Portrait Study and Thoughts on Good Art And Realism

2018-03-01 03.43.50 1.jpg2018-03-01 03.43.50 2.jpg2018-03-01 03.43.51 3.jpgSo  I finally made something realistic (well, this as realistic it can get without me getting mildly neurotic).  I picked a random reference  picture from one of my (secret :P) pinterest boards and just started copy it on to this wonderful watercolor paper set i bought, without giving much thought .the reason that i did did this was because i haven’t painted from reference for an over an year now. I wanted to make sure that i am still capable of doing such work. Also its a good exercises to practice things like values etc. But the end of the day no matter how many creative liberties I take , if i am taking a reference photograph and painting from it I don’t feel like it’s my own work. However, that also depends on the number of creative liberties that I take. At some point while painting or sketching there’s no longer a need to look at the photograph anymore. Nothing is original. Every idea is derived from ideas that cam before it .Similarly every work of art is a copy of copy  of copy of .. ….of maybe some mythical holy grail sort of art called The Original art.

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What is Good Art ?Good Art should elicit an emotional response in the viewer. It doesn’t have to be a realistic painting . People have been moved to tears by Rothko’s art . But then again Emotional Response is such a subjective and variable yardstick . A group of people can  look at he same piece and have different emotional responses to different degrees.


Enter Capitalism.
Lack of a universal yardstick for good art and the plague of capitalism has created this misbelief that art that sells for a lot is good .Is Jeff Koons giant balloon dog  really worth 50 million dollars.

Balloon Dog-Jeff Koons

Is it Art? Definietely .Is it good Art ?Does it inspire any kind of emotional response?To me,Nope.It’s just a shiny sculpture.



Andal-The Poet , The Saint , The Goddess

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There is so much written and spoken about Andal and her poetry that it almost feels pointless for me to put these words down

Her second and the last work Naachiar Tirumozhi (the sacred songs of the lady) is a set of fourteen poems (Paasurams) in which she speaks at length using strong and passionate emotive language filled with depth charged metonyms and beautiful imagery about her spiritual and sexual congress with lord. In these fourteen poems she questions all moral and societal boundaries. This was not ordinary bhakti poetry. These were not poems about submission or surrender.

Continue reading

T K Padmini


She was probably greatest  female Indian artist of her time (second only to Amrita Sher-Gil).

In 50’s and 60’s it was  already a difficult life to live an artist life but to be a woman and an artist meant was even more difficult.A female artist just like Amrita Sher-Gil, but unlike Sher-Gil, Padmini and her work never attained fame or recognition  at international level . May be it was the lack of European lineage or her  very short life (though both women died around the same age) or simply  our plain indifference to indigenous art and artist.

T K Padmini was a Kerala born painter who Continue reading


Something profound struck me when I was drawing these illustrations for the magazine.
When I was filling in color and rubbing charcoal here and there, it transported me to a trance like state. It made me forget the purpose of the work and I started wondering about the characters in the drawings , their history, started constructing their stories in my and their emotions captured  on this A4 sized acid free paper.They felt like ordinary people I might run into ,tomorrow while going to office.These didn’t feel like scenes from an Utopian future instead I started why the hell things aren’t like this now. Why cant everyone just agree that there is more than one way of making a family ? Continue reading


First Visit

So  a few years ago , I was friends with a beautiful beige stray cat. We met a few times  in a park nearby and shared a few rubs (mostly given by me). We’ll call him Rusty throughout this article , though I don’t think Rusty knows he’s Rusty  because I never got an opportunity to name him, the idea never crossed my mind.And names are such anthropogenic concept anyway. Continue reading

Here we are..[Huddled Masses]

Here we are,
The tired, the poor, the drenched, the ones left untoppled by sea
‘The huddled masses yearning to be breathe free’,
War orphans, broken pieces of shattered families, the almost dead and the living dead,

Here we are,
Oh! You can’t let us in?
We see, you own this land. Obviously! Silly us!
What’s that? The next continent is just a boat ride away? How Lovely!
Thank you so much for your hospitality.
Oh! We have to pay for it?

Here is my now-demolished house’s keys,
his cellphone, few family photographs,
her son’s favorite toy and a few diapers and sanitary pads.
That’s all we have.

Here we are,
We are sorry,
We know, how tiring it is to be humane.
We are sorry that we are causing inconveniences
To your delicate foreign relations.
We are sorry for the ‘crisis’ that we have brought upon you.

Here we are,
The Refugees of Syria, Gaza, Somalia, Congo, Iran, Afghanistan, Burma, Kashmir, Tibet,
Sri Lanka , Pakistan, Bangladesh and so many more.

Untoppled by sea and tossed around by you.


Mother Earth is abundant , generous and can provide for everyone’s needs

Thanks for reading!

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Untitled WaterColor Illustration