Saturday, October 15, 2016

Summer 2016

Summer 2016 was half spent wandering, reading, doing art and typical aimless search for something to do. Not that I was not busy with work, it's just that my weekend schedule was not fixed and so random until mid-August. Last half of this year's Summer was spent studying for an examination which put my aimlessness to a temporal end. 

The exams ended and the results are awaited, I am not back with aimlessness because something came up to keep my weekends alive. I am attending free basic Nihonggo lessons (again). More of that, I know my Nihonggo skills are way better than Beginner's level but I need practice that's why I signed up for this free lesson. Why not? I have nothing to lose anyway, and badly need of some distraction. At the moment, I am waiting for my artistic mojo to kick in. Ever since I took a break from it, I was hoping that my hands couldn't wait to sketch but so far, the hands aren't ready yet. I am hoping that it will come back to keep me occupied in Winter.

The selfie is in keeping with the theme. I bought a camera phone clip lens because GoPro is too expensive for me, LOL! This cheap clip lens will serve just fine while documenting my whereabouts, plus it appears to make my round face smaller compared to normal phone selfie.

In terms of the arts, my best gouache painting to date was this of Tormund Giantsbane. For those who are not familiar of him, Tormund is a supporting character of Game of Thrones series. He was introduced around Season 3 or 4 and got more famous among fans in Season 6, partly due to his attraction towards Brienne of Tarth. 

I chose him as my subject because of his looks and character. Jon Snow is too famous as a subject. I could not imagine the many artworks based on him or Kit Harrington (the actor who played him). 

This is actually my second gouache painting. My first was a blue-eyed, raven haired Natalie Portman. I can say my gouache attempts are passable in terms of wanting a career as a tacky cinema poster illustrator (imagine 90s Seiko starlets in tacky tarpaulin posters plastered all over downtown Colon Street, Cebu City). Too bad the demand has long gone. So, again, the need to practice to achieve a level higher than a tacky poster illustrator/painter.

So I got bored with gouache and decided to go back with pencil sketch to master on facial details. 
This sketch was based on Gal Gadot. I know, no one will ever guess it right.
I need to practice more. Watch out World.

I was able to read four books which was a feat for me at my age. If not for the idle time and the lack of inspiration to make art, reading books would never get any of my attention.
Books I've read were: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (inset photo), The Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins, When Marnie Was There by Joan G. Robinson and a classic, The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. The first one being my favorite because it made me cry and again, good books about life and love never fail to make me ponder on for days. I love that at the end, Will's will was respected by his family and Louisa, although painful for them. If I were Louisa, I will probably be persistent to beg Will to give life a chance, live more years with me and focus on our love. But at the same time, one cannot blame Will for hating his life after the accident considering he used to live an amazing life, alongside good fortune and looks.

Lastly, something to remind me.

Also, I really need more improvement in handling stressful situations. I have allowed work to get in the way of my head; thereby, making me irritable and crabby. I seem to have forgotten how to balance work and life wherein, at my age and experience, I should have (at least) mastered the basics by now.

Monday, September 19, 2016

On a serious note

For want of some little peace of mind, I have decided to delete my FB app in my phone. My account is still active but I just feel the need to take myself away from social media, specifically FB. Other accounts from other social media sites remain unchanged. Without the all too familiar letter F on my screen will, I think, discourage me from browsing the site.

The reason behind is politics. Ever since Philippines elected a new president, people have become a little too involved to the point of fandom. Though being aware on government issues and the like are beneficial to society, it is actually getting annoying up to this time. It is understandable to support a specific candidate but playing political analysts without proper research and spreading wrong information are unacceptable.

Call me not of the majority but it does not mean that I don't respect Democracy. I do agree to some extent of Duterte's war on drugs but I do think there should be proper investigation after. I am not sure how the Police file a report at every encountered killing but knowing how unreliable witnesses can be due to fear cannot be taken as truth. The reason you get often is the suspect was fighting back. Fighting back is a little bit vague considering certain circumstances. But hey, if all witnesses agree to this, it can officially become as truth. Other than that, his brashness may be natural for him but diplomacy and good manners are not difficult to achieve. At his age and experience in public service, those virtues should be inherent.

The whole political circus slash telenovela has so affected me that I used to always start my conversation with T about it. He said that he stopped caring. I, not even there, cared too much. Good thing it does not interfere with my work but at the end of working day, I browse and every time I read about politics in my newsfeed, which are many, instantly upsets me.

I'm getting way out of topic. The benefit I will surely get from forgetting FB is a much better focus on life. In 2013, I deactivated my FB account because I decided to focus on rearing Amber and work. It was effective and after a year, I reactivated because I want to get back with virtual connection.

I'll focus on art, work and Amber. Travel might be included in the future if time and budget permit. Earlier today, as I was walking on my way to the platforms of Inagekaigan station, I saw these local travel brochures promoting Hokkaido. In my mind, it reignited my want of getting there and see its wonders myself.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Five Random (vol.6)

It's been a long time since I last posted. The only reason for this is due to the fact that I kept myself busy with other things. For one, there's my book project (which is a huge improvement compared to last year's. We'll tackle more on a separate post), and there's my never-ending quest for the Arts. I actually created a separate blog just for that in Wordpress. ArteAmor

I was in Cebu for a week by the end of July. This was taken in Lapu-Lapu City (for Cebuanos, you'd know you are in LLC if you find the streets filled with multi-colored walls).

With a very short schedule, one of my many tasks at hand was to put up the wall project. The supports were from Ikea which I brought with us in May, and were installed sometime in June. I had been long wanting to filled it with photos so the one-week in July gave me the opportunity to do it. Most of the frames are from Ikea that I hand carried with me. Good thing they did not break. I hoarded frames from Ikea because they're cheap and lightweight.

Another part of our small house that was slightly revamped was the mini-library. I decided to arrange the books by color, and added my framed artworks. The frames here are all from Metro Ayala because I ran out of Ikea frames. When it comes to variations in terms of size in frames, Metro Ayala has better selection and more stock.

The light blue chair (a.k.a. the blue throne) was bought from Mandaue Foam way back December 2015. The pillow and its cover are from Ikea.

Of course, I spent quality time with Amber. At 4, she's a little grown up and chatty. For that whole week, we were late for school, haha. It had to do with the challenges of waking up, getting ready and breakfast. The setting was new to me all over again. Amber, like me, is not much of a breakfast eater but we want her to eat considering her tiny frame. Not that she's very thin, she's healthy but like any other parent, we encourage her to eat breakfast to gain enough strength and nutrients to get through the day.

And a week after my arrival back in Japan, I finally decided to buy a new laptop, a MacBook Air. My dear 10 year old HP laptop is still alive but can no longer connect to the internet because it's still powered by Windows XP, whose support had long stopped effective last year.

I saw it coming. Though an OS update would have been an option, I knew the time has come to purchase a new one. I would even have chosen an HP as replacement because the brand has proven its longevity and reliability but I'd like to try Mac this time, being an iPhone user myself. The reviews of Mac are all praises so I am confident Mac and I will go a long way, maybe not 10 years but hopefully it will be.