Saturday, March 5, 2011

Day of Poetry

A day of poetry begins with melancholy. A subtle ache for more than what I can give myself. Perhaps it is company, love, affection, happiness- whatever the unfulfilled longing, it is a feeling which cannot be delivered by my own ponderings, and I am left to fill that void with poetic dreams of non-existent ideologies that can make an artist’s heart content. Almost.
I identify heartily with Alfred Proofrock. Coffee spoons seem to measure up the life I often conjure. This morning it was tea spoons that measured up the day, yet little did I know that my artistic yearning would lead to more. As the sun showed over the mountain and the doors of the forest opened, the birds would sing me into the deep. My triumphant entry into the woodland presented itself as a battle against the ever feared yet always embraced experience of the ordinary.
The trees work much as Gothic cathedrals, always lifting one’s views and thoughts to the heavens. I believe they do their duty better. The metaphor of a tree works at a human level that a manmade structure cannot dare to stoop down to. A tree works out of the depths, a Godmade structure that grows and moves to face the toils of the world. The wildlands. The roots of these natural cathedrals reach down, grappling to rocks, struggling through bedrock, discovering waterways. Lifeways! The strength of these roots impress past the crumbling stones and archways of Brunelleschis. The greatest sources of pride for man are outdone in the beauty and simplicity by the natural.
My adventure did not halt at the archways of the forest, it only strove further. The earth moved and shifted beneath my boots. My maroon yarns caught and twisted in the brambles. My walking stick was a surety when my feet did not know. Life is so like a woodland wander. One cannot see the path ahead until one reaches it, and the multitude options for each step exceed one’s abilities to take them all. Choices. Difficulties. Beauties. Inspirations. All can be found in an afternoon walk, yet embracing them requires one to look. Melancholy turned the key, beginning the engine of my search, and upon return from my battle against the commonplace, I found that I had claimed a small victory over complacency. I could say that always present dreams of adventure had been fulfilled for the afternoon, and as I recline, returned to my latter pose, I cannot say that I measured my day in coffee spoons, rather in roots and trees and cathedrals. Little rivers and shallow pools. Blue haze and billowing clouds. A masterpiece. I measure my day in all of creation, and my search to do battle is a search in which I press steadily onward.
My day of poetry was not one of rhymes and riddles, yet that is not of what poetry is made. The day was experience! The day was a fight! It was poetry.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I love my Art History Class.

My teacher (Ms. Casprowiak! What a wonderful name!) uses words like "partition" and "ostentatious" and phrases like "bisected quadrifoil arch" in everyday conversation. It is nice to be in a classroom where the teacher speaks like they are well educated along with being as such. Although much of the study is very dry, especially when looking at Byzantine and Gothic images, and the two hour and ten minute class period does not aid in the overall relief to it's dry nature, I find the entire class fascinating.
I was surprised at how gazing at many of these images really does send me where the artists often intended. Paintings depicting the morality of man (the lack of) give me such a sense of sadness toward our own depravity that I feel sick over it. Early Gothic and Renaissance paintings exploit this feeling so that the viewer will sense fear, being driven to repentance by the evil that one can clearly see before them. Other paintings that show the deposition (Christ's body being brought from the cross) also produce a great deal of sorrow. Composition in these works always draw the eye to our Lord- often with figures facing Him, background landscape leading toward Him, and placing Him toward the middle of the work. This emphasis on our Savior's death hits very closely to our emotions, whether we know our Savior or not, that one cannot help but be moved by it.
Although these works have flaws that I do believe have characterized the church as a place of gloom rather than glory, for a Christian saved by our Lord from these visions of death, I find them a beautiful representation of salvation- and Oh! The visions to be seen when this world is left behind!

I side tracked...
Now I intended to write on Durer... So I will... ;)
In his etching. "Melancholy," Durer depicts an angelic being who is supposed to represent the feeling, or disposition, of melancholy. At this time, as I wrote in my notes during class today, melancholy was associated with the artist's genius. Striving for perfection yet never attaining it brings a never-ending sense of failure for an artist that drives them toward making something incredible. This genius, however, lives up to its melancholy term. That sense of failure is ever present to an artist, and that imperfection must be dealt with on every level of art artists life, not just on the level of making art.
We all must deal with this imperfection. If one's sensibilities toward the arts are spurred by this melancholy, then that is just one way to experience a facet of melancholy. Songs, paintings, poems, books... There is so much that pours from this striving for perfection, and yet our imperfection is ever before us.
I wonder how we survive. Our dreams to create something flawless are fed by our knowledge that we can never bring it about.

Albrecht Durer's Melancholy

I'm so glad Jesus is perfect.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Mt. 2010 has been summited...

And Mt. 2011's climb has begun.
As I look back on 2010, I deem it a most fantastic year. Although not without heartache, problems, disappointments, and tears, I found the year a thrilling adventure with too many blessings to count, and I the lessons I have been taught throughout 2010 made it a year worth mentioning for many to come.

I decided that instead of a top ten list of my year, I would mention three major areas that, little did I know, would shape 2010...
1. 7,000 miles of travel shaped some of the more prominent adventures of 2010. My brother and I were blessed to go to Camp Elim, a camp just out of Colorado Springs, and lead worship for the high school camp there. We spent ten sunny days hanging and laughing with each other- wouldn't want to spend it with any other brother!
(Camp Elim Logo... Hopefully I'll have a better pic sometime ;)

Although not quite as far a voyage, the NTBYM Bike Trip through the San Juan Islands certainly made my summer. 70 miles over some of the most beautiful land in the world (that I've seen) with some of my greatest friends! Wonderful! Lopez Island, the first Island of the trip, was my favorite. It felt like Anne of Green Gables. And, Oh! Spencer Spit! You are a dream. Someday.... A little house with a yellow kitchen.... ;)
(Me, Looking out from a view on Lopez Island after a few miles on a bike. It was beautiful.)

And the final trip before I plunged into school- Minnesota. I stayed in a house that had once been located in town as a Morgue, and was then moved to the country where it is now a home for my cousin, her husband, and their two little girls. I so so enjoyed having a private place deep in the countryside to settle into for those twelve nights.

("Morgue" I stayed in.)

In the days I visited destinations like Fargo, Pelican Rapids, Fergus Falls, Minneapolis (State Fair,) and my dear aunt and uncles home, where so many memories lie, never to be carried away by the ever-blowing wind. Minnesota is the same as it has been. "Same cake, same frosting" as Aunty Marlys would say.

(Trees and lake- taken on a morning walk by my sister)

(Out of over 600 pics, I found this most appropriate. You can see why...)

2. Along with adventure, Oh the blessings! Oh the discoveries that were given this year! The Lord opened the opportunities for me to explore the gifts He has given me. The piano has become a dear love in my heart, and through this discovery, the Lord gave me the inspiration to write almost ten new songs that I am so excited to share with the world on my upcoming record! Steve, Andrew, and I will be beginning scratch tracks very soon. I can't wait to see what the Lord will do!

(Playing for one of my best friends, Mary.)

In my Drawing 101 class, my teacher had us use Charcoals in abundance, and I fell in love with them! They're blendable, highly contrasting, gloriously messy, and relatively quick compared to pencil. Art makes my heart sing, and charcoal is a beautiful instrument! I was lucky enough to use this instrument for the inside cover of my brother's new album, on which I sing for four of the tracks. He has been working on his album for nearly two years, and it has finally been finished! Find him on itunes- Artist: Andrew Platter. Album: "Spotlight."
Check here! The illustration at the top of the page was done by me, and you can buy the cd there or on itunes!

3. My adventures and discoveries would have been of little import if not for the people with which I was able to experience and share them with!
I have to mention this one: I met, hugged, talked to, and got my jacket signed by Sarah Harmer. This was a dream I've held for over six years. She is my favorite musical artist of all time. She has been my main inspiration since I started writing. Seeing her in concert and meeting her was a a huge highlight of the year, and, actually, my life!
(Sarah Harmer and Me! )

As far as real relationships go, Lakeside Bible Camp always follows through with bringing such wonderful friends together. 2010 High School Camp was full of fun and friends. Out of my almost 14 years of visiting Lakeside, and four years of attending winter and summer camps and tcl, I have never had an easier cabin. The girls I lived with for that week were beautiful, laid back, and genuinely delightful. And my cabin leaders were just as wonderful and more so!(Some of my Lakeside girls. Right to left: Kallie, Me, Larissa, Baily, and Breezy)

Now, contrastingly, at Bellevue College, with its impressive diversity, almost overbearing tolerance, and general lack of student....warmth, I would never have expected to find friendship that has impacted me beyond my hopes for 2010, for all of highschool, and in some cases- my life! Through many hours of breaks in between classes and late stays after school, I was able to bond with a group of around twenty wonderful friends whom I know shall hold places in my heart for years to come. As If being blessed with twenty new and wonderful friends wasn't enough, the Lord brought me my kindred spirit. The Diana Barry to my Anne Shirley. My best friend! All of these adventures, discoveries, and people were given to me by my God and Father.

(A big part of the BC Gang when we went ice skating. Missing a few. Love them all)

(My best friend, Jenessa, and I at Alki in Seattle. Little dog in the background makes me laugh. Girl next to me always brings a smile!)

Thank You, Jesus, for a most blessed year, and thank You for this next glorious year- 2011! I cannot wait to see all that You have planned!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Perfection is so unattainable.

Long before I approach a canvas, I have the sad realization that what I make is never perfect. Might be good. Might not. But it will never reach my highest expectation of what my art should be. I can be much too ambitious in mind. Therefore, in reality, I often will not even touch my paints and brushes, or even pencil and pen, out of fear for what I cannot reach. It's a constant pull between knowing I can do so much, and not knowing if I can do anything. Will any work be my "greatest?" Will it even be great?
Any artist will, or maybe should, say that the next work is their best. Always pushing forward. Always humbling at the reality that your best can never be reached since improvement is always attainable, and perfection is not.
I love this quote by G. K. Chesterton. It's one of my favorites. He says, "Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere." The truth about both is how art and morality each take courage to make a reality. A blank page has so SO much room for mistakes. We have so much room for error, but also for beauty, in our own lives. Each mark we make is a step towards what our life will be like, what our "greatest" work will become. Our job is to create something beautiful, and the only way we can make something even worth showing is if we trust that the Lord has prepared us for the works ahead. We are created in Christ for exactly that! We are His workman created for good works. I look forward to seeing what He has planned for our lives, and the passions He will lay on our hearts. We will never achieve perfection by our own doings, yet we have the hope of seeing ourselves perfected in Christ!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Nearly ready for the swing...

Here I am again, on the edge of another school year. When this time comes around, I feel like I start sucking college aspirations through a straw too fast, which then causes mild brain freeze and a tingling imagination. I've started forming ambitious plans to spend all my time making art, learning enough math to graduate, and, of course, working out everyday while managing a full college class load and time with family and friends.
Piece. Of. Cake.
Along with those goals for the year, it's the classic story: I must form my portfolio, apply to X amount of colleges, and graduate in spring knowing exactly what I'm doing. Easy! :)
I love a good life challenge.

This Friday, I leave for a drive to Minnesota. Ten days with big skies, thunderheads, and rolling hills. If there is any way to clear the head before I make my way through the forest, that is how. I'm going to take this time to truly rest while still making accomplishments.
MN goals:
  • Finish Emma and at least start Sense and Sensibility
  • Draw a good bit of everything while on the trip. This is my art excursion.
  • Learn to drive stick. Yes, I'm going there. It will be done!
  • Spend time with the Lord as often as I can. His goals for me are far better than any I could make, and I trust Him for the path I should take.
Goals are fun. Goals are neat. I love goals.- The little senior sang.

I feel a theme coming on...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ivory Keys, I Adore Thee.

I've fallen in love.

David's harp must have been a close relative of the piano....

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Grinding and Churning

When I ponder last week... I'm pretty sure my thoughts resemble this:

As you can see, I'm still processing.

Good thoughts are promised.
Good thoughts are grinding and churning
Good thoughts to feed the soul