Tag Archives: college

it’s the end of the Semester and I’m running on 3 hours of sleep .. . . urgh

It’s that time again, yes you know what time I’m talking about! . . . No, not finals and summer, what are you thinking about? I’m talking about Studio clean up day and crits!

While all you other college students took finals at the end of the semester (never cramming I’m sure) and there was a standard week of hell, all us little art majors forgot what the sun looked like, having donned our welding hoods or locked ourselves into the photolitho room in the back of the print studio. In my case, I’m got to do both!

I’ve chugging away at my next sculpture and have almost no time to complete it. YIKES. assembly go go go! but Print making has been the thorn in my side all semester.  Now I love scheduling and planning so I have all my prints worked out and planned out to be finished on time. . .  except I didn’t really remember how to make a Lithograph.  Oh dear.  So I have to wait until my lovely friend had the time in her busy painting schedule to come help me.
Off we trotted at 9PM on Wednesday night. Into bed I climbed at 5AM Thursday morning and out again for art history at 8.  I love it when I get a full nights sleep of 3 hours! [/sarcasm] The only thing that made it tolerable was that the ceramics grad student with the rainbow hair (I love art students.  our grads totally top the others) had an awesome presentation.  She did her presentation of William Wegman.  To quote her “you probably don’t know his name but I’m sure you’ll know him when you see his work.”  I was skeptical but now I’m going to make the same claim.
The first video she showed us was . . . well, this.


Now I’m sorry, but no matter how tired I am a man with a talking stomach will make me laugh.  At this point I run out of tea but no matter, I’m interested. So on she moved to the works that are his current style. My favorite being this one.
but you probably know him best for these (unless you had no childhood)

Yeah, you know who I’m talking about now, right?  The guy behind the dogs on sesame street!

Well, these dogs get me reared and ready to head back over to Printmaking after class to finish my Photolitho.  Yes, because even though I was there from 9-5 the litho press was never free so I could only prep my plates.  URGH. Instead I helped my friend finish up all her plates and get at least her etching printed.  Then clean up began.  Printmaking clean up alone is almost enough to make me never want to take it again.

Now cleaning that studio I run into many of the same problems I do with my dorm kitchen. I clean as I go, make sure I’m polite to those around me and leave counter spaces and at least rinse things that I can’t get to right away.  The others in the studio did the last minute rush and wrecked the place last night in addition to their caked on mess.  URGH.  A lot of it was general maintenance though, like cleaning the parts washer and sweeping up the rolly-pollies. (which we had an infestation of).  Now I’m pooped from no sleep and working all day and night on really only a mug of tea and a sandwich at 5 AM, but to top it all off I was already exhausted before I began from studio clean up in sculpture the other day. True, cleaning up metal side really just consists of a lot of sweeping for the most part but then you need to clear the dock too.  Sometimes you even have to get rid of all the scrap metal and junk that’s been accumulating for years.  Lifting = not my speciality.  I was SO SORE all afternoon!

Well, all that’s left now is to study for my exams (since I decided to do liberal arts instead of art school.  Woo! physics and history! [/sarcasm again] At least there’s no english of philosophy this semester.) and finish my art projects.  Alright I can do this . . .  maybe? I have paint, epoxy, wire and still access to the power tools.  just take a deep breath! My prints just need to be matted.  The BANE of my existence, I swear. My future roomie and I are getting BLACK matt boards for our last few prints (as opposed to the tragic white ones we can buy from the professor.  So hard to keep clean!) Then make sure to call about an interview for my summer job and fly home! (this’ll be my first time flying home with 2 suitcases.  I’m Looking forward to a light carry on so bad!)

Hopefully I’ll get around to posting up some pictures of my studio and prints next!

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If I never see another fish it’ll be too soon

So my show was a few weeks ago now, so my hatred of fish is waning but still burning pretty well
I finally “finished” my paper mache fish, by which I got them completed but not perfected.  they still have a bunch of problems: namely the tails which I practically forgot and didn’t get to spend too much time on making the way I wanted to look.

If you were curious how they turned out, here’s some pictures! only took me way too long.



As you can see I had to construct a trellis for them to hang from and it was a little last minute stressful.  I also failed to realize the difficulty with hanging pieces and how nice it would be to have hooks on pre-measured string for hanging them. yeah, learning experience. The fish line (oh the irony) showed up so much less in the gallery, which was awesome.  Something to think about when using fish line, the lighting. There’s also one little fishie who didn’t make it to the party since he’s still hanging up in the sculpture building. he would have helped get my idea across, as well as 10 more fish and a veiling I could drill into. It’d hard to tell from the pictures, but they have a minor V formation going too (like geese, which strikes my funny bone in ways to long to explain now)

My friends also showed in out tiny intermediate 1 week show (but they’re both painters, so we won’t judge them too hard c; )

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Fastest and slowest semester already!

It’s Midterms in just a two weeks now and I really can’t believe it.

It feels like just yesterday i met my new roommate Gabriella and I can still remember last semester so clearly.  I decided to try being a vegetarian this semester and I really can’t believe I’ve managed it without a hitch this long. The worst part of the fast semester though is as far as Art goes.  I only have 1 piece in sculpture! and it’s still not finished!
I’m still chugging away at those fish. I’ve got their masks and bodies lined up to be fin-ed but I wish I had double.  Not sure how it’ll turn out.

Then I’ve got to cut and colour them which shouldn’t be too hard except I plan on giving up the internet for Lent so I’ll have to watch something I have on DVD while I cut them.  Yeah, I’m not going to cut that many holes without something to distract my brain.

finally comes their tails which I’m still working on at least 5 different prototypes but I feel clothe will still be fastest.  Crochet might look cool but it’d take way too long.

Once I’m done with that I still have a my Junior review in front of everyone only a week or two into next month! YIKES! I better drudge up all my old pieces!
 Time also flew as far as Printmaking goes, and frankly I’m ashamed of myself. After my Astronomy quiz tonight I need to go cut my paper and make all the registration marks so that I can start printing my green plate tomorrow.
I mixed up my ink yesterday and let me tell you  I went through hell getting it right.  The colour was fine but getting the transparency and then understanding that printing inks’ transparencies don’t work like photoshop threw me for a real loop.  urgh
Isn’t my green so pretty though?

I’m starting with one of my simpler plates though and I’ll probably do my brown one last. I’ve always loved how the cuts look on the plate~
I’ve got the plans for my next two prints finished, which is good and they’re going to be a lot simpler.  I’ve got a etching in ancient egyptian hieroglyphs of a cat silhouette and some grains that I plan to have kinda messy looking with a combination of etching lines and woodblock flat colour sections.  I’ve still got to run them by the professor but they should fly.
So in that respect the semester has flown but it’s also stagnated in several respects.
Our garbage disposal has broken at least 3 times.  It feels like it’s been broken all semester.  The roach problem feels like it’s been an eternity.  My nightmares about the nasty little bugs from the first week feels like a million years ago. Astronomy feels like a never ending class with horrendous painful labs and too much math.  I guess I did to astronomy what non-art majors do to ceramics: underestimated it.  Only difference, Ceramics doesn’t make you do anything you’re not expecting.  Astronomy is a deceptive little booger.

Regardless, Midterms are coming. Tomorrow’s ash Wednesday and Lent’s beginning which means it’s almost Easter.  Last Easter feels like an eternity ago.  The Easter Before that is almost out of my mind! I think I finallly beat Final Fantasy XII two easters ago! I almost fainted in mass that year, I remember that much. Last easter I was human figure drawing class and-well.  Art supplies aren’t coming with my on break anymore.  just my sketchbook. (no, I didn’t bring naked people with me, if that thought crossed your mind.  It would have been epic to see people’s faces if I had done that)

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Hand study: Then and Now

My first time sculpting a hand was junior year of high School.  I made a metal frame that I built up with clay.  After getting the hand how I wanted it I asked the teacher if I could kiln it, well surprise surprise . . .  no.  Because there was metal in it she said it wasn’t possible to bisque it.  Plus I’m pretty sure that with the knowledge I have now it wouldn’t have worked out being and solid and thick as it was. So I covered in in plaster instead and painted it up.  My experience with this project and a few others in those years as inspired me to try and teach art in the future maybe and impart as much knowledge about as vast a number of techniques as I possibly can. because as much fun as learning on your own is, learning and making something properly and well is even better.

Well that hand has been sitting in my parent’s house for a few years now, scaring the neighbors (since my mom has it sitting half in a bowl of popuri).  Now, three years later I decided to try again.  I was thinking about going into animation with modeling so I told my sculpture professor I wanted to try the craft out.  He hands me a big box of plasticine and a plaster cast of someone’s hand.  “Alex,” he tells me, “you make a big ball like this, roll out some fingers and stick them on, smooth it out and add the details.  use calipers to gauge the thickness.” Well . . .  I never got any calipers but I did have a stick and some string. After some off and on toiling for a week or two out pops a nice brown plasticine hand like the one below.  I make a mould of that and cast a few resin copies, which the one below is one of.

alright so it was a long time between hand one and hand 2 but there’s a big difference.  I’m actually kinda shocked that I managed to improve that much without actually practicing any modeling between the 2 studies.  I chalk it up to a few things.

1. a better understanding of anatomy in general.  When I sculpted that first hand I drew people like the picture on the left, and I could tell that I was stretching a few things out but not even half as much as I actually saw I was.  I thought the neck was just a little long, not giraffe levels.  And that was one of my few drawings that looked person-like.  When I made the second hand my people sketches had evolved to something more like the drawing on the right.











Now part of that improvement is practice but half of it is from my classes at college.  For the first time in my life I’ve had formal drawing lessons.  More than human figure class, what actually helped most was Basic Drawing I.  Meaning still lives, boxes and tedious studies of sticks and laundry baskets.  That class taught me how to sight measure with my pencil and thumb.  THE MOST HELPFUL SKILL I’VE EVER LEARNED. I swear, thus I put it in caps. 4srs.  When I actually got to human figure I really really really wish we did more with muscles.  We did so much skeleton! And sure, skeleton is important for proportions but without a muscle study I saw on the internet my people would all have straight line arms unless they’re from DBZ. (if which case they’ll look like a poorly drawn Bane from Batman)

2. the ability to see something wrong.  Seriously you don’t realize this until you gain it but you just can’t see things.  They just look right.  Just like how I didn’t realize my stained glass woman’s hands were . . . wrong.
Oh the horror. it was a bad year for hands. (oh yeah and, look, no muscles)
 Alright well I just realized what angle is missing from the second hand collage.  The side shot.  The wrist on the first was was flat and not rounded and that carried over to the back of the hand being too flat.  I just couldn’t see it. I think I saw something was wrong but couldn’t figure out what. That was one of the last things i fixed on my second hand.  I think the professor thought I couldn’t see it because I didn’t fix it for so long until, surprise! I did!

3.  Materials. Not so much, but plasticine: much easier to work with than clay. Not sculpy clay or something but the legit stuff that drys out and breaks and has to be put in a 1600 degree kiln to bisque.  Yeah, that’s what I was working with. I didn’t risk the fingers falling off with the plasticine since it was such a flexible medium.

4. Practice.  Speaks for itself.  Drawing hands regularly helped me to understand how they work much better so that I remember more when  sculpting it the second time.

5. I don’t know how legit it is but when I get frustrated with a boss battle I’ve lost 7 times I put down the controller and turn off the console and do something else for a month. (yeah I deal with it well).  When I pick it back up easily peazy! I don’t understand this phenomena but it holds true for so many other things.  Sometimes I need one of two warm up sketches but the next one’s always better. It bewilders me.

Curious about my older works, well I re-found them all on my old art blog!

I said it before but I’ll say it again, seeing your improvement is awesome.  Even when you’re intimidated by Mucha or Da Vinci and think you’ll never get that good, you look back to what you were doing just a little while ago and you know as long as you keep working at it’s a total possibility.  You just need patience and can’t give up~ <3

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Gold Star for Organization!

I’ve been living in my first college apartment now for just over a semester and while I’m OCD about keeping track of what I bought you still sometimes forget which of the tubs of peter pan crunchy peanut butter of the 5 is yours. That’s why I was so ecstatic when My Roomie Hannah brought up an idea that her friend’s use in their apartment of 5 girls. (which is too many for a two bedroom for me! I don’t know how they do it!)

Here’s how it works,
You buy one of those $1.88 packs of star stickers they have at walmart.

As long as you don’t have more than 5 roommates this sheet’ll work fine because each roommate will be assigned with  one colour

I’m Green C:

You then label all your things with your colour sticker.  That Gross stuff in the fridge? yeah I know whose that is.  The ice cream in the back of the freezer? Yeah I know that was mine now.

Then we organized things on their respective shelves.  4 shelves: 4 girls.
It was heavenly, shelves of matching organized stars.

 See my motherload of Grits? Yeah, I need to get my little sister Christina down here to eat them.  It’ll take me until graduation to finish it all!

It’s such an obvious system but sometimes those are the best ones.

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It’s that stressful time of Year Again, New Art Projects

The semester starts and you need a new Project in every class, but fear not! I already have an Idea for sculpture

After some preliminary sketches over the Christmas Break I think I’m going to go with my fish idea from last semester.  Now the trick is, once I’ve got the idea all panned out to make them big enough that they have a presence but not take so long to make that I can only have 3.  The first hurtle I have to gap is the body, which I’d really like to be made out of metal.  After some pounding on a thin piece of aluminum I jumped on the internet to see how other people have made spheres and the like.  I found this!

Tomorrow afternoon I’m going to try out this, it’s almost exactly what I was doing, but the shapes and extra pieces that weld together are eye opening enough to help me go “Derp! you don’t need 50 triangles or one piece of metal that’s a perfect fit!”  Funny how it’s hard to get your mind out of that silly little box, eh?

I also just started my first print in Print making.  He said Bring in an image so I brought in a revamp of my DA ID

Fingers crossed it turns out well!

I got the resin sand off my metal poured crochet pieces finally too <3  Still have to figure out what to do with them too.

On the not class related front, I started my new Afghan and it’s coming along smashingly! I finally picked out all my own colours and they’re all some of my favorites! Once I’m further in on this and have worked some on my knit cable scarf I’ll make some sunflowers to hang up in my app.  I need to make a tutorial for them too since of the few sunflower patterns I found on Ravelry no one made one like mine, which is pretty exciting!

oh, and if you’re interested, my yarn collection is getting pretty Dreamy <3 There’s just a few more colours I’d love to have in stock if I need them but I haven’t frogged anything yet so maybe that’ll be my next venture~

and there appears to be a sneak afghan bit in that pile. I’m not sure what to do with him.  My mom made him but she doesn’t have enough yarn for me to finish it, plus it’s super itchy. >_o
I don’t really want to unravel it since she made it.  Maybe it’ll just be a strange zig zag scarf? or I can hang it above my App window?

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