February 20-26, 2023. Days 361-370 of war.
This week was tough. Losing a family friend. The anniversary of the day that forever separated our lives into "before" and "after". Reading, watching, and listening to all the accounts of the year of the war, going to the events, and holding it all at the same time. But on the other hand, we celebrated my Dad's birthday, talked about art and literature, remembered lots of great times and wonderful people, and talked about hydrogen and Lewis Carroll.
February 20-26, 2023. Days 361-370 of war.
February 24, 2023. Day 365 of war.
Please support my fundraiser for Nova Ukraine - it will run till March 7, 2023.
GIFT: If you will donate $25 or more to Nova Ukraine I will send you a link to a digital file with my illustrated recipe for Ukrainian Borscht. Make Borscht - Not War!
You can donate via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/donate/759783192379023/
Or directly at Nova Ukraine site (please send me a screenshot of the receipt via DM): https://novaukraine.org/donate/
February 12-19, 2023. Days 354-360 of war.
This week I was drawing my parents in person. It is hard to overstate how grateful I am for this.
During the week we talked about so many things that it would be impossible to list everything. I scanned most of the portraits that I drew. There might be more as I am still unpacking and reorganizing my travel notes.
To spend this time with them was an amazing gift. To hug them, to chat and cook together, walk their walks, take pictures together, draw together, talk about hard things and everyday things, about family and friends. Be together. The time flew by too quickly. But it was great!
One of the mystery bulbs turned out to be paper white daffodils. As they opened up and filled the room with the fragrance I tried to draw the whiteness and gentleness of the flowers and strength and texture of the stems and leaves. I used diluted ink, stencils and ballpoint pen to make these.
As we approach the end of February and as war around our home city of Kharkiv intensified again, we talk about the future trying to not talk about it. In light of the horrible earthquake in Syria and Turkey, my parents told me about their memories of the Spitak earthquake which happened in 1988 and took over 25 000 lives. They told me that I made a painting in response to it and then even helped me find it! (below).
January 31, 2023. Day 342 of war.
My conversation with parents on the last day of January was wonderfully void of any political, military, or personal news or opinions - it was a straight-out "here are books that we think you should read and here is why" kind-of talk - which I enjoyed in a very selfish sort of way: this is something I've been asking them to do for some time, and I am glad that they finally compiled a list :) All of these are in Ukrainian, some are old, some are new, and overall it was a great way to connect!
Cold, windy, and rainy weather and some hard news from Ukraine meant that Mom and Dad were in a much darker mood. I tried to entertain them by telling them about my plants and my projects and even drawing myself into the picture (I keep showing them what I draw during our talks) - but I am not sure it helped.
My Dad proudly shared that he found some new screws and rings on the road, Mom told me about a new plant that she discovered and how she is waiting for another one to finally start blooming and told me about the irises. The neighbors were very friendly as were cats and dogs and a parrot that is now a staple of their walking route.
As hyacinth was growing and changing almost hour by the hour I made a series of prints using stencils, masks, gouache, and a few accents with colored pencils for details. One of the stencils looked interesting by itself and ended up glued to the back of another sketch at the end (last image in this post).
These are sketches of the process of growing. They are done a little bit at a time time with the big shapes pre-painted based on one stage of the flower development and then some texture added with all sorts of tools. And after the background dried, I would sit down to look and see the change that happened in the plant in that time and add details.
- Zig Memory System Calligraphy Marker (I like driving them into the ground - so much texture at the end!)