Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Writing my gratitude

Evergreen Beauty_16X20_Acrylic on Canvas
In private collection
I have been spending a lot of time thinking about the things I am grateful for. 
It all triggered after reading a blog post by a friend and a blogger I religiously follow Donna Iona Drozda, in her blog she wrote :  

 "The Third Quarter phase began Sunday, August 21 in the early evening (EST) and extends through Thursday, August 25 in the early afternoon. At the time of the Third Quarter Phase we can breathe in grace and gratitude. We can invest this time in remembering how miraculous it is to come to this thanksgiving place each month (moon)"

Its actually a tougher question to ask myself than I had anticipated. At first I had a long list of things. But then I thought some more and the thing I am most grateful for is my "Amazing Parents". Countless time I took them for granted and every time they gave me some more love. As I began writing, the post took a poetic turn, it probably does not rhyme, not well edited and is not the best out there... But its sincere and straight from the heart.

I am Grateful...
For the unconditional love my mother has for me,
For every time I said 'I hate you', she always replied 'I love you too.. dearly'.
Every time I let go of her, she let me fly
But always watched over me
Every time I was sick, she was there
Loving me, nursing me
For guiding me, understanding me
Encouraging me to find the true me.
Every time I saw her flaw, she only saw the good in me

I see you now, I know you now
You know I love you dearly.
I probably don't say it very often.
But, Mom your the best!
And I will always thank the universe who gave you to me.

© J Neerkaje

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Blockbuster Dream of a Self Taught Artist

In the movie “The Pursuit of Happyness,” Will Smith talks to his son about his dreams. 
He says: "Don’t ever let somebody tell you you can’t do something. Not even me. All right? You got a dream? You gotta protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they want to tell you you can’t do it. You want something, go get it. Period."
© Treading in unknown waters, one baby step at a time.
My big dream: to be a successful artist.

In the recent past I have had varied conversation with friends and colleagues about Art, the process of creating art and an art degree. I have been advised by a few to seriously consider going back to school to get a degree in art and have been rejected by galleries for the pure lack of a degree, NOT talent.

I have seen the work of so many self taught artists which are compelling, sincere and full of raw charm that can rival that of a trained artist any day. A self-taught artist also has a voice, has a lifetime of learning to learn and share.

I guess my question here is: Do you need to have a formal degree to call yourself an Artist?
Is our passion for art limited to just paint and canvas and technique or is it about the artist, their stories and the connection we all share?

Does an average art collector buy a piece of art because its made by a famous artist or because it speaks to him/her?

Why does a successful HR professional suddenly find her muse and begin painting?
What gives this self taught artist the courage and motivation to express herself visually, without the sanction of a formal education and without fear of reproach?

And if our ancestors, who painted on cave walls let formal education get in their way of expression, would we really be having this discussion now?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tree of Life

© Tree of Life_24X12_Mixed Media
In Private Collection

Its not unusual for an artist to have ups and downs in their creativity. 
Have you ever been was through a "Creative Blank" phase and was scared that you are losing your artistic ability? I have and I did what I do best.. I decided to take advantage of the lovely warm weather and go for a walk.. to get some fresh air and loads of fresh ideas.

© From a hike to Gillette Fort State Park
In these walks, what I call fondly as 'Inspiration walks', I am always drawn towards the trees. 
The formation of each tree bending, branching out gracefully like a poised movement of a ballet dancer, the roots reaching down deep into the center of the earth gathering its essence.
The lifetime full of changes with seasons, learning and constantly adopting and re-inventing.
In perfect harmony with the world around.
Sheltering and providing home, giving without expectations of returns and sturdy. 

© From my Back Yard
Trees, to me are the true symbol of life, the circle of life and the symbiotic relationship shared between two lives. Its just one more way that nature truly inspires us to endorse the amazingness it has to offer and the lessons it has to teach.
I think trees are one of the most interesting thing to paint/draw/sketch.
The different kind of textures, the pure play of light and shadow and the negative spaces it forms with its spread. 
© Safe Haven_7X5_Linoleum Print
Its no wonder that a lot of art across continents is inspired by them. 
Next time when you are out taking a walk... just take notice of them, really look how the branches spread, how the roots rise above the ground and dive right back in, the lushness of the green and post a comment to this post to let me know how you felt.
Would love to hear all your thoughts.

Friday, August 12, 2011

To Summer

© At one of the CT Tigers game this season
This year so far has been a busy one with loads of traveling, loads of fun and loads of inspiration. The year kicked off with my awesome trip to India catching up with my family after 3 years! The fun I had is indescribable in just a few words of a blog post. 
I came back to the fresh bloom of spring and the long awaited warmth of summer. 

© View from the Deck, Gazing at what lies in front
I got greedy and decided to take the summer off and pack in as much of fun, ideas and inspiration as possible. So my days have been all about traveling, Base ball games, Sailing, Kayaking, chilling on a hammock with some wine and a book, beach combing, some plein-aire painting, sketching and journaling in nature and loads more. I love my life!

© Sun Flower Festival at ButtonWoods Farm, CT.
I gave myself some time to read, admire, think, contemplate, express and be grateful. 

My working table one summer afternoon

Heres a poem that I have loved since I read it the first time and it so beautifully describes my thoughts on summer. 
"Our bards are famed who strike the silver wire:
Our youth are bolder than the southern swains:
Our maidens fairer in the sprightly dance:
We lack not songs, nor instruments of joy,
Nor echoes sweet, nor waters clear as heaven,
Nor laurel wreaths against the sultry heat"
- To Summer by William Blake (From poetical sketches)

Hope you are enjoying your time as much as I am. Have fun! 

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