Etsy shop

This week I’m giving you something a bit different 🙂 Don’t worry though, a somewhat scathing review is in the works and will be up in a few days 😉

Those of you who follow our blog for a while know that the last three years have been a bit crazy for me and my family – a move across half the planet, and a total change of nearly all aspects of life, from personal to professional. One of the things that have changed for the better was that I have finally made the decision to return to one of my lifelong passions which was left by the side for the last several years – painting.

You’ve seen some of my watercolors on this blog already, here and here, for example. But I mainly paint nature, with a dash of fantasy – and now you can find my new paintings on Etsy, where I have just opened a shop. I would like to thank S.D. for that nudge, as he kindly suggested it to me a while back :). It took some time and effort, but now I started selling prints of my paintings (sending anything from NZ is a real pain, quite risky and costly at that) which are produced in shops in the US, Europe and Australia.

A mockup of my birds paintings 🙂

So, if you’d like to check it out – here it is!

And as it’s grand opening, for the first week the standard delivery costs are on me – just enter this code at the checkout:

ARTANDJOYNZ

Gogeta

Gogeta © S. Gruszczyk

Those of you on Goodreads already know I’ve been bingeing on the Dragon Ball manga lately 😉 I absolutely love the early volumes with kid Goku and Kuririn, the trainings and the Strongest Under the Heavens tournaments, Tenka’ichi Budôkai!

I’m not the only fan of Goku in the family, though – here’s a portrait of Gogeta done by an 11-year-old :D.

The Mandalorian

In anticipation of the new season of The Mandalorian, the only thing that stands between Star Wars franchise and a demeaning, protracted death by thousand Reys, here’s my watercolor version of the eponymous character :D.

You can enlarge the image by clicking on it.

Expect the review of the first season soon!

The Mandalorian © A. Gruszczyk

Orhan Pamuk, My Name is Red (2002)

Author: Orhan Pamuk

Title: My Name is Red

Format: E-book

Pages: 335

Series: –

“To avoid disappointment in art, one mustn’t treat is as a career. Despite whatever great artistic sense and talent a man might possess, he ought to seek money and power elsewhere to avoid forsaking his art when he fails to receive proper compensation for his gifts and efforts.”

The Turkish 2006 Nobel Prize Winner in literature, Orhan Pamuk has gained popularity in the West mainly through two books: My Name is Red (first published in 1998) and Snow (first published in 2002), but by that time he was already very well-known – and quite controversial – in Turkey. Pamuk, born in Istanbul in a multicultural family (his grandmother was Circassian), explores in his books the liminal space between cultures and religions, where ideas, aesthetic preferences and beliefs clash and mutually influence one another. In the case of My Name is Red, that exploration is enriched by deeply philosophical musings on the nature and essence of human perception – both of the reality, the outside world, and of the idea and existence of God. The aesthetical angle of the novel, presented through many-voiced conversations on seeing, imagining, painting, change, and style, and on the nature and purpose of art, constitutes a fascinating examination of cultural differences between East and West, Islam and Christianity.

This deeply philosophical essay is deftly hidden in a complex love story, which in turn comes neatly packed into a murder mystery. Taking place in turbulent times, in wintry Istanbul in 1591, My Name is Red offers a kaleidoscopic view of a multitude of diverse, sometimes contrary perspectives; a plethora of unreliable narrators;  tongue-in-cheek play with other literary and artistic works – and  with itself, twisting and turning and changing rules of the game mid-play; instances of breaking the fourth wall, and plenty of other postmodern literary devices – all employed in service of a cavalierly conventional story.

“Doubtless, you too have experienced what I’m about to describe: At times, while walking through the infinite and winding streets of Istanbul, while spooning a bite of vegetable stew into my mouth at a public kitchen or squinting with fixed attention on the curved design of a reed-style border illumination, I feel like I’m living the present as if it were the past. That is, when I’m walking down the street whitewashed with snow, I’ll have the urge to say that I was walking down it.”

Continue reading “Orhan Pamuk, My Name is Red (2002)”

May the 4th Be With You ;)

Happy Star Wars Day!

Here’s my watercolor of Baby Yoda from The Mandalorian.

Who better personifies the rebellious idea at the foundation of this series that Force has no sides but is in fact an a-moral power, a life-force that is not ethical per se, but just as any other form of knowledge it is in fact a tool, capable of both good and evil, depending on its wielder? One’s own mindset, personality and moral choices determine the way one uses the Force. I can’t wait to see where Favreau and co. will go with their ideas for Star Wars and what they will make of the current Force-related mess.

So, here’s to the Tribe of Two! 😀

Baby Yoda
Baby Yoda © A. Gruszczyk