Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Monday, March 14, 2016


(Charcoal on paper)

in the arms of the angel
fly away from here
from this dark cold hotel room
and the endlessness that you fear

you are pulled from the wreckage
of your silent reverie
you're in the arms of the angel
may you find some comfort here

memories seep from my veins
let me be empty
and weightless and maybe
I'll find some peace tonight

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Why paint..

Painting is a relief.

It is a set of experiences one carries deep inside one's self, that is desperate to get out.  It is a representation of the story. The catharsis of the moment.  In the act and in the design, it provides an overwhelming sense of peace.

It is at once isolation and intimacy.  It is silent conversations with yourself. A slow moving dance with the essence, the remnants of the emotion that finds form and shapes and colors and smells and textures.  Like blood on a white canvas.

It is the only resort when every other form of expression is constrained.  When the words sound too small and music too loud. But the brush!  The brush feels free and fluid - to say it all.

And when its over, there is relief.  There is peace. The turbulence finds calmness. Like sand at a shore after an angry sea retreats. It is smooth.  And black.  And laid to rest.  The music sounds beautiful and the words come alive.

 The world becomes a beautiful place again.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pop Art

I am in an Andy Warhol state of mind these last six months, loving the bright colors of the pop art movement.  I have been trying to do an oil painting about a bunch of ghosts in caves for a while now, but getting quite frustrated with the wet weather in Bangalore and consequent non-drying of the canvas.  It has been a year almost since I touched oil paints and have forgotten the challenges of the medium, particularly at scale.  This painting is an effort to stem the frustration a bit, get the colors out in a much easier medium - charcoals. It took me 30 minutes this morning to do this, on an A3 size paper.

It's like eating a fast food burger vs a slow cooked lamb.  There is instant satisfaction, but in your heart you know you are cheating, the slow cooking is the real deal :-))

Monday, October 06, 2014


How can I keep my soul in me,
so that it doesn't touch your soul?
How can I raise it high enough,
past you, to other things?
I would like to shelter it,
among remote lost objects,
in some dark and silent place
that doesn't resonate when your depths resound.
Yet everything that touches us, me and you,
takes us together like a violin's bow,
which draws *one* voice out of two separate strings.
Upon what instrument are we two spanned?
And what musician holds us in his hand?
Oh sweetest song.
 - Rilke

Monday, February 18, 2013

Poetics of Space

Found these beautiful lines written about painting landscape based works .

The Spirit of Place... Emotive response to the sensual ineffable poetics of space. The strange is sometimes very beautiful. Seeing incorporates visionary imagination. beyond the play of surfaces, to spiritual essence. Into the Light

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Dots by Vinu

[Crayons on Paper] Artist: Vinu

Pooja at Hema's

[Acrylic on Canvas]

Thursday, October 11, 2012


It's been ages since I went back to drawing. I have been questioning the role of drawing in a painting for a while now. Should a painting really be that planned or should it be a more free flow of expression - isn't the latter what art is really about? In any case, a chance discovery of a set of charcoals in my mecca, William Penn led to a few quick nude drawings during a work break .... will put up more as they come along.
[Charcoal on Paper]
[Charcoal on Paper]

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Band - Revisited

(Acrylic on Canvas) Its been close to two years since I painted the original Band. This new painting is just an experiment to see how the technique and color complexity has evolved over the years. Quite happy :-)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Light in the Dark

{Acrylic on Canvas]

We grow accustomed to the Dark
When light is put away
As when the Neighbor holds the Lamp
To witness her Goodbye

A Moment -- We uncertain step
For newness of the night
Then fit our Vision to the Dark
And meet the Road -- erect

And so of larger -- Darkness
Those Evenings of the Brain
When not a Moon disclose a sign
Or Star -- come out -- within
The Bravest -- grope a little
And sometimes hit a Tree
Directly in the Forehead
But as they learn to see

Either the Darkness alters
Or something in the sight
Adjusts itself to Midnight
And Life steps almost straight.

- Emily Dickinson


(Acrylic on Canvas)

These city lights
They glisten on the horizon
Dance to the sounds of late night revellers
Drinking, carousing, vomiting between destinations
Each one of them signals life
Ordinary people watching tv,
Their minds silent but for the dreams they see
They rest humming in the distance
And when I look at them
I think of what brought to this place
This cold, loud space built on dreams
Most broken, a few fulfilled
And I wonder what they hold for me
-Kojo (from the web)

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Weeping Willow

[Oil on Canvas]

A willow of crystal, a poplar of water,
a pillar of fountain by the wind drawn over,
tree that is firmly rooted and that dances,
turning course of a river that goes curving,
advances and retreats, goes roundabout,
arriving forever:
the calm course of a star
or the spring, appearing without urgency,
water behind a stillness of closed eyelids
flowing all night and pouring out prophecies,
a single presence in the procession of waves
wave over wave until all is overlapped,
in a green sovereignty without decline
a bright hallucination of many wings
when they all open at the height of the sky,

course of a journey among the densities
of the days of the future and the fateful
brilliance of misery shining like a bird
that petrifies the forest with its singing
and the annunciations of happiness
among the branches which go disappearing,
hours of light even now pecked away by the birds,
omens which even now fly out of my hand...

(an extract of Sunstone by Octavio Paz)

Friday, December 24, 2010


[Acrylic on Canvas]


The sky puts on the darkening blue coat
held for it by a row of buildings;
you watch: and the lands grow distant in your sight,
one journeying to heaven, one that falls;

and leave you, not at home in either one,
not quite so still and dark as the darkened houses,
not calling to eternity with the passion of what becomes
a star each night, and rises;

and leave you (inexpressibly to unravel)
your life, with its immensity and fear,
so that, now bounded, now immeasurable,
it is alternately stone in you and star.


Saturday, February 06, 2010

My Sister Snigdha's Painting

Virgin and Child
[Oil on Canvas}

There is a little story on how I started painting. I am the youngest of 4 daughters and younger than my third sister by 8 years (clearly an accident that my parents will never admit to :-)) . My sisters however have a gap of a year or two amidst them and so would participate in the same painting competitions in school. Every year the competitions would by dominated by the three of them, with the 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes being shared between them, so much so that when I entered school, I was referred to as the "painting sisters' sister" :-)) Our house is filled with the prizes they have won over all the years and I always felt I could never live up to this hype in school :-) Even when I won some competitions, I secretly felt that it was only because our drawing sir, Vinay sir (who was very fond of all my sisters) was being partial to me. All of them had a wonderful portfolio of paintings done over the years. Wonderful bright colours, beautiful compositions. All done in water colours on TK Paper.

My second sister, Snigdha's paintings were selected for some international competitions that she won. I remember as a child, crawling up to the table where she used to paint and standing on a chair next to her's to watch her paint. She had a thing for female figures - beautiful eyes, hands, curves, clothes and colors. I think I modeled my own anatomy drawings on the basis of her take on people.

Over time, all of them got married and then children/ careers took over as the dominant aspect of their lives. Paintings stopped. Also, none of them went beyond water colours as a medium to paint. Now, after a gap of almost 10-15 years, my sister Snigdha has picked up the brushes again and is starting to paint with oils on canvas. Here is among the first of her paintings with the new medium. It is her favorite theme, mother and son, "Virgin and Child".

I must tell you that my parents (who had never painted ever) would buy us lots of painting books of the old masters, which we used to them try to recreate. We have all sketched our take of Da Vinci and Michalangelo since 3rd standard :)) My mona lisa sketch was done in the 4th standard vacation :-)), so our influence on early paintings have mostly been figures and people (as with the Renaissance era). We never tried anything contemporary such as cubist or modern art, which is why it is such a struggle for me to break out into anything abstract. Virgin and child is a prominent motif of that era and there are about 5-6,000 paintings done on this, at display on most major museums. My sister has a lovely son now called Hari and this is perhaps the dominant role in her life now,

You will find that her paintings have a melancoly quality to them, I used to often feel sad looking at them. I am glad to see that the expressive quality of the characters still remains and the emotions transcend the paint.

The photo does not do any justice to the paintings as she is taking them on her camera phone and I'm bluetoothing it onto the blog.

Chache, please keep painting lots and lots ..will put them all up here. Love you.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Atomic Love

[Acrylic on Paper]

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Rajasthani Women

My sister saw the previous painting and wanted one in a larger canvas for her dinning room. So I have done the same painting again, with more detail and jewellery on a much bigger canvas. Really enjoyed this one. Chache, for you, with all my love :-).

[Acrylic on Canvas]

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Colors of India

[Acrylic on Board]

Phir lauta hai khurshid-e-jahaantaab safar se
Phir noor-e-sahar dast-o-garebaan hai sahar se.
Phir aag bharakne lagi har saaz-e-tarab mein
Phir sholay lapakne lage har deeda-e-tar se.
-Faiz Ahmed Faiz

A translation :)
Again the sun returns, bathing the world in its journey,
Again the morning light goes hand in glove with the sky.
Again the fire roars in every merry song,
Again the flames leap from every weeping eye.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Coming Back to Life

Having fun with acrylic after a long time...15 years!!
(Acrylic on Canvas)

Lost in thought and lost in time
While the seeds of life and the seeds of change were planted
Outside the rain fell dark and slow
While I pondered on this dangerous but irresistible pastime

I took a heavenly ride through our silence
I knew the moment had arrived
For killing the past and coming back to life

I took a heavenly ride through our silence
I knew the waiting had begun
And I headed straight..into the shining sun
- David Gilmour, Pink Floyd

Monday, August 03, 2009

Fun with Crayons

Had bought some crayons for kavy....who's 1.5 yrs old :)
ended up having some fun myself...

(Wax crayons on paper)

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Jack's Broken Heart

It took all the strength I had
not to fall apart
kept trying hard to mend
the pieces of my broken heart

- Gloria Gaynor (I will survive)
[Oil on Paper]

A Whirling of Dervishes

Here is F's first painting, inspired by Sufi ascetics. The colors swirl around the dervish and unite in harmony in his heart. Oil on Paper.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Jack's Confusion

[Oil on Canvas]
Inspired from the very post modernist and one of my all time favorite movies, The Fight Club, here is the first of a series - Jack's inflammable sense of Confusion. Its also my first abstract art and is a representation of a dark mind that is caught swirling in confusion between alternatives. The conflict is a choice of cool bluish serene realistic alternatives with the romantic idealism of an orange fury.

Flaming Confusion

Sunday, March 08, 2009


Its been a while since I have put up a painting here. Not for the lack of painting, it is just that I have had a frustrated painting period. I have stuck to doing still lives and landscapes and now I just find them dull and uninteresting. In the past, I have been doing compositionally simpler paintings due to lack of time. I have usually found weekends as the only time to paint and I have tried to do paintings of smaller sizes and minimal detail to complete the paintings within the time. I have skipped the detail. I now want to do a fewer set of paintings but those that also involve composition, colour, ideas, details, modern. I have attempted to do a cityscape several times and failed, often frustrated. I find that it's usually because I haven't planned or visualised the painting in my head before I have started. I find it difficult to stick to contours of an under-drawing, I have found it inhibiting in the past to prevent a free flow. I find that it is not possible to paint cities by ignoring the angular - much of it involves sticking to form in definite proportions and this has been difficult to do. So here is my first attempt at breaking out. Will start with a fresh cityscape in greys and blues.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Misty sea

[oil on paper]

Monday, March 31, 2008

Friday, March 28, 2008

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Sea Fever

[Oil on Canvas]

I must go down to the seas again,

to the lonely sea and the sky,
and all I ask is a tall ship
and a star to steer her by,

and the wheel's kick and the wind's song
and the white sail's shaking,
and a grey mist on the sea's face
and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again,
for the call of the running tide
as a wild call and a clear call
that may not be denied;

and all I ask is a windy day
with the white clouds flying,
and the flung spray and the blown spume,
and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again
to the vagrant gypsy life,
to the gull's way and the whale's way
where the wind's like a whetted knife;

and all I ask is a merry yarn
from a laughing fellow rover,
and quiet sleep and a sweet dream
when the long trick's over.

-- John Masefield

Outside The Wall

Back to blogging – yay! The return to homeland wasn’t as seamless as imagined….amazing how such an insignificant time apart can reset so many assumptions of existence. I have often wondered why some are more malleable to change than others – I, for one, belong to the category that set the heart and soul free to soak up each experience, with the constant result that several components of my former self are continuously redrawn, recolored. Too much energy has been spent these last few months in rediscovering those earlier shades, those shades that allowed for a costless existence in this ‘home’ (!) – too much energy lost in rebuilding stability (albeit, the silent undertone of ‘unknown’ staying constantly as a faithful friend whose job is to remind). And predictably, the much feared painters block found its potent path into my head forcing yet another long creative glut.

There is an increasing debate on how to tackle a block – in any medium of expression. Some believe the right way to face the fire is to jump into it headlong…..in this instance, get down to a painting schedule and force the block out. This approach has never worked for me, a) for its regimented nature destroying the innate free spirit of the expression and b) for the lack of those oh-so-important inspired moments. (Duane has an interesting article on what constitutes the inspired moments here). So mostly one is left with no choice but to live it out, controlling panic in the knowledge that ‘this too has passed’.

A trek with some friends to M M Hills on the border of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka provided that inspired moment. 2 paintings followed in quick succession with a third one evolving in the head as one writes, waiting to burst out. Finishing touches are being added to both and will be put up shortly.

In the meantime, also discovered this oh –so-cool tool called sketchcast – I am not the kind of person who one could classify even remotely as tech friendly. In fact, one of the reasons I love (and I truly cant find a more limiting word in the context) oil paints is its classic appeal – the knowledge that our ancestors from 400 years ago also used these materials romanticizes the appeal way too much for me. Yet, I really enjoyed using this tool – it’s a fun thing to use the different colors – I loved the water color feel to it. Play in fast forward as it is a 20 min vid. The mouse was really hard to control on the laptop!! So please to forgive the jerks.

The Wall

Back....finally! 3 months of return to homeland proved to be very taxing indeed with the whole 'settling down' process......most of the energy has been spent in setting up a house, 'settling back' - its amazing how malleable one is, even an insignificant amount of time spent in different environment

Saturday, August 04, 2007

And one year later…..

I have jumped!! From the firm hold of my job as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs International, London into the world of unknown…..following a vague notion of fulfilment …Of hope, love and change. Of a desire to contribute, to make that bit, however tiny, of difference. It is an open wide field with infinite paths of various colors…I am now only familiar with the shades that I will choose, the definitive path is yet to be discovered.

I have resigned this week from GS and taken the plunge. I will be returning to Bangalore, India by first week of September and looking around for a bit. Spending some time rediscovering roots. With this ends my time as a hard nosed banker. I have had a most interesting peek into this very exciting, even if void world. It has been a world so contrasted to the one in my thoughts, that I have often felt quite external to it…like watching a movie – a passiveness. Have seen big games played out at close quarters. Have travelled, met the most interesting people and made many friendships. Worked the 120 hour weeks. Complex analysis, tougher negotiations. All in a world where to optimise is to dehumanise.

I didn’t anticipate the smell of freedom would be so ethereal. It feels light and truly joyous!!!!

I am finally free.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Sunday, March 25, 2007


(Oil on Canvas)

Water falls
Apart in air
Hangs like hair
Light installs
Itself in strands
Of water falling
The cliff stands
- Samuel Menashe

I loved the making of this painting. To my mind, it is unity of the two elements - the solid beauty of the cliffs and the calmness of the still water. Each as beautiful, as strong, as soft, as deep as the other. Each incomplete without the other. In blissful harmony together.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Dark side of the moon

(Oil on Canvas)

And if the dam breaks open many years too soon
And if there is no room upon the hill
And if your head explodes with dark forebodings too
I'll see you on the dark side of the moon

- Roger Waters, Pink Floyd

BrewHaHa and The Ink :)

(Wall Painting)

So F has finally followed his calling, left the beaten race and created his own blazing trail :) - For starters, he has opened an 'entertainment lounge' called BrewHaHa at Koramangala, Bangalore (next to Jyoti Nivas College near Forum). Plis to visit - he promises the most mouth-watering desserts, sandwiches and lots of games and fun. Here is an Ink original (in purple) symbolising one of the many dancing cheerleaders inside BrewHaha and behind F.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Freedom of the Moon

(Oil on canvas)

I've tried the new moon tilted in the air
Above a hazy tree-and-farmhouse cluster
As you might try a jewel in your hair.
I've tried it fine with little breadth of luster,
Alone, or in one ornament
one first-water start almost shining.
I put it shining anywhere I please.
By walking slowly on some evening later,
I've pulled it from a crate of crooked trees,
And brought it over glossy water, greater,
And dropped it in, and seen the image wallow,
The color run, all sorts of wonder follow.
- R. Frost

Saturday, November 04, 2006

My little studio :-)

I had to put this one up. Still settling into new home and just finished setting up my little studio corner.....

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Sunny Afternoons

(Oil on canvas)
HumVee: This one is for you and your precious little one. She is a little older than in the pic you put up, this is how I have imagined her to grow up :) .
Heres to all the many precious moments with your precious little one....to all the sunny days ahead....

Saturday, October 21, 2006


(Oil on Canvas)

Friday, October 20, 2006

New blog

A quick update - have started a new blog http://myeternalquest.blogspot.com/ This blog to only be for paintings henceforth.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Yunus wins the Nobel Peace Prize!!!

Have nothing to say. Overwhelmed. Not that more validation was needed, but makes me personally elated!! Mohammed Yunnus is the founder of Grameen Bank, a micro finance outfit, and his organisation has rescued millions of poor people in Bangladesh and outside from the poverty cycle. Banker to the Poor is his autobiography, a book in which he has detailed out the whole journey of the Grameen Bank - really worth a read. Simple stories of how micro-loans of Rs1,000 have changed the lives of people forever. YAHOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Little blog break


Off for a 20 day European cum Scandinavian trip beginning tomorrow.....Stockholm, Copenhagen, Barcelona, Paris, Monte Carlo/ Burgundy and a few days in India. And then Amsterdam the w/e after.

Promise to put up new painting when back in London and settled into new home. In fact, a particular little subject is developing in mind quite vividly, cant wait to put brush to canvas asap!
Taking a bunch of cold pressed paper, water colors and acrylic along for this trip.....not my favorite medium, but given quickness of drying etc, I think its the only practical way to paint/ sketch while traveling. Not painted with water since 10 years, so will be interesting to see how using oil for what seems forever now has disrupted with basic techniques of water coloring.

Also books to read - catch 22 (been planning for loooong, not yet gotten down to reading), origin of species (yeah...geek me) and a few others...apart from the usual survival guide, the lonely planet, though honestly don't think will get beyond catch 22.

More later....tra la la....

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Cross roads

Its been 2 months now since I entered the blogging world and I must say, I am thoroughly enjoying myself :-) ! Addicted to posting and checking others blogs - do a daily round -up of a bunch of blogs for updates and have great thrill in doing this sneakily at office hours :)) Ok, all those from Goldman here, please put your hands up NOW!

The blog in the meantime seems to have taken a life of its own. Yet another lesson in the futility of grandiose mission statements :-) Didn't plan for this to be an "arty farty blog" of sorts when I started, promise! However, here I am, caught in a loop of actively painting every free minute and excitedly posting thereafter. The original intention of starting the blog has however gotten lost in the midst of my little colorful world. Separately, over the past few weeks, inkognito's identity has been revealed: partly self inflicted and partly unintended.

So, have decide to split paths now. Henceforth, this blog will be a focused play ie only about the paintings, in an attempt to avoid clutter with the travelogue, poetry, opinions, other random blogs and also to hopefully keep this side alive. I am starting a new blog to keep the journey going.......new blog to be under the cover of anonymity again, yes, plain cowardice at one level and too much familiarity of the space interfering with a feeling of being free at another....

Muchos gracias to all my lovely visitors here for all the wonderful encouraging comments....truly kept me going.

Tra la la......here's to a new road...a new song....

Monday, August 28, 2006



Its that time of the day I am not the most fond of and have tried to paint the way I feel at this time: mostly gloomy, a sense of endings and the lowest ebb of energy and exuberance. I am very much a night person, I love the mystery, the blankness, the limitless possibilities of the dark.

Still life #3 (Pomegranates)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Suprabhatam (Auspicious Dawn)

MS Subhalakshmi's melodious voice was ringing in my ears when I painted this.....

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Still life #2 (Pineapple)

Didn't use brushes for this still life ...only a knife...loved the rough texture of the pineapple skin.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

View from the parachute

..from a parasailing attempt! This is the view while almost landing..its pretty much the vast expanse of the sea beneath and a faint pair of hands waving :)

Still life #1 (Two pots and a candlestand)

A still life of 2 pots and a candle stand on an Ikea table in my house.....

Monday, August 14, 2006


My most romantic memories...lying by the sea under the moonlight, listening to the sound of the waves....

Here's an attempt to relive the magic of those moments of the night......the long midnight walks..the endless chatter..the deep silences....the voices in the dark..

Here's to old times. To precious times.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Peasant girl with basket...

An older one...done during idyllic days on IIMA campus...