Thursday, July 8, 2010

Day 4: Oceans and Skies

It’s Thursday, and my time in Drawn to the Sea is almost over. Day 4 was filled with lots of great experiences, though, starting with a trip to the New Bedford Ocean Explorium.

In a former bank building, the oceanarium's exhibits feature both tropical and local sea life and interactive displays. There are two expansive Arthur Moniz murals as well depicting the harbor imagined panoramically in its natural state and its current developed state.

I spent some time with the sea horses which are the same ones from the photograph I used for some of my Day 1 drawings. They are incredibly quick and expressive when they move, and Dr. Welty told me they might actually be doing a sort of courting ritual. I sketched them in pencil, trying to capture their motion, which is something I could only have known from seeing them in person.

I also thought it was interesting that these creatures intertwined with each other and the seaweed since this week I found myself noticing connections with how all of this ocean life interconnects and is multi-layered, so to speak. Then I consider how my life also has connecting experiences, layered in various depths and multi-faceted, like the ocean itself.

After sea life sketching, we headed over to the New Bedford Art Museum where we were given an overview of the John James Audubon exhibit by one of the museum’s founders. This collection of prints showed an amazing range of creatures, foliage, and habitats. Audubon sketched from life by staking out these birds in the wild. His art is amazingly dramatic and detailed. The exhibit is open through September if you want to see it in person. I highly recommend you stop by!!

Looking at the art work in both places, I thought about how I observe things as an artist. I view things differently if I am looking at objects I already know about(or think I know about) versus objects I am looking at for the first time or have no idea about. I also realized that I am a fairly scientific person. I plan and organize and analyze things, and I do that even when I am in a creative process. So this week, I have been making peace with the idea that my ideas can evolve, be put on hold, reinvent themselves, and still be viable. I can also have works that are incomplete and yet are artistically valid and meaningful since they encompass the excitement of the possibilities of what those art work will be. And also to believe that they will eventually BE.

Back at the classroom, we had a full afternoon of studio time. I worked on several projects, none of which I expect to complete by Friday, but I will be able to continue these pieces on my own. With so many resources and experiences to draw from and be inspired by as I go, I look forward to how they will unfold. I have learned to find projects being “not done” (yet) exciting and not stressful.

Tomorrow I’ll conclude this series of entries (until one more class meeting in September) about my experience in this course, including pictures of my in-progress works. I am sad the week is ending but I think I can sustain what energy and inspiration I’ve received and hope to share more about what I am taking from this class in the weeks and months that follow.

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