No, Diane. You Are Not a Slacker!

I am such a slacker! At least when it comes to writing new posts for this blog! Thankfully, I’m still fully engaged in the rest of my life.

In case you didn’t know, when I’m not going to school or doing other fun things, I write another blog — a health and wellness blog called Catching Health with Diane Atwood. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to check it out and do me the awesome favor of subscribing to it and also sharing it with others.

Back to art, which is a very healthy thing to do, don’t you agree?

My last post was the end of August. Since then I completed a course in 3D design. It really stretched the limits for me, which is a good thing. I’ll post some pictures and a fun video to give you a sense of what I tried to accomplish accomplished.

Hay ball

My professor was Michael Shaughnessy. I also had him for Drawing 1 and 2. A great teacher, who is also a sculptor. His medium is hay. You may have seen him and his infamous hay ball in and around Portland. He even rode cross country with it and is writing a book about the experience.

Making a coracle

Michael (in the green checked shirt) took us on a coracle making adventure outside the Portland Museum of Art on a rainy Saturday in October. A coracle is a small, one-person, lightweight boat traditionally used in Wales.

Coracles on the car

It was hard work making the coracles, but a lot of fun and the nearly end results were quite lovely I thought. We had planned to waterproof and test them on a safe little body of water, but never did.

Copper wire "bridge"

This piece started out as a symmetrical rectangle that was inspired by a covered bridge I passed in Montpelier, Vermont. The two most important things I learned were:

  1. Sometimes, you need to let your materials do what they want.
  2. I love working with copper wire.

Foam core creation

For this project, we all wrote verbs on a piece of paper, threw them into a hat and drew one out. We had to create something that matched our verb. For my creation, I cut black and white foam core into strips, scored them on both sides and glued the strips together. I think it undulates. Do you?

In this video, fellow student Richard Hudon tests the strength of the bridge we made out of newspaper. It’s a very short video!

After the bridge collapsed

All was not lost. In fact, we think our bridge looked even better after it collapsed!

Pile of vegetables

For our final project, we had to make something entirely out of food. Entirely. No glue or tape or anything to hold the pieces together. It was SO frustrating. Amazingly though, like so many art projects I’ve worked on now, I got into the zone and forgot about everything else — except how I was going to keep my work together and get it to class in one piece!

Skirt from vegetables

Viola! It’s a skirt. The bottom is made of red cabbage leaves, the straps are strips of leek leaves, embellished with dandelion greens. I cut more leaves into very thin strips to use as thread. The buttons are sliced cranberries ( I didn’t know they were so beautiful inside) and sprigs of dill add the finishing touch.

And just like that, the course was over and it was winter break.

During the fall semester, I also submitted my portfolio, which was accepted. Yes! It means I’m a legitimate fine arts student, with a concentration in drawing and painting.

Now I’m taking a course in mixed media painting. Since I’m back on track writing this blog, I’ll have more on that in the very near future. In my next post, I’ll tell you about a fun and empowering challenge I took a few weeks ago.

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Diane Atwood

About Diane Atwood

For more than 20 years, Diane was the health reporter on WCSH 6. Before that, a radiation therapist at Maine Medical Center and after, Manager of Marketing/PR at Mercy Hospital. Now she writes the award-winning blog Catching Health with Diane Atwood.