whenever it's real

I dedicate this page to John Ofori and Adam Volker

School! I love school. I love this year. Man, there was no warm up this year. I feel thrown right into it already, it's great. I have good feelings about this year. I don't like to often have expectations, but of this year, I expect extremes. Extreme goods and extreme times of stress and all the stuff that is going to tear us down and make us stronger.
I started work at the library again today. I think I had missed it. As much as one can miss a job. I feel a weird personal connection to work there. It's nice to have a block of 3 hours where I'm guaranteed I'll be more or less left alone. It's always been my designated think time, and during times of great stress, many problems were thought out and resolved in my head during my shifts there.
It was overcast all day today. I like to look out my window and try and pretend it's really cold outside. Which is usually easy since the ladies keep the AC here at -53 degrees, and then I can make some tea, and not feel all completely lame, for wanting a hot drink, in August in Florida.
"Spit on a Stranger" is one of those songs I keep coming into my room to listen to specifically. It makes every problem feel, somehow, lighter.

untame itself and break its owner

I guess there are no less than a million bikes in our apartment. It's fun to draw them. I abandoned my old lady bike for Sarah's newer old bike. It has no breaks, so that's kind of thrilling. The girls and I went for a bike ride a few days ago, and whenever someone got too close in front of me I had to yell "MOVE I HAVE NO BREAKS!" and swerve into various Sarasotan lawns.
I've felt like I'm in some weird beginning-of-year haze, where everyone is a little bit more anxious. Move in. Sweat off about 10 pounds because it's Florida and August. How was your summer? What teacher do you have? These are the kinds of questions I neither enjoy asking nor answering, but I'll do it anyways.
But soon, classes, homework, all the things that make us feel stressed, raw, tired, and alive.

run run

Don't know what I was thinking with that last one. I think I had just woken up from my 18th nap of the day. I pictured some creepy red guys insisting that they had her best interests in mind. Actually, all of these are pretty unintelligible. I guess being left to my own devices, I start to draw what appeals to my own aesthetic. Whether or not that's a good thing, really.
Ringling is starting to feel more Ringlingesque as people keep returning. One week. Time to prepare.

oh i swear i have nothing to prove

erin mcguire

The joke used to be that I was like a robot. I even have a picture a friend drew me (for my birthday?) of me as a robot, with freckles and glasses, with my "emotion" plug unplugged. It was funny I guess, that I could handle myself really well in any stressful situation or time management dilemna that only relied on logic and reason for everything to get done. Any time a situation presented itself that dealt with any emotion, I tried to react logically, but when that failed (for when are emotions logical, anyway?) I'd shut down.

I suppose art, music, writing, all those things, were the outlet for any emotion I didn't feel I should share with other people. I don't share the best of me, I've realized. Not until you get under my skin, beneath the wires and circuitry, do I let my guard down, do I become someone worth your time.

But I changed I guess. I'm incredibly grateful for friends at Ringling. It's startling, actually, the number of people I'd rather not go without. Either I'm going soft in my old age, or I'm starting to figure this whole thing out- There are no gains without considerable risks. Nothing easily obtained ever truly satisfies.

The consensus seems to be that everyone around me is starting to go a little crazy emotionally. For once I'm in on it. I feel like organized chaos. I feel like how my bedroom looks. We're all starting to realize we're growing, we're changing. I like that for once, I don't know how to handle something. It's terrifying. It's wonderful.

dismantle this morning

I'm content for now, to spend all day in my room. I used to get restless when I wasn't doing something, when I had no activity to give my day a sense of purpose. Here I feel like I've earned some time off. I get to be at Ringling and not have to do a goddamn thing. I'm looking forward to school starting but I'm not counting the days. I'm not really finding myself in great need of looking forward any more than I have to. I don't often look backwards either, if I can help it. I've never been one to be sentimental. The best you'll get from me is a slight wave of nostalgia. I'll tell you a story if you ask me, but I won't long for those days back, nor will I regret that they happened. I just wonder when I can look back at this age, at my 20 year old self, and what I will think of her then.
I've made smart moves and dumb moves in the past two weeks or so. I'm kind of glad though, to once again be in situations that require tactfulness.


Children's book stuff. Not one of these bunnies made the cut. He isn't friendly enough yet.

I enjoyed the camping experience most thoroughly. It gave me some much needed thinking time. I left with strange bruises. I have pictures but those are for another day, another place. One severely sad thing happened on the camping trip- my birkenstocks finally succumbed to 4 years of abuse, as the soles were finally worn through to the point that my right heel was just walking on the ground. I plan on buying a new pair and wearing those for about a million years before they wear out. Also, it was time for them to go, because after I got home and slept a bit, I woke up and my feet had broken out from poison ivy (or poison something I hope). So, I'd rather not just keep giving myself poison whatever, seeing as those cork soles absorb everything in proximity to them. Water, dirt, little kids, whatever.

I am kind of enjoying being home for once. It's always a startling reminder of who I used to be. Sometimes that's a good thing, sometimes bad. I'm getting a hair cut before I go back to school (just trimmed, just trimmed), which reminded me of junior year when all my hair was chopped off and the boys stopped liking me. Everyone thinks I'm exxagerating when I say I looked like Corey Matthews, and every female friend or old lady tells me it was the best haircut ever. Looking back, I loved that it was completely devoid of any maintenance, and I suppose if there was a role that called for a 16 year old little orphan annie I would have been in business, but come on now... bad move-

I look like Justin/Matt/McLean

I don't know what's going on in this picture.
But anyhow, it's good for me to see these and other reminders of every strange and awkward time in my life, to hope that I can learn from mistakes, and never cut my hair short again.
Sketchbook things once I get set up this weekend at Ringling. And then making a cake for John Ofori, since I missed his birthday.
Everything changes.
After finally having a second to sit down and go through recent pictures, I only found one picture from Precollege that was worth saving. I'm not good at the whole remembering-to-take-pictures-because-you'll-want-to-remember-this-later concept, but in retrospect it was dumb on my part. This makes me smile though, so, for your enjoyment-

Watts, cool and collected, Cateris, eating something sour? and confused, Erin, almost out of the frame, and looking kind of weary

I also just got back from Pennsylvania. Probably the most redeeming day of the trip was visiting the Brandywine River Museum again. Brandywine houses a large collection of Wyeth artwork, and this time around there was a nice etching exhibit and American Illustration exhibit too. I know anyone who had (and enjoyed) Brandes's history class would have been as excited as I was. It was pretty exciting to see the paintings in person that we had studied in class. Howard Pyle, Harvey Dunn, Jessie Wilcox Smith, Maxfield Parrish, Dean Cornwell, all the golden age people were there, and it was all extremely humbling. Also, even though he kind of exists in a different realm of the art world, Andrew Wyeth's work is always exciting to see too, especially for someone who is trying to figure out watercolor.
Apart from that, I'll never get tired of seeing N.C. Wyeth's stuff. Now that we've learned about him, the work took on a different kind of dimension.

After going around the museum, we went on a tour of his house (above) and studio. I think being in Wyeth's studio was as close to a religious experience as I'll ever have. The room felt like magic.

The studio had the last painting he was working on when he died, and the reference set up he had been painting from, and looked like it had been more or less untouched in the past 50 years. The rounded window faced north, the light was indescribable. I wasn't allowed to take pictures inside, but I don't really think my crappy camera would have done any justice anyway. We went around his mural studio too, which is the part adjacent, with the many vertical windows. In the back was his prop closet, which was kind of funny to see. I was glad to be able to spend more time there. Definitely worth seeing for anyone who gives a damn about what illustration used to be.

And some recent sketches, all of which were done in Pennsylvania

Leaving again Thursday to camp. Can't stay in one place for too long anymore. Adieu