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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Creative Spot by Srianee (Bunter) Fernando

The inspiration for this painting came from a scene I witnessed some years ago in Sri Lanka outside a Buddhist temple, where there were several stalls where flower sellers were selling mainly lotuses to the worshippers entering the temple.  It was quite a colorful and rather peaceful scene.  I took a photograph to get me started, but my painting is not exactly like the photograph.  The tree above the makeshift stall had huge leaves, which I have tried to replicate in the painting.  I have no idea what kind of a tree it is.  Maybe someone will know…

Srianee


31 comments:

  1. Srianee
    Thank you for that vividly colourful painting that brings back to life a common ritual we saw in our childhood and perhaps happen today too. There is a hint of Van Gogh which allows our eyes to complete the painting the way we want establishing reality. In their faces I can picture the sellers eagerness to make a deal and the devotion of the girl. The man is a betel chewing straggler who has seen it all. You are indeed a gifted painter born to blush unseen in Connecticut, New England.

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    1. Been looking at it for awhile now. I am truly mesmerised by the calmness and serenity of the scene. The three individuals you've selected represents well the hordes that gather with a common purpose. Well done indeed.

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  2. What vivid colours! Definitely a hint of Van Gogh as ND says. It is definitely impressionist in style. A beautiful work of art by a talented artist! I hope we can see more of your work. I loved your previous ones too. The last was the bullock cart I think. http://colombomedgrads1962.blogspot.co.uk/2016/06/creative-spot-by-srianee-bunter-fernando.html

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  3. Hi Bunter,
    Looking at the serene picture will certainly plummet my blood pressure.Nice to see the wind blowing across the Atlantic with fantastic drawings.

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  4. Thank you ND, Mahen and Sumathi for your encouraging comments. I like to evoke a feeling, and I'm glad you felt that. Mahen, I think the last one I posted was 'The Verandah' (of our old home) where some of you guys said that you could imagine yourself sipping a beer! My brothers used to tease me that when I painted figures they were often faceless! But ND got the right idea when he wove his own imagined story into the painting. I bought two more canvases today, because I will be home bound (and painting, I hope) for the next four months, keeping an eye on my almost 14 year old granddaughter (from Germany) who will be staying with me to experience life in an American high school. I'll be attending parent-teacher conferences again!

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  5. Bunter- a great splash of colour!
    Somehow this conjures up Gauguin in Tahiti for me! though others have seen more Van Gogh in it.
    Admitted there are similarities between their paintings- having been buddies and even shared the same accomodation for a while in Arles.
    I must say- 'Bunter in SriLanka' with your snapshot of SriLankan life is as good as 'Gauguin in Tahiti'!
    Well done Bunter!
    Look forward to your creations in the coming months.

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  6. Rohini, I think you are absolutely correct. on reflection. As you say the two are of the "same school" but srianee's paintings are more Gaughin than Van Gogh, specially the choice of subjects and richness of colours.

    Do enjoy your Grand parenting Srianee, a pleasure which I am still to experience!

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  7. Beautiful painting Srianee. Congratulations.Rohini Ana pipped me to the post by pointing out a likeness to Paul Gauguin.I agree,but unlike our S his Tahitian maidens are mostly semi-dressed. I have a book of his most famous paintings.
    I became interested in PG after reading Somerset Maugham's The Moon and Sixpence; a great novel.However I didn't know that he and Van Gogh were buddies.
    I cannot definitely identify the tree in the picture ;could be Sal (Cannonball Tree) which is commonly grown in temple compounds.I will forward an article on Buddhist trees 'your tree maybe in that.
    Was your photo outside the Gangarama temple.

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    1. Kumar,
      Yes, Gauguin and Van Gogh were buddies in a "love- hate" relationship !
      They lived together for a brief period in Van Gogh's "Yellow House" in Arles - I think their
      disagreements were as prolific as their paintings during that time!
      It has even been said by art historians in recent times, that Van Gogh's ear was chopped off by Gauguin, followed by a pact to keep it secret for Gauguin's protection .
      I also agree with you that Gauguin's Tahitian maidens were mostly semi- dressed, but some were also fully undressed !
      Bunter hasn't got there yet !!

      As for Somerset Maugham, his interest in art is evident also in his semi- autobiographic novel-
      "Of Human Bondage" where Phillip(himself) abandons medical studies temporarily to study art,in the hope of becoming an artist .He was also a collector of art.

      Thanks for your article on " Buddhist Trees".
      I haven't succeeded in guessing the tree that Bunter painted.
      The Sal tree is very interesting in that the Lord Buddha is said to have been born under one at Lumbini as you'd know.
      The Sal flower has also fascinated me since my childhood.
      When you open the petals, inside is a central white prominence in the shape of a stupa, surrounded by myriads of yellow stamens- It has been likened to the Lord Buddha surrounded by his vast congregation of Bhikkus in yellow robes .

      I have also ended up with problems replying and making comments - This reply disappeared twice ,in spite of showing it as having been published. May be it is time for me to go into hibernation too!
      Cheers

      (inserted on behalf of Rohini Ana)

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    2. Lucky, Many thanks for getting my reply to Kumar in.
      Trying this message on a different device!Thanks

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  8. That has a beautiful Gauguin touch to me. Refreshing and gorgeous.
    IA

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  9. Srianee / Bunter,
    That is another great posting of yours as an artist.
    I do appreciate the greats. I agree with Indra A..
    As for me art is not my forte. If I tried it would be like hieroglyphs, even I would not be able to interpret what I have 'done'.... a monkey will do better job.
    Keep on painting it is a wonderful pass time.
    Now about yoga.... when you try your head stands, take a lesson from me. I my teens I tried to do a hand-stand, only wearing a sarong!! The rest you I leave it to your imagination. PLEASE do not take this as 'inspiration' for any of your future paintings..... it would not be a 'nice' sight!!!
    Take care & keep well.

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  10. Thank you all - ND, Mahen, Sumathi, Rohini, Kumar, Indra and Razaque, for your lovely comments, which definitely inspires me to keep painting. No excuse now that I have stepped away from my microscope. It is amusing that I have stimulated a discussion on art appreciation! I do love both Gauguin and Van Gogh, and is possible that I am subconsciously influenced by both of them. When my daughter, who majored in art history saw it, she also commented on the 'Gauguin touch.' Kumar's comment on the Somerset Maugham story makes me want to read it again! I don't remember where I took the photograph, it was somewhere outside Colombo, so it was not the Gangarama temple. And Razaque, I will definitely NOT attempt to paint you doing a head/hand stand!

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    1. Hi Bunter,
      My heart leaps up when I behold a painting from you.
      You are humorist,indeed.




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  11. Paul Gauguin, along with Van Gogh, was one of the major post-impressionist painters. A master artist and influential founder of modern art, he abandoned European civilisation to spend his days in the rugged Marquesas Islands, Tahiti - rejecting "everything that is artificial and conventional.I too feel like that at times!

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  12. Rohini,
    Thanks for all the information that you included in your reply, you are better than Wikipedia! I wasn't aware that there is an ongoing discussion about Gauguin being responsible for lopping off Van Gogh's ear and that they plotted to cover up the truth! It makes sense when you think about it, because however crazy Vincent Van Gogh might have been, it is not easy to cut off one's own ear.
    About the tree, I think you and Kumar are on the right track, that it is a Sal tree (Couroupita guianensis) I looked at some images on line and they seem to match my original photograph (I took artistic liberties in my painting!) I loved your description of the imagery the Sal flower too. At the time I took the photograph, there were no flowers, because they are probably seasonal. I will try to send an image of my original photograph, but I will have to scan it first (don't own one yet) because this photo was taken before I started using a digital camera. Thank you all for your contributions to this very interesting discussion.

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    1. I thought VG was responding to Shakespeare "lend me your ear(s)", admittedly at least 200 (y)ears later,probably thinking "better late than never" and only going half way!

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    2. Mahen, even in half measure, you know to whom he gave his ear! Neither Shakespeare nor Mark Antony
      succeeded !

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  13. Here is a link to some beautiful images of 'Sal Mal'

    https://www.123rf.com/photo_57573866_cannonball-flower-from-tree.html?fromid=R0xwbSs3NzN0S1Y5anhhMFl1TmdNZz09

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  14. Srianee, thanks for the link.I couldnt get it open, but I googled Sal Flowers as I hadn't seen one since I left SL in 1972!
    None of the pictures show the interior of the flower very well. One only sees the fringed "canopy" over the "stupa" and the yellow "bhikku"s around.
    I have a very good picture of this in my memory from my childhood! Hope you get a chance to see this when you next visit SL and even take a photo !
    looking forward to more of your lovely paintings-

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  15. The talk about the Sal mal tree, reminds me of two things. One, there is a tree if anyone is interested on the corner of De Fonseka place, off RA De Mel mawatha ( former Duplication road ) in BAMBALAPITIYA.
    The other is a BOOK , Sal mal lane, which I have read ( available in the Colombo bookstores, as well as Barefoot ) which is a very interesting read, based on life in Colombo.
    ia

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    1. The book 'On Sal Mal Lane' is by Ru Freeman. The author is described as an 'activist and journalist' on the back of the book. She divides her time between Sri Lanka and America and also wrote 'A Disobedient Girl.' I started 'On Sal Mal Lane' some time ago and did not finish it. I'm not sure what interrupted my reading of it, but I think I should have another go at it.

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    3. Hi Indra,
      Nice to see your knowledge about roads in Colombo.
      I managed to borrow a book called A DISOBEDIENT GIRL by Ru Freeman,and on my way reading it.We must be proud that Ru is from SriLanka,now living in USA.
      I also had the privilege of reading two books by MICHAEL ONDAATJE,SriLankan born,Novelist& a poet,now living in Canada.
      Sal Mal lane book is not available in my local Library at the moment.I may by it from a book shop,if it is intersting.I wish ,you read the book called A DISOBEDIENT GIRL.

      Cherio,

      Sumathi

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  16. Worth reading it . i will not tell anymore, because it will take away from your enjoyment of the book.
    ia

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  17. That Sal mal tree, and a magnificent one at that, is on the corner of De Fonseka
    place on the way to the KANDYGS store in Bambalapitiya.

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  18. Indra , thanks for this info- I hope one day Imight get to see this tree with its
    beautiful flowers.
    have a great timein SL

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  19. Sal mal tree- turn left from RA de Mel Mawatha ( former Duplication road ) , right into the lane by the Kandygs store sign. The tree is on this corner.

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  20. Another book that was very well written and worth reading was- AN ISLAND OF A THOUSAND MIRRORS , the author is Naomi Munaweera. The author is the niece of Ophthalmologist Upali Athuraliya.
    ia

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  21. Hi,Indra,
    I just finished the first book by Ru Freeman(A DISOBEDIENT GIRL).Other books including Sal mal lane are not available in my local library.I will look for the book by Naomi Munaweera in my local book shops.I wonder whether I will find them at all.I might seek the assistance of a SriLankan colleague to purchase from Colombo on his holiday visit.
    Mean time,thank you enlightening us on brilliant writings of authors of SriLankan origin.

    Sumathi

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