Thursday, June 15, 2017

Ekphrastic Poetry for Art History

Composed Early 2015: 

We have been assigned to write poems based on a modern work of art that is a part of the Toledo Museum of Arts Permanent Collection. My group is presenting on "Rainy Day, Boston" 1885 by Childe Hassam. I believe I've seen his work before but his name was not etched in my memory, until now. As part of the assignment, we are required to do do a lot of research about the artist. The book that I'm currently reading is so delightful and has many quotations of the artist. My favorite so far is this:
Progress in art as in life is by very gradual steps. It is well for us that we cannot look ahead and realize at the outset the final goal. We would not be strong enough spiritually to stand this vision, good or bad. It would make us untrue to our ideals and cause us to fall short of our best (408-409).
As my undergraduate journey comes to a close thinking of my future in fine arts can be quite intimidating. I don't want to let myself down. I know I have the potential to do great things but not knowing what they are going to be I don't always know where to start.


Today: 

Well I don't know what brought me to my blog today, especially since I haven't posted on here in years, and really wasn't the best at writing updates in the first place, but I found the draft of this blog post. It's interesting to me because I haven't actually really made anything in the last two years since I graduated with my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, got married, and got a job. My intention was to have a part-time job that didn't consume much of my creative energy and left me feeling energized so I could continue to make work from my home studio.  My goal was to make jewelry that I would be able to show and sell in a gallery.

If I knew at the time of this draft that I wouldn't be making any jewelry I would definitely have been sad. It makes me sad now. I feel like I have let myself down and I don't know how to pick it all back up again.

The room in our two-bedroom apartment that is designated "the studio" was starting to feel more like a junk room than a space for making, so we've been packing everything up and we got a storage unit. We're trying to put everything away and pack up everything so once the space has been cleansed, it can be remade and reborn as a making space again.

There is too much clutter! Both physically in the environment we surround ourselves with, as well as in the mind. There is so much stimulus everywhere and at all times it's hard to know what to do, when, or how. Before a decision can be made about one thing, the brain is already onto the next thing that was noticed and starts trying to figure it out too.

This has been one of the hardest things for me, that the environment I'm in really affects how I am able to function. I can't make sense of the clutter in my mind if the environment I'm in is already cluttered. Thus, studio clean-out. I'm hopeful that removing everything and putting things back with order can really help to recharge and reenergize the space.

All that I want is to create some level of efficiency and order in my life so that I feel that I can function. Even with things as simple as household chores. I get so swept up in figuring out what I should be doing and how I should be doing it that I don't actually have the time to get anything done! I become paralyzed.


One of the pieces that I created for my senior thesis show was titled Malaise (pictured above). The definition of which is:
A general feeling of discomfort, illness, or uneasiness whose exact cause is difficult to identify.
This piece is a two finger ring, and honestly, because of it's large size and the relative lack of finger motion it does kind of make the wearer feel a little discomfort and possibly some uneasiness. But here the exact cause is known, the ring! If only it were that easy to pinpoint in real life.

The phrase I used to describe the piece was this:
A vague anxiety is emitted, prompting a state of lethargy. 
Looking back, I realize that's pretty much how I feel a lot of the time. One of my "strengths" in the Gallup Strengths Finder test is Future. I honestly can't be sure this isn't actually my biggest weakness. I'm always caught up in what the future holds and I have to know! So, because knowing that is impossible, I get anxious and I get stuck trying to figure it out and plan all the different scenarios.

There is this hampster wheel of thought that I'm constantly running in, trying to figure out all the steps for one plan, and then I think of another possibility and have to do the same for that plan, but then I think of another... and so the wheel spins on and I go nowhere. I really ought to get a hampster ball. Even if I was still caught inside of a bubble I'd still be going somewhere instead of staying stationary.

I feel like I am stationary, caught in arrested development. I want to move forward, but don't know how. I feel like I'm tethered down and can't break free of a cycle which is slowly but surely draining all the energy within me, instead of filling me up.

I just want to make again. Let making new things be my focus. Being a future thinker, when I start to make, I'm always thinking about how the session will eventually have to end. Maybe I will run out of time before a thought is fully developed, or I'll lose track of time and be late and feel reprehended by those counting on me. Knowing that either of these is a likely outcome makes me not want to start in the first place. These are the all-consuming thoughts I have not just when I'm trying to build up the energy to make something, but also when trying to start doing anything at all in my day.
Progress in art as in life is by very gradual steps. It is well for us that we cannot look ahead and realize at the outset the final goal. We would not be strong enough spiritually to stand this vision, good or bad. It would make us untrue to our ideals and cause us to fall short of our best. ~ Childe Hassam ~
Gradual steps. What are gradual steps? I'm not sure, since I have very little practice in it. However, I will start trying to remember that I can't know what the future holds. I know that trying to realize it prematurely paralyzes me and keeps me from my goals and dreams. I need to try and find who I am and what ideals I want to uphold here in the present, so I can strive to be my best here in the present. If I can stop always thinking of my fear of falling short in the future, perhaps I can start to build myself up in the present.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Terrific Thursday... Anticipating what the weekend has to offer!

Jessica Marie Metal, jessmariemetal, Jessica Baker, metalsmith, jewelry, jeweler, Bowling Green Jewelry, Jewelry in Bowling Green

So excited that preparing for the BFA show is done!  I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's finished works on Saturday at the opening reception!  I will personally be showing 5 pieces in the BFA Senior Thesis Exhibition, including the one shown above, "Daelsdrom".  The above piece is about not knowing which direction things are going, and being stuck in the inbetween.
Caught between stagnation and turbulence, it is unclear which direction things are going
The  work being shown in the exhibition is part of "Expension" Transcended, a series of works that takes what would otherwise be considered used up and ready to retire and instead transforms these objects into the beautiful and new.


Saturday, November 22, 2014

New Acrylic Earrings, on Etsy!



Check out my Etsy Page!  14 Listings added today!

       

Sunday, September 21, 2014

New Etsy Items!



Check out my Etsy Page!  14 Listings added today!

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Black Swamp

Yesterday I got home from work and felt I couldn't stay in doors any longer. So, I went out to the slippery elm trail to go for a walk. The snow has been melting and it's been very rainy here the past few days but I was still amazed at the amount of standing water that was present next to the path. I can see why this area used to be called the black swamp.



Sunday, March 9, 2014

Chair Fabric

Went to JoAnn's for foam for my reupholstery/refurbish job then ran into the perfect fabric. So excited to get working on this project!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Refurbishing Chair Project - In Progess

This semester I am taking a furniture making class.  I'd been wanting to make a jeweler's bench / desk for months prior to this and was excited to actually get to make one.  However, not knowing anything about furniture and wanting this particular piece to be perfect I was getting off to a slow start, because I was always changing something.  So I decided to instead start with a refurbishing project so I could learn by taking things apart and putting them back together.  

In the past weeks I've been looking around at different Goodwills and Thrift stores around town and in Dayton, when visiting my boyfriend, Harold, but I couldn't find anything that I really wanted.  I had originally wanted to check out Abigail Attic but the day I went traffic was so bad at the intersection I couldn't get there easily from the way I came.  I didn't get a chance to go back until yesterday when I found the chair below!


It's a pretty simple chair and it's also a really wide chair, which I really like because I like putting my feet up on my chair when I'm sitting sometimes.  Because it is so wide it really didn't want to get in my car for transport to the studio but eventually I got it there in one piece... 


... And then after 6 hours taking out staples and ripping off fabric and cushions it's well on it's way to becoming a chair I can call my own.


I'm going to be using the fabric that I bought originally to make seat covers for my old van, Izzy.  Sadly Izzy died before I was able to complete this task so I'm super excited to be able to finally use that fabric!  This weekend I'm going to be visiting home and using my mom's heavy duty sewing machine and my dad's sander.  Just cause I won't have access to the tools in the studio over Spring break doesn't mean this chair is going to be standing still!