Sunday, September 30, 2018

Blue heron with Tude IV

The joy I feel being home is found in many things. 
Time spent with my husband Christopher is the most precious of all.
We both have hit the ground running since we have come home.
Christopher in his shop, making frames for me and other artists. Me in the studio trying to sort out the myriad of canvases I brought home from India. Eleven of them were already stretched, (the twelfh belonging to our grandson Neel and left in India.) They still needed wires,  cleaning, and varnishing. All got done, and I sold several this weekend.
One of them gets shipped on Monday as a birthday present to Georgia. 

The show this weekend was surprising to say the least! 
This was our inaugural run with the panels and boy did the artworks show extremely well. 
I could not be more pleased with the exception of the velcro situation. 
I will be fixing that problem shortly before the National Shrimp Festival in 10 days. (10 days!!!!) Chris and work well as a team, and I am so grateful for his helping hands and patient listening (sometimes!). Our marriage is definitely a duet most of the time and not a duel. 
I have to admit, I sold more this weekend than I expected. (Including one of my 5 canvas works!)
I am going to be holed up in the studio for the next 10 days working on a litany of projects for shows coming up. 

I also found out that the project at Gulf State Park had a press release sneak peek as of last weekend. I didn't get any phone calls and such, because people did not know what they were looking at in the photos. Now I have posted the photos from the article on my Facebook page, and people are absolutely loving the piece. My artwork was used to make a backsplash at the main restaurant in the Gulf State Park Convention Center. Two canvases that were 16x40 were scanned and put on 4x 16 tiles, the tiles were then used to do the backsplash measuring 28 inches by 12 feet! 
I am so excited that I can now start selling the prints at shows. 
I hope they do well.

I must sign off for now. 
There is a lot to do in the Raccoon Retreat Studio here in Fairhope, Alabama!

Blue Heron with Tude, Acrylic on canvas 15x15
Day 91 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2018

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Blue Heron with Tude III

Great Blue Heron III is another one painted in India on a flat canvas for traveling. It was so much fun to paint this series while with our daughter in India for the birth of our grandchild. I had finished several paintings while there and had finished the ones I needed to complete for the 100 days. My daughter suggested I continue to paint. So back to the art store I went,  buying a meter of canvas to paint on while there. I was able to lay out the four 15 x 15 canvases and one
15 x30 in the Heron series.

Today found me at my first show of the fall season in Daphne Alabama. The Jubilee festival is in it's 30th year and is put on by the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce. It seems to get bigger and better now every year. I did not know if I could do the show as I was headed home from India 2 days before set up. When they opened up the jury process for late entries I decided to take the plunge. I am delighted that I took the time to do this wonderful little show?

Great Blue Heron III, Acrylic on canvas,
15 x15
Day 90 of the 100 days- 100 paintings 2018

Friday, September 28, 2018

Blue Heron with Tude II

Today has been interesting to say the least. We're both tired from our epic journey yet only Chris seems to find rest. I am trying get the things done that I need to do to get ready for shows. Today found me adding velcro to the panel covers to finish them for this weekend. We then went out to the barn to put said covers onto the frames Chris built. After a lot of tugging and pulling, we got them on to all 11 panels. Tonight was the first time we used them,  and it was a learning experience for both of us. After some adjusting, they look fantastic. I can hardly wait to put the artworks on them.

Our first show of the season starts in the morning!  Saturday September 29th at Daphne Alabama .

Great Blue Heron with Tude, acrylic on canvas
Day 89 of the 100 days-100 paintings 3018

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Blue Heron with "Tude"

Blue Heron with "Tude"
This is one of the canvases from India, hence why it looks a little wrinkled.
The photo is not the best either!
Chris is building my stretcher bars as I have 17 to stretch.
Have you ever observed these wonderful birds?
They have to be the most graceful yet gawky, 
beautiful yet beastly, 
crafty yet cunning bird you will ever watch.
Try to go fishing, he will steal your bait.
 They will intimidate you into dropping your fish you just caught.
They will stalk small fish, larger fish, fresh water turtles, sting rays, 
and I've even photographed one eating a snake! 
Drop your hook into the water and he will swiftly and silently fly in, landing just a few scant feet from where you are standing. Given the opportunity, he will take your fish 
just as you are reeling it in for the catch!
A Bird with Attitude for sure!

Great Blue Heron with "Tude", 15x30, acrylic on canvas
Day 88 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2018

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Stranger creatures

Our traveling continues in Frankfurt Germany. We had to go through security again. I don't understand the reason, other than safety reasons. It is just a pain to stand in line, present your tickets, present your passport again. How in the world did we get on the plane in India!?

We get to our gate and settle in. Chris is trying to nap, I am creating art as usual. Our flight does not show up on the video board so we check gates.  Our gate has changed so we move bag and baggage to the next gate which is 5 gates away. We have printed boarding passes, but we are given new ones. We are also subjected to another document check. I guess it's all good, just another bump in the road of life. We both are uncomfortable in the aiplane seats, no leg room, no place to put my purse, and if the person in front of you decides to lay back their seat........
I have had a seat literally land on my knees when the passenger decided to lean back. It is also quite the feat to be able to watch your monitor as it is mounted on the seat back.

Then just as you get settled down, they bring a meal or snack. This requires you to ask the leaning passenger to please sit up so you can use your tray holder. Sometimes they comply, sometimes the attendant has to ask them. Airline food is sketchy,  sometimes wonderful, sometimes inedible,  almost always unappealing in it's look. But, you're hungry so you try some and find it is not as bad as it looks.

Hour 16 and counting.........

The octopus is representative of the other passengers. Passengers trying to get in the wring seats, with the ticket holder showing up and questioning their place on the plane. Attendant talks to the pair and finds they are supposed to be about 30 rows back! Arms and legs everywhere,  in the aisle, ready to trip you up at the most inopportune moment. No place to put your garbage, your feet your purse. Welcome to the friendly skies of ............!

Stranger Creatures , acrylic on canvas, 12x12
Day 87 of the 100 days-100 paintings 2018

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Sentinel Pelican

We start on our journey home tonight!  I am looking forward to home, but not the journey to get there. Our first leg leaves at an awful time, 2:45 am! We have to be there at the airport 3 hours before the flight. We are first headed to Frankfurt Germany and will arrive about 7:30 am their time. On the way here, we both stopped in Munich and it has a large mall attached. I don't remember Frankfurt having very much, except for a bottle of water that I was desperately seeking. I do remember it costing 8 euros, and that was 5 years ago! Note to self, bring water from plane! (Or at least an empty bottle that I might be able to fill.) This flight is about 9 hours long, maybe I can sleep! (I know Chris will be able to sleep) The last time we were on this flight, he had an outside seat and could stretch his legs. I sat in the middle with a man that slept almost the entire flight after breakfast! Both males, mine included hogged the armrests. I was stuck trying desperately to not disturb them! Our layover there is 6 hours!!!!

Our next flight is the long one, taking us way north to avoid certain airspaces. It became extremely cold for me as I was on the outside of the plane near the window.  I think the plane flew up towards the north pole because of storm activity over the Atlantic. This flight lasts another long period with us landing in Houston,Texas USA! in the evening.

Another 3 hour layover then a short hop home of about 1 1/2 hours. All told, we will be traveling a total of 21 hours according to our travel plan. I think this is just flight times though, add another 9 hours of layovers.

In the meantime, we wait for our journey to start, one more load of laundry,  final packing, last meal here, final goodbyes.........for now.
Home on Wednesday night!

Sentinel Pelican, acrylic on canvas, 12x12
Day 85 of the 100 days- 100 paintings 2018

Monday, September 24, 2018

Pelican flight day

Our day was rainy here. From what I can see, it's raining in Fairhope as well. The weather seems appropriate enough to match our moods. Time together well spent, with lots of bonding done with Neel and family here. Then there's the sigh, the tears begin to flow and my heart hurts at the thought of leaving.  I told Christina, "I'm not ready to go yet."
She said "Then stay."
It will be hard to pull up anchor and sail away to a distant shore after feeling the love here and being inspired.

Yet, there is a pull from our place we call home so far away right now. Tomorrow is our last day here and adventure awaits after we get home. First, we will drag our tired bodies into the place we call the Raccoon Retreat. Then the dachshund screaming, barking, and happy whimpering  will begin. I am certain we will just sit on the floor and allow them all over us for a happy reunion. We will then shower and crawl into our own bed.
(Or maybe on the recliner sofa,  covered in dachshunds!)

Thursday finds us hitting ground running. At least I pray we are functioning!  Chris has orders for stretcher bar frames, both from a local artist and of course from me. I have completed a lot of work here and two have sold already. Saturday and Sunday I have the Jubilee show in Daphne. Monday I am shipping colored crab II to a lucky birthday girl in Georgia. There is also a lot of stretching, varnishing, painting, and wiring to be done before shrimp festival.
Permits to be bought for a show, a place to stay during Kentuck near B'ham.
The list is long, but I will never forget my time here.
Time well spent............

Pelican flight day, 12x12, acrylic on canvas.
Day 86 of the 100 days-100 paintings 2018

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Great blue heron

Today was a full day for us! We had a great breakfast that kept us full for the morning rush. We got into the car and started our adventure. Christinas mother in law, Sumita took us on a hunt for a very small table for next to the chair in Neels room. We started down a long row of shops and open air markets. Not finding what we wanted, after going to several shops, Sumita took us to a magical place......

Shamar Farm is behind a gate with guards. What is it......amazing!

This once working farm is now a venue for weddings and large events. What most people don't realize is there is a portion of the farm that is a resting place for varying amounts of antiques and modern furniture .  This place has some the the most beautiful British Colonial furniture I have ever seen. The wonderful thing is, the craftsman here can replicate and or refinish virtually any piece of furniture in the place. They not only have furniture, but they have awesome amount of architectural pieces from old buildings in India. I have so many ideas for a new series of architectural art, done in sepia on my traditional white backgrounds. My month in India has been an inspirational, beautiful,  sometimes overwhelming experience of Family, friends, food, and ART!
P.S. check out my facebook page for photos from our trip to the farm!

Great Blue Heron, Acrylic on canvas, 12x12
Day 84 of the 100 days- 100 paintings 2018

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Carlin the loggerhead turtle

Carlin was at the turtle center on Jeckle Island. We toured the facility and found this little guy swimming in a tank. The state of Georgia allows them one rescue turtle to use as an education ambassador  for a year.  Carlin was hatched on July 29th 2017. The nest was excavated a few days later and that was when carlin was chosen to be the ambassador. They also knew who his mother was. Her name is Cinco and appropriately enough because she was tagged on Cinco de Mayo. She also had 5 confirmed  nests that year.

The days are winding down here, we are one day closer to home. I am torn though, I know it will be hard to leave and yet, I  miss home. Family , friends, and fellowship, all that makes India,
Well.... India!

Carlin the loggerhead sea turtle, acrylic on canvas, 12x12
Day 83 of the 100 days-100 paintings 2018

Friday, September 21, 2018

Blue crab tango

Today found us on the road to help a new friend relax before she leaves to go back home to Florida. She stayed here at the house in Neels room for one night. She is fresh off a medical mission trip and talked about the experiences she had while working in the villages. She is a delight and lives in Ft. Lauderdale and wants to see a show when we come back down to Melbourne. I will be so glad to call her friend.
We started out our morning at the Durga Puja site where the statues are still being built. She loved the artistry and complexity of the statues. The framework built from bamboi is now being covered in fabric and tarps for the coming market that is before the big holiday next month. Hand made articles from all over India will be for sale, as well as street food of all types. I'm certain it will be a feast for the eyes and I am certain I will want to overindulge in the beautiful works. It opens on September 23rd and I can't wait!

We again found ourselves at Lodi garden again in the heart of Delhi. These gardens are truly lush, with plants from all over the world. We found periwinkle, crape myrtle, roses, honeysuckle, and the strangest lawnmower we've ever seen! The lawnmower is a beast, weighing in at a couple hundred pounds. Did I mention it's a walk behind too? We came in at gate number one, and followed the trail from the front to the Lodi burial tomb near the back. There is a large lake here, that winds it's way around the tomb. We went inside, they are in the beginning process of restoration,  and saw some of the most beautiful hand painted tiles near the ceiling. We also went into the mosque on the grounds, covered in the remnants of incised plaster arabic(?) writings. Niches, arches, and beautiful carved stones made what was probably resplendent in it's day. The history here is amazing and they left beautiful architecture to let us get a small glimpse into their lives. The domes to me are the most intriguing parts of the buildings. How they were built in such gorgeous detail, with iron rings in the walls. The iron rings I imagine were used for either lanterns or fabric hung from the walls. How beautiful they must have been before robbers took the pieces for sale to make a living. We walked the entire garden, with Chris taking us on a wrong turn going backwards instead of forwards. Our new friend told him was fired as our guide and could no longer lead! By then we were all soaking wet with sweat and grateful we had purchased drinks at the beginning. Cokes 16 oz are 40 rupies here (about 60 cents).

We then traveled to Kahn market. Kushal and Christina told us about a restaurant and we were on the hunt. We also stepped into shops filled to the brim with merchandise of all types. Uneven sidewalks,  cars crammed into every possible spot, motorcycles and people all jammed into a square block area. We even had one guy with his wife pass us with their groceries,  looked at Chris and said Gday mate! People visiting here from everywhere in the world. 

We found the restaurant called The Big Chill but found a wait of 15 minutes, Chris wandered and found a barber shop in the corner that has been there for 32 years! He went in and enjoyed their air conditioning, a head massage, and a much needed trim. Meanwhile we were seated and ordered our meals. Turns out The Big Chill is a wonderful Italian, Mediterranean,  Continental cuisine restaurant. I ordered Rosemary chicken for Chris, Tuscany chicken for myself, and our new friend ordered a smoked grilled cheese and vegetables plate. I cannot speak for the others, but mine was amazing! Heavy cream, butter, parm cheese, roasted dried tomatos and spinach  combined with tender chicken. The green beans and carrots were cooked to perfection with just the right amount of garlic and crunch. I did not even try the potatoes, the rest was all so good! Italian paradise in the form of chicken in the heart of Delhi!

We finished our day watching Neel for a bit so the parents could have some time at a wedding for a bit.


Did that too!
Blue crab tango, acrylic on canvas,  8 x 16
Day 82 of the 100 days-100 paintings 2018

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Small blue crab sepia V

This has been a day of love and worry.

Surrounded by love and care by the people that are here. Feeling the love from home and that people are missing us there.

Worry because of naughty dachshunds rifling through things they should not, and eating things they shouldn't.  The pups have not been angels since we left home and we will have some retraining to accomplish. We will also have a gate to build that I have wanted for over a year now. No ordinary gate, it will have to be a collapsible one that will fit against my cabinet on the end of a peninsula in my kitchen. The reason for the gate, a naughty girl or boy perhaps? A naughty girl most likely! I mean there are 4 girls to one boy in our house.......

One in particular has my heart, Divya. She loves everyone and will love on all who come her way.
Unfortunately she also loves food, things she thinks is food, and things that smell like food. This penchant for food comes with her ability to get up on things! She has been caught more than once on the counter in the kitchen, which requires a jump up on my banquet, then another one to the counter. Hence the need for a gate. Why do I know ? How do I know it's her? Because the sneaky little devil gets caught red pawed with her stolen goods in the kennel! She is also protective of her ill gotten gains when confronted with her mischief in plain sight.

Then there's Bandit, maybe it's him!
He usually not completely innocent in the food racketeering.  We've found him on the counter as well, although he runs when he sees us coming! I would not be surprised if this brother and sister daring duo weren't working in tandem. Bandit is much more agile than his overweight sister and I could see him taking advantage of the sitter's momentary lack of an eagle eye on them. I would also not be surprised if the greedy sister wouldn't take the spoils of his efforts away from him!

But wait! There's Trixie, the dynamic duos mother. She's been caught doing the counter dance as well.

There are two others in the house, Frida is almost 14 and too smart to get up there. She's smart enough to let the others do the work, but take advantage of the spoils. Tut, she'll take the blame for everything, she puts Gollum to shame with her groveling when we're actually fussing at someone else!

They have managed to get an entire loaf of whole grain bread that was all the way at the stove. Mind you, it's not a mile but it is up a banquet, onto a counter, past the coffee pot, through the sink,on another counter to get to the prize. Then a reverse trip to take it to the kennel.  This time, my poor sitter was subjected to them hauling her purse off a load of laundry on the banquet, then hauling said purse into the kennel. I've held this woman's purse, its large and heavy! Both the sitter and I were concerned the little devils had gotten ahold of her iron pills. Fortunately when it was all said and done, it was expensive multi vitamins that will have to be replaced.
Hopefully they won't become ill from their adventures!
Yes I contacted a vet, fingers crossed!

One thing is certain, there's never a dull moment at the Raccoon Retreat Studio!

Small blue crab sepia, acrylic on canvas 8x8
Day 81 Of the 100 days-100 paintings 2018

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Small blue crab sepia IV

Another sunset falls here in India, while you are now near noon. We are having a restful time here, with long days of painting with food, family, and new grandson in between. Our days start about 8 with showers and breakfast on the second floor. We then try to help in the kitchen, being shooed away by our most gracious hostess. We barely even have to clear our plates from the table. After our morning meal, we may go for a walk or head to the studio on the third floor for me to paint in between helping with Neel. Chris reads the paper, then heads upstairs where I am.
We sent him to the grocery store today with the driver to get a few items for the evening meal. Lunch was typical indian fare, with lots of choices to be made. Chris will indeed be spoiled when we go home and there's only two choices for dinner, take it or leave it. After a rough night the night before, we both took advantage of afternoon nap time. I rested for a while, then headed back to the studio to paint and wait. Later in the evening,  Christina made minced chicken burgers with jalapeños,  quite tasty, but hot! She also made navy potatoes that took 1 1/2 hours in her toaster oven. You see, ovens are a luxury item here. They are too hot to be considered a necessity in this environment.  Bappa bought her a countertop oven for baking. Not the best for baking, but it will do! It heats up almost the entire floor , it would work really well in winter here !
After dinner at 830pm we had family come for a visit. We have been invited over to their home hopefully before we go to our own home in the US. Family cooed over the baby, and Christina whisked him away as he was asleep. She came back down with the monitor, but only had a brief time before she had to go back upstairs because the monitor quit working.
Such was today here in India hot, happy, and habitually relaxing. Home is one day closer, but it will be hard to leave here!

Small blue crab sepia IV, acrylic on canvas 8x8
Day 78 of the 100 days- 100 paintings 2018

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Blue crab small sepia III

Our day today was spent together as husband and wife. India is a very historical country and we took the time to see some of the sights today. We visited a tomb that was built in the 1700s.  The grounds are quite large with the tomb itself in the center.  It is surrounded by four pools with fountains in them. The pools themselves were filled from aqueducts that surround the area. It was probably quite beautiful in its day. Sadly though, a lot of the area is in the process of restoration.  This makes for pathways that are uneven and if you don't watch your step.... The tomb itself was an amazing piece of architecture with beautiful plastered ceilings etched in gorgeous designs. It is said they were painted as well, with lovely frescos that are now only a very distant memory. The exterior still shows signs of grandeur though with the tilework that is glorious to look at, if only at a distance .

We then went to Lodhi garden. This garden is an oasis in the middle of a concrete jungle. Tour buses aside, I was extremely grateful to have the driver from the house. He dropped us off at gate no. 1 and off we went in the India heat.

While I mention the heat, let me emphasize that the heat here is nothing you have ever experienced.  We thought because we were used to our southern exposure,  we would be able to handle the heat here. Not the case at all! If you come here, wear good quality walking shoes and bring your own water. Don't refill your bottle from public sources, buy bottled! I am not kidding,  this heat can melt your shoes and make you dripping wet with hardly any exertion. It's worth it though!

Back to Lodhi.......
The gardens are beautiful with restorations going on here as well. Apparently the Prime minister wants to preserve the beautiful history of India. These gardens have many historical buildings as well, one of then being where the Lodi is buried. The enameled blue glass is resplendent although a lot is missing. It is easy to see why it is called the glass temple. I can only imagine how glorious it was in its day. I am saddened though by the apparent lack of respect, (or lack of a sense of history) that the local college students have for this beautiful piece of architecture.  They were jumping up on crumbling walls, to take photos. This particular piece of history was over 500 years old! We continued our walk deep into the far reaches of the gardens until we reached the large lake at the rear. By then we were soaking wet with sweat and still had to walk back to the gate. We were offered chips by a vendor, but said no thank you. However, when he said coke, Chris could not resist. We turned around and coke was actually a mango drink. We said no coke? He shook his head. He then said I'll get coke and took off running.  Sure enough as we continued our walk, here he came with two cold cokes. We parted with our 150 rupies and thanked him very much. The people here are always eager to please, albeit a little pushy sometimes !

We the headed to the Indian center to take in some art. One gentleman was being successful,  having already sold three of his pieces. One of the shows we happened upon was a cultural show. Masks, paintings, and embroidered cloth were all on display for the public to enjoy.

We then made our way to the American diner. It is a restaurant offering American style food. ( minus the beef of course! Mutton is the meat of choice here) Chris ordered a plate that had several types of meat (mostly chicken), sausage (chicken)and a small piece of what looked like spam ( as a serving of pork). I ordered cajun chicken with alfredo spaghetti and mushrooms. I must admit, when the manager came by to ask how our meal was, I told her wonderful except when I ordered cajun, I expected spicier fare. She said she would tell the chef. All in all it was a delicious meal in air conditioned comfort, cokes with filtered water ice, and a brownie blast dessert sundae that we barely finished.

We then headed back to the house, for an afternoon of paint, finished off with tea at 5pm. A wonderful day had by us!
Small blue crab sepia III , acrylic on canvas 8x8
Day 79 of the 100 days- 100 paintings 2018

Monday, September 17, 2018

Small blue crab sepia II

The time here is almost going by too fast. While I have things to do, Chris is slightly bored. ( thank God for internet!) My mister is now having issues with indian food not agreeing with his tummy. I am doing great, though sometimes the spices get me too! There also seems to be a possibility of a cold hitting the Banerjee home. I'm glad I brought the zicam!

What price visiting grandson and grown children. The visit is going well, although I am not used to being a complete lady of leisure. Christinas Mother in law wants no help, although I did make fried chicken with macaroni and cheese, and green beans for one of our meals. Funny thing was Baba, finishing off the macaroni and cheese!

Neel and his parents are getting into a routine now, with him sleeping 4 hours at a stretch,  the parents are getting some rest at least. Problem is the prince wants to be up and awake in the wee hours of the morning!  Bappa goes back to work in the afternoon on Tuesday for the evening shift.  I'm sure he'll miss the family while at clinic. We'll miss Bappa too!

Big plans for tomorrow,  Chris and I are going to Lodi Garden, the American diner and looking at several art shows. The art shows each last one week and they have a 3 year waiting list! I got to see some incredible porcelain at the last one along with a wonderful photographer that was just 19 photographing in Nepal. New adventures, tastes, and sights!

Small blue crab sepia II, 8x8, acrylic on canvas
Day 78 of the 100 days- 100 paintings 2018

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Blue crab colored III

The day began with us walking around the block to see more of Delhi. I am amazed by the amount of people here in this city. Unfortunately some of them live on the streets and it's usually by choice.

Delhi is a vibrant, active, and wealthy city when compared to the outer villages. The people from the outer lying areas, come to the city in an effort to improve their lives. Some of them find work and are able to support themselves and some of their families needs. A lot of them just sit and wait in the heat, hoping to find temporary jobs. Those lucky enough to find work cannot afford housing and food,  so food wins. This means they find themselves in makeshift shelters, cobbled together with tarps, bricks, pieces of wood, and ropes to hold everything somewhat together. This also means street children tapping on your windows of the car,  hoping to sell you some trinket or maybe getting some money. It is hard for me not to empty my wallet in an effort to help them. I wonder if they get to keep the money they manage to scrounge up, or is it taken from them as quickly as it is procured. I also am concerned about the exploitation of the children, child trafficking is a problem here. I once saw a young girl,  maybe 8 or 9 seemingly in charge of her 3 younger siblings.

Do these children go to school at all?

Possibly a mission trip?
Distributing tarps and things they could use, or would it be sold to get money?
Questions for prayer time......

Meanwhile I paint, trying to get the images of dirty, seemingly helpless, homeless street children out of my head.

Blue crab colored III, Acrylic on canvas, 12 x12
Day 77 of the 100 days-100 paintings 2018
The photo is the home we are so grateful to stay in while we are here.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Blue crab colored II

Our day comes to a close here,  and the sun rises on another day at home. We have gotten into a bit of a routine at our place here. 

When a baby comes into the world, they have complete dependency upon the people that are a part of his family. It is not always just the parents. Sometimes it is a single mom or dad, sometimes a grandparent,  sometimes an adoptive family. Neel's first ten days here have been an eye opening experience for all his family involved.  We all have given a hand in one way or another. Sometimes holding him, changing him, or letting him just sleep in our arms. Laundry, meals, encouragement,  hands to hold, and support for the new parents. Neel is one lucky young man! His parents both already love him dearly,  as evidenced by the loving touches,  gentle words, and rocking arms calming a screaming baby. I am so impressed with both Bappa and Christina in the way they have both slipped so easily into parenthood. They are both tired, as newborn parents are, with multiple feedings turning into longer stretches of sleep for all. Still not long enough for parents,  but they will survive this first part of childhood. I am also impressed with Bappa, his loving care given to his wife and son makes this mother feel better about a daughter and grandchild living so far away. His parents are so happy as well, with Sumita over the moon, swaying and singing Bengali to Neel as he rests in her arms. This child will already be ahead of most,  speaking three languages while most of us only speak one! Such is life here in India, quiet and hopefully restful tonight for all!

Blue crab colored II, Acrylic on canvas, 12x12
Day 76 of the 100 days- 100 paintings 2018

Friday, September 14, 2018

Small Blue crab

Our day has been pretty neat! We got to go this morning to the local temple to watch the Durga Puja statues in progress.  What an amazing feat of engineering and artistry. The artisans come in from the Kolkata area to create these beautiful works of art and religion.  They actually bring a lot of the straw, clay, and molds to Delhi. They live on site in poor conditions, but could not be happier to show their works in progress. Photos to follow on facebook.

We also took a trip to modern bazzaar, a grocery store that was 2 floors now crammed into one! There must have been 20 people going about, serving samples,  stocking shelves, or cleaning up. There is even a meat market in the rear of the store. So many things available locally and internationally. No grits though!!!

Later in the day we went to the hospital to get our daughter checked out 9 days from delivery. She is most pleased she is at pre pregnancy weight already! Her body is also on the mend, it's tough giving birth!

We closed out the evening with natural ice cream. Fruit, sugar, milk that's all the ingredients.  I had coconut,  and Chris had pistachio.  The only bad thing with simple ingredients,  it melts extremely fast!

Meanwhile today I could not get to another colored crab, but I did make a smaller sepia one! These will end up as 8x8 canvases, once I convince the mister to make me some stretcher bars!

Small blue crab, 8x8, acrylic on canvas
Day 75 of the 100 days-100 paintings 2018

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Blue crab in color

This is the first of just 3 colored crabs. ( for some odd reason, I thought there would be four!  This painting is done with acrylic purchased here at a wonderful art store called Sitaram. It is three stories of art supplies and I was in heaven. One of the floors was nothing but stack after stack of handmade papers. If I were only doing collage or making books! The acrylic is my correct pigments and I am happy with the quality. The only ome giving me an issue is the burnt sienna. It is very transparent as it is PR101 instead of PBr7. Still non fugitive, just behaves differently. 

I managed to photograph some of the area around our block including one of the structures for Durga Puja. It is a festival of good triumphing over evil. I wish we could see the festival while here, but alas it does not begin until October.  There are also photos showing one of the vendors and a small sample of traffic. There is also an amazing tree with roots hanging down! Also a photo of The Dr Banerjee clinic which opened in 1978.

This is all for today folks, the heat is getting to me.

Blue crab colored, acrylic on canvas,  12x12
Day 74 of the 100 days -100 paintings 2018

Wednesday, September 12, 2018


Unreal India.

I shall get photos soon, but bear with me until I can.  The sights as a visual artist are almost overwhelming to me. There are so many colors in saris, fruits, vegetables, flowers, birds, houses and artworks. I never know what we will see next, the woman working in a sari, with a pad on her head,  she carefully places a tray on the pad, then proceeds to balance and place 12 bricks on the tray.  She then stands up,and gracefully walks the bricks into the building site.
In the 90 degree plus heat.
Wearing 15 meters of sari, a petticoat, a pad on her head, and a long braid down her back.
These women are strong, petite, lean, and beautiful. I admire them so much!

We ventured out using the driver thus evening for a bit of an outing.  Chris wanted a shirt from Fab India, so off we went at dusk. Little did we know a short time later the traffic would be ridiculous! We found ourselves in a Mexican standoff in India with nobody wanting to relent! I couldn't see the traffic light either. I know they're there!
Thank God for a good driver!

Whaaaat! Acrylic on canvas, 12x12
Day 73 of the 100 days- 100 paintings 2018

Tuesday, September 11, 2018


Painted several days ago on September 5th, nesting depicts a pair of ring necked parrots near their place of abode. There are several parrots living in the trees near the home we are staying at in New Delhi. One pair in particular nests within sight. They are a small bird, at least by parrot standards almost being able to be called parakeets.

This pair however was not in Delhi, but at the Taj Mahal in Agra. I took the photo on our anniversary December 28th 2015.
I have been keen to paint it ever since then. I thought the parrots would be appropriate for our new grandson's day of birth as they are from his home country. I plan to do for this grandchild a painting each year on his birthday. When he leaves home to have his own place, he will have a collection to decorate with. I gave our daughter the option of sepia or color and she chose sepia.

I guess I'll paint them again in color some day! They probably will also be on a grander scale as well.

Nesting, Acrylic on canvas 12x12
Day 72 of the 100 days- 100 paintings 2018

Monday, September 10, 2018

Lionfish from the deep

Today found us enjoying each other's company. From family and friends, love begins!  We are showing love here, or at least trying to show it. We are not allowed to pay for anything and to us it can be rather upsetting. We came here with money to spend, and yet we are not being allowed to use it. I am also at a wits end as far as helping to cook or clean. I am clueless about indian dishes, and there are many helpers that do the cleaning every day.

And so we walked in the indian heat around the block. There are at least 7 houses here that are in various stages of construction.  There is one that has a deep basement being started, or should I say rebuilt. Land here in Delhi is very expensive,  so when you want a better home, you start with what you have and add on . The one with the deep basement is basically being built all over again. That process that will take about a year or so. In the meantime while on our walk, we saw men with pads on their heads carrying baskets with rocks and sand to a cement mixer. The man running the machine was adding lime and water to make concrete.  Virtually every building here is concrete with walls about 2 feet thick! The thickness is for protection against the heat. It also makes for some pretty awesome storage cabinets. They combine large concrete blocks (no holes) with cement to create the buildings.

We also passed one of the local parks that are getting ready for a large festival throughout the city next month. Lots of metal scaffolding and even more bamboo. I can imagine after our daughters wedding here the thousands of yards of fabric they will be covered with! There are also thousand upon thousands of flowers. The massive staues they use are currently being made nearby at a temple. They are constructed by artists that come in from the outlying villages from straw and clay. Afterward they are elaborately painted to use in the festival. They are then put into the river where they simply dissolve. Our daughter picked a beautiful place to call home.

Why lionfish going down?  I hear tell that lionfish will cover a reef and the divers will gleefully catch them, both for the environment and the meat. I have yet to taste lionfish though myself. The problem with the divers clearing the reef?  The lionfish can go to depths of 2000 feet,  and after the divers leave they repopulate the area.

Lionfish going down, acrylic on canvas, 12x12
Day 71 of the 100 days-100 paintings 2018

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Lionfish on the menu?

Frustration seems to be the by word for today. I brought our laptop computer with me in a effort to make blogging easier. The computer won't hold a charge, the charger works when it wants to, and now it won't even turn on! In case you can't tell, I have a love hate relationship with technology. For me, I just want to turn it on and have it function properly.  When something goes non functioning, I want to lose my temper and pitch a small fit! I am much better with a brush than a computer!

Today has been cooler than normal and a slight breeze! Our daughter has a washer AND a dryer so it's laundry day. I quietly turned down the offer from the gentleman using scrub brushes and hand washing for our part of wash day. I am here in the studio at 10:20pm waiting for the dryer to at least partially dry my clothes. The laundry is on the 4th floor so it is a hike to get to the washing. I may lose weight, but the food here is helping me find it again I'm sure!

I am also happy to report my tummy seems to have settled at for now. Dinner was spaghetti and chicken soup made by Christina.  We also had a wonderful coconut and brown sugar sweet in the form of little balls of heaven.My only small complaint is they eat like Europeans, dinner was at 9:30.

Lionfish, acrylic on canvas, 12x12
Day 70 of the 100 days- 100 paintings 2018

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Again with octopus?

While here this week in India has been interesting indeed, a new wrinkle has been added with husband Christophers arrival last night. I have switched to a downstairs bedroom, and now we have a wet bath.

For those not familiar, a wet bath means there is no shower area per se. You need to squeegee the floor when you are done so you don't slip! Be mindful  of slipping as well, the floors are natural polished stone. Also, if you are not careful, everything else including your clothes, towel, and even your toilet paper can be soaked. The hot water heater must be turned on for about 10 minutes in order to have hot water for your shower. You must also be quick, the hot water is only about 5 gallons.  I have been caught with a head full of conditioner and no warm water to rinse it out.

I love it here! Family, friends, and new foods!

Again with Octopus ,
Acrylic on canvas, 12x12
Day 69 of the 100 days- 100 paintings 2018

Friday, September 7, 2018

Blue crab IV

Our day begins sunny and fair. By the afternoon we hearing the rumbles of a massive thunderstorm! Monsoon season in India, the trees are beautiful with fresh green leaves everywhere. Normally it is a dry and dusty place!
Perfect painting weather!

Blue crab IV, Acrylic on 12x12 canvas
Day 68 of the 100 days- 100 paintings 2018

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Blue crab III

Much as I hate to admit it, the indian food is being rejected by my body for the time being. Mind you, I am not terribly ill, just a bit queasy ( and a little uneasy as well) Today finds my beloved making his way towards family. He has boarded his first flight and is on the way to Houston. I have looked up his gate and terminal and texted it to him. He has no time hardly to get from first flight to his Munich flight.  I will be a bundle of nerves until he tells me he is in seat on the plane!

Todays offering is short and sweet!
But, I do have a question, I have one more sepia crab to do, then 4 more crabs drawn out. Colored crabs or Sepia crabs for a total of 8.

Blue crab III, Acrylic on canvas,  12x12
Day 67 of the 100 days-100 paintings 2018

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Blue crab II

My sleep situation was between nil and none last night. Concerned about home and other things, but more about that on another day!

Mornings here in New Delhi, India are a cacophony of sounds, sights,and smells. I listened this morning as this heavily populated city began to awaken from it's partial slumber. I say partial because this city is always awake in some way or another.

I have never seen what could be called minor amounts of traffic here. Two lanes of traffic become 4, with motorcycles and bicycles competing for the inches to spare. Any time the cars stop, bikes of all types push their way through the throng, hoping to get ahead of the pack. Speaking of stopping, when the cars do stop, all sorts of vendors selling various trinkets approach the cars. Along side of the vendors are the beggers, especially if they see someone that looks like a foreigner. Tapping on the windows, have been taught to ignore or look away, but sometimes I catch glimpses of them and it breaks my heart. Accidents are also frequent,  with many of the cars bearing scuffs, scrapes, and dents. The fender benders are usually not reported,  with drivers just stopping in the road to fuss at each other and then the horns from the stalled traffic start adding to the confusion. The horns,  my word the horns are of every pitch and varying degrees of loudness and length of beep. The traffic is not for the faint of heart, with cows walking down the road and pedestrians stepping off the curb at random points, putting their hand out as if to stop traffic. They also glare at the drivers, almost daring them to make contact with their bodies. Then the horns begin their symphony again. At least on my 4th trip to India, I am not trying to put my foot through the floor for a brake. I am becoming slightly more at ease with the traffic in our drivers capable hands.

The area of the city we are in is CR park. Each block of houses has it's own green space where people go to walk and exercise  before the heat of day becomes too unbearable. Each park also has cow gates to prevent the cows from making themselves at home on the grass. Each morning,  there are several calls from the street to come and see what wares the vendors have for sale. Each vendor has their own call so you know who is outside. Their calls almost are songlike and are very loud so they can be heard through the open windows hoping for a breeze. Need a broom? He has brooms, dust pans, straw whisks,  scrub brushes, and mops. There may have been buckets as well on his bicycle cart. Need vegetables?  They come as well, piled high, beautiful, and ripe. Need fruits? There is another vendor that provides for your table. Lastly but not the least, (and I'm sure there are more)is the man that calls for your garbage, the crows following him remind me of seagulls hollering mine! mine! I also spotted a craftsman with his canvas bag and wooden box carefully picking his way through the rubble in the street, headed for a house project. Speaking of house projects, there are 4 in this section alone, I saw an almost impossible sight. Two men, on two separate bikes carrying enormous amounts of rebar for building. The rebar is larger and thicker than ours and they bend it in half in order to strap it to their bikes. The bikes are carefully pushed through the narrow street, made even narrower by the cars parked in every direction.

The streets are so narrow and corners so blind that the cars and motorcycles  beep their horns to warn they are coming through. Add to this the noisy racket of birds, people talking, singing, and traffic from the main road, and you have mornings in New Delhi!

All this comes drifting through the window as I paint in Christinas makeshift studio on the third floor. Mornings are beautiful here,  especially during monsoon season.

Blue crab II, Acrylic on canvas, 12x12
Day 66 of the 100 days-100 paintings 2018

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Blue crab I

Today's post is a beginning of a series of crabs. These crabs are painted on flat canvases,  to make for easier transport to back home.
I once was at a show with my mom and she asked if I would ever get tired of painting them. My answer was a quick no, because they are always a crowd favorite.
I am also settling in here, the sights, the tastes, the sounds, and smells of India! This does not make me worry any less about home. Right now, the northern Gulf coast is under and hurricane watch and tropical storm warning. I am concerned about family and friends on our beautiful coast.
Go away Gordon!

Blue crab I, acrylic on canvas, 12x12
Day 65 of the 100 days-100 paintings 2018

Monday, September 3, 2018

A different view

Today's post is about the turtles.

We have all seen the havoc man's environment is having on the sea turtles. The red tide in the Gulf of Mexico is really bad this summer. It is to the point that humans are being affected with irritated eyes and breathing issues. Red tide shows up every year, but this outbreak seems to be one of the worst in a long while. Lots of sea turtles, dolphins, manatees, and fish are being affected, with too many deaths to mention.
Now I read about 300 olive ridley turtles being killed by an abandoned fishing net. This all is breaking my heart for the innocent creatures caught in mans destructive path.

A different view, acrylic on canvas 12x12
Day 64 of the 100 days- 100 paintings 2018

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Off we go!

Today has been a lovely day.
Lots of rain, good conversation, and of course painting!
Canvases are prepped that I bought the other day with white acrylic backgrounds. I have sketched of 6 of the 12 as well as the 7 pieces of flat canvas I brought with me from the United States. I have plenty of work ahead with crabs, turtles, octopus,and lionfish ready to accept paint. ( I hope I brought enough sepia and mediums!)
Off we go! Acrylic on canvas 12x12
Day 63 of the 100 days-100 paintings 2018

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Nursery bathroom

It has been a hectic few days since I have arrived in India. Needless to say, I have missed a few days of posting! Wednesday I was pretty much  out of pocket as I was in flight.  The trip to India took 27 hours total, between overlays and flights. I arrived near midnight Wednesday,  and pretty much went straight to bed. I don't sleep well on a plane, especially when I have "chatty" neighbors! I slept until almost noon on Thursday. 

I have been eating local foods and they have been delicious so far. The weather is warm, but everything  is so green now because it is rainy season.

Thursday evening, we went to an Art store that is three floors of wonderful things! I managed to find a good deal to add to the studio space here, for me to continue working on a painting a day. Acrylic paints in jars that were 765 rupees apiece, but were buy two get three free. I also managed to find 12x12 canvases made in house that were buy one get one at 450 rupees each, making them about $3.25 apiece. It's a good thing I'm taking back empty luggage that will soon be filled with art!

The pieces today are for the bathroom in our new grandchilds room. Christina and I arranged and rearranged the babies room until we think we have it the way she wants it to be. All the clothes I brought are washed  and put away in gorgeous built in cabinets. Almost time for baby to arrive!

Nursery bath works, 6x6 acrylic in canvaa
Days 59, 60, 61, and 62 of the
100 days-100 paintings 2018