Sunday, January 31, 2010

Big Red and Blue

Between the purchase of a jeweller's saw and the heady joy of being able to custom-create any shape of metal charms lies the murky depths of Survival, Rent, and Necessary Finance.

In other words: I've been busy with work, rehearsals for main choir, lesson plans and more rehearsals with quartet and chamber choir, and the weather hasn't wanted to be cooperative when it comes to taking photographs of the few little bits of new stuff I've been piddling out. The pictures will come hopefully this week - my balcony is not the best place to take any sort of photos, though I've managed with some squeezed ingenuity so far. I've managed a metal pendant, an acrylic pendant, a necklace/earring set with pearls and metal washers (which I've titled 'The Strange Attraction of Opposites) and a new chainmaille bracelet with a Byzantine Cross centrepiece. Not a lot, compared with most other crafters, but there you have it - I take whatever in-between times I get.

During the sporadic bits of time when I actually -don't- have to lesson plan and the designing work starts to frustrate me to the point of screaming, I've been watching Hellboy and reading up some of Mike Mignola's other work. Mignola is a comic book artist who does amazing things with black and white - I think I like his black and white work better than the coloured pieces, honestly. It reminds me of Marcos' work - yes Marcos, I LOVE your stuff! I mean...Miss Trouble, who could ask for more?

Which led to this weird, somewhat contemplative and random journal entry. Yep, I'm officially on a Hellboy kick; I'll have to hunt up 'Seed of Destruction' soon the next time I hit Kinokuniya. It's been a while since I drew anything - as much as this is blatant derivative, it felt good to be using markers again.

The one and only Big Red Paranormal Investigator with the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Development (B.P.R.D), Hellboy himself, and his blue amphibious friend, Abe Sapien. Abe came out horrible, but I'm putting that down to me-artist-fail. Ah yes. This utilised the famous Grunge Eraser Alphabet Stamps which I mangled some weeks back.

Friday, January 08, 2010

2010: Send Me Out Into Another Life...

...lord for this one is growing faint
i do not think it goes all the way.

-- 'Words from a Totem Animal', W. S. Merwin

Carpe Anno - My first personal art journal entry since 2002 - a new beginning, a new skill. My old journal pages were usually for other people, I don't know why I never did any for myself. It turned out better than I expected, certainly. And, amazingly, I loved being able to be messy - something I should do far more often I think.

New year, new post - a bit late, I know, but I think it's not too late to pick up from where the last year ended, and forge on.

A year. Four alphabets which cover 365 days, which ought to be so much longer than they work in reality. A blink and 2009 is over. Hullo 2010, will you be taking a side order of Challenges with your order?

Because that's really what 2009 has been all about, on a personal and not so personal level. Leaving a source of steady income to teach freelance, taking vocal exams, preparing for an incredibly difficult choir production, embarking on singing as a career - I can't say I was ready for any of them when they fell on me like Newton's proverbial apple. And yet, here I am. It's a testament to grace, and grace for the journey.

And then there were the Big Things - starting Dawn Studio Creation on faith, hope and a gritting of teeth, beginning the 3-year process that will give me the Australian Kodaly Certificate of Music Education, struggling through finances that never seemed to rise above anything but a mere lukewarm negative some days. Creativity blocks, comparisons, competition, insecurities - I'm not sure I would have chosen any of these to be constant companions for an entire year, frankly. And yet, I don't think I'd trade them for anything; if I did I'd lose some of the most precious things I've had to learn in the process.

Faith. Hope. Love. Courage.

So here's to 2010, where Courage tilts her head and says, Come on out into the water now, you've been standing on the diving board for too long. Time to grit those (stained and incredibly dentist-neglected) teeth and forge the rest of the journey that began last year. Here's to faith, where sometimes everyone but you believes that you CAN do it, and when people around and dear friends may be the only ones who keep your dreams alive by reminding you that you're not alone.

Here's to hope, when that last damned niobium jump ring breaks and there's no way of getting another order from overseas for another month due to shipping, and the commission's due that weekend. When the -next- set of pliers you break might just mean that you can handle -most- gauges of wire, but not stainless steel - but you will, someday.

Here's to love. Loving what you do, loving what you want to be and what you want to create with every fibre of your heart even though it can hurt so much to do so. When passion seems an exercise in endurance, and nothing seems worthwhile any more, but it's all you have and it's all you love, and you have something to say so you say it anyhow in whatever medium you can.

Here's to you, all the wonderful people who've been there for me when nothing seemed like it could ever get better past the catastrophe stage.

Thank you. Happy 2010, everyone - Carpe Anno!