Cowboy Jokes

May 7, 2011

A cowboy is asked:
– Why did you decide to jump into that thorn bush?
– I thought It’s gonna be OK.

Did you laugh?
I thought so much.

Years ago it made me laugh for three days non-stop. People asked me why I was laughing and I told them the joke. It was invariably met with silence.

That joke doesn’t make me laugh today. I still remember the reason why it used to, but the more I try to explane, the less funny it is…


Art and Sweetcorn

May 7, 2011

In September 2009 my younger daughter Alina came to my studio for an hour or two. That visit led to an illustrated short story “Art and Sweetcorn”.
Here it is:

Illustrated short story "art and Sweetcorn"

Alina Making Art

Sweetcorn is hot this season.

On the way to the studio I made a detour to the Farmers’ Market, but going home in the evening forgot the bag with the goodies behind.

– Alina, I’ve got sweetcorn in the studio. Would you like to come with me to get it?
– Ye-ye-yeah!

Off we go.
Out of the door, turn left…

– Mummy, can we take the shortcut?
– That way takes longer, Alina!
– I don’t care!
– OK.

carry on down The Mint;
up through the inn car park;
right down the cobbled street;
past the corner house with the pigeons;
take the passage on the left;
past the lamp-post;
into the court yard.

Some days my girls like to come to my studio, some days they don’t. Depends.

– Alina, would you like to cook the corn here, or would you rather go home?
– I don’t mind, mummy, I can eat it cold.
– Yes, but it’s not cooked: you have to cook it first.
– Aw… (disappointment strength 8/10). Can I do painting while it’s being cooked then?
– You may.
– I want to do Art.


“Artwork” 1

Sweetcorn’s in the pan.

– Which paint would you like, this (oils) or this (acrylics)?
– I want this one (acrylics).
– There you go.
– Can I have those little rolling things as well?
– Yes, sure. And there is your paper.

She is all settled, painting on the floor;
I am at the table, drawing her.
We are busy doing Art.

Short story by Marina Kim "Art and Sweetcorn"

“Artwork” – 3

Sweet aroma slowly fills the room…

– Mummy?
– Hm?
– Is the sweetcorn ready yet?
(glance at the clock)
– No, not yet. Another 10 minutes or so…
– Aw…

5 minutes later:
– Mummy!
– Hm?
– I think the sweetcorn is ready now.
– Uh-ehm…
– Come on, then!
– Okay! – I put the pencil down and get the sweetcorn.

It is hot. I put one cob under the running cold water. Alina comes to the sink to wash her hands.
– Mummy?
– Yes?
– I painted the difference between the Sea and the Soil.
– Oh, cool!

Short story "Art and Sweetcorn"

“Artwork” 2

Hands clean, she is content.
– Can I eat my sweetcorn now?
– Ah-a.
I give her the cooled-down cob, and place the plate with more of them on the arm of the chair. She climbs into the chair. Satisfaction 10/10. Life is good.

Short story "Art and Sweetcorn"


– Alina, are you going to paint any more?
– Nah-ah.
– In that case, you need to tidy up.
– Arrgghh, Godddd!

Marina Kim

Autumn, 2009

There was time when little worm-like creatures you now call caterpillars never changed into butterflies. They were born, had their babies, and eventually died as caterpillars all the way through. But then it all changed.

There was this young caterpillar once. Life was nice to it. Day in and day out all was same. All was safe. Many other caterpillars munched away on the leaves, chatting happily to each other. So it went until one day our caterpillar looked around and thought: “I’ve been a caterpillar long enough. Time to be something else.”

The caterpillar didn’t know WHAT it wanted to be yet. “Something completely different!“ – it thought. Deep in its mind it had a vague idea of something colourful and airy. Full of grace. And, oh, yes! It didn’t want to be eating leaves any more (it was rather full of leaves by now). AND it didn’t want to be crawling about in this fat slow body of its for much longer.

Having come thus far in its thoughts, the caterpillar very wisely decided to sleep on it. It didn’t want to be interrupted while having the most important snooze of its life. And so, it made a very strong and cosy bed which went all the way AROUND it. “Hum! How very innovative!” – it thought, and decided to call it a Cocoon.

With the cocoon ready, it went into a long sleep.

Meanwhile it rained outside. Really hard. So hard, that for a while water covered all the land, and the caterpillars didn’t make it. They drowned all. Except one.

The one which was sleeping safely inside the cocoon, having colourful dreams of a new life. The water carried the cocoon, throwing it in all directions, up and down, hoping to smash it against the floating bits of trees. But the cocoon was made so sturdy and light, that it simply bobbed on the surface, giving our caterpillar dreamy ideas of flight.

Eventually the rain was over. Angry currents turned into tame friendly streams. On the bank of one of those streams lay a little brown parcel. The Sun came out and helped the Life to tidy up the mess. All was back to normal and even more beautiful.

The caterpillar now had a pretty good idea of what it wanted to be, but it wasn’t sure HOW it was to do it. “Anyway, time to come out“, it thought, and took a deep breath…

The small brown parcel on the bank of a stream burst open. Out of it came rather a dazed unknown creature. It sat there trying to figure out where it was and what it was. Everything was so different! For one thing, its’ body changed completely. Also it had something wrinkled and wet stuck on the back of it. Trying to see it better, the creature unfolded the things. Wow! Beautiful wings with a colourful pattern. It buttered them cautiously and flue in the air! “I am a butterfly!” – it decided.

Flying carelessly up high, a butterfly noticed some beautiful things of various colours, which smelled very nice. It decided to have a rest on one of them. At that very time the butterfly felt hungry, and realised, that it can drink the flower juice using it’s new long spout! “Great! No more leaves for me then!” – it said.

When time came for a butterfly to have babies, it saw, that they were caterpillars. Which brought back to the butterfly all the happy memories of its’ childhood. The little caterpillars were very curious about the world, but most of all they were curious about themselves, of course. “Mummy, who are we?” – they asked. “Why we are not like you?”
“My darling little children. You are caterpillars now as I myself used to be. But in due time you might choose to change. And you can.”

And so it went since then, that caterpillars have a choice – stay a caterpillar or become a butterfly.

Marina Kim

Browsing the Internet I re-visited the Portrait Party site. That reminded me of a portrait exchange we had with John Izod of Rye.

Commission a portrait by Marina Kim.

John Izod

John was one of the first people we got to know when moved to Rye. Since then we came to realise that he became in a way a feature of the town. Drawing from our conversation during sittings, I see him as a bit of a gypsy, artistic wonderer, an aged child…

The idea was to draw him and sell that on a charity auction for the Sea Cadets whom he supports. That charcoal drawing of him is now hanging in the “Ypres” pub in Rye after having raised £250 as far as I remember.

But there were more drawings coming from those couple of sittings.


Commission a portrait drawing by Marina Kim.

John Izod

One of them, an ink drawing of John, I turned into a drypoint print “The Devil You Know?”

I love drypoint because it is the most immediate of the printmaking techniques and closest to free hand drawing.

I am still to break through the intimidation of the metal and draw directly on the plate. At the moment I mostly copy my drawings to the plate and then re-trace the lines with the steel point… Freedom isn’t easy.

John IS easy though. On the second day of the sittings he came armed and said, he’d be drawing me. Here are a couple of drawings he did of me:

Me by John Izod. Portrait exchange. Me by John 1
Me by John Izod. Portrait exchange.

Me by John 2?

An extract from the PortraitParty sharing page. Like it (I mean, me like it. You can too if you want!

my heart is made of gravy said…
Hey Rama,

I realised tonight, probably whilst emptying my bladder of a large quantity of Californian Chardonnay, that there is a form of portraiture which hasn’t yet been covered by your site.

Let’s call it ‘The Portrait Slam’ (as in a Poetry Slam) where two individuals take turns at (fondly) demeaning each other through satirical gags of a visual nature.

This can be seen in the follow back-and-forth between myself and Cuffe on IFN.

First the Cuffester does his en-garde move by portraying me in my naff PJs







I counter with him pleasuring a crocodile




He then gives me the voodoo treatment
And I tell him where to put it: 







To be honest, most of the ladeez on the site are quite happy to give Cuffe his cuffeupance






And perhaps realising he’s ultimately doomed (though aren’t we all) Cuffe commits illustration-hari-kiri on himself
BTW. I know you’re mainly a portraitist, but we’d love it if you could spread a bit of Rama sometime on our IFN-toast.



APRIL 25, 2007

This idea came up:

On the website we put up an ad. Huge one! The Roche family is travelling the world. The idea is to pay for the accomodation and travelfare by portraits. Anyone who lives or has homes on the route and interested in commissioning a portrait, please contact us.

Now, let’s see what swapping goes around the net…

First site – very interesting swap the portraits blog here:
The idea – people meet and draw portraits of each other. Great! Talking about normal human art with genuine ineterest in people.

We were talking with Gi Yeon today. I formulated for myself, what art is all about. Here it is:

People’s lifes are their unique experiences. Due to our relatively short lives, each of us can experience only a little bit of the wide range of possibilities. But we want to expand our experiences. That’s why we have the inbuilt curiousity in each other. At the same time we all have the desire to influence other people, or in other words, to let others see the unique and valuable nature of our personal experience. The art is the media to make this possible. Hence, the informativeness of the art can be measured in terms of how much we can percieve from the piece of art about the life experience of someone. Hence, the abstract, or conceptual art cannot achieve the goal of being informative whithout all the added information about the life of the artist and the circumstances of the creation of his art. (I wonder, if it is possible to create a piece of art which wouldn’t need all the extra information in order to be informative? Actually, paintings by Paula Rego score high by this definition. And so do portraits in general, especially historical pictures.) Hence, the visual art from the early 20th century entered a pricipally new era. One can say, that visual art became a team work. The author/painter creates a piece of art, which doesn’t bear the whole of it’s informativeness, but the informative part of it is carried out by the media, which plays the court. Then, if I carry the analogy further on, the piece of art itself is the king, which is naked…

We all live our own unique experiences. But we want to experience more. So, we read books, watch films, follow soap operas, selebrity gossips, spy the neibours and look at the portraits. In order to satisfy this thirst for other experiences the art, in particular portrait, has to be as informative as it can.

The Need for Control

May 6, 2011

Seems to me that the need for control is one of the fundamental needs of human being.
Beyond the desire to be safe and belonging… Actually, all the stages of the Maslow’s pyramid of human needs requires one’s control, or perhaps based on the desire to control one’s own circumstances.

Safety – need to control the conditions for safety
belonging – need to control and provide the conditions for belonging to be possible, like having a group, and making sure the relatioships are stable.

.. Creativity. Now, this one is pure controlling level. One needs to be in control of something. Total control. The best way to achieve it is actually by CREATING something which you’d be in total control of. Otherwise, there is always a conflict over who should be in control.

The famous quotations about control by artists and other creatives.

Picasso said (life with Picasso) artist must control the painting. He was in total control of his life as  much as it is humanly possible, and his controlling personality created very narrow and special conditions for people who could be around him.

That isn’t good for bringing up children though. You must let them roam free. In order to be able to do that without frustration yourself into assilym, get creative, find other things to get total control of, channel your desire to control into other routes.

Different styles of being in control:
Soft sleuth (grey cardinals)
Ideological leadership, inspirational leadership
Combination of the three.

Necessity of control.
Masses always want a leader. They want to be UNDER control. Why? BEcause of the lack of direction inherent in the masses and majority of individuals.

This article is to go to The general idea of that site is my views on creative processes and creative people psycology, as well as the central hub for all my other specialist sites.

The channel for higher self.

“We realise.. being that we are children, we are not grown in our our own level of maturity. So aspect of your own being are being created for you. But you yourself will grow in greater consiousness and greater control  eventually having full creative power over all you experiencing.

Seeker and Useless

May 5, 2011

The Seeker asked the Useless:
What’s your use? You are useless!
That’s my use – being useless, – said he. – How else would you find your generosity?

“What a fool! Useless fool!” – thought the Seeker and rushed off in search of use he can bring to the world, while the Useless remained there, under a tree, in idleness.

Marina Kim

Marina Kim original prints. "Generosity"


Stories have many layers. Recently, I realised that the meanings of my dreams revealed to me in layers, in time. Same goes for artworks and stories.

Creativity is like dreaming aloud, or dreaming materially.

A layer of this story openned up to me right now: don’t be affraid to be useless.

Big Issue

May 5, 2011

Fist time he appeared on the High Street, the town felt sympathy and bought a few copies. It is a charitable town. His face was round, rosy-cheeked and looking towards building a new life.
– Big Issue! – deep pleasant voice boomed up and down the street effortlessly. It sounded the way a butler would announce the cocktails – perfect pronunciation, but he didn’t speak English.

The town run out of interest quite soon. He sat on a plastic box, dosing occasionally – the epicentre of the pedestrian-free zone – us, the towners discretely crossing over to the other side.

Marina Kim

This story is really about one day. A sentence even, which caused a change in me. But it is necessary to start a few years earlier, when I was 11.

The secondary school. Autumn term started with 4 classes in our year. Soon after the beginning of the term one of the teachers left, and her class was split between the remaining three. We had the intake of about 10 extra pupils, and on the day they were brought in I fell in love.

He was the handsomest and the most charming boy there ever was. His mother was an actress, a beauty with black hair and brown eyes. Marat was very like her in features, but he had soft wavy blond hair and grey-blue eyes. He was the only one of that colour in the family. His step-dad was a typical Uzbek of dark complexion, as well as his little half-brother. Marat once told me, that he took his colouring after his real father, whom he never met.

He was The Popular Boy of the year. All the boys wanted to be his friends, and all the girls adored him. I loved him.

And I never even thought of hiding it. I asked teachers to be sat at the desk with him, which they gladly did. During the tests, I’d work on my own sheets, and then help him with his variant. If we were sat apart, I’d throw the answers inscribed on tiny bits of paper across the classroom when the teacher wasn’t looking. He knew I’d try my best to help him, if he had to answer the lesson at the blackboard, and looked out for my help. He got used to rely on me. My devotion was apparent, quiet and unquestionable to the degree, that there was never even any teasing me among the classmates.

He was friendly with everyone, and very entertaining. He told jokes, made funny impersonations, clowned about on every break-time. He was happy and adorable. He was handsome and funny. He was supple as a snake and loved acting. One enjoyed simply watching him move. He was quick-witted, always up for a laugh. He was good at sports. Not brilliant academically simply for the luck of interest. He was interested in attention, which he had plenty.

Wasn’t long before he made his preferences in girls clear. I didn’t expect it to be me, and it didn’t change the way things were. I still helped him unconditionally, and was the same with the girl he liked.

In general I am and always was a quite sort. A thinker. Which externally might have looked like I was sad, or even sulking. Perhaps, I was. Until one day three years later.

It was a school outing, and at the end of it we were allowed a free run in the park. I was as usual on my own, sitting on a bench. For a minute, on the bench opposite landed Marat with one of his friends, who might have had a soft spot for me. At least couple of times I saw boys teasing him and pushing him towards me, when I was passing by. But I might have been mistaken. At the moment the two of them were sitting three meters away, facing me and the other boy whispered something in Marat‘s ear. In reply he got an irritated: “To heck with her, with her ever sulky face!”

I cringed as if slapped and longed to disappear on the spot. They could only be talking about me.

A sulky face…

I didn’t want to be a sulky face. I wanted to be happy and fun. And that’s what I became. A bit of a shock for the teachers though. Always a good example and obedient pupil, now I was skipping the lessons with the others, sometimes even initiating the escape, talking back, behaving arrogantly. But I became popular with my classmates.

That didn’t buy me his love, but at least he joined in the things we did with the other pupils, which I now usually lead, and he never again said that I was boring. I became a mate.

In a year time, I returned to the school after Summer holidays completely cured. I had a new sweetheart. I even had had a kiss. Marat had changed too. He wasn’t a happy lovable boy any more. He became kind of angrier, edgy. Smoked a lot, often the pot. The boys, they all did, but he was the one who really meant it.

His love turned to another girl too. By the end of the high school I guess the two of them were more advanced in the practical knowledge of love-making, than any of us. Their relationship, I heard, lasted after we all left the school, but he was becoming increasingly difficult.

When we were 20, all of a sudden he turned up on my doorstep with that very friend of his, the whisperer on the bench. Asked me out for a walk. I was surprised and intrigued. Somewhere along the way we lost the other boy. Marat didn’t bit around the bush, and bluntly said, that he wanted to make love. After a short reflection I went along with that. I wanted to know how it would feel, making love to him, after I loved him for so long, even though it was in the past.

Perhaps I knew, that it was going to be a disappointment. Yes, I knew. Strange though, because he still was a handsome boy I used to love. And here I had in bed with me the supple body, the blue eyes, the delicate hands… Something was dead. That part of the boy, which used to illuminate him was dying out for a long time now. There was just a tiny bit of the real him left, which was crying out, trying to survive, to put the bits back together, but the voice was hardly audible.

We mechanically made love for a long enough time to call it a session, our souls searching in vain for the crumbs of our past selves. We parted that day, without saying much. He came again later for the last time, was being persistent and even aggressive, but it was over for me.

Five years later the girl who was his first school sweet-heart phoned me to say, that he died of an overdose of heroin. She spoke through her nose. It was appropriate in given circumstances and she was always good at doing the appropriate thing. I had nothing to say. Nothing moved in me.

Some weeks later I met one of his close friends on the street. He was drunk and cheerful. “Maratka, huh… Clogged it, didn’t he?” – said he grinning.

He surely did.

Marina Kim