Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Colours of Scotland

In an earlier post, I shared a little bit o' travel journaling that I did during our May trip to Edinburgh.  Well, here's a collage of some of my travel pics from that trip.  These are the colours that to me represent Scotland.  Hope your weekend is as warm and sunny as the fiery colours of their whiskey! 

The Colours of Scotland

Monday, July 16, 2012

Alhambra ... treasure of harmony & light

A paradise on earth.  That is what the Nazrid monarchs of the 13th Century intended when they created the palaces of the Alhambra on a hilltop at the foot of the Sierra Nevada in Andalucia, Spain.   And they surely succeeded to create a place of infinite dreams.  A place filled with deep mystery.

A complex of palaces that shimmers like silver under the moon and stars, yet it glows like copper when the sun rises.  What fascinating events and conversations could those richly embellished walls, arches and columns have been silent witnesses to?  Poets have described the Alhambra as a ruby on the temples of the city of Granada.  In the Arabic tongue, alqala al hamra means the red palace.  Red is certainly the colour that the Alhambra takes on at its most intense during sunrise and sunset.

Alqala Al Hamra

The complex today consists of the Alcazaba (the fortress), the Nazrid Palace (the official court, baths and harem), the Generalife (the summer palace with breathtaking aromatic gardens and fountains) and the palace of Charles V, which was added many centuries later.  To me, the Alhambra is one of the most breathtaking architectural marvels on the planet.  This is one man-made space where all the elements conspire together perfectly and powerfully to spark creativity and inspiration.  The air, the light, the infinite views, the architectural detail, the exquisite carvings and embellishments, the gardens, the sounds, the fragrances and the sense of silent mystery that lingers.  I am, and always will be in awe.

Alhambra Detail
 Gardens of the Nazrid Palace & Generalife

Nazrid Palace Interior

Friday, July 13, 2012

Colours of Spain

When I returned from a trip to Israel in January, I decided to make colour collages using some of my travel pics - see my January blog entry called "Colours of Israel". Well, I just had to make these two collages of the colours of Spain because the colours there are just so vivid and intense.  Spain to me is all about the colour, the music and the dance!

Reds, Pinks & Yellows
Whites, Blues & Greens

Monday, July 9, 2012

An Ode to Ouma Lena

I've been away from my blog for 2 months and I cannot believe how the time has flown! Many trips have since come and gone - and that's my excuse! I have just returned from a trip to Spain - Andalucia to be precise.  I will be posting some images later this week of my favourite spot of architecture in the entire world which I visited for the third time during this trip.  On the art journaling front, my bi-weekly journaling workshops on Friday mornings are tons of fun and very inspiring.  I have also been busy with a couple of mixed media projects.  And a few interesting changes have happened on the music front - more on that later.

One of the mixed media projects that I have since finished, is an ode to my late grandmother, Lena.  It was her birthday on 25 May, and my mom and her 4 sisters met for an high tea to celebrate Ouma Lena's life and legacy.  Each of them exchanged gifts with the other 3, and all the gifts had special significance with regards to her legacy.  She was loving, caring, giving, gracious and had the most soulful gaze with her beautiful blue eyes.  It felt as if she could see your past and your future and comprehend your state of mind at the same time.  She was a creative soul, a wonderful cook, she could sew, knit and crochet.  And she produced 5 extremely attractive and gifted children. But most of all she was a prayer warrior.  A deeply spiritual woman who knew exactly where her inner strength was rooted.  And I am proud to say that I carry her name - Magdalena.

When her birthday came up, I felt that I wanted to make something special to honour her legacy by using vintage photographs of her and the family.  I was inspired by the style of mixed-media artist, Lynn Whipple, and decided to make 4 small accordion books - one each for my mom and her 3 sisters. I used gesso, gel medium, water-soluble wax pastels, 80 year old vintage train schedules, scanned vintage photographs, recycled cereal boxes and I crocheted some miniature red bunting.  I finished off the collaged pages by adding some white and red pen and pencil before assembling the books.  As a final touch, I made small bags out of the vintage paper and attached buttons and string to close them up in order to keep the books dust free.  Thought I'd share them with you, so here they are - enjoy!