Sunday, January 27, 2013

Phase 5 - be brave, every decision involves loss, conclusion

In October 2012

Since phase 5 deals with loss, I've been thinking about the definition of "loss." In particular, wondering about the difference between loss and compromise? To me, compromise is a loss that one accepts in exchanged for a perceived gain. If it's a "perceived gain," then the difference between a compromise and a loss is metaphysical (it relies upon perception). Does the "perceived" aspect of the definition open up a space to turn loss into compromise, not by avoiding loss, but by identifying a perceived gain?

Haha - so I've been giving this a lot of thought because I got rejected last week for a big grant. I think of applying for grants/residencies/funding as part of my job as an artist and getting rejected as something that (sadly) goes along with that; so, rejection is not an unusual occurrence for me, but this one was especially disappointing. Applications are only accepted every 2 years, and this was my third time applying - I had the re-application date on my calendar for 2 years - plenty of time to think it through and give it my all. In terms of trying to see it as a compromise rather than a loss, maybe it's an opportunity to reassess?

I've been listening to "The Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg and thinking about ways I might try to compartmentalize blocks of time and develop routines so that I can devote more physical and mental energy to art-making (like confining house projects to weekends or doing cookie baking for the week on Sundays). I've been waking up early to work in the studio (I am not a morning person - but a little bit of self-bribery in the form of making a cup of my favorite fancy coffee goes a long way ;)). I think it's been working well, but I'm still implementing the corresponding part of the plan to try to get to sleep earlier. In terms of space, I'm going to narrow my geographic focus to apply for only shows/residencies/fellowships within 120 mile/2 hour radius (unless there's a compelling reason to do otherwise.)

Now on to the (hopefully!) more entertaining part. In the studio, though I said I wasn't going to work on the tracery piece anymore, I lied. Not only did I work on it - I did something a little scary.  I covered the whole thing with a thin layer of black (I included a photo from October for comparison). I think it actually is close to finished now...really.

I'm still slowly working on the 9 repeating parrots (7 swans a swimming, 6 geese a laying...), and I haven't forgotten the dolls. I needed to step back from those and did some research on historic masks/faces at the American Museum of Natural History and went back to look at the decors at MoMA - I think the problem I'm having moving forward with them isn't about the dolls themselves, but that maybe each one needs a home/environment too. Hmmmmmm.

I also started something new :). It may not look like it, but there's about 5 layers of sanded (clear) gesso on that panel. 

And because I can't help myself - a cute kitty picture. It was very cold this week, but my clever feline assistant figured out the warmest (safe) spot in the house was on the fireplace, (and I spent a good amount of time with a book  nearby too.)