Getting Back In It

School is in full swing and I feel like I am beginning to get my bearings again. In the ceramic studio I’ve been busy making test tiles, building paint palettes, and getting my sgraffito on.

I am just as busy outside the ceramic studio, I’ve completed one large scale painting, and mostly completed one relief-sculpture piece. I am looking forward to a trip to Vancouver to check out the Vancouver Art Gallery with my class mates on Monday to get ideas on how to curate an art display.

I have finally put together my schedule for my ceramic works and can’t wait to share what I have coming.

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Let them have clay

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I have managed to survive the first week back at school, and I must admit I am tired…and sore.

Life is busy, moving by at a fast pace. I am overwhelmed and excited to take on the work load I have taken on.

This semester I am taking five courses. An advanced studio multi-disciplinary course, a cultural studies course, a two and three dimensional studies course, and two directed studies.  One for painting, and the other for ceramics.

I have been forced to think about what I want to create in most of the courses I mentioned which has been stressful, exhausting, and challenging. I think my creativity will thrive in this scenario because so much is at stake.

On Monday I met with my instructor and the other students that make up the ceramic directed studies. We all have very interesting and different plans for our studies, and it will be exciting to see where this study takes us.

Our instructor challenged us to get into the studio and get some time in. I managed to spend some time in the studio yesterday. I wedged, and I wedged, and I wedged some more. Some of my clay from last spring was getting pretty hard so I sectioned it up into smaller chunks and sprayed it down with some water. I will check on it the next time I’m in the studio.

After prepping my clay I chose a wheel, and I sat myself down. I am a bit rusty but it felt nice to sit and play with some mud and not worry about the outcome. I have a few pieces to show from my session, and I am happy to say it is a lot like riding a bike.

My pieces are rough, and that last vase has a mighty thick bottom, but they are a start.

The End (of summer) is here

Today I ventured out and came back with stuff. My husband took the kids to the library and I ended up in Jysk. I wandered in with the vague idea that I might pick up a canvas or two–school does start soon after all. (like Tuesday what!?)

Well–I got a few…like 4 of the large ones pictured, and 3 narrower and slightly smaller ones… I have been curious about the quality og their canvases and at that price how could I not buy them.

I piled all my canvases into a cart and questioned my sanity. I paid. I pushed my cart of canvases to our car. And then I realized I lacked any sanity at all. I struggled to get them into the back of the car without the cart rolling away. In the end I managed to maneuver them into the back of the car. I was both proud and ashamed of myself.

I met up with the fam, and convinced them to go to Michael’s–because 7 canvases is clearly not enough. We jammed out to the Pirates of the Caribbean sound track and decided some McD’s was in order.

I was excited to check out Michael’s was mainly because I was curious if the store was still in chaos and if the fabric section was set up yet. My city lacks a Fabricland…and it’s nice to be able to look at fabric in person. Indeed the fabric section had been set up, and the store seemed much better stocked since the last time I was there.

While wandering around I drooled at the new stuff, bookmarking things in the back of my mind to get later–with a coupon. I left with some random clearance stuff and some new ink. Some Graphix aqua inks and some copper acrylic ink by Liquitex.

I have no idea what this stuff will turn into, but it should be fun.

Inspo from Mom

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When I turned 30 I invited friends and family to paint with me in a sip and paint inspired set up. I had canvases and people were free to paint what they wanted. However, I learned that most people need some sort of guidance–a direction to walk before they can run.

This week I took one of my mom’s abandoned paintings from my paint night two years ago and tried to finish it. I’m not sure it is 100% finished, but I am happy with where this painting led me. It was a fun experience to use someone else’s painting as my guide. My painting went through some stages for sure.

I had picked out a new tube of paint recently, and it was acidic looking. I think it will be fun to experiment with, but in this application it might give Bob Ross some afterlife nightmares.

This week I went thrifting with the hope of finding E.L. James book Fifty Shades Freed…but I came home with many things–but not that book. I tried shrugging it off as no big deal–but then I was reading the preview on kindle…I’ll need to get a copy soon I guess.

My husband recommended I try a novel a friend of his published on amazon. So I shrugged my shoulders, and he pulled up her amazon page.  I read the first chapter, and decided to give it a go, after all it was only $1.27CDN.

I was up until nearly three in the morning, and then was reading it for hours at a time the next day. I love books that make me feel, and E.A. Shanniak did not disappoint. Her world is rich, and the characters are endearing.

I have started book two, which delves into the lives of other characters in her world–and it promises to be just as good as her first novel “Jordie in Charge”.

Things that inspire

I have been reading a lot, and scrolling the internet a lot too. I recently discovered a tool on my computer to screen grab selections of what I see on my screen. That means a folder full of disjointed, often humour inducing monstrosities.

They provide an escape, a place to look to when I find my inspiration well has gone dry. I love the random nature of opening a website like Pixabay, or Pinterest and finding images that tell a story. The image collages are art in their own right, but unless I find them on a site like Pixabay I can’t/shouldn’t use them as is. I find more on Pinterest than anywhere else, and I plan to use them as jump off points for my paintings or other artworks. I have used one collage so far, and I’m sure I will do many more.

I have been reading the 50 Shades series–I got the books for free a while back with the intention to read them and find out what all the fuss was about. I set my expectations low, not expecting to like it. I like it a lot more than I thought I would, I’m half way through the second book. The featured image for this post seems reminiscent does it not?

I have a couple more weeks before classes start up again, full of grad content and projects. I am hoping I am able to keep up my blog, I believe one of my class requires it. I am getting close to a well organized work space. My studio is most of our dinning room, stretched over shelves, stored anywhere I can find room.

 

Calm Before the Storm

Summer has finally begun for me, the last of my classes have come to an end–for now.

I have done a total of 14 weeks of summer classes, in two 7 week increments. Although It was mentally taxing, it brings me closer to the end of a larger goal. In a few weeks I will start my last year of University. By the time April comes to an end I will have a Bachelor of Arts Degree, majoring in Visual Arts.

As summer truly begins for me I find myself struggling on focusing. Sleeping in feels easy, staying up late watching Netflix too. I have been combating my lack of focus by battling my surroundings.

I find it hard to let go of things, the more I have the better right? Growing up we never had much, but at the same time we were always swimming in stuff. As a grown woman I am faced with the reality that the more clothes I have–the more laundry I’ll have to do. The more things in my space–the more cluttered and closed in my world feels. I suffer from anxiety, and my home should be a place for replenishing my spirit.

My family and I have been working together to lessen our load. We have made countless trips to Value Village with bags of things that we no longer need. We have brought in organizing solutions into our home–that will hopefully help lower the visual noise.

Right now there is still so much left to do in order to make our home function well. I have no intention of leading a minimal life, just a less crowded one. I will likely still flock to the clearance section of stores to browse, and if I work hard I won’t always want to bring something home. I enjoy the hunt of a good sale, I like pretty shiny things.

However, I want to have the mental freedom to start new artwork without having to carve out a place to produce it each time. My husband is always encouraging me to work on honing my skills through new works, and I want to be able to do that with less anxiety. If not for his encouragement there would be less blog posts on here. He is always working on his writing, whether it is his stories, or just another blog post. I wish I could block out the distractions the way he does, and with time and practice I might just get there.

Sorry Please Try Again

I created this blog 2 years ago, but the problem was that I felt inadequate for the task.

I am learning that feelings play a large role in what I give myself permission to do. Feelings are fleeting and sometimes the consequences are permanent.

I am going into my final year of University in a few short weeks. Who said summer could be over yet? I have been taking classes all summer…so I feel like summer is only beginning.  My summer courses feel disjointed, like they don’t serve any real purpose aside from keeping me from getting a day job.

This summer I have learned public speaking, delved into directed studies, and creative writing. The fast paced nature of the summer session has left me reeling. I have one more week of classes online. Next week I will send in portfolios full of poems, and ill-conceived scripts.

I have often felt dry, stripped of the creative oils that normally make me feel shiny. It isn’t an easy task cranking creativity on when the well is dry; you have to dig deeper.

Don’t get me wrong, I procrastinate and whine the whole time I take steps forward. I know inwardly that growth is necessary, but I hate the told-you-so’s I hear in my head.

I hope I will do better with this neglected blog. I’m taking another directed study in the fall–and from what I’ve heard a progress blog is par for the course.

Maybe I’ll try again.