Sunday, February 27, 2011

Photo of the Week–Awla in Bloom

Awla1Awla2Awla3Awla4Awla5Awla6

Photo Credit – Kadambini Panse

It looks like we’re going to have a really bumper crop of Awlas (Indian Gooseberry) this year.  The tree looks just beautiful. The Mango mohor is somewhat less than what it was last year; I’ll post those photos next week. We have lots of drumsticks, Ramphal and Tuti though. The new Coconut, Cashewnut, Grapefruit and Lychee trees are really shooting up.

I’ll add the feed this evening; we try to do that every Sunday. We’ve been making our own compost.  No inorganic fertilizers used.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Illustration–Wait A Minute

WaitaMinute

I was playing with water-color this morning and came up with this.  I think this could have been more loose.  Well, there’s always the next one for improvement.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sketchbook–Girl with Scarf

23 Feb 2011 - Bini6cI’ve been listening to a really interesting podcast discussion about the necessity of knowing how to draw. This is a topic that is nearly always guaranteed to get artists fired up.

One of the speakers said, “If you don’t know how to draw what is in front of you, how can you draw what is in your mind?”

True. What I find funny is the argument that it’s okay if artists can’t draw.  It’s possible to get along, I suppose, but why not learn? We create visual things,  after all, and the more adept we are at depicting these visuals the better.

Speaking of my own work, I think my lines have improved from what I was doing a couple of years back. I’ve been doing a lot of gesture drawing and life drawing, and that has helped.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Typography–Robert Frost

RobFrost

This was hand-drawn with a gel-pen and then digitalized. I’ve used the first one in a book cover design.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Writers’ Rights and the Disney Pitchkiaow Contest

Harlan Ellison venting his spleen

 

I came across this video way back and thought it was pretty amusing.

And it seems really apt today, because I just got an email about Disney India’s Pitchkiaow contest.  They are looking for ‘original’ story scripts.

It’s supposed to be an ‘amazing’ opportunity for us Indian writers – until you read the contest terms (PDF file), and particularly the  ‘11. Ownership/Rights’ section. 

This paragraph in particular is entrancing -

“Each entrant unconditionally assigns and transfers all ideas, concepts, copyrighted materials and trademarks contained in his/her/its Participation and any and all rights including without limitation “moral rights” in his/her/its Participation. Disney shall be entitled to make use of the Participation or any part thereof in such manner as it shall in its sole discretion think fit, including without limitation the right to make changes, alterations, substitutions and additions thereto, deletions therefrom and adaptations and rearrangements thereof and translations into any and all languages for any use, or not used at all. Disney shall also be entitled to use and exploit the Participation in whatever manner, media and format without incurring any liability to any entrant (including without limitation the requirement to pay any compensation in respect of any use or exploitation of the Participation) or making any acknowledgement of the Participation.”

So, unless I’ve got it wrong,  you give up ‘all rights’, including ‘moral rights’, for perpetuity by just participating in this fabulous contest.

They can take your story and use it, without compensating you in any way.

And even if you win, think about it, Rs. 50,000 (about $1162) is peanuts for conferring Disney with all the rights.

No respect for creative people, that’s what this amounts to.

And the sad part is they could have so easily turned this into a win-win opportunity for everyone involved.

Morals from this Story:

  • Don’t be swayed by a ‘Big Name’, unless that Big Name is willing to warm your bank account.
  • Don’t give up all rights, unless you are very adequately compensated.
  • Don’t enter such contests, unless you happen to have scant respect for both your creativity and your time.

Children’s Book Illustrations Section

19 March - ChildrenBookPage

We’ve added a Children’s Book Illustrations section to the Maysun In C website.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

How to Become an Artist

BecomeArtist

How To Become an Artist.  New article on Maysun In C.

Sometimes I like getting up on the soapbox. Besides it’s only advice I give myself all the time. I wouldn’t dream of dosing anyone with medicine I didn't personally take.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Illustration–Three Girls and Three Trees

11 Feb 2011 - ThreeGirlsB

I like trees. I really do.  I have a new Fig tree that I’m wondering where to plant.  There’s space between the two new Coconut trees in the front garden, and perhaps that will do. I figure, when they are all taller and productive, we can always climb the Fig to get to the Coconuts.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

WIFI– Ian Dunbar on TEDTalks

Ian Dunbar: Dog-friendly Dog Training

A very nice talk, with really sensible ideas on dog training. Respecting the dog as an individual is a good place to start. Very few of us would clamor to learn from someone who threatened and beat us, and it’s not on top of the dog’s list either.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Photo of the Week– Hibiscus

Hibiscus1

Photo: Kadambini Panse

6 Feb 2011 - Hibiscus2

6 Feb 2011 - Hibiscus3

These are really wonderful shrubs. They are pretty sturdy and tough, so there’s practically no maintenance apart from regular watering. They are in flower throughout the year, and the flowers are beautiful and  attract bees, butterflies and birds. The red hibiscus flowers can be used to prepare natural dyes, and are also added to hair oil for hair-strengthening, medicinal benefits.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Illustration–When I was a Monk

9 Jan 2011 - Bhikshuk2

Another illustration sketch from this series can be seen at OrangeMellon.

The story is about a boy who is ‘destined’ to be a monk and who is too intelligent and original to be so confined.

Religion has always been completely irrelevant and unimportant to me,  and I always find it curious as to what illogical lengths people allow it to interfere in their lives. Most of them never even seem to examine why they are following certain precepts and if there is actually any point. Things are done because they were ‘always done’ or because ‘it says so’, the ‘it’ here being the ‘good book’ of whatever denomination and never mind that most of these good books were written centuries ago for the kind of  life-styles that are, fortunately,  no longer relevant in the present age.

I’m not knocking some of the good points of religion, mind you – the philosophical, uplifting things that are spelled in a nice literary way and are  intended to make you a better human being – although, it should be borne in mind that these things only find fertile ground in people who would be nice and tolerable even if they weren’t religious.

For the rest, religion appears to be a nice excuse to exercise their meanness of spirit and smallness of mind.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Sketchbook–Boy Reading

4 Feb 2011 - BoyReadingB

This is from an ashram school I visited in Aine, a tribal area. I was there for two days and the school teachers were very inspiring and creative. The children have open air classes for most part, and they learn from their environment as much as from books. Some children bring their younger siblings along, since both their parents go to work in the fields.

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