Monday, 29 March 2010

Testing MoBlogging

I am only just checking out Mobile blogging. It is fab :) Camel is about to write on the go...the suit-case kid style!

By Huma Mulji
(Currently exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery, London)

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Sunflowers Stories

Van Gogh - Still Life : Twelve Sunflowers (Aug 1888)
To my mum
Mother to child:
"You know the other day I was looking at the two new still life paintings that I recently finished and I suddenly realized how much of myself was painted in there. And I thought of your sunflowers in the bathroom. Remember what you told me about them?

You were going through a rather stressful time and you came home to us. All troubled and shattered. And you painted these sunflowers in the bathroom (as a commission by me) and told me "Mom, it's like I'm painting our family. That's dad all the way up there, tall, strong and looking over us; you - always in the centre, bright and happy and me who is always the different ones. There are those of age like grandpa and grandma and the little ones"

Now the more I think about what you painted, and with time, the more I realize how I see things through your lens. Dad is the flower looking away, but that' him... he tends to deal with conflict and crisis like that leaving me to confront things. And I'm there in the middle trying to be strong for everyone to hold us all together. You just look crazy, though one of a kind, your sunflower is really crazy as if it has just survived a storm. Petals shattered on the ground even. And you know what, the little ones were looking at you with that strange look as if they were asking "Who the hell is she? Why is she so weird?".

Anyhow for some reasons the two Still Life I recently did. Of two vases of flowers, which were also in their late primes. I remember painting them when I was making this major decisions in my life. I wasn't torn by that decision, in fact I had wanted it. I guess my choice of subject has unconsciously told me that "it was time to leave". Interesting, isn't it?"

Mom, I was merely trying to copy Van Gogh's sunflowers but I really couldn't paint the whole "mural" of sunflowers in his style. I really did thought his sunflowers were different and quirky and I always want to be a bit different. But yes it it interesting that you had thought of that. 

Van Gogh - Still Life: Three Sunflowers (Aug 1888)

Did Van Gogh's way of painting really represented his state of mind? Did his brush strokes and colours really tell you that he was a bit ... not there. Bonkers?

Van Gogh: Still Life - Two cut Sunflowers (Aug-Sept 1887)

Van Gogh paintings photo credits

Van Gogh's Starry Night

It has certainly been an eventful start to another year of me enjoying art in the beloved capital of the United Kingdom. Despite my inability to keep up with my blog writing, I have already seen some wonderful exhibitions in London in the first few months of the year. I really can't wait to pull myself together and tell you all about them. To ease myself into the writing habit, I would like to share with you a painting and a song that came into my head last night as I was falling asleep, blissfully happy as I usually am at the end of the day. Though that song wasn't a happy one...

Funnily enough, this is also a great build up to my review on the current RA's most-successful and prob most-loved exhibition this year - " The Read Van Gogh: the artist and his letters".

Starry Night is one of my favourite Van Gogh paintings. I don't remember the first time I saw this painting but I remember being very very young. It has always mesmerized me, the colours, (and later) the brush strokes... something haunting about the stars. And I have always loved stars, especially gazing at them at night by the beach during the Summer holidays in those young days... how much bigger, brighter and more beautiful they are than normal ("normal" to me was big city, big lights and very rare shinning stars).

.. and Vincent's painting reminded me of those summer nights I love so much. Like Vincent while living in the city sometimes I would miss those starry starry summer nights. Perhaps that was why song then the painting came into my head?

Don Mclean's "Vincent"  , also a song that moves me very much. Don not only describes one of VG most famous paintings with beautiful lyrics but he also talks about the artist that many misunderstood, an artist should be known for more than just his paintings and his insanity.

Starry, starry night.
Paint your palette blue and grey,
Look out on a summer's day,

With eyes that know the darkness in my soul.
Shadows on the hills,
Sketch the trees and the daffodils,
Catch the breeze and the winter chills,

In colors on the snowy linen land.

Starry, starry night.
Flaming flowers that brightly blaze, Swirling clouds in violet haze,
Reflect in Vincent's eyes of china blue.
Colors changing hue, morning field of amber grain,
Weathered faces lined in pain,
Are soothed beneath the artist's loving hand.

For they could not love you,
But still your love was true.
And when no hope was left in sight
On that starry, starry night,
You took your life, as lovers often do.
But I could have told you, Vincent,
This world was never meant for one
As beautiful as you.

Now I think I know what you tried to say to me,
How you suffered for your sanity,
How you tried to set them free.
They would not listen, they're not listening still.
Perhaps they never will...