Friday, June 22, 2012

Contemplating Schooling Options and My Future

I posted this on Facebook last Monday:

"So I'm thinking that a certificate in Botanical Illustration from the New York Botanical Garden might be a better fit than a MS in Environmental Education from SCSU. Any thoughts?"

I had spent a few well needed days working in my gardens and my need to have "more" of this experience was awoken in me again. I was thinking that what I love most to do is be among plants, insects and birds. The sights, sounds and scents are so thrilling to me! The desire to recreate these sensations in some manner is strong. I really don't know how to describe in words what I feel. But I was thinking that it is a solitary experience and so, for the most part, is being an artist. Only I know exactly what I feel. I want others to experience the same pleasure I get from tending and being in the garden. That is my main reason for choosing to pursue a masters of science degree in Environmental Education at Southern Connecticut State University. But I was thinking that involves lots of planning and organizing and tasks that take place outside of the garden. So I was thinking that if I concentrated on creating art and taking courses at the New York Botanical Garden to further develop my skills, this might be the better fit.

I did receive some thoughts from my friends. One friend asked why I couldn't do both. That might be possible, but the financial investment would be considerable. Over the past few days I have been thinking and praying about the best course of action.  I realized that I already have the basic drawing skills, have all the equipment (papers, pencils, paints, etc.) and I certainly have the specimens! What I really need is to get outside and draw, draw, draw!! I don't want to be a botanical artist per se; I do want to get better at depicting the flowers, plants, trees, vegetables, butterflies, birds and other life that share this plot of earth with me and my family.

They say that beginning a new habit is more difficult than ending one. It is supposed to take three weeks of sticking with something before it becomes a routine.  Starting on Monday, I plan to spend at least a half hour each day outside - weather permitting - drawing! The reward will be better work and plenty of reference material to refer to during the long winter months.

Muscari sketch

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Studio Reorganization Update

Last week, after two days of re-organizing and removing items from my studio, I realized that I could be at this full time for a month! I decided to make sure the counters, sink and work table were clear so that I could start doing some screen printing. I bought another table, unfortunately a foot shorter than the one I have, but it gives me more room to work. The plan is to devote one hour a day organizing/donating/giving away/throwing away the many items still cluttering the closets and under the work tables. But for now I can move and breath and create!!!

space to lay out prints to dry

room to work

Saturday, June 9, 2012

A Fresh Start - Studio Reorganization and Give Away

Good morning! In an effort to become more disciplined and dedicated to art making, I have set some goals for myself. I intend to blog about them so that you have an idea of my progress. The first act to accomplish is reorganizing my studio. I have stuff everywhere, as you can see in the photo. It is worse than normal in this photo because many items were moved to that side of the room in order to remove a sewing desk.

About fifteen years ago I was given a Singer sewing machine which is housed in a beautiful mahogany-finish desk. I used it as a writing desk since I don't sew much. When we finished our basement and set up my studio, I moved it there in the hopes that I would start sewing. That was ten years ago and I have only worked on a handful of sewing projects. I do also have an old portable Singer machine that I can use if I do decide to sew again. Anyway, moving that desk out of the room opens it up to greater possibilities for organization. Towards the right of the photo you can see a set of tall cabinets. These are quite deep and many materials are buried in there. I want to get them out in the open where I can see and then use them! We also have a computer with a big "old-school" monitor on the back counter that we will move to my son's room since he has decided to remain in Nashville. I will set up my laptop in its place and gain quite a bit of counter space!

I've decided I also want to clear out up to half of the items I have saved and collected over the years. There is just too much. I plan to donate materials to Creative Arts Workshop for their annual fundraising Art Supply Tag Sale. I do also want to give away items to people I know who would be happy to use them. With this thought, I've decided that I would give away an assortment of papers, fabrics, ribbons, possibly beads, paints and who knows what else, to anyone who decides to follow one of my blogs today. (My other blog is My Big Backyard, Diary of an Amateur Naturalist ) and to anyone of my current followers who leaves a comment on one of my posts today.

Thanks for reading and for keeping me company in this new journey!
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