Apr 29, 2014

Three Groovy Inspirations of the Week

(1) Photography

Aya Cabauatan's photography is gorgeous in one wordThis teenager's subjects are simply her group of pals it appears, but her work celebrates the lightness of being, most of her photographs glow like surreal. 

Her instagram feed _positivity has some serious magic for you.

(2) Cinemagraphs 

...  are images that contain within themselves "a living moment that allows a glimpse of time to be experienced and preserved endlessly." 

I LOVE this breezy animated skirt by Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck. Follow the link for more!

(3) Illustrated Book

This is the cutest I've ever seen, haha! 

BIRD BEAK BOOK by Oscar Bolton Green. "His immediate, essential style, with its patches of colour and clarity of line, shows how tiny hummingbirds stretch into the flowers to draw out the nectar and how graceful flamingo dips its spoon-shaped beak beneath the surface of the water."

I think having a toddler at home makes me listen keenly to the sound of say, a cuckoo, just to point it out to him and do a cuckoo call together! :-) And this "birdie" book totally sings to me.

Apr 27, 2014

11 Must-Do Textile Tours and Craft Tours in India

Are you the kind of traveller who loves a dive into the art and crafts scene of any place you go to? I mean, get down to the raw materials, watching artisans create from scratch, learning ancient techniques of say, weaving, craft making, watching experienced hands at work creating magic with their fingers.

Sure a few of you must have gone with some of these tour planners in India. If you haven't, here is a list you must check out.

Sources (Clockwise from top): BoutiqueTours, MastyaCrafts, GoIndia.about 
Kutch, Guajarat has to be first (on my list), a destination already quite popular among art and textile lovers. And I'd let Mumbai-based Neha Gandhi of Matsya Crafts take me on an unhurried, customized journey to the craftsmen of rural Gujarat.

A Textile Trail in Kanchipuram by Breakaway
I think all die-hard Kanchipuram saree lovers must do this to know where your "temple borders, checks, stripes and floral buttas" are coming from. Visit the traditional looms to see how your kanchipuram saree gets woven from raw materials sourced from all parts of the country.

Indigenous textiles, jewellery and handicrafts in Delhi-Nagaur-Jodhpur-Jaipur by Prior Knowledge
A 12 day tour by Prior Knowledge, started by David Prior. This is "a membership-based ‘travel society’ – a luxury service with a not-for-profit arm, focusing on truly unique travel experiences that highlight and preserve culture, rather than exploit it."

The Crafts and Textiles of Kolkata and West Bengal (for the longer vacay-goers 11 Days/10 Nights) by Lost and Found Travel
Visit weaver villages around Kolkata  known for their silk and cotton hand woven saris, dhotis, jacquards and jamdanis. They promise explorations of silk farming, cork carving,  textile villages around Shantiniketan, a community workshop for embossed leather goods, and much more. I'm on!

Legends of Lucknow: A Craft & Textile Exploration by Breakaway
I'll let the words on the website speak "Drape yourself in the stories that make chikan so delightful to wear. Let the divine fragrances of ittar transport you to the heavens. Allow the traditions of naqqashi to delicately engrave their way into your heart." And indulge in "Ganjing" - this is a term used to describe ambling and shopping in the wide lanes and by lanes of city's Ganj market."

Visiting the Looms in Tamil Nadu by Breakaway
A journey to Tamil Nadu's vibrant and time-tested expertise in textiles through Kalakshetra (Chennai), Kanchipuram, Auroville (Pondicherry), Karaikudi, Gandhigram, and Madurai.

Bagru Block Printing Workshop, in Bagru, Rajasthan by Vedic Walks
This one is for the one's pressed for time. Gives you half a day with the bagru artists in their workshop.

A 12-day tour to remote tribal villages on the east coast of India by Colouricious Holidays (UK-based)
Gives you a chance to "visit indigenous peoples in their heritage villages, making their cultural crafts for their livelihood"

Painted Histories - Rajasthan by Breakaway
This is the most intriguing one, I'd love to go for. It lets you peak into lesser known art forms, their creators and cultures - miniature art, Bundi style of painting, Kotah style, the Kishangarh style and so on.

A Brush with Nilgiris by Breakaway
Which sounds indeed a "brush" with the Nilgiris where photographer, painter, traveler Mukesh Munim offers 2/3-day workshops in photography and painting (oils, acrylics, pastels). This tour also
offers stay at a farm "at the Khans' whose 22-acre property is a naturalists haven and who have also turned cheesemaking into a fine art". This is an ideal one for artists and art lovers who want to create in the lap of nature.

I want to pack up my bags and go NOW! A textile or craft tour to remote villages of India is one of the best vacation ideas for me! How about you? Have you tried any of these tours or tour planners, do you have any reviews?

Apr 24, 2014

7 Reasons Why Creative Entrepreneurs Must Have a Social Media Strategy - Guest Blogging on *bespoke*

First... I am no "successful" artist or "marketing guru" to give you Art Marketing tips ;-) But as a passionate art lover and artist, I superimposed some marketing-basics over my observations of several creatives who work wonders in their niches, to put some thoughts together.
Please hop over to  
Bespoke Magazine - my third guest post on Bespoke this week. 
Pic source http://aifriedman.tumblr.com/
In the post, I have also picked five artists who have a rocking product AND market their work smartly on social mediaDo you have any such creative entrepreneur role models? What are your thoughts on the importance of social media for creatives? 

And in case you missed the first two guest posts: they were easy DIYs which you could take a shot at:

Happiness and cheer through your day!

Apr 23, 2014

Guest Posting on *bespoke* Day 2: DIY - Shadow Box Art

REPURPOSE is my mantra for the first half of this week!

Today I walk you through repurposing a Shadow Box in which cutlery came neatly packed.
I stripped it down ...
Shadow box - Before
... and gave it a new meaning. Read how on my second guest post on Bespoke Magazine blog: Shadow-Box Art - DIY.

In case you had missed it, and if you are a repurpose-champion at heart too, do go over to my previous post on wood block art DIY.

As for the rest of this week, stay tuned for some artsy-craftsy travel ideas in India, and a social media nudge for creatives. Do check back here as I guest post on Bespoke Magazine this entire week.

Apr 22, 2014

Art Journal Exploits - Prompt #7 - "A Drawing is Simply a Line Going for a Walk"

"A Drawing is Simply a Line Going for a Walk"

... said Paul Klee, the Swiss painter whose artwork was surreal and expressionist. TheEconomist had one of the best write-ups on this artist, so I'll let you read that and won't say more.

Do you want to let your journal page do the talking? Go here, and click on the blue button at the bottom of the post.
+ Please read the guidelines when you enter your link. You could visit the earlier prompts and the creative pages linked up so far, and meet-n-greet some journalers.

So to test what Paul Klee said, I let my pen go for a walk and spread some blueberry cheer around :-)

In case you hadn't checked back on my representation of last week's prompt LEAF, go here.

If you would like to get weekly art journal prompts and/or updates on my artwork-for-sale delivered straight to your inbox, do send me an email.

Apr 21, 2014

Bespoke Magazine and Wood-Block Art DIY

You ought not to miss the action at the Bespoke Magazine - a quarterly publication "jam-packed with crafty projects, handmade products, artisan interviews, indie business inspiration and tips, and an abundance of creative inspiration. The magazine is primarily for and by the creative and handmade community, and is "designed to delight and inspire the international creative community." The Bespoke blog is also loaded with creative content - tips for business owners, DIYs, etc.

Why am I excited?
I am guest blogging at Bespoke this entire week.

Today's post is a smart wood-block art DIY that you can try out too. How do you transform plain-Jane wood blocks into a piece of art in seven easy steps? 
Here is a glimpse... 

Guest blogging at Bespoke Magazine - Wood Block Art DIY

Please go over to the post on Bespokezine to read in detail and see the process. Do tell me if you have done any wood block artwork, would love to see yours too.

May the sun shine bright on your week! 

Apr 18, 2014

Three Groovy Picks of the Week

(1) Art + Photography
Antaratma by Elena Ray. Elena's stunning work is a visual exploration of a holistic universe using camera and brush. She is a "yoga student and desert soul" who lives in California. 
Clockwise from top: 'Hands of an Indian Dancer', 'Lotus Woman Meditation', 'Chosen', "Ringing of a Tibetan Bell'

(2) Creative Entrepreneur 
Ariele Alasko, a New York-based furniture builder and wood worker who crafts magic using plaster lath.

Follow her Instagram feed for some daily wood goodness with a consistent color palette that is earthy, rustic.

(3) Website with Artsy Recipes 
Erin Gleeson's The Forest Feast filled with simple, healthy recipes - the best part is Erin's photography overlaid with her type and illustrations.
Hello, cute Superbowl Party food! I’m going to make these little Hummus-Tomato Deviled Eggs for the big game on Sunday. It’s been unseasonably warm in Northern California (with a lot of early blooms!) and I’ve been sitting outside with these for lunch several times this past week… and I can’t get enough of them! Just mash together the yolks with hummus, mayonnaise, and (spicy) mustard until creamy and spoon the mixture into the egg whites. I top each with a half of a grape tomato (like cherry tomatoes, but oblong like a football!). Finish with a sprinkle of smoky paprika and (Maldon) sea salt. Enjoy!

(All images sourced from the respective websites.)

Apr 17, 2014

Art Journal Exploits Prompt #6 - LEAF

I think this prompt has endless possibilities. Even as I type, I can picture it being represented in a zillion beautiful ways.

I painted/journaled it this way!


She shares secrets with the leaves and the wind.

A happy rest-of-the-week folks!

Apr 7, 2014

Color Blocking for Summer, and Art Journal Exploits Prompt #5

Summer doesn't sizzle as much here in pleasant Bangalore as in various other places in the tropics. However color blocking with summery hues and Juicy Watermelons are definitely on top of my mind.

I put it down on canvas today...
Summer - Acrylic on canvas, Ambika Sudhakaran, 2014

Juicy, yes!

Alrighty, Your Art Journal Exploits Prompt #5 is

Tell me what is top-of-your-mind when you hear "Summer"

Apr 2, 2014

Three Groovy Picks of the Week

Today's trio happens to be botanical inspirations.

Plant Propaganda "a horticultural design blog" by Delen Kitchen which curates products, artwork, fashion, food and interior design inspired by plants, besides containing the informative aspects of a traditional garden blog.
 Click to visit Plant Propaganda
Don't you love botanical prints, and plant inspired design? This site celebrates it all. I LOVE it.

@aleajoy The beautiful feed of Alea, one of the ladies behind the floral studio Solabee Flowers
 Click to go to Solabee Flowers
I love the warm, rich tones she maintains throughout her feed. The photographs of her studio, home and floral arrangements are absolutely tasteful!

Botanic sketches tote bag tutorial by Mandy Pellegrin of Fabric Paper Glue blog.
A simple one to keep you occupied on a Saturday noon, and to carry along on a shopping trip.

Apr 1, 2014

Art Journal Exploits Prompt #4

I realized from last week's prompt, that all of you who have a method in your madness love being surrounded by an artistic mess! Thanks to all who linked up and commented on what your dream workspace would be like.

Click here to visit all the prompts, and the wonderful pages shared by the journalers.

A small digression here - do hop over to a compilation of inspiring art, design and decor blogs - some of them the usual popular ones, and many more. Its a growing list which I will update often, these blogs are seriously worth stalking. 
+ Also, watch out for a regular series on a "groovy trio" ;-) every other week starting tomorrow.
+ And a miss-not list of resources for artist entrepreneurs, coming up very soon.

And now back to prompt #4 for the week 31st Mar - 6th Apr... I'm waiting to see your representations of

One place in your travel bucket-list

There are only about a 100 years we can be on the earth, and only a million places to go to, sigh. A travel list is something that can get anyone dreamy-eyed and passionate.

Peru (of the Incas) on my wishlist now! Here is my mixed media journal page of a few things Peruvian that has captured my imagination - the alpaca, the Inca rope bridge, the Peruvian man with a traditional headgear, a colorful wall and door, the rings of Morray an old Incan agri site.

Which place are you wander-lusting after? Do comment below or Link up your page Here.

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