Monday, 18 May 2015

A little less wisdom

I had a quiet weekend indoors thanks to the fact that J needed to have two of his wisdom teeth extracted. He was advised not to drive after the procedure so I went along to bring him back. The Dentist's clinic is attached to his house. After a full day consulting outside he comes home and sees some patients at night. Since it wasn't a formal set-up I got to go all the way in and sit there on the side while the dentist got to work.

Compared to my own experience many years ago, this was a fairly quick and smooth extraction. Two wisdom teeth came out in just ten minutes. Barely enough time to do the sketch. No stitches needed and surprisingly no swelling either!

Monday, 4 May 2015

Three generations sketching together

My eleven-year old niece Anya is an aspiring artist and always has many colourful and interesting projects to show us each time we visit. For almost a year now, we've been planning and meaning to go out sketching together and it finally happened this Sunday. Along with my parents, this meant we were three generations sketching on location. Pretty cool!

Since the heat is unbearable we chose an indoor air-conditioned spot - House #22 Cafe is a restored old Portuguese style Bungalow near St. Thomas Mount. We started out being the only customers and grabbed a large table in the corner with a great view of the room and the garden outside. We ordered some food but it lay untouched as we all got straight into it. As you can see my mother didn't even bother sitting down!

Before we knew it a couple of hours had flown by. As we wrapped up Anya and I decided to sketch each other quickly. She did a pretty good one of me. Maybe she'll blog it...?

Wednesday, 15 April 2015


This sketch is technically only half finished, but given my recent track record I thought it would be better to share it as is, rather than wait to finish it at home, something that may never happen. More and more often, I find I don't have the patience to improve or "finish" a sketch once I leave the spot where I did it.

Last sunday I spent the morning at The Madras Boat Club. The early morning rowing members were long gone and the boats that had been used were lying overturned sunning themselves by the river-side. They looked like giant blue porpoises.

While I did this my mum sketched me! You can check out her sketch here!

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Surfs Up

Not many people know this but you can surf at the beach in Madras. Well, not technically Madras, but Kovalam. On proper surf boards with instructors to guide you and tell you about proper technique. Known as the Covelong Point Surfing School, its run by a vibrant new, young group of surfers with a strong connection to the local community at Kovalam.

Right now they just have a shade net propped up on a few poles but a new cafe with toilets and showers and a few rooms is getting built.

Many of my friends have made it a regular sunday outing and I finally went along the last couple of weeks. They surfed, I sketched.

Newcomers are given a tutorial and then made to go through all the motions on the board on land before venturing out. The location has a nice cove (hence the name) where the undertow we have along the rest of the coast is not as strong.

Its just the beginning of April and its blistering hot but there are dozens of surfers from various countries. Some staying at nearby hotels. There are regulars from the city and lots of locals. Young boys from the fishing community are the real pros. Its a real treat to just sit and watch them ride the waves.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Holiday in the Hills

Life and work has been pretty hectic. In the middle of all the madness it was really refreshing to take a much needed break and head out to the hills. We drove to Munnar which is a quiet sleepy town surrounded by vast tea estates. That's the view across the valley from our resort. Somehow the days were packed and hectic too but I managed to sketch early in the morning. I noticed that in some estates the tea bushes are planted along the contours while in others, like this one, the lines run perpendicular. Wonder why?

We only stayed two nights. This sketch was done early on the second morning. The path winding up to our cottage was really picturesque. Halfway up there was a little round viewing deck, although the real stunning view was towering over and behind it.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

The ensemble prepares

The shows at Jagriti start at 8pm each night and the actors go down to the theatre at 4 every day. First a line through, where people pair off and run their scenes. Paul alone has a deluge of monologues that he diligently goes through in his favourite chair.
After this a group warm up happens. The seven member cast form a circle and each day a different person leads the body warm up.

Today it was Paul's turn and the cyclical movement of the suryanamaskaram done in a circle was mesmerising to watch.
Next up is the voice warm up. Aparna lead the group in a new one that doubled up as a group massage.

Each actor by turn gets to lie in the centre while the other six give a synchronised massage while synchronising breath hand movement and voice. The massage looked amazing! I seriously considered abandoning the sketchbook to sneak in there somehow.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Jagriti Season 2014

For a second year in a row, Perch is at Jagriti's season. The second of five plays, we're here for two weeks. One week has flown past in all the frenzy and anxiousness of set up, lights, tech and getting an old play revived with some new actors in the cast. But with 4 shows and a rest day now under our belt, I finally pulled out my sketchbook.

One of the nicest things about performing at Jagriti is the studio apartment where the troupe stays. Its a large two storey apartment on the 7th and 8th floor with all the balconies overlooking the theatre. Today's show starts in 3 hours and the luxury of not having to commute but just take the lift down is indescribably amazing. Anyone who has ever been in Bangalore traffic will know what I mean.

6 more days and 7 more shows to go.