Sunday, March 10, 2019

Towards your destiny...

Dancing Feet
Oil on Stretched Canvas 16" x 20" (40 cm x 50 cm)

Destiny is not something that we reach by accident or by luck. It is something that we know very well about. But, what we don't know is how to reach. Efforts, efforts, efforts....that is all we need to put in for reaching it.

I have turned many of my thoughts and actions into habits by constantly doing. I always tell myself and others that once something becomes a habit, it is hard to live without it. Thought Art has been my primary hobby since my childhood, I turned it into a habit by re-starting it with sketching. Sketching for almost 2 years every single day on my commute to work on the train, and then constantly practicing every weekend for more than 6 years till date, now it is part of my life. I can't live without doing it. If weekend is not complete without it. It is now that much into me and my life!

This one is a continuation of my series of Nátyánjali - My tribute to Indian Classical Dance. I've lost track of the running number of this series already. It must be in twenties by now. This is my 12th finished Oil Painting and 3rd this year. If I can make 12 by the end of this year, I would reach my goal, 1 per month on an average. That's an aggressive goal with much of time is taken by the busy life of profession, family, friends, books etc.

"Your beliefs become your thoughts.
Your thoughts become your words.
Your words become your actions.
Your actions become your habits.
Your habits become your values.
Your values become your destiny."
- Mahatma Gandhi

Happy Painting!
March forward steadily towards your destiny!!

Title: Dancing Feet, Nátyánjali - My tribute to Indian Classical Dance
Mediums: Oil on Stretched Canvas
Reference: A photograph from my collection
Size: 16" x 20" (40 cm x 50 cm)
Surface: Stretched Canvas board

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Friends until the end...

Friends forever

Oil Painting requires patience, at every phase of it. It's more like cooking. If you do not have patience in cooking, you turn out to be a bad cook and most likely remain a bad cook for your life. If you only enjoy cooking, but not cutting vegetables before and cleaning dishes after, you are still not a good cook. A good cook needs patience at all phases and must enjoy the complete process of cooking. Similarly, Oil Painting requires quite a bit of setup before you get to touch the canvas with brush. At the end, cleaning brushes & palette is a real test to your patience. I have heard Artists saying- "I hate cleaning brushes". Well, if you hate cleaning brushes, you are not enjoying the process fully ;)

Like many beginners in Oil Painting, I went through the struggles of cleaning palette and brushes. With not knowing techniques, I spoiled expensive brushes and palettes. I also tried disposable wax-coated papers and plastic palettes, and was not happy with either. I do have a couple of wooden palettes, but am scared to touch those as I do not know how to clean dried-up painting on wood. Recently, after watching a youtube video, I made my own palette from a glass, removed from an old frame. I even spent my time quoting one side with gray acrylic paint and adding a thin border all around with duct tape. This one worked out to my best satisfaction and I am quite happy. Cleaning is as easy as scrapping the paint. Of course, I had to visit hardware stores finding a good paint scrapper. Don't try to scrape any other way, nothing works better than a good paint scrapper ;)

You have to learn by experimenting in order to arrive at what works best for you. It's a scientifically proven fact, that the best option is always the last one. To arrive at it, you will have to try all other options. Life is meant to work that way only. If it works any different for anybody, that person is an extraordinary person ;)

After experiencing and knowing what I want, I've decided to invest my money & time to buy expensive palette. This new New Wave Posh Tabletop Palette with corner guards and gray-coated on one side, is my new friend I have now in my journey of Oil Painting.

It's a false belief that only people have hearts. Non-living things do have hearts; only if you can feel. Unlike living people, non-livings do not hurt. All they need is little care, they always give their best to you.

My dear new friends, new palette and brushes, I promise to give you a good care. Let's start our colorful journey on the path of Oil Painting, and make it a memorable journey together...

Happy Painting! Happy caring!!

"Caring- about people, about things, about life- is an act of maturity."
- Tracy McMillan

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Artist Card...

My Artist Card

I have been bit hesitant to say "I am an Artist". But, with all the paintings I have created so far with thousands of hours of sincere efforts put in doing & practicing, I think, I have reached the stage to start marketing my Paintings with no hesitation whatsoever.

When people ask me- do you have a web-site, are you on Facebook, are you on Instagram...I used to say- yes, I can write it down for you. Now, I can simply hand them my card instead. How sweet is that! A printed painting of mine along with my details on it gets into the hands of people who would like to get in touch with me or look at all my works. When they look at the card later, they read my name and can recollect some of my Paintings they had seen in person. Their memory stays un-erased, little longer.

I have a couple of Art shows coming up in March. I will see who gets the first card from my hands ;)

Thanks to Vistaprint customer support person who worked with me on this design. They have such a nice set of people to assist their customers, and their prices are very affordable.

"Quality is the best business plan." – John Lasseter

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Dancing Saree...

Dancing Saree
Oil on Stretched Canvas 2 Feet x 3 Feet (24" x 36"; 60 cm x 91.5 cm)

When you stop doing, you stop learning. So, don't stop. Keep going, going....and going...

There is an abandoned Painting underneath this painting. I Gessoed and started this over that.

This is my 11th finished Oil Painting and 2nd this year. I decided to change my signature from now on by joining brush and my name. Don't know why I did, I guess it only looks more professional now ;)

"I am still learning." - Michelangelo

Happy Painting!

Title: Dancing Saree
Mediums: Oil on Stretched Canvas
Reference: A photograph from my collection
Size: 2 Feet x 3 Feet (24" x 36")
Surface: Artist's Loft Stretched Canvas board, Gesso'd to cover an abandoned sketch

Saturday, February 9, 2019

NEVER GROW UP - the book I couldn't put down...

I travelled into Jackie's life

One of my new-year-resolutions this year, 2019 is- "to read as many books as I can". I have already finished reading 4 books.

This book of Jackie Chan's life made me travel with him through his life from his childhood in the streets of French consulate in Hong Kong where his parents used to work as Chef and Maid, into 'the decade of darkness' (that's his name for that chapter) at rigorous, disciplined School of China Drama Academy (CDA), onto the sets as stuntman, to his venture into movies of Hong Kong, Hollywood, and back to Hong Kong, his family, his first time experiences, his parents, his transformations in life all the way from an ordinary kid into a very rich millionaire who had more dollars than sense, and into an extraordinary human being who is doing amazing things to preserve the heritage of his country and people...

Written in the most simplest words of English language with the flow of a gentle breeze makes this book such an honest presentation of his life. Reading this book and knowing the complete life of a Legendary Star of our time in his honest words is an unforgettable journey of experience.

His focus, dedication, determination, learnings & experiences in life are simply amazing. I truly travelled into his life with this Kung Fu Master of our time. Now, with due respects, I need to watch all his real stunts and risks he took in his movies to entertain his fans all over the world, that resulted in several injuries.

Some good words to cherish from this book:

Never Grow Up - Jackie Chan (Translated by Jeremy Tiang)
~~~~ . ~~~~ . ~~~~ . ~~~~

Hollywood filmmakers not only learn from China, they tell Chinese stories too. When someone is better than us at something, we ought to admit it.

First time when I met Steven Spielberg, I asked him about the special effects for E.T. “How did you make it look so real, people and dinosaurs side by side?” He said, “Oh, that’s simple, I just keep pushing buttons- button, button, button. What about your films? How did you do all those dangerous stunts, jumping off rooftops and over cliffs”? I said, “Oh, that’s even simpler. It’s just rolling, action, jump, cut, hospital!”

When you have experience and standards, and show respect for people and property, you are respected in return.

To make good impression, all you have to do is talk to people, look them in the eye, and show them respect and love. I give newcomers a chance and take care of them so that they have every opportunity to shine. All those good practices and intentions come back to you.

Why wait for special day to remember the people important to us? If someone means a lot to you, then every day is Valentine’s Day, Christmas, or Mother’s Day.

About his son Jaycee (JC a name coined from initials of Jackie Chan by Jackie Chan) when he was having all lights left on in the bathroom and closets and said it makes him feel more alive: “You’re only saying that because I’m the one who pays the bills. Don’t waste energy.”

Some people are forever chasing luxury products, but there is no end to this, and they will never be satisfied. If we already have more than enough, we shouldn’t ask for more.

Any artistic endeavor has a way of forcing you to explore new sides of yourself, which can be annoying in the moment but is worthwhile in the end.

My grandfather said, “I hope one day you understand that life isn’t only about work, but there are more important things to care about. And if you neglect them, you might find one day that you’ve left it too late.

You have to be good to your elders while they’re still alive. Don’t wait until it is too late and then do the rituals, like burning paper money, for them.

My parent’s story is ordinary and extraordinary. I am very lucky to have been their child, and I know they were proud of me, too.

“Whatever you do, heaven is watching.” I make sure that in everything I do, I’m not letting down my country or my people. I can only do what I think is right. As long as I haven’t gone against my conscience, then I’m happy, and that’s how it’s been for many years.

Some say that connections between people are just a matter of fate, and I am grateful that I’ve connected with so many fans in this lifetime. I dedicate these words to all my lovable, crazy fans.

The world isn’t that big, but it’s not that small either, and connections between two human beings are always a little mystical.

Whenever I hesitated, I recalled my stunt team’s motto: “We don’t ask why, we just do or die.”

~~~~ . ~~~~ . ~~~~ . ~~~~ 

“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.” - Mark Twain

Happy Reading & Healthy Living!!

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Just enough is more than enough...

A Sketch for an Oil Painting
Oil on Canvas, 2 Feet x 3 Feet (24" x 36")

I see some of my Artist friends spend too much time in getting more details into a sketch for an Oil/Acrylic Painting. From my learnings, failure & successful experiences, sketching is an important first-step in Painting, but it must be fast and fairly accurate. It is the beginning phase with which an Artist can quickly decide on the composition and do quick outlines of the main objects with just minimal details.

Oil Painting, particularly is relatively longer anyways, and offers opportunities for corrections at any and every given stage. So, there is no need to spend too much time upfront on the details. Even if you put in all the details, they go away covered by paints once you start painting. As long as the composition and proportions look fairly accurate and good to you, that is good enough. I wouldn't spend more than 15 to 30 minutes on sketching for an Oil Painting.

Many professional oil-painting Artists do sketches very quickly. If a more detailed study is needed they do it separately on a Paper with a pencil or a pen. Good Painters are also good at drawing and sketching. I have seen and heard people saying that Painting doesn't require any experience with drawing. That is a complete-lie and totally wrong. It's like saying, you don't need to know how to walk in order to run. Drawing skills are basics in Art. Aspiring Artists must practice and keep practicing basics. There might be shortcuts for earning money, but not in learning. Practice is the only way! The more you practice, the more you learn and the better you will be.

Learning is a life-long process. The moment we step into this world, our learning starts. We only graduate in life moments before we die, if we live a full-life, of course. Those who don't make it that far are only dropouts.

This sketch with left over oil-paints is fairly big in size, 2 feet x 3 feet (24" x 36") and I spent about 30 minutes to do both my sketch and underpainting. I am all set now for another colorful journey, can't wait to get my hands dirty with Paints all over ;)

"He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough." - Lao Tzu

Happy Painting!
Do not stop learning, do not stop growing!

The progress - Step by step

Mediums: Oil on Canvas
Reference: A photograph from my collection
Size: 2 Feet x 3 Feet (24" x 36")
Surface: Artist's Loft Stretched Canvas board, Gesso'd to cover an abandoned sketch

Monday, January 21, 2019

Grow young...

Nátyánjali - My tribute to Indian Classical Dance
Oil on Canvas 22" x 28" (55.8 cm x 71.1 cm)

You are born only once and you celebrate your birthday each year. But, you can be reborn and celebrate it everyday with your passion. There is a reason behind every life in nature. Everything that happens in and around your life is only supportive for that. It takes long time to find it out. Once found, live with a passion for it. Then only you will grow, and grow young...

This Oil Painting is my Gift to myself on my Birthday today. I worked hard to finish it by today. Happy to start my day by giving finishing touches to it, finished and signed.

This is my 10th finished Oil Painting, first this year. The color combination was bit challenging. I changed background colors few times and finally settled with the same prime colors of the main painting. First time on this brand of canvas, it challenged me to great extent.

"It takes a long time to become young." - Pablo Picasso

Happy Painting!
Grow young and stay young forever!!

Title: Nátyánjali - My tribute to Indian Classical Dance
Mediums: Oil on Canvas
Inspiration: Passion for Arts, Dream for Oil Painting
Reference: A photograph from my digital collection
Size: 22" x 28" (55.8 cm x 71.1 cm)
Surface: Artist's Loft, Level-2, Stretched Canvas board

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Enjoy the outcome..

Oil on Canvas - work in progress
Video Credits: Bhuvan Pottepalem

Several people have been saying to me lately that it's easy for me, and I do Paintings just like that. No, that's not true. In fact, nothing is easy for me in life. There is only sheer hard work behind every result and every success of mine.

"The fruit of your own hard work is the sweetest." - Deepika Padukone

Happy Painting!
Work hard and enjoy the outcome of it!!

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Smile with colors...

Smile with Colors
Watercolors on Paper - 8.5" x 11" (21.5 cm x 27.9 cm)

Smile with colors, the natural colors within you. Then a day of any kind will shine on you with the smiling colors within you.

"Colors are the smiles of nature." - Leigh Hunt

Happy painting! Keep exploring the natural colors within you!

Title: Smile with Colors
Mediums: Watercolors and Ink on Paper
Reference: A random Photograph from my Digital Library
Size: 8.5" x 11" (21.5 cm x 27.9 cm)
Surface: Artist's Loft Sketchbook, 75 lb/110 gm2 Acid-free Paper

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Details do matter...

Details - Oil On Canvas 22" x 28" (56 cm x 71 cm)
A tiny portion of my new Painting

Details do matter. A big picture is a sum of many details, with each detail crafted carefully and blended into another. Each day in life is nothing but a detailed memory. A series of memories becomes an experience. Not giving importance to details is like neglecting memories.

Artists take viewers into details at various levels. Abstract or detailed, it doesn't matter in Art. A painting of any kind takes viewers into its own level of details. An abstract painting may take into higher level of details, while a detailed painting may take into the deeper levels. A viewer can feel the experience of an Artist only when gone inside, into the details of it.

"The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life."
- William Morris

Don't be abstract in life, give details, and pay attention to details!
Happy Painting!

Mediums: Oil on Canvas
Size: 22" x 28" (56 cm x 71 cm)
Surface: Stretched Canvas board

Monday, December 31, 2018

Looking back 2018 - The Year of Oil Painting with a Soulful experience...

Looking Back 2018
The Year of Oil Painting with a Soulful experience

As another year goes into history books, it is that time of the year to look back before saying "Goodbye". The year 2018 is a great year for my Art with remarkable memories and milestones along the path. Following are just some of those to cherish forever:
  • Accepted the challenge and did a live painting in 30 minutes organized by Calcutta Club, USA. The painting was auctioned at the end to raise funds for a charity. It was the first live painting experience for me and I enjoyed it fully.
  • Also, performed another live painting at Sanskriti 2018, an Indian Book Fair and Literature Festival at which Shobha De was the keynote speaker.
  • Approached by TANA to do a cover page for Ugadi issue, TANA magazine. Very first time for my painting to appear on a cover page for a magazine, was certainly an honor.
  • My Engineering classmate and one of my good friends, Kiran dedicated a song sung by him to my Art, what an honor by another talent!
  • Exhibited my Paintings along with fellow Kalakruti Artists at a couple of events including the annual conference,  Learnquest Music Academy in which one of my watercolor paintings got Sold. Thanks to Mrs. Sukanya Lahiri Soderland from Winchester, MA who owned my painting.
  • Designed a CD cover for a spiritual music album done by Mrs. Shuchita Rao which was officially released at this year's Learnquest Music Academy annual conference. Thanks Shuchita Rao garu for approaching me giving me this opportunity.
  • Did a series of watercolor paintings inspired by the movie, Rangasthalam. with the first sketch done at Chennai Air Port on the way to my hometown Nellore while I had to wait for an hour for my sister Indira
  • Took Dancing Krishna painting with me to Nellore, India, got it framed and gifted to my brother Sridhar. Dedicated it to my beloved Baamma without whom I wouldn't have been what I am today.
  • Visited my favorite book-stall ChelvaPilla Book Stores, Kavali after nearly 25 years. Buying a pen and a pencil selected by the owner Lakshmi Narayana garu was the most memorable experience of this year.
  • Painted Lord Ganesha, based a gift that I got from my sister Chinni, both in Watercolors and in Oil.
  • Created special morning time during my summer Canada trip with the family, and did sketches from the hotels we stayed in Quebec City and Montreal, Canada.
  • Made two sculptures Lord Ganesha and a Woman bust with Natural Clay.
  • Visited two Art Museums: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
  • Gifted a few paintings to friends and family.
  • Painted statues of Goddess Durga, Radha and Krishna at Sri Sai Chavadi Temple, Canton, MA.
  • Displayed two of my paintings selected in a juried Art Show organized by Rhode Island Watercolor Society, Pawtucket, RI.
  • Concluded this year with an Oil Painting as my tribute to Indian Classical Dance.

I am absolutely pleased with my dedication, efforts, participations and museum visits this year. My summer visit to two Art museums, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, Canada and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA hooked me to Oil Painting. I did more Oil Paintings this year that I could ever imagine to do in the shortest possible time. The sizes vary from small (11" x 14") to very big (3 feet x 2 feet). Also, styles vary from realism to abstract.

That's a fantastic soulful of satisfaction. With several professional-quality Oil Paintings done, this year, I took my Art to new levels. I can certainly declare 2018 year as "The year of Oil Painting" in my life. Once a dream media, Oil Painting, is not a dream media any more. I am glad that I could live up to the title of my blog My Soul on Canvas. When I started this blog, my heart-felt title is fulfilled now. I am looking forward to put more of my soul on the canvas in 2019 with new goals set at new heights.

Thanks to all friends on Facebook for their likes and encouraging comments. Thanks to people who took time to visit my paintings & read my writings (my another passion) on my blog and shared their feelings by comments. Also, thanks to Art lovers on Instagram who loved my Arts.

“Moving on is a simple thing, what it leaves behind is hard.” - Dave Mustaine

Thank you very much 2018, a Soulful Goodbye!

Welcome to 2019! Happy New (Painting) Year!!
నూతన సంవత్సర శుభాకాంక్షలు!!!

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Bonded with Love...

Nátyánjali - My tribute to Indian Classical Dance
Oil on Canvas 16" x 20" (40 cm x 50 cm)

I wanted to end this year with a Painting that I would be bonded with love. I never struggled this much to start a new Painting. I started a couple of underpainting sketches on canvas, but was not happy and scrapped those at the early stages.

I already had a rough underpainting sketch done for this Painting about a month ago, but I was not happy with my start. As I messed up body proportions, I kept it aside. I picked it up again and said to myself, 'this is the subject close my my heart, and I cannot leave it like that, I will have to complete it'. I corrected proportions as I was progressing. The size is bit small for getting this kind of output, and I had to put more efforts to get the outcome I wanted.

I am glad that I picked up this and I am quite happy with the result. This is my 9th finished Oil Painting, and 7th one this year alone. With that, I conclude this year, 2018. This is not the first time I leaned the fact that 'when we add love to what you do, we achieve excellence'.

"Love is the bond of perfection." - John Winthrop

Happy Painting!
Keep up the good work!!

Title: Nátyánjali - My tribute to Indian Classical Dance
Mediums: Oil on Canvas
Inspiration: Passion for Arts, Dream for Oil Painting
Reference: A photograph of Dream Girl - Hema Malini from my collection
Size: 16" x 20" (40 cm x 50 cm)
Surface: Stretched Canvas board