Monday, July 12, 2010

Time Passes, Things Change

It's been about 7 months since my last post . . . That's a long time.

There were moments during these last seven months that I thought about deleting the entire thing - in my typical 'all or nothing' manner. But something inside me made me hesitate and then I just continued to live my life knowing that I'd return when the time was right.

I decided to take a semester off from art school for several reasons:

1) I was feeling burnt out. The whole academic approach was squeezing my love of art out of me. I didn't want to see another paint brush or pencil for a long time! I started to resent art and school and I inevitably started to question whether or not I've made the right choice by attending art school. I'd read interviews by Lori Earley and Shawn Barber and Henry Lewis who would talk about having a crazy artists' work ethic and they seem to never tire or grow weary of what they're doing, and I was. So naturally, I started to ask myself questions.

2) I had no idea what I was going to do for my thesis project and I just seemed to be getting more confused. I needed time to think.

3) I was pregnant and I started to get concerned about exposure to toxic fumes.

This third point is particularly important and is what has helped me decide that I NEED to make art, and that I need to be gentle with and kind to myself about it. My daughter was born on March 10, 2010 at 24 weeks gestation. She was stillborn. She died in utero of a very rare umbilical cord complication. This has been a deeply painful thing to deal with and for months I haven't done anything. I felt weighed down and exhausted by this deep deep sadness and was feeling helpless and even a little hopeless.

I have slowly started coming out of the black hole. What has helped me to allow myself to grieve so deeply was knowing that it there was no way this excruciating pain could last forever. Because every thing is impermanent and nothing lasts forever . . .

And so, my exhaustion and sickness from art hasn't lasted forever either and I'm feeling the need to create again. The problem with school is that so many hours was being devoted to school projects and not enough to my own personal expression, which is possibly why I started to get more and more confused about my thesis project.

That and the realization that I'm more of an expressive, mixed media artist than the 'ideal' figurative oil painter.

I'm pregnant again and hopefully everything will go well this time. My yoga school opens in Sept and I'm pursuing an MS in Natural Health (inspired by my growing family and my longing to take as best care of them as I can) AND an MFA in Painting (one course per semester for the next little while).

And, on an inspiration note, I've discovered Patricia Ariel. A Brazilian-born artist living in the US who's an absolute genius. I just bought two original pieces from her. Her pieces are very 'art nouveau' with obvious influences from Klimt, Mucha and de Lempicka, all my favourites. My next blog entry (in a few days) will be about her.

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