Friday, November 16, 2018

Watercolor Paintings: An Evening and a Forest

श़ब को गले लगाती शाम,
अपने घरों को जाते 
पंछियों से भरा,
सुर्ख़ आसमान।
वो दोस्तों से बातें करना
वो एक तारा ढ़ूंढने की कोशिश करना।
वो हवाएं हल्की-हल्की
वो घर जाने की जल्दी...
शाम अब भी हसीन होती है,
इंटरनेट के जाल में उलझकर,
हम देखना भूल जाते हैं, शायद।

I am participating in a colour-based art challenge on Instagram. Here, I am sharing my take on Umber and Brown colour.

The painting above is inspired by a lovely click by Namrata. She posted it on Instagram and I felt like painting.

When it comes to seeking inspiration, writers and artists have similar approach. Artist is a big word for me, but now that I paint, whenever I look at beautiful landscape/photos, I think 'Can I paint this?' Sometimes, they glare, as if saying, 'Tumhaari ye mazaal! {How dare you!}'

Here's another painting, a forest ---

And, this one ---

Just a practice painting {I was actually trying to paint a figure}. 

I have realized something that writing and painting are different in a very striking way. When I write something, I think it's good, but I don't like it when I revise it after some days. When I paint, I do not like it. I get up in the morning {I usually paint at night} and look at my painting, I think 'It's not that bad.'

I didn't like this painting initially {the left one got clumsy because of my impatience}, but now, I find it pleasant. You? :)

Sharing With Paint Party Friday

Monday, November 5, 2018

Book Review: Gurgaon Diaries by Debeshi Gooptu

I met Debeshi on Twitter, and I am so glad. Our interaction lead me to her wonderful stories on Juggernaut Books App. Later, I interviewed her on my blog. You can read her insightful interview HERE.

A big thank you to Debeshi for gifting me her book, Gurgaon Diaries! What a breezy read it was!

Gurgaon Diaries {Published by Rupa Publications} is a collection of {mostly} funny, quirky and thought provoking tales. Although, it is categorized as fiction, the way every story carries a warm, personal touch, it should be categorized as creative non-fiction, in my personal opinion.

The book is divided in 3 parts --- Life, Work and Play. As the title suggests, it tells the tales of Gurgaon life.

As I have said earlier, the stories are mostly funny/sarcastic, and Debeshi is really good at humour. However, some stories seem to draw our attention, in an interesting manner, towards some social issues and our daily life problems that compel you to ponder.

Debeshi is a wonderful storyteller, and the stories in Gurgaon Diaries are engaging. They are really short, hardly 3-4 pages long, that made it an easy and smooth read.

Although, I liked all the stories, I have my favourites.

Like 'Lost in Translation' ---

'Are you a Bengali? I asked politely. She did not look pleased.
'How do you know?' She barked. Seriously, I thought to myself, as though there was any doubt after hearing you speak in Hindi!

Yes, this really funny story focuses on Bengali accent {And Debeshi is a Bengali}.

'Hum tumko peeetai kaurega!' :)

Then, there is touching Naseeruddin --- 'If it's the small change that's making a big difference in someone's life, that's good enough for me,' says Debeshi. This, and many other, stories reflect Debeshi's beautiful thoughts.

'Fishy Business' is another favourite that talks about an unusual, I mean really unusual, bond. And there's 'Sex and the City' ---

'What do you think "sex" means?'
Tween {Who is questioning the mention of 'sex' on her ID card}: 'You know, Kissing and stuff.'
'OK smartass, then what should your ID card say instead of 'sex''?
Tween: 'Easy! Gender.'

Point! And this smart tween has an important role in this collection.

'Doctor, Doctor' is another touching story that points out the insensitivity of some doctors that really angered me.

'Freedom Calling', 'The Horrors of Halloween', 'Mind Your Language'...and many, many more!

To be honest, some stories from the section 'Work' did not work for me, maybe because I am not familiar with the corporate world, so it's just me.

Overall, Gurgaon Diaries is an interesting collection, full of fun and insights. The stories are engaging. If you are looking for a quick, funny read, go for it.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Watercolor Painting: Evening Sky and a Spooky Landscape

I painted this last night for a November Art Challenge by Vanessa {On Instagram. Yes, as a watercolourist, Instagram is a happy place for me} that is based on different colours. The first colour is Red. So, this is my entry. {The next colour is Yellow}. I am really excited about this {Whole month} art challenge, as it's going to be a great learning experience. 

I painted this forest two days back. Realized it's the most effortless piece I have ever painted. I was not happy initially, but then it seemed okayish. These are two books I am reading currently. I am not someone who reads multiple books at a time, but since these are entirely different genres, I think I can manage. Recently, I finished an interesting book Gurgaon Diaries by Debeshi Guptoo. It was funny and insightful. Will post the full review soon.

Now, my last piece for this post!

Although, I do not understand the concept of Halloween, I wanted to paint something spooky. So tried this. I got frustrated while painting this as I thought I won't be able to paint it, but decided to complete the painting. Now, I kinda like it! :)

So, that's all from my side. How do you like them? Does the last one look spooky? Please share your suggestions. 

Sharing with Paint Party Friday 

Friday, October 26, 2018

Watercolor Painting: Desert and Cityscapes

'A city is not gauged by its length and width, but by the broadness of its vision and the height of its dreams.'

--- Herb Caen 

I participated in a painting/giveaway contest {On Instagram} where we given some prompts to paint on {plus some other conditions}. I really enjoy these art challenges however I do not participate to win {There are wonderful artists there and there's no chance, frankly}. I participate to experience the process of trying different kinds of paintings inspired by the prompts these art challenges provide.

Here's my take on Cityscape and desert.

'If the desert allows the trees to proliferate, the shall disappear! Therefore the desert has no choice but to be the enemy of trees.'

---Mehmet Murat Ildan

How do you like them? Any tips and suggestions {I am a beginner and always look for tips/ideas}?

Sharing with Paint Party Friday

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Book Review: Tides Don't Cross by Simar Malhotra

'We're quite like plants --- some like ferns, shooting up instantaneously with a little bit of sunshine and rain, others like bamboos, taking not months but years to sprout. That doesn't make bamboo a bad plant, it just works differently.'

Simar Malhotra, Tides Don't Cross

Liked this quote and the character, Ayaan, who said this.

Let's talk about other {main} characters ---

Tides Don't Cross {Rupa Publications} tells the story of two sisters, starkly different from each other, Mrinalini and Rukmani. They have been raised by a single and dominating mother that affected them differently. While Mrinalini turns submissive, Rukmani lives her life as she likes.

'It's not about the family being good or the boy being exceptional. It's about the principle.' Rukmani emphasized. 'Your mother can't lead your life. Take control, dude. How many times do I tell you?'

Mrinalini is trying to adjust in her married life, 'trying to love' her life partner--- both imposed by her mother when she was not ready. On the other hand, Rukmani meets a gentle young man Ayaan in the magical city, Paris and falls in love.

But, life is not supposed to be like this. Sometimes, certain things don't work no matter how hard you try, how much you want. So, what's going to change? Especially for Mrinalini? What's the destination of her married life, and what about Rukmani and Ayaan?

You will have to read the book to know the answer.

First of all, the book looks attractive. I like the cover. The basic story is not something exceptional --but certain things interest you like a love affair in 'Paris', a gentle, charming hero, two strikingly different, yet close sisters and a dominating single mother.

There are some text exchanges between Ayaan and Rukmani that I liked. There's something about text/email chats. I like them. The author has sketched the characters nicely, especially Rukmani and Ayaan.

But, there's a thing about my reading experience--- I like the second half more as the first half is a little tedious for there's too much telling {and not showing}. In fact there's three page character description {without any dialogue and activity} before the story actually begins. Sometimes, characters and situations are described in a flat manner for example, 'The dream was precise and real' or 'he was witty and well-read' etc. Also, certain portions are too detailed that, I feel, was not necessary. It just stretched the story. Thankfully, the second half is crisp and racy.

The story carries little surprises that make the read interesting. I like some quotations. I mentioned my favourite in beginning. Sharing another quote that I liked ---

'Faith might not be central to you or your identity right now. But in times of trouble, it is both your best friend and your worst enemy.'

Overall, it was an interesting read. I enjoyed reading the second half. Too much telling and detailed, not-so-significant situations somehow disturbed my reading experience. You will like it if you like reading romance and family drama.

I received the book from the publisher for an honest review.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

The Sky Is Not The Limit: Watercolors

'Sky's not the limit it's just the view!' 

--- Kasseem Dean

So, sharing some views that I tried to create in watercolours.

A Path that chases the sky

One of my blogger friends, Nabanita Dhar, posted a picture on Instagram that looked so serene. So, I tried to recreate it.

Going Home...

I've been thinking of doing different versions of sky, so tried. Painted this grey sky. Flock of birds, going home in the evening, always attracts me.

I didn't really like it, so I tried again but that was even worse. Then I painted a yellow sky.

It looked too plain, so added some foliage. Not very satisfied but it's okay, as the sky is not the limit...

What do you think?

Sharing With Paint Party Friday

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Watercolour Painting --- Lighthouse & Landscapes

'The scars you share become lighthouses for other people who are headed to the same rocks you hit.' 


Lighthouse pictures attract me, so I tried to paint. I am very bad at sketching; can't even draw a straight line. Thankfully, my sketch seems acceptable. Or does it look like it's going to fall any time?

Then, one of my blogger friends, Soumya, posted a gorgeous picture on Instagram. I tried to recreate it. Here's a seascape.

And, the last one --- this I painted for an Instagram Art Challenge. 

So, what do you think? I am a beginner and constantly looking for tips/suggestions. If you're a watercolourist, please share your views and suggestions. Thank you!

Sharing with Paint Party Friday

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Practising Watercolours

Practice. Not sure about perfection, but practice helps you learn new things/techniques. I have realized that I am not just a beginner but a lazy beginner. I don't practice when it comes to watercolour painting. I just want to 'Paint' something instead of doing rough works. 

Recently, inspired by an Instagram tutorial, I tried an 'Oh-So-Easy' looking hanging flower but it turned out really bad and clumsy. You see, I'm just not a flower person. But, I was so disappointed.
So, I painted a landscape & realized that landscapes work well for me.

I painted this ---

However, I've noticed that when it comes to watercolour paintings, I have no imagination {I'm good, sometimes weird/strange, as a writer though :)}. I always need reference photo. This painting is inspired by Shilpa Garg's {One of my blogger friends} photo.

Well, that doesn't mean I didn't practice at all. I am trying to be a good learner. Inspired by a Youtube video, I tried some rough works. Here it is ---

That's all from my side. How do you like my efforts? Please tell me. As a beginner, it means a lot.

Sharing with: Paint Party Friday

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Watercolour Painting: Landscapes {Beach & Hills}

I am a writer/author who has developed a keen interest in watercolour painting. These days, I find myself engrossed in watercolour painting --- painting, watching tutorials or thinking about paintings. 

I am a beginner and I like it. Making mistakes and learning. 

'Dare to make mistakes. It's the best way to learn.' Isn't it?

I bought new watercolour papers, colours and brush set. I feel excited like a kid. I sent the pictures of my paintings to my brother. 'Very nice!' he said. Then added, 'It seems your writing is not going well.'

I said, 'You got it right!' :)

This interest is actually strange. It's almost like writing or reading.

I painted these {two attempts as I am a beginner however, it didn't make any difference, I think. :)} It was for a watercolor challenge on Instagram where we needed to recreate a reference photo. 

This was the reference photo.

Then I tried to recreate a photo that one of my blogger friends, Shalini, posted on Instagram. Trying to recreate real photos is challenging yet fun.

And then I painted this beach scene.

I am a mountain person, any day. But, beach pictures are cool so painted this. 2.5 attempts & didn't want to paint the same thing again. Some other time, for sure! 

I've realized that if you are an aspiring/new artist, Instagram can be a great platform. There are so many painting tutorials/challenges and interesting handles to follow. As a beginner, it's an inspiring place for me {never thought I'd say this as a few months back, I was not really interested in Instagram}.

Sharing with Paint Party Friday