Jan 31-Feb 26
It’s been a contemplative few days.
The Facebook comment RFAOH made about my last post, was this:
Lee’s latest report also prompts similar questions to the ones posed in our meeting with Rob at his screening: Are you an “art teacher” or an artist teaching art? Is teaching art to someone, or helping someone to make art, not an art practice? The Tug-o-War on rhetoric continues.
Oddly, it floored me. I’ve never seen my teaching as part of my art practice. Thinking about it, I have no idea why, it just never occurred to me that teaching art would draw from the same well as making art. Which is strange, since in class I talk extensively about creative process, methodology, etc. Teaching certainly helps keep up my technical proficiency with materials I don’t use as regularly in my own work (like oil pastel). And it helps me remember that I am both knowledgeable and competent, which I struggle with sometimes. I’m told I dismiss my knowledge as general knowledge, when in fact it’s not.
This is something I’m going to have to keep thinking about.
It’s Monday again.
I dug our car out from under the weekend’s worth of snow, driving was mad – there was hardly any difference between the roads, sidewalks, or lawns.
Found my laptop! It was in Peter’s rarely used briefcase, neither of us can remember why….
I taught Adult Arts combo last night – we did relief printing. I thought they did great. I’m not sure what they expect, it’s a class where you play with a new media every night. Sometimes I think they want me to walk in with an image and “say we are doing this and this is exactly how.” Which in my mind defeats the point – how would you experiment if you’re doing exactly what I tell you? How are you going to know if you like the process if you only do it the way that I told you too?? I see so many students who want a formula – how is that art?
How could copying my work express who you are??
It’s currently -28. That’s in Celsius. It’s getting down to -35 tonight.
This weekend was Family Day. It’s a totally random stat holiday, I think mainly to keep people from going mad in February. But we took it wholeheartedly and spent the weekend just hanging out with our boys. They kill me. They are so sweet and funny, and sometimes it is so hard to set aside all the day to day ‘stuff’ and enjoy them.
The house was ignored and is a disaster.
All day today, Edward has been a tyrant, angry, yelling, crying. Then this evening I sat with him, trying to distract him by reading a story, and he fell asleep in my arms. So tired and still not able to articulate it at all. I sat for ages, just cuddling him. It was the best.
The new class catalog is out for my work. There’s a ‘clay studio’ course being offered. I want to see if I can audit it, but I’m switching my schedule to drop off and pick up Arthur from school. I have a feeling they end at the same time.
We’re still decluttering – I feel like things are messier than ever, even though I know that it’s because I’ve pulled out things that haven’t seen the light of day in over a decade. Two more bags of clothes for donation and a truly bizarre amount of old paperwork. I found two boxes of papers from my masters’ programs. I have no idea why I’ve kept them this long. The recycling is overflowing. There’s a tube of partly finished paintings from my undergrad?! There’s no way they’ll be finished. I haven’t been interested in those themes since the turn of the millennium!
…though I also discovered a forgotten stash of printing paper (BFK Rives) from when my studio was in the basement prior to 2005…so that was kind of cool.
This month has been banal and yet turbulent. No big breakthroughs in any area of art or life. But some small breakthroughs, nonetheless. Some things look like they aren’t going to happen. Some things are open-ended, some hope, some despair.
Mostly, just treading water.