Thursday, November 1, 2018

2019 Calendars

2019 Calendars are here and I am thrilled with how they have turned out! 14 of my floral painting images on a 11" x 17" glossy wall calendar. I changed printers this year and printed a lot more than usual. These are staple - stitched instead of spiral bound and have an extra page for notes. I have already started using mine to mark off show dates for next year!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Playing with Pigments

I had a bit of extra fun in the studio today! I had recently ordered some samples of chromogenic pigments - pigments that change color - either based on sunlight or temperature. I got to play with one that changed color from coral to purple in sunlight today. I was only going to use them on small items like stones and mini-mandalas, but the recommendation was to use them on white or light colored backgrounds. With all the canvas prepped for my owl series with lighter backgrounds just sitting on the table, I couldn't help myself :) I am sure this barred owl piece is going to be very exciting when finished!

On the left is the coral color in shade and it turns to purple in sunlight!

I applied the coral to purple chromogenic pigment to a bunch of stones also, hence they are all lined up with the sunlight on the table. I didn't use as much pigment as I should have - didn't measure the ratio of pigment to medium - so the color change on the stones is not dramatic like the owl piece. Also I didn't start with a lighter background on these stones.

And to round out the day, I spent most of pre- & post-dinner hours working on this piece - in my Rising series. It's a 3' x 4' canvas, so its going to be a while before it is done, but my hope is to take it with us to the Deep Ellum Arts Festival next month. 

Monday, December 4, 2017

Meditative Mandalas - Coloring Book

November was a hectic month in the studio with my time spent between finishing up a bunch of new paintings for the upcoming One of a Kind Show this weekend and my biggest project - Meditative Mandalas. I am so happy to announce that I have just published my Mandala Coloring Book! Over the years I have always said that I can paint, but I cannot draw. I threw out that notion with this completely hand drawn coloring book with 20 mediative mandala patterns. 

It was a little daunting to think of trying to sell a coloring book in an over-saturated market, but it felt like enough of my fans were asking about it & its something I have always wanted to do. Getting the book done was pushing my limits & challenging myself to hand draw near-perfect symmetry is one of the best things I have ever done! Now my goal is to sell 100 copies!

Here is a free sample page you can download & color! 

I have posted a few more photos & videos on my facebook page of the drawing process!

If you are in the US, you can order a copy of the book from my website! They will be shipped starting Dec 11. These books along with my calendars make an excellent stocking stuffer :)

Freinds & fans in India & Europe - you can now buy my coloring book on Amazon!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

2018 Calendars

I can't believe it is already time to start planning for the next year! my first step in thinking about the next year is always in planning for the calendar. I got it designed and printed last week and it feels like a bit later than usual! Based on feedback from fans, the 2018 calendar features a mix of florals and mandala paintings from this year. I also redesigned my website a bit, set-up a new subdomain for my square marketplace and linked them all together. It's now easy to shop for calendars & prints from my website!


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

East Lansing Art Festival

East Lansing Art Festival was my first out of state show this season - on May 20, 21, 2017. I was invited back to this show as an award winner from last year. I decided to go back to this show in spite of the really traumatic experience of having a bunch of my paintings stolen last year. I was overwhelmed by the support of the community, the sheer number of people who reached out to me, shared the stolen pieces on social media, the efforts of the ELPD to recover them and the art fest. I was really hoping for a more positive experience this year. 

I had sent out 20 postcards to collectors & fans from last year to promote the show. I was also a featured artist on their social media & one of my pieces was shown on a TV ad airing in the area. I was excited to show off my new style of mandala paintings & I was also bringing another large elephant piece! I have a new line of florals I started creating in 2017 I was excited about showing in East Lansing.

We got there around 7 pm on Friday night for set-up. I had paid for a corner booth, way back in January. But on arriving we found that we did not have a corner as planned. It was very disappointing as I had brought inventory & planned for the lay out of my booth based on having a corner. Similar to Elmhurst, we were able to set up only the tent on Friday. We didn't want to leave any inventory in the booth overnight. We stayed in a nearby airbnb for the weekend and it was ok. 

The weather was also iffy this weekend with a little bit of rain on both days. However people came out and bought! My biggest sellers were the prints on Michigan state & the Spartans logo. I also sold quite a bit of the Block M prints :) I was thrilled to see so many people remembering us from last year & more than 5 people who signed up for my email list were already on it! 

There was an awards session along with dinner on Saturday evening. We were so exhausted from the drive, set-up & long day in the wind & rain that we went to bed at 8.30 and slept for a solid 10 hours. The take-down on Sunday went by quick & the load out was easy. I was also able to drive the van to my booth on Saturday & Sunday mornings to hang the paintings. 

We only sold a single original small 6"x6" painting, while we were closing up on Sunday. It was a little disappointing to not sell any originals, but at least we sold enough small items to make it a decent show. 

The director was apologetic about messing my corner location & I am not sure if having a corner would have made any difference in sales. We were home by 10pm on Sunday and though I wish we had done better, I don't have any complaints. Only regret was not being able to purchase an art piece from another artist that I liked - hopefully I will see them in another show where I make enough sales so I can choose to buy art too!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Elmhurst Art in Wilder Park

Elmhurst Art in Wilder Park, on May 6, 7 was my first outdoor show of the season for 2017! This is the third year I am doing the show & it is always an exciting one as we get to see so many of our artist friends after the winter break. This year we had the added bonus of having Miranda ( & Stephen stay with us for the show. 

Our plan was to do the set-up for the show on Friday evening, we got to the venue around 5.30pm. Finding parking was not an issue, but my booth location had moved from the previous years due to rain & the ground being soggy in some places. We had to move the van again to get to a closer parking and dolly everything to our booth.

It's amazing how rusty we had gotten over the winter & it took forever, with a slew of amateur mistakes before we could set up the booth. Luckily we hadn't forgotten any part for the set-up like last year. It was also super-cold. Weather is always iffy at this show, given it is very early in the season. This year I had to pack all my winter gear including hand warmers for the show. We only managed to put the booth up & decided to hang the paintings the next morning. Just the tent & walls took more than 2.5 hours to get done!

We got there early around 8.30 on Saturday morning to finish the booth. I love having a corner booth at this show and it allows me to have more of my work out. Saturday was painfully slow and I had only 7 sales, not even making what I paid for the booth fee in sales. I had even run a facebook ad for the past 4 days promoting the show & my works. Shankar had taken back the front wall to close the booth home by mistake, so, I had to make an extra trip home before we could close up for the day. The highlight of the day was going to a nice Indian restaurant for dinner with friends & family!

Sales on Sunday was even worse than Saturday. The sun started coming out later in the day, though the temperature did not rise. Highlight of the day was quite a few friends stopping by & it was also nice to see a few of my collectors from the years before.

I didn't sell any original paintings & the sales of prints hardly made up for my expenses. A few other artist friends did not even make what I did. This show is the closest in distance & time to where we live. The location is great & so is the promoter. Unfortunately this is the second year I am not making any money doing this show & we have to seriously think about it for next year. I had such a great show the first year I was here and the weather is the biggest factor in determining the crowd & sales. Hoping the upcoming shows make up for this one!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Arts Alive

Last week I did a workshop for kids through a program called Arts Alive, funded by the Addison Center for the Arts. The class was at the local Junior High School and 5 students had signed up for my Mandala Designs class. I had three 6th graders and a couple of 8th graders. The class was in 2 sessions for about 2 hours each.

On the first day, all the kids prepared 2 canvases with the background colors they liked. The time went by really fast! It was a little surprising for me to learn that middle school kids have not used a compass to draw circles before. So it was interesting to teach them basic geometry before starting  to paint.

In the second session, they got to play with 3 dimensional fabric paint - a.k.a. puffy paint. They were painting mandalas similar to how I paint them and it was fun to teach this way of playing with paint to the kids.

One of the kids might soon get much better at this than me :) 
Check out how she is free-handing the pattern with fabric paint. 

There were a couple of times when I had to remind some of the kids to be respectful of the class & focus, but overall it was a fun and satisfying experience, and may be, I think I would be more open to working with kids again than I have been in the past. of course, it was also great to be part of a program that brings more art opportunities to kids who wouldn't otherwise get to explore things outside their regular class stuff. So proud of these budding artists :)