These are the paintings of my hometown of Amreli. This was the place where I was born and where I grew up. I have not visited Amreli for many years (couple of decades to be exact). My brother and sister now live in Mumbai and they often travel there with my Dad. We no longer own our childhood home. But, we have many relatives and friends who live there. My sister was in Amreli few months ago and sent me photos she had taken with her cell phone. I was amazed at how this place still looks the same. When we were growing up, not seeing any changes and growth was disappointing. And now it feels kind of comforting to know that it is not much affected by the twenty first century. As I painted these watercolors from my sister’s photos, it was like taking a walk down the memory lane. It took me back to the streets and my childhood home. I remember running bare feet on those streets and later on riding bicycles. Many streets did not even have names…
Lately I have been enjoying creating drybrush watercolor paintings. I find this technique suitable for some of my subjects. Like this house crow of Mumbai. You find crows everywhere in India. When I was a kid, crows seemed big and menacing. Welcome on certain occasions when we offered food to our ancestors. We would throw food on the roof and these creatures were certain to arrive in packs! We could hear their sharp claws and beaks on the roof. Crows were aggressive and uninvited guests when certain food items were left out to dry. And of course, you always find them around piles of garbage. Sometimes fighting with stray cats or dogs over dead rats. Their crowing was nuisance at the siesta time or in the early mornings. But, at other times, it was considered announcement for visitors!
This crow was outside the window of our kitchen in Mumbai. I saw it when I was in Mumbai visiting my family in 2012. I recently made this painting back in my studio. It is a 12×16 drybrush on Arches 300 lb CP watercolor paper. I paint drybrush over both rough and smooth surfaces- both produce different results.
My two drybrush watercolor paintings- “Dry” and “Driftwood” have been accepted into Visual Art Exchange‘s Pulp show. This juried show opens on Friday. Both paintings are large watercolors (full sheet). I have done many watercolors this year, but, no drybrush paintings. It may be time to do one…
Drybrush painting of dry brush! I picked up this branch at a playground. My son was playing with his friends and they were throwing it around. I brought it home and kept it in my studio for a long time. One day I picked a 22×30 full sheet of watercolor paper and started this still life painting. I worked on it for many days. At night I will set it up on my kitchen table and paint. I started this painting as kinda double portrait of tree branch and watering can. As I continued to paint, nothing changed with the still life. But, things happened that gave personal meaning to this painting. May be it is a portrait of one of the hottest summer. Or things that fail. You fail sometime and carry that burden with you. May be it is a self-portrait 2012…
Few months ago, Mica and I had visited Burleigh Plantation in Semora NC. I was fascinated by this place. Many photo and painting possibilities. Few days ago, I did a gouache painting of the plantation quilts on a line. I have entered that painting into Jerry’s Artarama‘s Turner Gouache contest and hope it will win! This is my second painting of the plantation. A drybrush watercolor. I was curious about history of old structures on the grounds there. And also the textures of things you find in such a place. Like this old door of a slave cabin. Many layers of history. Just like a drybrush painting. Layers upon layers. I have done drybrush paintings before, but, this is my most successful one. Andrew Wyeth’s drybrush watercolors have always inspired me. And after studying his work and more important, his painting philosophy, I am only just starting to learn this medium.
The beginning of this painting was not very exciting. I did the underdrawing and was not sure how to go from there. Worse, I accidentally dropped some paint on it while cleaning my palette (Sepia- no less!). The first layers looked terrible! But, painting is as much about preserving as it is about the techniques. So, I washed some of the layers off (it helped to paint on 300 lb paper). Once I started actual drybrushing, the painting unfolded like magic…
The original is available for purchase as are prints.
Airborne. A drybrush watercolor painting by Tesh Parekh. Tesh Parekh is a live wedding artist living in Raleigh NC. He is available for wedding painting commissions world-wide. Tesh accepts studio commissions for every kind.
I worked on this painting for a long time! This slow process is in contrast to my live wedding paintings which are executed in a single session. The subject of this painting is the old rocking chair which belonged to my father-in-law Col. James West Hadnot. This drybrush watercolor to me is like Jim’s portrait.
Jim was a World War II veteran. A fighter pilot. Always! And very proud of it. I have spent hours listening to his war stories. In the afternoons, he would sit outside his garage in the rocking chair. With a beer in his hand. Reflecting on the world around him. Many times, he would be surrounded by family and friends. It was fun listening to Jim! He was a master mechanic. Renowned for fixing anything from tiny toys to mighty airplanes. And airplanes were his life.
Jim passed away in 2007. He had lived a simple life. His passing away wasn’t as simple. Now, his rocking chair sits outside our garage. A daily reminder of Jim.
I painted this watercolor from life. I liked the light and the shadows. The eagle once used to hang on the wall outside Jim’s bedroom. I would setup in my driveway in the afternoon and paint for few minutes while the light lasted. I painted in layers. I started with the washes and then built up the painting with mostly drybrush watercolor.
“Waiting”. 8×10. Watercolor. Available for purchase via Safe Haven for Cats live auction. This is the painting I just did for the auction. I used my friend Courtney Banko’s beautiful image as a reference. Earlier I had done two more paintings from her images. Those were for the SPCA auction on Oct 4. I like the cat in the painting but what got me interested was also the texture of those wooden boards. I had a good time doing this painting. Here is the link to live auction info.:
I hope you will buy this painting and support Safe Haven for Cats.