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Getting closer.

It is just a month before my activities for school start. I have registered for classes and am waiting to move into my on-campus studio. I have been reading and musing this summer–will I be able to keep up with 20-somethings? Will my ideas and concepts for art production be up-to-par for the demands of an MFA? Will I have sufficient stamina? Actually, it is primarily this last question that concerns me the most. As I age, fibromyalgia brings on flares of fatigue that make it hard to move.

I have just finished reading Nell Painter’s book, Old in Art School (Counterpoint Press, 2018). She is a well-known, highly published scholar of history and an emeritus professor at Princeton. Our lives have little in common other than going back to art school after retirement, but I have been very drawn in to her story. How many of us are there that still want to pursue our passion for making art? It is enlightening to read the account of an older woman in the milieu of the Rhode Island School of Design. She discusses her critiques, interactions with faculty, interactions with students, her drive to paint. I’m sure I will encounter some of the challenges she did. But, so far I have not had her experience of being treated differently by my student peers. In fact, I have found the students at Mizzou to be accepting and engaging.

I have been told that during the first weeks of school you should set up your studio as a gallery of your current work. Faculty and fellow students are invited in to meet and talk about what they see. I am envisioning this set up and wondering what the question I get will be. I have learned over the past two years that gallery art should only be framed in white or light wood. I now know what ‘gallery height’ is (the line on which all works are centered), and am amused that I am gallery height. I know I will need to be ready to explain the concepts of my work and the artists that influence me.

I will be showing the works I have done using silkscreening the past year. I
have become very fond of the CMYK process. Starting with a photograph, the image is broken out into the four color components used in commercial printing: cyan, magenta, yellow and black. If you’ve ever looked at a printed page with a hand lens you will have seen these four hues as dots, the placement of which results in the impression of a wide spectrum of color. (If you haven’t looked at a printed page with a hand lens you should do that now!) I have gotten fairly comfortable with the process of creating the screens and registering the four hues in successive overprinting.

The subject matter of my current work is found objects. I decided that I
should explore these items I collect to understand more of why I find them
interesting, and to see if I could use visual art as a way of talking about
them. The Japanese aesthetic, wabi-sabi, is a good avenue into the appeal. From its perspective I see the beauty of the unpretentious, the imperfect, the unpretentious. I also discovered the field of rubbish theory in sociology. From it I learned that a valued object can move into the realm of no longer being valued, but that it is also possible to reanimate an object. So, I have pursed making images of discards, trash so to speak, to see if they can be presented with beauty or at least interest.

I get more familiar with my blog and its processes I will be sharing some images of these items and the prints made of them.


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