Sunday, October 2, 2011

confessions of an art addict

After the non-weekend that was last weekend, this week I made a point of getting as much work as possible done between Tuesday and Thursday. I knew I'd have stuff that I needed to work on over the weekend (for example, my drawing assignment, which isn't due until the Monday after Thanksgiving weekend), but I didn't want to be doing homework all day for three days straight, crashing into bed every night, and waking up exhausted every morning. Mission accomplished.

Monday: This time Adam took us outside--to the Loyalist Cemetery (between George and Brunswick Sts., with Carleton St. stopping at the south end of the cemetery and picking up again at the north end). I couldn't resist taking off my sandals (a pair of Tevas that have probably been through everything except snow), having worn them since about eight (seven EDT) that morning.

As that night was the Met Opera's Opening Night (the Met premiere of Anna Bolena, with Anna Netrebko in the title role and Marco Armiliato conducting a certain favourite orchestra), I listened to the last few minutes of the second--and final--act of the opera when I got home. For the first time in several years, the Met pretty much nailed the opening night performance (in '09, the director, producer, and the rest of the team were booed when they appeared onstage after the performance; and opera-philes are still iffy about Robert Lepage's production of the Ring Cycle). And that brings me to...

Tuesday: Drum-roll please: I ordered my ticket to the Met's Live in HD simulcast of Anna Bolena!!! I'd originally planned to order the ticket last weekend, but they weren't on sale at the time. Time to start counting down to October fifteenth (by the way, that performance is completely sold out at the opera house)! And this time I'm going with a friend who's a fellow Met fan (I went to the other simulcasts alone)!

I also calibrated my MacBook Pro's screen. This is the second time that I've done that, but it's the first time that I've done a really good, thorough job. The screen has more of a magenta tone to it now, but the blues are noticeably richer.

That day I decided that next weekend (this weekend) wouldn't be another non-weekend weekend, and I dug into my homework that afternoon.

Bonus: I was well-rested for the first time since the Thursday before the non-weekend weekend (September twenty-second). And as a result, I felt like the happiest woman in Southside F'ton.

Wednesday: I started the day bright and early by rolling film before Photoshop class. I considered developing it, but realized that I didn't have enough time. So I stuck the canister (which is light-proof) in my locker, to be developed after lighting class.

Thursday: That afternoon I finally finished the reading for Output--as I believe I said before, one of the textbooks that Drew has us reading from, Fine Art Printing for Photographers, 2nd edition, is fond of long chapters. I've been reading each chapter all in one go, but I've found that that's a bit much for me, especially when I have a bunch of other assignments bouncing up and down and trying to get my attention: "pick me! I'm due on Thursday!," "pick me! I'm due on Monday!" So this week, I decided to split it up into at least two readings: half the chapter on Tuesday, the other half later in the week. Done.

My independent study project is starting to come together even more: Peter had me bang out a bunch of quick 'n' dirty prints that might work for the project, and I'm glad I did that. It renewed my excitement for the project, and helped to give me some ideas as to where I might like to take said project in the coming weeks.

That evening was the first of two show openings that I went to this week, both of which feature work by one or other of my teachers: Obscura: Confessions of a Pinhole Photographer opened at the Campus Gallery. Obscura is a show of photos (both black and white and colour) taken with pinhole cameras by Drew Gilbert, who's my Digital Output, Lighting, and Photoshop teacher. Here's a PDF version of the poster.

The show also features some of his camera obscura photos. For the last decade or so, Drew has built a camera obscura in every single place that he's lived--sometimes he's moved just to make a camera obscura at that location.

In addition to Drew's work, one of my classmates, Erin, who's also into pinhole photography, showed a few of her photos on two of the walls. Some of the photos were straight-up pinhole photos, but some of them were taken using a technique called solargraphy. Solargraphy is when you use a pinhole camera to track the sun's path over the course of a month or more. The sun is recorded as bands (either white or coloured) across the paper. After X number of months, you cover the hole, take the whole thing into a darkroom, and scan the image (no developing). Because the photo isn't fixed, you have one chance and only one chance to scan the image. Drew and Erin had to work on that a bit...

As a special touch to the opening, Karen had some of Drew's students talk about what they like about Drew. I spoke, but right now I can't remember what my exact point was. I think it was that Drew is really approachable.

After the show, I went back to the photo studio--specifically, the darkroom--and cranked out those photos for the independent study project.

Friday: That day was primarily a work day, and I spent most of it working on stuff for Preparing for Professional Life. However, I also shot my Lighting assignment (shiny objects).

But that evening, there was another show opening: Boneyard Blues by Adam MacDonald (yes, my drawing teacher), and Funcrush by Jean Rooney at Ingrid Mueller Art + Concepts. I met Karen and one of her friends in the NBCCD gallery that afternoon, and we walked over to Art + Concepts (on Regent St., just up from King St.).

As usual, Adam's work sent my head for a spin, and I felt like there was something more to it that my brain just wasn't grasping. But that's what I love about his work: I want my brain to be stretched, twisted and spun. I might go back at some point between now and the eighteenth, which is when the show comes down. Neither of the artists spoke, but I was cool with that: until I started going to show openings in F'ton, I hadn't been to an opening where the artists spoke, so it was a new, and even foreign, experience for me. It's still rather new.

Boneyard Blues was also a milestone for me: after being a student at NBCCD for two-and-a-bit school years, and knowing Adam as my academic adviser, teacher, and favourite artist, and hearing about his shows at Art + Concepts (this one is his fourth there, and the third since I started at NBCCD), I finally made it to one of his openings (I'm not counting Journey into WHATEVER, because that one was super-easy to get to because it was at the college gallery)! The first one that I heard about (in the spring of '10), I would've gone to if I hadn't been going home that weekend. The second one I knew about, but the wording on the Art + Concepts website was a bit confusing as to where and when the show was to take place, so I didn't make it to that one. This time, it was very clear as to where and when the show was, and since I had yet to make it to the opening of one of Adam's shows, I decided that I would make a point of going. No ifs, ands, or buts--I. would. be there.

Saturday: Yesterday was the second annual Guess Who? fundraiser, put on by Sunbury Shores Arts and Nature Centre, Inc. Just like last year, the event was sold out, and all 119 canvases (created by 104 artists, including Mom and me) went to good homes (you can tell that I've had too much exposure to cat rescuing and adoption). The event raised $13,200.00 for the centre.

Next weekend is Thanksgiving weekend, so I'll be going home for the first time this year. Yippee! Home on Thursday before Thanksgiving, and back to F'ton on Tuesday!

PS: In case you're wondering, yes, the title of this post is a play on the title of the show that's currently hanging in the NBCCD Gallery. ;-)

In the Hall of the Mountain King, inspired by Grieg's piece by the same name. This was my creation for Guess Who?

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