If a soothsayer had told me ten years ago that I’d be creating art from flowers and leaves, I’d have laughed. It was a serendipitous moment in January of 2015 when a bougainvillea flower stirred my creativity. In the spark of a moment I realised that I could bring together two distinct elements to create art. The bougainvillea flower eventually became the nose ring of a woman I was drawing. It was a very simple sketch and the effect the flower had on the drawing was astounding. There was a depth, novelty, and childish joy in creation. A new door opened for me that day.
From then on, every little leaf and twig from the garden became instruments of art; the leaf of Leea rubra as eyes of the Native American. The crepe jasmine leaf morphed into birds. A week-old gerbera flower transformed into the Veena. Coffee beans became the matted locks of Krishna. The possibilities seemed endless.
I was surprised and elated to see the work evolve. I called it "Garden Art" because it was born in the cradle of my garden.
The process of creation is a race against time. I am usually inspired by a flower, vegetable or a flower, sometimes by a leaf. I see an image that it can become and start to work on it. I forage and find elements to complete the picture. I carefully arrange them on the board to complete it. It's like finishing a puzzle. As I look back at some of my initial works, I realise that I did not create the art but the art created me. I am a mere tool in the hands of nature.
I don't have a specific count of how many art pieces I've created but I know that it is more than three hundred. Many papers and magazines have covered the work for its novelty. In 2018 I took up a challenge called #the100dayprojectchallenge conducted by a couple of enthusiastic art folks on Instagram. The project encourages you to improve and be persistent with whatever you are learning. I decided to create a hundred arts and put my heart and soul into it. I was happy I could complete it without taking a break. The video below is a collage of some of the art I did for the challenge.
I've exhibited my art work at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, Bangalore, organised by Chitra Kala Sangam (2017) and Akanksha (2018 and 2019)
Poetry is what I turn to when I need solace. I immerse myself in Tagore, Kabir, Mary Oliver, Frost, Keats, Wislawa Szymborska, E E Cummings, and Bharathiyar when I need to calm my mind. I started writing poetry as a teenager. After a
long hiatus, Twitter motivated me to restart. To craft a poem in one forty characters was challenging. This was my primary source of joy those days. Personally, it was also the toughest period in my life. I wrote a poem everyday to calm my mind. Eventually, I collected them all into a book and published "From the Anklets of a Homemaker" through Notion Press in 2013. I was thrilled when Keep Chennai Clean campaign painted some of my poetry on the walls of Horticulture society, Chennai.
The garden that began as a tender thing has now morphed into a mini forest with an ecosystem of its own. Two small lily ponds quench the thirst of birds. A small water bath attracts passerine birds to bathe and cool their feathers. Bees, wasps
and butterflies have a field time. I have learnt to grow seasonal vegetables and flowers. I spend time listening to them and
they hear to my thoughts too I am sure. This website is where I chronicle my art and notes on everything that I see in the garden. I hope it brings joy and is useful for someone who comes here is search of information or solace in nature.