Natural flow from drawing to painting?

The couple of days since my Term Paper was due have been spent…basically, cleaning things up. There is now much more usable space on my craft table; a bunch of my storage has been cleaned and consolidated; and I’ve realized the disadvantage of having a watercolor palette with fixed wells.

Aside from this…

I’ve realized that when I went into the Art program at first, I took Color Dynamics before I took Painting. Consequently, I learned about color relationships before I learned about composition or image-making within painting (as versus drawing). It’s kind of evident, now. Do I want to take another Painting class?…Kind of. Will I have the time to? Not sure.

Could I learn it another way? Not sure. I’m pretty sure that by trial-and-error, I could learn, but that might be the scenic route. Of course, after college, the scenic route is the only route; it just helps to be on the right path, in the first place.

For me, painting is a natural outgrowth of drawing: monochrome bridges into color; markmaking bridges into broad swaths and washes; use of single colors and glazes, shift into color mixing. It largely came for me when I realized the limitations of using a single (narrow) point of contact (pencils, pens, markers: the extreme of which is Technical Pen, Mechanical Pencil, or Micron), a single color at a time, and not being able to shade the colors of my tools in the way in which I wanted.

The bridge here may be charcoal, which merges into pastel. By using the broad side of a stick of pigment, it’s possible to get closer to the feel of painting, as versus drawing. Pastel pencils can also provide that markmaking experience common to drawing, while providing some of the malleability of pastel.

The major reason to avoid pastel work is dust, which is something I haven’t quite reconciled, yet. I have not had a Drawing teacher who did not caution against breathing pastel dust. I do have an area where I can draw and not depend on a vacuum to pick up this dust; it is fairly necessary to avoid the vacuum. You want to wipe up pastel dust with a wet rag (what’s called “wet-mopping”), not blow it into the air or brush it away. This is for health reasons.

The brand of soft pastels I find myself most attracted to are Rembrandts. I’ve mentioned these before; the largest hazards in these seem to be white pigment (Titanium Dioxide), and black pigment (Lamp Black). Titanium White makes tints of colors, while Lamp Black makes shades.

Titanium Dioxide is a mechanical (not toxic) cancer risk. However, this is according to Proposition 65, a law passed here in California which relates whether tiny amounts of anything carcinogenic is in art supplies or foodstuffs (though I don’t think it applies to cosmetics). Prop 65 is kind of being overused, but I know enough art teachers who have battled cancer to take basic precautions against inhalation.

Lamp Black (a.k.a. Carbon Black) poses a slight toxic cancer risk and also may stain, meaning some kind of barrier, like gloves or barrier cream, may be useful here. However, when you work with art supplies…you kind of get used to slight cancer risks. Gloves or barrier cream, a mask, and basic caution not to get this stuff airborne, is the caution that I would ideally (but possibly not actually — in the case of skin protection) use.

I still have never used my jar of barrier cream, so I’m not certain if it rubs off on the image or stains the paper. I should try it and see what happens.

The biggest drawback besides this, is that it’s hard to mix colors when one wants to make intense marks of a certain shade that isn’t provided pre-blended. This is a drawback common to drawing supplies (markers, pens, colored pencils, chalks), more than painting supplies. However, it does pose a potentially useful limitation: more colors are not always better, if one gets so paralyzed by color choices that nothing gets drawn.

Right now I have a bunch of Conté crayons, a basic set of NuPastels, and a basic set of Sargent Art pastels, in addition to some monochrome soft Rembrandts I got about two years ago (before I went back to Library School). The thing about Rembrandts is that they do have a shelf life. At first, they’re creamy, soft, and smooth, to the point that they draw on your hands when touched; later on (after a number of years) they turn into what feels like dried-up Air Dry Clay, and can shatter if dropped. (They even tinkle like dried clay when they are dropped; which I suppose they basically are; kaolin [the material porcelain is made from] is a common base for these pastels.)

I did have a set of half-stick pastels around here from 2015 or something, but I can’t locate them at this moment. I did do a mass purge of pastels, though, after I got scared by the Prop 65 warnings so many years ago. At this point, though, there are Prop 65 warnings for seaweed, coffee, potato chips, ginger, etc…it’s really getting out of hand. (Though I do wish that people would stop putting lead chromate into turmeric…I mean, seriously.)

The problem is that the consumer warnings are based on law rather than science, and that we are warned about the contamination of products, but it seems that nothing is done about it. The system relies on pressure from consumers not buying the goods to encourage the manufacturers not to sell toxic products, rather than actually regulating the toxic products, or not bothering us if the risk is minimal or the exposure is unavoidable (I probably still have more soot in my lungs from having grown up next to a freeway, than I would be likely to inhale from using pastels). At a certain point, a person gets desensitized and just accepts that their world is carcinogenic and the only way not to be exposed is to live in a bubble…

But, I suppose, the upshot of this is that someone is paying attention to toxins in food, drugs, and art supplies. If Prop 65 didn’t exist, I most likely wouldn’t know about this.

So…I guess this post turned into a Pastel post. Hmm. I do know that I want to play with my charcoals, again, even though it’s dirty (maybe because it’s dirty?). Well, not only that, but charcoal is fairly noncommittal…

I have also wanted to do something with ink, and have a new bottle of “waterproof” ink. I’m not sure how it’s going to perform, but I know I can use it with brush and dip pen…(I wonder if I still have my reed pens?). I have used it once before, and at full strength, it’s very black, which is nice. The issue is whether it’s truly waterproof, and how well it dilutes.

It’s possible that I may need to edge myself back into painting through using ink and wash, and pastels, plus maybe graphite sticks and the woodless colored pencils. That place where drawing organically grows into painting…I don’t think I’m there, right now. And I don’t think that’s a reason to give up entirely. It’s not like I’m back at the beginning where I’m using mechanical and colored pencil…but I am not all the way to seriously using watercolor, or acrylic, right now.

That’s gotta be okay, that I’m not at my apex after not practicing for most of two years. It also means there is someplace to grow to…

What I began this post thinking about was the fact that I think I’ve devalued my own style (with pen and watercolor, which has been relatively illustrative) because of the fact that it comes easily to me. It wouldn’t necessarily be easy for others, though…

Maybe I should take the chance on getting outside and doing some sketches…


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Open University?

Well, I did it. I requested a space for a class in Open University next semester. AM I WRONG???

It just so happened that after I submitted my Term Paper for the final class in my MLIS, I read in detail the pathway I had laid out for myself in regard to what classes I should have taken. There are 10-16 units (4 – 6 classes) that I could have but did not take in my Master’s program…largely because that would have meant that I would have been in my Master’s program for four years total (normally, these things run for only two years). It was also not required that I take those classes.

I was rushing to get out within the seven years provided to me (I entered the LIS program in 2012, then got culture-shocked and left after the first semester, staying away for three more years). The reason I didn’t take more Tech-oriented classes is that I had to — I mean, had to — take classes which were more Library-oriented in order to be able to graduate, even though some of these were classes (like “Political Advocacy”) I would not have chosen to take on my own.

There is one class that I’m similarly intimidated over, this being Big Data Analytics & Management. I’m expecting it to be like Database Management, which was an exceedingly difficult class for me. However…if it’s only one class per semester, it may be doable.

And here, I was expecting to go through online tutorials for Javascript, and retaking Cataloging, in the near future. If I do get into a class for Javascript, I’ll want to supplement it with work on my own. I am not looking forward to a repeat of Intro to Programming. Hopefully, the fact that there are outside reference sources, should help me here.

There is also a lot I want to read, both electronic and print. But yes, my folks were encouraging me to see when I could sign up for Spring. Only one class this time. Not kidding. If I ramp up my hours or get a better job (part-time or full-time)…I should still be able to handle one class. Even if it’s a Tech class, which basically all of them, are (excepting the Privacy class: that is more of an ethics and management class).

I know that my first choice, however, will enable me to have the skills to set up my own network when I need to. My second choice will expose me to Project Management (recommended by my Metadata professor); while my third will have me learning Javascript (which I am aiming to learn, anyway). Any one of those would be good.

And I don’t have to worry anymore about my ePortfolio and graduation. I just have to worry about keeping my GPA up, and finances…and finding a better-paying job. Right, and getting my driver’s license.

It was also a bit relieving to be able to renew a membership before Finals were over…student rates!

I did just get notification back from a counselor, who says to focus on the job search first, and I can always learn more later. This is…comforting. I don’t think I’m locked into taking any classes, yet; I’ve just put in an interest card.

There may be a more interesting post, next: I’m thinking about art, and my relation to it (particularly, my own art).

Whoa! Unanticipated!

I’m actually done with my Term Paper! I’m done with this semester! I’m done with my Master’s! And a nearby County is hiring for Librarian I positions!

!!!…

Okay, for one thing I don’t think it’s set in yet that I’M ACTUALLY DONE and I ACTUALLY QUALIFY. The other thing is that I’ve kind of got a rush because OMG IT’S DONE. I CAN BE A LIBRARIAN NOW.

I mean, seriously, a couple of hours ago my biggest plan was to clean the house, tomorrow.

Of course, having the Master’s is only one component of the work. I also need experience, meaning I may need to take on jobs that aren’t particularly ideal (especially as I am not sure how well I would do at conducting programs, in a Public Library position), in order to move up in the system.

But ooh, sh…I just realized that I have most of the qualifications to be an Academic Librarian. Which may be where I would be most comfortable…considering my study over this last semester.

If I can get a better job, as well (say, an entry-level University job)…I’m seriously considering taking one class a semester for both Professional Development and to maintain access to my University Library.

Do I have a plan? It’s certainly looking like it…



Just a break.

Talk about needing help with time management…

I’ve got half of my paper done, and just a little longer to write before I’ll have to turn something in, done or not. I did go to work today, but I won’t be going in, tomorrow, given time pressures. This is why I’m in a job that doesn’t pay so much: flexible scheduling. Well, that’s part of the reason. The other parts are idealism and a desire to help.

Right now…I’ve been working on this stuff since about 4:30 PM with the only break being dinner, and I need to think about something else. I also need to review my readings, and see if I can’t get the next four in, before submitting my paper.

I also need to gauge if I’m even awake enough to continue working on this, tonight…as well as perhaps comment on others’ posts, on the discussion forum.

EDIT: Yay! I responded to someone, which means I get extra credit! Now to get back to whatever I was doing…

work-in-process.

Well, even if I don’t get this term paper done to my own satisfaction in a few days, I at least have a good enough start on tracking down my topic, in order to continue the work after the semester is over. If, that is, I retain access to Library resources — I may not.

Actually, I just looked it up: I will not. Time to search through my Public Library memberships.

Anyhow…I did a good amount of research today, and identified 12 articles of interest, four of which I’ve read through entirely. The other eight are no longer than 15 pages, each. I also found a few e-books which will help on the deeper side of things, though I’ll need to target my reading for the next few days. I probably won’t be able to trace citations as much as I’ll want to.

I feel kind of disharmonious for having retired to bed so early last night, and neglecting to get up at 5:30 AM this morning, which is when I seriously awoke. I had planned on getting up early — but before sunrise was not anything I expected. As it turned out, I only really became functional after about 10:30 AM, I think (I’d have to check my sleep log).

Tomorrow — that is, after the sun comes up, this next time — I should be able to devote entirely to studying and writing. Well, that, and laundry. I’ve left some notes to myself in the papers I’ve located.

I might also want to prioritize the newer articles.

While part of me wants to put notes about my paper down, here…there’s no upshot to making them public. The only reason to write them here is to either publicize my work, or to avoid writing by hand…

…the latter of which, is kind of sad. I’m sure the urge to do everything on the computer is familiar, though. I should be keeping notes on thoughts that come up in longhand, not only within my files…

It’s cold and dark. Lots to do, but not all of it, necessary.

What’s sad is that it’s so cold that the computer warming my lap is welcome. I didn’t get any work done on my paper tonight, so far, and it’s taken an intentional effort for me to write here instead of space out watching the television and waste the time that way. It would take an even larger intentional effort for me to work on art.

In comparison, reading seems fairly…well, passive. Those two books I crammed into one night a couple of weeks ago, I can barely remember, now. It makes me want to re-read them just for the sake of writing up a review, and write the reviews for the sake of my own recall.

I haven’t been on this blog as much, recently. After finishing my ePortfolio, I have basically gone into reading. It’s difficult to have content to put up here without going through the additional process of living. It’s also difficult to live after having gone through as intensive a process of study as I’ve been involved with.

And…a lot of time and energy has been concentrated on obtaining things. Mostly, texts; but also some other stuff, like winter and professional clothes, and stuff for art and writing. But I think I spoke about that in past posts.

My due date for my term paper got extended to the middle of next week (as versus what looked like tomorrow night). At this point, I’ve re-read the applicable chapter, and looked some terms up, prior to doing hardcore research. The major issue I’m having now is not knowing my exact, most productive search terms, but I should be able to find those out in the process of searching.

I just…get anxious about searching. If you knew what kind of anxiety I have to deal with on a daily basis, you would know how much I hate routinely exploring online, on my own machine. Of course, I’m running a system which I’ve tried to make safer, but still.

So…I should probably get a plan together for the next three days. I know I want to have the majority of my research done by Sunday night, and to be writing by Monday. What really threw me off was going to work this last Wednesday; I should probably have held off for two more weeks. I just thought that since I would technically only be working on one class, it would be okay to have fewer available hours to study.

But also — it is a Master’s program.

Huh. It’s also harder to write here, I think, because most of my recent writing has been academic. It has been easier to channel my creativity into academic work, however. I’ve been wondering whether “arts” are just the most recognized outlet of creativity…

Aside from all of this, I still need to help clean the house, do some laundry, and…I think that’s about it. If I get my term paper done, I should be able to work on cleaning the house by Thursday, though I should work on my laundry before then.

And water the plants. And take another shower.

I think I’ll be okay. Today and yesterday were rest days. Tomorrow is work and study. The two days after that should be wholly study, and I can try and get this thing in early if I need to (just to have it over with), though I can also edit on Tuesday, given that I need to use APA format (and writing to a format is not easy).

Overall, I think my energy feels sapped because it’s cold and I haven’t been getting enough light. It is an idea to get out and start my day earlier, or to use the mood light in the morning. It looks like the sun is coming up at about 7:15 these days, so that’s about 9-10 possible hours of natural light.

It’s also possible that my energy feels sapped because I’m recovering from the stress of completing my ePortfolio, but I’m sure the season has something to do with it, too.

As well, I’ve noted tonight that I need to lay off drinking juices, again. For the last three weeks, I’ve been off of tea (camellia tea, I mean) and chocolate, due to heart flutter; and I think drinking sugar (and stress) has caused me to gain 2-3 pounds. Not too happy about that, but most of my clothes should still fit, as I got them recently.

I know I should still be able to drink kombucha, kefir, coconut water, and limited vegetable juices, in addition to barley tea and caffeine-free herbal tea (mint, chamomile, rooibos, elderflower, hibiscus, ginger, etc.).

That does make me feel better…