lunes, 24 de diciembre de 2007

Suad al Attar

Browsing through my new World Art book my eyes stop in one particular painting: Paradise in Blue by Suad al Attar. The painting is gorgeous: from indigo to cerulean to baby blue, forms like camels, palm trees , birds and fountains reminds you a new rich, fascinating Islamic world.

The artist's life is what have impressed me the most. There is not much information about her online but for what I found Suad was born on Baghdad, Iraq, but left the country with her husband and children to settle in London, aware of the problems that Hussein's regimen brought to her homeland. She studied art both at London and California, also making a degree in printmaking. In 1965 she became the first female Iraqi artist to have a solo exhibition in Baghdad!! She has traveled and received numerous awards from international exhibitions in Cairo, Brazil, London, Madrid, Poland and more.

I felt so inspired by her. Is a shame she is not that known, and that there isn't too much information about her online. Al Attar's work ranges from figures to still life, landscapes and decorative works which combine classical Islamic art forms of the Middle East, her roots, with modern Western influences, her new home. I imagine how strong, smart, and driven this woman must be to have obtained so much, in a country where women aren't able to have dreams, to live by their own rules.

She's an inspiration to all of us that have seemly impossible dreams, to know that things can be done, that everything is possible, that opportunities are there, waiting to be taken.

P.S. I have searched exhaustively for the painting Paradise in Blue, but I can't find it anywhere! Instead I posted another wonderful work of hers, titled Paradise Garden. If I find it , I'll post it promise!

domingo, 23 de diciembre de 2007

Running Odyssey

OK so I've never been the athletic type of girl. Far from that. When I was little I was more on the chubby side, but was ok with it. When I got older, I magically lost that extra weight and was at a very healthy weight through junior and senior year of high school. But something EVIL happened. I started gaining weight again. I guess it was a normal way of developing after all that hormonal mess that you through as a teenager. I never did any kind of exercise. My uncle (shame on you! :P) has a family joke about one time when I was at his house he needed to go to the bathroom and was in a hurry and accidentally wore my flip flop instead of his and he couldn't move and almost s**ts himself. LOL. It proved I was considered the most nonathletic and lazy of the family. But it doesn't end there.

My father and brother are avid endurance runners. My Lil' 16 year old bro can run for hours non stop, and not in easy tracks, but on hills that are like mountains. Dad have been running for like 20 years know, so he knows his stuff. One day I talked to him about my brilliant idea: Dad, I want to start to run! Teach me how! He said, yeah Valeria. Stay were you are. He never took me seriously in that aspect. I got great grades, was a good girl, why I was bothering with boy's stuff? He didn't want his little girl all sweaty in the streets, because men have it more easy. They don't get harassed. I mean, who cares if a man is running? There are other thousands. But if a women runs (BEEP!!! Miraaaa mamacitaaaa blaaaaa blaaa) Is not fair. I gave up running outside and started in the lonely and boring exercise of stationary bike. Ugh. But I kept at it. Twenty five minutes a day. In three weeks, I saw results. I felt great. But then college started, and with that late-night take out food, snacking anytime of the day, drinks, brownies from the neighbours and exercise what? Who had time for exercise in college? Not me! So again, I saw great results. Everything was screwed up. Running in college seems impossible. One thing I have is that I don't like people to see me exercise. And to get to the track in the university you have to walk the campus (OMG people can see you) and walk around some buildings. I know, I know, that's just excuses. But the 10 k have me more motivated than ever. Even if I'm not running it all, I want to finish it. I've done two 5ks already, and felt great. I'll be posting more on my progress and my thoughts. Till then nos vemos!!

Who knew?

I always wanted to write. It was like a bug-bite that kept me itching. When I was little I had various diaries from Hello Kitty (!) and I used to write all sorts of stuff, like if my mom had send me to clean my room, if I had a fight with my brother etc etc. But then my parents divorced, and somehow this diaries pages were blank, I stopped writing on them completely. I thought there was nothing worthy to write about. But then I got to high school, for my English class the love started again. I started to write for the school newspaper (that was very cheap lol) but I loved it anyways. I've wanted to start a blog but I'm not sure I'm mature enough to write interesting stuff people want to read. I'm sure I'm boring you already with my bla bla blog. Sorry!! I just had to get it out of my system.

Well who am I??
I'm a college girl living in the coasts of Puerto Rico. (Huh? Where? Is that Costa Rica? No, no. Is the land of Ricky Martin) I think sometimes too much, read probably too much, and complain maybe too much. Ha ha. Over-analyzer but positivist. Spiritual. Live with lot of desires... I want to: run World's Best 10 k in Feb; manage to get my butt to running more often; live in peace with myself; make arrangements to make my study abroad experience more approximate (I'm dying to go!!!) Raise money to make that happen; keep studying etc etc

I want to meet you who are reading this. (hope theres someone there. mmm ok no. well you never know) I'm new to this blog world so if there's something I'm doing wrong feel free to tell me. I'm open to learn. Also, if you want to know something about my beautiful island, Puerto Rico, you can also reach me. I'll be more than happy to tell you anything!

Nos vemos!