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Laura started the week with a liquid frisket demonstration. Just about everyone was inspired and I imagine Dick Blick will be shipping more than a few jars to Fairbanks in the near future.

In addition to the frisket demo, we had our last sub-culture genre lecture on Fantasy/ Fantastique art. From talking to other students, I know I was not the only one inspired by the images and concepts presented. The remainder of in class time this week was dedicated to paper treatments and getting started on our life-size self portraits. This assignment was challenging on several levels. Not only did we have to come up with a concept and carry it out, but we had to figure out how to handle a 6 ft sheet of paper. Yet, as I was confident we would, we all managed to unroll it, carry it to and fro (despite it being the only 2 windy weeks of the year), find a suitable workspace and create some brilliant self portraits. I really enjoyed sharing ideas for working through this assignment with classmates and working in the Great Hall. I have always been fascinated with the creative process and really saw the process in action this week. I am a rare individual who likes math almost as much as art (I am better at art:)) and see strong similarities in the problem solving used in both. I see all art assignments as problems to be solved. There is the initial struggle, the moment where you figure out how you will proceed, and the execution, which is never without hitches. With math, you can follow several paths but do need to come up with a specific solution. With art, the struggle might be similar, but the solution can change, that is the surprise that separates the arts from other disciplines. The solution, as well as the solution path is ultimately up to the creator. This week of work time was an explosion of problems being recognized and worked through in some really exciting ways.

My own solution path had a rough start. I spent hours thinking, sketching and scouring the internet and books for inspiration. I had thought at first that I would go with Anime. Since so much of the Anime images I encountered were either sexual or violent I thought I would focus on violence and draw myself  beating salmon–probably the most violent thing I have ever done. I still like the concept, but Anime just was not working for me. At some point during the fantastique lecture the idea of switching from Anime to fantasy struck me. Suddenly the idea I knew I wanted to work with popped into my head. I am always more inspired to work on something when it is relevant to my life. What could be more relevant to my life at the moment than laundry? It is something I do every day–that is correct, EVERY DAY! If not, it gets completely out of control. I have tried getting rid of tons of clothes, wearing the same things over and over again, not worrying about a few small spots on the kids’ clothes, but it just keeps coming. Wet kitchen rags, filthy bibs, toilet training mishaps, dog slobber, dog hair, my two-year old getting into the dog’s water, the wood stove ashes, the potted plants, the markers etc. Not to mention the normal dirty socks, stinky shirts, sheets and towels that just need to be maintained. So I start most days in the laundry room and often end them there as well. I can recall my laundromat days–when I would read a book while sipping a latte every other week while I got 4 loads done in a few hours. How I longed for the day that I would have my very own washer and dryer so I would not have to spend an entire morning doing the wash…..sigh. The thing is, I don’t really view it as a burden. It is what it is. I like the sense of accomplishment I feel when it is all folded up and put away. I love the smell of line dried clothes. I love seeing a stain come out of something I thought had been ruined. I am domestic. I cook, clean, was dishes, feed people, wipe butts and do lots and lots of laundry. I wanted to put a positive and somewhat glamorous light on the simple mundane task of hanging out the clothes. So often images of washer women portray the woman as harsh and burdened. I thought it would be interesting to elevate the task in some way.

Designing the dress with laundry…

Deciding how to handle the face was a challenge. I drew several faces I was not happy with and impulsively came up with the idea of covering the face. I am not sure I should have done it. I am thinking about putting the face back in…

Yikes! One example of a failed face...

I am looking forward to feedback regarding the face.

I am really excited about this concept and want to continue working on this theme. Not complaining about or apologizing for where I am at the moment. Expressing the satisfaction and beauty that can come from simple tasks.

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