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Forgive a poor art student for disconnecting you from her busy, busy, incredibly busy life at SCAD. I am truly sorry. I did not mean to cut you off. I just… was consumed with painting.

So now we resume.

I just lifted the stack of used palette papers I had piled on my air conditioner. The mound is astonishingly heavy, thick with layer upon layer of unused paint. Used palette. Excess paint.

Color Theory… has been the only class I have really, truly had to work my butt off for this quarter. It has absolutely taken over my brain, altered my vision, and expanded my thought process. Unbelievable. Every scene I admire nowadays – whether something as simple as the afternoon light striking a gargantuan concrete bridge or the reflections in the glass at Bergen – I see the colors in these scenes everywhere I go. And not only am I seeing them. I identify them. I mix them – yes, with paint – in my head. At dinner I find myself mentally arranging a color wheel with the red-orange tomatoes, the yellow-orange maccaroni and cheese, and the yellow-green “lettuce.”

I adore my professor and I treasure what she has taught me. So incredibly valuable to everything I will do with my art for the rest of my life.

So I’m warning you now. I will be telling you that the napkin holder on the table is a blue that leans toward violet but has a lot of white in it. And it’s toned – with a wee bit of orange. Wee bit… hahaha. That’s Professor Mosch’s phrase. Golly.

[ But don't let all this awestruck ramble fool you. I had to work for this altered vision. The stress has just about killed me. Can you say "multitask?" ]

Survey of Western Art History II.

Phenomenal. I am obsessed. (Please realize that you are listening to approximately ten weeks’ worth of thoughts here, and I’ve had some absolutely amazing professors this quarter.) It is my favorite class – would never want to miss it. I’m sad that we only have a portion of one lecture left. The woman is fascinating, and she has thrown me into a deep new appreciation and hunger for the material.

Look at me!

This Van Gogh (Night Cafe, Arles) has me intrigued. Apparently he said something along these lines to his brother about this painting, “I want to paint a place where someone could easily go mad.” This preceded the ear incident. Look at it. The colors, the staring figure, the halos on the lights. He also said he wanted to paint “the terrible passions of humanity by means of red and green.” Color, color, color.

And this one we did today! A Picasso. Never in my life did I ever think I would come to appreciate or even be interested in his work.

This one is Ma Jolie, which translates to “My Pretty.” Can you tell what the subject is? Me neither. It is so abstracted the subject gets lost. But a figure is in there. See a hand on the right? The fact that he put a musical instrument in there (see it?) also has me taken with this work. You can see bits of human form here and there… the more you look at it.

Photo II is, unfortunately, my least favorite class, and I will be happy to see it end. I have done good work in there, and I’ve learned a ton about Photoshop, color balancing, printing, my own style – so much. But there is just something missing. I’m not being pushed. And my classmates don’t seem to care or try too hard. (As evidenced by the lack of attendence and the fact that only three students are ever in the room by the time class is supposed to start. Professor doesn’t show up early either.)

But no matter. There is much to say about what I’ve learned about myself through that class. I feel like I’m developing a more focused vision for what I want to do, but at the same time my ideas are inflating, expanding. I am not like my other classmates. I do not believe in models or poses or creating lighting. I find lighting. I find treasures. I capture what’s there – what is real. All those things are anti-Rachel. Not what I do. And certainly posed work has merit, of course, it just grates on me slightly. Sits wrong on my stomach. I know I’m going somewhere else with my art. And I’m becoming very aware of that as I turn more prints in.

I will not be able to stop talking about school for all of my spring break. It’ll be gone and then I won’t have a voice anymore and it’ll be time for round number three. Next quarter it’ll be Black & White Technique (darkroom!), 3-D Design, and Speech (with a kick face awesome professor that has me excited about taking this class). One week left of stress. I keep crossing off items on my huge list… and my shoulders grow less tense. One more week. A painting, a presentation, and a final test in Color Theory. A set of prints and an artist’s statement for Photo. A final exam and a project/paper for Art History. Yuck. But I’m almost there.

I know I’m going somewhere. It’s a wonderful feeling, even if it’s buried and invisible at times in this tangle of homework and To-Dos. I’m growing. Somehow, through all these hours and hours of painting, printing, and listening… I’m growing.

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