In a little over a week I will be in Rio; visiting my daughter. This will be my 4th visit, so have over the years discovered some wonderful attractions. Of course there are the usual tourist sights such as the Christ, Sugar loaf and the beaches and all very lovely. I enjoy the city with it bookshops, cafes, architecture, parks, gardens and art galleries. I have enjoyed ‘discovering’ Brazilian artists and particularly women ; browsing the Poetica da resistencia aspectos da gravura Brasileira I came across this image by Maria Helena Veira da Silva (1908-1992) I am not sure that it is an engraving but Vieira da Silva who was born in Lisbon, Portugal did studying engraving with Stanley William Hayter (1901-1988) the English printmaker at the Academia de Belas-Artes or in Paris where she lived for most of her life, although she did spend the war years in Brazil; so I am hoping to find more of her work while I am there.
For the last few years I have been having treatment for depression and complicated grief and art lessons. ‘They’ are not connected; the art is not part of the therapy; although sometimes the lessons feels like the cause of some of the anxiety.
However, the therapy has been largely successful; as a result my art and lessons have become less painful and more productive.
This weekend I attended a silk screen printing class; as usual the other students were artists in other genres and me, it seemed not proficient at much except turning up to try hard.
So with my fear and doubt bubbling up and my cup of tea nearby, I struggled. Even after an hour; I was still in panic, like a school girl new in school. My tools of depression began to fail …
I am not sure when I turned the corner; maybe after the second cup of tea; but I did.
I have been assured that this adrenaline rush is usually a healthy experience and rewarded with a work of art …
So on reflection maybe it wasn’t such a bad lesson and I will look forward to more classes later in the year.
I work in the University of Reading, Library; an academic environment where life is divided between term and vacation. However my post is not academic so allowed to take my holidays within reason during term time. Even while students don’t come to the library in their droves, life does go pretty much as usual.
Nonetheless; Reading is enjoying the end of term celebrations before the relative quietness of the holiday time .
The Reading Guild of Artists ; Summer Show is one of those occasions when the local community and students (Town and Gown) come together and mark the end term and the beginning of summer.
This week I am showing some paintings and attending some art classes in the University; silk screen today and water colour on Monday!
For the past months I have been working on a small collection of books that belonged to James Knowlson, a friend and scholar of Samuel Beckett. So while many of the items are related to his works about Beckett and perhaps for me not so interesting there are others that deserve a second look.
I am getting near the end and now looking at the smaller items. I like to do the larger tomes first and leave the thin, less interesting with those in need of repair until the end.
These very thin and in need of care are just so lovely … I don’t know the artists but adore the bindings and images ; telling of cheap early 20th production but gorgeous book design … this is why I love my job and these little gems will be protected.
Que o poeta leva e traz
Mensagem a todos que ouvem
Onde a música também faz
levando aos corações
momentos de amor e paz
… as it goes
The poet takes and brings
Message to all who hear
Where the music also makes
gives to the hearts
moments of love and peace
I wasn’t going to continue ‘translating’ the this poem … but for me at least, it does seem significant. Yesterday I celebrated a little achievement in my life as an artist, it is true we do have a message and we do hope to bring peace not to the world but in our hearts. So while not wishing to sound like a contender for the Miss World contest I do send love.