Janel T.

The week in review:

Wednesday: Beating myself up because I didn't get the first assignment in on time. But Jane (I whine), I have a responsible job. I'm a grown up. I CAN'T get into the studio (like, who even has one?) to do this stuff. I sit down and pull myself together, submit something, even if it's late. Whew! Read others' submissions--looks like each of us is a mixture of artist, writer, fierce and gentle soul. I'm humbled to see how much influence mothers and grandmothers have on us.

Thursday morning:  Very Important Meetings both before and after work. Studio time? Hmph. I guess I'll just have to see if I can work on something sometime this week.

Thursday after the Very Important Meeting: Writing through what I now see as resistance. Insight: if I want to call myself an artist I need to spend time doing creative things. Not leftover time, after Very Important Work, or time sandwiched between Very Important Meetings and Very Important People. I need to PLAN my time and keep commitments with myself as truly as I keep commitments with the Queen when she summons. (Not really the Queen, but you'd think it was...)

Friday: Took the day off work. Put an "Out of Office" memo on my email. Did not look at my phone. Gave myself time to play, and I mean really play, in my creative space that is not yet but soon will be a studio. I just need to keep calling it that.

Friday night, Saturday, Sunday: Women's March in Washington. Will I really go? Back and forth, back and forth--is this really a Very Important Thing or do I sell my bus ticket  because I have this class and this art thing I've committed to?  Another remembered insight:  An unexamined life may not be worth living, but an unlived life is not worth examining. Balance, balance.  I go. Take tons of pictures and now am thinking about how the flood of images and noises and feelings will inform what I do in my (gulp) studio.

Monday: Humbled--at the strength and kindness and power of women AND at the feeling I have when I am engrossed in making something that holds my attention and intention. Spend time after work taking pictures of the "bad" art I made while I was learning to take time to make "art."

Tuesday morning:  I'm at the computer before I have to leave for another Very Important Meeting. The expanded squares exercises were difficult--I wasn't sure what I was doing or if I was doing it right; it was tedious work; my "creations" were "ugly;"--but there were some times I found myself smiling and once even laughing out loud because I was having FUN. And they led to a piece that I love that probably doesn't comply with any of the parameters of the assignment which is really cool because that's what the assignment was about, wasn't it?

I have Very Important Things To Do this week and my calendar has no holes in it. I'm going to make it into an expanded square and put holes where I think they can't go and fill them with empty space--for me.

Image 1 and 2--Playing with expanded squares, breaking rules.

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Image 3 and 4--playing with dimensional squares--same rules as expanded squares except I allowed folding both the base square and the cut out pieces, and placing the cut out pieces in 3D space. I did lose a piece I was using as the tail on the critter, though.

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The odd blue and black contraption (Image 4) is a mobile--not a very successful one but certainly the start of a larger thought process. The outer layer is Lutrador but heating it only provided a mess, not the re-shaping I was hoping for. Next time I will not back it with paper.

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Image 5--what came about because I was playing. I may use this as the basis for an art quilt. I'd really like to learn how to make one.

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