Sunday, January 10, 2010

Adventures Across the Pond

My Christmas break started with a flurry of activity. I needed to get packed, get the house ready for the holidays, and to get myself mentally prepared for the task of helping chaperoning a trip overseas. The nervous energy was enough to play with my stomach. The excitement was similar to the adrenaline rush of riding a REALLY fast paced century. (Yes Kathy, I was racking up 1 visit for every K- how many K's between here and London?)

I had every intention of bringing along the work I needed to do for my Advanced Studio assignment. I brought all the drawing supplies...but...I neglected to bring the resources I needed. No worries, I used my time wisely, and drew every chance I got. The students we were in the presence of were such and inspiration to me. They sang beautifully, and were generally interested in every aspect of the trip. I seem to have left a piece of my heart in London because of it.

The trip played with my heartstrings in many ways. My grandmother, MeMe, a concert pianist, brought us up in the classical tradition. I spent the better of my 13 years of schooling learning the piano, flute, oboe, opera, choral music, and orchestral works. In an act of dramatic rebellion I dropped it all when I got to college and have not looked back too much. I am married to a wonderful man, but sitting through concerts of this nature are not his cup of tea. This trip made me long for taking in some of those glorious outings again, heck, I found myself wishing I had a piano at home too (not that I have the time for that).

I found myself being tugged in other ways too. My faith, which I have always seen as a big part of my life, has had some new thoughts added to the mix. I have spent the past 6-8 years searching out my thoughts about religion in general. I know what I believe, but the politics of the church and my study of ancient art history (specifically Canaanite, Hellenistic Greek and Egyptian work) have made me think too much. Lets just say that the question asked in the Tower f London (would you die for your faith?), the exposure of the Roman Road at Southwark, the 1000 year old tradition old tradition of Evensong at Westminster Abbey and my extensive visits with my sketchpad in Westminster Cathedral have left my head spinning. My recent study of Baroque Art has not helped, yet, many of these paintings were done as propaganda to counter act the Reformation.

I went across the pond with the intention of working on my latest series about my faith (a series of reliquaries that contained the bits and pieces of my heart in terms of FAITH) only to find out that I am not yet ready to explore that content. I am shifting my energies to a series of cups that will contain evidence of my visit to London instead, mostly in the form of sculpted surfaces that mimic my cathedral drawings.

So, as I sit and write in a quiet house of sleeping teenagers, listening to opera, enjoying my coffee, and pondering the studio work I intend to get accomplished in a few minutes I am feeling a bit melodramatic (wait maybe that is my nature?) both excited and contemplative, and very determined to tread slowly on my own heart.

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