It's been a busy spring. But then again, I can't remember the last season of my life that wasn't busy. There was a summer one year between my sophomore and junior years of high school where I filed charts in a medical clinic. It was boring, but that was the least busy I remember feeling. Going to work, filing papers, and then returning home to play piano, violin, and chat on AOL. It's funny to think of my high-school days: attending a public school, playing in 2 orchestras and singing in 2 choirs, skiing on the weekends, and hanging out with friends (swimming in Elle's pool and watching Monty Python, getting ready for proms and bargaining with teachers). Life is a bit different now, but I often wonder if it's simply how I perceive things. Have I always been this busy? Have I always been slightly chronically stressed, chasing to-do lists and workouts, looking forward to those weekends I can take off to the coast and disconnect?
Even though I sit every morning when I wake, I still manage to get caught up in what's coming next, or what happened yesterday. I suppose if I were ever-present then my blog would be extremely dull, and I would be incapable of planning and preparing. There are so many justifications for staying present, but with my lifestyle there are also many times I get to delight in being a planner.
driving over a pass in Austria sometime in January
Planning and reminiscing. I was looking through past blog posts and realized that I haven't updated since March. Thankfully I wrote about the end of my season, because it now feels so far away that I can't seem to remember it clearly or with much precision or specificity. It is with these conditions that I tend to write my best. SO I will move onto my spring and early summer....
looking up at a building in Barcelona
Although I was in Barcelona in March in between my final World Cup races, it seems like that was when my spring really started. Getting to spend some time there with Elle reminded me of my springs in Eugene where we have spent most of our time together. It was also so warm and spring-like....
friendship in the sand
Elle by the ocean in Sète, France (shot with 35 mm Lomography turquoise film)
After U.S. Nationals (a blur!), I headed straight back to Oregon to start school on the following Monday. I had to skip the GS in order to get to my first class on time :) I again attended the University of Oregon's spring term, and am chipping away at my Bachelor degree in Fine Arts. I took print-making, ceramics, and psychology this spring, all of which were unique and engaging classes. See below for some photos of my work from the spring:
carving out the ground on my intaglio matrix for printmaking
We utilized four different methods in Printmaking: Lino-cut, Wood-cut, Intaglio, and Screen-printing. I enjoyed every technique, but my favorite was Intaglio, in which you spread a plastic ground onto a copper plate, carve out what you want to etch with a metal tool, and then place the plate into an acidic etching bath. When you take it out and remove the ground, the image is permanently etched into the copper. You can also dry-point, by carving directly onto the plate without using ground or needing to etch. I used an aquatint technique to get the grey and darker areas on the outer edges. It is an extremely tedious process, especially when it comes to spreading the ink on the plate and printing it well. But I loved it so much, and hope to take more print-making classes in the future.
the final product of my Intaglio print
Lino-cut was a process I have done before, and is really simple. You carve out the negative portion of the image (which can be confusing, especially if you are using text!), and leave the lino as the positive. I used my sister's Pit bull, Honey, as inspiration:
my lino-cut prints
My Ceramics class was also really wonderful. I wanted to get better at throwing clay on the wheel, and making consistent forms, so I labored away and threw over 100 pieces. It was hard for me to integrate creativity into this process, as my time was limited and my goals were to gain experience on the wheel. So it was somewhat disappointing to walk away from the class feeling like I made so many objects that weren't particularly imaginative. But the process was what I wanted to learn more about, and I feel like I accomplished that.
I also made my first tea-pots! Which were insanely difficult to execute well, or even to the extent of fulfilling their objective role. The glaze would fill holes, handles would break off, spouts would crack, lids would be too small or too big.... but I managed to walk away with a few functional tea-pots :)
I tried to repeat forms on the wheel, producing nearly-identical cups, bowls, etc. for a set. Since many pieces don't actually end up making it from clay to finished cup, due to cracking, fracturing, glaze accidents, breaking, etc., you need to throw many more pieces at the wheel than you expect to walk away with.
some glaze experiments, as I was trying to come up with a glaze theme for my final project
a functioning tea-pot
some of my final pieces in a crate, ready to come home
my final presentation -- doilies!
It was relieving to finish all my final projects and walk away from school with finished pieces and prints, but I don't feel like I'm ready to move on from creating. So I got a membership at the Clayhouse Studios in Park City, and I have been conducting some more experiments. Although my time in the studio is limited, it is nice to be able to pop over for a few hours in between workouts and slip into a different mind set, zone out, and fulfill my urge to design things.
working on my vase forms
adding some details
I guess I skipped the part of my life that happened between school and Utah. I suppose that's because it was a bit of a blur. I was home for 4 days, (which seemed like 1) running around like a chicken with her head cut off, trying to make time for friends and enjoying the Oregon wilderness before heading to the Utah heat. Attending appointments, unpacking, repacking, organizing my things from the winter season, catching up on bills and mail and and and.... Let's just say most of it does not deserve to be published in any blog, but is imperative to maintaining a normal life. Does my life qualify as normal....? Hmmm.
There WAS my Shred camp at Bachelor, which was in the middle of May between school weeks, which was the awesomest. I enjoy ripping around with kids so much, I wish I had the time and energy to do more than 1 shred camp a year. I am certainly considering it for future springs. It was great to have Tommy around to help coach, too. To be back on our home mountain with kids who enjoy skiing as much as we do, soaking up the sun's heat, ripping on salt, playing games and singing on the chair was exactly what I wanted to be doing on that weekend in May.
After that short break at home in Bend for a few days at the beginning of June, Tommy and I trekked out to Utah in a stuffed-full Ashitaka (his car). There is not much to write about my time in Park City, as I've mostly been spending it in the gym, a bit in the studio, eating, and sleeping. I have managed to slip away on the weekends for some fun, though. My first weekend in Utah I got to go on a guided fly-fishing trip, which was pretty incredible. It was inevitable for me to catch fish, which was a fishing situation I have never been in before. heh.
being told what to do is basically the only way a fish will ever bite my hook :)
The next weekend Tommy and I escaped to Wyoming to attend Camp Marno. And that was a serious BLAST. We got to hike up in the Snowy range to ski some sweet corn down a steep chute, and skinny dip in freezing water at the bottom. There was fishing, drinking, fire-siding, a small music festival, water-ballooning, cooking, a tiny bit of sleeping, and many laughs. And what a beautiful area we got to do it all in.
a very cold and beautiful mountain cascade -- with Whitney and Alice
Now I'm up in Canmore, Alberta, spending some time with my family. My grandmother is 97 years old, and still seemingly quite well. My sister Hilary, cousin Ayden, and dad are all up here enjoying some time in the mountains together. I would like to live up here one summer and do some more extensive exploring, but for now, I'm sticking to my crazy plans. I am in Utah for another 2 weeks before heading to Crested Butte, Colorado for a wedding, and then slowly driving back to Oregon. I'll be there for about a week before taking off for New Zealand.
Wahoo! So many adventures to come. So little time to chill, but I am going to try and make a commitment to update my website and blog more regularly. I want to try and write a blog post every month, and I'd like to update y'all at least bi-weekly, or every time I move locations. Please provide any feedback you think I need, and enjoy the remainder of your June! It is, once again, almost time to get back to chasing snow!!!!
6/27/2016 04:14:10 pm
Hi, I just wanted to say that I really like your blog. It is so peaceful and unpretentious that it calms me down and just reminds me that life is nice afterall. Thanks for sharing. Cheers, Lucy
7/26/2016 10:42:11 am
that was a great synopsis of the past "hectic" and time flying story of your Spring/Summer. I have always enjoyed you blog and the photos. You have remarkable talents Luarenne. My daughter is an art major at NAU so I was very keen to read about you classes. Again you have a talent about you and those pieces turned out great! her first mugs shrank too much on the first go around and she too was going to " throw out" the ones that didn't meet her standard. I took them and used them to plant small cacti in.
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adventures to and from, here and there, home and away, around the world--through my eyes, lens, and mind