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The Doubt

An undream revery trance-painted around 2007/2/15 by Chris Wayan

I've been going back to school to get an art degree. Well, really to learn to paint properly, and meet other artists, and avoid getting a day job, of course, but you're not allowed to say that. But my college has been forcing me to take (fairly random) non-art classes; though I had over 200 units already from scattered schools in scattered subjects, they weren't at MY school; they wanted me to have THEIR brand of breadth. Shakespeare, African art history, digital video, speech and American civics, that's what I need! So really, I've been getting precious little studio time and meeting few kindred spirits.

(And as they put all these detours in my way, the World Dream Bank brought me friends, contacts, ideas and advice--at lower cost, too. I was putting similar amounts of energy into both, so it was a perfect experiment in Web vs. face-to-face education, communication, contact. Guess which is winning.)

Now I'm in my last semester, facing graduation at last, just starting to creep out from isolation as I FINALLY get to take some studio painting classes and meet other painters...

One day I idly dripped water on a moon-shaped piece of wood, then dabbed wet acrylic paint on it. The pigment traveled and spread and frizzed like watercolor. I tilted the panel and it ran, in drips that looked like groping branches. Just playing with shapes and materials, nothing in mind...

I thought. Until this came out.

Watercolor of a bipedal, digitigrade, mare-tailed girl climbing a rocky slope, hanging on to groping branches: me in school. Click to enlarge.
And I wonder: was it worth two years of work and thousands of dollars? And whether it was or not, where do I go from here? A teaching job? Oog. When I really still want what I went back to college for: a community of kindred spirits. That is, weirdos. I don't think I'll find that in the school district...
Close-up of an anxious-looking skinny brown bipedal, digitigrade mare-tailed girl climbing a rocky slope, hanging on to groping branches: me in school.
Sorry, no grand conclusions. I'm still bewildered what to do. My soul's pulling me to stick with art and writing and music--starving if I have to! Getting a job now feels like surrender. But can I make it? How?

The branches grope, the thorns cling. And I keep climbing the mountain--whatever's on top.

I keep tinkering with this piece
as my doubt waxes and wanes...

Deer peering from ferns on a rocky slope; acrylic by Chris Wayan

Deer leaping in brush on a rocky slope; acrylic by Chris Wayan

Watercolor of a bipedal, digitigrade, mare-tailed girl climbing a rocky slope, hanging on to groping branches: me in school. Click to enlarge.



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