Feast or Famine

I love how in life one minute you can be looking desperately for work, and the next is almost over whelming. One minute I wonder just how I am going to get to my goals and next I am making even bigger and more grand goals. One minute to the next, and you have to change your plans just that quickly.


So last I updated I had told you about my participation in Art Ce Soir as a Part of the City of Barrie’s Culture Days. And I am so thankful to my models who made this happen and thankful for the good reception. So I continued to nurture the idea of the garbage bag dresses and the theme “hear/speak/see no evil”, though as a pamphlet for the event came out, part of my own artist statement was written for me. The end of this game of cat and mouse to find a statement was that the garbage bag dresses were representations of the big box stores; their rehashing of old materials and shoddy workmanship produced en masse and the need for local businesses that are more conscious of materials used, using scraps if needed, and genuine fine work. Those garbage bag dresses were to become the new standard should the public not make a collective effort to buy local. The theme, though not at the forefront, still represented the ignorance regarding the economic choice.

Things that I’m glad I did and will repeat next year;

1 – had models armed with a script for when people asked, and cue cards to hand out!

2 – had the fittings just over a week before the event (significantly less stressful)

3 – had amazing models (thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!)

4- forget the makeup, have them do it. maybe another year but for the more random, the less makeup is better

5 – told my models they were free to go … right before the weather became horrendous. damn good timing.

 

Things that I will consider for next year;

1 – a proper time slot and runway show

2 – a better dressing/prepping station (Thank you Alana for letting me use the dressing room at your business, “Awkward Stage”)

3 – weather… in general..

 

Things that I will change for next year;

1 – Making thicker and better coats for models. The garbage bags were great insulators however the models still needed more to keep warm, especially after the rain started.

2 – A run through; it will also encourage the models to spread out and mingle. The models were a great way to set the atmosphere and I will make that an even bigger presence next year.

3 – Making myself an outfit to mingle with models. I had about a month to throw things together so for future reference, I will make one for me!

All in all I thought myself relatively prepared which was wonderful. I had about two months notice of my acceptance for this event and worse yet, I was constantly waiting for funds to come in. They never did… so I grab the cheapest materials I could – garbage bags and leftover thread! Tada! I won’t lie, I was bloody exhausted!

Art Ce Soir was successful! Please visit the Lakshore Mews website to see the listings, and of course the local businesses that make everything happen (right hand side of the page).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And just as fast as Art Ce Soir approached, as did my employment with Dotti Potts. Thanks to Megan at Le Petite Chapeau in the Lakeshore Mews, I heard that Sandra and Gavin could use a spare set of hands in their studio for the upcoming season. Tired of my survival job in the mall already, I quickly sent off an email with my resume and CV. Apparently I had perfect timing as they needed someone pronto and had me interviewed on the 19th. The interview went so well I’ve been offered a full time position, we even got a grant for my training there! I am still timid that I may not be a part of the cohesive unit; and I’m pretty sure it’s a silly fear but a real one none the less. Everyone has habits or ways of moving in a studio, like a dance. Everyone has dance steps and it’s important you can find people with similar dance moves so that you all work together. But so far, it has been amazing! Within one day of working there my mood lifted! Gavin was showing me how to mix one of their glazes as he poured some slip into molds and I suppose I already had a bounce in my step. I smiled ear to ear when he asked if I was happy to get back to being messy. Towards the end of the day it hit me, I raised my head and smiled again. “I’m am being paid, in a full time job, to do this!” I could have bounced to Toronto and back I was so happy. At 5, Sandra and I were trying to finish up with decals and loading the small kiln for firing said decals. My mother was curious where I was working so her and my father came to give me a ride home and saw Sandra and I in the studio muddling away. My mother said she could see me light up again – they both mentioned my mood. Though I was almost irritated on the ride home … I didn’t realize how hungry and tired I was until I was pulled out of the studio.

The second day was as packed as the first; Sandra and Gavin were packing for a show and that does take an entire day. It was probably a good thing much production wasn’t done… I was so tired and so hungry it was distracting. Luckily with this new income, I don’t think it will be an issue again in the future. I have a long weekend off… wait a minute… OH MY GOD! I’m free one a weekend!? When did this happen? I have a LIFE?! whoa…. I can have a life with this job… yay!

You either feast or famine and now that the famine is over, I have a bizarre coming up that i need to get ready for and now I can afford frames for prints! I also need to buy two large canvases so that I can donate them for a silent auction! I’m also thinking of more jewelry designs for Dotti Potts that I ought to get done now so we have time to put it together and have it ready for the catalogue in the new year, I have some ideas floating around for next year’s Art Ce Soir and it will be a year-long project…

 

I’m being paid for making art… yay!

Getting My Act Together

Hey Guys, Hows it goin’?

So! I’m actually doing what I said I would do – I’m talking about my new series and plans for the event “Art Ce Soir II”!

So Art Ce Soir II is an annual event hosted by the Lakeshore Mews in association with the Local Businesses Association in Barrie. The event, on September 29th 2pm til 2am on September 30th, is a gathering of local art vendors, performances and art installations held on Fred Grant Square. The focuses are to celebrate local established and upcoming artists and highlighting local businesses that make the City of Barrie what it is.

My proposal, that I was flabbergasted to see accepted, was to have live models meandering and posing about the square. Nothing gets the creative juices flowing quite like stress and pressure to deliver – and so withing 24 hours I had figured the basics of my theme and costume designs and even had some models! Since I was unsure of the conservative or liberal standing of the event, I could not address things such as the ownership of women’s bodies, social conventions of beauty being broken by age and physical requirements nor religion’s baring on women in the western world, I thought of the book, “The Meaning of Flowers” or the idea of “Hear No Evil, See no Evil, Speak no Evil”. Though the idea is relatively conservative and vague, it could be extended to the hardships forced upon women (since I have all female models and basing their dresses off of previous designs in high fashion) or the lack of government responsibility or lack of public outcry for controlling our non-renewable resources (using garbage bags and plastic in these designs). In keeping my theme vague, I in fact found a way to broaden a discussion upon all the issues I feel need greater commentary or at least a larger movement to see resolutions within society. After all, I make art to promote conversations. (Ah! See! A golden thread! I have had the hardest time nailing down an artist’s statement and here I see the very basis! I do love blogging!)

Here are my designs thus far, awaiting approval from Lakeshore Mews – All work copyright Elizabeth Hoskin, 2012

Not the only Series I have been working on either! Out of absolute boredom and made with an a wrist aching to do more, I had begun an experiment that I am most pleased in, however, critique would be appreciated! My series, “Unnaturally Thrown” is an experiment to see if I could work with anatomy from memory whilst contorting the form. I have used watercolours and graphite on watercolour paper.

 

Art Ce Soir !

http://www.lakeshoremews.com/2012/08/art-ce-soir-ii-is-in-full-swing.html

 

Thank you all!

 

-I am Elizabeth Hoskin, and I am LovingBedlam

 

Just as one gets cozy, WHAM!

Alright, New Content! and withing a week! What is going on!?

Well, I had the first day of my new job this week, which consisted of filling out the appropriate paperwork, learning basic functions and trying on the bathing suits so that I can assist customers better; I assumed life was going to be slow for the next bit. What wonders emails are nowadays; one of my proposals I sent to the Lakeshore Mews for their Art Ce Soir II event this September was accepted. But it was not the proposal to install my work in storefront windows, nor was it the proposal to busk; selling portraits on the spot. It was my proposal to have live models walking around in costumes I make… I will have to make… in roughly a month. CRAP! I am so thankful to be accepted but CRAP!

So I believe I have models in order! (memo to me: start message board so everyone is on the same page! emails!) And I just need to finalize my drawings! And need to set up a meeting with mews. I also need to set up my printer and scanner for you guys to see my business… so this is just turning into a to-do-list…

If that weren’t enough, I am still waiting to hear from the Maclaren Art Centre if I may have been accepted for any of their positions that I have applied for – I really really really really hope so! Even if all I get is a gallery attendant position, my life would be made! (please, please, please, please! I’m going to work at the art gallery! I’m going to work at the art gallery!).

At least I have a job. I have some funds to actually achieve this astronomical goal! Well, will have funds. This new job is alright, of course, I am prohibited from posting anything that may force a poor appearance upon the company and so I will refrain from mentioning who they are by name. However, I am now working at a swimsuit store owned by a french lingerie company within the mall and I will say, the team appears to be super sweet! And I’m eyeballin’ the cute baristo at starbucks. So life is good at the mall and I was saved from having to work as a waitress at the chinese buffet restaurant down the street. In fact, an hour after the first shift is when I received a phone call and job offer from the store! I was thrilled. I am thrilled. I don’t know who in the hell chooses unemployment because I’m already pulling my hair out from lack of finances and I was bored.
I was becoming very bored. And then I made goals like this blog, and another to have new content every week. And new content on my youtube channel every week to compliment my makeup blog! And do daily instagrams of my makeup and daily tips! So please, support me there to!
instagram;

elizabethhoskin

twitter;

ElizabethHoskin

lipstick and gin beauty blog;

http://lipstickandgin.wordpress.com/
youtube channel;

broadcastpirate

 

holy crap, let’s get this ball running!

After I started into my fit from the email and repeatedly saying “crap. crap crap CRAP! crap” to myself, my father reminded me … “you’re not in your element when you don’t have something big to accomplish”. He’s right. I can’t do with being bored. I’m not happy unless life is absolute bedlam. Alright, let’s see if I can get myself together for this! Wish me luck!

 

-I am Elizabeth Hoskin, and I am LovingBedlam

 

(crap, crap, crap, CRAP! crap!)

Graduation… yeah, it happened.

Last Saturday, I graduated. I finally have the piece of paper that says I know what I am talking about. I think the greatest pleasure truly came from looking back on my four years at Lakehead University. In fact I had many mixed feelings when I finally got my parchment.

I graduated. I’m still in disbelief. Front second year onward, I have been ill and from a clerical error, made to pay $10,000 for my second semester and my father sold his truck so I could continue.  . My third year, I had a surgery and life changing diagnoses. My last year, certain relationships went sour but nothing stopped me. I have had a million and one reasons to stop schooling. I have had a million and one reasons, outside of school, to quit school.

And then I ask myself… “Is this it?”

I need to backtrack to help explain…

My mother came into town on Friday night, and we were up early Saturday morning. Dress to the nines, eyelashes and heels on we went to the community auditorium… really nothing special. We waited an hour and a half to go in (in that time the wind complete destroyed many a well coiffed hair including mine), then to march in, two by two, to the music and sit down. My biggest problems: fixing my hair in line just before walking into the view of cameras and hiding my purse several times. After the long march to the organ and trumpet prelude and our infinite procession, then was the invocation, followed by the chancellor declaring the convocation open. Here’s what I found fascinating, and please keep in mind I’m the first in the family to graduate university, the regalia. Colourful garbs and “beefeater” hats (of course I think of the gin at this time) proceeded on stage with the rest of us. I thought my gown was spiffy but then seeing different hoods, coloured bands and hats. And then, the unsaid protocol was also interesting. At least in the time that we were bored, we were given the programmes to read and the first page explained the traditions.

This was, paraphrased, in our programmes: “Convocation”, derives from a latin meaning of “calling together” and the costumes were based from 13th century universities and that was based upon ancient European Universities. The regalia was to distinguish doctors, masters, bachelors, licentiates and would have been worn daily in the middle ages. Hoods would used to cover the heads of medieval scholars. Neat! Our university fashioned their colours from the University of Oxford. Any student of a University in Medieval times could have worn a gown, however only those with degrees are only then allowed to wear hoods. Which would explain why all other convocation volunteers wore their gowns and respective hoods. Honorary degrees earned a member of the convocation ceremony a hood so those with outstanding knowledge and community special honour also attend in the academic affair. There were also those attending with dark blue gowns and white scarves or, something I learned after called, a epitoge. These individuals also contribute to the community by means of development, welfare and so forth. As for tradition, I had noticed that all speeches were opened with addressing the Chancellor and then lightly grasping the rim of their hats, and only when the chancellor returned the gesture did the speaker continue. It was phenomenal to see the tradition, furthermore, to be a part of it. My mother said after that it closely reminded her of when she was a part of the military, and the old ways being passed on in ceremony including the etiquette and regalia. It’s something that almost feels exclusive, and in reality, is. Only in North America does one have higher education as a norm.

The speeches were pretty standard from then on “We hope the discipline you learned here will carry you forth, we have high hopes and aspirations for you, yadda yadda yadda.” and then came Dr. Irmo Marini and then the ceremony was appropriate for me. Dr. Marini was injured during a hockey practice and it left him with the diagnoses paraplegia. His prognosis was grim as well. Having only been an athlete, Marini feared he may have a sad life ahead. He decided to change that just by reading as many psychology books as he could shortly after his accident. Marini earned his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Masters of Arts degree from Lakehead University by 1985. After being a student councilor  for a time, he attended Auburn University to earn his PhD in rehabilitation in 1992. He has published over 70 – peer reviewed papers and has single-handedly furthered the study in rehabilitation. Seriously, google this guy. But my appreciation was not for his achievements, but his speech which seemed so personal to me. It is one of those times I feel I cannot re-articulate his words of wisdom. It was something as simple as “when you have a goal, have a plan to get there. once you have made that goal, ante up to another one and don’t stop. And only in times of adversity, will one see this, and one needs to see this in themselves.” How appropriate for what happened to my family and how appropriate for my health challenges during my education. And then he spoke about happiness – and it made me so elated to know that I figured something as grand as happiness out because of the adversity in my life so young. Happiness is not the money you have or the ritual of the day being most culturally accepted, it is when you choose to “ante up” your goals already reached. Happiness is achieved when you choose to be happy and challenge yourself. He asked the students, at the beginning of his speech and again after, “What is your next goal?”. He said that he understands why some do not think this far, as our past four years have been focused on just getting through, but I felt proud to say to myself “I’ve got everywhere to go, and nothing can stop me”. But in the quaint honesty to myself, I thought – Where will I end up? I believe that’s a choice, isn’t it? I cannot be guaranteed a place in graduate studies and I don’t know whether to pursue working at art galleries and marketing actively and have my art at the other half of what I do – or do I carry on with this make-up artist thing? It wouldn’t take me long at all to earn an aesthetician’s diploma. But then why did I attend University? How many other girls go into make-up school? If I were to become a make-up artist, am I acting on a whim or have I honestly stumbled upon my calling? And really, the pros and cons and further thoughts on the matter are for another blog one of these days…

After the touching speeches and a few awards and some musical selection (I didn’t know that was tradition, and wasn’t expecting “Let it Be” to be played [that’s a break-up/funeral or tragedy song for me]). We finally begun the conferring of degrees and diplomas. Only handfuls of Master degrees were given, and a few social work, but then the 300 plus degrees for engineers was extensive. And that was about half the engineers that graduated. Technology, Forestry, social work, and then the six of us from Visual Arts, better than the three from music, followed by numerous vague Bachelor of Arts students and finally outdoor recreation degrees. A few last awards are given and then the national anthem. We then are proceeded out first before the general audience. But when My name was called, that was an important moment for me. I will have to get the video from my mother – because I couldn’t stop feeling like a 1000 watt light bulb. “I fucking did it.” I walked, believe it or not gracefully, across the stage, shaking the hand of the chancellor and thanking him, then to the vice-provost and our photo-op and then I was handed my degree (and a mug from the Alumni Association with “Class of 2012” on it [ i forgot to take a picture of it’s christening but i’m sure you’ll see it soon enough]). And after I sat back down with my fellow graduates, I looked at the parchment.

It had my name. “Elizabeth Gail Hoskin”, I quickly spun my head to look for something to count. You see, I am quick to cry, and when I do cry, I could drown a hippopotamus. And I had false eyelashes on, already loose from the wind. I counted heads, determined the angle of some noses, started to asses the value of light across the structure of faces due to the blaring countless lights. After collecting myself and preparing myself for the shock again, I look back at my degree. “Elizabeth Gail Hoskin …. I fucking did it”. I have had to grow as a person, had my father’s truck sold to keep me in school, I worked the entirety of my education, I have been thrown every financial obstacle and health hell, I have gotten myself through school. I did it. At the end of high school, I didn’t know where the money would ever come from to get to school. A few years ago, I didn’t think I could continue with being so sick. I thought I would have had to throw my year after my surgery. But I did it. But then it hit… “That’s all I have right now? JUST one piece of paper, no awards and only HBFA affixed to my name?” I am going for a masters program. I will earn a masters degree because I am worth more than this. I’m not sure what the MFA after my name will get me as opposed to what I have already gotten myself, but my god, an honours degree is just not enough. or is it? I may never get accepted. That is one slim reality but is it really that slim? I am not as disciplined as some would figure. Driven I am, disciplined, not so much. I don’t think I would be selling myself short if I do not attend school for a masters. What’s my calling from this point on? I will always be able to do art for the rest of my life now… but what will my 9-5 be? Marini had mentioned, something that mirrored what my parents have always said, if what you are doing is fun and you enjoy it, you will never work. But what will I do for a living? Will I curate? Will I advertise? Will I be a makeup artist? There are so many open doors, I’m sure I could not be wrong choosing either one,  but It’s still a big decision. My whole world changed with a piece of paper, a whole new set of responsibilities came with it, and I am relieved in knowing that this stage is over. I suspect it is too soon for me to relax. I have a lot to consider now. I always have, but the reality looms over me more. It is the difference between being able to see the rain cloud or even smelling the rain, or the cloud over your head and the thunder lightly rumbling. Sometime very soon, it will rain, and it is likely it will strike. It’s a welcomed storm, don’t misunderstand. After every storm, things grow rapidly. A storm is there to get you excited for what is going to happen after.

After the ceremony I text my mother to tell her where I am waiting. When she got into town and just before the ceremony my mother mentioned she didn’t have presents this time. I have not expected presents any time she has visited and the biggest present any time, has been to see my mother. My father could not attend, the trip is too much for his health. But just before we phoned him and after, during our dinner, we phoned him again. My mother comes to see me with a small bouquet of red carnations and one red rose. “From your Dad and I”. I grabbed the flowers and said thank you. But we held in the embrace a little longer. She had to fight crying during the ceremony to. We swayed a little (I’m a sap, okay?). I said to her “You know, a few years ago, I doubted this ever happening”. To which she replied, “You did it, kiddo”. Fighting back tears again, to avoid opening the floodgates and loudly bawling like I watched the end scene to “Moulin Rouge” again, we step apart, grab photos and return my robe. We went straight to dinner because, my god, it was a two-hour convocation. it was close to 5 and we were famished. I mean the cookie and juice trays were decimated instantly after the ceremony.

Mum and I went to Ruby moon to gush over what had happened the past four years in getting this degree. We call the family in southern Ontario and Florida to say I got my paper. I had a mimosa with double the champagne to celebrate and my friend who was a server there, gave us desert on the house. In all, it was uneventful, but it’s the small things in life that make it so enjoyable. A good drink with my mum during a swaggar dinner, knowing well that the university gave me my paper…. and they can’t take it back!

 

I fucking did it.

 

 

I am Elizabeth Hoskin HBFA, and I am LovingBedlam.

Drama, part 2

Hello Again!

So I ended my last blog mentioning an “eviction”. This was a joy. Now keep in mind I am only able to speak from my perspective, and I doubt anyone reading this blog knows who these people are, those who do, know this story pretty well from my continuous rant – But I will not waste your time with it. In general, they assumed I was leaving for May, never messaged me to double check except to say that a new tenant would be moving in May 1st. It was not my landlord, but her mother who messaged me about said need to have me move out. In the same message, I was told the next tenant was going to pay $200 more and pay for their own internet. She (again, the mother who, in fact, bought the house for her daughter, the landlord), in formed me that she would clean the apartment. Well… that was nice to have never double checked. Too add to the stress, I found out two weeks prior that I may be needed here until July. Not that they knew, but in less than 24 hours I had found a place. Again, thank you to Jessica and Mike for being there for me. My response was quick and polite, but highlighting that they indeed put me in quite a predicament and in fact, I had always said my graduation in June and then I would leave. I also messaged the daughter, my landlord explaining the same thing. No one responded. About a month later after the daughter continued to push my buttons over a facebook fight, she wanted to “resolve” the issue face to face – and to start her talk with a condescending “I’m guessing you’ve had a stressful day…”. Now, I am not a push-over, there is a reason for why I keep my mouth shut; I’m not about to make my life more difficult while I still need to wait two months before I can actually do anything to relieve the situation. She did however mention that she wouldn’t want anything to go unsaid, and as I have an (un)fortunate gift of not leaving things unsaid, I brought up what was grinding my gears. It was the eviction. I ended with the same argument – ” Why didn’t you just send me a message to double check before an assumption, like, ‘hey, when did you need the place til, again?’. Because I am in a predicament and no one is going to rent to someone for two months. ” Her response was “Well you didn’t know.” “I’ve been saying June this whole time. ‘I cant wait to graduate til June’ or the ‘Just make it to June, Just make it to June, Just make it to June…’, I’ve been saying June since my parents visited last August”. She repeated that they were sure that I said April and that I didn’t even really no. There was no reply as to why it would have been tedious, back-breaking work to have asked. So when I left at the end of April, I did not leave the apartment pristine as I had hoped. Nothing was damaged, no large bags of garbage were left. There was a pile, about a garbage bag’s worth of donation stuff, mainly clothes, that I said were first for the landlord if she wanted anything and the rest could be done away with. Just before moving, as in days before, I am finishing and handing in papers, doing last minute errands between school, profs and graduation works, preparing for another exhibition and working more. I didn’t have time to do more. And, as I stated, the apartment was fine. Nothing more than the usual cleaning by the landlord was required (and is required by law). I handed my keys into the husband, he took a gander at the apartment, mentioned stickers I had to take off the window (that I forgot), and He said everything was good to go. Shook hands saying “Pleasure doing business” and Ella and I took off to finish our, what was it, 5th round of moving with her tiny sedan that only had the back seat available to help me. I was tired, I wanted to go to the new place, unpack, eat, sleep.

Here’s a few kickers, for you. First of all, I never actually signed a lease, and I am thankful I got away with that. Second of all, In the conversation with the landlord when I admitted what was grinding my gears, I had mentioned “Well at least I got 60 days notice” to which she replied, “actually the landlord and tenant act only says I needed to give you 30 days notice”. 1- No, the municipal code of this city still says 60 days notice for monthly and annual tenants; Only daily and weekly tenants are given 28 days. 2- I never signed a lease but those points are still not as pertinent as  3- She looked at her rights as a landlord before the confrontation with me because she knew that she was doing something wrong and that I was likely to refuse or fight; she wanted her legal stuff in order. That makes me wonder what kind of person she assumed I was and helps me know that even people who live with me can underestimate me.

This is where the majority of my friends, family and I begin to laugh. The day after I get a message from the mother of the landlord (remember,the one who bought the property for her daughter so that her daughter could rent it?), saying that she was unimpressed with the state of the apartment and began to mention petty things like car rides her daughter and son-in-law had done for me. Here’s how you know you didn’t do anything wrong – mention petty stuff and not anything actually wrong with the apartment (except the leftover food in the fridge, that was an honest mistake, like the stickers on the window). AND she makes an excuse for the husband letting me go – stating that he was frustrated and thought best not to say anything. Ooh boy, that’s shooting one’s self in the foot. She doesn’t just message me, but my mother too. Yes my mother is a large part of my life, one of my greatest supporters and possibly the only one who puts up with me when I’m “cranky”. And no seriously, I get half as mad as I do in those moods because I irritate myself because I have a poor attitude. But I have a question – WHAT DOES MY MOTHER HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH MY ADULT DECISIONS, PARTICULARLY AS ME BEING A “TENANT”? Why, on this earth, would you message my mother?

I tell my mother about the message I received, not knowing she has received almost the same letter to, and explain my thoughts. I did nothing wrong and quite frankly, if someone has to pick up another bag of garbage, I don’t feel bad as I was put out of a place without remorse or responsibility. The mother then ends the letter to me with stating everything was being taken care of. So what? This was a message to make me feel bad? I reiterate, I don’t feel bad if you have to clean your daughter’s property of an extra garbage bag when no one seems to even note that in how they kicked me out was entirely, and I would say, morally wrong. I wasn’t about to respond and get myself into trouble – as the mother had said, everything was taken care of. My mother replied (on BBM) that she also received a message. Originally, I did not read that she read a message to, but that answering the message may lead to more trouble, especially as my initial feelings to anything are pretty spastic (another reason I will not react in front of others too soon). I checked the message again an hour later, and thought something funny of it. Surely enough, after reading what she typed aloud, I pieced it together and said “wait, WHAT?! She messaged you to? What did she say? and no offense, what do you have to do ANYTHING with this situation?!” I sounded off and most people had a good laugh. The last joke of the day was how she ended the message to my mother. To effect of “You should tell your daughter that in the real world, and not on campus, [this] is how things are done” (slight paraphrasing but you get it).

Some fun facts: University Residences are actually ridiculously strict in how you leave. For example, If the drawer is not put back in the exact location as when you moved in, then you could be fined. And not a $20 or $50 fine either, should anything else be wrong, it’s upwards of $500. Should you not pay ANY TYPE OF FEE to the university, it’s residences or it’s programs, your marks are not released and therefore you cannot continue to attend school. This is in the lease the students sign. But hey, this isn’t my first time living off campus (I’m not dumb either, but hey), I have been under other leases. I wasn’t kicked out or wrongfully accused of anything, it was still a poor landlord, but I was never put in a predicament that left me couch surfing (actually the lease from the university did, I lived in a spare room with a friend’s family and they were very nice. The father grew a small garden and we shared toasted tomato sandwiches almost every lunch, anywho). Lastly, two parts about real life; My parents were the on-land superintendents and had to act in place of a landlord. You want to talk about how places are left after tenants? We had some scuzzies, let me tell you! My father has stories that will make you hurl last monday’s breakfast. Secondly, mothers don’t buy and take care of their daughter’s businesses, at least in the real world.

I was told by shamans in my life that I posses spider magic – Ironic that I have arachniphobia. But maybe it’s because I know spiders just that well. Where Louise Bourgois believed her mother and herself was a spider of sorts, I feel the same way. Spiders in Greek mythology were weavers, story tellers and artists. In aboriginal myth, spiders created language. Spiders are instinctive, creative and posses skills most are too impatient to learn, let alone use. Patience in setting and maintaining a web, patience in waiting for that payout, like food. Also, they are quick to act on opportunity, rarely missing a chance to get ahead. Spiders, when spooked, actually stay still until they know when to react. I think I am a spider – now if I could get over how I look *shudders* (and I mean that over both bodies).

I’d like to pride myself on a few things – I have always been hard working and I have not been without a job since my first one at 15. I have always pushed myself despite stress, illness and poor finances. I can say I put me through school, and despite a surgery and being diagnosed with digestive disorders that have changed my life, and despite going through my first love, being bullied (even in university) and every student loan clerical error that I have had to pay for, I have put myself through school. This isn’t to say I didn’t have help from friends and family and because of them, NOTHING has stopped me. Not even finding another place to living within 12 hours of an eviction notice. The last thing I pride myself on, and it’s something my ex said about me that he loved and I forgot I had – I am always so polite and at the right time. And I am always so impolite at the right times. My mother said “it takes more strength to be a doormat than most know”. Don’t mistake anyone for being a push-over when that person is picking and choosing their battles, their priorities and the finding right time to get what they need and want. I don’t need to be mean, about it either.

But to remind you about this blog being about art for a second – sometimes works are autobiographical. In the second year, I painted “CEDO NULI [I yeild to no one)”. My mother knew instantly what it was about and could psychoanalyze every piece. The trucks that were transferred on, was the model of the truck my father sold just a few months before so I could keep going to school and the woman was confident, even defiant but was still making decisions. Really, it was about struggle and not stopping (and I think that meaning came naturally, I just painted and it happened).

Copyright Elizabeth Hoskin, 2010

 

From this year and In fact is currently at the Definitely Superior Art Gallery until June 9th as a part of the Lakehead University Retrograduates Show, a sculpture piece by me. Entitled “The Reade”, it is ceramic slip casts of fabric, undefined voodoo dolls stuffed with filler, leaves and tea and mold stained. In high school I worked at a new-age shop for a short time, and I suppose I was eing “trained” as a sort of witch. In that time, I would learn the reades of the occults. For pegans and wiccans, the reade dictated that you were not to do spells on people without their expressed permission (special circumstances only), but more importantly, whatever you put out was to be returned tenfold (or threefold or however many depending). These dolls were wishes I had made that have come back to bite me or wishes I am glad I did not follow through on.

Copyright Elizabeth Hoskin, 2012

… I need a good camera and photoshop IMMEDIATELY, I know. I’m working on it.

Both are copyright, Elizabeth Hoskin, 2012

I have found in life, that the times you want to be mean, it is unnecessary, because something tenfold is waiting for others. You do not need to do anything wrong, and it will be enough to drive the other straight around the bend. The best revenge is living well.

Along with this drama, I also had been contacted by my ex. It didn’t end well for him. Long story short(er than my skinny on the eviction), One day in November, I was deleted from everything and I could not get in contact with him. At 11 o’clock that night, I had decided that he was no longer worth it. And then began to try to get over my first love. Yeah, that’s how he broke up with me. Just deleted me without warning. Better yet, I find out two weeks later that for four months prior to the “break-up” he had been telling our friends (and this town is so small that everyone was a mutual friend), that he was planning on breaking up with me. Even so much as some people defending him. See it was within that day I had found he was giving everyone a story, just alike enough it sounded like truth, just different enough to each person it took them a short while to realize I hadn’t lied. Once again I had to sit quietly to heal and to hope that things would mend between friends and the dust would settle to reveal his lies. I have my responsibilities to, and this was my first love so there was plenty of mistakes to learn from. Exactly 6 months later he tries to chat with me and managed a sub-par apology. I promised myself I would not speak to him until he apologized, so I did speak briefly to him on the phone, rather, I got my closure. We haven’t spoken since and when he visited town he was taking off much earlier than expected so we couldn’t meet for coffee like he wanted (before our phone call). Hasn’t spoken to me still – He remains too chickenshit.

Tomorrow, more about the exhibitions, including the current show at the Definitely Superior Art Gallery, and please read up on their recent and very exciting news including winning a town award for paintbombing, recent publications, and just amazing art!

 

http://my.tbaytel.net/defsup/exhibitions.html

 

Thank you for reading my novelas here,

Copyright, Ella Bell, 2012 – http://ellabellphoto.com/

– I am Elizabeth Hoskin, and I am LovingBedlam

i am out of breath… (warning, poor quality photos ahead).

Hello All!

How’s it going?

Yeah I know I haven’t been around… I do that.

I’m sorry. Well, I’m more sorry to myself for not being more diligent!

 

Soooo… Where the shit have I been?

Well I have just finished my undergraduate degree. It’s official! I’m done! I get my piece of paper in June!  The last while has been more than hectic for me but many positive reminders have been given along the way. As I flip through my datebook I shall relay to you what I have been doing…

When did I last update?

Oh shit… I am sorry.

Alright, so back in March is when everything began to spin wildly out of my control. March 6th I dropped off my artworks at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery. I was not accepted to the juried show that runs simultaneously to the Major Studio Show, but I was happy to be in my final year. You see, the other part to this course is the experience we gain and the demonstration that we are willing to learn, go above and beyond expectations and the mere minimum required… and yet as I did that I received a lower mark than most (more on that later). The 6th we dropped off our works and spent the afternoon organizing, curating and the logistics of the shows. I mounted my paintings and even corrected the warped canvases by dog-tagging them to the wall.  The 7th was another full day at the gallery as we did installation. And by “we”, I mean those “voluntold”. The sculpture class I was a part of was set to help with the installation of the juried show and the graduating show. Whilst three people worked on a single- third wall for three hours (9-noon), a professor and I installed three full walls and then some. I went for lunch, quickly returned and ate my lunch in the breakroom at the gallery. In less than an hour I return to the gallery where the curator, Nadia Kurd, was discussing foreseen issues with a professor from the major studio course.When Nadia has visited our studio spaces, I had sort of pushed, rather forcefully whispered into her ear, that I was willing to put in more than just 3 paintings. However my paintings were huge (40 inches by 40 inches, give or take), the curator originally allowed for one. Thank god I did some loud whispering because I was allowed one more painting in. The prof and I ran back to my studio and picked a selection of paintings I thought would be appropriate; though I already knew “Ana” was the best fit. We arrived back at the gallery to all concur that “Ana” was to be show alongside “Uncle Michael”, “Mum” and “Myself”.That day, I was recognized for the level of commitment and work I had done (this was important, especially in preventing the freak out I wanted to throw at the end of the week). Partly in comparison to others, mostly because the shows never are nearly finished in one or two days. Besides the Major Studio show, the gallery was almost ready for lights and signage.

copyright Elizabeth Hoskin, 2012

The rest of the afternoon I was waiting, with Jessica Buzanko, another artist in the course and friend, were waiting for the installation technician to install part of her “grates” that her bird books were to be hung. We waited most of the afternoon and I found odd-jobs throughout. The grates were finally hung but by then, Jess’s health was no longer and we were only able to install a third of her books. By the evening, I believe 6pm, Jessica and I were leaving. At this point I had realized that without myself, a large part of the exhibition would not have been done, and that I could have been back at the studio, working had I not been waiting forever for an installment that took 20 minutes. On top of which, I felt that a minimal, a very bare minimal amount of people -Actually, I can count, 3 other people stayed any longer than they needed to. That includes myself and two other students that left at 2pm. There was an update on facebook from the gallery that had announced that my work was being featured on their page. Upon closer inspection.. they were loafers it was another artist’s work. And in fact, a number of other students were being featured with them posing beside their work. It didn’t bother me then but by the end of the week, I felt jipped. I was tired, hungry, impatient, had other work to do and been stuck doing the same nonsense for hours. We were leaving. A professor looked at us and asked “you’re leaving already?” and sadly short tempered me responded “I have been here and finished my work since 9 am this morning. You bet your ass I’m going!”. The prof quickly replied with a cheerful “thank you so much! See you tomorrow!”. I did not want to return the 8th, it was my day off and I was sleep deprived already, but I returned to help Jessica install her work. I mostly waited again, poked at the fact that my works were “stupid-easy” to hang and it’s nice that the end is so close, I’m sure Jess wanted to shank me but I was helping her. We had fun. Eventually we began adjusting some lights, one student was more than enthusiastic about helping… she always was. Though outside of class.. rather, never to a proffesor’s face would she perform less. Catch her without someone looking and she certainly had no patience, no thrill and no heart to what she was doing. She never did. This particular person has gone out of their way to explain that they are not becoming an artist, rather, she was “smart” in becoming a teacher that, of course, had more of an income, stability and sense to do. She would never admit it if she was asked, but she absolutely spoke about artists with most condescension. Her prescense did grind my gears but she had a job to attend to. Funny, there were those of us who chose our schooling over our jobs, rather knew to set our priorities so that we were not distracted. But hey, to each their own. I took over adjusting lights until I had to leave as well. I had spent another 8 hour (or more) day at the gallery and I had homework I knew I was neglecting. The proceeding Friday morning is when I wanted to put on my diva shoes and grabbed a glass to go with my whine… I woke up with a migraine. Of course, the day that the television crew was to interview members of the show – it was bad enough that the reporter from the local newspaper was a nut job and those who were in the right place at the right time were featured. I bloody chased that skittery jerk across the campus and no luck. The option was, if you weren’t featured in the paper, you were going to be featured on the local television news channel. Nope. That was not going to happen. I manage to fall back asleep and wake up feeling… at least functional. I stagger to the studio, get set up and then it was at my lunch break Ms. Eager irked me again. She was the only one really interviewed, and on top of which, I was the only one not featured on the gallery’s webpage. Honest mistake, I’m sure, but really?! How was it that the only one who was there virtually the entire three days was not a) featured anywhere and b) then received an email that my presence was [vehemently] requested [read: demanded] at the next gallery set-up. This email may not have been geared towards me, however it was selected students from the mailing list, and I was still listed. No feature, no respect and no recognition – except for the profs. Which I thought was my ace in my pocket til I received my marks. It will always come down to one person pulling tenfold their weight to accomplish the goals of a group. Lucky me, I just happen to give more than three fifths of  f— all. I rarely throw fits… at least in public.

I’m sure my mother had it up to her ears with my ranting and whining. But by the following Friday the 16th, I was overwhelmed that the end was in such a close grasp. And of course, I celebrate the way I always do – by looking swaggar!

Had a good time, yadda yadda… I didn’t win any awards – though I was damn close again like the year previous. The part that sucked about winning a prestigious award in second year, is that it raises the bar pretty high for other years. Like a peak, you know?

The following weeks were filled with critical responses, working on my praxis paper (sort of not really but yeah), trying desperately to catch up on sculpture and general lifestyle in which you try to avoid going postal as much as you can. Cherry on the cake? getting “evicted”… ooh boy that’s for another blog. Because tomorrow is going to be a long day.

Tomorrow we the participants are going to install our works at the Definitely Superior Art Gallery for the Retrograd exhibition that opens this Friday. And hopefully I will remember to continue posting.

http://my.tbaytel.net/defsup/exhibitions.html

http://www.theag.ca/

I’m back, for now….

-I am Elizabeth Hoskin and I am LovingBedlam.

retrospect, plans and definitions

Hey All!

So, I said I was going to chat about where I got my names from, what has been accomplished and goals, and what i’m muddling around with now (Is this still the boring part or am I unsure of what to write? How do you know when you write something if it is relevant?).

Firstly, the name and screen-name for here. I chose “The Nirvana for the Asylum Patient” based on a weird post I wrote on my chalkboard in the studio. Nirvana, as I have known it, is a place and state of contentment and enlightenment. The self-actualized as Maslow could best describe it. Meanwhile the, outdated, reference to an asylum patient is for me, and anyone who does what seems illogical for their goal. Sometimes, I don’t know entirely what I am doing. And that is as it should be. Going into art may not be a lucrative endeavor or an entirely healthy career (being as I play with chemicals and sometimes toxic materials…and some materials are just not wise to breath in), but I cannot see anywhere else I would be. Every once in a while, when I’m working in a studio that has no heat and the breakers blow easily, when I’m hungry as hell but too into what I am doing to pry myself away to get food, it will hit me; I am exactly where I need to be. Sleep deprived, hungry, shaking from my caffeine addiction and muddling away at my next piece; it is simply Nirvana.

LovingBedlam, my screen name, is simply stating that I love where I’m at, where I’m going and simply loving the insanity behind achieving my nirvana. Bedlam was an actual mental health facility back in Elizabethan times. You would have learned that reference in reading Shakespeare. Then is was known as an asylum for the insane. What was so unique and ahead-of-times for Bedlam, was that they did not just throw patients into a cell and tossed them food, only letting them out to scare people into practicing the accepted religion. But rather, the patients were on a schedule and were given a quiet, and well regimented day. And that’s all anyone needs. You may be crazy, but there’s nothing wrong with that. Most of all, I simply love what I’m doing.

To really illustrate how crazy people think I am, at the end of high school, when I said I was going to pursue Fine Arts, my mother and father supported me with no question. However, not everyone saw why or what could come of an art degree. After all, what value does art, rather a picture, have in this society (that we will discuss many times after this) ? What job was I going to get with a degree in something so subjective and seemingly frivolous? Then, I believed I was going to go for my Bachelor of Education and eventually become the crazy high school art teacher. By the middle of third year of university, I changed my mind to a Master’s degree. I would be burnt out from teaching eventually, and most dreadful of fates for me, I would never produce art for me again. It was scary to change the game plan, but it’s what I think I need to do. I definitely don’t think I’m wrong.

After all, I go where my instincts tell me. Thus far, my instincts, my gut feeling, has never been wrong. I’m lucky for that. I go with the wind and it’s always where I need to be. I am young though.. but we shall see. I think I’m also lucky that I posses something of a fearlessness. Worst-case scenario is rarely that bad. And I haven’t had to fall back on Plan B. I’m also too stubborn to not get where I want to be, and that can help. It’s annoying, but it helps.

So… what have I accomplished in 2011? Well besides being humbled by life events and learning from that. At the end of my 3rd year I completed a miniseries of paintings. Even after second year I was wondering if I would continue to pursue figurative work and in the miniseries, that wonder was confirmed. My thesis for that series was based off an analylism from art history that year. Art history that year was a special topic, Feminist theory in Visual Culture, taught by Dr. Kristy Holmes. In the course we reviewed the idea of the “male gaze” and voyeurism in art. To simplify (or bastardize), paintings that look into a private moment are voyeuristic. Pretty simple, until you realize that most art was made from and for the male viewing. This is most likely because men 1) were allowed to attend art school  and 2) held the money to purchase art. Therefore to sell your art, you would need to appeal to the demographic. The demographic, in the epicenter of the art world for most of western art history, was the heterosexual, Caucasian male. This “male gaze” may have perpetuated the idea of the “venus”, or perfect woman. Of course the idea of “perfect” changes from generation to generation. My goal was to eliminate voyeurism within painting. Having hopes of continuing the theory or extending it in the future, I chose to start at eliminating voyeurism in portraiture first. I painted several friends, nude, looking directly at the viewer. In the eye contact alone, followed by the subject inviting or acknowledging the viewer, I had eliminated the voyeurism. Another part to the thesis was that voyeurism is what made some of the greatest paintings was the voyeurism. I wanted to substitute that with my love for multimedia with the possibility I could add another element for the viewer. A fear that may have taken over the work, was that the viewer would see the subject, be repulsed by the eye contact (as unbroken eye contact is intimidating at times) as well as the viewer does not now the subject and would not keep interest in the painting, and the other elements would keep the attention of the audience longer.

 

Please remember,photos and artworks are copyright, Elizabeth Hoskin 2011

I had completed a drawing series based on the figures of my nightmares, sadly my drawings did not survive the moves. However two of my paintings were chosen at the Annual Lakehead Visual Art Department Juried Exhibition. Ben and Kayla were displayed as a diptych, after following the advice of a professor, and were my pride and joy. Fun fact; “Kayla” is how most of the portraits start, but again, I was advised to put them in contrast with one another. Lesson learned: even the best in the game give imperfect advice every once in a while.

I also accomplished switching jobs, to working at the local art supply shop and as a cosmetician at a drugstore. My first love of almost two years ended, and that was humbling as well. I finally learned what people mean when they say “love makes you do stupid things”. No regrets, he was my first and he gets a special place in my heart. I’m in the process of forgiving, I’m still bitter from time to time but the motions are passing and I don’t think it will be much longer before I let it all go. I, however, do not forget. I think I have the diet for my digestive problems down pat. To help people along, I have gastroesophegeal reflux disease (like having heartburn on steroids and a constant ulcer), non-alcolic fatty liver (as does 70% of Canadians [being overweight does that]) and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. There a few other things, but together it’s a challenge. Not treating what I have can lead to cancer, and treating what I have with medications also could lead to cancer. Diet is the best bet. More on that later… maybe when I blog a meal or two.

For 2012, I will be graduating. And at the end of my final year there will be a few shows I will and I hope to participate in. First is the Annual Juried Exhibition that the University holds. The panel, as I understand it, is made up of Professors and members of the Thunder Bay Art Gallery. Also, the graduating class is responsible for hold their own collective exhibition between the Thunder Bay Art Gallery and the Definitely Superior Art Gallery. The course most graduating students take is called “Major Studio” and so that is the name of the exhibition as well. Lastly we assist with the Annual Urban Infill exhibition held by the Definitely Superior Artist Run Gallery. I have some other rough ideas but nothing to come to light as of yet. My main focus now is the graduation and moving back home.

I have a few series on the go now. First of all, and I hope to catch up in documenting these, is a drawing series based on my recent digestive diagnosis and prognosis. I have tried to broaden it to answer the question “what happens when you deny a person food?”. The focus thus far is the futility in attempting to participate in a daily ritual that you cannot fully partake or is not accessible for you. Essentially, you cannot “wine and dine” or “schmooze” like a general population. This is particularly noticeable with someone having Celiac’s disease. Denying someone the ability to be in the day-to-day ritual and social event, leaves you as an “other”. And an “other” is always at the bottom of the barrel. I’ve had hit some roadblocks, but I am sure I know where I am going.

My painting series, which is changing into a drawing series, is a bunch of family portraits. One of the many hazards with Major Studio is succumbing to pressure and getting lost. What is so exciting and dangerous about this course and this year, is that the professors leave you alone. You have a bi-weekly critique and few group critiques, and so much opinion can be too much. I fell into a very classic trap that is I became too absorbed with the theory and in turn, my production was lost. Our last critique was quite conclusive; If I want to paint portraits, just paint. Theory needs to be secondary. I’m quite convinced my drawing series about lack of food has been more successful thus far.We shall see.

I have been pleasantly surprised at one of my professors however. Sam is known to be a wee bit flaky and too ethereal to understand. He’s an amazing artist and in reading his work, I am stunned at the clarity and depth. And in person, he is someone you can really draw upon for good thought. Sometimes students loose that when he is a professor. I have had him as a teacher for three classes now. In second year drawing and last year’s painting class. Last year, in the first semester I had a surgery that I ought to have taken the year off for. This surgery is what determined my illnesses and brought a lot of years of frustration to a close. For half a year, I could not lift heavy things, I could not truly push or exhaust myself. And in doing art, you cannot forfeit either. I don’t know how, and it was not easy, but I finished all my assignments and even pushed out the miniseries in half the time. And I know I’m boasting, but I also ended the year ahead of the game. This also means I never have an excuse anymore. Sam, the deceiving, perceptive, whimsical person he is, noticed that I work by just doing it. I call it my “witching hour”. It’s most appropriate since it is often midnight (like this post) that I begin and do no stop. I can go into my studio at nine in the morning and leave at six, and have x amount of work done. But with witching hour, I can get that amount done from midnight to 4 or 7 in the morning (depending the project) and that work from 9-6 will be done, and better yet, all resolved. I suppose it’s me naturally being a nighthawk and I work when the world is silent, I am not due anywhere and no one will talk to me. The conversations are exclusively between me, and my work. This is when the insanity is not interrupted, this is nirvana. And it is always the most productive.

My last two miniseries that I am working on are in sculpture and in block printing. I am filing in one credit with a studio course and that would be third year, sculpture. The next semester the professor wanted to see more mold making from me. I want to either play with identity or keep on my relatively autobiographical scene. And block printing is just for fun and something to sell. That and maybe they’re cop-outs for things I wanted to make but never could crystallize my theory behind them. We shall see.

I think that’s enough for me tonight. Hopefully Sunday I will have photos taken of my major studio series and be able to show you my accomplishments of the week (remember I said I didn’t want to do a Sunday update without accomplishing something) and whatever else I discover along the way.

Next Episode:

  • photos of the major studio series thus far
  • finding my drawings and hopefully documenting those
  • the major studio journal, a.k.a. “My Little Spellbook”
  • my weird, wonderful and midnight fascinations

-Elizabeth Hoskin, and I am LovingBedlam