Sketching Mode for Super Busy Times: Keep Going Anyways.

During the last 10 days, I did not have a chance to sit down to sketch/draw/paint/work properly - I had only odd ends of waiting here and there. The reasons do not matter as sometimes these things happen: life gets busy, something needs to be done right away. Or routines change, deadlines pile-up, people need you, and priorities seem to scatter all over the place. And the idea of taking proper time to draw looks like a luxury. It is not - and I am working on getting it back into my life. But I thought I would share what tiny bits I did get to put on paper. Just as a record that it was not, indeed, nothing. And a reminder.

Reading Notes: Books about Ruth Asawa

After I wrote about the art exhibits that I want to see this fall I went down the rabbit hole of learning more about Ruth Asawa and checked out from the library all the books that I could find. The latest catalog - from the ongoing exhibit in Whitney Museum was not available (hopefully soon) but I got 6 others and spent an amazing time going through all of them - while listening to a new (for me) Jazz Pianist Mary Lou Williams which worked just perfectly with the visuals that I was drinking in! Below are some of my notes and some photos from the books - I picked ones where you can see Ruth Asawa working - by herself or with other people - there you can see the environment and concentration of her work. 

On My Table: Beginning of December 2023.

This year the end of November was a super busy time for me and it spilled into December (expectedly) which means that my table is way more messy these days - accumulating tiny sketches, notes, and treasures that I am planning to draw. My date stamp and masking tape help me to keep track of what notes and sketches happened when. I managed to forget my drawing tools twice last week when I went on another errand run - but no more - I now carry 2 spares! I started a new project and look for the "perfect" textured pencil for it. And I finished a big project (which deserves a separate post but it will have to wait a bit). All in all - I am excited about the end of the year and looking forward to some travel in 2024 (see - I made a sketchbook for it already - with the help from wonderful Gay Kraeger!). 

Drawn reports in the form of the portraits - war in Ukraine. November 21-26, 2023.

November 21-26, 2023. Days 634 - 640 of war.
This week my parents arrived in the United States.

This is a big and complicated step which was not an easy one for them but at this particular moment returning to their home in Kharkiv is not an option. Ukraine is being attacked daily on multiple fronts. Kharkiv, Kyiv, and other cities are being bombed almost daily and winter brings another layer of complexities to the situation. We are very fortunate that the United States continues to support Ukraine via the United For Ukraine program which allows my parents to apply for medical insurance and be close to us so that we can support them with other needs. 

So we had a very unusual and happy Thanksgiving - with a larger family present, lots of tasty food, and great stories all at the same table instead of through the screens and video calls. 

We all are very grateful to so many people who supported my parents through these complicated times and continue to do so. We are grateful to all who support Ukraine and its fight for freedom against barbaric aggression from russia. And we are grateful to all who are fighting on the front and those who help them in Ukraine. 

Annual Mushroom Sketching Post

Mushrooms are amazing! They are everywhere, they are visible and hidden, have complex lives, come in multiple forms, and play many roles. They are fascinating and beautiful and many of them are really tasty! Like these Chanterelles :)