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Saturday, June 22, 2013

A New Perspective - in Drawing

After our drawing with Charcoal adventures, we moved into Perspective Drawing.
My apologies for the light {and skewed} photographs. I do tend to draw with a light hand. The teacher did mention this to me {a lot} ;-) and my drawings darkened some later in the class.  
{Please click pictures to enlarge.}

Our instructor had us follow-along and emulate what he drew on the white board as he introduced us to Perspective. Perspective is your point of view. It is affected by proximity and peripheral vision.
{The abbreviated explanations in this post are extracted from my class notes. Anything clever or accurate is probably a direct quote from the instructor. {wry grin}}

One Point Perspective 
{Worked well with my brain.}
In-Class Interior 1-Pt. Perspective Practice/Notes
  • Everything retreats to one Vanishing Point (VP). VP does not have to be at the center of the page. 
  • You need to see a flat side. 
  • Each line will be parallel to the horizon. 
  • If the line doesn't go to the VP, it will be perpendicular. 
  • Above eye-line (horizon) - shade the bottom. 
In-Class Exterior 1-Pt. Perspective Practice/Notes
Two Point Perspective
{Challenging for me to apply in large scale.}
In-Class Interior 2-Pt. Perspective Practice/Notes
  • There are 2 Vanishing Points (VP) & they may be off the page.
  • You won't see a flat side - corners. Look for a corner facing you. 
  • No parallel lines to side of paper - all lines go back to a VP.
  • Consider what is greater - above/below the eye-line. 
  • Find a scale. Worry about verticals and VP.
In-Class Exterior 2-Pt. Perspective Practice/Notes
Three Point/Shadow Perspective
{Fun and cool.}
In-Class Exterior 3-Pt. Perspective Practice/Notes
  • When looking down at something, the "roof" is closest/biggest.
  • Building corners come to a point somewhere below the ground. 
  • No line going to a VP (9 times out of 10).
  • Good 3-pt. perspective examples would be Escher or Julien Beeber.
  • Shadows - identify light source - shadow takes direction from light source.
  • Shadows - Use light as VP & draw/plot the shadow direction/curve.
In-Class Shadow 3-Pt. Perspective Practice/Notes
My Attempted Perspective Drawings:

Over several weeks we were assigned 1 and 2-point interior and exterior perspective drawings, a 3-point shadow perspective drawing, and a Creative Perspective drawing.
Oh, I forgot...our assignments got shifted due to the Rodeo Day Holiday so we didn't have to do the 3-point perspective with Shadow assignment and the Creative Perspective due date wandered a bit.
I was particularly challenged with the Creative Perspective drawing.
I'm afraid I wasn't very creative.
Well, we'll get to that.

First - One Point Perspective
Interior: A view from the entryway of my home to the back sliding-glass door. Uh, without all the cat-toys, helpful lounging cats, the pile of stuff to take to Bookman's and Goodwill, etc.
Oh - and I ran out of time to add the plant stand {past the piano} which you've seen in previous drawing assignment blog posts.
{That's my sister's piano on the left side in front of the window.}
Honestly, I very nearly rocked the Exterior One Point Perspective drawing.

I had thought I might draw this side of the Wilmot Library:
But the massive Eucalyptus (?) Tree, shadows and the radical changes in the scene {people parking in those empty spots {Tsk - how rude!} were boggling my limited 1-point perspective experience.

The Library Security Guard kindly confirmed that I actually had picked a good 1-point perspective to draw. He was "just doing his rounds".
Hmmm - only one round that I witnessed.
{To check on the odd woman sitting on the sidewalk with a couple of bags and a fair-sized sketch pad wearing a long black duster....{sigh} I expect I looked like a particularly odd "bag" lady.}

I continued to work on the library drawing that weekend but couldn't quite get it to work.

When I went to my other classes at the West Campus of Pima College that next Monday, I was struck with the obvious options for a 1-point perspective drawing.
Yep - it was raining. So I took a few pictures and hied myself back home after class.


I decided to draw the perspective from the last picture of the four above.
And it was almost - easy. For the most part, the lines went down on the paper with a comfortable flow, it made sense and it just worked.
It was rather like "zone" experiences I've had at work or the one I had during a Tennis Match in high school. The match was against a MUCH better-ranked player from another school {that had easily kicked my tuckus in a previous meet}. I don't remember most of the match. When I came out of the "zone" in the last set, we were nearly at match point - and I was leading. {?!?} I did end up winning that match and it's hard to say who was more surprised - my opponent or myself.
Anyway - this One Point Perspective drawing worked well with my brain:
 I am truly pleased with this drawing.
Two Point Perspective
Since the 1-point perspective drawing had gone so well, I went back to the PC West Campus for my 2-point perspective drawing.

I wonder if the presence of a Security Guard has a negative effect on my drawing mojo. {wry grin}
Yep, I sat in the back of my truck looking at the West Campus Arts Center and tried to apply the new-to-me 2-point perspective guidelines to drawing this cluster of buildings:
And...two security guards came to check on me. ;-) Neither, it appears, had previous art experience so no comments or approval of my choice of subjects were offered as had been the case with the Library security guard. But they were very nice and I felt pretty secure {and only mildly silly} drawing in the back of my truck in the parking lot.

There was a lot of erasing as I tried to apply scale and to shift my brain to drawing to multiple Vanishing points that were way off the page. I'd made some decent headway but I was at a loss on drawing the cars - or the bottom of the building that I couldn't see.

The pleasant mid-February late afternoon drawing environment became early evening.
It was getting dark, I was getting cold, and I  got a little bashful about wandering around the campus drawing.
I also couldn't seem to get much further on this working at home so the Exterior 2-point perspective drawing is not complete.

The Interior 2-point perspective drawing is of a corner of my living room. 
{grin} Again without cats, clutter, or chotskies.
{Anyone that knows me would laugh heartily at the idea that there is an empty bookshelf in my home.} This drawing came out reasonably well after a couple of poor starts and a lot of erasing.
As previously noted, we did not do a 3-point perspective. Hmmm - it might also have had something to do with folks being able to physically achieve that perspective {looking down onto rooftops...}. 

And, as previously confessed, I was not very creative for the "Creative Perspective drawing".
Several of my classmates' homework were a wealth of imagination, color, and talent.

I feel a bit limited by my drawing ability/knowledge to go with "imagination". So - since I am rather smitten with the lines of the Wilmot Library, I initially attempted to draw this:
From here, across the parking lot:

Yep, I got boggled with the 2-point perspective again.
I don't have a picture of that attempt because since February I have managed to smear charcoal all over it whilst it was stored here:
This was new for the Spring Semester.
{There's more duct tape inside too.}
During the in-class review of our in-progress drawings, the instructor noted with some disappointment that my "creative perspective" assignment should not just be an architectural drawing.

I worked on/erased/worked on the Library drawing more until 2 days before it was due. In frustration, I had to admit it really wasn't going well, and my drawing skills/grasp of perspective were simply not up to the task.

At that point, I abandoned that library view, turned the mondo sheet of paper over and took inspiration from the Library's back yard.

I shifted back to 1-point perspective.
I drew as much as I could of the yard and then worked out how to space the "iron work" over the drawing.
{Yeah, the banister is a little dark.}

I was still working on the "outside" wall/cactus but gave up around 2 AM the day the project was due.

When I turned in the assignment, the teacher did notice that my drawing had radically changed but he kindly didn't comment much there.
He did say the grid work over the drawing was a good addition.
I suspect that may have been the only thing that dragged my assignment into a "creative" range.
Since I was drawing from reality, I must admit again that this assignment was short on creativity, although certainly not short on effort.

So...my perspective shifted some. But obviously not well or entirely.
Portraiture/Figure drawing came next and will be outlined - in a later blog post.
Thanks for reading {especially if you made it down this far}!!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Article Flashback and Pleasant Distractions

Ya know that "recovering work-aholic" phrase in the blog banner?
It's kind of a funny phrase, but in real life it has profound consequences. 
Ha - and that phrase "profound consequences" doesn't begin to explain. {sigh}

ANYWAY...I'm spending the break-time between the Spring and Summer semesters from the Fiber Arts Degree working on the many, many half-started projects/piles/tasks laying about my home. 
Yep, that is part of the "profound consequences". When you spend 85% of your life on work, prep for work, and just a little sleep before going back to work there's not a lot of time for much else.

This morning's to-do was a pile of the magazines in which I'd marked articles to be re-read or recipes to try, etc.  The intact magazines will go to Bookman's for credit trade. The magazines that I pull recipes/articles from will be recycled

In an Oprah magazine was a truly lovely, funny and poignant story: "What Betty Knows". 
I skimmed through it and the feelings it evoked when I originally read it washed over me. 
Because it was so amazing, I thought "Who can I share this with?". 
You perhaps?

I think it is worth a read. And a re-read. Oh - and you might need a tissue.  "What Betty Knows" by Monica Wood

The Burnout Flashback memories that opened this blog were inspired by another article in the same magazine. 

Years ago, I used to "joke" that I just cycled through levels of burnout. {wry grin/sigh}
I'd marked the page because I represented the later stages of burnout described in the article. I'd hoped the article might inspire some recovery. 
Life intervened (love of family, health, and unemployment) to inspire burnout recovery. I do think I am returning to the self I'm supposed to be and that is a very good thing. Much more pleasant.

Here is part of the original "Stay Cool" article on the Oprah website but it appears that CNN Living may have the full version by Martha Beck under "Ways to bring yourself back from burnout".

Deep breath. Here's some lighter stuff. 

More Good Earth Tea Bag Fob Wisdom: 
"To me, old age is always 15 years older than I am." Bernard M. Baruch 1870 - 1965 {Added grin - Mr. Baruch lived to be 95 years old!}

I recently discovered "Live from Daryl's House" on the Palladia channel. 
I'd seen some of Daryl Hall's lovely restored home on an episode of This Old House and I have appreciated his music a good portion of my life. I eventually went to take a look at his show and found I enjoyed the premise, music, conversation and setting. The gents in the band are amazing and Mr. Hall is an excellent host and musician.

I must confess many of the names of the guest stars in the program guide are unknown to me. But I'll explore more and we'll see if I might know their music. 
My current favorite episodes feature Cee Lo Green and Jason Mraz. Both gents were interesting, charming, respectful, and fun in their own way. Their interactions with Mr. Hall & Co. reflected their 
Well done!

Here's the video of "93 Million Miles" with Jason Mraz, Daryl Hall & Co.
{Pssst - the discussion of the inspiration for  "93 Million Miles" is especially nifty. Choose the "Dinner - Part 2" option at the bottom right of the video-play screen.}
I am fond of Cee Lo Green's clever "Forget You" but I've included "Bright Lights Bigger City"because  they rock this song on "Live from Daryl's House". 

Lastly, this is a current favorite: The heartful "I Won't Give Up" by Jason Mraz.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

WWKIP continues and Gratuitous Cat Pictures

The week of WWKIP (World Wide Knit in Public) continues.

I have not been taking pictures of all my recent WWKIP-ing {sorry} but here's a couple more instances:
She is knitting a lovely feather/fan lace shawl with a silk blend.
The bottom of the picture is my continuing sock-swatch. 
I met with a knitterly friend at a Starbucks for a very nice visit, crunchy/cool/vanilla/creme refreshment, some WWKIP time, and to transfer a tub of donated yarn from the Tucson Handweaver's & Spinner's Guild to my friend who will take to the Old Pueblo Knitter's Guild for charitable knitting.

This tub o'yarn.
{Which Mikale claimed for the time it was at our house.}

I also met some friends at Barnes & Noble and a few of us Knit in Public. One friend finished a dish cloth and continued work on second dishcloth. The green stuff on the bottom is my "Comfort of a Friend Woman's Shawl" from the What (Else) Would Madam Defarge Knit knit-a-long.

{grin/sigh Altered 6/16 to remove the upside-down picture comments because the picture load issue seems to have sorted itself out.}

I used the iTouch reverse feature to take a picture of myself knitting {in public} Friday morning at breakfast. I was part of a group from the Tucson Handweaver's and Spinner's Guild out that morning to shift the guild's stored items to a new storage room. We started early (to avoid heat stroke) and got everything shifted (!Yes!). Then we went to breakfast. And I knit. ;-)
This is the larger panel of the Origami Pullover.

As promised, {and since I seem to have a lot of these stored up} here are some Gratuitous Cat pictures featuring the ginger cats!
Mikale is the strawberry blond and his brother Nikoli is the orange tabby-tuxedo.

These two often sleep yin-yang. Snuggle Bumps.

Guess Nikoli isn't the only cat he'll sleep yin-yang with... ;-)


Mikale up in the kitty tree with Nikoli - or by himself:

And here is a bonus, hurried iTouch picture of a hawk poolside at a friends house.
He's a youngling from a nest in a huge pine tree next to the house. He flew off a few moments later when my friend's spouse walked into the yard.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

WWKIP and a Gift of Craft from Bookmans

The WWKIP Event days span June 8 through June 16th.
WWKIP = World Wide Knit in Public {which, as I have previously noted, is my standard MO}.
So here's some evidence of Tucsonians honoring WWKIP this week. The Tucson Handweaver's and Spinner's Guild Knitting Study group met at a restaurant this last weekend.

And we knit in public. {grin} 

And a very talented group of knitters/crocheters they are!
{Ladies, if I mis-describe or over-describe your efforts, please let me know and I will make any requested changes!}
 My knitting is in the foreground - I'm swatching for a pair of Jaywalker socks in the purple/black/grey variegated Paca Peds sock yarn.
Just above my yarn is a lovely lacy fingerless mitt currently being developed.
At the top of the picture is a nifty two-tone market bag under construction. {I like it! I don't know why it never occurred to me to use two colors.}

 The bag above is being crocheted from brown yarn and....plastic grocery bags! Very cool.

Her response to my request for a picture of her  handiwork
is still making me smile!
The talented knitter above {note the spiffy knit top too!} had just finished the red hat with the perfect amount of yarn left over {about a yard}.

I'm not sure what she started in the blue yarn after finishing the hat, but I remember thinking the yarn was lovely. The sherbet-shaded rainbow of yarn at the bottom of the picture is a baby blanket being knit upon by a brand new member of our group.

More blue yarn was used to start a lace shawl {I missed the opportunity to get a picture, sorry}.
The charming blue knit in the picture above is another baby blanket - I think as a donation gift.

A couple of weeks ago I found some very spiffy knit-related books at Bookman's.
A couple of blogs ago, I confessed that I was newly smitten with a PBS series: "Craft in America".

This week, I had a stray thought {and some Bookman's trade credit burning a hole in my pocket} and I checked to see if Bookman's had any previously owned copies of Craft in America.

I found two (!!) seasons of Craft in America at Bookman's for $10.00 each!
I also found another book for my library ($8.00): "Beaded Bags and More, Second Edition" edited by Jules and Kaethe Kliot.

It is a compendium of pattern books for beaded bags from the 1920s. {Cool!!}

I have an interest in this topic because I have previously knit beaded bags:
Yes, I enjoyed knitting with beads on 4-aught needles. 

But here's the very best part.
When I went to check out, I got the book and 2 videos for Free!
As it turns out, twice a day at Bookman's a random customer receives their purchase for free!!
{Thank you!}

I was very tickled to be "random" on Monday. {happy dance}

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Finger Crochet Group Project or Teacher-Sanctioned Yarn Bombing

When I last blogged about the Mixed Media Class adventures, I'd just discovered my crochet-without-a-hook skills were, to say the least, disappointing. ;-)

Our next assignment was to create a large-scale Finger Crochet project - as part of a four-person group.
We were charged with creating an Art Installation suspended from one of the palm trees out in the common area of our end of the campus. The Art pieces would stay there for a week. 

We were given leave to use a Crochet hook if we so desired {yay!!} and our project required a theme/plan that would need to be approved by the instructor.

Our initial ideas were not approved. ;-)
More discussion ensued, more ideas were presented to the instructor.
The chosen theme was...: Light Pollution.
My suggestion for a title was adopted: "Obstructed by Light".
The instructor gave us some good ideas on how to represent the effects of Light Pollution on the skies of Tucson and we were off!

So here was our plan: We would crochet two large panels and attach random stars and three sets of constellations to each side. One side would represent the un-polluted night sky where excessive city lights would not dull down or hide the stars. The side that represented the light-polluted night sky would have fewer and less-bright stars.

The majority of the two large crochet panels were accomplished by two others in my group. The un-polluted side of the sky was crocheted by my spiffy already-adept-at-crochet table-mate {and between-classes lunch buddy}.
The light-polluted sky was primarily crocheted by the clever young lady who had suggested the "Light Pollution" theme.

The 4th team-mate and myself worked on choosing constellations, crocheting a lot "stars" {bright or dull as the "pollution" allowed}, and applying the constellations to the light/dark sky panels. I went through my stash, donated some mondo skeins of black yarn to be used in addition to the yarn from the classroom stash and the impressive amount of bailing twine provided by the unpolluted/"dark" side crocheter.
I also pursued creating light/dark moons and I had a minor knit-fit and created a "Milky Way" to attach to the un-polluted side of our installation. {I really wanted to have some knitting included in the crochet installation and it turned out the "Milky Way" was specifically appreciated by several folks!}

During the planning stages, we had been concerned that our installation might end up at the bottom of the palm tree like a loose sock. Soooooo not an issue.
We discovered that palm tree "bark" and yarn-y panels work much like Velcro and the panels stayed exactly where we put them.

When installation-day arrived, we crocheted-together and then augmented the panels to have mountains around the base.
OK, I didn't do a lot-a lot - there were already 3 pairs of hands doing the deed and the palm tree was only so wide.

So, I wrote  the description for our art installation - pulling in comments from our previous discussions,  tweaking it after a group review and altering it per the instructor's changes. I believe when it was finally typed/printed some minor changes were made but the teacher also recanted some of her modifications, allowing more of my original phrasing. {Thanks!}

We were generally pleased with our efforts and particularly pleased later when one of the other art instructors {a gentleman that had previously been a curator} shared some very pleasing comments regarding our "ART".

Obstructed by Light: "This work is intended to increase awareness of the impact of light pollution on our desert sky. Tucson has been considered the capitol of astronomy. Although some measures have been taken to reduce light pollution, our city lights hinder our ability to see the stars, constellations, and the Milky Way in our night sky. They are obstructed by light."

These are the installations crafted by the other two groups*: 
{As always, please click on the pictures to enlarge}

Desert Spirit: "The wild desert is a place of continual growth and beauty, as well as death and transition. This work represents the flow of life from the splintering trunk of the old palm to the boughs of the olive tree. We used many colors and textures to embody the subtle spirit of our Sonoran home."


Grow Your Nest - Find Your Home: "This work comments on the nature of living things, and our need for shelter, no matter what kind of animal, big or small. Birds nests in particular are a wondrous feat. With only beaks and claws they are able to weave masterpieces. Our piece is a tribute to these hard workers and the beautifully simple yet infinitely complex homes they make.
This work also symbolizes a person's need to build their nest and create an original life for them selves. We are all looking for a place in this world and everyone has a need to grow their nest and find their home."



By the way - yes I did tell folks we were "Yarn Bombing".
{Deadly Knitshade can explain Yarn Bombing/Storming / Urban/Guerrilla Knitting better than I.}  When I realized June 11th is International Yarn Bombing day, I knew on which day I would publish this post!
Do you feel like running out to decorate something with yarn now?

*Please note: I included the title/description of each installation exactly as written but without the names that appeared at the bottom of the description. I did not include the names of the artists/students that created the above installations because I did not specifically ask if I could publish their names on this blog. Thanks!