Perpetual Learner- The adventure of going back to school

Saturday, May 21, 2016

What did I achieve by going back to college?

Delighted that my book has been a number one
new release on Amazon.
What did you get out of going back to college. People ask this when they find out I went back to college later in life.  I have to think, what did I get out of it?

I really didn't need the degree to do my work.  I think more than anything it gave me confidence and taught me to think differently.  Throughout the years I have taken a lot of the work that I did in college and spring boarded it into other things.  For example, the study that I did at Goddard for my MFAIA on fine art and digital technology was turned into a book and published last October. It has been a number one new release on Amazon.  I had just finished coauthoring Digital Sculpting With Mudbox: EssentialTools and Techniques for Artists, when I was creating my MFAIA.

I think the importance of the credentials come when I am speaking at other universities. I have enjoyed that, and hope to do more speaking engagements.

Well, I'm still creating sculptures.  They seem to be getting bigger and I'm getting a great deal of attention for them.
The Grambling Tiger bronze sculpture was featured in my book.

I'm presently working on a monumental sculpture of Alice in Wonderland's Mad Hatter Tea party and I will be writing a book about this as well.  I have several other book's I'm working on. I really need an agent for these books.  I'm diverse and hate searching for publishers.  My platform has changed drastically and I think this makes me more desirable as an author.

I have two other commissions I'm also working on, one of which is a sculpture of Neil Armstrong for Russia.

 I have had a lot of press lately.

I would really like to obtain more speaking engagements. I have lots of connections in Europe through the book and would love to create some sort of speaking tour there. I have also been invited to a month long residency in Tuscany, but I have had to pass for the last 3 years because I have been so busy with work. 

 I have loved bringing literature to life and would like the opportunity to do more of that in bronze. Presently, I have been sculpting so much that my writing muse is feeling a bit dejected. In light of that, I would really like to finish up some of these books I'm writing and get them off to a publisher, and as I said, find an agent. 

I'd also like to do something that I was forced to do in college. Create just to create. You see, I'm a commissioned artist and work from one job to another. It would be nice to take some time to create for me. 

I want to experience things and make memories. As a grandmother, I want to take this time to camp, dance and play and do this with my granddaughter. 

In all, I think the experience of getting my degree was worth it. I could never had done it at a traditional college. Having my education at Goddard and Vermont College where I could design my own programs was the education that suited me.   I have enjoyed how my college education has changed me as a person and the doors it has opened.   

Friday, February 17, 2012

A wonderful look at "packet" work by Bert Emerson

Introducing.... Bert Emerson!

If you missed Bert's graduating presentation this residency then you missed a good laugh.
If you are a new student and looking for ways to inspire your packet work you absolutely must check out Bert's packets.

What a cleaver way to do your G1 "packet" work.
To see the work of Bert's G1 study follow this link. 

You could say that in G2 Bert really learned how to unpack his study.

Bert posted all of his packets online for his advisers. I can't imagine being one of Bert's advisors and the anticipation of what he was going to come up with next.
Thanks so much for sharing this Bert. 

You really need to go to all of these pages and hover over each, then see where Bert takes you.

His family sees the light at the end of the tunnel and gets into this one.

But, low and behold, Bert has put his entire portfolio online.  Wow.  So cool .
Thanks so much for sharing this with all of us.
To see the work of Bert's G5 study  and read his portfolio follow this link. 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

An article about Goddard.

Check out this great article about Goddard

Goddard College's Unconventional Path to Survival

A 'low residency' program brings students together, but only for one week

By Scott Carlson

A few excerpts 

"Someone like Rod Crossman, at his stage in life and with his professional success, doesn't often seek a way to reinvent himself. Yet Mr. Crossman—a painter, an assistant professor, and an artist in residence at Indiana Wesleyan University—felt that he was merely churning out pretty work to hang on gallery walls, increasingly feeling a schism between where his career had taken him and where his passion was telling him to go.
"My art practice had become marooned in the place where it was not connected to the world," he says. "There were issues that my students were facing, and I didn't think I had the tools to help them navigate those problems. Some of the issues they were facing were just the challenges of the world that we live in." He wanted an interdisciplinary M.F.A. to reinvigorate his work at Indiana Wesleyan, where he has taught for 30 years."
I have said it so many times on this blog. Goddard is often about reinventing yourself. 
""The students seemed to be of a higher caliber, seemed to be more self-directed, confident, prepared," says Mr. Byerly, who now works as an archivist and college historian in the library. But these students were, at the core, the same kind of person he was—someone who found Goddard when traditional education failed him. "The types of individuals who are drawn to this—an education that gives them a say in what they do and empowers them in a way that they might never have been empowered before—those individuals are still the same.""

I inspire!

In our pilgrimage on this earth
We sometimes fail to see
All who the Lord touches through us
In simple words and deeds. 

Bridgette Mongeon (I think I was 12 when i wrote this) 

 I wish I would have said this at graduation. Of course I would have added. 

You have all touched my life, I hope I have touched yours. 

Apparently someone reads my blog and is inspired. A new student at Goddard Annis Karpenko has started her own blog" The Heron Chronicles A creative & Spiritual Journey" . She said I inspired her after reading my ramblings.  Thanks Annis.  

Things I learned about Graduation- GET OUT!

GET OUT!   click on image to make larger
I had heard rumor of this, but did not know what the previous graduates meant, until I experienced it myself.  Look at the schedule. Take note, graduates are supposed to check out of their room between 8 and 1. What, they have not even graduated.  What are they to do with their stuff?  This is really rude, but that is just my opinion.

 This did not concern me because I paid to stay an extra night.  But I still felt a little shunned. There is more on the costs and details of this extra night thing on this blog. You can only stay 3 nights. Pick which one. If you are traveling from a long distance you will have no choice, but to pay for an extra night.  All of those fees and details are in this blog.

The Woes of Graduation Day

Sometimes I have a tendency to say just the facts and it may sound harsh to others, so.. In light of that I have revised this post. 

Was our group disorganized?  I am not sure if it was our group or the system at Goddard. Lets face it, often times communication and understanding the process does not come easily with this program, thus the reason for the blog.

Here is what happened-

I posted earlier on this blog that we received an e-mail from administration a couple weeks prior to residency asking us if we had everything ready and thought out for our graduation program.

My immediate response was-
What do we need to have ready?
Who are the graduates?

 I requested a list of names a couple of times and offered to take charge of things, if I could get a list.
I'm really not sure why it is so hard to get information like this. I a m sure it must be because of some privacy thing.  However, it would be nice to be able to have group communication as graduates. 

Then I received an e-mail from an advisor saying he was put in charge of the graduating group. I don't know if this is normal or not.  I figured it was protocol, so I backed off.  I was relieved that we had help and figured things were going to get taken care of. Though I must admit, I was feeling less enthusiastic about graduation, and glad that it was being taken care of as a group effort and let go. 

The e-mails that were coming in did not appear to have everyone included. I mean we were 30 coming in and I think the group that was being mailed to was only 14 students .  When it was questioned, we were asked to be sensitive to the idea that some might not be graduating.  I understand this and posted about it in an earlier post. It is a sensitive issue, and even more so, because I came so close to being one of those who could not make it through a semester with life on my heels. I just feel like we could have somehow gotten more cohesion, and I feel bad that some were left out.

They never received our e-mails. In these e-mails we discussed and voted on:
 1. Rick was our speaker,
2. We would ask Jason and Ben to play
3. Jackie would be the MC.
4. Our reception would be after our graduation - this somehow got mixed up as it was before.For those coming up after us, I don't know if this is just tradition and not possible to have after or if the schedule was not malleable. 

We voted on other things, for example, having a slide show of images that people could look at as they came in, but we could not get ourselves together enough to put this into action.  ( FYI if another class wants to do this I would suggest beginning to request these things in G4. The thought was to have images of our time at Goddard and our work.)

As I understood it, these were our only duties as a graduating class.  NOT!  I was totally mistaken but did not find this out until much later.

I should also point out that everyone get an e-mail from administration saying that we could no longer bring food or beverages to Goddard for events. That this would be provided by the campus at a charge.  WHAT?  I was very startled by this change of events happening at the last minute and a crucial time for us as we are packing.  There was no instruction in this e mail as to how we go about this. We got this notification just a couple of weeks before graduation?  I think, o.k. that means they have everything under control. NOT! After all if the school says "they" are hiring these people I would assume that things are all taken care of. I was mistaken, but again did not find this out until later. 

The bar that was supposed to be at our "meet and greet" the first night did not "show up" on that evening. I overheard someone say this would not happen for the other events, which I assumed would be Graduation and Cabaret.  WRONG! I should know better to go by hearsay, but honestly if you don't know you are supposed to take care of something it is very difficult to make those plans. As you will see things were not ordered and we did not know we were supposed to order them- At least for graduation I don't know about cabaret as graduates leave on Sunday.

I thought just for the heck of it I would go to the help desk at lunch on graduation day and ask, "Who takes care of the food and drinks for the reception?" I was at that moment told that it was the graduating classes responsibility and to talk to Jackie.  Thank God that Claudia heard this conversation and offered to help if we needed assistance.  I went to Jackie. Unfortunately I must have interrupted a meeting and she said, "let me get back to you."  I put it out of my head, only to discover at about 1:00 on graduation day that we were indeed responsible for food, and on top of that, no one actually asked the musicians to play.  So I spent the next hour trying to be sure that both of these things were taken care of.  I did not mind, but I sure wish that these things would have somehow been made known to us before hand.  Most of the people that know me, know I don't really like surprises and try to come prepared and do everything I can to help anyone to make things run smoothly. We were definitely not organized.   Thank you Claudia for your help.  Jackie picked up the tab, but I don't know if this is the schools responsibility or the graduating classes.  Someone should question this in the future. Perhaps find out these details before hand. Our class was amiss for not asking such questions.  I was so appalled by all of this that I also asked the help desk, "Are we responsible for the program as well?"  We were not. Which was good because one more thing I could not add to my plate. I was still not sure who was graduating and trying to get those details might have taken a long time. 

I did find the musicians, one declined, two accepted. I remember shouting to them across the room over the last few days- "so you playing for graduation? " The reply was, "I had heard rumors", but no one actually asked them.  I guess our group had so many things on their mind before graduation, like getting their presentations together, and making arrangements for family. We certainly dropped the ball there.  Thank you so much Ben and Jason for improvising and doing this.  They had about 20 minutes to go back to their dorm, get their instruments set up and play( mics were not ready) . I'm so impressed how everyone pitched in to make it work.  And in the long run it was a great night, and came together.  I hope this documentary of the process doesn't offend anyone, but simply shows what is needed, and how surprises can happen when you don't know the process. 

FYI Here is a tidbit that the next group can put into their knowledge base. Jackie asked if musicians could be to the Hay Barn 1/2 hour before graduation and play for the 15 minutes prior to graduation. They should set up to the left of the stage against the wall. A note for future graduates.

Well, we did it. Thanks for everyone for their assistance.  Can someone please print the graduation expectations up and be sure that they get to future graduates?  I just hope this blog post will help others who are about to graduate.  Also see my post about my idea about the  graduating class.  Graduates are so busy seeing all of their classmates presentations, setting up for their own, getting their paper work completed, picking up relatives from the airport  and tending to family that it makes it extremely hard to do all of the above.  I think my idea is an idea that might be considered. I really love the class that came before me. It would have delighted me to honor them and help them with their graduation day. I don't think I realized how much they meant to me, until that residency. 
Of course, residency is difficult and time consuming for everyone.  It is just a suggestion and I do hope that if my idea is not taken that this post somehow lets others know how to be more prepared.  Perhaps it is revised, and there is a committee or small group of students, like the Welcoming committee that would like to take on this task to honor those going out.  

Good luck to all of the up- and coming graduates. I hope this helps.

We did have a meeting as a graduating class in our prior residency.  Communication during the semester would have been key, however the semester is a grueling one, and indeed some students for whatever reason do not make it through the semester to graduate.  Some groups coming into Goddard bond more than others. Maybe this and continuous communication is the key.  Suggestion- Vote on these things at your last full residency.  Stay in contact through the semester as much as possible.  Get a list of students graduating, but note that some may come into your group that you might not know.

All in all, it was a great day, and if you read this blog you will see that I am actually in a daze that I even made it to that day.  With the death of dad, and trying to take care of that on top of this huge difficult commission and client, and writing a portfolio, I'm amazed I was sitting in the seat and had the opportunity to help.  My personality is someone who will try to fill in the gaps and help whenever possible. Again, I didn't mind it, I just wish I would have had a check list.  So, for the sake of up-and-coming graduates. 

Here is a simple check list. 

In your G5 full residency
Get a mailing list together of potential graduates- know that some others may be added to this list
Talk about
1. MC
2. Speaker
3. Music
4. Any things you want to have shown or other elements of graduation ie, showing slides, graduation catalogue, reception, art show, group photograph etc. 
5. Perhaps set up a date to get back in touch or a way to stay in contact
  ( be sensitive that this last semester is grueling and if life happens, like it did with me, some might not be as lucky as I was to pull it together and get to graduation. I can only imagine how that would feel, on top of a difficult semester.  I am glad I got to be there with my group and say goodbye.) 
6. Is there and advisor who will be helping you with graduation plans?  Perhaps this would be a good time to have them in on things. So they can walk you through it, or know your plans in the end to see if anything is missing. 
7. Who is getting the things for the reception, what is allowed according to the guidelines of Goddard and how is it going to be paid for? As mentioned above, I still don't know if the group is actually responsible for the cost of a reception.  
8. Designate who is going to ask and confirm the above. 

In your returning residency
Designate someone to confirm all of the above,
Check with front desk to see if proper microphones, projection or whatever are available 
Rejoice in the accomplishments and even though you are exhausted and elated about handing in that portfolio and feel you need a serious nap after doing your presentation, breath.... because you have made it. 

My suggestion for Goddard

I think it would be great if someone could implement this idea.

How wonderful it would be if at graduation residency the up and coming class to graduate honored the graduating class by taking care of such details as refreshments for graduation reception and securing other details about graduation. For example: Are the musicians ready? Do they know where to set up?  Does the speaker have what they need?

Graduates are so busy,with family and final paper work and presentations they don't have time to work out all of these details. Of course that means that someone who is a G4 will have to be able to connect with other G4's and someone from the G5 graduating group.  That is a huge milestone in itself, but it would be a wonderful tradition to start.

To see why check out  my post  The woes of graduation day. 

Things I learned about Graduation

Both signatures on Thursday evening-Wow! 
Getting portfolio signed.  
I think you have until Saturday to have your portfolio signed and handed in.  Somehow I was able to get my papers ready and have them signed on Thursday evening.  The advisors appeared in the cafeteria at dinner.  I have heard that trapping advisor and second reader can sometimes be tricky.  I didn't have a problem and felt so good that they were signed and ready to go.

Handing in portfolio.
There are designated times on the schedule when you can hand in your portfolio.  They all seemed to collide with other things on the schedule. I had entertained ordering my binder and having it shipped to me, and I know there is a post about that somewhere on this blog, along with the costs of the binder and the shipping charges, which were outrageous. I had offered to use my own shipping account.  I kind of wish I had done that.  Then all I would have to do is to go to the registrars office ( in the library) and hand it in.  I did hear that some graduates that live in the area stopped by and got their binder early.  Smart thinking!

Great to get the portfolio/thesis bound and delivered. 
Oh yes, You cannot imagine the relief when you have handed that portfolio/thesis in.

Questions that came up about portfolio from others.

  • The portfolios are going digital. I expect the process of handing in your information will then change.  One person said they want to boycott going digital and actually want copies of their portfolio in the library.  There is something to be said of both. I would have loved the opportunity to float through other portfolios from home while hitting a block with my own.  I have liked my time of going to the library each residency and checking out 3-6 of the portfolios with a friend.  

  • Another graduate asked me if I was going to sign a piece of paper that I didn't want my portfolio reviewed without permission.  He was concerned that if they make these digital it might hurt his chances of publishing his work.  My thoughts on this are... You are not going to publish your work as it is in the portfolio.  This document is created to satisfy the degree requirements.  As you get into it you will realize it is a different sort of document and not a book you will share with anyone.  YOu also own the copyright of that document.  

Request for transcripts
I have already covered this in a previous post. I did request my transcripts when I handed in my portfolio. 

I would see my fellow graduates sleeping on couches and chairs after they gave their presentation. I was absolutely so surprised at how exhausted I was after giving my presentation. I lecture in groups all of the time, but this was different.  Be prepared for total shut down of your body. 

Presentation times
Yes, you are asked what time or place or specifications you want for your presentation.  You don't always get it. I did my presentation during dinner.  But I figured that was better than at 8:00 a.m and thanks to one of my classmates, who made an announcement at dinner, I actually had some people there.  The difficulty in scheduling the presentations is not overlapping them. All of the graduates want to see the other graduates presentations. 
  I did not know you could have more than 45 mintues. One graduate student had a longer presentation. I wish I could have requested a bit more time. I felt I had to rush to get through mine. 
The requesting of times and place are done about a month before hand. I believe I blogged on this already. 

Portfolio Printing
Some students waited to get to school to print their potrfolio. I don't blame them. It is expensive to print and why not use the schools resources.  WARNING. These students were staying up late getting this done. I have also been in the computer lab when... the machine jammed.  No fun,  I would not recommend this. I ended up buying printing cartridges and did mine at home.  It was cheaper than sending it out. I had two printed and bound- one for the school and one for myself. I know many classmates that said they were going to do it themselves. I know me. I would get busy and forget and I wanted a copy to quickly put on my shelf and refer to when needed. But frankly I don't want to look at it for a while. 

Graduation Day
I'm going to make a separate post about graduation day. 

My G5 Self Evaluation

Because I have had a few requests from students to see my G5 study plan, I thought I might also post my G5 Self Evaluation.  This is an important document because your advisor will use it to write up the final evaluation which becomes a part of your transcripts.  

Areas of Inquiry:
Studio Art
Art and Technology
Writing-memoir, poetry, nonfiction and a novel

Title of Final Product: "Taking it in as a whole" Introspection of a sculptor and writer


ARTISTIC PRACTICE: Describe the evolution of your artistic practice over the course of your entire MFA program, including experiments undertaken, as well as a description of the bodies of work, performances, or projects you have completed. What new mediums or forms have you explored? What new skills, concepts, etc., have you learned along the way? In this retrospect, how do you view your growth as an artist? How do you see your practice now ? Where do you see yourself heading?

            Throughout my time at Goddard College I have had a dual focus in both in visual arts  and writing. These two disciplines have been inseparable through my creative life, one informing the other.  Before Goddard, I would often write about my discoveries in the creative process, or marketing in the arts.  The writing not only helped others but also positioned me as a sought after expert in my field and helped me to promote my services as a commissioned sculptor.
            I had applied to Goddard as a published nonfiction writer, and my interactions as an artist bestowed on me the title master sculptor. My educational goals while at Goddard were to push myself in both these areas of creativity. The details of each of these studies are listed below.

Technology, art and the studio
            Life events of an injured hand, caused by many years of sculpting and typing, persuaded me to see how to extend my career as a sculptor.  A 2008 article I was asked to write for Sculpture Review on the impact of recent technologies sparked my studio art time at Goddard. I wrote "Exploring Digital Technologies as Applied to Traditional Sculpting" as an artist being introduced to these tools. I had yet to incorporate them in my own process, or find out how they were changing or advancing. Goddard offered me the venue to do this.
            Throughout the study of art and technology in the traditional studio I looked at the history and progression of this technology. I explored and facilitated discussions comparing new technology with the "old" way and evaluating the "value" set upon the work and also the acceptance of technology in the process of fine art. The research and vigorous exploration also brought me to find problems with the evolving and changing tool set. New technology brings new issues such as copyrights concerning 3d work, digital art, and open source creativity, which I also explored and will continue to monitor in the future.
            Technology is changing and evolving.  Often I would resort to vendors or suppliers of software programs, scanners, milling, or 3d printing or developing service bureaus, to help me understand what was available, and how it could be incorporated into the artist's studio.  The technology crosses multiple disciplines from fine art, architecture, archaeological, science, medicine and much more. I searched to see how others were pushing the limits of technology to make it do what they needed it to do.  I realize that it is these creative people who are pushing the technology that will be the impetus of the evolution of better and more affordable tools.          
            Besides finding tools or adding tool sets that would extend my career with an injured hand, I was also compelled to find how this developing technology might one day replace the entire process of traditional bronze casting or infiltrate different portions of it-a process that has changed little in centuries.
            Many 3d artists, who work in such things as animation or gaming, never take their work out of the computer. It was a personal journey to not only find ways that this can happen but to document the process and pitfalls in doing so. Up to the point of my research and documentation, this was not clearly defined anywhere.
The compilation of much of this research was published in the book coauthored in my second semester with Artist Mike de la Flor titled, "Digital Sculpting with Mudbox Essential Tools and Techniques For Artists."  Chapter 7 is entirely on getting work in to the computer with digital scanning and getting it out of the computer through different means and materials. Chapter 3 was taking the traditional process of sculpting a bust and translating it to the digital medium of Mudbox, a digital sculpting program. From Mudbox, I continued on to the competitive program Zbrush and am becoming proficient in both. I learn the process and difficulties of translating traditional sculpting into digital or incorporating both traditional process and digital process into what I refer to as as tra-digi art.
            As is the case with most technology, the cost of its use must get to a point for the consumer to be able to incorporate it as a regular part of their work-flow. I was lucky in that I had several commissioned projects where I incorporated the technology and the processes into my study at Goddard.
            Besides the Mudbox book, I have written several articles and essays about the process. Personal interviews with individuals on the topics in my study were turned into online podcasts. Below is a brief description of some of the podcasts recorded for this area of my study.
Art And Technology podcast interviews
  • Dan Gustafson of the NextEngine Scanner and Traditional Sculptor Mark Byrd spend time with me talking about using the NextEngine scanner in the creating of life size traditional bronze sculptures. What are the advantages of using the scanner? What are the pitfalls to watch out for when incorporating this technology in your own studio? Some of these concepts of digital scanning and printing were featured in chapter 7 of the Mudbox book.
  • Joris Debo from .MGX, a division of Materialise talks about the technology of large scale 3d printing and investment casting that their company is offering to the traditional and digital studio. .MGX works with 3D printing technologies and some of the top designers in the world. This interview was helping me in my direction of finding alternative methods of bronze casting.
  • My direction was also supported by my interaction with a company called Ex one, who is a pioneer in digital printing of metal. This company was extremely accommodating in assisting me to learn their process.
  • Paul Effinger is a digital sculptor who is exploring different methods of bronze casting other than the lost wax method of bronze casting. He is on the same search as I am. I enjoyed sharing information and chatting on the podcast about the advancements and processes.
  • Kevin Gillespie, a pioneer in CG talks with me about 3d technology and copyrights. How can we protect ourselves as artists? How can we be more aware? Copyright in 3D is an emotionally charged issue. It is also an issue that I am following closely. Along with interviewing Kevin Gillespie I wrote several published Essays on this topic such as "Antiquities, Masterpieces, Rights of Ownership and 3D scanning" and "Copyrights and 3D."
  • A turning point in my study came with the meeting of Orron Cats and the introduction of regenerative Medicine. I enjoyed talking with Catts about SymbioticA at the University of Western Australia. SymbioticA combines artists and scientists in exploration and the creative process. This interview opened up and investigation for me into how artists are bringing to light the social and political concerns of the evolving technology and medicine to the general public in their art. This was a profound experience with my time at Goddard and will most likely be something I continue to investigate long after I leave. I combined this research into an article titled "Frankenstenian Art. "

            I searched for many artists who were using digital technology in the traditional studio. A few like Robert Lazarrini who creates, physical art that appears skewed, and does so using some of the techniques that I was studying, lead me in directions of research and contemplation that, as an artist, I never thought I would go.
            Bathsheba Grossmans use of math as art led me to the intrigue of using data in creating art. I also loved the work of Nathalie Miebach who weaves data.
            I could not attempt this study without looking at the work of Barry x Ball and the Digital Stone Project. Their work of milling stone using digital technology opens up an entire new process and set of opportunities. I have always been a sculptor using an additive process. I can now carve, using the technology, and saving my hands.
            Because of my very long association with working in 3d as a sculptor I realized that my brain thinks better in 3d, therefore, the exploration of art in the traditional sculpting studio is personally translating into using my sculpting as illustration. But, this is not the only advantage that has come from this study. Being able to create in stone, or create a 3d sculpture in the computer using symmetry makes architectural work much easier. It and opens up a new resource and market for me as an artist.
            The possibility of being able to print ceramic in my studio using my own 3d printer is continuing to hold my intrigue. I will be watching Solheim Additive Manufacturing Laboratory in the Mechanical Engineering Department on the University of Washington to see their progress with their open source exploration of printing ceramic. Adrian Bowyer from the University of Bath and his creation of the rep rap home 3d printer is also another resource I'll be monitoring. These individuals and universities are pushing the technology and processes to become available and worthwhile to the studio artist.
            What I have listed here is only a fraction of my study in studio art and art and technology. A bibliography representing the key resources for the art and technology and studio art part of my study is included at this end of this document.

My second course of study while at Goddard was writing. I experienced this in several ways. I compelled The work and research in art and technology into a nonfiction book. Though I have been a contributing writer on a couple of books in the past, "Mudbox: Essential tools and techniques for artists," was my first coauthored book. It was published in May 2010. I do plan on continuing this exploration with another book after graduation. The new book will expand on the knowledge and become a source of inspiration. It will feature artist working with art and technology as well as full resource book featuring vendors and their processes.
            My writing study and exploration was multidimensional. Experiential learning and the death of my mother in my first semester pulled me into a focus of memoir writing and a study of grief as it pertains to fiction and nonfiction. I was quite familiar with death and grief. I had spent a considerable deal of my undergraduate study focusing on the dynamics of my sculpting deceased loved ones and the nuances of the process of posthumous commissions. In my own grief, I felt the need to document everything. Writing is my companion that helps me figure out life - and in this case, death. I wrote, savoring the creativity and the spirituality found in burying the woman who created me. This experience put a color to my practice, first appearing as a haze that through the process brought clarity and sharpness. This lingered through my study as it does in my life.
            Memoir and emotion prompted me. I explored my surrounding and experiences and continued in a daily writing practice. At first it was a difficult process to obtain, now it feels awkward if a day does not begin with the exploration of poetry, or 1,000 words of fiction or nonfiction.
   Christian authors who are expressing themselves and their experiential writing in a real and authentic fashion are what I am drawn to. A focus on Anne Lamott and Donald Miller seemed to give me permission to get my thoughts on paper and to record the event, as it was happening.

Writing podcast interviews
            Once again, working with podcasts satisfied the dialectic learning and my journalistic nature. I spent time focusing on those subjects that influenced my life, my writing, my faith and my development as a creative, spiritual being.  Below is just a sample of the topics I explored and individuals that I have interviewed.

Publishing, revisions, writing and business
  • Host Bridgette Mongeon talks with literary agent Chip MacGregor about the changes and guidelines in publishing for a Christian audience.
  • Host Bridgette Mongeon interviews author Darcy Pattison about her workshops and her book "Novel Metamorphosis." Together they explore the uncommon ways to revise a novel and how to do it in a workshop or small group.
  • Host Bridgette Mongeon talks with author John Shore about his books, the publishing industry, and e publishing.
  • Writer Sandy Tritt shares tips and tricks for writers, along with the writer's prayer.
  • Author Janice Hanna Thompson talks about her Christian books and her generations of faith. In a second podcast, Ms. Thompson shares tips on making money as a freelance writer.
  • Hosts Bridgette Mongeon and Christina Sizemore Interview Mark Levine, the author of, "The Fine Print on Self-Publishing."

Focus on grief

  • This interview with Dr. Haugk from Stephen Ministries talks about grief and this wonderful resource of books titled "Journeying Through Grief".
  • Three creative women- Host Bridgette Mongeon, author Nancy Wesson and photographer and author Megan Cutter talk about their creativity after "Mother Loss."
  • Host Bridgette Mongeon, author Nancy Wesson, and Author and Photographer Megan Cutter talk about the empowering transformation of "Mother Loss"
  • Olympic gold medal winner, author and entertainer, Scott Hamilton talks about the 2010 Olympics, his upcoming show on the Biography Channel, and book "The Great Eight"

 Faith and Spiritual questions

  • The host of the podcast reveals her family secret, her husband has decided he no longer believes in God.
  • Host Bridgette Mongeon and her husband Mike de la Flor talk about what it is like to be a house divided- a Christian and an atheist.
  • Jerry Desobe from the Kris Samaritan Center talks about a special counseling that reflects on the issues revolving around faith your and your walk with God.
  • Christian Comedian and Baptist minister Susan Sparks talks about laughter, comedy and creativity.
  • Author and Speaker Ruth Graham shares her thoughts about her newest book, "In Every Pew Sits a Broken Heart"
  • Kimberly Rose Carolan author of "Walking through the Valley of the Shadow of Death" shares some of her suggestions when coming to terms with death and grief.


  • Author and Actor Susan Isaacs shares her disappointments in her creative Christian journey as well as her humorous revelations.
  • Host Bridgette Mongeon talks to author Robin Brande about Christians who believe in evolution. Robin is the author of the young adult book "Evolution, Me and Other Freaks of Nature."
  • Host Bridgette Mongeon talks to author Sara Zarr about novels, a crisis of faith, family and what Christian teens are looking for in publishing.
  • Susan Isaacs shares her stories behind her new and humorous book "Angry Conversations with God- A Snarky But Authentic Spiritual Memoir."
  • Host Bridgette Mongeon introduces some wonderful resources for creative and sacred times for self and bible study. Author Margaret McGee talks about her two books "Haiku - The Sacred Art: A Spiritual Practice in Three Lines" and "Sacred Attention: A spiritual Practice for Finding God in the Moment."

 CS Lewis Writers Conference
Some of my guests came from my interaction and involvement with the CS Lewis writers conference. I attended my first C.S. Lewis Writers conference in 2010 and spoke at the 2011 CS Lewis Writers conference.

  • Hosts Host Bridgette Mongeon talks with Nan Rinella about the growth and encouragement that the C. S. Lewis Southwest Regional writers retreat brings to writers.
  • Andrew Lazo talks about C. S. Lewis, Toklein and the Inklings.
  • Author, priest and musician, Malcolm Guite talks about C. S. Lewis, faith music, inspiration ad atheism.

Reading as a writer
             I also spent time reading as a writer. Throughout my five semesters, I have read over 100 books. Within this area of study I focused on many award-winning novels, especially young adult novels and children's books. Writing for children and young adult are areas of creative writing that I have wanted to explore for a while. In my reading I was focusing on:

  • Emotionally charged subjects of death or grief.
  • I was especially interested in a juvenile and young adult look at how young people make sense of death. How do individual writers portray the angst and confusion concerning death?
  • A search of faith-exploring how different age groups grapple with the idea of faith, and not just Christian faith but all different sorts of faith, or even non-belief, interests me.

             There were many different areas and processes that I was looking at while reading as a writer, such as symbolism, show don't tell, dialogue, character development, humor, and voice.
            I also attended many different writers conferences through my graduate study and was a speaker for both the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators- Houston Chapter and The C. S. Lewis Writers workshop and conference- Texas.
 A bibliography representing the key resources for the writing part of my study is included at this end of this document.

            I make my living as an artist and writer. My practicum "Exploration of the Self and Sacred" is based on the process of creating to create, and not with the dictation of a client—a stretch for me. I spent time writing haiku, poetry with an extremely deep introspection. The memory of my family came out in artwork, especially the family altar consisting of cast hands of my parents, my daughter and myself. Incorporating these cast hands with found objects an explorative process that was a bit different for me. I also examined "fast"  both digitally and traditionally creating quick gestures of work that was opposite of my very long fine art projects. Sculpting with nature was another exploration.
            My practicum semester ended with the development of a 60,000 word young adult novel based on the undergraduate research that I had completed on sculpting the deceased. I enjoyed the editing process of this novel in my final semester. I also enjoyed becoming more familiar with the process of publication for fiction.
The incredible introspection of the practicum both in writing and art came forth because I forced myself to change my process. It offered me a different way to see both the art and the words. I discovered that, following the process of investigation with conceptual art, is extremely similar to the process I go through when trying to find the essence of an individual in a posthumous sculpture commission. The difference with the conceptual art is that the revelations and emotional connection, both with the viewer and artist seem to continue long after the piece is completed. I have enjoyed this part of the process.
            The freedom of this type of creation will be something I strive for in my busy commissioned life as an artist and writer. The exploration and commitment to the novel was incredibly rewarding and has set up my life to record and view things much differently. I can hardly wait to begin novel number two.

For those interested here is a video about my practicum or at least part of it. 

    Both the writing and art areas of my study at Goddard have been thrilling. Upon graduating, I will begin a new writing project titled "Digital Art 3d 2012". The book will feature many different artists, their works and their use of digital technology in their own studios.
            Using tra-digi art process will continue to be a regular mainstay in my sculpting practice. It has the added benefit of streamlining my process and giving me more time to create.
            I hope to work with suppliers and vendors to help educate others in the use of their materials. My goal is a selfish one; if there are more people using technology they are pushing the limits and encouraging the technology to develop to a place of affordability. I will, however, also keep myself open to explore nuances of the technology and the affects it will have on a culture and society.
            I am working on several other writing projects as I grapple with history, science and the Christian faith. I'm presently beginning a book "The Prayers of an Atheists wife" based on my own experiences with my husband, a book on marketing in the arts, and another one on a devotional for creativity and spirituality. My husband and I are also embarking on a new e publishing business. I will continue my study and practice of writing infused with my learning from Goddard.

This is not my total bib, just what I included in this document

Mongeon, Bridgette, dir. Art and Technology. An Introduction. Art and Technology. April 10 2010. Web. 3 Nov 2011.  .
Mongeon, Bridgette, dir. Art and Technology. Digital Scanning and Traditional Sculpture. May 21 2010. Web. May 21 2010. .
Mongeon, Bridgette, dir. Art and Technology. Interview With Joris Debo from .MGX. May 10 2010. Web. May 10 2010. .
Mongeon, Bridgette, dir. Art and Technology. Interview with Kevin Gillespie Topic 3d/copyrights. May 8 2010. Web. May 8 2010. .
Mongeon, Bridgette, dir. Art and Technology. An Interview With Oron Cats. June 6 2010. Web. June 6 2010. .
Mongeon, Bridgette, dir. Art and Technology. Interview with Paul Effinger.  May 10 2010. Web. May 10 2010. .
Mongeon, Bridgette, dir. Art and Technology. Interview With Robert Michael Smith. April 10 2010. Web. 3 Nov 2011. .
.MGX by Materialise. Materialise MGX. 2006.

LEONARDO 35.4 (2002): 365-340. Web. 14 Apr 2010. .

de la Flor, Mike, and Bridgette Mongeon. Digital Sculpting With Mudbox: Essential Tools and Techniques for Artists. Burlington: Focal Press, 2010.

"Design and the Elastic Mind." Gallery exhibition..The Museum of Modern Art.

Gibson, Todd. Discussion with Robert Lazarini. 28 Oct. 2004.

Mongeon, Bridgette. Frankensteinian Art. Creative Endeavors. 18 May 2010. Web. 11 Oct. 2011.

Skloot, Rebecca. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. New York. Random House. 2010


Mongeon, Bridgette. Inspiration Generation Podcast- A Podcast List and Host Bios. God's Word. Web. 12 Oct 2011.
Mongeon, Bridgette, dir. Inspiration Generation Podcast-Angry Conversations with God. Inspirations Generations. God's Word, Nov. 2009. Web. 12 Oct 2011.
Mongeon, Bridgette, dir. Inspiration Generation Podcast-Are you having issues with God?. Inspirations Generations. God's Word, Sept 2010. Web. 12 Oct 2011.
Mongeon, Bridgette, dir. Inspiration Generation Podcast- Atheist and a Christian in Marriage. Inspirations Generations. God's Word, April. 2011. Web. 12 Oct 2011. .
Mongeon, Bridgette, dir. Inspiration Generation Podcast- Bridgette Shares her family secret. Inspirations Generations. God's Word, April. 2011. Web. 12 Oct 2011.
Mongeon, Bridgette, dir. Inspiration Generation Podcast- Death of Parents and a Christian Jewish Friendship. Inspirations Generations. God's Word, May 2009. Web. 12 Oct 2011. .
Mongeon, Bridgette, dir. Inspiration Generation Podcast- Interview with Poet, Singer-Songwriter Malcolm Guite. Creative Christians. God's Word, Nov 2009. Web. 12 Oct 2011. .
Mongeon, Bridgette, dir. Inspiration Generation Podcast- Taize. Inspirations Generations. God's Word, April 2010. Web. 12 Oct 2011. .
Mongeon, Bridgette, dir. Inspiration Generation Podcast-  Transformation. Inspirations Generations. God's Word, April 2010. Web. 12 Oct 2011. .
Mongeon, Bridgette, dir. Inspiration Generation Podcast- Walking Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. Inspirations Generations. God's Word, Sept. 2009. Web. 12 Oct 2011. .  

Mongeon, Bridgette, dir. Creative Christians Podcast- Creativity Through "Mother Loss". Creative Christians. God's Word, April 2010. Web. 12 Oct 2011. .
Mongeon, Bridgette, dir. Creative Christians Podcast- C.S. Lewis and the Inklings. Creative Christians. God's Word, Nov 2011. Web. 12 Oct 2011. .
Mongeon, Bridgette, dir. Creative Christians Podcast-Evolution and Christianity. Creative Christians. God's Word, May 2011. Web. 12 Oct 2011. .
Mongeon, Bridgette, dir. Creative Christians Podcast- Interview with Author and Actor Susan Isaacs. Creative Christians. God's Word, Nov 2009. Web. 12 Oct 2011. .
Mongeon, Bridgette, dir. Creative Christians Podcast- Interview with Sara Zarr. Creative Christians. God's Word, May 2011. Web. 12 Oct 2011. .
Mongeon, Bridgette, dir. Creative Christians Podcast- Interview with Scott Hamilton. Creative Christians. God's Word, March 2010. Web. 12 Oct 2011. .
Mongeon, Bridgette, dir. Creative Christians Podcast- McGee- Sacred Attention and Haiku Creative Christians. God's Word, October 2010. Web. 12 Oct 2011. .
Mongeon, Bridgette, dir. Creative Christians Podcast- Taking the Writing Challenge. Creative Christians. God's Word, October 2010. Web. 12 Oct 2011. .
Mongeon, Bridgette, dir. Creative Christians Podcast- Questions about publishing for Christian authors. Creative Christians. God's Word, May 2011. Web. 12 Oct 2011.

Alger, Horatio. Fame and Fortune. Project Gutenberg.
Alger, Horatio, Ragged Dick. Project Gutenberg.
Allen, Crystal. How Lamar's Bad Prank Won a Bubba-sized Trophy. NY: Harper Collins, 2011.
Anaya, Rudolfo. Bless me, Ultima. Prince Frederick, MD: Recorded Books, 2004.
Baty, Chris. No Plot? No Problem!. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2004.
Brande, Robin. Evolution Me and other Freaks of Nature. New York, Random House 2007.
Claxton, Eva. The World's Best Memoir Writing. Sourcebooks.
Hayes, Bill. Five Quarts: A Personal and Natural History of Blood. New York : Balentine Books, 2005.
Hayes, Bill. The Anatomist : A True Story of Gray's Anatomy. New York. Ballantine Books: 2008.
Isaacs, Susan. Angry Conversations with God: A Snarky but Authentic Spiritual Memoir. NY: FaithWord, 2009. 

Kelly, Jacqueline. The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate. New York: Henry Holt and Co, 2009.

Lamott, Anne. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. 1st Anchor Books ed. New York: Anchor Books, 1995. 

Lamott, Anne. Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith. New York: Riverhead Books, 2005.

Lamott, Anne. Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith. 1st ed. New York: Pantheon Books, 1999. 

Lukeman, Noah. The First Five Pages. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000.
Mendt, KL. Spiritual Themes in Young Adult Books. Alan Review 23.3 (1996). 24 Feb 2011.
McGee, Margaret.  Haiku- The Sacred Art: A Spiritual Practice in Three Lines. City: Skylight Paths Publishing, 2009.
McGee, Margaret. Sacred Attention. Skylight Paths Publishing, 2010.
Miller, Donald. Blue Like Jazz : Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality. Nashville: T. Nelson, 2003.
National Novel Writing Month. Web. 2 Nov 2011. .
Reinhardt, Dana. A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life. New York : Random House, 2007.
Patron, Susan and Matt Phelan. The Higher Power of Lucky. Oxford Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 2006.
Potok, Chaim. The Chosen. Santa Ana, CA: Books on Tape, Inc, 2002.
Rylant, Cynthia. Missing May. New York: Orchard Books, 1992.
Small, David. Stitches: A Memoir. New York: W.W. Norton & Co, 2009.
Schmidt, Gary. The Wednesday Wars. City: Sandpiper, 2009.
Winkler, Henry Holy Enchilada!. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2004.
Woodson, Jaqueline. Feathers. New York : Puffin, 2007.
Zarr, Sara. Once Was Lost. New York: Listening Library, 2009.

INTELLECTUAL/CRITICAL DEVELOPMENT: What areas of inquiry have you engaged in along the way, and how have they contributed to your growth, both intellectually and creatively? What artists, thinkers, etc., have you found especially helpful? What papers have you produced to demonstrate your knowledge of art theory and your critical skills? Include a general bibliography in an approved citation format, providing external viewers with a representative example of the key resources which most influenced your research and practice.

This is included in one document above.

PRACTICUM: Describe the Practicum in which you engaged, and briefly summarize the insights and learning gained from this experience.

This is included in one document above.

OVERALL ASSESSMENT: How has your overall work in this program contributed to your artistic development, your knowledge of and ability to engage critically and creatively with the contemporary art scene, and your understanding of the context of your own art practice?

This is included in one document above.


Here you write a thorough evaluation of the work you did, assessing your strengths and weaknesses or areas for further development. Comment on how you worked with your faculty advisor, your second reader, and other persons who helped you learn. This assessment will be separate from your Summary Report and will not become part of your transcript.

Please see above for my evaluation of the work.

Assessment of my strengths
Research and interview seem to be my strong points within these semesters. I have enjoyed incorporating this dialectic and Socratic exploration within both of my studies.
Assessment of areas of further development
 As stated above, I will continue with my work and research in the areas of creating the tra-digi art. There are so many things I have yet to explore using these new tools. I'm always learning with my writing. I will continue to write, and read as a writer, and experiment with different types of writing. My biggest area for development is editing. My only recourse is to write, read and edit, often, along with hiring a skilled editor when needed.
My study at Goddard was immensely rewarding. It helped me to push myself in areas that I might not have explored without the encouragement and inspiration of my fellow peers and advisors. For that, I am very thankful.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Erica Eaton. It is difficult to find a fit between advisor and advisee, but I am thankful I did have that experience while at Goddard. Having a proper fit with advisor and advisee made my time so much more rewarding. I'm only sorry I did not have time to work with others that I thought might "fit". I greatly appreciate both the accommodations and the help that both my advisor and second reader gave me after the death of my dad in the middle of this semester. I was not sure how on earth I could catch up, but with their guidance and many long hours, I did. Thanks also to Jackie for listening to my thoughts and ideas and encouraging me in bringing those out throughout my time at Goddard.