Thursday, September 18, 2008

Ghostly snippet; Artpad***

Part I

The other day I found the ghost of chicken curry in my kitchen, wafting about with easy nonchalance, enticing, seducing, smirking. There hadn't been chicken in our home for weeks, and our neighbours, or such neighbours that I could ascertain were home at that point in time, were either vegetarians, or strictly on diets which prohibited anything in the nature of nutrition to cross their thresholds. I double checked the kadhai to make sure that Ramu hadn't conjured up some chicken somehow from the humble eggplant I gave him to cook. But no, there wasn't even the faintest smell of curry masala there. I checked the fridge. I checked the kitchen dustbin. I even knelt down and sniffed at the drains to see if there was some sort of backlog there. There was no apparent source for the darn smell that hung in the air, taunting me with its savouriness, delighting apparently in my inability to taste it. Outside of the kitchen, all was peace, but I swear I have never needed to go to the kitchen for so many reasons than I did that day, and each time, the ghost of the chicken curry tugged delightedly at my nostrils, tantalized my taste buds and tormented my appetite.

Part II

By and large online drawing and painting games are popular with children and parents alike for all that painting possible without any mess in the house whatsoever. I don't think there is any site with kid games which doesn't include at least one of these. So, to add to your gaggle of such games, here is the Artpad.
The Artpad is strictly speaking, not a kiddie site. But it is great fun to be sure! Speaking from an artist's view, there is a small plain canvas, fixed size, with just two tools - a brush and a paint can which will splash paint. The size and opacity of both tools can be changed. There is a text tool, but no choice of fonts. It does however allow you to write anywhere without drawing text boxes, and colour, size and opacity are changeable as with the other two tools. The colour palette is limited, and there is no choice of smudging or mixing paints either. Pretty basic, right? No comparison to the Corel Painter...

But, as a kid game, it is as good as any. There is fun to be had, and the level of sophistication doesn't matter. If anything, it introduces them to the concept of abstract art. Or rather, it introduces the parents to it, because all kids will start off with abstract itself, in which they, and everyone else, will look for meanings.

The most fun part of this is the facility to be able to replay your painting as a movie - to see the strokes you made come alive on their own. Trust me, kids love to watch this animation and once they figure out that it is what they have been doing - they want to try it again and again, with fresh scribbling. Plus, you can view other paintings in their 'gallery' - works submitted by other users, and learn a thing or two. Or further paint on them if you so wish.

There is also the option of framing and hanging your 'painting' in a gallery :)

The url -

P.S. Statutory warning: Adults may enjoy this more than children. Go try.

P.P.S. The ghost returned whence it came from after a few hours unabated in my kitchen, but I still feel its tentacles of taste, so very unworldly, so impossible to find in the normal way of life...

P.P.P.S. This little snippet today was sponsored by the which is refusing to save anything, so I don't know if it will publish either...

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