art and nervousness/nerves/nerve

Today (or at this specific moment, yesterday) the trips to the art stores happened, within the span of about an hour.  This was fun, though now the hard work comes:  actually using the supplies.  Which is what everyone wants me to do, and which is likely why I met with no resistance when getting to the places, today:  I actually did use some of my supplies.

Although I had planned to spend around $60-$70, I ended up spending a bit more.  I knew it might come to that.  Although the big-box art supply store had more types of X-Acto blades, they had only two of the three types I wanted.  They also did not have 2″x 2″ linoleum blocks, and their prices on block printing ink were higher than at the smaller art store for identical inks.

I’ve found a hesitance to work on the actual execution of these projects:  they are beautiful in my concept, and having the supplies and the time, I have no excuse not to work.  I think that I have a fear that my execution will not fulfill my concept, however; that I’ll end up ruining a project or messing up.  Though this is kind of ridiculous, as I consistently surprise myself where it comes to ease with my media and the skill I have which is hidden until demonstrated.  It’s also ridiculous when the materials are inexpensive.  Maybe I would have been better off just getting one or two more inks.  Maybe.

On the other hand, the randomness of color printing, when using mixed inks, is an obvious upshot of working with prints.

Then there is the fear that I’ll really really like it.

And end up collecting plates of glass to roll out my inks…

…but why is that scary?  Because then I’ll be doing something fulfilling?

I need to go over my receipts and see what I did get which I didn’t plan on getting.

I should also work on my “crocus” before the urge becomes too stale.  I can already see myself forgetting how to work the image in drawing.  But then there are new elements to this, now:  one of which is that I have new knives and gouges that I should practice with before cutting a final image; the other of which is that I want to experiment with image registration, though multi-color prints may realistically be very advanced from my current position.

What I did do today, as well, though:  I made a toolbox with all of my knives, gouges, blade holders, adhesives, brayers, and black pens (fineliners, brush pens, Sharpies).  Do you think that maybe I should just concentrate on two-tone prints, for now (positive and negative space, as versus color)?  I can see where maybe I should…

And maybe I should put my weird-nib Pitt pens in that kit, too.  I don’t have to be concerned about water resistance, here, as I won’t be painting over them (Pitt black pens have a tendency to leave a grey haze when water is washed over them — a reason they aren’t more central to my work — but they have some special felt nibs that behave in interesting ways.  As I’m just after the design, shapes, and lines…there isn’t any drawback to using them).

But yeah, I pretty much had to pick up the violet ink today because my little flower print does remind me of a crocus.  Maybe what I can do is work suminagashi or wet-into-wet watercolor on the paper first, then make multiple little prints on them with the newer crocus linocut?

Wow, I just realized that if my Boku-Undo inks and Sumifactant are still worth anything, I should be able to make pale pink/blue/violet marbling (the inks are very weak) and then print multiple crocuses on top of that in violet, via block printing.  And I can even add translucency to it, because I got an extender for the ink.  And…I also have a blue and magenta, so I could print multiple colors mixed together on one stamp, instead of a straight violet.  Then I can cut the prints apart and give them to people.  🙂  No kento registration required, though if I really wanted to, I could put in a border…

And yes, I did just think of Artists’ Trading Cards…am I getting a “thing,” now?  Are flowers in water-soluble media now my “thing”?

I should find my palette knife so I can mix the ink…I think it used to be in a pot with the brushes and pens at my old craft area, but that was before we rearranged.  I know where it might be, though:  I can look for it after we’re facing the Sun again.  😉

I forgot to mention that I moved the majority of my “dusty” media (hard pastels, pastel pencils, charcoal, charcoal pencils, White Charcoal, white Rembrandt soft pastel), graphite crayons and pencils, and their accoutrements (erasers, blending stumps, chamois, X-Acto knife [#11 blade] for pencil sharpening), plus some earth-tone watercolor and colored pencils, into an old ArtBin which is stacked under my Printing kit (which is in the toolbox I used for my art supplies when I was taking art classes).

I should take photos of this.  I can see myself not recalling where I put the stuff…if I maintain visual records, though…at least that will be something I can reference without having to catalog everything…

Okay, self:  tomorrow is a new day.  Do not fear it.

art and nervousness/nerves/nerve

Okay. Can’t sleep.

I’ve been busy thinking up things to make linocuts out of, and don’t know how coherent I’ll be — sorry!  🙂

I did find my old stash of X-Acto blades and blade holders!  So I know I don’t need any #11 or #2 blades, and I won’t need an extra handle.  There are three types of blades I’ve decided on — the #10 (general, curved) and #12 (detail, curved) for the #1 handle, and the #28 (concave) for the #2 handle.  What I will need help with are biomorphic forms (flowers, leaves, feathers), so I’m hoping that the curved blades will assist, here.  I think that if I sharpened my initial tools, they should work; but as it is, the only knife or gouge I have that is still reliably sharp is my big U-gouge.  And that’s because I didn’t use it in high school.  (I don’t know how to sharpen gouges.)

I still haven’t (“still”? it’s been what, a day?) gone back to my original design — though I did get the idea of printing multiple layers of color, today.  If I can find a strip of wood that is exactly the height of my linoleum blocks, it would help with registering the prints — that is, lining them up exactly so that I don’t miss and get a weirdly printed copy.  I’m not betting on this, though.   I do have strips of cardboard that I’ve saved from old drawing pads, which I can cut to size and then tape the print to (while lining up the bottom edge with the block) — I think this should help, but I haven’t tried it yet.

The thing that I still can’t justify buying is a baren.  This is largely because they’re expensive, and largely, it’s just a flat surface.  The one Japanese brand I’ve found is Yasutomo, and…let’s just say it didn’t feel like anything…special?  On the other hand, it was $10 less than the Speedball one.  The latter, though, will stand up to Western printmaking papers and doesn’t require oiling, to the best of my knowledge.  The Stonehenge paper I’m using is very…tough.  I think it’s a cotton rag paper, but it’s really thick and kind of hard.

I’ll probably end up getting the Speedball one; it just kind of hurts a little.  😉  But you buy it like, what, once, and then you don’t have to do it again?

Earlier tonight I was thinking of stocking up on those little tiny 2″x 2″ linoleum blocks; now I’m wondering if it’s overkill.  I have the receipt next to me and can see that they cost $0.69 each.  So I guess that would be, what…about $3.50 if I got 5 of them?  I had been thinking of doing a color rendition, but at the present moment I can’t remember what that version would look like.

It may not be overkill, though, if it will save me a trip.  Speaking of which, I did just check — and I’m not sure the little store carries the blades I want.  This will then require locating other sources.  I should call ahead.  I think I have the phone numbers of all my regular art supply stores in a case…aha; found them.

The other irritant I’m facing is how many inks to get.  I know I should not go all out and invest in too many at once; on the other hand, this art store is not a convenient place to get to.

Ah, hell.  I’ll get a magenta, a blue, yellow, and brown, plus extender (which may be more interesting than diluting colors with white).  I have three prints that have come to mind…and this should give me the widest possible color range (even though I have wanted to buy violet and orange).  The first print to try or retry is the flower thing that looks like a crocus.  Then — I want to try a gingko leaf (3 blocks required), and the idea of a hummingbird has also come to mind…though I should be able to print that with these colors, I now realize!

I’ll just get the three tiny blocks instead of more…the gingko thing and the crocus thing should keep me busy for a while.  After that I can practice some more and work on my key block for the hummingbird thing…some time will have elapsed, by then.

It looks like the printing inks are cheaper at the big store, but not by much.  The baren is not, and I don’t see how the linoleum blocks could be.  Maybe I’ll hit the big box store, get the X-Acto blades and ink, and then hit the small store for the baren and linoleum blocks…and look at their selection of gouges.  There are two Speedball kits which contain gouges…I’m thinking of using a very small gouge for the leaf, but am not sure if it will even help, as the veining has to be in reverse in order to print (unless I make the veins lighter than the leaf).  The benefit of a gouge here is that it removes material in one swipe, but that’s really suited to later projects (feathers) than either of these two.

And then…do I want to get an X-Acto gouge set instead?  I’m pretty sure they exist.

Anyway…I’m now getting tired, and I have a plan now.  See you in the morning!  I mean after the sun is up!

Okay. Can’t sleep.

(almost the) First linocut done since high school!

I am trying not to title this post “Bahaha,” though I’m sure you’ll be able to sense my excitement!

I was able to take a trip out to the little art store I wished to go to.  Amazingly — I got out of there with a bunch of linocut supplies for under $25.  It probably has to do with the fact that I got a bunch of little tiny linoleum blocks — the one I’ll show here is one of the smallest, at 2″x2″ — and the fact that they were having a sale on the hard pastels I bought — which were the most expensive thing, at under $5 for a set of 12.

Last night after getting home from that trip, I honestly felt like going to bed, but I interrupted myself.  I didn’t want to go and get the art supplies and then never use them, so I started looking through my cheap little notebook at my designs.  I realized fairly quickly that the way I had been sketching was suited to linework, but that printing would probably require a different approach, utilizing blocks of color or tone.  With that in mind, I started sketching — in pencil, albeit in 8B pencil.

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My initial design is at the top of this photo.  Below are iterative versions of it, on tracing paper (center), translucent marker paper (left), and Saral (carbon) paper.

I actually surprised myself with my initial design, as I’d somehow managed to draw a diamond shape which had a little less than 60º as the angle of the inner corner, making 6 petals totaling 360º.

This is the actual first transfer of that image to (translucent) marker paper, on the right:

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I used marker paper because I felt it would hold up better under fineliner (I used a 0.1 mm pen, here), and I intended to fill in areas with black to see what the design would look like in high contrast.  As I was doing this, I remembered some examples in a Dover book on the principle of Notan (balance between positive and negative space), and was curious about what would happen if I introduced shapes pushing from the negative space into the positive space — this is why the petals are notched.  I also realized in this iteration that I needed to pay attention to the center of the star, because if the petals didn’t have a coherent center, it could throw the design off.

I also realized that I didn’t have to echo the almond shape throughout each petal, and wondered what it would look like if I added a recurve to the outer edge of each white area.  So I traced over this shape with the tracing paper (first image, below center), using this idea — and trying to fix the center of the design.  I did this first in 2H pencil. Then on the tracing paper, I went over the lines with fineliner again (so I could see them) and traced over that on the marker paper (first image, below left).  At this point I could color things in without losing any precious underdrawing, so I did.  I had intended to divide the outer rim of each petal into two and let the white space part the outer edge, so that the petals were implied but not fully stated — but when I filled the space in, this detail was not visible.  I also joined the positive space on the outside of the petals to save myself a headache.

Once I was happy with the design, I traced over — I think the tracing paper copy — over carbon paper (Saral paper) with a 2H pencil, on top of my 2″x2″ linoleum block.  On the first image, lower right, you can see what this did to the Saral paper:  it’s translucent where I transferred the carbon onto the linoleum.

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I did not take a photo of my block before carving, but I was very happy with the line transfer.  What I was less happy with were the performances of the carving tools I mentioned before, which are from my high school sculpture and relief-printing days.  Because they didn’t perform all that well, I ended up using an X-Acto craft knife with a #2 blade to do most of the image cutting.  The area around the image was cleared out with a large shallow gouge, however.

One thing I did find to my surprise was that the little subtlety of the curvature of the white area was not immediately apparent in cutting.  I also found that small circular cutouts are difficult to do in linoleum, and that I would have been better off doing something like I did in the outer petal ring and just cut out an almond, without trying for a circle.  When I did try for circles, I ended up cutting out more positive space than I intended to.  This will change in the next iteration of this project:  almonds all the way!  😉

After the cutting was done, I started looking around for my acrylic plate and the hard rubber brayer.  I couldn’t easily find that plate, though — I know where one used to be, but since we’ve cleaned up, I’m no longer sure where it is.  But apparently…we had extra picture frames, and I was able to take one apart and use the glass that would have protected the picture, to roll out my printing ink with the brayer!

This is water-based Speedball printing ink, which came in a small tube.  I’m really thankful that I didn’t have to buy a 1 lb jar to get any ink at all — at first, all I could find were the jars, but then I found the little packs of ink hanging up in the same area.  I picked up a black, then later realized at home that I probably should have gotten white or a color in addition to the black, so I could experiment with duochrome.  But — next time.

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One of the nice things about this ink is that it cleans up very easily with water; on top of that, it seems to be nontoxic.  It also has good tack, meaning that when I put the paper on top of it (I used Stonehenge, which is designed for hand printing), the paper did not move, even as I burnished the back with the back of a spoon to transfer the image from the carving to the paper.

There were barens at the store to accomplish the same thing, but I felt they were overpriced for something that is basically just a flat surface.  Of course, if I’d used a baren, it would be less likely that I would get those surrounding marks on my print (see above) which resulted from both tipping the inked brayer as I rolled it (it’s a tiny print, okay) 😉 and pushing the paper down into the background with the spoon during the burnishing process.

In high school, I think we accomplished the pressing by rolling a clean brayer over the back of the paper.  And, of course, if I used something like a small press, I wouldn’t have to worry about the stray marks at all…although one of the reasons for starting out with block printing is that you don’t need a press.

And, well, now — I have a good bit more insight than I did before on how to do this, and want to retry the carving process.  I have one more little 2″x2″ block of the same type, and found an old opened (throwaway) linoleum block today (it feels like an eraser).  Seriously, though, these things aren’t expensive, something I had to remind myself of before I started carving!  I think the block I carved today cost $0.66 or something like that.

It is pretty cool to see your work result in something, though!  And that’s not a bad try for being (almost) the first time I’ve worked with this technique in 17 years…(and yes, the BAHAHA moment when it works is great…!)

(almost the) First linocut done since high school!

Does evil exist?

For future reference, this text was begun during an after-funeral gathering.  Although it is difficult to see other people in pain…I am surprised at the overall experience of the services and after-parties.  I am also wondering if there is such a thing as “evil.”

Having been labeled evil by people I would myself consider evil (though of course, they referred to themselves as “good”:  typical but not required), I have resisted identifying others as evil, myself.  This is largely because I can see the mindless destruction the label can cause.

The term itself may relate to nothing more than “aversion,” which is entirely subjective, its targets changing from person to person.  And in the case of my own psychic alignments, it’s clear that there are things others would call “evil” about me which would in no case result in harm to anyone (the gender[s] of the person[s] I love in relation to my own gender, being one of them).  They may result in change to a more egalitarian and free society, but that does not equate to harm.

I have been thinking about this problem…seemingly, ever since high school, or before (this being the time in which I was progressively demonized and outcast by my classmates).  Today at the funeral, a speech was given by a Buddhist Reverend…which actually made sense, much more sense to me than did the Catholic Priest’s…but not everyone agrees with me.  Particularly, ardent Christians seem not to (and the priest would be included in this group).

I am coming to see the term “faith” to have more than one meaning.  One meaning, the one which I use most of the time in my own thoughts, refers to trusting my own intuition even when it is unexplainable by rational thought combined with the scope of my current knowledge about the world.  There is another meaning, though, which I encountered today:  that is to hold close to registered and approved dogma as a comfort when faced with the unexplainable and incomprehensible…even when that dogma doesn’t make sense.

I don’t see these things as the same definition, although I must admit possible bias in that my own thoughts may hold to registered and approved dogma; I just doubt it.

In any case, recent events have caused me to question the existence of evil in the world.  Whether that is absolute evil or relative evil, i don’t know.  Or maybe it isn’t a philosophical problem.  Maybe it’s an energetic sensation which just gets confused when I try to communicate it in concepts and words.

What I know is what I feel, and there are some people in the world who read as “toxic” to me.  Unmistakably, poison.  And so permeated and overwhelmed by it that they are literally repulsive and offensive and exude this.  Disordered energy.  To be around them while taking them seriously is not safe, as they try to emotionally harm and take power from anyone who will let them, using any weapon in their arsenal — and would try to physically abuse others if they thought there would be no consequences.  To give them power and consider them as beings like myself pushes me into rage and hate…and perhaps pain at how much the world has warped and twisted them out of what I assume was initially recognizability…and as such is not recommended in my current condition.

I just have a hard time seeing what remains of some peoples’ humanity.  I know this must be a fault in me (either this, or a mark of my own ideals stating that all people have the “souls” of “humans” — this is not an unvarying property over different cultures and eras)…but it’s understandable not to be enlightened, and I think I must have to be closer to that goal than I am, to see through what’s happening here.

And I am not sure what the root of this is; nor am I sure whether or not there is some kind of organized metaphysical evil.  This is not a new proposition — though I tend to default to referencing Ahriman as a kind of anthropomorphized Principle of Evil, more than any Christian idea.  The idea of the Devil has been itself warped out of recognizability as it has been weaponized against minorities (though that may be something of a tautology).

Of course, though, I have no political references where it comes to Zoroastrianism (the religion where the principle of “evil against people” was eventually embodied in the idea of Ahriman).  However, I do recognize that “evil” can be brought into the world by those who conceptualize and aspire to it.  This, I would not have known without investigating multiple cults and having been witness to people who have idealized Evil and taken satisfaction and pride in doing the wrong thing at every possible juncture.

But beyond this…it seems to me that this is a symptom of being out of balance — and committed to being out of balance — on a deeper psychological and energetic level, which manifests in the physical.  And, of course, creating chaos in the physical world can’t help but encourage one to continue to be off-balance.  But maybe “balance” is not the best word.  “Balance” implies a polar model.  This type of being off-balance is more like a top spinning out of control in seven dimensions at once…even though it’s hard for me to imagine a top spinning out of control.  Normally the ground would equalize this — you can only mess up so far before you can’t go any farther — but this is not part of the model in energetics.

I don’t know where I’m going with this anymore, except maybe to say that I’ve recently…been able to trust my own feelings where it comes to the “energy” of others, which is not something I know I can explain.  The term “evil” comes to mind when encountering highly discordant energy (not meant as a slight against Discordians; there is a difference between being random and aiming to harm).  I’ve just realized that I don’t know what makes some people tick, and that maybe I don’t want to know…and while it is tempting to call it “evil,” I don’t want to fall into the same trap the people I see as evil have fallen into, which is to consider oneself right and anything one disagrees with as worthy of destruction.  That is not a balanced path, to me, and it’s not a protected one.

But I …I think I am starting to see that I will need to forge my own approach…

Is it possible, though, that not all bad things happen for good reasons — but rather, bad things happen, and good people find ways to shine despite, or in spite of, the situations they’re dealt?  Is there a cosmic tension between “good,” and “evil,” and am I, despite growing up having thought to the contrary, actually on the side of good?

Does evil exist?

Flowers in the wind

I’ve been noticing a phenomenon recently…this is the fact that, at the very least, I’ve heard about a lot of people dying, this pattern having started about last December.  This includes, of course, my relative, among others.

As I’ve been browsing the Reader tonight, I’ve run across a couple of fairly alarming articles…one about Colony Collapse Disorder, the other about the likelihood of humans driving ourselves to extinction within the century.  (I would not assume these to be essentially separate stories.)  I’d still have to do research on this…and not just in popular articles…to come to an educated opinion, but I’m starting to think that there might be something to this.

So…if you’ve been reading my backposts, you’re probably aware that my relative’s funeral happens not too long from now.  I’m planning on going — I’ve done the requisite hygiene rituals.  My major fear has been that I’m going to be called into a place where I’ll have to get spiritual on people.  What has happened is that my relative died, and then the rest of the family has seemed not to know what to do with this.  On top of that, one of the people who really has no realistic anchor here has been trying to control everything, even to the detriment of the voice of my relative’s son, who knew my relative’s last wishes.

I feel like the funeral should be a celebration of their life.  While I do feel like the situation is sad overall, I also recognize the element of chance.  In my life, that is, when and where there has been spirit intervention, it’s often come through random events (in my mind this may be a reasoning for my own neural systems going on the fritz in the early 2000’s)…so that those random events end up forming a pattern which appears nonrandom.

My relative was severely injured in an accident over 20 years ago which left him quadriplegic — that is, he was largely paralyzed from the neck down (though he did, with practice, regain some functionality in his right arm).  What happened in the accident was a case of randomness plus being in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong person.  His life from then on out, though, drastically changed.  And although this was sad, I also know that he made a lot of positive change in those later years.  Maybe he helped someone who needed to be helped at some later time…and it was important enough that what did happen had to happen.

I feel like we’re all part of a larger story.  I don’t know if there are any “bad guys” in it.  (Well, maybe if there was a spirit who gave Einstein the Theory of Relativity…)  I may be affected by a mental condition which has made my life vastly more difficult than it needed to be…but I’ve learned a lot from my disadvantages, and I wouldn’t be who I am today without them.

Anyhow…I seem to be coming to terms with being “psychic”/intuitive.  At first, I feel like my relative was having a hard time adapting to not having a body; then I introduced the question of what he could do now that he could not do before.  The response was, at first, “?”, but I get the feeling that he’s getting the hang of things, now.  In any case, I feel like he’s still with me — and maybe closer to me than he was before.  His physical form is shed, but that doesn’t mean he stopped existing.  The fact that he isn’t directly living in a body in the physical plane right now makes things harder for those left behind — but I don’t get the feeling that he is suffering at this point in time.  The people who are afraid of what has happened to him or will happen to him or will happen to them are the ones who are suffering.

I think I read somewhere that we only understand about 5% of the Universe (scientifically speaking), and for some reason, I find hope in that.  It means that existentialism is just a mode of thinking — not necessarily true.

And…I don’t know if we’re going to go extinct sooner rather than later, but personally…I get the feeling that I need to counteract the destruction.  Unfortunately, I have had visions — or anxieties — of being nuked just because the world doesn’t like us or is afraid of us.  This could be an echo of Hiroshima — most of my clan in Japan was wiped out in that bombing (we were apparently local to the area).  I do not take it lightly that this is how they died.  My largest concern is the effect of radiation on other planes…though now that I mention it, I’m getting a soft, “you don’t have to worry about that.”

I also realize that the levels of pollution in our environment are ever-increasing…

…but all I can do is live my best life.  As transitory as it may be.

Flowers in the wind

Anticipation: one more thing to go…then, 2 weeks of (relative) freedom.

I wasn’t able to bring myself to do one of my readings earlier today, or tonight; what I was able to do, was get a lot more readings lined up so that I possibly do not have to do the one I printed out, the other day.  I’m looking at 10-12 papers to read, at about 12 pages each.  It’s not hard; it just requires focus and commitment.

I have been wanting to get these out of the way as soon as possible.  Because of that, I didn’t maintain a social commitment tonight, opting instead to stay home — where I had the possibility of working on my last assignment.  Unfortunately, reruns of Futurama are more entertaining than my readings!

*sigh*

Anyhow, I’ll try and get as much done tomorrow and the day after, as I can; even though I know that may only be six articles, total.  But basically, what I have to do is scan and/or read the articles and provide a 100-200 word commentary on each.  I’m going to try and get this done before Saturday, though I’m not sure how realistic a goal that is, at this point.  (It probably depends on what I choose to read and how deeply I choose to read it — scanning first is probably the best idea I’ve had.  Other than, that is, reading the introduction and conclusion of the paper, and first and last sentences of every paragraph, prior to scanning.  I may not have a clear idea of what these things are about, because I gathered them so quickly.)

I should probably also put the files on a flash drive and transfer them to my secondary computer so that I won’t have to worry about not having anything to read, if I get stuck somewhere after the funeral on Saturday — my little tablet lasts about 4-6 hours on a charge.  And I can take with me, the notebook I intended to use for Cataloging and then mostly didn’t — it will work for notations on the readings, which should help summarize them later.  It will probably be simpler than trying to compose notes in a word-processing program.

As for artwork…I drew a border for my relative’s funeral program.  It was nice to be able to do something with my hands, again, though it wasn’t under the best circumstances.  Right now, though, I’m anticipating that program being thrown out by near relatives (different from nuclear family) because of others’ desire for control.  What is positive is that I formed the page I worked on in Photoshop (I did what I thought I had to do and composed the front page as one flattened image, and so the cover is not editable unless it’s totally scrapped, or someone knows how to work with digital images, besides myself.  (Not betting on it.)

My grades are looking relatively good, considering.  I’m looking at a C+ in Cataloging (I PASSED!!!) and A’s or A-‘s in my other two classes.

Also…on Monday or later, I’m hoping to take a trip to the smaller art supply store near me (at least), to pick up some materials for linoleum block printing…which may make working through the grief, worth it.  I found my carving tools, and I was mistaken:  there are no burrs on my knives.  At least, not on the straight ones, or the large oval gouge.  This is good!  I will be able to see if I need to sharpen them, once I start cutting.

(Some of my spiral patterns, or the mon I designed, would make a good first project.)

One thing I’m unsure of, though, is how to make a method of image registration, so that I’m lining things up on my paper the way I want to — a relative necessity in duochrome (two-color) printing or above.  I’m not sure how to do this, yet, though April Vollmer’s Japanese Woodblock Print Workshop seems to briefly go over how this is/was done in Japanese woodblock printing.  I suppose I can see if I can adapt that to linocuts…though Japanese-style printing uses different basic materials than Western-style printing.  Still, though:  I only have four more days to get through in which I’ll have to deal with this last semester…I can make it.

Two weeks after that, my User Experience class starts up.  I took it in part because I wanted to do all the reading (as bizarre as that sounds).

I can also try and do some reading in library books, the two printmaking books I have, or my future textbooks, if I’m at a loss as to what to do.

And ah — right!  I wanted to get back on with learning Japanese language!  That should be fun!

Lest I forget, as well:  I need to back up my files to my Portfolio.  And maybe get a cloud storage account, or something.  I have what I can download, downloaded, and backed up; I need to work online for this other part, though — and I will not have a long time to do so.

I’ve been offered more hours, but really I’m not sure I want to take them — especially because I’m uncertain as to how much of a time commitment UX will be…and it’s rare to get two weeks off with minimal work.

Anyhow, I should likely get going.

I also want to get bocha, but I am not certain where that desire is coming from…I already have another kukicha; two others, in fact.  It’s just that drinking a twig infusion sounds rather earthy, I guess…

Maybe I can make a trip to the tea store in my two weeks off of school…

Anticipation: one more thing to go…then, 2 weeks of (relative) freedom.

Almost completely done.

I completed what work I had to do, last night — amazingly enough.  Though I wanted to post this last night, I ended up going to sleep at about 2 AM, having spent about 12 hours total at my workstation that day.  Accordingly, my upper back and shoulders weren’t up to more sitting at this terminal.  D has said that he’s not sure how I do it (he can’t sit for long in my chair), but he’s much leaner than I am.

I did learn a couple of things:  one, before turning in a quiz, be sure to carefully reread the question and make sure you’re answering all parts of it.  I got some points off on my cataloging quiz unnecessarily because I neglected to see that I was being asked to do something that I’d never been asked to do, before.

The second thing had to do with my oral presentation:  I ended up repeating myself a number of times because of the structure of the paper, which I transferred over to the structure of the presentation (although I have heard that repetition isn’t bad, in an oral presentation).  I also learned that if I freeze up, it’s best to stop recording as soon as I find it happening, catch myself, and then restart.

I went over the time limit by about four minutes, even though I found myself talking quickly and quietly (something I’m known for, and have been trying not to do — and didn’t do, the first two times).

Otherwise, there has been a lot of family drama, to understate the obvious.  I don’t know how much I want to get into it, here…but that — and being afraid to start the Annotated Bibliography — is something that kept me in bed for a while, today.  I did get up earlier, but then I lay back down and stayed there until a little less than an hour ago.

In any case, all that’s before me now is the Annotated Bibliography, backing up my assignments to my portfolio, and possibly watching one lecture I didn’t watch because I ran out of time.  And, ah, right — transferring over some notes into a notebook (I used the giant pad of paper and a Sharpie, which is going to destroy what adjoins it if I just cut and paste it).  Otherwise…I’m pretty much done.

Kinda hard to know what to do in this situation, eh?  I can work on the funeral program, though…

Almost completely done.