Wednesday, September 22, 2010

An Update on School

Well, here is the other post I was working on. My scanner was being temperamental last night, so after I finished my scanning I went to bed. Otherwise I would have had two blog posts done last night, but the lateness of the hour (or should I say the earliness?) prevailed and I went to bed.
Anyway, I wanted to update everyone on some of the projects I’ve been working on in school. I still can’t do anything about my drawing class because my teacher has not returned any of my projects that I have been working on. And he may not have even graded them because there are no grades posted on the Iowa Western website.
So to begin I’ll show what I’ve worked on for my first class in the week: Launching the Imagination. The three projects that I have done so far probably don’t look like much, and frankly they really aren’t. They’re basically just exercises in form.
The first one is all different types of lines.
Rather boring, but necessary I suppose. It is a good way to use your mind, so I do not dislike doing these, I guess I just really want to get on to making works of fine art. Smile
The next is an exercise in shape. The original directions were to use a felt tip pen, like the previous exercise, but our teacher wanted us to also work with shading, so he told us to use #2 pencils. #2s are hard enough that you can get definite lines, but soft enough that you can do some pretty adequate shading as well.
Kind of a random mess, but it was still kind of fun.
The most recent drawing project from our Launching the Imagination class was about drawing styles, and a little about texture. We were each supposed to draw an object 4 times, using four different methods of drawing, so it looked like four different textures. I was most happy with my stippled (Made entirely out of dots) one, and least happy with the one made out of lines. I chose to do a sphere, not because I didn’t want to do anything more complicated, rather I wanted to give myself a realistic goal. If I tried to do a complicated object, I would have either messed it up, or not been able to finish it. I always want to do more than I am able, and that ends up getting me into un-finish-able projects, so I made myself just do the sphere.
Bleah. I still have lots of room for improvement.
These are all the projects I have gotten back from my Launching the Imagination class, but they aren’t the only things we’ve been working on. For a couple of classes we watched a movie/documentary about a bunch of skateboarders from California in the 70’s who basically defined what skateboarding is today. The movie was called Dogtown and Z-Boys I believe. It was interesting, but a bit sad because these guys were basically street trash, and gangs. So everyone who is a fan of things like the X-Games: The people who pioneered your favorite sport were all pretty much small time criminals. In fact, the one guy who everyone in the movie pointed to as being the best skater was identified at the end of the movie as still in jail on various drug and criminal charges. The reason we had to watch the movie was to identify the different creative processes that these teens used to go from surfers, to skateboarders, and how they refined the sport. Yes, they were so creative for breaking into people’s yards while they weren’t home, draining their swimming pools, and using them as ramps. *I roll my eyes* I thought it was a very big stretch to use this film as a study of the creative process.
The project that we are currently working on is an abstract collage. No actual pictures, just random shapes cut from construction and tissue paper. We are just starting to study color, so these collages all need to demonstrate a knowledge of color theory.
Ok, onto the next class. Design 1. This is so far my favorite class of all. I have a great teacher, and we are always working on something interesting. Well, almost always. Yesterday we worked on learning vocabulary words, which wasn’t the most fun thing ever, but it is pretty necessary. I think tomorrow we will be having a quiz on them, but the words are all ones I’ve been pretty familiar with so far, so I don’t think I’ll have too much trouble. Anyway, the point of this post is to talk about my projects, not vocabulary words, so here we go.
First off, remember this?
I told you I was developing three of the lines into complete projects. The three I chose, were all the horizon lines. It a bit funny because of the three the one I was most happy with ended up losing the intended meaning. I probably lost some points for that but my teacher said that the fact that I have such high ambitions and ended up making such a great piece that it wouldn’t matter. He encouraged me to keep going on things like that even if the original meaning gets lost. But I’m getting ahead of myself. I’m going to save that one for last. The first one is the one I am least happy with. It’s not a bad piece, but I don’t think it’s the greatest. Each of the three pieces was to be done in a different medium. This one I chose to do in colored pencil. Mainly because I really don’t have much else around here I can work with. As most of you know, our house is rather a mess right now thanks to this summer’s floods, and basically the only space I can call my own is a small corner of the upstairs living room. Not the greatest place for working on art, but I’m making it work. I rather doubt that all the famous artists had massive beautiful studios to work in, especially when they were just starting out. This first picture is of the horizon line at sunset.
Yeah, I’m not that great with colored pencils.
The second medium I chose was a photograph. I just wanted to do a basic horizon line. nothing fancy. Well, It would have been fancy if I knew where to find a great looking horizon, but this worked out just fine.
Zoo 247
Very simple, the message is clear, but it’s a bit boring. This is pretty much completely the opposite of my last one, the ocean horizon. It is not simple, and not boring, but the message was lost in the waves. Really there isn’t any horizon line visible at all, because of the size of the waves. I could have tamed it down a bit to get the message across, but it would have sacrificed the painting, so I’m glad I did not.
This is the first and only painting I have ever done, and I am very happy with it. If I had the space I’d go out and buy my own paints, brushes, canvas, easel, etc., and start doing more, but for now I’ll just have to be happy with occasionally doing it at school. I hope the opportunity to paint presents itself again soon.
The most recent project that we have been working on in design one is collages. Not the abstract ones of Launching the Imagination, but actual pictures cut from magazines. The point of this project it to learn different types of perspectives. I do not have my finished projects back yet, but I will post them when I do.
My third class is one of my least exciting. It is the Public Speaking class. Last night we had to give our presentation speeches. I do not know how I did. I think I did Okay, but I really don’t know. Everyone always tells me I’m too quiet so I tried to speak up. I will see how I did next week when we get our grades back. The presentation speech is a speech meant to introduce another speaker. It can be anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes. We were allowed to introduce anyone we wanted, even fictional characters if we liked. I chose to do a fictional character, ‘cause I’m just different like that. I think I was the only one. Other people chose speakers like Steven Hawking, the inventor of Velcro, Ellen DeGeneres, Jane Austin, and even a tattoo artist. I chose Superman. Smile We were required to type a manuscript, but we were not to read from it. We were to make ourselves notecards to use instead. I thought it would be pretty simple to remember my speech from the cards, but it really wasn’t. You’re only allowed five words per line, and you weren’t supposed to write out the whole speech in five word lines. You just needed to write enough to remind yourself what you wanted to say. I’m sure that my speech was not exactly what I had on the manuscript, but it was pretty close I think. I chose to do mine a little differently, instead of introducing the speaker, and then listing his accomplishments, I started out by describing him, and only revealing at the end that it was Superman. I bet that most people had already figured it out before the end though. If you would like to read my manuscript I’ll include it here. It’s not that long, since we had such a short window of time in which to give the speech.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am here tonight to introduce to you, one of the most famous men in American literature. Born in 1932, he immediately took on the role of a hero, rescuing people from all manner of dire situations. This man has been all over the world, and sometimes even beyond it, doing more heroic deeds in one day than most people will do in a lifetime. A distinctly American icon, he is actually quite literally an illegal alien. Born on a distant planet, but raised here on earth, he grew up with the same down to earth values that his adopted parents adhered to. Without these morals it is doubtful he would have taken on the heroic role that he did. If you don’t yet know who I am talking about, you’ll know him immediately from his unique style of dress. He is frequently made fun of by his adversaries, and sometimes even other heroes, for his colorful wardrobe choice, but I’m sure you’ll agree that without his signature suit, he just wouldn’t be the heroic figure he is today. And now, without further ado, our special guest: Superman!
My other two classes I really don’t have much to report on. I’ve done some drawings in Drawing 1, but I haven’t gotten them back. We have now had to do a second self portrait, this time with cross contoured lines. I loath cross contoure. I am so bad at it. My self portrait turned out better that I thought it would considering I had to draw lines all over my face, but that’s probably because he let us use shading as well, so I kind of tried to mask the lines. I don’t know when I will get any of these drawings back, so I may not end up being able to post anything until the very end of the semester.
The other class is one I have never even posted about. Introduction to Psychology. It is an online class. I chose to do it online to save driving time, but it’s really annoying because so often I forget that I have to do it, because I don’t have to go anywhere for it. I think it would be better if it were a fun class, but it can be rather dry, so it’s really easy to put it off to the last minute. I’ve so far had one test in it, and I got a 78 on it. The tests have a 90 minute time limit, and that includes any time that the website decided to just randomly log you out. The e-college website is VERY finicky, and if anyone else in the house is online at the same time that I’m trying to work on my lessons I have problems with the connection. It is a rather poorly designed site too. It looks like a relic from the 90s. They really need to update it.
Well, that’s all my news for now. I am glad I didn’t stay up to put this post together because it’s now about a quarter to three in the afternoon. I would have probably been up when dad left for work this morning. I will try and be a little more regular with my updates, but I’m not promising anything, what with my full schedule and all.
Have a great day!

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