First the good. Last night I attended a gallery opening for at the community college where I am taking classes. I found the exhibit, A spectacle and Nothing Strange by artist Rebecca Sittler, wonderful and a little disconcerting. Her still lifes place inanimate objects (mostly food) against unusual backgrounds. At first the images are whimsical and fun but as you look deeper, certain themes become apparent. I am a big fan of irony and there was a thread of it running through most of the displays. I just the artists use of layers of meaning and beautiful lighting. You can checkout some of her work on her website.
I didn’t want to attend the show alone so with alot of uncertainty, I dragged my 8 year old daugher Madison. Madison is struggling to be more grown up. The past few weeks I’ve seen her blossoming. She is struggling to get her emotions under control. It’s hard to explain, she still plays the way she used to but there seems to be more of an awareness of how her actions affect the emotions and well being of others. She is trying out new things so I invited her to attend the show with me. Part of me was afraid she’d be bored. I expected to run into my professors and fellow students. Like most mothers, I hate for others to perceive my kids as poorly behaved. Well, she proved me completely wrong. She was the model of perfection. She really looked at the art and saw things in them that I never considered. She was polite and well behaved. She even sat through the lecture and asked the artist intelligent questions. I was so proud of her. My little Angel is so wonderfully perceptive, she just shines from inside. I know that sounds cheesy but there really is something amazing about watching a little girl blossom into a young lady.
Now for the bad. Over a year ago I signed up for a circle journal at a scrapbooking site. I had a six month stint on this site’s design team and I thoroughly enjoyed it. For those of you who have never participated in a circle journal, it’s a great way to get to know people. Each participant comes up with a theme for their journal. They create the cover, an instruction page and a sign in. Then the book makes the rounds through the participants with each person completing a page in each book and then passing it on. At the end you get back a wonderful journal full of wonderful examples of your theme. At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work. I imagine you can see where I’m going with this. Somehow things went terribly wrong and the journals got backlogged with two people. One of which is an administrator for the site. Now I understand that “life happens” but come on. If you aren’t the type of person who can work through everyday difficulties, don’t sign up for something as labor intensive as a circle journal. I feel so bad for the wonderful lady who started and was running the whole thing. She really tried to get things moving but they appear to have come to a grinding halt. I feel as if I’ve been patient enough. At this point I just want to cut my losses and get my journal back. I hate to blame an entire site but since one of the administrators was invloved I am left with a foul taste in my mouth. This has defintiely been an eye opener for me and I doubt I will ever get involved with something like this again. Not worth the stress. I hope anyone reading this will see it as a cautionary tale before participating in any swaps with people they don’t really know.
Finally, the ugly. We started our first project in drawing I. The professor set up a still life of several vases, table, chairs, cinder blocks, etc. We all pulled out our big ole sketch pads and vine charcoal and had at it. First of all, if you’ve never worked with vine charcoal, it’s a god awful mess. I was covered from head to toe with black dust in no time. I’ve never really tried any drawing and I assumed it would be difficult. Man, it was harder than I thought. I’d get a little bit done and realize it was totally out of scale with the other items. I did alot of smudging and erasing but I have to admit, I really enjoyed it. By the end of theprocess instead of just getting the perplexed look from the professor that I was used to, I got “much better, now it’scredible”. Not a ringing endorse ment but hey, beggars can’t be choosers. At one point the girl next to me looked at it and she very kindly critiqued, “it looks like you are standing over there.” Did I mention that I have issues with perspective? Anyway, priding myself on always having a witty comment at hand I explained to her that I was a surrealist and the whole thing was intended to be ironic. We may of both been high from the charcoal dust, but this just struck us both as hilarious. I’m not sure if my first foray into “real” drawing was all that successful, but it sure was fun! I’m going to be brave and postit here but no snickering. Keep in mind that it’s not done. Still need to clean itup and add shading.