Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Final Semester: 2 weeks to go!

Things are moving fast now. toward graduation  blasting through the final stages and my launch away from PAFA and into a new orbit and eventually wherever my Art journey will take me post graduation. PAFA evidently has one of the lowest student loan default records of any art school and its something they want to keep, so they had an exit counseling meeting which I attended that basically lays out how to go about paying back the big, fat, huge loan we all have to pay back. I have done all of my final exit counseling on-line and my last in studio crit with Scott Noel, and started actually moving out of my studio on the 8th floor. Most of my work for my ASE wall is done and will go to the framer this week. 

It is a great feeling to essentially be free except for the hanging of my wall and final crit with the faculty, which is really a faits accomplis. I just recieved my date  and schedule for my final review and once again they are running two crits at the same time so there is always going to be conflicts and freinds having final reviews at the same time. I have a lot of critics in my final review I never had as critics during my time in the program, some I avoided to be honest, and most are not painters, but what the hey, how bad can it be--its 20 minutes and then I never have to have another critique in my life.
Scott Noel and I had a really good talk for my final crit and we discussed what my future might be, what I think the MFA might do for me, or not, the value of it and the way the art education industrial complex is turning and how my career might go post grad. Some things will change and some will not--like still working as a cartoonist, commercial artist and teacher. How all of these things change in proportion and what new things might develop out of them is something only time can reveal.

 It's a conversation that as Scott said, he and I will continue...To be honest I am feeling a sense of relief mostly to be essentially done but also a lot of other feelings, like frustration and a bit of disappointment that I think I will let settle for a while.  The thing I will be focusing on the most is trying to enjoy the last few weeks of the ride out the door.

I also wrapped up my work on the next issue of Draw! Magazine which is going off to the printer in China and will hopefully make it back in time for TwoMorrows to take it to this summer big geek fest--the San Diego Comic Con. I won't be attending again this year and I seriously doubt I will ever be going back due to the complete craziness that whole event has become. Hotels are selling out in a minute according to some reports I have read on Facebooks, which seems like just a crazy hassle, and lets not even talk about badges, etc.

I did get together with my Dirty Palette friends last weekend and it was a grand old time painting some still lifes and just sharing each others company. It's been two years ago now that we all graduated from the Undergrad at PAFA and its been a great thing that we have all still been together as friends and artists still working and supporting each other as we move along. Alina, Will and Jaime set up still lifes along with me on my dining room table  inside while  Lexi set up outside since it was such an awesome day to paint outside. You can see Lexi's awesome painting of my house on her tumbler. I thought about doing that as well but decided to paint a still life using acrylic, something I have never done. I have really been using acrylics a lot lately and feel I am just starting to get the hang of them. 
So many people we graduated with in 2012 are already off the map as artists, not painting anymore. It happens fast to so many after graduation.  The DPC has in a way sort of merged into the Philadelphia Plein Air Painters group that I started about two years ago and that started with the DPC members as the core group, and we still are basically still the core group. We have a group show coming up Friday at Ed Oliver's Golf Club in Wilmington DE, so if you are in the area stop on down. I think having such a core group of supportive friends is essential, especially post college.  I can't stress this point enough as a artist post grad.I can't tell you how many times I have drawn upon the strenght of the DPC in the last few years, especially during the times I was very frustrated with the MFA program. I have bonded and made friends with several MFA students and I hope we will also continue to get together and see each other for those who stay in the area after graduation.  I think a lot of them will be moving on from Philly though, and I can't blame them in a way. But even if you leave Philly you can never really leave the PAFA family.
There were plenty treats to eat from Baklava, roast chicken and turnovers---artist need to eat and paint!

Here is my painting of the still life I set up. 
 Will's awesome little painting.
                                                       Jaime's great still life of tomatoes
                                           Alina's great still life of my old clock and a pear

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