December 2010 Archives

What 2010 Has Been

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At the close of this year, I find it has been one of pretty big and sweeping changes, but many of them came so gradually that it would have been hard to categorize them as such in the moment. I guess that's some of the way life works: massive sea changes while you're busy watching sunlight glinting on the ripples at the surface.

(You will, I hope, forgive the traipses of codeine sneaking into my words and logic - I contracted a particularly vile case of bronchitis at Christmas, and it seems to be the gift that keeps giving.)

I started the year with a grim determination to be honest with myself and others, which I pursued with varying success as I discovered dishonesty by omission and avoidance. As I suspected, I wasn't always happy to face the truth of situations, but I was able to make necessary decisions with open eyes, so I suppose that has been a good course and one that I will continue.

I'll discuss my resolutions for 2011 soon (maybe even tomorrow!), but in the meantime, and especially because I didn't always keep this blog in the loop, here is my summary of 2010, which was unofficially The Year I Tried to Get My Act Together.

In 2010 I....

  • started out working in a chemistry lab doing art conservation science research
  • got to visit with my very dear friend Alessio when he was in town from Volterra

  • came to terms with ending what I had thought of as my dream job
  • lost my beloved Gram to a stroke

  • took a day trip to Philadelphia with my friend Daria

  • finished researching and writing two master's theses:

  • ... for which I earned two master's degrees from the Pratt Institute, an MFA in Painting and MS in the Theory, Criticism, and History of Art, Design, and Architecture
  • became a published author in the Journal of Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
  • made the decision to pursue a BS in Chemistry
  • travelled to Iceland with my mother, seeing and doing so many amazing and beautiful things it boggles the mind (pictures still forthcoming)
  • kayaked, swam, hiked, went crabbing, sailed, and went to the beach as much as possible
  • obsessed over music, as usual
  • attended some tremendous concerts (I'm probably forgetting some):

    • Them Crooked Vultures at Roseland Ballroom
    • David Bazan at Music Hall of Williamsburg
    • Frightened Rabbit at First Unitarian Church in Philadelphia
    • Atoms for Peace at Roseland Ballroom
    • David Bazan living room concert in Williamsburg
    • This Will Destroy You at the Mercury Lounge
    • The Mercury Program with Fin Fang Foom and the American Dollar at the Knitting Factory
    • Parlovr and Suuns at the Mercury Lounge
    • Parlovr and Suuns again with the Ettes at the Knitting Factory
    • The Black Keys with the Morning Benders at Central Park Summerstage
    • Sonic Youth with Grass Widow and Talk Normal at the Prospect Park Bandshell
    • The xx with Chairlift and Jack Penate at Central Park Summerstage
    • The Walkmen and Grizzly Bear on Governor's Island
    • MGMT with Francis and the Lights at Radio City Music Hall
  • enjoyed truly phenomenal opera at the Met:

    • Turandot
    • Simon Boccanegra (with Plácido Domingo)
    • Il Barbiere di Siviglia
    • La Bohéme (with Piotr Beczala and Anna Netrebko)
    • Aida
    • La Traviata
    • Carmen
    • Armida
    • Rigoletto
    • Les Contes d'Hoffmann (with Giuseppe Filianoti)
    • La Bohéme (with Vittorio Grigolo and Majia Kovalevska)
    • Il Trovatore
    • Don Pasquale
    • La Bohéme (with Joseph Calleja and Krassimira Stoyanova)
    • Don Carlo (with Roberto Alagna)
    • Pelléas et Mélisande

  • met Plácido Domingo, Marcello Giordani, Anna Netrebko, Angela Gheorghiu, Piotr Beczala, Krassimira Stoyanova, and Joseph Calleja
  • loved the Design Triennial, Why Design Now? at the Cooper Hewitt
  • saw one movie in a theater, Get Him to the Greek
  • started watching movies from The List that my brother, mother, and friends have put together for me (will talk about this more soon)
  • started carrying my sketchbook all over and drawing again
  • critically reevaluated my friendships and relationships
  • went through every paper I owned and reduced my filing to one small, manageable plastic bin
  • gave more than half of my clothing and possessions to charity (I highly recommend this)
  • moved to a lovely apartment of my own in Saint George, Staten Island
  • started a daily commute that involves about 3 miles of walking and joyful ferry rides

  • read a handful of "non-school" books, actually finishing The Elegance of the Hedgehog and The Namesake (both excellent)
  • read an absurd volume of "school" books and books on art theory and philosophy, including a lengthy obsession with the intersection between math and art
  • renewed a childhood fascination with birds, which was reflected in my Halloween costume
  • turned 29
  • got touristy in NYC with my mom
  • witnessed a lunar eclipse on the solstice
  • completed my first semester as a Chemistry major at Pace University (and I got an A- in Calculus!)
  • found the beauty in yet another blizzard, while enjoying a lovely Christmas holiday in New Jersey

It's really been... quite a year.

I'm looking forward to a lot in 2011, with more change, more progress on projects, more experimentation and exploration, and above all, more living.

I hope you had a pleasant 2010 and I look forward to seeing you in the new year!

Solstice Eclipse

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When I first moved to Brooklyn in 2003, there was an amazing lunar eclipse. It was the first time I saw the moon go blood red, and I was utterly enthralled. I felt a profound connectedness to the universe, and I was filled with this sense that no matter what happened in my life, I would continue to be filled with awe and wonder at the magical things nature does.

This evening, I got to experience that sense of wonder again with an even more incredible eclipse, falling on the winter solstice, which hasn't happened for hundreds of years. This is not even a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but even rarer, and so it felt like a genuine privilege that the sky was cloudless and clear and I was able to see the moon perfectly through the entire eclipse.

Mostly I stared through my binoculars, entranced, but I did take a bunch of photos. I very much wish I had a tripod or the ability to capture even a fraction of the mesmerizing beauty that I saw in person.

I made a Solstice Eclipse set on Flickr, if you'd like to see my photos.

If you were awake at the time, I hope you got to see it in person. It really was bewitching.


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In the end-of-semester crunch, pretty much the only thing keeping my soul intact is the wire-bound field sketchbook I carry in my bag. It is an extraordinary escape to wrap music around my head and disappear into black ink on creamy off-white paper for the all-too-brief ferry rides to and from Manhattan.

Though I do apologize for the generally poor quality of the scans, you might like to see the next 6 pages from my Sketchbook set on Flickr.

On the ride home today, I also jotted down Some Thoughts on Drawing, which I published on my studio blog.

I'm hoping to resuscitate that neglected space, as well as redesign my art website over Christmas break, but I will admit that spending any extra time in front of a computer sounds grossly unappealing when compared with finally having some time to work in my studio. Still, I'll see what I can do.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from December 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

November 2010 is the previous archive.

January 2011 is the next archive.

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