Tuesday, December 31, 2013

An end is a beginning!

Hi Blog readers! It is that day of the year when all of us get geared to party and welcome the new year. I am reminiscing today as I leaf back month by month of my mind's year book. How was the year ? It was a year of love and a year of pain. It was also a year of decisions and responsibility. It was everything but a year of art  when it comes to painting and drawing. However, I did paint a few canvases and I did make a few sketches. I also put up my artwork in a restaurant in an upmarket place in Mumbai. I hopped into a few exhibitions too. The Flemish exhibition from Antwerp Museum was a real treat where they exhibited works of the great Van Dyke and Reubens. The India Art Festival was a proof of the ever growing number of Indian artists , big and small. Some learning that I did in the year:

1) The composition of an artwork is crucial in terms of how the outcome would be.

2) Next comes colour harmony. You might have got some great strokes but if you haven't worked out the colour theme well, the visual impact would be very feeble .

3)  An artist should stick to his or her forte in terms of style and themes. It is great for identity and sales.

4) Exhibitions are important not only for sales but for networking for the next level.

With that I end my post with best wishes for a New year 2014.
My blog has completed 5 years and it has been a wonderful journey. Thanks for all the encouragement!

Sunday, December 29, 2013


Oil on canvas with palette knives.
12x16 inch
Trust is the biggest asset and solidarity is the greatest temple.So many relationships have crumbled because of lack of these.People fail to remember that patience is a virtue that only the strong possess. But only the true survive the test.The fake ones show through the sieve of deceit and veneer.This is dedicated to truth!

Bandra Cottage

A sketch of a cottage in Bandra, Mumbai. Bandra is a posh suburb of Mumbai usually famous for pubs and shopping.But beyond that lie the beautiful sceneries of Bandra dotted with old Portuguese styled bungalows and churches.This is one of the many sketches that I did to  retain my memory of the wonder and glee that I experienced whenever I discovered a new bungalow or church.How long before they submit to the vagaries of civilisation and trade hands with multi-storeyed apartments? Will the balconies and fluttering curtains just be frozen in art and poetry?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Masquerade- Self Portrait

Oil on canvas with palette knives.
15 x 16 inches

What you see is not what it is but what is shown! We put on a masked appearance just to show the world how happy we are, how beautiful we look and how enjoyable our lives are! Who knows what lies beneath! What sorrows we hide and what fears we cover. He who can see behind my mask gets to know and understand the real me. The naked face is beautiful in its own ugliness. How long will I continue the masquerade? How long will I enact my role? Will I get to throw my mask away?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Tabla on the wall

This is a picture of my painting hanging on a wall in Australia. I do feel excited to see this framed so beautifully and occupying pride of place in someone's room. I think the brick wall just matches this artwork!

The tabla, a musical percussion instrument from India, has been an integral part of my life right since childhood. I started my Hindustaani classical vocal music lessons as a child and my guruji would play the tabla as I sang. Those days I used to just think of them as a means of boring accompaniment as I was too young to appreciate the beauty of classical music. Nevertheless they stayed on, even as I walked out of classical music, only to revive it years later. Now, I have a set of tablas in my living room and do I appreciate them!!!! I adore them and what they can do to uplift music! Am glad I immortalised their vivre in this painting!

My art is travelling places. High time the artist did too, what say?:)


Saturday, November 9, 2013


8x6 inch (approx.)
Oil on canvas with palette knives
This was done at a time when I was recuperating.I crave for a French holiday where I can sip coffee with crepes in a restaurant with greens , flowers and picket fences..and of course it has to have a nice canopy! Not much to do on a sunday after an insomniac saturday,the cheapest thing next to reality is creating my holiday on canvas! I knew art always took one places!

Friday, November 1, 2013

My email and fb hacked

Guys one of my emails and my fcaebook account have been hacked. please beware of ny emails coming from any id of mine.

Yours on Theirs!

Hi All! Happy Diwali and wish you lots of warmth and festive spirit!!! Am super excited...No I did not strike a lottery! Just that my artwork is up on my friend's beautiful home for Diwali!
When you are creating the artwork, you are only concerned about the details of perfecting the painting. After that comes the joy of gifting it or selling it to someone. My relationship with the painting usually ends there.

But the greatest delight and pride comes when you walk into a home which has your artwork hanging on the wall. A couple of months back, I walked into a young couple's house , only to be delighted to see one of my precious flower paintings hanging on top of a beautiful chest. The setting was perfect! I had gifted them this painting on an occasion. I cannot describe the feeling I had. I have so much artwork in my living room that there is a huge colour crash going on all the time and each one of them is always competing against the others to make a statement (tongue in cheek)!So none of them really stand out.

There are many other occasions where I have graced occasions  in friends' houses only to smugly admire my artwork displayed among other decor around their homes. It is a phenomenon called Artist's narcissism coined by your's truly!).
Another of my paintings on a friend's beautiful home below:

This is one of my most precious paintings , framed beautifully in blue by my friend to suit their decor:

Am now all energised for the Diwali!Off now for decorating the house and going out for some shopping!!!!Oh yes...don't miss out on some painting I may do, folks!!!!Who knows whose home it may land up in??

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Monet Magic

All my years of fascination with Monet's works are culminating in these copies or rather inspired works that am doing just to unwind and convalesce!Actually am quite thankful to my health for giving me this opportunity to enjoy and splatter paints to copy the great master's works. I have a small book of his paintings which I keep next to my heart and am freaking out on these now.This is the ultimate Wellness thingie!

One good thing about brushwork is that you use such less amount of paint!Hope to do a few more of these till am back on my feet. Also will give finishing touches once am perky.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Some Practice

What happens when the one who brandishes the knife goes under it? Well..he/she resorts to the brushes! Am having fun lazing at home with these brushes which I fished out from somewhere. The most amazing thing is the little amount of paint that you get around to using vis a vis the amounts you use while piling with the palette knife!

Brushing up

Oil on Canvas.
12 x 16 inch
This is a brushwork, inspired by a painting of Monet. Am recuperating at home and wanted to unwind with what else but art. However, am not yet fully charged to work on something original, so tried a little brush work to freshen my mind and Monet is always an inspiration for me!  

Saturday, September 21, 2013


Oil on canvas
12 x 16 inches

I was so enamoured by my previous painting that I decided to paint a similar one in the series.
Pain and suffering are part of life but so is healing. To every bad, there is a good.

Just for your interest, Asclepius is the God of medicine in ancient Greek mythology, just like Panacea( the previous one).

Friday, September 20, 2013


Oil On canvas with palette knives
12 x 16 inches

A deflection from my usuals,this! But truth be told. I must admit that it was not a planned event . What led to this artwork was sheer laziness mixed with a vengeance to paint at the same time.But in my mind I was looking for a cure to rid me of certain difficulties I was facing. Of course I demanded it from my art. When all else fails, art is always there to give me a solution. I was thinking of playing with some colours, though geometry isn't really my domain. But it was an enjoyable experience which kept me going at it till 3 AM! 

It is carnival time here in India, what with the Ganpati festival just over , only to give way to a host of others. It means festivities, get togethers, religious events, public events, friends, family and food! A labyrinth of colours is what you see in India at this time. But I have my own colours as each of us do. The world goes on. festivals come and go. Some things change some don't. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Tabla - Dha dhin na

16 x 20 inches
Oil on canvas with palette knives

As usual, am not sure if I am done with this or not.But at least I know that I have found some kind of closure through this painting, both in terms of this artwork and in terms of some other life decisions. I have gone through some ups and downs in recent times, which set me apart from art, only to make me seek the canvas back as the sole means of consort to end my troubles and make peace! What better way than this, which is a mix of art and music, my two soulmates!!

Tabla is an Indian percussion instrument used in Hindustani Classical Music.The smaller drum, with a conical shape towards the top is called the dayan. It is actually played at the right side and the round drum, which is called the bayan is played on the left side.Both the drums are earthen or made of steel or brass and covered with goatskin.Tablas are used as accompaniment with vocals and other musical instruments.

Am including here a tabla recital by Bhushan Parchure, a disciple of Ustaad Zakeer Husain ji. I have been lucky to have witnessed several performances by Bhushan and find his performance powerful and mesmerising!Hope you view it to have a full flavour of my painting.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zw_EXkwlHsI

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Tablas- WIP

A Work in Progress which is never progressing! These tablas have been on the canvas forever. They lay as a sketch for months. Then a bit of colour came on and again went into hibernation for months. I worked on them again two days back but have gone back into my busy schedule again.Will they ever get done? Who will solve the case of the half-done tablas?

Meanwhile, I have got sucked into the vortex of life. Art was a used to be and will be a wanna be for some time.If I ever get on with this and get some beats into my life, I am back or whoop..am off...Am fast joining the band of internet couch potatoes, who do nothing after a hard day's work but sit and browse!  

Sunday, July 14, 2013


Oil on Canvas with palette knives
3ft by 2 ft
I was on  a painting sabbatical or should I call it a hiatus? Actually no, I will choose to call it  hibernation. I went into a period of artistic sloth, which made me look disinterestedly at my paints and knives. I bought canvases and drew out images only to relocate them to a corner of the house.
This work of art kick started out of serendipity and again took its silent and discarded place on the easel for a long time. Meanwhile I did normal things like sleeping, lazing around and watching TV. But eventually paints beckoned. I have been slogging at this for the past two days and today I was down on the floor with this canvas, acrobatically trying to fill up all nooks and corners. Finally am done!!! Deja vu to most of you blog followers? The reds are back. The blues are back. So are the yellows.
Today has been a day of successes! A table tennis rally early in the morning followed by a lovely breakfast. A lunch out and then this! Serendipity indeed!
Meanwhile my show at Mia Cucina Restaurant in Hiranandani Powai is on. Do check out my artwork there if you can. Thanks and till the next post...Bye!:)

Sunday, June 2, 2013

My art display in Mia Cucina

Hi friends! Some of my artwork is on display in Mia Cucina restaurant in Hiranandani, Powai ( Mumbai) for a few weeks. If you are in a mood for some Italian food in a quiet, up market joint, please hop over to this place by the Powai lake. Of course in the course of eating, you will even see my paintings and who knows? You may want to buy some!!!:):) . 

Mia Cucina serves excellent Italian food, my favourites being the soups, pizzas and Americano coffee there. If not for the food, you must at least go there for the unique bottle art as I call it. The decor there comprises a curious collection of old and new bottles,cans and some bins and holders from a bygone era. The bar in the middle of the restaurant is very interesting. If you are a wine drinker, you must taste the sangria there!

Some pics of my art display there; 

and finally,Moi and Mia :):)

The event flashed in the local newspaper PowaiInfo http://powai.info/2013/06/03/powai-based-kasturi-borkotokis-art-display-at-mia-cucina-starting-june-3-2013/?fb_source=pubv1

Monday, May 27, 2013

My article in Planet Powai

My article was published in a newspaper called Planet Powai. Link is given below:


Saturday, May 18, 2013


Oil on canvas with palette knives
12x14 inches

Blur is the essence of life. Nothing is hundred percent.It's the reds, blues and pinks which make life. Between the blur are the bold spots that we need to create and sustain!  
The sunday morning is complete with this artwork! I have been collecting canvasses but haven't been able to paint as much. Life has been hectic and robotic.I spent the first part of the morning with this and now am bounding to tackle the chores for the day. 
I chose different colours today. Am trying to use less of the reds for a change these days. The heat is on outside and I thought I should combat it best with more of cool colours on my palette.

The raaga which comes to me today and which is my favourite is raaga yaman.
here's a fusion piece for you to enjoy!:

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Art and Commerce

I had once talked about the other side of art on this blog. The other side of art is in fact nothing but the commerce of art. There are days when the art of art has to take a backseat for the commerce of it.
As far as I am concerned, the commerce came naturally along with the art.
If I were to really put it in chronology, this was how it was and still is:

1) I was bored and dejected.
2) I felt like painting, so I painted.
3) As I painted, I blogged about it.
4) I felt good about my creations and gave a few away as gifts. My friends liked my paintings. So did some friends of theirs.
5) Some friends eventually  felt sorry for me and bought a few paintings which I gave away at pitiful prices.
6) I painted more and more and learnt so much that I seemed to have gotten better at it and people actually wanted them for a price.
7) I started selling at decent prices.
8) I painted a few orders.
9) I exhibited just because I felt that was the next logical thing to do, as my house was screaming colours from all nooks and corners.
10) Art was beginning to give me commerce.

Having said all this, I state that art and each artwork is sacred for me. I never had a push strategy for it. It was a pull thing that happened. I still paint because I love to and if anyone wants to pay me for its value, it's a great thing to happen. Else, I am not getting into a deal at all.

I slowly realised that the commerce of art was not very artful at all! When you got the value for an artwork you felt great, exhilarated and had enough money to buy supplies for the next two canvases!

Some down sides of art-commerce:

1) People say they desperately want a piece and then after you have gone ahead and framed it , they do not get back.

2) People comment on public threads that they want a particular artwork, but when you quote them the price, they disappear. This happened to me and at least two other artists I know.

3) I recently carried a painting with me when travelling to my home town as someone desperately wanted my artwork on his wall. I had to go through all kinds of manoeuvres to get the painting through security as there was some issue about carrying wooden frames in the aircraft. Anyway, after I reached my destination the person never responded, even after my messaging him repeatedly. I had to leave the painting back in my Mom's. It has been more than two weeks since I have come back but .....      

 These are some of the small issues that I have faced in my limited horizon. I say limited because I have not voluntarily ventured into the commercial side of art.

I think all artists would agree with me that art is sacred to them. They do not like to go into negotiations with people who do not understand the value of art.

To me each work is a value proposition. Respect, beauty and hardwork are packed into each piece.
However, I know that art and commerce shall never meet. They will always go parallel to each other!   

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Quiet white

Oil on canvas with palette knives
12 x 16 inches


This is done from a photograph clicked of a rural house in Maharashtra by a friend of mine.I took the whole afternoon to work on this and finally completed it. A lot of my precious titanium white has gone into this! 
House facades are so interesting! Who knows what lies behind the facade? What stories each member has to tell? Between the facade and the house is the home! I often wonder as I pass by huts and bungalows, ,about the people who inhabit the bungalows. Whatever be their stories, a facade always looks steadfast, serene and solid.Quiet!

This house looked particularly interesting as it boasts of a modern rural India. the dish antenna is a tell-tale!

Saturday, May 4, 2013


Oil on Canvas with palette knives
Small study

What better subject to pick on during the very famous,much awaited and much celebrated mango season! Mangoes of course! This small study is done in the Alla prima technique. I must admit that the mangoes that I painted as subjects were brighter in colour. I took darker values on my range. For special effects, I placed the mangoes on a purple background (took a risk with one of my branded tops and am yet to check if there are any stains ...but anything for art!!!).

These mangoes actually are for today's dessert . Paint them before eating them!!!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Window Sill

Oil on canvas A4 size
Window sills are so fascinating. I have this long window sill on the balcony, which used to flaunt potted plants for a long time. Then slowly as I got into this madness called painting, the pots started getting replaced by bottles with brushes and turpentine.It started adding on and on. Currently it has about four bottle holders with brushes and palette knives, kerosine bottles, different tubes of paints and rolls of toilet paper (which I use abundantly for wiping paints)! The window sill is not a thing of beauty anymore perhaps to 'normal' people, but am sure painters would eye it with interest. Oh yes! It is a mess, which is a given with art and paintings..I love it!!!!:)
This painting is an imaginative abstraction of a 'normal' window sill, quite unlike mine!:) This photo is really bad by the way and the painting looks a lot different:(


Oil on canvas with palette knives
12x 14 inches

I had had a hard day yesterday and by the time it was afternoon, I knew I had to spread colours to dissolve my anger. Barely did I reach home when I knifed into an empty canvas and completed it this morning at the cost of my morning exercises!
I added colours here and similarly added calories to myself!:) 




I made these two paintings for my sister. Of late , I have started using more subtle colours on my palette.Maybe it is a sign of aging ( Not the painting, but the artist :0 ). 

This year I haven't had a single plein air session. That has reduced the number of paintings automatically. I am now planning to start some still life works at home. Do watch this blog!:)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Parsi Balcony

Oil On canvas
12x14 inches
Inspired from a photo on my friend Adi's blog about books:
It was on a drive to Parsi Colony in Dadar , in Mumbai that I saw 5 gardens. The sheer beauty of the place and the lush greenery bowled me over. But what really took my attention were the lovely Parsi bungalows.I vowed to come back and paint. meanwhile my friend Adi did this article on Parsi Colony with these photographs(as shown on link) and I immediately sought his permission to paint one of the balconies.    

Addenda:: My friend Bipasha Bandopadhyay wrote this small poem after seeing this painting:

    My heart blushed to the rude blast of air, I was surprised as to how my saddened consciousness was so Unaware, 
    Full of great things the autumn Brings, I wish it was Autumn when we first met, because of the autumn leaves falling on us two brutalised souls would have been a nostalgia i would never Forget.
    I stood spellbound an ...onlooker, While you & Autumn romped Free .......

Sunday, March 3, 2013


Oil on canvas

Taking a break from painting flowers is difficult for me. Still, I did it.This is a long term painting. That means it was started long time back. But a lot of water has flown down the bridge since the day I started it. it was lying on the easel beckoning and tempting me everyday. Today, when it looked almost accusingly at me,  I picked up my equally sulking knives and completed it. I think Ella now looks happy. She has also got pride of place on my blog for the world to see!!! Who likes to sit and stay put on the easel when there's a place on the world's easel?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mine but not mine

Some of my art which now hangs on others' walls:( SOLD)


It's a mixed feeling to part with one's art. You know it's your baby but you also know that it's someone else's baby now. But it's a feeling of accomplishment at the end of it!

Suchitra Bhosle Workshop

Some months back I went for the second time to attend a portraiture workshop conducted by internationally reknowned artist Suchitra Bhosle. It was a very enriching experience and the learning was profound.

Suchitra teaches the Alla Prima technique.There are notes on my blog about this technique from my earlier workshop with her. 

Suchitra , most times is bounding with energy and passion and leaves no leaf unturned to make sure that each and every participant learns to the maximum possible extent. She works with quick swishes of her long brushes and tirelessly explains each and every stroke, every build up of the form with utmost clarity and scientific precision.  What is most unique about her, apart from her being a great teacher is her humility. She has this wonderful quality of connecting individually to each and everyone, including the live model (sensing what time he/she needed breaks). She has inspired me no end. She almost gives a corporate touch to painting, as she builds beautiful faces and figures from shapes and forms and uses business rhetoric to explain art! She is amazingly professional and crisp while teaching.

Below is my version of one of the live models. I used very dark values and strained my back trying to paint him and as I ended my painting I thought I had done a good job. Just then came his 8 year old son, who had come in at the end of the day and looked disdainfully at my work. I asked him if it resembled his father and his answer was a prompt "No". Well that explains!!!!! 

Some highlights of the workshop:

1) Great group. Some of us were repeaters from last year.

2) Easels crashing into each other. Mornings saw us rush in early to spread our easels as close to the model and artist as possible, only to find out later that the angle wasn't perfect.

3) The artist's mother, who had modeled herself for her daughter for a demo and who was the most amazing and positive person in the backdrop.

4) Interesting light and shadow arrangements.

5) Music, ambience & simple food.

6) An ending with a song sung by yours truly. 

7) Most important factor: Suchitra giving us points of development on works that we had done previously, which we had carried with us.

I recommend this workshop to all oil painters who are interested in portraiture. She is a wonderful and knowledgeable teacher and artist of course!


Oil on Canvas - A small study
Again? Yes again! Yet again I painted a flower bouquet. I have no clue myself why I just love doing flowers.Actually I do. I feel flowers are bold. They are symbols of power and strength. They are blatant expressions of beauty.Can you imagine what gumption it requires to flaunt oneself at the world and say "Come look at me in my splendour. Admire my beauty and take in energy"! 
Every time I do flowers, I know I will come back for more. I especially have a penchant for strong red flowers. I love to amass the colour on the canvas with full blown strokes.
Flowers: beauty, strength and grandeur! 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Profile Portrait

Oil on canvas with palette knives

Not my usual style, this. This painting is done for a new friend, who said "Please make me a painting to describe your version of me."  This is exactly how I envision my friend!A people person, love for cars and also an artist! Doesn't it sound like a facebook profile?:):). There are more personality traits packed in this painting of course but everything is not spelled out. Some things are discovered.

I love the word I created though- Profile Portrait. Seems apt and contemporary, on the lines of 'profile picture' in this social networking crazy era! 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Oil on Canvas
25 x 35 cms

I tried a different style here. I used the knives more like brushes here and spread the colours so that they blended into each other..I did this painting alongside my daughter and saw that she already had an assortment of mixed colours on her palette. I just knifed out those pinks and some blues out of her lots and gleefully used them on my canvas!! Of course I pretended not to notice when she looked at her palette and darted accusing glances at me.:) 

Fleur de lis

Fleur de lis-Small study (peace series)
Petalo - Small study (Peace series)
This is part of the Peace series. Wishing all my blog visitors a Happy New Year 2013. Hoping for Peace as this is what we need at this hour !