This morning I woke up naturally- a luxury I don't often experience. As soon as I got up I started to get ready for my day of painting- another luxury I don't often experience. But first things first, I was off to the local food shop to buy the week's groceries. The shop is approximately 50 meters from Moks' front door. In the quaint shop, one of only two in the entire village, I was greeted by one of the shop owners, Maeiri, with a friendly "Tere" (hello). Siiri would later tell me that the woman I met has worked there her entire life. I milled about looking for the basics: cereal, milk, cheese, artisan bread and butter. When all else fails you can never go wrong with carbs. Maeiri attempted polite chit chat in Estonian in which I smiled and nodded and tried one of the few words I did know without much luck.
After breakfast I was fueled for my day of painting. I began with a drawing of a man that I noticed on one of the bus rides yesterday. However, as I painted his portrait my imagination began to distort his features captured in my initial sketch.
A few hours into the painting Siiri came into my studio to tell me I had a few visitors waiting for me downstairs. She continued to explain that a few of the children who saw me yesterday wanted to meet me. Thinking there are no better resources to get candid and unfiltered perspective, I was just as eager to meet them. Downstairs there were three girls aged 9 and 10 patiently waiting. As soon as I entered the room there was a collective gasp followed by instant giggles. I greeted them and asked if they wanted to see some paintings- an opportunity they jumped at. I wish all people were as impressed and friendly as children can be. In broken English they said they liked the painting so far. Sensing they were still a bit timid and knowing how to get any pre-teen talking, I asked what type of music they liked. Before I knew it, one of the older girls had taken my laptop and typed in Justin Bieber into youtube search and the song "Baby, Baby, Baby" was blaring throughout the house. After a few songs and new dance moves they were chatterboxes. It was impossible not to smile at how curious and sweet they were.
So often does my work only address corrupt and bias portions of society that I forget to explore the innocence of it. It is that innocence that I would like to capture in one of my next paintings. When I asked the girls if I could take their picture to paint it they began to bicker over which would go first.
After some time they left with a handful of sweets and a promise that they could stop by again. Winning Mooste locals over, one Bieber fan at a time.