Art General, Culture and Religion, Flight of Horace, illustration, People and Blogs, Uncategorized
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Ani y Catrina – Acrylic ink on papyrus (all rights reserved Mohammed Shamma)

I painted this piece for #Inktober and Dia de Los Muertos. I had originally wanted to call this the Book of the Dead meets the Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) but that seemed like a mouthful.  And as I worked on it, I began to feel like the piece was more than just a mashup of the two traditions.

In this scene, Ani (a nobleman from Egypt in the 19th Dynasty – 1250 BCE) is escorting Catrina (see La Calavera Catrina) to the weighing of her heart.  The god Anubis presides over the scale that measures the weight of her heart to that of a feather.

The hieroglyphic text comes from Spell 30b of the Book of the Dead.  The most famous version of the Book of the Dead is The Papyrus of Ani (British Museum, London).  Here is the English translation:

O my heart of my mother! O my heart of my mother! O my heart of my different forms! Do not stand up as a witness against me, do not be opposed to me in the tribunal, do not be hostile to me in the presence of the Keeper of the Balance, for you are my ka which was in my body, the protector who made my members hale. Go forth to the happy place whereto we speed, do not make my name stink to the Entourage who make men. Do not tell lies about me in the present of the god. It is indeed well that you should hear!
                  — Book of the Dead, spell 30B

Here is a partial Spanish translation (of the English translation) which I used in the painting:

Oh Osiris, el escriba Ani dice: “Mi corazón, corazón de mi madre. Mi corazón, el corazón de mi madre, corazón de mi existencia!. No puede incurrir en ninguna resistencia sobre mí en mi juicio.”

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Ani y Catrina workspace (for perspective)

 

Ani y Catrina

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Art General, Culture and Religion, Flight of Horace, illustration, Watercolor

birdcatchers-daughter

I found my lover in the dawn
Birds chirped as his words flew to me
“Good morning my lovely”
My spirits lifted with the light of the sun
I touched his face and he came alive
“Where are you going today?”
I held him entirely in my hand
“Let’s wander the world together.”
The dove inside me spoke softly
“I’m going to a wonderful place,
Where my heart will be more than happy”
I’m going to be with you.

 

I was inspired by the poem of the Birdcatcher’s Daughter from the New Kingdom poem (or song) found in the Papyrus Harris 500.  A great source for the Egyptian text of this poem and many others is Love Songs of the New Kingdom and  The Literature of Ancient Egypt.

The Birdcatcher’s Daughter

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Advertising, Art General, illustration, Travel Journal, Uncategorized, Watercolor
Watercolor and ink on paper, All rights reserved to Mohammed Shamma

Watercolor and ink on paper, All rights reserved to Mohammed Shamma

Concept illustration that I made for a short story about a girl that responds to an ad about a correspondence art course and ends up on a whirlwind tour around the world.

Become an Artist in 30 Days or Less

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Art General, Urban Sketching, Watercolor

I finally got the chance to sketch the giant Medusa head that’s been lurking behind wind-screens and barbed wire fences in the heart of Petaluma, California.  Before I set to work, I had a chance to meet the wizard behind this creation, Kevin Clark, a local artist known for his restaurant designs and the Rhino Redemption art car.

He graciously gave me a tour of his workshop and a detailed explanation of what this giant Medusa head really was.  It’s actually called Medusa Madness and it uses over 100 gallons of propane in full fire-breathing mode.  The snake bodies were made from over 800 steel barrels in construction and the face was based on a mold he took from his wife face.

Medusa Madness

“Medusa Madness” Petaluma, California May 17, 2016 (Watercolor and ink on paper)

Medusa Madness

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Art General, Culture and Religion, Museum Collections

My free copy of this totally awesome children’s book has arrived.  Historium, by Richard Wilkinson and Jo Nelson (Big Picture Press link), brings the museum right to your lap at any hour of the day.  It’s filled with illustrations that truly make the reader feel as if they are standing right in front of the glass case housing the objects.

I was already a fan of their previous books Animalium and Maps before they approached me.  Big thanks guys.  I’m very honored to be part of this cool project!

Historium

My photo on Flickr
Frieze of Archers
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Historium arrived! Thanks Templar Publishing

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Art General

In the land of Andylucia wa Rahoul, there is a popular brand of soup, Camel Soup. It’s always hot, never dry and full of colorful flavors.  See this and more designs at: http://society6.com/mohammedshamma

Camel Soup

Camel Soup

Camel Soup

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Art General, Urban Sketching

South Hall Road, Univ. of California, Berkeley – March 18, 2014. I tried to find a place that allowed me to sketch the campus tower and the students at the same time.  The long cement bench facing South Hall Road was a good compromise.  I was able to get the lower half of the tower and Le Conte Hall as well as a sprinkling of students reading, studying and conversing in the mid-day sun.

 

South Hall Road and Campanile

South Hall Road

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