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my boo

My classes this semester are so far fantastic!

I am overwhelmed, but in a happy way. Last friday was silly. It started with me slapping together nonsense with paper-mache and dried pasta in intro to sculpture and then disintegrated into a cuddle puddle in my animal drawing class, giving all the pets to a golden retriever named Zack. Friday was a little bit like daycare. It’s a nice way to end a long week.

My Boo valentine's day card

Also, happy future V-Day! I uploaded a spooky valentine to my RedBubble shop.

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to start

New year and new beginnings. The first week of the first semester has ended. I’m feeling a little bleary and smeared, so the out of focus iPhone pictures(what is the point of an iPhone if it doesn’t take crisp photos?) seem appropriate.

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I like beginnings. New year or not, it’s hard to feel like something is beginning during winter, but school is a better way to mark it. I think I’ll manage this semester better than the last because I’m not going in blind. I hope to fumble less.

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first semester: the end

Ooh, and 2016! Yes to the end of 2016! Let us construct a 2016 wickerman woven out of memes and broken dreams!

My first semester at PAFA is coming to an end. I must admit to being relieved. It’ll be nice to spend the next month not being covered in a fine grit of charcoal and pastel.

I am so grateful to be here, but, just as I knew it would, it has beaten me up. And that, of course, is all down to me. Nobody beat me up. I beat myself up. I beat myself up with school.

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It’s been weird to study under so many different teachers. I’ve realized I don’t always know what they’re talking about, and that I haven’t researched them enough as artists to be prepared for their point of view and vocabulary. I think I was hard to understand for my teachers as well. I’m hard to know(I’ve been told over and over again for years). I don’t have a traditional art college education background. I am not looking at the same artists as my classmates and instructors. I don’t have much art history education. The answer to that may be lurking more museums and galleries, getting over my social phobia in order to get out there, maybe even subscribing to more art publications and finding art history online video lectures(do those exist?).

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I was told that I shouldn’t look at art online, and while I understood the point(that it’s best to see paintings in person), the comment smarted, and here’s why: Up until recently, I have not lived or visited many places with lots of museums and galleries. The ones I had access to, I did visit, but in general, if it wasn’t for the internet, I would be even more in the dark. I’m lucky that there is so much content online, from blogs, social media to museum high resolution scan archives.

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I also struggled with some pain this semester, and found that incredibly demoralizing. My hands and feet ached constantly. I wake up to them stiff and swollen. It was like a constant poke in the side reminding me of my age. It caused me a lot of anxiety. Over the break I intend on attempting to get a hold of my health again. I’d hate to finally get HERE and then have my body fall apart.

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It is kinda funny. You want your teachers to care enough to criticize you. I found myself really courting crits, useful ones of course, as a form of approval. Does that make sense? If they don’t care, they won’t bother. If they don’t think you can improve, why spend time with you? But sometimes, deep down, I’m still just a little girl who wants to be patted on the head and told ‘good job’. It really, really is funny.

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I know I improved a lot! But I am not completely sure how. I’m a little dizzy! And that’s the beauty of it. I have no idea how I’ll come out of this. I don’t know what my work will look like, what it will be about, what it will be made out of.

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Now is also the time to start hoarding funds. I’m hunching over my computer researching grants and scholarships. I’m trying to remember how to write an interesting essay. I’m taking photos of work and trying to curate them into a compelling body of work. Art supply contests? Yes please! You want to license my image? Sure! Dumpster diving school supplies? Gonna try it. Filling out surveys? Sure, why not? I may even look into seeing if an affiliate link on my blog could work for me. It’s all about maximizing passive income. I have to. School has to be my job.

I’ve been experimenting a bit in my RedBubble shop, delving into the easy crowd pleasing world of cats! Below are two happy customers, Sparkles and Lydia Beans. The gist is that I requested friends send me pics of their kitties. I’d do an illustrated portrait of them in exchange for them then buying some stickers of the portraits out of my shops. I have many more to do, and it’s been some silly fun.

lop

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the antique dress

The Antique dress by Thomas Eakins
The Antique dress by Thomas Eakins

When walking through PAFA’s museum this painting just about jumps off the wall and onto your shoulders. It hangs in a large room with walls covered in art salon style.

This painting is by Thomas Eakins, PAFA’s most celebrated former student and instructor.

I love it even though it strikes me as a little ridiculous. It’s eerie. The woman looks like a ghost out of an english horror story.