So a week ago I hosted a watercolor challenge (on the suggestion of my daughter) on IG! It was a mini challenge with prompts related to my favorite season – Summer! And I’m going to share my work from that challenge. It was a wonderful experience and it was refreshing to see some very beautiful pieces of artworks by talented artists on instagram.
My favorite summer dessert!
I used to love the mountains and streams (and I still do) but the sea has changed me. The wide blue skies, the turquoise waters and the golden beach….need I say more?
I totally believe in this quote by Kellie Elmore. Do you?
What is your favorite thing to do on summer days/evenings? Stargazing is one of my fav activities (not just during summer)and whenever I spot the Orion I’m ecstatic!
Florals are my favorite things to paint not just with watercolors but also digitally on procreate. And dragonflies have become my signature style as I just can’t stop painting them!
Tell me what do you love most about summer? I would really love to hear from you!
Let’s continue to reduce (waste), reuse and recycle (whatever we can) and restore this beautiful planet. After all we only have one of its kind!
As an artist I reuse my old or not-so-great artwork by cutting them out and saving them to embellish future scrapbooks or greeting cards! I reuse pickle jars to hold my brushes or water. I also save my old paintbrushes for painting with masking fluid or stirring paint. And I’m desperately seeking a way to create new paper from the discarded pile…
Around the time pandemic started, I turned vegetarian. I bought some sturdy 100% cotton bags to buy grocery. I started cooking more and buying and consuming less processed food. I realized this in itself led to less paper and plastic waste. Using cloth over paper, reusables over disposables was a major turning point!
I’m still working towards living as green as possible. It’s a journey and the goal is to reduce the burden on the planet as much as possible. What I’ve learned is it’s ok to have an occasional slip up (sometimes I forget my cotton bag or have run out of them and sometimes it’s not possible to recycle). It’s the intention and the awareness that matters and that is enough to save our planet.
There’s a sweet little cottage in the hills tucked away near a cluster of evergreen pines. No one knows who lives there!
Each morning a pair of bluebirds meet on the branch of a pink blossom tree. They sing and flutter over the roses, peek under the daisies and peck at the purple lupines. Sometimes they race each other to the chimney on the cottage.
And before dusk arrives, they’re back on their spot on the pink blossom branch. Only they know who lives up there in the hills!
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.
I’ve always been in awe of the woodlands. The tall pines and oaks, gurgling of the clear streams, the wild berries, and sunlight making its way through the tangled branches….it’s almost as if I’m standing right there taking in the freshness of the pines!
Where are these memories originating from? Is it those long hours of Enid Blyton books I devoured as a kid? Or those hikes I went on with my family? Maybe a little of both!
Nonetheless the woodland is a beautiful, whimsical place! I sometimes wonder what secrets this place holds. Do you?
I love flowers – appreciating, painting and photographing!
But whatever little I know about flowers I learned from my mom. She paints as well as plants them and when she talks about them you can simply feel the joyous energy wrap around you!
I remember rows of flowers – dahlias, roses, sunflowers, zinnias and so many others that lined the fence around our home. And I remember the loving care that my mom put into nurturing those beauties that she referred to as her kids sometimes!
As I posted this artwork on instagram today, I was reminded of my mom’s garden, the fence lined with blossoms in pinks, yellows and reds, and the sun shining down brightly on the perfectly manicured green lawn.
Some of you must be familiar with this herb called Holy Basil also known as Tulsi in India. It’s a fragrant herb used as an ingredient both in cooking as well as in traditional medicine like Ayurveda!
It seems strange but as I looked at the art prompt “houseplants”yesterday on instagram, the first thing that came to mind was this herb with memories of the pretty plant sitting snug in a clay pot in my mom’s yard.
What I remember most about it growing up in India was the “tulsi tea” that my mom often brewed to cure a cough. She plucked fresh leaves and let them boil in the water along with tea leaves before adding some milk and sugar. I loved that tea – the fragrance and the warmth of it all.
So this is it for now. I hope to write more often.
A watercolor painting of Yosemite inspired by a photograph!
Two summers ago I visited Yosemite National Park. Memories of standing at the base of El Capitan, a granite monolith over 7,000 feet tall and listening to the thunder of Yosemite Falls made me feel like a grain of sand or maybe an ant! I remember the grueling climb to the top of Vernal Falls and back to the base where the peaceful Merced flowed. Every minute spent there – in the meadows under the sun or near the roaring waterfalls – was filled with awe and admiration for the majestic beauty of nature. It’s impossible to come out of that experience the same!
I wake up early these days to catch a few uninterrrupted minutes. So much happens in these moments as I examine the swirls rising from my tea, the sun bursting forth through the clouds and the light permeating every crevice on earth, dew drops glistening off the blades of grass, a blue jay fluffing itself and the sound of quiet…
Hit the trail this morning and look what I found😀…blue sky, sun peeking out from behind the tall trees, pretty little weed flowers and a white hibiscus!!💕 What more inspiration does one need to step out under the wide open sky!!
Does practice make perfect? Does it make better? Or is it something else?
I started this set of landscapes in watercolors early this month and just finished it. My goal was to paint the same picture over and over again to get it ‘perfect’ but after two or three, I got so bored and it dawned upon me that I needed to get better not perfect!!
So then the fun began – letting my imagination take over, allowing myself to make lots of mistakes, experiment with colors and have fun.
How often I have held myself back with rigid rules and lofty expectations and then ended up dissatisfied with the end product.
What I learned from this experience is I need not be a perfect artist. I have a style and a process of my own and I just need to embrace it fully.
So if there’s anyone out there like me who doubts herself, just remember you need to ‘enjoy’ the process and own your style.