Last week was my first week back in classes since spring break, meaning my professors took every available opportunity to remind us that the semester will be over in (now) less than 6 weeks at which time I will have to face the fact that I am venturing out into the real world with thousands of dollars in student loan debt and a useless Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art, and area which I may well never find a job.
But at least my spring break was fun.
When I left the east coast it was 80 degrees and sunny. When I got to California it was 55, windy, and raining. The weather was pretty adamant about staying cold but we did get a couple of good days in.
My friend Josh kindly let me stay with him and showed me around the city. Hope he doesn’t mind his mug on my blog.
(But I realized I have no photos to prove that I was there, I’m not photogenic, internet)
We did a lot of the touristy things: saw the bridge, Fisherman’s wharf, the Mission, made fun of the sea lions, walked up a really steep hill, Lombard street, all the big ones.
Overall, it was a good time, but definitely not enough time there. I felt like I got on a place to leave the day after I got there.
But since coming back reality has kicked my ass in gear.
As my BFA show is coming up far too quickly I am trying to really focus and make work to show for it. I’m still ironing out the details of what I want but I know that I want to include some of my character pottery.
Last week my ceramics professor suggested that I try making them smaller to make them “less foreboding looking.” Originally I dismissed it because I want them to be kind of off-putting but I decided to give it a try anyway.
So I made a set of two tiny teapots.
Not gonna lie, they’re adorable.
I haven’t fired them yet so we’ll have to see if the small legs support them better.
And, I had thrown a variety of teapot bodies to choose from and ended up just finishing them too.
(I’m in love, regular sized teapots are totally overrated)
And, of course painting.
Ah yes, painting.
I had started my two self portraits before spring break but, when I came back I basically repainted them completely.
This one I had gotten a fair amount done before I left but hit a wall once I started working after the break.
Solving the problem of the drapery gave me a lot of grief and by the time critique rolled around the painting was still unfinished and I couldn’t stand to even look at it. the original had the face much more obvious, making it, in my opinion, look really kitsch and stupid.
(I mean, I still don’t love it, but it is an improvement).
But, after working for hours and hours painting and repainting the same thing I was just so frustrated I couldn’t even look at it.
And then a friend gave me possibly the best advice I could have gotten: give up.
Give in to the failure and start over.
So, I haphazardly painted over the drapery I had painstakingly obsessed over for so long.
And it was incredibly liberating.
I had gotten stuck and felt so invested in the time and materials I had wasted on that painting I couldn’t see that I needed to just start over.
(But after that it came easily. A lesson well learned).
My other self-portrait is another story entirely.
This one I had gotten barely anything done on and finished in about 2 days.
I don’t do self-portraits a lot (mostly because I’m not a talented portrait painter and don’t like having to stare at myself that long) and I feel like when I do it’s difficult to not put your personality into the work.
When I went for critique my professor started psychoanalyzing me based on the work, saying I looked lonely, like I was lost, in a dream, fading away: all things I was actually feeling when I was painting the work.
The fact that she could tell all of that from my work made me intensely uncomfortable, standing in front of a class of my peers, already sensitive about my skills as a painter (or lack thereof). Normally I’m comfortable sharing my work in critique but something about showing such a personal self portrait felt totally wrong.
Also, I still don’t think it’s finished.
And in figure painting we’re in the middle of a three-day pose, the longest we’ve done so far.
I, however, was unaware of how long the pose was and showed up to class with a 20X24 canvas, so I used the first day to sketch out the painting that I started painting on a more reasonable scale this week.
In other news, the annual undergraduate juried show, Not yet Famous Artists Revealed, had its submission and jury process last week and I was pleased to find that I got two of my ceramic pieces into the show!
Unlike other years our guest juror selected far fewer works to be shown, only about 35.
Unfortunately, the tea set had a couple of mishaps.
The day before the submission date I put the set in to glaze fire. When I got them out of the kiln the next day not only had the majolica glaze not come out evenly but legs had fallen off of two of my teacups. So, I put the teapot and two cups in to be juried.
And while the juror was selecting works legs fell off of the remaining teacups.
The resulting carnage.
But my teapot made it in.
And then the next day I was helping to pack up the work to move it to Wilmington and Nate, the building manager, knocked a leg off of the teapot.
E6000 came to the rescue, but I’m not sure it will hold.
(I rode with him in the front of the truck to keep him safe).
It’s a pretty interesting space though, I’m excited to see it put together.
But if anyone is in the Wilmington area and interesting in seeing some artwork, stop by! The show, put on in part by the UD Art department and NWAA, will be opening this Friday, April 13 at the NWAA Gallery at 4 W. 5th Street from 6-9.
Should be good.