Art Jamming

15 05 2012

Recently I rediscovered the joys of art. I believe as a Libran who is built to enjoy and appreciate the finer and artistic things in life, I should be able to translate that literally onto a piece of canvas. Right? After all liking something will make doing something relatively less difficult right?

first hurdle- sketching

I couldn’t remember the last time I picked up a paint brush, squeezed out paint from a squishy tube, mixing and blending to get the accurate shade (what gives you orange? Is it red and yellow? Or some white too?). Probably since school days. Or perhaps it would somewhat be like make up? Blending and shading to get the right shade, getting your hands and fingers dirty, now that would be easy peasy.

So the brave me got down and dirty but of course I had a reference image- a vibrant work featuring a flamenco dancer which I saw along Las Ramblas in Barcelona. Brushes in every shape and tip- check. Canvas- check. Squishy tubes of color paste- check. First step- sketching. One of the art assistants told me matter-of-factly, ‘you can make changes in your sketch, but it will be too late once you start painting’. Comforting. And not exactly true. Small rectifications can be made with a little blending and sponging off here and there.

I must have taken a really long time to sketch cos everyone was already painting away enthusiastically once I was done.  Blending colors is an art itself. The difficult part- skin color! Followed by shadowing in different gradients to capture dimension, perspective and light. No child’s play.  Midway though, I was really into it. I never knew painting can be so therapeutic and stress relieving. Immersing yourself into a piece of work that is truly yours can be soooo rewarding. I really felt like an artist (and a kid) for the day. Now pass me the French beret!

And certainly it wouldn’t hurt to have something to decorate your room with at the end of the day.

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Tipping the scales

9 05 2012

I have become one of those women who’s starting to obsess over her weight. I have been slim most part of my life but horrors when I realised that I have put on 5 kg over the last couple of years! Not surprising, since I sit on my ass most part of the day in an air-conditioned office, indulge in pastas, Tim Tams, Pringles as and when I want and go for a session of yoga when I need to seek some redemption and feel good about myself after that mandatory instant noodle meal every Sunday.

But seriously, aside from the weight gain resulting from a slow down in metabolism, meaning your body stores whatever that is not burned off into energy into fats that probably comes in lumps of lard which then appear as muffin tops (not the edible kind) or love handles (nothing to love about); I’m also trying to lead a healthier lifestyle. I guess when you get enough winks, eat well, enjoy that occasional glass of wine, you just..well radiate a picture of health..your skin glows (no blusher needed), you feel happier thanks to the endorphins, you fall sick less often, you get less cramps, and the no brainers go on.

The golden rule- go low on carbs, work out. get enough sleep. BUT. IT. IS.HARD. WORK. For the past two weeks, I cannot recall the number of times I had fish soup and yong tau fu (like a mish mash of Chinese vegs and beancurds, something like that) or having to conjure up options that is non-rice/noodle based- which is really difficult in this city where rice and noodles are staples!

And the verdict? After about two weeks, the needle on the weighing scale has remained exactly where it was. Apparently it has to do with the type of workouts you do- trying to alternate hot yoga with hatha with vinyasa just means I would be able to maintain my current weight whilst toning my body, but that also means that I am building muscle which is bulk. So incorporate more cardio work into the regime- running, anything that makes you perspire like a frigging pig. For instance, one hour of hot yoga burns about 630 calories, that is about the equivalent of 0.5 hour of intense fast running, as compared to something more sedentary like slow walking (80 calories for 0.5 hours).

So here I am -trying to keep a fitness/diet diary and tracking my improvement, while watching Jlo’s videos everyday to inspire myself. Let’s see how this pans out then.

My inspiration