Getting my thoughts together.

(For those who couldn’t tell, that last post was meant to be a bridge between fiction and creative nonfiction.)

Saaa…I have two things to finish before Tuesday night.

  1. The final version of my Artist Statement.  (Versions 1 and 2 are done.)
  2. My Body/Humor piece.

I have not yet started my Body/Humor piece.  The vision is there; the execution is not.

I should also upload my review of my classmates’ work.  The week after this, and the week after that, I’ll need to work on my final presentation and my final Sketchbook assignments.

I also need to go to the art store to pick up

  • envelopes for my watercolor work (9″x12″) — I’d say 10-15,
  • something to put those envelopes in (like a presentation case),
  • a small tube of Cotman Cadmium Orange Hue (I saw the new pigment mix via another student, and it is attractive enough and likely useful for what I’m currently working on in Watercolor class (a portrait).  I’m actively avoiding using what I have because I know it’s fugitive — just get a new tube already, right?),
  • possibly a small tube of a Cadmium Red Hue (Deep or Pale, I’ve not yet decided — it depends on pigment composition, ultimately — but I don’t absolutely need this NOW — especially not if I get a board rather than paper for my Body/Humor piece),
  • and a #8 or #10 pointed round watercolor brush — natural fiber, Taklon, or sablette preferred.  Ah, right; and
  • a long board, or piece of watercolor paper for my Body/Humor piece, would help.  I’d probably prefer the board…I want to use my acrylics, again.  GessoBord would be good for a quick setup, or I could get a piece of HardBord and a higher-quality gesso than Liquitex Basics.  I’ll have to see which is cheaper, though I will use the higher-quality gesso if I can get it.

As for the brush:  my #10 Utrecht watercolor round (a lovely responsive sablette brush which can handle detail well) is becoming loose at the place where the ferrule joins the handle.  It may be on its last legs, even though the handle does swell to fit after about 20 minutes of being wet.  I haven’t yet decided whether it is more worth it to get good art supplies (like a natural-hair quill round) now, or save to set up an aquarium.

(One of my co-workers gifted me with an aquarium, and is eager for me to use it.  I’ve set the goal of planting and cycling it in early Summer, and adding fish shortly after.)

I am thinking that I will be working a lot more during the summer, as I won’t have school to worry about.  The additional income could go to the equipment setup for fishes, which will probably be the biggest cost I’ll have to deal with, all Summer.  The aquarium itself would have been prohibitively expensive, though now that’s taken care of; then there are heaters, filters, air pumps, gravel that won’t hurt the fishes’ noses…I already know to use a biofilter (likely ~$60 for a large tank), and I would like to get an airstone.  I can handle siphoning out the poop and decay on the bottom of the tank on a weekly basis…the other major and ongoing cost is the heater.  The fish I want like the water a little warmer than the normal air temperature, here, though just slightly (and not at all, during the Summer).

I’m pretty sure that the ones I want to have are tiger barbs, particularly the green ones (though a mix of colors in a school could be awesome).  They seem really intelligent and active/playful, and I like it when I look at an intelligent (harmless) animal and the animal looks back at me with the same curiosity.  It happens with me and crows, all the time.  (I love crows.  They’re so curious!  I want to play with them when we pass them and they look at me looking at them.)  I kind of feel like tiger barbs will just be an energetic addition to the house (though I am not sure that M will be totally OK with them playing “tag” all the time, or doing other things that captive intelligent animals do).  They do shoal, though, so if I get enough of them (more than six), they may calm down.

I guess it is just one brush.  It would be a go-to, like the 1/2″ Jack Richeson synthetic flat I use generally — though that one has an acrylic handle, so there’s no loosening (or paint flaking, like I’m dealing with from the Cotman brushes, IIRC).  It’s different if I replace all of the synthetic brushes I actually use, with quality natural hair brushes, all at once; but I’m not planning on doing that.

I think Taklon will be good enough, though.  No reason to splurge — not at the end of the semester, at least.  Plus, I can use Taklon with both acrylic and watercolor:  a clear benefit.

It’s been predicted that I’ll need about one full paycheck to make it through my third semester at University.  This is pretty much, nothing…especially as I won’t be making loan repayments.  (I would, realistically, be paying more if I made loan repayments!)  I should try to save something, though.

I do feel like having pets would be a benefit to me, psychologically — like taking care of food and the house benefits me psychologically.

Ay, and then there is the situation with my “housemates”…not my story to tell, though…


Working this out, #1

It was never really clear.

I had gotten an inkling of what might have been going on behind the scenes, but the great problem with consciousness is that, it seems, one can only explore it from within it.  While the concept had come up in a former project — of mind without memory or awareness — it had not been developed as far as Maya had wished.

The great sense that one had, from this mind, at least, was that there was a lot going on as regarded Mind.  The prospect of the Universe being Mind-only was taking it a bit too far, as had been touched on — there was one spirit in particular I knew who related strongly to Mind, but he was no longer dominant.  His medicine worked when our own mind had been ill and in pain.  But sometimes, even though one may wish escape from the pain, it is not the solution to attempt to escape from life.

In my past years, if I had thought it possible to escape pain by escaping life, I would have considered it more thoroughly.  However, the only solution to the problem of existence Maya could find which made any kind of sense (at the time) was reincarnation.  Being reborn would not ensure a life free of pain; in fact, it would almost guarantee the opposite.

For years, instead of focusing on the problem of wishing not to exist, I — and/or we — focused on how to stop the cycle of rebirth.  At least it saved my life, at the time, even if its end goal was, somehow, to escape the realm of life (and with life, pain).

It has been some time since this happened.  I’ve since stumbled on to the realm of what may happen should one embrace the fullness of life — pain, joy, and all.  It’s come to my attention that what we have here is a temporary situation.  I’ve dubbed myself a Creator, for now.  For me, this means that my life post — more than what I do to stay alive — is to make things which would not exist if it were not for my own life.

It is…somewhat freeing, but also somewhat, it … it somehow gives me pause.  Diversity is the stuff of life; sameness is the stuff of extinction.  There is a factor of illness in here, still:  so that I do not know if, in ten years’ time, I will still wish (or need) to call myself a Creator.  But for now, it is my life purpose.  (I did read that bit of Nietzsche, yes.)

This is the reason I do what I do.  By chance, fate, luck, or descent (I hope to explain that bit, eventually), I have been somewhat gifted where it comes to creativity.  My pain has developed my spiritual resources.  I don’t know if everything I put out will be worth creating, but at the least, I have a vision.  That vision is the strength of embracing life, now and in the future, however many lifetimes that will turn out to be.

I’ve got to think over what I’m doing with this blog..

Huh.  Maybe, given enough time and space, I will have the ability to fill this blog out more fully.  (“More fully?!” you say.)  I’ve realized one thing:  this semester in Art classes has me moving a lot faster than I would prefer to.  Because I’m moving so quickly through the work, I don’t have as much time as I would like to think about what I’m doing and why, or to give updates; because I’m so busy working (and living).

Right now, I have about…three weeks left to get the vast majority of my work, done:  principally, some homework assignments from Figure Drawing (not many, though; and only one which is hard), and the great slosh from Creative Process.  😉  (I haven’t exactly pointed out every single thing to be done and when to have it done by, yet…it’s that intimidating.)

The good thing is that most of what I had been concerned about, is out of the way now.  And, given that family will be visiting soon, I should be getting more of it out of the way.  But, that isn’t happening at the moment, because I have too much on my mind.

I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s amazing:  doing house chores which need to be done, and helping to cook, are two really grounding activities for me.  They just make me feel a lot better, even if I don’t have my homework done.  Having clean sheets and a room not coated in dust, and good food, and clean hair, and smelling nice, is really a motivation to not let it slip so far next time, too (I still need to clean the bathroom).

Recently, I’ve been spending way too much time at the computer, thinking about this blog…but not sharing much because I haven’t had the time to remember what this blog was/is about, because I’m too preoccupied with all the other demands on my time.  (Some of these were immediate, like needing to vacuum and dust; others were [and are] deadlines given through school.)

There has been a benefit to being here and not posting which has become clear, though:  when I don’t post, I interact with other bloggers through comments, a lot more.  This is a dimension of blogging that I’ve only recently really begun to take up, as I’ve only recently felt really comfortable with it.  I don’t think I’ve ever really had a negative comment; but still, it’s nice to be able to help out other people with what I do know, and then that starts building something.

I would really like to build a group of art bloggers whom I can share my work with.  Initially, I began sharing my images in order to motivate me to do more (my past works can be stolen, but my skill and capacity to create more cannot be), and because I’ve been warned that after this program is over, it will become much more difficult to remain motivated to do art.  One of the things that can counter that, it’s said, is having a group to share work with.

The idea has come up with me, to take my day-to-day journalling (including the time management section) offline, and deal with it in hard-copy format…although this will have me carrying a book (and drawing materials) around everywhere, as versus just my phone.  I’ve mentioned before, that it’s much easier to integrate text and image in an art journal than it is to composite something for a blog.  It’s still true.  It’s pretty near effortless to draw in an unlined journal instead of write, as compared with drawing, photographing/scanning, editing, and uploading — as versus typing.  If I’m going to be posting images, I’m thinking it better be for a reason…and that reason is something I’ve become distant from.

Then there is the reminder I’ve found hanging somewhere back in my mind, where one of my acquaintances said that I seemed to be a really “private” person.  At the time, I didn’t know where they were coming from…but, it isn’t a goal of mine to be known.  If I’m going to make anything out of myself, though, I’m going to have to be open to the possibility.  I think that my largest issue, looking back on all of this, is remaining mysterious even though I’m still constantly being honest.  I mean, the acquaintance in question is someone I spoke about really deep issues with, and they still did not feel they knew me.

This is just a note on the trail.  I haven’t yet reached the point where I can, as I want to, develop a looseleaf system of sketching and watercolor-sketching pages.  I have an idea of one place I can go to try and search for materials to start one, though.  Well, at least two:  Daiso and Maido.  The third serious stationery store I knew of, closed down.  I could also try Flax…but I’ve never been there, and it’s quite a drive!  Then, there’s always Staples and their system of looseleaf binding; something I found first in Levenger’s catalog…alluring if I get a punch and start assembling my own booklets to carry.  I mean, I could carry different types of paper in the same packet; bind them on whatever edge I want.

Why not get creative with this, eh?

All right, I think I’ve gotten most of that stuff, out.  The question still remains as to what role the blog is going to take in my life.  At this point I realize that sharing for the sake of “Likes” is more a marketing thing and less an actual…honest, grassroots wanting-to-share thing.  I learned a while back that the “Likes” happen most often when I keep up a regular posting schedule, but somewhere along the line — and I think this happens to a lot of people — the “Likes” can get addictive, and then we start wondering how to gain more “Likes,” and that overshadows the content of the blog.

I don’t think I’m going away; it’s just that I have to reconsider what I’m doing, why I’m doing it, and what are appropriate forums (or record formats) for all of my work…

Still unloading those Museum sketches…

…I mean, uploading…

I’ve decided to take a break from writing my paper to upload some stuff I’ve prepped beforehand and not gotten around to posting.  I, eh…I hope you can understand why I might be skittish about disclosing the places I’ve visited.  My life hasn’t been the most trauma-free one!

Anyhow, here are some birds:

I don’t even remember what kind of bird this was, but it looks like a Phoebe…

And this is where I say BAHAHA that was funny.  😉  I just find birds cute, is all.  And yes, these were dead, but they didn’t look like it!  ;D

This one’s obviously (to me) the head of a Scrub Jay…








In the Phoebe drawing…I probably should have paid more attention to local value (as versus making the bird look white with shadows…it wasn’t white, and the only value I noted was shadows).  As things were, I didn’t even want to be there, because I had too many other pressures on my time.

I need to remember this when someone tells me I can take three classes a semester in grad school.  Granted that I have the one class (Creative Process) which is a butt-kicker, but three is a lot to juggle on top of work and applications.

I have been thinking about refreshing my Spanish, though; if I take a third class, it may be that one.  It would be helpful regardless of whether I stay in the Library, or not.

Wow, that’s a shock.

Hey, guess what, everyone!

I’ve been used to making things so much for homework that now, my research paper is intimidating!

Wut wut.

Seriously…research paper.  It’s easy if you’re prepared, not so much if you don’t know what you’re writing about.  At least I printed out another copy of the assignment, so now at least I kind of know what my Prof is looking for.  (I only found my hard copy after looking in the notebook I took on the field trip — not where all my other handouts are.)

And it is only 2 pages, meaning in reality one page, meaning in reality half a page for each piece:  utilize analysis and description to compare and contrast the subject, form, medium, context, and possible meaning of each piece.

I think that last sentence helped.  I think if I get my other handouts reminding me what subject, form, and medium are (plus analysis and description), I’ll be good.

And, I should not waste time trying to copy over all my photos of the work I’m reviewing (there are 10 of them)…I should just do a pencil drawing on top of my paper, photocopy it, and send it in…