March 31, 2011

A FANTASTIC Blogger improvisation for Art blogs - Try it NOW!

Blogger has launched "Dynamic Views" today, where you can choose how you want to view a blog. It is essentially how a viewer who lands up in your blog can easily view the most important stuff your blog has to offer. 

Read all about it at Blogger Buzz - Dynamic Views for Blogger.

Palette Knife Painters
"Mosaic View"
Why it is a love at first sight? 
No brainer really, isn't it?! For an Art blog, instead of having to scroll down and view post by post, if you can see all the images at once, doesn't it capture the attention of an audience immediately? It gives you a portfolio view of your work, right here on your blog. Awesome isn't it!

Biggest advantages?
I'd jump in and say art bloggers stand to gain the most. I'd also add food blogs and of course photography blogs. Essentially any image intensive blog will benefit immensely from this. I know so many awesome food blogs with such mouthwatering pictures, which I am sure if seen in a portfolio view, the readers would be all the more tempted to check out the recipes.

With the normal blogger view, there is a limit on the number of posts that one can see. And on an average if we have one image per post, it limits the number of images on the front page as well. However, with these views, the images are loaded on the homepage. This, however, doesn't slow down your website. The images are rolled as you scroll and not during launch, so you cannot believe how super fast the page loads.

Views allow Sorting
In the flipcard view, there is this great feature where you can sort the images by date, author and so on. Imagine how awesome this would be in a group blog like Palette Knife Painters that I am a part of, to easily see the posts by various authors. You know what, personally it will be very useful for me for Palette Knife Painters, as I often forget which are the paintings I have blogged there. Now I have a ready reckoner! 

Which is my favorite view?
I love the "snapshot" view, because it gives all the images and the post titles too. The other views do not give the post titles. I somehow like images with titles and find this view best. Check out A Splash of Color in the Snapshot view. The numbers next to some of the posts show the number of comments in those.

A Splash of Color
Snapshot View
How to view your blog in dynamic views?
To view your blog in these different styles, type append /view to your blog address, like, and have fun with it! Oh boy! the "normal" blogger looks oh-so-boring now!

What if you don't like these views?
Dynamic views are enabled by default, and you can disable them however. If you want to disable this feature and do not want your blog to be viewed dynamically, you can do so by Logging into your blogger dashboard ->Settings->Formatting->Enable Dynamic Views. Select "No" there and save it. But trust me, if you are an art blogger, you will love it. Try it out right now!

So, which is your favorite dynamic view? 

March 24, 2011

Daffodils #2 - Celebrating Spring and an Indian win!

I was not really planning to paint today, as I had so much work and there was a crucial cricket match going on between India and Australia. I was so occupied the whole day and the match was more important than anything else. For those who do not know, I love watching sports. Cricket, Tennis and Formula 1, in that order. 

Daffodils #2
Oil on Board, 6 by 6 inches
$100 and ships FREE, click here to Buy

Daffodils #2
Framing suggestion.

It is common knowledge that when you want something really bad, the whole universe conspires to make it happen. I did not really want to paint today, but the universe conspired nevertheless. We were having some issues with our work systems, and India were looking to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in the match. To keep myself sane and not keep swearing at the cricket players on the TV, I went into my studio for refuge. :) 

It so turned out that just after I switched off the TV and went in to paint, the match swung in India's favour and we pulled off an awesome win. Hurray! We have now sent the three times World Champions packing home! So being the superstitious self that I am (only when it comes to matches), I'll probably follow this pattern for the next couple of matches too. But then, I may not. Why give up on some excitement. Anyway, I am thrilled today and quite happy with the painting too. Let me know what you think! 

March 23, 2011

Update on the Help Japan auction

I had submitted two paintings for the Help Japan challenge at DPW. I am very happy to note that both paintings have been bid upon for $50. I'd like to thank whoever has bid on my painting, I do not know who it is yet.:) The auction will run till this weekend and you can still bid at a higher price. 

I also donated one more painting today, an old one of my red tulips. Yet another palette knife painting with acrylics. 

Looking at the Horizons
My painting will be shipped unframed, but doesn't it look cool with a frame? Let me know what you think. 

You can bid on my paintings here -

Over $12000 has been raised so far, the auction is going on really good. There are nearly 300 pieces of original art available for bidding, do consider bidding in the auction on your favorite piece. It is being donated for a great cause, please spread the word. 

Welcome Spring! - Textured Oil painting of a daffodil

Is it any secret that I love the German spring? I simply can't get enough of it, and it is definitely my most favorite season of the year. The daffodils have been in bloom for more than a week now and I was waiting for some good sunshine to take pictures. Got some nice references of the flowers today and got to painting them.:) I missed painting the daffodils last year, so did not want to miss them this time around. 

Daffodils #1
Oil on Board, 6 by 6 inches
$100 and ships FREE, Click here to Buy
During spring, more than the flowers, I love the spring green of the leaves. It is so heartwarming to see leaves after the long barren winter. This year, touchwood, the winter in Germany has been rather short and extremely mild. We hardly had any snow after Christmas and the temperatures have been pretty mild. 

Daffodils #1
(framing suggestion)

I have also provided some framing suggestions, and will be glad to assist you in selecting a frame that will suit your decor. Let me know what you think of the painting.

March 20, 2011

Looking at the Horizons - Art auction for Japan

One more painting that I am donating to the cause of Japan. This Acrylic Painting is done with the palette knife and is textured. Click on the link to zoom in to the painting and see the details. Bidding starts at $50 and runs for a week. 

Looking at the Horizons
Acrylics on Board, 6 by 6 inches
Check out the contributions from artists world over for the Help Japan Challenge. If you have always wanted to buy an original piece of art, I'd say this is an awesome opportunity. Do check it out and spread the word.

Sand Castles - Art auction for Japan

This week's challenge at Daily Paintworks is a fund raiser for the cause of Japan, with the theme being "Home".  Home is where the heart is, and to me, it is always in Madras, South India. That's the city that I grew up in and the one that is closest to my heart. It being a coastal city, the first image that comes to my mind when I hear "home" is undoubtedly the beach. 

The beach has been an integral part of our lives and no trip to Madras is complete without a visit to the beach. Since we are a tropical city, the water is always warm and soothing and I simply LOVE standing at the shores with the waves lapping up my feet. I can sit there for hours together and just keep watching the waves, which I mentioned in my painting "Wave watching" too. 

Sand Castles
Acrylics on Board, 6 by 6 inches
This painting is a precious memory from my childhood. This painting is done with the palette knife and is textured. I have uploaded a hi-res image at the DPW site and you can zoom in to see the details. This feature is really cool! You can see the texture generated by the palette knife. 

I hope you like the piece. Bidding starts at $50 and I ship worldwide. Please spread the word.

March 12, 2011

Art for Japan - A fundraiser for the Tsunami Relief

An update:
Artists at Etsy, I am sure most of you would have seen this already, but sharing it once again here - 

Artists at Etsy have also been brainstorming ideas to set up a collective shop for charity purposes, but the Admin's stance is not yet clear on this. I will continue to update this post as and when some concrete information is available.

Meanwhile, I am making this fundraiser active on my Etsy and Artfire stores. For every painting that is purchased. 

This is an attempt to help the earthquake and tsunami victims of Japan in a small way, and I will be donating a THIRD of my sales to the Red Cross. By purchasing an original painting from me, you could donate an amount starting from $10 to the Red Cross towards the relief efforts. 

This is not an auction. The prices of my paintings can be seen in my stores roughly a third of the sales will go towards the relief efforts in Japan. For EVERY painting that is sold, I will donate 1/3 of the price to the Red Cross. This will mean $10 for the small paintings priced at $35, $20 for my $60 paintings and so on. 

About the paintings -
  • My paintings are all done with high quality Acrylic and/or Oil paints
  • Most of the pieces are done with the palette knife and hence textured
  • I will ship them varnished (unless you specifically tell me not to) so that you can frame them with a standard store bought frame. I use a UV protecting varnish with a gloss finish.
  • The paintings can be framed without a glass and I will be more than happy to offer framing suggestions. 
  • Since I paint in a series, you could frame a set of 3 or 4 similar themed paintings together and they would make an awesome collection. 
  • Most importantly, each piece is an original, one of its kind, signed and dated by me. I do not sell reproductions. 

Please spread the word. Thank you. 

P.S: There is no need to "sign up" in order to purchase a painting from Artfire. Guests can make purchases directly and it takes less than a minute.

Seduction - Palette Knife Tango painting in Oils

By now I am sure it would be very evident that I love painting the Tango and it is such an oft repeated motif in my work. I just thought how it would be to do without the legs for once. Most of my Tango paintings, if not all of them, primarily have red and black in the palette. I also went in for a different palette doing away with red and going in for a lot of browns.

And this painting is much larger than my other Tango pieces. Let me know what you think. I did not like it that much initially, but now I like it. After setting it aside for a while I did not want to change anything about it, which is a good thing. 

Oil on Canvas, 16 by 16 inches
This painting is done from a lovely photograph on flickr by Sungnicholas, used with the permission of the photographer. 

March 9, 2011

Blue and Orange #2 - Original Still Life

Have I told you how I paint? Mostly sitting on the floor. Not even mostly, make that close to 95%. Unless I am extremely motivated to stand in front of the easel or sit at the table, I perch myself in a cozy corner on the floor and I can stay put for as long as I want. 

So I was sitting with this still life from Blue and Orange in front of me. And in between the session, I just got up to fetch myself some coffee and was taking a critical look at my work in progress. It so happened that I also glanced at the set up itself, from above and liked it even better. Thank God I did not stop my previous painting half way and start with this one.

Blue and Orange #2
Oil on Canvas, 5 by 7 inches
As soon as I wrapped up Blue and Orange, I rearranged some of my stuff and painted this one standing at the easel for a change, for it was a top view that I was painting. An oblique top view infact. And I like this one much better. By then I was a little familiar with the whole "mix anew and lay each stroke" approach, besides the painting itself being smaller. I like this one quite a bit. Which one do you like? Do let me know! 

Blue and Orange #1 - A brush strokes experiment

I love challenges that really stretch your limits and motivate you enough to come up with something different. This past week's challenge at Daily Paintworks was one such, and hands down one of the toughest paintings I have ever done. The challenge was to paint anything, subject doesn't matter, but by mixing a different color for every single stroke laid on the surface. 

Blue and Orange
Oil on Canvas, 6 by 12 inches

My head reeled at the very thought, as I for one get very easily tempted to pick up the smaller brushes and pore over the details. And my painting would've been a never ending soap opera if I had to do this with a small brush. For the uninitiated, what this technique meant was that I mix a color on my palette, and lay a stroke, again mix and so on. It makes you really think before you mix, and think really hard in terms of values. For someone totally not used to painting this way, it is very unsettling initially. But then I kind of found a rhythm and took the painting to completion amidst a lot of huffs and puffs. 

My set up was very simple, I wanted to make it as simple as possible and just picked up whatever was readily available. The effort was a lot more rewarding than the end result I would say, and it is something I will definitely try again. Let me know how you like it!

March 8, 2011

Make an offer for March 2011 and some updates!

I wonder if you already noticed, and I'd request you to take a look if you haven't, that the website has changed upside down. I have just redone the whole thing, removed a lot of clutter. I think I have now made it much easier to buy work from me, check out prices and what not. I have done away with all kinds of slide shows and animated displays and have gone in for a much simpler and functional layout. Let me know what you think. 

Yes, there are still some broken links, and I am fixing them. What is very important though is that the work is updated and recent. It has all my pieces over the last year or so.

I had imposed upon myself that until the website is done to my satisfaction, I would put off painting itself and would focus on this task. Glad that it is almost out of the way now and I am looking forward to getting back to the studio. I was so tied up with this website task plus some work pressure that I could not even paint something new for my Make an offer painting this month. So I am offering one of my paintings from last month. :)

Pepper Delight
Acrylics on Canvas, 8 by 8 inches

I painted a series of colorful peppers and this one is a personal favorite. I love how the colors really came together in this one. The texture is also really distinct and feels great when touched. If you would like to make an offer for this colorful palette knife painting, shoot me a mail! 

And once again, let me know what you think of the changes in the website. Your feedback is extremely valuable to me and I really look forward to it.

Now a proud member of the CFIA

I chanced about the "Contemporary Fine Art International" from another artist's facebook page and came across their monthly challenges. I saw this just in time for the February challenge and thought my painting "Sisters" already fitted with the February theme of Friendship. And guess what, I won the first place in the non-member category! Thrilled or what?!

Oil on Canvas, 10 by 12 inches
1st place winner (non member) at the CFIA challenge, Feb 2011.
$200 + shipping, Click here to Buy
The best part about this is not just winning, but that I won a membership to the society for a year. Really cool I must say! I am so honored to be in the company of some of the best in Contemporary Art. Do check out my page and work there.

Check out the winners here

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