Happy Ayyám-i-Há!

Ayyám-i-Há is a Bahá’í holiday celebrating the intercalary days of the Bahá’í year (days that fall “outside” the calendar year of nineteen months of nineteen days). These four or five days are a special time for savoring God’s generosity by gift giving, helping the poor and sick, and really appreciating life.

 

I like to celebrate it by making art that brings smiles to people’s faces. And eating good food!

“Joy gives us wings!
In times of joy our strength is more vital,
our intellect keener, and our understanding
less clouded.
We seem better able to cope
with the world and to find our sphere of usefulness.”
~`Abdu’l-Bahá

 

This year I made a crayon drawing that I hope tickles you a little.

PuffSnails2_web
Looking at Snails, Crayola crayons

Puffer fish are always funny to me, especially when they focus in hard with their big eyes. Here this little guy is thinking about those snails … or maybe you!

 

Wishing everyone out there, whoever you may be, Bahá’í or not, religious or not, a fan of my work or not, a truly wonderful couple of days! Happy Ayyám-i-Há, world!

Puffers in the Flowers

I adore dwarf pufferfish, Carinotetraodon travancoricus. They are the only true fresh water puffers and the smallest, at only one and a half inches long at the most.

The look one of these little firecrackers can deliver is stunning like nothing else! They are intensely curious, totally aware of everything around them. Their eyes can move independently from each other, like a chameleon’s, and they hover in the water ever so precisely, like little sci-fi spacecraft.

Or like hummingbirds sipping nectar from flowers.

In this piece, I wanted to convey the dwarf pufferfish as fairy creatures. They are tiny bright sparks of awareness patrolling their environment – and they see you!

PufFlowers2

I’m using the crayons to make soft shadows and sharp light, keeping the colors very vivid.

Sadly, dwarf puffers are becoming rare in their wild habitat in Kerala, Southwestern India. Breeding these little guys in captivity is a great alternative to wild caught so we can enjoy them in our homes as well as keep their wild population safe.