Posts Tagged ‘ resolutions?! what are that? ’

When snot keeps you from putting the “labor” back in Labor Day.

It’s Labor Day weekend and I don’t have time to be sick.

It’s not a particularly large illness, as it were, but it’s your garden variety Cold That Doesn’t Allow You To Breathe, and I’ll be damned if I can schedule in a serious case of congested nasal passages. I have two paintings due by next Wednesday, a model to make for a public arts project proposal, a commission to start, a job application to fill out before my interview next week — which, of course, will involve sweet calls to my friends scattered across the nation, wherein I beg them to vouch for my charming countenance, ability to stay on-task, and go-get-’em attitude. (Naturally, no reader of this blog will be allowed to be listed as a Personal Reference. Ever.) And did I mention that it’s Labor Day weekend? You know, the last damned break I get before the trees go to skeletons and the wind is too bitter to consider any semblance of recreational joy? Why yes. Yes, I did.

And yet, here I am in Congestionville, USA. It’s a very sexy destination if you’re into dripping noses, uncomfortable pressure on your eardrums, and the siren song of a honking, circus-red nose. Before everybody starts lining up to take me to the Miss Mucous pageant, however, let me just mention that I’m attempting to change the course of my present physiology. “What? No!” you’re crying, “Say it ain’t so!” Oh, but it is, my dear, faceless and anonymous friend. Oh, it is. I just finished with a futile attempt to spicy out my sinuses with an ramped-up leftover curry+sriracha cure and a steam bath of thyme is presently beckoning to me with curly little tendrils of love, care, and perhaps comfort. Something I learned from the Sinus Infection From Hell last semester: never underestimate a good steam bath for your schnoz. Granted, I’m not breaking out the Afrin for this particular trip until the absolute last minute, but I do believe in the power of herbs that are not of the marijuana sort.

I’m trying to imagine myself a month ago in this state. It would have involved sulking in my sickness, feeling feeble and incapable of doing jack crap because oh my God, I’m sick. I wouldn’t have touched this but rather went back to sleep or to watch Create re-runs/entire seasons of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations whilst feebly sipping peppermint tea and sighing. Life is so hard when you’re congested, oh woe is me, &c. It’s funny what mild depression relapses will have you do, I think, such as believe that the only thing between you and creating greatness involves a pile of Kleenexes and a pounding headache. On the other side and you’re just like, “This is a bunch of bullshit, pure and unadulterated crap. Now let’s steam the fuck out of my head, take some Advil Cold and Sinus, nut up, and shut up — not necessarily in that order, either.”

I think I’m going to keep it this way. Maybe. Knock on wood.

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Housecleaning and monthly inventory abound.

With the start of  The Thirty Days Project looming on the horizon, I’ve had a sudden need to hurry hurry around and clean things up! A new theme here, a correction of the tone in my tertiary pages there. Apparently, I was feeling inherently hostile with how I was going to be perceived with this blog last year when I started it. That’s unfair, both to the reader and to yours truly. To you, because it implies that you’re not adult enough to embrace the fact that I swear, may or may not take feminism “too seriously,” and fret about my artistic career too much. To me, because I apparently feel that being myself needs to be something that I apologize for, which is foolish! To be human is to be insecure, I suppose, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try to kick that need in the bud. Rewriting things is cathartic, if only because I want this to be a friendly place for group members to read. By the by, if you’ve come by after I made my introduction this evening: hello, Thirty Day-ers! Happy to see you here. I can’t wait to see what you do this June and hope that you’ll be open to offering critique on what I’m making, too!

Along with sprucing up the blog, I’m also getting my State of the Union post over and done with before the June bell tolls. Logic being: before you become a double-poster in your own blog, perhaps you should have a steady stream of single posts a day. After that, you can build and it’ll be a party! One day, I’ll become a blogger that is less “I hope to write more” and is more about the topic at hand, but for the moment, one of this blog’s projects is blogging, so there we are. Er, was that a bit too meta?

Since I’m treading onto a veritable Moebius strip of logic, allow me to offer a photograph that I took on the way down to Bloomington a few weekends ago for your trouble before you read the rest of the entry. Thank you, sports setting on my camera, for making on-the-road photography possible:

So the little camera can handle motion photography after all? Nice.

So the little camera can handle motion photography after all? Nice.

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On book shows and creative challenges!

A week ago, I went down to the Indiana University Art Museum to see a show curated by my Bookbinding professor. Out of the kindness of her heart, she decided to give those in the Book Arts courses at IUPUI the opportunity to have our work displayed throughout the month of May, and I was fortunate enough to have four of my books featured in the atrium of the Fine Arts Library at the Museum. Unfortunately, due to Museum rules, I couldn’t use my normal camera and was thus forced to smuggle in my cell phone and Tweet the images out to the public. Here are a few from my dubious little lens, although more images are available at my Twitpic account.

True story: part of this book is sewn!

I-17 is a fold book about my big, fat boner for Arizona. It's made from printer paper and a really awesome Tibetan rag paper being sewn together on your garden variety sewing machine. The dust box for it was made with the same beautiful Tibetan paper and handmade cotton paper. Good times!

THE COLORING RULES OF MRS. PEEDIN: A Piano Hinge Book

Piano hinge books are difficult enough to make, but when you decide that gluing together coloring book pages is a good idea, it gets double hard because of the lack of flexibility the paper has. I decided to make this book on a rather OCD elementary school art teacher who had very exacting rules RE: what one should and shouldn't do when coloring. Shit was crazy, but it stuck with me for life.

ANALOGY: An Accordion Book with a Clamshell Box

Analogy was a very frail book; its accordion page spine was made from this really wispy paper that was originally used for wedding invitations. As such, it was given a small clamshell box to protect it from handling. Go figure: the damn thing fits so perfectly, it's pseudo-stuck in the box. Analogy, by the by, was a four-part book about dealing with depression through the analogy of a flower going through the seasons. Yeah, it's as pretentious as it sounds, but the cover was pretty.

In other news, I’m going to be going from these weird once-a-month postings to once-a-day! Woohoo! Why, you might ask? I’ve decided to sign up for The Thirty Days Project in order to gear from a month’s “vacation” out of the studio into a daily studio practice. Although my official “project” will be to work on small pieces that can eventually contribute to a larger whole (body of work/oil paintings, perhaps?), its unofficial tag-along will be to write about all of its bits and bobs here! I’m excited! (And scared.)

State of the Union: Holy Shit, When Did It Become May?! Edition

All this and a picture of tits got me to where I am today.

All this and a picture of tits got me to where I am today.

Funny how those resolution things work; half of my posts in here are, “Oh gosh, how sorry am I that I haven’t written in here!” when, in reality, I’m only apologizing to myself. That being said, this is a case where I’m hardly ashamed of abandoning this blog for four months, for the dearth of posts actually represents a wealth of productivity elsewhere. I’m finally on the other end of sophomore review, finally capable of boasting the role of “member of the junior painting faculty” to show for it, and within the span of the month I’ve learned more about my artistic process than I have within the past three semesters combined. Even within the span of last break, I didn’t have much to boast by way of productivity/studio time, but now I feel as if I have a solid plan for Making Stuff Over the Summer. I want to experiment with media, do this and that, and I feel empowered to do so because I have a voice. I’m not really capable of painting for the sake of process in the sense that it doesn’t give me a proverbial carrot to lock myself downstairs and get high on paint fumes. There needs to be a theme behind it, and courtesy of an extremely helpful Drawing IV project, I think I have just that. I’ve certainly learned a lot this semester, and I suppose I’ll take now to look at a few entries back to see if those lofty goals I set for myself are in effect: Continue reading

Documenting Experiments! (OR: Look, I’ve made things!)

A few days ago, I was ready and set to act on my big Blog Resolution Challenge with a post about my art history homework RE: manifestos, but I scrapped it upon the realization that writing about shit like manifestos is probably why I’m too scared to blog in the first place. Do I really and truly have to always sound smart? I’m not going to lie to you: I usually need manifestos explained to me! Have you read Tristan Tzara? He’d adore it if I said that reading his writing is like frolicking through piles of shit up to your hips! It is just weird and bizarre and although I love it, I don’t necessarily have the extracurricular energy to write about it. It was something about WHY DON’T WE HAVE MANIFESTOS ANYMORE? IS IT BECAUSE THERE IS NO DEFINITIVE FORCE IN OUR WORLD? I SURE AS HELL KNOW I’M TOO INDECISIVE TO HAVE ONE, BLAH BLAH BLAH. Yeah, it was all in caps, too. Whoosh.

However, I do have much more entertaining blog posts that aren’t about the cerebral ow ow my brain is hurting when I think about this kind of subject matter. I’m finally learning how to use a sketchbook the way that I like and need to do so and after a few solid weeks at class, I’m really starting to get back into the swing of studio-shaped things! Today’s post is brought to you by experimenting with my camera RE: the best way to shoot your body of work for documentation. Naturally, these suckers are hardly definitive examples of my work; rather, this is part Let the Painter Play With Aperture and part Oh Hey Internet, Look at This! Which, by the way, I hope you do — I have three works that I’ve made in the past six months behind that “Read More” link, ok? That’s more than I usually post EVER!

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On resolutions and radical aesthetics.

It seems as if everyone’s been writing lovely posts about the effervescence of a new year and the promise that it brings lately, and I’m inclined to agree. Thing is, the academic in me never really feels as if the new year is upon us until the first day of classes for the spring semester. Prior to this, I’ve been doing my Christmas holiday hobo thing (pajama pants, lazy lounging, zero in terms of productivity) but come the usual call of the 6am alarm clock and I’m suddenly rearing to go on all of my “resolutions.” (Resolutions in “quotes” since, ugh, the very idea of making a list of things one should improve upon usually sounds as if you’re destined for failure — but we’re all human here, n’est-ce pas?) Exercise more! Monitor my emotional well-being! Monitor my free time productively and finally stock up my Etsy shop! Finish all those commissions! Top my excellent GPA last semester with an even better one this semester! (Oh yeah, 4.0, you are in my sights.) And, of course, the very thing that brought me here: make more blog posts.

Of course, that’s something I’ve been puzzling about for the past few weeks, since I’m not even sure what I should be talking/trending about anyway. Although I said that this was a crap-shoot “tuna fish salad” blog, it’s quite clear that I always return to the subject of art, the manufacture thereof, and my relationship with the creative process. Maybe it’s because I don’t have a good outlet to talk about it in school or maybe I’m just a pretentious twat. Either way, that is apparently what I’m drawn to talking about in this place — but those times when I feel as if I can produce such content seems few and far between. Does that mean I should change content? Nah, I don’t know about that. I do know what I should do, though: endeavor to show more of my artwork (which, in turn, means I should get to town on properly documenting my work!) and talk about other work that’s really appealing to me right now. Since I clearly haven’t gotten off my butt to order some good tungsten bulbs for the school’s shooting booth, though, I think I’ll go on the latter.

When I read Design*Sponge today (a perennial favorite in my Google Reader, mind you), it was a blitz of catch-up — which explains, by the by, how I hadn’t managed to catch this beautiful post on the work of Emily Ann Nachison until almost a week later. I feel as if the installation is the twenty-first century’s art form, the kind of thing that all of us regardless of specialization are supposed to be gonzo about. I’ve only done an installation once, based on the concept of ownership and the staking of claim so associated with it, and although I’m not entirely sure it’s my raison d’etre, I always appreciate when I see it in the gallery. This particular specimen of Nachison’s work is as delicate as it is expansive; although its detailing looks to be fine and fragile (with objects that are light, airy, and yet available — camouflage netting and string, anyone?) , the mass of the entire installation is so much that the viewer is forced to encounter it. Nachison’s online portfolio places the installation within this wider context of nature, a self-professed “mythology,” and an interest in fibers and other non-traditional materials (although arguably, what is traditional in the context of media anymore?). Basically: it’s cool stuff. Look at it.