Sunday, 30 November 2008
And why relatives and friends have to give kids mountains of toys on Birthdays and Christmas? I've seen so many times poor children crying for hours because of over excitement! And a piece of advice for toy-buyers: if there are more thanfour jigsaw puzzles for kids at home - they will get mixed up. Complex games will have irreplaceable pieces lost or broken. Expensive electronic toys will get unintentionally broken too. If you kids have too much toys it will became impossible to tidy them up properly neither for you nor for kids themselves (we are learning all this hard way). By the way, the best birthday present my daughter had for her eight birthday was a big Yamaha keyboard just for 34 pounds. It really helps her to learn to play good music. And my son does wonders with his K'nex construction kits. Also at eight they still don't mind if the toys are second hand - save your money and enviroment!
I like traditions, but only when they came from a heart and generally good for you...
A Christmas video I stumbled upon while surfing:
Thursday, 27 November 2008
The September certainly was a very productive this year - thanks to the good weather.
I did this from my garden, but moved some of my neighbours' houses and turned the hills into the mountains.
By the way Etsy does looks so much nicer for an artist than Ebay, but there is a small problem: nothing seems to sell so far...
Wednesday, 26 November 2008
Another problem for a car-free person possesses (surprise!) kids sport club. They joined a local karate club last spring. Karate is very popular in Newtown and I thought its good healthy exercise plus a chance to learn to protect themselves if needed. No, wrong. Its all about the color of the belt. Every so often I'm given a form to fill and expected to pay 18 pounds per child for "grading" (strangely, that procedure haven't been explained to me when kids just joined). And for this continuous grading business (meaning belt changing) we have to travel to another town... On Sunday morning, of course! When I am trying to explain our situation to the trainers I usually meet one of these looks: cold, suspicious, judging, refusing to understand, separating me into "strange & alien" category. Oh, well... I seriously think about tennis club for kids now ...
Tuesday, 25 November 2008
I don't know yet if its going to be any good but feels somehow possible now. What scares me the most its the loss of order, when everybody who is stronger takes what he or she wants. I just hope we never see it in real life!
Monday, 24 November 2008
Saturday, 22 November 2008
Friday, 21 November 2008
The idea for the first picture came from a photo of my friends and colleagues overlooking a submarine port in the Crimea. The second one was inspired by a photo of my great auntie (a ballet dancer) as a girl.
Body: mesomorph (William Sheldon's system: a greater tolerance to extreme conditions, but insensitivity can be a trait. Oriented towards action) 441 of endomorph-mesomorph-ectomorph body-mind scale;
Face: rounded contours (jovial, gentle, gluttonous, indecisive, frank, slow); oval - mobile, impressionable, impulsive, changeable, versatile, non-persevering, credulous, prescient, intuitive; Siang Mien - jade - diamond - mystical, elegant , talented, durable, sharp, possessive, active, dutiful, caring, attractive
Hand: Earth - melancholic. Practical, honest, physically hard-working, espesially at tasks bringing the sunject close to earth, like pottery; stable, orderly, tenacious, unimaginative , sceptical, habitual, enjoys doing and making things and being physically productive, slow, generous, indulgent, enthusiastic, epicurian, physical. Can be stolid, insensitive, dull. Logical, very practical & pragmatic, orderly, habitual, hard-working and tenacious, stable. Can be unimaginative , over-sceptical and not very original. Palm(right hand - left hemisphere - analytical, logical, precise, time-sensitive; left hand - right hemisphere - emotional, creative, intuitive) clear & strait, steadfast love, devotion, great affection, sympathy and compassion; cautious, mentally capable, spirited, independent .
Chinese elements - fire (or water?) by description; Yin Metal by birth
Chinese medicine: the Alchemist - Metal - Returning to the Source - Discerning, purifying, distilling the essentials, defining, refining, concerned with aesthetics, beauty, virtue and morals . Enjoys the discipcline of order, ritual and ceremony. Letting go of Autumn, restraint, separation, elimination.
Vedas: Pitta (Fire + Earth) 142 - Vata (Air + Ether) 125 - Kapha (Earth + Water) 101
Humour (temperament): Melancholic - 13, Choleric - 8, Sanquine - 4, Phlegmatic - 2
Child (Rudolf Steiner) - same, maybe slightly more Choleric & Sanguine.
Gurdjieff Type No 2 - limbic system or emotional brain, the heart.
Brain hemisphere Right - 28; Left - 12 (non-verbal, visuo-spatial, simultaneous, spatial, analogic, holistic, intuitive, sensuous)
zodiac Sagittarius - fire - intuiting -mutable - active (fire brings myth and drama to experience, relating them to an inner world of its own which reflects, but is often removed from, reality. Adapts energy in order to explore, have a problem with sensuality. Vital and spontaneous and often live in a rich fantasy world more attuned to the theatre than the workplace. They need to experience life dramatically and significantly so their behaviours are exaggerated. Colorful figures, full of mythological splendour and heroism. Often self-centered and self-absorbed, but is also warm, psychic and lively. Problem coping with material world (drab & threatening). Optimistic, adventurous, extravagant, just, honest, stimulating, religious, boisterous, argumentative, impatient, fanatical, hot-headed, indulgent, tendency to preach, hides sadness).
Chinese animal boar, companion: sheep - gallant, gentle, lively, impulsive, chivalrous, courageous, generous, gregarious, sincere, thick-skinned, shallow, vulnerable, materialistic.
Feeling types: emotional, not joyful, not phobic, girl-child, life-explorer, Artemis (Jungian), animus Apollo, between indifference and compassion, introvert, stress level slightly higher than average, between optimistic and pessimistic, intuitive (p.61) and then somebody took that book from the library and I haven't seen it since...
Thursday, 20 November 2008
I've read Janey Lee Grace book "Imperfectly Natural Woman" last year and in some respect it was an eye-opener, especially about unnatural fragrances and other additives. Well I think most people still don't suspect that if you can smell something - there is some substance in the air and it may be very bad for you. Natural essential oils are easy available, I think lavender (for headache and just very nice smell), Olbas (oil mix for blocked noses) and tea tree (for scratches, etc) are must have in any household. But people still use artificial perfume dispensers to mask perfectly natural cooking smells... Instead you can either open the window, or peel an orange, or boil a bit of apple with cinnamon. I sometime put some mandarin peel in the microwave or hot oven (just for few minutes).
Few years ago I bought a little packet of child juice drink (you know, that square type, with a straw) and found out it was full of artificial colourings. Why??? There is no way a child could see what color is his drink inside the carton.
Another thing which bothers me is additives (colorings, flavourings, even perfume) in medicines. Why again??? I'm an adult person and can swallow any bitter pill if really needed. Even kids at eight can. As our funny doctor said: stick it into his baked beans...
Saying all that, I still have lots of problems trying to feed my family healthy food. I don't have a strong will, and even small amount of nagging, moaning, screaming or frowning makes me give up. My son often points to me how much factory made food is better than mine. All those E numbers which enhance the flavour plus I'm not a very good cook... Well yesterday improvisational "curry" sauce was a success and I even was asked to make more of it:
Take 2 chopped onions, 2 garlic cloves, some fresh ginger, a teaspoon of
oil, a little bit of lime, cranberry and orange juice, plus a lot of your
favorite dry curry spices (e.g. coriander seed, chili, cinnamon, allspice, curry
leaves, black pepper and so on) and put with enough water in a food processor.
Process until smooth then gently boil for 5-10 min, adding creamed
coconut. Could be added to meat or vegetables when they are almost
Wednesday, 19 November 2008
Also I'm packing and sending away an acrylic painting I've sold recently. It features Thai houses and was based on a photo I took from a taxi window on Phuket Island many years ago.
(Sometime if I don't write down what I actually did today, I feel like time slipped through my fingers).
Tuesday, 18 November 2008
I watched a bit of this programme yesterday
and was somehow surprised by a female presenter attitude. She pointed at a lady and said something like that this unfortunate one has to abandon the idea about going away to work in a factory, instead she is doomed to stay with her kids and work on a farm, and that's such a hard work. Well, we switched the TV off after that. I think almost any way to earn money is hard, one way or another. It may be the stress (separation from family and home) or unhealthy lifestyle instead of the hard physical work, but the hard bit is still here. Interestingly, I've heard there was some research showing that men's health is worse if they stay at home all the time, women's health is worse if they go away to work.
I haven't been to China but I see how in the Russian countryside the city folk dreams to live close to the nature, not just stay here on holidays, but most of the village and small town dwellers wants to move to the city, to give up their land, to fill up yet another huge ugly apartment block. There used to be quite a lot of tension and hostility on the buses, but now the better off people unfortunately mostly use their cars.
Once I was walking through a village, seen a nice old house and decide to take picture of it (no, its not that one). Immediately a very angry elderly lady popped out and started shouting at me. I was surprised - I would count it for a compliment if people started to take pictures of my house or garden. Anyway, she disappeared next year - probably moved to a town...
So, I'm bothered with question: Why people who live close to nature, see the beauty every day, have fresh air to breath and birds to listen to, are often so unhappy, jealous and hostile? Are they already so deeply affected by modern consumer culture watching TV and doing their shopping in towns and cities? In that angry lady's village, there are crowds of tourist and pilgrims passing by yet local folk don't even try to organise any farmers market which would be of a great success and helped them to stay afloat, I think. Its just looks like they don't want to be happy where they are. Even here, in Newtown (Wales) I recon my encounter with xenophobic hostile youngsters shows that there is a class of people why don't feel any inspiration from marvelous countryside around them, instead they think themselves being on some unfortunate margin of modern society.
PS. And the size of local gardens doesn't help either. All the fields around, but the ordinary person in Newtown is lucky to have enough land to hung the washing in the back garden! Not surprising there is not much connection to the land.
"He deserves death" - "Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live
deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do
not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot
see all ends."
"What a pity that Bilbo did not stab that vile creature, when he
had a chance!" - "Pity? It was Pity that stayed his hand. Pity, and Mercy: not
to strike without need."
"Why was I chosen?" - "Such questions cannot be
answered, ... You may be sure that it was not for any merit that others do not
possess: not for power or wisdom, at any rate. But you have been chosen, and you
must therefore use such strength and heart and wits as you have."
"Travellers scowl at us, and countrymen give us scornful names. "Strider" I
am to one fat man who lives within a day's march of foes that would freeze his
heart, or lay his little town in ruin, if he were not guarded ceaselessly. Yet
we would not have it otherwise. If simple folk are free from care and fear,
simple they will be, and we must be secret to keep them so. That has been the
task of my kindred, while the years have lengthened and the grass has
"Here is the Heart of Elvendom on earth", he said, "and here my heart
dwells ever, unless there be a light beyond the dark roads that we still must
tread, you and I. Come with me!" And taking Frodo's hand in his, he left the
hill of Cerin Amroth and came there never again as living man.
Monday, 17 November 2008
Sunday, 16 November 2008
Lots of good art - painterly, skill full and thought-full portraits. For example, Lliana by Krasimir Kolev, Amanda Smith at Vincent Avenue by Simon Davis, Kristy, 3rd Attempt by Geert Schless, Natalie by Jason Walker, Her Name Is Rio by Lucie Cookson, Blue Pool (Datuk Vinod Sekhar Family) by Paul Benney (kids favorite - swimming pool), Melanie by Jackie Anderson (my favorite - a lady in fog).
But two tendencies a bit upset me. First, quite a number of works looked just like good resolution professional photos blown up on canvas. (E.g. Untitled by Peiyuan Jiang - Young Artist Award; Metamorphosis by José Luis Corella Garcia (I actually like the picture), Meralby Joanna Yates). Whats a point of painting then? The eye sees differently to the camera lens anyway. The only case (in my opinion) when photorealistic style really works its when there is no way that you can actually take picture of the subject (if its from the past or from fantasy)
Secondly, there is that hint of admiration of ugliness, illness and injury in some works (like in Sunny Jim by Sue Burns, Hannah O'Brien by Robert O'Brien). I don't mean at all that only classically beautiful people should be painted. But I always thought that the good portrait artist should try to find inner beauty and kindness in any subject. Unless the artist wants to offend or humiliate somebody (including themselves).
It compares the collapse of the USSR (which I sort of experienced) with present economic situation. Frankly, I've already started to gradually increase amount of tinned and dry food in my storage, buying seeds of edible plants and reducing spending even more.
During the Soviet Union Collapse I was young and naive, lived with my mother and spent most time just dreaming. So I mostly missed it and I don't feel sorry for that. Now I did criticize the consumer culture living in the USA and UK for the last eight years but I feel a bit upset I didn't participated. We never went on a cheap holiday to a popular destination, visiting kids' grandparents instead. We never had flown by a cheap airline (they don't have flights between the destinations we need!). We never had a car. We were buying mostly second hand clothes. We never had thrown away something we didn't need anymore but still useful. Instead we were trying to sell it in our Ebay shop - to earn few pounds. I've been to hairdressers maybe 3 or 4 times during this period because that would cost too much and personally I don't like being interrogated about my life during my haircut. We never borrowed any money apart from mortgage which was unfortunately unavoidable. We had to switch heating on in our house only when it was really needed - to save money. We haven't been buying perennial flowers in big boxes from a plant nursery just to throw them away next season as I've seen many people (and councils) do. I've been trying make my own compost as I couldn't afford to buy some (once it did went really wrong :-). We didn't went much to restaurants. I had nobody to chat for hours on the telephone, mobile or not. We haven't been replacing old things with new unless we really had to. I've missed all that and it looks like its gone for good now...
That's very good, somebody might say. Yes, but it wasn't entirely my choice of lifestyle! Well I think all this happened because I didn't went out to work but stayed at home with my kids and my paintings. That was my choice... although I'd still love to have a Landrover Defender or a motocaravan to visit beautiful and exotic places (Gypsy blood), to have nice organic clothes for the family and to start my own large orchard. Hope dies the last.
Another thing I wanted to say - thank you very much to everybody who sent me kind comments during last few days (sorry for my English by the way). Now that I know that somebody is actually reading what I write - I'm really scarred...
PS. There is a long list of labels (topics, subjects) on the left, so if you want to read say about oil pastels only you can do this. I also have a nasty habit of rewriting old posts or adding something to them - sorry
Saturday, 15 November 2008
Friday, 14 November 2008
Thursday, 13 November 2008
The painting is available from Etsy:
That's why I'm interested in cultures living independently from time (I think this corresponds to fourth stage of ethnos development in L. Gumilev works http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lev_Gumilev or the spirit of fourth quadra in socionics http://www.wikisocion.org/en/index.php?title=Delta_Quadra), groups where children follow examples of parents, traditions are kept and so on.
Why can't I see myself typing a password? I'll never have anybody trying to steal it at home. This should be optional.
Program windows popping on the screen all of the sudden without me pressing on them - that's not right too. I used to on several occasions accidentally close wrong window and lose my web page because of that. I wish Microsoft didn't had such a monopoly...
Wednesday, 12 November 2008
I think the animal rights people should opt out of the National Health Service and stop using all medicines which were developed using tests on animals (and that should be marked on the packaging). That would be really honest. Scientists don't want to torture animals. They want to save human lives, that, in my opinion, is higher priority than animal welfare. Of course, torturing is bad. Even if kids are torturing a dolly it is bad because the crime is in the mind.
No good scientist would want to make animals suffer unnecessary. Do animals suffer? I think, C.S. Lewis wrote that if you can't understand "I am (suffering)" you can't really suffer, as humans do. Well, that's a point of view. I often think that cats and dogs are suffering living in cities and towns and really should be kept only at the countryside where they don't get run over by cars so often & don't stay in little dirty pens all the time, they have good natural supply of herbs & maybe allowed to hunt (they are hunters after all!), plus can run as much as they want.
Who is really an animal torturers, in my opinion, its creators of wild nature films & programs, who watch and film animals (especially little ones!) suffer and do nothing about this for the sake of "nice" picture. The duty of a human being is to help animals. Obviously we can't stop all the animals hurting each other. But I sometime think, maybe we were meant to. Maybe in an ideal evil-free world all animals would be happy, domesticated and vegetarian (or scavengers)?
Instead of sabotaging research and by this harming lives (both animal and human), the animal rights activists should sponsor the research to gradually reduce and eliminate animal's suffering. Full stop.
Tuesday, 11 November 2008
There is a good reference library at
but you have to be a member (its free) to save images.
I can't remember where I took this. Must be in a castle in England.
Monday, 10 November 2008
Its in English but from a Bulgarian site. Very mood lifting. Main ideas: Nobody knows what future brings, follow your heart & intuition, but remember about death.
I even thought of destroying it, but I just can't. I still like the picture even though I moved forward a lot since that. I did it dreaming of a light pastel & silver colored dining room in something like Cloud City's from Star Wars style. I don't know if we ever will have a room like this...
Another thing which bothers me is this: Did anyone ever committed suicide because of constant breaking, dropping, spilling everything, hitting corners and door frames? :-)
Saturday, 8 November 2008
Friday, 7 November 2008
Anyway, we had some fun on Firework night:
Tuesday, 4 November 2008
We had their smallest vegetable box last year but ended up a bit disappointed - with lots of brussel sprouts (half of the family don't eat them) and inedible green hard cabbage leaves. We were so busy trying to eat up the stuff we really hated...
Living in the Soviet Union, I thought angry shoppers were only typical for that side of the Iron Curtain - because of food shortage. How naive! Just a few days ago I've been to local Morrisons (hands full of bags & kids, people with trolleys rushing to the queue in front of us) and my son, being curious, vent standing next to cashier. An elderly gentleman in front immediately suggested that my child was going to steal his pin number!!! A child! I don't know, maybe his little grandson is like this, or maybe he has overheard me speaking with accent and decided to indulge in his xenophobia...
Anyway, once there is Tesco with its home delivery, there will be no need for all that.
Monday, 3 November 2008
I watch TV just 1 -1.5 hours a day, in the evening. Even so, I feel its a waste of time if I don't do anything else in parallel. So I'm recycling fabric and make something (usually improvising). Most toys end up in kids rooms but few go for sale. This one is called Cheburaha and is available from Etsy.
There was just a few minutes of sunlight today to take the picture. The afternoon was incredibly gloomy...
Sunday, 2 November 2008
and moving my artwork to (hopefully) one place:
Still Life Artworks(1)
Pen and Ink Fantasy(1)
Oil & Acrylic Fantasy(2)
Saturday, 1 November 2008
Thanks goodness, people haven't copywrited their faces yet...
They say there is a "Mozart effect", but I think there is also a "trash music effect" - lowering ones IQ & eliminating kindness & empathy. So beware what you put on when your child is around! Amazingly, some people have headphones which work just like loudspeakers... Makes you wander what they do to owners hearing & brains.
Also i don't trust drivers putting their music very loud - they mute one of their senses & their concentration probably suffer. Some people say "well you've got noisy children so we'll have music on." We can't switch them off! I remember my baby crying hard all the way through overnight flight once... I've got plenty of "looks" that nigh...
Another thing, few weeks ago me and kids were watching something like Blue Peter program about animals during our breakfast. We like wild nature. I think the programme was called
"Wild About Animals: Hippos... he programme follows Hugo, a young maleAnd all of the sudden they started to show a hippo going to toilet... with zoom... and they were showing it again and again... Kids felt outraged & disgusted (young generation!). Who needs this kind of program??? And at breakfast time! And it was not only one occasion on this program! I'm from abroad, we (luckily) didn't had much children's TV but my British husband is constantly shocked at the fact that bad behaviour (including rude disgusting jokes) is actively promoted on British childrens' TV today. One wonders why they do it?
hippo who lives in Zambia's Luangwa ... Celebrating the giggles presenters and
guests have had on Blue Peter. ..."