Jun. 18th, 2010

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So, putting the advice of this book into practice lately, i've been painting a bit more. I've been working on a few different things over the last month or so, but in the last couple of weeks i've settled down to the old Shack painting from, um, 2008! Yes, i'm going to finish it this time! XD I've been aiming for an average of 2 hours a day, which is 14 hours a week, but haven't been making an effort to not get down on myself when i don't make it. Last week i did 11 hours. This week hasn't been so good, with only 5 hours so far, but i'm planning to get at least 3 hours done today. :) I'm trying to work in smaller blocks of time too - about an hour to 90 minutes, rather than the 2 hour blocks i've done in the past. It means teaching myself to take shorter breaks, which i'm not so good at, but when i do get it right, i can appreciate how  much more efficiently i work.

Anyway, here is where i am with it atm:

And this is where i was with it a couple of weeks ago:

So yeah, a major overhaul! I'm really pleased with how it's going so far - there is a lot more atmosphere and relationship of the buildings to their surroundings now, even if the light on the hotel is still rather problematic. (tackling that next!)

I've been listening to ABC classics whilst i've been painting, i find it very soothing and conducive to concentration. And educational! They played John Antill's ballet suite "Corroboree", which is apparently a landmark Australian piece, although i can't help thinking how appropriative of indigenous storytelling it is. The fact that it's meant to be performed as a ballet makes it that much worse, i think. :/ He based his composition on a Sydney corroboree which he witnessed in 1912, as a boy of 9 yrs old. I can't seem to find any information about whether or not he recieved sanction from the appropriate indigenous elders to perform the work. ://

On a more positive note, i've been learning about some amazing performers as well! Pekka Kuusisto, the Finnish violinist who embraces jazz and folk music as much as classical texts, and the amazing Phillipe Jaroussky, the French counter tenor who won an award in 2007 for "best French lyrical artist". Such an unearthly voice! And i love how much fun everyone is having in this clip too. :)

Fuck yeah baroque music. >:D

A few other things going on in my life (dot points):

- I'm going for my pre 2nd Dan grading for Ba gua zhang tomorrow, wish me luck! I'll be fine with the forms and the self defence components, but the applications from the forms i don't think i've trained enough. D: Oh well, i guess i'll just have to wing it.

- My Ba gua teacher wants me to enter the Australiasian Kung fu-Wushu championships this October, performing my deer hook knife form. I asked him last night if there would be any problem with me entering in the open mens division, he thinks not. And he's the Secretary for the AKWF, so i guess he'd know. Yay! And also scary! 

- I recieved an involuntary manipulation from my teacher last night - he pulled hard on one of my arms during a demonstration and my neck and shoulders gave out a massive crack. It freaked me out. He wanted to crack my other side, but i was too freaked out to let him do it, and now i feel all unbalanced. :( Argh, why am i such a massive wuss when it comes to ppl cracking my joints?? He is a qualified therpist, after all. :((

- My mood has been suffering the last month or so, and i've been finding it hard to keep up with ppl and be sociable. :( My dearest is in the throes of job hunting, which is stressful for us both, and I don't think the shorter, colder days help much either. But i'm working on keeping on an even keel.


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