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Art and Travel Musings, chapter 1

Hi Friends!

It feels like forever since I’ve left, but it’s only been two and a half months. I miss you all so very much, miss our talks and miss being in physical presence of each other, miss knowing that we could all just simply “come over”.

There is so much I want to share that doesn’t fit on Facebook.

A week or so ago I started writing a letter to a few people who I felt might be curious to read a more substantial status update. It turned out to be not only a lengthy, but also a themed letter; and as an added bonus it felt like a glorious therapy session! That gave me an idea to send out themed letters, or “chapters” and to share said chapters with anyone curious. So thank you for your interest, support and time, it really means so much to me! Now I don’t fancy myself a writer, but I do enjoy it. It’s a way to share these experiences with you, maintain our connection (and my sanity!) and to make sure I still know how to English. I would appreciate a note from you, but please don’t feel obligated to respond, just feel obligated to read. (I kid!). So let this letter be a quick recap:

Since leaving Tucson on June 6 I have spent a few days in Florida and flew to Tallinn, Estonia (my hometown) on June 12. June 17-27 we were in Greece for my cousins wedding; July 12-29 in Russia; August 6-14 in Lithuania and now I am back home again, about to leave for Croatia, and a few Balkan/ Central European countries September 3. These dates are merely to give you an idea of “home to travel ratio”, and to clutter your minds with more useless information.

Traveling has been a thrilling, exhausting, exhilarating, fascinating, funny, eyebrow raising, teaching, curious, inspiring, confidence building, confidence shattering, eye-opening and eye-rolling, more-questions-than-answers experience. I walked many miles (and danced quite a few, too!) and could have impressed you if I had a step counter thingy; I also could have reached my fitness goals! But instead I ate a lot of tasty stuff.

It’s been absolutely wonderful reconnecting with family in Estonia. I could feel that I was starting to lose that connection while being so far away. Everyone is doing great. There is something that stabilizes our senses when we are physically close to each other (at least in the same city or country), even if we don’t see or talk to each other every day. Kind of how I miss you now when I am here, and how I miss family when I am there. My grandmother is over 90 and has traveled with us everywhere and is a total badass. She climbed Meteora monasteries in Greece and was basically teaching Greeks how to dance Sirtaki. There is a lot of family time happening which is beautiful and so needed. However I must admit I occasionally feel out of practice, and at times out of patience, considering last 14 years were spent without any parental supervision.

While at home in Estonia I am staying with my mom and rented an art studio from my friend (we are sharing space) quite close to my mom’s apartment. I’ve been hiding out in this sanctuary: after all, this is what I so greatly needed: time and space to create, but most importantly to fail while in creative search. I did not expect it to be this frustrating. I am working on a few paintings simultaneously, which nourishes me (when it goes well), while conducting “research on life”, which is overwhelming. A “chapter” on creative process is definitely brewing.

Travels have been intended to saturate myself with art in inspiration. St Petersburg, Russia is like a watercolor painting - he captured my heart back when I was a child, and now Moscow blew my mind. I am sure she was showing off for the FIFA WorldCup, too (the energy in that city was amazing!!), and it worked: I want to go back and spend more time with her. Lithuania feels quite similar to Estonia, yet so different. We have visited many museums: Museum of Russian Impressionists, General Staff building by the Hermitage (more impressionists), Erarta museum of contemporary art (St Petersburg), New Tretyakovskaya Gallery (Moscow), Ciurlionis Museum, Devils Museum (Lithuania) and other museums, galleries, art spaces, studios, murals, street art-(so much art everywhere!!!)-Lithuania especially loves it’s public art. Art will be a topic for one of such “chapters” to follow.

I ve been pondering ideas of homeland and belonging, Russians living in Russia and Russian-speaking people living in different countries. Soviet and post-Soviet era humans, mentalities, outlooks and this overwhelming sense of nostalgia in some places. My views are of course limited and not always historically accurate, but perhaps they would be of interest to you.

Well, I think this is a decent overview of the last two some months. I will not promise any “scheduled” publications, but I am looking forward to sharing more with you when the time comes. I will keep you up to date on my creations as well.

I miss you all so very much and I miss Tucson, there is so much love in that town!

And I am sending you lots of love..from this town.



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