Monday, December 31, 2012

A Blank Calendar!

31st December, 2012 @ 3.00pm... 9 hours away from 2013.

The question is how do you like welcoming the New Year?  With a bang, with a quiet moment, with a bow to the lord almighty Or just like any other day.  Let us share our stories. You never know what common threads we will find. Threads that will weave a fabric of vibrant dreams and aspirations.  

While I am thankful for a year that passed away with good health, happiness and yes amidst the happy endings, there were notes of melancholy and dispute. But then, "all's well that ends well."  While the world celebrates the New Year with everything loud, I like to welcome the New Year calmly and peacefully; for a song that starts with a silent note, most likely will end with a peaceful note too.  So this New Year's eve, like every year its not going to be partying loud, but staying home with friends and family, maybe a wine here or two, maybe a movie, maybe a few songs, but most of all its going to be about going down the memory lane, pulling each other's legs, and laughing it out and loud. 

A little unconventional, New Year to me also brings a lot of anxiousness. To me its a Blank Calendar. A calendar that I have no idea what's going to be written on.  But I do know, what I you choose to write in January will decide the tone of February and so forth. You're probably thinking I am a planning freak. To some extent, yes you are right. I do like to plan my life and things ahead, but only to eliminate the fear of unknown.  And when things don't go as planned, I admit, I can and do panic, but the planning freak in me always has a back up plan. LOL! I guess that's enough planning for now. 

Any New Year resolutions? Mine, Shhh.... its top secret, it's all about fitting into that favorite dress I got made on my 20th birthday. Dream on, you say. I know, its a far fetched dream, but this world lives on hope and I personally thrive on hope.  And I have do have a plan, follow the  6 ways to keep your New Year's Resolution from the trusted Forbes Magazine :-) 

At this very moment, I am just in a very happy state. As the crisp golden sunlight streams in through the window blinds onto my laptop screen, I am oblivious to the squeals and giggles of three kids playing in the background, shamelessly I pretend NOT to see my mom and sister-in-law winding up the kitchen  and  continue to squint my eyes and type away :-) God bless them for gifting me with these relaxing moments.  Its all about today, for I havent' seen tomorrow. Focus on the present of today, only then will the future come beautifully gift wrapped with a sparkling bow on the top. 

Scrapbook tacks and pearls bring it to life. 
Ending this post, with two different Imperfectly Perfect Creations: Cherry Blossoms symbolize the new.  This painting came out of nowhere again. All I knew was its going to be a red background. Its one of my favorites because it was a first for me to use the odds and ends to create this look. While the background is acrylic, the branches and flowers are a mix of beads, gel, scrapbook tacks and white pearls. 

Light a candle today and smile. 
Painted Candles: This holiday season was all about painted candles. Bored of using canvas as a surface, I wanted an alternative. And Pier 1 came to the rescue. I often go window shopping there and seeing the candles, I decided to buy just generic scented candles and started painting them. Gave them as gifts to all friends. 

I absolutely love candles; for a candle lit, can light a romance, a path or simply another candle. Either way it brings happiness. For more, visit my FB page at Imperfectly Perfect Creations FB page

This New Year's Eve, light a candle for some one you love, some you lost along the way, or maybe a friend you have been wanting to say hello to, but haven't said so yet.

2013; It's a blank calendar. Mark it carefully, and somewhere in between save a day for a coffee date with me. 


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Apocalypse moving into New Year.

It’s been almost a week since the much awaited doomsday. Yes, the human race prevailed. Many of us including me, have wondered, is the Mayan prediction really true? The earth shaking Tsunami to the devastating Sandy,  I have to be honest,  even if it was for a random fleeting moment, I did believe, that maybe just maybe there might be some merit to all these prophecies. They did build those pyramids with  no wireless communication, technology and no construction equipments, its reasonable to believe, that just maybe they knew what they were talking about.

From Nostradamus to Mayan, doomsday prophecies have intrigued and stimulated our imaginations and creativity. Isn’t it ironical, the man who strives and struggles everyday on ways to save planet earth, has an incessant appetite for “end of the world” stories. 

The question I ask is, can doomsday really be predicted? I think not.  You ask why, the answer is simple; for any prediction to come true, every future event, every cosmic movement, all planetary positions have to align as planned. A miniscule change in any, will have a dominoes effect on the subsequent events.  So no, doomsday cannot be predicted. For every future there are countless possibilities. And thank god, we haven't found the technology to do so. If we did, it would then, truly be judgement day. 

The lone tree that weathered the storm. 
I choose to believe this world will not end.  Yes like the dinosaurs, if we so choose to be the arrogant reigning kings of all things living, Mother Nature might be partial and by choice make us extinct, but our extinction will then give birth to a race mighter, brighter and smarter than us. 

Our earth will always thrive.

On this note, I am sharing this painting, its called “The Lone Tree that weathered the storm.” A rather long name I know, but its the only thing that comes to mind when I see it.  Just as with every forest fire, the seeds of pine pop open to replenish the forest floor, just as with every storm comes a beautiful rainbow,  2012, I hope will ring in a happier 2013 for all of us.

Wishing all of you a very happy holiday season.  The end of the year is a very special time, it’s the time that links all beautiful yesterdays with lovely dreams of tomorrow.  Make December 31st special, after all, we  continue to live through...   :-) ! 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Magic, Mystery, Myth Or ..... ?

A 10 year old someone is doubting his belief this year. Is Santa real, he asks me. Is planning a stake out on 24th night and wants to have a friend over too, so they can together catch Santa and ask him does he really stay on North Pole? How does he travel all over the world in 24 hours, because thats humanly impossible. I say, exactly the point. 

Santa sends them letters too!
I have kept the magic alive for the past ten years, Xmas letters go up on the tree, and then in the silence of the night,  tiny pointed ear creatures, creep through the doors, tippy toe to the xmas tree, climb up slowly and carry the weighted letter back to the big guy. The big guy, he who has a white beard, he who loves the milk and cookies, he who has his own star; The Polaris and is watching us all year long from the very far away North Pole and sends us a reply too. 

This year poses to be bit of a challenge. A 10 year old who is at the brink of disbelief and a four year old who is in awe of the christmas tree, adds new decoration every day and  squeals with joy every time some one says "its almost christmas."  

Four more days to Christmas and I have no plan on how to keep it alive. I think and think more and keep asking myself, who do we believe in; Santa, the gifts or parties. 

North Pole? Not quite, but pretty close :-)
Do you believe in Santa is a question I asked on my FB wall.  The responses were minimal and varied. Some kept it secret, some kept it diplomatic, one said "Santa is God,"  and some said they are their own Santa, not because they buy the gifts but because it motivates them to keep doing the good and reap the rewards of a satisfying and fulfilling life at the end of the day.  What does it mean for you? 

To me, Santa is magic. Its the magic of belief, its the magic that no matter how bad my day is, its going to all fall into place like an obvious puzzle before the sun rises again.   Yes, it is true that we have never seen Santa, but I love the fact that in the month of December, the spirit of Santa enters us. The spirit brings out the best in us. It teaches us to share, say hello to a stranger and give to the unknown; just because its christmas. 

Why do we wait till Christmas to be giving? 

A friend summed it up beautifully on my FB wall, 
she wrote "A physical Santa doesn’t exist, but a thought provoking transcendent Santa does. Sublime are the ways of the mind stimulating us to better ourselves with influences of the likes of Santa." 

Writing this post, has walked me through my thoughts and I have a simply silly plan. Crush ice, make snow and its going to go inside the fireplace.  For, if its not Santa, how else would there be snow in this town of moderate temperatures? 

Keep listening to the reindeer bell, for the bell keeps the magic in you alive. When the bell stops ringing, know you are now an adult; a grown up who believes in logic over magic. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Guns, then Roses.

Assuming one world, we are only moving back as a race. Why are guns so accessible? Many argue for safety. To me that's fuzzy thinking. Its insane!

I have never understood the gun law, and if yesterdays incident in Newtown, CT does not demand change,  what will?  A school is a child's alma matter. His second home, and if children are not safe there, where will they be? As a parent, when I drop off my child in the morning, I have a presumed reassurance, its his school, he is going to be safe there. What can go wrong, there are teachers, 700+ other students, his school is on a very busy street, what can possibly go wrong? Well, yesterdays all my fears became a reality. Murphy's law struck Sandy Hook Elementary in the most horrific way.

It is a loss not only to the victims and their families but also to us  a society. As humans we started as one race, a race that wandered in clans, fed each other, lived in harmony with nature using its abundance and cherished the abundance of the little that we had. 

Where were we and where have we come? Its a choice we have to make today. Should we choose to continue walking the path of today, know that guns will come and then will come roses, surrounding one of our kind; a daughter, a son, a mother, a father, could be you. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Woman Of Substance!

I am not sure why, but this holiday season she keeps coming to my mind. She was like the wind; not the harsh wind that blew things away. But the gentle one that knew how to slide under the wings and give everyone it touched a gentle lift, just enough to get them going again.  She was and is Jayne!

Always smiling, in the six odd years that I knew her, not once did I NOT see her smile. She smiled through it all; her chemotherapies, the x-rays, the lab tests, the doctor appointments, the last days when she knew she was fading away and yet her attitude of looking at the abundance of good never left her.  

I met her for the first time at the kindergarden introductory meetings. Her enthusiasm was infectious. It was almost viral. She taught me how to volunteer, how to look at the positive and not freak out at my son when he came with a B- or a C+ grade. I remember even today, we were sitting outside the first grade classroom, and she was picking on sweet peppers like they were candy and it was just two moms yakking away when I mentioned, wish my kid could read as fast as his friends. She looked at me straight in the eye and said, "do you know your kid is the only one who raises his hand and says, he did not understand?"  I am thinking that's bad, right..she says, why, he is only 6 he has his whole life to learn to read so fast that no one can understand what he is saying, but he has only a few years to ask questions, soon he'll be a man and expected to know it all.  I was zapped, what she told me was so true and yes, I did back off and surprisingly, the more I calmed down, the faster my kid learnt.  Even today, she keeps me in check. 

She moved on to the heavens four months ago to stupid cancer. I hate cancer. The void continues to be there. She touched every life with her amazing love of life. She was a fighter, a believer and above all a friend. I feel blessed to have known her.  

She was a daughter, a wife, a mother, a friend and above all, she IS a woman of substance

Sunset evolves into a peacock. 
When I started this painting, I was wanting to make a sunset, I don't know when and why the brushes started moving towards blues and greens. And before I knew it a peacock was taking shape. After the first coat, as I was putting it away to dry a little, I got an FB update from Jayne's page, stating she loved peacocks and wanted to be remembered by them. At that point, I knew this painting was for her.  She loved the vibrant colors and pride of the bird. Jayne personified peacocks.

Jayne's peacock
I feel blessed that I was able to make this for her and give it to her too.

I know you're smiling down on us this holiday season. The heaven's are never going to be the same. They are going to party like never before.  We all love you and miss you! 

Monday, November 26, 2012

O My God! Its all the same.

OMG! A phrase heard one too many a time our modern lives. It is interesting how many "astonishment phrases" are connected to God; Holy Cow!, Jesus Christ!, OMG!, Hey Bhagwan (OMG in Hindi), Thank God and so forth, and yet as a society we claim to be rational and logical.  

As humans we claim to be rational, logical and analytical. If that is true, then how and why do we believe in an invisible entity God? Why is it that different religions of the world worship him in different forms? And more importantly, why do we call those who choose to question his existence "an atheist." For isn't logical thinking at the core of human existence.  

What is your take on this? Is God there? What is religion? 

To me religion is an inspiration, its in a sense my back up support system. When all else fails, I fall back on religion.  Boring, yes, but it works for me. When things go wrong, I tell myself, its happening for a reason and all will be well again. This simple sentence helps me move forward and the process of moving forward kick starts the process of thinking logically and things start falling into place again. 

I was born and brought up in India. The land that cradled civilizations from far never heard lands, is today home to 330 Million gods. Do we know all of them? Absolutely not, We all have our favorites.  One god though stands apart.. Ganesha aka to the western world as "The Elephant God."

How he got his elephant head is a story for another time. But while painting this particular piece of art, I realized one thing, Ganesha is to the Indian mythology what Nutcracker is to this festive season.

The figurine of nutcracker comes in every possible size, color and act. Similarly, Ganesha has been depicted in every way.

This painting was an on demand project. I have never formally learned painting, but have always loved colors, the art of mixing them and creating something. One "just another day morning," a dear friend, brought a 17 opening frame to me and said, can you make seventeen different Ganesha's for me and gave me this frame. And that is how Imperfectly Perfect Creations was born.    

17 panel Ganesha frame. 

Details showing the use of micro beads. 
Each image is a hand made background. Some are store bought hand made papers from Paper Source  and some painted by yours truly.  I used acrylic paint and micro beads for embellishments and Swarovski crystals.

Are all these images figments of my imagination. Not really, the creative use of materials, yes, that is mine, but the images are a result of inspirations from seeing so many different images over the years.

Center Image: Copper Tooling, with 400 Swarovski Crystals. 

Having painted so many different images of Ganesha's and seeing the cross cultural mythological similarities, I am convinced; It's all the same. This realization was truly a OMG moment!

Do I have proof, no and I don't need it; because "faith begins where logic ends."

I hope you enjoy these paintings and if you would like to see more of my paintings, feel free to me at Imperfectly Perfect on FB!

Keep in touch. Its good to hear from you. Till next time, keep believing and moving forward

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Blog, O Blog!

Starting to design this blog is proving to be more complicated than I had envisioned. Agreed, nothing comes easy, but then when one sees everyone, and I mean literally anyone and everyone like myself wanting to have a blog, shouldn't it be easy. 

After all we live in an era of making things happen with a swipe of a finger, so why can't blog designing be that simple. Why isn't there an app that just designs it for me or at least takes the brain work out of it. Well, as much as I would like to have a genie who would design this for me. I thank Google for not making it so brainless. It requires some effort and lots of thought, only because unlike a business website, a blog reflects its owner. 

"For isn't a mother, but a reflection of her child."  She is and so is a blog. Its a reflection of its owner.  Having a blog besides being cool and all, is also a social responsibility. Its a responsibility to make it intellectually stimulating and thought provoking and smile worthy. 

Today, the wee end of Thanksgiving 2012,  it is a happy feeling to fulfill a promise made to self, the start of a blog; Imperfectly Perfect Creations... with Shilpa. 

Imperfectly Perfect, cos that's how my world is.  Every day starts of with a beautiful dawn, that gets engulfed sometimes by a dreary overcast sky or shines brighter to a scorching sun. Either way, the day ends beautifully to calm and breezy evening.  Imperfectly Perfect ending every day. 

Through this blog, I hope to share my art, and the story of its birth :)  Some where in between, I hope to hear from you, that which will make me and my art evolve to a better place. 

And with this, wish me luck so I can design and understand the world of tags and gadgets. 

Happy Blogging!