Where to begin? Let's start with the positives, then I'll get to this week's challenges.
Every once in a while, you meet someone who really inspires you. They simply understand your thought process, your creative process...your highs and lows of being an artist. Maybe because they are creative too. Maybe it's because they are truly a remarkable person, who someone in this vast universe decided you needed in your life. And if you were to ask them, I'm sure they would say "Oh I get much more from the relationship than I give". I am fortunate to have someone like that in my life. When we have the opportunity to get together, I really wish time would stand still, because it goes in a flash. We talk and giggle and inspire and brainstorm. We simply understand the jumble of riotous thoughts that rapid-fire around in our brains. We even understand those times when we think there is no hope of being a creative person. And believe me, those times are MANY! We are each other's muse and support system. Those times when I am expressing my gratitude, Toni is at the top of the list. Every. Single. Time. And since she reads my blog, I hope this post makes her day. Thank you Toni, for simply being remarkable you.
I was notified that some or all of my submitted artwork was accepted into the Sandscript publication. Award ceremony coming up May 18th - so I'll know more then. I am very pleased.
I attended a "function" this week that I normally would never have had the opportunity to participate in. I was looking for a free science-minded event that I could go to for some Biology extra credit. I managed to find a special screening of a newly released movie called, "Beyond the Mirage" by UA and Arizona Public Media. It's a movie that tells in depth about the water struggle/shortage in the SW US. Since this was a recent section covered in class, I had some interest. Plus, I mentioned it was free, right? Now going to an event isn't really my thing. I hadn't a clue actually that it was a ticketed event that had been completely reserved. So I naively showed up. HA! There was a waiting list for non-registered people. Okay. I could do this. Twenty minutes later, I was inside The Loft seated next to strangers in a packed theater. I have mentioned that I have anxiety issues being in a room full of strangers and outside of my house at times. I know I have. So anyhow....I was really motivated for those extra credit points! The lights dim. There are a couple of speakers. They show a short about PBS and Arizona Public Media. Then the movie starts. It was fascinating! Not only to see the vast infrastructure that makes up the water grid for Arizona and the surrounding states, but also what goes into making the decisions of water allotment. And how some of those very important decisions were short-sighted. I highly recommend if you get a chance to see the movie on PBS, or even go to the website (http://beyondthemirage.org/), then check it out. Getting outside my comfort zone at times really leads to interesting things.
Well, I can no longer avoid the elephant in the room. Let's rehash some of those challenges from this week.
I decided after my Bio class on Wednesday to work from my home studio for Painting class. I managed to almost complete my final project. And with three short weeks to go, I'm glad to be ahead. I decided to do a mixed-media piece and as I was working on it, it evolved to being about my dog and me. Which...bonus points for being especially meaningful for me. Here's the rub...I'm sure my professor will make disparaging remarks about it and my assignment four (the triptych that is in my gallery). Even though both are according to my class plan that I prepared at the beginning of the semester, it's not going to matter because I didn't consult with her. And I worked separately and independently (intentionally) away from class. I didn't want to hear the opinions and commentary. I've reached the point where I'm having difficulty keeping my mouth shut in response. I don't want to offend. I want to be respectful. But... Well... It goes both ways. In order to get it, you have to give it. It's better that I keep my mouth shut and work invisibly until the semester is over.
Intaglio...its become a waiting game. I'm waiting until the semester is over. The dynamic in the room during class is horrible. It's not a conducive environment for creativity. Because I wanted to use a butterfly in my final piece a discussion was held as to using cliched symbols that carry too much emotional baggage. They are too Hallmark and happy. I am thankful the professor decided to discuss with me away from the rest of the class, and when people tried to hover or interrupt, she shoo'd them away. The discussion was perfectly respectful. My anger came from having me brainstorm to address my choice of composition, and then come back to re-discuss at next class - only the teacher wasn't there. Which meant I wasn't able to progress on final piece. I don't like being at the mercy of someone else's schedule. I think independently. I am a self-motivated worker. I know what needs to be done and I do it. I've run into this issue in the past with open assignments, where I've interpreted the assignment one way, and the professor doesn't think it's "keeping with the spirit of what was intended". So then I have to re-group and re-do and come up with something not as strong as my original concept - and the caveat is when I get crucified during critique over a lame composition. Well, I've learned how I work best as an artist. If my heart isn't in the assignment, or if I don't strongly feel the concept...I won't invest in the creation of it. I can't fake it. And I won't do something half-assed. I have too much money invested to not be thinking of that and doing something that is shit. I wholeheartedly disagreed with professor's statement of "if it can be a tattoo, then you shouldn't use it in printmaking". As someone who sees tattoos as a vibrant art-form, and knows that most every tattoo begins as a line drawing (which a lot of Intaglio does too), there are some definite similarities between the two. It's up to me as the artist to creatively change the image so that one doesn't look like the other. And because the overall completed composition that I'm working on for my final edition prints will be unlike anything else shown in class - I have a very hard time with discounting it based on that I want to use a butterfly drawing. If I get graded down, I'm okay with it. I drew and dry-etched my plates last night. They look beautiful. I have to marble-etch the plates prior to class Tuesday and to test, pressing green plants. I am debating about working independently away from class. Since there seems to be a few who like to copy ideas, or think nothing of using my mixed ink, and because of the running commentary of opinions of what I should be doing from the TA. I just... Really, I just want to get through this semester without having a major blow out. I'm tired of being so stressed out over a class that I'm never going to do again.
My thoughts this week have run the gamut of being very afraid I've made a mistake in returning to school. I am in a huge hole financially. I am tripping over unsold art in my studio. I'm tired of being stressed out by teachers who don't want to teach (I have two and a half of them this semester - I say half because one I'm still not sure about). Most days I feel very alone with no support (immediate support which has nothing to do with friends who are on the periphery). I get home and have to deal with neighbors who have no concept of banging on walls or screaming at their kids or a revolving door of thugs who now seem to be staying there. I feel like I'm hanging on by mere threads. Every day, it's like another one breaks...and I'm one more thread away from futility. I don't want to be this negative person. I want to envision positive things. I want to inspire and be inspired. It all is becoming very overwhelming.
I've written a book this week! I must end for now. I've posted more photos in my Gallery, and done a few little tweaks to the site. Maybe I'll figure out how to create a "For Sale" page and someone will take pity and buy some art. I must keep positive thoughts.