Monday, July 27, 2009

Solitude



"I have such a crowded solitude
so full of nostalgia
and faces of you
of goodbyes from long ago
and welcomed kisses
of first changes
and last carts.

I have such a crowded solitude
that I can organize it
like I would a parade
by colours
by sizes
and promises
by age
by touch and by flavor.

Without a surplus tremor
I embrace your absences
which assist and help me
with my face of you.

I am full of shadows
of nights and desires
of laughter and
of some curse

My guests come visit
they visit me like dreams
with their new resentments
their lack of candor
I hide a broom
behind the door
because I want to be alone
with my face of you.

But my face of you
looks the other way
with its loving eyes
that don't love anymore
like groceries
looking for their hunger
they look and look and
extinguish my journey.

The walls go away
only the night is left
the melancholy goes
there is nothing left.

Now my face of you
closes its yes
and it is such a desolated
solitude".

"Face of you", by Mario Benedetti

First of all, I must apologize for the translation, I know it is not one of my best, but the way the poem is written makes it very hard to translate to English (it really says "face of you", instead of "your face" or something else). This is one of my favorite poems. I finished the painting and later realized (as it often happens to me for some reason) what it was about. Also, Benedetti died on May 17th, 2009, so I think this is my way of remembering him...


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The concrete shell


"Or calling your room on a concrete shell
Fighting all alone, with yourself, with yourself
And you just wanna feel like a coin that's been tossed
In a wishing well, a wishing well
A wishing well, a wishing well
Well you're tossed in the air
And you fell and you fell
Through the dark blue waters
Where you cast your spell
Like you were just a wish that could turn out well

So you stand on the corner
Where the angels sit
And you think to yourself,
"This is it, this is it
This is all that I have
All I can stand
Is this air in my lungs
And this coin in my hand"
That you tossed in the air
And I fell, and I fell
All the way to the bottom
Of the well, of the well
Like those soft little secrets
That you tell, that you tell
To yourself, when you think
No one's listening to, well"

From the song "Wishing Well", by The Airborne Toxic Event


Tuesday, June 16, 2009


"Far, far away from home
I have no one to watch the morning with
and to give me a shot in time
before my heart rots away
No one to warm up these cold bones, baby
.....
This winter was bad
and I think I forgot my shadow in some subway car"

From the song "Eiti Leda", by Seru Giran

This very, very sad, strange and beautiful song was sort of the inspiration for this piece. I wish I could have translated it all, but it's really long. Anyway, it's one of my favorites.

I usually don't paint a lot of faces, because I greatly struggle with them, but this time, I decided to take up some courage and go for it. It's not quiet what I expected, but I like it anyways...that's what matters the most, right?. I purposely used a very highly textured surface, mostly because it doesn't allow me to get hung up on every tiny little detail, and also because it's s much fun!. The colors were improvised, I wanted to see how crazy I could get with them, sort of as a contrast with her expression which is lonely,almost sad.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Lesson


I finished this one last week (finally), I wasn't really sure wether to continue, finish it or just start over. In the end, I decided to finish it and leave it alone. It's more about the concept than the aesthetics, really.

A good number of very close friends have become parents in the last few years, and as their children grow (my nieces and nephews), my friends, along with their children (and even me, as a friend), keep discovering new and exiting secrets, experiences and truths about the world. That is what I was trying to represent: the things we teach our children , what they can teach us and more importantly, what we can learn together.

On another news, Gala had knee last Thursday, so now the house looks and feels like a veterinary hospital. She needs to be quiet, no exercise, no stairs, no walking, no running... for ten weeks. Right, how do I explain that to her???. So far, we've been able to keep her quiet, but as she starts to feel better, we'll have to get more creative...Oh!, another pet-related good news: Kohda's sibling was adopted, too, so now all three of them have homes and are off the streets!.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Home at last

Well...it's been a while...These past few months have been really hard, the economy finally hit us, and for the last two weeks we've been dealing with a "worst case scenario" (or at least it felt like it) at work, so I haven't really had much time (or energy, for that matter) to paint. To make things worst, both our dogs are sick: Gala (our lab) has hip dyspasia and arthritis on the knees (a consequence of the dysplasia) and will need surgery (my poor, sweet, girl)...it breaks my heart to see her limping, but at least now the weather is warmer and she isn't as swollen anymore. Our older dog has lyme disease...tested positive for a second time. He's ten, and the antibiotics are rough on him. He was beginning to limp,so it was pressing that we started the treatment as soon as possible, he was in a terrible mood all the time (he feels sick and cranky)but now is getting better, he stopped limping and isn't as grumpy all the time (just as "normal" as his lovely, cranky self before he got sick). So, for the last couple of months we've been very busy (and worried), and that's why I haven't painted much at all and why I didn't have anything to post. I'm so tired! And I missed this so much!

Now, to the subject of the painting... on March 1st (right before the whole saga started) we adopted a kitten. His name is Kohda and (as you can tell from the piece above) he is a Siamese (yes, he has a very extense "vocabulary" and purrs like an engine). He came to us through my neighbor's daughter-in-law, who is a vet tech. His brother was brought in with a fish hook through his mouth (of all things), and the person who brought him in told her there were other two from the litter (three in total), living on the street ( in Massachusetts in February, of all times of year!!!!!) and she had been feeding them. We had been discussing adopting a cat for a while (my husband wasn't very convinced at the time) and my neighbor knew it, so naturally she called me...and you can imagine the rest ("sure, we'll take a look at him", "maybe"...yeah, right, as if we could turn him down after everything he had been through).

Kohda got here on a Monday night after a storm that dumped over a foot of snow on the ground (apparently, the lady who was feeding them was able to bring them in so they wouldn't freeze to death). He was about 4 and a half months old when he got here, and a sweetheart from the start. He took to my husband inmediately (smart kitty, knows who he has to hipnotize first) and it was love at the first "meow". He has a great temper, and loves to cuddle with us, sleep in my studio and has taken over my chair, so now I have to paint and draw standing or he won't let me work at all!. I took the picture for the painting one afternoon as he slept on my legs. He likes to sleep hugging us (an arm or a leg at least) and using one of his toys (a fleece teaser) as a pillow of sorts.He purrs himself to sleep and looks so peaceful... I guess he's just glad he's home!.

 This little bast is one of the things that has helped me keep my sanity during these two months, and even as I'm writing this, he's "supervising" on the chair next to me, with that "OK, but hurry up so we can go PLAY!!!!!" look in his eyes. He is very hyper, and loves to play at night (he is nocturnal, allright). In the end, only two out of the three kittens were adopted: the one with the fish hook (my neighbor's daughter in law took him) and Kohda, the other one wasn't so lucky...he's still on the streets. Not even a rescue group would take him, they're all overrun with cats (they actualy have waitlists if you want to surrender one!!!!) and the MSPCA just closed it's offices in this area. So, as I see Kohda sleeping with us every night, playing and teasing his canine brother and sister, enjoying some tuna or walking on his leash (must post pictures, is too cute), I can't help but always think of his brother and hope that he too finds a home... and soon.

I must go to bed, I'm exhausted.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pretty please?


This is one of my "children", Gala. She is now the middle child (we just adopted a kitten). As you can tell, she is a bit spoiled and has mastered the art of what I call "Bambi Eyes", you know... the kind that will tear your heart to shreds when she looks at you while lying on your pillow (and drewling on it) as if saying "do you really want me to leave? but I loooooove you! Let's cuddle instead!". So, on one of those days I took some pictures and used them to create this.

Gala is a wonderful subject to paint, she sleeps like a log (as long as she is cuddling with you) and doesn't care about the camera, the noise, or anything else. This is the second time I paint her, and I must confess, this is my favorite (I wasn't really happy with the first one). This dog has the most beautiful and expressive eyes, I'm not sure if I was able to capture them (I hope I did).

I painted this a couple of days ago, on one seating... I hadn't painted anything for quite a while, I hadn't even logged on or checked other friends blogs...this whole applying for shows thing and rejection letters have been tough on me. I've never been very secure (specially about my work) and honestly I sometimes feel like all of this is futile, like I keep waiting for Godot... and running out of ways to keep the silence at bay. This is why I chose Gala for my subject. Dogs are unconditional love, absolute acceptace. There are no ailments of the soul that cannot be cured by a slobbery kiss; she always puts a smile on my face, so it was very easy to feel comfortable painting her, not think about the results (or the next juried show, or the next gallery, or the next, the next, the next...) and just enjoy reproducing her lovely face.