Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Artist Profile: Suhita Shirodkar

Suhita Shirdokar spent her childhood drawing and chose to graduate in Graphic Design from New York's famous Pratt Institute to follow her passion. However, after years in advertising she realized that she'd moved far from doing what she loved best. A trip to Oaxaca, Mexico a few years ago inspired her to get back to sketching and there has been no looking back since.

I love how colourful, free flowing and ephemeral her paintings are. As she began sketching on a vacation, all her paintings are travel-inspired. Today, Suhita's is taking over SHP to take you on her travels around India. Travel with her watercolours to the ancient city of Tirunelveli in South India, then hike up to get a feel of the Goa of the Portuguese and then finally get a dose of spiritualism at Vanarasi. Take it away Suhita!

Tirunelveli, South India 

 The narrow street outside my in-laws home in Tirunelvelli, India. It's only this quiet on Sunday when all the shops are closed. I especially enjoyed capturing the 2 dogs peeking through the door. I bet atleast one of them is named Whitey!

 Kittu, the istri-wala has been in the neighborhood twice a week for atleast 15 years. With his crazily-heavy coal-filled iron, he is a fast disappearing breed. [Divya] This is my favorite image from the Tirunelveli series as I was hit by a wave of childhood memories of running to the istri-karan. 

Every little street in South India has a temple decorated with striped walls and colourfully painted gods, goddesses and demons.

Goa, Western India

Little chapel in Calangute, Goa. This lady and her child just stood around for a half hour, enjoying the cool evening breeze. A Vespa stood nearby.

3 hours from Goa, the Vidyadurg Fort near my parents mango farm in rural Maharashtra. My parents have an alphonso mango farm, with mangoes to die for.

Casa Fialho- We stayed at the house of our friend, Malcolm for the week in Goa. His front yard is a riot of color: lush tropical foliage, towering coconut palms. My kids played for hours in the red mud. (if you look really carefully, they're there among the riot of vegetation).

Varnasi, North India

Bright orange temple on the banks of the Ganges. I visited Varanasi a couple of days after a bomb blast had occurred, right at this spot. It was great to see the place crowded with people, not one of who seemed to be intimidated by what had occurred just 2 days before.   

My favorite sketch of this set. This one was a quick capture. I had just finished a longish sketch on the banks of the Ganges, and turned around to see the most beautiful light and reflections on the water. This piece best exemplifies my calligraphic and super-quick approach to my work. It took no longer than 15 minutes.

My favourite sketch of this set. The pujari waiting patiently for the lady to finish dressing before he continues a bunch of rituals performed prior to and after a dip in the Ganges. I loved capturing the warm morning light here.

I have it on first hand authority that Suhita completes her paintings extremely quickly, usually in under a few minutes. In Suhita's words, " I often have my 3 and 6 year old with me while I sketch, so I've adapted to working in the little windows of time I get before they're bored and want to move on! " She works exclusively on location and none of her paintings are ever re-touched again!

Suhita also paints lovely paintings of her current city San Francisco and other lovely locations from her travels.

To check them out visit her,
Flickr page
Blog: Sketch Away

And you can buy her paintings and prints at her Etsy store.

Thank you Sangita Ramachandran for introducing me to Suhita and her gorgeous paintings!

{Credit for all Images of Paintings Featured here go to Suhita Shirodkar}

Monday, May 30, 2011


My apologies for being AWOL for the last 10 days. I have been spending every spare minute with my family who is visiting from India. As I haven't seen them in 1.5 years, I hope 10 days is excusable :)

Now that the initial euphoria has burst, you will see Sound Horn Please back in action. Stay tuned this summer for some inspiring entrepreneurial journeys and gorgeous wares here at SHP.

I know, I have been remiss in the past few weeks in visiting many of your blogs. A huge THANK YOU for still visiting SHP and leaving your comments. I have definitely missed my daily source of inspiration from the blog world!

{Image credit SHP}

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Priyadharshini Karthik: Inspired by Yantra

Meet Priyadharshini Karthik, founder and creative genius behind Mystic, a collection of embroidery and applique work on cushion covers. Daughter of illustrious artist A.V. Ilango, she imbibed art while growing up.

She went onto graduate in fine arts, majoring in textile design. Priya combined her love for art and textiles to create Mystic. She was inspired by Yantra, which evolved from Tantrism. Yantra is represented as an interesting variety of diagrams : forms, tones and colours, graphic patterns and powerful symbols bearing unique personal and universal significance. Some of these mystical designs serve as ground plan for Indian temples.

Her Mystic collection goes much beyond just cushion covers, it is a work of art. Take a dekko!

Her Ardhanari line. Priya's elaboration on her sources of inspiration make an interesting read, do spend some time doing so.

Panchabhutas Line

Dasa Mahavidhyas Line

And my personal favourite, the line inspired by the gorgeous Meenakshi temple in Madurai.

To check out her other unique lines, with equally unique names, Shiva and Shakthi, Six Chakras, Five Elements and Halebidu please visit her Facebook page.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Wallpaper: Reborn in India

Wallpaper goes to India for their latest issue! Titled, 'Reborn in India' its a lovely juxtaposition of travel and design.

Take a peek at art collector Shalini Passi's New Delhi home...

Travel to Devi Ratn, Jaipur....

Look at how NID designers are reaching out to rural Tripura through bamboo-based designs...

 Gloat at a few of the innovative architectural designs, with interactive floor plans if I may add, that have been showcased... 
Right from a mosquito net house to a bamboo home!

Lastly, try your hand at a few Indian recipes that have been aesthetically styled...
Though, I'm quite disappointed that bright pink and yellow have been used to style the plating in all the photos. Given the high quality of the mag, I wish they hadn't succumbed to pigeon-holing India here.

{Image credit for all images to Wallpaper}

And before I sign off for the weekend, thank you Anjali for the link!

Have a great weekend! I'm spending it with my sister who is visiting from India- Happiness abounds!

Friday, May 6, 2011

India Inspired Pick of the Month: Vintage Indian Travel Posters

Hello peeps! Apologies for the radio silence. I'm finding it increasingly difficult to maintain a work-life balance. But SHP is my happy place, the one I come running to when I find some spare time. I've missed you guys! After having recharged my batteries with some wine and lots of sun from the west coast, I'm now back to blog with renewed spirit (wine also a spirit, which renewed my spirit.. get it? get it?)

I know I missed doing an 'India Inspired Pick  of the Month' for April, so I'll make up for it with two from the series this month. Told ya, renewed spirits and all that ;)

I discovered how much more of my beautiful country that I need discover, on a spring evening I spent browsing through vintage Indian travel posters. Most of these were designed either during the British era or as commissions by the Indian government between the 1940s and the 80s.

 Stunningly beautiful aren't they? The rich colours used here remind me of Eastman colour pictures.

Surprisingly, most of these were painted by non-Indian artists. And yet how vividly and beautifully have they captured India?

A Dal lake swim in Kashmir, Lama dancing in Darjeeling, Attending theater in Calcutta, Hiking in the Himalayas, Exploring in the Ellora caves, Ringing a temple bell in Kerala, Spinning a prayer wheel in Gaya, Tapping my feet to the drums in Puri- Done any of this? My score stands at zero :(

While I plot and plan to get my travel score up, I leave you now with the promise to come back with a Part two early next week. In my best Schwarzenegger voice, Hasta La Vista!

{Images via}