Keep living it vividly grand.

Keep living it vividly grand.

People like changes. And so do we. In a good way at least.

And that is why Vividly Grand had its brand new makeover. The layout is still something of a working progress, but we’re enjoying every moment of it! Granted, we have been posting a decent amount of fiction lately, but who can resist some good and fresh literature when it presents itself in the spur of the moment?

Going energetically forward from here though, loads of posts will still keep the ladies and gentleman educated and entertained on the proper conduct of the most noblest way of living in an extremely confused and overexposed world.

This week’s findings include a post for the men on how to properly fold a paper plane, of which the basic three examples shown, were outside my own framework of memory on the subject. Hop over to http://bit.ly/1o3asR0 but beware, it can get both time consuming and end up in a full-blown addiction.

For the ladies we found this lifestyle article at Atelier Doré titled: Nina Clemente’s Fettuccine Bolognese. I’ll spare you the just of it as it doesn’t matter where in the world you are, that just sounds good! The recipe and story can be seen here: http://bit.ly/2waFftW

Then to something more on a motivational note. I read one of these coffee quotes this weekend that stated:

Weekend coffee tasted like happiness and new possibilities.

Weekend coffee or not, happiness and new possibilities are terms I can work with. Every day of my life. Yet it sometimes happens that we take a step in faith, a move in the right direction and everything seems to be coming against you. And not just the random everyday stuff either, but a series of supernatural and disastrous events gang up against you. (I know all the other lifestyle bloggers have these beautiful idyllic lives but I find myself in the real world here.)

What helps one through such a time, is the reminder that nothing is permanent. The thought doesn’t make it lighter or easier to bear, but somehow in that, there is hope, and with hope, a definitive course of action. Action leads to momentum, and before you know it, you enter the Promised Land, (or whatever places your heart desire.)

And on that note, we’ll keep posting, keep encouraging and most of all, keep living it vividly grand.

Power, Love, Self-control

Power, love and self-control

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

2 Timothy 1:7

 

When confronted with the challenges and difficulties in this life, that which we are commanded to overcome, (Revelations 2:7) it is often easier to, out of habit or otherwise, become the victims of whatever it is we are facing.

The response to an unexpected calamity is more than often, either to ignore it by falling into a gradual, downward spiraling depression, or to be suddenly overwhelmed by emotions of sorrow and fear, often as a result of unbelief.

Even though we know the scriptures, we still see how powerless we are against the evils of this world, whether outside our circles of influence or effecting us directly on a personal level.

What then, according to the Word of God, should our expectation be the Holy Spirit who lives and reigns in each of us, who are in Christ Jesus?

 

Power.

The power of God in us. When people look at your life, would they without hesitation say that you are full of the power of God? Would people look at the fruit of the work of your hands, and know that God’s power is mightily in work through you?

We would most certainly say that of Jesus, and yet his Word declares that if his words remain in us, then He is in us and we in him. (John 15:7)

So whatever we are facing, whatever difficulty, whether it be financial, in health, in our relationships, or a major threat to the safety of our community, we need to ask and think upon the power of God in us regarding the situation.

If you are wondering about the definition of the power of God, go and read the stories of Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt, David’s mighty men fighting wars, Jesus commanding the weather to behave but also the power of God through sacrifices of love.

 

Love

It is needful for us to love God above anything (or anyone) else, but are we receiving enough love from Him to love ourselves with a velocity that outshines all the troubles of this world?

We say we love God, but do we spend sufficient time in His presence? The ten minutes of prayer every morning is worth a lot but spend ten minutes with your spouse every day and see where your marriage is heading.

If we really love God, it would show in our actions, (just like any other love affair) and those actions would include ample time reading the Word of God and ample time sitting in his presence (either through meditating or verbal prayer.)

Our love for God, through our very living, should transcend into am unquenchable love for ourselves and ultimately, an equal love for others, of which the result cannot be anything but thoughts, words and actions loaded with power, love and a sound mind.

 

A Sound mind

Many of us are familiar with this verse and we read it with much comfort, sometimes missing the essence of this very phrase at the end.

The King James Version speaks of “a sound mind” and rightly so, for among men, there is nothing more productive, more effective and more powerful in the Kingdom of God, than a sound and healthy mind. Research and science keeps reminding us that most of our illnesses originates in the brain, and that if you want to live a healthy lifestyle, you need to align your thoughts toward more heavenly patterns of love and holiness.

Looking a bit closer at the original Greek word in the verse, sōphronismos, the meaning of the word according to Strong’s is more in the line of ‘discipline, that is, self control: – sound mind.’

Our daily habits can be the biggest culprits with many an unwanted circumstance, but the knowledge of the meaning of this verse gives us something hard to chew on. Seemingly clean thoughts does not quite emphasize the discipline and self-control needed to overcome the mountains we face.

 

If we then, in our true and genuine love for God, ask Him to fill us with the Holy Spirit, (Matthew 7:11) harnessed with persistence in discipline and self-control, then over time and with patience, the power of God working in and through us, will be undeniable to those who are in need. It has the potential to change not only our worlds, but also the lives of so many others.

Written by:  Johannes A Snyman  Photo: Tanja Heffner

Colouring the past – Klimbim

A new dimension in colours – Klimbim

It is easy to take the wold of pictures for granted today. Colour images are taken and disposed of with the blink of an eye, and whatever photo we take with our mobile devices, can just as easily be edited into what we might assume to be the perfect work of art.

But what about those pictures that were taken before our current technology? Sure, they have a dynamic sense of danger or classicism clinging to it, but when looking at old black and white frames, a psychological barrier between the moment in the picture, and what you currently feel and experience, comes into play.

This is where Olga Shirnina comes in. If you were in need of a bit of colour in your photos, then Olga would be the person coming to your rescue. Living and working in Moscow, she spends most of her time in front of a computer, as a Russian translator for the German langue, and was kind enough to grant us an interview, and tell us more about her passion for changing black and white in to colour.

Audrey Hepburn – Black and white pictures are brought into the world of colours
                       Arseny Tarkovsky – A Picture is worth a thousand words.
How long have you been colorizing pictures?

My first work in colouring was back in 2011, and at that time, I had no idea that it could be a business. I am a translator by occupation, and so in 2012 I received a book on colour theory that needed to be translated. If you ask me, I think it was a sign, nudging me in the direction of this kind of work. It helped me tremendously to structure my knowledge about colours and I learned a lot about colour combinations, complementary colours and so forth. Naturally, I wanted to put it all in practice, and so I gradually grew into it.

Are your client predominantly Russian or do you work on an international basis as well?

For a long time I had clients from all over the world but Russia! Initially I posted my colourings on Russian sites but was subsequently heavily criticized and received tons of negative feedback. Part of the reason for this was, the fact that I colorized pictures from Russian history and there are plenty of experts who were eager to find mistakes in uniforms, weapons etc. Art lovers also frowned upon the idea, in their own opinions exclaiming how tasteless the work was.

It then only made sense to me, to post colorized images elsewhere.

A young Romanian gentleman convinced me to publish a website and a Facebook page with my colourings and was even so kind as to set it up for me. This led me to receive some interesting commissions, such as the cover of the last book of Paulo Coelho about Mata Hari. I also had some deals with Russian publishers but the experience was not always positive.

Do you have a special interest in history or more toward the form of arts and visual expressions?

Both. Russian history fascinates me. It is full of dramatic, cataclysmic events, which not only had an impact on the history of the country, but also on the rest of the world. I regret to say that many people have an unbalanced view and understanding of Russia. Sometimes a picture can say more than many words are able to, and it gives me great pleasure to add to people’s knowledge and learning about Russia, through my work in colourings

I also find it interesting to work with colours, achieving different effects or copying the manner of great painters of the past.

Do you do a lot of research on a picture when you give it colour?

Yes, of course I do. Eye colour, uniforms, medals, and colours that were ‘fashionable’ at the time and many other factors. Andrey Malov, an expert in uniforms, has helped me a lot during the past few years. He, for example, pointed out that Nicholas II on the famous photo with his family from 1913 wears a crimson shirt, and not green as many others and I myself originally thought. He wore the uniform of the Life-Guards of the 4th Imperial Family’s Rifle Regiment.

There are many interesting people among my followers. Some of them are experts in fields like history or aeroplanes and they often criticize my colourings but also help me in the process. I’ve learned so many facts and history, and I know it will continue in this fashion.

Leo Tolstoy – One of the greatest writers ever

Vladimir Lenin – Russian communist revolutionary

What do you enjoy most about the work you do?

There is a magic moment when you put colour on the black-and-white face and suddenly the person on the photo comes alive. Sometimes it is even a little terrifying when he or she looks direct into your eyes and seems to follow your movements.

Which is your favourite picture you have worked on?

It is hard to say. I think many colourists would agree that very often an image you have worked on for hours and you like a lot people just ignore. Like my colouring of the Russian ballerina Tamara Karsavina. I found the drawing of Leon Bakst with all the original colours of her costume and transferred them unto the black and white image. I was satisfied with the result but the colouring was not popular at all!

Which was the most difficult picture you have worked on?

Pictures with lots of details, interiors and landscapes are not easy to work on. I like portraits and sometimes when I see that the person on the image looks “alive,” I’ll do other details in a less careful manner. I am still learning however, and hope that someday I will manage to reach a standard of perfection.

Do you think all pictures should be colourised or are there those that have greater value in black and white?

Black and white images are and remain a piece of history but the world was never monochrome even during the war. On top of that, it remains interesting to imagine how it was many years ago, and what historical figures whom we know from books or articles looked like. They were also flesh and blood like ourselves. Colour removes the time barrier between now and then or at least makes the moment captured, more transparent.

Do you prefer war pictures in particular?

Most colourists are men and they colorize war pictures. I saw that there were very few images containing the Red Army, and I decided to fill this gap. My first colourings however, received loads of negative comments. Some even wrote “Olga, stop your red propaganda!” In the beginning, this was a shock to me but now I colorize war photos and look with nonchalance at toxic comments.Colouring

The beautiful Tamara Karsavina, Russian prima ballerina

The image of Tamara Karsavina as mentioned above. 

Olga makes sure that proper respect is given to the photographers of these pictures and states that all are excellent in their craftsmanship and have created masterpieces. Olga herself only adds color to the original works, and also mentioned that she cannot take credit for the original works of art.

Article by:  Johannes A Snyman  Photos supplied and copyright by : Klimbim / Olga Shirnina  

Follow Olga on FACEBOOK and on her WEBSITE

Drama, Theatre and Film – Micia

Drama, Theatre and Film – Micia De Wet

The world of theatre and film has for the most part been undervalued and underappreciated in South Africa, especially when compared with the European culture of the industry.

I then came across Micia, and asked her if she would be willing to share her passion for arts and culture with us.

How did your interest in drama and stage productions come about?

When I was nine I knew what I wanted to do, and it was all about the rush and adrenaline of being on stage, and that is what I started with.  As I became older it became the idea of being able to tell people’s stories for people who can’t tell their stories themselves.

Now it has moved into a strong socio-political avenue, as I feel like that it is a huge responsibility for any performer of creator person, to invest in open and explore. I think that is my biggest thing with drama and film and any mode of storytelling.

Do you through your line of work see a lot of stage productions?

Yes, I this year traveled to Prague for instance where I performed in their International Theater Festival. Yes, I see a fair amount of movies and stage plays. More movies than stage plays because of availability. There are French festivals everywhere and I feel that is where you see the majority of the work that people today should be seeing.

Why are independent films in South Africa not such a big thing?

Getting independent films to be part of the South African culture is the hardest part. The whole way we approach all of it, in essence, our thinking has to change, and that is what makes it so difficult.

Funding is also a challenge as you only get funding when they know it is going to be a commercial success. The various funders also didn’t want to fund our trip to Prague, until only afterwards when we proved to be successful, they started showing interest.

There is some truth in the fact that most funders are more lenient to give funding for recycled stories which they know will work, causing a lot of work not to be original.

Do you think the promotion of arts and culture in South Africa can be done?

On promoting and changing the South African culture for the better, I believe that there is always that possibility for people as a collective to change, and I love the notion of non-violent, non-disruptive change, where you can see something in a different way without being forced to see it in a different way.

Globally we are going through a stage where everything is to violent, to find that change, to find that breach of going forward. There is also currently a whole lot more freedom of speech but no responsibility toward what is being said.

That is what I try to advocate for, is to take responsibility for what you say. A lot of times I’ve seen stuff that felt like a lot of anger and thoughts of emotion just being spewed out and in film as well, and you think to yourself, you have to interrogate that, you have to think about that on a broader context, you can’t just put your feelings out there when they are not rationalized.

What are your goals forward?

Regarding drama am I focusing on theatre at the moment, but I have film and movie making as a goal and am pursuing it.

Do you have any film Directors you aspire to?

One of my favorite people is the Austrian film director and screen writer Michael Haneke, but I’m also fond of Danish Director Lars von Trier, known for the film Dogville with Nicole Kidman, which is a very abstract and strange film.  I love the way Lars deals with visual mediums, where it is almost a shock and a brutal and animalistic way in which he deals with imagery but it works so well in his way of storytelling.

What is it about film that motivates you?

There is the script but movies are more about the cinematography and the putting together of the images and that is what excites me about film.

It is important to be loving what you are doing, because when you love what you do, people can see that, and that is what they walk away with.

 

Article by:  Johannes A Snyman  Photography by : Aniki Grobbelaar / Chapters by Ani  Location: Tashas – Menlyn Maine

From Dubai

FROM DUBAI

Amazing stories from South Africans in Dubai keep making the rounds, and so we ventured to have a chat with L’re van Rooyen.

For the last year or so, L’re has ardently been working in a royalty of palaces in the United Arab Emirates, attending to the ‘pets’ of the nobles, otherwise referred to as a private zoo.

Long hours and high demands kept her on her toes, while ensuring that she enjoyed every precious moment of free time she has with us here in South Africa over the December holidays.

Now for the odd bit.

She has a perfect modern, state of the art smart phone. Only it has no camera, nor any other ability to take photos. Naturally for security reasons, photos are prohibited in her work space, and so required of her to purchase something very few of us even new existed. Apparently only a couple of smart phones like these exist, and upon googling it, I found a Blackberry and something else, but not the one I saw in her hand.

Oh yes, one other thing. She also happens to be an excellent swimmer.

Unfortunately we didn’t get around to the swimming pool, but there is always a next time.

She’ll be traveling all around South Africa, in the days to come, with even Swaziland on her list of locations.