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.