Sunday, October 30, 2011

Lovely Seasons...

Fall is my favorite season. I love the warm, sunny days and cool, crisp evenings,  the changing colors of the leaves, carving pumpkins and everything else that goes along with the season.  In Poland, some of my favorite fall traditions aren't popular, such as pumpkin carving and Halloween.  Since all of our friends here are from the US or Canada, we just do our thing anyway. Friday night we went to a Halloween party at a club thrown by the English program students at the medical school.  Tom and I dressed as pirates and I can't tell you all the funny looks and laughing we endured while walking to the club! I was laughing the whole way there just at the looks on people's faces. Yesterday, we had a pumpkin carving party at a friends house and it was so much fun.  It was also interesting to see the slight cultural differences between Americans and Canadians, too...the Americans bought the biggest pumpkins they could find (and carry!) while the Canadians has smaller, much more modest pumpkins. Canadians celebrate Halloween too, but the pumpkin carving is more American, I guess. We had a great time, lots of food and fun and great looking pumpkins! (Mine is the haunted house). 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Observations on Studying

I've been thinking about study habits lately. I haven't actually studied for a test in a while, but my boyfriend is studying every day, especially for his upcoming Step 1 for the US medical licence  exam he has to take. 
He loves computers and technology and has never been much of a book person. He doesn't read a lot, mostly because he doesn't like that books take so long to get through, he wants to know the whole story in one sitting lol... and with modern technology and computers being what they are, doesn't use books as much for studying, either. 
During his time in medical school, he's watched a lot of taped lectures from professors in the US, and reads his books on his tablet instead of the actual books. He takes practice tests on the computer and if he's not home and needs some medical fact in class, he uses his smart phone to look it up. He hasn't abandoned books completely though, I do see him flipping through them occasionally, and last year he carried around "Baby Robbins" for his pathology class. (Baby Robbins is a small, pocket sized pathology book which got the name because Robbins also wrote a monster sized book on pathology). 
Normally when I see him studying, he's surrounded by his electronics and televised lectures. It's interesting to see, because when I used to study, it was books, books, books and sometimes some help from the internet. It is probably easier to study the way Tom does, because when you need a fact, it's so easy to google something and get the answer than flip through a huge book trying to find what you are looking for.  I've even learned a fact or two from listening to the video lectures (I can't really help hearing them, it's a very small apartment :)   Otherwise, I know almost nothing of medicine and I hate studying, but I do enjoy doodling Tom while he studies ;-)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Finished Painting

I finished my painting of the zinnias! I'm pretty happy with the results, it's looser than my usual style, which was what I was going for.  One mistake I made though, was to do the background last and paint around the flowers. I should have masked the flowers and painted the background first, which I will do in my next painting :)

I really like the composition of this painting because I like the 3 different perspectives of the flowers. One below eye level, one at eye level and one above. It was fun to draw the flowers at those different angles. I think my favorite is actually the top one, "worm's eye view" :) 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Watercolor Painting

Good evening! So I've been working on a watercolor painting I was hoping to finish today, but that didn't quite happen. Oh well, there's always tomorrow :) 

I was inspired to do this watercolor by a handful of flowers picked from a friends garden back home this summer. I wanted to do a painting (or at least some sketches) from life, but I never really had time to do it, so I took a bunch of photos.  I put the flowers in an old, blue jar. I just loved the color of the jar and wanted to be able to paint the colorful glass with the colorful flowers. When I was going through my reference photos though, I didn't really like any of the images that included the jar. Also, many of the photos were washed out. I just have a simple point-and-shoot digital camera, nothing fancy and I'm not all that camera savvy anyway ;-) But I have a few good shots of the flowers so I'm doing a close up of 3 of the flowers. 
I'm going to work on the painting some more tonight and hopefully have it done in the next few days. I will post my painting when I finish! 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Day Job vs Make art all day

One of the best things about being back in Poland after 4 months of being home in the States is no more day job! (Until I go back home anyway..). All summer long at work, all I did was day dream about all the art I wanted to do and would rather be doing than trying to convince people to buy dresses and answering the endless broken record of questions such as, "Does this dress come in any other colors?" "Do I have to pay for alterations?" "Are these dresses 'off the rack'?" "How long does it take to come in?"  Ok, these are perfectly legitimate questions to ask, but I wish I could have just taped a sign to my head with the answers so I didn't have to listen on repeat all day long. 
The best days though, were days I was back in the alterations room helping press and steam dresses. I didn't have to answer any questions or deal with the general public. Honestly, my ideal job is one with very minimal customer contact. I'm not overly social (not that I'm anti-social though, :) but talking to people all day is just not my thing. I liked being back there where I could just steam wrinkles of the dresses, which to me was pretty soothing. I don't mind ironing. And of course, plenty of time to daydream about all the art I wanted to make :)

So now that I am back in Poland, I have several projects in the works. I have 2 paintings sketched out for watercolors, one started the other just hanging out on my desk saying, "Don't forget about me!" and several more ideas still churning around in my head.  I have also made a few pieces out of polymer clay that I want to turn into earrings and bracelets, my first attempt to make some kind of wearable jewelry.  (I will post pictures of these items when they are more complete).  The only problem is, with the day job I got a paycheck. Making art all day makes me much much happier, but also makes me more broke, as in no paycheck. I need to turn that around, don't ya think?? ;-) 

Well, back to my watercolors. I hope to finish one in the next few days and I'll put it up for you to see :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

My very first blog EVER!

Hello Everyone! Wow, I never thought I would be doing this whole blogging thing, but here I am. The reason I wanted to start a blog is so I can document my art process and also my crazy life. 

My name is Krysten and I am an artist, or at least I am trying to be. All my life, art was all I ever wanted to do.  I was always getting in trouble for doodling in class when I was younger and in trouble for the stupid things I drew (like pictures of certain teachers I didn't like genius-ly labeled with the teachers name...)  Even through the phases of wanting to do other things for a living when I grew up, art was always part of it.  In 4th grade when my friend Angela and I wanted to open up our own restaurant someday (The K&A Cafe!), I wanted to design everything and hang my art on it's walls. After some real life restaurant work though, I realized I want nothing to do with the restaurant business ;-) And then when I entered my "I want to be an astronaut/rocket scientist" phase (about 6th-8th grades) I wanted to go to the moon, paint murals on the walls of the shuttle on the way there and do paintings of space up close and personal. In high school, I took every art class available in the school (and luckily my high school had a fantastic art program) and in college my major was, of course, fine art. 

My boyfriend, Tom, is going to medical school in Krakow, Poland. He was born in Poland but grew up in the US, and I was born and raised in New Jersey. We met in high school and started dating in college, even though I still lived in Jersey and he was going to school in Arizona. After 3 years of long distance I moved out to Arizona to be with him and finish school at ASU, which has an incredible Printmaking program. Then, 9 months after his graduation, on literally 3 days notice, he was off to Poland to get into this medical school and a month later, I joined him (because most normal people can't just up and leave the country on 3 days notice ;-) We travel back and forth between New Jersey and Krakow and he is now in his 3rd year of school. (Time sure flies!!) We travel a bit around Europe since we're over here and have a lot of fun and have made a lot of new friends.

While I am in Krakow, I don't really work. Once a week, I tutor a young Polish girl in English, which I really enjoy. Other than that, I work on my art, which I don't have much time to do when I am at home in NJ for summer and at Christmas. During those times, I work in a bridal salon which eats a lot of my time and when I'm not working crazy hours, I'm doing things with friends and family. My job at the bridal salon is interesting. My best friend, Anna, worked there for years and got me the job when I was home for summer last year and unemployed .I never saw myself working in bridal either, but hey, desperate times...And I am grateful to have the job, since they let me work when it's convenient for me, like a month or so in winter and in the summer. I love my DBG coworkers too, they are what make the job fun. :)

So anyway, I hope you enjoy my blog, I will try to update most days of the week when I can. Thanks for visiting!