Saturday, December 31, 2005

Weather Report

It is -6 celcius out today.
Location is Melnik, Czech Republic, a small town 45 minutes outside of Prague.
There is 6"+ of snow eveywhere. It's beautiful but unbeliveably cold for this Los Angelino.
There is so much I would like to have recorded on this trip, but I just can't seem to find the right time and place to do it.
I have been knitting a lot. And reading a little. Reading makes me sleepy.
I brought the book "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle, but I can't seem to force myself to read it. I know that there is some valuable info in it. Especially pertinent to what I am experiencing here on this trip. This will be the last time that I see my in-laws alive. I can't stop thinking about that, and yet I know that I should just be in the present and love them while they are still here.
We leave in 3 days and I am dreading the good-byes. Last year's were bad enough.
I don't want to think about it, but yet I cannot stop.
This isn't something a person wants to dwell on, I am not close enough to ask them what I could do for them - that's really up to my husband, anyway. I am here to support.
Stay focused on the present and the positive.
Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Blaugue

For the past 2 weeks I have been in the Czech Republic. Today, I visited the National Gallery and saw some Czech paintings from the early 20th Century.
I have spent some time in this country, and have come to the conclusion, that Czechs have not really found their own voice or vision yet.
It seems that they were off to a start in the 1920's, when they became Czechoslovakia and then along came the Nazi's, bringing what was the first wave to a halt, then came the communists. We all know where that went.

I find myself wondering, as I stroll through the streets, looking at all of the amazing detail in the architecture, what would have happened, had they been allowed total creative freedom during those years?
What would this slavic country be like?
What would their art be like today?
It seems to me, that their expressions and visions may have been stopped short by the war, and other opressors.
The art deco here is amazing, and really pure. What is in store for them next, I wonder?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Fish Tales

"I once caught a fish that was this big..."
You have got to take a look at this

I came to this link by way of NPR's site about endangered catfish in cambodia...interesting story. You can listen to it there too.

For the record, I don't think that I have caught a fish in my life.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Instant Karma

Or something like that. I took a couple of days off from the painting, and I get a call from my freelance agency. It seems that a company I was working for last year needs someone this week. So now I am working full-time hours all week. It's an hour long commute, which means no painting until Saturday, unless I get up at the crack of dawn. Kind of too long for my comfort, since we are less than 2 weeks from holiday departure travel date, and I will be abandoning my art for 3 weeks....I am nervous and stressed, but I will have to make it all work out. If anyone is listening, pray that I can haul my butt out of bed early enough to at least make notes and "live" with the painting in daylight hours....damn winter.

This is positive too, $$. I am also hoping that I don't have to know Adobe In-design too well....in which case, I may be back in my studio on Tuesday, but I hope not. Really. I am ready to work hard.
No additional freelance work after Friday, though. I mean it.

Friday, December 02, 2005

I confess....

My studio no longer has proper lighting on those gray days (like today) and when the sun goes down. Most days, I am fine with this, I can't paint everyday and I can keep it to daylight hours. But I still feel the need to create. I have re-discovered the art of knitting, it can be very meditative and satisfying. There is the excitement of getting new clothes, and I love, starting new projects.
I have decided to knit this,"The Ribby Cardi"
I have never knitted a sweater before, I have yet to venture beyond the scarf and hat, so fasten your seat belts folks. I will be knitting it in the colors below, Peruvian Highland wool in Celadon and Nutmeg Heather:


These swatches came from the elann.com site, so I will link it, hopefully I am not in violation of any copyright laws here.
I haven't actually knitted with this yarn, but it is extremely affordable, and comes in lots of nice colors. In fact almost all of their yarn is extremely affordable, which makes knitting possible, for people like me. Check it out.

Because I need someone to hold my hand, I have signed on to the "Ribbi Cardi Knit-a-long", So I will now be held accountable for the completion of this project.
At least that is my strategy. I have a history of not finishing knitted and crocheted projects. Unless, of course an afghan is supposed to take 13 years...
But, before I can start on this, I must finish my husband's Christmas present, a scarf, knitted on size 7 needles, the same ones, that I need to make the sweater with. It's going slow, too. So, I had better get busy!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Procrastination and a Work Ethic

This is a re-occurring theme for me.
Katherine has been talking about not getting things done and progress.

I have been working on a large painting (for me, anyway) and I am 2/3 complete. I have reached that stage where I could finish it or mess it up and create a lot more work for myself. I already skipped a day this week, to let it rest and dry.
To top it off, it's a commission, so someone is waiting for it, so there is pressure.
Am I procrastinating? Have I not developed a strong work ethic? Is it all just part of my process? (that last one always works as the fall back excuse, doesn't it?)
I should know this by now. I don't.

Maybe I will just have to spend some quiet time with it today.

I am always a little hesitant to say my work is complete, scared actually, because in 2 weeks time, I may decide that it is not complete, and it will haunt me. This almost always happens with graphic design projects, because they are deadline driven. And really when it comes right down to it, is anything ever really completed? What was not added (or subtracted) from one work will go into the future ones.

What do I really want to do today?
Bake Christmas cookies and knit. It's one of those days.
Maybe it's just the holidays.