Audiences accustomed to the pieties of late Victorian romantic fiction were taken aback by Chopin's daring portrayal of a woman trapped in a stifling marriage, who seeks and finds passionate physical love outside the straitened confines of her domestic situation. Aside from its unusually frank treatment of a controversial subject, few novels have plumbed the psychology of a woman involved in an illicit relationship with the perception, artistry, and honesty that Kate Chopin brought to The Awakening.
I find that in summer months especially, I tend to have a number of small projects on the go. I also tend to work in so many different places, in the side garden, the backyard, the deck, the family room, living room, or even the kitchen, and it seems that I tend to move around even more in the summer than any other time of the year. So...my drafting table tends to become piled with projects in progress, which I don't think is a bad thing. When I see everything splayed out before me I tend to do two things:
1. I keep working on projects because they are not 'out of sight, out of mind', and
2. This is a big one...when I'm working on several projects at the same time, one seems to feed the others. If I'm stuck in one, I can move on to another or, when I'm in the working stages of something, my eyes and mind wander over all of the materials around me and I begin to make the most interesting connections which is always a good thing when I'm doing something creative.
I noticed this particularly when I'm developing new ideas or when I feel challenged at all.
I've been working away like a busy little bee these days on a number of little projects, which seem to be the most pleasurable to me in the summer. My daughter and I have been planning some type of collaborative project (she's a tailor/designer) and I can't wait to try a few little mock projects. I've carved a bee before but I wanted to create something a little plumper, with a little more character (less wasp-like I think) and had fun with this one.
Bees symbolize community and personal power; Druids believed they represented the sun and celebration; we are reminded to slow down, focus and smell the sweetness of the flowers amongst our busy days. I have tried to keep this in mind this summer.
In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is devastated, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career he whiles away the years in 622 affairs--yet he reserves his heart for Fermina. Her husband dies at last, and Florentino purposefully attends the funeral. Fifty years, nine months, and four days after he first declared his love for Fermina, he will do so again.
Now that my studio space has settled, I am back to carving once again. My daughter has always been interested in anatomical hearts so I decided to carve one which I could use for my 52 WEEKS project (see Monday's post) and that she could potentially use to create her own fabric. Printmaking lends itself beautifully to this image as the carving marks resemble the muscle tissue in a heart. And just doing this work is so meditative and calming, something I always need in my life.
This has been an incredible summer as it's the first time in my memory that I haven't had a number of other obligations besides painting and studying. Though I am usually averse to warm weather, I wonder if having this time is making it not only bearable but rather pleasurable. My garden has several comfortable perches and I make my way from one to another depending on the sun and shade (I'm a shade girl) where I can appreciate all the hard work my husband has done in order to create this little sanctuary in the city. I'm inspired by the birds and the shapes and colours of the leaves and flowers. I have a psychology exam coming up soon and have two more papers to complete prior to that so I am grateful for this space. By the way, the lovely henna on my foot was created by my special friend at Traditional Glimpse...I love treating myself to the art and time with the beautiful artist each summer.
Portrait of the Artist is Joyce’s reworking of the classic coming of age story (the German term is bildungsroman), and it mirrors the author’s life up to age 20, when he left Dublin for Paris. Its challenging attitude to family, homeland, and the Catholic Church all gave the novel (and Joyce himself) quite the reputation when it was published. Joyce treats youth with a directness and honesty that’s pretty remarkable. (Schmoop)
Here's the new studio space! Well, it's the old space that I occupy once again after several years away though this time I'm sharing it with my daughter the tailor (see her website here). We will be sharing the cutting/project table (I'll cover it with my drop cloth) and the drafting table as well. This time I have added more lighting which really makes a difference and am planning on some type of hard surface flooring...we'll see where the research leads. I know I want something fairly inexpensive but good quality, low maintenance and very easy cleaning. I already know what my first major project is going to be in this space, just need to begin with a few sketches...and some research on a few media. This is where the fun begins.