Wednesday, July 23, 2008
These two postcards "fell on me", while my little son was digging in my drawers. They are actually invitations for an opening and the exhibition they invite to showed pieces of this amazing and one of the better known naive painter in this country, Natalie Maslikova-Schmidtová.
I am trying to think why I have been attracted by this uneducated style in the past few years. Perhaps it is my job in the contemporary art museum that drives me away from all the conceptual, academic and completely cryptic attempts at art to something less demanding. Perhaps I like it for the same simplicity that appealed to modern painters. The eye of a savage. Figures easy to draw and no perspective, at least not the one, that we are used to. It resembles archaic art and it proves something fundamental in art, I am not sure what to call it.
Anyway, here are more paintings by her. She started painting in her 50s and painted her every day life, seems like the life from her past, when she still lived in a village somewhere in Siberia in Russia or on the coast of the Black Sea. They look like memories of once happier times. She probably worked hard but the life like that was essential for her, so she depicted it as if all that labor and joy was an every day ritual.
She was Russian and married a Czech (Moravian) soldier, a prisoner of WWI in Russia. They left for Czechoslovakia where she spent 60 years of her life. She never learned to read or write. But she had exhibitions in Paris and Prague already at the beginning of her career in 1946. She was amazing. She lived 1895 - 1981.
There is a book on her, it is in English as well.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
My knitting followed me to America. I spent three weeks on the other side of the world, more precisely in Virginia with a trip to Florida, all for the purpose of visiting my husband's family. It was my second trip, but only now I experienced it as a country of contradictions, mainly for realizing how big differences there could be between rich and poor and how close they can be found each other. A shock for a European, although coming from a kind of worn-out conditions as well, but with a social background that seems to me fundamental.
Looking at the architecture, which caught my eye the most, I was puzzled on my first trip by the villas around Virginia built in a sort of Victorian style. At first, driving through the vast housing areas with large gardens and woods around the houses, I thought that they were really old! Second day I started to understand more that this is rather an eclectic style that they have been building in through out the centuries and the most since 1970s (which I learned little later), most of the houses in the neighborhood weren't more than 40 years old. Another shock for a European who bumps into modernism on every step. Even the furniture and equipment inside the houses likes to look old, as if it has been there since ever. Maybe it is for the lack of deeper roots. Also the establishment in U.S. hasn't changed for two centuries and therefore the architecture tends to resist any big changes, seems to me. (Talking about that, it crosses my mind now how I heard recently that America today is more like 1950s again, stress on tradition and convention in society, no big excesses, and the architectural style confirms it...)
So Virginia is nice and neat, with well maintained country picture, at places even looking like a painter composed it, whereas Florida is wilder with poorer spots here and there, which on the other hand, looking at it aesthetically, is more appealing to me, it is more interesting.
So I am writing all of this to say that I went to yarn shops there, one was called Knit happens and the other one was Yarn Barn, both filled up with beautiful yarns that I often see on Flickr and elsewhere. They are expensive! No wonder that many people end up knitting socks! I picked this Japanese Noro for myself and "jumped" on knitting as soon as I got home that day. Trying to be little inventive, I am going to make just front part of a sweater from it and to finish the rest in one color yarn, a color that would match with Noro. I was also supplied by a bunch of yarn and fabrics from my relatives and that is good for my projects.
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Friday, July 4, 2008
I finally stopped sniffing around the local shop in the town where I come from which sells mostly acrylic goodies and started to get little more international regarding the yarn purchases. Other than being international (just kidding) I also wanted to get further than just looking for nice colors. So I ordered five of these merino skeins through the www.handpaintedyarn.com/ and I honestly say that it is the fines wool I have ever held in my hands. They make it in South America so the image of merino goats jumping on the Andy's Mountains adds to the final feeling. Also the web page glitters with colors since most of the yarn is multicolored, so I felt like in heaven when I was picking it. It looks like advertising, I should stop. So, the yarn, of course, looks little different when you take it out of the box but who can blame my computer screen.