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design, inspiration, Travel

About My Spring Break – Blue Skies, Sentimentality and Spanglish

Spring break is over, and life shifts back to it’s normal rhythm. I spent last week in the warm sunny embrace of Cancun wondering why, despite the bright blue sea and the pretty flowers, I felt restless. I’m not sure if resort life is quite right for me – I’d rather be wandering around an old crumbling …

art and design, British Indian, crafter, small business, textile design, Travel, Uncategorized

Dakshina Chitra (a post I should have written long ago)

“What was your favorite part of the trip to Chennai?” I asked my six year old. “Dakshina Chitra” She replied without even blinking first. I’m not surprised, it really is a wonderful place. Dakshina Chitra is a heritage center just outside Chennai, on the way to the beautiful beach town of Mahabalipuram. According to my …

Ink and Courage;
art and design, crafter, small business, textile design, Travel, Uncategorized

Ink and Courage

When I was 19 years old, I convinced my parents that I was mature enough to travel around Northwestern India on my own. I obviously possessed greater powers of courage and persuasion then.
My idea was to travel around with a sketchbook and camera, and produce an amazing portfolio of work that would help me to get into an Art college of my choice.

It worked.

While on this trip, I often ran out of art materials in places where there were no stores that sold them, so I improvised.  I painted with spices such as turmeric and chilli, and used old pieces of fabric and packaging to draw on.  But my favorite of these ad hoc materials by far was a stick from a neem tree that I had carved to a point. I happily filled sketchbooks with big, drippy ink drawings, and actually had a period of mourning when the stick finally broke, exhausted by my furious scribbling.

Many years later, I would range around woodlands like a crazed yeti, collecting sticks and branches for my students to dip into ink and draw with at school.

I have recently rediscovered the joys of  drawing with ink. It is really so much fun.
It is hard not to relax when you draw with ink, because you have less control over the sorts of marks you produce, every line has an unexpected beauty to it. Try it.

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