Friday, November 16, 2012

GreenScraps @ Puttenahalli lake

The UN’s convention on biodiversity, the 11th Conference of the Parties, was held in Hyderabad from October 8 - 19, 2012. As a curtain raiser for the big event, a series of awareness programmes on 'Urban Biodiversity' were organised in Bangalore, by ATREE (Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment), INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage), Citizen Matters and Red Frames, from 4th - 7th October.

We at GreenScraps, were honoured to conduct a nature journaling workshop, as one of the preceding events to the conference. On a Sunday morning, 7th October, a bunch of us gathered at the Puttenhalli lake at JP nagar. After a brief introduction about ATREE by Harini Nagendra and INTACH by Aravind, the doodling took over. As we were at a lake, the day was about the lake ecology. Sketchbooks and pencils in hand, we observed the lake, the plants and the birdlife. With a few initial activities to start with, we sketched leaves and seedpods... further on, to weeds that were threatening the life of the lake. 

We stood facing the lake and all we could see was a carpet of green... the lake was infested with the overgrown giant Salvinea (Salvinia molesta). An aquatic fern that it is, shares an interesting story of its own.We got a few of these free-floating fronds to observe up-close and sketch. As pretty as it might be, for its uncontrolled growth, its banned as a weed.... a threat to any lake ecosystem. The rooted emergent, Alligator weed (Alternanthera philoxeroides), formed a dense interwoven mat around the Salvinia, enacting another role of a characteristic weed.  Even these we observed, sketched and recorded. There were many other weeds all around, hindering the healthy existence of the lake and its inhabitants. All this because of the nutrient rich water. And the reason for this eutrophic condition in such lakes, are all human caused - the untreated, unchecked sewage and wastes that are allowed to flow in !  

As we walked along the fenced, concrete path of the lake, we tried to take note and sketch anything that caught our attention. It was almost 11 and the sun was high up, but before we wound up for the day, we tried our hand with sketching the trickiest of all - birds - the purple moorhens that were trotting along the thick carpet of weeds. 

Finally, to mark the end, Usha Rajagopalan made a brief mention about the  concerns and efforts of the PNLIT (Puttenahalli Neighbourhood Lake Improvement Trust) team, to restore and save the lake. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Greeeenn overload - Kudremukh !

A quick doodle of the kudremukh scape from my photograph
The monsoon green - so rejuvenating, so crisp! The lush green grasslands, the moss laden green canopies and the hues of green-blue mountains that fade through the distance... a sight to behold! At each step the landscape transforms, unfolding miraculously, the richness of pure 'life'! With every other instance soaked in rain.. if not mist.. we threaded along those weaving paths smiling and absorbing as much as we could see.

The random bunch of 6 that we were, set out, all geared up, to feel the wetness of the monsoons. The little critters on the forest floor, the sorts of wildflowers that seem to peak out from the carpet of grass, the loud wavering strum of cicadas from within the sholas & a gazillion other calls and sights enriched the whole experience of a typical monsoon trek.
The leeches were least of our worries as we were happily trotting along with leech sock. It was those continuous steep downhills that bought out a 'sigh' at times. Our wet clothes, wet shoes accompanied by the chilly breeze and hunger, almost made us frown at one *particular* instance; but that biting-cold numbness and pain, was still hidden by harmless stares, giggles and laughter !

Habenaria grandifloriformis

There wasn't too much of a birdlife to exclaim about, because of the rains, the clouds and the canopies. However, we did get to see schimitar babblers, bar-winged flycatcher shrikes, scarlet minivets, malabar grey hornbills and such. Every once in a while, we could hear the Flameback's rattling call, as it zips past the trees in the valley and watch a lone black winged kite hovering motionless above the canopy.

We enjoyed observing much of the flora around as we walked. One by one, we all peered down to see the little insectivorous plants beside our feet, Drosera peltata, trying to stand tall, yet too small and hidden within the grass. Two beautiful ground orchids, Habenaria grandifloriformis & Habenaria heyneana, were in bloom. The pretty inflorescence of Bulbophyllum mysorense and Eria mysorensis, clad on to branches in huge clusters like an adornment on the tree. We walked past many species of dendrobiums, oberonias & tons of other orchid species which i fail to ID yet! As if the trees needed more to enhance them, they were further dressed with moss, ferns and lichens. 

Indirana sp.
Thanks to Ishan who found a caecilean sp., a rare find, high up in the grasslands. Yet another very cool find was the rare, endangered and endemic species of the Western Ghats, Ansonia ornata (Ghatophryne ornata), Black Torrent toad. An otherwise small, drab, dark colored toad, until you see their belly which is reddish with bright golden yellow spots! 

Sigh! Back in the routine urban life now. But back with a few treasured memories!  Just got to imagine EC - the weatherman, the flying umbrella & ofcourse, Payal's descriptive narration of the 'badly behaved Indian frog'...  none of us can stop rolling with laughter even if we are sitting all by ourselves! 
Must say... Abhisheka, Ishan, Manju, Payal & Ramya... you are all such wonderful buddies to get lost with in a beautiful green wonderland! 


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Finalist at BBC wildlife artist of the year 2012

Running its fourth year in a row, the prestigious BBC wildlife artist of the Year competitions have been laying out a whole lot of opportunities for wildlife artists from around the world. It has been no less than inspiring to see the high standard of artworks that come out as winners each year.

This year, 2012, my painting of 'Fire-tailed sunbird sequence', got nominatted as one of the finalist in the international artist category, BBC Wildlife artist of the year. It added much to my delight to know that i was amongst the 127 finalists. With 13 categories to participate, the competition saw a record breaking 1,120 entries from around the world!

Well, the final round of judgement took place on May 24th at the Marwell gallery,UK, and i am sad to say that I could not make it... 
However, though a little dissapointed, i do know that there were a whole bunch of deserving artists who made it as winners. Hanging on to a small feeling of complacency, I sure am delighted to have been one amongst the finalists. 

I wish to take this opportunity to thank all of you, who always wish me good with your kind messages and support. It sure means a lot! As for me, i wish to work much harder & make it as a winner in coming year!

Happy to mention that one of my Hummingbird painting had also been nominated Finalist in the world birds category, in BBC wildlife artist of the year 2009. Here's a link to the earlier blog post - 

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Wildlife Art exhibit

On 27th January 2012, hanging on the walls of a gallery for the very first time, were a small collection of my wildlife art works. This exhibition featured a selection of illustrations from the Hummingbird project that I have been involved with since 2007  and a few other wildlife art works done over the years. Also on display were 2 of my field sketch books that I carry on all my travels, recording everything that inspires me and urges me to draw.

With just 2 weeks to prepare for the show, there was much to do! All works to be framed, invites to create and send out, write-ups to prepare, captions to go with each work, hand-outs to design and much more! I am genuinely grateful for the many helping hands without which these two-weeks would have been like a nightmare!  

I would like to extend a sincere note of thanks to Suresh Jayaram sir, for looking into my works and readily providing me with the gallery space at 1.Shanti road, to display my wildlife works. Also, a big thank you to my brother, Sandesh Kadur for just being there, constantly keeping a check on things and seeing to that everything is up-to the mark. Vinod Sebastian, truly my savior in disguise, who took over all my load from the designing and my snail-paced computer skills, while I ran around getting all the printing work done. It was Nirmala Govindarajan, who was quite persistant I have a show ever since the beginning of 2011. I honestly appreciate her never-failing enthusiasm in pushing me towards the big day. In many possible words, I would like to thank MB Krishna, Ullas PA, Dr.Subramanya and L.Shyamal, for introducing me with such passion, to this beautiful world of Natural History Art.

It was overwhelming to see how the news about the exhibit spread out to reach the masses. The wine sponsored by Grover wines india, added a touch of glamour to the opening day of the show. My thanks to them too! I am grateful to my parents, family & friends, to all those people who made it for my show and the one's who cheered me with the best of wishes! 
Thank you! 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

GreenScraps, Summer 2012

Back this Summer! 
Lets explore the bond with nature, art & ourselves! 

Nature Bountiful!
Much to know.... Much to inspire... & Much to get involved with!

Keeping a nature journal can sure be fun! 
Do contact us for more information about the workshop. The registrations are limited to 12 participants. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

'A brush with nature'

It was while I was studying in the College of Fine Arts that I began bird-watching on a serious note. With the encouragement of many senior birdwatchers in Bangalore, my little scribbles and doodles next to my bird notes turned into field sketches and I have since maintained a meticulous nature journal. In due course, my strongest passion, nature and art, came together to form an exciting career as a wildlife artist. I have worked on various projects and have steadily gathered a collection of art. I love traveling and have traveled to many National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries across India. During these trips, I have had the opportunity to observe nature and sketch in my journal. I welcome you on my journey through this wilderness translated on paper and canvas.

Click here for - Directions to the Venue

I look forward to seeing you there !
Please feel free to share this forward.
Thank you !