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.

print_drypoint_artwork1

“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.
Silence.

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"

“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

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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

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"

"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