March 2005 archives
March 30, 2005
it @ nocturnal
by gl. at 12:29 am
sven & i went to it @ nocturnal tonight (the last night it's at nocturnal; next month it moves to acme). starts at 7 -- ha! michaelmas & i were there at 7 and they said to come back in 10 or 15 minutes. (michaelmas was interested in nocturnal because it used to be the home of future dreams.) we waited till they let us in the door, then decided to go home and watch buffy. by the time i watched an episode of buffy, said my goodbyes and drove back to nocturnal, they still hadn't started yet! sven & i then waited in a crowding, smoky bar with a very obnoxious man yelling things every chance he could get. the in-jokes were thick and furious. so the atmosphere was not so much fun.
once they got around to showing the movies finally, though, it got lots better. i like seeing people make and show art. sven seemed inspired. and cinema queso's work is pretty good.
March 28, 2005
artist's way: week 10
by gl. at 10:25 pm
easter egg 3d pieces tonight: easter eggs in the sense of hidden computer curiousities or a dvd surprise you have to know the secret button combination for. 45 minutes to decorate the inside and the outside of the eggs, 20 minutes to write a poem about how to open it, then sharing, surprisingly, only two particpants had eggs that opened; the other two deliberately sealed theirs shut.
March 21, 2005
artist's way: week 9
by gl. at 11:49 pm
we worked with clay tonight because though it finally stopped raining, it's still a little cold for the supernifty supersecret surprise.
it was a hard night. the participants are 2 months into the process now and many of them are stretching themselves very thin. it looks like i have several the overachievers this term, and they don't want to give up. i'm actually worried about one of them, who gets up at 3:45 a.m. to do morning pages and is having nerve issues. another participant bristled against the purposely ephemeral nature of this exercise, since we did no writing about and very little showing of the creations.
there were some bright spots: there was a fair amount of lightening while tossing clay into the air and outright giggling when passing around the pieces while blind and trying to figure out what they were. and after mentioning the possibility a few week ago, one of the participants really is quitting her job!
LSGL work session #9
by sven at 11:40 pm
Time in studio: 2 hrs 15 min
- created two still shots of the cave's entry passage
Unfortunately, neither of the shots I created are at all useful. Crud!
I tried putting the camera in all kinds of different places in my set -- even upside down -- but it looks like the entry passage is going to have to be resculpted. I tell myself "creative success requires creative failure" -- but a night like this makes me worry that I can't get the movie done this year. ...And that's just not acceptable.
Last week I was consumed with creating a "supernifty and supersecret project" for Artist's Way. This week I'm going to be consumed with proof-reading Kristian William's new book. ...I haven't accomplished nearly as much as I should have in March.
...I'd been beginning to consider doing some additional filming of the actors in order to doctor the movie's ending. But every bump in the road steals more time...
- model some new tunnels in LightWave to use as set
- draft a time-line for finishing the movie (is it possible?)
4 summer students!
by gl. at 1:54 pm
the MAC just told me the first promotional article has run in their internal publication "the winged m," and they already have four students registered! ee! it looks like this might happen after all! the condensed summer classes there run june 6-july 28.
March 20, 2005
kelsey printing guide
by gl. at 6:11 pm
ooo! chas just sent me more letterpress materials he found lurking about his place, including the kelsey printing guide, which i saw online long before i thought i'd ever have one of my own!
still have to get that roller arm unbent, though....
unsolicited & effusive praise
by gl. at 11:29 am
rob, with a master's in american studies, has commented that artist's way might be the best class he's ever taken. at any rate, he writes a wholly unexpected and flattering post on his blog about some of the effects artist's way has had on him (as well as sweet commentary on his impending fatherhood).
though he's absolutely right when he says "which is not to say that we participants four have not proved an intrepid and wowsomely intuitive band...." because they have! each person is here because of a series of serendipities & synchronicities, but now there's a level of trust & cameraderie i find very heartening because i think a lot of artistic self-censoring happens in isolation. supported by a community of what julia cameron calls "believing mirrors," you find courage and hope -- and as rob says, confidence -- to take with you after artist's way is over.
of course, it looks to me as if artist's way is never over. it's more of a spiral than a circle, where you keep seeing the same thing from different perspectives. i mean, there's a lot of ground to cover in 13 weeks (especially if you're struggling against years of doubt or uncertainty). :)
March 19, 2005
drawing studio: week 9
by gl. at 11:12 pm
today we met the notorious jeff, one of phil's coteachers. he was late so i got a chance to ask the person who's been hanging around taking notes why she's been taking notes. apparently she wants to publicize phil's methods and use them while working with troubled teens; she's especially interested in the young girl (12? 13?) who comes to class with her father.
this was our second (and i believe last) session working with a model, who i was pleased to see was male this time 'round. jeff had us go through 6 or 7 gesture exercises on the same page; then he told us to imagine a shapeful object like a tennis ball or a quart of milk and apply those shapes to the model; then he gave a us a couple of 20-minutes poses with the model. i experimented with the "just make marks you like" technique to some success, but just when i was really getting into it we switched poses. i completely lost track of the last piece, smudging most of it out and beginning again with the face during the last 5 minutes.
weird. i thought i had at least one other post about the drawing studio on this blog, but i guess they must all be on the blogspot blog. anyway, still no art. by the time i get any drawing studio pictures up, the class will be over!
March 16, 2005
innaugural artist's way meetup
by gl. at 12:46 am
alas, i didn't meet anyone new. the most recent artist's way member had to send a "no" rsvp and the first member i haven't heard from in months.
but sven & rob came, and rob brought kyrie, so we had four, which is three more than would have been there otherwise. and hey, we all got art out of it! so i consider it a huge success. :) if nothing else, i want to hold this space open as an opportunity for former artist's way students to have a collage night if they choose, and it forced me to do art, so i'm willing to keep it small for a long time. and collage is a "spreading" sort of activity, anyway: even with the big table w/ all the leaves, it felt like we could have used even more room! :)
the meetup photo format didn't do what i expected (i can't edit captions and it places them in FILO order rather that FIFO). and it takes a predictably long while to download, tweak, export small, upload them to meetup, etc., etc.
more i could do and say, but it's almost 1 a.m. and i am so tired....
March 14, 2005
artist's way: week 8
by gl. at 11:30 pm
some good group dynamics, even if we were missing one and we began late because i was busy taping brown craft paper on the walls so that tonight's exercise wouldn't streak them. we did blind painting tonight, which is always a lot of fun. i bought tray tables this afternoon so that they'd have somewhere to put their paints & rinsing water.
a brief unfortunate encounter: sven was being playful and added a small red circle near colleen's painting. i felt that was a violation of boundaries and the integrity of each artist's space, so i asked sven not to do that. but it was awkward, and though later colleen said she didn't mind, i still don't want people in our group to be making those sorts of assumptions. in the future, i asked people to -ask- before doing something like that, which was accepted fairly well.
afterwards, i partially set up the artspace for tomorrow's meetup, and it makes me think i should stop at trader joe's tomorrow after work.
March 13, 2005
creata: the creative process
by gl. at 7:58 pm
alas, i didn't pick up on the fact that i had attended this same session last year, so there went $12 and 2 hours of my life i could have used right before fleeing to eugene for the laurie anderson concert. otoh, some of it made more sense. the articles she used as handouts are dense.
what happens during "flow" (and its counterpart, ebb.)
creative process cycle:
1. art as healing
2. art as therapy
3. art in therapy
this was another session where the discussion between participants picked up a bit. still, i was tired and anxious about getting to eugene on time, and my eyelids were extremely heavy. i think it ought to have been a beginning-of-the-week session rather than the last session of the week.
still managed some mild artist's way promotion, though. the facilitator talked about it after i had mentioned it a couple of times, said she had heard good things about it.
creata: the therapeutic aspects of blogging
by gl. at 7:54 pm
who better than me to attend a session about the therapeutic affect of blogs, right? alas, her history was full of innaccuracies and her assessments of the "first" blogging tools or the "first bloggers" were obviously influenced by popular rather than historical items.
you can tell she's studying to be an art therapist because she had us do an experiential exercise even though it was probably inappropriate for this context: we wrote something on a piece of paper we might not tell someone face to face, then she read one out loud, and everyone wrote something they might say to that person on another sheet of paper. obviously this was designed to mimic the blog/comment process, but the instructions were so vague and separated from the medium that it felt hollow and pointless (plus, the particpants being mostly art therapists, their comments were often things like, "i hear that you're frustrated. what can you do to change things?" ha!). not that she had any idea if any of us blogged: she asked if we all knew what a blog was, waited for us to nod, and then hurried on.
her thesis is about whether blogging is therapy, and her research consists of 40(!) surveys sent to bloggers (and with a 100% success rate i suspect she knew all of them), asking questions like, "if a major life event occured, would you be more likely to blog about it instead of or before going to therapy?" i'm paraphrasing because she didn't include a copy of the survey.
she wants to be a famous blogger. apparently her photoblog, which i ran across by accident, was mentioned in wired, but i can 't find a reference to it.
she seems very enthusiastic and passionate about the subject, though, and it was the first session where a genuine discussion took place. it also drew a younger crowd than is typical for the art therapy week. her drive is to find ways to create safer therapy spaces for bloggers. she wants to "read and write for the field," an unusual research inclination for an art therapist. she creating a found poem (a "poetic transcription" as a way to "display" qualitative data. interesting term: anonymous witnesses.
March 11, 2005
red76: blow back
by gl. at 11:40 pm
reed had an ephemera exhibit from red76's ny public archive project. it was unfortunately spread between the kaul auditorium & the library (kaul had more of a "history & background" flavour while the library actually showcased some of the actual items gathered by the project). and alas, like most ephemera exhibits, it was hampered by the glass that separated you from it. but the actual project itself is very cool & is another nudge towards my idea for distributing a "thoughtful alphabet" about town.
creata: creating soul
by gl. at 10:46 pm
taught by an art therapist from spokane, washington. guided meditation: a heathered hill in ireland, fading sunset to a full moon, a black panther, a beach, a cliff above the sea. do you want to walk to the moon? or do you want to dance with her?
one of the interesting things about doing the creata thing the second time around is that i've been able to actually make some contacts. the organizer recognizes me from last year and said it was interesting to hear more about my story. i've met two student art therapists because we've all been to the same sessions and they're both interested in the possibility of artist's way (it's too bad it will start in fall, which is forever from now!).
the other interesting thing is that i've managed to find another field where people care about the letters after your name more than they care about your experience. licensing art therapists is a hot topic, and this was the first facilitator to say it didn't matter and i could feel people cringe. and you might, too, if you had spent over $30,000 for an art therapy degree from marylhurst.
i wish i had a more streamlined way of getting art from paper to blog. i want to add more images to posts (especially on the ART blog...!) but it seems like so many steps for so little gain. camera/scanner > tweak, tweak > tweak some more > save image > upload > link.
portland society of calligraphy
by gl. at 10:09 am
so it turns out the portland society for calligraphy meets on the second monday of every month! (the same nights as artist's way.) so i can't go till their may meeting, which will be the last one of the year (they'll pick up again in september, just like sdfc used to).
i just finished arranging my schedule for fall and if i really like them, i'll be sad to miss them till spring 2006. otoh, if i don't like them, i'll be mad i rearranged my artist's way schedule for them. i think i'm going for the "become a member & do extracurricular activities" strategy till spring. i can't believe i have to plan this far ahead in march. :)
their membership fee is lower than sdfc, but they seem less interesting, too. they meet in a church waaaaaayyy out in beaverton (ugh), the woman who spoke to me asked me nothing at all and volunteered very little information (and got back to me more than a week later), said she couldn't send me a newsletter or a membership form, and the next three meetings will be "reviewing the lloyd reynolds videos." who, admittedly, was a reedie, but hmmmmm. surely there's something more to the society than this. i miss the sdfc.
March 10, 2005
portland artist's way fall 2005!
by gl. at 5:35 pm
wow. so i'm just halfway through with the spring artist's way and already i have to decide on dates for the fall artist's way so that i can give a flyer to one of the women i worked with at the last creata workshop.
by gl. at 11:42 am
aw, little ol' scarlet got her first spam today! soon she'll be all growed up!
March 9, 2005
creata: dancing from the core
by gl. at 11:49 pm
an hour and a half of dancing and i still feel like i need to stretch. :) no processing, no sense of its relation to or place in art therapy, but i had a pretty good time. interesting timing after the authentic dance session from the last artist's way; we even did mirroring!
LSGL work session #8
by sven at 11:09 pm
Time in studio: 2 hrs 15 min
- created .psd still shot for entry into cave from outside
Well, without "committing" per se, I've started working on part II: the cave's vestibule, and pausing at the "abandon all hope ye who enter here" sign.
Tonight I put together the important still shot where the lavamen transition from the outside world (Photoshop) into the cave environment (LightWave). After I got source material that I liked from LW, I composited this with a pre-existing .psd image. Lots of painting ensued.
"Smudge" is your friend -- but copying and pasting little circles of color can be better, because it maintains texture.
My workflow is going to need tweaking, I suspect. When I save still shots from Viper, I may want to check how they mesh with the lavamen in Photoshop instead of AfterEffects. ...Photoshop's going to become my test environment, I guess.
- create more still shots for the vestibule in LW
- create the "abandon hope" archway
- figure out how to gracefully transition from the entry's blue tones to the interior's jade tones
March 8, 2005
LSGL work session #7
by sven at 10:54 pm
Time in studio: 3 hrs
- hand-sketched new storyboard
- drafted new meta-level outline of events
I've been reviewing my rough cuts to date and comparing them to my most recent storyboards. Rather than try to create a new photographic storyboard, as I was doing before, I decided to hand-draw the frames -- for the sake of speed and allowing myself to go in new directions.
Looking at my sketches, it appears that there are going to be about 90 shots in the film. Furthermore, I now see it as being divided into six major sections:
I. Lavamen in painting world
II. Lavamen in LW set - no critters
III. Lavamen and critters, but not overlapping
IV. Lavamen walking within crowd of critters
V. That, plus animating the critters
VI. All that, plus the lavamen and the critters interact
The good news: part II is well within my abilities now -- I could possibly complete it in a week, if I worked hard at it.
The bad news: I've got those dreaded "script problems" with parts V and VI. Basically the end of the movie needs to be reworked, and I'm struggling to figure out what the series of events is going to be.
What I know now: The "boss creature" needs to play a more explicit role in motivating the death of the explorers... The death scene itself needs to be strung out longer -- possibly with more shots of the creatures moving around, possibly with new footage of the actors (trying to use myself as a stand-in for Carl?)... And I've decided that I really want to see the creatures stand up -- not just lean over!
- commit to actually completing part II in the next few weeks
- figure out how this movie is supposed to end!
March 7, 2005
artist's way: week 7
by gl. at 11:57 pm
tonight we did what is usually one of the hardest activities for participants: authentic dance, which is 10 minutes of "dance" in front of a witnessing partner. we do several warm ups to lead up to this, and in a way last week was a warm up for this week. it's great to have a studio where i can dim the lights (i actually turned them off & just left the star lamps on). two of the participants had just been to the ballet, so the timing was quite good. (let's hear it for synchronicity!)
it's also the abundance chapter, and it marks the halfway point, so i like to do a grand gesture at the weekly altar:
the heat from these candles made the star lamp above it spin. :) i also had large clusters of candles on the front porch, the bathroom, the kitchen & on the flat files.
one of the participants has voiced her desire to quit her job by the end of artist's way. wow! what is it about artist's way that provokes that reaction? :)
the one irritation this evening: just as we were getting started, a group of kids(?) ran up the stairs, rang the doorbell and ran away. grrrrrrr......
LSGL work session #6
by sven at 11:41 pm
Time in studio: 1 hr
- tested animating the moving light source associated with the lavamen
- typed up documentation for the "set dressing" process
There are two irreprable flaws with my lighting design...
First: The lavamen have no flashlights or lanterns. Walking into a cave, you'd think they'd be carrying something!
Second: There's no way for me to make the glow from the lavamen red -- it has to be white. This the result of how I've accomplished the "neon-gothic" look. Because I'm using all kinds of hue-shift, it'd be ridiculously hard to get the right tint.
Even so, I'm pleased with the look of the moving light source. It's subtle, but the changing shadows give the lavamen a way to actually interact with the environment, making them look less two-dimensional. ...In my own head, I think of it simply as the physics of this strange universe I've created.
Here's the documentation I created tonight:
A. BEFORE STARTING
- Open LW and AE
- In AE, open the animatic shot that you want to work on
- Make sure Viper is enabled in LW
B. CAVE SET
- Open “cave template” scene in LW
- Set cam location, height, angle Note: Use the horizon line as a reference, comparing to AE shot
- Apple-F9 to render a still
- Export still from Viper as a .psd
- Import .psd still shot into AE
- Place still shot under lavamen footage.
- Set hue/sat to about 150/90. Set brightness/contrast. ...How does it look?
C. ELDER THINGS
- Add Elder Things to the set (+) Note: control-C is the clone command
- Arrange the Elders using the animatic shot as a reference
- Apple-F9 to render a still
- Export from viper as a .psd
- Import .psd still shot into AE
- Place still shot under lavamen footage. ...How does it look?
D. LIGHT FROM LAVAMEN
- Set fps to 1 or 2
- Set length of LW scene to match length of lavamen footage
- Set first and last keyframes for light #2 (light associated with cam)
- In “render options”, name .mov file and location to be saved
- Apple-F10 to render movie
- Import .mov of moving light into AE
- Place .mov under lavamen footage. ...How does it look?
E. FINAL RENDER
- If the previous render looks good, go back and render a 15 fps, anti-aliased, etc.
March 6, 2005
by gl. at 11:03 pm
doing a workshop at the iprc probably prompted this, but i spent tonight finally unpacking the letterpress chas gave me over thanksgiving! three boxes later, and i have an almost-functional press and the use of one of my studio's kitchen counters again! i was thrilled to find two "new" rollers to replace the ones that had disintegrated, but dismayed to discover one of the "hook" arms to hold the rollers is bent in such a way that i can't pull it down far enough to add a new roller. i tried to bend it back, but this stuff is solid & old and made of iron or steel and isn't budging. i can't imagine what made it bend to begin with. so i'm stuck for a bit.
looks like i still need a brayer & a planer, too, but these aren't big deals at all.
getting rid of a lot of the letterpress clutter in the kitchen makes me feel less intimidated by the press (it's so cute!) and about the kitchen space. in general, we don't use the appliances very well in the studio, so they take up a lot of room i'd rather be using for storage. i'm considering storing the typecases in the oven. :)
creata: directive vs. open studio
by gl. at 10:56 pm
not much to say: i've identified artist's way as a fairly directed activity, not just because of the book but because all the art sessions associated with them are detailed by me and are often designed with something particular in mind. i had never considered having an open studio session, though, and i might give that a go.
our directed activity was, essentially, to draw our happy place: i drew a summer night on the springwater corridor trail, with a full moon rising over mt. hood and a scarlet star twinkling in the sky. i was the only one with a night scene. :)
iprc: transfer printing
by gl. at 10:33 pm
i was 20 minutes late because i thought i was 10 minutes early, but all the techniques were demonstrated (and they are all reverse transfer techniques, so text needs to be mirrored first):
carbon transfer: trace item onto tracing paper using bold soft pencil. place carbon side down onto surface and burnish the image off.
crayon transfer: using water soluable crayons or possibly oil pastels or something of that ilk, color a block (or multiple blocks) on the -other- side of the image. place the crayon side down against the surface and trace the image.
ink blotting (mono print): use ink (or other mediums, but hurry!) on tracing paper over graphic. tape the tracing paper to the graphic and also to paper you want to transfer to, forming a hinge, then flip it over to the other piece of paper to "print" it.
oil transfer: add a thin layer of oil or acrylic or bodied ink on glass w/ brayer; a carboard frame bigger than your image but smaller than the glass; place paper on top of frame, place graphic on top of paper & trace it w/ a dry ballpoint or stylus. it should press the oil against the bottom of the paper as you draw.
ghost print: remove the paper frame from the oil transfer; press paper flat against the ink for the negative image.
heat transfer: color the surface of your graphic w/ fabric crayons, if you want. place graphic face-down against surface. set an iron to 5/6 (cotton) and press hard to transfer the graphic.
solvent transfer: place the graphic face down on the surface. add a small amount of solvent (like acetone -- fingernail polish remover -- or goof off, or a colorless blender pen, or citrisolve, the least toxic option) to a cotton ball & dab at the graphic with the cotton balls until the whole image has been moistened but not soaked. then burnish the image with a bone folder. (i've done this before and it never turns out as well as i'd like, but citrisolve worked great!).
caulking transfer: quickly paint clear caulk on a piece (this is especially good on a non-paper items like wood, canvas, etc), add your graphic face down onto the calk, let dry. when completely dry, soak the item in water to remove the original paper; the transfer will now live in the flexible caulk.
March 5, 2005
glad to have a photocopier!
by gl. at 11:55 pm
i just photocopied "several high-contrast images" for tomorrow's iprc workshop. whee!
March 3, 2005
LSGL work session #5
by sven at 6:44 pm
Time in studio: 2 hrs
- experimented with process for set-dressing
Experimented with the process for doing "set dressing" today. It looks like it breaks into three steps: (1) open a template "camera in cave" scene and adjust the horizon / framing; (2) introduce critters into the scene; (3) animate the light source. Check each step in AfterEffects before progressing.
In Lightwave, i'm finding it useful to have Viper open and save stills as .psd files, which can then be easily imported into AfterEffects.
The most important thing in terms of getting the still shot framed right seems to be looking for where the horizon line is.
Applying "hue / saturation" and "brightness / contrast" to the still shot within AfterEffects seems to still be working very well.
I discovered the joys of the "clone" command when I was putting the Elder Things in place in Lightwave. ...I really need to create some low-res stand-ins!
When the critters have been put into the shot and I have the lavamen walk through, I haven't quite figured out what to look for, in order to make everything look proportionally correct...
In terms of lighting, I think I'm beginning to get a sense of the final design: Have a point light about 100' up, with about an 800' fall-off. That emulates light coming from the surface world, filtering down through the ice. Then there's a smaller light associated with the position of the camera, with about a 50' fall-off.
Still shots look, well, still. But if I animate the light associated with the camera, so that light seems to be coming from the lavamen as they walk -- then I'll have something that looks pretty interactive going on. Just be sure to stick to the 1-2-3 process described above!
- type documentation for "set dressing" process
- try animating the light source
March 2, 2005
artist's way meetup
by gl. at 9:53 pm
hey, i'm now the organizer of the portland artist's way meetup, which has floundered w/o an organizer for months! i've been wanting to do a free-monthly-art-making-meeting-thing for a while now, so this seems like a fairly natural way to do it. we'll probably usually be doing collage or other art on our morning pages journals, since most of us go through about one a month, anyway. it gives me a chance to do art instead of just facilitating it, i love it when the studio gets used, and it even gives my current artist's way students a more casual way to convene and do art.
my unanswered question: so if you're meeting to talk about artist's way, but you're not actually in artist's way, what do you talk about? :)
March 1, 2005
artist's way: week 6
by gl. at 10:51 am
we did a variation of playback theatre for this artist's way: i forgot how effective it is! unlike writing or visual arts, playback theatre involves articulating a story with other group members, but even more scary to some is telling a story and being the center of attention. we were all laughing and energized by the end of the night -- one piece actually had me in tears we were laughing so hard. it made me realize how focused & tense it's seemed lately: too much to do and just barreling from one thing to the other leaves little room for laughter. the future-oriented event was even better than i expected. next time, i'll figure out a better way to handle the improvisational poetry portion. at the end of the night i also gave more concrete examples of what i'm looking for in an omega project. and i was happy to note that the participants initiated wanting to exhange contact information -- something i don't like to do off the bat, but had meant to ask about for the media fasting exercise.
i've got the post-class cleanup down pretty well, now. a little too well, perhaps -- i found myself wanting to linger a bit longer in the studio. i've got really good clippies now and so i can put up the charcoal pieces sven & i generate in the saturday drawing studio classes on a regular basis, and other unfinished tidbits i'm attached to, without fearing they'll crash on someone's head. having art up makes a big difference, and i'm very fond of rotating ephemeral art rather than always having formal framed art. (of course, i have a lot of framed art thanks to terrilynn, and don't know what to do with it now. :)