Miracle happens when you start looking at the things that were there for as long as you knew with the perspective that you just acquired, fresh and untainted. It happened to me when I looked up and found the white and blue clouds, the yellow sun and a colder sky looking at a mere mortal through those spider webs between me and them. And it looked like spider-web to me.
April 9, 2016, Mumbai: I found this scenery while peeping through an usually twisted branches of a tree of a kind unknown to me on my usual morning walk route. I must have been taking the same running track for at least 3 months, yet I didn’t notice how beautiful the ugliest twists can be when contrasted against a calm not-so-blue sky.
June 11, 2016, Mumbai: An early summer morning when the sun was warm, only-soothing-bright and not-so-scorching-hot, when the leaves were sparkling with the sunlight, a flock of birds just passed through over my head and now you can judge my speed to click a picture based on how many of them I could catch in the snap. It was a pleasantly soothing morning when leaves were partially obliging the branches with their presence.
November 23, 2017, Atlanta, USA: It was thanksgiving and I was really thankful for the color Fall comes with. And who doesn’t, Right? Consistent blue sky just for the background with so many red-yellow-orange leaves waiting just to fall on you. Ah I miss fall.
December 8, 2017, College Station, TX: Well it snowed last night in Texas after 5 years. And it looks like the snow has surrounded the branches and preparing to creep into it, ready to suck life out of that, too stubborn to fall from the trees. Thank god for the next day sun to save their lives.
This is my last painting of 2017. This year has been a year of my obsession for dark colors. Here I have used a little of black but a lot of brown, red and mauve. Who could have thought mauve clouds can reflect a dreamier european sky. You can see various stages of painting in the slideshow. The layers of brick red and mauve sky, white unruly clouds, the not-so-precise Eiffel tower, some more clouds now somewhat colorful and more unruly making the Eiffel tower seems at a far distance, the girl in red inspired by Audrey Hepburn, shades of red in her dress and the mauve flower at the back of her dress, it all ends up creating a wonderful piece. Owing to my determination of stop being a control freak, for the first time I drew the girl only with the paint, no pencil and no trace paper. It came out just imperfect to look real. Her locks coming out of the bun from here and there, her flowing purple hair ribbon and the randomly placed clouds are giving the frame a windy look. The streaks of black and red in her dress might make this piece qualified for a Monroe moment in an imaginative and exaggerating way.
Words that couldn’t be said caused the greatest misery. – Anonymous
It was his last few days on that desk. Almost everything was as usual. A half filled lukewarm cup of black coffee, a small heap of papers scattered untidily, a blue pencil that he borrowed from someone and then forgot from whom and a mug cum pen stand with some pictures on it. In the far corridor few familiar faces rushing to the cafeteria, guess it was almost lunch time. But he wasn’t feeling hungry at all, blankly staring into that colorful screen of his. Last two years were flashing in front of his eyes. Presentations that ran till late, meetings which made him skip his planned breakfast and lunch, hiding into corners when he tried to be funny and no one in that room got that, proposals that he nailed, it was all there in that 40×45 ft room with wooden partitions here and there. He started it all with the other two, they were inseparable and it turned out great for their little venture. They saw ups and downs together. They had disagreements, big ones but they made it through. They fought over ideas sometimes for weeks and months. They did all-nighters and some of them were not at all fun. They lived on crumbs sometimes literally. They put a part of themselves in it, together. But they were just about to make it through and a grand one. But he couldn’t be a part of this. He just couldn’t. Only if he could tell them why he is leaving. Only if he could make it easier for them.
Old yellow houses and their broken window pane
in a sync on both sides of a pale narrow lane
Red flower pots with petunia and begonia spiraling down
a smell of fresh coffee and burning tinge of cinnamon
The lady in black rushing as if to catch a train
breaking the silence in my head those little drops of rain
A girl in brown boots and a guy with shiny brown cane
her fingers fidgeting with his iffy hands on that old bench
As if words are being exchanged in morse code
aloof from the rain, the mud and the ugly toad
As if the storm of thoughts are rushing through them
his eyes staring into hers decoding the silence of mayhem
Oblivious to bespattered with mud thrown by that rusty car
Her fist now resting calmly in his still iffy palms saying au revoir.
Self-perception is being aware of the fact what we are. We do things repeatedly, routinely, spontaneously, rarely, consciously and sometimes unconsciously. Out of these what defines the actual us. The truth is we are an amalgam of all these. We make informed decisions and sometimes give it a go.
My favorite is we become what we do repeatedly. Over the course of time we develop our attitude and traits from our behavior. It has been formalized in Self-perception theory by psychologist Daryl Bem. We return a lost wallet because we believe in honesty. We smile at a stranger because we are friendly. We go to watch plays because we are art connoisseurs. Or is it so. Didn’t we return that wallet because we thought what our friends would think. Didn’t we smile at the stranger because otherwise it would have been rude. Didn’t we go to movies because everybody else was going. Our idea of self-perception is so much dependent on other’s perception of us.
Observing our own behavior is a scary thing because we are un-accustomed to it and the results might not be what we want it to be. If we look at ourselves for a day and draw reasoning sketch why we do what we do, it will scare the shit out of us. It is not one factor that cause our action to be in a certain way. There are many of them: Priming, Genetics, Social norms, Core values etc. The majority of human beings have little sense of who they truly are and rarely question their own subjective beliefs about themselves and their life. It is perfectly acceptable to belong to the majority. But if one wants to join the minority Self-observation is a skill which can be developed and cultivated. Self-observation is an art and science of its own and and an interesting one.
Poppies: On this stretched canvas on wood of size 12”*12” I intended to put only black and white to create a contrast. Contrast of dull and bright, of glee and woe and of light and dark. Background came out as dramatic and dull as I expected with use of a little glazing medium. A flower like poppy totally balanced the dreariness of the background but then I drew those dark buds. It seemed that only black and white are not enough to create the consonance. One of them always tend to overpower the other. The canvas needed a decisive factor. And red was perfect. With time I have learnt that the more you let go of control on the brush the more beauty gets added to the piece. Poppy’s petals are imperfect, stems are imperfect and even the pistil in the centre of flowers are imperfect. But together it turned out a perfect the-bedroom-wall piece.
Oh well, sometimes when you find an old page, you make it more vintage. Or when you do not find one, you get it printed and make it fun and vintage. I did the second one and it was fun. You will be bound to agree with one. Or I hope so.