Cold Days in the South…

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     I think it is clear from my hibernation-like absence that this winter has done one thing for me: laziness. There are few things I have wanted to do besides curl up on the couch and avoid the extra harsh winter that has been upon us for far too long. One of the main reasons I so dearly love living in the South is a mild winter season. A couple of good snow showers, fine. But this year, we’ve had over a solid month of days that it has snowed- that adds up to more days than I can count of actual snow covered ground. So, have I done anything besides get myself hooked on the shows Parenthood, Girls or Pretty Little Liars? Well, not really. (And no, I do not feel like the time I took getting to know those shows was a waste.) However, this was a brief half- semester off and I am now staring down what will be the most intense semester of grad school that I’ll know: Independent Study, in which I will be creating my final, capstone project. The research I did last semester has been leading up to this, and truly, between understanding the dynamic of the Braverman family and taking guesses at who A is, I have been researching here and there. It has been a mix of frustrating and confusing though, I will admit. The basis for my project is to understand the media driven imagery that surrounds us, and specifically, how women are portrayed. I am a feminist at heart; there has never been any doubt of that, but what type of feminist? I had no idea I needed to define a type in this day and age. I feel I have to be careful not to be the bantering feminist, or the “we’re all victims (still)” feminist, and being still somewhat young, should I just be the newest type, the third wave feminist (I don’t think there’s a fourth wave feminist- yet)? It’s been a lot to take in, and that’s without even touching on what you come across when Googling “feminist art”. So, the latest feminist debacle I’ve come across? Barbie. And Sports Illustrated.

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     Empowerment or objectification? Much like defining what type of feminist that I am, I’m torn about my thoughts on this merger. Barbie’s “Unapologetic” campaign as the face for the Sports Illustrated 50th anniversary initially came off to me as one thing: sexist. One of these companies is known for exploiting women’s bodies, wearing next to nothing in their photo shoots, and the other makes a doll who’s actual body measurements are nearly impossible for any real woman to obtain. The two of them together- how could it be anything less than great? Well, I particularly appreciate fbomb’s blog on the topic and Julie Z for pointing out that the almost un-touchable body type that SI already presents yearly as the standard for “beauty” was replaced by nothing less than, what I’ve already mentioned to be, a doll with unnatural measurements. So on top of giving us a body type that is nearly impossible to reach, being replaced by a doll solidifies that in the view of many people behind this project, a woman’s body is merely an object. That’s one take on it. It’s also a hard one to deny. The surprising flip side to this argument, mentioned by SI’s creative director (a male, none the less) is that Barbie has always been about the empowerment of women. Barbie has held over 150 jobs. She’s an entrepreneur, just as many former SI models are. It is tempting to let myself fall into the trap of believing it’s ok to use a woman’s body when there are people (male and female alike) behind the cause saying it’s for “women’s power”! But on second thought, in this situation, I really do believe it’s exploiting the age-old sex sells campaign, and this power play is nothing more than a bunch of chauvinist pigs knowing exactly where they can capitalize.      

48 in Atl

As I continue to settle in Louisville, I am feeling more comfortable, yet between school and not many consecutive days off from work (oh the life of retail), to say I was in dire need of a break is an understatement. So after coordinating some dates with my friends, I took off two days from work and booked a flight to Atlanta! Exactly 48 hours in the Atl, and exactly what I needed. I made a mini-documentary of it; partly to see what all I got done in 48 hrs, and partly out of sentiment. The combination of efforts follow…

Embracing Change

ImageEmbrace change. This lovely little coaster sits next to me nightly as a reminder for me to do just that. It has been exactly three months since I uprooted my life in Atlanta and  moved back to the wonderful state that I have always called home, Kentucky. I moved to Louisville, a city I haven’t ever lived, so it’s a little taste of the familiar mixed with a lot of new. Why the change you may ask? I know I don’t get very personal on here, but it had to do with a boy who broke my heart. I simply felt I had to literally get away, and that being closer to home would help. So, three months in… and I’m unsure. Unsure about a number of things, and that’s a feeling I hate. I also hate feeling uprooted and like a nomad- both of which I currently feel. I miss my Atlanta friends and the lifestyle I had there a great deal. I also miss my stuff, which for the most part is in storage, and why I feel nomad-ish. However, I have to give much thanks for a wonderful friend that was here in Louisville and willing to take me in and let me share her lovely, fully furnished home. There are positives here, and they are the change I am now trying to embrace. I know that change is up to me ultimately, the change to move was mine and I wouldn’t take it back if I could. The change here is what I need to find to not be unsure, but I just don’t know where to look.

Pesto anyone?

pesto!Inspired by a blog from Parsley, Sage & Sweet, I took on making my very own pesto this evening. Lisa’s heartfelt story was a little sad, and after a gloomy day for no particular reason, I felt compelled to make some pesto and pasta. I didn’t follow Lisa’s recipe very closely- I’m just past what I’d call a beginner’s level of cooking, and I don’t have a food processor- but still, I was inspired. I looked up a couple of other pesto recipes via epicurious (love that app), and also studied a couple of pesto labels while in the grocery store. Pretty basic ingredients over all; I found basil, evoo (extra virgin olive oil), some kind of nut (ranging from pine nut to walnut), garlic and parmigiano reggiano (or parmesan cheese), in every one. Though I may be food processor- less, I have a hand held food chopper, and I’d consider myself a mean mincer. Ok, maybe not so much mean as meticulous, but either how, I can chop things pretty finely. Anyhow, those details aside, I bought myself some fresh basil and a lemon and headed home. After turning on my Pandora’s Jason Aldean station and chilling a bottle of Pinot Grigio, I began to combine everything mentioned before (I used cashews as my chosen nut because not only are they my favorite, but I already had some in the pantry), and I went with one of Lisa’s details and added some lemon zest, plus I squeezed about half the lemon into the pesto. I didn’t measure so I don’t have details, but I used a lot of parmesan, a decent bit of cashews and basil, two garlic cloves plus a good helping of salt, and I think it turned out rather well! (When all was said and done, I have an average soup bowl’s amount of pesto made.) I know this isn’t exactly an ideal recipe to follow, but I hope you’ll be inspired, as I was, because all in all it was a lovely and therapeutic process. Plus, a great dinner.

As One Ends, Another Begins…

I find myself at a very long week’s end. My fourth course (each is divided into eight week sessions, so this is the end of a second semester) in grad school just finished. The course, Globalization, Art and Education, brought up a lot of topics of interest to me, though it also kept me so busy I haven’t had much time to process everything. I know it led me to research that I’m calling “Art and Artists That Exemplify the South” (check out here: http://www.scoop.it/t/made-southern-art), and that’s something I’d like to explore further. Will keep y’all posted. As for tonight, I’m taking a deep breath, enjoying a glass of wine, and starting a mini-marathon of Mad Men… all before I have to go to work tomorrow morning, and begin a new course for the first summer session. Yay!

Here it is!

Welcome to my new online home! This- blogging- is a brand new adventure for me. I’d say what started it all was being accepted to an online graduate program last August. My first thought after being super excited was wait, school online– what am I thinking!? I attempted one online class in my undergrad, and I very clearly remember withdrawing from that course fairly promptly after its start. Now, into my second semester of grad school (again, all online!) I’m embracing the Internet like never before. Here, I hope to share my work and progression as an artist and currently a student of art education, my constant attempts at being a crafter and cook (that one is a special work in progress…) and sometimes, I hope to share things just because I’m me, a simple southern girl.