Week 3: 1/16/17

This week was a big week for everyone. The inauguration and protests were huge historical events. I loved how the rain revealed and strengthened the determination and passion of everyone involved with the march. I saw a lot of creative messages like “Tweet others how you’d like to be tweeted,” “A woman’s place is with the resistance” and “We’re only going to get browner, queerer, louder, stronger and watch the dinosaurs die away.” It was inspiring to see the vast ocean of people in all directions and how smoothly and peacefully it was all organized. Kids, families, pets were all there. It was invigorating and emotional, a wake up call to be ready to protect what’s important to us.

I was a little bit better with sleeping this week. Instead of going to bed at midnight every night I went to bed at midnight for two nights, at 11pm for two nights, 11:45pm for two nights and late night that was more like 1am for one night. I still need to turn the bed time ritual into a habit but I realized having a large pillow on my chest and stomach under the layers of comforters really relaxed me and made it easier to sleep.

I’m still doing the drawing once a day challenge! Lately they have been more quick and sloppy because of time so my goal has been to at least hit the bare minimum of just getting something out there. So I haven’t used the enveloping technique as much. I drew some of my drawings this week from photos of people from this website called bodiesinmotion.com that my friend showed me. They have photos and movies of dancers, martial artists, and acrobats that you can draw. It’s really good for practicing epic figure drawing! It inspired me to look into classes at Circus Circus like cyr wheel, lyra, hooping, aerial silks, and bungee dance.

Also my friend and I went to a figure drawing class but unfortunately the model didn’t show up. It would be great to get that practice every so often because how you see things in person is different than how you see things photographed. It’s harder and provides more potential for growth through the challenge.

This week was the first week of my art class! I learned how to access the online portion of the class and started reading posts and introducing myself on the forums. Looks like I’m going to have a busy semester. Every couple weeks a big project is due that will give me a hands-on understanding on a specific design concept. On the first day in class we got to paint with found objects (feathers, leaves, cuetips, pipe cleaners, etc.) on large butcher paper while listening to music with a process oriented intent. This coming week we are going to frame a  small portion of what we painted and then critique and talk about why we framed what we framed. 

Only went to the gym once but I walked a lot this week during work and during the marches so at least I was moving somewhat. I had three days in a row where I walked  two hours straight. And I’m starting this week right by going to the gym for two and half hours on Monday (80 minutes cardio, 50 minutes of strengthing, 20 minutes stretching).

Sushiritto, pupusas, Duper Duper veggie burger, and Arizmendi pizza were the four meals I went out for this week, but I cooked this week too to make up for it.

Delicata squash, ramen with egg, roasted hazelnuts and almonds, hummus, crackers and Swiss cheese were snacks I made and had. I love delicata squash! It’s my new found favorite! And snacks are the best. I think I need them little meals throughout the day so I don’t over do it. 

I met with friends for three days this week. I haven’t seen one friend for over six months and another in over a year and was able to catch up and play Bananagrama with them. Also the march brought my work, samba and college friends all in one place, which was tricky to coordinate but cool to see! 

I haven’t mentioned anything about work this year but so far in the past month with my clients I’ve played indoor basketball, had two long walks (including a scavenger hunt) across various neighborhoods of the city, read in the park, helped make orzo pasta and polenta lasagne, and acted as a giraffe lost in space in the first day of drama class. The year is off to a good start.

I’m on my third comic book from that pile of nine. This past week I read the first volume of Wicked and Divine and am now in the middle of the second one. The way the artists use the panels and express the emotions of the characters is very clever and creative and surprising. Like showing a map of a weekend concert with the main character’s comments all over it about what things have happened there or a photo sequence showing the perception of the character as she is slowly experiencing being drugged. The colors in the art is very neon like it’s an adult Lisa Frank book. I’m learning a lot about world mythology and celebrities by taking the time to look up all the connections in the comic online. I enjoy the strength and attitude in all the characters and how diverse they are in their races and sexual orientations. It’s a little hard to follow all the characters so sometimes I’m lost but somehow I’m still pulled in and enjoying it. I’m excited to see who I’ll meet next and what will happen.

As always, goals for next week:

• Draw figures using the envelope technique.

• At least start getting ready for bed at 9pm or as soon as I get home.

• Look at my online class 3-4 times a week.

• Read another comic or two.

• Have 2-3 days where I go to the gym.

• Go out to eat only for 2-3 days.

• Start writing again: a journal entry, a poem, and a snippet of a fiction story

Learning How to Find Adventure and Shake the World


Seeing the words joy, adventure, “shaking the world” the other day on a fortune cookie fortune made me feel a rush of excitement. The fortune said, “Joy comes from adventure today. Time to shake the world.” I wanted to find the adventure. Maybe I’d find it if I go home, write and rediscover it. But then I realized I didn’t know how. At first I was going to map out all my dreams and goals I’ve had for the last couple years to remind myself of them and see if they still inspire me. Thinking about my drawing and writing ones still seemed to have that spark until something happened. I suddenly felt tired and apathetic. I didn’t believe in my dreams because they seemed unrealistic, far fetched, and requiring  me to not lose track of them by getting distracted with other things that keep me busy. I didn’t know why I wanted to draw or write or why I wanted any of my dreams. Did I want a career, recognition, mastery, confidence? I know that I try to deny that I want those things and maybe when I looked at my dreams I felt I saw straight through them, seeing them as superficial, fickle and transitory. 

Though I’ve felt the thrill of adventure when I had a dream. The chase and anticipation of a dream gives me so much energy and a sense of accomplishment when moving through the evolving goals leading up to it. It feels as if I’m shaking the world with my pursuits.

But there’s also another type of adventure that maybe I sensed I was missing. A kind that most artists need before they get to that kind of goal oriented adventure.

It’s the adventure of an observed life.

I realized I was feeling a full, rich and subtle sensation that my life is an adventure when I had the intention to illustrate something that I saw or experienced each day. It sanctified the small things and made them extra colorful and special, whether it was because they were beautiful, funny, disgusting, sad or honest. The emotions of these little experiences would animate the drawings and make the memories of my life more crisply meaningful and rememberable. Without these drawings, I might not remember the two teenagers talking about their driving test at the bus stop or how I saw an audience of pigeons listening to the street performers. Even if I did remember, the memories may be more muted or dull in my mind because the drawings forced me to recall and save more sensory and emotional information for the long term. This is where stories come from and that is where the expressive and artistic adventure can begin. It is also where life can be appreciated and shared by others who will find a familiar and relatable sweetness about what has been captured in the story.

So now when I feel that rush of excitement and am eager to find the adventure all I need to do is to notice something and let myself feel its worth and significance in my days story. Appreciating these little vignettes and reflecting on them all as a whole could be the start to a very rich, real and beautiful adventure as well as a meaningful journey as an artist.

Bites


Feeling emotions in the tender details
They make you feel closer
To life
To death
Hugging them close
The sweet memory
Being able to see what it means
Before leaving your trace
The spontaneous bite of life
Hitting you
Emerging from you
When hearing songs
Watching stories
Painting images in your mind
Biting you gently
As they pass by
Waking you up with
Tears smiling
Unawarely seizing the chance
Unawarely appreciating
Your every breath
As if it were your last

Play

Music credit Fences by Phoenix

Video

Our Own

   
Reading poems late into the night
Reading more upon waking
Under the full moon
In the morning sun
Savoring each of them
Feeling the weight of each word
Remembering the life around them
Celebrating the moments we shared
The feelings they cherish and reveal
Cherishing me and the world I see
Seeing what I notice, what I celebrate
And feeling it again with me
Feeling that world and
Being part of that magical place
Sharing my sanctuary
Diving into photos, discovering details
Savoring the sunsets and parks
The daydreams between the seams
Realizing we never fully saw them
The hazy pinks and soft questions
The fireflies in the jar
Truth glowing like stars
Never got the chance to escape into them
But here now on the couch, in the covers
In the warmth of your intrigue
In the affection of your curiosity
We feel the colors and words come to life
Releasing them, watching them fly
As if they belong to someone else
As if they belong to another world
Another universe
Far from our own