Tough Days Require Excellent Pies

The difficult thing about being a very analytical person with strong opinions, with enough conviction to share those opinions publicly, is the thing that “nicer” people often don’t understand. I am just as critical of my own work as I am of anyone else’s, more critical actually because I don’t often have to tell other people what I think of my own work. The opinions I post on others’ work publicly are tempered by the knowledge that I am talking about a person with a soft squishy heart who may have poured that heart into their work, and the knowledge that others will read what I write and form opinions on my character based on that sole piece of writing. I am free to beat myself up as hard as I can inside my own mind. Today is one of those days.

Over the summer I made the decision that I definitely want to pursue grad school, specifically to earn an MFA in Printmaking (or broader Studio Art depending on the program). Looking at my work from undergrad and what little I’ve done since, I don’t have much I’d be willing to commit to a CD and send off to represent me to selection committees. Luckily my husband is still finishing his undergrad, and I am not terribly interested in the program at his school, so I anticipate having at least a year before I apply. This gives me a year to get together a portfolio that doesn’t produce anxiety attacks.

Not so easy. Printmaking in general requires a decent amount of equipment. Given my living and financial situations I am limited to screenprinting on the porch and hand-printing woodcuts with a wooden spoon. However, plenty of amazing art has been produced from limited circumstance. Sometimes a lack of equipment and materials equals a push in a new direction.

It can also be hard to remember that a lot of the printmakers I am measuring myself against, in terms of technique and cohesive vision, already have their Master’s degrees (or are in the process of obtaining them). They have had three years to focus intensely on a body of work. Those at Frogman’s are some of the most ambitious in the nation. That may not be a just yardstick for a gal with a B.A. from a school with one room and five presses for printing (only three of which we actually used).

I am having some drastic ideas for my old work, and since I’ve quite honestly got nothing to lose at this point, I think I will get cracking.

More work from undergrad, clockwise from top: double-drop etching, wood engraving/letterpress from my first Frogman’s, 18″x24″ woodcut, my first wood engraving, collagraph.

Work from undergrad (and a little after) clockwise from center: 6′x4′ woodcut Zoombies from Steamroller Woodcut Event, woodcut for 2012 calendar, bookmaking project for brother’s Christmas present, woodcut for 2011 calendar, collagraph/collage/stencil piece, my first etching, woodcut for 2012 calendar.

One response to “Tough Days Require Excellent Pies

  1. Pingback: Top Ten Tuesdays: You Don’t Know My Blog « Ink

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