Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Monday, September 28, 2009

In the woods of the world ...

The quote is from Daphne du Maurier's Myself when Young - the shaping of a writer which I finished a couple of weeks ago.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Nothing-in-the-house salad

This is what it looks like today.

So I decided to do the salad thing again (enticing spring and all that, not that it worked last week, but let's just say that I am of that old-fashioned if at first you don't succeed school of thought). There was nothing in the house though. Not the usual stuff, is what I mean. And in weather like this I was not likely to go to a shop. So:

Ingredients: Three tiny spinach leaves from my garden (which is all the snails left me, alas). Some sad, half-eaten parsley from my garden (ditto). Four olives. Found in package at back of fridge. No mould so should be okay. The leftover half-a-tomato from yesterday's cheese & tomato sandwich. The half-a-roundel of feta cheese left over in the bottom of the jar. Still edible though. Half-a-tin whole kernel corn. And then the thing that transformed this sad pile of leftovers into a salad fit for a king - Oded Schwartz's fantastic preserved lemons - just a small slice, chopped up and mixed with the rest of the ingredients. The lemon slices are preserved in olive oil with a hint of paprika and cayenne pepper, utterly delicious! No dressing or other seasoning needed.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Weekword: Carpe Diem

Line chose this week's word. See her blog for other participants. Have a great weekend, all you lovely people. And remember to Seize the Day!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

Art is Consolation

Heard in a lecture I attended last week: Art is consolation in the face of Chaos.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Weekword: Fragment

This spread in my art journal feels unfinished; I am sure I will still add to the fragments on this page. The line is from the poem A Fragment by Anne Bronte.
(This week's word was chosen by Nathalie; other participants are listed here).

Friday, September 18, 2009

Two fragments

This is not my weekword entry; it is not ready yet. But during the search for the poem which I half-remembered and needed to google in order to create my weekword, I came upon this. It is from a text called Fragments of Heraclitus.

Fragment 3
Aetius, Opinions, II, 21, 4 [Doxogr. 351]
The sun is the width of a man's foot.
Fragment 6
Aristotle, Météorologiques, B 2, 355a 14
The sun is new every day.

I have no idea what the first means but both fragments are kind of cool.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Images from a Walk ...

I took these on my walk on Tuesday:

Only now do I realize they are all in shades of grey and yellow ...

An Update

1) ... Spring was not enticed by my salad, alas. Still drizzling away, and cold!
2) Sarah from Stockholm has started a new blog called Sarah's Creations and has a giveaway to celebrate it - a truly beautiful glass bead and silver bracelet. Go have a look and enter!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Spring Salad

Well, it is still cold, drizzly and grey. I made this salad for lunch today to entice Spring to come out. Not sure if it will work but I'll keep you posted ...

(Bunch of coriander leaves, 1 small apple, third tin chickpeas, 4 sliced strawberries, handful dry-roasted pine nuts, squeeze of lemon juice, sea salt, black pepper, drizzled with lemon-infused avocado oil.)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A beautiful gift ...

A while ago I won a giveaway by Sarah, the talented jeweller behind Zann Blogg. I was so delighted when I received this lovely package today ...

revealing this ....

a beautiful pendant of woven silver wire with pearl beads on a choker! The pendant clips on, so you can change the chain or choker.

Thank you, sweet Sarah. I will so enjoy wearing this beauty!

Monday, September 14, 2009

An Obsessive Compulsion to Catalogue Stuff

Sunday was cold and drizzly, and a perfect day, I thought, for updating my various "journals" and scrapbooks. Here is the thing, I have counted and I have twelve books that I currently use to keep track of and process the various bits and pieces of information and visual imagery that I come into contact with. Is that a bit excessive, you think? The more creative ones are:
1) My Art Journal, although I hesitate to call it that. In fact, I call it Farewell Nikola, as that is the title of the book I am using as my art journal.
2) My 100 ideas journal.
3) My Doodle Book (a concertina moleskine for my doodles), and
4) "Oh Well" which was supposed to capture thoughts and daily events using drawings and words, but is now kind of defunct. It is almost full though, so I think I might finish it ...

Then there are my scrapbooks. Once I have finished with magazines, I tear out pictures, articles, quotes, etc. and keep them in a big pile in a box, waiting for a rainy Sunday. And then I update my scrapbooks:
5) Make - a book to capture things I see that I would like to make or try out. This is the third volume. Thing is, I have not actually made anything yet.

6) It's Cool - a book of movies that I have seen. It is not exhaustive by any means - I have probably seen 100x more movies (I keep a list on computer), but when I see a review or description of a movie that I've seen and liked, I sometimes take the trouble to tear it out and paste it in.

7) Beautiful Inside - named thus because the outside is ugly, and secondly because it contains images of beautiful interiors.

8) A Book of Rather Nice Clothes - I am not really a fashion fan, but sometimes an image just catches my eye, maybe because of the colours, or sculptural style, or how an outfit is put together. I rarely want to own the pieces, I just like to look at them.

9) A book of Quotes - I write down quotes from books that I read. This is the second volume.

10) My Diary - If that is all I have with me I sometimes record quotes and drawings in here, apart from the usual to do lists and events.

11) A Book of Articles. I used to paste them into an old statistics textbook of mine - this is now full and bulging - so for the past couple of years I have been putting articles in a wicker basket. One day I will paste them in a book. I think.
12) A scrappy little book in which I record definitions of words. I also use it to write summaries of articles I read - my initial idea was so that I could remember the facts better and would become a master at the art of conversation, coming up with gems like" Oh yes, but you have to remember that Cioran was permanently in combat with the mores of enlightened society!" Or "But does environmentalism really involve sacrifice? I would call it competitive altruism!" Or "That is absolute Disneyfication of art! And Roger Scruton would agree with me!". People avoid me at parties, I have noticed.

I haven't yet mentioned the boxes of images I tear out and "file" away in envelopes with titles such as: Landscapes, Figurative, Patterns and Graphics, Flowers & Fruit & Vegetables, Well-known people, Letters & Words.

I do think I have a problem.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Weekword: Begin

Begin - proceed - take heed of the warning signs but do not let them dissuade you from your journey - know where you are going to. And whatever you do, do not end up at Putsonderwater.

(Collage with magazine tearouts, newspaper tearout, scribbles I made of road signs in my diary on Boyes Drive, writing and paint).
Locals will understand the reference to Putsonderwater, but if you are from Elsewhere a little explanation is necessary. Putsonderwater was (it is completely derelict now and no-one lives there anymore) a tiny village in the middle of nowhere in the Northern Cape. Tough desert world. It has always been the epitome of hopelessness, and the butt of many jokes (first prize in the competition is two days in Putsonderwater, second prize is two weeks in Putsonderwater). The name literally means Well without water (Put sonder water). So, although you may have to BEGIN there, it is not the place where you want to end up, metaphorically speaking. By the way, I have to admit that I do not take my own advice - I almost never know where I am going to in life. I kind of meander along and take the side roads as they come up, or at crossroads decide quickly, without weighing up and analysing too much ... it has always worked for me.

This week's word was chosen by Laurie. Find her delightful look-into-the-past interpretation here, as well as the list of other participants.

Have a great weekend, dear friends! Begin something and have fun with it!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Isn't Life Great?

I'm in love with the whole wide world today. I just feel great - I had a lovely email from a blogfriend which made me smile and smile, and I had a fantastic 6 km walk to Fish Hoek and back, and I saw a whale in the distance, and L'Usband took me for a lovely curry lunch at Bihari, and I finished my book, and I finished this journal page ...

I have just finished watching the BBC's Darwin's Dangerous Idea, and what used to be a pink and doodly page in my art journal evolved to the above. (Collage: image of Darwin from Scientific American, my doodles, cutouts from a plastic shopping bag. Words are from the Introduction to Darwin's The Origin of Species.)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Moleskine doodles

I have been in a doodling frame of mind recently ...

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Journal as Art

I ordered Drawing From Life - The Journal as Art (compiled by Jennifer New) a while ago and today it arrived. Featuring the journals of more than 30 creative souls, it is absolutely beautiful. I cannot stop paging through it.

Page below by Idelle Weber. I have something similar in mind for my third box insert. (See here and here for previous two inserts.)

This page by Lyle Owerko. I like the combination of black script and photographs.

And now I am off to work on my art journal! (No, actually I am off to have supper and watch a dvd. And then I will work on my art journal.)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Weekword: Charm

This week's word chosen by Linda Sue (whose brain and talent never fail to amaze and delight) reminded me of a poem:

A Charm invests a face
(Emily Dickinson)
A Charm invests a face
Imperfectly beheld.
The Lady dare not lift her Veil
For fear it be dispelled.

But peers beyond her mesh,
And wishes, and denies,
Lest Interview annul a want
That Image satisfies.

Collage with photocopy, drawing, gift wrap & tulle based on photo by John French of a hat and veil designed by Erik (1950).

Other particpants can be found here.

Have a great weekend everyone! Be charming ...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I Spy

For no particular reason I seem to be on a kind of spy-streak at the moment. I have just finished watching the BBC series (1979) of John le Carre's Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Before that it was The State Within and before that State of Play (also BBC productions). A while ago I discovered the Ashenden short stories by Somerset Maugham, and at the moment I am reading Steve Coll's excellent Ghost Wars for which he won the Pulitzer. It gives a riveting account of the CIA's involvement in Afghanistan, and the origins of al-Qaeda. Fascinating reading. Scary for many reasons. Why would anyone choose to be a spy? I have no idea.

(Two quick doodles in my moleskine. Yes, I know my perspective is all cock-eyed and what is meant to be the pavement looks like light falling from the wrong direction and what is meant to be the light looks like weird raindrops. Let's just leave it at that.)