Friday, 31 October 2008
Only thing I love about Halloween is carving a pumpkin, putting a candle inside & putting it on the porch - its pretty. And I love pumpkin soup of course!
But I should admit I'm feeling somehow quite sad if no kids came knocking on our door. It means that either they parents are scared for them and don't let them go, or its that horrible British age segregation - "respectful", rich & quiet pensioners' bungalows far away from tiny young families semis with no much of a garden...
The Curious Tribe *New To UKTV Documentary* Weekdays, 9pm (from Friday 5th
September) A televisual, anthropological experiment, The Curious Tribe sees
Donal MacIntyre host five members of the Insect Tribe from Papua New Guinea in
his London home. Turning the tables on his own visit to Papua New Guinea, the
tribe swap their war paint for sweaters and travel to Britain to satisfy their
own curiosities about the British way of life. The Curious Tribe, new to UKTV
Documentary, is a look at the ordinary things western society takes for granted,
and through their eyes we begin to discover that some of our own customs and
eccentricities are not as far away from theirs as we might have thought.
Throughout the three-part series, the tribe encounters snow, escalators, beds,
and even a football match.
I really liked that documentary from 2007. It is useful to be able to look at your life from a completely different point of view! Favorite moments: when one of the PNG people is in the winter forest and says something like "how strange and sad it is when trees are without leaves"; when in a church one of them says that man can't build this, only God. Well, that's right, man can't build this without God's help! We keep forgetting about this.
I enjoyed this "natural" people's resistance to shopping culture - they couldn't imagine buying things they don't need. And a special treat for a person from Russia like me: how PNG people see "retirement houses". For them its obvious that children abandoned their parents in that nursing care home, didn't returned the favour for bringing them up! Majority of the people from this planet would probably agreed - but not British or Americans. Mind you, seeing my mother and elderly grandmother arguing horribly all the time with the grandmother rapidly loosing any touch with reality I started looking better towards nursing homes. But I don't think it is an option in Russia at the moment, for better or for worse.
Anyway I was amazed how healthy the PNG people looked, even women with 7 children. Imagine a British, American or Russian lady with so many kids! Maybe its because they start early in New Guinea...
Thursday, 30 October 2008
I also think that all good human ideas & creations will be saved by God for the future perfect world where everybody join together in endless self improvement through love, creativity, learning & helping others.
I'm not alone ...
Hint of Dementia: Monoculture America
Mix 1:1 with sugar for most fruits, put a layer of sugar on top of the jar. You won't need an airtight lid. It normally keeps OK till next summer. If any mold appears on top - just discard it, the rest of preserve will be fine. For more healthy option you can try to substitute sugar for honey or agave syrup. We do this way our homegrown blackcurrants, white and red currants (last two are better filtered - they make clear jelly - I think its due to high pectin content), kiwi (actinidia), gooseberries, raspberry, rosehip, buckthorn, strawberry, juneberry. Same for wild cranberries, bilberries, lindenberries, dewberries. For the more acidic fruit better to add more sugar (honey, syrup). Use food processor for convenience. There is similar way of preserving sorrel & other herbs with salt.
Frankly I think ordinary cooked jams are a bit of waste of time - they don't have any health benefits. Although we do apple + aronia (black rowan) or apple + burberries jam or plum jam when we have to much of fruit.
Anyway, seat reservations is a real problem in Britain. Train companies just don't put reservation tickets and you and your kids can't claim your pre-booked sits and have to stand all the way somewhere near a smelly toilet...
Another problem for me, who was born in Russia, is relationship between people of different ages. Once we travelled at Christmas time with my mother-in-law. We did booked the seats but our train got cancelled. So we ended up in a very crowded carriage. There were many students, but for hours NO ONE have been offering his or her seat neither to a very tired lady in her seventies or to small children pushed around in the ail. Finally a Chinese girl did... This situation is almost impossible to imagine in Russia (and probably in China?). On the other hand I remember boarding a train in Newtown with my husband and two kids and a respectfully looking elderly gentlemen literally rushed in and occupied the last free table/4 seat compartment. And there were many single seats available!
Yet another problem is behavior on trains. Loud music, drinking & swearing to be precise. We used to go from Nottingham to east cost (Skegness) to take kids to the beach. That train was normally very slow, hot and full of strange public who never heard of using headphones... At some point I remember starting singing myself to protect children from this mayhem. Conductors do nothing. Other passengers are too scared. I even remember being in the carriage with very badly behaving football supporters and there were policemen on the train but they were just popping their heads in the door for a second (checking if somebody got killed???)and then disappearing!
Well that's what we eco-friendly lot have to put up with! I should say that despite British Government destroying lots of railways there still probably much more trains running across British countryside than in rural Russia.
Tuesday, 28 October 2008
I do take hundreds of photos every time I go out in hope that one day I can use them for my artwork. They constantly appear in random order on my desktop.
My wild imagination and dreams often bring me vivid pictures worth painting.
I like using 3D modelling for creating landscapes and/or people to paint later.
I also feel its fine to be inspired by random photos in books, newspapers, on the web, in movies. After all, I'm not copying them photorealistically, merely interpreting. Artist Pablo Picasso said "Good artists borrow, great artists steal." And, of course, all artists & photographers steal from God a bit... Poor Van Gogh copied his favorite artists when couldn't afford live models.
Last, I sometimes do copies of historic art from all over the World to learn about old masters approach.
- Never say "you have talent". For many artists it translates into "you don't work hard - just use your talent every time".
- Your painting is very good: it looks almost like a photograph... (then whats a point of doing a painting???)
- Never give to an artist an artwork of another artist as a gift unless you are ABSOLUTELY sure he or she will like it. Just ask! We lot have normally very strong preferences in art!
PS. Personally I found patronizing words like "clever girl" be real killers...
Welcome to the Distant Lands! Fifteen of my artworks (mostly seasonal landscapes) are included in this 2009 14-month calendar. It has British & Christian holidays (could be changed - just send me a message). I hope you'll enjoy it!(26 pages ) Paperback: £9.97
Fantasy Lands by A.Cook
by Alexandra Cook
This it 14 months 2009 calendar illustrated with my fantasy artwork. It contain British holidays (this could be changed - just send me a message). I hope you will enjoy it. (26 pages ) Paperback: £9.97
My Russia by A.Cook My Russia by A.Cook
Print: £12.49 (with postage in the UK)
This is 14-month calendar for 2009 illustrated with my own paintings and drawings dedicated to landscapes, people and buildings of my native Russia. Contains British and some Orthodox holidays. If you would like other / custom holidays please let me know before buying and I'll create additional version for you. I hope you'll enjoy my calendar!
Monday, 27 October 2008
I used to belong to the Nottingham Society of Artists (http://www.nottinghamartists.org.uk/) and a local Art Club (http://www.ledac.org.uk/index.htm) in my old place. Couldn't find anything here (maybe there is a group?). We don't drive (eco-friendly) so I can't really go to nearby towns to join their groups.
Ideally I would love to be a member of an open-minded & friendly all-media & style art group (club, society, association) with an aim to actively help each other improve they work, exibit it and, of course, sell it. Also get painting outside together. Let me know if anybody else interested.
Sunday, 26 October 2008
Small quiet town, not really much arty folk around... Exhibitions in the gallery are mostly very -very - very weird (strange). I love experiment and feeling of strangeness - as just one side of creativity. But why poor people have to think that only this is ART? Where are simply local artists? There was an "open" exhibition with entrance fee I couldn't afford... Where anyway are works which somebody could have in ordinary comfortable home and simply enjoy them? I know there is good art created right now - look in International Artist Magazine (http://www.international-artist.com/iam/overview.aspx), for example. Who profits from promotion of weird and disgusting in art? Why feeling of peace and happiness in art is ignored?
I'm thinking of translating it to English, widening the story at the same time, but have to find somebody to review it first...
1) I live in Britain;
2) I've already got a Russian Blog at http://linandara1.blogspot.com/
3) Some issues interesting for English readers are not interesting for Russians and vice versa.
Well, this is the opposite side: http://www.russiatoday.com/en
It will be biest too, but at least then you can balance points of view for yourself.
Hello, I'm a Russian Ukrainian Gypsy British artist and a housewife, EII. My interests (at the moment) include Sci-fi, fantasy, art, socionics, gardening, crafts, cooking, languages, medieval & traditional music, walking, writing, science, folk & classical music, permaculture, decorating, photography, Russian literature & poetry, philosophy, religion, wild nature, travelling, history, survival, self sufficiency, Native American cultures, Tolkien, ethnography, Star Wars.