Thursday, December 15, 2011

And the real journey has begun

As of tomorrow, I will have survived my first semester at Dartmouth.  It's been both the most stressful and most exciting time in my life.  Once again I plan on making my way home, and I look forward to spending the next two or so weeks lounging around my house.  I have no expectations going into this, but I do hope to get some rest.  

It's been a long journey these past four months, and I know that I still have quite a bit more to go.  I have a feeling that I have already learned more in these four months than I have learned in the last 22 years of my life.  This voyage is nowhere near over, and I still have plenty of time and opportunity to go down many different paths.  The sketch below is a symbol of my journey.  There is a path that I initially set out to follow while being here, but there is a good chance that a different road will be chosen.  

There comes a time where one must chose an altered path no matter how scary it may seem.  I don't feel obligated, but I do feel that it is important to explore the unknown.  I feel that my journey is evolving and changing in ways I never would have expected.  The idea itself gives me chills, but I cannot wait to lead myself down this unfamiliar road.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

If I'm going to run, I may as well leap

I had been thinking about finger and foot prints (and how we all leave a piece of ourselves on everything we touch) and decided to sketch a montage of foot/shoe prints.  I find it pretty amazing that at one point millions of years ago dinosaurs and various extinct creatures were out and about living their lives all over the world including the very place I am sitting right now.  Our planet has evolved quite a bit since then; however, these ancient creatures were able to leave their footprints behind for us to now marvel at.  During their time, they would never have guessed that they would be studied and admired the way they are today.  Dinosaurs have made quite an impression on history.

One day I hope to make such a permanent impression - not necessarily on the world.  I would be content with just one person having a lasting memory of me and of the goals I have set for myself and hopefully accomplished.  I would like to look back and know that I have been the person I knew I could be and have no regrets.  This sketch attempts to convey these thoughts.  One large leap for me is just another small step for mankind.  Nevertheless, I hope to be a part of that step.

Monday, December 5, 2011

"I get by with a little help from my friends."

For those of you who know me, I don't really need to go into detail on my deep love for pigs.  For those of you reading my blog for the first time, I have an obsession..... with pigs!  Most people see a pig as just another filthy animal.  Well I personally do not agree, and think that they are the cutest living creatures on the planet.  If it were up to me, I would have my very own pig as a pet/best friend.  This particular sketch puts my obsession into perspective:

It is a sketch of my hand, a hand of a very close friend (nobody in particular), and my very best friend, Mr. Pig.  The hands are centered around a circular mirror, which to me signifies the intimacy and closeness hoped for in an everlasting friendship.  I have always wanted a friendship like this, but have found that truly caring and giving friends are much more difficult to come by.  One of my main objectives while in New Hampshire is to form bonds that last a lifetime with amazing people who are good down to the bone.

And now I leave you with the most adorable picture you have probably ever seen:

Teacup Pigs!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

I'm okay to sink

At first this sketch had no meaning behind it.  Upon completion, the meaning became clear.

I feel like this song describes it best:

Earth to Bella
You think you've got it all figured in
Earth to Bella
Everything you know is wrong (Well, almost)
Earth to Bella
I see where you are not listening
I bear the burden of being the voice that let's you know
We all grow old
And before you swim you've gotta be okay to sink

Earth to Bella
The world can be an unfriendly place
So hold your head up
Do your best to save some face
It's not so hard
Just undo yourself and see your second sun

Okay to sink
I'm okay to sink
I'm okay to sink
I'm okay to sink

I believe that success is almost always preceded by failure.  And I've realized that failure is okay and makes one stronger.  I am feeling pretty strong lately and am ready to do some swimming.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Home is where the heart is

So it seems that I have now found myself back at home in New Jersey for Thanksgiving week.  As I mentioned in a previous blog, I was a bit apprehensive about being back in the area and seeing everyone I had left behind.  I was about as nervous as I was excited.  To be honest, I almost had a mini-anxiety attack when I saw the "Welcome to New Jersey" sign.  While it did take me almost a day to get acclimated, here I am and I feel like a "winner".  I couldn't be happier.  I am finally in a place where I can be happy in both places.

On a different note, here is another one of my sketches.  As the temperature continues to fall, boots have become a necessity.  I have a pair of black boots that I have been wearing daily for months now because the temperature is at least 10 degrees cooler in New Hampshire compared to New Jersey.  I don't know what I would do without them, and well they are pretty comfortable.  They get me from place to place in one piece, which is all I could really ask for from a pair of boots.  And here they are:

Up in NH, they keep my feet very warm.  Since I have been down here in New Jersey, they've been keeping my feet nice and soggy (It's been raining here non-stop and these boots are just a nicer version of your typical kitchen sponge).  Nevertheless, I love them with all my heart.

On a final note, I have decided to quote a friend - "Home is where the heart is. And my heart is a part of me, so I guess home is where I am" (I am pretty positive that is how the quote went).  If this is the case, then I have found myself with two homes.  A home I have known for a majority of my life, and a new home I can't wait to learn more about.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I'm always ready for the unexpected

Expect the unexpected.... I tend to make impulsive moves followed by over analysis of those very same actions.  I'm usually very organized and like to have everything planned out "ten" years prior to making any decisions or movements.  Lately, I have convinced myself that acting without much thought is necessary and have decided to add some spontaneity to my life.  These actions have sometimes proved to be too irrational, but mainly this new way of thinking and acting has been exhilarating.  This sketch is a product of the disorder and disconnection associated with my spontaneous actions.

I decided to sketch every possible thing I could think of at that particular moment.  I was just getting very excited about sketching and the possibility of translating my ideas into art - I couldn't restrain my mind or pencil.  I found myself sketching different items being held together by stitches and safety pins as a way of representing the disorder I have found myself in and keeping it in check.  The paint brush and color pallet represent my enthusiasm linked to painting.  The needle in the top left corner was a product of the fact that I was hand sewing part of my Halloween costume at the time (the best Halloween costume I must add!).  I can't wait for another sketch full of the random thoughts occupying my brain at the time!

The following is an example of stability (the complete opposite of my sketch):
Chromatin - a very ordered and organized structure comprising all of the genes in our bodies....

That's pretty amazing!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The idea of waiting for something makes it more exciting

Well it's almost time to go home... I'll be going home in exactly a week for Thanksgiving and I can't wait.  I can't wait to see my family, friends, and the beach!  As I have already mentioned, I live near the beach.  Therefore, the following sketch is beach themed.  As well as eye themed (once again, I'm obsessed with those).  I incorporated a post-it in the shape of a star as the iris of the eye just for fun.  There is a reflection of a tunnel inside of the pupil to once again symbolize the path I have found myself on.

There is also a reflection of a fence in the eye.  This is part of the sketch because I was thinking of my family and the family portraits I had professionally taken this summer at the time.  We had our portraits taken at a local park where there was a fence similar to the one I sketched.  I miss my family more than ever.  I was able to skype with my brother and my dog, Nala, for the first time since I've been here this weekend and it made me so happy!

As the upcoming week grows closer, I feel a bit nervous about going home and seeing people I haven't seen in months.  I'm almost fearful of the unknown and what I'm in for.  But I do know it's something I have to do and want to do.  Wish me luck!

On a completely separate note, I have started to paint on top of sketching.  I have some great paintings that I can't wait to post in the near future!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Oh what an adventure

I have now officially been a graduate student at Dartmouth Medical/Graduate School for about 2 1/2 months.  I have already reached a point where I feel like I've been here my entire life and can't quite remember what I did before moving to New Hampshire. A very long journey lies ahead (I would say at least 5 years), and occasionally that insane amount of time gets the best of me and I get overwhelmed and homesick.  Sometimes I look back at my decision to come here and almost wish I could reconsider.  But then I pause, open my eyes and realize I made the best choice for myself.  I have chosen one of the most beautiful places to spend the next however many years.  There have been many instances where I have found myself looking at the scenery and am blown away.  I have to remind myself that I live here.  Oh how lucky I really am to be a part of this glorious adventure!

I have the next 5 years to explore and as it currently stands, that honestly won't be enough time.  When I am homesick and somewhat lonely, I consider what life would be like at home.  Although it would be wonderful, it wouldn't nearly compare with the exciting journey I have found myself on here.  In the end, I will walk away with experiences I would never have had, life lessons, great friends, and a journey of a lifetime.

This sketch represents my journey, and I am finally ready to take that leap.  It may not be easy, but I am determined to find a place for myself and accomplish everything I have set out to do.

Here is a picture I took while hiking one of the trails at Mount Moosilauke - Just one of many gorgeous places I have already been:

Sunday, November 6, 2011


The first thing that came to mind to sketch was this picturesque waterfall I had seen and taken photos of when I was on vacation as a kid.  Years ago I chose to paint a picture of a photograph of this particular waterfall, and memories of the painting process and joy associated with it convinced me that this waterfall should be a part of my first sketch.  The waterfall I chose to sketch was one that I had seen on my most favorite vacation.  I remember being so happy and without a care in the world.  Go figure that getaway was my family Vermont and New Hampshire vacation ---- This is promising since I'll be in this area for quite some time.

An upside down horseshoe also made its way into this sketch.  It doesn't seem to be an essential part, but it's importance to me far exceeds its size.  In most of Europe, horseshoes are placed in a downward facing position, and the horseshoe is known to have magical, protective, and lucky powers.

I have worn one myself for over a year now (it was given to me by my mother and grandparents and is made of Russian gold), and I like to believe these powers are real.  It's nice having something to believe in :) The horseshoe reminds me of my loving family and how lucky I am in every possibly way.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

You have to start somewhere...

This is a sketch I found in my sketch book from almost 5 years ago.  I grew up not even 5 minutes from the beach, therefore, the water has been a relatively big part of my life.  Watching the sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean is one of the most beautiful things I have seen.  The sound of the waves hitting the sand has always been soothing and calmed my nerves.  As for the eye, well... I am pretty fascinated with eyes and think they tell your entire story even when you're trying to mask your true feelings.  All of your worldly observations are made using these amazing organs so they definitely deserve some credit.  If it were up to me, I would probably change my profession and go to optometry school, become an eye doctor, and look at eyes all day everyday.

My newer sketches definitely have a more cohesive story behind them compared to this first drawing, so stay tuned!

I leave you with a picture of "my" beach from New Jersey =)