I have a new resolution: I will not try to do everything every day.

I could do it fine for the first few days, but I was getting increasingly tired and less motivated.  Also, I didn't have enough time to work on site development, networking, and all that kind of thing.  So I am going to give myself shorter studying days with more time for non-studying projects.  I also resolve not to be working nine or ten hour days.  To some people, it might not seem like a lot, but with my disability, it really is too much.

Yesterday, however, I did do a full day.  I didn't intend to, it just kind of happened.

I started out with my podcast.  I had some errands to do and listened while I did them.  The presentation was by a very distinguished professor in India who talked about how craft has been essential to the Indian identity.  He said that in the various Indian languages, the word for "craft" also means "art", "architecture", and various other similar things.  This is an idea I can get behind!  I am very interested in blurring the lines between art and craft, as I think it's a bit of a false dichotomy, and in some cases it offends my feminist leanings (often, things that men have traditionally done are considered art, and things that women have traditionally done are considered craft.  It's not a hard and fast rule, but it is a trend.)  He talked about craft from the earliest known times of settlement of the Indus Valley region--of course, evidence of craft is one of the first evidences of civilization.  He also discussed how the Mughal Empire brought Islamic-style art to India, as evidenced in the Taj Mahal.   Most interesting to me was the association of craft with independence from the British.  Early on in British rule, the British cut off the thumbs of weavers so that they would not be able to weave, and Indians would thus have to purchase British cloth.  When Gandhi began to envision a free India, he wanted to make sure that British oppression would not be replaced by Indian oppression.  He believed that increased self-sufficiency was the answer to that.  In order to achieve that increased self-sufficiency, Indians needed to re-learn to produce their own crafts.  Gandhi focused on spinning, and taught spinning to his disciples at his ashram and even to Jawaharlal Nehru.  He designed his own portable spinning wheel that he could take with him on his travels and even to jail, where he spent a fair amount of time.  This is why there is a spinning wheel on the Indian flag today.  The flag also has to be spun with the same kind of hand-spun Indian cloth that Gandhi made, as I have just learned from Wikipedia.

Next I decided to experiment with doing an Elmer's school glue resist on cloth.  I applied the resist (and used half the bottle, so good thing it's cheap!) and had to wait for it to dry.  I also prepared several small pieces of cloth for continued experimentation. But that was all.

I continued drawing my ball of yarn.  It continued to drive me crazy.  When I look at it with fresh eyes, it's not so bad, but when I work on it for a while, I am acutely aware of how far my drawing has to go.  My biggest problems are that I am not very good at estimating negative space, so things always end up in the wrong spot and I don't realize it until I try to fill in the detail, which doesn't match up; and that I don't have a good grasp of shading and value.  I do shading, but it never quite looks right.  I don't yet have the tools to identify what it is that I am doing wrong.

In design, I finished the chapter on line.  Line also possesses character, that is, what type of line is made with the medium at hand, and how it is applied.  It could be blurry or sharp, thick or fine, dotted or smudged, etc.  There are other elements having to do with line as well.  Line and shape involved contours, the outermost limits of a figure, and cross-contour, like what you see on a contoured map.  Line and value has to do with types of shading that can be achieved with line.  You can do this by controlling how close together the lines are, or by varying the thicknesses of the lines.  Putting parallel lines together to create different values is called hatching, and you can achieve darker values by making those lines perpendicular, called cross-hatching.  There is also line and texture, which is how the line appears on the surface.  This is created by the different media that can be used.  Additionally, there is line and color.  The color used will change the impact of the line.  There are spacial characteristics of line: thick lines appear to be closer and thinner lines seem to be further away. Lines can modulate from thick to thin and have an impact.  Line can also represent emotions or states.  Gestural drawings are based on an artist's initial impression of something and tend to have loose, flowing lines.  There are also calligraphic lines, or lines that imitate calligraphy (but can be used in any typer of art).  Additionally, there is implied line, or lines that are suggested by the lines and shapes around them (remember closure?)  Finally, there are three-dimensional applications of line: we tend to see lines where there are edges in three-dimensional work.  Sometimes lines are incised in clay to bring a certain image out.

Finally, I worked on my business study.  My husband and I discussed getting my online shop back up.  One of the problems with my shop is that I have horrible pictures, so I re-took pictures of my products.  I'm not sure they're any better, however.  Master photographer I am not.

Today I endeavor to do half of what I did yesterday.  So shorter blog posts, hopefully.

Also, my camera situation has been resolved, and the camera is charged.  At the moment, I am loading those photos onto my computer and it is taking a long time, so I will have some new photos later today or tomorrow.
 


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