Sunday, December 4, 2011

Portrait no 9 -The mystic (In progress)

                                                             Oil on Canvas (In progress)
                                                          Thanks to SELVIN for the photo ref

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Ganga Aarti - Homage to the Ganges

Original Oil on Canvas
Photo ref Yusuke Kawasaki 

One of my most beautiful memories is the "Ganga Aarti" in Varanasi - a homage paid to the river Ganges after sundown. In a flamboyant ceremony priests walk down the river bank holding large oil lamps and offering prayers. For a few minutes, the chants drown the sound of the mighty river. Bundled in a shawl I would sit on the stone steps with a cup of chai watching the ceremonial procession go by. Gazing at the leaping flames through the haze of incense smoke and evening fog, I was always overwhelmed by the sheer grandeur of the ceremony. I would love to go back to the 'Ghats' of the city to capture its soul in my art. Here is my very first attempt to relive memories from my childhood.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Love Dancing Moon

Original Oil on Canvas 9X12

"Love dancing moon" is what he called himself.

I knew I had to paint him the moment I set my eyes on him. The colorful hat, his tanned skin and the red wall- it was picture perfect.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My Facebook Page

I created this design for my facebook art page using the "brushes" app - extremely easy to use and quite powerful.

Check out my facebook page -Pragya'sPalette

Monday, October 17, 2011

Being Woman

Oil on Canvas

Sitting outside the dentist's office I felt jittery and was mindlessly flipping through an old magazine 
when I saw a public service ad for '
The Breast Cancer Research Foundation'. The photograph for the campaign was shot by 'Ruven Afanador' and the model was Crystal Renn. An absolutely gorgeous and timeless photograph !
The 'photograph' has been on my list of 'paintings to be done' for a while now and am glad I finally got to it. Figurative representational art is very tough to master and I have a long way to go.
I can see  flaws in the painting but I love it nevertheless :)

Noddy - created using Adobe Illustrator

Noddy - My favorite character as a little kid. And today one of my first experiments with Adobe Illustrator..Yay ! :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Featured article

'Pratidhwani' is a Seattle,WA based non-profit cultural organization, which promotes performing arts of the Indian subcontinent by empowering local South Asian artists. I am happy to be featured  in their latest newsletter (Goonj) edition.

Featured article

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Figurative study

                                                                Pencil on paper 18X24

Michael Grimaldi's figure drawing workshop at BACAA was a fabulous experience. I thoroughly enjoyed one week of learning, sketching, chatting with artists and munching :) Here is the sketch I was working on.. Could not complete it, but I am happy with the perspective. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The 7 Links Project

My artist friend, Vinayak Deshmukh has tagged me in the 7 Links Project, which "unites bloggers (from all sectors) in a joint endeavor to share lessons learned and create a bank of long but not forgotten blog posts that deserve to see the light of day again." 

After a lot of deliberation I have come up with my top choices for the following categories..

Your most beautiful post
Your most popular post
Your most controversial post
Your most helpful post
A post whose success surprised you
A post you feel didn't get the attention it deserved
The post you are most proud of

1) My most beautiful post -Boondein
One of my first oil paintings and I love it :)


2) My most popular post - Indecision

... it is no surprise. A study of 'Andrew Atroshenko' has to be very popular. Check out his work and you will fall in love with his paintings.

3) My most controversial post - COMING SOON ! :p

Surprisingly, there hasn't been any yet ! I would hate to think I am politically correct :p Watch out for something controversial..

4) My most helpful post -The squint and the wrinkle

After racking my brains and browsing through my posts (looking for art advice offered), I figured my most helpful post was probably The squint and the wrinkle - where, I talked about the importance of squinting. 

Not very helpful..but that's all I've got :(

5)My post whose success surprised me - Orange study

I do like this painting - but the response was a surprise. I've framed it and it now adorns our kitchen wall..yayyy :) Till someone buys it :p 

6)A post you feel didn't get the attention it deserved Abstract figurative

This painting is one of my personal favorites. I have it on my display easel in the studio. It went unnoticed on my blog..I guess the photograph does not do justice to its beauty. 

7)The post you are most proud of - Weathered

It was tempting to give up on the painting after two failed attempts - but thankfully I persevered :)

Thanks Vinayak for including me in this project.  It was fun ! :)

I am tagging the following artists -

Ran Wu
Lisa Thyer

Saturday, July 16, 2011

                                                          Click here to buy

This is my submission for this week's DPW reflection challenge The translucent juicy core of the orange slice was glowing in the yellow light. I don't think I did enough justice to its beauty in this painting. I was probably too stressed about getting the glass jar right. Well, I'll give it another try with orange wedges tomorrow..I don't think my husband is too happy with me sneaking away with all these juicy fruits to my studio :p

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Food for thought

                                                              Click here to buy

This is one of my earlier still life paintings. The book in the painting has been on my 'To Read' list for a long time. It is the interpretation of 'Bhagvad Gita', an India scripture - a part of the great epic Mahabharata. The scripture is believed to be the eternal message of spiritual wisdom and needs to be read several times for one to understand its meaning..Unfortunately, since my knowledge of Sanskrit is very limited I will have to rely on the many translations and interpretation to get the essence of 'Bhagavad Gita' !

Monday, July 11, 2011


                                                                       Oil on Canvas

There is a longing in his eyes which struck me and I decided to paint his portrait. I am not very happy with my work ..nevertheless, I decided to share it with you all. Although, the painting has its flaws, there is something very endearing about this man. I wonder if you feel the same :)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A cup of tea

                                                                     Green tea

This teapot is the latest addition to our kitchen. Before we could use it for brewing some tea, it found a new home in my studio.

I painted it twice and am not yet satisfied with results :( The handle of the pot looks misaligned and the drapery is too flat.  I think I'll will be ready to give it another try after a cup of hot 'green tea' :)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Portrait - Carol Marine

                                           9X12 Oil on Canvas

I am a huge fan of Carol Marine's bold brushwork and her ability to simplify an object to minimal brushstrokes. This is my attempt at painting her portrait.

Zaeka - My first logo design

This is my first attempt at designing a logo. It is for my husband's food blog.  He wanted the name on a steamy background and this is what we came up with after a lot of brain storming. I like it ! :)

Manan cooks really delicious, flavorful food and writes all about the experience. If you are foodie, check  out his experiments at

Cheers to good food !

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


                                                                     Original art -Oil on Canvas

There are days of absolute despair in an artist's life...when after hours of effort a painting doesn't work, and one can't figure out how to make it work . I often have days like these and  many of my paintings do not make it to my blog :( In fact, I keep joking with my artist friends of having a big bonfire to get rid of piles of bad work :)

This painting gave me a very hard time . I wiped out the painting twice..and after two failed attempts I decided to give one final try. I am glad I like it now...and it makes up for the bad days.

My friends, the only way to make a painting work is to keep trying. Good Luck to all you folks there :)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The morning after


This is one of my older paintings. Almost a year old! I didn't like it much when I painted it...and today I think I know why :) The edges are too defined all through the figure! 

Thursday, June 16, 2011


                                                           Click here to buy                   

What did the green apple say to the red?

"We might disagree, we might turn away but we will always stick together :)"

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Portrait study - Zhaoming Wu

9X12 Oil on Canvas
                                                            Zhaoming Wu - Portrait Study

I am an ardent fan of  Zhaoming Wu and Fongwei Liu, and am awe struck every time I see their work..fluid brush strokes and brilliantly handled white. This painting is really close to my heart...I painted this portrait under the guidance of Fongwei Liu to study Zhaoming Wu's  work . What a joy!
I'll probably paint a few more :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

My experiments with WHITE

                                                                        Oil on Canvas 5X5

Painting white can be challenging. The color changes are subtle, the cool and warm grays have to be just the correct value to show the form. I decided to paint this small white bowl as an exercise. I am not  satisfied with it...but I did learn a few things:) Let me see how many paintings does it take for me to figure out WHITE. My artist friends, I will be happy to share the technique once I figure it out !

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Painting SELF - 1

                                                                    4X6 Oil on canvas

I painted this self portrait for  'Daily Paintworks "All about Me" Challenge ', my new weekly commitment. This painting provoked thoughts beyond colors,edges, shapes,values...Why do artists paint self portraits ? 
Rembrandt, Dali, Picasso, Van Gogh, Frida Kahlo..the list is long !
Is it narcissism (maybe YES in Dali's case), is it to communicate perception of self or becoming something through one's art which one desires to be,  maybe the simple reason is that 'the artist' is the cheapest and most easily available model :)
I will now paint  more self-portraits and  through them study my progress as an artist. At this point I am focussed on capturing the likeness . Hopefully after a few I will be able to capture the essence of who I think I am..and maybe subconscious perceptions of 'my self' will manifest in the portraits !

Friday, April 22, 2011

Down The Memory Lane

                                                               20X30 mixed media on canvas


I grew up in a very protected home in a small Indian town. Occasionally, my friends and I would venture out to the outskirts of the gated community we lived in.

We would sneak out on our bicycles to enter narrow alleys lined by houses. The old cracking walls were  plastered with election pamphlets, movie posters, training ads for IIT/AIIMS (the quintessential dream of Indian middle class) and reams of local classifieds. I fondly remember the warm smiles, the smell of food being cooked on clay chulas (oven), multicolored saris drying in the open..and mostly those old walls.

In my last visit to India, I picked my camera, hopped on to my old bike and rushed to capture some memories for my paintings.Only to discover, the place had been wiped off to build new roads, buildings and resturants. My heart ached and I felt a deep sense of loss.

About six months back, I started piecing together fragments of my memory to paint this glimpse from my childhood. Finally, it is here..the yellow wall and the red door (I left out the posters..will have them in my next work)

I have a desire to travel and capture India before the old is wiped off by the new. I want to  pack my easel and hit the road ..paint what I see, what I feel, what I experience. It is a romantic thought, but who knows..someday?! :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The blue door

                                                                       11X14 Oil on panel

I love painting doors -old doors, bright doors, cracked doors,weathered doors, happy doors, sad doors. Each door has a story..I wonder what is the blue door's story ?

I painted this from a picture I took in Guanajuato, Mexico.The city is riot of colors..a painter's delight!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

My affair with orange

                                                                          Oil on canvas

Yes! I am in love with 'the orange'. It is my muse and will be so for a long time … maybe, till I have the perfect 'orange' painting  I am looking for :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

abstract figurative

                                                                       24X36 Oil on canvas

This painting is inspired by a beautiful photograph of smoke I had seen on the internet. Unfortunately, I do not have the photograph nor the name of the photographer . Would have loved to share !

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Vine charcoal on paper

I STRUGGLED with this sketch :( Frustrated ? Yes!..but too exhausted and sleepy to vent it. I shall go to bed now ...tomorrow will be a new day, a fresh canvas and a better sketch :)) AMEN!

Friday, March 25, 2011

The squint and the wrinkle !

5X5 Oil on canvas
I like it hot 

6X6 Oil on canvas
Lemon from fool's garden

I want to create great art. I want people to see it, touch it and have an emotional response . As an artist it is vital that one has something to say, but it is equally important how one says it. And I sure want to say it beautifully :) 

In my pursuit to do so, I am training myself to see better, to see more, to see differently - to SQUINT. I would like to talk a little about squinting today - a technique where the artist brings the eyelids together and sees through the eyelashes to get an impression of the object. The idea is to catch the abstract image,  get rid of the details.With correct values, temperature and leaving out the details, the artist creates an illusion of the object. The more one can simplify the object the more one has mastered the technique. 

In my quest to leave out the details  I have started working on tiny pieces to train my eyes. Hours of squinting have left me with strained eyes, signs of a faint wrinkle on my nose and lost sleep over the wrinkle :( But then..what are a few wrinkles in the purusit of art ? I shall leave you with the thought.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Figurative - untitled !

Nupastel on paper (The colors in this photograph are a little washed out)

I have painted many nudes, but the piece below made me uncomfortable. It bothered me in my sleep and I was up early this morning trying to figure out what exactly didn't seem right !The girl looked a bit too vulnerable for my comfort. Had a few of my critics ( my family is my only critic ;)) look at it....and we all share the same emotion.  I decided to dress her up a little ...definitely looks better.What do you think?

               Nupastel on paper

The human form is an unending source of inspiration ....I see immense beauty and try to capture it on canvas. Each model brings in her character, her mood to the sketch ..I sensed a vulnerability in my model today.Probably, because she hasn't posed for many artists before. Am not giving a can be restrictive. I leave it to you, the viewer :)

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Orange Glow

6X6 Oil on canvas

I have a new-found perspective on still life after seeing the works of Qiang Huang and finally taking hisworkshop. Qiang adds a lot of vigor and energy to his subject with bold and confident strokes.

In fact you can't really call it 'STILL' life ..the brush strokes add a sense of movement and  with each deliberate, magical stroke the painting comes alive :) Now, I believe still life can evoke emotions ..and it is much more difficult to evoke a certain emotion in your viewer through a still life than a figurative/abstract/surrealistic work. 

It is a challenge and I am definitely  up for it. So, here is my first 'still life' after Qiang's workshop and I hope to paint my magical still life painting one day  :)

Always open to your critical feedback  :)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

On a break ?

The past few days have been a struggle in my artistic pursuits...several horrendous sketches, painting disasters followed by hours of sulking. After repeated failures and wallowing in self pity I concluded that sometimes it is important to let go and not try too, I am on a break doing things that need to be done but I hate doing.. Apartment hunting, laundry, marathon cleaning, financial paperwork and WORKOUT ! But, the week has ended on a very good note.I have had the privilege and pleasure of attending Qiang Huang's workshop. Enriching and motivating..It ends tommorrow and I shall dedicate my next blog posting to him (hopefully with a fine painting)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Study of 'Indecision'

Oil on Canvas, 14X16
I painted this as a study of Andrew Atroshenko's 'Indecision'. Andrew Atroshenko is one of my favorite figurative artist and I plan on doing more of his paintings to study his style...his choice of colors are warm and vibrant. The strokes are loose, there is a richness in his work. I would love to see his work in person and probably own his original work some day :)