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Wings like the glory of battle (pt 2)

…Aaaaaand the second poll, which explains the title up there!

Some months ago, I saw an image of a fairy princess that ignited a fire in my brain. I can’t find the exact image anymore, but I remember the sight of it going through me like electricity as I thought: but why can’t she be brown?

How to articulate this feeling exactly? I can’t, right now; I’m not in a state for much words right now. But if you look at the images of fairies and princesses that dominate a simple Google search, you’ll see– so much paleness: alabaster complexions held up as a virtue, whiteness as a pinnacle of beauty and perfection. Even the non-white princesses and fairies one often sees are largely pale; it’s exceedingly rare to see a dark-skinned fairy princess, and if one ever does, odds are that they will be cast in a different light than the majority of princesses; less elegant or delicate or graceful, somehow more exotic.

So I wanted to change that. I wanted to make art centering a fairy princess with enormous sparkly wings and elaborate headgear and robes and ridiculous long flowing hair. And she would be dark-skinned, kayumanggi, just like me.

And of course, because this is me, she had to be holding an unsheathed sword, on her way to battle. (To defend her territory from encroaching Kastila invaders — see, there’s actually a whole story behind this.)

So, for my very first Kasama/$25+ tier poll, I wanted to ask you all — to pick the motif I should feature on my princess’s wings and robes. Generally, the motif of her ornaments; whether she’s a princess of the stars or a princess of the deep places of the earth, or part of the royalty of water and fire.

Please pick the option you like best! I’ll be holding this poll open for a month. (I want to start work on this art piece sooner, but… it’s not going to happen, I have deadlines for stuff I need to finish first.)

What should be the motif for the fairy princess's robes, crown, and wings?

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Wings like the glory of battle (pt 1)

Dear companions and friends, hello!

As I may have mentioned before, my family — especially my mother — are going through a horrible time right now (it’s been rough for the past seven years, but it has gotten massively worse for the past several months). Things are about to get much, much more horrible soon, and so if I’m a little short on words, please forgive me.

I have a couple of polls for you today. One will be for everyone at the $5+ tier and up, for the doodle of the month; another will be for everyone at $25 tier (!!!) to ask about something very specific about my next major personal (ie un-commissioned) piece (!!!). Exciting!

Onward to the poll! For the monthly doodle, here are some words that are very dear to me; they were integral to my study in physics, which was my first academic love. Let’s try and see what I doodle based on the top two words!

(This poll will end in a week, meaning I’ll post the April doodle at the end of the first week of May.)

Pick two words for my April doodle!

  • momentum (33%, 1 Votes)
  • dark energy (33%, 1 Votes)
  • singularity (33%, 1 Votes)
  • velocity (0%, 0 Votes)
  • turbulence (0%, 0 Votes)
  • strangeness (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 2

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Sunlight on your leaves

There have been dark days, but bright days too; and most importantly, there has been art. It’s been a challenge finding the time and space for art when, on one hand, so much of my life is grief and rage and trauma experienced at a remove that modifies the pain in maddening ways; and, on the other, where I physically am things are getting better: work is going well (the little company I work for is getting financially stable!) and Cy and I have started regularly exercising, which has helped a great deal health-wise. It feels like I’m split in two, between the good and the bad, so a lot of the time I’ve just been going ASDKSHKLDAF AAAAAAAAAAA and so actually getting to do art is– has been a hard-won, awesome thing. Continue reading


The darkness of the womb

I should remember to rewatch this video when I feel myself flagging; when exhaustion and despair take over.

Yes Rabbi, the future is dark, on this watch night, I close my eyes and I see the darkness of my grandfather’s cell. And I can feel the spirit of ever rising optimism (in the Sikh tradition ‘Chardi Kala’) within him. So the mother in me asks, ‘What if? What if this darkness is not the darkness of the tomb, but the darkness of the womb?…. What is this is our country’s great transition? – Valarie Kaur

I had the great honour of contributing this piece of art to be sold as a print at the Revolutionary Love conference held this April. I look forward to writing more soon (regarding process; my thoughts; etc) — it’s just that words are scarce these days. But I try to make art as a form of kindling, when everything around us speaks of suffocation, extinguishment, annihilation.

In darkness, light.


Dear friends, hello! I’d like to share with you something I did, finally having figured out a video setup that works for me (ie, one where I do not have to squint past a very awkwardly placed phone/camera). I am not terribly good with it yet, there are still some things I need to figure out. But as a first attempt, I think it is pretty interesting; it shows my process for prepping the watercolour background for a personal piece I did lately: calligraphy painting of a quote by Valarie Kaur.

(It’s going to be sold as prints at the Revolutionary Love conference, with majority of the proceeds to go to supporting the Revolutionary Love project! So exciting!)

The password to view the video is: likhain .

Please let me know what you think! I have taken other videos of me painting, I just need to sweet-talk my beautiful partner into processing them. 😀 But if you have any special requests for a particular part of my work process that you’d like to see on video, please let me know!

(And, apologies for my quiet lately. Teddy was very sick and then I got very sick myself. I’m still trying to recover and catch up on a lot of work. Thank you so much for your patience and your presence!)