Monday, April 12, 2010

Mon Apr 12 - Sun Apr 18


Well hello! Would you happen to have a few extra hours I could borrow? Or actually, could you permanently lend them to me? On a daily basis? That'd be grand. Yer such a pal!!! Thanks!

I found some wicked art blogs, with tutorials and podcasts. I would like to sift through all of the information and maybe eventually I will. Maybe that is what spring break is for!

This is me tonight, after a few hours' worth of math:

Have you seen The Fantastic Mr. Fox? No? Oh for heaven's sake! You really should!

This was me this morning:


This is what I sketched:
And these were last night's efforts, which I really loved getting into!





My piece didn't make it into the Juried Show, or the Salon Des Refuses. Boo hiss! Aw wells. I'm glad I don't feel totally crushed. The Salon only housed about eight pieces. When our Downtown Salon is hosted at New Zone, any piece not chosen for the Mayor's Art Show is shuttled happily on over to the Salon. The Salon on campus is a closet-sized space, not a huge gallery. C'est la vie :)

I scored a 97% on my first math test. Thank god for confidence boosters right outta the gate!

Time to wind down soon with a nice art flick. I choose.........Pollock! It'll be good to see again even without the impetus of a class assignment to create a piece of art in the manner of said person (due in a couple weeks). Next monday, we're to hand in a collage on the theme of death, birth, or music -- or a combination of one or more. Hmmmm....

You know what? It's interesting that in the Basic Design class, we've been doing all these geometric figures (math!) (linear!) -- in another class project I saw on display today, they were charged with inventing their own 'font' with a found object dipped in ink (I think that was the gist of it). So there were these really awesome alphabets in ink, swooshed on white paper, made with the likes of, what, twigs? and stuff? I thought immediately, wow. I wish we had done that in Design. I would've rocked. I really love letters. I really don't excel in geometry. I really appreciate what other people do and I think it's so cool, but my brain isn't very agile in that area.

But then again, it's probably a good thing that I'm doing stuff that's difficult. Right? Right!

Same with the collage assignment. I love seeing what other folk have done. I'm not so great at them myself (or at least I'm not often excited about what I collage).

Check out Wangechi Mutu. Or another of hers. I mean, that is the shit, right!! Maybe I should just bare-faced copy her style. After all, I did just learn a quote (author unknown) "Good artists borrow; great artists steal". Okay you know I'm only joking around, but we all do inspire each other -- and studying and emulating is a great way to develop one's own style and skillz. My mail art pal Haddock does some pretty rockin' collage style art too, actually. Maybe I'll do something 3D.

Nighters!

____________

oooooright it's tuesday and a good thing I left this window open and bookmarked to say something before I sign off. I was just doing some math homework. In an unlikely turn of events, I'd discovered that it is sometimes a relief to do math: even though there are variables, there are strict rules and known quantities. Rules to follow and formulas to apply. Very predictable. Too much of this and I go bonkers, sure. Now if I could apply this logic to my right brain more often it'd be so damn great: learning math is learning a skill set. Learning how to draw (and see) is also learning a skill set. Sounds good, right? It's true. I still doubt my ability to form a solid drawing skill set, even though I've drawn lots of stuff.....and some stuff I like.

And of course I love art precisely because it is unpredictable. I also feel a bit hedgy with it sometimes, too. You know.

I know an art instructor up on campus, through a former co-worker at the library. John's wife Carrie teaches drawing and we saw each other today, which is always a pleasure. I'm considering repeating ART 131 this summer and attending her course. I like what she says, how she says it, and I think I could learn a lot from her. She gave me her syllabus this afternoon because conversation turned to expectations and art (surprise). Her course outline is much different than Mr. G's (the dude I'm taking intro drawing from this term).

On Carrie's syllabus are Some Rules and Hints For Students and Teachers by John Cage. I'll give you the first few and save some for next time:

Rule 1: Find a place you trust and then, try trusting it for awhile.
Rule 2: General duties of a student - Pull everything out of your teacher. Pull everything out of your fellow students.
Rule 3: General duties of a teacher - Pull everything out of your students.
Rule 4: Consider everything an experiment.
Rule 5: Be self-disciplined. This means finding someone wise or smart and choosing to follow them. To be disciplined is to follow in a good way. To be self-disciplined is to follow in a better way.

YAY AND HALLELUJAH!! It's everything I've always wanted and aspired to!

Tomorrow I meet with an academic advisor to make a two-year plan and be approved for Advanced Registration. OOH YEAH!!


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Wednesday!



Feel so much better after scrubbing around with some charcoal and throwing some new experimental skillz in the mix today. I like it and I see oodles more I can do with it but the bottom line is, I'm so glad I did something that deviates from the still-life stuff but employs some of the things we're learning in Drawing. My drawing session today has definitely put some positive reverbs in the stratosphere (or, my stratosphere...).

I'm strongly considering writing a letter to the art department requesting that instructors use different approaches to encourage students, and cut some of the shit out that is going on. To be quite frank, I'm displeased and really surprised by how every single art instructor turns art into a competitive arena:

"We're gonna kick the intermediate classes' ass!"
"Here are some examples from another class for this assignment.....but I'm sure your work will far surpass it."

I am not kidding you, I shit you not. What is the deal? I know I've been out of academia for a good long while, and maybe that's a moot point anyway. Maybe that kind of attitude doesn't bug most people. I think that elevating one person or group at the expense of someone else sucks rotten eggs though. Especially when it comes to creative efforts. I also don't advocate that my personal trajectory, pace, rate of discovery or quality of production should be measured against anyone else but me. What a strange way to teach classes.

Math class was actually quite fun tonight!

It's already past ten, math homework awaits, and so it's a short post.

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thursday.






That's a wrap.

I'm feeling discouraged today. tonight. now. ugh.

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Friday!
"If you want to be an artist, it's not by having original ideas,
but by working your way through it."
Willem de Kooning

I'm reading a pocket-sized book on the Essentials of that guy. So far I am loving it. I'm also watching Pollock, which is by turns breathtaking and heart-wrenching. Goddamned artists! Bunch of drama queens! heh heh

Sooo last night after being bleary-eyed and searching through magazines for images to collage with for an upcoming assignment for Intro to Visual Art, I just about gave up. But then I remembered something I read in Art and Fear: "The point is that you learn how to make your work by making your work, and a great many pieces you make along the way will never stand out as finished art."

Sooo even though I was bleary-eyed I decided to just make my work. I started pushing paint around, and painting some sumi-paper, and collaging. Then I went to bed and cried. And then told myself some nice things about The Pain and The Process and On Being a Drama Queen. This morning I woke up, skipped breakfast, the dishes, brushing my teeth, emails, and painted this some more in between loads of laundry and the sun warming the land:


Thank god I have wide hips for birthing these big-ass breach babies! Huzzah! Yes I am inspired by Abstract Expressionism. Taking no pains to bury the strokes and in fact placing high importance on the visible working of a canvas and paint. I like this one!

Then I spent more hours making my work. I'll use this one for the upcoming assignment on collage and save the above for the assignment in which we are asked to create something in the manner of Pollock. So this thing here was a big long process. I'm laughing my ass off now, because it is such a minimalist sort of thing, you think maybe an hour to do it. But I was totally in the dark, in an unfamiliar room, and it took me forever to find the damn light switch! But, I like this one too. Then I went for a bike ride and grocery shopping.

Part of The Process was searching the internet for examples and inspiration. I really admire a good collage/artist. It's a thing I've not spent much time with, but I would really like to. So this exercise was invaluable. I discovered Romare Bearden. A. Maze. Ing.

Sooo the other night I felt really discouraged, if you'll recall. I certainly do. I'm expecting more of my instructors and they're falling short of the mark. Mr. G lets us out early......every day. 20 minutes, half hour, an hour. I've stopped by his room during office hours for help with critique on my work and he's not in; I've called his non-office number and it doesn't work. He sets us up with a still life and leaves. Then he cuts class and vacates campus. It's ridiculous and I'm pissed off. I'm enrolled in college. I'm enrolled because I'm here to learn, not try to get out of class or slide by. Just as we are accountable to our instructors, the reverse is certainly true.

I talked with Carrie, who I know a bit - she's a drawing instructor. She said that it's a good thing I'm not doing an IS with Mr. G (Independent Study) -- it's three weeks into the term and those students haven't been able to reach the dude either. Fucking bullshit! She encouraged me to write a letter to the department director. This really bites, I mean......c'mon, man.......I just want direction, and learning, and guidance. I don't wanna babysit or start some pissing war you know. Blah. But I'll talk with the director.

Also, I am going to suggest that instructors cut the language of competition - if I haven't mentioned that already in a post? I've been ranting about it in my head enough, can't recall if I've spewed it onto the virtual page yet. So all three of my art instructors are focused on it in various ways and oh yes now I do remember saying something about this a couple few days ago.

Stir it up!!

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Saturday. ! ? .

How did I end up on the floor by the door making that gyre-y supernova cave painting collage the other night?! Feels like years ago. But.....why was I on the floor? I started on the table, and then......yes, the floor. Huh.

Have you heard of Halie Loren? Have you heard her sing? Oh my golly. Went with some friends to her concert tonight. Beyond phenomenal, and all of the the musicians, quite an ensemble. And I WON A CD! Jazzy stuff without all the noise. Sultry stuff. Fun stuff!

I love that these illos are drawn by Britt, who is a girl! If Ralph Steadman was female....

Our model this morning wore dreads and posed as Pan, The Thinker, Pilates Person and Tai Chi Practitioner. Cute.

So there was this epiphany that visited me earlier but now it's gone. I hope it returns.
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Sunday.

An absolutely gorgeous day. Warm, sunny. Made a great mess inside, doing a personalized alphabet project from another Basic Design class. Well, hey. Our instructor cancelled class on thursday so I had some extra time.....plus this is right up my alley: mixing language and art! Five found objects, making marks, finding letters or reassembling the marks to represent a letter. And then making up my own (palindromic N!). Really fun time with this today, windows open and messing about.










I'm having a hard time figuring out the new blogger formatting so bear with me. I want to insert some text above but it's turning into HTML. So I'm skipping to the end here.......The two charcoals are from saturday morning's figure drawing (the taibo/tai chi model, right). Meh, okay, learning learning.

The aforementioned and forgotten epiphany? It has something to do with struggle and submission. And stepping out of my own way and, as corny as this sounds I can't believe I'm saying it.....being of service to something greater than myself, or My Ego. I guess a healthy ego is a nice thing to have hanging around, but the ego I'm talking about insists on trying to control everything you know? And it's not working out for the rest of me and doing art. So during the concert last night while contemplating how people develop their craft and passion, I thought maybe I should just....submit and stop trying so hard. The harder I try, the worse I feel. I think the harder I try, the better I'll be at my craft, or whatever, but the trying I'm talking about isn't productive. It's recursive and frantic.

Once again it's late and I'm fading, dammit! Need to do some math still, so, until next time, adieu for the nonce.