Sunday, March 13, 2011

The last ten days have been BUSY!

Sorry, folks!  It's been a long time since I last blogged - in fact, I think this is the longest I've gone without submitting an entry.

I've been a bit overwhelmed.  I quit my tutoring job December 18 to begin doing art full time, and since then I haven't stopped running!  I've been working about 16 hours/day, if not directly doing art, at the very least thinking about it and planning what to do next.  I didn't realize just how tired I was until I finally took inventory.  I just couldn't push any harder.  So I stopped - sort of - for a bit!  My definition of "stopping" probably is many people's definition of "going", but it was at a slower pace than usual.  I even gave myself a couple of evenings off and spent a day with my son while he was on Spring Break.  Lovely!

So what's been happening since my last entry?

I'm taking a writing class with Valley Haggard, Creative Nonfiction.  Valley is a phenomenal teacher, and the class is opening up my veins.  It's the perfect practice for writing my book.  (By the way, Valley and I are teaching a class together called Body Shop this coming Friday from 2-5.  You can learn more on my website.  Please sign up immediately if you're interested.)

I've organized my book into chapters and created folders for each topic and put all the materials I've gathered thus far into said folders.  It looks very impressive so far!  Now all I have to do is write the darn thing!  I've also contacted my models to ask them to contribute if they're interested.  And I posted a survey on this blog in case any of you might be interested in having your thoughts/experiences/feelings in my book.  I'd love for you to take part if you'd be willing.  Feel free to answer anonymously or with your name - whatever works for you is perfect.

I went to see the Picasso exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts - lots to say about that, but I'll save it for another blog.  Suffice it to say that he is one may who did NOT treat women well, and it shows in his art!

I went to another Red Tent Evening which Khalima, a local belly dancer extraordinaire, organized.  We gathered as women for a fabulous vegan potluck then spent the evening talking about Beauty and the pressure we feel as women to be beautiful, how we define beauty, what is now considered beautiful which wasn't in the past.  One of the most interesting parts of the conversation for me was talking about tattoos. I'll blog about that another time.  It was a wonderful evening, rich with conversation and intimacy and burgeoning friendship.

On Friday March 4, I gave a talk about nudity and what it is about it that makes people react so strongly.  There was a small and supportive group there for the conversation.  We made some good headway into the questions.  I'll blog about that another time too!

I began teaching a new class called Drawing and Color at my studio.  We're spending three sessions working on developing drawing skills - form, value, and facial features, and three working with color.  It's a terrific class with wonderfully diligent students.  They're learning so much!  It's very exciting to me to watch students learn and apply new skills.  It's delightful to see their progress and excitement at their own increasing skill.

Last night a couple of former students of mine invited me to an art opening they had at one of their houses.  It was so lovely!  They had framed their artwork and labeled and hung it beautifully all around the house.  They invited their friends over to show them what they'd been doing the last 2-3 years.  I absolutely LOVED seeing all the work they'd done and how beautifully they'd displayed it.  It is so gratifying to see students doing so much with their art.

In addition to those and many other activities, I also did a bit of painting - finally!  I finished a commission I'd been working on for a few weeks.  I'm very pleased with how it turned out.  I also worked on the picture I'm calling "The Goddess."  I'll post pictures of it shortly.  And I've begun a new piece called "Lady and her Hat."  It's a very playful, coy image of a beautiful woman who chose to wear hats for her session because her employer has a morals clause which she interprets to mean she shouldn't be caught posing nude for me except anonymously!

It's been a busy time.  Hopefully I'll have a bit more time to write this week.  See you then!

And if you're so inclined, please consider answering some of the questions in the survey - don't feel like you have to answer all - that's way too overwhelming!  Just answering even one or two would be a tremendous gift to this Women's Body Image Project!  Thanks!

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