Thursday, December 15, 2016

Semester Laid to Rest

Currently, I write this in my little Christmas den pictured above. The air is sweet, literally, with the sugar and flour of my day long endeavor of baking. My body is tired from not sitting down since getting up this morning. I'm also a little bit distracted by Netflix while writing this. All is well. 

So I'm back on the blog. I've spent a year avoiding artmaking, felt remorse about it, and took on a drawing class last semester. My professor was a master of critique and helped me hone my drawing skills a little more. The works above (minus the photograph) are samples of my work this fall 2016 semester. Most of them are unfinished. Some of them are renderings of my university. Others are of my friends. Some pieces are obviously better than others. 

Above the technical, my professor helped me think like an artist again. To see life in hue, form and shade. But beyond the seeming shallowness of art, there is depth, and it is due to the nature of lines to convey meaning. I think that my year without art was largely a year without voice. When it comes down to it, there is nothing glamourous about art making. It's actually work, like everything else in life. Satisfying as it is, it isn't easy. There are lots of abstract problems to solve. More than once have I been humbled in the face of "I don't know." My professor posed a resounding question which has verbalized my turmoil in regards to art and life.

"Why do you spend your lifeblood doing art?" 

 The question is valid. Art is hard. The answer is not so clear cut. Maybe it is simply that I'm hooked, and I cannot live without it. Artmaking is beautiful and can be honest. It is a voice without words that communicate across barriers in society and culture. But it doesn't speak to everyone -- only to those with an open mind. It that way, it is a secret code reserved for a few. Those few understand pain and joy, for they have felt it too. Different medias of art do it in different ways. Videos can cause an overwhelming wave of emotion immediately, books can explore all the aspects of that emotion, while drawings, sculptures and paintings memorialize that emotion. Making art, just like doing scientific experiments, is a way to make sense of and cope with being alive. This has been an extremely hard semester for me on a lot of fronts. Taking drawing was one good decision that helped me tough it out.

Next semester will be filled with biological, chemical, and behavioral science classes. What form my artmaking will take, I have yet to find out. 


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