Reflection: 11-28 to 11-29

Last night, I did compare the screen image of the FW ink play with the actual thing…and it’s amazing, but either low light plus color adjustments were not enough to really bring out what I was seeing, or my computer screen just cannot reproduce the vibrancy of the inks.  Which is…kind of amazing, considering that a computer screen is actually giving off light and my paper isn’t.

I can keep tinkering and retrying, though I saw this same effect with a drawing I viewed of Shahzia Sikander’s (though I don’t remember the title, only that it was in a series, and at the time, was at the Achenbach [at the Legion of Honor])…the background color was both a very pale tint (pale, pale rose+white, on top of rose paper) and very luminous at the same time.  I have no idea what pigment(s) or dye(s) she used (she may make her own paints as well as her own papers)…but print images are not the same, and digital images are not the same.  I’m not sure if it depends on the camera used, the camera settings, and/or the output device.

(Maybe if I took one or more photography and/or digital photography classes, I would know?)

Otherwise…today I was able to complete my Librarian interview.  It wasn’t too bad — I think I am used to it being scary and thus apologize in advance, because I don’t know what else to do!  So I have that to get out of my system…I was up at 6:30 this morning refining my questions, conducted the interview later that morning, and then came home and slept until my driving instructor got here.

I do not know what kind of grade I’m going to get on this paper.  What I know is that I’ll get at least 10 out of 34 points for making the attempt.  That’s what I know.  😡

I am also on track, however, to get two A’s in the other classes which are not as unpredictable…so even a C (which is, I think, 80%) would put me at a B average (above 3.0) for this semester, and above that, when last semester is counted.  I am a high achiever, but this can get ridiculous.  And I do get put on Academic Probation if my GPA drops below 3.0.

Yeah, I’m …really not liking the unpredictable class (this is the one where I got points docked on the first assignment because I didn’t speak in complete sentences…I suppose, regardless of the content I put into those incomplete sentences).  But, I only have to deal with it for two more weeks, and no matter what I do, it’s better than the F I’ll get for Withdrawing.  Plus…I have one more paper outside of that to make up lost points…>:\

I’ve also realized that I only have to take 2-3 classes per semester for the rest of my time in Library School if I want to become a Cataloger:  which is looking like a much better career option for me than Public Libraries.  It’s definitely more technically-oriented, though!  And if I took Summer Session classes, I might only have to take three classes per semester for one more semester (although only having two classes per semester plus a part-time job might seem kind of like…wasting time).

I would also have the option of taking one or more classes in Information Architecture and/or Web Design, but to be honest it seems more difficult and like something better learned outside of Library School.  For one thing, I’d meet more specialists (Web Design and Information Architecture are kind of fringe classes; not something they specialize in, at my University); for another, my Cataloging class time may be too valuable.  But hey, if I’m going to have that time freed up, why not?

Well, those are two things down.  I can finish the reading I’ll need to do before tomorrow’s meeting…that’s straightforward.

And, right:  I’m really proud that I’m getting a whole lot better at driving!  Today we went on the freeway!  🙂  And it was kind of easier than being on the street, seriously.  No cross-traffic, pedestrians, or stops; just watching the other cars, keeping up with the flow of traffic, merging, not drafting in a blind spot or getting boxed in, and not getting hit… 😉

My paranoia/anxiety about getting slammed into on the street, is also getting a lot better.  After I went on the freeway, as well, everything else seemed easier.  Maybe because my adrenaline was going?

Anyhow, from here on out, I’m pretty sure that I’m just cruising for the next two weeks to the end of the semester.  After that, I’ll have plenty of time to make art and play music and read and freakin’ blog.

I may post a bit for myself, detailing everything I do have to do for the next two weeks…though I may have to compensate a bit at work with desk hours.  Not so bad, when I think about it…I’m not putting in any extra time, and the work load will likely be lighter.  It’s just not the greatest part of the job…


Finally uploading some of…what I do naturally, I guess?

Why…can’t some things be simple…?

In any case, I’ve just spent the last hour or so figuring out how to avoid having a browser program which I dislike, open immediately without my prompting.

On the bright side! — I have for you a page of scribbles.  (Sorry about the lack of focus.  Well, mine; and in the photo, let’s say.)

Ah, yes. the scribblies.

This is fairly…well, random, but I was trying out inks and brushes, and it came to my mind that this is a fairly good representation of the acrylic inks I was playing with the other night (before I decided that I really should look at my homework pile, again).

Speaking of which, I have less of that (homework) than I thought.  I’m not entirely certain how I convinced myself that I hadn’t actually read what I had read…but right now I’m on the last reading for last week, and it doesn’t promise to be long.  I did, however, have to find a way to lock my screen so that I could read it in landscape format…

Well, anyway.  The black and grey marks on this page are Yasutomo non-toxic liquid Sumi ink.  I guess…maybe it would work alright for comic layouts?  Given, that is, that it shows up clear enough, here.

(I keep having dreams about xeroxing and displaying comic layouts, for some reason…)

The colors are all FW acrylic inks by Daler-Rowney; and I’m certain that light pink tone in there (and some of the violets I mixed with it) has shimmery bits.

I was just trying to see what I could get out of these inks, though it should be noted that I didn’t use a midtone or cool yellow here (as the dropper for my Process Yellow ink was still gunked up).  So everything which is mixed with a yellow is mixed with…I think they call it “Deep Yellow.”  It looks really similar to a yellow I got for watercolor painting — one of the deeper Hansa Yellow variants.  Though…that’s all from memory.  Don’t bet on it being true.  😉  The FW inks do come with pigment codes on the bottles, though; I’m just being lazy.  If anyone wants me to look it up, I can.

There are a number of interesting bits that I can see in the play above…but maybe I’ll get to describing them, another time.  (I’m almost ready to get back to studying.)  The one thing I did want to note, though, is that my use of negative space seems to be improving.  And the black with white showing through, glazed over with color…that’s a really interesting effect.

As regards markmaking, I used a small flat brush, an angled shader, and a small-to-medium-sized filbert (which is the one which made the marks which look rather blunt).

And one other thing to note is that my Sumi ink didn’t move much at all with the quick application of acrylic ink over the top.  I am not sure if I can always expect it to hold up this well, though?  🙂

Needing and wanting to get on some things.

Right now I’m writing this from an unusual place; i.e., bed.  I’ve been here for the past 45 minutes, thinking about what has been done, what needs to be done, and how to get it done.

The major thing that I want to remember is that I want to start on nihongo lessons again, even if it is self-taught.  In particular, I want to be able to write.  I made it a little way into Japanese for Busy People last time I was feeling like this..probably the fact that it’s geared toward business travelers was a big thing to put me off (did they mean Japanese for Business People?).  However, if I view it as only one step in a multifaceted approach, it will work, for now.  In particular, if I reach the point where I’m gaining fluency but don’t know correct tonality, there are a bunch of CDs I can check out which will likely collectively help.

Plus, maybe I am reaching the point where I might actually use a meishi (business card).

The one acrylic ink from yesterday which had a jammed dropper was unable to be exchanged today, because the store had sold out of that particular color.  It is likely we will be able to get a replacement; on the other hand, D did unclog it for me while I was at work, today.  The only issue is that the vial may now be contaminated with mold (I saw some discoloration last night which he didn’t notice).  I’m still wanting to drop by another store to get a replacement for that poor cheap little palette I permanently colored, yesterday.  😀  We’ll see what happens.

On Tuesday I need to conduct an early-morning interview (I also have my last scheduled driving lesson).  That means that tomorrow and Monday will be the last days I’ll be able to work on my interview questions.  I should probably answer the last Discussion Board post for the Intellectual Freedom Seminar and begin the third Discussion for my Database class…which I don’t particularly want to do, but the longer I wait, the less I’ll get out of it.

Speaking of school, my group was supposed to be in contact after Thanksgiving to figure out how we are going to do our final project.  However, I’ve heard nothing so far…maybe I should be the one to remind people?

I also need to finish reading freaking Chapter 8 for my Database class in my textbook…it just goes on forever.  Well, not forever.  I shouldn’t think like that; but I have at least a good 35 pages to go, without the extra required reading.  Good thing Chapter 9 is not on the final quiz…

And right now I have almost exactly two weeks to complete everything before the semester ends.  I don’t know why my profs keep cramming extra work into the last two weeks.  BECAUSE THAT’S A RECIPE FOR SUCCESS.  I was mistaken last time I mentioned this:  the Intellectual Freedom Seminar has 3 huge-value papers due in the last 3 weeks.  I don’t know why.  I’ve completed one of them, but haven’t gotten a grade back, yet.  The next two papers…well, this is intimidating.  You know that.

I should check and see if I get put on academic probation if my GPA drops below a 3.0…I don’t have a cushion of a bunch of awesome grades, in grad school, although I think my first three grades were A’s.  I should have a fourth A coming up (which will make 10 units), and then two which I can’t predict well (6 units).

Also:  I did talk to one of my co-workers about whether she knew anyone working in Cataloging.  She told me to remind her next time I see her, and she would help, which is nice.

Ah, right.  And I did get into contact with my counselor for the Vocational program, and we are set to meet after classes end (thanking whatever Deities there are).

And I am also set up again with Photoshop.  I wanted to show you the practice strokes I was making, yesterday, but the only photos I have are in artificial/low light.  I had hoped to get home before the sun went down today to take them in natural light, but the time has already shifted, here, so there was not enough light to do anything special by the time I reached home.

I should also get into contact with one of my old Art professors and see if I can schedule a pick-up of one of my pieces which was on display earlier in the semester.

The only other thing is my nearly-forgotten Diversity class.  There is one more project, there, which I am not sure how I will complete.

I’m sure I’m forgetting one project or another…the biggest thing to keep in mind is that taking care of myself comes before getting good grades.  The reverse was true for a number of years, but that path leads to illness; obvious enough, now.

And, right:  I need to save all documentation I will need from this semester, prior to the end of the semester.  But that doesn’t seem like such a big deal…

Self-gifting (>_<);;

Hello everyone!

I did make it to the art store, today, and it was incredibly easy to find what I was looking for (a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen), which works amazingly well.  I’m really…sort of shocked, given the performance of the other brush pens I’ve used in the past…this one has waterproof ink which comes out of a nylon-bristle tip (as versus a rubber or felt one, which are mostly what I’ve seen pass for “brush pens” in ages past).

It’s actually kind of making me want to get back into learning Japanese (and/or, English calligraphy), because my kana look awesome with it.  I also realized, after reading about sparkle brush pens which also use bristle tips, that I could use shimmering ink or shimmering paint, and by this I could utilize multiple types of brushes, as versus the one style of brush nib which comes with, say, the Zig pens I was looking at.

So, it is close to Christmas, and I am not betting on many presents this year.  I had a 20% off coupon plus a Web Match Rebate plus bulk pricing, so I finally splurged on Daler-Rowney FW acrylic inks.  Holy **** you guys, they’re beautiful!

I do have to go back and replace one of my bottles, because the eyedropper is gunked up, but I tested the others, and they all work fine…

They’re beautiful.  I’m just…amazed.  I got a split-primary palette (one cool and one warm of each primary color) and four optional colors.

I also started experimenting tonight with mixing colors experimentally again (orange + violet makes brown; adding blue makes greenish black [?]; adding red to greenish black makes rich brown…or is my memory messed up?  I’m not sure–).

And even the neutrals which I did mix (not many, but) — they were still vibrant.  I was actually aiming to try and mix black, as I did not purchase a black, because I knew it was possible to attain with three primaries.  It would be more interesting, and would push my skills more.  And holy ****, is it more fulfilling…

I have, however, accidentally laid down some permanent color in the cups of a cheap plastic palette…

Oh, right:  and it’s water-resistant once dry, and more lightfast than dye-based inks!

I also picked up a replacement flat brush, a small filbert, and a brush with an angled tip…which is what I was playing with earlier tonight.  These were all under $10, each — to my surprise, because one of them actually has sable mixed into the hairs.

I do kind of wonder if this is why my art teachers have all said to experiment with new media…it makes things fresh again…

Thoughts tonight…

Yeah, looking at my Reader…it would appear I’ve reached another one of those times where I have to again search out people doing interesting things I’d like to read about!  Not that the people who are on my Reader are uninteresting; it’s just that there are many fewer than there used to be.

Well, so…today was Thanksgiving, in the U.S.  Traditionally, a feast day.  I did manage to make triple-ginger gingerbread (it has powdered, fresh, and candied ginger), which is…kind of addictive to eat.  🙂  There is also a full cup of butter in the recipe I used, which…well, means I probably shouldn’t eat the whole pan!

Tomorrow is Black Friday — the beginning of the holiday sales season.  I only have two places set to visit, and it’s really up in the air as to whether I’ll go to either of them.  Today was spent with close family — M, D, my godmother (or “auntie”), and my “cousin.” 🙂  There was so much good food, particularly helped along by the fact that my cousin smoked a (delicious) turkey and brought it over as a gift.

I was supposed to go and visit extended family — well, I’m supposed to be there right this moment — but by the time I was finished eating, I kind of didn’t want to.  There are issues with obligation which causes people to do things they really don’t want to do (like cook a turkey, or eat, or invite in people who shouldn’t be tolerated), and right now it’s reached a level which just causes me to avoid the area.

I did,  however, take my little Rattlesnake fetish and feed it for the first time in…I don’t know how long.  By “fetish,” I’m not referring to what you probably think I’m referring to.  Rattlesnake is a Zuñi fetish — a carved bit of stone that…ideally, has been charged and blessed to retain a totem spirit.  The largest characteristic of Rattlesnake that I can remember offhand is one of “transformation,” which I’ve been dealing with, for a while.

I’m fairly certain that Rattlesnake is my totem, about now — it used to be Rabbit, but then it changed.  I have three carvings which I connect with:  one is Rattlesnake, one Rabbit, and one Beaver (the last one I picked because it was so cute).  I tend not to utilize the latter two, so much, but it’s fairly easy to feel Rattlesnake with/in me.  I did, though, realize that this trio (transformation, creation, construction) actually probably meshes with me for a reason.  (I don’t know if it matters that one might eat another in the wild…)

This actually came up because I brought my “treasure box” to show my godmother…I was showing her my newest finds from the stone shop, and offered to show her the others.  She accepted, so I brought them to her — but held on to Rattlesnake’s fetish the whole time in my hand, because I didn’t want Rattlesnake [the spirit] to feel that she was threatened in any way (I don’t think she’s met my godmother, before).

This is particularly so as the “venomous” quality of Rattlesnake, basically her only protection…I’ve felt myself produce before, and don’t want anyone I love to be on the receiving end of it (though it does come in handy when feeling threatened).  Though I realize that rattlesnakes will go without biting unless they have no other choice; they know what their bites do.

I am feeling good about feeding Her — the fetishes take offerings of cornmeal, and since I just finished feasting, and Rattlesnake had to put up with being shown to someone, I thought it was optimal to do so in order to avoid an upset spirit.

And, it’s Thanksgiving.  Seems appropriate to give thanks, yes?  🙂

As for what comes tomorrow:  I know that I need to get to work on all this stuff due within the next 2.5 weeks.  M has said that if I wash my hair, she will braid it…I guess it’s getting that long.  There isn’t much that I would really want, at the moment, that I don’t already have.

I am thinking about a Pentel brush pen (that is:  a brush pen using pigment ink with actual bristles), but in reality, I don’t even know the quality of the ink…and it might be better to go into Japantown to find one of these, than depend on an art supply store.  It will be more expensive, but I’ll have many more options.  The main drawback is that I won’t be able to read the packaging.

Now that I think of that, it is kind of an intriguing possibility…

…but do I want to drive all that way, for a sale which may or may not be happening?

The alternative, obvious enough to me, is to use the Sumi brushes I have along with actual ink…but I can’t remember how waterproof my ink is.  I know it’s tough enough to be permanent on Illustration Board…

Maybe I’ll do that.  I mean, first, I’ll have to see if my liquid Sumi ink is going to be waterproof (if I want to use watercolor on top of it, as versus…*patters*…colored pencils, or something).  I have Sumi brushes, but I doubt they will fare well with waterproof inks, as they’re natural hair and thus will probably be eaten up by any ink remover (should it get to that point)…which in turn is probably a solvent used in the regular inks.  Waterproof liquid Sumi ink — the kind I have, anyway — is pretty toxic.

And, I have no idea where my suzuri (ink grinding stone) is.

I also just realized that I can do this with watercolor paint and watercolor brushes, but it will require working from light to dark.  The bright point is that I can get a super-intense black out of my Primary Black gouache.

Which then calls into attention whether I should even be using ink as a media…gouache is more pliable.

Hmm.  A Pentel brush pen plus…a suzuri and Professional-quality ink stick, or…looking at brushes?!?

Maybe I should seek an answer to the “waterproof?” question before the night is done…

…and take count of what brushes I already have.

This is unfocused, I’m sorry ;)

I’m not entirely sure what I am going to write about tonight — and considering it’s after 10 PM here, and I have a little bit of discomfort in my ears, and I have an early morning tomorrow, maybe I should just go to bed.

Today…I had my second driving lesson with someone who actually is teaching me fundamentals.  There are a number of things I need to look out for, though.  Most of them would probably be embarrassing to list, so I’ll keep them to my hard copy records.

I did find out that the black Uni-Ball Signo pens I have for — taking notes, realistically — probably aren’t the best things to be drawing with.  I went over some marks with water and a brush (though I’ve got to say I didn’t let it dry too long), and the ink did spread.  What this tells me is that yes, I actually do have to use my Microns and Copics, for now, if I want to go over something later with wet media.

Darn.  (I’m scared of ruining the good pens)

Also…it’s weird.  I’m having many more categories of life and learning other than dealing with the day-to-day at my job.  I did call my counselor for my Vocational program, today; however, I was reading over the packet of materials she sent me some months ago…and I only had 90 days from being admitted to set up an appointment.  Which means, I have about two weeks left in which to see her.  I’m not sure if it’s happening.

On top of that, I’m not sure if it needs to happen — or if I’ll gain anything from it, if what I had been thinking of won’t go through.  What I originally wanted was career counseling, but I’m much more certain about my direction now than I was three months ago…possibly because I know no Catalogers to informationally interview and tell me that the reality isn’t what I’m thinking.  But I’m aware now that I need to arc away from Information Services and toward Information Science, if I stay in the field at all.

I’ve also hit a point where I’ve realized that not all of my life and time must be centered around earning money now, or finding a way to help me earn money, later.  I’m very certain my guitar is helping me with this.  Right now — I’ve been learning the background rhythm section to a song that I have mentioned before (“Promise” by Akira Yamaoka), and …it’s interesting, the effect that sound, and combinations of sounds, can have on people.  With me it feels really…primal, in the same way one feels when presented with an art piece which takes up one’s entire field of vision.

Maybe I just get lost in the sound?  My reading has suggested that I’m very introverted, and thus maybe the gentle sound of my guitar is something that I can get fully lost in, as I’d have a higher response to softer stimuli.

In any case, I just took a 15-minute break to practice, and feel like I’m going to raise blisters if I practice any more, right now:  so I might as well write.  😉  The upshot of this is that I think I learned the repeating riff in the background of said song, and it’s not difficult to play, once the fingering and rhythm is learned.

Well, I suppose you could say that about most any song played on guitar!

Earlier tonight, as well:  I did manage to complete most of the readings due this Sunday for the one of my classes which promises to take up the vast majority of my time for the next three weeks.  After I reached some long FAQ, though, and had read almost everything else, I decided…that’s enough.  Really, that’s enough.  I need to do something else.

Tomorrow looks like it will be a day where I’ll have to crunch some work in…largely because of my group.  Then Thanksgiving and Black Friday.  Before next Tuesday, I’ll need to have my interview questions finalized, and hopefully fit in more driving practice.  After next Tuesday, it appears I’ll be coasting to the last day of classes, when an absurd amount of assignments are due.

Well.  College.  I PAY FOR THIS.

I have a vision, now…

I needed to unwind after the homework I’ve been doing today…so, I completed what I will (for now), of my paint spreadsheets!

What I can say is that with all the paint I have, I really should be painting.  Like, actually painting.  And not. worrying about. running out. of. paint.  Jeez.

I think my oldest gouache (which was what I used in Color Dynamics) dates back to around 2007 (I was mistaken with my earlier timeline: 2009 was when I started looking for a job, not when I started taking Art classes).  The newest paints I have, I purchased this year.  But given how much I’ve painted this year (since my Art program ended), it’s really going to be a waste if I don’t use these before the tubes decay.

(If you didn’t see the backpost, I had a number of tubes of acrylic paint from 2015 which I tried to check on, and either the caps broke [i.e. fell apart], or the necks twisted off of the tubes.  I’m thinking UV damage…)

Of course, this can be remedied by buying empty tubes to put my color into when — not if, but when — this happens again.  I just haven’t done it so far, because I really don’t know what I’m doing (it’s a liability when you’re an artist, to avoid doing something because you don’t know what you’re doing)…but if I can save a tube of paint, it should be worth it.  The only thing lost if I screw up is around $1 per tube…but if I’m successful, I might be able to save $8 of paint.  Not its fault it was packed into a biodegradable…

*pssh*, I’m going to stop there.

The plastics are not meant to be kept around a long time.  And they probably still end up killing sea life…

I’ve been having some fun, though, scribbling around on index cards (I had to use them for a school project), and realizing that I really need not to be fighting myself where it comes to my creativity.  I need to be experimenting and messing up and retrying different things.  For example:  really checking those black Uni-Ball Signo gel pens to see if they’re waterproof (I know the white ones, aren’t).  How much effort would that take?  Really?

A major problem is that I seem to have a predetermined idea of what it is for me to make art, and it doesn’t match my actual working process.

I have an example, a bit hindered by a lack of a photograph, but I keep wanting to draw elements circling around a space.  When I don’t know what to draw, I keep coming back to this.  I allowed myself to go on with it for some time on the back of an index card with a ballpoint pen (because who cares if I screw up an index card), and actually …it looked like something, when I was done.  I felt like there needed to be some focal point that the lines were circling around…but what if there isn’t?  What if there’s just a space?  What if there’s LIGHT?

This was pretty exciting, when I got to it, especially considering that the last time I was earnestly working at art, I had gotten into a “water” mode…I can definitely see this piece as an interpretation of looking up at the sun from underwater.

I probably won’t be able to render that in any form of optical perfection, but I can try and represent it as best I can…and maybe I can devote my 30″x30″ canvas to this, so I can really work large (well, for me, large!).  I think the biggest canvas my travel easel can hold is 34″ on the shortest side, but still:  the largest painting I ever had to deal with was 24″x30″, and I had to cart it back and forth to school.  If I get bigger (like bigger than myself, bigger), I will need bigger brushes as well as a bigger easel, so I’m keeping it mid-size, for now.

I’ve also come to the point of realizing that I can’t just make art when I have a good idea as to what to depict.  I can’t go from full stop to masterpiece, and only paint masterpieces.  It doesn’t work that way.  I need to be putting in time and work like I’ve been putting in with my guitar, or with my writing.  Of course, with guitar practice, I get a physical cue when I haven’t played in too long:  my fingertips start to tingle.  With writing, I become restless when I haven’t written anything.  With art, I just become terrified to start again.

But seriously…there really isn’t anyone here to judge me but me and my parents, and my folks will probably laud anything I do draw or paint as better than they could do.  My teacher used to say, “you are your own first and harshest critic,” and I really think it’s true, at least in my case.