February 20, 2012

Doing things

I finally bought a new bicycle this weekend. It is rather splendid actually, as you can see above, a lovely 'pearl blue' they call it. Goes like a dream, and is long awaited. I have spent two years riding around on a trusty Crescent mini-bike, which I had become quite attached to, but knew it was time for an up-grade and an up-size. Bizarrely, in one of those moments which make you start to believe in conspiracy theories, after having purchased my new set of wheels from the small and quaint corner bicycle store Abrahams Cykel, I returned to my faithful old mini-bike only to discover it's back wheel had completely deflated. Flat as a pancake. It was as if it now knew it was surplus to requirements. Without my new bike I would have had a long defeated walk back home in the rain. Fate? I think so.

While in New Zealand I irreparably tore my favourite shirt - a vintage Liberty print cotton number found at Spitalfields Market in London. I still have the mentality of 'going out clothes' ingrained in me, and I have a reluctance to wear my best threads for anything but a special occasion. For some reason, it is always my best clothes that I rip, pill, stain or burn - usually when I am trying my hardest to look after them. I bought this paisley patterned shirt from Weekday yesterday - attracted by the monotone feel in such a busy pattern. It is probably the loudest shirt I own. I have discovered (decided?) that patterns don't feature prominently in my wardrobe, I motion towards single coloured/plain items, with the idea to 'jazz them up' with silk scarves and interesting jewellery (otherwise known during daylight hours as my work lanyard with my library ID card on it). I am rather 'digging' this psychedelic shirt though - will most likely be placed on the going out clothes list to avoid any clashes with the aforementioned lanyard.

Went to Malmö Konsthall last weekend to check out the exhibition of Swedish artist Gerhard Nordström, and was struck by his remarkable ability to paint leaves. The works were large, made of multiple panels, oil on hardboard perhaps. The leaves appeared sharply in focus from a distance, only blurring into painterly marks as one edge towards the painting. Light and shade were rendered deftly in the dappled foliage, so many different shades of greens, and yellows, never blacks. I can imagine Nordström with an easel painting en plein air, deciding 'Today, I will only paint leaves' as a way to test his skill and hone his craft, a painterly equivalent of scales on the piano. (writing this I am reminded of a part of Bluebeard by Kurt Vonnegut, along similar lines.)

And when I am not riding my bike, buying clothes or looking at art, I am working on my embroidery. A busy pattern, white on white, the stitches sort of my way of painting leaves, steadily built up into a greater mass.

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