The Great Art Swap: A Tale of Two Moons

I was first drawn to her twitter name: @WaterBaker. How interesting, I thought. When one bakes water, one ends up with nothing, yet when I read her words they were poetic and clever: definitely a beautiful something! I later discovered that Arushi Nayar was an amazing multi-talented artist, guitarist, and poet. Our exchanges of creativity and words led to friendship.

After Moon Full of Moons was published, Arushi requested that I send a signed copy to her in Delhi, India. As we chatted about the book, I said how much I loved her paintings. The Great Art Swap was born! Arushi graciously offered to create a painting for me that would be small enough to send halfway around the world: from India to the United States.

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Mailing internationally can be challenging. Shipping a book was one thing, but shipping a piece of fine art required ingenuity. Just then, her friend Danixia Cuevas kindly agreed to put the carefully-wrapped painting in her luggage as she traveled from Delhi to Florida. From Florida, Danixia sent it via postal mail to me. (Thank you so much, Danixia!)

When the painting arrived, I was speechless. Even now, I cannot find words to describe the incredible beauty of this painting or how deeply touched I am by the story of how this came to be in my home. It’s a painting of the Full Moon.

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The painting literally leaps from the canvas with perfect, lush impasto. It’s a painting that one could fall into.

Arushi says about the piece, “The poetry in the book resonated deeply with me. So it was only natural to paint the full moon. I don’t know if it’s just the lighting in my room, but I found when the painting was high up and far from where we stood, in sufficient lighting, it seemed almost as though it was luminous – radiating light from within the painting. I love how art does these unexpected things.”

(She’s right. Her painted Moon IS luminous. I wish the beauty of it could be fully appreciated here.)

Full Moon by Arushi Nayar (detail)

In Moon Full of Moons, the Full Moon symbolizes happiness. There are two chapters named after the Full Moon: one describing an easy, innocent happiness like that of childhood, and a second describing a hard-won happiness, like a happiness chosen after times of sadness. To me, Arushi’s painting depicts the symbol of the book: it reminds me to be happy! I hope she knows that by giving the Full Moon, the light of it cycles shine back to her as well.

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Arushi launched a website showcasing her art: Art by Arushi. Add some beauty to your day and check out her collection of paintings on her online art gallery. I hear they are ready to spread their wings and fly to a new nest!

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