Making Your Mark

Studio time by Christina Rosalie


Hello friends,
I can hardly believe that summer's (almost) over. It was everything summer's supposed to be: Art and sun and wine and friends. Late evenings and late mornings. If I'm totally honest, I'm reluctant to head back to the constraints and rhythms of school.
Summer's moments of extra light and days without schedule allowed for more time for making, and I've been taking every advantage of that.
I thought I'd share a few glimpses into my studio and a new series of paintings that I'm making. The paintings are on much bigger canvases than I've ever painted on before, and I feel like the rules have changed. They're experimental and unfamiliar and all I want to do is spend time with a brush in my hand, following where the ink and paint take me.
One of the biggest pieces began as a compilation of the 100 circles I made for the 100 Day Project. It felt incredibly risky, and then incredibly freeing to paint over that work. To let it evolve, become more.
This is something I've been exploring in general lately: How to not be too precious with things. How to let things go easily, and move towards the things that fill me up or move me in the moment, without needing to cling to them, or to contain them.
This is a theme I've also been exploring over on Tumblr, making 100 poems for 100 days. They're raw, in the moment gestures that allow me to slip around the side door to my subconscious and tap into the stuff my heart knows, but my mind tends to get too clever about. Like I did with the 100 circles project, I've made the rule set super simple for these poems: In the moment, wherever I am, without much fuss or editing. Just write. Hit publish. Let go. It's pretty sneaky how this work has started to change me.
How showing up for real, without doing much talking about it, or procrastinating, or posturing, has made me a better artist and a better writer. It takes a certain kind of daring and discipline I'd lost for a while, and I'm grateful to have rekindled it this summer.




I'm deeply filled by this new approach to work, in a way I didn't expect, and can't quite put a finger on, except to say: Each time I show up, I feel myself become re-grounded. I find my breath differently. It's become a practice, again, anew.
Thanks for stopping by. I'm so grateful for the scattered community that still finds its way here. And I'd love to hear what you've been up to this summer, and see glimpses, if you have them to share, of your creative practice, your work, your workspaces. xo, C

The heart of things by Christina Rosalie

The Heart Of Things || Christina Rosalie

At the heart of things there is sweetness, and also the thistles of whatever mess we least expect. At the heart of things there is motion, continual and turbulent, or tremulous and shallow. At the heart of things there are veins and rivers: sap, blood, water, tears. And also the deep pulmonary channels of longing and belonging, and these things spread in a wide, wide filigree of wonder out from my very core.

At the heart of things, each day brings something new. One day I wake up hungry, and I eat a peach, the juice dripping down my wrists. I follow the rivulets with my tongue; lick what remains, and feel satisfaction fill me. Or I tell T to get oysters, and when he brings home a dozen, I find the sharpest, smallest knife we have and pry them open, eating them straight-up, with a little lemon, their wildness still fresh on my tongue, salt water, and tides all there.

Other days I wake up hungry, and there is no morsel of stone fruit, no bread, no sea-filled oysters that will fulfill the kind of craving that begins in my solar plexus, and causes a stirring for which I have no words. At the heart of things there are days where I feel like a wild horse bucking against whatever lasso that's been tossed, claiming some small loop of life as mine, and on days like that I drive to work playing the same mix on repeat, songs with big drums pounding and the windows open, and then I try to make sense of the way life seems always to be simultaneously and beautifully falling apart and falling together.

At the heart of things, I like the quiet. I crave an empty house, the way it is tonight. T is on a trip this week, and now, at the end of August darkness already comes by 8:30 and the crickets are calling and calling, a tremolo of knowing what it is they know: that things end, begin, end. And at the heart of things, I like the sound of cities after dark, where all the wildlife is human, and when the day ends, a different kind of living starts.

At the heart of things there is a spark. The inkling that occurs before the action, the glint before the flame, the breath before the whisper, the rustle of wings before they lift off in flight.

I'm at the heart of things. Doing many things. Trying to remember to show up, to record this intensity. To be right here, and also to breathe.

Making your mark by Christina Rosalie

I graduated! Epic. Grateful. Done.

The show afterwards at SEABA was really fun. It was so good to finally just be able to laugh, and celebrate, and drink wine, and eat cheese, and talk with some of my dear friends and favorite professors who made such an impact on my life over the past two years; and also to hear good stuff from people getting a glimpse at my work: 40 odd pages of research and interviews about the meaning and value of creativity and technology in this current era of personal brands.

I know many of you have asked what I was working on for my thesis... And I was always in the thick of it and could never muster more than a line or two. But now I have a spiffy little abstract to share, if you're still curious:

The disruptive force of technology has radically and rapidly altered our cultural and economic landscape, and the emerging era is characterized by individualism, virtual networks, and the rising phenomenon of the personal brand. This thesis examines the role of the Creative individual as a personal brand in this context, with a focus on the dynamic and causal relationship between technology and human creativity. It develops a framework for conceptualizing the personal brand platform of the Creative as an interface between technology and Self; and discusses some of the practical and ethical issues as well as the potential opportunities that have emerged as a result of personal branding in this context.

And a little bit more context for that:

As a writer, artist, and blogger, I have become increasingly interested in the ways that technology and creativity collide, inform, and influence each other in the emergent media landscape. This work is inspired by an appreciation for the voice of the medium, a sense of wonder, and a deep feeling of gratitude for all the opportunities, connections, and possibilities that have emerged in my life as a result of cultivating a presence online. The intent of this work is to start a new conversation around the value and purpose of personal branding in the emergent media context, and to offer both a theoretical framework for this reinterpretation, and a distillation of these ideas into a guide of sorts for the emergent media Creative to use as a jumping off point for pursuing the work of personal branding with intention.

...And, if you click on the image above, you can download the series of images and distilled observations that emerged from that work if you'd like. I'm definitely planning on taking it farther at some point. It's good stuff; heady and meaningful and timely.

And did I mention? I done. Wooohooo!

I'm making a sweet list of all the things I can't wait to do now that I have time. Like reading fiction. And watching movies. And listening to new music. Your recommendations for favorite novels, short story collections, movies and tunes will be taken with utter seriousness and glee. What should I make sure to include/devour?