Friday, June 16, 2006

Wanted to share....

I have been spending some more time creating touch drawings and also painting a few that I had created previously. Since I had shared with you the touch drawing mandala a few days ago, I thought I'd share with you what it looks like today. Not sure if it is finished yet, but I think it is getting there.

It went from this....


to this....


This is the first time I've ever put any true effort into painting. That seems strange, given that I did gratuate with a bachelor's from an art school. While I was there though, I existed in the safe world of rulers, drafting tables, AutoCADD and plotting machines. It seems like a million years ago now, and truthfully, I am surprised I even did that. I wasn't the "artistic, strange child" in school, nor did I turn into the wildly individualistic artsy-fartsy type in high school - although I always admired and envied the type. I enjoyed art classes but no-one (definitely including myself) ever thought I'd ever try to make a career out of it. My family was hoping I would become a doctor while I secretly cherished dreams of being a biologist studying animal behavior somewhere in the African Savanna. (So it seems logical I am mental health counselor now, no?) Given that I had chosen the humanistic studies over what seemed waaaaaaaaaaaaay too excessive amounts of science, it seemed that both my family's and my plans for the future were not to be. I did play along though. I actually signed up for, and attended (what the hell was I thinking!?!?) the entrance exams to both Turku and Helsinki Universities' medical and biology departments. I actually even attended a prep course in Helsinki the summer right after high school graduation. I remember deciding after about the third chemistry class that roaming the streets of summer-time Helsinki and eating fresh cherries was going to prepare me for the exams just as well as sitting in that damn classroom, so I promptly skipped the rest of the prep course. At the entrance exam in Turku, I remember vaquely attempting to work on some of the pre-calc and physics questions. It might as well have been in Cantonese. It was, however, a multiple choice exam and they did not ask you to show your work. I actually fantasized for a while that maybe by sheer luck I would choose the correct answers and somehow make it in. Seriously, HOW did I think I was going to make it through 6 years of medical school!?!?! By faking it?!?! But denial and a desperate need to please make for a deadly combination.

After failing to get in, I still played along. My mother had arranged, through a friend of my grandmother's, for me to go to Sweden to work at a hospital, "just to see how I would like it". I worked in a home-like setting with Alzheimer's patients. I fed them, bathed them, changed their diapers, gave enemas, brushed their false teeth.... It was a little too much reality for me. The best thing to come out of the whole experience, outside of living in downtown Stockholm - *sigh* - , was the fact that I took up skydiving.

Anyway, how did I get here from painting my mandala this morning!?............. I'm so lost.

Oh, right, the art school thing. Well, after wiping dirty behinds for a time, I decided it was time to escape to Florida. My brother had studied here and I had visited a few times. I had also seen all the episodes of Miami Vice and liked it. So I applied in the same school my brother had attended. I picked interior design as a major because after dirty behinds pretty things seemed refreshing. (As I write this it is hitting me just how scary it is that for the past two years I have been a guidance counselor helping young people make career choices!!!!!) Well, I did not know that after two years, I'd have to transfer to another school. In fact, I did not know what the word "transfer" meant. I had to look it up. Fortunately for me, my interior design instructor thought that I just absolutely HAD to attend the Ringling School of Art and Design. So, I did.

Not that I've ever practiced interior design a day in my life since I graduated. I couldn't get the hang of acrylic nails and high heels. And yet, after $60,000 in student loans and another career change down the road, I walked out of that school the richest person in the world. It is there that I met my husband. But that is a whole other story for another time...

I just wanted to share the mandala with you. (!)

Haera ra,
tia

5 comments:

bobealia said...

Wow! What a transformation! I like both in different ways. Thanks for sharing the Mandala and the story. I think it's a bit odd that the people I'm most in touch with in the blogosphere tend to have art backgrounds. Keda, Bruce, Stephen, Me, Jef - all of us, art schoolers, and now you too! I actually wish I had not been in such a rush to get a degree, and that I'd spent more time at art school. I just wish I knew what I really wanted to do with my life... besides be an artist. Can you really do that and make money? I've never really tried.
Anywhoo, lovely story, and I can't wait to hear the part about the meeting your husband! Is your Mandala painted on a canvas now?

Last Girl On Earth said...

What a wonderful history! I love the way that you meander, but eventually get to the point! (I can SO relate to this!) I LOVE your new painting. You seem like a very talented person. Glad Michele sent me over here today.

utenzi said...

Michele sent me, Tia.

Now that's one very interesting post, Tia. You certainly covered a lot of ground. I love the mandala--both before and especially after.

On the other hand, the driftwood horses in your post below disturb me a lot. They seem to much like skeletal horses with dried shards of flesh remaining on them. *shudder*

It does seem like your life has taken some abrupt shifts in direction, Tia. Which probably means that you're very interesting!

Stephen Newton said...

The painting is evolving like you are, Tia. In the work that you've posted, I can see an animal element, sometimes wolf, but there's something primitive lurking within the mandala. I love the course you're on and look forward to more. It was great to hear your Ringling story as well. I used to teach Montessori kids and thought their art said so much about who they were. I remember one boy who went from an all black palette to multi-colors as he worked through his issues.

Jessica said...

It's hard to believe that this is the first time you "put any true effort into painting." It looks like you really let go and enjoyed the process without thinking too much about the result. And so the result is lovely.