Wednesday, July 6, 2016

First Solo Show... then a second one!

It's been a while since I updated this blog, but the time spent away was due to life stuff. We had to move, so we went from living in a duplex near the airport to living in an old house in a really nice neighborhood. There are a lot of positives to this move, like being way closer to campus (and therefore my work), being down the street from an elementary school (which Lilah will start attending in August), and finally having an actual front and back yard! Good stuff.

There are a lot of other neat things happening, too. I was approached by two different people about having a solo show in two different venues - in the Arc gallery on campus and in a Café D'arte. At first I figured I would have to choose one or the other, but then realized that I have way more than enough art to have two.

Last Thursday we hung up my watercolor pieces in the Arc gallery. I have never done anything like this before, and the manager for the gallery, Ellen, was more than helpful. My friend Kiara also helped out. Ellen guided us through the process and it took almost four hours! The majority of that time was spent doing the measurements. It was a lot more complicated than I imagined it would be, but everything looks great. I will definitely post pictures soon.

I was pretty stumped about coming up with a title to the show, but I impulsively ended up choosing the word Obscurascope, which is also the name of my Etsy shop. I think it fits well!

Here is the artist statement that I wrote for it...

Obscurascope is a word that I assembled which means to “investigate the unseen”. I think a lot about the transience of life, the permanence of death, and enjoy the mysteriousness of it all. The eye is a symbol that I use to represent my fascination with this mystery.

My drive to create has been with me from a young age, and I spent countless hours drawing and writing as a child and as a teenager. As an adult, I was in an abusive relationship for over three years. I spent the majority of that time in seclusion and without access to my family or  friends. Drawing in my sketchbook and exploring my imagination helped me get through those dark times, and made me feel free. Creating still holds this power for me, and it also acts as a meditation for helping me through my anxieties and depression.

I started drawing with ballpoint pen many years ago, but didn’t start using watercolor paint until I took Beginning Watercolor at UAA with Professor Garry Mealor back in early 2013. At first the medium frustrated me and I was sure that I would never get the hang of it. With each assignment I felt like I was improving, and have since worked primarily with watercolor paint. It wasn’t until the past year that I thought to combine my love of both ballpoint pen and watercolor. Since the ink in the ballpoint pens I use is oil-based, the water based paint does not smear it.

I will be applying to the BFA program at UAA this Fall.
I will write again soon about the Café D'arte show once I get that hung up.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Mini-Update in Etsy Shop

Just wanted to announce a mini-update in my Etsy shop! I took a mental break from the semester for a day, and just worked on some pendants. I really like how they turned out!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Draw me like one of your DMT elves.

About a month ago I purchased a Snazaroo face paint kit off of Amazon. The quality was surprisingly great compared to most face paints that I've used.

For a while now, I've wanted to try and paint my face like one of my art pieces. The end result was kind of rushed, but I'm fond of how it turned out, despite the jagged lines and lack of even blending.

Looking forward to some more face painting fun in the near future!
(All pictures were taken with my phone & post was published using the Blogger app. Super convenient! Should try that more often...)

Thursday, November 19, 2015

November Shop Update

On November 15, I uploaded six pieces of jewelry to my Etsy shop, Obscurascope. I'm hoping that the winter break will yield bigger shop updates for December and January, since the Fall semester will finally be over soon! I still have to work, but at least I won't have class projects, so I can fit in more time for making jewelry. Yay!

I'm also still trying to get the hang of my new camera. It requires a lot more patience and planning, and while I was taking these photos it was easily around 0 degrees outside, so I didn't linger and I don't feel like I got the best shots I could have taken. I've decided that I must come up with a better way of taking these jewelry pictures indoors since it's obviously going to be really freaking cold outside for the next few months, and also try to take advantage of what little light there is at this time of year in Alaska.

Here are the pieces that were uploaded...

Find it here.

Find it here.

Find it here!

Find it here.

Find it here!

More details here!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Michael Young 1971 - 2015

On the morning of October 22, 2015, my brother-in-law passed away. It was sudden and unexpected. When I found out about it from my dad, my entire body was shaking. No way could it be real. I called my sister, Dawn, and she confirmed the news about her husband. Her voice sounded so distant, even on the phone. After she came home that day, we sat with her in our garage, and a bunch of our friends and family came over that day and joined us.

I'm very grateful to everyone who was there that day, and each day after. I think that incoming stream of constant support helped my sister more than anything. My mom also came into town, having traveled all the way from Massachusetts to be with us for a week. She definitely helped us all feel better, even with just her presence.

There was a potluck last week to celebrate Michael Young's life. It was held at my aunt's house, which was more accommodating for the amount of people that confirmed they would show up. We still ended up being shoulder to shoulder in her house, and nearly everyone brought food to put on the table.

Lilah (my daughter) and Dawn (my sister)

Dawn and our Mom

There was also an empty book set up in the corner next to Mike's picture, so that it could be filled with memories from anyone who wanted to write in there. Even Lilah wrote in there.

I'm not going to share what I wrote in the book, but here is what I wrote on Facebook about my relationship with him,

I first met Michael Young when I was 14 years old, and it wasn't long after that he married my sister, Dawn. It was obvious from the beginning of their relationship how much he cared for her, and he extended that care to me as well, often calling me the little sister that he never had. When Lilah and I needed someplace to go, he and Dawn opened up their home to us. He told me that I should start going to college since I had the opportunity and support to, and he supported me every step of the way. He believed in me, even when I didn't believe in myself. He was a very loving man who would always be there to help those in need. He had a big heart and a big presence, and I am very happy that he touched my sister's life and all of those that he met. 

This was my first time experiencing a loss like this. Though my grandfather and my great grandmother both passed away during my lifetime, I was in a completely different part of the country from them, and hardly interacted with them or knew them. Thus, it didn't affect me like it did my mom or my aunt. However, we all lived with Mike. I saw him in person almost every day. I've surprised myself with my denial, expressing my thoughts to Cameron like, "They must have made a mistake. They must have the wrong person.", even though I know that's not the truth of the situation.

Those first few nights after he died, it was difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. It's easier now, but it was really rough at first. My sister is doing okay. She has been sticking to her usual routine, and has a huge band of friends who have infinite support to offer her. She also started writing in a journal, which I think is a great idea.

It's hard to believe that it's already been two weeks since Mike passed away. Last night, Lilah slept with a tiny picture of him in her bed. I feel sad that he won't be here to celebrate her fifth birthday this next week, but I know he would have wanted us to make it as fun as possible for her, so we will.