Monday, June 29, 2015

Poetry of Life

Top post on, the community of Indian Bloggers

Though late for SOC and I missed to link it up this week, it was  a fruitful week otherwise!  These days I am always overwhelmed with queries that jolts me, excites me, shudders me, soothes me, terrifies me and even frenzies me!!! All at the same time! I shall blame it all on the mist carrying Kochi air!!! As my quote below says... 

"The Poetry of Life is in it's twists and turns..."

Pondering on this quote (speaking for almost every soul!), Aren't these unexpected twists and turns that makes life exciting!! 'mars the mundane' and a newness is born(e) each moment, each day of life! One starts living each precious moment as if Life depends on that particular moment! One would wish that it doesn't slip or seep away! If only we could bring that newness every minute of our lives! Life, then, would turn out to be a fantasy! A Fairy Tale!



Poetry of Life 
Canson Aquarelle, 300gsm
8 1/8"x11 3/4"
Acrylic inks (Winsor and Newton/Liquitex)
Art pens,Watercolor pencil,Newpaper cuts
Embellishings and glitter

Linking it to SOC and PPF!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Meet An Artist - Kristin Van Valkenburgh

Mixed Media* as an art form is quite evocative and does help to purge one's creative gestures leaving behind a potpourri of textures, layers, materials and finally memorabilia! The technique has always excited me but seeing the works of certain Mixed Media just go WOW! And if they are personalities who would end up inspiring a whole 'crowd' of other individuals tip-toeing and/or leading them into their own creative path, then it makes a whole lot of 'Awww's! Today I would like to introduce you to Kristin Van Valkenburgh of 'Twinkle Twinkle' where she hosts 'The Summer of Colors' which is in it's 5th year right now.

Dear Kristin, I am extremely glad to have you here in Hues n Shades and thanks for taking up this interview. Thank youfor taking time to answer my queries amid your busy schedule...It means a lot!

Thank you for having me! I’m a big fan of yours and am honored to be here.

Usually we begin with a brief intro…Why dont you tell us something about your background, family, education and the like.

I grew up an only child who spent my days watching old movies and dreaming of being an actress, just like the starlets I so admired in the black & white movies my Mother often had playing on TV. I was influenced by the glamour and intrigue of movie stars such as Marilyn Monroe or Audrey Hepburn discussing their plight in some sort fabulous disaster. And I loved every bit of it. So much so, I spent my childhood studying theater and performing on stage any chance I could get. By the age of 21, I had a BA in Theater Arts from UC Irvine and a knowledge of both the stage and stage makeup. Ironically, it was my work with makeup that ended up being the greatest influence on what I do today. Not only did I discover my love of color, but it eventually led to a career in makeup artistry, where I spent many years playing with pigments and proportions.

These days my life is decidedly less corporate. I spend most of my time running around the house caring for both of our girls - a 9-year-old tomboy and her sister, a 60-pound spoiled puppy - and the rest of my time is dedicated to any creative projects or endeavors that I may have in the works.


Have you had any formal education in art or are you self-taught?

Although I have a BA in the Arts, my passion was for the theater. It wasn't until recently - as in the last several years - that I taught myself to paint and draw by watching YouTube videos and taking as many classes as I could online and in person. The day I tried my hand at painting a face, all the experiences I had playing with color came pouring out, and it was if I had found “home”. I would have never guessed that I’d be here today with a paintbrush in hand, happily slinging paint whenever I get the chance.


You are a mixed media artist…what enticed you to that medium? Tell us your journey as an artist.

I got into mixed-media through scrapbooking, when scrapbooking “parties” were all the rage. I loved getting together with friends and playing with pictures and paper, but I took what seemed like forever creating each page. While my friends would pull off a dozen layouts over the course of an afternoon, I’d be lucky to have completed one. But I loved the process of creating and began to seek out all I could to learn more about it. That search eventually led me to a mixed media magazine by Stampington & Co. called Somerset Studio. I remember being physically affected and moved by the work I saw within its pages, and I was immediately hooked. I’ve been studying mixed media ever since.


You are the host of ‘The Summer of Colors’…which is in its fifth year! How did you come about it? What inspired you to conceive such a lovely linky party?

Just over five years ago I had an idea that popped into my head that I couldn't let go of. I had just finished reading True Colors: A Palette of Collaborative Art Journals by Kathryn Bold, a beautiful book about several artists working together within a confined palette, and it occurred to me that to have a blogging event based on something similar could be a lot of fun. I quickly planned out the event in my head, thinking that if we could just get around 20 people to play every week, we could really have something. I would have never guessed that we would have over 100 people participate the first week of the first year alone. The idea really seemed to take off and now here we are, five years later, celebrating color palettes and an amazing artistic community once again.


Getting published is a valuable achievement for any artist and you have been published well. Tell us your journey through that definite path. How much has that helped you to develop and evolve?

I was a nervous wreck the first time I sent my work into a magazine! I'd spent weeks working on my submission and remember being thrilled with the result. I sent it off beautifully packaged with whispers of good luck and then . . . was quickly rejected. The loss stung so hard that it took me a year to get up the courage to submit again. But with the second submission came a different kind of letter, this time one with a "congratulations" on top. And I've submitted regularly every since. One of the best things I've found with submitting often, is that I'm forced to think about what I do as it relates to a specific "call" or theme that I may have not thought of before. It keeps me on my toes and on top of the latest materials, trends and techniques so that I may offer something unique and different to the reading audience.


As you mention, your themes are whimsical (which obviously needs a lot of dreaming to do!) So are you a Dreamer? How would you describe yourself as an artist?

I've never really thought about that before, but yes, I would consider myself a dreamer! I spend a lot of time envisioning new projects and how I'd go about completing them as well as thinking of ways to be inventive and unique in my art and style. I think that in this way, all artists and creative people are dreamers as without a vision and drive to express it, we would never have new art to view, experience and learn from. Regarding my personal art style, I describe myself as a mixed media painter and collage artist who loves to create whimsical pieces with lots of layers, bright poppy colors, big eyes and positive affirmations.


Is there a dream project that you harbour in your deepest desires of creation?

I look forward to teaching internationally. I have a love of both teaching and travel and look forward to the day when both passions collide, and I get to conduct some sort of fabulous mixed media class to audiences everywhere.


Who are the artists who inspire you? Whose works hang on your walls?

I've always admired the work of the impressionist artists such as Degas and Renoir and the recent movie Big Eyes by Tim Burton exposed me to artist Margaret Keane who's haunting images really brought me to tears. I'm also a fan of many contemporary mixed media artists such as Tamara Laporte and Mindy Lacefield, both of whom I'm lucky enough to have prints from hanging on my walls.


Have you come across Indian art? If so, any favourite artist that you like?

Although before your blog I had not been exposed to many Indian artists, I've always been a fan of the textiles, beauty and culture. Both of my college friends and roommates - one in the States and one while I was an exchange student living in England - were Indian and as such, I had a unique opportunity to learn about their families and culture as a whole. I hope to visit India one day and won't consider my life complete until I do!


What other hobbies do you pursue?

Believe it or not, as "girly" as I am, I also have a dirt bike - and all the gear that goes with it. Our family regularly goes on camping trips where we'll spend an entire week in the dirt riding quads and motorcycles. But, it should be said, all my riding accessories are still in pink!

A tip/technique that you would like to share with our readers. Any parting advice to aspiring artists?

I think that the process of creating (and creating, and creating) allows every artist - aspiring or otherwise - to find their unique voice and talents. My best advice would be to show up and make things every chance you get: you never know where one idea, creation or canvas will lead you! Follow your heart, work hard and create art that makes you smile. As long as you're following your passion, the rest will works itself out.


Social Networking sites etc where our readers can fine you.

Thank you Kristin for giving us your candid, informative and ebullient views and thoughts. We wish you the very Best in all your future endeavours as well! Hope you have much more bright, colorful and positive stories to tell and let them make the world smile! :)

So friends, any one creative or not who would want to try their hands in dabbing paint can just hop over to Kristin's blog and join the weekly linky! You have the color prompts there... 4 more weeks to it's still good to go! :) Please do watch the video below:

*Mixed media, in visual art, refers to an artwork in the making of which more than one medium (say pastels and inks and/or paints, collage) has been employed.

Images are copyright of Kristin Van Valkenburgh. Please do not use/reproduce the content without the written consent of the artist.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Pinks and Orange

Top post on, the community of Indian Bloggers

It's week 2 and the colors are one of my favourite combinations - pinks and orange! As usual I go through, cerebrally/conceptually, to finally reach my piece... This is what I felt like creating this week. But it's from a photograph (from the net) I had in my folder.

When you choose a piece or finally come about an do you get there? Do you paint what you dream? Do you research on a theme? Do you use photos? Does writing inspire you...say a poem or a story? Or does it include a bit of all of these???

For me, all of this happens at some point or the other.

I need to clarify that I am not speaking about choosing a piece for this particular challenge...I am speaking in general terms. I may also sound contradictory when I say that I completely turn intuitive and just go about doing what my heart wills at certain other points of time! These are the times I enjoy the Most perhaps!

1 Pink + 1 Pink + 1 Orange


Acrylic inks and Watercolor pencils
Canson Aquarelle, 300gsm
8 1/8"x11 3/4"


Currently I am reading 'Modern Art - Impressionism to Post Modernism' Edited by David Britt (Thames & Hudson), thanks to a generous friend who lent me the book. I am extremely impressed to know many great artists and their creative journey which obviously is bound to influence folks like me (us). I do believe reading such works and practicing one's skills in every manner possible are the ways to develop and emphasize one's own path.

As I am getting more passionate about art (reading books on art to understand and assimilate the hidden treasures of the past, the present and the future) I am dreaming (literally) more 'happenings' which flash through in all it's grandeur and if only I could recollect and portray it as it is...then it would perhaps be astounding art! Reading such works has, however, engulfed me in waking dreams like am seeing visions all the while...colourful, striking, luminescent and  enticing visions! (I do have such phases frequently...only the intensity varies! :) ) 

At times I am able to create it but picking up only through the periphery! My mind is constantly filled with ideas; if only I knew how to channelize it to it's full extent and potential! This is not artists' block I am speaking of...but quite the opposite! :)

I am following my passion and I am really holding on to my dreams! Hope it turns true!

Acrylic Inks, watercolor pencil, pen on Handmade paper

I tread on hazy sands 
falling apart a while
mustering strength along
the path that leads on
to destination unknown.
I see the mirage of an unsettling town
grin spreads as I near the wavy pawn,
of fate and solitude,
of silence and mad-borne.
I see hues and shades
of million miraged,
'scintillating and luminescent'
flashing past in light speed
crossing all channels 
of illusion and solution
wavering through the brush strokes
to catch a glimpse of the inner canvas
spread wide and wholly absorbent
soaking up all the colours;
every trickle that finds it's way
dropping lightly or with a splash
absorbing all the same.
And yet...yet I don't find it
not even half of it
on the canvas that lay wide awake
to be adorned with hues and shades.

There is this dilemma and yet I enjoy it as it stirs me up to create more.

Linking it to SOC and PPF...Do drop by these links to meet some Incredible artists'.

Please do not use/reproduce the content (words as well as images) without the written consent of the artist.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Changing Skies and SOC 5

Top post on, the community of Indian Bloggers

Now that I am in a new city and experiencing newness in most of the things...I am constantly torn between joy and sorrow...sorrow for having had to leave my family; my dear parents and for being alone with my daughter which is a challenge in itself for someone like me while my hubby remains in Dubai. Definitely a life-learning experience!!!

It's like this perched bird looking up at the wider and stimulating sky holding veiled opportunities while wishing all the same not to be stirred from it's comfort zone! To fly or not to fly...that was the question! I have flown!
I am writing from a new space, listening to the chugging train hooting at a distance while my eyes scan the vast expanse of the sky and the peeping buildings beneath from the green cloak of varied trees. I had never imagined Kochi to be so green!


One of the most interesting things being in a high raised building is the bliss in seeing the changing skies! Aren't these just BEAUTIFUL! :)






This birdie comes knocking at the glass doors every morning almost around 6 then we would be busy helping my daughter get ready to school...but in case one has missed to place the alarm, never bother, for there's this bird to knock and wake you :)

I have been taking part in The Summer of Colors for the past 3 years, not in a row though. It's hosted by Kristin Van Valkenburgh of  'Twinkle Twinkle'...It's a great challenge to be and I always learn a lot from it. There are some amazing talents as well...hop over to get a whiff of it and you wouldn't want to miss it. So what are you waiting for...Be a part of SOC 5!

This year the challenge is Color by Number...for this week it is:
 1 Blue + 1 Blue + 1 Green

Here's my entry:
Acrylic inks - Cyan, Turquoise and Phthalocyanine green
Pen and watercolor pencil

No water, no life. No blue, no green
- Sylvia Earle

Isn't that so true!!!

You can see my last year's entries here...SOC 4 - Temple Saga

In case you wish to read more on Kristin and her could stay in tuned as she is our 'Meet An Artist' of this month. You will get to read and see more of her works by the end of this month.

Linking it to SOC 5 and PPF!

Please do not use/reproduce the content (words as well as images) without the written consent of the artist.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

A Big Move & Full Bloom!

It's been one 'Heaven' (don't wish to use any negatives here!!! :) ) of a Month!!!
Our family moved to Ernakulam - one of the cities of Dreams I must say! Hopes, Dreams and Aspirations...Wish it turns to Reality!
Though it's said many galleries are closing down and the art business in general is dull... I hope something right strikes through and I come across the much needed break! :) One usually travels along lines of their inch to one side or the other, it just takes an inch to fall into that path which takes one to their destination...but then the journey makes the destination much more interesting, right!

I need to get back on my track...doing art! It's been almost a month since I blogged and created something arty!!! (in between all this moving, packing and unpacking!) I need 'my messy space' to get inspired and indulge! :)

It was a Full Moon yesterday and to get a vast view of the blooming moon with city lights beneath was a sight to perceive! I just felt to jot down a few lines imagining a person in love. :)

I am a ‘Lunatic’!
As I see the gorgeously rising Full Moon
My heart springs with unknown joy;
I call it ‘High’!
Playing hide and seek
Amid the grey clouds
Winding and unwinding the tensions around
For lighter hearts,
The mooning and moaning ones,
The dreamy and soaring ones,
The pining and immersed ones,
The maddening and sickening ones…
I long to see the joy in full bloom
Trying to escape the realities perhaps!
I am a ‘Lunatic’ (and yet not wish to be one!)!
The vast expanse and the city beneath
From my high window
I see it all!
Longing for a presence
So near and yet so far!
I am a ‘Lunatic’ (longing for Love)!

Moon Lady - Full Bloom
Acrylic Inks on Daler & Rowney Acrylic Pad, Size A3

Moon Lady is still awaiting little details here and there...I may still work on it! :)


Yesterday's playful Full Moon :)

Ref. for the lady in the painting is from one of the pictures of the gorgeous actress Asin...loved that pose of hers...

linking it Illustration Friday!

Please do not use/reproduce the content (words as well as images) without the written consent of the artist.