Posts Tagged ‘art’

Nature Feature, Feb ’18: A wildlife art exhibition and competition, 280118 to 010218

February 2, 2018

I first met

Prasad Natarajan

in 2014, when we attended a wildlife volunteer training program together. Even then, in the beautiful environs of Kudremukh,Karnataka, I always found him with a sketchpad and a pencil in his hands.

Since then, his artwork, especially on the theme of wildlife, has become quite well known. He is not afraid of using the most difficult and unforgiving of art media, such as Indian ink (lampblack collected in a container and mixed with grease, and applied carefully to paper.) He is now an artist whose work finds homes across the world.

However, Prasad decided to step beyond displaying his own talent; in March 2017, he conceived the idea of mounting an exhibition and competion of wildlife art. In a city which has many wildlife events, including wildlife photography, this w the first such exhibition; indeed, it is probably the first such competition-cum-exhibition in the country. Artists from all over the country, and abroad, sent in their work to be exhibited. The event finally came to fruition and was held at the Venkatappa Art Gallery in Bangalore, from January 28th to February 2nd, 2018….almost a year of hard and unremitting work.

Mounting such an exhibition was not easy. Prasad first reached out to the fraternity of wildlife artists, asking if they would like to show their work. Several artists responded, and after he shortlisted the participants, sent him their pieces, which he stored in his own home, taking the utmost care of them. “The artists sent me their works in all kinds of frames and sizes,” he smiles reminiscently. “Transporting them to the gallery, and back, was one of the major logistics hurdles. We hired a mini truck for all non-glass-framed artwork, and a car for all pieces with frames. Most of the art works were taken back by the artists at the gallery, but the remaining pieces, which are from outside Bangalore, will be couriered back to the artists.”

Did he have anyone to help in all this? Prasad points gratefully to Sree Latha P., an artist whom he met at several art events. She volunteered to help, designing the brochure, and cheerfully working on the many details that cropped up. “Certainly,” he says, “Next year, I cannot increase her burden; I am going to need more volunteers to help me!”

23 artists participated, with Prasad curating the work to be displayed. In a show of solidarity, 18 of them were present at the show opening. Prasad named the event “Artists for Wildlife and Nature, Annual Wildlife Art Show” (AWN for short).

Here are the artists from Bangalore who participated:

artists group, 300118

He invited Hemlata Pradhan to judge the art and prizes were awarded as follows:

Artist of the Year Award Winner- Sweta Dilip Desai
Mammal Category Award Winner- Eric Ramanujam
Landscape Category Award Winner-Prabal Mallick
Avian Category Award Winner-Prahlad Hegde
Student Category Award Winner- Daksesh D Velu

The young students who participated were Daksesh D Velu, Neha Satish, Vidisha choudhary, Kuruganti Naga Priyanka and Gowri L Jadhav.

Here are some of the awardees:

prizewinners, Artists for Wildlife and Nature, 300118, Blr

Supporters included five-year-old artist Nisha!

nisha, 5 yrs, Art for Wildlife and Nature, 300118

The pictures displayed covered a remarkable variety of media used. A few sculptures by Eric Ramanujam were also part of the show.

Jainy Kuriakose, the Chief Guest (who is a superb photographer, and has travelled extensively to document the rarest of birds), gives away the prize to Sweta Desai:

jainy kuriakose and awardee sweta, art and wildlife for nature, 300118

Sweta, and her father, who are from Goa, as well as artists like Prahlad Hegde, wore delighted smiles at the exposure their art was getting, with over 600 people visiting the exhibition over the four days.

Prasad, having put together the show successfully, welcomed the gathering at the opening:

prasad natarajan, art and wildlife for nature, 300118

A large gathering of luminaries from both wildlife and art circles attended the event. Nearly Rs.55,000 was recorded in sales. For artists who are looking for their first commercial break, this was heartening indeed.

However, though the rates charged by Venkatappa Art Gallery are extremely reasonable, Prasad sounds a note of warning about the booking process. ” We officially booked the gallery two months before the show,”, he says. “But what I did not notice was that the dates need to be entered six months prior to the show in the gallery register. This was a pencil entry by the person in charge of the gallery. When I went to make the final arrangements, I found that the last date (2nd Feb) had been erased, and the gallery rented out to someone else.” Since even ink-entries might be erased by a whitener, it might be better to take a photo of the register entry on one’s mobile phone, and keep that as proof of the dates the gallery has been booked for.

To see images of and by the artists, and guests who visited the exhbition, you can see Prasad’s FaceBook album of the event,



Post-processing of digital images

July 29, 2017

Post-processing of photographic images: I’d divide this into two broad categories: image enhancement, and image manipulation.

The first is the tweaking of the image to better the colours, contrast, saturation, sharpness, and other effects. The second is the active addition or removal of elements/images to or from the original photograph. The end result obtained, and its success as an image, is, I find, very subjective.

In either category, unless there is a situation where post-processing is specifically forbidden, or the RAW file must be produced, it’s entirely up to the viewer’s sense of aesthetics to rate the photograph as visually appealling, or not. I find, increasingly, images being post-processed to the point where they are more digital paintings than photography.

But as I repeat…this is entirely in the eye of the beholder, and as long as there is no intent to wilfully deceive the viewer, the image enhancement or manipulation is fine. It’s only if those images (like the five-headed snake that’s been doing the rounds for years!) are created to make a false statement, that the word “photoshopped!” (with that exclamation mark at the end) takes on a perjorative meaning.

Here’s a very witty image shared by my friend Vikram Bellur about one of the effects of post-processing:

miracles 290717

However, I do like the fact that post-processing is now in the hands of each and every photographer, instead of some guy dipping film into a stale chemical mix at some photo lab, and delivering images that either look in the pink of health, or are depressed and blue! And if I choose not to post-process, that rests with me, too.

Children are art

October 1, 2014

Children are…A R T.




Are exhausting,
But an eternal delight.
The moments of sweetness
That they give…
Are usually unexpected;
The laughter bursts out of us suddenly,
Our hearts melt,
And love blooms a little more.
A pair of tiny feet
Extended to don tiny shoes;
A dishevelled, tired little girl,
Off the school bus, skipping and running
Ahead of you, towards her home,
So that she can pinch your slippers
And grin at you in innocent villainy.
The light in their eyes
That cereal does not create…
…Only lollipops do.
Sudden words (or sounds that resemble words)
Bring sudden blossoms of pure delight.
They make all the fuss
And the hard work worthwhile.
Children delight us
Because they are little parcels…of us.


Swinging (like a spider) through summer….

September 3, 2014

KTB explaining about the two Spidermen that she’s drawn:

I rigged up a swing with a lawn chair and some rope, and Derek helped with the knot.

What is summer in childhood without a swing on the tree?

A birthday card….STL, 310514

June 5, 2014

KTB drew these for her father’s birthday…

bday card 310514

KTB is on the right, in her “Elsa” dress (made for her birthday by her father’s mother), giving the card to her dad; her mother is between them. Her little brother is very little indeed, and her friends Ananya and Aditi are only slightly larger!

This one seems to have a lot of hearts in it, and a nice message!

bday card 2

Some photos of the family and by the family….

March 3, 2014

Here’s The Booda, all dressed even when there was nowhere to go…

a bda kurta


About this sketch, KTB said, “This is me sitting criss-cross applesauce, and Kalyan is sitting on my lap”.

a bdi sktch 130214

Pic: AM

One has to look carefully at this dark photograph to see KTB rapt in her very first visit to a theatre…

a boodi 190114 thtre

Pic: AM

Here’s the grandmother, doing some “down-to-earth” photography:

a dm 220214 ptnhli raji

Pic: RH

And here’s a cartoon of what I think my grandson *really* looks like:

a krishna pic2 210214

Pic and cartoon: DM

One of my favourite creations

August 21, 2013

This cartoon, which I drew when in college, proved to be so popular that I must have drawn dozens in the notebooks of my friends, teachers, and college mates…decided to draw one and send it as a greeting card to someone today.

DSC06365 dm baby 210813

I’ve done a lot of variations of this, only-nappy, no hair, no flowers, and so on….

I do love drawing, but don’t get around to it too much!

Paul Fernandes, and Old Bangalore

July 24, 2013

A set of beautiful posters, by

Paul Fernandes ,

click here to view

Origami in everyday life…

June 25, 2013

One tends to think of origami as a purely art form, for children to learn….and forget the fact that it’s very useful in daily life, too. You can take a piece of cardboard, shaped thus:


Fold it so:


Fold it further, so:


Add two handles, and hey presto, you can carry food in it!


I love Bengali “tonga”s, all folding food boxes, and some beautifully folded paper cups, too! Useful origami…

Audubon Society/Forest Park Forever 1st Saturday bird walk, 060413…and other things

April 6, 2013

I didn’t get the email informing me that the meeting point for today’s walk had been changed to

the Kennedy Forest area

from the usual

Visitor Center

Having waited for a long time, I went out for a bit on my own. The Park was getting very crowded, with a Boy Scout event; and having spotted a


brn swlw 050413 fp photo DSC03556.jpg


wd duck 050413 fp photo DSC03553.jpg

and an early-sunbathing


grn eard sldr 050413 fp photo DSC03552.jpg

I gave up and was walking back home. I was photographing various flowers blooming on the trees:

060413 fp flwring tree clsup photo DSC03581.jpg

flwring tree 060413 fp photo DSC03579.jpg

redbud? 050413 fp photo DSC03571.jpg

redbud bud? 050413 fp photo DSC03572.jpg

I clicked the



clover 050413 fp photo DSC03564.jpg

I also clicked this beautiful Star of David in a derelict building (that I pass every day on my walk!)

de baliviere window 060413 fp photo DSC03583.jpg

….when Ruth Hartsell called, and said she would walk back and meet me at the History Museum and take me to the Kennedy Forest area….which she did, very kindly!

We went past this tree of stainless steel:

art tree 060413 fp photo DSC03596.jpg

This piece of art (the cost of which, I cannot help thinking,would have planted several real trees!) is called The Placebo:

tree sign 060413 fp photo DSC03597.jpg

Can you imagine, it comes with its own steel mushrooms:

art tree mushrm 060413 fp photo DSC03598.jpg

Several kites were flying in the sky, and there was another ringbow around the sun:

kites closer 060413 fp photo DSC03595.jpg

kites ringbow 060413 fp photo DSC03594.jpg

Thanks to Ruth, I didn’t miss out on the outing, as I would have, otherwise. The group had, apparently, split up into two, and ofkose Murphy’s Law mandated that the other group saw the


that I’ve been wanting to see for the longest time! However, we did catch up with the group:

bding gp 060413 fp photo DSC03600.jpg

and saw a lot of interesting birds, including the


downy wdpkr 060413 fp photo DSC03612.jpg


titmouse 060413 fp photo DSC03625.jpg

The pathways in the Kennedy Forest area have some beautiful wooden bridges:

bridge 060413 fp photo DSC03622.jpg

As we finished our walk, Ruth identified this


for me.

violet 060413 fp photo DSC03635.jpg

This flower is supposed to be the epitome of shyness and modesty 🙂

I came home, and remembered to click these flowers at home:

lvndr? 060413 fp photo DSC03574.jpg

‘I don’t know if this is lavender,but it has a very heady scent.

I’d bought some early CHRYSANTHEMUMS from the store last week, when it was particularly gloomy:

small mums home 050413 photo DSC03573.jpg

For more photos of the outing,

click here for my FB album

The bird list is as follows. It doesn’t include the birds that the group saw before I joined them, or the birds that the other group saw.

Blackbird, Red-winged
Cardinal, Northern
Crow, American
Duck, Wood
Goldfinch, American
Goose, Canada
Hawk, Red-tailed
Hawk, Sharp-shinned
Jay, Blue
Junco, Dark-eyed
Kinglet, Crowned
Owl, Great Horned
Robin, American
Sapsucker, Yellow-bellied
Sparrow, Chipping
Sparrow, White-throated
Sparrow, Song
Swallow, Barn
Titmouse, Tufted
Wren, House
Woodpecker, Downy
Woodpecker, Hairy
Woodpecker, Red-headed

Ruth was then kind enough to drop me home as well, because I’d been walking continuously for more than four hours! I’m glad I have Ruth in my life, it would be much more boring if I was Ruthless!