Monday, November 29, 2010

never the same forever

Oh MY!
I'm aware I've been absent as of late, and for that I extend to you my apologies. I thought this blog was my own personal little vacuum, but I checked my 'stats' page, and lo and behold- it appears I have readers! This is very exciting for me, and as a result, I promise to post more often.
Shucks, guys. Making me blush!

Well, here's what I've been up to since I've been wrapped up in my life:

Agata is graduating this semester, and since her major is New Media, her final project included shooting, editing, and partially animating a music video. She called me asking me for a favor, to which I replied without hesitation, "Anything." She, in turn, asked me to be the Art Director/Stylist for said video. I was FLOORED, honored beyond belief. And she was so grateful and relieved, I could barely believe it.
The only time Agata, the actress, and I could all shoot was Thanksgiving morning. Not having a family or any firm plans, I said yes. I did not know at the time that it would involve waking up at 430am because Agata needed to capture the 'soft morning light' of Pacifica (about 1/2hr south). Damn.
But totally worth it. Here are some pictures I hastily took with my camera phone at the shoot:

We had to HIKE, but the views were something else. The beauty of the moment was palpable. Standing on those cliffs on a clear sunny day, I felt infinite. Best Thanksgiving EVER.

The night before was my friend Cadence's birthday. We met in Moldmaking class and bonded immediately. We are intensely kindred spirits, sisters in a past life. I knew she deserved a great birthday, so I hatched a plan. Cut out of magazine letters, I left a ransom note in her workspace the night of our class that read: "Go to Studio 4 at Dinner O Clock". (I'm Studio 4, by the way). Taped to my door at dinner break was another magazine-cut-out note that read: "Have A Happy Birthday Or Else", which I had our classmates all sign. She opened the door to find the 3-tiered cake I had made her: out of newspaper and filled with her favorite candies.

She was happy, I was happy.

In other school news, today I spent some time working on my trompe l'oeil piece. Trompe l'oeil is French for "fool the eye", and means creating a piece out of a certain material with the deliberate intention of making it look like something else. The key is in the finishing: mimicking the colors, textures, and details EXACTLY. Because I was still working at the cafe/bakery at the time, my trompe l'oeil was a chocolate cupcake with pink buttercream frosting.
Today I went halfway by layering on an underglaze:

Now it just has to be fired at a low temperature and it should be ready by my class on Thursday.

I've yet to catch a glimpse of my "wooden" steps and stage, as well as the pills and bottles I managed to finish in time to be fired before Thanksgiving.
I'm excited!

And like I said, I promise to post more often. I am flattered by my readers. (Gosh!)

current mood: electric.
current music: courtney love - but julian, i'm a little bit older than you

Thursday, November 18, 2010

in the life

"Well you're just a little southern Suzy Homemaker wrapped in an urban city girl's style, now arentcha?"
-Ginelle, the Arkansas native in my Moldmaking class, after I told her all about my search for a bonnet now that its rainy reason.

Though I was nervous and anxious to an unbearable extreme in the hours beforehand, my Juniors workshop went wonderfully and at the end the little girls hugged me, kissed my cheek, and called me 'Miss Kendra'. The only awkward part was when I was asking them about their xmas lists and in turn, they asked me if there was really a Santa Claus. Ummm..... whywhatdidyourparentstellyouidontwanttotraumatizeyouforlifeohmygod.
"Well, *I* write my letter to Santa every year, and if I've been good, I get presents."

Today was really quite extraordinary, though.

First, I dropped off my car for its insurance-approved-body-work this morning. It feels very grown up to say 'my car's in the shop'. but it feels very juvenile to take the bus everywhere.
Then I headed to my Expressions in Clay class, where my piece really started to come together. Once I figured out how to make clay look like beach-weathered wood (wait til its 'leather-hard', and take a wire brush to it. then wait til its 'bone-dry' and go to town on it with an exacto knife and a strong will), I felt so much more inspired, and I hacked away at the clay until I was emotionally satisfied.
As the class was coming to a close and I was working away, the very nice young man that works next to me, incidentally named Art, paused, turned to me, and asked if I wouldn't mind please being the subject of his photography installation. He was wondering if he could take my photo: one set of me standing in front of a brick wall, looking 'pinned back by tension', and the other of me walking, mid-stride (later to be made to look like I'm made of rope).
Considering that I've been intrigued by his concepts ever since he began voicing them mid-semester, I was flattered. I gave a blushing pink 'of course', and he then proceeded to thank me incessantly from that moment, through the photoshoot, and until I left the building for the day. Haha. He directed me into the alley next to the Sculpture building, where I posed in front of an old wooden door, a brick wall, and a set of iron gates.  He was really very sweet and respectful, and we had a conversation about how I wasn't at all hesitant about the spontaneous request.
You see, I told him, there are reasons I very very very carefully watch my weight and make sure my Self looks like Me: there are aspects of my art and my life that would indicate that I am indeed a 'performance artist', though I consider my body to be more like another medium at my disposal for my art, another bag of clay, so to speak. I feel that if I were to come up with a concept, something to say, that would be best represented by an artistic performance of some sort, then my body has become a material, my material to use. And I should be able to.

And well then there are the few that say that I live my Life as if it were a work of art.
I can only hope thats true.

Lately, what my therapist calls 'dissociations', have been plaguing me. I can't remember the logic behind ANY of my decisions, even for small things like what to eat or what color to paint my nails. This may not seem like a big deal to you- that is, until you come back to your car at the end of the day and see a giant shopping bag there, and you can only manage a vague recollection of your stop at Target. And this may not seem like a big deal until you can't remember which bus to take to work now that your 'car's in the shop', even though you looked it up five times before you left the house. Or that you can't remember why you chose a certain underglaze, or what glossy finish you told your teacher you wanted to have for your piece, or what that piece was called in the first place.

The dissociations are getting worse, more frequent.

Though it does add a layer of mystery to my daily activities.

 And I admit, it IS quite exciting to see a stack of new magazines on my coffee table, every day.

current mood: pensive.
current music: cocorosie - werewolf

Monday, November 15, 2010

being my mother's daughter

My work at Cherish has me positively delighted, and so I was quite 'bowled over', so to speak, when they asked me to substitute teach a scheduled workshop: Junior's (12 yrs and under) Fall Wreath-Making. I felt so honored! Oh my goodness! Oh no! Oh yes! Oh me! Oh my! Oh!!!

They asked me on Friday, and choking on my giddiness, i barely managed to give a resounding YES. My Borderline Personality Disorder acted up right away. I felt anxious and happy and tired and excited and joyful and PEACEFUL (of all things) and deliriously confused, all overwhelmingly so.
Then it was time for my weekly group meditation meeting. Needless to say, it was a bad sit. I was able to wrap the intellectual side of my brain around the Buddhist lecture, but the meditation itself was teeming with my thoughts, my plans.

in my excitement, I called my mom to brag and scrape the well for some form of validation. But no. And I should have known that she wouldn't let me have my moment, even for something this small. HER Borderline Personality Disorder was running on high, because her response was nil, except to tell me that she had a boyfriend.
First of all, I'm getting a kick out of the fact that my mother has more of a dating life than I do. Secondly, I am proud of myself for not falling into her BPD traps, her self-righteous attempts to induce pity. Thirdly, bitch didn't know the evolved human being she'd be dealing with, because MY reaction was to invite them both for Thanksgiving. HA.

And Oh whaddayaknow, they simply can't make it (surely more of my mother's manipulative twists and turns).

No matter. I've the Tasha Tudor 'Take Joy' documentary on VHS and netflix is in the midst of sending me the Colonial House series.
You know, this season I am noticing that for the first time in a long time, I will be single for the holidays. Last year I was engaged to a local celebrity (more on that at a later date), and the year before that I was falling in love and travelling cross-country with a Canadian-born animator. I'm a little trepidatious, slightly hesitant about facing the holidays all by my lonesome. What do single folks with strained family connections do?

Looks like this

and this, of course

and a little of this again.

I wonder what my new daddy will get me for christmas.

current mood: proud.
current music: feist - sea lion woman

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Kendra Ever After

Oh what a lovely day the universe has given me. Sheathed in captivating conversations about everything from eastern religions to the magic of gingerbread houses and lumberjacks, it was a whirlwind of beauty and fervent pursuits of the arts.
My alarm interrupted my dreams of canning my own jam in the Portland frontier and I unwrapped myself from the covers to get dressed for school. I arrived early to my Expressions in Clay class and checked the kiln for my rejected compartments.

Aren’t they gorgeous?  They are aborted fetuses of my brilliant idealism. Only the first one has color: a light blue underglaze and an inky manganese wash. The second one says 'dear beloved, if it happens to you, i recommend FIRE'. The last one is the beginnings of a  mangled crib, intended to look pieced back together with bricks that, once rearranged, spell out ' i think we've lost her'.
Oh poor, neglected things.

BUT! I’ve not told you about my new piece. Because I was quite literally REDUCED to an iota of my original idea, I decided to make this one piece COUNT, damnit.
It is a site-specific installation: a series of small ceramic steps ascending from the ceramic room tiled floor to the waist-high canvas-covered table, leading to a stage.
ah, fuck trying to write it all out, heres a quick and dirty coffee-shop sketch:

Its sideways, but it reads: Happy Birthday Darling/ We Love You/ Very……/Much
It is progressively covered in ceramic pills, which will have PTSD diagnostic criteria, as well as all the emotions my BPD has me experiencing so intensely, printed on them. And yes, that is a candle on that pill bottle, whose dosage instructions  will read “Off With Her Head”.
It is called “Diagnosis: Don’t Look Down Pretty Pretty Princess”.
I’m actually significantly timid of it. It’s highly personal and it is my first work about my BPD. Working on it has been especially emotional, and I’ve lost  count of the number of times I’ve ‘snapped out of it’ to feel tears running down my cheeks and into the slabs of clay I’d been pounding out.
my biggest trepidation? That it will say too much, reveal too much.
You see, I’ve become exceedingly self-conscious about the diagnosed intensity of my emotions. I don’t want to scare anybody, or ‘weird them out’, or put them off, all things my Intensity has tended to do.
Even at work! I am so happy there, I become thoroughly giddy, nearly to the point of delirium. I know I must contain myself (my BPD), and so I vow to only emit 50% of myself, and I run to the ladies room and do a series of jumping-jacks to release the anxiety of the remaining 50%.
And of course the negative emotions come just as fiercely, though with more turbulence. They are much harder to contain, as the reservoir of my anger and rage wells from the depths of my corrupted childhood. Oh my the hurdle is Sisyphic.
Anyway, the second part of my day entailed my dragging  a handful of fellow art students to the opening reception of the Andy Goldsworthy exhibit at Haines Gallery. Mr. Goldsworthy himself showed up and of course I stood across the room and stared at him, willing the glass of white wine to imbibe me with the ability to form the words of all the questions I had for him. When I got to the bottom of the glass, I walked across the room, stared openly at that infamous Clay Wall, and vexed myself.
No matter, folks. I left feeling abundantly fortunate to have been in the presence of amusing students, a talented artist, and significant art.
A clove cigarette while I waited for the train.
A glass of Malbec.
I am complete.

current mood: forever, ago.
current music: nico - these days.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

'enough of your fairy tales'

Allow me to begin by bragging. I simply can not BELIEVE my luck with my new job. Essentially, I get paid to craft all day. No joke. Upon my punching the time clock, the manager handed me a stack of old Hanukkah cards and instructed me to make something out of them. Girl, get your craft on.
I made adorable book marks that are perfect for your Jewish friends this holiday season. Check.
Next she pointed to a stack of DIY placecards and told me to create a display for them. I spent the next 3 hours happily playing with ribbon, paper, and glue while I set up a Thanksgiving table. Check.

How jealous are you?

Ok but before you get too excited, let me tell you about:

So with all my studious research on Borderline Personality Disorder and its roots in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and the insanely interesting biochemistry of it all, I had finally come up with an idea. More like the idea happened TO me.
My mind's eye saw a large table full of open ceramic boxes, various sizes and heights, each compartmentalized in a different way. Yes, just like the brain compartmentalizes information, traumas, situations, events, memories. Each compartment was to be representative of a symptom or diagnostic criteria of either BPD or PTSD by either filling it or writing in it or etc. Smack dab in the middle of this span of boxes there was to be an erect double helix, decayed and fraying.
The piece was to be called 'Diagnosis: Runs In The Family'.
Now, isn't that positively genius? Yes. YES.
I began working feverishly. I needed to complete this piece and I needed to get it done by finals in December. I kneaded clay, put the slab roller to work, assembled these boxes as best I could.
My ceramics teacher said no. No. There wasn't enough clay to go around, and there's not enough room in the kiln for my ambitious project and the work of other students. WTF.

So, I've been reduced to ONE PIECE. ONE ELEMENT of this installation. I am utterly disappointed. It feels so 'measely'. I can't even explain. It will never be what it could have been. The meaning behind the piece is lost. LOST.

So last night I bought a stack of wedding magazines and proceeded to plan imaginary weddings for my all my friends (single or not). I felt a little better.

Fuck school and their imposing limitations.
Today I'll be at work, crafting, for 8 hours, then I plan to come home and sit cross-legged on my tiny couch and watch the 1952 version of The Importance of Being Earnest. Hmph!

current mood: defiant, disappointed.
current music: the yeah yeah yeahs - art star.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

theres a reason i didnt say goodbye...

...because I never meant to be gone!

I've been very busy attempting to put my life together. I am finally FINALLY creating the life I've always wanted, building it like a sculpture, a work of art in and of itself.
Here's what it looks like:

Today I start my new job at Cherish, an art & craft supply store in a cute little neighborhood. It's part supply store and part studio space, where patrons can pay $5/hr to use all our fancy stationary and scrapbooking machines, supplies, etc. I'll get to make crafting kits all day, and they'll allow me to sell my own crafts on consignment there.

All I want is a life where I dedicate myself to my Art (school), and craft in all my free time.
It appears I'm getting closer, though there's still a big hole where my Significant Other should be.

I've been trying to learn to co-exist with this Borderline Personality Disorder, because I still feel it overtake me at times, and the line between It and Me blurs. I've begun to do research on it, to both arm mySelf and fuel my art. BPD stems mostly from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. This makes sense for me as I had a very tumultous and scary childhood.
One symptom of PTSD/BPD is dissociation and partial amnesias, and unfortunately I've been experiencing a lot of this lately. I forget who it was that made the decision to eat all the persimmons in the fridge; or who it was that decided to cut her hair from shoulder-length to pixie-short. It was me. Of course it was. The thing is, there is something about those moments, those choices, that reach far back into my childhood, something in my childhood, and I dissociate. I disappear into the trigger.
The next day, the next hour, even the next moment, I see the fruit stems in the trash, I see my cut hair on the floor, and I can't remember for the life of me WHY. Any thoughts I had during those decisions are gone, unrelatable, unfathomable.
So this is the hardest part: Not recognizing myself from one moment to the next.
Which explains my lack of presence on this blog lately.

But I do love to write, and so I go back and forth about how much/often to post. Shouldn't I be writing 'just for me'? But I swear I'd write more prolifically if I had actual readers. So if you read me, please let me know. I'd post more and its even very likely I'd craft you something and send it to you.

Tomorrow I plan to write about what art school does to you when you've a brilliant idea for an installation. Its not pretty.

current mood: curious
current music: the pixies - where is my mind