Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Newest artwork - June '15 update

It has been a while since I posted about the new artwork I have been doing behind the scenes and, despite being sick it has been a great few months creatively for me.

 I am still finding it hard to find the time to do it, since I am working, writing the blog, being a full-time mummy, among other various projects. But I always make sure to schedule a painting day at least once a week. "Day" being like an extremely rushed two hours while my daughter is in school! Alas, Maya loves to paint too, so many times I just let her do it with me, as you never know when the inspiration lightning bolt will strike!
Lately, I have been experimenting with a lot of free-form watercolors and pen & ink drawings - and then combining them both. Right now, I am working on three different series' at once. Because I'm an artist and we have....moods!

The first series is called "Firangi Bahu" and it tells a story about the societal demands placed on me as an Indian wife, mother and woman. It is also about the duality in my personality of being my natural non-Indian self, and my "Indian self", which I talked about in my latest #zerofucksgiven post. In this series, I am exploring the duality of my personality, gender-based societal demands, living between two cultures, and transformation. In the first painting of the series, I decided to use a snake to symbolize transformation, since snakes shed their skin. Then, I realized I liked drawing the snake so much that I decided to use that imagery in the whole series. Thus far, I only have two from that series to show you, but it looks like there will be about 5 paintings in total based on my sketches.

(Available on Etsy)

The second series I am doing is that I am using Maya's watercolors and placing my own imagery on top of it. It is kind of like a mother/daughter art project. She does the most beautiful paintings and color combinations, so I only use a few of the ones she does and build upon the backgrounds.

(two layers so far, but not done yet!)

The third series is called "Map of my heart" and it happened really organically. One day, I was experimenting with painting a free-form watercolor based on a vintage map of India. It turned out fantastically and then I got a commission from the USA from a fellow intercultural couple to paint two countries together. And with that, the possibilities are endless. I am also accepting custom orders on my Etsy shop, if you would like your unique countries painted together. I know my geographer grandfather would just love this series. I hope he is looking down from heaven feeling proud!

The only problem with doing 3 projects at once is that it takes me longer to complete them. But, I certainly don't get bored or uninspired, so that's a plus!

Sometimes my artistic process is really impulsive, and other times it is totally planned out. The free form watercolors just come right out of my head and I can finish it within 20 minutes. I usually do that if I am on a really short time frame, but need to pump it out. If I have a more elaborate idea, I will consult art books from the library, make photocopies, do sketching, then do a pen & ink drawing, then look at watercolor swatches, then trace over the drawing to try out different color combinations, and then finally I paint it in many layers. This process can take months for a single piece, but it is something I love to do.

Yes, I know...I have been a very busy bee!


Dear readers, which ones do you like the most?



  1. Hello Madh Mama - I stumbled across your blog last month and have been reading and devouring it regularly :)

    I don't have an intercultural love story, but I am an Indian who is a Catholic married to my very Brahmin boyfriend for the past 8 years. We have our share of craziness for sure!

    But the reason, I am writing to you today is to ask your opinion on how to get started on painting water colors. Last year, during our son's birthday, my husband drew everything on a "train theme" and honestly, that was the happiest I have ever seen him in the 20 years we've been together. And June 18th is his birthday and I've been wracking my brains thinking of what to get him and saw your post and had a light bulb moment!!!

    What do I look for to get someone started like what kind of easel, paint , brushes etc? I know how buzy you are, but would love a reference link or something to help me out with it :)

    Love your blog!

    1. Thanks for reading! That's amazing that your hubby loves to paint!

      I will do a special post of art supply recommendations, but until then...
      - brushes in various sizes for water based paint (watercolor/acryllic)
      - watercolor paper
      - basic sketch pad
      - pencil, fine point pen, ruler
      - small kit of water colors (I like windsor newton, but any will do)
      - mixing palette (like this:

      I don't think an easel is necessary, unless he likes to paint at a vertical angle. Also watercolors can drip (unlike oil) so it is better to paint sitting down.
      Also it helps to have some kind of box/kit to store the art supplies so he can easily get to them.

      Also, a great date together would be to tour some local art galleries together to get painting/color palette inspiration :)

  2. The artwork of India next to the USA is nice although I think you also included Nepal ;)

    1. I think I did! And I forgot the North Eastern states too! It was based on a vintage map of India, so it is totally

  3. I don't like to comment on work in progress, but it's true the maps are a nice design. I look forward to seing more of your dual self series, I hope you do many more and delve deeper into your inner feelings.(Pad)

    1. Thanks Pad! Looking forward to giving more updates on these series'!

    2. Aha, great news ! (Pad)

  4. Wonderful Renditions... It is nice to know about You and Maya also as an Artist.

    1. Thank you! Yes, she is a great partner to me! We really enjoy the arts and I plan to encourage it a lot, as long as she enjoys it.


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