I’m back!


I know it’s been ages since I last posted anything here. I’ve been very busy with real life, and I feel like that’s the understatement of the year. I moved to Chicago for work at the beginning of the year, and a few months ago I moved back to Spain to finish some studies that I still had to put an end to. I’ve met a lot of new people, some of them have impacted me in ways I didn’t expect and can’t even possibly explain, as I’m still trying to understand myself. I’ve seen beautiful places and landscapes, I’ve spoken different languages with people from all over the world and, sadly, I’ve also taken a break from painting. I never meant for it to happen, but I guess sometimes we get caught on routines and feelings that don’t let us fully evolve. I was stuck for a long time, and then I was just extremely busy. Either way, my need to create never fully stopped as I did some sketches here and there when I was traveling, but nothing too special or worth sharing.

But now I’m back. What moved me to paint again? I have no idea. A pile of things, I guess. New feelings, new living arrangements… but still the same coping mechanism: art. It’s comforting to know that there’s a blank canvas there waiting for you to bring it to life, depending solely on you to be something.

So, to familiarize myself again with watercolors I started by playing around with this little woman figure study.

Girl Study

 After I got a little braver -and messed up some other paintings- I decided to go hard or go home, so I brought out the biggest watercolor paper that I had and started painting on it. I began feeling utterly insecure (shocker) and at first the monsters in my head were impelling me to quit, to stop trying because there was no helping it; I was miserably failing. I talked about talent in the last post and how I have to fight my insecurities into submission while creating something. I think I forgot about this part of the process because I wasn’t ready for it, I wasn’t ready to put up a fight. But I guess my stubbornness won the battle anyway, because I did push through and, eventhough it’s not finished yet, it’s definitely moving forward. (Sorry about the quality of the pictures, they were taken with my phone. I’ll try to steal my brother’s camera next time)

I still have a lot to work on, but I’m happy about having my inspiration – and the time to take advantage of it- back.

I hope it lasts!

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What’s talent, anyway?

I was kidnapped by a friend several times last week. Said friend mistreated me with ice creams, delicious lunchs, trips to Tarifa, dinners and beers. Somehow, I managed to go camping to the beach side with my best friends too. And along the way, I’ve been working out, reading like a mad woman, and unfortunately, I’ve been (I am) ill too.

Translation: I haven’t painted a thing. 

Do not fret, my friends. I made myself sit down this morning to start a new piece. However,  I am not happy at all with the sketch (thus, the lack of picture of it) and I was so incredibly frustrated after a few attempts that I decided to leave it until I was in a better frame of mind. See? This happens constantly to me. Insecurity takes a hold of me every time I start something new, because I believe I will never be able to transform my thoughts into something worth looking at. It’s only when I’m stubborn enough to overcome those initial doubts that I end up finishing what I’ve started.

For those of you who believe that painting is just second nature to some of us, that it doesn’t require dedication, patience and hard work, you’re completely and utterly wrong. Talent without a backup is wasted talent. Talent will get you nowhere if you rely exclusively on that, if you wait for it to give you the best of you. Talent is volatile and unstable. Haruki Murakami expressed what I’m trying to say brilliantly in Norwegian Wood, one of my favorite books:

“I know I have a pretty good sense for music, but she was better than me. I used to think it was such a waste! I thought, ‘If only she had started out with a good teacher and gotten the proper training, she’d be so much further along!’ But I was wrong about that. She was not the kind of child who could stand proper training. There just happen to be people like that. They’re blessed with this marvelous talent, but they can’t make the effort to systematize it. They end up squandering it in little bits and pieces. I’ve seen my share of people like that. At first you think they’re amazing. Like, they can sight-read some terrifically difficult piece and do a damn good job playing it all the way through. You see them do it, and you’re overwhelmed. you think, ‘I could never do that in a million years.’ But that’s as far as they go. They can’t take it any further. And why not? Because they won’t put in the effort. Because they haven’t had the discipline pounded into them. They’ve been spoiled. They have just enough talent so they’ve been able to play things well without any effort and they’ve had people telling them how great they are from the time they’re little, so hard work looks stupid to them. They’ll take some piece another kid has to work on for three weeks and polish it off in half the time, so the teacher figures they’ve put enough into it and lets them go to the next thing. And they do that in half the time and go on to the next piece. They never find out what it means to be hammered by the teacher; they lose out on a certain element required or character building. It’s a tragedy.”

So yes, I am not one of the talented kids that gets the easy approval by doing what feels good to them. I am a firm believer of the trial- error method and a constant participant of it. In truth, I haven’t studied anything related to art, I only went to painting classes when I was 10 years old (and didn’t last long in them) and I hadn’t had any contact with watercolors until 6 months ago. However, whatever comes out of this insanity of mine is not the result of talent. While painting, I have to fight my insecurities into submission. I have to do ad re-do sketches a hundred times. I spend hours just looking at what I’ve drawn or painted to decide if I actually like what I’ve created. It doesn’t come easy to me. I make it come.

I’ll leave you some pictures of the places I’ve been to lately. Hopefully, next time I’ll be sharing pictures of new paintings!

Radiohead and experiments.

Home, sweet home.

You can spend all your life wishing to be somewhere else, but when you’ve been living away from your hometown for a while when you come back you can only see the positive aspects that you’ve been missing out on while you were busying yourself with your independence. Sun, beaches, gym, late mornings, late nights, white rum, friends (the new and the old ones) … and doctors. Yep, you can find those ones everywhere, I’m afraid.

I might have to leave this weekend, so before my little beach getaway with friends, I wanted to show you all what I’ve been up to in the creative department:

While painting this I couldn’t stop humming “Fake Plastic Trees” by Radiohead, and I think the song explains better than I ever would the mood of the piece.

As you can see, I began a color piece aswell. I’m still very insecure about colors, so I’m just playing around with it and see where it takes me. I’m a bit annoyed at the picture quality in this post actually, because you can’t really distinguish the mixture of colors I did use in it – I only have my phone to take pictures because I’m no longer living with my brother, therefore I can’t really steal his fancy camera for my own devices -. You can only catch glimpses of the Madder Lake Light color (aka Dark Pink) in the girl’s body mixed with the Prussian Blue, when in reality the girl’s body tends to be more violet and purple in some parts instead of mainly blue. Anyway, I’m not done with this experiment as I still have to define her hands and ear, but I’m not entirely disappointed with how it’s looking so far!

What do you think?

About sketching and sleep deprivation

I know there hasn’t been a Weekend Recollection this time, but I’ve been going crazy here with exams and other circumstances that have kept me incredibly busy. You see, I think the term “busy” is a very interesting thing. Being busy doesn’t exclude the possibility of doing what you want to do entirely, it just gives you the right excuse to stop you from doing whatever you don’t feel like you want to do. So, this week and last week I have been very busy. I had a big exam on Monday  and because of it I didn’t sleep anything at all which resulted in me crashing at the closest house right after the exam, acting like I was on drugs due to the high that I was feeling from sleep deprivation and falling asleep a few hours later on a friend’s couch. However, I did manage to do some sketches right before passing out. That’s what I meant when I said that being busy doesn’t really stop you from doing what you feel like you need to do, and I felt like I needed to do some drawings while my friend, on the other hand, kept trying to take my sketchbook away from me to take me to bed – I guess I really was freaking him out with my behaviour.

Lately I’ve been drawn to sketching situations that represent the meaning of a quote that I’ve found on the internet, that someone has said to me or that I’ve read in a book or listened to in a song. I’m having fun trying to think of the right image to melt into the meaning of the quote, and using only pencils makes it easier for me to do the drawing wherever I am in a relatively short period of time. It’s nothing fancy, I know, but it keeps the withdrawal symptoms for lack of painting at bay while I finish these goddamned exams!

5 things closer to the definition of happiness.

  • Green tea in the morning. And in the afternoon. And in the evening. Several times. And then once more.

Tea time!

I have been shown the greatness of tea. I have struggled, I have tried to make my way out of this tea craziness that’s going around lately, but there’s only so much fight in me… My mother is a complete tea-freak, any kind at any time with no sugar and no milk – that would be tea blasphemy! My brother has green tea every morning. One of my friends is as addicted as I am to Starbucks Chai Tea Latte so he decided to begin buying that kind of tea. Now, in the event of a zombie apocalypse, he’d have a year’s supply of the goddamned thing! Another one of my friends is clinging to his homeland kind of tea as if it was his only british identity reminder. So I could safely say that my newly discovered love for tea (with no milk in it) has been an orchestrated plan, and that I had no say in it whatsoever. Tea has officially become a hipster thing.

  • Emails.

Lately I’m receiving loads and loads of emails, mostly spamming the hell out of me, but from time to time I also get these unexpected nice and sweet emails. Emails telling me not to lose my faith in humanity (literally). Emails with songs that speak of someone that I don’t recognize, but that they swear it’s supposed to be me. Emails with funny pictures and with embarrassing videos that give me too much power for my own liking. What can I say? I am a sucker for emails.

  • Sketching while watching a TV- Show.

I am getting into my last row of exams, so most of my day is spent on dwelling on the fact that I have to study and on the actual act of studying. It’s a very lonely task. So when the nighttime comes, I am out of my mind and I need to do something to make it stop reeling. But I don’t have much time because I have to go to bed relatively early in order to get up early aswell. So, I multitask. I have dinner while I am watching a TV-Show (now it’s the West Wing) and while at the same time I do some sketches on my brand new sketchbook! How do I pull it off? No idea – I am surprised that there’s no ketchup stain in any of my drawings. I can say without a doubt that this moment is the happiest moment of my day. I know there is no obligation waiting for me afterwards, I know I get to sleep and rest when I’m done and it’s nearly the only moment that I actually have to spend some quality time with my family. Bliss.

  • Kings of Leon.

I was way too late to this party. How I had never heard anything by them before is something that escapes my logic. I was at a friends’ house when I first heard “Sex on fire”, and I only paid attention to it because it said the word “sex” (sue me!). Now not only do I think that “Sex on fire” is not one of their best songs (I can’t understand why it is the most famous one… I guess sex is a very attracting advertising theme), but I also have their entire discography and know most of their lyrics. There’s actually a joke going around about my obsession with Kings of Leon and my friends have started communicating with me through lyrics from their songs. What they don’t seem to understand is that I’m not bothered by it, so the teasing loses its purpose.

  • Cheese. And pizza… with extra cheese.

cheese-pizza

Self-explanatory.

Weekend Recollection

It’s been a really weird weekend. A really violent-fun-nice-wannamurderyou kind of weekend. It’s been nice and fun because I had the opportunity to finally meet someone that I’ve come to really care for after a few years of Tumblr/Twitter/Facebook interaction. He’s a talented musician (my absolute favourite among his pieces is “The Departure”; you can listen to it here), a master of film criticism (here’s his website, although it’s in Spanish) and a good friend who understands me and the situations I usually go through because he has experienced them first, and knows better than anyone the prize that comes with frustation and failure when you know how to transform those feelings into art form. Nothing I could say about him would make him justice, so just click on the links above and let his brilliance do the talking.

It’s been a violent wannamurderyou kind of weekend because some things have happened that have made me stop believing in human race. Well, yeah, I am exaggerating, but the fact that I am incredibly disappointed in someone I never thought I would have a problem with remains. And because I am who I am, I have extrapolated my anger to everyone surrounding the offender (I’m as nice as I sound). Right now, I hope red wine and cheese are being placed on a tray so I can get bribed into forgiveness. And it will work because the way into any respectable woman’s heart is always red wine and cheese. If she doesn’t like either one of those things, run! She is not to be trusted.

Anyway, I have painted A LOT. Those of you who follow me on Facebook know it. I’ve been doing something slightly different, though. I’ve been focusing a bit more on male portraits because I want to master them before I start doing the more serious portraits I plan to do: real people portraits. And by real people I mean the people around me; family members, friends etc. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

I don’t want to finish this post without some sort of musical reference, without a soundtrack.  Somehow it’s easier for me to process certain events when there’s a song in my head portraying such events or my reactions towards them. What can I say? Sometimes I’m that melodramatic…

Single book of matches, gonna burn what’s standing in the way
Roaring down the mountain, now they’re calling on the fire brigade
Bury all the pictures and tell the kids that I’m ok
If I’m forgotten you’ll remember me for a day

I, I won’t ever be your cornerstone, I

All the black inside me is slowly seeping from the bone
Everything I cherished is slowly dying or it’s gone
Little shaking babies and drunkards seem to all agree
Once the show gets started it’s bound to be a sight to see

I won’t ever be your cornerstone
I don’t wanna be here holding on
 I won’t ever be your cornerstone, I

WATCH HER RUN, CAN YOU FEEL IT? 

 I won’t ever be your cornerstone
 I don’t wanna be here holding on
 I won’t ever be your cornerstone
 I don’t wanna be holding on

New paintings available!

I just uploaded these pieces to the Paintings section!

"As we make history..."

“As we make history…”

"I think I'm losing where you end and I begin"

“I think I’m losing where you end and I begin”

If you’re interested in any of them, you can purchase them at Society6, or if you want the original artwork just let me know! You can reach me at artdiarrhea@gmail.com. I’ll be open to any commission you might want to throw my way too, so don’t be shy!

Weekend Recollection

Finally painting again!

This time I am focusing on a more conceptual piece… It might seem a bit weird at the beginning, but you just have to pay attention to the details in order to understand the whole idea behind this work. Every little thing that’s portrayed has a meaning and a reason to be there, I’m not painting this one for the sake of beauty. The fact that I am using colors –yes, I know, I’m not doing a black and white piece, what’s wrong with me?!–  is no coincidence. Ever wondered what a purple or a black rose mean? Have you ever read The Raven by Poe? If you want to get the gist of this piece, it is mandatory to know those things! I am not getting into much detail explaining the concept behind it all because, firstly, it’s way too personal for me to put it down in words, and secondly, I’d rather let you draw your own conclusions. I have a long way to go, and I am already dreading  painting the girl’s skin and the background… Actually, I just noticed that I still have to finish some details of the sketch! Oh well...

This is what I have so far:

The title of this piece is inspired by Julia Stone’s “The line that ties me” song:

Disorders, obsessions and contemporary dance.

I don’t know if I’ve said this before, but I used to do ballet and contemporary dance when I was younger. I had to quit for a number of reasons that are not important right now, but I would lie if I said that I don’t miss it. I used to be able to do side leaps and grand jetés, and now I can barely achieve a plié and my flexibility is worse than my mom’s.

However, I still enjoy watching it, especially watching contemporary routines. I find them much more fun because they’re not so rigid and the movements allow you to express freely more emotions that the ballet in its perfection cannot obtain. So the other day I was watching my favorite routines on Youtube, and I saw the one that I’m about to show you.

I think this routine, with its roughness and merciless movements, shows perfectly the emotions and feelings that an addict or a sick person with a psicological disorder would experience. They perform the hopelessness and the struggle that the diseased person goes through, and the inevitable attraction that -in this case- she feels towards the object of her obsession, making her go back to her self-destructive old ways again. It’s the constant dichotomy between the sane and self preservation oriented half of the person who suffers the disorder, and the desperate and irrational need to satisfy the other sick and disrupted half.

Hope you liked it! I think in some way we all can relate to it.