This painting has been inspired by the memory of my grandparents’ garden back in India. There was this river stone studded path that ran from the patio all the way to the main gate.
On either side of that path were fragrant flowers that graced the flowerbeds, a dense litchi orchard and a pretty little pond inhabited by a turtle, some fish and a few lotus flowers.
There was this bright red swing set in the middle of the orchard that my brother and I loved to visit everyday. There were so many secret little places to play hide and seek, fish to observe, bird songs to listen to and the fresh air of the valley to breathe in.
Their home and garden have been renovated since then and a lot of things have changed but the memories of holidays spent at my grandparents have not.
So when a group of artist friends and I picked up a collaboration theme – Spring Garden, my thoughts floated back to those sweet moments spent in a forever spring garden – in the cool shade of the litchi trees where dragonflies followed the fragrance of sweet smelling roses and tulips and one little turtle lazed under the afternoon sun between the lotus blossoms.
Here is the collage of scenes in watercolor I had mentioned in my post ‘Feeling Nostalgic‘. It’s a collection of pictures I painted from photos I’d taken during summer at San Antonio, Orlando and Miami.
When we visit places, we really soak in the experience – the colors, scents and sounds but as soon as we’re back home, we get entangled in the mesh of a thing called ‘life’. It is then, when we browse through the pictures and videos, we try to relive those moments. But it’s only while painting some of those memories do they come most alive. The process is so meditative…. it is much much more than just looking at a picture; it feels as if I am transported back into that precise moment! And so it was when I created this collage – the pink flamingos at the Sea World, gigantic cypress trees lining the River Walk, the castle from the Magic kingdom, and the warm emerald waters – everything came back to life once again!
I almost did not write this post because it was ” unlikely ” I’d find a picture/s and a story to go along. But it’s one of those rainy days and amid the pitter-patter as I browze through some old pictures, each one seems to bring up a memory.
These two pictures stood out from the rest just because I had not seen them in a while. This is a path I remember walking a lot – dawdling as my tots stopped to admire a dandelion and maybe a bluebird perched on one of the posts.
And this one – skirting the green expanse of the park, I remember having walked, jogged and sprinted probably a thousand times – by myself, holding on to a leash or maybe just matching up to the longer, surer strides of my teenagers.
And so it seemed ” unlikely ” to me that I would ever say goodbye to this beloved path….but I did as I stepped into a new trail, my family and I stringing new memories….
This post is inspired by a set that I created on Polyvore today for a contest that was captioned Heaven. I believe heaven really is a place right here on earth, under the never ending bejeweled sky, among the beaming sunflowers or the delightful ladybugs. It’s a place where I blend into the cosmos, where I lose myself in the music of the robins and the wrens as I walk on the trail fringed by scattered dandelions and evening primrose blooms.
But it is also a cozy corner by the window with sunlight streaming in like gold dust and moonlight sparkling every corner, my book-of-the-moment sitting on a low table next to the soft cushiony recliner, color pencils, pens and paintbrushes standing in a mason jar beside my assortment of watercolors and other paints.
Heaven is also in the memories of my children’s childhood – their nonstop chatter, hugs and sweet goodnight kisses, their chubby cheeks and of course, “You are the best mommy in the world”.
Once upon a time when I was a little girl, I loved to paint. I filled pages after pages with mountains, rivers, trees, flowers and deep blue skies. Opening my watercolor box, dipping my brush into water, swirling the colors – I lost track of time…..
Time passed. Other things became more important. I stopped painting. Every minute was too important to waste on trivial pursuits. There were so many more urgent matters to pay attention to, so much to achieve and a long way to go.
Some more time passed. Life changed. By then, some things had worked out and some had not. One day the watercolors found their way back into my life. I had totally forgotten how to use them! With a wet brush, I nervously picked up a color and slowly and shyly I worked my way through it – one stroke, one wash, one piece of art – at a time.
So yes, you CAN relearn anything. I am learning to get in touch with the child within, the part that loved to paint but had forgotten how!