Admirer of Paul Raj Paintings

My photo
Paul was born in Kodaikanal on 22 September 1914 and died on 2 October 1979. G D Arulraj was born in 1925 and died in June 1972 while visiting India. Arul worked at Laguna Beach in the 60's and 1970's. G D Thyagaraj might have been born in 1922 and I am told that he probably died sometime before 1981. He moved to northern India as a young man. I lived in India as a child and spent a lot of time in Calcutta. My mother purchased several paintings directly from Paul Raj while living in Madras and this got me interested in his works. I then discovered he had two brothers Arul Raj and Thyaga Raj who were both fantastic artists. I could not find much information on the internet so decided to set up my own blog. Subsequently a Facebook tribute site has also been created to the memory of the three brothers. Contact me at:

Thursday, 31 December 2009

My Daughter's Wedding 27 December 2009

I will just have to add a few photos from my daughter's wedding I just cannot resist before moving back to the original purpose of this blog.

My daughter Elizabeth leaving the house on her way to the ceremony.

Getting out of the the car at Crathorne Hall in North Yorkshire.

Family shot and yes I am on this photograph, you can see the snow was still on the ground making the steps very dangerous.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Snow In the UK

We have had a week of snow in the UK now, we normally do not get much as we are at a low altitude.  However we have now had some snow every other day for a week now and it measures between six to eight inches in depth.

I have to keep clearing the drive so it does not turn to ice.  My solar panel is covered in snow so no free hot water at this time of the year.  My daughter's car is covered in snow.

We hope the bad weather will fade away otherwise it might stop some guests coming to my eldest daughter's wedding on 27th December.  Another photo follows of of my back garden.

It is necessary to keep feeding the birds otherwise they will all starve as food is so hard for them to find with the deep snow.  Hope you like the photos.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Another Paul Raj

I came across this painting which is attributed to G D Paul Raj but the signature is not legible so it could be one of his but I am unsure.  I wondered if it might be by his wife Pankajam PaulRaj.  It is a slightly different style to most of the others I have seen so far.
I have rescued another cine clip of some women working in the paddy fields it was taken at the same time as the last one.  It looks very hard work up to your ankles in muddy water and bent double as well.
Finally a view of the Taj Mahal taken from the side again this is a clip from one of the family cine films.  I think the blue sky frames the dome very well.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Indian Souvenirs

I came across this photograph the other day of a large group of figures made out of clay representing every day activities.  These used to be on sale in the 1960's and 1970's as tourist souvenirs and I remember the family having one or two.

Does anyone know if they still make and sell them, I would expect that they do?  I think my sister might have had the snake charmer, I will have to ask her if she still has it?

Friday, 18 December 2009

Rickshaw - Calcutta 1967

I thought I would add a photo of my sister and I having a ride on a traditional rickshaw in Calcutta taken in 1967 I guess.  I would expect that this short of rickshaw no longer exists?  Anyone know?
A recent visitor has said the Rickshaws are still in use in Calcutta, see their photo taken in 2010. Thanks "Accidental Fame Junkie."  Some 43 years after my own photo.

I have also added a photo taken in Madras of people working in the paddy fields, it is of low quality as it is captured from 8mm cine film.  It does look a bit like a Paul Raj painting I added a few weeks ago.  I do hope you like them.
Finally a blurred photo taken from a moving car during the monsoon in Calcutta of a motor bike up to the axles in flood water.  I am not quite sure how it kept going, but the water is quite deep.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

G D Thyagaraj - Hay Carts with Blue Sky

Quick post today with a painting by G D Thyagaraj, which I am calling Hay Carts with Blue Sky, I like this one a lot.  It must be the blue sky grabs my attention.
You start to see the same basic composition recurring with changes, A sample of his signature from the same painting follows.
I received some good news today, a member of Paul Raj's family contacted me as a direct result of the blog showing up on an internet search engine so I hope to be able to exchange some information in the coming days.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

G D Paul Raj - Milkman

I purchased this Paul Raj from an auction house in the UK after the auction had finished.  I did not hear about it until it was over and then I found out that the painting had not sold.  I made the owner an offer which he accepted and got the painting posted to me.
It is quite a dark painting but it has one of his favourite subjects with cattle being in this picture as well as the title.  The painting only cost Rs85/- when it was first sold, I wonder when this was?  The address is Diamond Cottage, in Kodaikanal so I suspect it a fairly early one.
This is the original inscription that was on the rear of the damaged mount, I have kept it and attached it to the back of the reframed painting

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

G D Thyagaraj - Dusty Road with Cart

I thought it was time to post another Thyagaraj painting, this one is of a dusty road with carts. I like this painting a lot it really captures the dust form the wheels of the carts.  Also the tree looks really large and imposing.
There was a label on the reverse of the painting saying it was framed in Lahore, but sadly no date.
I thought I would also add a photograph from one of my cine films taken in the early 1960;s on the road to Mahabalipuram, it is of a potter making pots on a spinning wheel.  Not sure if scenes like this still exist in rural India?
I could imagine Paul Raj painting a scene like this.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Early picture from the 1960's

I thought I would publish some early photos taken of myself and my family taken between 1961 and 1967 in Madras and Agra.  The photo below is of myself and my father at the Taj Mahal taken in 1967.
The photo is grabbed from a cine film taken at the time so it is of low quality.  I will have to see if I can upload a short movie clip.  The next photo is taken in Madras in 1962.
My sister and I are sitting on the wall in front of the beach side temples with an avenue of carved cows.  The next photo is of the house in Madras where we used to live before moving to Calcutta, I think it was called Hadley, very grand.  Hope you like the photos, I have now blown my cover and you know what I look like.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

G D Arul Raj - Boats on the Beach

I tried to buy this painting a few years ago from the USA but I was not successful. It is a very crowded beach with several large fishing boats and a lady seems to be washing clothes in the foreground.
Sorry but it is only a very low grade photograph.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Norman Ellison - Flora Fountain, Bombay 1944

In 2008 a whole series of water colours by an amateur English artist who was serving in army during the second world war auctioned on Ebay.  There were quite a few good scenes that he captured of rural village life and general landscapes.

I purchased the one below as a gift for my youngest daughter and he partner Rajiv as is is from Mumbai and of course is familiar with the Flora Fountain which appears to be the image of the painting.  All Norman Ellison's paintings of India were done during the war years.

The sky seems very flat and grey but he has captured the fountain and the buildings with no traffic at all.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

White Tara - by Mrs Muriel Rudkin-Holmes

My mother lived in India for many years and learnt yoga.  On returning the the UK she studied and became a yoga teacher herself and this got her interested in meditation and eventually she became a follower of Tibetan Buddhism.  After she retired she lived at a Buddhist training school called Manjushri in the Lake District and link to their web site follows.   Manjushri Kadampa Meditation Centre  While living at the centre she studied how to paint Tibetan Tanka paintings from a painter called Andy Weber who was her neighbour for a while, he has his own website called Andy Webber Studios  A photograph of her painting of a White Tara done in her 70's follows below.

My daughter and sister own a few more that she did that I will post in due course, hope you like it.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Ballygunge Circular Road - Calcutta, India

I thought I would go off in a different direction today as I came across a photograph of the house where I lived in Calcutta.  The photo is taken from a block of flats across the road which was known as Tivoli Court in the 1970s.  The upstairs of the house was divided into two apartments and my family lived in the top right had section.  The downstairs was the offices of the company where my father worked which was known as the 'Hooghly Ink Co Ltd.'

The building was next door to what was known as 'Bishops College' which was a training college for priests.  I will add more photos covering the time I spent in India along with more paintings.

Friday, 4 December 2009

G D Arul Raj - Photograph of the Artist

I have come across a photograph of the G D Arul Raj himself I think it was taken in the USA at Laguna Beach in Los Angeles.
Also a painting of some sailing boats by Arul which I tried to purchase from Ebay a while ago but something went wrong with the transaction it is now for sail at a very high price of $3,900 in the USA. Ebay item number 3801 3440 9080 (December 2009) in case any one wants to but it.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

G D Arul Raj - Hay Carts

This is a very large painting which measures 34 x24 inches unframed.  I got in from California earlier this year but had not realised at the time it was so large and then could not afford the cost of the shipping due to the weight of the frame.  I had to get the seller to take it out of the frame and then post it, I think he was trying to overcharge me for postage as the cost of the painting was fairly modest.
The photograph shows it in the original frame, I have still got to frame it and will get it done next year.  The painting is on board not on paper and it is hard to tell what medium has been used to paint it, not being an artist myself.  I have recently been told that Arul might have served in the Indian Army before becoming a professional painter.  There are several large paintings by Arul on Ebay from time to time.  There is one in Las Vegas in the USA and the seller is asking $15,000 and has been for many months.  So far he has not managed to sell it. The size could be the same as mine or it might be slightly larger.  The item number on Ebay is currently 3801 3042 5315 (December 2009).  A small photo follows below.
The seller describes it as a water colour and gouache, what exactly is gouache can any one tell me?  Any way I hope you enjoy these two large paintings.

G D Paul Raj - Ebay

I have noticed (December 2009) a G D Paul Raj painting listed on Ebay in California for sale for $895 US Dollars, item number 3801 6621 8998.

Looks like a nice painting.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

G D Paul Raj - Country Road

I have been busy over the last few days getting the house tidied up as my eldest daughter is getting married at the end of December.  Todays painting is another I own by G D Paul Raj called "Country Road".  It has suffered some water damage at some point and it had a lot of foxing in the centre on the large tree trunk.  I had to get a new mount and non-reflective glass and then reassembled the frame and it does not look too bad now.
Once again I seem to like the nice blue sky, maybe it is because we have so little blue sky in England during the winter months.  The original mount was quite badly damaged by water but I have saved the inscription that was on the back and I have attached this to the rear of the rebuilt frame.  The frame is contemporary, I guess from the 1960s?  The inscription shows the title "Country Road" and the price of Rs 95 /- (which is amazing), and the artist's name and address.  I paid a lot more then Rs 95/- for this one and it was not in perfect condition.
This shows G D Paul Raj as still living in Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu where he was born and could help to date the painting.  A piece of advice to all you amazing artists out there please date your paintings in some way as well as signing and giving them a name, it would make things so more helpful to collectors.  Hope you all like this one.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

G D Arul Raj - Waterfall by Banyan Tree

Quick post today with an image by G D Arul Raj of a small waterfall next to a Banyan tree, I like the greens he has used with a hint of blue sky coming through the tree.
It is signed in the bottom left hand corner and I estimate that it was painted in the 1960's. 

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

From INDIA Paintings by Arul Raj - How to Paint Book

I just remembered that a year or two back I purchased an older how to paint book written by Arul Raj.  The cover price was only $1.00 (the one below shows $2.00) and it was published by a USA firm called Walter T Foster.  I have reproduced the cover below.
In the introduction by Walter Foster he says. "While Gideon D Arul Raj was in the United States I was fortunate to meet him when he had the time to work on his book and I feel he has done a beautiful job of giving us all an understanding of how he works and the step drawings that are so helpful to beginners as well as the professional artist.  Raj lives in the Southern part of India out of Madras and he has caught the feel of the rural part of the country.  India is a fascinating country and I hope to go through there again with a much longer stay and many side trips into the hinterland to sketch and take many more color shots...."

Copies of the book frequently appear on Ebay in the USA and sell for a modest price, the book shows how to paint like Arul and the palette of colors he used.  Unfortunately the book is not dated so I am unsure when it was published as it seems at this time Arul was still living in Madras, India.  I know he later went to the USA and lived in Laguna Beach in California.

Monday, 23 November 2009

G D Paulraj - Break in the Journey

Came across this photo of a G D Paul Raj painting that sold at auction a little while ago.  It seems to show a scene of a family stopping for a break in their journey, maybe they are having a meal.  The cattle seem really big and strong for pulling the cart.
The painting sold on 21 April 2009 at auction by Vanderkindere Auctioneer in Brussels it measures 49 cm x 35.5 cm.  A close up follows of part of the painting.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Two G D Paul Raj Paintings from Denmark - Oxen Ploughing and Hay Carts

While searching Google the other day I came across two paintings by G D Paul Raj that were sold by the auction house Bruun Rasmussen in Denmark if you follow the link you will find details of the auction selling price and enlargements of the paintings.
Both paintings seem different from other by Paul Raj and I was wondering if they might be earlier works before he had developed his skills to their full potential also they seem very washed out.
 I suppose they could have faded over the years or may be he had not settled on his final palette?

Thursday, 19 November 2009

G D Paul Raj - Mudali Street

I purchased this painting a few years ago from a person in Queensland, Australia I feel it really captures the mood of a busy street in what was known as Madras maybe?
I think Paul is really able to capture the shape and form of the cows sat at the side of the road.  It is really amazing to think how his paintings have travelled around the world, if only they could tell the story of who bought them and what they were doing in India?

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

S Pichai Raj - Water carriers

This is a painting by S Pichai Raj that I purchased at the same time as the P B Surendranath already mentioned on my blog it was in a matching frame.  It is not the best painting I have so I reused the frame for one of my Paul Raj paintings instead.  I estimate that it was painted sometime between 1950 and 1960.

The photograph is not very good and the colours are not true but the subject matter is interesting, also attached is a copy of the artist's signature for reference purposes.

I have heard it mentioned that the artist might have gone on to work in the movie industry in India being involved with painted backgrounds.  Anyone come across any other works by him?  There is a reference to someone with the same name working on a movie with the Nazrana in 1961.  He is listed as the Assistant Art Director.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

L M Ghose - Blue Boat

While decorating my hall way today I was taking down the painting and came across another L M Ghose I got a few years ago.  It was not in the best of conditions and when it was framed it had to be reduced in size to only show the no faded section of the colour painting.  Unlike the previous one I posted this is done in colour but just shades of blue.

It is probably meant to be a night time scene with moonlight, the signature is behind the mount and very close to the edge.  I had to take the painting apart yo photograph the signature which is paint but looks like it is dated 1913.  Wow this makes it 96 years old.

You can just about make out the signature and the date, I think I prefer the blue to the black one in the last post.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

G D Thyagaraj - Bullock Cart Train

I got quite excited when I came home for lunch on Wednesday as the post man had put a card through my letter box saying he had tried to deliver a parcel and I was out.  He had left it with my neighbour across the road.  The only parcel I was expecting was from San Diego in the USA where I had recently purchased my first painting by G D Thyagaraj.  I have tried for a number of years to acquire one of his paintings but had always been out bid.  In the event I got the painting for a reasonable price and the postage from the USA to the UK was $33 or £20.60 at the current exchange rate.  A copy of the painting can be found below along with a close up of his signature.  Regular readers will know I am keen to ensure his signature is correctly read in future.
The photograph colours are not quite right but the painting is in very good condition with no inscriptions on the reverse.  It depicts a bullock cart convoy on a dusty road, however there are no clues as to a name for the painting or of its age as it was not in a frame when I received it.  I also found a reference a the Christie's Auction site to Thyaga being born in 1930 at Kodiakanal, this will make him the youngest of the three brothers.  This is the first time I have found any mention of the year of his birth or place of birth.  See the Christie's link.
I found a reference to Thyagaraj on another blog tonight of an Indian painter based in Mumbai called Sattar S. Shaik you can see his paintings at his blog they are of realistic Indian village scenes and apparently he was inspired by Thyaga's paintings when he was a boy.  His work is very interesting and worth a look.  Hope you like this latest painting.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

L M GHOSE - Boat Scene

Today I have taken a photograph of an L M Ghose boat scene, they frequently appear on Ebay, sometimes like this one in black and white charcoal or is it called Goauche?  I have seem them dated between 1910 and 1920.  SO maybe they were sold to the tourists visiting India at that time?

I have come across one painting in colour that had the signature Lal Mabon Ghose the style was the same but the name was spelt out in full so thought it might have been the same artist.  Does anyone known of him or where in Indian such a name may be common, I wondered if it might be Bengal way?

Hope some one might have some information on this artist?