Revisions and new possibilities

About an hour ago, I completed a paper for Collection Development. Five pages of content, two of references, and a title page. I was seriously just happy that I got it in a half-hour before midnight.

Oh — and that I was just barely under the maximum word count!

It would be nice if I were able to deal with my ePortfolio, now that I’m back in the world of the living. I really, seriously, need to get over my intimidation on it and just start writing stuff out. It won’t get written if I don’t write it, that is.

The driving factor here, is time. I have two months left to get this done, and the more I don’t work on it, the more it’s going to feel like I’m taking three or more classes, towards the end of those two months.

Realistically, I need to submit an average of at least two essays a week — probably more, now that I’ve wasted two weeks being sick, and catching up on work I didn’t do while I was sick. But I’m only taking one other class; I have time if I have motivation.

The big thing about it is getting back into an academic mode, as versus a vacation mode. The good thing about being in Collection Development concurrently is that the second class is structured, and forces me to get out of bed and engage.

I’ve just taken a look at my ePortfolio, and I’ve realized that any foundational work that I can get done on any Competency, will be good. This is because it makes things vastly less intimidating when I’m not looking at a blank form. And I can always update and edit work that is there.

The other thing that has happened is that I’m using one of my memberships which I have heretofore ignored. It’s encouraging the direction of my energy towards Librarianship, though it also can be a time sink: I spent two days authoring something to help someone. That’s time I could have used, working on my ePortfolio. But it did help. It really helped me, too.

I have realized that I would be a very good fit for a Public (or Academic) Library position. One of my papers is on the intersections of Social Justice, Civil Rights, and Intersectional Feminism, and I found myself shifting back into that mode and speaking on diversity issues. Now I’m involved. 🙂 Ruh-roh. 😉

I have realized, however: I’m a very good candidate as a Gender Studies, Ethnic Studies, or American Studies scholar, as versus or in addition to having possibilities towards Japanese-language/-diaspora Special Collections, and the possibility of becoming an Art Librarian. I’m thinking, though, that Gender Studies…might be more interesting, and might help the world, more. And I’m not convinced that I need to go back to my alma mater for it.

I still remember someone there saying that I couldn’t have an opinion on gender identity unless I had read Foucault, first. Which is just elitist hogwash. I kind of know something about gender identity, from, you know, having engaged with and lived the problem. Did he? (On that note, I probably don’t even need a degree in Gender Studies to be knowledgeable in the field. I’ve done Master’s level research. I’m in Library Science. I’ve written papers. I have some knowledge of Social Science. I have a grounding in Feminism. My fundamental grasp of the topic is apparent. I can deal with it.)

In comparison…the Web Design stuff is looking unimportant. Weirdly. Though right now I would likely have to work in either general Reference or Technical Services, given my skill set. I want to and may need to extend my reach deeper into Information Organization, however. That includes re-taking Cataloging.

Coming up…I will very shortly have an interview with a Collection Manager, and I need to read Chapter 4 in preparation for that (and I have been advised to read it more than once)…though this week’s Module just now opened up. Chapter 4 is just 30 pages, though — not a problem. I could get the first run-through done tomorrow, if I needed to.

I’m still waiting to hear back from my contact, though; I’m not even sure this will follow through. I might have to interview someone in a different system. Maybe I should get the contact information of an alternate person, from work.

Speaking of which, I’ve gotta be there in the morning. Maybe I should get some sleep and stop running myself into the ground. 🙂

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Drawing from life for the first time in months.

I would have posted this last night, but as it was, I got to bed after midnight. I was cleaning up the craft table when I realized that having my pencils out (as versus put away) and readily available would likely help with coming back to drawing.

Yesterday, I drew from life for the first time in months. Apparently, I remember something from all those drawing classes — it was easier than I expected. Something I found out as well, is that my subject gave me details that I would not have thought of on my own — which is a reason to draw from life.

I sketched the leaves of a tomato seedling I have growing, right now, and it appears to be proportional and relatively accurate. There’s a level of grace that I saw there that I can’t really describe, but I think I captured it in the drawing.

Also, I was able to push out a few imagined gingko leaves and fuchsia blossoms, though with the latter…I particularly remember them around my grandmother’s house (as a kid, I would pop the flower pods open). I’m wondering about finding some photos online to help me with knowing what the rest of a fuchsia looks like.

And yeah, the Pitt brush pens helped a lot with this. I’ve realized that I need to be using colors that don’t exist in real life, too. (Or maybe they do, and I just don’t remember them…)

For whatever reason, I’m very low-energy right now (the only reason I’m up, really, is to work on my Programming homework, most of which I’ve gotten done), so I’m not sure if images will make it into this post. I’ve spent the last few days mostly asleep, though. I know it’s something biological, but I am having a hard time believing that it all is biological.

I had realized that one of the reasons I got the baby succulents at all, was to sketch and/or paint them…so I didn’t actually have to go out looking for plant cuttings to draw. The succulent with the stalk is now blooming with yellow tube-shaped flowers…I think it’s an Echeveria, just from the way it looks, but I’m not sure.

In any case, I haven’t yet tried to draw any of those, though unlike cut flowers or produce (two of my other favorite subjects), they’re not apt to die within the next few days while I get up my nerve to approach drawing them, so I’m good. 🙂

I also started cartooning again, though this was not at all from life. It’s actually got me reconsidering my decision to move away from comics. I generally don’t find people all that fascinating to draw, but if I’m cartooning…that’s not really drawing people like someone would draw nudes. Kind of like directing a dramatic movie isn’t the same thing as videotaping family gatherings. I have run across people who apparently love drawing nudes, but it’s not really my thing. (The biggest reason for me to draw someone without clothes is that drawing clothes is harder.)

In addition, I’ve realized that I don’t particularly have to have human characters in my stories, meaning I don’t particularly have to draw representations of people. This widens the field a great deal. As a cartoonist, I can edit out or alter the parts of drawing people that don’t appeal to me. And as I’m already interested in Science Fiction and Fantasy, that will likely be a good area to explore.

On top of all that, I wanted to note that I wanted to play around with some of the international-sized papers I’ve got, rather than just sticking with Strathmore and Canson. I also have a couple of types of Mixed Media papers that I can use, which I’ve never tried before (I got them out of flat storage, yesterday).

But anyway, just drawing…helps. And drawing from life helps when it’s hard for me to imagine what to draw.

It seemed a lot more intimidating, before I did it.

This was another day in which I slept for way too long because of not wanting to face schoolwork. However, the anxiety was pretty much for nothing.

I opened a window here and started typing out my feelings while I also contemplated dealing with my Programming homework, then switched over entirely to my Programming homework, and now am ahead in my studies!

It seemed a lot harder before I started!

Breaking things down step-by-step actually does help, which is useful because Programming pretty much demands breaking things down step-by-step.

So…tomorrow is Friday. I have the option of going in for extra hours, though to be honest, I really don’t feel like it. And yes, I know that if I don’t go in, the situation is just going to be worse on Saturday, but it’s not my responsibility to pick up all of the slack.

I did, however, just knock out my main reason for not going in.

What I can do tomorrow — to be useful, at least, and justify staying home — is to begin going into my archives to deal with this portfolio issue. It is the beginning of June: I should be getting to this.

What I can do is start categorizing things by class and then by Learning Outcomes, then go in there and deal with looking at and sorting through objects in each of my classes. It might help to start with the most recent, first, though I’m not positive on that.

I also might want to copy the entire directory and put it someplace where I can reorganize it.

And, right: my Programming class is just a taste of Web Programming…but so far, it’s actually pretty fun. One of my friends in Tech told me not to be a Programmer, and I don’t know exactly why they said that. Nor do I think I should really listen, at this point: it could have been a gender issue.

So, well.

Tomorrow, I can also work on the monpe model, and that may help me get out of bed in the morning. I can also exercise, which I haven’t done in a while.

And…there is the continued issue of the disorganized office. I need to go through my papers and books, though at this point…I wonder about what books to keep, and which to give away or sell back. The major barrier here is that I know I will have to shower afterwards (and I don’t know how to take short showers, and the hair is always always an issue), though if I combine this with exercise, it should help me feel like I earned it.

Sigh. Two more semesters left of this and then I can throw out so much accumulated stuff…though if you asked me today what I would get rid of, I wouldn’t exactly know. I am aware that I have a lot of metaphysics material that I have off-and-on felt was a waste of time to read; on the other hand, there’s some really creative ideas in there. 😉

I think a major issue is just not having read deeply into a lot of the books I have, and some books I want to keep for inspiration, even though they aren’t worth much as reference material. Like the book, Gemstone Settings, by Anastasia Young (published by Interweave Press). It’s a really pretty book! Helpful? I haven’t found it so.

Like some other books I have, there is an introduction to technique, but not nearly enough information to practically and successfully attempt the process without outside help. It’s a good starting point for beginners who need to know what can be done, and who need basic background information, but it won’t take them all the way through doing it, if they don’t already know how. I guess I wouldn’t call it a really serious book, more than a book intended for general audiences. But then it’s like what do I expect when I didn’t get it from a specialty bookstore or jeweler’s supply shop.

Anyhow, this feels like personal Collection Development stuff, and I haven’t taken that class, yet.

Dealing with the bookshelves and the papers and the archives is going to be an issue taking more than one day. But it needs to be done.

Of course, the big fear is not being able to locate anything after the reorganization…

…nor am I certain whether to work on the portfolio or the mess, first. I guess it depends on what I feel like, in the morning.

Not wanting to get back to studying.

As I look over my bookcase…it is evident where my thoughts lie (and it’s not with what I need to do). I have major sections on learning Japanese language, Graphic Design, Web Design, Art, Writing. There is a Religion section mostly covering Buddhism, Daoism, Hindu beliefs. There is a section on Native American history (stuff I bought in American Indian Studies classes before I had to drop them out of psychological pain), Metaphysics, Psychology, and a small bit of fiction.

Then there are the textbooks for my Library & Information Science program, which are just crammed onto the shelves after the bookends (though these overlap with the Graphic Design books). In another bookcase I have a lot of Gender Studies books, and craft books (Jewelry, macrame, knotting, beading, wirework), along with old textbooks from my time in community college.

On a different shelf are sewing, knitting, and crochet books, along with one on bookbinding (! where did that come from?), career guidance, more Writing; and then there is the overflow shelf behind me where I’ve moved everything that I’ve taken off of my main bookcase (or which wouldn’t fit).

Right now, it’s obvious that I want to work with Writing, Art, Graphic Design, Web Design, and Japanese. But…that’s not what I have to do, right now. Right now I need to be working on my Instructional Design class, my Reference & Information Services class, and my Database Management class.

None of these are things I would have taken unless I thought I might need them. In particular, Database Management is difficult, and probably not something I would like to do for a living (or at all), but I’m dealing with trying to do the best I can, for my Vocational program (I didn’t realize it would be so difficult when I signed up for it — though at least now I know that I kind of don’t want to work with abstract mathematical thought, or to be a Full-Stack Web Developer).

Instructional Design prepares me to be an Academic Librarian instead of a Public Librarian, but this is hard as well, especially as I didn’t take Information Literacy, beforehand. Reference & Information Services is not hard, but it takes a lot of time and work, and the projects are intimidating for someone like me who is shy in dealing with people.

On top of this, I still have to complete Phase 2 of my Title IX training, in addition to dealing with graduation paperwork. Not to mention, my ePortfolio…and dealing with the Honors Society. Yes, it is a good thing that I’m only working 11 hours a week, right now. Especially as I haven’t been able to get much done on the studying front, for about a week, and am now actually behind (even though I was learning a lot by being with family).

I just don’t think I was up for getting heavily back into classwork, today. I have been awake for fewer hours than I would have liked, but then I kind of knew that would happen when I took medication around 2 AM this morning (after having written what I did last night, after the gender group: which was important).

The issue, I believe, is motivation…and intimidation. Whenever I get behind, I get intimidated away from dealing with it, and that in turn gets me farther behind — until about a week passes, and then somehow I get a second wind and blow through everything in one kind of frenetic, obsessive, somewhat-manic, pass.

Coming up, we’re going to need to go food shopping: and I am not sure if I should be helping, just to keep myself active and engaged; or working on my homework (the latter of which, seems to be the more responsible plan). However…we’re almost out of fruit, and I can’t trust people to buy anything more than apples, unless I tell them to. I actually may be more productive if I go out and move around, then come back to study; than if I stay unclean and in my pajamas all day and just try and plow through the reading.

I should remember though, that if I do go food shopping, I won’t have as much time as I’d like to do anything like painting or writing or sewing…but it may help get me out of bed, in a way that the lure of reading about Reference Management will not (and in fact, the latter may help drive me back to bed).

Which brings to mind, the awesome little (freakin’ expensive) Japanese stationery store that I went to while on Break. But…I think I can wait to expound upon that, another time.

Right now I’m writing because I’m trying to remember who I am, as versus what I have to do. They don’t totally line up. And I need to remember that although I am a bit unhappy at this point, wanting to do something for myself rather than someone else; I think I only have three or four weeks of this semester left to go, and then I’ll be released.

In about a week, I should be able to sign up for Summer classes. I’ve decided to keep Cybersecurity and Intro to Programming, mostly because I can’t think of anything better, I keep coming back to these, and together, they’re only two units. This should give me plenty of time to deal with my ePortfolio.

My major hesitation here is that I haven’t yet taken an internship, although I have plenty of experience working in Public Libraries, albeit at low levels. In particular, it could be really awesome to do an internship with the GLBT Historical Society — but I don’t know if I’ll have the time (or the transportation). Although I should remember that I can also apply to be a Librarian Trainee in my own system, which would be like an internship. The only drawback is not being able to broaden my horizons by meeting new people.

I think I feel a bit better. It’s a little before 11 PM my time (and I’m not supposed to be blogging late at night; much as I am supposed to be exercising — which I’m not, and I’m sure you can see why: too many demands on my time), so I should probably sign off and take my medication and get to bed; or get to studying, and then bed.

Buying, Writing, Doing: The Triad of my Present Dilemma

It’s become increasingly apparent to me that it is much easier to purchase art supplies than it is to apply them in creative ways.  It doesn’t seem that this in any way should really be a problem for me:  I did work my way through an AA program in Art (I couldn’t justify it the first time around with my BA, nor at the Master’s level…at least, currently), so I know that there is some part of me that is creative.  I also know that I’m skilled, though as I said before, when I don’t exercise those skills, they’re hidden within me.

Unless I practice, my skill and creativity won’t have the chance to show themselves, or to develop beyond the point they are at, now.  Maybe the problem I’m facing (starting out with incipient projects) is the one faced by writers of all types (which I’m well familiar with, as my BA actually was in Creative Writing):  fear of the blank page.  Or white paper.  Basically, it’s the same thing.

What I can latch onto right now are the exercises which build increasing familiarity with my media. Right now, I am very, very drawn to water-based media (inks, acrylic inks, acrylic paints, watercolors, water-based block printing).  I have a feeling that this is majorly because I don’t like to deal with toxins when they’re unnecessary, and cleaning out watercolor brushes isn’t a big deal to me, at present.

Ah — and, I used to work more in dry media (pencils, pens, colored pencils, most apparently) — until I got tired of the tiny point of contact with the paper (give me brushes) and the graininess of most of my attempts.  (Keep in mind here that my Prismacolors were purchased well before the year 2000, so I don’t have the advantage of the smoother laydown of the new formulations, in that brand.)  In contrast, inks and paints are much more…captivating for me:  they lay down solid, (usually) unbroken, and (usually) more vivid color.

Color is something that I at one time began to organically grow into (toward the end of my stay in Community College) — and then I restarted the Library & Information Science program.  At that point, my energy focused on the goal of gaining an MLIS in order to be able to be a Librarian, so that I could have a steady income stream, hopefully benefits (though I have heard that these are increasingly being cut in Librarianship proper) and work within one of my areas of interest, while also performing a social good.  In my spare time, and with the spare resources I would gain from being an Information professional (or so I’ve heard), I have planned to work on my Art, thus bolstering my psychological resilience.

Right now…it’s hard for me to formulate or say what my point is, within LIS.  It’s where I am now, and it’s what I know, but that doesn’t really count for much of anything when I realize that I’m already at the top of my pay scale and will have to change positions soon if I want to become more efficient at earning money.

What I want to be doing right now, is helping to construct Web pages.  It’s fairly evident, even just through my experience with this blog and my drive to personalize and edit its structure.  It fits in with my other two degrees in the aspect of being production-based, but not entirely so much in the fact that it’s technical.  I presently do not have the ability to customize pages and sites.  If I keep on in the LIS program, I may eventually gain the skills, however:  and a new perspective on the experience of designing for someone else.

I have a feeling, though, that this will put me about even with the youth coming out of high school in this era — technically speaking.  Technology flows on, and keeping current with it is one of the things to which I’ve resigned myself.  Design, however, is a specialty, and requires skills and knowledge that not everyone has.  And, as has become increasingly apparent, it’s not about me or my expression (as versus Art, which seems to require drilling deeply into myself to draw out something that only I can do).

Right now I’m in a class on User Experience, which is an aspect of Design — and it’s very apparent that Design encompasses much more than the utilization of art skills.  Designing is not the same thing as producing Art, unless the person you’re designing for is you.

And writing for yourself is not the same thing as writing for someone else.

I think that if I did not have the fear of repercussions for expressing anything unique, I would have an easier time with both Art and Writing.  But I’m old enough to know that expression begets consequences.  Whether those are good or bad consequences is unknown and ultimately subjective; whether praise or hatred will prevail is yet to be seen.

This could be the reason why I have seen so many take a brash stance against this psychic wall…because if you don’t stand strongly, the force of that wall could crush your light down into a black hole.

Of course, it helps to have solid grounding and conviction in something reasonable, first.

M has expressed frustration that I have been acquiring supplies — particularly for painting — and have not progressed beyond, “little squares.”  (I’m not sure she understands how difficult the medium of watercolor is, however…)

My little squares, though they could be made in a more aesthetically pleasing manner, are doing something for me:  they’re familiarizing me with the medium.  I don’t feel comfortable jumping from having done nearly nothing into a place where I have no ground to stand on and don’t know how to kick or stroke.

Doing that, and working out my familiarization in a way in which I am likely to destroy my first five paintings (if not more), would be…almost traumatic, for me.  So I’m working on little squares.  Little squares, I can handle; and although the progression there is incremental, and likely to hit a roadblock when I try actually using the colors in application, at least it is something, and I’m learning from it.  Without something, I’m paralyzed because I’m being expected to perform as an intermediate or advanced student without having taken beginner classes.

Maybe M can move forward like that; but I’ve noticed that, in her own design work, she doesn’t think ahead.  She plunges forward and then hits a roadblock and doesn’t know where to go from there.  In contrast, I think things out much further, but then am criticized for my tentativeness and my expensive preparations and my lack of starting.

And actually, now that I’m looking at my notes, I can also see a pattern here:  and not just in the delicateness of my process and my work.

I probably write about art so much because it’s easier for me to write about art than it is for me to get up the courage to actually do it.  I’ve been writing nearly constantly, for all of my life.  Writing is familiar to me, and it’s easier for me to do this than it is for me to sit down with a paintbrush, no matter the chances of coming out with something beautiful as an end product (though maybe I will try and keep that in mind as a goal.  I have a chance of making something beautiful if I risk failure.  If I do not, I have no chance of doing the same).

Writing about work, though, is not at all equivalent to actually doing it.

I’ve got to make a number of lifestyle changes relatively soon.  Many of these — most, actually — are related to my mental and physical health.  I need to floss regularly.  I need to brush my teeth and wash my face well in advance of bedtime.  I need to avoid late nights (sugar cravings come on after 11 PM).  I need to drink more water and avoid excess sugar.  I need to shower more often, and to exercise (and stretch) more often and more regularly; and if I can, I ought to try to meditate regularly (doing all of this may allow me to reduce my medications…and drop down a few sizes).

Along with this — I wonder if it would be too much of a strain for me to try and wake up with the Sun, so I have all the hours of the day to do my work and my art, as versus doing art in the afternoon and taking photos in the late afternoon or evening (when it’s dark).  Or, less optimally, doing art at nighttime with less-than-natural light.

It’s something to think about.  Maybe tonight I can try going to bed early, instead of trying to wring all the good I can get out of the day, and see if I am able and willing to get up at, say, 7 AM tomorrow (as I tried to do, today).  And maybe if I have the art play as a lure to get me out of bed…I’ll actually do it.

Motivation

This is just another entry in the “why be creative/do art (when it doesn’t pay),” series…which it seems I should really organize, somehow.  It would be interesting to make this blog into an actual site with indexing more sophisticated than WP’s tagging/categories system…but I don’t have the skills to do that well, at this point in time.  Soon, though:  it will be very much closer to possible.  I have the chance of learning CSS this Fall, and more than that next summer, at the latest.  I am thinking/hoping that basic HTML coding will be introduced along with CSS…it’s just that the CSS textbook was the one I saw earlier in relation to one section.

(One of the reasons I’m aiming for the Digital Services track is that even if it does become a pain to catalog and retain all of my work in order to fulfill Culminating Experience for my degree (the alternative is a Master’s Thesis), I’ll still have salable skills.  That is, outside of the Library, where it may not matter if I have the Master’s or not — so long as I can do the work.)

So, this “why do art” thing.  I was thinking up things to write about here, and the question of this came forward into consciousness.  Well…it’s an easy thing to slip into, this mode of thinking.  However…as I was actually doing the art, I realized that doing it was an end in itself.  Kind of like origami, but…well, hey, origami has practical engineering uses, for one thing; but you do this work for the sake of the work and the satisfaction of making something beautiful, and then you have all these little leftover trinkets.  Like origami.  And then it’s like, what do you do with them?  I guess you give them to others (or sell them)?

I’ve been thinking of taking my suminagashi prints and printing flowers on them (probably after I rework my flower linocut), and then cutting them apart into little prints.  I actually did this last night with my first sheet of prints (on white paper), and made a bunch of neat little 2″x 2″ tiles.  However, I realized today that I can cut them into any shape I want, meaning that I can make really nice bookmarks for my friends at the Library!

I know it sounds silly, but what person working at a Library would refuse a bookmark?  😉  Who would do that.  😀

I’ve only told one person of my plans, so far.  Happily, I didn’t have to explain to him what I was doing with the ink marbling!  I’ve also sent off a letter to my old professor, asking her about any precautions I may need to take with the Sumifactant.  Just in case, I did give myself a break from exposure, the other night.  However…TOMORROW’S A NEW DAY!!!

And I’m getting kind of obsessed with this.  That was another reason I stopped.  😉  I do have a tendency to get really strongly involved in things when I do get involved — probably the reason why I ate that book up so fast, the other night!  I’ve had a hard time finishing almost any book from the Library, and didn’t want to risk letting that one go unread.  Especially as Summer Session is about to start.

Right now, I have two other books on creativity to get through, one of which looks promising; the other of which, looks didactic.  However, the latter’s theory about a “freeze” response preceding a “fight or flight” response in the case of anxiety…was telling, and has helped me get out of stasis (and understand why one of my relatives refuses to change habits that don’t work in their favor).  I’m just not sure whether it has anything more to say, than that.

And yes, I have also been reading around on the “ink” tags on WP, and now want a Lamy Safari with a 2mm stub nib.  It seems silly, but I will be going to an upscale stationery store soon…and they may have it.  I should probably check around first, though…

Return to suminagashi

I’ve just gotten through my first suminagashi (Japanese ink marbling) attempt since…the time I first learned the technique, years ago.  It’s pretty simple, and fairly fast:  my biggest problem was not having the space to let as many prints dry as possible.  Because of this — and because I entirely forgot about my Stonehenge cotton rag hand-printing paper when in the process of prepping my papers (during which I got to play around with a mat cutter, paper, and a cutting mat [hahaha sharp things]) — I somehow avoided printing any of the Stonehenge!  Gah!  It wasn’t even on my mind!

The good part of this is that I was able to mess up on papers not nearly as precious.  As it was my first time in years doing this form of marbling, there were the inevitable prints which didn’t turn out as I liked — about five of them.  It wasn’t so bad, though:  there are at least nine prints which came out of the set which are pleasant enough to behold.  I had been planning on trying to do the “crocus” prints on top of them, though I hadn’t planned on using Wet Media and Drawing papers for that!

Beh.  (“But, ehhh.”)  Anyway.  I’m dealing with Sumifactant, Boku-Undo inks, and really cheap brushes, along with a disposable tray of the type used to cook turkeys, copy paper for interleaving, and some of my most-hated textbooks as weights.  😛  I know the Boku-Undo are non-toxic; the Sumifactant, I’m not sure about, but what I heard from Colophon Book Arts (here is their “Oriental” page) was encouraging.  Of course, though, I got the stuff…years ago.  The page says it lasts indefinitely when tightly capped.

I don’t know why it hit me tonight that, “hey!  I can do this!”  What I do know is that the sun is down and as such I won’t be able to take any appreciable photos of the prints under artificial lighting.  (Not only is the lighting in the area such that I’ll cast shadows on anything on the table [the prints are still wet], but it will cause a yellow-orange cast over everything…which is annoying to try and work out through Photoshop for every image, while still keeping colors accurate.  I’ll try to get some photos in the morning.)

I didn’t mention that when everything got pulled off of the table (long, likely irrelevant story), D didn’t notice one of my small pattern tracings (2″x 2″) for the crocus block, and so it is now…gone.  Basically.  As in it fluttered away into the ether.  I’m not too thrilled about this, but it’s easy enough to do again — it’s just that I feel like I’ll never be able to do it again in exactly the same way (but is that a goal…?).  I kind of wish I had scanned it.

The other day, I was also able to get some reading done in Japanese Woodblock Print Workshop by April Vollmer, and now have a relatively clearer idea of how to register (align) multicolor prints.  I don’t think I’ve read all the way through the section of how to carve the block and pull prints, but what I have read makes more sense when read straight through than when looked at piecemeal and out of order.  (The illustrations tend to encourage the latter approach, with me.)

I do think that it would be okay, though, to do a second crocus block without worrying about print registration (but I will want to mark which direction is “up”).  I can worry about registration when working on the gingko leaf, which is the project after this.  For one thing, working with registration implies making a key block (a block with areas of color outlined), then carving the key block, then producing multiple prints (one for each color block) on translucent paper, then pasting those prints reversed on each subsequent block (I’m thinking UHU Stic would be good for this, as it washes off with water even after it’s dry), then possibly oiling the paper, then carving through the paper and removing what’s left with water.

I kind of wish that I knew how to register prints in linoleum block printing, though:  I’m not totally positive that the technique will transfer over from mokuhanga (Japanese woodblock printing) to linocuts, particularly because I’m working with opaque inks.  What I’ve seen recommended for mokuhanga are opaque watercolors (gouache) — Holbein at that (I have these already) — but they’re applied so diluted that I don’t think the opacity is a big thing.  At least, when compared to Speedball Printing Ink, the latter is a good deal more opaque (or so I would think after having used the black ink and having felt the texture it leaves on top of the paper).  It might be, though, that I’m supposed to be printing on soaked paper, not dry paper:  something I can test, since I didn’t use any of my Stonehenge!  (And, I just realized, I do have a vat to soak these in:  the same vat I used to marble the papers, tonight.)

Which reminds me that I wanted to get back on top of learning Japanese language (nihongo).  I had just been wondering if there were guides to, or commentary on, comparisons of the different media in Japanese (I’m not sure how much material exists on this in English).  Then I realized that I’d have to be able to read kanji for that, most likely.

Well.  Motivation!

Ah ha ha.  I should be getting to sleep…