Friday, March 23, 2012


I'm juggling five paintings, three of them part of a tryptich for end-term, one a giant multi-figure composition, also for end-term, and the fourth an in-class assignment. I have a hired model for the multi-figure, with whom I'm working after-hours. My friend Tom is modelling for the tryptich, and the in-class model handles those duties.

Italian seems to be going well, so far, and Art History is no problem. That class is too easy. I sometimes forget I'm taking it at all and fall asleep during it. The tests seems so easy I think they must be deceptions, and I look for potholes and hidden mines. But this is because I took Art History before and I know most of this already man.

I drew a giant 7' x 4' nude in drawing class in about two hours, and called it Giant Dave.

I think all the painting is going to pay off, but I have numerous shows in April and wonder what's going to happen When Worlds Collide.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Paranoia, an ever-present humming in the beehive of my subconscious, had me firmly convinced I was spectacularly failing each and every one of my classes. Especially Italian, with Painting running a close second. Italian class moves so fast it's alarming, and even these twentyish Adoni and Houri sport a dazed and glassy-eyed appearance on their ruddy countenances in reaction to the blistering pace. Bear in mind they don't work, live on power-drinks, and are somewhat less than half my doddering age. I sometimes feel like a monkey caught in a tsunami clinging to a grapevine.

In an attempt to buttress the teetering Jenga-tower of my calcified brain, I procured a tutor, a native Italian, and if not for this secret weapon I would have been left bleeding in the dust. As it was, I pulled a "C" for mid-terms, but it landed on the border and was almost a 'B.' However I got a high 'B' on my midterm oral exam, so I am turning a corner, and feel much more confident with the lingo. I think the second half of the semester will progress much more heroically.

In spite of dire forebodings worthy of Roderick Usher, my Painting mid-term evaluation went very well. My main concern has been I can't finish the paintings we do in class. We've been doing four paintings a week, and before this, back when I was a productive painter, I used to do four paintings a year. All my homework assignments were polished productions but those piteous class paintings were all unfinished canvases. This didn't seem to matter. In fact the instructor told me he felt this was a good way to teach: to keep everyone a little out of breath. I now think of this as Asthmatic Art Academy.

Yet I feel myself slowly adapting to this type of frenetic production, and have been adjusting my creative process accordingly.

Drawing? Who knows, but I sense I have done well. My drawing instructor, a tiny Asian woman, suffered a concussion wrestling (yes, you heard correctly, and no--there is no video, I already asked) so delayed the midterm evaluation until after Spring Break (which I am now currently enjoying in hedonistic languor). Art History is also delayed until after break, but no problems there; I could get a 'B' while taking exams while somnambulistic, which describes my condition during most of the lectures. I took these classes already, but IU won't let me transfer the credist, so I have to take them again. Dang it.

I'm plotting my strategies for second term, so I won't be quite as stressed. I'm going to work ahead of the game instead of trying to hang on to a roller-coaster as I have been doing. I've contacted a model about working with me for my final painting project and he's planning with me to make it spectacular, and for drawing I'm working up some preliminary exercises to allow me to hit the ground running upon my return. I'm trying to work smarter, not harder.

People have been asking if I'm having fun, and if it's worth it, and if I'm happy. I really don't know. I feel that my mind is sharper and I'm stretching my limits, so this is a good thing. I won't really know how I feel until the end of the semester when I can reflect on the progress I've made.

As we Italian-speaking people say, Arivederci