Short Story – The Goldfish Princess (Illustrated with an Oil Painting on Canvas)

The Goldfish Princess

She turned her side and the heat of her body rushed to embrace the cold surface of the bed. This was why she had been postponing the moment until her muscles had begun to cramp. The cold, she thought, would one day freeze the blood flowing in her veins, and when that happened, her frozen blood would expand to first crack and then blast open her veins, quite like the water that upon turning into ice, cracked the pipes.

With sleep having fled from her eyes, she lay on her left side, letting her warmth seep out of her body and warm the cold sheet under her. She could have remained in the sunny climes of her homeland, but then she would have been sleeping on the pavement and begging on the streets. Here she was a princess.

Oil painting on canvas - Princess with gold tail - caricature and portrait art in india by portrait artist shafali

The Goldfish Princess – Oil on Canvas, Size: 13.5″x17.5″

Almost a princess.

The faces around her, all white, all different from hers, closed upon her from all sides, like a wall. They smiled and they talked. They talked in a foreign tongue that she couldn’t yet understand completely. They were kind to her, and they gave her a bed to sleep in.

Back home, Mother would be thinking that her daughter was a princess too, and so would all the uncles and aunts and neighbors who lived in the dirty threadbare tents that they had hitched upon the pavements. Back home, back at the pavement, they thought of her as a princess with a tiara upon her head.

Perhaps they were right. She had a roof upon her head. A roof that the wind couldn’t blow away. She had clean clothes on her back, so what if she had only two changes. One to wash while she wore the other. And she slept in a bed. She had a trunk to keep her things in, and a hopper window that she could open to let sunlight in when the sun was almost about to set on the western horizon, except that she was usually busy in the kitchen at that time of the day.

Upstairs, the kind man and woman, and their children, they slept in heated rooms, and they went out, everyday. The children played out in the sun, the woman wore new dresses everyday. They listened to music, they watched television, they played, and talked, and shopped, and did everything that she wanted to do along.

As she fell asleep again thinking of the pavement and the tiara, she wondered how long would it be before the four a.m. alarm went off. The woman, her mistress, was not cruel until the girl caused her grief, and her mistress liked to see the house sparkling clean when she woke up at seven.

And the goldfish had to be fed too.

Kindred souls.

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Smiles – Frolic: A Color Pencil Artwork that celebrates life.

In 2014, I had started working on a series of drawings that I had named “Smiles.” I had barely managed to color one of them when I faced my first real loss – the loss of a loved one. All other drawings in this series found their way into my Incomplete Drawings folder, and have stayed there as sketches.

This morning, I was struggling to find something happy to post. As I rummaged through my drawings done during the last two years, all I came up with were dark angry works – works that have no business appearing on a caricaturist’s blog. Then I came upon this, and I thought that if it was bright enough to bring a smile to my face, it was bright enough to be posted here.

Caricature of a funny girl smiling with a mouse that swings from her ears. Smiles Caricatures by Shafali.

Series: Smiles, Title of the Work: Frolic, Actual Size: 8″x10″, Medium: Color Pencils

I hope this spring-summer caricature brightens up your day too. Now I must get back to painting the Cover for Barbara G. Tarn’s novella “Charioteer of Buddha.”

Cool Caricaturist – John Kascht!

There are caricaturists in this world who make me stop in wonder – and one of them is John Kascht.

John Kascht’s work can be best referred to as Classy. His lines possibly are the cleanest on the planet and his colors are soft yet funny!

I recommend that you view John Kascht’s work on his website here.

Here are some caricatures that I just couldn’t take my eyes off:

I suddenly realized that all the three links above take you to the same page, so while you are there, check out the other caricatures as well.

View Kascht’s Line Art Gallery here and admire his minimalistic treatment.

And finally, if you want to read about his honors and his connection with beekeeping and Pennsylvania, find his biography here.

PS: I was wondering why I haven’t sketched Whoopi Goldberg and Bill Murray yet!