Wednesday, May 22, 2013

At Long Last

On May 11, 2013, after 10 years of Herculean (one of my favorite words) effort, I received my undergraduate degree from Memphis College of Art. My grades were surprisingly good. I gave a speech.

It was hard to compress 10 years and a lot of emotion into a less-than-10-minute speech, but the words were well received, and the response was everything I could have hoped for.
It's amazing to think that after all this time I've finally finished. I feel dazed. I can hardly believe I really made it through to the end. I had to take a whole year off somewhere in the middle because of illness, and I was 99% certain—every single semester—that the miserable health challenges were going to put an end to my academic efforts. I'm still not sure how I managed to pull it off. I think my innate stubbornness ("do it or die trying" seems to be my mantra) is as responsible for this success as anything else. On more than one occasion, however, Stubborn Girl was only barely able to hold Sick Girl together. Thank goodness for spring, summer and holiday breaks, and a few kind and helpful people. 
Both learning new things and studying for tests are uphill climbs when you've got a cognitive system that doesn't work as it should. Throw in a wonky immune system, a constant state of exhaustion, and varying degrees of pain, and just getting out of bed and getting dressed in the morning requires so much effort that anything else frequently seems impossible. Some days it is.
There was a lot of trial and error in figuring out how to be a (good) student.  I had to work out how a person who forgets as much as I do could learn, study, and pass tests. I still forgot a lot. In studio classes, I often had to relearn techniques I'd mastered in the semesters (or sometimes just days) before. "Frustration" is such an inadequate word for what I regularly felt; the last several years have been especially difficult. 
Until the very end, I wasn't completely certain I was really going to graduate—but I did—somehow, I managed to see it through. My time at Memphis College of Art meant a lot to me. It was a formidable challenge, but I met some fabulous people and had some wonderful experiences.The triumph hasn't been without costs, unfortunately, and I'm overdue for some serious rest and recuperation, but at the moment, I'm still a very happy girl...

Show at Otherlands

My Biology series went up at Otherlands in Midtown Memphis last month, and it'll be there for a bit longer. I had a small reception and all went well.


Final Painting

The final image of my most recent painting.

 Assimilation IV, mixed media, 16x16 inches, 2013

I'm pleased with the results. I've been interested in working with planned out layers for quite some time, and though there were some twists and turns, it worked.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Recent Paintings

The last two paintings are the same, conceptually, as the previous ones, but technically, they've been experiments. I've been thinking about working in layers for awhile, so I took the materials I've been using, added a new one, and played around with them in different ways to see what kind of layering I could do.  As usual, when doing something for the first time, I got unexpected results.

This one is on panel, and has a layer of coarse molding paste, a thin pastel wash, a layer of extruded acrylic, a layer of high solid gel, collaged textile imagery, and another layer of high solid gel. It's taken a lot longer to dry than I'd anticipated.  There will be another layer of extruded acrylic on top and maybe a layer of water soluble oil after that.

still in progress, 16x16 inches

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Group show at Nu

The group show was last night. The turnout wasn't bad at all. Several friends came out, and it was great to see them and have their support.

My painting, Assimilation II, acrylic and oil on canvas, 24x18 inches

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Hanging a group show

We put up our group exhibition at the Nu Gallery on Broad Avenue, today. There weren't any major hiccups, and it looks pretty good. We each have work in the show. There are thirteen of us and we all have very different styles.

Friday, April 5, 2013

BFA Piece and 2 more Biology Series Paintings

The Patterns of My Discontent, extruded acrylic and medium, water-soluble oil on canvas, 36.25x24 inches

This was the BFA piece. The capillary pattern was my favorite of the imagery I'd been using, so I used it for this one.

I have two more paintings planned.