In the accidental gap year I found myself in last year, I determined myself to continue learning. I absorbed a wonderous feast of inspiration and enthusiam from the good folks of the internet. Yes, that includes you. I thank you sincerely.
I collected and devoured books and articles, blogs, tutorials and galleries (online and off). I explored new techniques and new media with whole-hearted abandon. I believe I learnt a lot.
Turns out I forgot a lot too.
I forgot the time lost to debating the obvious and making suposition about the intents behind all manner of art. With mind maps.
I forgot that for every hour in the classroom, at least another one or two are needed for research and time lost down figurative blind alleys. I forgot how the time it takes swells and nudges out of place all other aspects of day to day being.
I do remember having a big wobble at about this stage on my last course. The initial I’m an art student euphoria has burnt itself out and in its wake sits a mildly stunned version of me, in mini-crisis-of-intent. Just a stage in the process.
If you’ve visited here before you’ll have to noticed two of my favourite things are words and colors.
So dying a dictionary seemed the obvious thing for me to do.
30 years ago this month I began high school.
30 years ago? Lordy!
Equipped with the essentials dictated by the school, I now owned a Pocket Oxford Dictionary.
(At over 1000 pages and a good 2 inches thick, the average pocket size of an eleven year old child negated its title.)
Nonetheless this book has travelled with me through the decades.
Battered, dog-eared, with scribbled notes in the margins here n there…
… the spine went first but now it’s cover has separated totally from its papery wordfilled heart.
In it’s new incarnation – a colorful version of the former – it will one day become collage ingredients.
As an aside, I sometimes catch a glance of myself in my art room, as if from an outsiders perspective. I’m ironing torn, stained scraps of paper. Phrases like ‘not doing anyone any harm’ in bemused but sympathetic tones echo in my head. I smile. They just don’t understand. Anyway, I do it cos I have to and it makes me happy. Nuff said.