Saturday, 21 March 2009

Illustration Friday - Subtract


Life is a series of additions and subtractions; love and loss, birth and death, hope and despair, misery and joy. We all cope with that heady mishmash of elation and pain one way or another, don’t we? Despite the peaks and troughs we may have to endure through life, I do think it’s always worth remembering an observation made by the Italian scholar, poet and humanist, Francesco Petrarch “A short cut to riches is to subtract from our desires”





The little boy in my painting is called Jumani Senoga and he has been given five marbles which he treasures above all things. He loves to hold them up to the light to see their colours glow before he sets them down again to play. Jumani, may your life be full with joys added, sorrow subtracted, friends multiplied, love undivided.

(**Please, don’t forget The Orphans Of Nkandla. They cannot subtract anything from their lives because they have absolutely nothing at all.**)



33 comments:

Reya Mellicker said...

This is a beautiful post and the painting! Wow.

Hey Tessa I love being on a wavelength with you, I really really do!

soulbrush said...

i love the fact that africa calls to you too, in (sunny now) hampshire. hugs tessa.

lakeviewer said...

TEssa, I will have to explore your remarks, and Petrarca's saying. He lived and wrote during the Great Plague, wrote the Decameron, the way 1000 and One Night was written, to entertain. Quite the lesson!

I shall return after I have pondered.

pRiyA said...

What a beautiful and moving post for the word 'subtract'.

Tessa, thanks so much for suggesting the link to Shadow Shot Sunday. I have just taken part!
Also I am thrilled that Harriet is from Brisbane where I studied Illustration many years ago!
:-)

Elizabeth said...

Tessa,
This picture is so lovely.
I've just got back from India and really want to get one of your prints mentioned a little while ago.
Please e-mail me details.
ps I really enjoy Shadow Shot Sunday --though I have been a bit absent lately.
Have a super weekend.

The Finely Tuned Woman said...

You describe life well and all these things shoot around us like bullets out of nowhere and we duck and hide or get hit and hurt, or struck by beauty and joy. That little guy in your painting still finds joy in his marbles, but what bullets will he have to duck in his lifetime? Africa is such a painfully beautiful continent where everything is opposite. I wish we could save all those little children and keep them from harm. I am glad you are one human being who cares a lot. Through your art also.You see the beauty of African people and their dignity and expose it. It's good that we see it and appreciate it.

Indigene said...

This is soooo beautiful and full of texture! I adore your work and your social commitment!

ArtSparker said...

Marbles are wonderful, I'd agree. Very moving post.

Eric Barclay said...

Beautiful painting and a lovely post.

J.T's Tale said...

This is so beautiful and I am still here.

Maithri said...

Dearest Friend,

Your love reaches out across the void with eyes of undying compassion, with hands of grace, to call us to remember...

This paintining...your words... Magnificent!

Your greatest art is your life...

And what a life it is,

Thank you for being in the world,

I bow before your beauty and sing your name to the angels,

May you be blessed,

Always love, Maithri

karen said...

Beautiful painting, and such a thought provoking way to deal with subtraction... x

Bella Sinclair said...

So eloquently said. Beautiful painting, so rich with wonderment and joy. And color, beautiful color.

A Cuban In London said...

Wise words indeed. If we were thinking more about what we have achieved rather than about the things we cannot possibly attain, we, too, would enjoy the multicoloured nature of marbles. Many thanks for the marvellous painting and for the excellent text, short, concise, to the point and to the heart.

Greetings from London.

Cynthia said...

Wow, I love the painting, Tessa. Amazing! And the wonderment the boy subject experiences while looking at the marble...nothing to substract...powerful sentiment.
I've looked at your work before-so compelling. Please come over to Oasis blog when you can, I think we share the same vision for the world. <3

Beth Kephart said...

Oh. Gosh. This child and his marbles.

Tessa, words for you on the vlog today....

Beatrice said...

Very striking and thoughtful.

Miren said...

I love your painting,very sensitive et beautiful...
Best wishes from France,
Miren

Lola said...

Tessa, how you give is breathtaking, thank you. Beautiful words, thoughts and the African ambiance lingers everywhere, despite the distance. Ciao

ArtSnark said...

Strong piece & powerful message

Senta said...

Beautiful!!

J.T's Tale said...

I am loving your 'midday snooze' on my blog...

Angela said...

Tessa, I wish you would come with me on a beach walk! I`d love to just chat with you! I feel so related to you.

DEB said...

Wow Tessa!

Renee said...

Tessa this is a beautiful reminder that others treasure less than nothing, and we all have so much.

This was a beautiful prayer that I think should be officially made as a night time prayer with whatever child's name in it.

I am serious about the prayer.

Aquarians and Aries:

Here we are baby.

Both of us are independent, active individuals who appreciate progressive, dynamic approaches to any situation or problem, and our relationship has a lively, spirited quality.

We both take pride in our freedom from many traditional values and beliefs.

Aries are less social than Aquarians.

We are two signs that appreciate and respect one another's uniqueness and individuality.

I think we are a love match. xoxo

Love Renee

Renee said...

You know I don't really come here to see you, I come to see Maithri's picture. HELLO. 28 and likes sex. And is a living Saint. What could be better.

Okay, back to the reality of dreams.

Pomegranate: signifies fertility, good health, life and longevity. To lay them out in a row with your sister represents the blood you share. The relationship will be there, even when you cannot be together.

I thought I would just give you a little information on Aquarius and Gemini.

Although you are different people, you might find that your basic goals and outlook in life are compatible. You have an excellent intellectual rapport. You spark each other's wit and you love to toss ideas back and forth.

Shared viewpoints, common interests, and social activities are key elements in your relationship. Any relationship will have its challenges, but the two of you share a pleasing overall rapport that can help smooth over other differences.

How does it fit?

Love Renee xoxoxo

Jenners said...

This was so beautiful and touching. When my son is older, I want to make sure he understands this and just how lucky he is.

Every Photo Tells A Story said...

Imagine what a different world we'd live in if we could all appreciate the "simple" things and not get caught up in material pursuits? I think our world economy is suffering because of this issue. But, I digress:) Your painting is as beautiful and innocent as the little boy in it.
And, Petrarch's words are better than any sermon I'll ever hear.

Knitting Painter Woman said...

Reminds me a bit of some of Ezra Jack Keats' illustrations.

Woman in a Window said...

Tessa that's beautiful, those marbles precious. (and yes, paint that picture of the waiting faces about to be wiped. yes! and then show me!)
erin

justdoodleit said...

Impressive thoughts and painting!

Bee said...

I love the simplicity of this image -- and the idea behind it.

The W.O.W. factor! said...

Tessa, this picture of Jumani speaks volumes. I LOVE it and your verbiage!

I've always been a marble lover, since childhood. They are like a kaleidoscope.
Always intriguing, different with each turn or ray from the sun.
As I'm sure you know, I'm pretty simple minded and it doesn't take much in life to bring me joy. Give me a box of crayons and I will color my world!
I'd love to sit there with Jumani on the soil, explore the colors and intricacies of the world through the marbles with him...and then he could whip me in a game!
That would bring a smile to my face always!
XoXo
Barb