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Africa Ahoy!

Animals and nature never fail to fascinate most of us.. am one of them. I fall in love again and again – with total amazement and wonder.

Have long been wanting to create a series of paintings of the wild life of Africa.. so here goes!

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TOWARDS THE LIGHT 

The only way to go.. a dawdling family of Ostrichs’ head out and make their way, the little chicks huddling in the shade of their mum and dad! (acrylic on canvas, 24×24 inch)

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Each colour that our human eye can perceive is absolutely gorgeous.. be it a piping hot red, a glamourous green or just black and white.. (acrylic on canvas, 24×36 inch)

20190505_025358798_iOSFLYING BANANAS

The South African White-billed Hornbills watch on, as the majestic head of the family swoops down upon them! (acrylic on canvas, 20×28 inch)

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FLOWER OF LIFE

The beautiful Pink-throated Twin Spots from the SE African coast sit in the shadow of the Flower of Life, the very pattern of creation. A peek inside the creator’s thoughts! (mixed media on canvas, 20×16 inch)


I believe I can fly!

 

Life is such a miracle.. in every form – it be human, plant, animal or the fascinating birds. Recently on a trip to India, I felt captivated by the huge flocks of birds I would see every evening in the skyline. Flying in perfect unison and heading home. It would bring an unusual sense of well being and happiness within me. Was it the unity and syncronicity.. or the lightness of their spirit? All of it made me want to capture them on my canvas – in different forms and colours..

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TOWARDS THE LIGHT

The only way to go.. a dawdling family of ostrichs’ head out and make their way.. (acrylic on canvas, 24×24 inch)

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FLYING BANANAS

The South African White-billed Hornbills watch on as the majestic head of the family swoops down upon them! (acrylic on canvas, 20×28 inch)

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THE INDISPENSABLES

A charming cluster of the commoners- the sparrows! (acrylic on canvas, 26×18 inch) (SOLD)

Double Barred Finch

SUNNY TIMES

A cluster of Double-Barred Finches on a sunny day!
The Double-barred Finch is one of the long-tailed grass-finches and is notable for its ‘owl-faced’ features, having a white face bordered black. During the breeding season, the male may perform some displays. It hops towards the female with fluffed plumage and moves its body from side to side while singing. Maybe this is the time of romance?  (acrylic on canvas, 24×18 inch)

Carmine Bee Eaters Flock

I HAVE YOUR BACK

A bevy of brilliantly beautiful Carmine Bee Eaters found in Africa. Whether perched on a branch or soaring through the skies, the bee-eaters magnificent pinkish-red plumage, turquoise crowns and streaming tails make these birds an absolute pleasure to witness. (acrylic on canvas, 24×18 inch)

Dalmatian PelicansBEAK TO BEAK

The two Dalmatian Pelicans gaze at each other as their stunning beaks seem to make a statement of the own.. (acrylic on canvas, 16×20 inch)
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SO INTO YOU

The gorgeous Caribbean Flamingoes lost and totally in love with each other amidst the tropical green wilderness. (acrylic on canvas, 16X20 inch)

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Nothing can dazzle more than these Rainbow Lorikeets! What an expression of being totally lost in the other. Nothing else is needed. (18×18 inch, acrylic on canvas) (sold)

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HOMEBOUND

The sky is the limit! The only way is to rise up. The homebound weaver birds make quite a statement. (12×24 inch, acrylic on canvas (SOLD)

Channel billed ToucanHEAT AND DUST

Mommie and baby! A Channel billed Toucan caresses her young one in the midst of the hot and humid tropical forest! (acrylic on canvas, 16×20 inch)
Bahama Pintails

Making their way to each other – the Bahama Pintails. (12×12 inch each, acrylic on canvas)
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Northern Saw-Whet Owl (sold), American Goldfinch (1&2 (sold)), a Keen-billed Toucan (sold) & a cute little Blue tit! (each 8×10 inches, acrylic on canvas)

 

The Great Indian Pied Hornbill and an Australian Pelican followed by an Australian Shelduck (sold), a Plumed Whistling Duck, & a Green Heron .. (each 8×10 inches, acrylic on canvas)

How can we ignore the Blue Magpie, the cute Chickadee, a European Goldfinch & the intriguing African Hoopoe ! (8×10 inches, acrylic on canvas)

Yet another European Goldfinch, Himalayan White-Browed Rose Finch, Indian Golden Oriole, Rainbow Jay & the gorgeous South American Tangara Cayana (sold).. (each 8×10 inches, acrylic on canvas)

20190129_075811248_iOSFLOWER OF LIFE

The beautiful Pink-Throated Twin Spots from the SE African coast sit in the shadow of the Flower of Life, the very pattern of creation. A peek inside the Creator’s thoughts! (20×16 inches, acrylic on canvas)

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BLOCK BY BLOCK

The North American Black & White Warblers communicating in their high pitched song on a cool autumn evening.. ready to migrate to warmer lands! (20×16 inches, acrylic on canvas)

20190207_090638691_iOSNECTAR OF LIFE

The cute little Blue Kingfishers seem to be discussing their next dive in the backdrop of a historic wall, amidst glowing lilies.. (20×16 inches, acrylic on canvas) (SOLD)

IMG-2821THE GUARDIAN

And yet another pair of exotic kingfishers dancing against a painted figure on an ancient Rajasthani temple wall… (16×20 inches, acrylic on canvas)

IMG-2834LOVE-BIRDS

Nothing like the romance of these stunning Macaws! (18×18 inches, acrylic on canvas)

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A pair of Humming birds… delicately perched and poised for flight… (16×20 inches, acrylic on canvas) (SOLD)

img_2939ETERNALLY YOURS

The salmon coloured Carmine Bee Eaters.. Romantically perched on a slim branch! (12×36 inches, acrylic on canvas) (SOLD)

img_2920THERE FOR YOU

The Malaysian Coppersmith Barnet, tenderly feeding her baby. What a sight! (18×18 inches, acrylic on canvas)

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Beyond I, Me, Myself

 

 

I love my life, my existence, my family and comforts – just as everyone does. How fulfilled I am and how generous this universe has been to me. In between my rather long gaps of being lost in myself there spring up small moments when the thought comes about my wanting to give back something of me to where it has all come from. These are some of my works which I have painted in those times when I went Beyond I, Me, Myself.

20171113_104158311_iOSTHE WOMB

(size: 23×16 inches, watercolour, pen & pencil on paper) (Donated to DEBRA)

IMG_0768HOMECOMING

(size: 23×16 inches, watercolour, pencil & pen on paper)(Donated to  DEBRA)

20171113_094557580_iOSHEAVENLY HEALING

(size: 23×16 inches, watercolour, pencil & pen on paper) (Donated to DEBRA)

SerendipityBLISSFUL SOLITUDE

(size: 16×23 inches, watercolour, pen & pencil on paper)  (Donated to DEBRA)

Dog and Deer-friendshipLOVE IS EVERYWHERE 

(size: 23×16 inches, watercolour, pen & pencil on paper)   (Donated to DEBRA)

Wolf in the woodsTHE OTHER SIDE OF ME

(size: 23×16 inches, watercolour, pen & pencil on paper)   (Donated to DEBRA)

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Myths & Mysticism

We have no idea when we as humans first took birth on this planet. Over these millions of years, we imagined and created our own fantasies and myths which gave us something to believe in and hold on to for our sense of being. It made us feel secure to have some common beliefs. Sometimes a simple stone found on the river bed led to miracles and it soon found its way into peoples hearts and gave them comfort. Stories got woven around what we saw in nature. I am really fascinated at how we have found reflections of what we look for in ourselves in the different facets of the life forms around us.. and thus the birth of this new series which explores myths and mysticism.

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HAMSA

(30X23 inch, watercolour, pen & pencil on paper)

The mythical, mysterious and utterly graceful Hamsa is said to be the vehicle of the Hindu God of creation- Brahma and his consort, the Goddess of knowledge – Saraswati.

I find the Hamsa really captivating as it  is comfortable in water as well as land representing the union of the physical and spiritual self. Is this not the ultimate goal of the human journey?
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THE JOURNEY

(23×30 inch, watercolour, pen & pencil on paper)

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” – Lao Tzu. The ultimate journey of the seekers as they dance, jump, sing and cross all obstacles with humility and grace while the source of their energy shines forth in the heavens awaiting for his children to envelop themselves in his compassionate embrace.
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JAITTRA

(30×23 inch, watercolour, pen & pencil on paper)

The King of Birds, Garuda, bearing beautiful feathers is bound to be a glorious sight. On the bright side, he is a symbol of virtue, hope and rebirth, but he has a dark side too. Garuda is a brilliant warrior but it is also known that he shows no mercy in his attacks. In this painting, his majestic self is seen flying away with the divine nectar, having defeated the Nagas. The ocean of snakes are symbolic of the darker side of existence while Garuda is the symbol of good, right and true. In addition to the artistry of nature, the force of his personality has reinstated my belief in the idea that good always triumps over evil.

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Faith & Beliefs

 

Faith and Beliefs are very integral to human existence. They give us a sense of security and create moral boundaries within which we co-exist. They give us a reason to be alive and to live with hope. Millenia after millenia, as human beings discovered new lands and made their homes, they found meaning and sustainence from nature. This gave rise to symbols, practices, rituals, religions and also their identity. Living in Singapore brought in an appreciation and a desire to create these four oriental symbols entwined with the symbolic fruits and flowers. And with that followed many more ideas which I have tried to capture in my own humble way..

 

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HAPPINESS

(15×15 inch, pen, pencil & watercolour on paper)

Azaleas are a symbol of feminity and softness. For the people in the orient, Azaleas represent happiness and prosperity. They evoke people’s warm passion for life which I think is the prerequisite for happiness. Thus the marriage of these fresh and beautiful Azaleas with the symbol of happiness was inevitable. Surrounded by the lush green vine, even a sight of these will bring in a rush of positive energy.
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LOVE

(15×15 inch, pen, pencil & watercolour on paper)

Orchids, the most coveted flowers of all time, have been favoured by Chinese scholars as they were the unspoken symbols of integrity, nobility and friendship. The three virtues of a cultured man and also the most important ingredients for a great relationship. I was naturally drawn to it to combine it with this exotic symbol of love, togetherness and marital bliss.
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LONGEVITY

(15×15 inch, pen, pencil & watercolour on paper)

Traditionally offered to the elderly to wish them long life, Chrysanthemums also known as Kiku in Japan are autumn flowers and signify joy and beauty despite the oncoming winter. They are much sought after for their healing properties and yang energy so I thought they paired perfectly with the this symbol of longevity and good health to show that both are most beautiful when together.
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PROSPERITY

(15×15 inch, pen, pencil & watercolour on paper)

I believe that prosperity is a state of mind. This exotic oriental symbol which is heaped with the Kumquat represents prosperity. It is a constant reminder of overflowing abundance to our senses and is said to attract all that we desire into our lives.

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Tree of Life

The Tree of Life is a mystical and magical tree well known throughout many cultures, dating back to ancient times. Different races and religions call it by different names, each having its own Tree of Life in their mythologies. The Tree of Life provides the breath of life. Fire, Earth, Air and Water all combine their forces to create the awesome life giving power of the Tree of Life. Its branches reach out to accept nourishment from the Fiery Sun and its roots dig deep into the soul of its mother, the Earth. Together, the Sun and Earth nurture the tree which in turn supports life in us. This is my expression of gratitude towards Mother Nature herself.

Shrivatsa

SHRIVATSA

(Size: 26×26 inch, pen, pencil & watercolour on paper)

Hindus and Buddhists believe that nature spirits or Yakshas must be worshipped as the caretakers of the hidden treasures of the earth. The voluptuos figure of Yakshini here signifies the fertility of nature. She is heavily bejeweled, standing caressing a branch of the mango tree and surrounded by myriad animals. I tied in here the Tibetan knot of eternity or the ‘Shrivatsa’ in the background as it symbolises the eternal nature of time and movement along the spiritual path. All that exists, all that has ceased to exist and all that shall come into existence rests serenely and harmoniously within the eternal.

Sigil

SIGIL

(Size 26×14 inch, pen, pencil & watercolour on paper)

Sigil or the Tree of Life is one of the most familiar of the Sacred Geometric Symbols connected to the sacred teachings of the Jewish Kabbalah. The pattern in the centre is said to signify the middle world and is flanked on one side by a wheel and on the other by a spiral. The wheel, stands for the Sun, the moon and the stars at the top of the world, the spiral for the underworld… water, whirlpools and such. When put together, these motifs are a symbol of protection from ill and an affirmation of blessing. Encased in the beauty of creation and abundance, I feel the SIGIL looks majestic in its graceful form against the majestic & holy Wailing Wall of Jerusalem.

RangrezaHAYAT AGACI

 

(Size: 29×41 inch, pen, pencil & watercolour on paper) (SOLD)

Turkey – one cannot think of this place without the mind conjuring up images of beautiful old mosques and rich culture. The sculpture of the gorgeous “Hayat Agaci” or the Turkish Tree of Life inspired me to create this ensemble. The tree stands proudly encased in gold and gems while the dervishes dancing around it slowly absorbing it’s colour become full of brightness and charm themselves. The Hamsas in the sky add to their beauty by showering them all with grace and glory. The rich cultural heritage of Turkey shines through the subtle mesh and the intriguing colours of the tree and the dancers.

Ahura Mazda

AHUR MAZDA

(Size: 26×26 inch, pen, pencil & watercolour on paper)

The highest of all the spirits worshipped in the Persian culture, the Ahura Mazda stands in the shade of the mighty Gao-Karena or the sacred tree of life. The life giving juice of this tree was likened to the “Amrut” or immortal nectar of the Hindu Gods. I just had to add the twin spirits for good and evil at the foot of this tree for which story can be completed without both these flavours! Traditionally known as Spenta Meynu and Angra Mainyu, they were created by none other than Ahur Mazda.

The Red Dot

THE RED DOT

(Size: 26×26 inch, pen, pencil & watercolour on paper)

My tribute to Singapore- the beautiful Red Dot as it is called. The fabric of Singapore lies in its spirit of all encompassing different cultures and living in harmony. The revered Bodhi Tree firmly planted in the soil rich with the seeds of different cultures has lent it’s shade to many a story. It is set against the all familiar batik fabric that is commonly found in this land. The Red Dot shines brightly in the sky – small, yet powerful and hard to ignore!

The Flame

THE FLAME

(Size: 41×29 inch, pen, pencil & watercolour on paper)

I was really inspired by the Spanish Flamenco dancers portraying their unbeatable and unabashed zest for life! I felt that they looked like leaping flames of fire with the swirls of their bold and colourful outfits. The picture would have been incomplete without Mariachi- the lively, bright and vibrant folk music as the dancers lose themselves in their beat around the Mexican Tree of life.

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Creation

The dance of the universal cycle of life is eternal, ever changing. Everything that come into being, one say melts back to where it came from and re-emerges in a new form to live through yet another cycle. We see a play of different energy forms which seem to pull the strings.. sometimes Shiva, sometimes Krishna.. the names change but the source in one.

MahaviraI AM

(30×30 inch, watercolour, pen & pencil on paper)

I AM. In every little particle of this universe and in every form ever created. I am not an insignificant dot in this “Brahmand”. I stretch from the brimming edge of the skies to the bottomless oceans. I am the lotus for whom the sun shines and I am nature without which none can exist.

20180808_073129206_iOSAnantha

(32×26 inch, watercolour, pen & pencil on paper)

Only Brahman is “Anantha”- eternal and infinite. As the ion of times dance by, what is today become history and tomorrow is springing up beneath our feet even as the moments slip by. The moment gone, the moment now and the moment to come all so transitory and yet so beautifully leaving a mark of their existence behind as they move on under the very watchful eye of the only permanent existence -The Brahman, the “Anantha”.
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Akurath

(30×23 inch, watercolour, pen & pencil on paper)

The God of beginnings, the remover of obstacles, the Lord of all people – Ganesha or Akurath is seen here calmly travelling through the universe. His “Rath” or vehicle is “Aku”, the tenacious rat, symbolising his ability to overcome anything to get what he wants. I painted the lotuses to remind us that he leaves in his wake the scent of lotuses for all he loves and for those who love him in return.

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Ikshana

(30×23 inch, watercolour, pen, pencil & chalk pastel on paper)

Ikshana, or eyes that see beyond what is obvious, that perceive the connections we cannot feel. I thought it was only too right to refer to the Buddha as Ikshana. His eyes look peacefully out at the world as the knower and the knowing. Totally unperturbed by the ways of the universe, his lotus like presence overflows with love and compassion.
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Amanitvam

(29×17 inch, water Colour, pen, pencil & chalk pastel on paper)

A great man is always willing to be little – so says Ralph Waldo Emerson. The strongest of us can also be the most humble. To me, Amanitvam or Hanuman is the perfect model of humility and strength combined with unmatched loyalty, devotion and compassion. He is magnificent, can swallow the sun, is stronger than the mightiest. Here he stands praising the lord who has created the universe which swirls around him infinitely majestic!

The Divine Dance

THE DIVINE DANCE

(29.5×29.5 inch, watercolour, pen, pencil & chalk pastel on paper)

As per mythology, when the 3rd eye of Shiva opens, all hell breaks loose. I grew up with stories my father told about Shiva as the creator of all art forms, whether it be dance or music. The first sound of the universe emanated from him. It brought forth joyous colour and energy and that is what I have tried to capture in his soft form, gentle smile and graceful pose as he dances and the lotuses reaching out to him with their intense purity are bursting with colour and life.

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VATAPATRASHAYI

(32×26 inch, watercolour, pen & pencil on paper)

The grand scale of creation is inconceivable to the human mind and yet it appears so simple for Little Krishna as he floats on the Banyan leaf sucking his toe. Known as Vatapatrashayi, he looks oblivious to the multiple galaxies constantly melting and emerging in the ever space. I was always fascinated with snakes and noticed that they are a constant feature in Hindu mythology, perhaps for their ability to shed skin and be symbolically “reborn”. The king all flowers which shines purity even when it emerges from the murky waters is the perfect seat for the Lord of creation – Brahma.

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KAAL

(40×30 inch, watercolour, pen & pencil on paper)

“Kaal’ or Time – the word never fails to remind me of the fierce Kirtimukh that adorns the entrance of every temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The symbol celebrates the glory of the Lord while also signifying how birth of one life form is closely woven into the death of another. It is very similar in design as well as meaning to the sacred Egyptian Uroborus or Tail Eating Snake. It seemed incomplete until I surrounded it the whirling chakras around it to signify the infinitely growing expanse of the universe where there is a constant stream of creation and destruction.
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GUANYIN 

(watercolor, pen & pencil on paper) (Donated to Debra)

As a child, I would find myself enchantedly staring at the serene face of the Buddha with eyes full of wonder. The love and compassion in the enlightened one’s eyes tends to hypnotise and take away all our worries. I was introduced to Guanyin, the female depiction of the compassionate one, only after I moved to Singapore. She is shown here holding the healing potion that soothes the body and mind for all those who need it.

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