Sunday, 31 October 2010

After the Event

Well, the exhibition opening has come and gone. I was calm and in control right up to the end. I worked methodically through everything I had to do like a well-oiled machine. On the night the timing was perfect. I had time for a nice refreshing and cleansing shower beforehand and then had an hour and a half to prepare the tapas, which I did with three minutes to spare! I enjoyed it. I had to just do it. There was no time to stop and think too much, although at the same time I was making up certain recipes and mixtures of flavours. It was creative and hugely satisfying and relaxing. I even had enough time to wipe down the counters and stack the dirty boards, knives and mixing bowls for a wash-up later on.

I can’t believe how relaxed I was when I arrived at the Casa de la Cultura and calmly started opening bottles of wine and stacking up the plastic cups and organizing the hospitality table in general.

And then the people started arriving. Most were friends but there were also various interested people who I had never met before and there were visiting dignitaries invited by the powers that be. The gallery wasn’t thronged, but I was more than happy with the turnout. It was interesting to see the people who did support me and those that did not. Of course people have their own reasons for not coming on the night and so I prefer to dwell on the surprise of certain people who did come.

It was an enjoyable night for me. Of course I must have been a little bit nervous and in fact I know now that I must have been quite wired over the past couple of weeks of intense work and planning because for the last two days (after the event) I feel about a hundred years old and am having the greatest difficulty dragging my aching bones out of the bed in the morning. Still I forced myself out this morning and went up to my beloved forest. It was a struggle, especially as the weather last night was wet and very windy and it looked cold this morning, so I put on a fleece and was glad of it, although by the time I got to the forest I was sweating gently.

And there I was surrounded by the damp and earthy smells. There was a lovely blue tinge in the air where there was a slight morning mist hanging just suspended by invisible hands. I saw two different types of mushrooms. I was told yesterday by someone who knows about these things that there are mushrooms to be had up there so I was on the look out. It is frustrating that I have not yet learned which ones are edible though. I have the fear of God in me about picking poisonous ones and so hesitate. It is so hard to identify them from books and there is always a margin of error.

My attempts at jogging this morning were pretty hopeless I will admit, but I forced myself to do just a little bit of stop-start stuff. My legs felt like lead and felt quite stiff down the backs of my calves as well. Still I did a bit and perhaps will be fresher tomorrow and I will try again. All the same I managed to free my mind from all the work of the past few weeks and two new ideas just popped into my head. I have now jotted down notes on them and this afternoon I will do a couple of little sketches in my sketchbook to keep them there until I have time to carry them out properly.

Today it is still windy although in the main there is good sunshine. It is a holiday tomorrow for All Soul’s Day (or is it all Saint’s – I always get the two confused and really think that only the very devout know for sure) so there have been a few firecrackers and rockets going off today. I am sure there will be some marching and drumming tomorrow too. It starts to fascinate me, this heartbeat of the land. I often hear drumming practice going on at various times. It is a country of rhythm and slowly but surely I start to slip into that rhythm. The heartbeat starts to control all the residents unless they strongly resist. I have no problem with being sucked in. I like the warmth of the country and of the people that I am meeting here slowly or ‘poco a poco’. I am in no great rush. I have the rest of my life.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Just a Quickie

I am a bit busy trying to get everything ready for my exhibition - opening on the 29th of October.

Things like my Blog have slid a little bit, but I will return all guns blazing after the opening which is always a little bit stressful!

I hope you will tune back in again afterwards and I apologise for not Blogging conscientiously.

Mary x

Sunday, 10 October 2010

After the Rain

Well, I think I have jinxed the Costa del Sol. It used to be sunny here before I came to live here and now it seems to have turned on its head and become the Costa del lluvia. It rained all last night it would seem – I don’t know exactly as I slept through most of it. There must be a medal in there somewhere – something about Global Warming and all my wishes and hopes for the safe destiny of the Earth and the human race.

I woke this morning to the continuing sound of rain on the roof and on the street outside – always a little bit worrying as we need to get our roof seen to after the rains of last winter – it took a bit of a beating and will sadly have to be replaced to make it secure.

But on the upside – apart from the roof – I actually like rain! I know it sounds mad, but I did move to Ireland in the first place – nearly 30 years ago because I thought the climate would suit me and I was right back then. But everyone is permitted to change and have different wants and requirements at different stages of their lives and now I really crave the warmth on my bones which is why I came here – well one of the reasons. For me the climate seems perfect now as it is though as I do like the seasons and like to see the world turning. The day coming and going, the weeks passing and Summer turning into Autumn and then Winter, and as the earth revolves the Spring returns to warm the ground.

So I was happy with the rain last night and when I had got myself up and dressed and had looked up some stuff on the internet it was about half past eight by which time the rain had stopped and the skies had cleared so I set off for my Sunday morning walk and now jog through the forest. I have to say it was breathtaking after the rain. The air was clear and washed. There was none of the usual dust in the atmosphere. The ground underfoot was not packed hard and had a nice softness and give to it. Nice for walking and especially jogging on. I like the colours of the ground too after the rain – all the colours are richer and more defined.

And then I turned to have a look at the view! I don’t think a verbal description can do it justice. But I will try. The mountains looked like they were cut out cleanly against the sky by God’s scissors. The slopes were carved starkly by His carving tools – every crevice and nook and cranny showed up in stark contrast – that is, where you could see them, for the lower parts of the mountains were still swathed in wet washed clouds – white fluffy but ripped – they resembled really fresh washed bed linen, pure white and whipped around the lower part of the mountains. Breathtaking! I say it again with no shame – for that is what I felt as I stood there up on a height after a steady climb, my lungs were working hard at breathing in the clean and quite cold air – the little hairs were standing up on my arms, working hard to keep me warm – but it felt great, really fresh and invigorating and that view! If I did really believe in God He was there on the mountain today busy carving and cutting and whipping.

I wish I had thought to bring my camera with me – but there is only so much you can carry with you on a jog and I had not thought that there would be those sort of spectacular photo opportunities. Still I have the picture etched in my head and for you now described as best I can here. (The photo posted here now was taken after the last rains actually - and is of twigs which were swept into little banks by the heavy rains as they washed along the forest track)

What the clearness also brought to me were visions of some really nice ideas for future works – prints and/or medals. As I walked and jogged and thought I dreamed up four distinct different images – of which I think two are really viable. I noted all of them in my sketchbook on my return and look forward to starting on them as soon as my current exhibition is over. Of course being me I really want to start on them now – but time really being far too short at this stage I will have to concentrate on what I have already started first.

Tie me down!!

Sunday, 3 October 2010

A New Leaf - Running up to the Exhibition!

Well who would have thought it little old me has got a date for an exhibition in the Casa de la Cultura right here in Alhaurín el Grande. The 29th of October – a bit sooner than previously mooted. So now I am quietly going into panic mode. Of course I will get everything done in time – I have got too, haven’t I?

The only trouble is this I have ordered paper and lino from England – So far it has not been possible to get suitable paper here or suitable lino either for that matter. Because of the exorbitant cost, I opted for 7 day delivery – let us hope it is just that and not longer or I will be in serious trouble. I have of course two lino plates cut already and two drawings completed for getting down to work as soon as the lino arrives and then get on to printing. In a well organized campaign I would in the meantime try to complete two additional drawings which could then also be converted into lino on its arrival. However, that is really only part of the problem. The bigger part is getting the plates printed up, time consuming anyway and then comes the worst part. The ink is special slow-drying stuff which takes weeks to dry! I know! and I don’t have weeks so I will be out with the hairdryer I guess and I think that there will be prints going into frames even while they are still wet. I hope they do not get smudged.

Well there is nothing to be done about it.

Actually I have just missed the first attempted delivery now (it is Friday) – so will have to wait until Monday for a second attempt. This time I will be home (which I was) but will leave the front door open and the music off. When I am in my office/studio I do not actually hear sometimes when the doorbell rings downstairs. It is a bit silly actually as the bell is at the front door of course – and low enough for every child in Alhaurín to reach and ring as they walk past! However, the ding-dong bit is just inside the front door, but still outside in the porch and so quite difficult to hear when one is at the back of our incredibly long house. I really do not quite know how it got designed like that – but when I lay my hands on the culprit I will give him Ding-Dong! I think I will disconnect the bell when the intercom bell goes in – the new one will ring deeper inside the house and upstairs to boot so should actually alert me to visitors without my having to sit waiting at the front door, quiet as a mouse. Actually I should ring up the electrician to get the intercom installed, but you know what it is like – these little jobs just get pushed to the back of the pile especially when there other more important things still to be done – like building the rest of the house!

In any event I am not actually in much of a fit state to do anything today as I went to the opening of an exhibition last night and from there out for a few drinks with our friend Steve. Then back to ours for a nightcap. It was late and I had far too much to drink.

So I was not going to have anything tonight – it being Saturday now (this blog post seems to be going on interminably), but got wind that the new bar on the Plaza Baja was opening this evening so decided I would go down to lend them a bit of support. It was very enjoyable with lots of people there, free drinks and the chef was taking tapas around all the evening. They had also gone to the trouble of hiring a band, which was very good also. The only downside was that my darling Vic was not with me as he is back in England at the moment. So of course now I have had a few drinks anyway – still I have not overdone it and should be fresh in the morning and so will be able to go for a good walk in the forest methinks – that will start the week well.

So in fact, in spite of what appears to be a bit of a ramble, I have brought the theme through this blog after all – which is new beginnings and openings. My exhibition opening, the opening last night, the launch of the new bar and a new week starting tomorrow. Also you could add to that a new leaf as I will not drink tomorrow in order to renew my liver. I promise.