October 14, 2015

Cicada Summer Passed. . . .

 Days have become quiet.
Nights are cool.
Air feels crisp.
Cicada skins remain.
Summer has passed.

I've been thinking about what direction I want to take my writing and sharing regarding this blog, and my personal perspectives about life I enjoy writing about. This blog began as a way for me to deal with serious issues; writing and sharing has always been my way of putting a microscope on something and dealing with it.

When I started this particular blog I had recently moved far away from family and friends, and once I moved, it was like I was going through a divorce all over again. People all of the sudden were comfortable with calling me to tell me things about others, or tell me what others "really" thought or said about me, or tell me about myself and even my own past experiences, etc. It reminded me of when I divorced my first husband:  All of the sudden people felt comfortable in telling me who they saw him with, what he had really been doing, where he really was, etc.  After moving away I quickly learned that people who I thought were my friends, weren't. I made new friends out of others who I originally thought weren't, etc.  In addition a few of these friends happened to be family members, which added a whole other layer of complication I wasn't ready to deal with.

As I mentioned earlier, my husband and I recently moved; we moved with only a bit of savings in our pocket and no real security of a traditional job. We were starting over by every definition of the phrase.  The worry of absolute zero security alone was too much for me handle.  We also sued for custody of Joseph's three children as they are struggling, and then we lost that battle (but our child support obligation more than doubled).  My grandfather passed away as well.  I grew up just a half mile from my grandparents, and not being able to attend his funeral and be there to support my own parents and grandmother was hard.  I also began to experience new health issues that have been hard to diagnose and emotionally draining.  And it turned out that the people I thought I needed most weren't willing to support me.  That lack of support and even lack of acknowledgement really stung, especially because I have always supported them.  I have always been the strong one, the one everyone goes to for support and advice.  They were all still coming to me for support and advice, which is fine, but for the first time in a long time, I was the one needing support and advice.  The last three years have been nothing but learning, stretching, and enlightenment to say the least.

Through all of this my husband and I held on to each other ever so tightly, and we're finally starting to feel like we're peering out of the storm, and the relief of sunshine and light is settling in. We have become each other's confidant and partner, each other's true friend. Some who experience what we went through in such a short amount of time end up divorcing; we became each other's champion!

So now I find this space is at a crossroads. New beginnings are my bread and butter, and I'm excited to see where I take this blog. It's still a tribute to Millee (our daughter) as she is the one constant thought always playing over and over in my mind. I'm still on a journey, or participating in a study rather, of not only defining myself, but refining myself.  Self reflection has become an important practice in my life and I want to continue to grow, stretch, and reform.  I love the idea of shedding an old skin and growing into another. Transformation is my word for 2015 (see HERE), and so the journey continues.


October 4, 2015

R/Evolution Print Exchange 2015: My First Print Exchange!

I participated in my first print exchange this year!  It was quite nerve racking, but fun and I'm glad I did it. The print exchange was hosted by Eidolon House.  The theme of the exchange was R/Evolution:  A play on the words revolution and evolution, revolution being a forced change, and evolution being a gradual change.  As participants we were asked to include artist statements with our prints as we were all strangers from all over the U.S.  We were also asked to do 11 editions, as 11 artists committed to participate.  My print is different as it involves two mediums, marbled paper which is basically mono-printing because every one is different, and a woodcut design I carved and printed over each marbled paper.  Here is my artist statement, which turned into a short essay.  And I thought I'd share some photos of my print.

R/Evolution being about the affects of forced change and evolving change over time and how these two kinds of changes affects my personal art, is really a metaphor for human existence in general.  Everyone has core characteristics, values, even moral codes they live by that send their life into a specific direction.  Whether these traits were given to you by your parents, you were born with them (it’s something about your unique personality), etc., everyone has them, and they’re usually general and noticeable by everyone around you.  These traits are easy to pick up on by just having one conversation with another.  They’re a sort of “Revolution” of administrative order, so to speak; a way for other humans to make sense of the people around them.  She is a woman, she is married, she is religious, she is a creative person, etc.  The dark arrows on this print represent these core traits that everyone one of us have, but underneath these administrative categories there is so much more to each of us individually.
The process of marbling paper is more fascinating to me than the actual finished product; that is not to say the finished product isn’t special.  Dropping paint on the size and watching the paint stretch and contort into different shapes is an “Evolutionary” change.  As I drip and splatter more paint onto the size the characteristics of all the paints bending and pushing against each other create a sort of winding road, a map in all different directions scattered with peeks and valleys.  Once you lay the paper down and pull up the print you uncover a miraculous and beautiful image.  Life experience does this same sort of “Evolutionary” change to us.  All of the hard, painful, happy, exhausting moments we deal with throughout our life time is stretching, bending, and molding our own human spirits, and when we pull back the curtains of self doubt and ridiculous expectations we give ourselves, we find someone beautiful, unique, and even miraculous!