Thursday, March 26, 2009


Hmmmm... the question I am asking is this. Can a director save a movie if the screenplay is well, not great? Answer is,you guessed it, no!

That's what happened to Mongol. Looks like a well researched project. And thus there is no real build-up of the story, just told as is. Characters seem very two-dimensional and it almost has an anti-climax.

I have to admit that cinematography is superb. The beautiful landscapes are well captured. But for whatever reason overall a 'avoid it' movie.

Rating: 3/5


I am almost embarrassed to report that I watched this movie. Gosh! If you are older than 19, please do not watch this.

Full of icky jokes, total waste of time.

Hysterical Blindness

All I have to say is to avoid this movie. There was not a single thing that I could relate to :-( And the movie has sad end, double don't!

The movie is about women and their loneliness. Deb (Uma Thurman) is single and desperate. Her idea of a marriage and starting a family is too almost too good to be true. Then there is her mom who finally finds someone. But that special someone meets an unfortunate fate. And then finally there is Deb's friend, who is trying to have fun by hanging in bars. Bad idea for a mother of a 10 year old.

Rating: 2/5

PS: It's directed by Mira Nair.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

March is the national month for

I tried to find a comprehensive official list for what each month signifies but haven't found one yet. Here is something I stumbled upon on the web, not sure how authentic this is. Anyways, sharing as is -

March is the national month for several important causes.

Arts Awareness
Asian American Awareness
Crochet (Is it?)
Ethics Awareness
Hemophilia Awareness
International Listening Awareness
Mental Handicap Awareness
Mental Retardation Awareness
National Caffeine Awareness
National Crafts (Thanks to Joann's newsletter)
National Colorectal Cancer Awareness
National MS Education
National Peanut
Pollution Awareness
Nutrition Awareness
Parenting Awareness
Poison Awareness
Women's History (My local library told me first)

Counting in the Garden

I have this awesome book again but for a short period of time. I loved it the first time I saw and have fallen for it since. Rightly said in the introduction of the book that it's a feast for the eyes while learning a bit of counting. I agree with the first part but kind of disagree on the learning part.

It's a painting book through and through and so beautiful that it gets the reader distracted from the counting. The creatures to be counted are so colorful (imagine a dotted red turtle hiding in the bushes full of red flowers) that they are hard to distinguish for a toddler.

But for the mommy, the book is a godsend. I can go through the book over and over again without tiring myself.

A must have for any artsy mom or parent.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Street Corner in the Early Morning

Medium: Oil on canvas
Size: 36" x 24"
Category: Landscape reproduced
Brushes: Filbert 12, Flat 10, and White Sable 6
Other: Colormixing knife

I loved the various stages of transitions this very ambitious project has gone through. As you could tell from the earlier blog-entries, how procrastinated this self assignment got. Finally, when I finished it over the weekend, I could not stop wondering what kept me from this work for such long time.

Little history

I was cooking up this idea of paining a suburban street or a street corner for a long time when one day, some five years back I saw a picture of a narrow street of Rome in a book that I borrowed from Sunnyvale library. I instantly fell in love with that worn-out yet bright street houses. And I knew that I am going to reproduce that kind of scene in a sketch or a painting. Not immediately though because my graduate studies were too grueling to let me take any other assignment into hand.

Then after almost a year or so, I received a gift of a painting class from my HD. I thank him for this thoughtful class! In the class, I had to choose a subject for the painting and for me that was obvious! I showed my subject to my arts instructor and she agreed that it would make a great oil-painting project although she cautioned me that it would be a challenging assignment nonetheless so I picked a small canvas of the size of 8 x 10. For some reason, the paining didn't move beyond the initial drawing part. The canvas was lying around for almost a couple of years and later I painted some tulips on that canvas.

I nearly forgot about it until later that year I got a bigger canvas with no particular subject in mind. I started the search after running out of ideas for the suitable object to paint. I didn't want to pick anything too grand to handle for I was expecting our baby in the coming months.

There was nothing much appealing after tulips, hibiscus, and black-eyed-susans(yet to paint). So I hesitantly accepted a 'street view' (that would later become 'Street Corner in the Early Morning') suggested by HD. Hesitant because I wasn't too sure if I could create the color-composition this required. Plus, I had never made any architectural painting before. But there was something about it that I decided to work on it.

I drew the picture and started off but let's just say, life came in the way and I couldn't work on it. It was September of 2006. I revisited this a couple of more times since then but I finally tofinish it, I had to push everything aside. And then painted it last week. And to my surprise, I finished it in less than three days!

I jumped with joy when I looked at the finished piece. I finally, finished it. Yes, I did! I am just so happy that I don't really know what to do. I have one more project at hand but I want to let this happy-feeling sink in first.

Color Notes

I used most of the following hues for Spring
Reds using Cadmium Barium Red Light with yellow
Greens Sap was the only green in my box and played with it mixing in Burnt Umber & some white
Blues Pthalo Blue and French Ultramarine in different intensities


Similar work could be repeated for a different time of the day

Books References

Color Mixing Bible by Ian Sidaway

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Spring is almost here and tis the reason enough to bring it on my canvas. So here goes -

Size: 20 x 16
Medium: Oil on Canvas
Brushes: Filbert 12, Flat 10, and White Sable 6

I chose to stick to neutral tones of the cheery colors of the flowers for I wasn't sure how the color blast will affect the final outcome. And as the painting is finished I can safely say that I can be bolder next time I work on a similar theme.

At this time, I am just glad to be able to come back to painting and having to actually finish something with paint & brush! And in the retrospection, it wasn't so hard after all for this work that derived inspiration from Kim Parker's Garden of Love. All you need is the right theme, project depth and support of your toddler :-) There was a lot of pink (see notes below) that I planned to use and thankfully, it fitted into this theme very well. Some yellow-green, however didn't mesh well and I toned it down with pale sap green. I also made multiple shades of peach, mauve and crimson to satisfactory levels. I missed cerulean for some reason. I didn't know it's hard to make but then again, there is some substitute in the palette somewhere.

Color Notes

I used most of the following hues for Spring
Pinks using Alizarin Crimson in different tints by Titanium White
Mauves with Alizarin Crimson with Pthalo Blue and white
Greens Sap was the only green in my box and played with it mixing in Cadmium Yellow & white
Blues Pthalo Blue


Similar work could be repeated for a bigger canvas with some intense colors or to coordinate with the room and furniture.

I will look at the piece for the rest of the time and try to figure out what could have been done differently. I know there is a lot to be desired but hey, I need to give myself credit for stealing some me time when there was none!

Books References

Color Mixing Bible by Ian Sidaway

Unaddressed Questions

For the flowers does Permanent Rose give any better output? I also noticed a Magenta on the shelves, was wondering if that could be a choice instead of Perm Rose for Cherry Blossoms, my future project?

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Namesake

I loved the movie, mostly because there is so much that I can relate to. The end, however, is little sad. And I just don't like sad endings so, there.

The screenplay is amazing, the actors should not have had any trouble playing their characters.

Vogue International Winter Issue

I could not believe my local library is going to have this on their shelf. This is the first issue here.

The focus is on super-chunky yarns. I am relieved my recently knitted pieces are still in! *phew* But on the flop-side, I won't be making any of this soon for two reasons I just finished a lot of chunky yarn, one and two, Winter is almost over!

I think everyone can enjoy little bit of eyecandy. So sharing some pics.

Now I sit and wait for the next issue.

Match Point

I decided to watch this movie 'cuz of Scarlett Johansson thinking this movie must be about some predictable romance. But, was I in for a big surprise! It was nowhere close to what I thought. You have been warned this review has a spoiler!

Chris (Jonathan Mayers) is a Tennis coach who appears to be a underachiever in everything in life until he meets Chloe (Mortimer). They discuss marriage, get engaged and things start falling to his lap, thanks to her rich dad. He offers him a job in his company and promises the opportunities to rise. Chris takes it all. (A bollywood actor wouldn't do it ever :-P) Okay then comes the twist. Welcome Nola (Johansson) who is the fiancée of Tom, Chloe's brother. She is a struggling actress and is trying hard to make a mark of her own. She lets Chris know about her dysfunctional family and also accepts the offer of moral support when she is out for a big audition. The audition bombs but they seem to develop a bond.

Then things change. Chris gets married to Chloe and Tom dumps Nola for someone. And after a while Nola and Chris bump into each other. And then their romance starts. Chloe has a doubt that something is not quite right about her husband but she isn't sure. She is rather depressed why she couldn't get pregnant. In the meantime Nola gets pregnant with Chris's child.

What happens next is rather unexpected. I know, I said spoiler but I am not going to reveal the end :-)

I loved the movie. Excellent screenplay, sensible dialogs and a fitting cast.

Rating: 4.5/5

Monday, March 9, 2009

Blue & White Sweater - II

A picture is worth a thousand words. So here are some from my recent project.

This is the swatch from Vogue Stitchionary that I thought could become a point of start for a two-colored sweater

Or may be this one

So I tried both combinations in the colors I had
but neither seemed promising!

So, I decided to alter the approach altogether and considered the following for a possible restart point.
It has more than 4 colors but I modified it to only 2 for my project. And the result was quite neat!

I combined it with seed stitch
But it looked kinda rusty. But I didn't want to go back to stockinette or texture. That made me gravitate towards garter. Hmmmm....let me try it, I thought. And here is the final result!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Upcoming Project - Something Green

I am kind of unsure on what to pick for my next project. Initially I wanted a cardi, then a vest, and now I think I'd sit happily with just a plain pullover. One thing was clear right from the beginning that it has to have something to do with leaf, lace, or bud pattern. And that made me gravitate more towards the cardigan. May be a bolero, or cropped version of a longer cardi,who knows.

And now I am torn between saving or letting go of this yarn for its color. This love hate began recently. Springy, bright, cheery one day and ugh, kiddy, too-bright the other! I am not sure where to begin with!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Blue & White Sweater

I am glad I finished this sweater. I can't believe I did this despite the super-busy week!

Anyhoo.... I can't wait to go out to show this one off. And this time I didn't take any pics. No reason, really. So I will model for it and post pics.

"What art offers is space - a certain breathing room for the spirit." --John Updike

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Color Wheel

I got my very first color wheel. It's very basic and let's say, not what I was really looking for :-( So, I guess, I will read it a little bit before I get an improved one. It has the prim-colors, tint-tone-shade info and compliments. Not sure what will I do with this redundant information anyway.

Gracie, Billy Madison and The Gambler

Gracie, Billy Madison and The Gambler - what do all three have in common?

They are all those movies we watched over the last week. What a variety pack, I say!
Gracie is a football movie, Billy is silly and Gambler is, well, about gambling.

Rating: 3/5, 3/5, and 2.5/5