Saturday, 21 May 2016

Artist's Intensive: Week 2 Recap

This week got off to a bumpy start. I received an email from a professor asking me to re-work an assignment, so I found myself forcibly wrenched out of summer mode and back "into the office" so to speak and as a result, my momentum for this project got thrown way out of whack. Also, I got hooked on Stardew Valley, so that ate up quite a lot of my time this week. (It really is a fantastic game, and entirely made by one person! If you liked Harvest Moon, you'll like this game. I've never played Harvest Moon myself, but my boyfriend says it's very similar, but with a little bit of magic and melancholy mixed in. I highly recommend it! It's more fun than it has any right to be. Be warned!)

The Artist's Way: Week 2

The only complaint I have about the tasks this week was that they all needed to be done at the end of the week. Some of them ask you to look at your week and break down how much time you spent doing certain things, and notice if those things were something you wanted to do or had to do. Since this involved waiting until the week was up to analyze my time, I felt like I had a big task looming over my head the whole week, where as I would have liked to tackle the tasks at the beginning. 

I did not read the Basic Principles to myself every morning. I kinda dismissed this as not important because I don't really like the wording of the Basic Principles (too wishy-washy spiritual for my tastes), however I did remind myself of their overall message every day, which I interpreted to be: You are meant to be creative. Humans are creative beings. Allow yourself to create.  

I also found it hard to complete task #7, list ten changes you'd like to make for yourself. Looking back on the list now, I discovered that I had completed one of the tasks without even realizing it! Huh! Yay me! 

My Artist's Date this week was a 30 minute dance exercise video. Admittedly, I did not plan it too far in advance, but I did let myself choose it over my regular, body weight heavy exercise routine because I wanted to have a little fun. It also tied into one of the tasks for this week, task #3, which involved listing 20 things you enjoy doing and date the last time you did those things (I found it very hard to write 20 things, which surprised me). This also touched on task 8 from week one, which involved thinking about what kind of other lives you would lead if you could, and trying to bring aspects of those lives into your daily life, or choosing artist dates that are in a similar theme (i.e. If you wanted to be a cowboy in another life, try to see if you can sign up for horseback riding lessons.) 

In the same way, I don't feel too bad about spending so much time playing Stardew Valley this week, as it fed my "play" quotient, which, after completing task #7, I discovered was quite lacking.

Check in: 
Morning Pages: 7/7 days.
I love morning pages. It makes me feel like I know myself better. Just giving myself the opportunity to talk to myself every morning and really listen to myself is fantastic. I find myself being so much more focused and recently have found myself being able to own the concept that it's my life and I'm going to live it how I want to (which ties in with a few of the tasks this week). I feel like I am slowly working towards being less caught up in those people who block certain aspects of my life and accept that by not sharing that side of my life with them, it is in my best interest to keep it to myself or only share it with people I know will support it. 

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain: Chapter 3 & 4 

The drawing exercises this week were really fun. I had done them in the past when I first got this book, and anyone who's flipped through the book at my place seems fascinated by the idea of copying an image while its upside down...and that it will turn out better than had you drawn it the right way up. Its very cool! Also, the Picasso sketch you get to copy is amazing. I love the bold lines and the slightly skewed perspective.

I also really liked reading into what tasks the left and right lobes of your brain are generally responsible for. Some of the studies she talks about were really cool, pinpointing moments when there is a disconnect between the two sides and they don't really understand each other. She describes it as almost having two different brains inside

One thing in particular I found pretty cool was how when you're in "visual mode", since it is such a separate part of your brain from verbal mode there can be some disconnect and you find yourself unable to name things. I do this all the time. If you know me, you know how terrible I am with names... names of anything: books, people I meet, shows and movies I watch. I find I need to see the name written down before I have any chance of remembering it. I wonder if I am just a little more visually orientated than verbal? 

Ways of Seeing: Part 3 & 4

Boobs. Boobs. Boobs.

This week was all about boobs, what they mean in art, who's meant to look at them, what it says about the woman who is showing them... everything. 

I loved this chapter because it sums up so much about art history and about being a woman in the west in just a few pages. It's an interesting discussion about the difference between nude and naked, about why the female nude is such a common image in art, and how that changed over time. It also touches on the phenomenon of the "male gaze" which totally blew my mind the first time I learned about it, and is something I don't think you can ever overcome, which I don't know how I feel about that.... 

Keeping in mind, since it is such a short passage, there are a few sweeping generalities... also it is a bit outdated now, I feel. But, all in all, if you've never looked into art history, or have never enjoyed going to an art gallery, or don't know how to start appreciating art, I highly recommend this book. It's a bite-sized place to start that covers all of the major themes. According to the accolades on the back cover, John Berger was quite revolutionary back in the day, and I guess his thoughts now have become commonplace, which is kinda cool.

Philosophy: Aristotle

I did try to read this at the beginning of the week while at work, but it got too busy. I procrastinated this task until the very end and only started reading it on the Saturday. 

Things I liked about this week:

  • The Ways of Seeing chapter about the Nude in Western Art. It packed a big punch in only 10 pages
  • Copying an upside down image
  • Learning about what ways humans have inadvertently expressed truths about the left and right brain specializations through language and connotations for "left" and "right" terms. For example, Latin for left is sinister meaning bad, and the Latin word for right is dexter where our word dexterity comes from. Left in french is gauche which means awkward, and is where we get the word "gawky". Neat! 

Things I want to do better next week:

  • Commit to the Artist's Way tasks. I feel I kinda skimmed them this week and didn't tackle them as in depth as I would have liked to
  • Commit to making in depth notes as I read. 

How are your goals coming along? Have you joined me in my artist's intensive? I'd love to hear how they are going! If you are having trouble with you goals, I highly, highly, highly recommend adding morning pages to your day. If you would like to know more about morning pages, I've written a whole post about them which you can find here. I cannot praise morning pages enough! They have made all the difference in my life, in only a little over a month. It's amazing!
Thank you for reading!
Until next time,


p.s. For those of you wondering if I have abandoned the analogue blog format, fear not! Since I have a lot to write about each week in review, I thought the best way to get the information down was by typing, otherwise I'd be writing for pages and pages!  


If you would like to join me in this artist's intensive course, you can find out more information about the books I'm reading here: [BOOKS] and watch my intro video and find out the syllabus here: [INTRO]

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