Friday, 3 December 2010

Big Freeze again

We are enjoing wintery weather.



Friday, 8 October 2010

Birthday

Few photos from my kids birthday parties:


From People - photos

From People - photos

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Fellow-passengers

Reading Dickens. Don't want ever call anybody a heretic. All of us make mistakes. Constantly. Don't want to call anybody evil. There is good in every person. And we all are just "fellow-passengers to the grave"...

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Little everyday funny things

Just few of them to remember on a rainy day:

Rice through the straw
Kids were desperately trying to eat rice with chopsticks few days ago. I said "You know, in the Central Asia they actually eat rice..." But before I concluded "by hands" dear husband said "through the straw". Just imagine...

Drunk hairdressers
The railway got flooded after the rain yesterday so my husband and all the other passengers were put on the bus. On the back of the bus there was a group of noisy drunk hairdressers from nearby village who (judging by the horrible smell of hairspray) were practicing their hairdressing on the way...

Nightmare music
When I was a child & teenager in our apartment block in Moscow we had a British neighbour upstairs. Possible his name was Barry Jones and he was a writer but maybe not. He liked noisy overnight parties. He used to listen to the same few songs all over again. I truly hated them, they were my instruments of torture. I liked to sleep at night. Then very recently I noticed something familiar, long forgotten, in Jethro Tull songs I do listen a lot now. Possible, it was Crest Of A Knave album (certainly not my favourite) but it is still funny how everything in life can turn round...


Small World
A week ago I found out that there is a long existing Russian Language group in Newtown and that it is lead by a lady from the same department of the Moscow State University I am graduated from!

Friday, 3 September 2010

Back in Britain

We've just returned from 1.5 month holidays near Moscow, Russia. It was incredibly hot most of the time (+37 C) and very smoky because of distant peat fires. So we had to hide indoors. I've only managed to do a few sketches outside in the mornings but have been happy reading (Van Gogh, M. Bulgakov, V. Livanov, Dostoevsky) in cool underground sauna...

We also had few very strong storms, hazelnut-size hale and my favourite fir tree I admired from my childhood falling down (but not in our garden). The August meteor shower was quite spectacular this year.

On the way back, flight from Frankfurt to Birmingham (Lufthansa), we had to land very fast (which was a bit scary) in Brussels because the air pressure have been falling in the cabin. We've been told we were 30 sec from oxygen masks dropping down. It took four hours to fix and test the plane, then we resumed our journey home. Neither me nor my husband flying most of our lives ever experienced something like this. Kids and lots of other passengers had bad earaches.

Now kids are back to school, me I'm cooking, going to my exercise group and thinking about painting... Back to business!

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Cup of Wonder

I think I've found my favorite singer-songwriter-composer. Just can't have enough of this:

Ian Anderson & Jethro Tull playlist by Linandara

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Spin and Hostility

Modern progressive democracy in other worlds. For me any hostility towards another human being is evil. It's the absence of love. Yet politicians (some so much more than others) keep on demonstrating hostility to each other, plotting, cheating, brainwashing, exaggerating, spinning, spinning, spinning - thinking its OK for them. Or maybe they want us all to follow their example. Its so sad. And almost every day for the last few weeks we've heard phrases like "we care about poor and they care about rich". At the same time they want us to believe than voting can change something. But if so, ANY party would has to please MAJORITY, whatever it is: rich, poor, working, or not...


There so much is said against discrimination. Yet there are, for example, caravan parks for adults only and for families only, there are "women in art" exhibitions and "black theatres". Personally I'm not against honest discrimination like this. If in a cafe they don't want people born in Russia I will go to another one. I'm a grown up person. Its not good to be hostile to another human being but you can't force people to love each other. Especially if they see people ruling the country being hostile to their colleagues. Also they don't seem to notice that you can't have both "freedom of speech" and "political correctness" at the same time. The double standards and silencing - that is disgusting.
I just feel like what's the point ever participate again in this silly farce called elections if it doesn't change much? I've been told that I've missed real democracy in this country which was before Blair. I don't know. Its difficult to tell.

Why anyway the brainwashed by spin-doctors crowd electing pretty actors should decide what's best for the country? Why not the best, well educated experts and specialists consulting each other and generally being friendly? And lets hold a monarch ultimately responsible for everything. And lets get on with our life... Silly me... There can't be an ideal country, anyway. Wait till I'll tell how my native Russian governement took Russian citizenship from my kids. Some other time.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Post-election

At least we've got the person we voted for locally, Glyn Davies ...

I hope he will be seen in town often like Opik did.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Election

Sounds silly but I will be really sad if on Friday we still have Gordon Brown in  charge or anyone with that left wing rhetoric. I know almost all politicians are actors and liars. But we just had too much of same of them.

Socionics.com got lots of typing mistakes, but I think they are right saying that Tony Blair is ENFj, Gordon Brown is INTp and David Cameron is ISTp. Its describes perfectly how we perceive them at home.

Little advice for future government on spending cuts: DON'T FUND PILES OF RUBBISH IN ART GALLERIES ANY MORE... I'm not against something new or experimental. I'm just against funding rubbish!

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter to everybody!




We are just back from wonderful Malta were we went for our first "proper" holiday with kids. No pictures yet as I am still recovering from a computer and a memory disk breakage.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Van Gogh Letters

First useful thing came from Twitter that I think it's worth to mention here: there are all Vincent Van Gogh letters online now (translated).

A song from my chilhood

We used to sing and listen to each other a lot when we were kids, teenagers and students. It was a very popular pastime in the Soviet Union anyway. I've found recently one of these songs which we loved to sing with a guitar. I didn't know it was by Kipling, as it was translated into Russian. Here it is, The Song of The Dead, part II:

We have fed our sea for a thousand years 
And she calls us, still unfed, 
Though there's never a wave of all her waves 
But marks our English dead: 
We have strawed our best to the weed's unrest, 
To the shark and the sheering gull. 
If blood be the price of admiralty, 
Lord God, we ha' paid in full! 


Me & friends had an interesting childhood, I know...
Unfortunately I can't find spelling check on blogger any more, so, sorry if I start doing typos.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Frogs

I've overheard kids playing:
...even a Hawaiian frog has wet feet...

Love it.

New Print-on-Demand & Original Art Site looks good:

Photo of the Artist
Distant Land Studios
Alexandra Cook, Newtown, Powys, United Kingdom



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The second image is a very recent one, just a few days old. An outdoor (plein air) artwork, done in early March 2010 in Newtown, Powys, Wales. It was an cold overcast day, the field were still yellowish after harsh winter, birch trees stood leafless. I love this "zig-zag" hill near where I live. The pattern is made of hedges and roads between fields. I struggled with this one a lot, then suddenly started using a thick golden permanent ink marker converting it into a sort of stained glass picture. The way the golden lines look change depending on your point of view. I am really happy with this one. 
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Monday, 8 March 2010

New Art Only Blog

It doesn't mean that I won't write about art here anymore, but I just wanted to separate my daily art activities from "life, universe and everything". Please follow, if you are interested:

http://alexandra-cook.blogspot.com/

Monday, 1 March 2010

Something for the St David Day

Daffodil Spring Poster print
Daffodil Spring Poster by Linandara
But there is no daffodils in Newtown this year yet - too cold. Snowdrops are out.
I've found yet another print selling outlet: DEVIANTART

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Selling art

I've discovered a new print selling outlet, called Imageking, and so far its looks well designed and strait forward. Anyone can sell photos and artwork here, which is good, but also because of this one has to spend long time before finding good quality artwork. So far, selling art on Etsy and Zazzle have been the best options for me.

Ebay UK used to be very good for selling art but recently they started to treat the sellers worse and worse increasing the fees and inventing ridicules rules all the time. Funny enough few days ago they blamed me for breaching the copyright and selling an authorized copies of... my own novel... Any attempt to reason with them fails as they don't bother reading messages. I really hope somebody invents a user-friendly online auction site one day...

Also recently I've visited an exhibition of Michael Brennand - Wood's artwoks. Most of them appear to be like beautiful vases with flowers but when one comes to look close one realises that they made up of quite sinister details (like skeletons, bullets, etc). They all have got some meaning and make you think, but I just wonder if its right to make people feel attracted to something on the evil side...

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Gypsy Mermaid


Sorry I haven't been writing too much here as I've got very involved with my Russian blog.

Apart from few new drawings I was experimenting with a bit of shell, textile & sea glass jewellery which I'm starting putting in my Artfire and Etsy shops.

The name Gypsy Mermaid is partly related to how this looks like, and partly to a song by M. Scherbakov.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Big freeze...

We have got a bit of Moscow winter this year. It was about -12 C last night. Heating and gas are still OK, but poor boiler works as hard as it can. We are only partly double glazed, big windows & thin brick walls, but this wasn't a problem before, and hopefully won't be again for the next 30 years... Iceland food delivery is frozen to death but fortunately I've stock up enough supplies just before the New Year.

I am really enjoying the weather but a bit worried about my subtropical plants in the garden. I covered what I could with juniper branches and snow. It is cold but sunny at the moment but I haven't uploaded the latest photos yet. Maybe I even venture sketching till the snow melts.

Happy kids went sledging after school first time in their life (!) a couple of days ago - I used to do it almost every day in winter as a child. Other kids came to us asking how to slide down properly. I Moscow we either used our fur coats, or pieces of cardboard boxes, water-soaked and then frozen. In my mom's time, kids froze a layer of water in a bucket, took it out and slide on top of this.

Here is a collage of kids in the garden. We are such a dynamic family that its impossible to have everybody in the picture at the same time!

I found very annoying that it is difficult to find proper warm clothes (socks, tall snow boots, a coat) for my son. Girls are OK, there is a great choice of stuff. Warm trekking socks of kids sizes ALL have something pink on them... Why couldn't it be green??? And what about the size 3 boots? Its scares me to see lots of man and boys wearing wellington boots in the weather like this instead of proper cosy winter boots like women. Its just not fair!