Abstraction

I've had an attraction to bright, bold florals and to more abstract work, especially involving lines and geometry, for a while now. These two things plus a reintroduction to Pinterest inspired me recently to create the few paintings below. I took some inspiration from artists like Brittany Bass and began experimenting with automatic art, an art form developed by surrealists as a means of accessing the subconscious. Instead of determining exactly what you want to paint, draw or write, you create from a place of inspiration, guided by subconscious thought. While I was at first mimicking other artists, I found that simply through the process of painting abstractly, I was making decisions, whether consciously or subconsciously, to respond to previous brushstrokes in a way that was completely my own, uninfluenced by whomever was my inspiration. 

In many of my college arts classes, I've been instructed to paint realistically. There have been opportunities for abstraction but I suppose my natural instinct when given a specific prompt is to think of a scene or an object that I can paint, usually involving some form of surrealism. So the process of painting without guidelines or prompts has been exciting to dive into! 

Keep an eye out for more and if you're interested in purchasing anything, feel free to reach out. 

My (muse)ic

Here's some music that's been making life good lately. Hope you enjoy!

If you've liked what you've heard, check out my playlist:

 
 

Standing With an Army

Four years ago, during the spring of my senior year in high school, I was sitting in my journalism class, awaiting the end of the school day. One second it's a normal Friday, and the next, a group of 16 girls is walking into the room. They ask if I'm in the class and they begin singing Carolina Girls to us. It was a "promposal" and a pretty fantastic one at that. 

That was the day I decided I wanted to be a Tar Heel. And the day I knew I wanted to be in the Loreleis

Fast forward four years and I'm figuring out how best to present my senior song to the group. (In most college a cappella groups, graduating seniors get to choose one song, a swan song of sorts, that they want to sing the solo for at their final concert, the last time they take the stage for a show with their group.) I had three and a half years to figure out, but leave it up to the most indecisive person in the world to make her decision within a week of the deadline..... These are my very best friends I'm about to say goodbye to on April 1st, so the song had to be something that I wanted to leave on the stage for my last time singing with this group. 

Loreleis has been something consistent and personally transformative over the last few years.

I haven't had the perfect college career. I've stumbled a couple times and have learned a lot about myself and what I want in life. It hasn't exactly been the most graceful, but Loreleis has made it memorable, worthwhile and as perfect as I could have imagined it being. It's given me purpose, goals, and a reason to really care about UNC and what I do here outside of the classroom. A chance to make lifelong friends, to engage with some of the most talented people at UNC in making music and to be able to study in a craft that is more universal than any spoken language. It's taught me how to work with different types of people, how to balance friendships and business relationships, how to appropriately act as a representative to clients, how to lead, and maybe more than anything, how to be confident in my abilities. A cappella is sort of a hilarious concept, yes, but the values and lessons that I'm taking away from being a leader in a business for the last four years and the friendships that I'm leaving this group with have exceeded any and all of my first-year self's expectations.

"Club" doesn't even begin to describe what this group requires or what it means. Loreleis have been on this campus for 35 years, we've traveled around the country and world performing, we've sung on national TV, at the White House, and have opened for people like Ben Folds and Jay Leno. We practice for 3 hours every Sunday and Wednesday, we perform at 1-3 gigs each week, for on-campus club fundraisers and off-campus business events and conferences. Every year, we sing for patients at UNC Hospitals, for families at the SECU House, and for various non-profit organizations in Chapel Hill. We put on two concerts a year in Historic Playmakers Theatre and Memorial Hall, two of the largest theatres on campus. We record and produce an album every two years, and our albums have been nominated for and won multiple Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards, with songs being featured on Women's A Cappella Association and Best Of College A Cappella albums. We travel together on all fall and spring breaks to tour nationally and internationally. It's a time commitment to say the least, especially when you enter leadership roles. But it's a time commitment that has changed my life. Being a small organization of only 16-17 members each year, we depend on each member to really carry her weight. We each take on a great number of individual responsibilities and we all take on the responsibility of being the best performers possible. 

Most importantly to me, we're an organization that has the opportunity to directly represent the General Alumni Association and UNC-Chapel Hill to the Chapel Hill community and beyond, an honor and privilege that is impossible to take for granted. 

For my senior song, I've chosen to sing the song Army by Ellie Goulding, and listening to the words I think it's pretty easy to figure out why. (I'll be taking the curse word out!) 

Aesthetic

Had a liiiittle too much fun playing around with Illustrator and prints from Pinterest...

Dear Argentina,

I miss your cold morning walks to our placement and your warm afternoons out on the patio for siesta. 

I miss the scalding-hot then freezing-cold showers that taught me how to bathe in under 3 minutes. 

I miss picking and peeling the clementines from the backyard tree that seemed to never run out. 

I miss our weekend bus trips and Shay's top-notch plans. 

I miss biking between the vineyards in Mendoza and attending wine tastings, swirling the wine and remarking on its legs, acting like we knew what we were talking about.

The vicious Subway-craving Coaties

The vicious Subway-craving Coaties

I miss Bryce after the Coatie at Iguazu Falls stole his lunch. Probably one of the funniest things I've witnessed to this day.

Picking up fresh produce and eggs from the store a few blocks from the house. 

Nutella and the rare spoonful of Bryce's much-coveted peanut butter.

My complete lack of black pepper for the entire summer and the actual withdrawal I experienced. 

I miss playing games in the kitchen before nights out in Córdoba. 

Buying the uncut bacon from the local butcher and attempting to cut and cook it VERY unsuccessfully. 

Preparing a meal as a house and bringing our kitchen tables and chairs out to the back patio where we feasted on kebabs, homemade burgers and salad to celebrate the 4th of July. Just to be surprised with a crepe/nutella layered cake for my birthday. 

I miss the sound of Jose's voice rumbling through the house, shouting "Good mooooorning" as he bounded through the living room at 3 in the afternoon. 

I miss his guitar and his rock songs by the bonfires. The way he cared and worried about us the way parents do.

His wild stories and the life we imagined he led when he wasn't with us. Pretending that he transformed into one of the backyard horses (Jorse).  

I miss Ariel's patient "I know what you're up to" looks and his incredible work ethic. The way he treated us like younger siblings. 

I miss Spanish lessons with Gisela in the afternoon, usually talking about our weekend plans and post-weekend adventures, me taking my best stab at storytelling in Spanish. 

Choripan.

The glow of the evening sun through the bright yellow backyard trees while we watched the horses next door.

Playing the grand piano in the front hall of the Milenium with nobody around.

The dogs. Especially Iris, the one with the blue eye. How she'd follow us all the way home some evenings to wait hopefully by the door, occasionally keeping Jose company but usually being shooed away, only to faithfully return the next morning. 

Cooking lunch in the afternoons with friends and sitting out in the back after a game of "body part ball," our take on the popular sport of "volleyball." Mostly just us being uncoordinated. Okay, me being uncoordinated. 

Ruben as Che

Ruben as Che

Our bus trip to Alta Gracia to see Che Guevara's childhood home, especially being able to be there with Ruben. Some really good talks with him. Getting so terribly lost in that neighborhood and ending up in the front yard of an abandoned house, finding a CT scan sheet and other odd treasures lying around.

The soccer game that we almost won. If it weren't for hilarious and crazy-tall Tiz. (Tiz, if you're reading this, I want a re-match and this time you're on my team.) 

Accidentally ending up in the city after Cordoba's futbol team had won the championship. I've never seen any celebration compared to it, seriously. It put our Franklin street couch fires to shame. 

The late nights at the art/craft market in downtown Cordoba. 

Learning how to light the stove and Jose waving his hand through the flame so I wouldn't be afraid. Showing Ariel and Jose how to make homemade pururu (popcorn)

Those mysterious dessert jellos and puddings.

Warm walks around the yard with Leo, running like kids to catch falling leaves, encountering odd shoes and daydreaming.

Listening to music late at night lying on the roof, bundled up underneath layers of clothes and bed comforters. That feeling of being surrounded by the sky above us.

Really seeing the stars and space for the first time. 

I miss going out with Shay to chop wood with the machete and bachata/salsa dancing by the bonfire. 

Extraño las mañanas con mis abuelitas preciosas. The way we greeted each other, with a touch of our cheeks. Singing and dancing with them and the sound of their beautiful voices. Making tissue paper flowers for them in the dining room and drawing mandalas for them to color. Being able to connect with them despite the language barrier and gaining a new appreciation for the universality of art and music.

I miss the people that made this experience more fulfilling than I could have ever imagined. The ones who made me laugh harder than I knew I possibly could, who took care of me after knowing me for a matter of days. The ones who taught me things about myself that I would never have been able to learn on my own. 

I miss you, Argentina. 

It was lit, fam.

It was lit, fam.

(to be continued)