Measuring Time with Flowers

Posted: Feb 20, 2019 | | Labels: , , , , , , , ,

While organizing my files at the beginning of the year I realized that one of the ways how I measure my time is by the things that happen every year - but not at predictable dates. 

Birthdays, seasons, the rhythm of school, public holidays - all create a backdrop. And then there are things that happen every year but you almost never know when exactly they will happen. The first duckling in the park. The first cherry tree to bloom. Last rain of the winter. Each time I got to run in my winter gear. 

One of these things are flowers - most of the bouquets in my life appear unplanned and unexpected. I am not a big fan of obligatory flower gifting but I love flowers and people around me know this. So I get all kinds of amazing and exotic bouquets (my friends gave me once a bouquet of carrots for my birthday) and measure my time by them. 

These are sketches of the first bouquet of 2019. I will post more of them tomorrow. 


Saratoga Public Library crossed off my list.

I am a "list" person - I have many lists. For example, I keep a list of places/things/events I want to draw. It's long and there are some destinations on it that will take time to get to (who wants to go sketch glaciers with me? Aurora borealis in Iceland? :) but there are some places that are not that far from my everyday life.

The life of this list can be described as a sinusoid wave - I add things and then I don't and then I forget I even have this list and then suddenly I decide that no matter the workload and life load but the morning of upcoming Friday should be spent outside painting. I have a friend who always supports me in these decisions (and often inspires me to make one:) - Suhita. And my list is where we got an idea to sketch Saratoga Public Library as it stands against Santa Cruz Mountains. We ended up drawing library, church nearby, lovely mustard flowers and then library visitors.




As usual, after I cross something off the list a few ideas come to mind so the more I use it the longer it gets...

Dendrochronology

Posted: Jan 30, 2019 | | Labels: , , ,

Dendrochronology is a really cool idea - one of the first concepts that I was introduced to when my parents talked to me about science, history, math, conservation, ecology, aging and family history.

I use it too when I talk to people of all ages - it's such a simple and personal thing - to touch the past on the tree stomp! 
So naturally, I try to count the years every time I see a tree stump, I draw one every time I have time for it and one of these days I will get myself a petrified tree with rings - just need to find "the right one". 


And here is a really cool example of how the idea of a tree rings is used to represent data - in this case 200 Years of U.S. Immigration. Check it out - I am part of one of those green dashes. 



Wisława Szymborska

Posted: Jan 22, 2019 | | Labels: , , , ,

I discovered Mary Oliver through the recommendation of a friend a few years ago and since then became a collector of little bits and larger pieces that I loved and many that I felt I did not grasp but with time they would open up for me and I will grow to understand them. Mary Oliver's passing last week plunged me down the rabbit hole of reading her poems again and one of the places where I got lost (in a good sense) was brainpickings.org
There I found a name of a new for me poet - Wisława Szymborska. She was a Polish poet, essayist, translator, and recipient of the 1996 Nobel Prize in Literature. She was alive in the wonderful sense of this word - and I think
I am sitting by a large pile of books I've already absorbed - many have both English and Polish texts side by side and I find it immensely pleasurable to read poetry like this. My Polish is almost non-existent - it's based on my Ukrainian origins, movies, songs and a couple of visits to Poland. But it's enough to touch a little bit that illusive another dimension of the language, feel how words are formed and how they sound.



I love persimmons :)

Posted: Jan 17, 2019 | | Labels: , , , , , ,

This is not a secret - I love persimmons. I love to eat them when they are crunchy (not astringent!) and when they are slimy, I love to touch their shiny geometrical shapes and look at their colors, I love how skin becomes transparent skin (very ripe persimmon) and the way calyx is made of folds and waves inviting me to experiment with all sorts of mediums to draw them.
This was a great year for my persimmon-related joy as I got to share it with many friends - painting and drawing them from October through December - and here is a bunch of persimmon-related pages from my sketchbook!