Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My New Life

Well, I haven't blogged in awhile, so tonight I'll update everyone on what has been going on with me lately.
I've been a lot busier this week than I have been in ages, and I don't see that changing much for the next two years at least. And considering this was just my first week of school, it's only going to get busier from here.
My schedule is as follows:

Mondays, I usually work, plus going to the new wellness center will probably happen on this day too, since I don't have too many open days on which to go.

Tuesdays are my busiest day of all. At ten thirty in the morning Joel and I have a class entitled "Launching the Imagination." So far it hasn't had anything too difficult going on in there. The first assignment we were given on the first day to complete before the end of class. We were told to create a design using only 4 lines. Some people did very well with the assignment, some people did not. I know art is very subjective, but in my opinion one person in particular really managed to screw it up. When you're given instructions like that, there isn't too much room for deviation, but someone was not listening or something. It appeared that he
(or perhaps she) had just scribbled all over the paper. One could argue that they just used four very wavy lines, for the design, but that would ignore the fact that at the bottom of the paper there was between 6 and 10 straight lines all in a row. It's a good thing we weren't graded on the designs, because they would have failed miserably. We got that assignment back today, so I will attempt to scan in my picture with my new printer/scanner/copier, and post it here. I don't do abstract thought that well, so I tried to come up with an actual thing for my design. I eventually settled on a bird using 4 curved lines.

It's not the greatest thing in the world, but I said I'd be posting my artwork for better or for worse, so this could be the for worse. At the very least it's somewhere in the middle. Hopefully I won't have to shame myself by posting anything that's actually terrible.
The next class on Tuesdays is a class that only I have. Joel waits for me at the student center since we are driving together to save gas. This class is called Design 1. It is hopefully going to be a really fun class. So far I am enjoying it a lot. Our first assignment was even tougher than the one from the first class. This assignment was to draw a series of 10 thumbnail sketches using only ONE line each. All of these sketches had to convey a meaning, and we could use any medium we wished. I was initially stumped. Like I said, I am not much of an abstract thinker, so my sketches ended up mostly being "Things". My last four were a little abstract, but the rest were specific things. I chose sharpies, since I had a bunch of different colors on my desk. I decided that it would be easier to come up with things if I used color to help convey the ideas, since I was limited on how many lines. The lines could be any shape, twisted, curvy, jagged etc, so that helped, but it's still only one line.
Here is what I came up with. Ignore the pecil marks if you notice them. They weren't part of the designs, those were made by my teacher when we were going over the ideas. I cropped most of them out.
Can you tell what each is supposed to be? No? I didn't think so. I'll explain them. The first three would have been exactly the same without the color. They represent three different views of a horizon line. The first one I did in green, it represents your basic average horizon. The second one I did in blue. It represents an ocean horizon. The last one I did in orange. It represents a horizon at sunset.
After my initial three I was rather stumped. I could not come up with anything else I could use one line to represent, so I decided to get a little wierd. The next three all represent a worm. The first one is a worm leaving, the second is a confused worm, and the third is a worm climbing a staircase.
Four the last four I really tried to think abstractly, and I tried to depict emotions. Look at the last four before reading and try to guess what they represent. Tell me in the comments if you figured it out before you read the answers.

Have you tried guessing?

No peeking till you've guessed. I really want to know if I conveyed the idea well enough.

Are you done?

Ok, I'll tell you now.

The first one is happieness. I did all the emotions in two colors, to try to get a bit more feeling into them. I'm not sure if it worked, but whatever.
The second one is sadness, the third anger, and the last is excitement. If you got any give yourself a pat on the back, and I'll give myself one, because that means I actually got the message across.

Tuesday nights Joel and I have a class in Harlan at the new branch of the school. This branch doesn't teach any of the art classes which is a shame, it would save us a lot of driving time. But we will have most of our gen ed classes there. Our class on Tuesday nights is a public speaking class. Yay. Joy. Thrilled giggle. Can you sense my unbridled excitement? I didn't think so. I'm not a public speaker, so I'm not liking this class. So far I don't hate it though, so that is a plus, I suppose. Our first presentation was to bring a container full of things. The container was to represent us inside and out. I brought my art bin. I left most of the art supplies in there, because I am an artist, and I couldn't think of much else to put in there. After I got home tonight from giving the presentation, I had a bunch more ideas, but it was too late. it still went well without them though, so I'm glad for that. Other than my basic drawing supplies I put in a pheonix necklace that I had made, along with two paracord knotwork bracelets. I put these in to show that my artwork isn't just limited to drawing, but that I like to make jewelry too. I also put in my camera, because photography is another form of artwork I love. Then I added my iPod, because it contains a ton of things that represent who I am. Music, Movies, Tv Shows, Pictures, Audiobooks, cartoons, all things that I love, and it saved a ton of space. I'd never have been able to fit all that stuff in my art bin anyway.

Wednesdays I don't have class so that will be another work out and work day. I'll also use it to do homework. Joy of joys...

Thursday is almost as busy as Tuesdays. Joel and I have the "Launching the Imagination" class in the morning, and then I have Design 1 in the afternoon. When I turned in my ten thumbnails on thursday I really wasn't sure what to expect. I hadn't really understood why he wanted us to do them, but it turned out that it was only the beginning of a larger project. We were then to choose three of our concepts and develop them into full pieces. Again, we were allowed any medium. Anyone care to guess which ones I chose? I'm not going to give the answers out in this blog post I'll keep you in suspence until I get my finished peices back from my teacher. You can post guesses in the comments. I will however tell you what mediums I used. Photography, Colored Pencils, and Paint. I am really happy with my painting. It is the first painting that I have ever done aside from kiddie water colors when I was a little kid. It actually turned out way better than I thought it would. I owe it all to Bob Ross and my grandma for watching him every Saturday when I was over there as a little kid. I used a bunch of techniques I remembered from watching him all those years ago. It's amazing the stuff you can remember when you need it.
Thursday nights I do not have a class, but I did tell Hy-Vee that I was available that night, so I'll probably be working after school.

Fridays Joel and I have a drawing class. It doesn't start until 1:30, though, so I think we're going to try to make that a workout day. We'll go to the wellness center in the morning, and leave for school after lunch.
On the first day of Drawing 1 we learned about Blind Conture drawings. This is where you draw an object without looking at you paper or pencil at all. This sounds like a rediculous idea at first, but when you think about it, it is actually a worthwhile and helpful excercise. The point of the excercise is not to produce a recognisable object, because I can almost guarantee you that no one will be able to tell what that mess on your paper is when you finish. The point is to get you to study the form of the object better. The more you do this excercise the more observant you become. This is really the difference between someone who produces childlike drawings and someone who can draw realistically. The person who says that they can't draw is really drawing the symbols for the object that they want to draw. They aren't paying attention to what the object actually looks like, they are drawing what their brain tells them the object looks like. And unless you have a perfect brain, you're not going to get a very acurate drawing. When I get my work back, I will post it, but it isn't very impressive, it's basically just a mess of scribbles, with a few shapes that are vaugly recognisable. Our second project was, *whimper*, a self portrait. *Anguished wail of dispair* I have always hated the idea of a self portrait. This is probably due to the fact that I, like most people, am not happy with the way I look. When I take a new picture for my facebook page I take like a billion shots before I get one that I am remotely happy with, and even then I wish it were better. With drawing a self portrait though, it's a whole different ballgame. You don't have the luxury of retakes. You can erase, but that can only go so far. I was able to do it by switching completely over to right-brain mode. I hate doing that and it's really hard to do. It's probably impossible for one who isn't an artist to do at will. You can do it unconsiously if you are completely focused on a task, but it's very hard to do it willfully. It has taken me a long time to be able to put myself in that "Zone" and even then I catch myself slipping back into "Reality" and trying to erase my flaws and make myself look better. In right brain mode you don't have any concept of the passing of time. You are focused completely on what you are working on, and you really don't even notice what's going on around you unless someone or something snaps you out of it. For anyone who watched the show "Heroes" it's a lot like the one guy's powers who could paint the future when he was high. Only there are no drugs involved, and you aren't seeing the future. Plus, your eyes don't turn completely creepy white. You're just focused solely on your work. Anyway, my self portrait turned out rather well. And by that I mean, it looked like me, not how I want me to look. I will post that too, when I get it back. I will have to take photographs of my submissions for Drawing 1, because the paper we use is far to big too fit into my scanner. For our next class we are supposed to submit 10 blind conture drawings of any small items we have around. Plus for extra credit we can submit a second self portrait. I planned to do another one, but I'm rather at a loss as to how I'm going to get it done. I suppose I can clear off my desk to do it, but for a drawing like that, I really feel that I need an easle or something to hold my paper straight up and down, instead of having it lie flat.

Saturdays I don't have class, and even before I started school I always worked on Saturdays, so that is unlikely to change. This Saturday however I did not work, as my parents had been given free tickets to the zoo by the hospital. All employees were given free tickets, and they could get discounted tickets for family members. So Mom, Dad, Jacob and I all went to the zoo. Joel and James were unable to, because they apparently have heartless unfeeling bosses who don't give employees the days off that they ask for. I took tons of photos at the zoo, so future blog posts will focus on that trip. I have enough for more than one post. I even have enough pictures that I can devote a whole post to my two favorite animals of all, Giraffes and Okapis.

Sundays of course is church day, and I have told Hy-Vee that I can't work Sundays at all. This is so I can work on homework. I had originally told them that I preferred not to work on sundays, but I could work evenings in they needed me. Well, apparently they needed me every Sunday evening, and then they started doing a few sunday mornings too, so when I started school I jumped at the chance to rewrite my availability and take Sundays out of the picture completely. I was getting pretty sick of working during church.

Well, that, in a very large nutshell, is my schedule. This post took me considerably longer than I thought it would to write. Apparently one is quite able to slip into right brain mode while blogging, because I didn't even realize how late, or should I say early, it has gotten. I'd better get myself to bed because in about an hour dad gets up to leave for work, and I doubt he'll be very happy if he finds me up... Look for my first zoo post within the next day or two.

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