Mumbai offers an incredible array of subjects to paint. Seascapes, cityscapes, figures and so on. In “Mumbai CST” I wanted to capture glorious architecture of the bustling train station. I plan to pain entire building one day. “Day Laborers of Mumbai” captures daily grind and reality of many in this hot and humid place. These are studio paintings. Imagine painting en plein air in Mumbai! It is on my list! Meanwhile, I am enjoying plein air painting season here in North Carolina. I was in Fuquay-Varina past weekend for the annual Paint-off. I will b in Southport, NC this weekend and will continue printouts for couple of more weeks.
I had done few Mumbai watercolor paintings back in 2012. I was there visiting my family. My watercolor setup is highly portable: I can paint almost anywhere! Of course, it was not easy painting in Mumbai. It was difficult to control the paint due to humidity. Back in my studio, it is relatively easier and I am able to paint on bigger scale. Here are two recent paintings of the Gateway Of India. The first one is full sheet and the second one is half sheet. The Gateway of India is a busy place! And it was HOT when I was there. Mumbai never slows down and only slightly cools down during the winter. Both the originals are sold but prints are available. I am working on more paintings of Mumbai. I have also done several paintings of my hometown of Amreli. I will be posting those next.
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.
Apollo Bunder, Mumbai on a hazy and hot later Sumer day. I saw this view on my recent trip to India. The islet is Middle Ground Coastal Battery. One of my many Mumbai paintings. I am working on some more paintings of South Mumbai. I love the old Victorian and English architecture of many of the buildings.
This is a familiar view from the Churchgate area of Mumbai. The Oval Maidan (ground) is popular for cricket and other sports. When I stopped by during my recent Mumbai trip, it was empty except for those birds! I like the English architecture of Bombay High Court and Rajabai Tower in the background. Business district of South Mumbai has many beautiful buildings. More watercolor paintings of Mumbai to come. My recent paintings will be on the display for sale at the upcoming Holiday Home & Gift Show in New Bern, NC. I will be selling my work at the show Nov 10-13 (Fri-Sun).
My latest watercolor paintings from recent trip to Mumbai. I was visiting my family for ten days. I went to Mumbai after nine long years! Much has changed there while some of the things have remained the same.
The travel was long! Almost twenty-four hours from my home in US to my family’s home in Mumbai. Each way. The North Carolina weather was pleasant when I left. Mumbai weather? Hot! And humid Even for the locals!
I sketched and painted almost everyday. I had to travel light so could only carry bare minimum supplies. Painting in humidity was a challenge. But, that is the fun of painting in watercolors. You learn something new with each painting. I may have learned a thing or two about myself during this trip.
Below paintings are from around my family’s home in suburb. I also took a commuter train ride to Mumbai city to collect references for bigger paintings. That was quite an adventure for me, since I am no longer used to Mumbai’s weather and commuter trains. But, I enjoyed it and I am glad I could bring home material I can use. Look out for those other paintings…