Thursday, February 23, 2012

How do you paint?

Art in Progress

original photo by Jasbir S. Randhawa    
A good question.
And pictures show it best, I think ;) .

I had seen a photo in my stream in G+ and thought:
"Wow!! That would look great as a painting too."

I have not done such a painting yet. So I asked the creator of the photo if I could make a painting out of it.
And he agreed and send me the original photo (many thanks to him again) so I could "study" the details better.

And there are a lot of details in that photo. Makes it actually harder for me. See, I do not want to make a simple copy of this rose. I'm not that good as a painter or do "paintography". There are some that can do it. I've seen and been awed by those paintings, an example is Ray Bilcliff. The photo / painting that amazed me on first look is this: Lotus Kiss

I want mine to simply look good. And to try out my techniques I have accquired with colored pencil drawings. It will take a while until it is done and I'm please with the results. Meanwhile I'm just enjoying the painting and the progress!!

When I'm done I'll update on the result. :D

Monday, February 20, 2012

Solan - a whole life in one picture

Dream about Solan - a sketch done right after waking up

Sometimes when you wake up from a dream all you remember is an image and a name. And emotions. Strong emotions. And some sort of memory that is the background to the image. Something that makes you remember it even after years as strong as it was that time you woke up from it.

For me it was like this with this image and name. On waking up I had sketched the image that was still in my mind with all the details I could recall. Then, as I am lucky enough to have access to the internet, I searched for the name as I remembered it. And some derivations of it too. Just in case I had not recalled it right.

I did find some interesting things about "Solan": - a town in India - founded in 1972.
And "Solana" is a female name: - Spanish; but also the name of areas/towns in Philippines, Spain and USA - the meaning is associated with "on the sunny side" or "sunshine".
Just as "Solon" is a male name. - an ancient (BC) Greek "reformer" and poet for (his) pleasure.

All this had something to do with what I remembered - but it didn't not fit all of it. So, after all these years (nearly five actually) I decided to finally write down my version of Solan. It might all be just fictional.


My name is Solan. 
I am still a girl, and I have a twin brother. No other brothers or sisters live with us right now.
Our house is full with people during the day. They do not live with us. Some are servants that take care of the house and garden. Some are workers on our property that surrounds our house and the fields close by.
And some come to ask my father for advice and plead him to judge in difficult situations. Like two men fighting over the border of two neighbouring fields. Or some possessions. 
Once they even asked him to decide who has the right to take a certain woman into his household. They both wanted her. Contrary to our tradition, my father let the woman decide where she wanted to live. And she decided to have no man at all and live all alone. That caused an uproar in our village; it was feared that all women would decide now where they wanted to live. But it did not happen. The only change from that day on was, that now parents first asked the girl and the boy if they would appreciate to found a household together before it was decided. My mother does the same for the females of the village. But not as often; women don't seem to quarrel so much or are able to settle differences between themselves.
My brother and me are privileged children in our village. Not that we really care about it. It just happens that our father has this position of being the highest ranked man in the area. And thus all the people coming at daytimes. We two prefer to play with all other children of the village with no differences. The places we most often go to is the little harbour down at the ocean and the little wooded areas in the hills close to the village.
But many of the children in our age do not have the time for play anymore. They have to help their parents in the daily work in the house, on the fields and some even on the fishing boats. I do help in the house and garden when I want to. Like my brother does like to help on the fields or sometimes even goes with the others for fishing. But we are not expected to these things as daily chores like most of the other children. We are free to do what pleases us. But of course, never be in the way when our parents do their work. We may be there and listen (and learn from them). One day, so our parents told us, we are expected to take over their position in the village.
And this is what I do not really like. Usually, the first-born male inherits the position of the father. If that one is not capable of it or dies before, the honor of the position goes to the next born male. Now my father has a slightly different view on this. He thinks that any first-born, if capable, will inherit. That would be me. My mother wants him to stick to the tradition; he thinks that all are equal and have equal rights. They do quarrel about it sometimes at night. 
Then this sad day came. My brother decided to go with one of the fishermen. Not just for a day or a week out for fishing. No, this man was an adventurer and wanted to sail along the coast for a longer time. To visit some further away places to trade with. Nothing unusual. It happened every year during this season; the weather pleasant, most field work and harvesting done and the sea calm enough for it. 
My parents took some days to decide. In the end they thought my brother to be old enough (and strong and healthy), and the man trustworthy, to go on this journey. I had asked for it too. Connected to my twin brother as I was, sharing everything, I did not want him to go alone. I wanted to be with him. But my parents wouldn't let me. I was a girl, not a fisherman or seafarer. That was surely not a work for a woman. I thought it not fair, but I couldn't do anything against it. So my brother left us with a big grin on his face, a small bundle in his hand and his heart full of expectation about all the adventures he would have.
I stayed back, crying, waving him a goodbye as if I would never see him again. My mother tried to calm me. She too felt sad at him leaving and joyous the same time for all the experiences he would have. My father wasn't as pleased with it. He had planned to start teaching us about our future work at being in the highest position in the village. 

This was the moment I had captured in the drawing. The father sitting at the table with a strategic game (chess) he had played with the children until it was time for the boy to leave. And yes, I had felt it to be in India, tiled floors, colorful flat-roofed houses and the clothing reflecting this a little.
Now, you might wonder what became of Solan and her brother? I will tell you:

From the next day on, I had to sit and listen when my father had to give advice and do judging. And in the evenings he told me a lot about the history of our village, our country and about the world as he knew it. It was very interesting and I learned a lot. Also why he thought everyone to be equal and should be treated that way. A view so different from the traditions he had to follow. But he managed it and I learned to understand how he did it. 
Still, I wished he had allowed me to go with my brother on that journey too. I felt equal to my brother. He said I'm better suited to become his follower than my brother. I felt honored by this but also a little sad at being "forced" to take on a role and position that I did not freely choose.
My mother too started teaching me more than before. There were days I wished I was still a few years younger and just could run off to play with my friends. But, even if I would do it, there would hardly be anyone around most of the time. It's not easy to grow up. Most of all, I missed my brother.
We did not hear from him for a long time. It took the ship over a year to return. Longer than the usual time. When it finally did my brother was not on it. The man responsible told us that my brother had preferred to stay in a far away country. To learn their ways of leadership and guidance of people in their responsibility. My father was astonished and pleased at the same time. Yes, he thought that this way new ideas will come to our village. And he thought that it would be good for us. He felt proud of his son to want to learn this way and these things although he wasn't supposed to be the one taking his position.
My mother though was upset. He had not yet learned our ways. She feared that he would adapt to the different ways without reflection. And she missed him as much as I did. She only did not show it as open. 
A few years later she died; she had not seen him return. A short time later my father followed and I took over his position. I had to. There was no else to do it. I did not like to. But I did my work as well as I could with all that I had learned. The people of the village came to me as they had come to my father; the men and the women equally. At first, this had astonished me. Me, a woman, being asked by men for advice. So contradictory to our traditions. But it was them that had wanted this little change. And it did our village good. Women now were asked about their point of view more often than before. Their opinions were considered before decisions were made. People became more equal; servants were honored more for their work.
When my brother finally returned after years, he had grown up to be a man, strong and vital and with a keen eye and mind. And he brought a lot of stories from his adventures. It seemed that he was a very liked person and famous in those other countries for his ideas and opinions. Many of those were from our traditions. So my mother had been wrong that he had not yet learned enough about our way of living. In a quiet way I felt proud that he was my brother and had taken this chance in his life to have all those experiences.
I was so happy to see him. And on our first quiet moment together I asked him if he would now take over the position of our father. He agreed, but asked to be allowed to mourn for our parents before he did so. And with a condition: that I would advice him when he didn't not know what to do. Sometimes two minds are better than one before a final decision was made. 
To this I agreed happily. I was free again. Not having to fill a position and role that I did not feel to be mine. I never moved to another man's house. My brother though did take a woman to our house and had children. Both of us taught them what we had learned in our lives. One day they would take our place.
Although that one day in my childhood, that had been so sad and had changed a lot of the plans for my life I had had at that time and that had forced me into a position for some time of my life that I had not freely chosen, I must say in looking back that I did have a good fulfilling life. 
It is always an option to see the positive that is in any given situation and not only the negative that is there. 

So, this is the little story that goes to that image. A whole life in one picture. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Dio - Born On The Sun

I usually don't post music or videos.
But this one I liked for the images of the sun 
that can't be seen with the naked eyes alone.

Dio - Born on the Sun 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A little Love Story


It had been such a lovely evening.
Myra sighed. She stood there looking at the sunset at the horizon.
A sunset like it had been on the last evening with him. Anua. Her love. 
Her only true love.
She missed him so much. Every day she missed him more. 
When she had first met him she thought of him to be common like all the other men at her town.
And that's the way she had treated him too. A friendly hello, goodbye and small talk. 
A smile here and there when she saw people she knew from seeing.
Polite. As she had been taught by her parents to be. 
And then this special day had come. A feast in the village to honour some ancient person.
Too long ago that anyone actually knew the person. Only the stories told about the great things he had done for the village and the future of its inhabitants. So that they all could still live here and be happy.

At first she had not taken much notice of him. Stayed close to her friends. Chatting with the girls, listening to their boasts about their friends and lovers. 
Suddenly her best friend, Tina, asked her when she would tell them about her lover. Myra protested. She didn't have a lover, not even a male friend.
Then Tina pointed over to him: "Well, he for sure seems to be in love with you. He only has eyes for you. All the time since he is here today. And all the time I see him seeing you, too. Stopping whatever he does when he spots you. And you smile so differently when you see him. Yes, we all can notice that."
"I don't know him. He is just a man that lives here. Nothing special and surely not my friend or lover. You are mistaken!" Myra was now angry at Tina for saying such stupid things. And stomped off.

First, she walked over to the table with the drinks. But she wasn't thirsty. She continued to the table with the foods. None she liked right now there too. She looked back to her group of friends. No one was looking her way, but she imagined them all talking about her behaviour now. Giggling, and saying things not true. Rumours.
She felt so embarrassed now. 
Searching around over the people at the feast, she suddenly noticed him. Yes, indeed, he was looking at her, directly, nearly staring. This was rude. You don't look at a person, friend or stranger, like that! She felt her anger rising over her embarrassment at being rumoured about and stared at. 
She gave herself a push and walked over to him. Directly. Like he was looking at her. Ignoring the people that nearly had to jump out of her way and their comments about that.

When she arrived in front of him, he stood up. She made herself even taller, stretching her back and pumping air into her lungs to start the angry talk she had prepared.
But before she could let the air and words flow out, he took her hand: "Myra, I love you. I love the way you smile, the sparkle in your eyes, the sun and moon shining on your hair. It's a great pleasure for me that you finally come over to me so I can tell you this!"
She was baffled. "I...I... Don't stare at me like you do all the time. It's rude", she managed to say. But the next moment she felt sorry for having said that.
Her face turned red: "Oh, sorry. Now I was being rude. My appologies. You said such nice things to me. Thank you, I feel honoured by them. But I don't even know you!" She felt confused; better to stop talking and searching for words.
"Well, then let me introduce myself. My name is Anua. And ever since I reached this village and have seen you, I knew that I love you. Always have loved you and always will love you. Let's move a bit away from the crowd so we can exchange our words and feelings." With this he, still holding her hand, walked with her along the street, to the beach and there to the little temple like outlook at the cliff. One of her favourite places since she could remember.

He made her sit down on the small stone ring, looking out over the ocean. And then he told her, that he wasn't from this side of the ocean. That he had come a long way to explore this coast, the people living here and if he perchance could trade with them. This was his living: to search for new trade possibilities for his people over on the other side of the ocean. And he also told her that he also did these journeys so that one day he would find that one girl that he felt so connected to deep in his heart and soul.
And that he now has found here.
At first she was silent after this. Slowly, very slowly she began to understand why she loved this place so much. She too had been searching, waiting for her love to find her. And she had to admit, now that he was so close to her, she too could feel that they were somehow connected. She now, for the first time fully conscious of it, looked at him. Directly, without shyness, taking in every detail of his face, his body, his posture, his aura.
"I'm sorry, I was so shut-off toward you. I had given up hope at finding a true love for me. All I knew was that it would not be any of the men from my village or any close by area. I did not know that you were not one of us. But now, " she hesitated.
He pulled her closer and gave her a tender kiss. And then another. And another, lower on the neck. She sighed and returned the kisses.

And they spend a long time there that day. Talking, hugging, kissing, enjoying at being together finally. Then the evening came and the sunset. Such a strong and beautiful sunset. Just one moment she had wondered why no one else had come to this place. It  must have been magic, the magic of love, that they had been undisturbed all that time. 
They had sat there together, arm in arm, until the sun had fully set and all the colour had gone from the landscape and sky. And the stars and moon had risen. She fell asleep in his arms holding her. She still felt that he placed his coat over her when he tenderly lay her on the stone ring much later. 
And he heard his whisper in her dream: "I am so sorry. I have to leave you now. My time here is over. I am glad that we did finally meet and had this time together. I wish, it would have been much longer. But alas, I have affairs to tend to that can not wait any longer. Farewell my love! I promise, I will come back to you. As soon as I can. I hope, you will wait for me and remember me. I will. I will always love you, I promise. No matter how much time will pass." And with a final tender kiss he left her. 

When she woke some time later, still dark, the moon just setting, the dawn still a few hours off, she could still feel his presence, his strong arms around her and his tender kisses on her lips. "I will never forget you and I will wait for you to return to me, I promise!"she called out over the ocean.

From this day on, whenever she had the chance, she returned to this special place to look out for him. Remembering his love, her love, their love.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Mars in 3D

Credit: Efrain Morales Rivera;  Source:

Cross your eyes and mars is there in 3D.
Yes, It's worth the time he spent out in the cold for this photo!!