This January, I was at mom’s and had a bit of time at hand so I drew these 5-minute sketches (using the pictures I had taken during our visit to the zoo) to entertain my daughter while she practiced writing hindi alphabets.
Now, my daughter has started water colours this month and as a gesture of comraderie, I joined in the fun and made these.
Here is the only one where I took a bit of time, around 30 mins.
My reintroduction to art is so much fun I am having a hard time stopping to live the real life.
The guy often flies pretty close to the ground and I can often take clear pictures of him from my roof while he makes baby deliveries. He was rather pleased with his last post–It brought him quite a lot of fans, so he is posing for more.
If you notice, the picture is looking doen upon this flying beauty. It is because I am on my fourth story roof and he flying at third story level.
I was 9 years old then. My brother who is a few years older than me was already pretty good at painting. So, my father arranged for a tutor for him during our two-month summer break. He was a good painter–somebody my father had employed to paint his own portrait at that time. I was so excited at the prospect that my father asked him to tutor me too. He was sure I’d quit within a few days as I did everything else. But he was fine to pay the fee, as long as I got a fair chance.
I was an average fourth-grader, but I was proud of my accomplishments. My ‘paintings’ would cover the house walls in all the prominent places–a family of bears (mom, dad, baby), a family of ducks (mom, dad, baby) and a rainy season scene (a building with flowers and raindrops) were my trophy pieces. My parents showed their unwavering ‘fanhood’ no matter what I created. They would applaud and suggest a good place on the wall to display the painting. I was sure I was destined for great things.
Our class had another couple of kids, and we differed in ages and sincerity level. When I joined the class, I had great enthusiasm. I expected myself to turn into a great painter by the end of the summer. That day, my teacher gave me an art book, which was far beyond my years, opened a page of animal pictures, and asked me to draw a Squirrel. No explanations, no tips.
I tried my best and achieved what a 9-year old could in 45 minutes. I was rather proud of myself when I presented my teacher with the best painting in the world.
He took a look and guffawed. Then he added springs to his feet, and told the class, it was a Kangaroo and it was about to jump. Everybody laughed.
That was the last day I went to his class. At least, mentally I was always absent. He reported to my father and he told him not to press me. I even stopped painting for a few months. I don’t remember talking about that incident but it was always there in the back of my mind.
A couple of years later, I was talking to my brother and I told him I longed to paint like him but didn’t know how. He told me, “Practice daily. You will get there, I’m sure.” Then, to motivate me, he gave me a tiny unruled notebook and told me to practice in it so that I do not lose my work and see my progress. The first thing I made in this diary was…any wild guess?
My brother told me that Chip and Dale looked great, and that I should practice daily. I’m sure I did not become a wonderful painter overnight–I hadn’t practiced in two years. But he saw I was putting in the effort, and he got me going. Within a couple of years, I was creating portrait sketches, and my work was far beyond my years.
Thanks to my brother, I got my Bachelors in Painting–with Merit and second highest score in the Painting subject in the University. My practicals exams had 98% score–a rarity in Arts.
All this was thanks to the great teacher who told me to believe in myself. Both my brother and I are now in the business of adult education and I can vouch for his method.
A successful teacher does not teach great things. He motivates his students to forge their own path.
Just for the sake of bragging, here are some paintings I made during Bachelors.
Kingfishers are a common sight where I live. Though weirdly, there are no fishes in here. I’ve seen them feed on dragon flies and bees. May be they should be renamed as Bee-eaters but the real Bee-eaters might get offended…
In an attempt to give my daughter company during her ‘painting’ escapades, I created this on a rough page with her wax colours. Then she decided the rest of page wasn’t colourful enough and added stuff of her own. I would have kept it too, but leaving a Kingfisher in company of a Lion is rather cruel.
So I cut it out of the paper.
Then she wanted to ‘take a closer look’, so I took a picture to immortalize it in case she decided to go ninja on him.