Thursday, 26 July 2012
Wednesday, 25 July 2012
My dad's dad was not my grandad, because he died when my dad was 16. He was a clarinet player. He played at functions and at silent movie theatres. He also ran a hotel which was always full of other artists who never paid. My dad was convinced that his dad had died unhappy and poor because he was a musician, and was adamant that I should not pursue a music career. But in his melancholic moments, he would confess to me that the sweetest sound he had ever heard in his life was his dad's playing the clarinet. At some point in my life, I was given grandad's clarinet, which I treasured like a sacred object. It came to England with me and sat on a shelf while I was trying to look for a musician who could play this old instrument. I wanted to make a recording of it for my dad, so that he could hear the sweetest sound one more time. It never happened.
Tuesday, 24 July 2012
Draw a lamp. This has been so far the most difficult challenge for me, as all my lamps and lights are painfully ugly. This is the ceiling light in my sitting room, a very plain, boring thing. So I thought of using some of the children's art supplies that I brought back to England in my pink bag (previous blog entry) to see if I could put some life and character into it. I used Crayola's Color Switchers and a white Conte pencil. I don't know, it still looks a bit sad.
Monday, 23 July 2012
The first thing I do when we get to San Diego is to go to Michaels and stock up on art supplies. Of course I NEED them to sketch during our travels, and you know, better safe than sorry, I buy everything in sight. Luckily I like children's art supplies, felt tips, crayons, etc. so not too expensive. But, of course, very bulky.
When the time came to go back to England, we realised that all those markers did not fit in our suitcases and had to rush to Ross to buy an extra bag. We found this pink bag, and I filled it with my cheap art supplies and other bits and pieces.
In the days in which British Airways was British Airways and American Airlines was American Airlines, you could bring two suitcases each. Now that American Airlines is British Airways and vice versa, things have become very murky re how much luggage you can bring. So when we checked in, a smiling lady said: 'That will be $60'. 'For what?' 'For the extra bag'. I didn't have the heart to dispose of the bag and all of those art supplies, so I paid. And there you are, the most expensive children's markers in the world. So, I learnt my lesson: less might not be more but it's definitely cheaper.
Sunday, 22 July 2012
The EDM I chose yesterday was: draw a jar from the kitchen. So I chose this one. I love going to continental food stores to buy strange looking bread in plastic bags, little sachets of powder soup, and spices. I used to go there looking for flavours from my youth, Italian biscuits I might have eaten for breakfast back home. I learnt very soon that it didn't work. Those biscuits, that wine, not even the focaccia bought before boarding the plane, would taste the same. The surroundings, the air, the history, morph those tastes into something different, with no memory. I wonder if all the people living in a foreign country feel slightly displaced. If an old Jamaican granny goes to the same food store to buy Tex's Family Chicken Seasoning because she misses the flavours from her youth. I wonder if this jar really is Caribbean or especially produced for continental food stores for all the people like me trying desperately to remember.
Saturday, 21 July 2012
Inspired by Danny Gregory, who is re-doing all the EDM challenges (328!), I decided to have a go, but unlike him who has a dedicated sketchbook for them and meticulously started with #1, I am drawing in a lot of different sketchbooks and choosing the challenges I fancy in no particular order.
I thought it would be nice to blog about them, as for every picture there are little things worth mentioning. This is my hand. As you can see, it has two wedding rings. The one below is my wedding ring, a silver Navajo artifact. My husband's ring was lost in the Pacific ocean off the coast of Hawaii two days after our wedding. The second is a gold ring and a family heirloom. It bears the date 12 October 1846. My grandmother's aunt, Romilda Pantaleoni, was a famous opera singer (Verdi wrote the Desdemona for her), and was born in 1847. It is very likely that this was her mother's wedding ring. As Romilda was my hero when I was dreaming of becoming a singer, many years ago I decided to wear her mom's ring. The eerie thing is that it is exactly the same size and shape of my own wedding ring.