Beyond Measure

Beyond Measure Travel Updates! Visit India's artists with me.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Curry, Canvas, Culture

Busy Bombay

I thought I would include a few non-art related pictures to share a bit of my every day life. The one above was a typical scene on a Bombay street, which honestly looks much more orderly then many of the streets in India.

I took this photo in Warangal a couple of days ago while I was leaving the vegetable market. This is one of the stands in a whole line of chicken shops along the road, semi-obviously, outside of a mosque. Many Hindus are vegetarian, and therefore do not eat or handle meat. So, this is naturally a great business opportunity for the Muslims, who although have specific rules about how animals are to be killed, are more than happy to do the job.

This "baba/swamy/holy guy" was walking around nearby a temple collecting money. Something is soo perfect about the whole look of this man. The colors of the robes and turban, the graying beard and the calmness in his face express a combo of the vibrancy and stillness that India so uniquely holds.

If it weren't for my semi-regular, involuntary bouts of intestinal flushing, I would no doubt be 25 lbs. heavier each time I returned from India. This is... "my lunch" photo, minus two items that were finished off already. I had some "channa masala" (chick peas), "mutton curry" (cute little goats), "rasam" (spicey broth), rice and curd (not soo creamy or sweet plain yogurt). Yep, thats a regular meal. And its also why I need to take a nap every afternoon to devote all my energy to digestion. Whew!!

And finally, the whole reason I am in India...the Artists. Here is a photo of a few of the artists I have been working with in Warangal. These gentlemen all belong to an "artists club" that meets regularly. They were all happy to share the load of work I have for them. They each took on one or two paintings and happily offered up more help from friends if I need more. We sat and talked for a while in Mr. Murthy's (pronounced, "murti")shop while they showed me their portfolios, discussed concepts, and talked about the changing face of art and technology. I'm really excited to work with these guys and I think they are excited as well. Not to worry, I am also working with two female artists in Warangal, but they aren't a part of "the club"...yet :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Moving South.

So much has happened since I last wrote. Shiva and I have moved from Nainital, a cool hill station in the North, to Bombay, Ellora, Shirdi, again to Bombay (Mumbai), Hyderabad, and now Warangal. I am happily back in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. This is the Telegu speaking state that I am so familiar with from my times here at the orphanage. I am staying with the people I fondly call my "Indian parents", because they have such a loving and nuturing nature it always feels like home around them. Here in Warangal the former capital of the area, I will have plenty of opportunity to work with sign painters. My hope is that I will stay here for at least a week and collect a lot of work. Then my plans are to move on to Kakinada, the city in which The Cancer Hospital, AIDS hospital and orphanage are near to.
It has been inspiring to visit some of the ancient places in India lately and look at the influences of the artwork from thousands of years ago. In these places, such as the Ellora caves, you can walk around, sit, and touch the same stones that were carved thousands of years ago. I felt amazed to be able to touch something so old and with so much history. You could really feel the time and energy that has been in these places for so long.

Detailed carvings from the Kailash temple at Ellora Caves

Afer visiting such spiritual and ancient places we headed off to Bombay (Mumbai) undoubtedly the Indian equivalent to New York City. Originally, I had thought of staying in Bombay to collect some pieces from the many talented Bollywood style artists. Unfortunatly, like NYC Bombay is intimidating, large, and exspensive. After spending a few days here I realized that I would need a few weeks and some assitance to accomplish everything here. After thinking about it, and talking with Shiva I decided that it would be best to move on to a smaller more managable place and save Bombay for another trip.
And sadly, Shiva is leaving for Europe this week to work and continue his world tour. I can't say enough how grateful I am for his help on my journey and project. He has selflessly given his time, assistance, and support for my cause and it has made things so much better for me. He has an exciting journey ahead of him and I am glad that he could have this time to share before he left. Thank you Shiva! You have given more than I could have asked for... India and I will miss you :)

Shiva with the Disco DJ in Nainital...what a pair!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Diamonds in the rough

I have discovered a great artist here in Rishikesh and I'm so happy to have his work. I have decided not to post any more pictures of the actual work I am collecting just to save it for the final product.
Today we traveled to a town about an hour from Rishikesh to Dehra Dun to meet a painter named Mr. M.S. Kumar. He has been painting since the 1940's and was an illustrator and designer with talent that has not been matched by anyone else I have seen in India. Because his business has moved more to digital printing, he has not painted in years, but he generously donated one of his older paintings to Beyond Measure. I felt honored to meet him and see his work. It was exceptional.

Mr. M.S. Kumarof Derha Dun