Monday, June 11, 2012

Week Two

An update with only a little over a week in between, yet it has felt longer. We have begun our processes in the individual project and our 'collaborative' project. Suffice to say, a month intensive, while trying to enjoy the fact you are in a different setting, culture and country is not nearly enough time, I am constantly torn between taking hikes up the mountain sides and being stuck at my desk either sewing/ felting things for the community tapestry we are collaborating to make, or laying down layer upon layer of graphite.

This is my Studio! There are far more pictures and objects taped to the walls now.
I apparently need a 'reason' behind what I am drawing, which are traditional, gloomy landscape drawings of castles, burial mounds and holy wells. Currently its stuck between incorporating faerie tales/folklore/superstition in to it, or just being an investigation into the Gothic nature of the images and sites and the feeling the invoke for me. The body of work I am creating is aiming for a more sublime feeling than romantic one I am trying to convey, or would it be a Gothic romantic perspective..? I suppose that will come to light with the finished set of images.  Why can't the art be more about what I want to do and less about what I am trying to convey to the view? I have no convolutions of giving my audience something deep, if they see that...neat, but right now its my learning process, tinkering with skills left behind and rounding out sharp edges in my skill set.

The instructors have me torn about what the definition of illustration is, several of them said that illustration is straight forward, illuminating a single point, or creating an image that captures the entire feel of a story... Which made me feel that the looser style and loose ideas behind my work are making them more of either a sketch or a kind of graphite painting rather than an illustration. It surprised me that the professors pigeon holed illustrators like that, and frankly made me rather grumpy. Especially since the feel of the program is so open.

Even the Bus Ride there was beautiful

Despite the hectic working and critical thinking nature of this past week, my housemates and I took Saturday to travel to the other side of the bay to Galway, Ireland. Which is a lovely city filled with lots of shopping, and not too busy. There were a few too many tourist shops for the medieval downtown to feel authentic, but it was a lovely sight anyway. Although the farmers market and street performers were out in force with lots of different performances and goods, I actually bough a shark bite-layered gypsy-ish skirt from a french woman. I also got separated from anyone with a phone and had a fine time...Finding the Druid theatre, several churches, plaques and side streets.

Lavender and Olive Oils

I made it to one of the Cathedrals in Galway, and it was magnificent, with enormous marble arches, several rose windows, and lovely mosaics. I also wandered the harbour and several roads that were pretty unpopulated, compared to the thrumming downtown it was a little disquieting, but I caught p with my roommate on pure chance in an underground mall facility. All in all, Galway was great, I hope to get back there someday, most likely not during this trip... but down the road some time.

 After returning from Galway, a housemate and I investigated an abandoned house near the pier point. It was too tempting not to investigate, and pretty creepy to get in, but once we were it was really interesting. The house had apparently been the victim of a fire and thus is why it was boarded up and abandoned, but inside this grey chateau were bright crumbling colours of wall paint and was clearly once a very cheerful house. Now only birds live there and a tree grows in what looked to once be the parlour. The staircase is gone, the windows boarded and the roof completely missing.

The rain broke just in time for the trip to Galway, but all week it has been pouring buckets upon county Clare, and we actually got to witness the formation of several turloughs (seasonal lakes), the spring tides effect on the bay and a gargantuan windstorm that had the waves coming up an over the seawall, I did not get any pictures of that due to the fact of not wanting to go outside and be wet for any longer. Although I did catch an Irish rainbow on my camera during the week. As well as made friends with four local donkeys, and stalked some hooded crows.

Hooded Crow
Now it is the beginning of the third week and my heart is in my throat about getting my images done along side this tapestry in time for next Thursday. So those I communicate with in real life, please excuse my absence as this program grows its teeth and I enter a pseudo-finals type panic.