Today is my last day of work.
I could not be more happy. This past year, while probably being the best year of teaching I have had, has spread me very thin. I feel like I've been doing a million things at once, and since January, I feel like I haven't had a moment of free time to just do something for myself.
As of right now, I do not have much planned for the 2 months of freedom I have. There are some things that I want to get done around the house. I want to do some reading. I want to do some sewing. I want to do some traveling. But I don't know where I am going to start.
I think that I am just going to take some time and rest first. Regain my strength and my motivation.
I feel so rested after my vacation last week.
I haven't had a break at work since January, and it was starting to wear on me. I was so glad to finally have a few days off. So, the boyfriend and I went to Savannah for a couple of days.
We had such a great time and ate far too much seafood (if there is such a thing). I was not ready to come back to work.
I am ready to start fresh again though. I have a much clearer vision of what I want to do with my work, and I got a couple of new idea while I was out of town. I think I am going to sketch out a bunch of ideas and then just start working my way through them. I don't know where this is going to take me, but hopefully it is somewhere good.
I am overthinking things.
And I think that's okay.
I got really frustrated last week with the stuff that I have been working on and sort of put everything on hold. I went back to my sketchbook and began plotting. I asked myself what I really want in my work and narrowed down the techniques that I want to focus on. What it came down to was this: I know how to do so much, which is a good thing, but sometimes I get hung up on how to work all of those things into one body of work. It can be very frustrating and leads to overthinking.
I decided that I really want to explore the following things:
I also started Googling images of things that incorporate all of these things.
There are some really great quilts:
And I discovered Korean pojagi, which are so amazing. They are very much like quilts, but the transparency is wonderful:
Plus, they sort of remind me of American crazy quilts:
So that is where I am at. I have a whole slew of ideas and I think that I am just going to start working through them before I really focus on a cohesive body of work. I think, if this all works as planned, I could create a really great installation using all of these things.
I am going on vacation to Savannah next week, so I'm not sure if there will be an update, but there will definitely be one when I get back.
I've been planning out this next body and of work.
I want it to be personal and reflect the events of my life, not just current ones.
Which means I've been thinking a lot about life, and about death.
I've come to the conclusion that life is not linear. I guess I've always been under the impression that you are born, then you live (hopefully with some purpose) , and then eventually you die. But, the more that I think about it, the more that am beginning to believe that "life" is a series of figurative births and deaths, with periods of living in between.
Life is a matter of birth and death: it has a beginning and an end. I do not mean death as an absolute end, but death as a state of dormancy. Each time I have experienced a traumatic event (the death of my grandmother, my divorce, etc.) I have felt a sense of numbness where the potential for life has been unexpressed.
Then comes a period of recuperation: dealing with that traumatic event on an emotional, physical, mental, and metaphysical level. This has been a period of dormancy where all sense of self has been lost and needs to be reconstructed. These have been periods of incubation, where I have had to ask myself what I am living for. The body is complete in terms of its formation, but I wasn't really living so much as simply existing.
And then, at the end of this period of incubation, I have been reborn. I'm not sure exactly what has led to these re-births. Perhaps they occur randomly, perhaps they do not. But, it is after these events where I feel like I know who I am and what I am doing with my life. This is real living.
Until I die again.
Eventually, I will experience death as that absolute state of un-being, but until then, I will be un-made and re-made over and over again.
I sat down and really started planning my new body of work this week since I have been so uncertain as to what I exactly want to do with my first piece. I planned it as a series of triptychs, but I think I am just going to make one of each set at a time, then go back and work my way through it again.
I am definitely overthinking things.
But, I think that I have made some decisions regarding my egg piece. I decided to change the color scheme to more warm purples and creams and yellows. I think it will make the eggs stand out more. I also think that I am going to make the first piece more organic in nature, and if I end up not liking it, I will go back and make it more organized, like I originally intended.
I'm going to get more gel medium after school today so I can start laminating my paper tomorrow.
I also want to rely more heavily on dyes than paints for the background, so I am going to pull out some dye colors and all my dye samples tonight as well.
I'm feeling a little bit more confident today.
Well, I have officially started working on this new piece. I have the fabric cut, all of the copies made, and colors picked out. I do have to go and some more gel medium, but other than that, I am ready!
I'm glad to be able to get to work, however, I find myself second guessing my composition yet again. I just feel like it is too rigid, although I like things linear. But, thinking about all of the other pieces I have planned, I don't know if making something more organic is the best decision in terms of continuity.
Why am I like this with my work all of a sudden? I never used to be this indecisive.
I've been so swamped with work this week, I haven't had time to make any progress. In fact, I've barely had time to breathe it feels like.
I'm starting to become very frustrated with this whole thing. I've been so indecisive and I thought for sure that I would have more progress made on this egg piece by now. All I have to show for it are some sketches, some samples, and a stack of photocopies. I guess that's not too terrible, but the lack of real work time is starting to get on my nerves.
I think that I have decided to make it a larger piece, however, which is good.
Next week should be less crazy and I should have more time to work.
So, the good news is that I cleaned out this weekend and found a couple of organza scraps that I can use for this upcoming project. I still think that I am going to have to order more, but I should definitely be able to get started and make decent progress.
The bad news is that as I was cleaning out my closet, I began to wonder if I am in fact happy with the size that I have planned for this project. I know I keep bouncing around with regards to size and orientation, and I thought that I had made a final decision on both of those. However, looking at some old work, I am sort of curious now about how this imagery would look on a larger scale.
So now I'm thinking that I want to experiment with making the design larger: 18" x 24" to be precise. I don't know, but I am going to experiment with it some this week.
Perhaps I am just overthinking it and I should just go with my gut. I just want it to look good since it's been so long since I've produced any quality work.
I need it to meet my expectations.
I sort of hit a road block while working this week. It seems that I do not have enough organza at home to really start working. I'm going to have to order some after I get paid next week. So, until then, I am going to do what I can and start thinking about other pieces.
I did manage to draw the design out to size. It will be slightly larger than I was intending by about 3 inches or so, simply because otherwise I would be cramming elements into too small a space. But, that's okay.
In other news, I have never felt so spread thin in my entire life and I'm not sure why. I've just been so busy. There has only been one night this week that I have had to myself to just do nothing, and it seems that it is going to be the same for next week and the week after that. It's good to have stuff to do I suppose, but I also just really want a day where I don't have to work and don't have anything pertinent that needs to be done and can just sleep all day without being disturbed.
At this point, I'm not sure how I am going to make it to spring break.
I made another sample over the past couple of days and I think that I am much happier with this one.
I do like that it is vertical and I feel like it has a wider variety of elements in the composition. However, I do think I need to add a couple of more painted eggs somewhere. There is this transition that appears to happen from eggs that are more transparent to eggs that are more solid and I really like that transition. However, it seems sort of abrupt, so I think adding a more solid egg or two towards the top will help that transition be more smooth.
I've also decided on a size: 12" x 24". It's kind of an odd size, but it is similar to work that I have done in the past, so I think it will work well.
So this week, I can begin to cut out pieces! I'm kind of excited about it!