A Commissioned Piece! by Rituparna Roy

"Mama for this month's post my paintings ok?" I got this sudden WhatsApp text one evening, earlier this month. It was sent from my dad's phone. The sender was in the drawing room and I was in the bedroom - a mighty distance of ----- meters separating us!  

This is her latest excitement: sending me texts from a different room, using Baba's phone - "I am hungry"; "When will you have your tea"?; "How am I looking here (in a selfie)"? Since I am trying to restrict her screen time on my mobile, she has now caught hold of Baba’s. It actually works out far better for her: since he doesn't know what to do with it beyond phone calls, she has all the space in the world for taking selfies and typing texts to her heart's content. 

I don't indulge this habit of hers a lot, but it was a commission I couldn't ignore, especially as it was made way in advance! What follows is a photo essay of the artist's latest creations!

One of the last things she was taught online in her Art class in Grade II was painting in the Pointillist style. There was a video posted for guidance. One of the simpler exercises there was, putting one's palm on the paper and tracing its outline, making that the trunk of the tree and then arranging multi-coloured dots around it to resemble a tree in the Fall. I traced her palms; she happily managed the rest. I think it was a good first attempt!

While doing the tree, there was a lot of brown paint left on the palette, as she had poured way too much for what was required. I asked her not waste it, but use it up for a different painting. This is what she came up with: a lone tree bare of all leaves, standing strong and sturdy.

(Left) She insists this is how her arch enemy - the Corona virus - looks!


(Right) She made a gift of her heart to me one day, tied in a black band, neat and sober, in the small pad I gave her for her daily drawing.

(Left) This is the water bottle that she can't take to school now - a quiet statement of what she misses.

(Right) This is a mask I was pretty surprised by. Methinks there's too many teeth for one mouth there... but never mind!

(Left) Intricate braids at the back of a head and of course a fat long one hanging from the shoulder. Two of her obsessions have come together in this drawing - her ultimate fantasy of having really long hair and her innate ingenuity in creating hairstyles. No one with long hair who has ever lived with her or spent even a few hours with her has been spared her experiments. I am submitted to it almost daily! 

(Right) I really like this drawing. She is trying hard to get the face right these days, especially the eyes. I think she has nailed it here. In addition to the predictable braids (one in front and one at the back, instead of the usual single one behind), she has put a flower band on the head here - that's straight out of the phone.

(Left) This is “someone with Elsa's hairstyle” having red-sauce pasta with lemonade and French fries (all that she herself loves to eat on one table, in other words).
The woman is evidently surprised to see the amount of pasta she has been served; or else, can't believe her luck in having fries to boot! 

(Right) Rapunzel. Period.

Elsa and Anna - I have absolutely NO IDEA when this obsession will end...!

I like Elsa's gown, though; and the sisters definitely straightened their hair in the salon before modelling for the artist!

Acrylic is a new medium for her and she seems to be experimenting with solid blocks of color with it.
Featured here is Princess Bell, trying to choose between two books to read.
I like the almost shocking contrast between the yellow and the red here, Bell's figure and gown, but her face... ah well!

This is my favorite: a scene from 'Tangled' – Rapunzel (in the foreground) enjoying the sight of floating lanterns in the evening sky.

(Left) The yellow of the crown and ear-studs just don't go with the snow princess. And I wish the hair was tied in a bun... but I can't say these things to her...

(Right) Increasingly, I realize that I can't do anything about her obsession with long hair (present since she was a toddler). The only reason this photo has a place in this post is, I like the crystal ball dissolving in a riot of dotted colors.

(Left) The magic fairy is a little too flowery for my taste, but I love what she did with her hair. 
The yellow eye-shadow and necklace is a sore; and the neck should actually have been kept bare.

(Right) This is how the magic fairy looks in real life! 

(Left) I love the stark contrast of the flowing white gown with the long black hair (blowing horizontally, as in shampoo ads). I only wish the background was different!

(Right) This is Princess Aurora, from 'Sleeping Beauty'.
I would have actually liked to see more of the polka-dotted dress; as for the hair, I reserve my comments. But I must say I’m struck by her eye make-up: it is getting increasingly bold and confident with every photo she chooses to colour (the choice of eye-shadow with glitter, the lining of the liner, the mascara - all of it)!

(Left) I wish she practiced her ballet as much as she drew and coloured herself as a ballerina! 
(She looks closest to herself here, in this series).

(Right) All said and done, she is my bunny!


Umberto Tosi said…
This is delightful! She is so talented - and witty. Thank you for sharing it.
Rituparna Roy said…
Umberto Tosi - Thank you so much! My daughter was very happy to read your comment :)
Damyanti said…
Your daughter takes after you-- talent and spirit in spades! Hope you both are staying well amid these crazy times!
Rituparna Roy said…
Hey Damyanti! So good to hear from you on AE:)

Thank you so much for reading this post. I am all mushy when it comes to her creative efforts... she takes interest in the Arts in general, but I think drawing/painting is what she is most passionate about. I hope it stays!

We are doing ok. Yes, it's crazy... & relentlessly so. Trying to keep my sanity as best I can.

Come July, Srishti's school is going to start full-swing - online, of course! Thank God at least for that.

How are you, post the GREAT NEWS?! Really looking forward to the Web Series based on YBYS. I hope you are keeping some time for yourself, too, after giving away all you have to the world!

Please stay safe. Much love.

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