While rooting around on my computer I happened across some old pictures of me.
I also happened across this beauty. I can’t wait to get behind the lens again, I miss exploring the world with a camera.
When in the small steps backwards to catch my balance I see the world yawning open and bright before me, I know the stresses of the day-in-day-out are naught but distractions. I know each pain births a greater appreciation for each joy, and even in the pain there is a beauty because it is vivid and alive.
If things feel like a game, they likely are, and I might be taking it all too seriously.
In spite of what light my moody writings may cast, life has been incredibly good for me; many changes are afoot and they all seem to be quite good. Some very exciting developments for me on a lot of fronts are coming to fruition.
In the meanwhile, while I dally here and there, life has carried on about me. Monday marks my entry into a new company, a new position, a new schedule. I am eager to undertake it, and I think it will be a good change.
As an aside, a bit of creative license:
Neither here nor there, I find myself caught in an imbalance too hot to touch and, seconds later, too cold to grasp. It feels like a game and, even though I’ve sworn off these kinds of bets, I find myself engaged in hoping for a pleasant outcome. Hoping in a fingers-crossed, knit-breath kind of way that good will come of things.
I’ve never vested much faith in karma, so the idea of deserving/undeserving strikes me as a particularly odd one.
So, I want to get a bachelor’s in drawing.
Art has always existed in me. I’m not sure from where it sprang: looking at it from a genetic perspective, none of my family has displayed an artistic predisposition. Even upon looking at it from an environmental viewpoint it can be noted that there wasn’t much to encourage me to do art in my home, but I did it nonetheless.
I began with what I could grasp: crayons on walls. I think a lot of people start there. Somewhere in the rampant scribblings of childhood, my interest changed from destruction to observation and creation. As a young child I began to use art to express my experience as a person.
My family, though they don’t “get” art and don’t do it themselves, was very encouraging. Once they became aware of my love of creating, they did their best to offer an environment where that passion was nutured. They provided me, early on, with paper and pencils, encouraged me to take as many art classes as I desired, and, as my skill level grew, provided nicer media with which I could create.
Upon completing high school, I was under incredible pressure to choose a school and a “viable” career path. Not wanting to abandon art, I decided to do graphic design, enrolled in and was accepted into the design program at UNT. As a 17 year old, I was wholly unprepared for such a competitive program and for the social climate pervasive in and around UNT. I ended up dropping out, even though I was meeting with some success in (progressing through) the design core.
I took a break and lived with a friend for a while in a small house in Denton. It was an ill-kept house, and a January storm sent the sopping ceiling down on all of my possessions. The accumlated mold and rat carcasses made the house unliveable, and I ended up moving in with my parents. At that time I decided to pursue an associate’s degree in visual communication at Brookhaven. I adored my professors, classmates and the school. My experience there was an idyllic one and I graduated without issue.
I decided to attempt to find a job and work to save money before returning for my bachelor’s degree. I applied wherever I could, but could not land a design position. I found a barista position with Starbucks, and thus began my long tenure there. I made attempts to find design jobs during my time slinging coffee, but didn’t meet with any luck. I had a go at doing freelance design work, but found it wasn’t what I enjoyed.
In the midst of my years spent working for Starbucks, my mother lost her battle with cancer. For a decade she fought it, and, even as she grew small and weak, we had hope until the very end that one of the treatments would work. Hers was the first loss I ever experienced, and my grief was a maelstrom. For years afterward I lived in a sort of attempted “normal,” but never felt myself. I attended therapy, which helped, but grief cannot be assauged by anything but time and good company.
Shortly before my mother’s passing, I met a young man and began a relationship with him. We spoke of my returning to school, but it was put aside to make room for other things. He wasn’t a bad man, but we were a terrible match, and it took my emergence from my grief to realize it. In late 2015 I left him, and have been on the warpath to acheiving my goals. Where I once waffled over choosing a degree which might assist me in landing a “normal” career, I have grown a determination and passion to instead invest my time and money in doing what I love. I love drawing. I love drawing more than I love painting or graphic design. I love it a whole lot more than the idea of spending my time learning to be an accountant, executive, or anything of that nature. Part of my recent determination to live as I want is in no small part influenced by the position I’ve recently held: the past year I have worked as a graphic designer creating funeral programs. Editing obituaries every day certainly helps keep things in perspective: life is brief, do what you love, do what you want and do it while you have the chance to. I want to draw.
A quiet night, my head full of smoke, the whiskey warmed my throat as I sat slowly sipping. Fingerlings of cold air attempting to worm their way into the bleached white sheets encouraged me to burrow deeper. A brief sweetness, a small oasis hidden amid hectic schedules and miles of highway, placed for safekeeping in memories and words, lest I forget.
A dalliance which set my head to reeling all while anchoring me in something gentle.
The remnants of this brief respite are just the sighs in my lungs and the smile at the corners of my mouth.
The sting is gone and all that’s left is a wistfulness.
Oh, a silly Trump face. Isn’t he pretty?
A quick study of Humeur Nocturne by William-Adolphe Bouguereau
Her face is muddled, but I think it still counts toward one of my 29 for this month.
I’ve decided to attempt 1,000 faces again this year, as it was such a resounding success last year! We shall see how it goes.
I’ve also had a growing inclination to pursue a bachelor’s degree, and I’m thinking I might like to pursue it in fine art – painting or drawing or both.
A Valentine’s moose, drawn but not delivered.
Oh well, such is life.
A dramatic little snippet about it:
A small series of hurts, collected like drops in a red mug, slid down from the shadowy side of the mind. One, then another, assuaged and comforted, hidden behind a brave face and quelled by a shy tingling and roaring excitement.
A night, dark and starry with a gaping, wide sky, brought a hurt, larger and more fluid than the rest, akin to them all. There is a consolation, albeit small, in knowing it will be the last hurt.
If I’ve been told the truth, as I suspect I have, it is for the best.
I am crestfallen, but resilient. It stings, but that will fade.
This blog is a lovely stage for my theatrics. My theatrics are fabulous exercise for my creativity.
To end on a positive note: I had a valiant go at NaNoWriMo in 2014 and popped out a novella. I’ve finally opened it up again to edit, revise, send out some copies to be looked over by friends, then, finally, I will attempt to have it published. I will say, it was written in a rush, and I was expecting it to be pretty rough, but the first paragraphs have surprised me. Maybe I won’t need to spend months editing it as I originally thought.
Prints of my dear dreamer available here.
This was my little drawing submitted to the For the Love of Kettle 2016 Show. Unfortunately, I was ill-prepared and had nothing to submit to the For the Love of Artists Show, and, in an even more spiteful twist of fate, was stuck working late the evening of the latter’s reception and missed the whole thing entirely!
However, I was able to attend, with no small amount of bells on, the For the Love of Kettle Show, and it was spectacular. The art adorning the walls was varied and interesting and beautiful, the crowd was enthusiastic and elbow-to-elbow, and the atmosphere was convivial and energetic. All-in-all, it was a blast.
It is so exciting and invigorating to see the community gather together to appreciate not only art, but the establishments which support and encourage artists, as well. Kettle is a fabulous gallery, a Dallas staple, if I may be so bold, which has long been a springboard for local artists. They work tirelessly putting on shows, nurturing artists, engaging and growing the local art community and are incredibly nice people. If ever you find yourself in Dallas, Texas, I encourage you to stop by and have a look-see at what Kettle has brewing.
This year I’m having another go at the 29 Faces art challenge! So, above, I present my first face of February 2016.
Small exhalations of intimate air, scented sweetly with the remnants of exotic smoke and fruit, fall across my face just north of where his fingers stroke my cheek.
The sun slept, resting in a one o’clock hammock of sky, blue and vast like each morning’s first yawn. Below, on windswept cement, wedged between rows of cars and meager scrub trees, I made a lazy march toward the cafe, my bag laden with books. A February afternoon kept quiet and solitary, sparse to allow room to breathe and room to read. The seats beckoned me to lay across them and indulge.
& a second snippet.
The general brewing of life, the slow simmer and boil of day in and day out, has been punctuated by some creativity along with some other wonderful developments.
Yesterday I took time to create some new art. I had amassed a small collection of animal skulls (and a couple of other various bones) with the intention of creating something new with them. I don’t remember from where I attained this skull: it was either given me by a friend, or I found it in an antique shop. It had a poorly-applied silver spray paint over it’s entire surface, which did not adhere well to the bone and was chipping and flaking away. After spending a few seasons outside, most of the spray paint was gone, only a little remained in the guarded parts of the skull; it was ready for some experimentation.
Given the porous nature of the bone and the tendency of old bones to dry and crumble, I felt a very fluid medium would work best and decided to use sumi ink and a metallic enamel. Lucky for me, they both permeated the bone and stayed on the surface – as opposed to soaking in completely and looking very faded. I am pretty pleased with how it turned out!
I also spent a good part of the day yesterday working on a little ink drawing of a dragon. I’ve recently become enamored with a mobile game, and it has revived in me a passion for things fantastic and whimsical. (That, and reading more of late has fired up my imagination, as well.) I generally don’t spend much time planning a drawing, which is a lazy trait I am working on breaking, and decided to do some quick concept/composition sketches before beginning. I even did a light pencil underdrawing before putting ink to vellum! You can see the gap between my initial ideas and final execution – I find it entertaining.
This month is NaNoWriMo & NaPhoPoMo (National Novel Writing Month & National Photograph Posting Month) and I’ve yet to begin anything! I have a sliver of an idea for a story I might write, but nowhere near enough of an idea to hit the 50,000 word goal. My hope is that once I begin writing the story emerges of its own accord. I just discovered NaPhoPoMo today, and may well have a go at that, too!
Just a note to those interested: both the skull & Burnace are for sale. Contact me for more information.
This weekend I’m locked away in my studio painting. I know – it’s been a while. I’m glad to be back to it, and even more glad for the opportunity which has spurned me on to actually painting again: the artseen studio tour!
The weather should be lovely and the company even better. Come visit the tour to see some great art by local artists, enjoy small snacks, and update your collection with a masterpiece or two. I’m located at stop #13c (One of my favorite numbers, how fortuitous!) as a guest of Fresh Paint Studio – 7644 Williams Avenue in Frisco, Texas. Visit http://artseentour.com/kelly-jacobi/ to learn more about me, and the other artists on the tour.