Sunday, October 28, 2012

mentoring/teaching philosophy fleshing out

ha! ok. I think this is what I do in the academic environment and why I think it is important. I am intuitive so sometimes it is hard to unpack why I do what I do...but I do trust the heck out of many of my teaching/group impulses. i realize most don't publicly process their philosophies, but shoot, i publicly process my entire life (blogging since 2006) with only a few undisclosed thoughts and topics. it is my life practice; it is a form of transparency; it is a hope that my process might be useful for others and might make their own life's a smidge better or bring a slow small smile to their face.


Mania* of making, mania of the mind, are worth harvesting, expanding, directing and releasing. As artist educator within foundations, my role in this process is to facilitate a sensitivity to listening. I see this listening as rather all encompassing and enabling of an awareness of self, others, materialities, processes and practice, traditions, physical, social and historical contexts, passions, subject matter, methodologies, and so on. This kind of perceptiveness requires me to equip students with a capacity to dwell inside and alongside of things and thinking so that making becomes a reflection of their listening. Access to the rhythms that come from deep listening allows what might otherwise remain submerged and unseen to manifest in ways that become meaningful. I have taught in the sciences, faith and the arts—each a creative endeavor and fundamentally parallel in the need for this sensitivity to listening, connecting, and acting upon.

Deep listening, connecting and making actually requires a high degree of risk taking, openness to critical feedback, and exposure to failure. This artistic risky behavior and openness is cultivated through a series of communal and curricular factors.

Beginning in the very first studio, it is critical to build in forms of interaction that emotionally tether the students to one another and to their sense of belonging within the program. These connections are initially accelerated when classroom norms are disrupted through a series of non-graded tasks that bring the students into opinionated mini monologues (about the arts), extremely close physical proximity (via a small team task), team performance of task, and laughter followed with a large group critical dialogue exploring the discrepancies between team intent and viewer perception. These forms of connections, teams, tasks, and dialogues set the stage to implement a curriculum and work practice that peaks curiosity, promotes artistic risk taking, critical dialog, and physical engagement. This tethering creates a workspace for the individual to engage in active listening, connecting and acting (making).

Built into the scope and sequence of the curriculum are the practices of successful artistic habits of deep listening—research, idea development, capacity to harvest from personal passions, critical reflection and discourse, collaborative unpacking of discrepancies between intent and outcome, deconstruction and adaption of working processes, work ethic, time management, opportunities for multiple iterations of a single concept or materiality, attention to craftsmanship, and professional presentation of work. Traditional attention to design elements and principles and craft are attended to but in ways that supports and emphasizes the habits of perceptiveness.

These deep listening habits are not only the key to successful art careers but they are highly portable and will transfer to other potential job/life activities that the artist may embrace to support their artistic practice.

I believe this is simply an extension of my life philosophy (written 2008).

i know making, writing, mentoring and loving are part of who i am.
  1. MAKING allows me to discover things
    about my world and self that would
    otherwise remain submerged and unattainable;
    it brings me joy, dirt and laughter
  2. MENTORING (teaching) gets me outside of myself,
    teaches me, helps me unlearn what doesn't belong;
    it brings me delight and purpose
  3. WRITING connects me through silence to my self,
    God, the world and others; helps me remember
    who I am and am becoming and how i fit;
    it brings me faith; it reveals my wounds;
    it opens me
  4. LOVING fills my body and soul,
    it connects my fragments of being
    it gives me the desire to both give and receive;
    it strengthens me; it brings me hope.
when i neglect any of these, my life, who i am, limps. or when i get too focused on how to eat and forget to walk, i limp. to walk in my own skin and know joy, i must attend to making, writing, mentoring and loving and not overlook the details of eating but not focus on it either. and so now i must walk my path in my own skin, take steps toward eating*, and i must attend. it may take me a while to figure out how to do these things, but i will.

*eating refers to the daily details of things i need to do in order to have food, shelter and such.


also relating to my unpacking and doing/understanding life

ha. my teaching philosophy as sound bites

  1. deconstructing discrepancies between artist intent and viewers perception
  2. disrupting habits--disrupt habits of mind, habits of making, habits of process, habits of materiality
  3. disrupting assumptions—perceived cultural, historical and personal narratives
  4. enticing to enter the ongoing dialog of contemporary art and practice
  5. digging into ideation process through guided research
  6. unpacking ideation and making processes
  7. tethering* for increased capacity for risk taking—materiality, methodology, conceptually
  8. exploiting pocket technology—smart phones and social media
  9. synthesizing and documenting (writing) deconstruction of habits, intent vs perception, processes
  10. collaboratively participate in critical reflection and feedback throughout process
  11. open capacities for listening (responsiveness and adaptability) to materials, methods, ideations, context
  12. connecting to contexts—physical, historical, psychological, cultural, personal
  13. exposing and explore the multiplicity of source of ideation for generation of work
  14. translating concept from one form to another—metaphorical, sensory translations, etc
  15. making space for the unruly, the resistant and the radical
  16. rewriting our histories our stories to understand and navigate the now
  17. skin on or off—life starts now; not later—artist/designer/animator
  18. work is art, not “project.” Hang all crits as an exhibition
  19. *peer community in which student experiences a strong sense of belonging.
act, alone, ambitious, analysis, assumptions, belonging, collaborative process, collective critical analysis, communication, conceptual development, connecting, context, craft, creative process, critical reflection, deconstruct, depth, develop, discrepancies, discourse/dialog, disrupt, distributive, distributive student leadership, equip, entice, experiment, exploit, explore, expose, feedback, follow, form, habits, harvest, hear, history, individuation, iteration, laughter, listening, manifest, memory, multiple, now, open, passion, practice, process, reflection, research, responsiveness, rewrite, risk taking, sample, security, silence, skin on/skin off, sources of ideation, synthesize, tethering, tension, transmit and disrupt, unreasonable, unruly, voice, work ethic, writing, whole

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

burn that

looks tiny but is footprint is about same size as my bedroom from my previous life.

mr bushee, my magic making hero neighbor with a real tractor. came over again today while I was at work and not only moved more of my electric company hacked down trees but he leveled the ground for me both where the large debris but also some annoying dirt piles left by previous inhabitants. oh yes and he mowed around ny burn pile. all stuff that would take me forever using simply my girl muscles! he and his tractor and time rescued me to my surprise and delight. I am thinking I love my retired neighbors and their magic :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

pano play

last frame in which to stitch my bellows

and then time to build more emptied frames from the remnant of domestic threshold (from doors and windows).

face off

ummm. grasshopper 0; the dopty a zillion.

so what if this is suppose to be an art or life blog. it definitely is residue filled. just be glad i focus on my dig instead of the constant mental stream of my steel sieve. lately, a lot of latelies, it's simply lessons and sanity inspired by Dopt the dog

Sunday, October 21, 2012

oh rubber cutting bandsaw, you, oh beautiful efficient one, are my newBFF at least until January 7, 2013

I've been burning through my non reusable/nonresharpenable Rockwell sonic powered scissor blades at a rate of one per hour of back bending over cutting rubber at 20 bucks a pop! why oh why did I not test my bandsaw earlier. mmmm. cuts like butter though I need a respirator for (1) rubber particles (2) off gassing as blade heats rubber (bad stuff...vulcanizing rubber causes cancer along digestive tract (have researched my materials). oh bandsaw you are saving me more than money as you cut so fast and efficiently. and naturally Dopt picked out and helped pull the wheel barrel of rubber to my bandsaw. oh so helpful. what on earth would I do without my Dopt and my bandsaw.

she, my bandsaw, hums to me the same song as my gram's sewing machine did as my gram taught me to stitch stitch when I was 8. so today i I feed my rubber through as though fabric--feeding my cutting machine. the feed, the hum, the blade vs needle, enlivens memories within me. I like these mental tethers to my history, to my family! and yes, my parsimonious soul is surely pleased with this efficient cost effective rubber cutting method. now the weak link in my process is the wire cutting.hmmm. to be pondered.

do NOT bite me in the butt again!

I am going to need shorter apron strings since she has decided it helps me to yank me around my outdoor studio backwards by my apron strings. and ouchy on her first grab from behind which included a piece of my bum! and besides she ends up deaproning me until all that remains is the ban around my neck, which is simply not a good tug of war tool if resistance! so if you ever see burns on my neck, well, I simply don't have any weird fetishes, i just lost at apron tug of war!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

me and my goober girl

tis for you to figure out which is which.

the tendrils of joy brush against my cheeks
I close and open intothe moment

she sits at the edge of myself
I feel her beckon, whisper
her smell lures me
I can caress her nearness
allusively she shuffles further
as I draw up

the more I am in my aloneness
the stronger I feel her dance
I sense her smile, her light laughter
her big heart, gentle love
her way of melting into the breeze
but I can't quite know how to meld
into the her that I am

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

squish. no doubt. but she is colorful in her squishedness.

mmmm. I suppose it is wrong some of the things that amaze me. I have to admit, she was a pretty car dead toad

Sunday, October 14, 2012

clearly it's tubular camo naptime!

awesome weather! and what's running through mì noggin is a new installation to replace the ipark grief piece. thinking I need two months so as not to be so body whiny (not). just envision. I think the piece needs to be that odd move and moment when suddenly joy reappears after extended grief. I see the piece as similar but, ha, more massive but floaty (yes that is the technical term) with intertwining cornucopia like structures spiraling out and opening to the sky as well as spilling out into human space. think a rebar under structure less hodge podged together than the last which was purely a visceral construct, more openings, welder, genie lift, one mason. I'd like to construct so that as the tubes are weather and finally fail, other artists could copt the suspended frame into a new suspended piece or that even the under structure could stand on its own. sounds like it is proposal writing time and maybe next year will simply be a year of residencies? maybe. oh my poor Dopt. hope they allow dogs in the retirement home (DAD !!!! ). kind of funny that I am building for one show while thinking what next. kind of like when your eating lunch and contemplating dinner. so human. so wrong

art "should" never be so precious


that it can't be left out in the rain...especially when drawn on a 12x15 foot house painters drop cloth. ha. I am not sure why I've got this stretched out in my yard. maybe it is to reinforce or bolster my own concept that drawing is part of my professional practice but mostly goes on behind the scene of my tubular works. well and also keep hoping to watch an odd mildew patina emerge. :)

why this compulsion of no recycling

my exhibitions? some pieces are upcycled into new works. but why not show table setting as I built this summer, as designed at ipark, to see what it will look like in the white cube? piece went in parts in September to an exhibition. that couldn't house as originally intended. so in texas my table has never been viewed. so why not show it? rarely will a piece be displayed more than once without significant alteration. why? am I afraid I will be too lazy? to redundant? I won't be able to recreate (since the material nature of my work defies exact duplication? afraid to stop moving?

when I visit art league tomorrow, I need to view space not just for what is currently playing out in my mind but as yet unresolved but also for my table setting. many of my ideas would require big budget and more uninterrupted time. mmmm. oh darn her comes that preshow fretting. I can review my blog and watch the cycles playout. I wish I could figure out how to just go kayaking or something...the water is a mere 12 minutes away in the national forest. well it would require a kayak, but all frivolous purchases are on hold since academic income is at risk next year. too many things to fret about in each component of my living. I guess that stops when I am not living. fret on!

oh dreamcaster, what should I be dreaming into fruition?

the Dopt and I return and rearrange our lawn furniture

some call it art; others, we just confuse.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

a neighborly heave hoe!

finally got the last panel up that I dropped...LAST SPRING. thanks to the help of my neighbors, Mr. Bushee and Heros. Yay! i do have them confounded a bit about what the heck is my art. anyhow that is a separate subject. back to what i see, no matter how big a work seems to me (because I am human and huma-ocentrical and it's all relative to me and my scale), no matter how freaking massive my muscles say it is, nature, she just reveals my puniness. hmmm that 8 foot height suddenly seems so freaking small.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


I find the loss of my morning groups rather profound; but such is the nature of life and work. I miss my grand girls.

and on a separate note each morning, all I can do is but laugh when I get my enneagram electronic fortune cookie based on my personality type (enneagram--think Myers-Brigg but more spot on and normally useful) )

Monday, October 08, 2012

the sad eyes!

each morning as I leave for work, I slip her a raw hide twizzler. she plops down on the porch, twizzler dropped and ungnawed. she gives me her best don't leave me sad eyes. I feel bad and I remind myself how she is sooooo ruffing it on the porch and ten acres. I know as soon as I leave her grasshopper hunting shall resume.

first fall and winter with the shadow beast.

entertaining and fun plus awesome weather

Friday, October 05, 2012

good being a girl but

I hate that this has laid here for months cause I freaking literally can't lift it up!

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

sensory translations music > movement > mark > mood

One of my student's sensory translation in motion, in process
in studio we translate the aural to physical; my WASH coworker is presenting the reverse (artist marks translate to sound by musicians) jumping off this WASH exercise. i recently listened to a writing podcast from the Iowa writing school in which the professor presented a sound piece in which the writers translated into language. As poets oft remind us of how the everyday experience that we've grown accustom to may be reawakened by presenting one sensation through the language of an alternate sense.additionally these exercises are to explore and break the habits of usage of marking devices generated from years of handwriting.