Wednesday, 7 December 2011

A Well Spent Sunday

 Sundays are meant for making very optimistic, extravagant plans and then lying in and lazing the day away. At least that is my routine more often than not. However this Sunday was very different.

To start with I attended a class over the internet (a webinar) that started late Saturday night and ended at 3 am on Sunday. And, after a few hours of sleep we went on a long planned family sketchcrawl. My wife and daughter are very fond of sketching and painting, and this interest is also shared by quite a few in our extended family. We have driven out of Chennai on a few weekend  sketching trips in the past but this was the first time that we were doing this within the city. And this time my niece was also with us.

We had a fun time on Saturday deciding where to go and finally settled on the Marundeeswarar Koil at Thiruvanmiyur, a very old and famous temple very close to our house.We decided to spend around an hour at this venue and then drive down to a cafe for some much needed refreshments and a different type of sketching opportunity.
One of the problems with South Indian temples is that we cannot wear any footwear inside the temple precincts. The paving is usually in granite and this can sometimes be blistering hot. The four of us broke up and quickly went in search of something sketchworthy, and more importantly a convenient location to do the sketching from.

I ended up locating something that would not have been my first choice as a subject, but it had the advantage of a really quiet and shaded spot from which I could view it. In fact this spot was so secluded that many people went by without even realising that I was sitting there under some heavy foliage. 

My niece Ranjani plonked herself right along the main walkway and was soon immersed in her sketching quite oblivious to the passersby who paused and  gathered behind her to watch her at work. You can see Ranjani's sketch here.

My daughter Kalpana found a place with shade and a backrest too. It was also a spot that was rather difficult to approach and certainly not convenient for anyone to peer over her shoulder. I am sure that this must have been high on her criteria for a suitable sketching spot. Kalpana's sketch can be seen here. 

Nithi, my wife, was not to be seen anywhere. But she is a restless soul and we were sure that she would have finished several sketches in the time that the rest of us take to do even one, and that proved to be the case.

After we were done at Marundeeswarar Koil we drove a few miles South from the temple to a small but nice cafe called Tryst on the East coast Road. Unfortunately the view from our table did not offer any great sketching opportunities. But we did have a nice time there comparing sketches and having some nice stuff to eat and drink. Between gulps I managed to do this quick sketch of Nithi.

 I am adding this bit on Friday 9th Dec, a couple of  days after I had posted my sketches and photos. I finally managed to get Nithi's consent to put up her sketches too. One of her sketches is of a mandapam (shelter)  facing the Amman (lady deity) shrine. Her second sketch is of two fruitsellers engaged in conversation. Nithi does these in no time at all and then moves on to other things that catch her attention.