Saturday, 24 May 2008

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

On my desk today


Sometimes I feel I play tetris with my time. Sometimes it works well; sometimes I forget what I was doing previously.

While I´m waiting for an approval from a client to arrive via e-mail, I knit a few more stitches into my "almost-ready" sweater. It really is almost ready and I´m a few rows short from finishing the collar. Then there´s the sewing (which wasn´t as dreadful as I thought it would be when I sewed the shoulder) and then the wearing part, which i´m really looking forward to.

On my desk there´s also a bowl of cooked chestnuts. Although there´s a lot of chestnut trees here in Argentina, it is not very common here to eat the chestnuts themselves. The owner of the grocery shop, of italian descent, told me they used to eat them there too. In Portugal, autumn means "castanhas", either boiled (with salt and anise seeds) or roasted, so I tried to have a bit from home here. And they´re quite tasty.

See other desks at kootoyoo´s.

Monday, 19 May 2008

Eye candy | Regalo para os olhos


A bit of eye candy, just because (does "because I love its colors" qualify as a good reason?).


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Um regalo para os olhos. Só porque sim. E porque gosto das cores.

Yesterday | Ontem

Yesterday was a busy day, albeit Sunday. Signed up for the painting "clinic", which is actually a monthly workshop at the teacher´s studio, with two live models (now that´s a treat!). We start early in the morning (the worst part is getting out of bed on Sunday, really) with quick sketches.

But, after a while, these first quick sketches seem like they took an eternity: new sketches are done in less and less posing time and, at the end of the morning, models are dancing and jumping and singing and sketching their movement is very challenging. At this point, I just tried to doodle whatever movements came to my arm and to my body. It was amazing.

After lunch each of the participants exposes the work done and we all discuss it. Now this was a tricky part for me - not because I was specially afraid of criticism nor were there any negative comments involved. It´s just that our drawings say so much about us, a lot more than we expected and definitely more than I would feel comfortable exposing. It´s amazing how those extra quick sketchings of people dancing (sketches? who am I kidding, it felt more close to children painting than to rationalize shapes and volumes into sketches) tell so much about you and force your other self to come out to the light.

I haven´t taken any photos of yesterday´s work yet. The format is large and I´m not sure how to photograph it here at home. But it certainly was an enriching experience.


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Ontem, apesar de Domingo, foi um dia muito produtivo de trabalho. Tive aquilo a que o meu professor de pintura chama de "clínica", que é, no fundo, um workshop no ateliê dele. Com dois modelos vivos, começamos por fazer desenhos rápidos (com tinta acrílica) de poses de 10 minutos.

Os exercícios progridem diminuindo o tempo das poses e aumentando a complexidade das composições em cada folha. De 10 minutos passamos para 5, para dois minutos e meio... e uma dezena de exercícios depois estamos a pintar modelos que dançam e que cantam, de olhos fechados, com a "outra mão" e assim por diante.

Depois do almoço, vem a parte da discussão dos trabalhos. Cada um dos participantes expõe os seus trabalhos e faz-se uma apreciação geral. Esta, verdade seja dita, foi a parte mais importante do dia. Bem, não foi a mais importante, mas foi muito importante. Passo a explicar: através dos comentários dos colegas e do professor fico a saber muito mais sobre mim do que pensava possível, pois os desenhos - sobretudo feitos nestas condições, em pouco tempo, com modelos que se mexem constantemente e que cantam música linda - revelam muito mais sobre a outra parte de mim, aquela que de vez em quando entrevejo em pequenos indícios do meu comportamento habitual. Estes desenhos são uma janela aberta para um lado estranho de nós e olhá-los e partilhá-los com quem passou pelo mesmo é realmente uma experiência muito marcante. Não se trata de pinturas particularmente bonitas (pelo menos não achei que as minhas o fossem) mas constituem momentos de catarse, de viver no limite, de expressar no limite: já não há cores na paleta, há uma amálgama de cinzentos mais claros ou mais escuros; a água está igualmente parda e os exercícios sucedem-se. É uma sucessão de acontecimentos esgotante, que nos deixou prostrados durante a hora de almoço. Só à custa de muito mate resisti (quase me atrevo a dizer "sobrevivemos", mas não quero falar pelos outros!) desperta toda a tarde.

Que bom foi. Mas, ufa!, que cansativo!

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

On my desk


On my desk today some silkscreen print proofs I´m reviewing. It´s a set of postcards that will soon be available at my shop. Things take a while to get ready here and the fact that I´m actually looking at prints is making me happy already. Let´s hope that soon enough it will be the final prints - those will definitely stay for a while on my desk and then hopefully on many other desks.

Today is also tax-day and social security-day and there´s the (decreasing) pile of to-dos waiting for me.

More desks via Kootoyoo´s.

P.S. Watched "Dan in real life" on Monday and totally loved it. I rewatched some of the scenes on Tuesday. Sadly I had to return it, but I hope that more people enjoy it as I did.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

The days after | Os dias a seguir

The days after my dear visitors left are empty ones: our flat is empty, furniture is now back on its usual spots, beds were unmade and mattresses put away. Work piled up and delving into it is what is on top of my to-do list. Oh. Work. All the chit-chat of last week is now either made via instant messaging or just postponed until further notice.

Well, but this (very invigorating) break has made me come back full of energy for more work and that´s what I´m going to do right now, this time away from the computer (which is actually very good). Autumn has been kind enough to present us with beautiful and warm-ish days and working with this weather is just good.


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Depois de tantas visitas na semana que passou, ontem e hoje têm sido dias de voltar a pôr móveis nos devidos lugares e de arrumações gerais cá por casa. O trabalho, logicamente, acumulou bastante durante a minha quase ausência e é a ele que agora me vou dedicar de corpo e alma (hmmm... tanto assim não será demais?) até reduzir a pilha de afazeres e de compromissos adiados para esta semana. Felizmente (nenhum post estaria completo sem uma achega quanto ao tempo que se faz sentir) os dias têm estado amenos e muito bonitos, o que ajuda bastante à concentração: já não está calor mas também não está frio e o sol ajuda claramente a manter-me concentrada. Viva o Outono.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

On my desk



My desk is an improvised one this week. We´re having friends visiting from Portugal, so I schlepped some of my stuff to the dining/living room and am currently working on the dining table. It feels good to have a scenery change sometimes.

On my desk there´s some mock-up business cards I´m developing for a client, my sweater (I´m a slow but happy knitter: I´m almost finishing my second sleeve - one more to go and then there´s the sewing and blocking part! Can anyone give me any hints on blocking, please?) and, on the screen, a bit of an illustrated children´s book I´m illustrating for a friend. I just finished all the spreads so now we´re going for corrections. Yay!

Not on my desk, but certainly listening to it: Rodrigo Leão´s beautiful soundtrack for a documentary broadcasted on portuguese TV, about Portugal. It´s called "Portugal, um retrato social" and you can see more info about the documentary here, if you feel like it (I´m afraid it´s in portuguese, though). Language won´t be a problem if you wish to listen to the music.

More desks here.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

La mirada que pinta II


I´m so happy about the paiting workshop I´m visiting every monday that yesterday I couldn´t help myself but feel disappointed I couldn´t go. These are some images from last week´s work. During April we had to paint quick poses: two ten-minute poses followed by three eight-minute poses.

Recording these works is helping me keeping track of how I´m evolving: from fear of getting the proportions wrong I´m slowly liberating myself from my own claws and insecurities.

One funny and probably not coincidental thing happened the other day: I had visited my osteopath in the morning, who worked thoroughly on my neck. I sat up in a sleepy daze as he explained that we had worked on ancient anguishes as he pressed my neck on different points and that I would be feeling lighter.

The same afternoon I had painting workshop and I felt freer and less pressured about doing it "perfectly".

Browsing the collection of photos of work from the workshop, can anyone guess which day it was?


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Foi com pena que ontem não compareci ao workshop de pintura de modelo vivo que frequento actualmente, na Asociación de Amigos (del Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de Buenos Aires). Estas aulas têm constituído um espaço de expressão e de libertação de mim própria e dos meus medos. Aquele medo constante de não se fazer o desenho "perfeito", sabem? Pois é, o tal que paralisa...

A propósito desta "liberdade", uma segunda-feira ocorreu uma coisa muito curiosa: de manhã fui ao osteopata tratar o meu pescoço, zona onde ele interveio com bastante entusiasmo. Quando me levantei da marquesa, tonta e ensonada pelo tratamento, explicou-me que tínhamos estado a trabalhar "angústias antigas" e que me iria sentir mais leve e, de forma geral, melhor.

Nesse mesmo dia, tive mais uma aula de pintura e senti que o meu traço se libertava e que o manto de medo de "não fazer bem" me caía pelas costas até ao chão e me deixava mais leve para pintar.

Olhando a colecção das imagens das várias segundas-feiras, alguém descobre em que dia foi?