Yeah, this one’s long:

Yesterday — or, probably, by the time I finish writing this, the day before yesterday — was interesting.  It was, essentially, an entire day of working on class assignments.  The upshot is that I completed everything due tonight for Creative Process:  the Artist Statement, and the Body/Humor piece (an acrylic painting).  Both of these apply to the final presentation.

I’ve also photographed nearly everything I’ve done in Figure Drawing, up to this point.  This is for the portfolio review and grading which is due in two weeks.

Right now, what I have left to do for Creative Process isn’t much.  The biggest part is preparing for the final oral presentation/artist talk.  I’ve already got most of my slides assembled, though I think I need to tweak this a bit.  I need to include at least three images from this current class.  Right now I have two (Body/Humor [which I haven’t uploaded yet] and the rose I need to finish — the coloring of which, is slated for tomorrow and the day after).

I’ll just need to add in one of my pieces from the Symbolic Process assignment — either the greyscale rain piece which I don’t feel great about (I never did show you the finished version), or the watercolor piece, which I feel could be stronger.  For me, my “strongest work” and my “work from this class” don’t overlap, very much.  I am thinking maybe this is because I have a lot of strong work from past classes.

It could also be because all my work in this class was rushed, or because I didn’t have the benefit of knowing how to develop work using an art journal.  In any case, I feel like my pieces from Creative Process are all stronger in concept than in execution.

The main thing left to do is to sort out what I’m going to say for my final presentation.  I get seven minutes to talk.  I’m told that it would be better to lead the viewer on a narrative path in order to move from slide to slide, rather than preparing for an MFA interview and focusing my presentation that way.  (Some of the students in this class are indeed going on to BFA or MFA programs…whereas I’m still looking at the MLIS as a future career key.)

As regards Watercolor:  my biggest mistake was leaving early one day and then missing class the next week (partially out of exhaustion, partially out of shame).  Generally, all assignments for that class can be completed during the Lab; but put them off, and they back up.  While I don’t think one or two botched (or missing) pieces will really trash my grade below a B-/C+, I’ve got to work on the ones I haven’t done.  This is really just to prove my engagement; I don’t like to let professors down, and that actually matters more to me than the grade.

In Figure Drawing:  I still have several Sketchbook pieces to work through, and pages to composite.  I’m thinking that I’ll do the heavy lifting at the beginnings of the next two weeks, when I’ll have some full days off.  Trouble is that some rare time with family will also take up the next two weeks, and ends right when the stress of Finals may also let up.

At this point, I’ve taken what I’ve written above, and I’ve worked out a two-week timeline until the 17th.  This is when I need to be prepared to give my talk in Creative Process and have completed my Portfolio for Figure Drawing.  The good point is that, it all seems doable — without extras added in (which we all know is not the situation).

In any case, though, Creative Process is my first priority, then Figure Drawing, then Watercolor.  There’s also work and family, but I can’t juggle all of those things at once and prioritize them along with my schoolwork.  (As, is graduating a higher priority than being with my sibling for the first time in months?  I can’t deal with that question, right now.)

One of the things I realized when I set my things out to begin acrylic painting on canvas yesterday, was:  I really like acrylic painting.  It was even exciting to unwrap the canvas and anticipate having the entire day to work on it.  It’s a lot easier for me than Watercolor.  Probably because mistakes can be painted over, and I can blend back into areas which are still wet.  And, I guess, two touching wet areas aren’t necessarily going to bleed out into each other…

As things were, I wasn’t able to get to sleep yesterday until about 2 in the morning.  While I have been sampling teas (and I have realized that I’d drink Jasmine Green, Tieguanyin, and even Pu Erh teas before resorting to Gunpowder — the Gunpowder Green tea I tried had lots of junk in it, and did not taste better than the Tieguanyin), in reality I’m pretty sure that the reason I stayed up is that I neglected to take my medication at 9 PM.  My alarm did go off, and I turned it off; I was just too busy photo editing and assembling slides to take my medication at the time.  The latter two activities lasted until about 12:30 AM, with my entirely forgetting about the medication; I was in bed by 1 AM, but didn’t sleep until after 2.  I’ve mentioned before that if I had taken my medication at 9 PM, I would have been too tired to do anything by 11 PM.

Today — or, yesterday, that is — I was able to recover my 24″x30″ Expressive Portrait painting.  I want to fix it up.  I kind of lost it when I had completed it and then was told to paint the edges, last semester, so I did a hack job of painting the sides of the canvas because I was angry.  That painting is just something I want to work on, more.  This is not to mention that it was otherwise damaged in the process of trying to make it “presentable” (I’m not going to get into it).

Ah — and there are plans in the works to visit J-Town.  I’m hoping to drop by Maido and see if I can pick up a workable watercolor sketching setup (hopefully with international-sized paper).  I do really need a satchel which can carry a palette, sketchbook, and various other flat things like pencil trays.

Oh!  I also got two new brushes, instead of one, when I went to the art store the other day!  I found two brushes, both from Princeton Art & Brush Co., which can both be used either with watercolors or acrylics.  I got a #10 and a #14, both rounds.  They’re really a pleasure to work with, but still:  I had to resort to my 3/4″ filbert to smooth my brushstrokes on my Body/Humor piece.

I would post the latter, but I…have a feeling it could go viral (especially given the Visual Culture theme), and I don’t want my blog to go viral, right now.  In any case…I feel like the brushes were good buys.  They were about $15 each, which is still way below what one would pay for a good, professional quality natural-hair watercolor brush…at least, where I’m at.  They’re both synthetic, with sharp points, good snap, and good color-carrying capacity.  The white Taklon filbert, though…I have a feeling that’s going to become one of my favorite brushes.  It’s that one which I used more than any other brush, on my Expressive Portrait.

I just feel that my work is a lot stronger — I know it’s a lot more appealing to me — when it’s in color, rather than in greyscale or black and white.  I just might have to resort to using my second Symbolic Process piece (the watercolor…which I may not have posted, here) for my final portfolio and talk.  It would make the third piece from Creative Process for my portfolio.  I suppose I could also take out my macrame piece and photograph it without the glass in front; I’m just concerned about the safety of my fingertips with that one, though.

I can’t see using the greyscale charcoal and pastel one with all the rain.  I don’t really like working in charcoal or pastel (toxic dust!  toxic solvent!), and that one definitely needs some more TLC.  I just don’t want to give it.

I’m thinking we’ve all been there with one project or another, though, at least if we’ve had to take Art classes…


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Haru ("Codey") is a third-year Master's student in Library and Information Science, hoping to find a way to fuse their desire to make the world a better place and to finance their art.

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