Reverse and some Other Things

Whew! The week is almost over and I am happy to be done with this semester. Tackling on grad school while pregnant in a pandemic and working full time is not an easy endeavor.

Alas, I am still alive…

I spent some time this week going through a few iterations of Reverse (in my head unfortunately). Of course, like with most of my work it came with some excitement. I won’t get into too much detail, but this week was not the week for shit to break down! A lot of my time was figuring out how to paint with my ever growing stomach, figuring out printer/scanner issues, and trying to find my pad of watercolor paper. None of what I planned worked out…

I was able to get only one iteration down via Photoshop, it is not my forte. I use Photoshop for fun digital paintings, not for my practice.

I plan to go for multiple approaches to see what it will look like within the next week. I am still unsure of how I want to proceed. On one hand, I do like the idea with a few extra layers but an iteration with the most happening intrigues me as well. Hopefully I will stumble on something that I deem worthy of using for Reverse. Whatever I plan to do, it has to wait until mid-September when I am cleared to move my body. Reverse is significant to my future practice, although you cannot see directly, it has a lot to do with Daniel (our tiny human baking in my oven). While working on the piece and the iterations, I’m finding that I enjoy movement much more than I initially thought. This is relevant to my progression this semester, going through my review, as well as, talking with Mendi/Keith Obadike and Arnold Kemp, opened a door I was holding shut.

What is the progression of my work as a mother and artist?

Obviously, something is going to change, the “What,” is the question. My current work is focusing on the mental self in a depressive state. However, like Arnold Kemp said I’m “not going to be this emo painter forever.” I loved this statement because it is something I have said to Bryan months prior to my start at SAIC.

What comes after? I want to connect with people and there is more in life that can evoke a reflection of the self. I can’t exclusively paint sad depressive states in my practice.

Although Reverse is a part of this conglomeration of depressive/vulnerable states I’m painting currently, it represents a newer era of my work. I started to think about mothers who are artists and how their practice has been impacted. Jenny Saville, who became a mother, was subsequently influenced by this life change. The link I supplied is of a specific exhibition in 2010. She is a figurative painter who distorts the figure, however, she made and displayed drawings with her body and her child(ren). I feel like with the variety of materials I use, I can make shifts quite easily. Maybe the next step after Reverse is to start using my pregnant self and Daniel (when he arrives) in my work.

Regardless of school and work, I have been heavily focused on Daniel and his state starting last Friday. I’m paying attention to his movements and where he is located in my body. According to the doctor, he is in a transverse position and he is supposed to be head down by this point. I wonder what happened, is he just uncomfortable head down because he is large and long? Paying attention to what he is doing is making me think that he likes to move…a lot. If I could track where his head is with a marker for a single day, it would make a full circle on my belly. This makes me think of those drawings Jenny Saville made and I wonder how I might apply movement in works that involve Daniel (the little squirmy-wormy he is).