Yesterday I only worked a little bit on my education.  I was having guest over so I had to prepare for most of the day (I was cooking a bit of a complicated dinner).  So I only worked on Design and Surface Design.

In my design book I read about attitudes that people have when viewing art.  Some art is difficult to understand, particularly if it is in a new form.  Sometimes the public reacts negatively to a work of art, which occasionally means that the art has to be removed and even sometimes destroyed.  I learned about how to develop ideas as an artist: looking for stimulating ideas in your travels, observe how people relate to each other, study nature, doodle, or look at existing artwork, for example.  I learned about critiquing and analysis: examine the subject, form and content and see how each of those measures up.  I learned about basic concepts in two-dimensional art, such as having a flat plane or three-dimensional effect, and how the picture frame can be in any shape you want, not just rectangular canvas.  I learned that negative areas are just as important as positive areas.  In three-dimensional art, the shape, mass, and volume have to be taken into account.  Sculpting includes several methods for creating: subtraction, or taking away material; manipulation, or modeling; addition, or adding materials onto the item; and substitution, or casting.  Finally, the chapter discussed some three-dimensional art forms that use these methods: sculpture, architecture, metalwork, glass design, ceramics, fibers (yay!), and product design.

 I also worked on washing out the dye from my low-water immersion dyeing experiments.  Washing out dye is my least favorite task in surface design.  I think it took me about an hour to get it all out.  Here are the results:
This is tie-dye.
This one was pleated. I made the pleats into different sizes.
This one was scrunched into the toe of old pantyhose.
This one was tie-dyed using little pebbles. The circles are smaller, rounder, and more regular than the plain tie-dyeing.
This one was folded into squares.
It was an interesting experiment.  My favorite were the tie-dyes and the scrunching.

Today I had a full day.  I started with the warm-up that I missed last time, making a little altered-art card.  I took a map and found Spokane, where my husband did his undergrad.  I gave it as a gift to him.
This is a horrible photo, for which I apologize. It's also backward. I regularly lose the battery charger for my camera, so I take a lot of bad photos.
Next, I listened to a podcast.  It was a lecture by a woman who was an expert in Indian cotton.  It was quite a fascinating lecture.  India has been producing cotton cloth for tens of thousands of years!  More recently, in the middle ages, there has been a lively trade with Indian cotton in Arabia, and Persia.  They started to trade with Europe when the Portuguese came in the fifteenth century, and have traded with both the Dutch and British East India companies.  They have also traded with Indonesia, Thailand, and China, where Indian cotton was very highly prized and worn in the royal court.  India has a rich tradition of textile arts involving cotton: the block printing of Gujarat, embroidery, ikat, and other decorative weaving.  It is difficult studying the history of textiles because textiles tend to deteriorate after a hundred years or so.  In India, these cloths have been used until they were dead, and so most information about Indian textiles comes from the places they've traded with.

I finished my drawing in the park today.  I drew as many leaves as I was willing to draw.  I wanted to draw the gravel but there was no way I was going to draw each and every pebble.  Also, somewhat annoyingly, some of the details that were on the ground before, such as pinecones, were blown away by leafblower before I could get started.  Who leafblows a path?
Again, sorry for the terrible photographs.
Next I worked on design.  The chapter I am on now is about form.  Basically, I looked at the principle of harmony that can exist in a work.  This can be achieved through repetition, rhythm (a concept I am still trying to get my head around and don't understand well enough to describe yet), pattern, closure (when your brain supplies missing information), visual linking in which two items touch each other, linking through extensions (in which there are items in the visual that form shapes by themselves, such as a triangle around three heads) and the problem of excessive use of harmony, which creates monotony.

For surface design I am overdying my just-dyed cloths using the same methods I used previously.  I used the same low-water immersion dying that I did last time, but with blue dye this time.

In business, I started studying finances.  I am having quite a bit of trouble with this part.  I am not very good at crunching numbers and complex formulas really confuse me.  I will probably have to have someone help me out with this part.  I have to estimate start-up and ongoing costs, which is going to take a fair bit of research and can't really be done in one day.  I have to figure out my own wage, which has me quite surprised because the authors insist that I must pay myself well.  That would mean making more money than I have ever made before--a lot more.  Like double of my previous best.  I am still kind of shocked that it may be possible for me to be middle-class with my business.  Can that really happen with art?  The authors seem to think so.  So this amazing wage that I am paying myself is to be calculated into the price of the items I am making.  Of course I still need to figure out my material costs, because I honestly have no idea what I spend on materials.

Now, I'm going to play around with my website a bit to see if I can't spiff it up!


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