Saturday, December 14, 2013

Deadline approaching!

January 1st is fast approaching! I have two weeks left to complete my SlideRoom submission for entry into UCONN's Masters in Fine Arts Program. Choosing 20 pieces of my artwork is harder than I first expected. I'm trying to select my 'best' work, which is hard in and of itself.  'Best' is subjective and is governed by personal taste.  I have some pieces that demonstrate a high technical ability, yet lack in conceptual content. While I have other pieces that are aesthetically pleasing, yet are not part of a unified body of work. Hmmmmm....which do I choose?

So far, I have many of my pieces laid out around my studio for consideration. Whichever pieces make the cut, I'll then have to take high quality photographs of them and upload the images to UCONN's SlideRoom, where my work will be judged and critiqued as to its worthiness. UCONN will then make their top selections and invite the candidates to the University for a one on one interview in February 2014.

This process began the beginning of this year.  I have had many people help me along the way. Some gave needed critiques of my art, while some shared their wisdom and gently provided guidance. I've received many words of encouragement and nudges to keep me working. (Sometimes outright shoves!)  I am indebted to all those who gave valuable input for writing my Artist Statement of Purpose. I would not have had as strong a package without all of your support. I am eternally grateful.
Thank you!  Thank you! Thank you!
The process is not complete yet, I just wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude.
Whether I am selected into the Masters in Fine Arts program or not, this experience has matured me as an artist...and THAT'S what is is all about!

My goals: Selecting work that demonstrates
-my technical abilities
-well thought out original conceptual ideas
-cohesion - works together as a group
-my diversity in media execution (oil, watercolor, acrylic, clay, video, mixed media)
-my selection of diverse subject matter (landscape, abstract, portraiture, still life)

Criteria from UCONN's website:
Portfolio Review
A portfolio of 20 pieces should represent your best work while demonstrating independent thinking and the diversity of your experiences in the visual arts. The portfolio should include drawings from direct observation. Your strongest area of work should make up the largest proportion of your portfolio.  The portfolio also may include works in:
 -Drawing (this includes traditional drawing techniques on paper as well as drawings done on a number of alternative surfaces including sidewalks, cardboard, interior and exterior walls. Examples must reflect a basic understanding of observational drawing. Pieces other than renderings of action heroes and Anime lookalikes are encouraged.
-Artist books (all types and sizes)
-Sketch books (all types and sizes)
-Painting (this includes traditional stretched canvas as well as painting on a variety of surfaces including murals, interior and exterior walls, wood panels and all types of paper)
-Photography (it is important to know that digital photographic images will be evaluated on composition, subject matter and image quality.  Some awareness of how the digital format is functioning beyond the straight forwardness of taking an image (for example a sunset) or by using a filter in Photoshop and submitting this an artistic, creative image needs to be reflected in the images.
-3 Dimensional/Sculptural works (this includes traditional sculptural work as well as collage, installation, wearable art, clothing, jewelry, functional ad non-functional ceramics or three dimensional work of any kind)
-Prints (images that are being created by using various traditional and non-traditional printmaking techniques)
-Digital Imagery (will digital technology is available to most everyone in this culture, we recognize it as a tool for creative practice, the technology itself is not the end result. It is important to know that digital images will be evaluated on composition, creativity, design, subject matter and image quality with some awareness of how the digital format is functioning beyond simply what the program can create and submitting this an artistic, creative image)
-Mixed media (collage, installation)
The portfolio should be the best possible collection of your work. For example, if drawing is your strongest area, then drawings should be the majority of the work in your portfolio. The portfolio can include finished pieces, work in progress, and sketchbooks. Applicants submitting digital photographs also need to submit images of other forms of image-making as well. It is not necessary to mat any of your work.

Friday, December 13, 2013


I saw a dear friend today. My spirit was recovering from yesterday and I did not feel like going anywhere. I'm glad I pushed through with the centering thought to encourage someone else. I ended up the one encouraged.
As Ladybug spoke, I found myself remembering all the fun we had while working together teaching in a 5 th grade science program together. I missed working with her. She talked about so many interesting things. One thing that stood out....she shared the insight about how you never know whose life you touch in profound ways by doing the simple things. In her younger years she would visit with a friend who apparently didn't have many friends, but Ladybug would extend herself to this person by just sitting with her and listening. After many years this woman came to her and thanked her for her friendship and told Ladybug how her actions changed this woman's life. It was a lovely story.
While just listening, I began to feel encouraged. 
Friendship is a beautiful gift. I'm blessed to have the type of friendships that can easily pick up wherever they left off, even when we don't see each other often.
I hope not so much time passes before we see each other again.
Ladybug you are beautiful inside and out!

Unexpected comfort....

I am blessed with two incredibly compassionate and insightful children.  Wisdom flows from their lips. 
Yesterday was a rough one for me. There were many personal issues that came to head. I had a couple incidents that affected my business in a negative way. It was an unexpected hit. I found myself dealing with several other difficult situations. So by the end of the day I was spent and feeling deflated. At one point something minor happened and the levy broke. 
All patience failed me....and the floodgates opened. I cried. But not just any cry. One of those gut wrenching, hiccups afterwards kind of cry! I erupted! Tears and snot and strange noises came out of me. I hadn't cried like that in a long time. It reminded me of when I was a child. I literally could not stop crying.
Madi and Wave heard me and came to my room. They immediately began comforting me. The wisdom and support that came from them, moved me. My son knowing I was sad because something I worked hard on was destroyed, told me a story of how he would build whole worlds on the computer and they would get deleted by someone. He'd be disappointed. Then he'd pick himself up and start building again.
Madi put her arm around me and began to tell me that in life we are going to be disappointed sometimes, but we just have to find the strength from inside us to keep going. She told me that I was a strong person and I'd get through it. She explained that sometimes even when you work hard things are not going to always workout, but that since I'm dealing with the pain, the next time I'm in a similar situation, I'll know how to deal with it better. She then told me to ask God to help comfort me and He will...and with that my 11 year old twins kissed me and ran off to play. 
During all this I gained control of my heaving cries and listened attentively. Wisdom oozed out of my babies.  Amen 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

My inspiration....

Most days I'm pretty focused naturally. Lots of people attribute the military, for my being highly organized...I say it's my OCD! In any event, I can manage to get a lot done fairly quickly. I look to my kids for inspiration to give my best in all things. They watch closely what I do and modeling behavior is important to me. My heart wants the best for them.
Juggling their needs, the family schedule and my goals is challenging.

Right now my mind races. The holidays are upon us and the twins are so excited! Work is going better than I could have imagined! It comes with lots of responsibility. My goals for the Art Workshops have increased and I need to complete the proposal for the spring. 
Madi and Wave are maturing beautifully. Their character is strong and steadfast. I'm proud of how they take on leadership roles with their peers and at the same time, they are loving, compassionate and empathetic. Parenting is a challenge and the rewards are great! 

However, my greatest challenge right now, is my application for UCONN. I reflect back to the beginning of the year. That's when I started actively getting my entire studio upgraded and ready to accommodate the demands of graduate work. I'm currently at the very last step in the process...SUBMISSION OF MY ART FOR THEIR PORTFOLIO REVIEW! I need to submit 20 pieces of my best work. 
There have been a strong few who have helped me tremendously get to this point. Whether it was help with writing my Artist Statement, organizing my studio or just plain lighting a fire under me to motivate my intentions, I have a great support team! I'm eternally grateful for all the help I've received and continue to receive.
I'm filled with nervous energy....I'm giving this my best. It's funny in a way, that one of my challenges is having so much art to curate for the 20 pieces. Selecting my best work is hard. However, I'd much rather have the problem of having TOO MUCH artwork to choose from than not enough!
I have a January 1st deadline for the 20 piece art submission into UCONN's Maters of Fine Art program. Once I complete my submission and "hit send", UCONN will contact me in February as to whether I am accepted into the Graduate Program. I pray I get in.
Well, it's time to workout and start my day! Peace