Someone Lovely Discovered by Chance
The Bangkok Amulet Salesman
2017 Oil on Linen 40 x 30″ This man fought the Viet Cong. We were strolling through the Chatachuk Market in Bangkok and found him. He was pitching the sale of Ganesha, the Hindu Elephant God who destroys barriers. He proceded to give a full explanation of how his amulets (around his neck) had saved him from being shot in the war. He showed off his scar where the bullets had grazed his arm. I hesitated and walked away. Something made me go back to his stall. He was happily playing his Chinese violin. 80 years old and so very happy. Ganesha now has a place of honor above my easel. Trouvaille! Something or someone lovely discovered by chance.
The Girl in the Purple Shirt
The Girl in the Purple Shirt 2017 Oil on Linen 28 x 38” This beautiful woman served me an assortment of Balinese coffee in her shop named Oka. She set an array of coffee, tea and chocolate drinks that were grown on their farm. The prize was the Luwak Coffee. The beans were eaten off the plant by a creature called a, “Luwak.” The luwak then pooped the coffee beans and they were collected, sterilzed and ground. The coffee was delicious and very expensive. Bali has been invaded with tourists. The island paradise sits on the Ring of Fire, a string of volcanoes stretching through Indonesia. Just before my visit there had been a landslide that destroyed many homes. This beautiful place is precious and fragile. Trouvaille! Something and someone lovely discovered by chance.
2018 Oil on Linen 28 x 38″ Trouvaille. Something lovely discovered by chance. Beautiful Febri works at the Hotel Sapodilla in Ubud, Bali. Hosts for my first solo exploration in Southeast Asia. Florida tourism pales in comparison to the throngs of tourists invading Bali. The Balinese thank the Gods for good fortune by placing offerings on their doorways. Ubud is Bali’s center of art, music and theater. Balinese paintings had little color until westerners came to visit. The image of creatures in a trance are iconic. Legong dance is a classic Hindu struggle between good and evil. Dancers wear fresh flower head dresses and elaborate costumes. Gamelan music accompanies Legong and is integral to Balinese culture. No matter how beautiful your music, art and theater it will not continue without an audience. The palace near where Margaret Mead studied the Balinese culture offers English classes. Your room comes complete with plastic water bottles. Too many people tax the infrastructure. Yet the island and people share their beauty with grace. My first visit left me feeling like a lucky outsider looking in. I can’t wait to visit again.
Practicing for Nyepi
2019 Oil on Panel 16 x 20″ Painted from a photo of the children of Ubud, Bali practicing for the upcoming Nyepi celebration. Legong dancers open their eyes wide to simulate being in a trance. It was amazing watching these kids practice. I was going to miss Nyepi but saw the big “Ogogo” effigies being built for the parades. Giant monsters that are carried in the parades and burnt the night before Nyepi. The people of Bali believe that evil spirits fly above the island at night during Nyepi. All lights are out, no electricity and only candles. The airports are closed. All this in hopes that the spirits would think that there was no one on the island and would fly away somewhere else. Bali is beautiful.
Something lovely discovered by chance
Travel makes you modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.
I love to travel because it makes me look at life from a different perspective. I have learned that most people need the same things for happiness. Peace, employment, food and the freedom to practice their beliefs. When I open my eyes to different cultures and history, I make the connection.
These paintings are from my trip to Bali by myself. Bali is a Hindu island in the Muslim Indonesian islands. They have unique customs and rituals. Overpopulated with tourists, they still have peace. Nyepi is a time when the entire island shuts down, even the airport, so the evil spirits will not land. All lights are turned off and giant effigies called Ogogos are paraded and burned the night before.