Amateur Art Critic (1) – once again about Leonid Afremov

Leave a comment

Because Mr. Afremov was nice enough to accept my friend request on Facebook and also to invite me to stroll through his Virtual Exhibition and share my thoughts in the Critics discussion page of his newest November paintings, here I am, an amateur critic, more like a little elephant in a China shop, sharing the feelings I got by contemplating the painting below, titled “Old Vitebsk”.


            The shadows of the night engulf everything in a cool, velvet slumber and one poor soul is guided to find shelter under a tall and welcoming arched doorway by the warm, friendly light of a delicate wrought iron street lamp.

            Though the long strokes of the “night” colors suggest a strong wind and a wild storm, it’s striking to notice the peace and comfort so easily suggested by the milder strokes of the warm colors spread by the single light source – a street lamp which is a landmark for civilization.

            What intrigues me is the rather ambiguous silhouette in the bottom left corner. It may be a woman, heading towards shelter, but she stands straight, not bending to protect herself from wind and rain. Indeed it looks like she has covered her head with something, but there’s also an illusion that the silhouette may have angel wings…? This would transcend the painting into an even higher spiritualized symbolism. Or it may be that the rain has just stopped, that is why she doesn’t appear to be in a hurry. Her long dress and the street lamp make you feel like you’ve travelled back in time, though such images are still familiar in “old towns” all across Europe. Also, the silhouette is placed right at the intersection of shadow and light (albeit the reflection of both onto a wet pavement).

            I always love how Mr. Leonid Afremov details the street lamps and other wrough iron structures, his amazingly vivid skies and most of all, his “invisible, happy rain”. All his paintings which have reflections of wet pavement/watery surfaces, even obvious clues like umbrellas, are never gloomy nor leave you a chilling feeling. For him, unlike for most people, rain is a cause for joy, not at all a discomfort. You forget all about muddy shoes, wet feet, damp clothes and other nasty things that usually come with a rainy day when you look at the “happy rain” paintings. Even if it’s autumn, it is always warm, vibrant and positive in Mr. Afremov’s thematic universe.



Leave a comment

It’s my birthday today.

I’ve just published my first book!

It’s an adventure children ‘s novelette for which I also made the illustrations and the entire layout and cover art.

A HALLOWEEN TREAT available for purchase@

and very soon also on in both print and kindle.

Here’s a little preview on my FB profile.

This is a dream come true and the best B-day present so far. It’s right up there, with the 17’th b-Day, when I gave myself the exquisite pleasure of memorizing Hamlet’s monologue. Yeah, I still know it and I’ve “performed” it on several occasions, including a HALLOWEEN costume party, where I went as the troubled Prince of Denmark.

Watch the Polar Bears! LIVE

Leave a comment

With Tundra Buggy Cam – Pearls of the Planet – Polar Bears – explore.

Romanian article…

Leave a comment

This week, my Kitchen games post is a rather lazy one. I made an elaborate soup this very Friday, but the description of it’s process will be detailed in the next week’s post.

We have a saying in Romanian which goes something like this: “the eyes behold, the heart desires…”

I’ll translate some of the text later, one day… 😉 In the meantime, you can enjoy the photos that speak all:

5 Deserts that You Must Try at Least Once in Your Lifetime

to have in Vienna

Floare de colţ – Ducu Bertzi

Leave a comment

Translates to “Edelweiss”, I’ll try my hand in the following minutes to translate the lyrics as well, because the translation below the video on YouTube is horrendously hard to sing onto the music. Off course, just like the translation of Zaraza, this one, too, is under copyright by yours truly. I mean it very seriously. And, in case you play guitar, here’s the chords for this lovely song: Stanza: la Mi la / Sol Do / Fa Sol Do / Mi la , Chorus: re la / Mi la (x2)

Floare de colţ

1. Vis de-argint şi de petale
Cuibul tău e sus pe creste
Raza ta-mi coboară-n cale
Mai frumos ca-ntr-o poveste.
Raza ta-mi coboară-n cale
Mai frumos ca-ntr-o poveste.

Refren x2:
Tu floare de colţ
Minune sub bolţi
Fragedă stea
Iubita mea!

2. Floare ninsă-n vîrf de stîncă
Mai presus de nori şi stele
Cine oare să te-ajungă?
Numai dorurile mele!
Cine oare să te-ajungă?
Numai dorurile mele!

Refren x2:

3. Floare de lumină vie
Zîmbet cald de dimineaţă
Te aştept de-o veşnicie
Te-ntîlnesc o dată-n viaţă.
Te aştept de-o veşnicie
Te-ntîlnesc o dată-n viaţă.

Refren ad libitum…



Translated lyrics ©by Alexandra M. Păun

1. You’re the dream of silver petals
Your abode high in the mountains
Your light in my life I behold
The best story ever told.
Your light in my life I behold
The best story ever told.

Chorus x2:
Oh, Edelweiss,
Wonder under skies,
You velvet light
My love divine!

2. Snowy flower of the rocks
High above the clouds and stars
Who could ever reach so near you?
Only in my dreams I do!
Who could ever reach so near you?
Only in my dreams I do!

Chorus x2:

3. Living light within a flower
Your warm smile like morning sunshine
Forever waiting our encounter,
Here you are, once in a lifetime.
Forever waiting our encounter,
Here you are, once in a lifetime.

Repeat chorus ad lib.

I’m simply in love!

Leave a comment

Looking for an illustration for one of my shower songs I discovered the amazing art of Mr. Leonid Afremov, a contemporary painter:

Here’s a whole series of his works.

Or simply visit his personal website and, if you can afford it, buy one of his paintings. And let me know once you have it at home, I might invite myself to admire it in person.

I just added to my rather impossible wish list to, one day, own an Afremov. The one above is a favorite, but it’s probably already in a private collection.

Funny things with or about cats (1)

Leave a comment

A house is not a home without a cat.

Cat (noun): 1. Furry keyboard cover. 2. Alarm clock.

A cat is an example of sophistication minus civilization.

A cat’s purr is the most effective stress medicine ever known.

A home is where the cat hair sticks to everything but the cat. – This one is so funny and true, were it not for the other image of a disturbingly bald cat. :))

Anything not nailed down is a cat toy.

Cats don’t have owners. They have caretakers!

Cats have incredible vision – but they never see your flaws.

Cats never strike a pose that isn’t photogenic.

Cats whiskers are so sensitive, they can find their way through the narrowest crack in a broken heart.

Dogs believe they are human. Cats believe they are God.

Every dog has his day. But the nights belong to cats.

Every life should have nine cats.

If you want to know the character of a man, find out what his cat thinks of him.

If you yell at a cat, you’re the one who is making a fool of yourself.

In ancient times cats were worshiped as gods… cats have never forgotten this.

It’s my cat’s world. I merely open the cans.

It would help so much when I yell at my cat, if she looked more like a brute.

You can cat-proof your house, but there’s no cat-proofing your heart.

Chairs were put on earth to shred, and our lap, is just a cat-bed.

“The cat always leaves a mark on his friend.” – Aesop, 6th Century BC

“If stretching were wealth, the cat would be rich.” – African proverb

The cat was created when the lion sneezed, so goes an Arabian Myth

Alice’s Royal Breakfast

Leave a comment

…or any other hour of the night when I crave this delicious meal. It’s been my favorite since I discovered it last year. I don’t have it that often. It’s best savored when you miss it for a while. My mouth is watering.

Time: 20 min.

Level: beginner

Price: depends on the price of eggs

Type: vegetarian


– 1 medium-sized potato, the kind they make chips from, or something closer, don’t go crazy on me with sweet potatoes or other stuff

– 2 eggs preferably organic and at least medium-sized, not the puny, pale-yolked tortured-chicken products

– olive oil, butter or other type of grease/oil to your liking

– salt, lots and lots of salt

Optional (add 5 more mins. to preparation time):

– grated salted cheese

– onion rings (but I wouldn’t recommend. This dish is best for its 2 ingredients simplicity and delights the taste buds as is. It needs no additives other than the precious salt.)

You will also need:

– a peeling knife or a plain all-purpose kitchen knife

– a plate to wash the potato chips before frying them

– a frying pan

– a wooden spatula

– a plate for serving

– a ready-to-be-amazed set of taste buds

Optional (add 2 more mins.) :

– another plate with a paper towel for absorbing the extra oil/grease


1. Peel the friendly potato and comfort it gingerly with the phrase “you’re about to be part of something amazing”)

2. Cut it gently into thin slices. I first cut it in two, then slice the halves making sure all the chips will cover the frying pan’s surface, otherwise I have to double the potato-frying time if some are left out.

3. Wash the nicely cut potato chips and dry them to a “no splashing once they hit the hot oil/grease”-point.

4. Pour a very thin layer of olive oil (or melt a knob of butter or other greasy interface to your liking) into the frying pan on the stove. The oil, any oil to my knowledge, expands a little when heated, so be careful not to pour too much. You only need to hit the chips on the one side, not cover them entirely.

5. Careful not to splash hot oil on you, add the nice potato chips into the heating oil treatment. To prevent any skin or eye injury, you can perform this action before the oil is too hot. Spread the chips evenly onto the entire surface of the pan. Let the oil work its magic.

6. Wash the eggs and because you’ve got a little time on your hands you can also prepare them for frying by cracking them onto a plate, careful not to break the yolks. Get rid of the shells, or, if you’re a plant lover, wash those Calcium-loaded things and allow them to dry for a healthy recycling (to be described in another post).

7. Use the wooden spatula to check on the potato chips. They don’t have to be all crisp and brownish on the side towards the flame. If over a third of them are, start turning them one by one – don’t protest! it’s an art and it’s worth it – turn the crispier and browner ones first, because the rest will follow.

8. Now you’ve got the nice potato chips frying onto the other side, almost ready for tasting. Once they are crisp and firm – they should be a tad smaller then they were when raw, as well – it’s time to add the eggs. Don’t allow all chips to become brown! Most of them get crispy when still nicely golden and they will have plenty of time to get brown along with the frying eggs.

9. Gently add the eggs into the frying pan and allow for some of the white to fry before incorporating the “stray” chips that weren’t caught inside the egg matter. To do that, simply use the spatula to drag the chips onto a place on the eggs’ surface that isn’t yet fried. (d’oh!)

10. The masterpiece comes when you decide if you like one yolk mellow and the other one hard, like myself. I usually scramble one yolk into the pan, mixing it with the still-raw white for a nice color and then pour hot oil on the lucky yolk that gets to remain mellow.

11. Once you are sure that no trace of egg white is left undone, your dish is ready to be scooped out of the pan onto the plate where it should receive the blessing of salt. Plenty of salt. Like they put into the potato chips bags, right?

12. You can serve it with butter on warm toast, or even go crazy with a slice of white bread, butter and… thick plum jam. Don’t say no until you’ve tried it! I do this for variation, but usually, I like this dish with it’s three main ingredients: potato, egg and salt.

Let me know if you start craving it at strange hours in the night. Ha-ha!

Older Entries