Saturday, July 6, 2013

Two things

Two things have happened this week, among other things.

1. I finished "Dracula Vampira", after a long time of her waiting for me. I went through a short period where I was working a lot on her and very quickly, then I just stopped. This period went on for some days, I think, it wasn't very long at all.
It was very impulsive, I think and I had made the choice of going at her with the acrylic paint, which I find very intimidating by default.
So this last week, I decided to stop sucking on my thumb and that it was time to finish her and I did. Same tools, acrylic over paper, I had the background pending and her shoulders, I hadn't really decided wether I was even going to take the time with that, because I loved/love her face so much; but I kind of like it looking like she has her body and how it also looks like there's some movement to her. I feel like if I could see her entire body, she would be taking a step towards the viewer. Or some sort of alien movement, movement fit for a creature that looks only partially human.
When we were at Finca Drácula, one of our hosts (who is also the scientist and geneticist that is in charge of taking care of the orchids) told us that the orchids actually use the humans and somehow make it so that they WANT to take care of them and do the fertilization and all these things. I see some of this in the painting.
So, yes, she's 18 x 24 inches, and is titled after the mascot of Finca Drácula, the Drácula Vampira orchid, which is where I did the artistic residency last year. Hence her title and the color pattern on her face.

2. This is another one of the drawings that has occurred in Javier Medina Bernal's book "Hemos caminado siglos esta madrugada". As I mentioned in the previous entry, I am having an affair of sorts with the book and so I posed the question: "if my lover is a book, then how can I kiss him?".
The drawing is also in on the page with the least amount of words in the whole book, I think, and my favorite line of the book: "Llueve y yo regreso.".
After working on it for a little while I noticed how the lines were very lose and quick and it reminded me of A-ha's video "Take on me", where peole turn into sketchy drawings and back into regular humans, for the cartoon guy and the girl to be able to be together.

Javier has a facebook page: Javier Medina Bernal and he also has a blogspot blog AND he also happens to make and write gorgeous music, you can find him in iTunes.

Also, do not forget my facebook page, which you should like and share with your friends, because the more the merrier: Gabriela Handal Arte

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


There's something about literature sometimes.
Between yesterday and today, I had an urge to illustrate a book that I've read three times and I'm in the middle of reading it a fourth time. It's a book by Javier Medina Bernal, titled "Hemos caminado siglos esta madrugada", it sits between my elbows as I type down this entry.
Sometimes it just sits on my drawing table, other times it sits on my night table, before I picked it up yesterday to read it, I hadn't touched it or thought of it for days. Somehow the book courts me and we are having an affair.

It's a small book, it's short and thin, with thin and white pages, the paperback is red. The title by default gets me, when night falls (the few times that I've stayed up late or all night) time seems to stop completely.
The orange streetlights, the stars and the moon if she's out make everything seem like a dream. And there is a dreamlike quality in what's written within the book.

For a reason that is unknown to me, I decided to draw on the book. I guess because the words are scattered across the pages, as poetry sometimes is and several pages are almost entirely white, with not more than ten words on them.

So today, I show off two drawings that I've made between yesterday and today and the passages on them.

On these two pages we have:
"Colonia mía, esclava mía,
guardiana y
condenada y niña libre mía y
sólo mía,
emergen de tu pecho raras señales de miedo
y lágrimas.
Todo se junta.
O sea, las cosas se abalanzan desde frentes varios,
traen estallido y grito,
bolsas llenas de hormigas"

I've read this specific passage approximately one million times, because I freaking love it: "Semejante reflexión debió haber sido lo suficientemente llana para darme cuenta de mi destino de eterno solitario rodeado de faldas, debí advertir pieles desnudas, rupturas, inconformidades, hijos por doquier, pensiones alimenticias, abandonos, lágrimas, cuerpos jadeantes, decepciones, bofetadas, promesas rotas, hogares rotos, ojos rotos"

So, this tiny little thing, with fragile white pages, thin red paperback has stolen my attention from a lot of work that I'm supposed to be doing, work that is waiting patiently for me to finish it. In an impulse yesterday, I decided to draw on the book. Maybe I'm using it as an excuse to put off work, but like my man Trent sings: "you know me, I can't help myself".

Javier has a website: Javier Medina Bernal. He also happens to write and make gorgeous music.

And don't forget my page, either: Gabriela Handal