Saturday, January 16, 2010

Vivid Dreaming and Art

When I was a child, old enough to write (though not necessarily old enough to spell), I started keeping a dream journal by my bed so that I could try to capture my dreams as I first awoke. I actually kept that up well into my first couple of years of college, and now, only do it on the very rare occasion. That's mostly related to time. I have a lot more to DO once I wake up, now that I'm both a grown up and a mother. And time seems to work inversely once you do-- you have almost infinite amounts when you're younger-- and seem to be constantly chasing the extra hour when you're an adult.

When I was a kid/teenager/ young adult, those journals were FILLED with my vivid dreamings. Those are what I call the dreams that are so realistic and full and active that it's -almost- like waking up from nightmares, even though they aren't scary. Even more rarely, but still pretty common, I dreamed in art. Sometimes, I would merely describe these images with words-- as that was all I needed to see it again. And sometimes, I would make quick sketches with notes so I could actually make the art.

Last night was such a night. It's probably why I'm up at 6 this morning. I dreamed of my painting idea. We've been assigned a self portrait on a 12x12 canvas. The directions specify that there has to be -some- physical representation of ourselves-- but that we're free to fill the free space with what ever we wish.

When Ms. Allen opened up the plastic and showed us the 12 by 12 canvas, I found myself sitting up straighter with the words, "Oooo!" sounding in my head and my fingers itching to start. The first thing I intend to do is tip my canvas 45 degrees.

I'm not going to go into details about the image I hope to make, just in case it doesn't turn out as I have planned (; But the point of the dream wasn't the things in the image-- I was working through my colors and layout in my sleep (: It even went so far as dreaming whether or not I want to frame it, and what I want to do with the frame (:

And so this blog ends with a teaser as I get off the computer to work on my sketches.... After all, they woke me up (;

Friday, January 15, 2010

First Week, Spring Semester

So we've all had our first full week of school after the Winter Break.

Both of my boys had a hard time readjusting to being back at school. My youngest spent his first three days back crying when I left him. It broke my heart a little bit to have to leave him each day, but I had to. But by day four, he was finally getting back into the swing of things: Back on to our regular schedule, regular naps, enjoying his friends and class. Although there are a couple of slightly odd changes he's made for the new year. First, he stopped wanting to bring a blanket to nap with, and stopped wanting to bring a toy of any kind with him to school. He said, "They just take it away and make me put it in my cubby." And he's wearing his coat. Yes, it's been cold, and we've all been wearing our coats outside, but he's not taking his off. All day. Until he gets back home and I have him put it away in his room. I'm thinking the toy in his pocket was a small security item-- that he has replaced with wearing his coat. None of us are making an issue out of it-- though I'm interested to see what's going to happen come spring when the weather warms up... He's also had more accidents in the last 5 days than he did in the entire previous year. On Tuesday, he fell off the see-saw and bruised the bridge of his nose. And yesterday, he fell on the playground and got a woodchip-- not just a sliver, a WOODCHIP!-- stuck in his hand.

My oldest has had a completely different set of reactions-- He's not following the rules at school. As a matter of fact, he's had unsatisfactory behavior for the last three days-- and a note sent home. The next stage, if he doesn't get his act together is going to be after school detention. I am NOT pleased. In addition to this, he's having absolute fits about doing his homework-- I've had to force him to do it for the past week. And last night-- he didn't finish it. I wasn't right on top of him MAKING him do it-- so he didn't. I was going through his folder this morning because I have to sign it every night when he's done his reading homework-- and caught that he hadn't done his math, spelling, nor writing. So he missed breakfast catching up on his school work. He had -2 hours- last night, and didn't get it done-- but had 15 minutes this morning and finished it. I just had him catch breakfast at school, since he missed it at home. His Daddy worked overtime last night, so he was awake when the kids and I got up. And we three had a good discussion about the homework... though in retrospect, we might have needed to cover behavior as well, because that's when he got the third strike. (sigh). I'm hoping to get him back in order this weekend so he's back on track next week. On the upshot, he got straight As for the fall portion of the year and is on Honor Roll!

As for me, it'd been almost a decade since I really took art classes, so I'd forgotten that art classes mean art supplies-- and that in previous years, I'd spent between $200- $500 for a single class worth of supplies! Figure I'm doing well with half that (so far) for all three of the ones I'm in this semester. For my art classes, I'm taking Principles of Digital Design, Painting and Sculpture. The first assignment for PDD was to learn editor marks (which I'm still working on, as I haven't had to use them since about -7th grade-!), choose a story at least 1200 words long that is exciting and personal to us, and find an image at least 600 mpi to go along with the story.

For Painting, our first assignment was LOTS of definitions as an introduction to painting. It took me 6 hours to complete, and had to be written in our sketchbooks. Our next assignment is to create a sketch in the same, as a self-portrait. I asked if it has to just be an image of the physical representation of us, or if it's meant to be an image of what we think represents 'US'. She said it had to have a bit of the physical representation, but it's not hard and fast how that has to be done, and we're welcome to fill the 'free' space as we would. I have, what I think, will be an AWESOME painting-- IF I can pull it off on canvas as well as I can see it my head (:

For Sculpture, our first assignment is a soapstone vessel. Most of the examples we were shown are very shallow bowls. But that's not what I want to make. I was fortunate enough to have my teacher and the power tools all to myself for about 2 hours today (: He helped me flatten the bottom, though if he was using the stone I chose, my bottom would have been his top. I tried to say what I have in mind, but I didn't communicate it very well. But as I proceeded to use the grinders to free the image in my mind from the stone, we were both pleased with the results (: Now, I have an extra assignment to create a variety of sketches for a possible series of pieces, and if those turn out well, I may well have another assignment in stone. And I made sure to find my dremel so I can continue working on my piece, come Tuesday.

And I am aching like a old woman today! Contemporary Dance is kicking my butt (lol). I've never had anything like it, but I'm enjoying it a lot. We did well over 80 crunches yesterday, with some very tai chi forms that had to be held for 2-4 minutes a piece. Then we did dance rolls.... wow. I'm -definitely- going to have to set up an appointment to see the doctor about my inner ear issues. By the end of class, I was so dizzy, I almost puked.

I'm also taking my final science class-- Earth Science with the accompanying lab. I'm enjoying it-- though it's not often I find myself in a class that I recognize as being beyond me. I'm thankful that it's the introductory, non-science major version of the class.... It's not really that it's beyond me, but that we're starting the class at chapter 11....without any of the preliminary information before that. So there's plenty of words tossed around regularly like we should already know them-- without any reason that we would. Even in the book, a word is defined once, the first time it's introduced, then regularly used throughout the rest of the book without ever redefining it.... which would be fine if we were using it sequentially. (lol). I'll know after the first test how hard this class is actually going to be.

I can already tell that it's going to be a VERY busy semester, and I'm looking forward to it (: