Friday, October 3, 2014

Live Drawing

Every week, on Thursday, at 5 PM I am going to that big chilly dark room at Fine Arts. Drawing a live nude keeps you on your toes. First year students and professors are equal here. No artistic bs, no freedom of self-expression. For these two hours you have to be a realist. You just have to - no matter what is your artistic credo. Feels like home.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Hooray to coffee!

Did you know:

The Guinness-recognized oldest cat ever Creme Puff, who lived to be 38 years old, drank coffee every day. His he owner, Jake Perry, supported his cat's caffeine adiction, mostly because he was also the owner of the previous record holder, Grandpa Rex Allen. He was a coffe drinker as well and died at 34!

The northernmost land mass on Earth is called Coffee Club Island, or "Kaffeklubben Island" in Danish. This small island lying off the northern tip of Greenland and it's a part of Denmark. It was named after an informal "coffee club" of geographers that met regularly at the University of Copenhagen.

Originally coffee was not a beverage, but sort of an energy bar. Arabian tribes used to mix coffee berries with fat and form little energy balls.

Coffee is the second most traded commodity on Earth. The first one is oil. It's also is the second most popular drink on Earth after water.

It would take between 80 and 100 cups of coffee for a lethal dose of caffeine for an average adult. If you think it's a lot, you would like to now that legend has it that Voltaire drunk 50 cups of coffee per day, that daredevil. So, drink up!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Introducing my new fall collection!

Leaves are falling, school started, the art season is back and business activity on the rise. Don't forget your seasonal home maintenance. Pantone declared Mustard Yellow, Cognac and Radiant Orchid the trendiest colors for this season. Welcome, Fall!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Lunar eclipse

I spent a good portion of the last night on my balcony with a camera, taking picture of the total lunar eclipse, aka "blood Moon". It was a pretty chilly night, so I put on every piece of clothes I managed to find in a dark apartment. My hubby was sound asleep.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Famous artist in the house

Celebrated LA visual artist Synthia Saint James spoke yesterday in Washington State University. Doctor St. James was sporting one of her many Chinese silk jackets: this one was  a lovely turquoise blue with rich embroidery.  Great painter with an impeccable instinct for shape and color, she is also a uber-ninja of self-promotion. Excited public went "awww" after every announcement of her next progressively humanitarian and socially important project. It's funny how being in a spirit of doing good and making positive change in the world makes an artist unmistakably trendy.

I am sure that she's a perfectly nice lady and I know that she is an exceptionally talented artist with bold, unique vision, but I couldn't help but wonder: is she ever do something that wasn't aiming for Nobel peace prize? And does any speaker needs to be presented not by one, not two, but three people?And it wasn't helping that everybody, including people in the documentary they shown us, spoke about Ms. St James achievements in terms of quantity: she created this many book covers, made this and that many projects, won this and that award etc. And what with all the name-dropping: starting with people and ending with countries? Maybe I shouldn't be that sarcastic, but instead learn how to do marketing from a real master.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sunnyside Hill

My carpal tunnel acted out again, so I decided to spend yesterday outside, sketching. It's healthy to hold a real pen and pencil ones in a while instead of a computer mouse.

After a careful consideration of a bus schedule, sunlight angle and an annoying fact that I draw much better when I am interested in a subject and I can be  interested in a subject only when it's new to me, I decided to travel to a yet unexplored part of a town. At 10 AM I was already climbing Sunnyside hill.

I was heading toward a big green spot on my map: Sunnyside park. "Nothing special, just a picnic area", - I was told before, so I didn't have very high expectations for the place. Well, what is the antonym for "disappointing"?  "Appointing"? That was it. Very much appointing. 

The park itself was, indeed, just a big open space with a small lake and a big gunge gym, occupied by the miniature Americans and their mommies. But all around the park life became very very interesting. First, I stumbled upon a small very old cemetery with moss-covered marble headstones and tall dry grass, where  flocks of quails were galloping with  panicking screams. California quails (Калифорнийский хохлатый перепел in russian) are so funny running with their little plums dangling! Absolutely ridiculous. Local small-eared bunnies are on the second place in redonkulous contest. Rabbits are timid in this area. I found Montreal rabbits to be much more cheeky.  

There is a nice-size seep-and-llamas farm running alongside the Sunnyside park. I didn't understand if it was an interdependent business or they were affiliated with the park, but farm animals seemed to use park visitors for feeding. I mean they beg them for bred and such, not actually eating them. Children were ecstatic, and seep posed for picture suspiciously well. 

The park hill also offered a nice tall vantage point. Great view on nearby farms and fields. This red barn on a concrete ground base was in  such a perfect stage of picturesque shabbiness, I wondered if the owner knew it and preserved it this way.