Lifestyle

Images of India inspire Mercer Island artist to paint and give back

Part of the proceeds from the sale of these pictures painted by Mercer Island artist Marianne Bond will go to help out the people of rural India. - Marianne Bond/Contributed Art
Part of the proceeds from the sale of these pictures painted by Mercer Island artist Marianne Bond will go to help out the people of rural India.
— image credit: Marianne Bond/Contributed Art

Island resident and artist Marianne Bond finds all kinds of inspiration for her art. She paints everything from dachshunds to florals and she used to design and build furniture.

But the motivation for her latest artistic venture came from a most unusual source.

It was actually black and white images of India that her husband, Michael, saw in one of his issues of The Financial Times, a newspaper that moved the Mercer Island artist to put her creativity to work, and also to help out a good cause. Bond started painting colorful images of people working, playing and living in India.

“I do look at magazines for inspiration, and I’m into color,” Bond said without irony. Her husband suggested that she create the images in her own unique and colorful style.

Bond began each piece by sketching them onto canvas, then she filled in the color using watercolor on watercolor paper, along with oil pastels, India ink and some ink or acrylic.

The results are bright and lively images of a world very different from the one we live in.

“No other country in the world has more poor people than India,” says the Web site for The Rural Development Institute, a Seattle nonprofit. An estimated 15 million residents of India are poor and/or landless. This is why Bond is donating 10 percent of every sale of her image of Indian women planting rice to RDI, which focuses on land reform in developing countries.

Even a small plot of land provides a family in India with enough fruits and vegetables for themselves. Families sell their excess produce, creating an annual income of up to $200.

Bond’s images of India can currently be purchased at Cascade Frames on the Island or online at Bond’s new Web site, I-Love-India.us. Bond also creates whimsical cards, stationery and other paper goods in what she terms “the style of Andy Warhol,” through her other business, “Party Dogs.” Greeting cards depicting the dogs are available at Island Books.

Bond’s next project is writing and illustrating a children’s dictionary with the working title “Because I Said So.”

“I want to use really different words, put them into sentences for context,” she said. This will be her first children’s book.

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