Hello again

My apologies for my protracted absence, due to the fact that I have been afflicted by a total lack of inspiration. Winter blues? Procrastination? Terminal laziness? Call it what you will. I have been nursing a broken ankle, not the result of skiing down a black piste or parachuting into the Gobi desert, which at least would have contained some element of glory, but boringly achieved, on a cold and frosty morning before Christmas,  just outside the house.


Cast beautifully decorated by artistic family members



As such I’ve been confined to the sofa and unable to visit any exciting exhibitions, or take any trips. And the news, as usual, is horrendous.

 

Me howling at the news!



For a while, Ι debated whether to write about the appalling developments in the refugee crisis, but just could not bear to. I have been posting about this since 2015, and it just seems to get worse and worse, with no end in sight. Anyway, nobody needs my take on this issue, since we are bombarded with articles about it in the media every single day.
As for the American campaign, it just fills me with ennui—and amazement that a country of so many millions has failed to produce anyone more inspiring. I miss the Obamas. Whatever one’s political convictions or criticism of the man’s policies, he was young, vibrant, intelligent, and possessed of a normal family unafflicted by the sleazy/tragic luggage that seems to weigh down everyone else. The worst journalists could dig up about him was that he was not American (seriously?) and that he changed his name from Barry (boring) to Barack (interesting). Shock! Oh, and his daughter Malia was once photographed smoking. Re-shock! Nowadays I find every candidate is too old, too rich, too corrupt, too boring, too bitter, and some are all of the above.
Moving on from these non PC remarks, what else is there to discuss but the surreal panic about the coronavirus epidemic. No comment; I’m sure everyone’s had their fill of this.

 


Despite all this whining, I have not been totally idle. I enrolled in a short but interesting online course on memoir writing (courtesy of Curtis Brown Creative), and did the appropriate homework. I’ve also been doing a lot of reading, keeping a few books on the go. One of these is Mazower’s Inside Hitler’s Greece, which dovetailed with my interest in the memoir course. It’s beautifully researched and written, but the content is so horrific that I can only read one chapter at a time. It has, however, given me interesting insight into the times my parents and their generation lived through.
The second book is Shnayerson’s Boom, about the rise of the contemporary art market. This is easy reading, being amusing and full of gossipy titbits, but also slow going since I feel compelled to Google many of the artists and dealers mentioned in it. Finally a friend brought me Georgina Howel’s Queen of the Desert, a fascinating biography of Gertrude Bell—the British explorer who helped to found modern Iraq—which I’m now devouring, having previously gone through a collection of essays by Nora Ephron (always amusing), a book of short stories by Alice Munro, and a murder mystery set in France.

 



On the artistic front, I could only manage some small sketches and drawings such as the owl above, done on my lap with colored pencils. Once I could sit at the table with my cast on a stool, I played around with some gold leaf, and lately I have been experimenting with monotypes, of which more in another post.
Hopefully, now the cast is off and I’m hobbling around and paying visits to the physiotherapist, I will get my mojo back and regale you with more interesting posts.

 

Golden Canopy, ink, watercolor and gold leaf on paper

 

 

24 thoughts on “Hello again”

  1. I am so sorry to hear about your injury. I hope it all heals very fast and soon you are back in the saddle. Your drawings are lovely. Keep at it I enjoy seeing them. The coronavirus is here and freaking everybody out. I don’t go anywhere as I can’t walk so avoiding crowds is easy. Ilona has gotten more work at a nearby ranch. So that’s some good news. She is well and other than this Parkinson’s stuffI am too. We both send you love and good wishes.

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  2. I can sympathize totally with your broken ankle – having done the same a few years back checking on the goat! Your brokenness seems to have born lovely fruit- with the owl and the golden canopy, The good thing is that you’re over the worst bit – at least I found it so – being locked in a caste like a prisoner. I hated that aspect! All the walking best!

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  3. I’m so sorry to hear about your broken ankle for which you have my heartfelt sympathies. (I fractured my pelvis in an equally unexciting fall last February, so I have a bit of a feel for what it’s like to be confined at home for a few months.) Nevertheless, it does sound as if you’ve been putting that extra reading time to good use. Nora Ephron is marvellous, isn’t she? I can’t think of a better companion for recuperation.

    Wishing you all the best for your recovery, Marina. Take care, J x

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  4. The cast is beautiful, but not, I suspect, worth breaking your ankle for.

    I love the gold leaf with the wolves. You’d think it would make it bright and cheerful. but it makes it dark and mysterious.

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  5. I’m being a bit blasé about the virus – in as much as I’m not stressing too much about it – but then I live in a very rural part of France and it’s easy to keep myself to myself if I want to. My husband is coming back from the U.K. today though and he has a cold – no fever or cough – it did give me pause for thought but, it’s late winter, colds are not unusual and I do think the press are whipping up a frenzy.

    Like everybody else, I just love your ‘Golden Canopy’ – it’s beautiful.
    x

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  6. Oh poor you, Marina! Enforced bed rest sounds lovely in theory but can get dull and frustrating in practice. Still, glad to see you are keeping productive and trying to distract yourself from the horrendous news cycle.

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  7. Back online, and sorry to hear (see!) your ankle. You seem to be taking advantage with good reading which I’ll look up too. Here in Italy it’s almost total coronavirus lockdown since last night, a bit of a shock that even coffee bars are closed down. It’s going to be a bit nerve-wracking till the end of the month…

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