Saturday, 31 December 2011

Thank you

*for walking alongside me through another very special year*
You make me happy!
My prayers, my love and my best wishes with you for 2012!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Times of India Durgotsav 2011

My Durga Image used by TOI for the second year in a row!
(Newspaper campaign, Delhi, 26th September - 4th October, 2011)

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Interview with Culturama

My Bengali Lakshmi from 2009 used for the cover of Culturama (October 2011 issue), India's only free cultural magazine for expatriates that works towards promoting an understanding of Indian culture.

You can read the interview (pg 7) on Issuu.

A big thank you to the entire team of Culturama for this feature.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Linocut Print

This image made a beautiful journey from a pencil layout to the grooves of a block
and finally landed, in bright purple and black, on a deliciously textured archival paper.
The text is a line from a Tagore song:
I am running way behind my normal blogging pace as printmaking and some
painting assignments are leaving me with hardly any time to post.
To see more photos of my printmaking work from my Printmaking-Guru
Ramendra Nath Kastha's studio, visit my FB page.
None of this would have been possible if it hadn't been for
a wonderful teacher who never fails to inspire.
Thank you readers, for your patience - your visits, (even the quiet ones) mean a lot to Deezden.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Printmaking in Kolkata

I had come to Kolkata for my cousin brother's wedding
in July and we had plans of going back in a month's time.
However, hubby needed to stay back to carry through
a project launch, so I happily obliged. Happily - because that meant
my chance to explore the city and its art scene.
The first thing I did was visit the esteemed GCAC
to find out if there was a suitable creative space that I could work and learn at.
A meeting with the Principal where I could share my work
and express my interest in Printmaking led to something wonderful.
The college has offered me the opportunity to attend its printmaking
department for a month, starting November 2011.
That might happen if I do stay back till December.
The college building is charming with its red walls, beautiful hand painted
murals and huge corridors wrapped in the lush green trees.

The ancient staircases and the decorative walls
are very well maintained and precious artwork adorns the walls
of this building that contains 144 years of history.
I was asked not to take any more photos but I had to share the ones I had.

I explored the possibilities of learning printmaking without having to wait that long
and that led me to my current workspace!
Am training here everyday, my current focus is relief prints.
Here are some image updates from today's work:
This is a 4 colour composition, in and white.
Cutting the block of wood is the starting point.
The first set of prints have been taken and then you cut the block again
to prepare it for the second colour.
This is my third print, the first 2 were 2 and 3-colour sets.
It's great fun to cut up a composition on these blocks,
ink them and then take prints manually.
Another student at the studio, cuts his linoleum block
for a 4 colour print. It was my wish to make woodcut
prints for a long time, little did I know that it'll actually happen.

For those of you waiting for the Durga Puja photos (I have too many!),
I have created another blog for these and I'll be posting
all my captures (image n videos) there.
You can start following to get updates as and when the posts are made.

Friday, 30 September 2011

Image updates from Kolkata :I: Mahalaya & Tarpan

That time of the year again,when Kolkata feels insanely alive.
Maa Durga has come to town, the city is on a hyper drive
with last minute shopping being finished on one side and
pandal construction + Goddess installations on the other.
Both spectacular. Both maddening.
Mahalaya is the day which heralds the beginning of the festival.
A day that every Bengali starts with the radio telecast of
A day when thousands of Hindus take a dip in Maa Ganga
and pay respect to the departed ancestors with food offerings - tarpan.
Here are some images from the ghats.
The priests play a very important role and wait at the steps
of the ghats, take each and every one up to the river,
chant prayers and guide the offering process.
The little boys and girls, some of who are probably not even very sure
what this is all about, just soak in the glory of the ambiance
and enjoy the dip in the waters!
Street musicians from rural Bengal play at the banks,
kirtans or devotional songs, mostly praising Lord Krishna.
A young priest who held hands and prayed for many that morning.

The beautiful green soil of the river came up to the banks
and before every offering is made, the priest puts a
little bit of the holy soil on the foreheads on the worshipers.
While the river banks woke up to offerings of tarpan,
the rest of the city witnessed the homecoming, literally,
huge idols of the Goddess being lifted and carried to
what will be her home for the next 10 days.
I am hoping to take and post puja photos from Kolkata
as a series, so stay tuned. Shubho Mahalaya and happy pujas to all.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Featured in BBC Good Homes

Time for a couple of updates for all my readers. My work has been featured
in the the BBC Good Homes India magazine September Issue 2011,
article 'Doe-eyed damsels' in their art/designer profiles feature
titled 'Homemade beauties'.

I am honoured to be part of this wonderful magazine
and even more so to share space here with two ladies who need no introduction,
whom I admire and whose work I adore:
Vineeta Nair (who has been an inspiration & a huge support for me
since the time we e-met each other on blog land) and Kalyani Ganapathy.
A big thanks to Chandana Banerjee and the BBC Good Homes India team.
Chandana blogs at cookiejarsandfireflies where she says:
''Writing and journalism are my bread, butter and jam;
running Pink Elephant Writing Studio, the coffee I need every morning;
embroidery, art and craft, the icing on the cake.'' Indeed!

The second update, I was in India for a wedding in the family since July end
and had plans of returning to Geneva end of August.
However, there have been some change of plans and
we are not going back until Durga puja is over.

One of the first things I did when we decided to extend our stay
was to visit the art institutes and galleries to explore
possibilities, and, the response has been great so far.
More updates on that front later. Painting and blogging resumes.
Ganesh-ji visits us during Chaturthi each year,
which was at the beginning of this month.
Here is Ganesha dressed as a north-Indian groom
with his two wives Ridhhi and Sidhhi
dressed in a southern Indian traditional style.
Mount: Gallery wrapped canvas
Medium : Acrylics
Size: 20.5 cm X 25cm
Ridhhi and Sidhhi have brought him his favourite sweets
(modaks from the Mumbai and rasgullas from the Kolkata).
My work started here on this blog,
with all of you and it is your support and feedback that
keeps me going, thank you for your patience and love.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

The golden deer আমার সোনার হরিণ চাই

''The Golden Deer''
30 cm x 30 cm
(Acrylics on gallery wrapped canvas,
finished with matte and glossy varnish)
Inspired by the words of a song by Tagore.
''তোরা যে যা বলিস ভাই আমার সোনার হরিণ চাই
ও সেই মনোহরণ চপল চরণ সোনার হরিণ চাই''
''সে যে চমকে বেড়ায় দৃষ্টি এড়ায় যায় না তারে বাঁধা
সে যে নাগাল পেলে পালায় ঠেলে লাগায় চোখে ধাঁধা
আমি ছুটব পিছে মিছে মিছে পাই বা নাহি পাই
আমি আপন মনে মাঠে বনে উধাও হয়ে ধাই''
Tagore describes the deer as an elusive,
evasive creature - untamed and unattainable.
Yet, the poet is determined to chase it without a care.
The concept of chasing the golden deer has its origins in the Ramayana,
an episode humorously told in the animation below:

In fact, the deer has played significant roles in
mythologies across the world.
In the Indian context, the golden deer symbolises maya,
an illusion, that which prevents man
from seeing the world as it truely is.
We are all chasing the golden deer, each one of us,
in different forms......aren't we :) ? !!

Moving on from that rather philosophical thought (ahem!),
here are some depictions of this scene from the epic tale
through different Indian folk art forms:
Malwa miniature painting in bright bold colours,
dating back to circa 1634 -40 A.D.

A madhubani depiction in the typical folk style.

A north-Indian miniature style rendition of the scene.

Another very ornate Orissa patachitra (scroll painting) style illustration.

Even Hussain rendered this, in fact, this was one of his works auctioned
a few hours after the news of his passing.

Last, but not the least, a page from one of my favourite books
of vintage Indian match box designs on the deer.
You'll see the starting point of my painting in one of these,
no points for guessing which one :)!
Hope you enjoyed this post, the print of this painting
will be available in my shop in a couple of days.

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