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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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

Weekend Recollection

Are there football fans in the room? Anyone who supports Real Madrid? My condolences… Ha, not really! Here’s to every Real Madrid supporter that in the past few weeks had taken the time to email me, message me on facebook or write me on whatsapp to remind me that Atlético de Madrid stood no chance in winning the Copa del Rey Championship! Pay attention:

WE WON!

Atletico Madrid players celebrate victory against Real Madrid after Spanish King's Cup final soccer match in Madrid

You know what they say; the one who laughs the last, laughs the loudest (or however you translate that saying to English) So this past week I had to avoid any football conversation that might had ended up with me bitch slapping someone. In all honesty, my faith was actually crumbling. 14 years without winning a derby were too many years, and we were playing in their field, their territory. Everything started like it usually did, with Real Madrid scoring in the first 30 minutes. But, oh, wasn’t it so sweet when Falcao passed the ball to my admired Diego Costa so he could put that beautiful little thing where it belonged? I felt embarrassed for even doubting my team…

So yeah, Atlético de Madrid won the only match that was worth winning. A final. In the Santiago Bernabeu stadium, with all the Real Madrid supporters’ smug faces and grins fading away during the second half of the extra time. I do not believe in God, but for those who do believe, God is not “white” after all, is him?

“The revenge you want will be yours in time” ( does anyone recognize this quote?)

I wanted to celebrate our victory by cooking something special… well, I wanted to bake something because the cream that I bought to make the NY Cheesecake was going to expire in the first place, but Atlético de Madrid’s victory gave me a better excuse to do so. I found an interesting recipe for Banana & Oatmeal cookies on this website, and I decided to give it a go. The result… could definitely have been better, but I am going to blame it on the fact that I didn’t have an appropiate blender. Also, my oven was a pain and decided to heat only half of the surface, leaving half of my precious cookies a bit more tanned than they were supposed to be. Still… they were delicious!

Apart from baking, shamefully watching Eurovision (my ears needed Metallica afterwards to recover from the experience), re-reading an amazing story that I stumbled upon nearly 4 years ago ( I’ll probably talk about it in another post), and studying for tomorrow’s exam, my weekend has been very uneventful. I still have the itch to paint, but I’d lose myself in the creation process forgetting the rest of the world and obligations. I know me well enough by now to know that I should avoid the temptation in order to fulfil my responsible student role…

I am dreading this week, by the way. 3 exams in 5 days… So:

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.

Email II

I didn’t know you then, but I sure as hell knew the signs of someone hurting and trying to put a brave face on. I’ve been there myself, you know that by  now. I sat there beside you for a few minutes not saying a word, not wanting to disturb the apparent peace that you were obtaining from venting on that little notepad of yours. I pretended that I was looking at my own notes, and I couldn’t help but notice you sheepishly looking at what I was studying. I guess you got way too curious, because you actually sat there reading them without realizing I was watching you with a smile on my face, and by the time you did notice I was way too amused to pretend I didn’t catch you. I thought you were going to say that you were sorry, that you hadn’t meant to pry or something inbetween those lines, but what you said surprised me and made me want to kneel in front of you and ask you to marry me (yeah I know, gross, right?). You told me that I was wrong, that Plato had never said that quote, that I was mistaking it for Aritotle and that it was a huge error for someone who is apparently studying philosophy. I swear, that was the moment when I vowed to myself that I was never going to get into any arguments with you. Who the hell says something like that right after crying and being absolutely vulnerable to a total stranger, possibly offending that said stranger or alienating him?

A fighter.

I know you well enough by now to know that arguing is your way to run away from your own insecurities. It’s your defence mechanism, and it was in overdrive when I first met you. I’m incredibly proud for having survived your wrath those first few months; you were unbelievably tireless, picking retorical fights whenever and wherever I took you. You argued about things you afterwards confessed to not having any idea, and still you left the poor bastards feeling like they had been emasculated by your reasoning. It was quite a show you pulled off at the parties you went to with me, and by being quite the verbal enemy of nearly anyone who was willing to talk to you, you made me and all of my friends fall unconditionaly in love with you (in a platonic way, obviously).

Why am I telling you this? Well, first of all I know about your email fetishsm. You love long and deep emails (and by deep I mean meaningful, pervert!), so I thought about pleasing your ego – or the lack of it for that matter-  a bit after the whatsapp conversation that we had against you a few nights ago. You know we were messing, and it was our own retalihation for having beaten our confidence with every statement you’ve made in the past few months. We were attacking you because we were defending what was left of our intelligence. Don’t flatter yourself, though.  Some of us were taking it easy because of your… condition (I still feel weird every time I mention it to you) and now you’re going to start having real mature conversations with us people who tend to confuse Plato quotes. Secondly, I feel like you need a reminder of how special you are. You don’t say it out loud, you don’t trust us with such information. But we’re not fools, and although you enjoy locking yourself up to paint and read literature of questionable reputation (and study, of course), we do know you. You’re hurting. I don’t know why, we don’t know why. But I know there is something in that beautiful head of yours -and yes, I said beautiful just to spite you-  that is making you a recluse. Our duty is to stop that from happening. You are well aware of that, that’s why you’re avoiding any whatsapp conversation we initiate. DO NOT DO THAT or we will be forced to invade your home and get you out of that artsy room of yours. You might not be hurting for the same reasons you were hurting the first time I talked to you (and if you are, I swear to god there will be hell to pay).  I believe you’re having an identity crisis of sorts. You’re quite the existentialist, eventhough you try to convince yourself of being a  nihilist. And I’m guessing that you loved that little philosophical reference and that you’re about to refute it by more philosophical stuff that you find on the internet and in the books that you have at home, but please that was not my intention! Don’t mold this email into your own battlefield.

You might not believe in it anymore. You might not aknowledge it to us, or even to yourself. You might be afraid of it. But you love us. And I (we) am (are) not afraid to tell you that I (we) love you, too. 

Let the people who are capable and brave enough to love you take care of you. Being vulnerable does not mean being weak, and getting help does not make you dependent because “need” is something that you’ve mastered to control, and so you’ve made sure that you don’t need any of us. So, in order for you to understand where we’re coming from, I’m going to talk about loyalty. Loyalty is the feeling of allegiance. In feudal society, loyalty was materialized in the obligations of a vassal to his liege lord. And while you’re no master to any of us (you’re only the Mother of Notes), we certainly do have obligations to fulfill where you are concerned. You are the one who constantly talks about responsabilty and the need for people to commit to what they say by logical following actions. Well, the logical course of action here is to make this little interventation so you can come back to us loyal vassals and put us out of our misery with your sharp tongue. We’re getting bored to death here, Mother of Notes! See? This is just another evidence that shows that your Aristotelian thesis about selfishness and altruism is right! We’re being selfish here by pursuing you!

So… pick up the f*cking phone right now!

[And so it ended. Like I said, I’m speechless. Emails like this one make me commensurably happier and with the permission of the author, I posted it here to… honestly, to brag a bit about the friends I have and to nurture my own ego! Sometimes we all need people to remind us that we’re not alone in whatever stupid situation that has us feeling a bit out of it.]

Email I

When I first laid eyes on you you were boringly taking notes. It was a few years ago, 3 maybe, and you were all focused on whatever area of law you were studying, with your hair up in a messy bun, not caring at all if it was neat or if you looked like a crazy person in need of a serious make over. You had no make up on from what I could tell, you weren’t wearing heals like some of the girls surrounding you and you weren’t looking up from what you were doing, apparently unbothered by the stares that you were obtaining from me and my friends from the table right across yours. I wanted to talk to you then, but I didn’t. And you became my enigma.

But I forgot about you, until a few months ago when you walked in the library area, a lot thinner and a lot messier than I remembered you. But what took me by surprise and made me want to jump and hug you and tell you that whatever was bothering you was going to be ok, were your eyes. I remembered your eyes from the last time I saw you because no one would ever forget something so expressive and pure. So beautiful. I know now that you hate that word, but it’s the truth. When I saw you for the second time though your eyes were screaming death and sadness, and I wondered if you’d let me make whatever was making you mourn go away. But then again, the pull I was feeling towards you was broken when I could sense the barriers and walls that you were wearing as protection like they had materialised in front of me. Do not bother me. Your body was screaming. So I didn’t. I just looked at you, daydreaming of things to tell you, about how old you were, what were you doing here and what was making you so miserable. This time you didn’t seem focused, and for sure you didn’t seem bored. You stared at your notes like they were written in some foreing language and looked at your phone every 5 minutes to put it away a second later with anger and distress. And after an hour of a fight against your will, you got up and took off like the place was in flames.

It was a friday morning when I first talked to you. You were in the hallway, looking down and writing furiously on a small notepad. I stopped in my tracks because I honestly didn’t know what to do, and I was fighting against myself wondering if approaching you was a very lame thing to do. But then you looked up, directly at me.  My expression must have given away what I thought the second I saw your mascara all over your face and your red eyes, because you tried to hide your face with your hair and pretend that you were invisible and that our eye encounter had never happened. I was not taking it this time. I sat beside you and felt you getting a few inches away from me. I asked if you were alright, and you said the biggest and fatest lie… and the only one I’ve heard you say since then:

“I’m fine”

[ All errors, spelling mistakes etc are entirely mine. I had to translate the email my friend sent me and I really tried my best, eventhough I still believe I didn’t capture the feelings and the ambience described by him on the original fragment that he emailed me. This is just the first part of the email. I thought it would be too much to put all in one post so I’m dividing it. He’s narrating how we met… and the reason behind the email is revealed in the second part. I’m just so extremely glad that I have the honor to be friends and be surrounded by amazing people like him… I’m so surprised by this, that for once, I’m actually speechless.]

Remedies for bad days

I’ve had a bad day. A really bad one. I’m not even going to explain what has happened, it’s not worth it. But it was bad and I do not like feeling like this (who does, really?)

So, what to do when facing adversity?

People say that money can’t buy happiness. While that might be true, I honestly feel a lot better with a few more items in my pockets bought during the outburst of my misfortunes. So bearing that thought in my mind I went shopping, as frivolous and vain as it sounds. One must indulge oneself from time to time instead  of indulging others who might not deserve it.

And I certainly do deserve it.

So here are today’s coping mechanisms:

PS. Not everything is bad though. I’ve received in the past few days some emails that have made me smile. A lot. If I get permission, I will publish one of those emails here, because it’s incredibly sweet and it’s also beautifully written. It was the only reason why my weekend didn’t suck too much. 

 

Weekend Recollection