...in the interest of spreading joy and spreading the teachings of yoga, here it is, another little glimpse into the many ways that we can access union, connection and a deeper understanding of the humanity around us. I quickly learnt that the stories I'd imagined about many of these people were not even close to the truth, that their real lives were way more interesting than I could have guessed, and that it wasn't always appropriate for me to share in their experiences. This small project has given me a new perspective to creating portrait images of strangers, a chance to question more deeply what the art is trying to show. It offered a further glimpse into the culture around me, and an increased appetite for exploring the unknown while letting the moment lead the way.Read More
I like coming into the park and sitting with the elders as they practice their pranayama and morning prayers. The energy is quite potent, quite still in here. A certain type of quiet, even as the sounds of morning life still filter through the iron fence that circles the space.
I came upon these 'Everyday Yogis' quite accidentally while walking along a new route. They are an assorted group of people...Read More
"First, I was so dazzled and besotted by India... It's terribly easy to get used to someone else's poverty if you're living a middle-class life in it. But after a while, I saw it wasn't possible to accept it, and I also didn't want to."
-Ruth Prawer JhabvalaRead More
If you really love the elephants here in India, don't ride them. Don't chain them up and take selfies... instead get artistically inspired and join in with a global campaign that is raising awareness of elephant cruelty and working towards elephant conservation.
Elephant Family is a registered charity that is committed to delivering effective conservation projects, changing government and corporate policy and generating mass support for elephant protection. Here in Jaipur, we've been working with them on the global Travels to my Elephant art project, whereby the organisation commissioned 101 elephant sculptures to be painted by renowned artists around the world, using art to raise awareness of elephant corridors and the importance of protecting these environments that are the species' habitat.Read More
So most people know that India is home to an abundance of street-side entrepreneurs, road merchants, travelling salesmen and quick-thinking opportunists.
But still, there are some people that take that up to a whole new level.
Tattoos in the traffic, dentists in an open air office, taxes completed on the ground in the shade. The really crazy thing though is I'm starting to get so used to this way of life that I now often forget to take photos; forget to take a visual reminder of these situations that are such a novelty when compared with our structured way of thinking. Our habit of sticking to the rules. But sometimes I do remember to document this lifestyle, and so let me share a couple of insights with you here.Read More
The Art of the Line is another name for Indian Painting as the line work is the most essential characteristic of the art. It is a smooth, elegant, flowing line that becomes emotive as it takes on the characteristic of each form in the image. A balance of force and flow, applied with delicacy and deliberation. The most effective way of learning how to paint this way is to spend time with one who has already mastered the technique, and then do as they do in order to try and experience what they experience.Read More
The first secret of Indian Miniature Painting? A little of the magic comes directly from the rare gemstones and minerals that make up the paint in the image.
To fully appreciate this art-form, it is essential to understand the great care that goes into the preparation and creation of all components of the painting. Everything is sourced organically and made by hand, and each part of the process is of equal importance to the artist. Before any painting can commence, the rigorous and careful ritual of paint making must occur, and this is what we're looking at in some detail here.Read More
If you visit Jaipur you'll be sure to walk along Hawa Mahal Road; a bustling street in the Old City that connects the City Palace with the Palace of the Winds and that is located right next to the Johari Bazar, the heart of the local gold and gemstone markets. This area is a great way to explore architecture, collect souvenirs and experience market life, and as such it's a tourist hotspot that is home to many traders and quirky businesses that speak to the needs of India's many visitors.
One resourceful and innovative entrepreneur has spotted an opportunity within our collective obsession for photography, selfies and photo souvenirs, and has set up on the street with his grandfather's 150(+) year old Zeiss camera. Located just outside of shop 120, near the Jalebi Chowk gate of the City Palace, Mr Tikam Chand offers street photography with a 19th century twist, and will take your portrait with his traditional camera gear and develop the photograph right there on the pavement as he has done for a lifetime.Read More
Thanks to the reverence that Hindus place on these creatures, they live (almost) harmoniously alongside local people and all the other city wildlife -of which there is a lot! The people are wise to the monkeys' tricks and as such know how to operate in a way that allows the monkeys to do their thing with minimal disruption to the lives of the people.
And I find that pretty admirable; how the locals here are happy to let nature meet the urban landscape, and treat their animal friends as (almost) equals. It's pretty different to our western culture, where generally we feel the need to tame any creature that we interact with on a regular basis. Observing the city wildlife is a beautiful teaching in how to live among nature, rather than feeling the need to constantly be controiling everything, and everyone, around you.Read More
“Sita Ram’s Restaurant” -named specifically for this blog post as he’d never needed a name for it before, is situated just outside of the Udai Pol palace gate (near Jaleb Chowk) within the parking area and among some other chai and snack stands. There’s only one thing on the menu at this simple pop up food stop: Palek paratha and curry, served with red and green chilli chutneys and curd.Read More
Welcome to the beauty that is Jaipur City Palace, a place that I am lucky enough to call my 'office' for the next couple of months. I arrived back in the city in mid September, and will be here for most of Autumn studying once again with Sri Ramu Ramdev and his crew of royal artists, learning the secrets of Indian Miniature Painting.Read More
It was inevitable and it's happened and I'm back; back with the dust and the gold, the cracks and the masala, the ancient arts and the excessive selfies. Back navigating the chaos and reflecting on the teachings that it brings.Read More
"It's extremely liberating to live somewhere where its normal to be abnormal, where there's complete free-license to be yourself...
...Once again, that old truth comes up. That the teachings can come from anywhere, so long as we stay receptive to each experience."Read More
"Characterised by intricate and delicate brushwork, these small and colourful paintings contain a sense of grace that comes from years of practice and devotion to the art... the technique requires a certain stillness because the elegance of the final images comes from a deeply rooted elegance of character."Read More