So, hi, hey, hello, goodbye.

Author oh, rebecca. Category

I've finally sort of almost got my site at up and running, so, I'm defecting here and will eventually clear out all and sundry posts. Won't you join me at the new site for all things ohrebecca?

Author oh, rebecca. Category

I don't know if I just don't understand people, or if I just don't understand people.

I try very very hard not to say things I don't mean. It's a point of contention with me. I've been lied to an awful lot, so if there's something serious that I've got to say, and saying it could have awful repercussions, I tend to think and think and mull and mull until I'm sure it's true. I don't say it and hope it comes true: that's a wish, not a statement, not a fact, and wishes are best reserved for:

  • 11:11

  • birthday cakes and candles

  • beggars who want to ride

  • upon stars

  • lists on

  • sick children

I do know that things change and feelings change and thoughts change, but actions play a big part in this too. Time, too.

I'm rather simplistic in that I expect that people mean what they say, when they say it. Apparently I need to put the blinders on though and assume the opposite whenever possible. I thought I was getting better at seeing through bullshit, but was wrong about that.

I'm wrong about a lot of things.
I think I should start saying what I don't mean. Or not saying what I mean. Or not meaning what I say.

Four Beers Later

Author oh, rebecca. Category ,

I want you all to know how difficult it is to be a new art-school student, ten or so years older than most of the other students in my classes, with a mentality like mine:

I wound easily, bruise on contact, scare loudly, blush maddeningly, embarrass publicly, have a thin skin and an irascible temper. I offend quickly, bite sharply, cry freely, apologize ridiculously, lose ambition often. I miss the mark, I resent sentiments, I upset myself, I upset others, I hold grudges, I get nervous, I quit early, I analyze overmuch. I refuse to look you in the eye if you've hurt my feelings, I hold my head low but my eyes high, I look above and beyond where I currently am: if you are in front of me, you might soon be behind me.

I'm human.
You are too.

I worry, I misstep, I make mistakes, I regroup, I learn, I re-learn, I sometimes need a refresher in my learnings and re-learnings. I'm bad at math and logic, I'm good at creativity and troubleshooting. I don't suffer fools kindly, quickly, wisely, or surely. I don't mean to hurt your feelings but I probably will, at some point, unwittingly, unwillingly.

But I say yes to new things, new challenges, new people, new projects, new places, new me, new you. I give chances and chances and chances. I try alternate routes, different roads, consult maps, search, research.

I almost never know, but I almost always think.

If something is too much for me: I stop, collaborate and listen. I come back with a brand new invention. I not-so-begrudgingly reference Vanilla Ice well into the 21st century.

There are few things that give me more anxiety than group or one-on-one critiques (this specifically applies to art school, but can be broadened to nearly anything: work, relationships, family). In the past, I have habitually neglected to leave anything resembling or representing my own creativity up for debate, or criticism, or review, or help. Unfortunately, there's no way around that in art school. Though every time I'm required to tape up a drawing or painting in front of the class and sit imperceptibly shaking in the corner, my heart beats a little faster, I pray a little non-denominational prayer, I think that that which doesn't kill me only makes me stronger (trite but true). Old Rebecca fobbed off compliments, took criticism harshly, ignored ambivalence. New Rebecca is learning, albeit slowly, slowly, slowly, to accept compliments, take criticism constructively, and question ambivalence.

In art, in life.

Art school is not giving me confidence (which in my opinion and experience is often falsified and short-lived), but acceptance, of how things are (normally, regularly) done and should be done. It's a process, in progress. I don't do it right often or correctly, but I do it nonetheless.

Did I just enumerate a bunch of negative things about myself without accentuating the positive? I did. But I'm not sure you're ready for all the positives about me. Some people never will be. Some people already know and are thinking all those things in their computative brains just reading this, countering each and every negative trait I've mentioned. Just know and remember that I am me, and I am human: the bad things about me may be more noticeable, more prominent on first glance, but there is a veritable goldmine of good things, and you don't even have to dig far. They are there, yea and verily.

Because I, according to art school and various other sources, including myself, and probably you, am awesome.

I think you are too.

In fits and starts.

Author oh, rebecca. Category , ,

And here's why I missed New Year's Eve:

I was in the hospital! Hooray!

Christmas weekend, I was working at the barn by myself. My boss was on vacation, which I guess she's allowed to do once in awhile, so I was in charge of a bunch of horses, a bunch of cats and chickens, a llama and a cow. I can barely take care of myself for an extended length of time, so all that responsibility for two whole days really took a lot out of me. Sunday night, at home, my tonsil started to hurt. This isn't out of the ordinary, I have a lot of tonsil problems and sometimes before I get a cold or something they tighten up and get mad and then settle down. I took some Nyquil and tylenol and called it a night. It still felt bad on Monday morning, so I went about my business but made plans to go to the doctor the next day. Tuesday came and it was even worse, so I had my mom take me to the ER. I had two peritonsillar abscesses and it sucked! I had a very bad time partly because of my roommate's very annoying, very loud, and VERY Midwestern daytime (and once, at 11 pm) visitors, and the fact that I was on a clear-liquids-only diet because I could barely swallow my own spit. But my mom visited me every day, and my friends Katie, Julie, Jarred, and Dawn took time out from their lives to visit me too. My boss at the barn and her daughter rode my horse, my mom took care of Frankie for me, and I really appreciate everyone's kind words, thoughts, and actions during that time.

I basically spent a week in the hospital, trying to get better. I was stuck in a no-man's-medical-land, where I wasn't quite "better" enough to go home, but not bad enough to commit to a surgery. So I stayed in and got pumped full of fluids and antibiotics and steroids and now I have a big fat huge hospital bill and have to make an appointment to take out these tonsils - which I can't afford. Hooray.

Also, I got dumped while I was in the hospital, and that was awesome, and by awesome I mean, 'what the fuck is wrong with people?'

But here's some good news, guys.

I rule.

Here are some examples:

In my brand-new Drawing 1 class, our first assignment is to draw a lightbulb. Prof told us if we thought we were "good" at drawing to choose one of the translucent bulbs instead of the opaque ones. I did. I asked him if I could do something to jazz up the drawing, like include my hand. He looked at me a little funny and said "Uhh, sure. It'll be hard though..." and I shrugged and said "have a little faith in me!" Well, I showed him my compositional sketch:

and he said: "Wow. I didn't think you'd be able to do that. Hands are difficult to draw. You can draw, though. And you can draw hands. We're going to have fun this semester!" I did tell him that I'm fairly good at drawing what I see, but I have problems with unlocking my pretty vivid imagination and making my hands draw from that, rather from my eyes. So he said he'll work with me on to develop that. Color me happy.

For my painting class, I'm not displeased with my first project. I'm NOT a painter, I'm not good at it, I don't understand paints, they don't understand me. Apart from this being a required course for my major, I'd like to develop my painting skills *a little.*

It's not the greatest still life, but it's not the worst, I think. Also, it's my first still life painting, ever. So there's that!

Here's another reason I rule:
I've been doing awesome on my resolutions. I have tried to be creative every day, in some way shape or form. It hasn't always been awesome, but every little bit counts. I shopped locally/handmade - I went to a few Detroit small-businesses to get stuff to send to my lovely Sharon in New York, and I supported local (and national) artists like Perfect Laughter at 323 East. I've been more appreciative of things and people in my life. I've tried new things (an okra/split pea fritter at Slows, different kinds of nigiri sushi I've never thought to try before like scallops, yellowtail, red snapper, eel), and made something new at home (maple glazed salmon with ossau iraty risotto and garlic asparagus - see pic below!). I've been saying "I'm sorry" less and less. I donated batteries and hand sanitizer to the Art Department's supply drive for the Humane Society in the first week.

And I haven't fallen for anyone yet. Though I do have a few crushes. That's nothing new.

It's gonna be a good year.

delicious foods

New Year's Real Solutions.

Author oh, rebecca. Category

So, I'm kind of a week late because I kind of missed out on doing New Year's Eve (that's for another entry yet, I promise). Tonight I did a do-over NYE, continuing a family-and-friend tradition that's gone on for the past 18 years, at least: the kids I used to babysit come over and we get buffet food and go to Meijer and load up on more sugar and snacks, we go play video games and board games, and ring in the New Year with confetti. It's no raucous party, it's no explosive celebration, but it is my New Year's. This year we did it without the confetti, because I didn't feel like cleaning up the mess (and it gets verymessy), but the rest of night was the same so now I'm officially considering it 2010.

New years mean new starts!

Here are some resolutions. Some real ones. Real solutions. Wow, that worked out handily, didn't it? Some are new, some are old, like the ones that spring up every year but maybe with some slight changes so as to differentiate them from previous, unsuccessful years, and some work in concert with each other: similar concepts with different end-results.

*be creative(outside of school) EVERY day. Doesn't matter how small a show it is. Sit down and write a very short short story. Draw a doodle. Make a craft. Something. Somehow. It doesn't take long. I need to get over my creative blocks and realize that just because I'm in art school doesn't mean I can't make art outside of it.

*contribute in some way or another, every week, to the new Detroit blog my mom and I set up: (though this also falls under the creativity umbrella, it's got an actual purpose in my mind's eye, so it warrants a separate resolution)

*be more active as a Metro-Detroiter, for Detroit's sake. In the past year I've made a ton of new friends who are really devoted to Detroit, and my love affair with the city is going through a renaissance. I've been really lucky to have these people in my life and moreover, to have this city in my life, even though she and I haven't always seen eye to eye.

*add more "handmade" into my life, buying *and* selling (locally, etsy, etc) and reduce my commercial consumerism.

*be more grateful/appreciative, for all the myriad wonderful things in my life. Too often, I get bogged down in the bad times, the bad things. I don't say thank you enough. Thank you. I said it. It's a start.

*become more active in some aspects online (blogging, finally setting up a real website for blogging and arts/creative stuff, etc.) and less in some aspects (uhm, Bejeweled Blitz on facebook? Looking up questions to the random, pointless questions that race through my brain at any minute? Unnecessary.)

*stop saying sorry so much, and think about why I'm saying it when I do use it.

*cook more, goshdarnit, and use locally-grown/locally-produced ingredients whenever possible. I'm not a *talented* cook, but I have faith I can learn. When not cooking at home (and, well, even when cooking at home) try new things! After an involuntary week of a clear-liquids-only diet, my taste buds are crying out for new experiences. Who am I to deprive them? Foodie-land, here I come. My palate has expanded considerably just in the past year, and there's no reason to stop where I'm at now. Old dog, new tricks.

*be healthier overall. Normally I want to lose xx amounts of pounds, and though I'm not 100% happy with my weight right now, I'm generally feeling pretty good & confident about my body. As long as I'm making a concerted effort to get out and do more/run more/whatever more/and take in less, then I'm not going to worry about the numbers on the scales. I have 2 mostly-working legs, a paid-for membership at my school's gym, a dog who loves to run, and a horse who needs riding. It'll work itself out.

*ACTUALLY keep track of every book I read this year, and write at least a few sentences about what I thought about it. I've tried this every year for the past 3 years and each time peter out at the halfway mark, it seems. I'm always reading, I always have a notebook with me, and it takes like four seconds to write a few sentences.

*do not fall for just anyone. This is the most important. I feel like this could be a big year for falling, so I don't want to waste it. I've done that enough the past few years. You won't fool me again.

*I almost forgot this one, but it's kind of silly. Maybe not. The art department at my school is running a supply drive for the Michigan Humane Society, in memory of a former art supervisor. I'm making it my goal to donate at least one thing, once a week, till the drive is over at the end of the semester. Baby steps to greatness.

What are yours? Do you bother? I do every year and fail every year. I suppose my last one should be:

*do not fail at the resolutions this year.

the grades came in.

Author oh, rebecca. Category

I'm working in retrograde this week. The last few weeks, even last month of December was a trip and a half, but not the best kind where it's all expenses-paid to the Bahamas or Sandals or something. More like the trip where you end up in some podunk town with twelve bucks on you and an empty gas tank and six hundred miles left to go before you're home safe and sound. Such is life.

So instead of talking about the bad things of the past few weeks, just right this second, just for you now, I'll instead let you know that:

You guys. I pretty much owned my first semester at art school*, as you expected.

After missing one assignment out of seventeen, I knew I had to work pretty ridiculously hard to get a good grade on my final so I could get away with a B in my design class. So I did... just, I did it in the eleventh hour. Or, at least, the thirty-first through the eleventh hours. The project I chose was pixelating a photo and then gridding an illustration board and painting the pixelated image on it. I'm not good at math, not in the least, no how, but I did manage to figure out that the 8x10 photo of a kid in a lemonade stand, manipulated to 5 pixels per inch and blown up to 20x25, was going to be 2000 half-inch squares. I knew when I started the project, two weeks before it was due, that 2000 squares was a shit lot of squares. I didn't realize exactly HOW MANY SHIT LOT OF SQUARES that was till the day before it was due, after I had lunch with a friend and went home around 4pm to get down to brass tacks on the painting, which had only been about 12% done up to that point.

Well, I got to work, for twenty hours straight - mostly. I took three naps totalling two hours, and in each of those naps, my brain treated me to a magically rendered, tedious dream of my hand mixing colour. Like those work dreams where you're working for the entire 8 hours you sleep. It was fun. And that was an egregious lie.

I twitpic'd some of my progress:
20% done:
50% and change:
and the end result:

I finished at 1 pm; class was at 3 pm with about a half hour of travel and parking and walking-to-class time to factor in. I had enough time to shower, grab a sub on campus and get to class and poop myself, but it was worth it for that A+ on the final, which gave me an A- in the class.

Not too shabby for missing one whole assignment**.

My other class, Astronomy (for my Physical Science req), I was really worried about, but thanks to it being a large LARGE online class with a huge HUGE curve, I managed to walk away with a not-entirely-deserved-but-you-bet-I-will-take-it B+. Thanks for somehow sucking worse than me, everyone else in the class!

So Monday starts the cycle of school again, with the culprits this time being: Art History 1, Drawing 1, Oil Painting 1, Nutrition (online), and a Nutrition lab.

Full-time art, here I come!
And also I will update you on the very very inauspicious beginnings of my 2010. Next time. Trust me. They are worth an update of their very very very own.

*Nevermind that I only took one art class this semester.
**Which I actually HAD ready to hand in for the "make-up assignments" period, but since that class period was actually a work-on-your-final period and my final was too big to fit into my portfolio, I left the whole thing at home, missing assignment and all... so it's my own damn fault for not getting an A or A+.


Author oh, rebecca. Category

I still really don't have the time, but I want you to know I'm alive and well, and in some respects, extra-well. Other respects could surely use a boost in the wellness department, but all in due time, I like to think.

Being a part-time art student is weird and wonderful; I wish I'd been blogging about it these past few months. I guess I could still write about the experiences I've had, but that seems wrong, going back in the past. I'm supposed to be moving forward. I wanted to do some kind of a comic about it, but obviously that didn't happen. Hmph.

In just 2 short months, I'll be making the transition to full-time art student. Scary. Wonderful. Scary. I can't wait. I have to wait.

In the meantime, would you like to see some of my projects from my (one) art class this semester? Or would you rather wait till my final project is completed and graded, and final grades are in, so you can all bask in my awesomeness and inherent glory, and eagerly await January whateverth when classes start again? Your call... less than a month till this semester is over and done with.

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