Forever Growing, Forever Changing, Always Dreaming: 2012
So once again it has been awhile since I have posted. I am going to tell a little story, the best way I can think to share what I have gone through and am still dealing with. It's a bit long, but I didn't want to break it into two parts.
Once upon a time...
there was a small town girl who dreamed BIG dreams and couldn't wait to strike out into the world to make her mark in it. She dreamed of love, travel, and adventures and everything seemed possible. Some would say she saw the world through rose colored glasses and who's to say that isn't true. During the transformation of girl to woman, she did travel. Maybe not to some of the faraway places she dreamed of but that just means she has more places left to go. As far as love goes, she fell in and out of love and left a trail of broken hearts in her wake. Through it all she was becoming who she wanted to be, learning her passions, and still dreaming big dreams of where she would go and wondering what her great love story would read like.
Let's call this girl Rapunzel (mostly because Tangled is my new favorite Disney movie right now). Rapunzel was a social butterfly. She knew lots of people and had lots of friends at the University of Mystical as well as her close friends from back home. One such friend, Lancelot was a great knight and was always fighting faraway in great and terrible battles. Even though he was usually off defending his country, he would always send letters and come see Rapunzel wherever she was when he was back home. They had a sweet and innocent type of love and friendship that grew over the years. But, because of her studies and him being a knight, they rarely spoke the words of love they locked in their hearts. One spring, Lancelot returned from battle and was living in a beautiful paradise, but the distance across the lands and ocean were still too far for Rapunzel and now she was being courted by another man. A decision had to be made, was Rapunzel to stay with her family, continue this courtship and her studies or would she travel to the unknown to be with Lancelot. It was a hard decision, but in the end she decided to stay. She was afraid... afraid of the travel across the ocean by herself, of upsetting her family, of breaking off the courtship, and of letting herself after all these years fall in love with Lancelot and risk ruining their beautiful friendship.
Rapunzel and Robin Hood, the man she was being courted by, both got accepted to the University of Dragons (that at times has been known to play a mean game of Quidditch, although most of the times that is not the case). Rapunzel and Robin Hood had barely moved and adjusted to their new kingdom, university and studies when the first tragedy hit Rapunzel's world. One of her friend's little sisters was killed in a car accident. Two weeks later, she received news that turned her world upside down. Lancelot had taken his own life. Rapunzel felt numb, shocked, and heartbroken. She almost didn't take the long journey to see and mourn with his family and friends. When she returned home, she was like a ghost everywhere she went. She was running completely on auto pilot during the day to get through her studies and work and when she returned home she would collapse on the floor sobbing, sometimes for hours until her throat and nose were raw.
Rapunzel turned to Robin for a little while, but could see her pain and anguish over Lancelot death was hurting him. After awhile, she would only cry and let her emotions come out when she was alone. She also started drinking with Robin while they played video games (there isn't a good fairy tale equivalent to video games). And the drinking and crying continued almost everyday for a year.
After a year of such emotional and substance abuse to her body, Rapunzel relapsed with mono. For the next two and half years, Rapunzel would deal with multiple blood works being done, an EKG, an upper GI, rounds of antibiotics, a weak immune system and low energy levels. Thankfully nothing serious would be detected, but the trips to the doctors, hospital for test and the unknown took a toll. And through all this she shoved the emotional grief of her friend's suicide under the surface so she could just survive through her day to day life. After awhile she cut loose the courtship that Robin Hood had hoped would continue in marriage. For that heartache she caused him and his family as well as the last harsh words expressed, Rapunzel was and still is extremely sorry. But in heart she knows it was the right thing to do and hopes the best for him and his family and for the right love to come into his life.
It's now been over four years since Lancelot took his own life and the grief Rapunzel still feels is raw and fresh like she got the news just yesterday. It's always there, lingering under the surface, waiting to spill over and out. She puts on a good face, but she is still dealing with all of it; health and anxiety issues, the grief and emotions and just trying her best to get healthy as naturally as possible. The anxiety came as almost a side of effect of all of the life changing events. Rapunzel did find love again, but only time will tell if this love story will be just another chapter in her life or if it will be the great love story of the rest of her life. She was also blessed to find a great fairy godmother to talk to and begin the healing journey. It's one step at a time, one day at a time.
And while the story is not over... here ends our tale.
So this is my jumbled up fairy tale to express my story. It's sometimes such a hard one to tell and I think it's a hard one for those around me to understand. But I do want to express my gratitude to my family and friends that have supported me through all of this. And for anyone that has ever dealt with depression, suicidal thoughts, or lost someone from suicide, I encourage you to seek out counseling and to not wait. I waited almost four years and I will confess that it is not an easy thing to do, but it is a good place to put my thoughts, emotions and to not always burden myself or family with it. I also suggest checking out and supporting TWLOHA (To Write Love on Her Arms). They are a wonderful organization "dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery."
Thank you for reading and checking out my blog. I hopefully won't be as long until my next post.
P.S. The drawing at the top is a sneak peek from one of my new pieces!
Detail of Fashion Model 2011
Being without a computer and internet put me behind in keeping my website and blog up to date. So here is a bit of a recap of what you missed while I was away.
The pictures of the drawings are something new I started this summer. I decided to pick up my sketch pad and actually do a completed drawing, which I hope to do more of. I really enjoyed it and it was great seeing the drawing progress, especially since it had been so long since I had done a more "formal" drawing.
I taught 12 art classes this summer, a four day art camp for kids and did a Princess tea party. I was really busy but it was well worth it! Watch the slide show below for a sneak peak at the summer classes and events I taught at Hodges!
Get a behind the scenes look at how I go from inspiration to a finished work of art. Feel free to ask questions, I will include them in the next segment! Enjoy!
Where does your inspiration come from?
My inspiration comes from all around me, my environment. I walk through the gardens on campus and will see a new plant or texture that I want to incorporate into my work. I keep a portfolio of ideas that I rip out of magazines as a reference in my art library. The past year or so, I begin to pray about my art, all aspects of it. My prayers are answered at different times, sometimes I will go to bed and in the morning when I am not quiet awake I will have three or four answers to my prayer, and other times it might be months before I get an answer. Praying about my work has been the best thing I could have ever done, my ideas are running over!
You have an idea... now what?
Sometimes the "now what" is the biggest hurdle to take inspiration to creation. I typically start with a sketch or two. I prefer pen and my drawings are usually very rough and gesture like. I also do alot of writing, such as how I plan to approach the sculpture, coil, slab, newspaper form, solid to hollow out, into my sketchbook. I also jot down what texture tools I will use, if I am including text on the piece I will write that as well.
Where do you work best?
Every artist approaches their work with their own personal flair. I have seen some that work best if it is quite and no one is around, some blair music and others paint to the sound of the snow on an old t.v. set. I prefer to work to movies. I work best to movies such as Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings since they run over 2 hours long although I will watch anything in my collection. Now I can only work to movies I have seen or heard a million times, new movies I get very distracted and end up watching instead of working!
Do you have a favorite tool?
Right now I am creating alot of organic texture, so my favorite tools have been my needle tool, exacto knife, a double sided tool that has two sizes of rounded scoops (not sure what it is called) and an assortment of paint brushes. Although, I recently purchased a set of bowl scrapers from Target that come in bright colors at a great price! I might have to write a fav. products review on them!
Well that is all for todays Q & A! If you have any questions, please ask and I will include them in Part 2 of Behind the Scenes: from Inspiration to the Finished Work of Art.
This weeks sneak peek is of wine stained necklace pendants I am experimenting with. A friend of mine, Amy, actually gave me the idea of seeing what happens with a bisqued piece of clay (fired once) and wine. I had already designed and fired these new organic pendants and on Monday, realized I had a bottle of wine that no one liked that was going to get thrown out.
I used a cabernet sauvignon and will be curious to see what wines will create different shades. The first one I did, I painted the wine on a few times. The next one was put into a glass of wine and soaked for 30 minutes or so and the other two I let soak for 36 hours. The black marks on those two I am assuming were a chemical reaction between the clay and the wine, but who knows for sure. I'm an artist not a scientist, although playing with chemicals in the glaze lab is fun! Have a great weekend! I will be back on Monday!
This weeks sneak peek is a look at an interactive sculpture using text. The inspiration behind this piece is a message very close to my heart. For the past two years I have been wanting to create something that addresses suicide and the pain those around suffer and then I thought, what if I could address this issue like TWLOHA organization does. So I am creating an interactive sculpture that will get people to think, write, and read each other's stories. Everyone's story BIG or small is important.
For those of you not familar with TWLOHA,( To Write Love on Her Arms)" is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery." ~Mission Statement
They also are there for people that have lost family and friends to suicide. I encourage you to go and check out their vision statement and website.
So this sculpture will tell people's stories, introduce TWLOHA, and hopefully open up conversations between friends, family, and strangers. If you are interested in telling your story and will not be able to physically write in my book, feel free to handwrite and scan or type your story and then email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. There are no rules or limitations it can be short and sweet or as many pages as you like, just be honest. Remember everyone's story is important. What's Your Story?
This weeks sneak peek is actually more of the process of my wire sculpture (which I finally finished!) After all the cuts, scratches, and sore muscles from working with this type of metal... clay wins and the metal lathe loses this round. I will say I am please with the finish piece and will probably forget the blood and frustrations and try the wire again, it just might be awhile. I only have a few pictures of the progression of the piece. It has been hard to get in a habit of photographing the process, but something I am working on.
This figurative wire sculpture was inspired by my drawing and clay sculpture of "Eve" (2010). Orginally, I was going to do a rendering of "Eve" in metal, but I began to struggle with proportions, and just in general with the material. I choose the metal lathe versus chicken wire or hardware cloth because I was drawn to the surface area of it. In retrospect, the chicken wire would have been more flexible to work with as well as handled better for me considering I was trying to handle the metal lathe like clay. Logically, I understand metal does not handle the same as clay, but it was still the approach I used for this figurative sculpture.
I worked on the thighs first with a loose pattern and created clean edges that I later took a thin wire and sewed up the seam of the metal lathe. The body torso was created next with the same sewing approach, although I did not get as clean of lines as I did on the thighs. I attached the thighs to the torso which was very difficult. I used very thin tweezers to run the wire in and out for the attatchments. I created the bottom part of the legs next and basically eye-balled the proportions. The knees were formed separately as well and then were used to attach the two parts of the legs. I feel that it became a pretty rough transition, and my approach will be a bit more calculated next time. I formed the feet out of the leg wire and only had to add on to one of the legs to complete the foot form.
The finish piece has the addition of fabric batting inside the torso with a ceramic model of "Eve" sitting ontop of it. The project was to use the metal as the exterior and something soft, fragile, or breakable in the interior space. With the use of the fabric batting I get the textural soft element and the ceramic model brings a breakable element, but together I feel it takes on a deeper emotional element of how people bury and protect their feelings and thoughts inside themselves. This was an unexpected turn in the meaning of my piece that I discovered.
I hope everyone enjoyed the behind the scenes look for this weeks sneak peek! Tune in next thursday to see what other surprises I have up my sleeves!
I almost didn't get this weeks sneak peak in! It is a little later getting posted than I planned, but I got caught up in my wire sculpture and waiting on my pipes to get unthawed so I could have cold water!
This week's sneak peak is part of the new pendant designs I am working on for my jewelry design line. The pendants are still made from clay, but instead of being carved, stamped, or watercolored I am doing image transfers onto them. It is a bit of a process, but so far I have been very pleased with the results. What you see on the pendants are my ink drawings of rope knots. I am keeping the necklace design simple and very natural by using leather and hemp. Keep a look-out for these on my website and facebook! They will be coming soon!
So I have been working with texture and these organic forms that I have been told look like a variety of things. I am excited that everyone I have talked to views them as something different and are drawn into the details just as I am! Now these photographs are of the pieces still in wet clay. They are still some ways from being finished.
I am curious to see what people think they look like, so feel free to leave a comment!
the not so starving artist blog:
Here's the deal... I am an artist and I love food! I refuse to be labeled or included in the "starving artist" category. Now, while I have been broke... I want to be an artist and eat my cake too (metaphorically and literally!)
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