From Copan, Honduras

Scratchboard 8×8.

Here’s the 8×8 finished product of my Honduran Mealy Amazon Parrot whom I ‘befriended’ at the Macaw Mountain Bird Park and Natural Reserve .

Amazona Farinosa is supposed to be the gentlest of the Amazonian parrot variety – but I sure was scared to approach this one who seemed to be in a rather grumpy mood that humid afternoon.

I finished it a couple of days after my ‘rewarding’ demo at the Skokie Public Library. The folks who attended were simply mesmerized by this ‘strangely therapeutic’ medium.

Check out my travel/art book Rambles into Sacred Realms

EPSON MFP image

From Cuero Y Salgado, Honduras

Photographs

Unbelievable fauna in Honduras – was I lost in paradise?

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Rambles into Sacred Realms: Journeys in Pen & Paint 

My art / travel book is now available! With nearly 120 pieces of my artwork, the book covers my travels and personal experiences in places of peace and power across Thailand, Belize, Guatemala, US, UK, India, Mexico, Cambodia, Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Greece.

USE COUPON CODE KRISH20 TO SAVE 20% UNTIL May 9.  Offer available on Shanti Arts website only. Shipping costs extra.  

WIN A FREE 5×7 ART PRINT FOR YOUR FEEDBACK If you enjoy my book, please write a review on Amazon or B&N, email your mailing address to krish@kvkrishnan.com, and I’ll send you a 5×7 art print.
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From Wilmette, IL, USA

Many of you have written  wondering why all that drumbeat about my imminent book launch has become a muted whisper.

Question Marks

Well, it so happens that  last week I have been busy learning the hard truths about book distribution channels, the murky world of print-on-demand competition, the supply chain mechanism from publisher to distributor to sub-distributor to bookseller to the reader and back. I have also learned esoteric terms like fulfillment and inventory management.

In other words, when can folks lay their hands on my book with a click of a button on an online retailer’s webpage?

Hopefully through all channels next week. Barnes and Noble and my publisher’s website (see links here) carry my book today, but Amazon is still waiting on a mystery consignment – which they say should be arriving by truck next Tuesday.

However if you simply cannot wait, please visit me in person during my book signing event (and I have ample copies!) on Sunday, April 19, Lakeview Center, Gillson Park, Wilmette, IL, USA and I will be happy to sign an autographed copy for you!

For those of you who have subscribed to my newsletter you will get an availability update hopefully next week.

Have a great weekend!

From Healesville, Melbourne, Australia

Pastels – 12×16

I thoroughly enjoyed studying this dingo – a silent stalker of the Australian outback at close quarters. Her look was intense as she studied the ground underneath her. She seemed to be enjoying her walk in the grounds of the Healesville Sanctuary, unmindful of the ranger’s lengthy lecture on her canine habits and behavior. I imagined the glistening fur in the backdrop of sacred Uluru – will need to get there for inspiration for my next book! – Soft pastel on paper, 12 x 16.

Check out my new travel/art book Rambles into Sacred Realms out in April 2015

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From Healesville, Melbourne, Australia

Pastels – 12×16

With my limited soft-pastel experience I made bold to capture a shy teen emu at the Healesville Sanctuary near Melbourne.

This curious citizen of the Australian outback was undeterred in its attempt to take a peck at my camera lens – I tried to keep my distance lest fingers or face be maimed by such self-inflicted intimacy. I heard teen visitors calling this bird “ugly” but I found my subject to be both a beautiful and obedient model. Worked this through the weekend Chicago snowstorm – Soft pastel on paper, 12 x 16.emu

Check out my new travel/art book Rambles into Sacred Realms out in April 2015

From Sedona, Arizona

Pastels, Conte Crayons & Charcoal on Pastelbord – 11×14

 

Of course, there are no wild lions in Sedona, but here’s a portrait of a lone majesty that was perched upon a rock in the Out of Africa theme park.

I was there on a chilly and windy morning during Christmas. With time to kill before the safari into the Park, I ended up walking around the securely fenced enclosures which made for very poor viewing and pictures.

Given the vacation season I had decided to drop my zoom lens and ended up photographing its entire body with a 18-105mm lens and blew it up , later recreating this work on pastels over the long holidays.

Much after the work was completed, I had to recover from a horrific fixative disaster – I sprayed Lascaux fixative  on my work when it was originally completed – (never again!) which pretty much destroyed the colors completely. Cost me 7 additional hours of fur labor to bring it back to life again.

Check out my new travel/art book Rambles into Sacred Realms out in April 2015

The Queen of Sedona

From Giza, Egypt

Scratchboard, 9 x 12

 

I haven’t had much luck with camels. Laden with cameras and film, I had agreed to this “exotic, rarely conducted camel tour around the pyramids in Giza.” Of course, I figured out much later that the tour was indeed “around” the pyramids — because my guide did not want to pay the entrance fee to the Giza complex.

So there I was in the midst of the Libyan Sahara, far from both monuments and humanity. Gesticulating wildly, he was heatedly haggling with me, threatening to walk the camel —with me on top — further into the desert should I not agree to his “new rate”.

Egyptian Camel-SMALLEST

“Fifty pounds extra,” he persisted, lowering his bid. Previously I had stuck to a stubborn 30, but now, out of unashamed fear, I capitulated.

Much later I disembarked with relief. I took a final look at the beast, now absolutely nonchalant, who stood relaxed in the blazing sun. Her demeanor was so comically calm, given the threatening transaction that had earlier taken place, that I had to take some pictures.

Scratchboard was the inevitable medium to convey these distinctive textures. I used a scalpel to evoke the woolly fluff of her face and neck.

– Check out the link to my book Rambles into Sacred Realms: Exploring Divinity through Pen and Paint, where I invite readers to experience such adventure, humor and imagery illustrating my travels.

From Akko, Israel

Watercolor on cold-pressed paper, 12 x 16

 

It was 1996. The Ottoman-era streets of Old Akko with their teeming souks looked truly charming as sunlight dappled upon shop awnings. After a dash of tasty tahini, I walked past stalls that peddled colorful spices and souvenir shops stocked with the most curious objects I could never have ordered from a catalog!

Even more fascinatingly, a fantastic world lay underneath these cobblestones. I noticed a group of archaeologists working to uncover an enormous underground city that had been built by the Crusaders. The Knights of St. John had originally been established in the eleventh century A.D. to care for the sick of Jerusalem — but had soon become a powerful political organization.

 

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I explored this endless subterranean world of dining rooms and pillared hallways, dungeons and an elaborate sewage system that crisscrossed under the entire city. Somewhere here Richard the Lionheart may have entertained his royal guests from France.I could also imagine knights clad in mail and armor, exiting the city in a swift march through an escape tunnel that connected the seaport to the ancient fortress, even as invading forces were penetrating the main defenses. They wanted to live so they died fighting for the bigger cause they were here for – the liberation of the Holy Land.

At one point my son’s movements caught my eye. With only his little plastic shark for protection, he looked awed, even overwhelmed by the enormity of the vaulted ceilings and the somberness of the place. Yet behind him, the morning sun had found expression through the arched entrance, lightening up the mood of the moment.

I later painted in the brilliance of the light through several watercolor washes of New Gamboge and Raw Sienna on cold-pressed paper.

– Check out www.kvkrishnan.com to get more insights into my new book Rambles into Sacred Realms: Exploring Divinity through Pen and Paint, where I invite readers to experience such adventure, humor and imagery illustrating my travels.

From San Ignacio, Belize

Scratchboard, 16 x 20
Hiking the densely-forested terrain of the Cockscomb Basin Jaguar Preserve in Belize, I had spotted several troops of howler monkeys, gibnuts, white-lipped peccaries and countless exotic birds. Sadly the only jaguar I spotted in that trip had been at the Belize Zoo.

Not content with such an interesting animal parade, upon every rustle in the thicket my ears would perk up for the faintest whistle of that gentle giant. The Baird’s tapir that had once rubbed shoulders with the ancient Maya indeed proved to be a shy creature. A scary herbivore when enraged, I had to be careful lest I stumbled upon an unsuspecting full-grown adult or worse, a mother and its baby. Unfortunately the closest I came to spotting a ‘mountain cow’ – as the tapir is known – was only a set of fresh tracks on a trail leading to a pond.

Mother and Child - A Family Portrait

My foray to the Belize Zoo surprisingly proved futile since the resident tapir had decided to nap out its afternoon, much to my chagrin. Determined, I ended up at the Field Museum in Chicago, picking up where the taxidermist had left off.

Lighting up the fur, and the eyes of mother and child with bolder cuts of the blade, I needed to breathe some life into this rather sterile setting. I used an X-Acto #11 blade, nicking out each strand of fur, hair by hair. It took me several weeks to complete one of my bigger pieces I had ever attempted in this medium.

 

– Check out www.kvkrishnan.com to get more insights into my new book Rambles into Sacred Realms: Exploring Divinity through Pen and Paint, where I invite readers to experience such adventure, humor and imagery illustrating my travels.