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the sun is shining


Grad School is amazing, magical and perfect! But the perfection of life here is set off by the complete hardship of painting.

Otherwise its goes like this:

I am always hungry.
Always tired.
And I always have to pee.

I am not that Udmurtian after all.

It turns out I am 1/8 Udmurtian, 1/8 Belarus and 3/4 Russian (environs of St. Petersburg), I found out at dinner today. My great grandmother (paternal) is 100% Udmurtian, my great grandfather (paternal) is 100% Belarus. I've been to Belarus once, to the city Gomel (or Homel). I was teeny, my father and I were looking for a dress for me. (There were none.)

And this is from sympathy of all things (how eloquent!) from Jung's Synchronicity, quoting Hippocrates:

There is one common flow, one common breathing, all things are in sympathy. The whole organism and each one of its parts are working in conjunction for the same purpose... the great principle extends to the extremest part, and from the extremest part it returns to the great principle, to the one nature, being and not being.

Slacking off while packing!

This is the Soviet Russian cartoon version of the Grimms fairy tale Bremen Musicians. It is so abstract and arty, it's impossible to stop watching! Just jaw dropping. This cartoon is the legendary classic in Russia and I've seen it many times. But never from an art angle for some reason! And it is just so good you can't take your eyes off!!! And all the trees look like deck of cards symbols, but are not.


Packing for grad school.

I am packing my art supplies for grad school. All of them. Yesterday I was a little more selective, today I realized I may need everything. I feel like I am going to art camp.

"Every part of the earth is sacred to my people."

***Bought this Siberian Woolly Mammoth T-Shirt on Threadless and I cannot wait to get it! How amazingly fitting, I am jumping out of my skin!
Went to the Museum of Natural History in NYC with calzstarheart and there were Udmurtians there! And Shamans! With overhead russiany religious music. I glued myself to the glass window of the display. The entire set-up of the various peoples and tools fascinated me to no end.

I am currently obsessed with myths, legends and symbols. Look at this passage from The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell. Its the letter of Chief Seattle as an answer to the Government's inquiry about the purchase of the tribal lands, in 1852.

"The President in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land. But how can you buy or sell the sky? the land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them?

Every part of the earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every meadow, every humming insect. All are holy in the memory and experience of my people.

We know the sap which courses through the trees as we know the blood that courses through our veins. We are part of the earth and it is part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters. The bear, the deer, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the dew in the meadow, the body heat of the pony, and man all belong to the same family.

The shining water that moves in the streams and rivers is not just water, but the blood of our ancestors. If we sell you our land, you must remember that it is sacred. Each glossy reflection in the clear waters of the lakes tells of events and memories in the life of my people. The water's murmur is the voice of my father's father.

The rivers are our brothers. They quench our thirst. They carry our canoes and feed our children. So you must give the rivers the kindness that you would give any brother.

If we sell you our land, remember that the air is precious to us, that the air shares its spirit with all the life that it supports. The wind that gave our grandfather his first breath also received his last sigh. The wind also gives our children the spirit of life. So if we sell our land, you must keep it apart and sacred, as a place where man can go to taste the wind that is sweetened by the meadow flowers.

Will you teach your children what we have taught our children? That the earth is our mother? What befalls the earth befalls all the sons of the earth.

This we know: the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.

One thing we know: our God is also your God. The earth is precious to him and to harm the earth is to heap contempt on its creator.

Your destiny is a mystery to us. What will happen when the buffalo are all slaughtered? The wild horses tamed? What will happen when the secret corners of the forest are heavy with the scent of many men and the view of the ripe hills is blotted with talking wires? Where will the thicket be? Gone! Where will the eagle be? Gone! And what is to say goodbye to the swift pony and then hunt? The end of living and the beginning of survival.

When the last red man has vanished with this wilderness, and his memory is only the shadow of a cloud moving across the prairie, will these shores and forests still be here? Will there be any of the spirit of my people left?

We love this earth as a newborn loves its mother's heartbeat. So, if we sell you our land, love it as we have loved it. Care for it, as we have cared for it. Hold in your mind the memory of the land as it is when you receive it. Preserve the land for all children, and love it, as God loves us.

As we are part of the land, you too are part of the land. This earth is precious to us. It is also precious to you.

One thing we know - there is only one God. No man, be he Red man or White man, can be apart. We are all brothers after all."

Construction workers are putting up new siding, I escaped to Starbucks to write...

...But haven't gotten to it yet. Let's talk about symbols in paintings.

Mine are, from the more specific ones:

- Naked lightbulbs (there was a naked lightbulb in the russian hut and it entertained me to no end)
- Radiators (St. Petersburg Apartment)
- Wooden telephone or electric poles (from wanderings in the childhood woods and then coming upon a beautiful clearing with wooden poles running to the horizon. It is a forgotten and overgrown road)
- Crosses (I don't know why, but they creep up in my paintings unintentional and hidden and I just leave them there)

And these are not necessarily symbols, but more general things that I know I like and that may or may not be repetitive in my paintings:

- ceramic pots
- trees (of course. Birches, leaves, plants)
- window sills (St. Petersburg)
- Russian domed Churches (These are not in my paintings, but I love them just the same).
- Russian Huts (and wooden archaic architecture)

Maybe sheep and trellis.

Someone put Chagall in my head and even though I don't like him per say, I feel compelled to go see his paintings now. I'll just sprint to the MOMA or something before my big trip to BLOOMINGTON.

I love Claire Sherman!!!

I am friends with her on Facebook! And she went to our school!!! And its her birthday today!!!

Its Chuck Close's birthday today too, as Moma told me on Facebook!

"Painting is the most magical of mediums. The transcendence is truly amazing to me every time I go to a museum and I see how somebody figured another way to rub colored dirt on a flat surface and make space where there is no space or make you think of a life experience." -Chuck Close

Facebook is great for painting! Just Kyle Staver's daily painting line ups are worth staying on Facebook.
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