Friday, August 10, 2007

Zen and Jedenspeigen

Kendo training on Thursday was great. Afterwards it felt as if endorphins rather than blood and water were flowing through my body. I again realized that I really have to work on my concentration. It seems to have deteriorated over the years, and I'm now much too easily distracted (causing me afterwards to do some research on the philosophy behind it. Wikipedia says it takes many years to be capable of mushin. I think that's an understatement).
I'm trying to apply what I learn from Kendo to drawing/painting. There are similarities. My arm and wrist are tensed up during Kendo; that's probably also what makes my sketches look so unappealing (apart from the anatomy mistakes). Maybe my grip on the pencil should be much more relaxed and not as tight as it is, so the end result won't look forced and I can pay more attention to the lineweight. I probably also should approach drawing more analytically - observe, notice patterns and causes for mistakes and eradicate them. You learn more effectively when you're aware of every step you take, because then you see when you take the wrong path.


I spent the weekend in Vienna, buying books and going to a medieval fair. I finished reading one book on the train and came back with five new books. The shelf next to my bed is now officially unable to take more books.
I started reading Not on the Label, which seems to be very similar to We Feed the World, only that it's specific to the British market. The author had a look at products from Sainsbury and Wal-Mart, talked to workers in Birmingham, etc. So in the end it will probably be not as useful to me as it could be, but I got it for 1€, so I won't complain. So far I found out that packaged salad is put into water with chlorine before being packaged, with a chlorine level twenty times higher than in swimming pools. Yummy. Another good reason for me to buy organic food.

The market in Jedenspeigen was nice, although I guess that was mostly because of the people I met there. Rhiannon played quite frequently, but apart from them the program didn't interest me that much. The market was also fairly small and took place on a field (the organizers had lots of hey put on the ground). The earth was extremely dry, there were lots of people, resulting in lots of dirt being whirled up and blown into our faces. I was regularly trying to get the dirt out from under my contact lenses. However, what I really liked about the market was that the people from the craft guild (Handwerksgilde) were there and gave you lengthy explanations when you asked about their work. I learned a lot from listening to them. They were also very friendly and approachable.

A very nice church that we came across while walking to the market. Lovely architecture.

One of the craft guild.

Two "knights" practicing their sword play. That was also a very nice visual image, those two silhouettes moving about in front of the sky.

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