Above is an image of a some new work/experimentation. I've been really interested in playing with wax again. I had a load of the fleshy colored wax I made a while back at a residency and have been thinking a lot about layers and what embedding matter into them means. This is what I wrote after making this:
Serving:flesh tones in wax, hair, vela wrappers de saint jude, lace que compré en el dollar store, more hair, more fleshy wax from old velas, prints of Puerto Rico and a vejigante.......
Then I made this one (below) to set some intentions during the most recent eclipse. I'm still learning a bunch about what all this means and really trying to reconnect with something inside me that craves spiritual/somatic healing. You can read more about what I mean by this on my Latinx Lancaster posts.
This one has layers of flowers my fiance (oh yeah I got engaged!) bought me on one of our first dates, the number 5 because it's my favourite number and I've learned some stuff about what that means, flowers from a Latinx event that I loved, butterflies because transformation, and the words who and enough because I like that I've become more comfortable with the idea that who I am as an artist and human is always changing and I can always work on knowing that I am enough and the work I make- even during dry spells- is enough. I'm learning to embrace the idea that even music needs rests to make a melody.
This isn't art related but I wanted to share these thoughts percolating since Wednesday in my brain space. Maybe it will help another artist/maker:
Recently I took a yoga class with one of my favourite instructors and good friend Hawa (https://www.facebook.com/events/1905063089795740/) She teaches in a yin yoga style that is slow paced and holds poses longer than many popular versions of mainstream yoga. This particular practice was designed for helpers and healers and gave so much space to allowing us to use supports when and if we needed it. Hawa did a great job at weaving a beautiful metaphor for us around literal supports in yoga practice and the supports we need to recognize we have or need when we're out in the world. It takes a lot of unlearning and practice for me as a Latina with not a lot of capital to ask for support. It is especially hard when I know that Latinas, like many non-white women, have to work many times harder to earn a living, be respected, and generally live a comfortable life. It's also especially hard coming from a family that is large and being one of the eldest. I've grown and thrived in waters that taught me these things: that the hustle is the only way-take as many jobs as you need to get to the next phase, you're siblings are watching you so be on point, don't ever drop the ball because you may never get it back, show up...to everything, because if not you, who?. All of this is valid in some ways and comes from a broader context of white supremacy, the tension around generational assimilation, and loads more. It's not any one persons fault for passing those things on. And I'm not the only one to grow in these waters. I'm at a place now where I know I need to set boundaries around these things and reframe them so that I can do the work I feel is necessary and use the tools I have acquired to do that work. I have also learned that it's time for me to listen more to my body. To know that while I can push my body with ferocity and I am capable of doing so much, that doesn't mean I need to or should.
So does this mean that I'm going to stop? Hell no. While I'm reconnecting with my body, I also know that I have tried to "slow down" in the past and it doesn't feel good. I don't believe there's a binary here for me or anyone. And I don't believe that everyone needs to move slow. I believe it's depends on the individual. And maybe that belief will change. I'm open to it. I think I'm tired of folks seeing how I've been working and giving me doomsday prophesies about how I will inevitably burn out but never offering support. I'm also tired of feeling parented by folks who really have their best interest in mind (i.e. "Damn, you do so much stuff" is code for "Damn, I want you to do something for me and I hope your life doesn't get in the way of it getting done because I need it"). I do a lot. I know I do. I am constantly reminded of this every time I open my calendar or see a friend that I haven't had time to chat with. I think what I am changing now is the frequency with which I hold space for myself in the midst of all the things I "do". It's in how I hold myself in board meetings or during my work hours or when I'm making art or when I'm volunteering. And it's in forgiving myself and others for not always running at 100% and asking for help more frequently. I know to others it won't look like what they think I need to do (quit a thing, stop doing x, start focusing on y) but like the bolsters and blocks in that yoga class, to some folks using them looks like not trying hard enough.
This all comes back to these pieces I've shared because I feel like I'm settling more comfortably into a practice of experimentation and not feeling like I need to have full control over every square inch of canvas or medium. I'm also embracing temporality and leaning in to making work that might change each time it's installed. I'm enjoying layers and the ways I can obscure and selectively reveal. And I'm enjoying the ways that my work keeps moving more and more into the personal.
So with that: Sigue siempre pa'lante,
This blog functions as a space for me to articulate what goes into making my artwork. As it goes, artists are supposedly notorious for being verbose and confusing writers that often come off as pretentious, pompous asses. That hopefully won't happen here. I intend to be as informal as possible. If you've made it this far I probably don't have to warn you that some of this might be NSFW because nudity is known to literally, and irreversibly, burn corneas.*