Monday, May 9, 2011

Body Talk

And it seems like,
And it feels like,
A brand new day.
- Van Morrison

1. Twinned [Marc]: pastel over watercolor wash on cold-pressed paper.

Given the intercession to recalibrate, my January return to State College was good.
Really good.
I taught Figure Drawing to brilliant students, whose vision and energy restored mine. Because teaching Figure mirrored my own studio practice, it enabled me to go fully heart-bound into what I do. I got a lot closer to knowing and feeling the 'purpose' in my work.

1. Abrade [Mordecai]: pastel over watercolor wash on cold-pressed paper; craft paper; crayon rubbings of woodblock cut.
2. Untitled [Tapir, Knotweed, Nicholas]: charcoal drawing on cold-pressed paper; sanguine conte rubbing of woodblock cut; pastel and water drawing on Tyvek.

I enjoyed a theory course around ideas of beauty, a willful and rewarding return to Freud, Marx, and Foucault, and the counsel of my peers and visiting artists in Graduate Seminar.
I experimented further with printmaking, though it turned to woodcut rubbing (aptly, a closer sibling of my pastel process).
I read A Mercy by Toni Morrison, which pulled my heart chakra wide open, and now I have run the gamut whole of her books.
I placed second in the Penn State School of Visual Arts' Graduate Research Exhibition in March, which was a great lift.

1. Press [Kirsten]: pastel over watercolor wash on cold-pressed paper.
2. Gird [Bobby]: pastel over watercolor wash on cold-pressed paper.

The work is still largely portraiture, of varied sorts, often crossing distress and desire. Per self-portraiture, it does seem that I inhabiting my body somehow differently than I used to, and am much happier for it.

1. Untitled [Self, Down]: pastel and water on cold-pressed paper; craft paper; hot-glued graphite rubbings of woodblock cuts.
Untitled [Self, Up]: pastel over watercolor wash on cold-pressed paper.
3. Oh, I Was - [Grief]: charcoal and water on cold pressed paper.

What I'm posting here is not all that I made, but is the bulk of it. It was a fruitful semester of hard work and rebirth. And I defeated some hesitancies insofar as what I depict and how, and am thus closer to someday making my actual point.
I think that if I so want to excise people's shame and fear, I should try to have none myself. And so I am disclaiming my anxiety pertinent to visibility and ownership, and will not be guilted, or made afraid or remorseful.
So, save the date: in April 2012, my wonderful colleague Kerri O'Neill and I will install our MFA thesis show.