Thursday, May 28, 2009

This post contains: Various Words, Noisy Birds, Magnolias, Wormhole-ias, Screaming Toes and Buffalos.

I am an art major. I really love the Studio art program here at BYU, and I really love art. I have a bit of a problem, though, which is that I have a lot of difficulty producing artwork. Over the past year or two, it's gotten to the point where sitting down to draw something is extremely anxiety-triggering and I usually can't even handle it. Unless it's doodling; I like drawing weird crap out of my head, and it generally involves much less stress and pressure for me. But I want to get to a point where I can love the process of making art, or at least feel like I can function as an artist until the process becomes comfortable enough that I can work through it. Otherwise, what exactly can I claim to be doing here? It is something that I really want to be able to enjoy.

This spring semester, I took a two-week long class that was an art collaboration between BYU faculty and students, and a dozen artists from Liverpool and one from New Zealand. It was so fun! I loved the people I got to meet and the fantastic camping trip we went on together. I knew when I signed up that I would enjoy it. Primarily, though, I enrolled as a challenge to myself. I would have to produce some art by the end of the course, whether I felt capable or not. We went camping in southern UT, and then upon our return we had three days to make pieces for our show that would open that Thursday. It was so hard! I became really sick, too, and only got a few hours of sleep each night. By Wednesday I was kicking myself, thinking, if I can't even make art for fun, what made me think I could make gallery-worthy art in three days with materials and methods I've never used?! I made it, though. And in the end, I was very dissatisfied with my piece; in the making of it I encountered many agonizing little failures, and the result lacked a lot of what I'd hoped to include and was pretty low quality. But I did make it, and I can acknowledge that as a milestone on my road to becoming a artist who makes art. I've decided not to think about that ugly piece shipping over and showing in Liverpool, and just consider it another step taken.

I've got some thoughts about how to get the wheels turning and the juices flowing again. There are some ideas and media that I want to explore. Sometimes I can think more about it without wigging out, and I get this feeling that I'll be able to make things I can love and be proud of down the road.

In the meantime, all I have to show for myself is doodly drawings and lots of photos. I love photography, and I'm very grateful to have that creative outlet in my life. Taking pictures is very engaging and challenging for my eyes and brain, but still relaxing and fun without fears attached.

Here are some things.

I drew the screaming toe freshman year. I was actually drawing a stuffed giraffe I sewed out of polka dot socks, starting with his button eye, when the button got messed up and it turned into a mouth.

This is Ernesta and All Her Ghosties. I drew her two summers ago with Magic Scent Markers on the back of a handout during the 2-week-long, 8-hours-a-day, boring-as-heck training at the Utah State Developmental Center.

I'm quite a bit in love with the magnolia tree on the north side of the HFAC.

Holy crap, that seagull just popped into a wormhole between shots 2 and 3!
Cross-processed film, SupaSampla camera, Cali '09.

A Raucous Raven.

Chukars, chukars, everybody loves chukars!!

That was for you, roomies!

Ok, there weren't any buffalo anywhere in this post.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

And here comes post #2 right outta nowhere!

About half an hour has passed since I took the epic First step into blogdom by posting a post. I'm still not ready for bed, though; I suppose I'm all jazzed up from my bloghood initiation. While I seem to be on a roll with made-up bloggy terms, I'm going to throw out a few more: bloggerific blogetry; blogification; blogitronic blogacity; blogrant blogerisms of a blogtastical nature.

Hmm. It really must be 1:15 AM.

I love walking to work. It takes about twenty minutes to walk from my apartment to the MTC, and it is pretty often my favorite part of my day. This year's spring has been the most beautiful spring I have ever experienced. There have actually probably been several springs in my life that offered more spectacular and lovely views, but this year I've had a greater capacity than ever before to notice how lovely things are, and be touched by all the things I encounter, and love all the things I see. I can't easily think of many activities that are more interesting and special to me than looking very closely at something I come across when I'm out and about.

Today I was enjoying the sight of a rusty piece of machinery, and I thought about how God is in everything. He was in the materials that made it, and in the lives of the people who shaped the materials into a machine, and in the weather that changed and aged it, and he is in me; he is in my eyes as I take it in, and in my mind as I process and consider it, and in my heart as I love it.

I felt very grateful today that God is an artist. I looked around me at the mountains and sky and trees, and I knew that he enjoyed very much to make all of it. I very much enjoy interacting with it and feeling a part of it. It is a source of happiness and wonder for me every day.

And now it is 1:39 AM, and I have quite thoroughly worn myself out. Good night everything! I will enjoy some more of you tomorrow!

Hello friends!

Here, everybody, is the much-anticipated first real post on this blog that I made many months ago, and then neglected for many months. Tonight Deidre and I were collecting cool nature specimens from a tree on our way home from swinging at the park, and we decided we will become bloggers for reals. I'm not going to actually say anything cool or important now, but this First blogpost is a pretty monumental event anyway so I don't feel like I need to try very hard.

As this sunny warm day
In the middle of May
Is dusking and waning,
The light that's remaining
Looks pretty and sweet;
And down onto my feet
The light's cast in lines
(through the gaps in the blinds)
that are golden and strange
and which subtely change
as the minutes walk by
and out into the sky
to retire for the night
with the last of the light.

This is a poem that I wrote for my friend Tamarra while sitting on my bed.

A few weeks ago, I was walking home from FHE with my roommate Sarah, and Orion was already right there in the sky to say hello! So while we walked I composed an ode:

Hanging up there in the sky!
He's my favorite heroine,
Though he's actually a guy.
And he's not a drug,
Nor is he illegal,
Nor is he a thug,
Nor is his name Smeagol
'Cause it's Orion!
Hanging up there in the sky!
(Repeat repeatedly, preferably forever).

I think it is probably much better when sung in person. If you want, I will sing it for you if you ask. It's pretty special. Sometimes my roommates get it stuck in their heads, and I feel a little bit bad about that.