It's a lazy Sunday morning for me. A strange feeling indeed. I have been working nonstop for the past few months whilst juggling teaching, pottery production, and MFA work. I now have a small (very small!) window of time for holiday prep and festivical (yes, I made that word up) enjoyment. MFA presentations occurred last weekend, Christmas break is upon us, and pottery production just ended for 2011 as of Friday evening. This morning I did not hurry to rise from bed and am taking refuge in a small toasty warm room, still garmented in PJ's, to write my long overdue blog posting.
The past few weeks were the big push to finish up three sculptural projects. I finally finished them last week only to realize that none of them are 100% done. Maybe it's like this most artists? Even when nearing the finish line, I think of things that I would have done differently, or an addendum that could enhance the meaning of the piece. Conceptually, these projects were forming long ago, months in advance. The hands are usually happy to take over and start forming what is only a vision in mind's eye. This was perhaps the most challenging MFA semester for me so far in that my visual kept changing throughout the project. I would feel certain at one point about a specific color or composition, only to find my hands defying the mind when picking up a brush or tool. I literally changed direction several times without consciously planning to do so. Parr for the course I suppose. But it is wild that in a course of a few minutes, despite a months'-long plan to do something a certain way, changes in a flash without preconceived notion. And, more amazingly, I felt at peace with the final result despite the lack of brooding of commitment to a decision.
So, I have three unfinished "finished" sculptures in my studio waiting for the next steps. For now though, a couple weeks of resting the mind so that I can focus on time with family and friends.
Chris and I have been enjoying holiday celebrations and traditions. We had a blast as judges for the International Gingerbread Competition. (sounds hoity toity, doesn't it?!) The annual newsletter has been typed and is making its way into cards long overdue in mailing. Friday night we watched with joy the students at school perform in "Midsummer Nights' Dream", and before I left school on Thursday afternoon, I set-up the art room for this coming Monday's Craft Day where kids will make candy cane reindeer and greeting cards. Today I continue with greeting cards (much later than usual!!!) and loading the kiln for the final pottery production of 2011. The house has been cleaned a bit deeper than usual, and soon traditional confections will be baked. A trip to the market is planned in the next couple days to purchase items for the German dish Rouladen, a most delicious recipe that I stole from childhood dinners with the Raymond family.
All is well at the Wheelock/Crittenden homestead. We are hoping for some snow but won't hold our breath. Enjoying the darkness but looking forward to Solstice with the returning light.
It is time for me to formally "wake-up", shower, open the shop, and get on with holiday prep.
I am signing off for the remainder of 2011 with a wish for everyone to enjoy a safe and joyous holiday season (Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, Christmas, New Year!!!!).
A short song to inspire people of all backgrounds to find common ground this holiday season.