For the love of Statues

I love to take photos of statues. For me, the weirder, the better. Small or huge it really doesn’t matter. The element of story behind it adds a super wow factor.Here in Germany, statues are part of every region, city or vicinity. Each city has its own distinctive statue, most especially famous persons that is being dedicated to.Since this is an Expat Blog, I thought it might be a great idea to share with you some of the things you can see if you happen to admire statues and monuments.

The Ludwigsbrunnen in Paradeplatz here in my old town of Ingolstadt in Bavaria, Germany

But not all statues can get your attention because somehow it just looks like a boulder. It takes something from the carved stone, bronze or wood that really caught your gaze. Then when your gaze is caught, you kept on staring, and searching, and then you look for more details. That’s the point of interest. Well I may not know all the facts about each statues, but anyway, I had fun gazing upon them.

What do you look in particular for statues?

I think travelling allows us to see different statues or by reading. The most common tourist trap is that people would always love to photograph something famous just to put it into journal of memories.Most people loved to pose beside it, making them as endless photo stop-pits. Everybody loves a selfie beside a famous sculpture or statues, because yes, it’s the thing nowadays. It’s a total giveaway saying “I’ve been here”… or “I have seen this!”

What are your favourite statues? Do you recognize them?

Here I wanna share with you a gallery of my photographed statues.I got them mainly from our short staycations here and over there. Some are famous, some are not. Some are great for me, but others really made an impression.The thing is, they have caught my attention and I love the fact that I’ve ever seen them.

A rather peculiar statue near the Dom of Utrecht, the Netherlands
Trains to Death, Trains to Life statue in Friedrichstr. in Berlin
The very loud and exquisite statues of Marriage Carousel

What’s your favourite so far?

Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse, Netherlands
The Giant in Wattens, in Swarovski Headquarters

I’ll be writing once again in the second part of this series especially that I have more photos of different statues that I’ve seen here in Germany.

But for now, I’ll say Tschüss, thank you so much for reading and following this Blog and have a safe week everyone!

Iconic Animals in Colors

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Buddy Bears in Berlin,Germany

Big, colorful, funny, artistic, and definitely for a worthy cause! Iconic animals in colors are animals that made an impact through Artistic exhibition. They are a sure hit and big  magnet for kids, and adults as well! Have you heard about the Cow Parade in Zurich and New York? For long time ago, Animals have been used as a symbol or an Art subject exposition and is always fascinating to ponder. Whatever the meaning, the use of animal in order to bring art into the streets for public awareness and viewing is both informative and entertaining. I’m not talking about famous icons such as Mickey mouse, Donald Duck or Peppa pig-— I am talking of something that goes more than copyright and sales. The Artist behind them had a vision and they express their own talent .Each piece is definitely unique. That is why I believe the stories behind them are really worth telling!

In our travels, I found some great examples of Artistic exhibitions with painted animals as the subject. The artistry, the cause, symbolism and the creativity itself is exemplary! Here are some of my favorites ;

Buddy Bears in Berlin

One of the fascinating conquests we’ve done from our last visit to Berlin was looking for the Buddy Bears ( or United Bears)  Don’t get me wrong, but for my daughter this is exciting. She is very keen and always on the look out for it. We’ve spent our days most of the time walking through the streets and the moment that she spotted one Buddy Bear, it always brings a smile on our face.Buddy bears are definitely becomes a majot tourist attraction in Berlin.IMG_0441 (1)

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Buddy Bears in Berlin

Bears are very unique symbol for Berlin. It is also the national figure in Berlin flag. The bear , with all its imposing figure , is a heraldic animal with a high level of public appeal . It was envisaged to capture the hearts of Berliners and their guests in various different designs. Initiated by Klaus and Eva Herlitz, with cooperation of sculptor Roman Strobl, the first Buddy Bears appeared in Berlin since 2001 and the rest was history.The project was a great success and goes global! The Buddy Bears is a collection of  fantastic artists who gave each individual bear a unique identity. The bears were visible all over Berlin, attracting thousands of delighted looks.

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My daughter is super hooked on these Buddy Bears that she needs to hug each one she sees. I don’t know exactly the exact location of each Bears in Berlin but if you pay close attention when you navigate the streets of Berlin, I am sure you’ll never miss them.

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Here’s a helpful guide if you are planning to see them all in Berlin. I highly recommend for you to try this experience.

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“We have to get to know each other better, it makes us understand one another better, trust each other more, and live together more peacefully!”

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The United Bears Exhibition travel around the world promoting “peace, international understanding and tolerance among the nations, cultures and religions around the world!

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In addition to the Classic Buddy Bears presented far beyond Berlin’s city limits, the circle of United Buddy Bears came into being in 2002. Each bear in the circle represents a country acknowledged by the United Nations. The United Buddy Bears travel around the world promoting tolerance and international understanding – always standing together hand in hand. I have never seen an actual Bear up really close in my whole life. The ones from the zoo are always hiding, or sluggish to even move and show off. But looking at these Buddy beers give me a better understanding of the many facets of this animal.Teddy bears are always loved and part of childhood, but Buddy Bears are also unforgettable.

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Tierisch-GUT !

Artistic Oversized Piggy banks in Pffafenhofen , Bavaria

Another iconic animal is the pig or Schwein .Pig is the 12th  in the 12 cycle of the Chinese zodiac sign and 2019 will be a Year of the Pig and starts in February 5, 2019. Chinese regarded pigs unfavorably while its known to be  eaters and often sleeping so it denotes laziness,clumsiness and becoming fat.On the other side, its regarded as wealth.

We all know that a piggy bank is always a good start to teach a child about saving money. Why it’s the pig and not a horse is I don’t know. In my home country where I grew up, raising pigs as a household business is very common,in fact, it’s a very stable source of livelihood. Here in Germany  pigs are normally raised in farms (Bauernhof). I had never seen pigs here, only the wild boars in the zoo but people here loves pork , in fact they adore it as they are crazy about würsts  , schnitzel, & schweinshaxe ! As a child, a sight of baby pigs for me is so fascinating, I find them so cute and their chubby form  when they wiggle their tiny tail is really amusing, but not their smell. Yes, they can be  very loud and stinky. On the other side, if you have a pig, you are bound to have an investment because pig means money!

“Sparkasse Bank  let the pigs out, now they can make a mess, A big mess in the bank!” 

 An initiative by Sparkasse Bank in Pffafenhofen, “Tierisch GUT “, they launched an Art Auction where 20 oversized Piggy banks were to be decorated and painted for a cause and a prize! Professional and amateur artists are invited to design and paint their own Piggy banks. The winner by online voting awaits a cash prize.

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Piggy banks fascination

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Piggy bank dressed in Bayerische Lederhosen

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Colorful Piggy bank in Bavaria, Germany

The concept of combining  money matters and art is a great way to make an impact and that is why these oversized piggy banks are great example of iconic animals with a cause!

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It was so nice to meet you …

Miffy and her Art Parade, Netherlands

When my daughter was born, she was gifted with lots of Miffy stuff from our  Dutch relatives. That was the first time I  was acquainted with this charming little rabbit. I never knew that it was even of Dutch origin. As my daughter grows, she had a fair share of Miffy stories, books and even saw the Miffy /Nijntje Parade in Amsterdam! That was her first close -up encounter with life-size Miffy statues displayed in Museumplein . Every dutch kid grows up with Miffy and that’s a fact.

Miffy  is called  Nijntje in Dutch  and  is a wonderful rabbit animation originating in the Netherlands.   Miffy is featured world-wide as a small female rabbit in a series of picture books drawn personally by Dutch artist Dick Bruna. The original Dutch name, “Nijntje”, is a shortening of the diminutive konijntje, “little rabbit“. She’s the inspiration behind “Hello Kitty ” and holds millions of fans around the world. Dick Bruna also created stories for characters such as Lottie, Farmer John, and Hettie Hedgehog

Unlike the Buddy Bears which was only created from 2001, Miffy was born in 1955 in Egmond aan Zee, the place where Dick Bruna drawn Miffy for the first time.Dick Bruna lives in Utrecht and that’s where the Nijntje Museum is located.

We had the chance to witness the Miffy Art Parade last 2015 in Amsterdam that honors Miffy, her creator Dick Bruna and the world-wide fans.The Miffy Art Parade  had a goal to unite, inspire and helps to create a better future in partnership with UNICEF. Madelon Bruna, the daughter of Dick Bruna is also one of the Artist who participate in this Art project. In total, there are 60 artists decorated a life-size statue of Miffy, of which 45 are on exhibition on various locations in the Netherlands and 15 are on tour in Japan.

When we went to Keukenhof last year, we got the one made by Mies van Hout. It is a reminder for us that Miffy has a special place in our home.

Have you already heard about the Blue Flock Art project?

These animals surely inspires in their own ways, their artistic impact is a way to connect us into a magical world of animation, art and useful cause.

I am bent on discovering more and more iconic animals in colors.

What about you, are you fascinated with such things? What is your favorite iconic animal ?

Artwork : She’s a Doer, She’s a Thinker

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Aquarelle artwork : She’s a doer, She’s a Thinker ( 26 x 36 cm )

 

Hello Guys!  I hope all is well with all of you. I’ve been on a sort of a Blogging break, and I haven’t written a post in a while, but it’s good to be back. Finally I squeezed some time to sit down and write something.

How time flies, quickly and with all the hustle and bustle, days go unnoticed. Couldn’t believe that July passed so quickly, and now we are enjoying the last few weeks of summer here in Germany.

You must know that when its silent, in real life, it’s not always the case.There’s so many things going on over here, and I couldn’t barely have time to sit down and finish a post. I have tons of unfinished drafts. Anyway, here I wanna share another painting I’ve made a couple of weeks ago. Thought I share it here because it’s another personal favorite. Remember what I’ve done with the inspiration from Sicilian Carretto? Now, this is another piece which I worked with lots of details, and another addition to my “Faces in the Crowd”series.

“She’s a dreamer…

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a doer, a thinker.

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She sees possibility everywhere.”

I used a lot of neutral colors, earth tones, and strong burnt sienna, aquamarine blue and paynes grey. When painting, my mind brings me to some nostalgic memories while drawing and this is no exception. My mind travels back to when I thought I can’t even make a single artwork, like every brush stroke is a struggle to create something original, a part of me that cannot see the possibility of it. But then I did not stop, I kept going on and I am glad I did not give up on my self.

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She’s a Doer, She’s a Thinker ( Justbluedutchart)

Just like anybody else, I strived to be a Thinker, and a Doer.

Painting technical details : This painting is done in fine-grade Artist’s paper (Arches) ,26 X 36 cm ( 10 x 14 inch ) which I really love and highly recommended. It is my first choice for more wet washes and intricate water-color drawings. I love using Van Gogh paints and watercolors and for details, my Da Vinci brushes never failed me.

Tell me your opinion about this painting, Do you like it?

If you’d like to see more of my artwork, please check out my Instagram page HERE, and my Facebook page HERE.

Artwork : The mountains are calling

“What a Glorious greeting the sun gives the mountains…”

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“The Mountains are calling “ watercolour original artwork in 30 X 40 cm artist’s quality paper using Profimaler Royal Talens Van Gogh paints and Rembrandt’s inks. This baby needs a new home and can be yours ! Shipping worldwide from Germany!

Hey friends! How is life lately?

With the arrival of Spring here in Germany, everything just had a carpet of changes. In a span of 2 weeks, the weather becomes mild, perfect for outdoor cycling and just being out again without freezing your hands! Have you seen how the cherry blossoms literally painting the town pink? The fields are turning into mossy greens once again and the wild flowers are unstoppable from popping out from the ground, splashing wonderful colors everyday. The other day, I was amazed by the amount of yellow Daffodils in our garden and the tulip bulbs are greedy for sunshine, also ready to pop. This makes me so excited especially with our upcoming trip to Keukenhof in Holland! Spring is such a wonderful time, and by this, I am flooded with inspiration.

So one of the things I love to do for my ‘Me time ‘ is painting my thoughts away. I have made some new Landscape paintings and one of my favorites so far is  inspired by the Alps. Remember my post about our Winter Wonderland adventure there last January? Well it seems that the Alps have left some fond memories in my thoughts and I have tried a humble artwork, trying to feel the emotions evoke by this gorgeous mountain.

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I love working on this piece, the painting is done with lots of Aquamarine deep blues, cobalt blues, and some tint of Burnt Sienna, and I mixed lots of greens to make a patch of trees and blended them all in lots of wet washes! I am using Profimaler paints and inks from Royal Talens & Rembrandt and high-grade aquarelle papers from Hahnemühle. Check more in JustbluedutchArt instagram page!

I have only seen the Alps in the winter time, where the slopes are covered with snow. On a bright sunny day, the glistening peak can be a mesmerizing sight, especially if you are not used to seeing limestone cliffs, steep peak like the Alps around the Tiroler region in Austria. The pine trees and the beautiful valley below add a picturesque vista on any given day. For me, the mountains are a symbol of the wanderer soul inside all of us, like a quest that all of us have in search for the unknown. Have you seen the great video from North face about the calling from the mountains? I think it sums up what I feel about mountain landscaes and the desire of exploring.

If you have time, do check it out Here, I highly recommend it!

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Do you know the feeling of being so close to a nature wonder everyday?

I love the fast paced of a modern-city life, but my heart always longs for nature. Mountains, lakes, rivers, and especially the beach!I grew up with a view of the amazing Mayon Volcano in Philippines and I tell you, the sight of the volcano with smoke and clouds hovering around it everyday becomes like a second skin. My hometown is the place where this perfect cone volcano can be found and the feeling is surreal when you realize that you have something everyday that no one else have from the other parts of the world. Stay tuned for my version of Volcano scapes soon!

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Also, I am currently doing a project of a series of mountain- scapes like this and will share with you on my next posts. But this time, hope you enjoy this artwork as much as I do.

 

If you are interested to purchase any of my artwork and support this striving artist, please feel free to send me an email in justbluedutch@gmail.com or follow my Instagram for more updates!

Exciting things are on the way, My Online shop coming out soon and the gallery will soon be in details. Thank you all for stopping by and have a lovely week !

 

Peacock

“It’s not  just about creativity, it is the person you’re becoming when you are creating “

[ C h a r l i e     P e a c o c k ]

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Peacock  [ Justbluedutch]
 

Do you want to see more photos like this? Follow me in  Instagram  and Twitter .

 

 

 

Faces in the crowd

Did you know that when you draw, you see more? You see more of details, the proportions, the faces..yes, the faces in the crowd.

It’s the same as when you read more, then you can write more. I don’t know about you, but I think I can’t make this Blog happen if I am not fond of reading.

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Faces in the crowd, can you recognize yourself ?

Last week, I have shared with you a glimpse of my artwork.Given the time, painting is one of the things that I love to do second to photography.  This year, I also wanted to take and make better photos, both personally and for the blog so I’ve tried a new camera lens and I am so happy with the results. I love the shots I took, all stunning. I’ve got to test its shutter and performance yesterday when we did another unexpected adventure- walking on a frozen lake! I guess that what goes around, comes around so here’s another watercolor art that I specifically associated with myself.  I call them ‘Faces in the crowd’. These are the product of my imagination while I’m having conversations with my palette and my brushes. Mostly done at night when my daughter is fast asleep. I also got new brushes so I’m just happy to do some art therapy when I can squeeze some time.

One of the subjects I’d like to work in painting are faces, especially women. I just find it an enigma to draw women from  characters that are swimming in my mind. I don’t have a particular technique but I’d like to mix n’match the layers with different intensity of washes. The shadows,the playful and geometric patterns I used to ‘give character’ is something that follows after I draw out their personality . The side of the face that shown is also important to portray an activity . I haven’t tried yet doing portraits of live people but who knows, maybe I will soon. I remember that during my childhood days, I often doodles ladies with a mannequin form so I can cut them out to be dolls. It’s a thing in the school where you also made paper dresses for each ladies.Such nostalgia.

For me, the eyes are the focal point in my painting  since it’s the one thing that draws interest to the whole aura. It’s the one showing the most sentiment. I’m no expert but women in particular are such a great subject because I can incorporate myself in them. They are someone I can relate.

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Today she puts on flowers on her head.

I was doing a course about the Modern Art and I have learned so many facts and facets about Modern Art of today and the way it paves way to an artist’s interpretation of everyday life. The symbols, the icons, and their dreams made into a work of art that can also perceived as an expression of their emotions or rather, an artist’s interpretation. The use of different medium and depicting a raw rendition of human’s inner emotions into an unrealistic landscapes. If you’d notice, I like to play with colors as well. It’s like the Rolling stones’ song “She’s like a rainbow “ and that my characters always comes in colors. I often think that a colorful face is such a powerful tool to convey so many things and that art and its form is unlimited. That the message it transmits solely depends on the viewer’s perspective. This makes me revisit  my memories when I saw the works of the Dutch masters in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

What do you think about colorful faces? Does it exudes a sense of individuality ?

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She’s one of the few faces I can’t forget

Today I have decided to put these ladies in one couch for them to gather together and get to know each other.  It would be brilliant if they were in a Tête à Tête sofa.The others will follow soon and join them. The stories behind each one of them is still untold but I leave you with your own interpretations. I hope someday you can know them individually.

But right now, I am  glad to share with you some faces in the crowd from  my conversations with pallet and paintbrushes.

When was the last time you have seen a beautiful thing, so interesting, and so moving that it affects you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Painting my own reality

” When words fail.. colors sing! “

Lately, I found myself engrossed in painting, after all, it’s one of my firsts love. I believe that there’s an artist in all of us, it’s an innate nature, but we all need time, a time to just sit around and do nothing.Time is so precious that  fractal moments in it creates priceless discoveries. I rediscover myself, going back to familiar surroundings, with colors and splashes. One of my friend commented : “I didn’t know that you were good in painting”. She means I finally take the guts to show it.You see, creativity takes courage.

Holding my paintbrush feels like visiting an old dear friend, there’s this familiar feeling, you feel the excitement,you can’t wait to dub your brush into the water and get into circular movements, the sound it makes against the glass, the creative spirit in me is bursting. I cringe when I splatter colors and rush to wash it off, my paintbrush dances gracefully as my emotions goes with my thoughts. I have conversations with my paintbrushes and they transmit my thoughts in colors. When life makes a shift and priorities changed, this part of me is kept well hidden, it’s just there,dormant, like a jewelry that I never wear.  I thought I’ve lost it but the seasons in my life paved way for its comeback, like spring after the long dark days of winter. I find myself once again when I lost myself.

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 My conversations with my Sisters in mosaic. Thinking about how life with sisters creates colors in my life, in different shades and intensity. (Watercolor/Aquarelle/Crelando)

I adore art in various forms but didn’t pursue any art studies. Drawing and arts has been in my life for so long that I can remember. During my childhood, I always love doing some creative arts and I always look forward to our Art subject. Nothing fancy, I thought its  just normal thing to do, a pastime maybe, but hey, life seems to be simpler back then. We don’t have the technology to amuse us, so we need to use whatever resources we have. I only have 1 box of Crayola (crayons), a prime staple in any grade school kid. My watercolor palette was a 2-row with just the basic colors and it can go for years. I craved for those “flashy” ones I’ve seen in the shop but it was expensive. Those time I haven’t heard of cray pastels, oil & acrylic paints or even a cold-pressed papers. I just draw in a normal bond paper.My favorite subjects were abstracts, nature, illustrations of people. I love the faces, the eyes, and the emotions in it.

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Color is my day long obsession

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My Crelando color pallet which my husband gifted me last Christmas.I thought its super sweet and definitely worth more than any bling-bling.

Coincidentally that  my days back then in Kuwait revolves colors as well. My previous work deals with painting, coating & varnishes every single day . I never imagined that there is such a thing as RAL standardReichs-Ausschuss für Lieferbedingungen) and that I could be so efficient in decoding RAL colors and shades from a given sample. I mixed colors and with the help of chemistry, I create a unique design for powder coating, that is, for architectural finishes.My drawer is filled with different shade panels, color palettes and I am the first person to ask for color specifications. Colors plays an important role in creating something useful, in creating something beautiful. But then, I think of it as work. And when you work, it’s a reality that you are compensated in what you do. It’s a perk if you enjoy it, which not all people have the privilege.

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What A beautiful mess

I believe that doing arts is like bridging your new joy. It can change your emotions, even boost your confidence. It silences your worries and deepen your understanding of yourself. Who would thought that a yellow paint can make sunshine and daffodils? or that red hues can manifest the emotions of roses? It transmits happiness.

If you know that you have painting as your desire, you need to do it. Squeeze time to make it real and get your resources be handy. Because you owe it to yourself and not for the sake of others.When I see the changes in my life as a woman, wife and a mother, this part of me was overlooked and paid little attention.

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My favorite part is the face when colors starts to create a personality.

When I become a parent, and responsibilities toll on me heavily, my days were consumed of routines. Living as an expat overwhelmed  me of the change of surroundings, the new places that I have discovered through traveling. The moments of stillness of just sitting creating an artwork seemed like a luxury that I cannot afford on a daily basis, especially when I have a super active toddler to chase. Colors, brushes and pencils have become my tools for stimulation, my lifesavers when all others fail to entertain the child.

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Where roses sing and never  lose their vibrant color.

For me, my painting, my paintbrushes are like medicine. A time for me to surrender myself and let the colors decide my moods. It heals, it creates something magical, an escape from the orderly chaos that surrounds myself. I still need to learn so much. There are so many options. Painting nowadays is my perspective of ordinary things. My own reality.

Have you ever done something that makes you feel alive again?

A little inspiration to ignite your creativity in simple ways.

It’s Wednesday  already and we’re halfway through the week. Have a lovely day my friends!

 

 

House of Mirrors | Details

One of the memories I look back from Kuwait is seeing the House of Mirrors.I find this so interesting because it was a pure labor of an amazing  Italian woman I have ever known in my life, Ms. Lydia Al-Qattan. Meeting her in person is really a great experience. Her  house is mainly full of detailed mirrors and glass pieces embedded in each parts of the house. So much talent, creativity and hard work shown in each mosaic.The patterns engraved in each room shows her surreal and almost unreal world of imagination & talent. My photos can’t even do justice on her work.

The house itself is one of the reasons why it pays to explore and find beautiful details like this in Kuwait.I am so glad I have seen it. Quite a rarity, an ideal example of genuine creativity out of termite crisis! Just look at the entrance door?

Isn’t this so inviting?

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The Door of the Hose of Mirror. Happy Man & Wife , symbolizing a beautiful union of marriage in one roof.

Now If you will be in this bathroom, would you immediately do your “business “and ignore how  beautiful these intricate patterns done?

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The bathroom in creative patterns of glass pieces.

Or how about washing your hands in this sink? I could stay in this bathroom for hours.

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Thousands of glass pieces embedded in reflecting colored patterns.

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Would you climb the stairs without first admiring this wall full of intricate writings and calligraphy?

 

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House of Mirrors in Kuwait

 

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Arabic calligraphy embedded in glass pieces.

An experience like this is so cool and unique. I can tell you that no one goes out from this house not  feeling inspired, bewildered and amazed.I was .

I would definitely recommend this to any of my friends who would visit Kuwait. For anyone who would spend their days living there or just relocated for a new job or assignment, then this is one cool places you must not miss!Here’s my practical tips for you to keep in mind in your visit.

  • Always make sure to go with a bunch of friends to ‘House of Mirrors’ since it’s an experience that should be shared.The more, the merrier!
  • The cost of the tour is KD3 on weekends and KD2 per person on weekdays.Better call first ahead of time so you can arrange an appointment for a special tour if necessary.
  • There is a gallery of Mrs. Lidia art on sale, and those who are impressed by her work are free to make a purchase, towards the end of the tour.She is playing a game and the one who wins gets one of her artworks! I got one for myself.
  • Be prepared to sit for tea and treats and spend a good bit of time with delicious homemade apple cake in her living room with a discussion about Kuwait history, Lidia’s history and the methods she used for her creation.the house itself smelled of cinnamon ginger tea. Amazingly homely!

Contact Details of House of Mirrors :

Address: House 17, Street 94, Block 9, Qadisiya, Kuwait
Telephone: +965 2251 8522 or check out HERE for any updates.

My awesome friends in AWARE Center also regularly conducting arranged tours in this place. You can check out their upcoming events and schedule Here.

You need to see this place for yourself for you to appreciate the whole thing.

I am posting this post is in response to WP photo challenge :Details

The Art of Islamic Patterns

Over the years that I have been roaming around in Kuwait I have encountered so many different types of fascinating Islamic patterns that I truly find beautiful. If you are an art enthusiast like me, you would notice pure creativity in  single window or facade details. From doors to the walls, from floors to decorative Arabic mashrabiya.

Are you like me who ponders when seeing a work of art? for even a single pattern?

I am writing from my own perspective of things that I see here in Kuwait  but to quote Monty Python, what has Islam ever done for us? You know, apart from the algebra, the trigonometry, the optics, the astronomy and the many other scientific advances and inventions of the Islamic Golden Age.

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Islamic pattern is a pure Art. The Arabic calligraphy combined with decorative tiles which has been carved and all handmade is a gem in every significant building. Aside from the lavish cost of the whole building, I consider it as a treasure because it’s all made of hard work of skilled craftsmen.

I always like art and interiors, when I live in Kuwait, I notice that there’s always the stunning patterns that grace mosques, madrasas and  Amir’s palaces not only here, but in other parts of the world also.

Islamic craftsmen and artists – who were prohibited from making representations of people in holy sites – developed an instantly recognizable aesthetic based on repeated geometrical shapes.

The mathematical elegance of these designs is that no matter how elaborate they are, they are always based on grids constructed using only a ruler and a pair of compasses.

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Although the size and grandeur of this chandelier from Germany  is huge, I was in awe just gazing at this marvelous dome inside the Grand Mosque particularly in the Amir’s entrance Hall.Every single detail was carved into perfection and unified patterns.

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These decorative and colorful wall patterns are all geometrical figures which has symbolic meanings. The choice of color, shape and texture fitted perfectly to the base and provide aesthetical harmony.

If you take a closer look on Islamic design, you can mostly conclude that all these patterns are  based on Greek geometry, which teaches us that starting with very basic assumptions, we can build up a remarkable number of proofs about shapes. Islamic patterns provide a visual confirmation of the complexity that can be achieved with such simple tools.

Amazing right?

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These gigantic lamps are also a striking piece accentuating the brilliant ceiling patterns.

Here is a quote from Eric Broug, who is a Dutchman &  one of the most active practitioners of Islamic geometric design working today.

“Geometry is really a universal language, everyone can – and does – relate to it instinctively,” he says. “There is a joy to be had in starting with a blank piece of paper and to draw lines and circles and end up with a pattern that is recognizable and beautiful. This process connects you very directly to a design heritage.”

If you wanna know more about this wonderful subject and learn from Eric’s approach, you can check out his books about Islamic designs here.

I never knew how wide & deep the insights of these patterns not until I browse on his writings about Islamic designs. He had a great job showing how wonderful world of these patterns.

As I have noticed,geometric patterns make up one of the three non-figural types of decoration in Islamic art which also include calligraphy and vegetal patterns.  Whether isolated or used in combination with nonfigural ornamentation or figurative representation,  geometric patterns are popularly associated with Islamic art, largely due to their aniconic quality.

These abstract designs not only adorn the surfaces of monumental Islamic architecture but also function as the major decorative element on a vast array of objects of all types. While geometric ornamentation may have reached a pinnacle in the Islamic world, the sources for both the shapes and the intricate patterns already existed in late antiquity among the Greeks, Romans & Sasanians in Iran.

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Take this Moroccan door detail for example,notice how the shape of the door knob that is exactly the same as the overall door patterns just the colorful designs & color are enhanced.

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Points for aesthetics is the similar floor & ceiling design. Such balance & Unity is achieved in this approach.The overall effect is so calming and yet striking to your senses.

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Islamic artists appropriated key elements from the classical tradition, then  complicated and elaborated upon them in order to invent a new form of decoration that stressed the importance of unity and order. The significant intellectual contributions of Islamic mathematicians, astronomers and scientists were essential to the creation of this unique new style.

Considering the rich origin of these patterns, I am amazed how intricate the modern designs which were derived from the past heritage. If you visits various hotels, function areas and Diwaniyas here, you can find that these Islamic patterns are always present in the design.

I love the Art of Islamic Patterns, how about you?

Do you find any interesting patterns from your place of living?

What do you find unique in the places that you’ve visited?

 

 

Cube Houses in Rotterdam

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Kubuswoningen in Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Have you’ve been to Rotterdam? The Cube Houses is one of this city’s iconic landmark and pride of the Netherlands.

Imagine living in a square tilted Cube House with  walls and windows that are angled at 54.7 degrees, with only a  total area of around 100 square meters, but around a quarter of the space is unusable because of the walls that are under the angled ceilings.

And everytime you look up, it seems that the ceiling is just touching your head,and all you can see is corners? As I explore more of the rooms, I was thinking that this house needed special furnitures and the thought of living above a pedestrian bridge is overlwhelming!

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Great view because of the sloping windows.

Structurally, the cubes sit tilted on a hexagonal pole. They are made up of concrete floors, concrete pillars and wooden framing. Inside, the houses are divided into three levels accessed via a narrow staircase. The lower level is a triangular area used as the living room. The middle level houses the sleeping and bathing area, and the highest level is a spare area used either as a second bedroom or another living area.

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Kubuswoningen

This is my impression when I was inside of the model Cube House when I visited Rotterdam in Netherlands. Outside it was a striking structure, more of like an eye-candy, totally unique & brilliantly made.

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“Living as an Urban Roof ” – Piet Blom

This is the concept behind the “Kubuswoningen “or locally known as Cube Houses in Rotterdam, Netherlands designed by Dutch Architect Piet Blom.  It was  built in 1982 and was completed in 1984 which is a perfect example of “Structuralism”. He tilted the cube of a conventional house 45 degrees, and rested it upon a hexagon-shaped pylon. His design represents a village within a city, where each house represents a tree, and all the houses together, a forest.

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Cube Houses in Overblaak Street in Rotterdam,Netherlands.

There are 38 small Cube houses and so-called  2 super-cubes attached to each other. If you want to experience what is it like to live on top of a tree trunk,  ( in an Archetypical way) then make sure not to miss this when you visit Rotterdam.

Do you want to Visit the Cube Houses?

There are three ways to see the interior of a Cube House:

  • By making friends with a resident (not very practical, unless you get lucky with a “Looking for a Cube House buddy” ad on Craigslist).
  • By booking a bed at Stayokay Hostel Rotterdam, a Hostelling International youth hostel that opened in the Kubuswoningen in 2009.
  • By paying a small fee to visit the Kijk-Kubus, or “Show-Cube,” a model dwelling outfitted with custom furniture (designed by the museum director) and several exhibits about the project and its history.

The Kijk-Kubus or Show Cube is open daily from 11 a.m.to 5 p.m. Follow the signs to the entrance, which is simply a doorway beneath one of the cubes. (Be prepared to climb a steep flight of Dutch-style steps; at the top of the stairs, you’ll enter the cube dwelling’s living room, where you can buy a ticket for a few euros.)

For more information, Click Here.

What is the most interesting piece of architecture you have seen lately? How was your experience?

 

 

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