Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Nest

{The New Home of bigBANG studio}

We’re finally settled into our new digs. P. and I are renting a small stone cottage from a local Indian professor (Jonathan Franzen fan, hardcore birdwatcher, authority on dahlia propagation. We *loves* him.). His hillside compound is called Wolfsburn, and our cottage is called The Nest.



It’s spartan, clean and the corrugated metal roof only leaks when it really pours. As far as self-inflicted Himalayan exile goes, we couldn’t have found more charming accommodations.



There’s a small addition with a bank of windows, and the natural light makes it a perfect spot to set up a modest version of the real-life bigBANG studio. (How much I miss my Joshua Tree studio and the company of the ever-patient dogs is neither here nor there.)



No matter what the circumstances, there are few smells as distinct and marvelous as a tin of brand-new Faber-Castell pencils. The scent alone gets me all jazzed to start drawing. Which I’m finally starting to do. I found a bolt of raw canvas and a local carpenter to build me wooden stretchers, so I’m hoping to get back into the full swing of things ASIP (As Soon as Indianly possible).



I brought ten pounds of luxurious Dutch oil paint to India but forgot, amazingly, to bring basic watercolors. That’s like going to Greenland and forgetting mittens. Luckily P. found some cheapo watercolors at the local bazaar and although they’re a little gritty, the palette is surprisingly lovely and they’re perfect for sketching out compositions for future big oil paintings.



The Nest (and all of Landour, for that matter) is usually swaddled in dense fog, but on a few rare occasions the sun breaks through the cloud cover and sets our little hillside aglow.



When all this rain and fog dissipates in a few weeks we should, theoretically, be able to see the snow-capped peaks of the Great Himalayan Range. Which would be a major score on the Peak Life Experience list.

28 comments:

  1. I'm so glad to see you're settled in to your new nest; it looks like such an amazing place! xoxo

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  2. wow! that looks excellent. Happy Nesting!

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  3. That last photo is amazing! What a view.

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  4. What a beautiful nest it is! It really shows you how much you need as far a aesthetics go with a view like that! Wishing you the best of wishes and happy painting.

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  5. What an adventure. It really looks so beautiful there. And this almost daily record of events is really interesting to read, too!

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  6. wow this looks amazing...and those bracelets sitting next to your pencils. so pretty!

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  7. with you on that peak life experience! the himalayas - a DREAM!

    Happy Painting!

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  8. Are you taking visitors!!? Oh how I have missed you sweet Lily. Hugs and happy painting and adventuring!! HUGS!

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  9. oh my goodness oh my goodness! the NEST! me loves. i am constantly amazed how you can take any space and turn it into a magical little nugget. we all miss you here but i'm happy that india gets a small dose of L&P. love you!

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  10. ASIP - Ahahaha!

    Looks and sounds perfect, my dear. It really does.

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  11. Not to rush you back into work, but I have been waiting for this post. DYING to see India through your eyes, in your work.

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  12. I've been waiting to hear that "Peak Life Experience" again. It all looks so lovely, makes our little world seem so tame, by comparison. How fortunate to find a professor with birding skills, and a nest to rent, to boot.

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  13. YAY!!! Seeing you get your creative mojo "india style" is exciting!!! Carry on!

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  14. P. finding you watercolors at the How Bizarre is so adorz. It's a small gesture of great big Louisa May Alcott-esque proportions. The last pic is increds. The Nest is BTIE (better than indianly expected)!!

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  15. Looks gorgeous, Lily! Miss you!

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  16. i have a few things to say:
    1. you'll tell us all about your painting residency, right? because i'm very interested in that, as an artist and observer of your life (and because i'm forgetful and can't remember what you said about it before, when you were planning your trip in the first place).
    2. i'm currently visiting a friend in l.a. which, strangely (or not so strangely?), reminds me of india in a lot of ways. and also makes me wish i could explore the california desert, which i suspect i would like more than the city.
    3. your new place is *lovely* and i hope devoid of creepy spiders and leeches. i'm not sure i would handle those very well.

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  17. Thanks guys!

    Joslyn- I found that big bracelet in the local bazaar; it's made from camel bone and brass! The little gold bangle was my great aunt's; she got it in India fifty years ago.

    Laura.- Yes. Will tell when I get some details a little more finalized;) Unfortunately the spiders, leeches and now -we just discovered- SCORPIONS do indeed share our living space. So there's that.

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  18. I love your new digs! You already seem completely at home there. Sorry about the spiders, leeches, and scorpions, but I guess there are annoying neighbors no matter where one lives. ;) xoxo Gigi

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  19. I just finished a year in Guatemala, and I imagine you are feeling just like I felt last October: amazed by all the newness and in love with the novelty of it but also trying very very hard not to miss home and corgyn because then it would be all over. All I can say is that missing the corgyn never stops, but by this point next year you will probably miss this moment- when you stepped out into adventure- even more than you miss home right now.

    P.S. I really like your cottage. And the Himalayas.

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  20. Seems your refuge is literally HEAVEN!
    (...apart from the few unappetizing little insects of course, but don't forget: you are much bigger and scary in THEIR point of view!)

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  21. holy ... that view is amazing! i missed you, lily! now that i'm back, i'm going to start from the beginning of your indian adventure and most likely bombard you with annoying comments.

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  22. yes wolfsburn!!! I know it!!! i had a friend who stayed in there as well..i am so excited for you and memories are flooding back for me my dear--thank you!~ i am so happy for you to be there in such a beautiful place!!!! i almost can't work now...

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  23. wooooooow it is so so so so so lovely. when can i visit.
    second rachel, can't WAIT to see what you come up with. <3

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  24. Lily, your Nest is beautiful, what a perfect place for Living. Hope you are well -- your blog is such a godsend as I trudge thru my graduate degree! -Jung

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