Together We Draw: Draw for a Cause

In the first lockdown in 2020 after the start of the covid pandemic, I was lucky to be invited to be a part of a group of artists friends, and together we designed a workshop spanning different topics from calligraphy, painting, photography, writing, etc for interested participants locked in their homes to learn something new. I was leading the writing workshop, and it was frankly the first time I had designed a workshop for writing and delivered it. The response was incredible.

About a year later, we are once again locked inside our houses. Nepal is facing unprecedented consequences from the pandemic. Sometimes it feels like we are in a sinking boat, and yet we must do everything we can to stay afloat. For many of us it means staying at home and being vigilant every time we head out. For others it’s being on the frontline so we can stay at home. As we stay home, maybe we can give back whatever little possible, to fill the holes in the boat so we may get through this together.

I am organizing Together We Draw, a basic digital art workshop on Autodesk Sketchbook. Sketchbook is a free app available on iOS, android, PC, and mac. Since I discovered Sketchbook a few years back, I have been teaching myself how to draw digitally. I am not an expert, and this workshop will cover some basics with the hope that it will give you something to look forward to, even if for an hour and a half. Great minds throughout history have turned to art to help get through difficult time periods. Art can help you cope a little better with the stressful situation looming around us.

All the proceeds from the nominal fee will be used to buy rice for frontline health workers through ‘Cooked Meal for Frontline Health-workers’ initiative organized by Sastodeal in partnership with Women for Human Rights (WHR) and Nepal Medical Association (NMA). You can learn more about the initiative here.

To register yourself, please click here for the form.

If you’re interested in learning something about digital art and in contributing to the cause, please consider being a part of this project. Please share it with your friends and family who might find it interesting and worthwhile. Currently, this workshop is only open to friends in Nepal as I do not have methods to collect funds from outside.

Hope things get better soon and together we heal.

Words and Lines Ep 3: My Neighbor’s Fluffy Tree

Words and Lines Ep 3: My Neighbor's Fluffy Tree Words and Lines

A Monologue about my neighbor's tree and nature. 

I walked up to the terrace to see my neighbor’s fluffy tree. To listen to the sound of the world around. While the machines are silent, there is still nature – the trees, the crows, and the laughter of the children.

My neighbor has a fluffy tree that feels like a big teddy bear or a furry cat or maybe a cotton candy. As the evening sun fades, the leaves sparkle, the wind blows and they rustle. Perhaps the tree has a thousand leaves on it or even more, and each one moves in it’s own way with the wind, but together they carry a rhythm of symmetry.

A little sparrow comes, resting it’s little feet for a fraction of a second, it flies off to the opposite direction.

There is a different kind of quiet here, a different kind of commotion, many of us indoors. A group of children come out in their garden, their laughter filling the air. One of them is wearing a pair of yellow shorts, another one has a bicycle, the rest I can’t remember. They laugh unaware of the thousands things in motion around them.

Two pigeons have now landed in front of me. Not too close, not too far. One of them bends it’s head side ways and looks at me. Maybe they are friends, maybe not. Their feathers are fluffy too, like my neighbor’s fluffy tree. They are walking slowly likely half aware of my gaze. If I should stand, they would fly.

The leaves on my neighbor’s fluffy tree moves, singing to the tune of the wind. I cannot tell why but looking at the tree makes me feel calm. There are many more trees around, but this one feels special.

I think the two pigeons are friends, or maybe they are strangers still who landed on the same terrace for the time.

They say nature will always be there. The mud beneath your feet, the sky above your head, the wind on your skin. That is where we always belong, for what is in her is in me.

Maybe nature will always be there, like my neighbor’s fluffy tree, I wonder what would it tell me.

It will be dark soon as the lights go and the dusk sweeps in making way for the night sky. A dog barks and the pigeons have flown away, the children continue to play.

My neighbor’s fluffy tree still stands. The wind playing with it’s leaves, some times slow some times fast telling of the passing time.

I walked up to the terrace to see my neighbor’s fluffy tree.

Art Quotes for a dash of inspiration: World Art Day

Thanks to the internet, I came to know that April 15 is World Art Day. We have a saying at our house – every day is some day, referring to the many celebratory or awareness days each date carries. Some days just pass by, without knowing if something was attributed for that date. Some days become extra special, like today when I came to know that it’s World Art Day. It perhaps has to do with the fact that I love making art. And different days would resonate to each of us differently.

A common day kind of brings us all together under the same skies, binding us together with some unspeakable magic. Maybe it’s reason enough to write a blog post. I’m sharing some quotes that serve as good reminder for the artist in me. Some of these quotes I’ve come across in books I read, some through the internet, some I’ve carried for years, some I’ve known for just a few hours.

The changing wisdom of successive generations discards ideas, questions facts, demolishes theories. But the artist appeals to that part of our being which is not dependent on wisdom; to that in us which is a gift and not an acquisition-and, therefore, more permanently enduring. ~ Joseph Conrad

This is one of the new ones that I came across. I was reading Heart of Darkness as a course requirement and as part of the literary analysis I was introduced to Conrad’s art philosophy. What particularly struck me was this phrase – to that in us which is a gift and not an acquisition, especially the word acquisition. Sometimes the pressure of creating art becomes like an acquisition, something I’m stuffing myself with, but like Conrad says, art isn’t just acquisition.

Read More »