Posted in awareness, Concepts, Culture, Events, flashback, Freedom of Expression, Photography, Social Justice

Freedom of Expression – Revival!

Hamsa Hand

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Home decor at Big Lots store

Good morning everyone! Hope you had a wonderful weekend! I looked up a Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of revival to refresh my understanding and this is what popped up:

  • a new presentation or publication of something old
  • renewed attention to or interest in something
  • a return of strength and importance

When I visited my niece, I noticed reoccurring symbol in her artwork that captivated me. An eye in the palm of a hand. She herself didn’t knew what it meant but I was surprised because I’ve suddenly encountered the symbol a lot in my environment. Following my curiosity, I learned that it is known as the “Hand of God” (or Hand of Fatima), an spiritual symbol of protection from the evil eye to bring health, wealth, good fortune, happiness, good luck, and fertility. Ooo la-la!

Hamsa’s earliest origins were in the middle east. Several celebrities (Jennifer Aniston, Heidi Klum, Jay-Z, Gwyneth Paltrow, Madonna) have been spotted wearing it. To learn more about the symbolic significance in various religions, you can visit this website!

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Saw this pretty necklace in the jewelry store and got it for my niece

A Visit Back to Yesteryear

Richa shared some wonderful quotes which made me reflect on my past life a bit. I was browsing through LinkedIn today and came across an article about burnout and this section prompted a flashback:

Ten years ago, I had my first experience with burnout in my early years of college. I was in need of delimiting my responsibilities. I was studying many things that I was passionate about in combination with subject matter that I was not interested in. I wasn’t getting as much sleep as I should have and lost weight from not eating properly because I was trying to keep up with my peers and stay on top of my scholarly workload.

One day, a childhood friend once noted and said to me, “You don’t pray often, do you?” I felt a little irked and thought to myself, “How would she know if I prayed in my private time? Can she really assume?” A nagging question suddenly dawned on me though. I wondered if an individual’s interior life of prayer can affect one’s external life.

Despite me conducting so much research on my assignments and looking for answers, I was cognizant of the fact that there are some things that cannot be answered via research database. One night, I lied in my bed and stared at the ceiling. Though I loved what I was doing in college, paradoxically, I also prayed for some way of escape…at least temporarily.

During my time on campus, I became aware of a religious awakening spreading throughout the student body. Many people described it as a “revival”. Speakers shared stories with a sort of fervor that I was unaccustomed to. Many students from a variety of faith backgrounds mingled, sincerely listened to each other, studied together, prayed for one another through their troubles, and offered assistance where needed.

Quenching the thirst of my curiosity, I also read academic books on the history of prayer and the power of intercessory prayer. I also poured over various religious books of wisdom while hanging out in prayer houses. I suddenly became very intrigued by these ancient books. My mom was entertained by my fascination with these dead authors. 😉

After years of the frost of cynicism covering these student lives, I witnessed dramatic transformations and strengthened relationships. Admittedly, it felt unreal to me to experience a beautiful scene of an integrated diverse community where people didn’t just tolerate differences in one another, but wholeheartedly embraced all the quirks within each other. Some developed a fresh zeal to tackle on local problems in society like hunger, diabetes, homelessness, trafficking, etc.

So! That’s what revival has meant to me in my life. What about you? 🙂

Posted in Books, Concepts, Crafts, Culture, Nature, Quotes

A-to-Z Challenge: Pointillism

Good evening everyone! Art has always been a relaxing hobby for me. I grew up with a friend who majored in art history and I dabbled in various art techniques after she chatted with me about stuff she’s learned. Today, I will explore a technique called pointillism which takes quite a bit of patience!

I’m gonna backtrack a little bit before pointillism to understand how it came to be. In the 1880s, two new styles of landscape painting were trending: impressionism & tonalism.

  • Impressionists often utilized vigorous brushstrokes and frequently applied paint thickly to their canvases via a technique called impasto. They sought to capture fleeting effects of sunlight and atmosphere. American impressionists preferred to paint everyday life: urban scenes of leisure and recreation.
  • Tonalism uses tonal harmonies to create the style’s heightened sense of intimacy. Some painters muted the detail in their work to create softly contoured representations of nature’s suggestive moments. (ie – twilight and dawn: mists prevails, light is less distinct, hues are susceptible to change). It typically evokes feelings of nostalgia in viewers.

Fast-forward to the post-impressionism era, painters began to try out a new direction in art and favored symbolism, idealism, and romanticism. They began to prefer subjectivity (conceptual) to objectivity (perceived).

In the late 1800’s, Georges Seurat and Paul Signac painted in a style called pointillism using “distinctive points of color to build form and image“.

Georges Seurat’s “Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande-Jatte” (1884)

The idea was based on Michel-Eugene Chevreul’s work as a chemist for a tapestry company. He studied the way that different colors contrasted with each other so that his company could develop more attractive tapestries.

  • Chevruel published his research in a treatise describing how colors can impose their complements on adjacent colors. “A red dot placed next to a blue dot can make the blue dot appear greenish because green is red’s complementary color.”

Painters, Paul Gauguin and Vincent Van Gogh, were symbolists who grounded their work not merely their observations in nature but in their emotions. I think about how the moon is gleaming so brightly here creating romantic, magical feelings as the wind is swirling in the sky.

Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” (1889)

Modern Day Art Using Pointillism

Photo Credit: Pinterest
Photo Credit: Amber Char Lynn, “New York City Lights”
Photo Credit: CosmicOwl

Previous Posts in 2019 A to Z Challenge

In response to:

  • Word of the Day Challenge: Moon
  • Reference– “The Bedside Baccalaureate” Edited by David Rubel: Page 103- XVIII. The Hudson River School Legacy, Page 287- XVIII. Post Impressionism