samedi 17 décembre 2011

2 books, 15 faces, one tree.

I've been reading the Binchy book for almost over a month, before, during and after my move from my old appartment to my new rented house. It was an incredible support as everything that could go wrong did during that time... But I had my book to go to everyday and it'll certainly remain one of my favorite books of all time.

The kids in Maeve Binchy's books are wonderful, so funny and natural, and the warmth and humor are just what I need these days.
The other book on the left was nice, seven little stories happening in as many countries. I tried to read a book  by Douglas Kennedy before that one, and quitted after going painstakingly through 180 boring pages. As soon as I got time enough to go to the library, I happily quitted. I don't think I'll try another by this author, it's just not my cup of tea.

I'm still practicing drawing faces, more so these last few days. Here are some I did between august and now. Like always, the more I practice, the easier it gets.

And this I did today. I'm not very happy with it but I needed to do something new, use colors, anything. I'm a little sick and able to stay at home and rest for the first time in ?? so it was great to take out my watercolors again. They were dusty!

dimanche 4 décembre 2011

3 books, a coffee grinder, keys and a bell

(Long post today - I will totally understand if you skip the words and look at the images only : ) !! I do that when I "read" Elle... )
I've got the internet again, and to my great surprise, I didn't really suffer from the lack of it - I was too busy to be bored, I think... I had it at work and it was almost enough.

Always time enough to read books, though. That's like breathing, I can't live without it!
On the left is Women who run with the wolves, by Clara Pinkola Estès. I've been reading it on and off for years. I like it, but I'm not sure I really get it. Maybe I will, in the long run.

I didn't like the illustration, until I tried to draw it. It's a Picasso painting and I don't like Picasso very much, generally. But it's funny, I started to feel really moved by these women and their ample body as I tried to follow their lines and feel the movement. That made me want to try with other artworks I don't get, see if it happens again. Because I love this painting now, I feel both the vulnerability and the power in these women, and I think they're beautiful, and this came only from reproducing them.

In the middle is a book by Arto Paasilinna, a Finn author I like a lot. I didn't like this one much, though, it was more a history of Finland, and not as fun as his usual novels.
On the right is a story that's hard to describe. I was attracted by what was written on the cover, I knew I needed to read it. It could be translated like this : "the little girls at the end of the road do you justice and they keep the fire." It's about women, rape, and fitting (or not). It's disturbing, , hard, often poetical, and it touched me like I knew it would because of those words.
The book title is translated (in french) from a poem by Voltairine de Cleyre called "We are birds of the coming storm". (I didn't know that poet at all, she wrote it in memory for the Haymarket Square martyrs, which I didn't know about either).

A few things I drew from my new place, which is nice, even if I don't have a kitchen yet, and some water damage in my living-room. But I'm so glad to have left the old place, I don't care (yet).
I even invited friends for Thanksgiving, and it was the first time I celebrated that, for it's not a tradition in France. But I've always loved the idea behind Thanksgiving, and I feel grateful to have moved at last, so we had a great microwave dinner! I'll do better next year, when I have a kitchen...

The coffee grinder in the drawing, I use to grind black pepper, it's a lot more tasty that way!

And I have a garden! It's very small, made of bad earth and rocks, and I'm learning that small is good, when you have to dig hard ground and break stones all over the place. Small feels very big, suddenly.

Now I'll shut up, and I'm going to have a look at everyone's blogs, now, I guess I missed a lot!

samedi 29 octobre 2011

Clair de Lune

I waited to post this because I really hoped I'd have something else to post with it... but it didn't happen. I'm moving out of my flat in 11 days, selling it a few days later, and I'm up to my ears amongst card boxes and piles of stuff. (is it among or amongst? I never know) 

So in the pic is an older drawing, now colored (view from my current place), and leaves I found in the neighborhood, some kind of wild grapevines.
Going back to filling boxes, now... See you next month, I hope, when I have the internet again... I still have it until the 9th, so I'll try to keep in touch with the EDM blogs!

mardi 18 octobre 2011

Books, and books.

New books! I don't have time for anything else - the search for a place to live in took all my free time lately. Everything where I live is so expensive, and most of the rentals are seasonal. But I've found something, at last.  I'm almost done with all that moving stuff.

On the left is a book by Anna Gavalda, awesome french author. This one was ok, but I really recommend her best seller "Hunting and gathering", it's so wonderful, when you finish it it feels like saying goodbye to good friends... They made a movie from that book with Audrey Tautou and Guillaume Canet, and it was great.
On the right is a book by Erica Bauermeister. I didn't get into it easily, but found myself slowly taken in the stories, and in the end, I liked it very much.

Serious stuff, for a change! On the left, a book by Jean Hatzfeld about the genocide in Rwanda. He interviewed the killers, in this one, in the prison they were in. It's not a pleasant read, but it's useful, if you're interested in understanding what makes normal people transform into soulless killers...
The two other books I've been reading for my sophrology training and thesis.

That's all, for today! I'll try to go and see everyone's blogs, but I'm not really going to have much time until mid november. I can't tell you how glad I am to be moving from my noisy flat!

mercredi 28 septembre 2011

Fish, squares, collage, blabla

These are a few things I made this summer, while I was discovering and experimenting with acrylics.  I forgot to post them and since I have nothing new to show you, here they are.

Some of these fish vaguely look like real mediterranean fish, the first one is all wrong, nothing I did could save him.

Testing colors and working with tape.

Collage - it's a lot more technical than I thought. The paper doesn't stay flat. Need to work on this. Had fun with it, anyway!

I wanted to thank all of you who commented on my last post, on the boat painting I made for my father. I was really nervous about it and you helped a lot!
I don't know if he liked it. He seemed to appreciate it, said it was nice, but then, he also said my hair was nice that one time I had a problem with my color and it turned orange. I learned later that he really thought it was particularly ugly and unfitting. My father is polite that way.

I sold my flat = great. I still haven't found a place to rent and I'm out of my place in  33 days = a bit nervous right now, and I don't have much time or desire for drawing...

dimanche 11 septembre 2011

Books, a building and a boat

So I made this painting for my father whose birthday is today. I'm going to give it to him on tuesday. I really don't know what to think of it. 

Will he like it, do I like it, is it complete crap? I usually don't have this kind of problems with my drawings. So any feedback will be welcome, critics included!

Easier, for me : books! On the left is a book I'm currently reading, by prolific french author Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt. He imagines what could have happened if Hitler had not been refused the entry of art school in 1908.

It's a fascinating read, I'm devouring it very fast! On the right is a book by Maeve Binchy who is not at all well known in France, so I tried this at random when I found it in English in the library. It's awesome. I read it too fast, though I didn't want it to end! I'll look for her other books, next time!

And this is what I see from my balcony. I'll be moving in one month and 20 days, not one day too soon. I hate the place I live in now with a passion. It's noisy, my neighbours love to cook and burn garlic since 9 am, I can't sleep, can't rest, can't not hear them all day and night long. I'm glad to go to work so I don't have to hear them for a few hours a day.

It doesn't seem that horrible, in drawing. Well, it is. Luckily, it won't be very long now until I move out.

It's my dad's birthday today, and also ten years after for New York, so I'm thinking about all those people who die each year because of terrorism, stupid, blind hate, not only in New York, but all over the world.

dimanche 28 août 2011

Abstracts, books and faces

I had friends at home all week last week and couldn't post. Here's some stuff I did the week before that.
I spent a lot of time adding layers on this one. I may be the only one, but I like it! 

In my head it's called Veins (probably inspired by Julia Cameron's Vein of Gold!)
Books, of course! On the left, awesome story from awesome Sarde author Milena Agus. She's unique, with a very original mind, and I love her books.

On the right is a best seller by James Redfield. A friend advised me to read it, but I didn't like it much. I thought it was a bit "easy". Some things were interesting, but not really new to me.

Faces, because I try to practise regularly. Each time I forget for too long, like more than a few days, I regress.
A lot. I like this practise because portraits are completely unforgiving : you've got to be accurate, so it's a great exercise.

And finally these are small squares I experimented on for hours (days!) before I was a little satisfied (less dissatisfied...). Well, I learned a lot even if the result isn't very interesting. The process was great!

Hope everyone is all right, especially those of us who live in the US East coast.
See you soon for new adventures!

mardi 16 août 2011

A seahorse, 2 books, a flashlight, a singer and a wolf

  Another acrylic. I saw the little seahorse on a photo and wanted to draw it right away. The rest is color play, mostly! I really like this media, it's a lot more forgiving than watercolors - even messes turn right, sometimes, and anyway you can always paint over them if you want.

And books, at last. I've not stopped reading at all, but I'm a lot behind with drawing the books I read. Actually I don't draw everything I read. It would take too much time.
On the left is an awesome manga by Khoji Kumeta that's very funny with a lot of original and surprising ideas. I just love how this author thinks, it's delightful.

And on the right is another great story by Jim Harrison, in English it's called "The English Major". It was funnier than his other books, I thought.

I wanted to do another challenge, so here is my flashlight. It's not a very good drawing, and I had a problem with the shadow as the bottom of the page drank all the paint and wouldn't let me paint the shadow correctly.

And now, for something completely different...
I did this a while ago, wanted to finish it and never went back to it. The girl and wolf are inspired from photos found on the net, and I colored with I'm not very happy with the coloring. I could change it easily, but it takes a lot of time and patience (I have the time, not the patience).
I still have a few days of completely lonely and free time, so I'll be using it to the last minute, hopefully creating as much as I can!
I don't want my vacation to end, but I'll be so happy when the loud cohorts of tourists will finally head back home, it'll help swallow the pill!

lundi 8 août 2011

Playing with acrylics, bathroom stuff, my weird face, Aix en Provence

Continuing my experiments and playing with acrylics. It's really fun, and freeing.

I like how this one turned!
This other one, with the horses, I'm not so sure about it. Maybe I'll go back to it later, I don't know.

I missed doing real drawings in the spirit of Every Day Matters, so I sorted out all my drawings on Flickr and made an EDM album, and then I went back to the challenge list to tackle some more challenges!

So I spent some quality time in my bathroom!
And then I drew my face, just because.

I had my ears redone twice but the right one still doesn't want to play nice. I kept my hair long for a long time because of it.

Last week I was near Aix en Provence with my daughter, to spend some times with my best friend and her family. We had a great time. I can't resist showing you one photo, Aix is such a beautiful and pleasant city!

Manon and my best friend, in Aix.

Oh, this was a big post! Hope everyone is enjoying this summer as I am!

mercredi 27 juillet 2011

Bananas (sort of), egg head, faces, and a treasure map

I've been very busy these last few days. My daughter is with her grand parents in Bretagne, learning to sail and enjoying the rain... And I've been playing with acrylic paints, totally new for me, and totally fun!

Some kind of strange bananas appeared.
Then things fused out of this egg head.

Meanwhile, I kept my routine of drawing faces, just not to "lose my hand" (that's a loose and unverified translation of a french expression - too tired too check it up, hope you'll get it : ) !)

And then I felt like drawing a map of what I want in my life, in the spirit of Shakti Gawain's Treasure Maps, and I made this :

Some things I already have, some I hope I'll have someday.

I also found a buyer for my flat (almost signed, crossing my fingers), worked on my thesis, and done almost everything on my to-do list.
I have a lot of other things in various stages of advancement, and not enough time to post, so who knows when I'll post next!
Morality : vacation is good!

lundi 18 juillet 2011

Shells and books

I was very intimidated by shells, but finally I realize they're not that terrible. I really like the blue I made for the background, it's just like the sea. My daughter said it's confusing because the shells aren't supposed to be floating on the surface like they seem to do in my drawing. She's right, but I don't care! I'm happy anyway.

My last two reads. On the left, a sad book, bittersweet, it said on the cover. Mostly bitter, I think, but I still liked it, I like Alice Hoffman and the way she tells her stories. On the right, a beautiful story of redemption. Very deep and touching, it made me cry at the end, but in a good way!

I'm about finished with uncluttering and sorting everything in my flat and basement. And I mean, everything. So now I'm left with other things to do that seem a lot more difficult to me. I wish I had a second basement, or a forgotten room so I could procrastinate some more...

mardi 12 juillet 2011

Flowers, a bird, and flowers again

Pages I did drawing from photos I found here and there, and adding quotes I like. I like how this one turned, I almost felt like I was controlling the way the paint went, for once. Nice feeling : ) !

This one, I'm disapointed with it, it looked a lot better when still just in black and white. Only thing I like is the branch, and I really learned something while doing it, so I'm glad anyway.

And this one I really like. I added the thick lines after the paint, I usually don't use that thick pen but I like the result.

And I love that quote, even though I'm not sure I understand it correctly. I helps me in my daily life, anyway, gives me some kind of guidance to where I need to go, what I need to do.

mardi 5 juillet 2011

Quotes, doodles, faces

Quotes and little drawing experiments, again. I still don't know what I really want to do, but I've begun cleaning  and sorting everything in my little flat, and apparently this was what I really needed to do.

Quote says : Love is friendship set on fire. I wish.

Quote by Rumi : Let silence take you to the core of life.
So important, so hard to accept, silence and stillness...

Quote from Francesco Clemente : Every day you have to make sure the door is open.
I love that one. It's so easy to forget.

Faces from magazines. Sometimes it just doesn't flow, the lines are awkward, I feel stiff and the face is just wrong. And sometimes I get it and I still really don't control the process at all... Practice, practice...

jeudi 30 juin 2011

Books, faces and a blue sun

New books, because I really never stay away from books, and I'm not getting tired of drawing them either. Each cover is a little challenge in itself, and when I read the book, I often find myself wondering how I'm ever going to manage to draw that on paper...

On the left, a thriller from Norway by Jo Nesbo, great author, great story and characters. It's the second one of this author that I read and I wasn't disapointed.
On the right is the second book in the SF "Gaïa" trilogy by John Varley. I adored these books when I was younger, it's such a fun universe.
Some faces. On the upper right it's my daughter, from a photo taken two years ago. She had just dismounted from her horse after the class, she was still very concentrated and focussed, I love that photo (and my drawing, not bad!)

And a little easy picture, just because I wanted to see those colors and a blue sun.
Love the quote, loving hearing Francesco Clemente talking, he's very precise, very interesting.

lundi 27 juin 2011

Pictures, quotes and (too?) many words

I'm still playing with those little naïve pieces and enjoying it. I'm learning something for what I don't have words, yet.

I'm learning to be lighter, for one. Letting go of a lot of things I don't want to carry around anymore.

It's written : A man who insists upon seeing with perfect clarity before he decides, never decides. Accept life and you must accept regret. It's a quote from H.F. Amiel  - I don't know him, but I agree with him.

And a Julia Cameron quote, with a drawing from a photo I saw on tumblr.  I love Julia Cameron books. I read and worked with The Artist's way first, and later with The Vein of Gold. I thought it would  help me explore and develop my artistic side, but it led me to completely different and unexpected paths.

I allowed myself for the first time to aknowledge my long lasting and deep interest in everything about resilience, healing, therapy and personal development - and in a few months now, I'll be a therapist myself, when I get my final diploma in Sophrology.

I also bought a guitar, and play regularly. That was very inexpected too, since I've played piano in my childhood - I was forced to - and I was bad at it and thought I was lost to music forever. (I'm still bad at guitar, but the difference is, I take pleasure in it, and maybe, when I'm around sixty, I'll be a passable player!)

I can't recommend those books enough. I offer The Artist's Way regularly to friends when I feel they're looking for a change in their life and don't know where to begin.
And that happens a lot since many of my friends are around forty, like me, and suddenly realize life is not going to wait for them eternally.

lundi 20 juin 2011

In between

Motivation is a strange thing. I feel pulled in several directions and most of the time end up doing nothing. I want to draw something, and at the same time not, it seems too difficult, too long, not worth the effort.

So I just continue with these little experiments, easy, fun, like little meditations. They satisfy my need for lines and colors.

I hope I'll feel inspired for more, soon. But in fact it doesn't matter. I'm trying to let go of a lot of unwanted baggage and attitudes, and the emptiness in between is confusing (and a little frightening, too).

The black thing in the middle represents nothing. It serves to hide a terribly failed face drawing. Poor kid, I couldn't let his face look like this.
Do you have times like this, when you really want to do something, create something, and nothing is really it, and the thing evades you?
I think it happens to me because of the changes in my life, and the fact that I'm really in between things, not where I want to be yet, but well on the way. And patience has never been my forte...