Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Discovering Auvers-sur-Oise

A few weeks ago I visited some friends in Paris.
And together we did a day trip to Auvers-sur-Oise, a town only 30km from Paris.
It's where Vincent Van Gogh lived and painted for the last 3 months of his life.

We took the train from Paris to Auvers-sur-oise one morning and spent the entire day there.
It was a day so well spent.
Jumping in the Wheatfields
I have always been a fan of Van Gogh's.
Maybe because he was the first artist I ever knew of at age 5.
Back then I knew nothing about art or his distinct style or anything about his life.
But when I went home after visiting the museum and seeing his art, I painted my own version of Van Gogh's sunflowers.
What's funny is that I still remember how I was convinced that our paintings looked identical.
I love how confident and sure of myself I was at that age even when I didn't make sense.
Sketch of Eglise Auvers-sur-Oise by me
So when I got to visit Auvers-sur-oise and see where he lived and painted, it was quite an experience for me.
Van Gogh wanted to leave the hustle and bustle of Paris and so this is where he moved to find peace in the countryside.
He made 80 paintings in 70 days.

The size of his room at the Auberge Ravoux was tiny (only 7 sq.m.) and it seemed pretty depressing.
But Van Gogh didn't really paint here since it wasn't allowed so his paintings were mainly landscapes, and churches. And he also did a couple of portraits.
When you walk around the town you can actually see where each painting was painted.

Room No.5 on the 2nd floor of the Auberge Ravoux.
He was very close to his brother Theo [Thedore Van Gogh] and Dr. Gachet and wrote to them often.
Through his letters one can see that he was quite depressed - like an artist so immersed in his art that he drowned in it and couldn't come up for air and save himself.

Van Gogh shot himself in the wheatfields and came back to his room to die. He was only 38.
Dr. Gachet and Theo were by his side at his death.

Vincent and Theo's graves.
Van Gogh's life was as depressing as his art was beautiful.
It's sad that his art was appreciated only after his death.
Today people adorn their walls with his prints.
Some are even using his art to make art of their own.
While other's are making a feature length animation based on his life.

Here are some of his works juxtaposed with the locations where they were painted.

The Church at Auvers, 1890
Wheatfield with crows, July 1890

We ended the day with a picnic by the river Oise.
We bought some ham and camambert to eat with our baguettes.
And eclairs for dessert.

The day couldn't have been more perfect.

Photos by me.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Twerk it out

Did you watch the VMA's yesterday?

Did you remember anything besides Miley Cyrus doing whatever it is that she was doing?

Well, she crawled out of a bear.
She stuck her tongue out and her tongue was unusually long. Which was just disturbing in itself.
She made the strangest hairstyle ever. Were they bear ears?
Because she danced with bears in a bear onesie.
And even the bear on the onesie was sticking his tongue out.
It was like Inception - but with tongues.

She then ripped the bear onesie and revealed her matching latex bra and panty outfit.
And the worst part hadn't even started.

She began twerking.
Her performance was pretty tongue in cheek.
While her face wasn't.

Jay Z and Miley via Laughing Squid

Wait, there's more.
She then wore a foam hand - the kind you see at sporting events like baseball/ basketball games.
Or in this case at the VMA's so Miley could touch herself and Robin Thicke.

It was stranger than strange.
But that sort of is what the VMA's is all about.

I'm not sure about whether everyone was disturbed by it because of her age or because of her actions.

I just found it funny.

It's one of those things people do for a quick 15 minutes of fame.
Which makes you wonder why Miley did it.
I suppose this was just Hannah Montana's coming out party.
Because if I called it her Debutante or Cotillion, it would just sound wrong.

It's time Miley does her version of Britney Spears' I'm not a girl, not yet a woman.
Because it seems like she's currently twerking in limbo.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Option [d]

via Cherry Bombe
When I am killing time, I want to:
[a] Eat a fruit.
[b] Make art.
[c] Get a pet.
[d] All of the above.

Note to self: When in doubt always choose option [d]

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Wah Gwaan

Wah Gwaan?

Well, nothing much.
I'm just having one of those days where I want to speak like a Jamaican all day.
Do you ever feel like that?

I can't really speak Patois but I do my own version of it.

And then I came across this song called Ragamuffin by Selah Sue.

She seems to be my sister from another blister.

Is she the Dawta of a Jamaican?
No maan.

She frah Belgium.

Who would've thought?

Thursday, August 1, 2013


India is one hell of a strange strange place.
I am more convinced about it everyday.

And the extent of strangeness is endless.
Isn't that exciting?

A friend of mine sent me this today.
This is the link to The Reserve Bank of India website.
Now one would think this would have a hint of seriousness to it.
But, no.
In India we like to keep it simple and fun. And don't forget - unexpected.

So when you forget about why you opened the website to begin with, there's some fun stuff to keep your mind busy.
There's a whole range of jigsaw puzzles of the Indian Rupee ranging from the 10 Rupee note to the 1000 Rupee note.  But, as ridiculously out of place as it was on the website, I have to admit I really enjoyed playing it.
I was always a jigsaw puzzle fan and always will be.

The jigsaws aren't very challenging and are perfect for a lazy afternoon when you don't feel like working.
And what's even better - when you complete the jigsaw [which you always will], tacky and colourful confetti/ firecrackers start bursting on your screen. Wohoo!

It really feels like a celebration.
A stupid one. But one that makes you happy.

I'd recommend going with the 10 Rupee puzzle.
Not only do you get confetti but strangely enough Hava Nagila starts playing and you can't help but feel like singing along.
Since childhood I have sung this song with my own lyrics [like I always do] and could make people believe I was fluent in Hebrew.

Try it!
The whole experience is very festive. And also Jewish.
All that excitement makes you want to break a glass. Or two.
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