Friday, June 12, 2015

FAQ - How long

One of the most frequently asked questions to me at Art Fairs is How long it takes me to do a particular piece / any of my paintings. It is also one of the most difficult questions to answer. Just to illustrate, this week from Monday through yesterday, here is everything I have been working on in the studio -

1, 2. Peacock on 24" x 36" canvas - started with prepping the canvas to quite a bit of progress! Thats from working almost 10 hour days
3. Dragonfly canvas made it back to my table to start the textured lines
4. A new flying owl piece on 24" x 30" canvas - prepped the background, drew the outline & added the eyes
5, 6. A new version of the Chicago flag - prepped 3 backgrounds in silver with interference green / red/ violet mixed in and started painting one.
7. Added one more circular layer on the red 24" x 36" diptych mandala
8, 12. Two new 20" x 24" Tree of Life paintings - did the background work last week and started with the trunks and shoots this week
9. Another peacock on 20" x 24" canvas - started from prepping the background on Monday
10. A set of 4 18" x 18" canvas prepped for mandala paintings
11. One more 24" x 36 background prep for another peacock!

When I am working on so many projects in parallel, it is really hard to think of time spent on just one piece. In fact a few years back I did estimate the time I spent on a 16" x 20" piece - turned out to be 38 hours from opening the canvas to the signing off on the piece. Well, when I also calculated what I actually made per hour on piece after selling it for $200 minus the cost of supplies, it got too depressing to think further about time spent on painting single pieces. 

So, please don't roll your eyes at me when I tell you I don't keep track of time spent on a painting, because I really don't and I can't think of a way when I can either. I hardly ever have just one project going on in the studio and given how easily I get distracted - from moving from one work to another, or starting something else when waiting for another to dry, estimating time is the last thing on my mind!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Floral Mandalas

A new series I have started recently are a different style of mandala paintings on canvas. My usual paintings all have concentric circles, but this series is more of a floral style, with next layers of the circle forming out of the previous layers. The canvas are also 16" x 20"  - not a square and with only the floral mandala and my signature, curved in a corner. These canvas can be hung in either orientation! The first two below - Blossom & Elegance, 2015 have already found wonderful collectors their second week on show. I painted the other two - Patience & Growth in the last two weeks and really liking how the series is turning out. 

These paintings are all done with 3-4 colors in the background and 1-2 colors in the textured layers. The textured dots & lines are done in dark & light shades of either gold or silver with one other accent iridescent color. By varying the shade and the thickness of the lines, the mandalas are more dramatic. If you are in the Chicago area, please come see these and my other paintings in person at one of my shows this summer.

 Blossom & Elegance, 2015. 16" x 20"
Textured henna style acrylic floral mandala painting on canvas with mirrors. 
© Bala Thiagarajan, 2015

 Patience, 2015. 16" x 20" 
Textured henna style acrylic floral mandala painting on canvas with mirrors. 
© Bala Thiagarajan, 2015

 Growth, 2015. 16" x 20" 
Textured henna style acrylic floral mandala painting on canvas with mirrors. 
© Bala Thiagarajan, 2015