These evocative and delightful prints from Spanish painter Jenia Maslova from Saatchi Art, capture the joy of color and light that words yearn to express.
As the pink bleeded into the purple wounded Los Angeles sky during the shockingly beautiful sunset this october evening, the ivory clouds clotted in delicate puffs, further away the burning orange tinges lowered closer to earth, flickering with time before the black magic darkness set and I became entranced by the wonder. Above: Pink fish and pink shoes are a delightful juxtaposition in a Madison Avenue window display.
As an ethereal mermaid, I long for the ocean and its intoxicatingly beautiful, floating, swimming and drifting creatures; Octopus; are moon beings, symbolizing mystery and illusion, they float with their eight appendages behind them, living briefly, often six months and with mating hastening their demise, they are also very intelligent and possess memory. When escaping predators they inject ink. Starfish are another favorite sea habitué, they are magical and sensual creatures that symbolize love, healing, sensuality, beauty and wonder. Sharing a world with starfish may be natures way of easing troubled times, inspiring brilliance and intuition in our daily activities. Starfish are sensitive to their environment, they reproduce both sexually and asexually and are preyed on by seagulls, sea otters and fish, but as such whimsical creatures, they compel our imaginations with them, upon the unknowable sea waves in their sparkling wake. Another gallant of the deep, Seahorses, symbolize luck, protection, awareness, patience and contentment. Seahorse engage in courtship dances, afterwards, the male carries the responsibility for caring for the young. They live in shallow waters, in seagrass and coral reefs. These mystical and dreamy sea dwellers heighten our appreciation for beauty and our blue green marines dazzling array of life.
It is entrancing to search deeper into the brand names of various companies to the source of their inspiration from the ancient world. Godiva, the Belgian chocolatier established in 1926, celebrates the ride of Lady Godiva, bare but for her long hair through the streets on her horse, to protest her husbands taxation on the poor, using the story of such a feminine yet brave women transcends the experience of chocolate to sensual and meaningful heights. Versace, the Italian couturier uses the symbol of the Medusa, a vision of beautiful and terrifying womanhood on its company logo, Versace used the Medusa as she symbolizes beauty, philosophy and art. In Greek mythology, the Medusa was a monster but in classical antiquity, her head appeared as an evil averting device. The house of Versace’s use of her form, drives the power, wrath, beauty, horror and elegance of womanhood in the brand.
Hermes, the French fashion house, uses the name of the Greek god who was the messenger between the worlds, a God of transitions and boundaries and the conductor of souls into the afterlife, it is fitting name for a brand that crates exquisite art that may have been crafted by goddesses, and are protected for the blessed in the earthly realm. Thus, the aesthetics of modern commerce and goods tingles in the light of long held beliefs and suffices the current moment with mystery and wonder.
Why I Read & Write: There are compulsions and roots behind my desire to read to engage with reality during my waking hours and also write to express and comprehend my world. Both literary pursuits are rooted in my itinerant global childhood where books were often the constant. However, my craving for books were often tempered by my maternal grandfathers admonition to write, he insisted that my female cousins and I write a few lines everyday, we even started a clubhouse in the little room between the floors on the staircase, the purpose was to write stories to share with each other, yet we often veered towards indulging in whatever books we could obtain during those holidays in Dhaka. Later, I remember by father telling me that, “a person who has read a 100 books will have a different perspective of the world than one who has only read one”’ this numerical figure began to compel me to read even more, harnessing my natural competitive tendencies. But, two summers ago visiting a rose strewn Knightsbridge in London for a few weeks, I spent many days in a charming attic room in our rented house on Cadogan Lane, in the atmospheric June rain and all the memories of my favorite English literature began to permeate the air. I lit a candle, made earl gray tea and first started to write pieces, struck by the energy and mood of the days and nights in such a historic town. Thus my journey to twine my heart with my pen commenced and now I try everyday to add a few more words to match, decipher, heal, transcend and become the moments of our life.
My first memories are permeated with water, Bondi beach and Darling Harbor in Sydney, the commercial waters of Hong Kong and also Cox’s Bazaar beach (above) on the Bay of Bengal to name a few. Though I now live in LA, I feel further from the sea then on Manhattan Island and in Vancouver as I live in the Hollywood Hills but an errant pacific breeze catches me through palm trees and brings me closer to my beloved seas.
"If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain."—Emily Dickinson. While in Manhattan, I savored this beautiful collection of Dickinson’s letters to her family and friends so much that I had to give a second copy as a gift to a girlfriend. I enjoy epistolary writing because it permeates the moment with the personal insights and personality of writers. Dickinson possessed a wild and sensitive imagination that she conveyed in her correspondence. One may delight in her vivid imagery, responses to nature, whimsical ideas, delicate sensibilities, profound observations and New England environment that contributed to the illuminating beauty and brilliance of her poems and writings.
As one is entranced by the light, one may also be pulled into the irrevocable shadows. The practices of mysticism, occultism, alchemy and sorcery bewitch me, a spell for love, an incantation for healing or a prayer for grace, all of these encapsulate our yearning for piercing the mystery of the unknown and the unseen. I light candles, learn about the healing qualities of herbs, flowers, perfume, colors and symbols in an effort to deepen the meaning of life and it’s possibilities.
The ancient art of Kama Sutra translates to “string of desire” from Sanskrit, the work describes the philosophy of pleasure, healing, virtuous life and happiness. I imagine the sensual realm as a heavenly union amidst blossoming trees, pleasant breezes, redolent fruits, angelic music and beautiful partners achieving ecstasy on earth.
Chloé founder Gaby Aghion passed away, as one who is enamored by Parisian artists and visionaries, I am eager to learn more about her life and influences. The Chloé aesthetic encapsulates femininity, modernity, lightness and joy. Gaby incorporated her deep intellectual capacities into her brand, naming her styles after artists, writers, cultural diaspora, natural objects, locations and others nominers that crossed her bright mind and intelligent curiousity. I am fond of many of the brands trademarks including simplicity of style and form, gracefulness of hues and celebration of nudes, flowing, diaphanous shapes recalling the deserts of Aghion’s Egyptian birthplace, emphasis on softness and roundness which uplifts and defines feminine mores in its most beautiful attitudes. We should be thankful for the creator for enriching the world with such incandescent shades and glimpses of heaven.
The most evocative experiences involve the ephemeral memories and energy of perfume, while searching for a new treasure at Nordstrom at The Grove in LA, I received a sample of Joe Malones, “Wood Sage and a Sea Salt”, this creation captures ideas of a windswept ocean of a British beach, as one who is always at peace at the sea, I enjoyed the sensation of fresh redolent sage with the sea salt crystals tied with a ribbon of seawater and green trees, so one can float and challenge waves even when far from the edges of the marine.
I read the memoir of Deborah Devonshire, “Wait for me!”, while she was alive and was enthralled by her reminisces of her magnetic and eccentric family, historical perspectives and gentle personality and character. It provided a beautiful insight into English customs and responses to many of the moments that shaped our present day.
I recently finished reading, W. Somerset Maugham’s, “of Human Bondage”, where the main character was told by an old Parisian artist during his painting training that the meaning of life may be found in a Persian carpet. I find the idea beguiling and am eager to look deeper into the meaning of art and life in symbols and objects.
The intense, knife edged LA heat reminds me of artists who lived in sun, such as Georgia O’ Keeffe, in New Mexico, where the light inspired her visionary and dreamy art.
Though I moved to Los Angeles, my style sensibilities are still anchored in my days in Manhattan. As I spend much of my time at law firms, I am often simply attired, adorned in pearls and light pink nails.