On a freezing January morning after a heavy snowfall, driving to Bark Lake (Ontario, Canada)...when the bright sun was making the ice & snow glisten & glow!
I grew up in New Delhi, and by today’s standards we would be considered poor – there was no refrigerator, no television, and no radio. It never occurred to me that art could be an option. I had no voice, or strength of my own. That would come years later. But first I had to experience the challenges as a new immigrant – leaving family…walking into the unknown in Canada. Life required a focus on raising a family and career, with little time for art.
When my children became teenagers, I started taking painting classes. But a few months into it, a debilitating accident derailed me. I lost the dexterity of my hands. It was a setback, but I never gave up.
While in rehab, I would exercise my nerve-damaged fingers and arms by attempting to draw, following the lessons in the book “Drawing from the Right Side of the Brain” by Betty Edwards which I had bought just before the accident. I knew I had to keep at it, I had to keep moving my fingers and arms. Drawing became part of my physio.
Moving forward. Juggling a full time job. Managing life crises and daily challenges. I studied under some well-known artists that I admired. They guided me in honing my skills and ability to express myself. In the last few years I have experimented with and developed my own style, which varies according to subject matter and medium.
Today, I am a prolific painter and also undertake commissions for portraits (both human and pets), landscapes, and abstracts, which I find both challenging and rewarding.
I have exhibited my work in many group shows, a three-person show, and won several awards.. I’m currently a member of the following art organizations:
- The Art Guild of Scarborough (TAGS), on the Executive as Exhibition Chair
- East Central Ontario Art Association (ECOAA)
- Central Ontario Art Association (COAA)
- Arts on the Credit (AOTC), Mississauga
Time flies when I paint, whether I’m holding a brush or a palette knife. The freshness and transparency of watercolours, the vibrancy of acrylics, and the buttery feel of oils transport me into a different frame of mind.
I see beauty and inspiration wherever I am, whether it be southern France, Italy, India, or right here in Ontario, Canada. In translating them on to canvas, I revisit these places in my paintings, and I am reminded of the sounds, the smell, the joy and excitement I experienced.
I want to take you along to experience my adventures with me.
I hope my art brings out that spark of light and joy in you, that breathless awe, the wonder…
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This woman was a beggar woman, and I wondered what brought her to this situation, sitting by the roadside, begging. What is her story? Does she have children? Does she have brothers and sisters? Does she have ANY family? When she was born, surely her mother and father loved her? What happened to her? What hardships has she been enduring? I gave her something to eat (in the brown bag) & she gave me a big smile…it tugged at my heart.
The Hopewell Rocks, also called the Flowerpots Rocks, are rock formations caused by tidal erosion in the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick, Canada. It's amazing to see and walk on the sandy floor when the tide is out, and then come back a few hours later to see it covered with water.
For eight years until his death in 1666, Shah Jahan gazed at the Taj Mahal from his balcony in Agra Fort, where he was kept under house arrest by his son Aurangzeb. Shah Jahan built the Taj in memory of, and as a symbol of his love for, his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. Her death caused him to lose interest in his empire, and allowed Aurangzeb, in his thirst for power, to declare his father incompetent, and imprison him. From this vantage point all Shah Jahan could do was gaze at the Taj and long to be next to his Empress.
This is the incredible view from the terrace at the Algonquin Visitor Centre (Algonquin/Huntsville area in Ontario, Canada) - a beautiful view in autumn, when the leaves are changing. Travel to northern Ontario cottage country and visit this place!
Oil painting of Arizona's Grand Canyon's North Rim, which is a long drive from the South Rim, in the Grand Canyon National Park. The South Rim is where most tourists go but our drive from the south to the north took us through 8 hours of beautiful, rugged landscape, with at times no other car in sight for miles & miles. And, very few tourists at the North Rim! Well worth the drive - it is such a stunning place. The sun was setting when I took the reference photo and the shadows were dancing from one ridge to another, from one peak to another. Within minutes the lower parts were plunged into a deep blue hue, and silence descended for the night.
Every day (visiting my sister in India) I would see this poor woman walk with her baby behind her husband who would be pushing a vegetable cart. One day she sat by the side of the lane, nursed her baby...and started walking again. No fuss!
The Naked Cowboy is a permanent fixture in Time Square, and has made quite a name for himself. I was quite tickled by the spectacle he created, and had no idea at the time who he was as I took my reference photo!
I took the reference photo when on a river cruise in France -- mostly "older" people, and on Thursday night of the cruise (meet the captain & crew) - in came this beautiful young woman and sat at the bar...all eyes turned to her. It was a moment I had to capture with my camera, to paint later!
“Temperance” is the female psyche of a person in the Major Arcana cards. She’s the counterpart of "Strength" (the male psyche in Arcana card #3, ruled by Mars) - using her inner strength, inner restraint, overcoming inner struggles and demons, to deal with painful things in proper ways, and move away from that which is not good for her.
The male counterpart of "Temperance" is called "Strength of a Woman...The Future Awaits" - my other painting.
“Strength” depicts a strong woman walking away from that which is not fulfilling...towards a better future. She is our strength with which we take actions, through “will power”, discipline, and fortitude to overcome challenges.
In Tarot, “Strength” is the male psyche of #3 Arcana card, ruled by Mars, the planet of strength - strength of character, strength to overcome obstacles.
The Sun represents her future. In Vedic Astrology the Sun represents someone who is inspiring, consistent, radiant, giving birth to new things…it is our very soul.
The stories of her life are interwoven in her braids.
Its female counterpart, Temperance (the title of my other painting!) reflects inner strength - and the two act together in us.