Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sketchbook Mentality

In general, when you think of a sketchbook, most tend to think of a book filled with blank pages in which a person draws out ideas and sketches images.  Though I have many of these "traditional" sketchbooks, I also consider other pieces of work to be a part of that sketchbook mentality. Drawings, clay test tiles, smaller sculptures etc. . . are all a part of my sketchbook.  In the past, I have shied away from showing people my "sketches," feeling they were private pieces unintended for others to see.  I do, however, believe that it is a significant part of my thought process, and helps to inspire larger pieces.  For my thesis show, I am including a small sketchbook area in which I will compile pieces I feel are significant to display.  I have added some images below of just a few "sketches," or smaller works.

Pencil drawing (left), terracotta with raku enamel on copper (right)                                        


                                Mini shadow boxes made from Whitman's chocolate sampler boxes

My Last Semester

This is the Beginning of my last semester in the Edinboro MFA program.  Three years Fly by incredibly fast.  My recent days feel mushed together in one big blur.  It's exciting, and I am really enjoying my work. Yet, it is also terrifying knowing I am facing that inevitable job search. Currently, my work is focused on developing pieces specifically suited for my thesis show.  I have added a few images of work that has just recently been completed.  
The imagery of much of this work is compelled by my personal questions of existence, human spirituality, and our "sixth sense," (intuition), as well as the way in which different societies and religions might also view humanity.  For instance, why do so many religions throughout the world feel a need to assimilate the traits of animals to the "human spirit?" What are the traits of humanity, and why do we need to assimilate them with anything? (Somehow, personally speaking, comparing humanity to the natural environment and the life that lives in that environment, for me, helps describe the connection between us and the world we live in.)  Where does the body end and the spirit start?  Does it exist at all?  Do we exist at all?  We live in a world of beginnings and endings.  Everyone is born, everyone dies.  Humans by nature seem to be in constant search of the great answers of life.  Some of us are content, or comforted with the answers handed down through religion from one generation to another answering those big questions of where we came from.  Other people take a scientific approach, and yet others question it all.  If life  begins with water, then where did water come from? Where did the world come from? Where did the Universe come from, and in turn, where did the place that the universe come from, come from? If we live in a world with this theory of time, while also living with a sense of beginnings and endings, and, in the grand scheme of things, not being able to see a beginning or an ending to time or the universe, then how is existence a possibility?  Yet, here we are . . . 

The images above are taken of a piece I have been working on for the last few months.  It is a wall piece that is approximately eight feet tall by eight feet wide.  It is a representation of many of my above questions, with life emerging from its crusty beginning spiraling out in layers of life, and questions.