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 :)