I have about an hour before I should probably be in bed. That would normally mean that I’d need to stop what I’m doing now and start preparing, but I’m not feeling entirely that responsible at the moment. 🙂
I was able to finish my acrylic painting last night, though “finish” is a bit of a misnomer. It’s ready to turn in, but I can see where I can tweak it. I’ve posted an image of it below…I’ve already submitted a copy to my professor, so I’m thinking I’m good. It’s got a bit of a Surrealist effect going on, as it is, due to some camera oddities which I exaggerated without realizing it. And, well, I made a mistake which is visible between the watercolor and acrylic versions of the image, though unless one knows it’s there, it probably doesn’t look bad. I forgot that I could wipe it off with a damp rag while it was still wet…
At least I was able to get the painting done on time. As things stand now, though — due to illness and the holiday, most of my classes this week were cancelled. I only had the field trip to worry about, plus the Painting assignment (I didn’t know until early morning that the latter class was cancelled). That also means that I didn’t have to have my big Figure Drawing assignment done earlier in the week.
My prof has given us some exercises to work within to build up to the large composition (18″x24″) for Figure Drawing, but I’m thinking I’m going to have to do some additional work to even get the thing done. We were supposed to make three different versions of the same drawing in thumbnail format and then blow one of those up into a large-format image on colored paper. My major issue with this is that there are so many different directions I could go, that it’s difficult to pick one and stay with it.
My second major issue is that the drawings I most want to recreate are with one of the models who exhibited the most sensuality…which I am a bit cautious about getting into, in a school setting. It’s bad enough when I’m next to some guy who’s vocally uncomfortable about drawing a nude male model in a vulnerable pose, or who’s giggling about a nude female model. The poses I’m drawn to, though — at least, the two by our first model — are really indicative of vulnerability. And I really resonate with that — because to me, part of being a really good artist is making oneself vulnerable.
I was actually talking about this with my counselor today; that there is a tradeoff between being vocal and recognized and keeping things private. When I work, my work is very obviously (to me) based off of my own experience, and so there is no way for me to give my all to an Art class and at the same time not let anyone know what’s going on inside of me.
The major bit of information that is missing from the above painting, which I have not yet entered, is my signature. I could take on a pseudonym — in fact I already have one which I’ve used with certain subsets of friends, and have planned to use if I ever become a published author — but it seems most appropriate to write my actual name on the piece.
Part of that is the fact that I’m mixed-race, and this is apparent from my birth name — whereas with my chosen name, one wouldn’t know I were mixed (or indeed whether I were male or female) until seeing me. My birth name also resonates with much more power in this context (meaningwise) than my chosen name.
The problem with using it is that it is a unique name — very nearly too unique — though I have found others using names spelled similarly online. And with the Internet the way it is, I’ve been cautious about putting it out there. Putting it out here, on my blog, would likely give away my existence, whereas I and my family have gone through efforts to keep the fact of my existence largely offline.
I also have a history of both existing within the trans community (though I don’t really resonate anywhere nearly as strongly with the term “trans” anymore — I never took hormones or surgery, and have seemed to be able to adapt on my own, whereas most of the TG and TS people I’ve known have gone quickly to medical interventions, often at very high costs) and I’ve also spoken about my experience of mental illness, rather freely.
I have made efforts to find a career path in which I’ll be able to be open about who I am and my experiences without too much risk of discrimination or censure. And there is quite a tolerance for neurodiversity within the Arts…thankfully. It’s been a really good thing to be able to find a place where I don’t have to worry about negative judgments just because of the difficulties I’ve had in my life. I mean, I came out to everyone last semester, and I still have friends who’ve kept on with me since then, you know? It’s not necessarily such a bad thing to let others know this stuff. The problem is, mainly, do I want to be really public about it?
I do realize I have an image editor now, so I could, technically, just blot out any signature I’d put on my work. But that doesn’t seem right — it is my work, not the work of an anonymous or nondescript person. I do want to claim it — but then again, I was unable to be unknown for most of my childhood and teen years, and that was not a fun time. Then again, it was childhood, and that is often not a fun time.
And then it’s like who cares, right? It’s just a name. But for me, it’s a name of power. My reclaiming my name is an act of defiance (and somewhat, strength and resolve), in this circumstance, even as a lot of people I’ve known have chosen names for themselves to better fit their view of themselves, and take back the power that was stripped from them early on. It’s a different context, I’ve guessed.
But I was never raised to be anyone other than who I am — and, there is nothing wrong with who I am. Even if I am mixed-race and gender-fluid. I just seem to be…well, a Millennial.