Tag: Painting

You are your own brand!

This Post is for anyone celebrating their birthday today, (and everyone else) I have this urge to celebrate you, and offer a tiny prayer too from my son who’s incredible gift is prayer. If you’ve been following posts you’ll know he’s not just blind but recovering from a series of disturbing issues, but this isn’t about him;

whichever part of the world you’re in: what a ride this is, and yet we are still the same people we were born as…

Was my birthday couple of days ago: “..no fuss,” I warned them, but there they were @ midnight, cake and candles, hushed whispers: in the morning among mysteriously bought gifts, was a Heart full of blue crystal stars from Kitsy, and Perfume from our eldest, my first name ‘Diella‘ hand- crafted in with scores of words like “Light”. (I got that name in a dream, after a long crazy illness. While I healed, there was a dream: it had my name written on a white stone. Diella means Worshipper);

mid- birthday joy, now there was announcement of national 21 day curfew; our entire street & surrounding areas went quiet, no bustle of traffic or twitter from Myna in trees running between our home and army acres across.

Within our walls, my family had strung out little lights, there was music and the smells of great cooking,

(I have officially surrendered cooking baton to second daughter Kitsy, who is master chef! (On left is how she used to be), now 👇….sigh, they grow so fast.

Kitsy in our last visit out in a park…. why’d that seem so long ago?

D’you sometimes feel guilty to feel happy? You know it’s a mess out here with virus and anxiety attacks, but now and then there’s a celebration,

so here’s the thing: we were going thru’ all our pics, and my Jeff he rounded off everyone’s words with, “Ray, you are … you are… unique….” ….words that make me stare at everyone else now…..

that, there is no one like you either!

No matter the news, nothing changes who you are, your essence is unique, novel! Yes they say ‘novel‘ for all kinds of things, but here we are, citizens and strangers and basic people born to mothers and families and lives that can change in the twinkling of an eye. We been warned of all that, but when it arrives it’s a thief in the night, it’s a touch between life and death…

We got two bone chilling letters from people we love, one from our precious nephew in a hospital in Germany, he’s a doctor; and the other from a very dear friend in the U.S. They wrote loving notes, asking family to pay attention to how deadly this Covid thing is, the pace at which it mutates, its silent stealth. These precious ones lives are at risk because of their professions: I can’t tell you enough what it felt like, to be gazing at/ celebrating life in all its hues: to hug across the miles, and cry tears of love and pain;

to know that we 7 billion are strong and yet we are this vulnerable. We are beloved and fragile, our life is like grass, and yet we are one-of-a- kind- each, Designer made, no matter that our breath can be whisked away; we are phenomenal, a Force to reckon with. The day we were born, people paused or clapped, kissed? …. wept.

We can die, and even that occasion is phenomenal. It causes chaos / maddening grief, because humans as a race cannot be ignored. If one of us is attacked in any unusual ordeal it is News. The entire planet of us under siege is another thing altogether, nothing competes with the vastness of that: the fact that we are under this kind of common indefinable, insurmountable distress is totally New.

If we survive this, and many will, there will be the aftermath of it and it may be unlike anything recorded in the history of mankind: I don’t want to go much there: this one is about birthdays and how it feels to celebrate humans, mid- international crisis; it feels strange and provocative -beautiful and Quiet.

This morning I woke up feeling different, younger and older, like I had more in my 206 bones. It’s an awareness… of what? The immortality of life, or its brevity? I’m staring at books we used to read, it’s like from another life: movies, talks. Some Quotes feel more right than before. Oh, bouquets and birds, they don’t change, they are like paintings and classical music; they have Eternity in them. But our conversation…. it is halved in a new way.

Birthday hugs: they are tighter.

Gazes and strummed guitar, candle lights and the clink of glasses… they say new things. I can’t say what, just new. And old. And somethings we never knew before. We thought we knew it all. Our parents and grandparents taught us how to say Grace and say please, thankyou and sorry. As we grew we thought we understood things a little more than yesterday. It felt sweet, sometimes sour.

Now, I don’t know… and that is a New Thing. It reminds me of how little we all truly know about each other as humans. You are a person with feelings and heart and we must care deeply for each others’ well being, must pray for one another’s lives/ souls…

this is more than birthdays: you can see this Post hovers around that word and how I want to wish you a beautiful life without sounding patronizing, even if it’s not birthday zone. Even if life’s not short and we’ll survive this and other wars.

Our daughter Vi does these Videos and I’d love for you to listen to this one. She’s a lot like me and feels deeply about things;

then our son walks in on her recording (he cannot bear closed doors), but the moment turns around, he prays and brings you right into our room facing palm trees on it’s right, with my large painting in the back drop. It is called DaySpring, and I wish you that Inner Spring of Light and Life.

Vi does her own take on Michael W. Smith’s Agnus Dei; we looked up those words and it means “Emblem: a Lamb bearing the Cross of Christ.”

All sounds so serious. D’you get the feeling life is way more than mortal detail? That there’s more besides thinking on Cures and everyday bread/ rice/ health… that oneday we might all be someplace else besides this planet?

And that we matter incredibly more than we suspect

This is another one I’ve no clue how to wrap. Do have a blessed day.


The $120 million Scream

Let me say it out loud, not just because I’m artistically inclined:

Art is the Journal of our Times, the Colour of our Decibel: in an environment that might seem to be growing steadily deaf to human existential need, or isn’t it?

Snippet from Pg 5, The Times Of India, today.

TOI smashed it with above version of the world’s 2nd most famous painting next to Mona Lisa, THE SCREAM:

originally painted by Norwegian Expressionist artist Edvard Munch, 1893, (Norwegian title- Der Schrei Der Nature, the Scream of Nature: Shriek), the face of this Painting symbolizes: Quote Arthur Lubow: “….the universal anxiety of modern man.”

It is a masterpiece that has perhaps inspired one of our noisiest Emojis, little need of professional skills & cartoonery, just text an Emoji yell, 😱 courtesy Mr. Munch. (Don’t you wonder what was going on while he painted this one?) It reads to me like a Seismograph of his mind.

I found 2 paragraphs (below) from a personal journal of his: worth the read if you’re curious:

“I don’t paint what I see but what I saw.” 
The Scream Edvard Munch.

I was walking along a path with two friends – the sun was setting – suddenly the sky turned blood red – I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence – there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city – my friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with anxiety – and I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature.
Edvard Munch.

Image result for quotes of Edvard Munch

“…from the moment of my birth, the angels of anxiety, worry, and death stood at my side, followed me out when I played, followed me in the sun of springtime and in the glories of summer. They stood at my side in the evening when I closed my eyes, and intimidated me with death, hell, and eternal damnation…”
Edvard Munch.


When The Scream got in the news again last year, with Munch’s Collection going on exhibit in Britain, I stared at Its decibel; 

the Artist on that walk with two others separated by gaps and back drop blue swirl. In this pastel version, its center figure’s skeletal eyes gawk at a deaf Universe. The Scream is certainly no photograph, with random pedestrians; this is E. Munch’s mind, another heirloom hanging in there in the noise of us.

We do not want pretty pictures to be hung on drawing-room walls. We want… an art that arrests and engages. An art of one’s innermost heart.” Edvard Munch

1893 to 2020:

what would Edvard M. have painted if he were here today; what was the expression of inner man, a good century ago…do gut reactions not change? It is the saddest, most explosive painting ever viewed globally.

I had written about E.M’s Scream elsewhere, and needed to include a few Readers’ Comments in this Reblog here, without which this Post would be incomplete. Thankyou, and I hope you approve.

  • Ranjan Thakkar’s comment – ‘suspended understanding’ –

“…perhaps love, peace, joy, compassion, grace, beauty among others were never meant to be understood. Those moments when our understanding is suspended are to live for – where does it start or end? What actually exists in between? Is it good or bad or less significant than we make it out to be. More questions than answers ..and I don’t particularly like suspended understanding…


Nor I, but I guess some of that makes for Masterpieces? One tries to own joy peace, love, strength, all that. Perhaps in the ‘suspended moment’ we cross fjords, chasms. Fenced in, we keel over at our dusk. Is possible we hear each other’s Screams in our own; perhaps that’s why this Painting grabs the imagination of so many. One relates to it. In our daily pursuit of happiness I’d like to think our best moments are perhaps in those suspended places, even if they are too loud to understand. or forget.



You’re right, this is a profoundly sad image. Here’s what I see in it: the stylized foreground figure is warped by his warped environment, a dynamic suggested by the swirling forces on the offing and the subject’s distorted body. He’s the same color as the two figures in the background, suggesting some kind of kinship, but they are distant and unaware, and perhaps unconcerned. And yes, this is a masterpiece.


 Thank you for your comment, I was intrigued by Jill Llyod’s “..a changing point in history – man cut loose from all the certainties that had comforted him up until that point in the 19th Century: there is no God now, no tradition, no habits or customs – just poor man in a moment of existential crisis, facing a universe he doesn’t understand and can only relate to in a feeling of panic. That may sound very negative, but that is the modern state…this feeling that we have lost all the anchors that bind us to the world.” Unsure that Munch believed in any God or Eternity –d’you think there’s that vacuum today? “…facing a universe he can only relate to in a feeling of panic ? “

Natalie Swift

This was such a beautifully written piece!
I have to admit, I’ve never been that good with paintings and seeing ‘deeper meanings’ but when I read your take on it, it made so much more sense to me. Amazing how you can look at the same painting and see two completely different things, isn’t it?
And I simply love the concept of ‘suspended understanding’ as a whole. I’ve never really been able to put that feeling into words, and the way they’ve described it was spot on.
Looking forward to reading more….


Powerful post… I see the one question I hope everyone gets to ask themselves… ‘ what am I doing here?’ Then to let go and be in the void of seemingly nothing yet which actually holds everything just waiting for you to turn up and enjoy…


A long read this!

Thankyou E. Munch for making me stare at the Environment all over again today:

I’m intrigued, and curiously satisfied that somethings are growing universally common in human language: Food for one. Angst. The Relief of Fulfillment. The Joy of Discovery…especially that.

  • Is It (Environment) listening, are we listening to It? Was that Munch’s Scream, or was he deafened by a yelling Universe?

More on E.Munch.

*Art historian Jill Lloyd,  “The Scream ..sums up a changing point in history – man cut loose from all the certainties that had comforted him up until that point in the 19th Century: there is no God now, no tradition, no habits or customs – just poor man in a moment of existential crisis, facing a universe he doesn’t understand and can only relate to in a feeling of panic. That may sound very negative, but that is the modern state…this feeling that we have lost all the anchors that bind us to the world.”




How did M.K Gandhi ever do what he did?


How did one half-clothed man with a spindle do what he did?

He walked into a Banquet sans suit and necktie, but with ‘loin cloth‘ representing all his brother- farmers back home in India. Oh he talked, wrote, fasted, got thrown out of here and there, was jailed, unjailed, hailed by kings and the rest, fought gently, made salt against Govt orders(Dandi March, pre Indian Independance……), got beaten up, dared kingdoms, befriended and brought together people of all ‘castes’…. how?

My Gandhiji at Rangoli Met.
Mahatma Gandhi rd, Artville.