Botanical Challenge

I finished a 14 day challenge posed by artist Esra Alhamal on her website. I enjoyed painting 14 different types of flowers, coming up with the color scheme and practicing outlining with black ink! I have received many questions asking me about the type of paper, paint, brushes. All I can tell you is that use whatever is available to you. I used Gouache paint from Winsor & Newton, Pro Arte brushes, Black Indian ink and Fabiano 300gsm Hot Press watercolor pad. But I can’t emphasize enough, whatever is available to you will work! Enjoy!

“Don’t swim tonight my love”

NOT AVAILABLE FOR SALE 


The title is a line from the song “Ocean” by Lou Reed

When I went to Michaels the other day, I noticed black canvases and I was surprised they existed! I wondered what they’re for! So I bought some, because I am like that. I like experimenting with new stuff “relatively”! So, here’s my first attempt and I can say that they’re awesome in painting night / dark landscapes! Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

“Come back, have faith”

The title is a line from the song ” Soon” by My Bloody Valentine.


Some times, the people we’re involved with don’t just leave us, or simply cheat on us, but they leave or cheat for someone else; a competitor comes along to play the monstrous antagonist in our fairytale. Knocking down that beautiful life we have painted in our heads. The agony raises one fundamental question that persists, some times, throughout our lives; What does the other woman / man possesses that we don’t; What do we lack that they don’t? Let’s just say one thing, that question will never be answered. You might go through a lot of discussions with the person who hurt you, they will never provide a sufficient answer. You might gossip and vent to your family and friends, you might ever reach out to the other woman / man, and they themselves can’t answer that question for you. You’re looking for relief.

Part of this pain is based on a crucial human characteristic; we know ourselves from within. We know too many specific details and exciting secrets about ourselves. But what we know about people is only their exterior. We only know what they choose to reveal; which, most of the time, is nothing but a shimmering picture they paint for themselves; a pretty face and a seductive personality! No one, after all, would show people the dark side, not even you! As a result, we may feel that the other woman / man, whom we were dumped for, or cheated on with (and whom we stalk on social networks), is an extraordinary person at all level; we’re shy, they’re not. We’re messy, they’re organized. We’re boring, but they like concerts, jokes and smiles. Our friends and family might reassure us, with good intentions, and remind us of our wit, knowledge, or awesomeness. Or they might remind us of how much they enjoy our company. However, this might not be the best way to get over the feeling of abandonment for someone else; someone whom we think is better than us.

To get over the pain of feeling worthless against the other woman / man, we must realize that every person is ordinary to a great extent. No such person is “the perfect one”. There are only differences between us. But eventually, we all share one thing, we all are ordinary people. And then we might also realize that the person who left for someone else is also as ordinary. Our failures in love, and our flaws might be real, very real. But the picture we know and the picture we have about our “competition” leans towards total ignorance. We know nothing about their flaws. What reaches us about their lives is only what they choose to share on their Instagram or Twitter! Getting over the pain can’t be achieved through denying the fact that we have a less awesome side, but it requires not to be hostile towards ourselves in picturing the other woman / man. Therefor, we get a more balanced picture of who they are, and how humans are alike.

Naturally, the “competition” has some qualities we lack, perhaps a better looking body, or a more satisfying job. Maybe they’re better educated or more interesting. Maybe they share more interests than us! But at the same time, guaranteed, they have a great number of flaws, the same way we do. This should provide some ease; Not because we know these flaws, but because we know that people are generally flawed. The general rule states that everyone we encounter must possess some quality or behavior that will disappoint us. No matter how much the other man / woman is attractive, they will disappoint that who disappointed us.

When our loved ones decided to jump to another relationship or cheat on us, they didn’t knock knock knock on heaven’s doors. They only replaced one flawed relationship with another. We should never torture ourselves with the idea that they would be unconditionally happy with the other! The lesson we should learn is that we’re not the only ones flawed, or damaged goods. But we were dumped or cheated on for a delusion that a person is always happier when in another relationship, but in fact, every human relationship is especially sad, and is uniquely beautiful.


I translated (with addition) the following tweets

 

“Used to sing about the mountains but the mountains washed away”

The title is a line from the song “The Ocean” by Led Zeppelin.

The following is a random crude thought. So if you feel like you’re reading  unconnected thoughts, well maybe because you are! I believe love relationships are very similar to those relationships we have with children (or between siblings), of course with the slight degree in difference.

When a mother or father raises a child, they invest a lot of emotions in this baby. They spend long time caring for this being, educating and nurturing it. They put huge efforts into bringing up this human safely with love “unconditionally”. Yet, once this human grows (complexes in) up to be an individual with thoughts opinions and mistakes, they still continue on loving him/her despite the obvious objection to what he/she now are! Either they don’t like their kids choices or they don’t approve their behaviors. This huge investment they’ve made during their kids’ childhood, in my opinion, is what makes them tolerate their kids bullshit. The emotional drain they experience when their child drains them emotionally and mentally, is what makes it hard for them to let go and “break up” with their fucked up child. 

Now think of Love relationships. Think of the beginnings where we invest a great deal of emotions, a great deal of thought and planning. We put forward our best to be with someone we chose. Similarly, we nurture one another, we depend on each other, we learn about the world together. Therefor, a lot of intra-and-inter-personal education takes place. Then love also matures and complexes, and what happens is very similar to the previous. Partners rearrange priorities, commit mistakes, grow individually, and search for happiness resumes. And once, we’re struck with the reality of incompatibility (or we stop working on being compatible), we find it hard to let go. Walking away seem like a bitter choice that we’re not willing to take. For the same exact reason, a lot of time and emotion have been invested, and we’re not willing to lose “everything” we’ve risked!

“And the world is drawn into your hands”

The title is a line from the song “Muzzle” by the Smashing Pumpkins.

I never fail to deliver my promises and I promise you this; someone will pay for the sunken world I have in my hands. I see a world blue. I see my ocean vast and clear. My eyes won’t shut, and my brains race. I cling on the hope that everything will clear. I am praying that wake in a dream within a dream.

“When will those dark clouds all disappear”

The title is a line from the Rolling Stones’ Angie.

My whole weekend is themed “The Rolling Stones”. I never really liked them. I’ve always thought they were too loud for me. But a couple of days ago, I was shown many mellow Stones songs. So I used my husband’s record collection to listen to some.


My life lately has been a great contrast! 

This is the quickest painting I have ever painted. It only took me 20 minutes to finish. I wasn’t in the mood to paint. I already had two previous fail attempts. I didn’t have the motivation. I am going through a time of my life where I am experiencing extreme mood swings. When It felt like I am getting somewhere with this one, I decided to call it. I didn’t want to ruin it. I could have continued, but I didn’t wanna micro-detail it, then I’d probably end up with a messed one, because I am not patient.


“With no lovin’ in our souls
And no money in our coats
You can’t say we’re satisfied
Angie, I still love you baby
Everywhere I look I see your eyes
There ain’t a woman that comes close to you
Come on baby dry your eyes
Angie, Angie ain’t good to be alive
Angie, Angie, we can’t say we never tried”

“Bathed in Blue,

… the walls of my memory divides the thorns from the roses; it’s you and the roses” – Afterglow, INXS

SOLD 


The hardest thing I had to paint is this self-portrait. It didn’t take me that long to finish it. But depicting reality and portraying myself is a very personal experience. Not only did I have to see myself the way people do, with my wide nose and a gap between my front teeth, but I also had to paint the way I feel, the noise in my head and my deepest secrets.

Physique flaws are less painful when compared to the pain you feel when depressed. Feeling blue creates so much noise inside the head, you start believing there’s no such thing as silence. The pain kills your neurons in a battle you fight all day long. You lie at the end of the defeated on bed, trying to sleep but your wounds are too painful they’re gushing into brain. You lose sleep. You also lose the will to do your job. The only thing you know how to do is do more thinking, fight battles within your head, try to survive and stay alive.

The only thing keeping you from running away is knowing that tomorrow is another battle another chance for winning!

 

 

“They got the blues. You give them the blues”

NOT AVAILABLE FOR SALE 


The title is a line from the song Crabsody in Blue by AC/DC.

The beauty of this picture is that you can’t tell if the white belt in the back is mountain, waves or clouds… I even can’t decide what I want it to be. But that’s how art works, doesn’t it! This baby was painted with both brushes and knives.