As semester 1 comes to an close, I have mixed feelings when looking back on my work. On the one hand, I am happy with the quality of work I have produced. My main intention was to get comfortable using mediums I was interested in developing - primarily oil painting and sculpture - and I think I did so successfully. On the other hand, the amount of work I have produced is frankly underwhelming. I noticed myself, especially towards the end of the semester, really struggling to keep a good pace. And once I let myself go, it was really hard to pick it back up.
On yet another hand (...don’t ask me where it is), I feel absolutely awful. I have struggled with mental illness for most of my life, but this semester broke me on a much deeper level. I have been going back to therapy and experimenting with antidepressants (mostly unsuccessfully because of respiratory side effects) for the first time. COVID has utterly sucked, and the lack of steady rhythm has completely disrupted my ability to focus on my work, or on anything for that matter.
I am, however, deeply grateful for the time I have been allowed in the studio. It is what has allowed me to produce work despite all of this (and also to maintain a part of sanity). I also believe that I can push myself to paint more despite this, even if I struggle to think clearly about it. My research journal will probably suffer as it already has, but I will try my best to dedicate to it the moments of emotional clarity I still occasionally have. My main focus, though, will be on drawing and painting regularly. Self doubt has a tendency to make me forget this, but I know from experience (and from literally every artist ever) that a steady practice is the most important part of developing as an artist. I also know that I am primarily interested in traditional forms of art, so I want to focus on that. I would, however, also like to incorporate printmaking and collage into my work. I am particularly interested in acetone transfers and lino print.
Anyway, here’s the painting I started this week. I am still unsure as to how much more I want to work on it, but I am very happy with the results so far. Moving to a larger scale has been really freeing.