Wednesday, March 31, 2010

90/365: Bubble cop-out

90/365: Bubble cop-out
90/365: Bubble cop-out, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.
March 31st

Once again I don't feel like taking a picture, so here you go. Self-reflection in a desk lamp.

And it is a cop-out because I already did it last year, and I was bothered enough then to stage it properly:

126/365:The geek in the bubble

Creation

This is the concept drawing for one of my gazillion projects- it may or may not come into being, but I know I will want to do this one over if it does. For starters there are some crucial animals missing (lions??) and not enough birds, bugs and creepy crawlies.

Just like for Octopus,  I'm posting all the stages, because I think it's fun.

Pencil:
Drawing process

First ink and liquid frisket:
Drawing process

Background colour:
Drawing process

Ink touch-up and detail:
Drawing Process

Result:

Creation

89/365: Radesh and the red mouse

89/365: Radesh and the red mouse
March 30th

This was just after midnight- he leapt up on my windowsill with a gift in his mouth. I buried it in the front yard next to all the others.

88/365: That kind of day

88/365: That kind of day
88/365: That kind of day, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.
March 29th

That kind of day when all you can do is wait until eleven thirty at night, go outside, set your camera to bulb and just keep walking.

Monday, March 29, 2010

87/365: Palm Sunday

87/365: Palm Sunday
87/365: Palm Sunday, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.
March 28th

Palm Sunday is the last Sunday before Easter. It commemorates the day when Jesus rode into Jerusalem, and people greeted him by waving palm fronds and crying out 'Hosanna!'.

Traditional Kurpian Palms

In Poland, we do not have palm trees. We do, however, have extremely rich folk traditions which date back to pre-Christian times, and which have largely survived in the Catholic custom. Such a tradition is weaving palms for Palm Sunday, and it is most alive in the colourful Northeastern region of Kurpie.

Only there will you find such elaborate palms made out of crepe paper and dried flowers, so tall that they cannot be carried upright. The village of Łyse, which I visited this year, is one of those that hold a contest for the tallest and most beautiful palm. People from all over the region work hard for the fourty days of Lent to make their entries.

Palm Sunday

The day begins with a mass and a procession (both of which I unfortunately missed as the bus left late) and is then occasion for a market where the locals sell their handmade wares- palms, painted eggs, lacework, pottery, carvings, as well as regional food such as honey, bread, meats and beer.

Kurpian woman

Palms and forest

Selling palms by the road

But be not mistaken. These palms are not only a testament to the rich folklore of Kurpie, but also a sign of religious devotion. Palm Sunday does not mark the beginning of a feast, nor is it a festival, but is the first day of the week in which the Christian God was killed by the very people who first greeted him with such joy. These amazing palms are first and foremost an offering to Jesus and a hope that we may be strong enough not to betray Him again and again as his first followers did, and we have no doubt done many times in our lives.

Kurpian Palms in the church belfry

You can see more photos from my trip to Kurpie in this Flickr set.

Biking to church

Sunday, March 28, 2010

86/365: Cranes on the river

86/365: Cranes on the river
86/365: Cranes on the river, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.

March 27th

Across the river in Praga there used to be a football stadium. It was called the 10 Year Anniversary Stadium and had been built in 1955 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Poland's post-WW2 rebirth as the People's Republic. It was built from the rubble of destroyed Warsaw, rubble brought from the Western bank as the Eastern city of Praga had not been razed to the ground by retreating Germans- the Soviets were already there.

The Stadium was used well for its times, but by 1983 the upkeep was impossible. In 1989 the city decided to rent the disused stadium to vendors, and thus was born the Jarmark Europa. For years it was the place where you could get anything- from pirated films to smuggled cigarettes, moonshine, weapons...and clothes, lots and lots of clothes. It was dirty, dodgy, creepy, and absolutely wonderful.

In 2008 it was decided that the Stadium would be torn down and a new one built in its place, this time as a true national center for sports and not a black market. We will need a proper football stadium to host the UEFA Euro 2012.

People are skeptical as to whether it will be as functional as promised, or whether it will even be finished on time, but in any case the cranes look impressive, looming over Praga like that.

85/365: Crumbling house

85/365: Crumbling house
85/365: Crumbling house, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.

March 26th

Not the shot I really wanted this to be- you can't see how wrecked that house is. The roof is falling in. I'll try again another day. I should have plenty a chance, it looks like I got a job and will pass this on my way there for the next couple of months.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

83/365: A walk with Guinness

83/365: A walk with Guinness
March 24th

Under some acer trees today. Walking with Guinness is most fun at this time of year, in early spring when the sun is out but not yet scorching, and the air is fresh without being chill. I always take my camera.

More photos from today:

The fields

Under the trees

Acer curtain

Gratuitous selfportrait

Fluff

82/365: My moleskine

82/365: My moleskine
82/365: My moleskine, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.
March 23rd

Lots of sketching today but I keep forgetting to scan it, and I can't scan when people are asleep because the Epson sounds like a dot-matrix printer. Eeeek eeeeeek eeeeeee beep beep brrrrrrmmmm whoosssssssssh eek!

81/365:Queue to get Neil Gaiman autographs

81/365:Queue to get Neil Gaiman autographs
March 22nd

Poor Neil. He was signing for three hours non-stop. But that line...let me tell you about lines in Poland. They're like mosh pits in garbage compressors. If there's an inch of space, someone will fill it, so if you want to get the goodies, you have to hug the person in front of you. At one point I started pushing backwards just to protect the girl in front of me, she was small and I was afraid she'd get hurt. I was also trying to make the man behind me understand that it was not okay to prop his elbow on my shoulder while he took a phone call.

I wonder what Neil thought of such behaviour. He was a gentleman, and handed out cookies and smiles along with the signatures, though he was obviously exhausted. But my friend owes me, I spent two and a half hours being squashed like a sardine just to get an autograph for her. :P I wouldn't have bothered for myself!

Satisfaction after signing another book

And just before the signing, Amanda Palmer gave a ninja mini-concert on the ukulele. I taped it on my iPod, check it out here:

Monday, March 22, 2010

80/365: Chickens

80/365: Chickens
80/365: Chickens, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.
March 21st

First day of spring, first bike ride. I went to Wilanów, but the weather wasn't very good for photos. I'll take another trip to the palace soon- for now these chickens I found at the edge of town were more interesting.

79/365:Domino

79/365:Domino
79/365:Domino, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.
March 20th

You find many things when you walk around the fields. Weeds, trash, abandoned shacks, discarded construction material... and stuff like this. I don't know what that's all about.

78/365: Good bread

78/365: Good bread
78/365: Good bread, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.
March 19th

I took the train to my parents' house today, and my mum baked me some bread. :)

Friday, March 19, 2010

77/365: Ogrodowa street

76/365: Ogrodowa street

77/365: Ogrodowa street, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.
March 18th

The only reason I went past those shacks was that my usual downhill shortcut was so slick with mud, I was afraid I'd slip and fall into a puddle. But I got a great photo out of it- the only regret I have is not having my gradient filter with me to darken that sky a little.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The skeleton

The skeleton
The skeleton, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.

Playing with light and shadow.

This and other recent drawings brought to you by Clogs:

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

76/365: What the card says.

76/365: What the card says.
76/365: What the card says., originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.
March 17th

What the card says. Oh, and happy St. Patrick's day.

The flashlight

The flashlight
The flashlight, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.

75/365:Drawing board

75/365:Drawing board
75/365:Drawing board, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.
March 16th

I made it yesterday for my birthday. It's pretty basic, not at all like the one I meant to make, but that didn't work out as planned. It's good enough for now. And the cat likes it, because it allows him to make stealth attacks on my eraser.

A toy for me, a toy for Radesh

Thief!

And here's the doodle from the pad, a quick and rough selfportrait with yesterday's enormous sun:

The sun

Sunday, March 14, 2010

73/365: Oh, March.

73/365: Oh, March.
73/365: Oh, March., originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.
March 14th

Didn't I say the snow would be back despite the lovely sunshine and spring weather? Didn't I?

It pulled this same trick on us last year:
84/365: The Moat

and the year before:

84/366: March Snow


so why wouldn't it do it again?

Ho hum is all I can say. Snow is nice but it is time for some green.

72/365: He sings, too.

72/365: He sings, too.
72/365: He sings, too., originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.

March 13th

I say he sings, too, because Radesh has a dulcimer which he plays for food.

No, really. It's a toy I got when I was younger, and I brought it over to the new apartment hoping to find a tuning key. One day, Radesh started fiddling around with it.

244/365: Radesh and his dulcimer

Since then I've decided the best use of that instrument would be to give the dear cat an alternative to meowing desperately when he is hungry. I've tried to capture the results on camera many times, but my musician is elusive, and camera shy. I have not caught anything substantial until today.

And here, at last, is proof of Radesh's musical talent:

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