November and December are two difficult months for me every year. In my adult lifetime, its been the months during which the worst things happen have taken place, so I have to take some time to every year to heal, especially around end of the November. Mostly, the two months are times of death. I'm not referring only to the death of living things, it goes beyond that. It usually is a time when other emotional/mental matters die. The cold certainly does not help. Around mid November, what is usual for me is that I begin to feel and become isolated and I make a lot of time to be with my thoughts, to cry, to read, to write, and of course to create. I have learned that my moments of emotional turmoil are the best time for me to create art, because I can channel my energy into the work.
This year, one way I coped with my winter sadness is that I went on an Almodovar marathon. I needed a major dose of romance and drama and the kind of love that will drive another person to wait for you for 6 years, or talk to you even though you are in a coma vegetable state, or kidnap your sister just to be near you, or throw something at your wife so that she misses the shot when she has a gun pointed at you. Those are all scenes from Almodovar's flicks. I've been watching two a day and thinking about how I feel about love....
The best thing I got out of it besides crying during every flick were the songs that I can now listen to for these two months as I sit with my own dolores (pains) from 2009. They are like ghosts and they must not be ignored. Better to just let them in. This year has been intense for me, definitely the most fast paced year in my professional career and a year of major karma. But I am have been so crazy busy up until the week of Thanksgiving that I did not get to process my experiences until these 4 days of down time. I literally have been on planes almost every 10-14 days. There is also something very real about how weather can target certain things, we are truly connected to Pachamama (mother earth). When the cold begins, so does my own winter cleanse - with the rain, llega la tristeza. It happens almost every year like clockwork, like my period. I don't mind it too much - I let it just happen.
Here is one of my favorite songs from the Almodovar flick, Tacones Lejanos.
Tonight I spent some hours at the studio. It was a night of printing linoleum blocks. Luckily I was the only one there so I watched movies while running some prints, listened to some Kate Bush and Chavela Vargas.
The two lino blocks shown above are ones I began in Vancouver two weeks ago, I am now completing them, fixing them, getting to know them, building a relationship with my fictional characters and figuring out how I will evolve them into their next appearance. The line pattern was inspired by watching another artist print from the trunk of a tree. I liked the pattern the tree made so I tried to memorize it, and the pattern emerged. But now, it reminds me of a zebra.
The one below reads, "El Amor y La Locura," translated means "Love & Madness." I carved this out this week, will be making more fixes.
Closing off with a song from Almodovar's La Flor de Mi Secreto (The Flower of My Secret).