Saturday, December 20, 2014

Paper Snowflakes

It has been a slow December this time. Or let me reword it... Fact is that December is always a slow month, as the onset of winters and grey days seem to dull my creative juices. The lack of sunshine takes a toll every winter. And then, as too many happenings on the personal side spill over this year, it means work-wise things have taken a backseat.

With work crawling through most of this month, I am now staring at a bunch of half-finished things on my table. Unfinished painting collages, just started bottles, and half-done mosaic projects. Definitely not a good place to be in.... especially for any creator. But I was reading through a newly discovered blog of a fellow artist and I realised that all of us go through such cycles. Sometimes we work in a frenzy, and then sometimes nothing quite gets done.

Anyhow, in a bid to move on, I tried making some paper snowflakes yesterday with this super tutorial from : The first one was a bit of a dampener but the second one turned out real neat and pretty.

Suggest you give them a try and add some Christmas cheer to your windows. I will be travelling with family over the Xmas weekend; so here is wishing you all merry times with family, friends, food and of course, Santa! :)

Monday, November 24, 2014

Daffodils and Tulips

The brief said "shades of yellow, ochre and rust" were required along with "some vines". What I thought was a four-sided bottle turned out having eight sides - four slim sides and four broader ones. The expansive neck of the square-ish bottle only made things more difficult. And to top it all, not only was time at a premium but I also had guests at home. ...Phew!!!

Yes, these were the circumstances in which I started work on this bottle. After agreeing on daffodils and tulips with the client, I tentatively created the flower outlines, one type on each alternate side. As I diligently filled in the appropriate shades according to the brief, things started looking up. The four broad sides were covered; so far, so good. But what next?

I still had no idea about what to do with the upper part, the neck and those slim sides. And how were the vines supposed to be incorporated? Traditional and leafy green vines would have made the bottle look too cluttered. So one morning, very hesitantly, I started making vine-like designs using the colours of the outlines - yellow and black. At least they would fit in well with the colour scheme. But I wasn't sure if my unusual take on the vines would go down well with the client....

....Till that lovely Saturday morning when I actually met her to hand over the commissioned bottle. It was with a mix of relief and satisfaction that I saw her joyously accept what I handed her. And yes, as she very succinctly put it, my vines added a "vintage look" to the cherished bottle.

Believe me, there is no greater happiness than to see the look of wonderment when you hand over a finished bottle to an appreciative client. Thanks, dearest J, for giving me this opportunity!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Catch Up Time

In all my happiness at having a successful show in my first ever outing this Diwali, I totally forgot to update the blog..... Ouch!!!!! Guess it is time to confess that in trying to be a one-person army, I find my hands a bit too full at times. And while I do get to post fairly regularly on the Facebook page (thanks to my smartphone), the poor blog gets a miss. To top it all, the busy festival season didn't help the cause either. Ah! well, now that you know where I come from, let me share the happy bits with you.

The Creative Rumblings stall got a very good response at the Ardee City Diwali Mela in Gurgaon. Not only was our work greatly appreciated, but each and every visitor told us how much they valued our creative thinking and our efforts at recycling/repurposing. Quite a few of our products got a new home, and I came back feeling elated. Yes, the hubby (who accompanied me to help out) and I came back happy and tired, but most of all, it was such a humbling experience to receive so much love!! Sharing here a few of our moments from that eventful evening.

A look at the Creative Rumblings stall
Close-up of the hand-made goodies on sale
The view of the mela from the other side

In the meanwhile, I am back to doing what I do best, and have a couple of half-finished bottles on my table already. Here's a peep at one of them.

Also, there are a thousand plans in my head after getting such a fabulous response upfront. As the remaining year pans out, let's see how many get translated to reality. Wish me luck, dear readers!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Diwali Countdown: Rangoli Diya Trays

Diwali is the one festival when we like going traditional. And  putting up pretty rangolis at distinct places around the house is such an integral part of this festival. But wait! Time is always at a premium during festivals, and rangolis require not only time but loads of patience too.... now what?!?

Well, we have the perfect solution to your rangoli decorating woes. Just check out these beautiful, hand-crafted rangoli diya trays. In one go, they will add a dash of bling to your décor, and infuse the traditional quotient too. Display them with some marigold and rose petals strewn around, and see the magic that they create around your home.

So let your home sparkle and shine this Diwali, with these hand-crafted rangoli diya trays. To pick one or more of these, write to me at Or even better, catch me at the Ardee City Diwali Mela in sector 52, Gurgaon today as I have lots of pretty designs available. Happy decorating!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Diwali Countdown: Bottle Lamps

This Diwali, go hand-made! Light up a special corner of your home with these hand-painted lamps that are sure to be the conversation starters at your next gathering.

After the festival, you can always convert these lamps into vases, to display fresh or dried floral arrangements. Or even those paper flowers that the kids learnt at school!

Want one of these? Write to me at or catch me at the Ardee City Diwali Mela in Gurgaon on the 19th of this month. Happy lighting up!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Diwali Countdown: Bottlemania

With the festival of lights just a week away now, can this blog afford to be in snooze mode any longer? ....Well, I am back and promise to share with you some easy-breezy décor ideas over this week. So that by the time Deepawali dawns, you and your abode are more than ready to welcome all - your family, friends and the goddess of wealth!

To start with, I have a bunch of bottles ready in a festive combo of pink, white and silver. While one has been inspired by traditional henna motifs, the other two are more modern in their design. Display these singly or as a group, they are sure to add a touch of classy appeal to your festive décor setting.

Want one or all of these? Write to me at or catch me at the Ardee City Diwali Mela in Gurgaon on the 19th of this month. And yes, keep your eyes open for more decorative items and décor ideas on this page all through this week. Happy decorating! :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Fort Musician

Ever been to Jodhpur? If yes, then you will share my sentiments. If no, then I recommend a visit. It is one city that definitely has a charm of its own. The quaint marketplaces, the narrow undulating streets, the houses with their jharokhas (carved windows) and carved wooden doors, the blue painted walls of houses in the older part of the city, and of course, the awesome food.

But the most enchanting of all my experiences in Jodhpur was the Mehrangarh Fort. Standing atop a hill overlooking the entire city, the fort appears majestic even from a distance. And once you are inside, you are transported to another world altogether! The royal ambience of yore, with the tinted glass windows and intricate carvings. Musicians playing traditional Rajasthani instruments in the background only add to the charm.

Now you know where this painting came from.... it is one of my favourite pieces from the works I have done this year. Again, this painting has very little brushwork; thick layers of paint applied with a spatula create a beautifully textured effect (click on the picture to see an enlarged version). And looking at it, I am transported back to the famous fort of Mehrangarh.... so when are you packing your bags?!! :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Collaging Capers

Playing around with papers, that is what I mean by collaging capers! :) Yes, paper collaging has been something I used to enjoy doing even as a college kid and suddenly the love seems to have resurfaced.

So an old half-finished painting that lay unwanted in a corner of my art supplies cupboard got a new lease of life last month as I gave it a collage makeover. The half-painted version looked uninteresting and drab; must say the papers added quite a bit of verve to the piece. I finished it with a glossy coat.

The process of first selecting the right papers, matching the shades, tearing up the papers to the right size, and finally putting them on is definitely tedious.... but I find it almost meditative. It gives me the opportunity to put my patience to test, almost willing myself to push my limits and learn to stay calm. Maybe I should try collaging on larger pieces now....

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Sea Gulls

Drive along a river or go down to the beach and you cannot miss them.... Standing at the water's edge, rummaging for food in the wet, marshy soil. The bright yellow of their beaks in sharp contrast to the white and black feathers. No coast can ever be complete without these gulls and their loud, screechy calls.

My inspiration to paint seagulls came from two close encounters with them. One was years back on the Pacific coast in California, where I spotted them atop a beach shed, perched in an orderly queue. I remember clicking a picture that must be tucked away in my albums somewhere (digital photography was still very new back then). The second encounter happened last year during a vacation to Goa where I spotted hordes of them on a drive along the backwaters. Anyhow, this painting was another satisfying attempt at my new brushless technique.

I haven't been painting much lately; am going through a creative impasse of sorts. Hope relaxing over the upcoming long weekend puts my mind back into the creative mode.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Old Godown At Mattanchery

Haven't we all come across these old, abandoned godowns, sometimes bang in the middle of a bustling megapolis. Why only Mattanchery?.... this could be anywhere in India. I remember seeing some properties like these both in Delhi and Mumbai.

Anyhow, coming back to the painting.... Leafing through a newspaper article I chanced upon a picture of an old, dilapidated godown at Mattanchery, in the old town area of Kochi (erstwhile Cochin) in Kerela. The blues, browns and whites of the picture made for a striking combination and inspired me to create this painting (click on the picture for a larger view). These abandoned spice godowns make for very interesting subjects and I remember reading a blog on them a few days back.

Now for the catch - this painting here is an entirely brushless effort. Yes, you read it right - no brush was used in the making of this painting. It has been created with a discarded credit card and was a very quick, inspired piece, made over an evening.

Also, today I officially complete 5 years of playing around with paints on paper and canvas. In these five years, from making a slow and shaky start, I have moved to bigger sizes and bolder strokes. And yes, given up the brush for more interesting mediums to paint with! :) Do wish me luck as I carry on my romance with colour.... for many more years to come!!

Friday, July 18, 2014

A Peek Into My Journal Pages

A few weeks back I had promised to share with you the pages from my first art journal. Well, here goes.... hope you enjoy the visuals.

Mr. Frog and the toadstool were created by a personalised stencil cut. The design on the top right was made with the help of layers of masking tape, peeling layers as each colour was applied. It was then finished with some sponging. The flowers on the bottom right are paper collaging on an acrylic background.

Madame O was inspired by a family of spotted owls we spotted at the park recently, sitting exactly like this atop an eucalyptus tree. The creation on the top right is a combination of cloth, foil and designed paper. It so reminds me of a circus tent top though you can't quite make that out in this picture. The bottom right doodles were inspired by henna designs; made using pen and watercolour.

This panel has some of my favourite designs. Moving clockwise from top left, I Heart Art is made with paper collaging and acrylics, finished with some pen work. The top right piece is my attempt at being Jackson Pollock. Done entirely without any brushes using finger painting and splatter technique. The funny shaped houses (they didn't quite turn out how they were supposed to) are again a combo of multiple techniques but the most interesting part in this is the background. The brownish parts that give a smoky look are created using.... guess what?!?!...... Coffee!!! yes, really, it is coffee. Isn't that a fabulous finish? The last panel is an ode to okra; simple veggie stamping for the background and repeating the designs with markers for the foreground.

And that is how my tiny folding journal looks - folded and opened up. Phew! And I still haven't shown you all.... some panels didn't photograph well so maybe those will come in another post. Now you see how much a little journal can hold. So hurry up.... get started yourself and happy journaling!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Pattachitra Bottle

With the annual Rath Yatra (car festival) of Lord Jagannath having started in Orissa and other parts of the country this weekend, the time seemed appropriate to post about another aspect of the state - its arts and crafts. Orissa has always been deeply associated with age-old crafting traditions. Its villages of Pipli and Raghurajpur are famous for their colourful appliques and Pattachitra crafts the world over. Though I have visited the state many years back, but a visit to these craft villages has been on my to-do list for a while now.

Recently I attended a casual workshop where one of the projects was making a Pattachitra bottle. I couldn't be happier, of course! But it is only once I started painting that I realised how much patience is required to execute the intricate designs. And mine is nowhere close to what the Orissa artisans make.... I remember seeing these bottles a few years back at the Surajkund Crafts Fair when they were getting newly introduced in the market. Absolutely amazing designs and such delicate finery!

I chose to make Jagannath-Subhadra-Balram, the three gods that almost define Orissa; they are placed in the famous Jagannath Temple in Puri and worshipped in every Oriya home. Hope my bottle does justice to the images of these much-loved deities. Click on the image to see a better view of the bottle.

And next time you come across those Oriya craftsmen at a fair, don't forget to stop by, admire their creativity and pick up some gorgeous pieces for your home. Alternatively, you could commission a bottle from me by writing to me at Have a happy July! :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Art Journals: My New Love

Writing a post after 3 long weeks.... yes, you can say I have been ignoring the blog. Quite a bit. And I have my reasons...

The sultry heat of the past few days is making me listless and unwilling to  go through the whole process of taking pictures, downloading and sorting them, and creating blog posts. And then my readers don't seem to share any enthusiasm either; there was hardly any response to my call for ideas in the last post. So why write when no one reads! So there.... every girl has got to vent sometimes, what say?!?

Well, I write these posts most of all for myself, for my satisfaction, for keeping a virtual record of all the work I do. And that is why here I am writing again...

In the last month or so I have fallen hook, line and sinker for the joys of art journaling. Since you cannot put every little idea on to a canvas straightaway, these art journals come to the rescue. They help hold an album of tips, tricks, techniques and experiences.... and of course, great quotes!

I have started with a folding journal, pictures of which I'll share with you soon.... when I complete all its panels. The picture you see today is from that same journal, made earlier this month on the occasion of World Environment Day.

 Making an art journal is so much fun because you get to work on something new each day. And since the size isn't too large, you actually can finish a piece in a single sitting, something that is impossible to do with larger paintings. Do check out Google and YouTube for some amazing art journal lessons, and get hooked yourself! :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Approaching Milestone Alert

Hey readers, have something exciting to share with you!!.....  In just about two months from now, I will be hitting another milestone. Yippee!!!

My journey with the paintbrush started way back in July 2009, and I just realized that I have now been painting for 5 years at a stretch.... and that surely is something to celebrate! Never thought I'd last 5 weeks when I started. :)

I was flipping through the blog archives when I remembered that though the blog and my passion for bottle painting started much earlier, it took me a while to work up the courage to put brush to paper. A quick scroll down the dates revealed my hunch was right - I created my first painting much after my other experiments. So while the blog is into its sixth year, my foray into painting will complete five years this July!

My first painting - The Lotus Ganesha
(Acrylic on paper)

Isn't that a real good reason to celebrate? So here is where you, dear readers, have a part to play. I want your help to decide how best to celebrate this milestone? - Plan a sale, hold a giveaway, or hold a blog party? What would excite you the most?

Go on, give me those ideas. Or at least tell me which idea of mine appeals to you the most. We have just about two months to set this up.... so hurry up and fire away the comments!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Eternal Spring

A mixed media piece this time that says "In my heart lies eternal spring".... the piece is such an amalgamation of techniques and motifs that I'm not sure the picture will do justice to its varied nuances.

Maybe a list of the techniques I used to create this will help those of you who want to try something similar. So here goes... this piece includes:
  1. Paper collaging, acrylic washes and stamping with real leaves for the background effects.
  2. Stenciling (with handmade stencils and homemade modelling paste) for the raised effects in the foreground.
  3. Then come the special effects that capture the essence of Spring - like the paper-torn sun in the right corner.... representing the life giver, the force that induces life to spring afresh; the butterflies and ladybirds placed strategically around the piece that are so symptomatic of spring blooms; bright coloured flower accents and real pressed flowers placed all over.
  4. 3-D outliners to add specific accents like the butterfly feelers.
As a final touch, I pasted the quote in the lower left side, and voila!.... the piece was ready.

The beauty of mixed media lies in its undercoats, things that go into the background and only show up partially in the final scheme of things. They add a sense of mystique and the layered look gives a certain depth to the final piece.

Anyone wanting a similar mixed media piece for brightening up your walls, write to me at and gift your abode some happiness.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

For A Little Hope And Loving

Carrying on with my recent foray into paper collaging alongside acrylics, I created a couple of paintings last month based on another favourite flower - the poppy. Only this time I added some lettering to the pieces to give forth a message.

So this first painting has the words 'Hope' showing up. Somehow the colours and message in this one remind me of Easter; only lilies would have been more appropriate instead of a poppy. The special bit in this painting - the black speckles that you see in the middle of the flower are done with paper. Yes, it was painstakingly done and required loads of patience. :) But as they say, when you love something, it doesn't feel like work at all.

The second painting carries a message we should all imbibe in our lives. Especially in these days when big words like Secularism and Tolerance are being bandied around to get some extra votes at the polls. But of course, Love is something we all need to open our hearts to, and this doesn't just refer to romantic love. Enough moralising! The distinctive feature of this painting - the leaves are imprints of real poppy leaves from my garden. I love how they have come out....

Let me know if you would like to have one of these, or something similar; write in to me at Hope you've noticed the new Twitter link in the right panel. Go on.... show me some tweet love too @CreativeRumbles! And while you are at it, carry on with some hope and lots of loving....

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

On The Window Sill

Anyone who has been a reader of this blog would know about my penchant for nasturtiums. Every winter they are all over my garden, adding colour to the greens and joy to our hearts.

So how could I not paint them this season again? I'm including the original picture just to give you all a sense of how and where I get my inspirations!

This time I have used a knife instead of my brushes, and added paper collaging to achieve the effects in the background. Just love the outcome! Whaddya say, dear readers?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Abstract Landscapes

I have been working on a series of abstract landscapes, the kinds that begin with a blank mind and a mark on the paper. You have no clue about what is going to emerge, where you are headed. You just make a random start and then go as your instinct guides you.

The first one started with sticking bits of plain paper on the sheet at random. I had no specific scheme in mind.... just tore and stuck those bits wherever I felt like. Then I picked up some black paint and laid down a few casual strokes in between those paper bits. It looked a bit dull, so I added red to spice things up. Still nothing emerged.... Next came the printed paper bits, followed by the orange streaks and bubble wrap prints. Then I was on a roll; added all the other colours and finally stepped back to have a look. To finish off, added the scratches with my knife at the bottom and there was a landscape ready before my eyes!

The second one started by making black marks with the sides of a bottle cap..... yes, those marks that now appear as tree trunks. Then came the plain paper bits, followed by arbitrary strokes in blue, green and mustard. Still I was clueless as to where this piece was heading, so I picked up my knife and scraped on some purple paint. Added the blues and then I suddenly knew how I wanted to end it all. Added the greens with a sponge and the whites, and another landscape emerged.

This process is so magical that you actually have to try this yourself to understand the surprises it holds. Go on, make one yourself.... and remember, you don't need brushes or a good hand to create an abstract. Anything can be used as a tool; all that matters is a passionate heart!

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Yellow Lilies

Isn't it amazing how inspiration can strike you anytime, anywhere. The most innocuous event or occurrence can become the source of a painting, or a series even.

A few days back a friend posted some photos on Facebook.... of a bouquet of yellow lilies that she received on her birthday. She is a flower lover and so clicked pictures of the bouquet from various angles as they sat in a vase, probably on her table. One look at those pictures and I was hooked; I just had to paint those gorgeous lilies, bright and cheerful yellow, with their upturned faces spreading sunshine and happiness.

I got to work on the sketches almost immediately, and within a week had a bunch of lily paintings ready. As I started to paint I was struck by the idea of using new techniques. So first I let go of my brushes and picked up plastic knives instead. These knives are given out by a local baker whenever we order special cakes. :) What a fabulous tool they make! Next I returned to my old love of paper collaging and used that technique for the background.

The result? A set of fantastic lily paintings.... all because of those few photos on Facebook! :)

Now I'm working on a series of florals, taking liberal inspiration from the beautiful blooms in my garden. Will share all the pictures once I am done. Paper collaging has also led to some abstract landscapes but you all will get a glimpse of that in my next post.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Cabin By The Lake

Another landscape inspired by my visit to an agricultural research centre. The campus had many beautiful lakes though in my short stay I only got to see only a small one near my guest house.

But the calmness and beauty of the lakeside was something amazing, especially for a city weary person like me. The joy of spending a couple of evenings sitting on the banks of this lake, with only the gentle breeze ruffling my hair and the sounds of birds for company, was unparalleled.

Watching the sun go down, as the sky and water changed colours every minute, was an experience that will stay with me for quite a while.

Nowadays am swaying in the direction of florals again.... after all, what else do you expect when the blooms of spring are all around us!

p.s.- I think I'm still quite a novice at clicking pictures of canvases; this one has turned out even more grainy than the one in the last post. Any ideas or tips, dear readers? As a policy, I do not use the flash while taking pictures of my artwork.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Down The Road

One of the first landscapes I painted this year, inspired by a recent visit to an agricultural research centre that had acres and acres of soothing green fields gently swaying in gusts of cool, fresh air.

The road in the middle of the greens in this piece has some gritty sand particles mixed in with the paint, as you can see clearly in the picture on the right. Apologies for the rather grainy looking upload; I can't seem to figure out why the picture is not showing up too well.

On another note, I visited some awesome exhibitions this month at the National Gallery of Modern Art. I seriously consider myself lucky to have seen almost the entire official collection of Amrita Shergill and some interesting Subodh Gupta installations, all at one go!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Spring Bouquet

In the Valentine season, what better colour to paint with than shades of red! The vibrancy of red always manages to perk me up. And the blooming garden and yellow sunshine is making me paint flowers all over again.

This one is my abstract rendition of a lily and a gerbera in a spring bouquet. The special bit about this piece is that very little brushwork was used in this. Instead I put an old credit card to good use! The outcome has me pretty pleased. :) Hope you all enjoy the Valentine weekend with your loved ones....

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Abstract Landscapes

I was always a huge admirer of landscapes, given the inherent nature lover that I am. Lately I'm leaning more and more towards semi-abstract and abstract depiction of landscapes.

Trying to capture the beauty of the world around us using the fluidity and freeform of abstracts is very liberating. There are so many different interpretations you can give to the same scene, thanks to the boundless quality of abstract and mixed media art.

Nah, what you see here is not an actual canvas; it is just a rough sketch I made on a 1"x1" square card. But I am currently working on a series of landscape abstracts, in small format (10"x10"), both on paper and canvas.

Some of my landscapes are derived from my own recent journeys, and some from pictures and settings that have left an impression on me at some point of time. Hope to share the results of my efforts soon.

On another note, I'm really enjoying the balmy weather these days. As the days get warmer, it is so obvious that my favourite season Spring is just round the corner. There is a song in my heart and a spring in my step that is making me want to paint more and more!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Revisiting the Ghats

So many days into the new year and no post on my blog yet.... tch, tch! Well, the winter blues are getting me down so I have only managed one small landscape painting in all these days. But that is not what I'm sharing today.... let me first show you the last painting of the last year that somehow got neglected and never appeared on the blog.

This one was finished just a day or so before the year ended. But what I really loved about it was the abstraction.... especially the shadowy areas in the background. I tend to get very definitive with forms so keeping things loose and undefined was fun. Also depicting the shadows with wide swathes of colour, rather than trying to achieve specifics, was a learning experience. Then I hardly used brushes to make this; relied on the smooth tip of a plastic knife instead!

I want to try my hand at more abstracted forms this year and have already made a start by stocking up on more canvases and paints. Let us see how and where things go now.... maybe that explains why I started the year with an abstract landscape. But more on that in my next post.


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