Kinda becoming a habit...it's a few days into my new series and I am finally here typing up a proper introduction and a little background...but, I'm doing it, so that is what matters I reckon.
See, sometimes I already know what I am going to do the next month, or even months out. Sometimes I will base it on something that I am doing, like travel, or a show/event in that month. Many times I choose my themes based off a holiday during that month, 'cause I am super cheesy and love a holiday. (so fun!)
That being said, so far this year I have been revisiting old themes. In January I went back into my #MissMatchyMatchyART series from January 2015...then last month I opened my #GirlTalkJLG series from January 2016 to add some more pieces. So when I was trying to decide what to do for this month, I started by looking back in to previous themes from this month in years past;
Here are links to my previous March themes, and of course, if you look check out the blog posts for the corresponding month you can see all the 'behind the scenes' as I was creating the work.
So I thought long and hard about this month. Looking at my previous works for March, I can see that I have worked with charcoal for two of the themes, mixed media for three of the themes...and some kind of portrait for all of them. So that was in the back of my mind.
Also, my recent trip to Ringling played a part in my decision. I left that campus truly feeling INSPIRED.
I always get energized when I step on a college campus- and it that college is an ART SCHOOL? Forget it- I'm done! It always brings back my own memories as an undergrad and graduate student at the East Carolina School of Art and Design.
Going off to college was a really big deal for me, it really helped to shape who I am as a person. My time in the Jenkins Fine Art Building is still so precious to me. Whenever I go back o visit my SIL in Greenville I always try to slip away over to the SOAD. I usually can't get in the building because it is over a break, but I love to sit out front and just enjoy being near a place that I hold so dear again.
Being at Ringling the other weekend, especially in the foundations hall/gallery space made all of those memories come back.
When I think about taking art at the college or university level, I think of those first drawing classes I took during my foundations year. I think of drawing materials like conte crayon, charcoal and ink washes. I think of standing in front of my easel on that concrete floor, trying to quickly draw the model in figure drawing class, or the infamous 'coat drawing' that Elmore had us create...or of all the drawings of oranges and hand studies that I worked on to try and work on my observation skills.
Probably one of my favorite classes was my painting class that I took over a summer session. It was pretty fast paced, since it was for a shorter time period. Long hours, though...and it was nice because for that time I just let it take over my life- no distractions, just me and my drawings and paintings. I am notorious for doing too much at once, I think I may have worked a little at the time but for the most part my focus was just on that summer class.
One thing that we focused on was portraits. (Yup, Art School 101 right?) Specifically- self portraits...which turns out is the best/worst thing ever. It's the best thing because you never have to wait on a model and you have total access to your subject...it's the worst thing because...you have to stare at your own face.
Here are some of the self portraits from that summer;
That was it. I finished that painting class, then went on to focus on my textiles and art education studies. A few years later when I was teaching in Raleigh I would pick up a paint brush and work on canvas again, but I never really did any self portraits again, unless I was completing an example to show my own students. Even later when I went back for my undergraduate degree I didn't go back to self-portraits. I was too busy with my art education classes and my newfound love for bead work.
Then I would kinda not 'make' much for a while...'til we moved to Florida in 2009 and I started the path to becoming an artist again.
...and then I started making art every day in January of 2012 and for a short time there I was making one self-portrait a month in the same style as the theme for that month. Long story short, it didn't last long. But here are those self-portraits from 2012;
...then, nothing. Well- no more self portraits that is. (I didmade a TON of daily art, of course!) One day in April 2014 I spoke with my favorite professor from college, Ray Elmore on the phone...then I made the paintings for this triptych.
There's more to it than that, but...that's it for now. I look at the work and know that it speaks for itself.
And now here I am. March 2018. I wasn't sure what to do for this month so, 'Imma do me'. Seriously- self portraits for the whole month. They may just be those 'art school' materials I mentioned, or maybe I will branch out...I have no idea.
One thing is for sure- I won't have to look to far for my model!
Artist and Art Teacher