Prikaz objav, dodanih na 2017

Damage Control

I don't know what I've done to this piece of paper. I must have damaged the sizing somehow, although I haven't done anything differently than I normally do. So, I can either throw it away or kill the moth ... or I might do both. There's nothing to lose really, so I went at it with watercolour pencils and Artbars (water soluble wax crayons).

Too many colours make me nervous, but I knew that already.

Nekaj se je zgodilo s tem papirjem. Čeprav se mi zdi, da nisem nič naredila drugače, mi je verjetno uspelo poškodovati vrhnjo plast veziva. Sliko lahko vržem v smeti, lahko se izživljam nad njo, lahko pa naredim oboje, bom videla. Ni kaj izgubiti, zato sem se je lotila z akvarelnimi svinčniki in Artbar vodotopnimi voščenkami. 
Preveč barv me dela živčno, vendar to ni nič novega.

A Quiet Life by Kenzaburo Oe

A Quiet Life is a blend of fiction and memoir, written in a series of chapters which can be read as short stories. We follow Ma-chan, a young woman left at home to take care of her brothers, after her parents left for America, where her father was invited to be a writer in residence. Her father K has found himself in a "pinch", which requires his wife to accompany him. Ma-chan is suddenly left in a role of a head of the household and what we are reading is her "house journal", which she has promised her mother she would keep. Even though Ma-chan is the narrator, the novel revolves around Eeyore, her mentally handicapped older brother with a great musical talent. O-chan, her younger brother studies for university entrance exams and I perceived him as a side character stepping in when it’s necessary.
The novel isn’t especially plot driven, I found it a rather peaceful read. I liked Ma-chan , her honesty and sense of observation while she is trying to come to terms wit…

Automeris Io

Io moth lives in north America. You can see her in the first hours of the night. The span of her wings reaches 88 mm. It's predominantly red and red is a proprietorial, territorial colour. It's not something you can immerse yourself into, like blue. Red works in opposite way. It enters a person through their eyes, claims them, stays inside and causes all sorts of weird things to happen. It usually comes in the summer or late spring, when I start wearing red sneakers, red lipstick and nail polish. All of a sudden I find myself reading books with orange, red and crimson covers. Io drives Erebus and his blue void away, leaving me with layer after layer after layer of red, impenetrable in it's translucent illusion. Red is all about blood, passion, strong feelings, revolution and anger. According to Derek Jarman, painters should use red a spice. But do we?

Vešča Io živi v severni Ameriki. Največkrat jo lahko vidimo v prvih urah noči. Ni posebno velika, majhna tudi ni, čez kril…

Ghostwritten by David Mitchell

Ghostwritten in one of those books I feel like were written for me and for my obsession about everything happening at the same time, as if time was an infinite number of superimposed layers, to paraphrase Brian O'Doherty. 
The novel consists of nine chapters, each covering an event on a certain place on earth. There's a lawyer in Hong Kong involved in money laundering, whose wife recently left him, an old woman in The Holy Mountain running a tea shack, remembering various historical events she witnesed through her life, a physicist in The Clear Island running away from american governmental agents, a musician and ghostwriter in London, a noncorpum inhabiting various hosts in Mongolia, a member of the cult in Okinawa, a young saxophone player and jazz lover in Tokyo, a museum employee involved in an art heist in Saint Petersburg, a DJ talking to the Zookeeper in a late night radio show in The Night Train. The novel ends with Underground in which Quasar, the member of the cult we…

A Real Tough Guy and a Fictitious Public Official

Or is it the other way around? A fictitious tough guy and a real public official. The second version seems scarier than the first one. But ... anything is possible ... as always.
Before I started reading Murakami's Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, I stumbled across the information about Raymond Chandler and Franz Kafka influencing this particular novel. Farewell My Lovely and The Castle were mentioned specifically. I decided to give it a try, to sort of try a different approach to Murakami. 
I used to read Chandler in my teens, I even watched the series on TV. I liked it back then, but it was thirty years ago, give or take a few years. Farewell My Lovely is a piece of hardboiled fiction, and it was published in 1940. The story features an antihero detective tough guy, organized crime, corrupt police officers, drugs and violence. There's also a femme fatalle, begging to be seduced rich woman and a good girl, who just isn't sinful enough (Marlowe's words, n…

South of the Border West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami

Hajime grew up in post war Japan as an only child which for him is strange, all other children have siblings. He feels as of a part of him is missing. His only friend is Shimamoto, a girl with a limp, an only child too. After a couple of years her family moves away and they lose touch. In high school Hajime meets Izumi , a cute girl who he manages to hurt, to destroy beyond repair. He leaves his hometown and goes to college to Tokyo. Every now and again he thinks of Shimamoto, he even follows a woman with a limp wishing she were her. Years later, Hajime marries Yukiko, a girl from a rich family. With the help of his father in law, Hajime opens a jazz bar, following by another one and the business thrives. It looks like an ordinary life, until Shimamoto reappears.
One rainy evening she walks into his jazz bar. She comes again and again, at irregular intervals and always without warning. One thing leads to another and Hajime lets Shimamoto sweep over him. I saw her as a film noir femme…

I Hate Cleaning

I haven't been painting or drawing or anything in a couple of weeks now. It feels weird. M and I are still cleaning our apartment after the painters have left. It's hard to believe how much of everything infiltrated into our lives. I cleared up my studio space in the living room. The walls are whiter than the paper. The weather is almost unbearably hot. A couple of winters ago I decided to leave books with polar themes for the summer, however I never read them. When days get short, dark and cold, I start thinking about ice and the oblivion polar landscape brings. I have Terror by Dan Simmons and The Age of Lead by Margaret Atwood on my Polar TBR, and I just might reread The Terrors of Ice and Darkness by Christopf Ransmayr. But no. Instead I'm currently reading The Castle by Franz Kafka. The absurdity of the bureaucracy is so familiar it hurts. Apparently I'll have to leave ice and darkness to the winter. Luckily I don't have the same problem with painting. The col…

The Monster in the Box by Ruth Rendell

Decades ago, when Reginald Wexford was at the beginning of his police career, he suspected Eric Targo of being a serial killer. However, he didn't have one shred of evidence, except a hunch, a gut feeling. Years later he sees Targo enter a house, a home of family Rahman.

Tamima Rahman decides to leave school at sixteen. Her teacher is worried by Tamima's decision, she even thinks of the family trying to force Tamima into marriage. She turns to Wexford for help, even though she's got nothing more than a gut feeling, not much different than his was so many years ago. However, it seems he doesn't take her too seriously until Tamima goes missing. 

There are two story-lines in the novel, as well as two time-lines. There are Wexford's memories of his youth, when almost no one drunk wine and people never ended a phone call with "I love you". Except in big cities there were no immigrants. Nevertheless, Eric Targo is still as elusive as he was, he is still conscious…

My New Lamp and Other Strange Things

White was never my favourite colour. I never liked to wear white clothes, I hated white furniture and white walls. I thought white was harsh, a (non)colour to hurt the eyes. A couple of years ago we bought some white furniture and it doesn't look bad at all. Last weekend a couple of rather good wall paiters painted our walls white. The rooms look larger and white doesn't hurt the eyes. I don't know where I got that from. Yesterday I finished a book on monochrome, dealing in black and white monochrome in contemporary art. Among other things it says that white is often linked to purity, blindness, death, open mind, silence and void. White canvas is a void, like a poet's sheet of white paper. White can be understood as sort of a visible silence. To take things even further, I bought a white standing lamp to read or paint by. The light of a white lamp in connection with the previously unopened new book or a sheet of fresh watercolour paper is ... what ... Before I start re…


What happens after Icarus falls from the sky? People say he drowns in what is now known as Icarian Sea. The same people refer to Icarus as a symbol of too high ambition, in a negative sense. See what happens when you aim to high. But, what do they know, they never aimed high. Perhaps he just wanted more or different things and I don't see anything bad in that. As a teenager I used to think about myths a lot. Not about their symbolic sense or wanting to talk about them, that never really interested me. I mulled over them out of a wish to see them continue. What happened next ...  that was more in my line. What if it wasn't like this, if whoever wrote the story didn't get it right. What happened if Icarus didn't die?
Yesterday M and I went to Arena Stožice to see the Cirque du Soleil performance Varekai. I was fascinated by a billboard depicting a woman wearing a green frog's outfit and a man in an electric blue lizard costume. And then a friend said he saw them in La…

The Vegetarian by Han Kang

I remember spending summer holydays at my grandmother's house. By the time all the farm work was finished the family sat down to dinner rather late, sometimes as late as 9 p.m. I decided not to eat so late and they were all baffled by my decision. My grandmother was worried I might get sick, but eventually they stopped fussing about it. It wasn't that much of a big deal. I remembered that when I read the synopsis of The Vegetarian by Han Kang somewhere on the internet. It said it was the story of a woman, Yeong-hye, who decides to stop eating meat. Her decision surprises and angers her family. However, the story isn't just that. It's much, much more.
The Vegetarian is a short novel of only 183 pages, written in three parts which can be read as separate short stories. Each of them is written from a different point of view (husband, brother in law and sister). We learn about Yeong-hye becoming vegetarian indirectly, from other people. Her cold husband who can't come t…

In Blue

And so I fell in love with a colour - in this case, the colour blue - as if falling under a spell, a spell I fought to stay under and get out from under, in turns.
Maggie Nelson, Bluets
Ever since I can remember I had a peculiar affinity for the colour blue. I say peculiar because some people tried to dissuade me from it, saying I looked pale if I wore blue and that blue is a boy's colour. The first statement can be true but it doesn't bother me, the second one is nonsense. There's no such thing as a boy's or a girl's colour. 
On my last exhibition the majority of people wore blue police uniforms. One of them approached me saying the chief wanted to speak to me. I found him in front of a row of blue paintings." Why blue," he asked. I explained about blue, borrowing from Kandinsky and Klein and even from myself. Then I stopped and concluded with a simple "Because blue is my colour." "It's ours too," he said with a smile. But I guess th…

What's New

Last week I picked up a box of fancy chocolates for a couple I've never met. M and I got the tickets for a concert they weren't able to attend. We were listening to Gershwin, Ravel and Scriabin and enjoyed it immensely. Ravel's piano concerto was played by a Czech pianist Igor Ardašev. What I found particularly beautiful was the way he treated the piano. It was as if his instrument was a human being. So, the chocolates were sort of a logical conclusion. Although there's no logic in it, really. I had a quarter of an hour of my lunch break left to kill, so I decided to go to a bookstore, just to browse. There's no logic there either. My eye was caught by a David Gorssman novel, Look Under: Love. I've never read Grossman. My watercolour guru recommended him to me a couple of times but up till now I never acted on it. According to the blurb on the back cover, the book sounds promising. On my way to the-lady-who-takes-my-money (read cashier), I saw a poetry collecti…

The Ghosts of Lost Ships

Sometimes the moths remind me of ships, invisible, silent ... lost in blue oblivion.

Nočni metulji me včasih spominjajo na ladje; nevidne, tihe in izgubljene v modri pozabi.

On Beauty by Zadie Smith

The novel opens with a series of e-mails Jerome writes to his father Howard Belsey. Jerome is in London, working for Monty Kipps and living with his family. The problem for Howard is that Monty is his academic rival. They both teach art history, both are specialized on Rembrandt, only Monty published his book, while Howard still struggles with his. Another problem is Jerome turning to Christianity, which Howard as a liberal doesn’t approve. Monty on the other hand supports traditional values, which appeal to Jerome. With the approaching school year Monty and his family arrive to Wellington university where Howard teaches. Howard’s wife Kiki befriends Monty’s wife Carlene, Jerome returns to university in another town to avoid Monty’s beautiful daughter Victoria, he was in live with while being in London. The lives of both families intertwine, despite their different values and life.
I quite liked this book. At first I found it slow paced, but it didn’t bother me. I think it’s written in…

More Than 2000 Years Ago

When I was a kid I was fascinated by ruins. The older, the better. I always tried to imagine people living there: who were they, what they were doing and how they looked like. When I was in fourth grade my teacher took us to see an exhibition on roman artefacts found in Ljubljana and I remember being mesmerised by thin glass object, lachrymatories, into which the mourners dropped their tears. I imagined people crying into these vessels and the image in my mind was otherworldly. After the exhibition, with my head full of stories concerning tears in various forms, we went to see the archaeological park Emona.
After too many years M and I decided to see the ruins again. On previous occasions we found the park closed, but last Sunday we were lucky. We were met by a young student, bored enough to eagerly explain how the system works.
"Do you guys know how this works?"
"Um, no ..." How what works? Where will we be transported to?
Apparently nowhere. He just explained what we…

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

Julia and Valentina, twin sisters living in America, inherit a appartment in London from their aunt Elspeth. They decide to move to England and live in the apartment just across the road from Highgate cemetery. Julia and Valentina are 21, but they seem like they are twelve. They dress in matching clothes, they do everything together and appear to be helpless in everyday matters. Most of the people living in the same building as the twins are weird. Robert was Elspeth’s lover. He works at Highgate cemetery and in a way deals with death every day. Martin suffers from a severe case of OCD and refuses to leave his apartment. His wife Marijke left him and returned to Amsterdam. Elspeth still lives in her apartment even though she is dead. She finds a way to communicate with the twins and Robert. Valentina would like to break free from Julia, so she and Elspeth hatch a plan into which they manage to drag Robert. It’s when weird turns into twisted and dark becomes even darker.
The title remin…

Prussian Blue

"Nothing is perhaps more peculiar than the process by which one obtains Prussian blue, and it must be owned that, if chance had not taken a hand, a profound theory would be necessary to invent it."
Prussian Blue The Secret Lives of Colour by Kassia St Clair 

Sylvia by Leonard Michaels

Sylvia is a fictionalized memoir / short novel about a couple living in New York in the 60s. The narrator (Michales) meets Sylvia through a friend he visits soon after he returns home from college. Sylvia is mentally ill, although she refuses to see a doctor and is never properly diagnosed. Judging by what he says about her college activities, she is quite an intelligent woman. He ends up marrying her even though he's not certain it's what he wants to do. He expects his father would oppose the marriage, however he just points out his son’s duty not to abandon the poor orphan girl. They live in a tenement they share with cockroaches and an occasional rat, which they don't seem to mind. Their life is full of quarrels, drugs, jealousy and emotional blackmail. I didn't like Sylvia and I didn’t like the narrator for various reasons I am not going to go into to avoid spoilers in case you didn't read the book and would like to. Even though I didn't like Sylvia I some…