email to my crit group December 10

Dear crit group,
I thought I would go ahead and send what I have so that people can find time to take a look throughout the week.
Little recap of the past couple years – The first year after Transart, I worked quite a lot and regularly. And then In the summer of 2015 I stopped working – I felt disillusioned with why I was making work. I questioned why I was making work in the first place – was it to illicit some response in others, to have it on display to be viewed, to apply for residencies/grants, or just for me and what it provided me. So, I stopped. I had never stopped before. I tried to give myself time away from the practice to see… what would happen if i didn’t draw. Part of me was afraid to pick up the pencil to see what came out on the paper. One day melted into the next, and I still didn’t draw. Questions arose like: was i still an artist if i didn’t draw? Can i even identify as an artist? Would i ever work again? ….. So… a year and a half go by… and i felt ready to start again. I started slowly – no pressure to produce, just to explore the movement and dexterity of my hands again. The PROCESS felt good. The act of taking that time to just draw felt good. And that is where I am – trying not to overthink, trying to listen, trying to prioritize the physical process of drawing – how it moves through me and onto the paper. And over the last 6 months, I have produced work. So I can divide it into two bodies of work:
1. smaller drawings usually executed in my sketchbook at whatever time of day and in whatever location and usually finished in one sitting. http://www.juliarhyde.com/knots-and-leaves-and-things/ On the webpage, I grouped them with photos that I was taking during the same period of time that the drawings were made (summer and fall and even up to now). And I have the images on the page set to randomly change their order. This is not work that I have analysed at all – it is work that just happened. But even now that I write about it – there is a heightened sense of awareness and observation that I seem to be experiencing – things around me, details. So any feedback on this body of work would be welcome.
2. larger drawings – only two at the moment – of landscapes here where i live – the forest and a road in the fields. http://www.juliarhyde.com/charcoal-landscapes-current/
​The forest is about 126 x 150 cm and the road is about 300 x 150 cm. i typically start with the more observational drawing and from then, i follow the drawing itself – i try to listen to it, react to the lines and the space and energy it seems to have. ​There is some writing in the work – bits and pieces from things that are on my mind or that people have said to me – things that feel as though they relate. A few concepts or themes have come up for me not only in these drawings, but they seem to manifest there: shadow side (darker or flips sides of personalities)… alternate reality… difference in what exists and what we actually experience… transmission of energy… fantasy… You may or may not see the work as relating to these concepts, and that is fine – they are simply things that i happen to see in the work. I have considered making the next drawings in this series even larger, maybe with more cropped views. I like the idea that the drawing could be so large that you could almost enter the work and lose yourself inside. Any reactions or thoughts are welcome.
Mikkel – I believe that you once shared the name of an artist with me – a female Scandinavian artist who worked on very large charcoal drawings… do you remember her name?
Thanks all. Oh – and any feedback on the website is also helpful. I took out all of my CV details – it felt too serious.
Chat next week,
Julia

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