Looking forward to summer!

It’s summer pretty much all year round in my country but we do have the occasional chilly week or so in December and January. Apart from those two months, you’ll see plenty of sunshine in my tropical home – Sri Lanka. So I think it’s pretty apt for me to say that I know what I am talking about when it comes to summer trends and styles because hey, that’s all us Lankans wear all year long!

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I find that prints never really go out of fashion, no matter what season or time of the year. Whether it’s tribal, animal, floral or geometric, prints have a way of staying in trend. Here’s a classic example of a printed dress that can be worn in any season and any time of the day (really!). I love that it is also in very basic colours – black and white. It can be accessorised in pretty much any way you want, with similar coloured pieces of jewellery, handbag and shoes or even spiced up with some colourful bright add-ons.

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If you’re going to be rocking prints, you’ve got to give the print mix a go! Who says you can’t mix prints with prints when it can look so good on you? Take the above image for example and see how amazing the outfit looks on the women. It’s got the right kind of colours for summer and works so well with each other to create a unique look. Once again, you can accessorise anyway you like with a solid toned colour or amp it up with some bright hues for a playful look.

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It’s up to you if you want to wear long or short dresses really. I’m someone who doesn’t wear anything short so the longer options are the ones for me. However, I find that the occasional short print dress can also be worn if paired well and rightly with a pair of leggings or stockings. What I love about the three above images are the pops of colour, fusion of hues and also the not so drastic but still there prints. Nothing too loud and over dramatic. The third image is a classic example of something I would actually wear, and that tan camel coloured handbag is total gorgeous with the dress!

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Gotta say that this is one of my favourite finds! Okay so this might not scream summer or day time casual chic but you can certainly pull it off if you downsize the accessories and put your hair in a ponytail or braid bun. This could totally work for a mid-evening and late night summer kind of look too however and that’s what I love about this dress – it’s versatility.

If you happen to find similar pieces in a store near you, I kindly suggest you pick it off the rack and go pay for it. Prints aren’t going anywhere this year!

Xoxo

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New buys from ALKE!

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There were newbies out by ALKE a couple of weeks ago and I couldn’t help myself…. so I bought three new necklaces 😀

What I really like about this handmade jewellery site is that the items can be personalised, making them one of a kind. The owner is a close friend of mine which also makes things a lot easier for me. I have been finding it difficult to get long length necklaces for myself and so she customised a few pieces to suit my taste. Take a look!

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All three beautiful pieces costed me a total of Rs. 1,700 which is pretty darn decent. Surprisingly, my husband (who does not like costume jewellery and anything of that sort) loves all three of these pieces as well (yay me :D).

Xoxo

Anjanam

Anup Vega. Exhibition 2014

“It means light watching,” he said. I sat there a little confused. I’m not always confused when it comes to art. The he further explained, “it’s about knowledge that seeps through light. A clear mind, enlightenment and new knowledge of things.” Yes, okay that made sense.

Anjanam is different. At first, all you’d notice are coloured strokes on a framed canvas. But then, as Anup Vega explained, the light shines through. There is a great deal that is unknown and in the dark, very much like the man himself until you question, probe and take a double look to get to know more and finally find the light. To be quite frank, he’s a humble soul. His work therefore is just as humble and honest.

Anup Vega. Exhibition 2014

“I find that although this is a hobby to me, it’s my safe escape and my passion. I believe that one should not do anything if they are not passionate about what they are doing. What is the point in that? There is no time and schedule for me to paint and find something inspirational to relate onto a canvas. When there is light inside of me, in my mind and in my heart, I paint. It keeps me happy. I am not always sure of what I want to do or what I want to paint but that’s really not important. It’s not important to think too much about something, even painting. It must comes from the heart and one must let it be at that,” he said.

Some of the paintings look like as if they are of landscapes. Scattered bits of grass perhaps, deep blue skies, what looks like water lilies floating, and beautiful sunsets. One painting in particular is painted on three sheets of paper. When questioned about why he did this, was this a concious choice (as in part of the idea of the painting) he replied, “unfortunately my answer has nothing to do with the idea behind the image. I wanted to paint something a bit large and didn’t have sizable paper. Paper that large would have cost me a lot but instead I painted on three sheets of paper because it’s much cheaper.”

Anup Vega. Exhibition 2014

The humble man. It rings in the head after a walk around the gallery and a light conversation with Vega. Then there are a series of painting that somewhat look like self-portraits, or are they? The artists himself cannot say. On some canvases, the images look disturbed and then on others they look more proportioned and clear. “It’s a clear reflection of the emotions I personally go through. I paint when I am sad, happy, feeling lost, have found light and even in hunger. Every little emotion changes the outcome of my work,” he said, and that is why I believe his paintings are different and truly one of a kind.

Anup Vega. Exhibition 2014

Vega uses a mix of mediums to paint. For this collection of paintings, he has primarily used water colours but on other occasions he likes to dab in oils, acrylics and whatever he has at hand at the moment he is personal driven to paint.

“Many would not see it as it is, but painting is a luxury to me. When people talk about freedom of expression, they often do not see it in the form of painting. But that is what it is to me. I have a great deal of freedom and I love that feeling. There are energies that surround you at all times and these energies translate onto my work. Sometimes I paint in black and white and then sometimes I use a great deal of colour. These can be easily understood through the paintings that have been picked out for my exhibition,” he added.

Anup Vega. Exhibition 2014

Anjanam is currently been exhibited at the Barefoot Gallery until 25 November.

Masai keepsake

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Beautiful black and white keepsake

Featuring one of my most favourite and oldest keepsake boxes today. It’s not typically a box but it does hold some of my earrings in it. It’s circular shaped and has this adorable elephant figure on the lid. I should add that this was a gift by my husband (who was then boyfriend) from his trip to Africa. The colours and carved design on it represents the Masai tribe. I love tribal looking items and this is just perfect. I love the unique arty look and the fact that it stands out on my vanity. 

Xoxo

A Passion for Faces

I know I uploaded a picture of the same book as my Weekly Snap but I did write a review of the book for the local newspaper I freelance for and I thought I’d post a few of the paragraphs here on my blog for you all to see as well.

A human race has a few faces which show again and again in far apart places. Lift the curtains of differing tones to see the same forms appear in the planes and facial geometry.

Pee-a-boo!
Pee-a-boo!

As a native of Sri Lanka, Barbara Sansoni has seen many a varied featured faces. Her most recent book of drawings – A Passion for Faces – includes these very faces that captured her eye and thoughts.

I’ve yet to come across something I don’t like in this book. It’s quite hefty and leans more towards a coffee table kind of book but I’d also like seeing it on personal libraries in line with others in relation to art and history. Yes, I’ve gone and said it, history. Why you may ask is that I classified this as a historic type of book? Simply because I find the drawings of faces to be of those that combine the likes of traders who came into our island in search of goods and trade, foreign inhabitants who have heard tales of our beautiful island and continued to stay on and also those who have inter-married into local families. These are the faces of people from the past.

Dark skinned
Dark skinned

I happen to like the black and white pencil drawings the most in the book although it does include coloured drawings. To me, black and white seems to say more than a coloured picture and in this case, the same goes for the faces. It’s easier to read between the forehead lines and the cracks of the smiles, rather than having to look through the browns, nudes and tans of vibrancy. This way, one cannot always tell the cultural origin of the person one is looking at. A black and white drawing can only say so much. In this way, everyone looks like they belong to one race, class, creed and culture.

Then again, I also love the muted use of colour. There are pops of cobalt blue and sunny yellows but somehow they remain muted against the more prominent facial expressions.

One also has to admire the intensity of the eyes. They say that eyes denote the very feelings felt within one’s heart and there’s absolute innocence in every face in the book. I love that Sansoni kept it that way, intentionally or unintentionally.

‘How can I seize the laughing, flashing movement of this face?’ she questions, ‘the distortions of a smile when cheek pushes eye and teeth flash brilliantly, the pose of the head, on a neck through the arms, to the acrobatic fingers of a dancer?’.

Beautiful and captivating
Beautiful and captivating

She certainly is able to capture it somehow. It’s in the way she uses her lines and curves. After all, all faces are made up of lines and curves. The hint of a chuckle at the back of the smile and a twinkle beneath the eyes truly make her drawings more realistic than imagined. She has a knack for visualizing light and depth from a distance that make her drawings what they are.

‘Why does one draw faces? For the same reason one draws a house. To draw is to take delight in the subject one draws, to get to know it and posses it.’ Sansoni explains that it is a challenge painting and drawing her visual experiences rather than just copying the object. ‘History doesn’t make ugly things beautiful, but age does. A face after all is a house, built centuries ago by genes’.

Well said.

 

*Images sent by Barefoot Gallery*

Weekly Snap

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A Passion for Faces

New book to review by Sri Lankan Barbara Sansoni. I love her drawings, expecially the black and white ones. This book includes coloured drawings too and is quite aptly titled ‘A Passion for Faces’ Now available at the Barefoot Gallery.

It’s black and white

People tend to dress up a little bit in ol’ Little England. I may have come to the town in an old pair of jeans and a drab kurta but I changed things up for the latter part of the day when we decided to visit a few places. 

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My look

I went with a chic black and white look for the evening with my outfit. This is me wearing a pair of chappals I scored from a street bazaar in India during one of my many trips there, black leggings, a black and white ethnic kurta and black shawl from India as well. The leggings are from Westside and the kurta is from one of my favourite stores, Global Desi.

The Nuwara Eliya town ain’t that big so there’s only a few places you can visit. We headed to the famous Grand Hotel for a snack and were quite surprised to find a tlounge by Dilmah on the outside veranda.

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Urban setup

The menu is very much similar to that of the tlounge located at Chatham Street in Fort, Colombo 1 and so we sat down to grilled chicken sandwiches and yummilicious flavoured cups of warm tea.