31 May 2012


no more going through the motions
no more sleep walking
no more baggage

I feel there's so much I carry with me; maybe from a past life, maybe engrained in me by parental figures.  I am done with the ritualistic and nearly automated responses to everything in my life.
I take responsibility for my actions, however, I don't fully understand why I have the equal emotional reactions to similar situations.  Jealousy, bitterness, hatred, ill-will.

Like in my yoga practice.
No more going through the motions, sleep walking, aware-less-ness.
Intention and response and awareness all of the time.  Exhausting my mental faculties, if necessary.
Considering emotional or irrational responses.  Understanding and accepting that I am only human, and breaking bad habits takes time and practice.  Offering myself options of how to respond.  Practicing patience.

Something I talk about a lot recently.  It makes me feel good.  As if I don't need to have everything [or anything] figured out.  Maybe not now, maybe never.  Maybe someday.  Still, allowing a margin.
Ceasing to live in a patterned state, blindly following the circle I've trampled down in the grass.  Moving towards the outer edges of my emotions and cognitive awareness.

6  6  6  6

29 May 2012

it's not the end of the world

When it comes to surviving, the time has come.  It's been a long time since I've had an income.  I don't have a problem not having very much money, but it's time for me to contribute.
I've completed my first day of training at my first post-school job.  Honestly, I was terrified.  But the people (my potential co-workers, if I make it through all the training) are very nice.

It's my first job with out an end in sight.  I know it can be temporary, and I can keep looking for a more "applicable job", but I had my heart set on never working in a restaurant again.  When I start thinking about getting a job or committing to a job, I start feeling a little panic-y and claustrophobic.  I jump right into "how do I get off?...I have family in Connecticut, can I go see them at Christmas time?" - nearly completely pointless things to worry about.  However, feeling sick of missing out on an evening social live, due to my coincidental work hours - I think that is totally acceptable to be concerned about.  I have a good feeling about this place though.  The manager is wonderful.  And it helps to have a friend starting there too.  It's nice to have someone working with you in the exact same position.  Coming from the exact same place.  Literally.
So, it's not the end of the world.  This is a transitional point, and it's really amazing to have a support system so close.  I'm grateful for my new studio-mates, and my friend, who's become my coworker.

28 May 2012

things I need to do this summer

1 - apply to shows // get exposure
2 - get [semi] degree-appropriate job
3 - paint my house
4 - get Summerly bikini wax...guh.
5 - spend a few days a the beach
6 - start making jewelry again
7 - start selling wallets locally
8 - sustain beautiful garden; grow a ton of basil
9 - visit D.C.
10 - do/ make :: yoga/studio

(list inspired by R. Clark)

25 May 2012

re-finding & understanding the way I exist

All I've been talking about lately is change, transition, shifting, difference in life now that school's over, and my difficulties with it.  I fell off the wagon in more ways than one.  I was settled in nicely to a routine; roll out of bed at 7:30 - 8 am, dress, make my raspberry green tea with a swirl of butter bean honey, and fly out the front door with a banana and a yoga mat in hand.  Once I made it to Pafa, I'd spend one hour at work study (typically mindless data entry for the Museum Education Department), while I sipped my tea and finished waking up.  By 10 or 10:30, I'd be in my studio, 8 floors up, dabbing away at a canvas.

I was exhausted at the end of graduation weekend, and as I've explained, the couch and left overs became my life (for about 3-6 days anyway).  This meant left over artichoke spinach dip, chips, crackers, creme brulee, and sangria. Hah! What a combination.

I am a person who easily falls off a routine, if others aren't counting or depending on me.  This is what happened.  I stopped caring for myself.  I ate crap, I stopped going to yoga and even my water intake went way down.  Two weeks of that, and my body is back where it started 3 months ago.  I don't doubt that it will take very little time to move back to feeling good and looking slimmer.  It is bothersome that I let it happen at all.

I went to yoga yesterday for the first time in 2 weeks.  This morning, my body is aching.  My abs, my shoulders, my arms - uggg...I plan on going again on Saturday morning.  If I've never mentioned it before, the yoga studio I go to is great.  The teachers are wonderful, it's large, clean, very affordable, and it's hot (maybe the best part).  Check it out if you live in the Philadelphia area.  Any way, my point is, Thursday morning instructor, Marcie, always pushes the hardest.  She is a very calm and matter-of-fact instructor.  Just do it.  There is something about the tone of her voice that always makes me try a little harder or hold on a little longer.  I am big on yoga instructors reminding you to honor your body and staying within in your limits.  I don't know if I don't need to be told this any more, or if I just know if to be fact (in case I need it), but she doesn't say his very often and I like it.  Don't give me an excuse not to, because I probably won't.

I made a produce run after yoga yesterday morning.  It makes all the difference; having fresh fruits and veggies in the house, and I always do.  - Except for the past 2 weeks! - but no more.  I am getting back to my morning green tea, and three meals a day, and yoga, and studio.  The two things I want to be able to support in my life, post-grad, are my two practices: yoga and studio.
I believe that environment does a lot for your mental state and motivation.  I am not making excuses, however, I can feel a definite change in the flow in my house since the studio crap intake.

I know what effects my life, and what I need to do on a daily basis to be clear minded and moving forward.  I must always be moving forward, not back.  Blogging is a tool I am also starting to use [again], in order to have some accountability for myself and my thoughts.  I turned to blogging right before I graduated with my BFA and it helped.  This blog has been with me for that long, and I look back with some embarrassment.  However, it's a good catalogue of my life, and I love it for what it is.
Oh, and ps, tomorrow's the day I move in to new studio! :)
Pictures soon!

23 May 2012

growing green

As my new studio space sits in limbo, while credit checks and paper work gets shuffled, I turn back to my home.  The sun is warmer and up longer.  My plants and trees are happy happy.  I grew some roots on pussy willow branches Michael brought home months ago.  In April, I dug a whole out back and plopped them in.  They are thriving and growing several pointy green leaves.  Strawberries are just as happy, putting out deep pink flowers everyday.  In door plants are going just as well, but will be doing better once my studio clutter is out of the house and back in a studio, where it belongs.  


Attention to my plants doesn't typically waiver.  I enjoy having them around, and taking care of them gives me a small break in my day.  I only wish I didn't have plaster walls and ceilings so I could hang them all over the place.

21 May 2012

moving on

Moving from Arcadia into a year of limbo, then into Pafa was different.  It was different from what I am experiencing now.  Last time I graduated, I knew grad school still had to happen.  The year in between was tolerable and free of panic.  

This time, there is no more "easy" or "safe" school option.  

Some people don't "do" grad school.  
Some people seem to be saving it for later.  
Some seem to want to wait.  -  I didn't.  
I didn't savor the time in between school environments , and I enjoyed every second I was in grad school.  
I wouldn't give up the connections and friendships I developed for anything.  
My mentors and critics provided wise, yet firm guidance, with much needed understanding.  My peers, always knowing how much more I could be and do, pushed and encouraged me.   (Some more blatantly than others.)

I moved passed a very naive and insecure part of my life.  
I have earned my Masters.

The first few days after family and friends went home were empty and motionless.  Then something happened.  I went to look at a studio space with Philippa and Kristen; friends and co-MFA graduates.  We took a studio, about a mile from my house, in Old Kensington.  I returned home after agreeing to be financially responsible for a 3rd of 1050 square feet.  
Bigger than my house.  
I was blind with panic.  
Where does this money come from?  How do I get a job? Right now?

It's 4 days later.  Several resumes, cover letters and teaching philosophies later, and the panic has numbed a little bit.  It's still there, but prospects are looking better.  I found out early this morning that, despite Pafa's policy of suspending "left over" work-study hours of graduating students, I can finish using them!  In addition to that, I have developed a relationship with a local boutique owner.  My wallets will be available to buy at Swag at the end of the week!  Checks from thesis sales and studio deposit will be in my pocket later in the summer, but for now I'm a little bit better.
I have high hopes for the applications that have been sent out, and I am still picking friend's brains, combing InLiquid and yes...eyeballing craigslist for anything that sounds remotely interesting.  I pray I stay strong against the pull of the service industry.   But even better, I am becoming more and more excited to be apart of a creative community with my new studio-mates.

Things are becoming less bleak.  It means everything to sustain an out-of-home work space, and a peer community.  I can see the other side.  

It's a life style commitment.  Not a hobby, not a phase.  I have to make it work, no matter how many odd-jobs I have to take.

*top photo curtesy of Ruth

16 May 2012

post-graduation - I HAVE MY MFA

So, post graduation is worse than I thought.
There is less to look forward to than I realized, and more alone time than I anticipated.

I have very specific ideas about what I want as a money-making time-filler.  I feel as though I have at least a few months before I have to re-evalute them.
I've been submitting applications to dream-jobs (full-time art teacher at a local Friends School), spending lots of time formulating convincing sentences about my teach philosophy, and making the corner spot of my L-shaped couch a little  squishier.
Today, I spent a few hours tearing apart and packing up my studio 813 at PAFA.  It felt like I was putting down a pet, or saying good bye to a friend.  Forever.  My heart is heavy, but I know there's so much more right around the corner.  The option of a shared studio space has me caught between emotions - excitement and fear (of not being able to afford it).

I'm not a self-starter.  You'd think with all this down time I would have gotten all my house painting done, deep-cleaned the wood floors and jumped back into my exercise regiment.

picture via rachelclark twitter

I did get a rejection letter.  Accomplishment?  Sure.

My family-friend graduation weekend was spectacular.  I was terrible - terrible - at taking pictures, but family and friends with awesome-er cameras stepped up.  I've collected a few pictures from the opening and the weekend.
[I always get really upset when I have visitors, and realize that we didn't take enough pictures while they were here.] ...OH well, move forward :)

my wall with Julie Jung (collector) and myself

parents with classmates (and more of my thesis work behind them)

Michael and I

mom and I (I have her blue eyes)


The public opening was extremely overwhelming and crowded.  I didn't expect it to be quite so draining.  Thank you to Michael's father, Rafael and Ruth for taking such great pictures.  The evening included a long and wordy graduation ceremony, a very enthusiastic Pafa alum (who purchased 6 of my pieces, yay!!), and foods upon foods at home with family and friends.  And yes, I did spill red wine on my white dress by the end of the night :)


The next day included cheesesteaks from both Pat's and Geno's (shh!), Reading Terminal, and more drinks and food:

Sunday morning was short and sweet - a walk to and breakfast at Honey's.  It was perfect weather, and I look forward to the day when my childhood friends come back and share more time with me in Philly.

walking - everywhere
smile, rach!
 Friends since 4th grade 

Thanks again for photos from Rachel, Rafael and Ruth!

Looking forward to tomorrow, and the options it's going to bring :)