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The Long Road of Failures Begins

There's no time like the present and I only have 6 months to make this entire blanket. After arriving home from the residency on Friday, I waited until Monday and started working on my project. The first steps in making a cyanotype encoded blanket are lots and lots of planning. First I had to buy yarn, of course. Then I had to make swatches in order to obtain the gauge.


 I did some cyanotype testing, which involved adjusting a photo with the right curves adjustment that took us the good part of a year to pin down. I printed the negative and tried it out on some sample paper.
It looked perfect after the test, so that was easy peasy. What could possibly get in the way now? I chose to use a spray bottle in order to get an even spread on the knitting. I think any kind of painting on knitting would be almost impossible to achieve an even coat. What happened? It was ominous that when I sprayed the stuff onto the swatch, it just beaded up like water on a duck and started running down off t…
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I Can't Talk About Art Anymore

I have been waking up later and later. Today I woke up and slipped on my sandals and immediately went down to breakfast because there was only a few minutes left. I made it, so no worries. I took my breakfast back to my room so I could pump in time for the next event of the day. Such a drag. I did most of my packing last night, just a few more things to do.

I met with my faculty advisor about books he recommended for me to read this semester. I fortunately, I found two out of three of them right there in the library. There are a lot of others, but they have the online version, so why load up my suitcase when I can just see it online. The ground-floor of the library is mostly tables and cozy lounge areas, a really cool computer lab with macs and two large-format printers, paper cutters and other various tools. To get the books you have to go deep into the basement—The Stacks. It's a bit creepy down there. There's an entire room full of all the graduates' thesis papers going…

Does Your Microwave Have a Website?

There was a lecture this morning from a woman who is a curator. It was kind of insightful to see how they select works and what goes on behind the scenes. She said that they have a broken microwave and landlord wouldn't fix it so they turned it into mini gallery with artwork inside the microwave. They actually receive applications from people wanting to show in the space. At the end of the lecture, one of my classmates asked, "Does your microwave have a website?" and surprisingly, the answer was yes. The lectures all take place in the Chapel.
New York curator Rachel Steinberg lecturing this morning at VCFA A post shared by Humberto M Ramirez (@humbertomramirez) on Jan 31, 2018 at 6:56am PST

I have seen a few people walking around with this button pin on their backpacks that says MFA on it.
What happens when you go to a radical grad school. #mfa #artmorethanever #vcfa #bthechange A post shared by Zachary P. Stephens (@zacharypstephens) on Aug 14, 2017 at 5:56am PDT I love …

Abrasiveish is Not the Same as Abrasive

Today I'm just so exhausted. Maybe because I stayed up until 12:30 last night. But I slept until 7 so it's not like I'm deprived. But I'm just tired. Ready for this residency to be over. I woke up and grabbed a to-go box and took my breakfast back to my room. I do my best to eat "healthy" in the cafeteria, but really it's a futile endeavor.
At least they're honest... A post shared by Jaime Tamrakar (@anonymous_hermit) on Jan 29, 2018 at 9:49pm PST
Today is really cold again. Last few days has been downright mild, but now it's in the teens again. (Yes, I am talking about weather. It has come to that.) Anything in the 20's and below starts to actually hurt your face. After about half the distance from the library or gallery to the dorms and your nose and lips feel like they are going to just chip off with the slightest force.

I've heard some pretty wild stories while I'm here. Like one about this guy and his roommates that all rented a h…

Like a Flower on a Spring Frickin' Day

Everyone is fuming about their Reviews. The variation of experience is staggering. Some people felt they were grilled so badly that they said they felt like they were going to throw up afterward. Other's felt embarrassed as they were unable to answer questions of audience and purpose. Some felt misunderstood like the faculty just didn't understand what their work was trying to say, which was very discouraging for them. I actually offered a hug to a crying classmate. The conversations are flying with intense blow-by-blow retelling of their experience as we eat our meals. Complete with slow-mo replay, post-game analysis and commentary, and fan participation. People asked me how my review went and I said, "I could tell they really didn't care for my work at all, but yet it was so perfect they couldn't really find anything wrong with it. It was totally awesome." People were so surprised by my ability to find joy in the pure act of being misunderstood and disliked…

There's Always a Story

Today has been the first day that I wasn't running around from dawn until dusk sprinting from place to place. I actually had four and a half whole hours to do as I please.

The morning started with a long lecture. I swear, the strength of the sleep spirits are strong in this place. It is all I can do to not just lay down on the floor and go to sleep. I feel my eyelids droop. I try to keep them open. Often my eyebrows rally to support them by raising, but it does nothing, the eyelids are immovable. I felt guilty that I'm practically in a half-sleep daze through every lecture. What is wrong with me? I covertly peer around the room, no one else seems to be sleeping, unless they have mastered the art of sleeping with their eyes open like dolphins. The lecturer started by reading a short essay from some other person called "taken for granted" which I both really liked, and found really annoying. The way the author of this essay posed it was "taken for granite" wh…

Happy Suffering

Early in the morning, Baker's Dozen met with the chairs, Dalida and Dont. We were instructed to bring our breakfast to this meeting. So we all sat together down a long conference table nibbling on waffles, scrambled eggs, fruit, bacon, and of course coffee. The chairs pretty much just wanted to check in with our group and talk about challenges we had over the semester and if we needed any help from them. It was particularly early in the morning and some of us were a little groggy. Dont said, "My mom used to say to me, 'You're going to have to make your own sunshine today,'" he reported in a sing-songy voice, imitating his mother. "She also used sit across the kitchen table from me and say, 'Don't smile,'" said in a slow cutesy voice again. We were laughing and Dalida kidded, "We're learning so many life lessons from you this morning Donty, what else did your mother say?" They asked us how the semester went, which was met wi…