Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Etsy Update

Hola! I hope all of you had a great start to the week.

My French lessons are over and I am going back tomorrow
to school for a test and a last session with my wonderful teacher.
I have new prints in the shop; I was postponing a shop update forever, 
but I finally got them this afternoon and I have introduced a new 
'set of two prints' this time!
I am off to prepare for my language test :(((
hugs to big kiiiiiiisssss

Monday, 30 March 2009

Pensive Parakeet

Acrylic on Canvas Board
14cm x 22cm
(White border added to keep painting
 from blending in with the blog backdrop)

Saturday, 21 March 2009

''Pink Lotus'' mini canvas (commission)

Acrylic on canvas 
15cm x 15 cm
Commissioned work

Elements that I was requested to try and incorporate:
''Semi aerial view of a lotus with all hues of pink, dew drops, blue background, leaves''

FlickR photographs that I found while on my little research
before starting work (click on the lotus to go to the corresponding 
FlickR page by birdyboo) :

I exaggerated some elements, but the colours are drawn from 
these, click on the imgage to go to birdyboo's photostream:

A great weekend to all of you.
Thank you for the prolific comments on the 'Lalita' post. 

On a personal front, pressure is mounting .... to go back to a ''real'' job, 
so I have to make some serious choices now. 
I don't see myself without my artwork anymore,
but I have to wait and see how this plays out. 


Thursday, 12 March 2009

''Lalita Sundari'' Commissioned Painting

I just finished working on this commission and must say that this is by far the most interesting and detailed painting that I have done. I was pleasantly surprised to recieve a request from Archana, who found me through Vineeta's blog feature.

She requested a rendition of Lalita - the divine form of the Ultimate Female Power ''Shakti''.
''...Leela is play and the concept basically means that all creation, life, Samsara etc is nothing but divine play....and Lalita is the embodiment of that divine play.'' 

A traditional depiction of this beautiful Hindu Goddess. 

David Frawley, in his book Tantric Yoga and the Wisdom Goddesses, describes Lalita as having
''... the complexion of the rising sun. Sundari wears a crescent moon on her crown, which is sometimes figured as made up of her own matted hair. The mind is her sugar-cane bow and the 5 senses are her arrows, which under her power of awareness become instruments of bliss. Sundari shoots us with arrows of delight, revealing all the forms of creation as aspects of our own blissful nature of pure consciousness. Her noose indicates her ability to capture her devotees with her beauty. Her hook cuts off all attachments to outer appearances".

This was fantastic! I was thrilled! A subject so overpowering and studded with such intriguing symbolism and Archana's request was specific and detailed...

More from her emails: ''...Lalita means, 'She who plays'...So I think an important aspect I am looking for, is playfulness and fun. A swing...suspended from a tree in a beautiful forest. The tree has mangoes and your sweet parrots. Lalita is seated on the swing, her blue-black hair flying and framing her radiant face. She has her third eye open ...". 

'' ....Seated upon Lalita's lap is a little girl (human, so no 3rd eye), about 5 or 6 years old. She clutches the ropes of the swing joyously.  Liquid brown eyes, big red bindi.''

And the child on Lalita's lap?: 

Drawing from this description by David Frawley: ''.....the entire universe exists for the delight of awareness which is the play of the divine mother. Creation arises in joy, and returns to joy. We are but transient figures in her eternal play, who have yet to understand the source of the energy that moves us.'' So, Archana added: '' .....the little kid in Lalita's lap is actually us - you/me. Both Lalita and the child experience the joy of the swinging in unison. When they are together, the child ensconced in her loving lap, they are in divine oneness, and experience bliss in unison.'' 

The image below was sent to me as a reference for her dress, etc. :

After several detailed email exchanges later, this is the sketch that I had:
Archana was happy, I got a 'go-ahead'!

We agreed on a few other details: Lalita would have a nose-ring. I was sent this photograph of the renowned Carnatic vocalist, the lovely M S Subbulakshmi with her traditional nose-ring as a reference:

As you can see, all the elements of this painting were given to me in a platter, I just had to put them together hoping to be able to do some justice to this amazing composition. A weekend later, I had 'Lalita Sundari' , charming in all her glory:

Mixed Media (Acrylic on Collage)
25 cm x 40 cm
''Sundari represents the moon as the visible image of delight. This nectar of the moon or the mind intoxicated by divine beauty is called SOMA in the Vedas. Sundari is the experience of the flowing Soma or nectar-bliss. In this regard she represents the delight of the divine self as he consumes our mind (Moon) and digests all experiences as pure joy. ''

''...for this particular painting, I don't want Lalita to be depicted physically
 as a young girl of 16. She can be a mature beauty,
but still shine with that  16 year-old free spiritedness.''  

The saree is inspired by the traditional hand-woven Kanchipuram silks
and the swing designed along the lines of a hanging Lotus. 
The blue background stands for the sky 
and I wanted this to give us a sense of timelessness, infinity.

What's more, I had finished just in time to be able to share with her 
this work on the eve of her Birthday! 
Thank you Archana for this beautiful composition and subject, 
for giving me 'Lalita'. 

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Clara is adorable!


She wears my favourite colour, has the most wonderful stories to tell 
and she shares with us her mom's recipes from the Great Depression.
Clara's breakfast video was featured on youtube today, so I am guessing
some of you have watched this already. 
When I saw her, I fell in love with her!
I watched her entire selection and can't wait for her to make more.
Clara's website: GreatDepressionCooking

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