Thursday, October 31, 2013

Coffee works gaining attention!

With the DST[daylight saving time] coming to an end and the summer gone, the dark and gloomy days will return soon! Its time for me to return to my blog before I go into hibernation.
After two weeks of fun in Boston, I was back in Reading looking forward to up-coming events. The art works done with coffee, exhibited from 5th May at the Takeaway gallery in Reading, looked very attractive in the frames. This event was covered by the local press and two of my works were sold.


On 7th May, I participated in the Tagore festival organised by the Tagore centre,UK in London, at Gordon Square. At the festival, I sold a few live art in acrylic on canvas and a few limited edition prints of my earlier works. The open air performance with Tagore’s songs and dances recreated Santiniketan in the heart of London. I couldn’t resist it when I was pulled by one of the organisers to join in a dance.

This was followed by an invitation received from the Nehru centre, London to deliver a talk on-
‘ Paintings inspired by Tagore’. My talk involved my association with Tagore's Santiniketan, its art, craft and aesthetics and its influence on my art. I enjoyed going down the memory lane to the days of my childhood and youth in search of materials required for the talk. It was interesting to trace the development of the unique art style in Santiniketan during the time of Nandalal Bose.

My exhibition, "Timeless Tagore" was a landmark in my journey as an artist but, now I have moved away from that chapter. I have been on the move since then and circumstances motivated me to try out various techniques in different media, exploring the possibility of creating something new.
On 17th July my portrait of Pandit Ravi Sankar, done after he passed away in December 2012, was displayed at Nehru Centre, UK during a performance by the Sujata Banerjee dance company in memory of Pandit Ravi Sankar.
I had touched it up a bit. Here is the revised version.

This was my first attempt at combining two different media. The first step was to do the foundation and background with water colour and the second step was to develop it using charcoal.
I found this quite satisfying as it brought out the effects I wanted to produce. I was happy with the expression and mood displayed in this work.

While I spent considerable amount of time in the preparation for my talk, the dramatic change in weather made June, July and August the most enjoyable months during my year long stay in Reading.  Suddenly the curtain was raised and the magic began. Now I know why such great poets were born in this country. One has to experience this drama in order to get a feel of its charm.
Our daughter came to visit us in July and we visited Ireland with her. After she left, we visited York. In August, our son came to visit us and we spent a day at Henley on Thames, another place I love to visit. Almost all weekends were spent visiting beautiful places in Britain.This was when we came to know that our stay in UK has been extended. I was only too happy to be here as long as the summer lasted. I was reluctant to leave UK during this wonderful time of the year, but 31st August arrived too soon and we had to leave for our two week’s tour of Turkey. The only piece of art done by me during this whole stretch was another coffee painting promised by me for my brother.

This goes to show, how I was enjoying the UK summer. I didn’t even feel like spending time on en plein air water colour. We returned from Turkey on 13th September but I was completely exhausted. It was a conducted tour and I found it very hectic. Walking for miles in the ruins for more than a week in the scorching sun at 42C became more of a torture. It took me two weeks to recover. Strangely, this painting was done before I visited the ruins!

Our annual festival, Durga Puja was round the corner and I felt like doing something related to this age old tradition that has now become a part of the culture of Bengal. I have always enjoyed visiting the old Jamindar[landlord] houses during this festival and in this work, I have tried to capture that memory.

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