxes my mind from all stress. I keep a pocket journal handy to just doodle. It has helped me through a lot of tough times. Finding a quiet space to get my doodle done is more like meditation to me.

The sketchbook I posted about in the last post, was misplaced during my trip to India, and I recently found it. I wanted to do a few sketches in it and just to do a quick one I doodled. This time I used a sharpie pen instead of the micron. I always find it difficult to use a micron on a watercolor sketchbook. I prefer watercolor sketchbook because the pages don’t deckle or soak or tear easily unlike regular sketchbooks. I should say, I liked the effect that I obtained with the sharpie pens. It was one of the best doodle effect I have had so far. I love doodling flowers and adding colors to a few of them, preferably, watercolors.

A few months ago I was in a session when I felt completely lost and didn’t follow anything. While I was searching for a way to be attentive again, I had a blank page on which I started scribbling <call it doodling>, and it turned out to be a pretty one. The best part about that doodle is that it was done with absolutely no concentration on creating the doodle itself. Here is that little doodle from a few months ago.

0.4 mm black pen doodle

It is not perfect, but I love this doodle. This technique helped me stay tuned to whatever I was doing, when I felt unfocused at work/classes. A couple of weeks later, I doodled another just before going to sleep. That was magical too. It has since then come to give me a perfect relaxation phase between tired work phases. I love each and every doodle that I do, since it is from my subconscious, unlike paintings.

 

The first two doodles were done with a 0.3mm black gel pen, and I loved it as the ink flowed. I got a set of colored gel pens in the 0.25 mm to 0.3 mm thickness,and started doodling every now and then. I kept handy a small Visual Journal to make sure I have a perfect space to organize all the doodles.

IMAG1017_1Strathmore journals are somehow my favorite, since they give the flexibility and they are affordable. I usually stock journals as I find them in the store with discounts, so Strathmore with discounts add to the fun. I started doodling in my  Strathmore 8.5′ x 11′ journal, and this time using a fine tip Sharpie. Sharpie actually made it more fun, giving me the flexibility to move around, unlike the teeny 0.3 mm gel pens. While I favorite both the writing instruments, I prefer using a sharpie pen on a watercolor paper, because of its ease of use and bold lines. I tried one and I loved it. Here is the first journal page with black and white doodles.

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Black and white doodles are clean, and give you a good perspective of how you started your work, while adding color to them makes it a lot more fun. So next time, I tried to fill an entire journal page and make it colorful. It is by far the most attractive page in this art journal of mine. I love flowers and leaves, and most of my journals have been a mix of flowers and leaves, and attractive yellow and pink shades. I colored my second journal page after doodling, and I found the end product average. I wanted to highlight the colors further and the magic of black background did it.

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I loved the outcome of a colored journal page. I have done doodling earlier but it never struck me that I can keep doing this forever without even thinking about it. This time, the plethora of ideas and colors and mediums to doodle, makes it a very attractive journalling idea. More to come every few weeks!

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Scanning my sketchbook

When you have about a few sketchbooks filled in, it is so much joy to just go back and look and see your journey and growth. I started painting without any prior training or tutorials, so my work has been constantly evolving. I love the idea of maintaining sketchbooks, because it gives me a chance to review how my paintings have grown better from time to time. Today I just happened to skim through a set of paintings from my latest but idle sketchbook. As opposed to journalling, I prefer pen and color and a few sketches. DSC_5780The first of these make the first page of my sketchbook. The second is from yesterday which is just watercolor and ink. I am not entirely happy with the outcome, but I like the colors that make this painting.

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The third one is something I tried with salt, to get the sand effect. I am not sure you can see it clearly in the image, but that page was a lot of fun to work with.

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The last one is a painting of my alma mater, BITS Pilani – Goa campus, that I painted a few months ago for BITSians Day. I had fun replicated one of my favorite pictures of my undergraduate school in watercolor.
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I am learning color theory and contrasting colors while painting. It has been a great journey so far, amidst my busy days. Being done with a semester gives more time in spite of working, than when you have to do both studying and office work. And did I tell you, I got a sampler of the Sennelier watercolors, and I am loving it. This is by far the best of pigments I have tried so far.

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Artilicious · Sunshine'n'Rainbows

Summer is coming…

Its been a month since I posted. Blame all the semester finals, projects and deadlines. I feel relaxed after the most hectic semester ever. The Spring was here and there meanwhile, playing hide and seek, and now its almost summer.

I have been waiting for good weather and no deadline. The second is always impossible, so I manage to get some time here and there. For the most part I had been coding (programming; Shankar interprets ‘coding’ as the medical ‘coding’ – lol – so I made it a point to specify). I am at the office which is unusually quiet. My whole corridor is empty, with all my professors traveling to China and my friends relaxing around. I like it quiet and peaceful. My productivity levels have actually increased, and I can really concentrate. I hope to finish as much web development as possible with all this peace around.

My few relaxation moments here and there have been just going over colorful blogs from my favorite artists, and learning what they have to teach the world. One notable piece of work is by Alisa Burke, one of my favorite artists. She brings out something really exotic with simple tools. And I recently checked out her post on ‘Hand painted wall‘. Black and white doodle on walls – absolutely mind-blowing – with room-length beds. I love the idea of a simple and beautiful wall painting.

clematis_kruthikaAnother interesting read is that of Cathy Johnson. She is a great inspiration for anyone who wants to know, painting can be simple and beautiful. My first few watercolor paintings were in fact inspired from her work. I love the simplicity, and the subtle pen and color technique. Her artwork is a good choice for art journalling, which I have just started to explore.And while this has been my relaxation and learning to do justice to my art love, I did find a few hours to get a couple of paintings done. One of them is a 18×24 inch watercolor painting of a few clematis flowers. It took me about four hours in total, from outlining to hanging it in our living room. I loved the colors I have used, and it brightens up the space. Another is part of my sketchbook work, and it was derived from my sketchbook covers. I am posting pictures of these two paintings here.

sketchbook

Amongst several activities, one another great hobby I seem to like is gardening. I have not been much of a garden person till I got a few plants from Home Depot last week. I am a total newbie to planting, and this has been very satisfying. I love how the tiny seeds begin to grow and bear shoots. Its a wonderful feeling to wake up every morning and go visit those teeny plants, sit with them, water them. I am absolutely loving it. We got just a few plants and seeds to start with, and now that I know how I love it, I will get more of them now.

Artilicious · Sunshine'n'Rainbows

Spring is here, and so are colors!

So, Spring is here! Finally! It feels wonderful to hear birds chirping again!

The temperatures have been going up and down but it is at least not zero anymore! I have been working harder than ever, keeping pace in all the different activities I am involved in. Study, work, research, meet with friends, have a little fun, cook, etc.

I celebrated Holi with my friends at George Mason University, it felt wonderful. I was drenched in colors after almost 7 years. And I loved dancing and playing around. I also happened to be introduced to two new friends, a couple. Just as we are, they make a lovely addition to the group. Here is a picture from our Holi celebrations. And Shankar’s friend, Ganesh was also with us for that weekend, and he got drenched in colors too! Probably his first Holi in life! Ain’t that fun?!

Holi

Oh! I know, thats a funny picture! 😀 And Ganesh was the photographer!

I won the Art and Photography contest that was held at my University as part of the Graduate Education Week. Thats brings more confidence in me! Its always nice to know when people appreciate your art. This week was really hard on me, I had to work till midnight almost every day, and I am glad its weekend. I had to miss a party just to finish up the pending items on my list. And the list is hugeeee…! I miss you free time!

Its been exciting these days to learn something new everyday. Starting from my course, where the subject has been so enlightening, to work, I am learning something new everyday. I never loved it all along, but I am falling for it these days. Being in the US exposes me to a lot more in terms of resources to learn and be motivated to learn. Its not just plain programming or painting anymore! You can always find peers who work in similar areas, interact, and learn.

And yes, you should not miss my new painting in watercolor medium. Took me two days to complete. The first day I was exhausted just filling the sheet in with some background colors. I need bigger paint brushes. It was a 18 x 24 watercolor 300 lb. paper, and it took significant amount of effort to complete it, unlike the smaller ones that I usually make. I loved painting every bit of it. Here is the final painting!

Rural India

Who is watching Game of Thrones tonight? (Sunday, 6th April)..

Artilicious · Sunshine'n'Rainbows

Miss you, Spring!

What is going on with nature?

Its the end of March and it is snowing. I was so excited when it snowed heavily for the first time this season, because I don’t usually see that much snow in this area. But I am done with handling snow days for the year.

Spring! I miss you! Truly!

It looks like there is going to be no Spring, we are going to head straight into summer. Rains play spoilsport too! Anyway, I have been looking out through the window grabbing every opportunity I can get to go out and enjoy the sun! Meanwhile, work has been rolling. I have been working on the software for my work project, and seems to be taking shape right now. It is always nice to know new languages and develop new applications, but the learning part while on the job is as painful as it can get. I would have just set up my system, only to realize that it has some new error waiting to be resolved. Oh, I am sorry, I am talking about software development. This is really a kind of experience working with a team of to-be-PhDs, knowing how they think and how they work. I have been learning a lot, both good and bad, but in the end, it all helps! Doesn’t it?! 🙂

Also, having no time to paint to sketch, I have planned to invite my friends over for a ‘Paint all you like’ day. It is going to be a lunch / dinner meet up with friends catching up and painting. And yea, for those who love, there is the wine! My hands are getting itchy to paint and I really need to get my hands on painting! I want to try the canvas and acrylic now, given I have two big albums full of watercolor paintings now and only a few of canvas work.

I submitted a few of my paintings to my University’s Art and Photography Contest this week. Lets hope to win. 🙂

 

Artilicious · Sunshine'n'Rainbows

Looking back

Awaiting Spring!

Surreal in acrylics

Though I spent a month in India when the polar vortex hit US, I still feel that winter this year is never ending. I so need a break from these sub-zero temperatures right now. For one thing, I was at home last year, so I kept myself cozy. This year, going out every day for work and classes are making the winter crazier than before. Meanwhile, a year has passed by. Looking back at what I did last year made me feel good.

Watercolor doodle
I am no more the ‘all work and no play makes a dull boy’ I used to think I was. Today, I am sitting at my work (not sure if this is work yet 😛 ), and I find time to type this. Thanks to Shankar, for dropping me at work early today. I spoke to my mom for a decent amount of time, and now I am ‘looking back’ at the past year.

My entire 2013 has been recorded in bits and pieces in one place – ‘Instagram’. I joined Instagram around mid 2012, and had not been posting much until I had something exciting to post.

Tulips in a sketchbook

I started with a pencil drawing of a kissing couple and the latest post has been of a flower doodle in watercolor. My passion for painting and art has just taken the right path, and I now know I can really do it. US has amazing stores that help you get from where you were to where you want to be with respect to art. And I just love it.

You can find a few of my favorite art work in this post. For more of it, you can visit my Instagram. These last two are a serious effort to kindle the artist in me after I started work this year. Made me feel good every time I drew/painted something. For me, doing some art work every second day fuels me like to work better. It is what coffee/exercise does to most people. 🙂 I am glad art does the trick for me.

Flower doodle in watercolor0.4 mm black pen doodle

 

 

 

Artilicious · Sunshine'n'Rainbows

Time is Defenseless..

Last time, I was still having a few reports to submit, and this time I am completely done with my semester. Project report, summary report, powerpoint presentation, youtube demo – all done and submitted. I am free for the next fortnight after which I am going on a holiday – to where? To India! Yeay!

Its been a year since I met with my parents and friends back in India, and so this is going to be a good break and an awesome trip. I am so eagerly waiting for the day, but for the flying part. 24 hours of flying makes me so tired and sick and my legs go numb most of all.

Unlike last time, which was my first long hour air travel, this time I plan to be a little more prepared. I have a few activities planned for my travel. I am carrying my watercolor kit, my sketchbook and my Stephen King novel, and I have my pocket book of ‘The Hobbit’. I think this is going to help me going during the awake-time of my flight travel. Of course, if I am tired of all this, I can always resort to watching a couple of movies from my IPad. Sounds like a plan! Doesn’t it?

And yesterday, besides other work I had to do with respect to my Masters admission, I got an hour to paint. I have always wanted to paint in oils, but there are not many videos freely available on the web that teach you to oil paint. Being a self-learner, I tried my hands on oils to understand how it works. My first oil painting was a half flower on a small canvas.

First oil painting
First oil painting

And here is my painting from yesterday. As for yesterday’s I did not really start out knowing what I was going to paint. I just wanted to paint something that depicted time and its defenseless nature. I wanted to link it with just colors that might end up representing a strong element of nature.

Time and tide wait for none
Time and tide wait for none

This painting is yet to dry completely. It is still shiny and I could not wait to post it. This is painting on a 11 x 14. I kept it small to use just a small space to play with oils and still get something out of it. I hope you like it. Now that my vacation has begun, I plan to post something every time an idea strikes.

Artilicious · Sunshine'n'Rainbows

Sunset in watercolor..

Tik Tok Tik Tok !

My semester is coming to an end, and I am back to those days when I used to be idle all day long figuring out how best to spend the day. And meanwhile, me and Shankar just celebrated our first Wedding Anniversary. Oh! Did I say ‘celebrate’?

Ahem! It wasn’t really a celebration with me running up and down different campus building, and Shankar picking me up and dropping me just so we can find some together. And we finally ended up having lunch together, and I successfully completed the final presentation for my class project. We got back home around 11 PM.

And Monday was thus gone, with Tuesday all white and snowy and cold and icy.. I really wanted to see some sunshine, and there it was, just before sunset yesterday. A peek of sunshine! Just enough to say it made my day.

The onset of winter is good with a snow. I just started hating those bare trees; they make me feel almost dead. That’s when Shankar told me – they are not dead; they wait till time favors them and bloom back to life. Mean’t so much to me – those words. Nature’s ways!

All this, and finally I get some leisure time, and for leisure and relaxation, I prefer painting than anything else in the world. It has been almost four months since I did any good painting. Today, I found time and inspiration. I loved the hour I spent painting today, and I wish I always get this hour everyday to keep me relaxed.

Here is the painting in two stages.

First Step

Sunset is so pretty anytime anywhere. Isn’t it?

Sunset - Watercolor

 

I enjoyed painting this piece, every minute of it. Hope you enjoy seeing it, the sunset – it sets only to rise again 🙂

Have a good day!

Artilicious · Sunshine'n'Rainbows

On my birthday, with love..

Feels like ages since I sat down to write a post here. Well, life gets busy and priorities keep changing. Oh its right what they say – Change is the only constant around us.

Steady state Markov systems is my current assignment and I am totally into it. Suddenly, engineering is all fun! But more fun was on the way as we drove back home from a whole day of shopping and fun. Shankar had arranged a quick surprise for my birthday inviting all my closest friends for a birthday blast. My friends reached at a  totally unexpected moment.

I quickly changed into a dazzling pretty pink lehenga, and got ready to have fun. Cut the cake, eat some, blast some on each other’s faces, and have fun over a couple of drinks! Shankar had all of it arranged. And all this happened the evening before my birthday, given we both had a pretty packed Monday.

And now its time for the gifts. While Manisha surprised me with a bouquet of pretty orange roses, Rubina gifted me with a pretty pink shoulder bag. Did I tell you, ‘pink’ is my favorite color?

And Shankar’s turn it was. Shankar has given me all I wanted and all I needed to feel comfortable with. So he was not sure of what gift would surprise me. Poor Shankie! But a quick drive by the shopping centers can sometimes trigger your passion for something, as it did to me as we passed by the ‘Guitar Center’. I was a little reluctant to buy a musical instrument but I always wanted to learn to play one. And there we go, an awesome birthday gift.

And there goes my birthday resolution – ‘learn to play the piano’.

I am probably the most unconventional learner. I dived directly into playing one of my all time favorites with all the help from the web.

thats my pianoWhat more could I ask for? It was such a lovely evening, and thanks to my friends, to have made it to the party at such a short notice. And did you notice the iPad in place of the sheet music! Lol, thanks to today’s technology!