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

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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.


Floare de colţ – Ducu Bertzi

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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.

Sans titre

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It rains even rainier than the rainiest days

The Cold’s gotten colder, my thoughts are astray

The Coldests it gets when we freeze in our deaths

Despair and Misfortune are raising their bets

For who seems most likely to fall as their prey

But the Youth feeling old on a day like today…

This takes me back to a dear old friend…

L’été indien – Joe Dassin

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I’ve always loved this sung poem, maybe because I was born on an Indian Summer day, or maybe because, like Baudelaire says, we always want beautiful things that we don’t have.

Tu sais, je n’ai jamais été aussi heureux que ce matin-là.
Nous marchions sur une plage un peu comme celle-ci,
c’était l’automne, un automne où il faisait beau,
une saison qui n’existe que dans le Nord de l’Amérique.
Là-bas on l’appelle l’été indien
mais c’était tout simplement le nôtre.
Avec ta robe longue tu ressemblais
à une aquarelle de Marie Laurencin.
Et je me souviens, je me souviens très bien
de ce que je t’ai dit ce matin-là
il y a un an, y a un siècle, y a une éternité.

On ira où tu voudras, quand tu voudras
et on s’aimera encore, lorsque l’amour sera mort,
toute la vie sera pareille à ce matin
aux couleurs de l’été indien.

Aujourd’hui je suis très loin de ce matin d’automne
mais c’est comme si j’y étais.
Je pense à toi
où est tu?
que fais-tu?
est-ce que j’existe encore pour toi?
Je regarde cette vague qui n’atteindra jamais la dune
tu vois, comme elle je reviens en arrière.

Comme elle je me couche sur le sable
et je me souviens,
je me souviens des marées hautes
du soleil et du bonheur qui passaient sur la mer
il y a une éternité, un siècle, il y a un an.

On ira où tu voudras, quand tu voudras
et on s’aimera encore, lorsque l’amour sera mort.
Toute la vie sera pareille à ce matin
aux couleurs de l’été indien.


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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.

Fall is here

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Every year I savor the Indian Summer and I hang on to it long into October, until the first rains fall.

The cold then lets in that oh, so sweet melancholy and suddenly French & Italian songs overwhelm my inner radio.

Hence, my shower playlist changes, but I know it’s just a phase.

Can’t wait for the first snow, for that nice chilly white feeling, for the early evening lights, when you don’t really know what time it is unless you check your watch to see it’s ONLY 5 o’clock!

Until then, since this is the month of my birthday, let’s savor the last clear blue skies and the change of colors.

Thought of the day – diary

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Nov. 6.2011

If you don’t do something with your full heart, then it’s no point in doing it at all… there’s always someone else who, to your greatest surprise, will take pleasure in doing that which you hate. Never despise that someone, or you will be a lesser person.


Saints do not move, though grant for prayer’s sake…


Happy birthday to my best!

Oct. 13.2011

“Nelson loved a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb.

Nelson loved a little lamb,

it kept me nice and sane.”

Oct. 11.2011

You take one circle. You caress it.

It becomes vicious.

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