Arts of Tamil Nadu – Antique wooden doors

Sculptures in South India are always synonymous with Rocks and stones. Bronze sculptures are unique and native to the ancient Tamil kingdoms. They are well known and can be found in museums and private collections the world over. The lesser known wooden sculptures are mostly confined to temple and doors.

Ancient wooden sculptures are mostly seen on temple cars (ratham or ther). Temple cars in India are huge wooden platforms fitted with mammoth wooden wheels. Idols of gods are mounted on these wooden platforms, decorated and covered. Using ropes, hundreds of devotees together pull the temple car. The wooden platform is adorned with wooden carvings and detailed artwork.


temple car wooden carvings

Source: Flickr – Anandamoy chatterji

The symmetry and details on wooden temple doors are a visual treat.

Temple door tamil nadu

Source:  Indian journeys

It is not only temples that can boast of artistically carved doors… Chettinad mansions have beautiful teak wood doors.

Chettinad door

Source: Chennai First

The Dakshinachitra in Chennai exhibits a beautiful masterpiece door at the Chettinad house in it’s premises.

Dakshinachitra chettinad

source: redscarab

The mantelpiece on top of this door is exquisite and matchless


source: Reflections of an art-o-holic

Typical wooden doors in the old houses of South India also have heavy wooden doors, though not as exquisite as the above door.

plain door

 source: Flickr – Suchitra

Yet another, with a beautiful mantelpiece

artful wooden

Source: Flickr – Printz4u

Boomarks for sea lovers

This is the time for lovely drizzles, caressing winds and heavy downpours. With the North-east monsoon setting in followed by a string of storms, we are in for a wet spell. Caught frequently in the rain, sometimes running for shelter and at times enjoying a good drenching, I am enjoying myself 🙂 Tribute to this season, here comes my latest set of bookmarks featuring marine life.

My free handsketchs and acrylic paintings made in to bookmarks… Here are images of a few:

Cutie fishes

Strolling Lobster

Curious Octopus

For details and more photos of these bookmarks, please visit Papyrus or Handmade Heaven.

Books are a treasure in every home… Bookmarks are the crowning glory to this treasure.


Handy bookmarks

A table with interesting books and equally interesting bookmarks is a delight to the eye. Being tired of the usual bookmarks found in shops, I tried doing my own bookmarks. Here are a few I made over the last couple of weeks:

Peacock and blues ~ Blue stones on the crest and peacock decoupage work

White and browns ~ Pen sketches on white background ~ City line, Dancing flowers and Splashing Coke.



Nature’s Abstract Art

We humans have started exploring Abstract art only in recent modern days. Nature is way ahead of us. A recent trip to Kerala was an eye opener… The wild and untamed beauty of trees and forests have many delicate and bold works of art. A few photos of their beauty:

A curtain of roots hanging from above… The day they touch earth, behold the creation of a new life.



Twisting and turning, fusing and merging… inseparable they are… as they unite to create yet another tree.


 Massive barks of older trees are amazing… They are nature made sculptures…


 The first time I saw the tree above, it made me think of two loving souls in embrace. Every time I see this tree, it shows me something different. Passion, anger, animals, … so on goes my interpretation of this modern art.

He relaxes below the maze of trees, oblivious to the amazing work of art behind him.

Opposite to the banyan trees, is a magnificient peepul tree. Its slender leaves dance to the tunes of breezy winds. Illayaraja’s thiruvasagam plays in my mind, as I watch pretty leaves doing a ballet dance 🙂


My mind goes back a few years ago… to the windy hills of California. Grassy hills lined with oaks, maples and eucalyptus. Those windy afternoons inspired me to write a poem – Dance of the wind. Photographs rarely do justice to the beauty of winds. Please check this poem, for it fills the void that my photos create.

A trip to Kerala is  incomplete without photos of beautiful landscapes. So, here is the closing shot 🙂



Li’l Garden

Pretty flowers in orange and red. Leaves and creepers in green and yellow. Mud as soft as snow, carpeted with wilted leaves. Pretty little mushrooms all over the place, fresh after the rains. If they have no place in your tiny yard, fear not. Here is a handy little garden to sit cosy in your apartment, reminding you of nature, its bounty and its beauty.

This is made of m-seal and ceramic clay. m-seal is first kneaded to make a dough. Shape it into leaves, flowers, stems etc. After drying, they are painted. The base is a used CD, painted in hues of brown, green and yellow. All the little m-seal flowers, leaves etc are stuck on to this painted CD. Finally, a coat of varnish is applied over it, to keep away dirt and to give it a glossy finish.

It is a good way to re-use CDs. I am not sure if m-seal / ceramic clay are harmful to mother earth. Kindly share with me if you know about it.