Travail / Travel


I can’t really paint. I’ve tried. I even took an oil painting class in college. Alas, even though we painted balloons over and over (and then over) again, I could not make them look real. Sigh. I just can’t really make what I see in my head appear on the canvas, even when the look I’m going for is abstract. Which is why it was kinda fascinating to watch a little video of the above painting by Nigel Van Wieck being painted.

Neat, yes?! I was first attracted to the painting because of the subject matter. Sitting on the subway, slumped over in contemplation.. I’ve been there. Lots of people have been there. And I thought, hey, lets continue on theme of missed connections (from my last post) which so often occur during our daily travels.

Anyway, it’s really interesting the amount of work and layers that goes into a painting, isn’t it? I look the creation of the piece, and I’m constantly thinking, oh, interesting, because I wouldn’t have thought that such a little dab of paint, a little smudge of an unexpected color lends itself to the finished piece the way that it does. I think about how I don’t know if I have the patience for that. But, then, it’s funny the things we do have the patience for, because I can think up a piece of clothing and visualize in my head how to create a flat piece of a pattern that will assume a 3-D shape. I assumed that most people can do that, at least those involved in fashion design/patterning at least, but one interviewer at a job I was applying for complimented me on the skill, and said that not everyone can. Don’t worry, though, I’m not bragging because, hey, I didn’t get the job. But, it really can be fascinating to see what odd shapes are required to create an effect for a garment you are used to seeing fairly regularly. The sum of the parts. Once I start making stuff again, I hope to document the process for you all. Anyway.

So, I still can’t paint. But, I have gotten more into photography over the years. A somewhat less laborious medium of moment capturing; but still, the end result doesn’t always turn out the way you expected. It both captures exactly what’s there, and reveals unexpected facets to the moments.

Continuing in the moments of travel spirit, a few favorite shots from my study abroad trip through China/Japan in 2006:

A few classmates during an infrequent moment of rest on a train ride from Tokyo to Kamakura.

Boat ride through Hong Kong’s junk boat shanty town on the way to the famous Jumbo Floating Restaurant

Our lovely boat driver

I don’t know if they’re stunning on their own, but I sure enjoy them as a piece of the puzzle of the trip. The colors, the light, the delight of being someplace where you don’t know the language and the culture is so very different from your own…. I’d settle for a return to lovely Paris, though, even though I technically known the language..(can you tell I’m suffering from a bout of wanderlust?).

Oh well, it’s all a part of the process. To work (travail) and travel!

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