Bambusoideae

Once upon time there was a farmer who decided to grow bamboo on his land. He was always fascinated with the bamboo and its many many uses and that it was the tallest grass in the world. His neighbours tried to dissuade him but his mind was made up.
             With great enthusiasm he began the process of tilling and planting the seeds. With all this done he sat back and waited for the seeds to sprout and emerge from the soil.
             After months, when the first shoots were no where to be seen, his neighbours who first got worried for him, and held his hand and shed some tears with him, were now laughing at him. After all, their yield was also giving them money.
             But he held on with great faith. It was an investment of his money and hard work and he knew it wouldn’t be wasted. 
              During this period, a philosopher, who was walking past all the farms stopped by and asked why this patch of land was still barren while the others were lush and green; but only till he realised that it had bamboo sown in there.

To which he said, ‘In everything you do, be it for your family, with friends or your work, always keep in mind the bamboo tree. After the seed for this amazing tree is sown you see nothing for almost four years except for the tiny shoot coming out of the bulb. It is during these initial years that all the growth happens underground in a massive fibrous root structure that spreads deep and wide in the soil. And then in the fifth year it suddenly grows upto 8 feet high!!

Investing your time and effort to nurture something might take weeks and months or even years. But patient and consistent work will bring in that “fifth year” and you will be astonished at the success you’ve achieved.’
             This pleased the farmer no end and in a year, to his joy and relief his bamboo farm grew tall and green.
             Presenting to you a set of four paintings. While the background is in the colours of the tall and strong bamboo, the leaves are lush and green. Do you also see them dancing in the breeze? 

Of resolutions and New beginnings

As a kid I was often asked what my new year’s resolution was and I remember making them too but what I cannot recollect is sticking to them for even a month. A New Year’s resolution is in a fact recorded tradition, in which a person resolves to change or aquire one habit that might bring in a change in the person itself, for the better. The Romans began each year by making promises to the God Janus, after whom the month of January is named. By the beginning of the 19th century, the tendency of people to make and fail to keep resolutions was commonly known and also satirized. How normal this makes us feel isn’t it…

New Beginnings on the other hand are beautiful. They come with an assurance as long as one is ready to embrace it.  How many times have we grieved over small changes happening in our lives and realised much later that the change was in fact much needed. How will spring bring in fresh new leaves if autumn doesn’t take away the old ones..

You might have read my need for space to paint through these years. There’s a blog too with a story of my trials.

The new year brought with it a new beginning for me in my tiny studio space I carved out for myself in my new home. I welcome you to come visit whenever physically possible.

Looking forward to churning out some good work and knowing what new beginnings you are embracing this year. 

Attachments area

The Buddha

When my poet/writer Aunt sent me her latest piece & I had to look no further…

He was a Prince, who knew no sorrow, no pain,
For his father had kept reality out of his domain,
He grew up among riches, surrounded by beauty,
And became a warrior, strong, brave and fearless.

When he was born, a wise man made a prophecy
He will either be an emperor or an enlightened soul,
Who will shine like a million suns and lead the world,
To salvation and enlightenment by his word and deed.

His father then kept him in a gilded world,
No pain, no suffering, could pass through its door,
If he saw no suffering, he will not give up a King’s life,
And become  an ascetic  was his firm belief.

The young Prince then married a beautiful girl,
Yasodhara by name and royal by birth,
He lived in his happy, blissful world,
And soon had a son to call his own.

But the three sights changed his life forever,
An old man, a sick man and a dead body,
Which he saw on his first ride outside the Palace,
He could rest no more, could get no solace.

He pondered about the human birth,
The reason for pain, the reason for sorrows,
And his restless mind could get no relief,
And his thirst for the Truth, grew manifold.

One night, he set out to seek the Truth,
A way to find salvation from birth and rebirth,
Lofty was his goal and  deep his vision,
To elevate the suffering of humanity was his mission.

But what about young Yasodhara and her little son?
Was her life not one of sacrifice and penance?
She let him go, though it broke her heart,
And lived like an ascetic within the Palace walls.

He went on to become Budha, the enlightened one,
Who taught the Four Noble truth and the eightfold path,
To free oneself of the cycle of birth and rebirth,
By freeing oneself of desire, the reason for bondage.

We all play our parts in this grand cosmic drama,
Some take centre stage, while some play supporting roles,
But we are all cogs in this great cosmic wheel,
Some, History remembers, some get lost in time.

PUSHPA SUBRAMANIAN 

Do I leave the leaves behind?

Leaves are the most mundane yet significant things nature can provide. They have an important role in providing food for the plants through photosynthesis. And this process is possible because of the presence of chlorophyll which gives them their vibrant green colour in the many many shades we see.

We humans of course, use leaves for food, paper, clothing, medicine, and a lot more. Apart from its practical uses, leaves also have acquired symbolic interpretations over time depending on the region and culture.

Despite the assumption that leaves when fresh are green, there are exceptions to this when they make their appearance in various shades of red as well. This red colour is caused by pigments called anthocyanins.

There was a park close to where I lived. It was full of very well manicured plants. Many or I can say, almost half the plants sported gorgeous red leaves in various shapes and sizes.

And now you know where the inspiration for this painting comes from…

It done in oils on a canvas board of size 20″×24″. 

Attachments area

Kolam on a Floor Tile

The word inspiration has an inspirational history!

           Its figurative sense appears to predate its literal one. It comes from the Latin word inspiratus which is the past participle of inspirare. It simply means “to breathe into or inspire”. And in English it meant “the drawing of air into the lungs” since the middle of the 16th century. The breathing sense is still in common use among doctors, when they say expiration which is “the act or process of releasing air from the lungs”.

          Before inspiration was used to refer to breath, it had a distinctly theological meaning in English. It refered to a divine influence upon a person, from a divine entity. And this sense dates back to the early 14th century. (No wonder we need to breathe in and breathe out to focus our thoughts and thereby be inspired isn’t it..)

         The sense of inspiration often found today is to have “someone or something that inspires”. It is considerably newer than either of these two senses, dating from the 19th century.

        There is this hope deep inside my heart, that you remember the black and white cabinets I painted a few weeks ago. Drawing inspiration from that I present to you this kolam painted on a canvas board with a floor tile as the background.

What’s inspired you through this week? I’d love to know…

Flowers on a Branch

Did you know that flowers are Earth’s way of smiling!!

Flowers might be nature’s way of ensuring fertilization and reproduction with their bright petals and beautiful fragrance attracting insects, bees and butterflies,  but for us humans flowers do entirely different things.
To begin with they just have to bloom and dance in the gentle breeze delighting one to no end with their sprightly posture bringing in a spring in our step. Apart from which there’s symbolic, medicinal, cultural, religious references and purposes.
And in the artists’ eye it’s rather short life is frozen in time and granted with eternal life… 

No Mud No Lotus..

 “I like to paint as a bird sings.”, Claude Monet
When a dear friend wanted a canvas painting with Lotus in Pichwai style and with depth, I turned to Claude Monet’s paintings to understand how he painted the Lily pond.

Did you know that he – the founder of pre- modern impressionist art painted almost 256 paintings of different sizes spanning 20 years because he wanted to understand the effects of atmosphere on the light and colour on the same subject at different hours of the day and through changes in weather and season. He also switched between canvases sometimes working on as many as eight at the same time. Born on 14th November 1840 today’s note is a dedication to him and his devotion to art. (I happened to write this on 14th Nov 2021 )

The painting presented today is my third attempt at painting a Lotus Pond. I do have to wait for a week for the water and the leaves to dry. And now I’m beginning to wonder if this painting needs the Lotus at all. What do you say? I’d love to know. 

PS: I’m not adding the Lotus.

Kolams on a Cabinet

This painting took me back to my roots.
 Yes…however far we live from the place where we belong it continues to reflect in what we keep and do around home – be it  paintings, brass-ware, clothes, toran, doorway-decorations  and so much more.

A beautiful kolam or a Tamil style rangoli made of a series of dots and lines does this to me. It takes me back to the morning ritual followed in my home state where the day begins at 6am; with women from almost every household out in the morning Sun washing their doorway or vaasal like it’s called and drawing the kolam signifying all is well at home.

It was December of 2020 when after watching a series of videos on Instagram by @kolampodu that I started learning to draw kolams. From small 5 -1 dots to large 14-4 dots ones I tried them all and loved them and shared the pics with my friends and family on social media. One such share resulted in my friend Maheshwari Godse and my interior designer friend @sonalkulshreshtha very very kindly offering me the opportunity to paint the kolam on her cabinet. I’m truly grateful she did. 🙂  
Attaching the picture of the cabinet. Do let me know your thoughts on it…

#PaintingsOnFurniture #PaintingsOnCabinet #Paintings #AcrylicPainting

CDs + Wedding Cards = ??

CDs or compact discs are portable storage media that can be used to record, store and play back audio, video and other data. The first workable digital compact disc device,  was invented in the late 1960s by the American physicist James Russell. Though extremely popular and convenient to use, they can be extremely difficult to recycle.  ‘Trashing’ CDs is not very good for the environment. It’s estimated that it will take more than a million years for a CD to completely decompose in a landfill. And if CDs are burnt as part of the disposal process, they can release harmful chemicals in the air including hydrochloric acid, sulfur dioxide, and dioxins. In addition, Polycarbonate plastic contains BPA, or bisphenol-A, which has links to health issues such as reproductive problems, early puberty, blood pressure, and heart disease. 

wedding invitation is a letter asking the recipient to attend a wedding. It is typically written in the formal, third-person language and mailed five to eight weeks before the wedding date. In the Middle Ages, illiteracy was widespread among common people, and weddings were typically announced by means of a Town crier: a man who would walk through the streets announcing in a loud voice the news of the day. Traditionally, anyone within earshot became part of the celebration.

The practice of sending written wedding invitations emerged among the nobility. Families of means would commission monks, skilled in the art of calligraphy, to hand-craft their notices. Such documents often carried the coat of arms, or personal crest, of the individual and were sealed with wax. In todays times we hand out wedding cards — from the ‘simple’ to the ‘esoteric’.

The wedding card market in India is worth Rs 8000 to Rs 10,000 crores. The elaborate wedding invite comes with the main card and three to four add-on cards, and these cards are trashed almost immediately post the wedding, adding to the environmental burden.

CDs + Wedding Cards = T-lite holders!!
These T-lite holders are borne out of my need to artistically recycle and reuse what would otherwise have been trashed. While the CDs themselves help provide a firm circular base, the wedding cards dress them up, and the embellishments from these cards add to the overall appeal.

As the warm light of the T-lite spreads through the frame, the stones shimmer spreading hope and happiness. These T-lite holders can also be paired with a ‘Roli-chawal’ {for Rakshabandhan} as an option. Each piece has been handcrafted primarily using recycled materials. Go ahead and select one that you like, knowing at all times that our environment and mother earth, rest easier post your choice. Together, we can and we will …..

To Share or to Not..

When we share a joke we spread laughter cheer and joy. LOLs and ROFL galore….we love it.
We share information about just anything. Medication, treatments, breaking news, tips and tricks.
We share recipes. The same dish can be made in a variety of ways and you never know which one might make your life that much easier.
We share art and craft ideas. Some for grown ups and some for the littluns’. Some to commercialise and some for the love of hobby.
We share stories of entertainment. Who did what why, when and how. All that gossip and we feel so much better.
Stories of inspiration are so worth sharing. Ted talks and many such and how we want to get up and get started.
But nope not the telephone. We live in times where each of us has our own personal phones, as opposed to just one landline phone, for not only all in the family, but sometimes for the neighbour too.
I refused to buy my son a phone of his own. As a result I have to share mine with him. His friends call on mine and they whatsapp him on my number. Oh! How it irks me to part with, or should I say share; my phone for those few moments.
Our then beloved Door Darshan had us in a routine. All kinds of programmes were telecast catering to every kind of audience albeit once a week except ofcourse the news. We shared watching each others choices and gained from it too; the other option being to read or get outdoors. Today with countless channels and programmes and Netflix, prime video, Hotstar and others adding to the bouquet the first fight is who gets to see their preferred channel. The close second being for how long with binge watching being a great possibility. And well if I don’t get to watch what I want, I’ll lock myself in my room with my own gadget still getting to watch what I want – with those shoulders shrugged.
All of it said as long as we have someone to share our work load with and make life worth living we can continue to share our experiences..can’t we.


–Sunandini