Sunday, July 26, 2009

Lake Isle of Kuttanad... Another painting is in progress..

Some people live in small island like pieces of land in Kuttanad, Kerala. It looks a serene setting to live in. Though I know that they have their own problems, that too, serious ones, it is apt for romanticizing. My next Kuttanad landscape is in the making. I have already done the background and the sky. Hope you like it.

Friday, July 24, 2009

To understand the value of time, you must read this...

Artist Robert Genn wrote this to me and I would like all of you to read this... and watch the video if your bandwidth allows..

Running out of time

July 24, 2009

Dear Biju,

Randy Pausch was a professor of computer science, human-computer interaction and design at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In September 2006 he learned he had pancreatic cancer. Feeling the need to spend as much time as possible with his family, Randy cleared his desk and moved his wife, Jai, and their three young children, Dylan, Logan and Chloe, to another state. Here, he rationalized, the children might be better able to receive the wisdom of their grandparents and begin a life without their dad.

A cheerful, optimistic and innately curious chap from the get-go, Randy seemed to accept his fate with more equanimity than his friends and colleagues gave him. As was the tradition with retiring faculty at CMU, he was asked to give a last lecture, a mixt of summing up and parting advice to any students or others who might be interested. Just as knowing when the date and time of the end of a vacation determines how one might take advantage of the last days, such a lecture might be particularly cogent. Four hundred people showed up. Videos were made. A book came out if it. Among other things, Randy gave some straightforward advice to anyone who might be running out of time.

Time must be explicitly managed, like money.
You can always change your plan, but only if you have one.
Break big tasks into small ones and put them on lists.
Ask yourself if you're spending time on the right stuff.
Develop a good filing system and stick with it.
Get yourself a speakerphone so your hands can stay busy.
Learn to delegate, and especially empower younger people.
Make occasional time for a genuine time out.

To those who heard Randy's reminders, and those who have read The Last Lecture in book form, it seems incredible that such straightforward suggestions can come from a terminally ill person. Running out of time, Randy's remaining days were joyful--not that he was going to receive some special dispensation, but he was empowered with the idea that people can be simple bridges to one another. Life itself will go on after we depart, and there will be others eager to keep the faith of trying to figure things out and pass on their findings. Our world is a moldable, improvable place.

Randy Pausch died on July 25, 2008. He was 47 years old.

Best regards,


PS: "Time is all you have. And you may find one day that you have less than you think." (Randy Pausch)

Esoterica: Randy was upbeat and witty during his lecture, alternating between wisecracks and insights on computer science and engineering education. After doing a few push-ups on stage, he gave advice on building multi-disciplinary collaborations, working in groups and interacting with others, and offered inspirational life lessons. Speakers who followed up were in tears. CMU will celebrate Pausch's impact on the world with a raised pedestrian bridge to connect the new Computer Science Building and the Center for the Arts, symbolizing the way Pausch linked disciplines.

Watch the Last Lecture

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Reflecting Kingfisher Painting Finished!!

Kerala painting

This painting is almost finished
Ref No: 49
Reflections of a Bird
27X13 inches
Acrylic on Canvas
For more information go to

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Art as spontaneous expression ? (Nonsense!)

Recently on TV I came across an event in which different poets were reciting their poems in memory of a bygone poet. As part of it there was a recital along with which was a live demonstration of Artist Namboothiri. Artist Namboothiri is a great artist with lot of original talent. He is, shall I say, a genius. He was apparently translating to canvas the poem that was being recited. But most probably he came with a plan and he was executing it. All this prompted me to think whether this impromptu thing was possible.

My thinking is that painting involves a lot of technique and planning. There are artists like Jackson Pollock who throw paint on canvas. I am not a great fan of such expressionists. I believe in the conscious use of principles and techniques. I think that is true about all artistic expressions including poetry.

Wordsworth talks about 'emotions recollected in tranquility', not emotion expressed as is.

I remember my literature classes nearly fifteen years ago. The famous Victorian poet Tennyson's most famous poem is 'In Memoriam'. It is an elegy on the death of his college friend, Arthur Henry Hallam. Hallem died in 1833. In Memoriam was published only 1850. It took 17 years for Tennyson to perfect his emotion in the form of an artistic expression. By that time what must have happened to the original emotion is anybody's guess. The poem is written in a metre that is quite rare, which is now called the In Memoriam metre. It is deftly managed. It is an entirely different thing from impromptu emotional response. Artistic expression is often premeditated, planned and involving technical skill, I think.