Thursday, December 29, 2011

Life, Death and the Process in between

© The process in Between by Joyita Neerkaje
Sometimes wisdom comes when you least expect it, and sometimes its from a spirited 12 year old kid. My two Nephews are home for the holiday season and are not bored playing on their XBox all day, we adults decided to do a little intervention. A little break from Call of Duty to indulge in the creative.
Ishan showing of his dirty hands
What resulted was a fun filled afternoon, when all we did was play with colors and eat holiday cookies. We chit chatted, pulled each others leg, shared snacks and painted of course! 
After we were done we spoke about what we painted and Goresh named his paintings Life and Death. Life being full of fun and play and shades of colors and death a more monochromatic experience. Then he looked at my detailed pen and ink and said "And those intricacies is the Process in Between". I must say I was a little surprised and a little impressed by this kids insight.
© Life (left) and Death (Right) a Diptych by Goresh Walia
But if you compartmentalize life into smaller sections, thats what a year is. Every year at the stroke of midnight we celebrate and welcome a new year, what we do is the process in between and finally the anticipation and grand finale of the year end only to start of with yet another celebration.
© Goresh showing of his painting
2011 has been an interesting process for me, I have evolved as a person (a tiny bit)

  • I Learnt to handle stress and last minute changes to schedules (Yes! I am an absolute control freak and hate it if things don't go as I want them to).
  • Embraced failure/rejection.
  • Prioritized whats important for me (If you know me you will know how much I try to please everyone in my life).
  • Braved to do something out of my comfort zone.
  • I have grown as an artist (attended art classes, went out for sketching trips with fellow artists, tweaked my creative process, learnt more about art marketing) 
  • Took one more step forward with my inquiry (Learnt to understand the moon cycle and how it effects everything... more importantly Art)
  • Taught myself to be more graceful when someone is giving me feedback (especially Negative).
  • Learnt to appreciate others without getting too competitive, there's enough for everyone.
  • And most importantly... To be Present! 
I am very pleased with where my art is taking me, excited about my latest series of work (More about that in next post) and the things I have learnt about life in general. 

But like art, life is always going to be a work in progress and my new years resolution is to add a few more strokes to continue the process. 

What's yours?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Holidays!!

© Christmas Tree at a friends house
Its that time of the year again... everything is rich red and green and gold. Santas in every mall, the ring of the Salvation army bell in front of the Grocery store, the boot drive at our friendly neighborhood fire station, especial holiday drinks at the coffee shop, curling up every night to watch a feel good movie with a cup of hot chocolate (with marshmallows), the shopping, the wrapping and giving.
Its a season where everyone around is feeling grateful and generous. Its the time to give... give love!
© Wrapped!
A time to celebrate everything that is 'right' in life and leave the 'wrong' in the back burner for a bit. 

This is my favorite time of the year. I love the color, the sparkle, the energy of the entire environment. Everybody is walking with a cheery demeanor, everybody ready to embrace the holiday cheer.I for one is all set to begin the party!

So here's wishing all of my blogging/virtual family a very merry holidays!

And a fantastic New Year! Hope the New year brings with it some awesome life experiences, loads of love, Opportunities for success and quality time with friends and family.

© Something Sparkly
A toast to a year which brings with it everything we wish for and more!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

What lies beneath??

© Shinning through
Last week I had my first biking injury! Remember a few posts earlier I was talking about observing and documenting... well let me add a foot note to that: Don't do it while you are riding your bicycle. 
© Reaching for the Sky
New England is beautiful this time of the year, the trees have all shed their leaves and are bare and bald. Its like seeing something as is without any fancy accessory, without any make-up, no add-ons, just the person underneath, all revealed.
I personally have always found this thought very intriguing. 

Life is something like that. I always try to peel out the show, the drama and try to appreciate and love the underlying truth to things. 
And that brings me to asking some central questions... 
How many layers are they?
And when I peel off all the surfaces what do I expect to find? 
And what if I find something I am not willing face?

© Evening glow
So here I am on a trail so engrossed in admiring the beauty around me, taking mental pictures *Click click click* and Kaboom! I crashed! On the bright side, I got some amazing pictures and some thoughts to get me all wired up... new work coming soon!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Zentangle - Simple asanas for the brain.

© My first attempt at Zentangle®
The word 'Zen' originates from the Sanskrit word "dhyana" which means being in a meditative state. And to 'Tangle' is to mix together or intertwine in a confused mass. Zentangle® is a mix of both. Its about finding Zen among all the tangles of life.

I am sure there are a lot of people out there who are in the same boat as me, juggling between all our different roles and responsibilities. It almost makes us feel like a tightrope walker, juggling balls and moving one step at a time, yes? What I have learnt is that the key to maintain balance is to keep moving... slowly and purposefully, shifting your weight from one to another and do it being focused and calm.

© Work of all participating in the workshop

For physical agility and flexibility I do yoga. I get on to the mat and get into the flow shift from one asana to another, from finding my center with 'Tadasana' (mountain pose) to the perfect balance and grace with 'Natarajasana' (dancers pose).  Zentangle® is the exact same exercise for the brain. It helps in shutting down the chatter in the head, pay attention, use hand eye coordination and stay calm. 

Its all about achieving a meditative state through pattern drawing. Simple tangles are combined in an unplanned way which slowly builds and grows into a complicated looking drawing. 

All the participant of the workshop, the youngest was 13 year old!
I was introduced to this style by my artist friends Sandhya Manne and Corina Alvarezdelugo. Their work intrigued me and I decided to give it a shot. So, as soon as I heard that a friend, Carol Dunn, who is also a Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT) was doing a workshop I had to go. What resulted was one of the most meditative and relaxed afternoon I have had in a while. 

What I realized is that the end product was not too different from my earlier 'Madhubani' inspired work. It almost felt like my creative process came to a full circle. And I intend to stay here just a little bit longer.

Zentangle is so much more than I can talk about in a single post. This post is just about my impressions. If you want to know more about the origin and process of Zentagle, you should visit their website :

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