gwendolyngrey: (Anne- little miss perfect)
I gave a presentation today in Capstone, and had the distinction of having some of the other students come up to me afterwards and say they enjoyed it and actually didn't want to fall asleep during the presentation.  It also generated the most interest and feedback of any presentation in class so far.  The assignment was to pick a contemporary artist to write about and present on.

Instead, I talked about Alexander McQueen and his Autumn/Winter 08 collection.

It was a beautiful fifteen minutes.

And tomorrow I have the final for my ballroom dance class.  My partner and I are dancing to Neville's Waltz from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.  Since we are doing the least flashy dance of all (waltz), we're absolutely determined to be vastly more elegant than any other couple performing.  For we are performing... in front of about 200 people... by ourselves.  I just have to go hem my dress so I don't trip and fall on my face in front of everybody; at the moment, the dress brushes the ground even when I wear my four inch heels... so much potential for disaster!
gwendolyngrey: (Mary Beale)
Last night as I was researching Mary Beale (and incidentally staying up way too late falling in love with the late 17th century... it's dangerous stuff!) I started thinking about her as a portraitist and about how much fun it would be to actually 'get in character'  by doing several 17th century style portraits and drawings.  Then something happened.  For the first time in months and months, I actually really wanted to paint.  I want to wear my scruffy old apron and slap gesso around and be surrounded by the odor of oil paint and liquin.  There's a sort of magical calm in painting, where the rest of the world doesn't matter... all I need to worry about is if the colors are good or the mouth is the right size/shape or oh-crap-I-have-to-draw-the-hands-now. 

One thing I've always wanted to do is to paint while in costume; most specifically, in the costume of someone who actually was an artist and would have worked in those clothes.   This is going to be fun.  :-)

And I'm incredibly thankful that my love for art (and being an artist) has returned before the next semester starts.  In less than two weeks I'm going to be back at school, spending time at Calder surrounded by (and creating) art.  Two days ago I was dreading going back to school.  Today I don't think I mind at all.
gwendolyngrey: (Anne- little miss perfect)
Somehow I managed to accomplish in two hours this morning what I couldn't get done during the entirety of Saturday.  I finish soldering all my teeny-tiny jump rings AND fixed a delicate bezel without a single mishap.  It was almost easy!  After being driven to the point of tears over this very process this weekend, it seems impossible even now that things went together today without a single hitch.  The mind, it boggles.

While I'm still wildly behind in painting, I at least have an idea, a sketch, and a primed and toned surface.  In spite of a general panic that surrounds having a one week deadline, I'm actually really happy with my idea, and am looking forward to making it work.  I hope to donate this painting to the new Grand Haven library when it's finished.  If it turns out well I'll post a picture.

After a moment of utter panic yesterday, I decided that I would NOT let me sabotage myself this close to the end.  I am going to work harder than I ever have before, and do things WELL.

However, I'm really looking forward to the day (not too far off now) when I won't be boring myself and my f-list with a blow-by-blow of my final projects for school. 

Now off to show Logic who's boss!
gwendolyngrey: (Default)
This morning when I was sitting on the bus I was struck with a wonderful epiphany- in a couple weeks I will be signing up for classes for the last time!  Next year is the END!  It feels like I've been at school for several lifetimes, and I can't wait to try living in the real world for a while.  Even if I'm working a crappy part-time job while trying to be an artist on the side... even if I can barely make ends meet... at least I won't have homework.  I know the grass is always greener on the other side, but this time I'm convinced it's true.  Being graduated will be wonderful... I just have to get through one more year.  Just one more year.
I don't think I'll be too disappointed with post-graduation life when it rolls around, even if it isn't all sunshine and roses.  I honestly can't conceive what it must be like NOT to be poor, and even if I don't go on to great things right away, as long as I can pay my bills and can afford to fill up my tank with gas and still have a tiny bit left over, I'll be content.

Life continues apace as always.  I don't have pictures of anything I've done lately, but the ornate metal headphones are done, paintings are being (slowly) cranked out, and though I'm behind on my independent study costumes at least there is visible progress.  I'm making the silliest dress right now.  It's somewhat late Elizabethan with a wheel farthingale and drum-shaped skirt, and the whole thing is pink.  Pink velveteen, darker pink accents, pink lace, pink trim, pink hat, sparkley beads... the whole thing is ridiculously fun and incredibly nauseating.

Come to think of it, the silly pink dress fits very well with whatever odd, romantic phase I'm going through.  The painting I'm doing right now has a girl walking across a sunny meadow in a pretty dress with flowers in her curly hair and a bird on her finger.  I think I could probably make it a bit more sickeningly sweet if I tried very hard, and, in fact, am planing on making a painting that's nothing but disgustingly cute for my next project.  Think princesses and rosebushes and a fountain and birds and bunnies in tiaras and pink and ruffles and lace and aren't you already about to vomit? Only in a good way, of course.  I want to take all these "girly" tendencies and push them to the limit to see what comes out.  It might be the most awful thing you could imagine, or it might lead somewhere interesting... I'll just have to wait and see.
gwendolyngrey: (Default)
Just when I should be pouring every ounce of energy I possess into school and art, my brain decides (quite independently) that I don't really NEED to catch up, no... what really matters is that I read the new Legacy of the Force Star Wars books that my sister lent me.  Since yesterday I've already read two, Bloodlines and Tempest, and all I want to do right now (instead of working on my costume designs or paintings or metals or logic homework) is do dash home and dive into Exile. 

I just entered the 3x3 Magazine Student Art competition... we'll see if anything comes of it.  I know that I certainly don't enter enough competitions, and have recently resolved to enter as many as I can afford to.  It seems like a very necessary expense, but I hate not getting anything tangible for my money.  I do need to look around for more things to enter though... this is only my third this whole year, and as a student, competitions are really the only good way of getting my work seen. 

My hands hurt and I'm SO tired of my clothes!

And I wish I journaled more... I say (or rather, think) that all the time and then never DO anything about it.  I keep thinking that if only I had a laptop that things would be different.

My dinner tonight has been a mini-bag of popcorn.  I ought to do something about that... it's making me grumpy.
gwendolyngrey: (Default)
My stomach has been really off the last few days.  I don't feel outrightly sick, but just constantly, mildly nauseous and exhausted.  I've had to get up early every day for the last couple weeks, but Sat I was in bed before 11, and last night I went to bed at 9.  I don't know if I'm just worn out, or if my body is trying to tell me something, or if I have a mild illness or what... but I'm just sapped.  There's just no end of things to do... and I can't really put anything off because I'll just be screwing myself later.  "Ugh" pretty much sums it up.

On the bright side, I did well on my Logic exam!  The professor has spent the whole semester thus far trying to impress upon us the fact that if we don't study for at least 30 minutes a day we will utterly crash and burn, and our only hope of achieving any level of success is to do the wark every day.  Yeeaaahhhhh, sure it's a good idea.  I'm all in favor of students doing their work.  However, I naturally prioritize my homework, and Logic generally is lowest on my list.  This means that before the 1st exam I maybe cracked open my book once or twice and didn't do any of the exercises.  In spite of this lack of dedication, I still managed to get an 87 on the exam... and while that isn't a grade of miracles, it's still above the class average of 84 and is a fairly solid, respectable grade.  I'm quite pleased... but will probably put in a bit more effort for the next one.

Lately I've been having fairly serious thoughts  about my future as an artist, and what I'll be doing with myself come graduation.  When I sat down and considered everything, it boggled my mind that I hadn't thought these things before, and that I hadn't really been thinking beyond school.  Take, for instance, something like art galleries.  At the present I don't go to galleries, I don't research galleries, and until I went through the phone book I (naively) had no idea that Grand Rapids had any art galleries let alone 18!  I need to make a habit of visiting galleries regularly, and at least getting a feel for the local art scene before expanding my horizons.
Another big thing is equipment.  I have access to everything I ever need here at school... computers, lights, cameras, wood-shop and metals studio, etc.  Once I graduate I will have to be self-sufficient, meaning I will have to OWN everything I need.  So far all I have is an easel.  I won't get very far with that.  I've written up a list of all the essential equipment that I won't be able to do without, and have resolved to whittle it down at every opportunity.  My dad seems to think that I should worry about paying back student loans before even considering buying expensive art "supplies", but one has to put something out before being able to make a return in any business, and art is nothing if not a business.

Oh!  And as a part of the general paranoia surrounding a post-graduation world, some of us illustrators have been putting together art blogs.  That way we'll still be able to have some level of community and sounding-board after we're out on our own.  Mine is Binding Eyelets (name suggested by Gill and Adrianne after I had been finishing off my regency stays at Adrianne's apartment and I mentioned that all I had left to do was bind a couple eyelets... they thought it would make an amazing name for a show or blog... and I must say I agree... after all, in the grand scheme of things it is quite unique.) And speaking of those two wonderful friends and artists, here are their blogs too: Christina Mrozik (Gill) and Adrianne Hollemans.  Seriously, CHECK THEM OUT!!! They are amazingly talented, and I have no doubts that they will be very successful.
gwendolyngrey: (SBP- air is filled with exclamation poin)
After being so convinced that this would be my worst semester ever grade-wise, and that all my agonizing over academics would have no good end, I feel a little bit silly (though very pleased) over my final grades.  The lowest grade I got this semester was a B+... I even got an A- in my evil renaissance history class!!!!!! There cannot be enough exclamation points following that sentence.  I still can't believe I got a good grade in that class... I was sure it would be my first C.  I guess the prof must have been happy with my final paper, and the exam couldn't have been as dreadful as I thought.... huh. Anyway, I can finally put the semester behind me, and focus on next year and new projects.

I've been having a lot of fun these past couple days working on Christmas presents and new sewing ventures.  Our apartment floor is covered with crafty, fabricy mess, and most of my free time is spent sitting on the floor surrounded by stuff and just Making Things.  It's a VERY good thing that both my roommates enjoy sewing and knitting and general making-of-stuff too, and instead of being annoyed by my creative chaos they understand (and don't yell at me) and often we work on stuff together.  I have to hurry up and finish presents though, and not just because Christmas is five days away.  I need to have Rebekah's dance dress muslin-ed and have all the pieces embellished by the end of break, and I need new Regency stays to go under the 1820 evening gown I have to make before February. Then of course I'm doing an independent study this next semester in which I will be designing the costumes for my senior show, and building two of them.  I will be very, very busy.

April 2017



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