I had been feeling rather melancholy since I woke up that morning, and I did not cheer up prior to attending my painting class. While in there, time seemed to inch by, oh so very slowly ... it was driving me mad, anxious, antsy. I wanted a break, I wanted to stop drawing the same damn bones and bottles ... wanted to get away from painting ...
My mood kept getting worse the more I frustrated myself by consistently doing awful preliminary drawings ... drawing after drawing which I could not be satisfied with (some of which I could not even finish); looking at my watch, it seemed like no matter how time crawled, I would not have enough time to finally do something good. Time pressure has always been one of my weak spots (I used to try to refuse to do the "Minute Math" things in third grade), and so that didn't help ...
I wound up having a depression/panic attack in class ... sitting on the floor with sketchbook in hand, unable to breathe fully, I fumed inwardly ... but with a deadpan face as I tried to work my way through it. In my stomach and in my chest knots of tension grew and refused to dissipate, and I began to feel physically ill. Quick breath, nausea, and a strong feeling that it was impossible to clear my mind because nothing was in there in the first place. But no one noticed - such is the skill of my blank eyes. My teacher came and talked about how leaving out a definite background is an arbitary thing and one that many beginning art students deal with by creating some sort of smoky fog in the background area, which is not really what lies before us. After all, there is always something behind something else.
After that, he stepped away to talk with another student, and I began to cry. I successfully stifled the tears after a minute, but I felt no better. I felt sick, useless, hopeless, incapable, weak, and horribly void in the mind.
Fortunately, we gained a reprieve from painting as we were to go take care of our key situation - basically, we can't get into the building to do our work, and Safety and Security (the folks who control keys and card swipe doors) doesn't believe us. I've been there at least six or seven times in the past week to take care of this situation, and each visit has been a resounding failure - namely because I haven't been taken seriously by nitwits who think they know what they're doing, and who do not communicate with each other. (It also doesn't help that the sole individual who knows the keys and truly is in charge of them has been out sick for the past two days). I'm not sure I feel like going into the idiocy we went through (if you can only give the group of three girls one key between them all because you have to cut more keys, then why did you give another key to the same room to another girl after we left ...?), but my card and keys still don't work. Morons!
While three of us were standing in front of Safety and Security trying to convince them to correctly deal with our plight, a little event happened that reinforced to me the fact that I am the only one in my painting class (of four individuals) who is not familiar with the others. I had taken out my ID card, and one of the other girls looked over, asked me if that was my first one, and my year. I answered that yes, it was my first, and I was a sophomore. Her response? "You would be the type."
I didn't say anything, but her comment did irk me. The tone of her voice had negative implications, which I resented. So not losing my ID card makes me a strange, "other" sort of being? Losing your ID twelve times (at a cost of ten dollars to replace each) in your three years is sensible? Oh, gee, being responsible is so damn hard! She and another girl went prancing off laughing and joking, while I walked behind at my own pace.
Today did not begin much better. Practically crawling into the shower, I stood there motionless for a moment and then heard a "Good morning" from a voice I didn't recognize. I said "good morning" in return, and was informed that the caretaker of this building, a lady by the name of Sally, had a stroke and is in one of the hospitals near here. Just the other day, I saw her walking on campus with one of her grandchildren, and I talked to her about wishing break had been longer.
I guess I'm supposed to inform the floor.
Throughout the morning I felt very ill, the end result being that I was having difficulty eating. After about twenty minutes of half-assed effort, five frosted mini-wheats remained in the bowl, but I couldn't shove any more of the mush down my throat without losing all I had already forced down. I kind of wished that I didn't have to attend painting class, but I knew that even if that were the case, I would go anyway. I'm like that.
I don't know what's causing me to feel like this. It may well be the new kind of birth control pill that I'm on (which warns that people sometimes feel sick to their stomach), or it may be another panic/depression attack in the making and lurking about, or it could simply be because I eat horribly and sometimes, things just add up.
Class today was both good and stressful. I was disappointed that what I had worked on last night didn't come close to meeting with his approval ... I had rather liked it with the absence of tone, but it turned out to be another example of when I feel comfortable with my work, something's wrong. >.>
Ever since I started drawing, visualizing how light falls on forms has been difficult for me, and I tend to unconsciously avoid it or paste some default shadows on despite the subject or where the light is coming from. This was clear in the work I had done ... he said (more eloquently) that if I do not come to understand how light reveals form, and if I cannot create that within my "realistic fiction," then my work will be merely decorative, devoid of technique and the deeper meanings that can be revealed with the use of said techniques. The irrational side of me felt like I had been given a death threat, though it was nothing so serious.
If I do not know when to stop, start, or stay, then how will I know when I understand?
I spent the morning working on the same painting, and successfully solved all the problems that he pointed out. So he was happy, and I will admit that the painting was definitely better after those additions. I am quite capable of learning, but it is not always an easy, pain-free process for me.
Apparently, he thinks that I am doing well ... or at least, maybe I am improving my technique, composition, and brush strokes from one venture to another. But I want to know how can you tell? Part of me wants to know because I have an extremely warped view of my own abilities, and cannot see clearly on my own. In respect to one facet of my warped view ... I once wrote that "I refuse to have self-confidence. It's abused all around me. Day in and day out, I see people use their self-confidence as an excuse to suppress into oblivion those with differing thoughts or ways." I currently fear self-confidence because 1.) I might overdo it, becoming arrogant, and 2.) I might stop progressing as a result of it. Yet despite my inability to see clearly, I need to know that I am making progress, or else I become disheartened. It's a lovely, nearly life-long cycle.