well shit, here I am again. i finished a pile of paintings. Can I share them with you? I’m gonna.
I survived a quarter of school that tore me apart. I wasn’t prepared for that. I look at josh and say, “if I had known what it was gonna be like, I’d have psyched myself out, I don’t know how I have done any of this.” cuss cuss cuss cuss……
learning is really hard. i am paying a lot of money all over again to find that out all over again.
My vigor comes from seeking a second degree in my late thirties while raising a toddler and trying to sustain a career from the first (worthless, expensive, art) degree i got.
I’m not a martyr, just frustrated. and goddamn exhausted.
I’m in this far so I keep going. But hell, it got rough. I revisited darkness in my psyche I thought I’d recovered from years ago. It’s amazing the way our bodies hold on to our familiar pain. You can spend ten years doing yoga and moisturizing and self reflection while falling in love and making babies and getting adult and taking thyroid medication and not quitting smoking or cutting yourself hypo-dermis deep, but, next thing you know, you hit a vintage boomerang wall of stress you never prepared for. Unresolved brutal coping mechanisms rise from the ashes like a glorious phoenix. they are just there, like you never left them, like riding a bike. scary.
you never know what will bring you to your knees.
so, i’m not gonna justify how the last three months nearly broke me. but I can tell you that it got very close
and i don’t want to talk about that out loud much more than this.
I haven’t found anything more humbling than coming face to face with the power of my own mental health.
I don’t understand it and I am not good at talking about it.
For the most part I paint around it: couch it: envelop it: avoid it: bury it: hint at it: i think at one point in my early twenties I was pretty blatant about it: explain it: cover it: explore it: study it: it went away: it came back: it went away: it came back: repeat:
and I guess now I’m left with nothing more than to examine it.
for years I used myself as a model, I had nothing to hide even if I should have (but, really, should i have?) , until I did.
then I moved on to other people. It was exciting to paint other bodies, other stories, and I like that anonymity.
i really like that anonymity. At some point I quit telling people I paint; I was a waitress, a barista, now a student. I am trying to figure out why i do that...
Well, I had answers to any of those accompanying questions.
This year I sought out models for the new body of work and I didn’t get any response. I was running out of time. so I had to start work.
I’m the only model left.
a model brings their own energy and history to a project. Isn’t that exciting? I love it, excavating what’s going on behind anybody’s surface. I love that surface though: priorities, biology, history, vulnerability, immediacy.
I have changed so much since the last time I painted myself.
the physical change in myself is just kind of complicated to figure out. but that’s really subjective so it doesn’t really matter if I get the hair color right or if my tits are high or if my upper lip is crinkled from smoking.
What I care about is what’s going on.
Can I look at myself in the eye?
Do I trust myself yet?
What’s my plan?
How do I feel?
Am I okay?
a pretty uncomfortable process.
So, if I need a model in the future and anyone is wondering about volunteering, I hope this clears up what I’m looking for.