Thinking

Art school is hard!  They make me use my brain and stuff.  I’ve been muddling the mast few years, since I graduated from college, about my art practice, why I’m still drawn to it despite the many things that drive me completely crazy about the art world.  It became clear last year around this time that I needed to figure it out because I wouldn’t be really happy until I did, so I ditched what I was doing and applied to art school.  The first semester . . . pretty much just frustrated me even more, for a lot of reasons.  The only really good part was the dyeing class back at my old college, with my favourite teacher.  My boyfriend says I’m jumping through their hoops to a) get the shiny piece of paper and b) find out what I don’t want to do.

But it’s a new semester now, new classes, new teachers, new classmates.  Which means yet another round of introductions, who are you, what’s your medium of choice, what are you interested in, why did you decide to take this class?  Oh right, it’s required to graduate.  Anyways.  Today was my last day of introductions and I don’t know why, but I started to think about my own practice in actual words for the first time.  So I quietly wrote them down.  I’m sure the teacher thought I was taking intense notes on her lecture.

So here you are, the muddled thoughts of a developing artist, on their way to becoming real.

My art is the embodiment of and metaphor for how I would like to live my life.  I like to understand things, how they work, how they’re made, as far back in the process as possible.  I don’t drive because I don’t really understand how cars work.  I process fibre, spin it, and make fabric out of it because the complete, physical understanding makes the end product, whatever it may be, a million times better, more real, than anything I could buy.  Building the backstrap loom has given me a better understanding of how my other (purchased) looms work.  Some day I will have sheep, goats, maybe alpacas, angora rabbits, flax and cotton plants and then I will truly understand where that fibre I’m working with came from.  As you know, I’ve already started with the dye plants.

I like (as much as is possible in my busy, student budget life) to do the same with food, and furniture, and housing, and exercise (I HATE going to the gym, I’d much rather just walk everywhere), and everything.  I really am a Cancer, I’m a nester, and I need to be fully involved in all aspects of my physical surroundings.    I’m a very private person, I like to be more or less self sufficient emotionally as well as physically, though I know it’s impossible and yes, undesirable, to be completely cut off from the world in either sense.

What I need to do is find a way to develop my art into something that expresses these thoughts of mine in terms that the art world will understand.  Or alternatively, change the art world so it recognizes the beauty of a well-made sock  🙂

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