Post 26: Christmas Art

It’s that time of the year again! Christmas season is upon us. For some it means a time for religious contemplation and deliberation, for some others celebration and partying and for some of indifference.

While I admire and enjoy all the celebrations, decorations and traditions surrounding Christmas or the holiday season, I cannot help but reminisce about my early Christmas experiences. I grew up in a lower-middle class Delhi in India. Ours was a Christmas without the bells and whistles. It was about Jesus and him alone. The renewed awareness of God coming to earth in human form to save the souls brought with itself an added awareness of the great commission and so followed many weekends of prayer, outreach and carol-singing. A celebration despite and in-spite of our circumstances. There was no christmas tree – they were to be found in some big churches as decorations; No Santa Claus –  he only came to award the excellence in sunday school or church activities, and no stockings stuffed with stuff. Our celebration included coming together as a church over a pot luck meal and as family meeting over dinner and it was a joyful time.

Okay, I did not start this post with this lecture on mind (may be I`ll do that in a post later) rather to share with you two drawings that I created for the Christmas time.

This would be my daughter`s second Christmas and my nephew`s first. I know many moms are looking online for Christmas graphics for the first and second Christmas celebrations to use in scrapbooks, table tags or cards and I thought of sharing with youfun and and whimsical little graphics that I created. second christmas first christmas You can print and frame these images in mini frames and hang them with ribbons on the tree or use them in the baby`s scrap book.

The last image I want to share with you is of the nativity scene from my house this year. I traced my daughters hand and drew Joseph, Mary and the three wise men in the fingers and the baby Jesus in the palm. This idea features finger puppets, henna patterns and Madhubani drawings all rolled into one.  I am very happy with how it turned out in the end.

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As always your feedback is welcome and appreciated.

Phir Milenge!!

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Post 20: It’s not easy!

An old hindi movie song goes like this :

दिए जलते हैं  – candles are lit
फूल खिलते हैं  – flowers do bloom
बड़ी मुश्किल से मगर – but with great difficulty
दुनिया में दोस्त मिलते है- friends are found in the world

This week a friend of mine moved around 4000 km away to another province and that made me reflect on the power of a loving friendship. When I moved to this city a year and a half  ago PB  was another face among strangers. Her family had moved in to the city a few weeks before us but they had lived here before. We met in church and slowly became friends; having kids the same age helped too. Her daughter is only a few days older than mine. Watching them play together as tiny tots has been fun!

Over the course of time our friendship grew and having friends eased life in a new city. Our girls loved to play together. And now they are moving back. Although I  am happy that things have worked out well for them with this new move; I am saddened to see them go.

I consider my self blessed to have some really good friends. Here is a little something I made for PB as her parting gift. Its a combination of scripture verse with Madhubani-style drawing. (I am not a trained Madhubani artist, I just like the style and its story telling style and like to draw in the style!)
Isn’t this true! our friends really do refresh and strengthen us. Its not easy to make new friends as adults but  it is most certainly worth the effort.

Phir Milenge!!

Post 10: revisiting the ‘Forests of Honey’

I had mentioned in one of my previous posts about my fondness for the madhubani (the name literally means forests of honey ) painting style.  I like its simple form, rustic , freehand drawing style, vibrant colours and most of all its story telling style. The drawings are almost always two-dimensional. While some paintings show one dramatic scene from a story, other style overlays multiple frames from a story into one (see example here) Although I do not have any formal training in this art form , it struck a chord with me. so far I have been doing some drawings depicting stories from the Bible and scenes of daily life and even my daughter 🙂 (mostly for my own collection, some hang in frames around my home and some gifted to friends)

It is almost impossible to sit down with a pen and paper with my daughter around( she is so into scribbling that you cannot bring a pen or pencil around her and not let her draw!) I recently tried drawing one on my iPad. I must say, it came pretty close to drawing by hand on paper. I have done some sketches on the iPad previously but nothing with tiny details like this one. I am happy with the result though I must say I need more practice. here is a sneak peek:

The scene I chose was from the Bible when an angel appeared to prophet Elijah to encourage him (found in 1 kings 19)

Even though the resolution and canvas size is limited , I am very pleased with the outcome.

Kudos to makers of ipad and Sketchbook ! I think I would be revisiting the ‘forests of honey’ more often again!

Phir Milenge!!!

How much can a bucket hold?

Finally I did it. I made my very own bucket list of things to do before I turn 35.

It was difficult. First to acknowledge that I am advancing in age ( 35 is still 28 moths away… I am not 20 anymore…. ) and second to stop being lazy and to take action. I started with reading what others had to say about making bucket lists – click links here and here.

I put only 15 items on my list and am being generous with time, giving myself over two years to finish. I almost amazed myself that I had more places to see (passive)on my list than things I wanted to do (active) and also the number of things I don’t want to do – Skydiving for example. I guess it told me  a lot about my mental age. In my mind I am 45 already! So making a bucket list was a challenge to myself to get thinking outside the safe, comfortable and routine options.

My first stage also included reading up blogs and posts of those who had achieved all on their bucket list. Among other people , I looked at King Solomon from the Old testament who in his own words, ” denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure” yet he goes on to say, ” Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done, and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun”. As expected, most of the people who did manage to cross off all things from their bucket list, went on and made another list. As for those who could not strike off all items on theirs, well…solace is to be found in the effort put in into things that were accomplished. It might seem pointless to start making a bucket list if achieving that is not going to make a dent in our lives.

That said, there is a reason why  I made mine.

The reason is Hope. I think Hope for the future is what gives life so much dimensions. Our plans for tomorrow as based on our hope to receiving another day in our account. It can be something that drives us and it can be something that keeps us motivated.It is the hope of things unseen that translates into faith and then into action.

I can tell you from experience, it takes a lot of time and if unlike me you decide to post your bucket list on a public platform, there is a lot of accountability that goes with it. Obviously, you also have to devise a plan to make the things on your bucket list happen and free up physical, emotional and material resources to achieve what you set out to do. But If the reward is hope and if the reason is to live life in a more positive and vibrant way because of that then it is totally worth it.

My bucket holds a little piece of the ocean. and even though I did not cross the ocean, I at least came in close contact with it and make some mine.

Now only if I could remember that there is no “Bucket List Genie” who would come and make these wishes come true. (in my defense , I still thinking about my bucket list while I was making a Madhubani doodle of the genie!!)

Phir Milenge!

Telling an old tale afresh.

Over the course of last one year, I have been practicing drawing in Madhubani Style. It is a style of painting from Bihar region in India. Most paintings depicts Hindu deities and stories from mythology. The style is two-dimensional and most striking feature of this style is the line work, geometric patterns and the style of human and animal figures.

Let me clarify at the onset, I don’t have any formal training. I am self-taught, working with ink on paper, attempting to create my own styles and use new themes. Currently I am working on a series of drawings depicting the story of Noah from the Bible

I did the story in eight panels of 8″ X 8″. This is a work in progress and I intend to color it in.

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Noah receives the instruction to build the ark.

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He gathers the animals and birds in pairs.

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The ark floats on the flood waters.

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The dove with the Olive branch signalling that the flood waters are receding and land can be seen.

I hope you enjoy these images as much I enjoyed drawing them.

Phir Milenge!!