Archive for personal

I hate this part

Next weekend, I am taking a workshop on Encaustic and Photography from Nichole DeMent at my alma mater. Yes, I have done multiple workshops on this topic (Encausticamp and other), but practice-with-expert-guidance is a way I learn well and also I like her work and can’t figure out how she made it.

But we have to bring to class several prints to use, made on washi or with laser. Which I already have all the materials to do for once , yay …. but now I have to plow through my archives (because I have been shooting less and less over the past few years) and try to find photos that are:

  • interesting to me to work with in a mixed-media context
  • that I don’t think suck

This turns out to be really difficult, and the longer it takes to find something the more I get to the familiar-imposter-syndrome place of “Ohmigod I suck I have no business calling myself an artist blah blah blah.”

Maybe I should just start with 2003, I always end up back there anyway — which is to say, the photos that were the foundation of my thesis show when I graduated. But going back to PCNW to work with the photos I made there ten years ago? Ow.


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Project 300

I am a little bit terrified of this idea, considering my (lack of) success in doing similar things before, but I’m going to try it again.


To keep it a little less terrifying, I’m not going to try for a sharply-defined project. I’m just going to make 300 pieces of visual art. Drawing, painting, photography, digital, whatever. But almost every day.

I might post some of them; I’m certainly not going to post all of them. But it seems worth a try.

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Getting back on the horse

I finally feel like I’ve gotten a chance to sit down and engage with making new work for Norwescon. I still don’t know exactly where things are going, and my ideas involving blending genre with encaustic so far have all been waxy messes, but there will be a new Alchemist’s Orchards piece and there will be Space Beluga.

(I went to SeaWorld. I think I took 100 photos at the underwater beluga viewing tank. And then the mantas, and the turtles, and the dolphins….)

And who knows what I’m going to cook up with the supplies that arrived from Freestyle Photographic and Dharma Trading today (insert maniacal laugh here)… wearable art with tentacles?

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bodies and change.

I think one of the themes for this year is going to be reconciliation with my body. We don’t have the best relationship right now; it doesn’t like the cheap fuel I substitute for meals at times, and desk job. I don’t like that it has become weak, damaged and soft.

Some of this is fixable — more yoga, more gym, less caffeine.

Some of it I just need to get used to.

The body I had at 30 isn’t coming back, and while I am all about the HAES, it has become clear to me that part of the reason my photography has gone all to hell is that my most convenient subject – me – isn’t something I feel comfortable shooting anymore, not so much for the shooting but the inevitable editing. The Happy Pill Project was a long time ago, now, but when I try to put together figure-based work, that is the era I still source from; and I have lost too much confidence, especially after the failures of my sofobomo project, to try working with someone else.

I am going to try and address some of that by doing a portrait session with a friend who works from the philosophy of “you’re already beautiful, let’s just show it” which I think will be fun, and a lot less …. performative? than Modeling as part of the process of making Art, even though I still want to do that again. And yeah, doing the weightlifting should help, too, because even before it starts to change how your body looks, there is an emboldening experience to committing acts of strength.

My head is clearer, and quieter, which is a goodness.

But my eyes… I realized today that I can now easily see the cataract in the mirror. The idea of putting off surgery until the improved lenses are available, while logically sound, is becoming emotionally less appealing, even though eye surgery still terrifies me.  And since visual creation is what I do for both Work and Fun, it is particularly… fraught. I am trying to open up my ideas about art to things that are less sharp and precise, but there are so many pieces in my head which require precise execution that I still want to make. Imprecise is Not an option professionally, although I do have the Photoshop skills already to compensate for the “dreamy glow” my left eye imposes upon the world.

I am beginning to feel physically old, and I am not ready for that.

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This is not a “Best of”

New Year’s does not feel like a point of closure to me right now. (Also, Christmas/Yule really did not feel like much of anything.)  Maybe 2012 will feel like a new year when the kids are actually back at school, but I’m guessing not, I suspect my personal rhythms have just fallen far out of sync with the nominal calendar. Maybe year’s turn will come soon, maybe it happened at Samhain when I wasn’t paying enough attention. All I know is this feels like a middle, not a door.

From a strictly counting perspective, there was not a lot of art to recount this year, although the kick start to my mixed-media path that Encausticamp kick started was certainly nice. But really, this was the calendar year in which à la carte albums went from being the mostly larval baby you can just lug around everywhere in a sling to a very demanding infant, and the fact that almost all my energies went into my human children and work baby shouldn’t be surprising.

I made fewer photographs in all of 2011 than I did in the average month of 2003. My self-identification as a Photographer is really starting to waver, which is a bit disconcerting after 20+ years.

But today is not the day to pause and reflect. Today I have an abundance of things to DO.

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Hello, holidays

I have finally come out the other side of my holiday rush at a la carte, and begun to have a few moments to think about my own holidays. (Yule is TOMORROW. How did that happen?)

We did start our Christmas shopping yesterday, acquiring musical instruments for the kiddos. Their Christmas will be epic. We are so not letting Santa take credit for the electric guitar:

Mini electric guitar

though it is totally giving me Stryper flashbacks.

The question of  “What do I want for Christmas” has not been an easy one this year.  Stuff is easy to acquire, and I am mostly more interested in getting rid of stuff right now. I want time, and space, and tranquility, and perhaps a momentary absence of responsibility for anyone other than myself.

A bit of that is starting to translate into my art-making. More and more, I am working on things that are for no one but me, that don’t fit with anything I have done before. I have no real plans to show them anywhere, maybe not even here; it’s all about the process. It feels very Action Painting, and I certainly never thought I would be making art in way that Clement Greenberg would approve of.

I will need, in the time between now and Norwescon (where I will be talking on several as-yet-undetermined panels (well, Poly Parenting is pretty much a lock), and exhibiting in the Art Show) to make some work that is genre relevant again. The thought of showing all the same work two years in a row really makes me cringe, but I cannot leave it to the last minute, because encaustic takes time to cure and wax is really where I am focused right now.

I do have one early resolution for 2012; it is time to stop denying myself the “good” art supplies and working bigger “until I am ready.” Because when am I actually going to feel ready? Also, painting/drawing small is incredibly hard for me. I need to just accept that and work  where I can be comfortably gestural, and not be so frustrated trying to contain myself to a 6×6 board.

Also, I am writing this post from a coffeehouse while using their wifi; I feel like I have unlocked a new achievement in the “self-employed” game.

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