I have really enjoyed my thesis. I think I could research forever because it's so fun, but I've moved on to the writing process and I have to say that the challenges I've faced, while frustrating at times, have been good for me. Trying to decide the type of voice I want to use was the first hurdle. Should it be formal or familiar? Should I present my research and make my points in a dry and straightforward manner or should I infuse the writing with some warmth? After giving such contemplation to my topic, I realized that there really needed to be some personal touch because the subject, portrait miniatures, is intimate. So it was back to the drawing board. Just as I had changed my writing every time I found a new resource, I was now changing my writing based on the need for it to reflect the art. I'm glad that I've had the time to do that, but it has set me behind. I know that I still have a little time but goodness it has me a little stressed out! I just want to make sure that I am presenting the truth within the most complete context I can construct.
The second challenge was deciding exactly how to lay out the paper. Should I write about each section of my topic, i.e. the artists, the town of Charleston, the cultural and historical context, the pieces, etc. all in different chapters or should I integrate everything. I've found that a combination of the two options is what is best. Just as Malbone painted the ivory with lovely washes, stipples and cross hatches of watercolor, I decided that the historical and contextual facts should color my writing over his sweet pieces, but there had to be a little background given in the beginning so that the writing would make sense.
I have to admit that I'll be really happy when this is over because I have spent as much time inside my head, convincing myself that I can do this as I have spent writing. When I'm done, I am going to be so proud of myself, but for now it's still time to work, work, work.
However, today I'm going to visit my family for Easter. It was good to get away to Savannah and Charleston, but it's been longer than usual since I've been home. I can't wait to see everybody! :)