Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Gondolier

 The Gondolier , Oil on canvas, 18 x 24"
©2010 Nayna Shriyan

Continuing my love affair with the  palette knifes I decided to work on another landscape, but this time I also wanted to experiment with some architecture in the painting. While I worked with palette knifes to render the slightly choppy look of the water, and the vibrant colours of the sky, I decided to work with brushes for the architectural details. The boats too I worked with brushes as I wanted to create a contrast in the textural treatment of the water and the boats.
  Although the gondolier himself occupies the foreground of the painting, the vibrant colours of the sky reflecting everywhere from the water to the buildings form the dominant element.
All of the people that have seen this painting seem to have their own favorite element, someone loved the sky, another person loved the realistic treatment of the water, while a third fell in love with the gondolier himself!! What do you think stands out most in the work?

Getting Boxed in !!

Recently a friend of mine wanted a special container to send a gift across, she had some specific dimensions in mind and I suggested an etched copper box made specifically for her requirements.She had seen some previous etched work and was quite excited about the matte effect created while the acid etching is taking place, so she agreed. While she was going to be creating the graphics for the same I was working on the metal work part of the project.
Design ideas for the box © Bhavana Sadhwani
She came up with quite a few designs, quite intricate, the final one that was chosen for its aesthetic value as well as for ease of etching.

The very first thing we did was to go hunting for suitable sheet of metal, this of course had to be copper, while we could have chosen brass, there is just something so irresistible about a sheet of copper with the warm reddish colour that we simply had to go with it.

We bought a sheet that was 20 gauge in thickness and cut it to the required size of 15 x 3 inches ( 4 panels ) for the sides of the boxes and 2 x 3.2 inches(4 panels) for the sides of the lid and one piece of 3.2  x 3.2 and 3 x 3 inches each.

The next step was transferring the design and applying the acid resist on to the positive areas of the design, leaving the negative areas to be etched by the acid.
After having protected the sides and the back of the panels, it was time for the acid to do its work.
Basically the reaction that happens is that the acid combines with the surface copper ( exposed area) to create copper nitrate,  turning the acid blue and releases hydrogen gas in the form of small bubbles that form on the surface of the copper piece.
© Pigeons of Vrindavan society

Here is the fun part of the process, I get to keep moving those bubbles away with the help of a crow's feather ( a pigeon feather works just as great !)

Once the panels of the box had been etched to a satisfactory level, it was time to solder them together 

©Nayna Shriyan Copper, acid etched.
 Once all the sides had been joined, the lid assembled, the need for a small ring to pull the lid out with ease became evident. Once this was added, the box was cleaned and buffed and voila! we had ourselves a pretty good gift box!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Pinch of succes !!

Call it the carrot at the end of the stick or the light at the end of the tunnel, but success is so important! Life coaches and other experts are always preaching that one should decide upon small goals and the feeling of elation at having accomplished them energizes us to carry forward.
     Recently I experienced this in a slightly different manner, I realized that another individual's success too can work that magic. I normally keep my studio closed on a Sunday, so that I can work on some of the other tasks like writing posts on this blog :), updating my website and my facebook fan page. By the end of it all, I was pretty much exhausted and in no mood to take care of my household responsibilities. I thought taking a break in front of the television set might help. As I was mindlessly surfing the channels I came upon the show 'Minute to win it' , there was this man trying to flip teaspoons into glasses and the prize money was $10,000 a huge sum !!
As he went about his attempts,( he had three life lines, which meant three tries and then he was out) , he lost one of those life lines but still went ahead with it, and then miraculously, he won ! he won that round of game and the $10,000 as well.
I had the strangest reaction!, I suddenly felt a small surge of energy to the extent that  I was suddenly up to taking care of my chores and even thought of putting down points for this post and managed to do it as well!
 So what changed during that television break;
  • Somebody else won the money, I did not
  • It was not like I had taken an energy supplement or even had a sip of water
and yet there I was ready to tackle a few more tasks at the end of a long day .This made me conclude that small doses of success are very essential, even if it means watching something positive or reading about someone else's success. What do you think, does it help if you heard about a friend finally accomplishing something or perhaps if someone commented on your work and saying a good thing about it. Perhaps something bigger works like being selected for a show or being given a chance to present an important presentation in you office. I would love to hear your opinions :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Studi(o)topia ! - A sneak peak into my world

I have a very happy announcement to make, one that I have been waiting to yell out from the roof tops !! I finally, have my very own studio !! Well to be honest not my first space, but this one has everything that I could have wished for in a studio space. It is only five minutes walking distance from my home, also it is large enough to afford me the luxury of having all of my tools and equipment, colours and machines within easy reach. It also allows me to leave out all of materials till I have finished a current project as opposed to packing things up immediately.
What is even more  exciting is that this space has room for my dear furnace as well ! Cant wait to start enameling ! My studio also comes as a happy new space for my students to go completely crazy with their creativity! They have been joining me in putting up a board outside announcing the studio's name.(We are still working on it)
One more exciting feature this place offers is that there is plenty of space for me to hold workshops and my regular art classes.

But I believe the best feature is what all you artists out there would appreciate, the ability to show your work to the world once you are good and ready with it , and not have people visiting your home ask questions about a particular piece that is not quite at a stage where you want to show it off. So what do you think is the best part of having a studio, the privacy, the peace or the space?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Reasons for blogging

My next assignment as part of my blog triage consists of writing the reasons for having this blog, When I sat down to jot down points for this one I started thinking about how I would like for my collectors to know about my process, and how I would like to put down information with regards to some of  the techniques I was using in creating my paintings and panels, the kind of information that can never really be put up on my website I realized that while all of this was true the main reason, for my blogging attempt was that I needed a kind of public diary. I have always felt the need for a sounding board, and I believe that blogging will eventually give me the kind of feedback and ideas that I am looking for. While there is nothing more satisfying than spending hours in the studio painting or creating and enameled piece, it does become pretty much a one man show! So I guess what I am trying to achieve with blogging is to find people (readers/ friends) who would be so kind as to let me hear their comments and opinions and become a part of my art.

My Ideal reader

With a title like ' My Ideal reader' everybody's probably wondering where I am going with this, but with a view to writing a more vibrant and interesting blog for both my readers as well as myself, I joined a four week Blog Triage with Cynthia Morris and Alyson Stanfield. My first assignment is to write about my ideal reader.
Well to be quite honest, it is a daunting task, one that requires me to really visualize people I have not  yet met !! Still here goes...When I think of my ideal reader, I imagine someone who may be of any age physically but is certainly someone who is young at heart. They may be a freelancer, or perhaps work at a job, but certainly someone who is passionate about their work, and love every minute of it. They love the outdoors, the beautiful forms and colours of nature.I would imagine they love to read and to explore and travel. But most of all they have an immense love for colour, in all its forms, be it art or their surroundings !
 My ideal reader is  certainly comfortable with the blog format, and is also someone who is vocal about their opinions and helps me out by commenting :D ( I guess I'm being a little selfish here !!)

Well I guess that about wraps up my visualization, but the fact is I appreciate all of you who do read my blog and would love to hear from you as I go about this Blog Triage, So what do you think of my first effort here? Do I go to the back of the class or perhaps I just scraped through....  :D

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Oil on canvas '15.5 x 10' inches
© 2010 Nayna Shriyan 

With this painting I have to confess I actually went into a fantasy mode!! I love looking at carpets of gulmohar flowers as they coat the roads each year, but unfortunately living in the city means the flowers coat the pockmarked ugly tar roads and never the lush greenery of the countryside ! I guess through this painting I am expressing some wishful thinking :)

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Flower that all this fuss is about !!
"15.5  x 10 " inches Oil on Canvas
© 2010 Nayna Shriyan

 This painting is in continuation with my gulmohar theme (The art of the gulmohar) With my copper enameled bowl, I stayed close to the actual flower, because it is just so pretty as it is, but with this I simply had to devote one painting to a single petal. I have always been fond of the petals of the gulmohar flowers.Not only are they shaped in the most amazing manner, what completely fascinates me is that any other flower petals that get separated actually look a bit lost without the others, but these beautiful things !
A single petal seems just as complete and as beautiful as the whole flower, many a times after a strong shower I have seen these torn petals carpet the dark roads and look absolutely radiant. It is this effect that I have tried to imitate here.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Inspiration for my next flower project !!

These beautiful white blossoms grace us with their presence every few days, and while on most days they simply end up being used in worship, today I could not resist the way the sunlight fell on the lone blossom and two buds. Whether I will use this in my next enameled bowl project I have no idea, but for now I had fun clicking the pic :) !!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

© 2010 Nayna Shriyan, copper , vitreous enamel
Copper bowls with crackle medium, not sure whether the crackle effect has come out like its supposed to but, I sure am loving it !! I think I may have over fired them, but would like to keep continuing to experiment.
© 2010 Nayna Shriyan copper, vitreous enamel

Sunday, September 19, 2010

© 2010 Nayna Shriyan  copper bowl, copper wire, and vitreous enamel  5"' x 5" x 1"
A while back I had written about wanting to work with the gulmohar flower as my inspiration, ( 'The art of the gulmohar flower' ) I have to confess  I have not posted my work with regards to the subject regulary :( but  I intend to change that by posting my first effort, an enameled bowl.
I kept this one simple by using mostly transparent enamels, layered to create the cool green leaves against the fiery orange red flowers, surrounded by the bright blue summer sky.

The copper wires really kept me on my toes, always threatening to fall off inside the kiln, but fortunately except for one or two mishaps I manged to get them to stay put !!
© 2010 Nayna Shriyan Oil on canvas with palette knives, 20' x 15.5'
I had been dying to try out palette knife painting since the longest of times ! Call me chicken but I was too scared to actually try it out. Then I saw a set of plastic palette knives at my favourite art supply store, and that did it. I simply had to buy a set, and ofcourse once I got the set in hand, I set about trying to create my very first pallete knife painting. 

This photograph of a view of the konkan region in Maharashtra during the monsoons with the most brightest and brilliant hues of colours imaginable seemed to be the perfect candidate.

    I am proud to say that apart from a fork all of the work done is entirely with the knife with no dependence ( sooo tempting when stuck !!! :D ) upon a brush !!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

©2010 Nayna Shriyan 

I had been meaning to do a still life for the longest time, but I guess I simply lacked the discipline to set up a some objects and actually sit down and paint! Well this time the group of objects that one of my student's put up for her still life was too much for me to resist!! I sat down and actually painted a still life for the first time in years. The one thing that I realized painting this piece was how much I loved good old fashioned styled painting , still lifes, landscapes, while I will never stop painting abstracts, I think thanks to my student's I have rediscovered my love of  stills and also realized the discipline it takes to simply sit down put everthing aside and paint ( Since she was going to dismantle everything in a short period of time! :(  )
It was a wonderful experience !!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Art promotion websites

        For quite a while now, I have been showcasing my work on online galleries, like,, , and so many others. While I think that these sites surely provide a great platform for artists to showcase their work, I am yet to see any real response from it.
       I have had some interaction with artists that I have met and that has been really interesting. I have had some interesting conversations with these artists, and have also heard of some great opportunities, form these fellow artists, but where actual sales figures are concerned, I have only had a few inquiries.
      I have been told and also many art marketing experts have said that it is quite important to drive traffic to these sites. I do agree to this logic, but my confussion is this: I have my own website to showcase my work,( and I am also working on a new site for specifically shwocasing my enamelled jewelry along with a blog for the same).
So now do I promote my own site or do I promote these other sites on which I have a page each?
I would love to hear opinions on this subject .

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Live enamelling demonstration on television

Yesterday I shot for my very first Television interview!! Wow never though I would be saying that sentence!! But I did and it was such a  thrilling experience. The lights, the cameras (yes they used two), the makeup, everything was so exciting. 
I was waiting for the crew to arrive, as they had planned the interview in my studio, (I work out of my home studio), silly old me was expecting two maybe three people, one person holding the mike and one to run the camera, and one to tell us all what to do,..., well it wasn't so!!

There were about fifteen people, yes that is how many , with tons of equipment, lights, cameras, tripods and a whole bunch of snaking wires running all over my studio. After the initial setup of the equipment, both mine and the television crew's the director the episode, began by asking me to walk him through the demonstration and how he intended to shoot the process.
Before I knew it , the whole process had started, the anchor started by asking a few questions about my art background, and the kind of work I did. Then I explained the materials, the metal , the colours, brushes etc, that I normally use.
Then we started with the demonstration and soon, I was demonstrating the piece being fired.(did not actually fire the piece, because as per the camera man, the red hot enameled piece would come out looking black.
Once the demonstration was finished, they shot some of my art work, my published work and they were out like a hurricane!! What a whirlwind affair.
 As the interview is yet to air, I will be posting once again with regards to the reactions I received.

The art of the gulmohar flower

Every summer, I wait for the first flowers of the gulmohar. The advent of the first splash of bright fiery orange colour brings a much needed relief fro the harsh sun and humidity of my city. The gulmohar flowers always fascinate me; they stand out among the green carpet of leaves, silently proclaiming their individuality.
      Throughout the year the tree of the gulmohar is either green or completely bare, giving the impression that its dead, gone and then come spring the leaves start sprouting out and then come may, the fiery red orange flowers come out in all their glory. The one thing that completely fascinates me about the flowers is that not only are they pretty as a whole, but even when, the flowers fall and actually fall apart, they still retain that beauty and that individuality, each little petal with that perfect shape, distinct colouring says 'I am different' . most flowers when they fall of the tree look so morose sad almost, but not the gulmohar flowers, each flower, each petal lies flat on the ground allowing its perfect shape to be seen and admired.
       I intend to work with the gulmohar flowers as my inspiration in a series of cloisonne enameled bowls, and will be recording my experiences with these amazing flowers. I will be using both the shape, the colour and of course experimenting with how much this spunky flowers colours can stand out among a variety of different colours and shapes. I will be posting updates and pics of my experiments here soon!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A amazing and informative evening spent at The Fushcia Futures Art Event.

I was lucky enough to win an invite to an exclusive event by The Fuschia Tree Online art gallery. This was an exclusive event organized to launch their ambitious Fuschia Futures program, held at the Trident Hotel Mumbai on the 12 th of March.
The event was also targeted at educating the collectors about the intricacies of collecting meaningful art, through the discussions of the eminent panel members. The panelists were from a diverse cross section of the art world. These included, Anders Petterson, Louisa Buck, Dr. Alka Pandey, Anupa Mehta and Arshiya Lokhandwala.
The event was moderated by Sharmishta Ray. Each an expert in their field.

        Being one of the few artists present in the audience, my perspective of the discussion held was perhaps a little different.A variety of topics were discussed ranging from how the value of a particular art work appreciates, to the role of art critics in educating not just the collectors but also the public in general.
The major topic that seemed to overlap all these other discussions was how the Indian Art market was different form the international or 'western' art market. One of the major point under this subject was the lack of good museum spaces and public institutions for showcasing contemporary art, most artists even most collectors in India  have to solely depend upon art gallery spaces for any kind of  interaction with contemporary art.
        While I found the entire evening riveting  and educational, the one or two subjects that were meant solely for the artists attention were, that as an artist we must try to build a long term relation with the gallery that we are dealing with, rather than just have a short term deal that may seem lucrative at the time, but would probably run out of steam rather quickly.
         Coming back to the stars of the show the artists that had been chosen through a rigorous procedure and then some extensive training withe the expert jury members. Their work was seriously thought provoking, the fact that artists at such an initial stage in their careers had developed such a deep style, surely had me going back to my drawing board :)!!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Going back to my oils and canvas.

As I sat in front of my canvas, I realised how much I had missed holding a brush in my hands having turned to enamelling and other pursuits.

I had this canvas all sketched out kept in a corner of my home where I also conduct classes. A student of mine saw this canvas and asked me as to how come, it had been lying there unpainted for such a long time. I said that I had forgotten all about, the one sentence that she said made me really think, all she said was, 'how could you forget it's right here in front of you'.
This really made me realize, how much I had been avoiding doing something I truly loved, making up excuses like I am too busy with real work, with freelance jobs, with orders and so on...
Now as I have taken up oils once more, I feel the calm and peace that I had always felt when I painted,and also realized how out of touch I was and needed to practice more, well guess I am going to have loads of fun doing that !!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I was looking for inspiration for a new series, when I saw some apples in wrapped in clear plastic, sort of got me thinking what if we too could be laminated! Not literally of course, but perhaps our thoughts, our ideas, visions.
Being a visual artist I guess I often see things in my mind like a film reel, unfortunately a very fast film reel, so many ideas zooming through like a highway.
It always makes me wonder, how to catch one of these ideas efficiently enough so that I could develop it further, don't get me wrong, I catch enough of them to do my work!
But it seems a lot of good ideas seem to shine like a flash and before you know it you are distracted by something else and the idea is gone. Often I am thinking about a painting idea or maybe a trying out a new technique or style of using my colors, some one talks or the phone rings and poof! its gone!
After getting distracted a few times like this I realized that I was going about it the wrong way, the only way to laminate ideas like these was to either write it down or sketch it out quickly.
Once I started sketching out this very idea I realized there was a lot to be said here but I am going to let my sketches and the final work do the talking here!!