Where Would We Be Without Friends?

Yesterday I was issued an order to write, and apparently that’s all it took.

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Thank you Bonny (and thank you Tori and Leah also for your gentle prodding).

A New Year
First of all, happy 2015! The start of a new phase is rejuvenating. I’m not overly reflective around my birthday, when I am consumed with gratitude for life and friends, but instead right before the new year. I begin surveying the landscape and weaving huge, semi-fantastic plans about how the year will go. Then of course I plot deliciously intricate steps (possibly hand-written) for making it all happen.

At the start of 2015, I wanted to post a big wrap-up to the fall and my atelier experience so far, but I also wanted to start the year with a bang. So when the atelier resumed, I dove in deep. However I did take a moment’s pause for a couple of reflections on art monkhood.

Computers 
I’m never at the computer. If you’ve ever stopped eating–or seriously reduced–all sugar for a period of time and then tasted a small amount of it in, say, a simple strawberry, you feel immediately over-sugared. As an art director, BA, MA, and child of 1984, I have spent years at the computer. Over the past five months I could count the times I sat down at one, and they were mostly to write blog posts. Which brings me to this conundrum: I have so lost the taste and habit for sitting in front of a screen that even to keep current on my blog, a pursuit that has felt truly enriching, I have to really stop, pivot and make myself head toward a computer. And turn it on! Because it’s been off. Granted, the end of the fall term was hectic trying to finish works and squeeze out the last drop of learning before spending a wonderful action-packed week with my family in Texas and then going back into the studio before the atelier started to work overtime on pieces I had wanted to finish prior to the holidays. Then boom, the atelier resumed and I committed to an even deeper, more self-started work habit now that I know what the heck I’m doing. But these are not the reasons I have neglected to write since November 19. The reason is that somewhere in the silent, smart phone-banned studios of the Aristides Atelier, I lost the sugary taste for technology.

Blog On! 
This new relationship to computer time came without me realizing it. If it weren’t for this blog I’m not sure I would be very conscious of it yet. Which means I just need to get conscious about writing regularly. I think I can commit to once a week. I want to. I need to. My email response time has plummeted to four or five days. Texts – possibly 24 hours. So having this venue is crucial to staying connected. I was sure this blog was being read by my Mom, and friends Rachel, Leah, Tori and Jennie – whom I cherish! But when the posting lagged, I was surprised that many who never mentioned they were reading started asking me when I was going to post again. My motivation to write is twofold – to chart my experience and keep in touch. The first reason would truly be enough and then it could be a technology-free handwritten journal. But it’s far more inspiring to share and it’s amazing that so many of you are reading. In the isolated day-to-day of art making and learning it’s such a warm, wooly blanket-feeling to know I’m bringing my friends and family with me on this.

So, stay tuned! Next time I’m going to show a little charcoal work.

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Featured Image: Vasily Perov, The Hunters at Rest (1871), Tretyakov Gallery

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