Thursday, December 23, 2010

On Grades...

... Straight A's.


What gives? It's some kind of Christmas miracle!

*hears a rendition of the Hallelujah chorus*

On another note, we watched David Lynch's Dune last night.

Reverend Mother to Jessica: "You were my greatest pupil. And my greatest disappointment."

I said: "That's probably what Don Seegmiller will say to me in two years."

It was good for a laugh from 100% of the room, which consisted of me, Ty, my bro and his wife.


Hope everyone's holidays are shaping up to be wonderful.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

On Finals...

Drawing for Illustration Final is on Tuesday. I'll be turning in my sketchbook.

Rendering the Human Head is on Wednesday. I'll be turning in my final project and all my in-class and out-of-class work.

Illustrative Media Techniques is on Thursday. I'll be turning in thirty watercolor paintings.

I need to write an Ethics paper...

Then done for two weeks!!

My peeps, friends and others in school: good luck!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

On Talented Peeps...

... so Kenna's a gangsta.

(Just so you know, gangsta is a good thing. When I use the term, it means 'extremely above-average at something'... O_O)

So Kenna's a gangsta. I know this because I was at the Warp&Weave launch party tonight and I saw one of Kenna's pieces on display. She didn't know it was being published. Probably this was mostly due to the fact that they told her it wasn't accepted for publication. Soooo... I got to tell her the good news. That a piece of her original artwork was published in the anthology for speculative fiction. And let me tell you, competition is fierce. One of the artworks published was submitted by a guy in Bolivia. That's right. This is an international publication. w00t! They were selling prints of the artwork at the party and I heard they sold out. Here it is:

"When I Fall Asleep"
Mixed media on paper
by Kenna the Gangsta

I know, right? Creepy. I can't stop looking at it.

Congrats Kenna. You da bomb!

Friday, December 3, 2010

On Watercolor...

So what does it do to someone's mental state to have to produce thirty watercolor paintings in four weeks? I don't know... go ask my therapist...

In other news...

Watch this movie: The Horse's Mouth
It's Alec Guinness as an aged artist with a foot fetish. Crazy!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

On Models...

Patrick Wilkey is a friendly AVC professor at UVU. Today he brought his dog to school. Denise, Ty and I watched Patrick carry the chihuahua mix back and forth from his office. "What's his name?" Denise asked. "Lenny," said Patrick, "or Leonard if he's in trouble." So Lenny visited our class today. Don brought him in as a model and we did watercolor sketches of him. Cute yellow dog. He sat still for about half an hour, then he decided that fifteen dollars an hour wasn't enough money and wandered around the studio until Patrick came back for him.

My Lenny paintings...

We had a critique on our still life raven and the Lenny sketches. It's interesting to see so many different styles in class. After class, Don said to me, "I really like your watercolors."


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

On Switching Majors...

So a few of us have decided that there might be a mass exodus from the art program over to accounting. We'll trek across campus in the sleet, heads bent like a group of fated penguins. Kenna, Matt, Ginny, Stewart and I talked about what it will look like...

(wind howling) Long shot of figures fighting the gale...

Ginny (shouting): I dropped a paintbrush!

Kenna (pulls on Ginny's arm): Leave it! We won't need it where we're going!

(Someone falls into the snow)

Stewart: We lost someone!

Lee: We can't go back! Keep moving!

Matt: I can see the math building! Do you think it's true what we've heard? All the paper has lines on it already. And we don't have to put our work up on the wall for people to make fun of...

Lee: Yeah, where every question has one right answer.

Ginny: Are we really going where nothing's subjective?

Kenna: I can't imagine such a place...

Friday, November 12, 2010

On Compliments...

I painted a poison dart frog yesterday in Illus Media Tech. I had a stack of watercolor paintings at my table and a few people came over to look at them. Ginny picked my brain about working with the medium and Stewart put on Firefly for us to listen to while we wrestled with watercolor. I got a lot of compliments on my watercolor work. It's nice. Maybe I'm above-average for my experience level in this medium. Wouldn't that be nice?

Don gave a lecture on egg tempera. Ty paid close attention. I just painted. Ty can be the classical painter. I'll just do pets in arbitrary color for the rest of my life. w00t.

In Drawing for Illus, Stewart was finishing up a concept sketch/painting of a creature. I said, "Stewart that looks great." He began his normal compliment-negating response. Then he stopped and said, with no irony in his voice: "Thank you, Alicia."



Too bad Kenna missed it.

In Ethics today, we talked about animal rights and Olsen pretended to be Singer and we had to argue against him. We ended up discussing how we should only eat animals that die of natural causes. Oh, and people. That's right, we should eat people that die of natural causes too because according to Singer, what we do to animals we better be willing to do to humans.


So. I'm really tired.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

On Halloween at UVU...

Me and my peeps: Kenna, Ginny and Stoo

Lee and steampunk Kenna...

Ty as Shaun of the Dead and me as... well I told Ty on the way to school that I was the demon goddess of Utah drivers.... My sleeves are rolled up because it's a painting class.

Pirate Denise!

Jorge the artistic samurai...

Shaun, GI Jorge and Stewart as Raiden from Mortal Kombat...

Halloween in GT 413: Denise, Lee, Stoo, Ginny, Rani, and Ty

Sunday, November 7, 2010

On Being Average...

I got average scores on recent assignments in Illustrative Media Tech and Drawing for Illustration. Average means "C". Yeah, I got "C"s. Kenna got average scores also. This was a revelation to us. Being average. It caused a sort of existential crisis. I started laughing when Kenna started laughing after she saw the face I made when I realized and said out loud, "We're average." I laughed. But there were tears coming out of my eyes too. And Kenna looked a little wild-eyed as well. Here are the two C's:

Zombie Self-Portrait in watercolor

"Black Sabbath" - cuz she's going to church.

Stewart didn't get average grades. He got two professional grades and an above-average grade. That's because he's above-average and mostly professional.

Later during that class but out in the hall where we were drawing, Stewart said, "I'm gonna make a noise..." and then he said he wasn't going to, but we all begged him to and told him we wouldn't laugh at him, just at the noise if it was funny and how he shouldn't be nervous or ashamed of making a noise in front of us and so he said, "Okay, this is a noise from Return of the King and it happens when something dies and you have to guess what it is." Then he wouldn't do it, because he was laughing, or we were, and it was just this amazing above-average experience. Finally after half an hour, Stewart made the noise. We all held our breaths in anticipation and it didn't sound anything like any of us thought it would and I will be telling this story for years to come.

Also at that time in the hall during class, Tyler encouraged each of us to say the same sentence in a different language. We went around the table and each said, "She's dead. Very sad." Tyler in Russian, Kenna in German, Kim in ASL, Stewart in Japanese (his was the best, you should HEAR Stoo speak Japanese, it's like something out of a black-and-white samurai film) and me in Spanish. I said, "Esta muerta. Muy triste." Then Ty said, "No bueno." And we all cracked up.

I called my mom that night and she assured me I was awesome. "I was just thinking about how awesome you are," she said when she picked up the phone.

I have been working on watercolors today. I like watercolors. A lot. I'm soooo so so so glad to be done with oils. Blergh.

Maybe I'll try to reinstall PSCS3 on my pc so that I can start to post photos again. It's just so hard talking to people in India trying to resolve issues with software.

Friday, October 29, 2010

On Yo Gabba Gabba...

Here's Jonathan in his new costume. I don't know if he will wear it on Halloween night, but he was tickled by the surprise of it. He could play DJ Lance Rock... don't you think?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

On Cheeseburgers...

... I ate one. Today. It was from Five Guys. It was amazing. I was thinking that I hadn't had one and I deserved one because I've felt kinda stretched like butter over too much bread. Like Bilbo says.
I sat in the sunshine for five whole minutes this morning before heads class and just closed my eyes and breathed it in. I should really go out on the lawn with a blanket and lie in the sunshine some more. But then I think about my dirty bathroom and the b
oxes in the second bedroom and how they block off half the room and I need to move them and I never did the dishes from when I made cookies and had a bowl of cereal and I probably won't go lie in the sunshine.

I am staring at this Twilight cup that my brother gave me that has one of those holographic photos on it that changes when you look at it from a different angle. And Bella looks totally stoned. Kenna asked me yesterday, "Why do you have a Twilight cup?" And I said, "My brother thinks it's funny..." and she just started laughing and I didn't even need to finish what I was going to say: My brother thinks it's funny to give me things that I hate.

But it actually goes both ways. You know DJ Lance from Yo Gabba Gabba?

Well, I got my brother a DJ Lance Halloween costume and I'm going to send it to him and I bet he'll wear it:

He doesn't know I bought it for him. He won't find out either, because he doesn't read my blogs. In fact, I was thinking, "It's been a while since I posted here, I should do that." But then I think, "What's the point? It's not like anybody cares." And then I think, "That's pretty pathetic. Why don't you go clean something?"

As far as school goes, I got my sketchbook checked off today. Don said, "It looks good. I'll tell you when something doesn't look good." I drew faces today in my heads class. Fall break starts this afternoon. Maybe I'll go see a movie.

For now, I'll go clean something.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

On Skulls...

Rendering the Human Head:

Peter gives a short lecture on proportions of the face. It's so weird to have a newsprint book full of skulls. Drawn in permanent marker. I've never drawn in marker in an art class. The smell of twenty black permanent markers... think about it. Anyway, Peter begins mapping out the anatomy of the neck, then moves to the chest. Each body part comes with an explanation of how much it will hurt if you punch it.

Peter: "If you hit someone in the C7, you could do some real damage." "Don't punch someone in the hyoid. It's not nice."

Have you ever laughed at something and then realized you're the only one laughing. That happens to me a lot. Either I think more things are funny than other people do, or a lot of people are laughing silently...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

On Global Ethics...

Fridays 10:45-1:15 - PHIL205G - Ethics and Values

Our intructor is called Mark Olsen. My impressions of Olsen: jutting brow, dark hair, strong voice. VERY strong voice. This man could address a group of thousands with no need of a microphone.

Quote of the day: "It's an interesting question: Is it immoral to wear loud clothing?"

No, it's not an interesting question. I have no interest in asking questions that have no answers. I do not like circular debates that are impossible to win.

I like questions with answers!
I like stories with a point!
I like to feel that there's a purpose to my time spent in the classroom!

Right now, my purpose is to fulfill a degree requirement.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

On Illustration Majoring...

Tuesday & Thursday:

ART2230 - Illustrative Media and Techniques

Several familiar faces in this class. Stewart, Kenna, Denise and a few others.

Instructor: Don Seegmiller. Don let's us know that he is deaf in his right ear, so we will need to talk to his left side.

"I'll turn my face away from you and you'll inevitably turn to see what I'm looking at. I'm not ignoring you, I'm merely turning my good ear toward you. Don't start moving around me to talk to my face, we'll end up doing a circular dance." He demonstrates.

We will start with oils. The supply list will likely cost upwards of four hundred dollars.

Our first assignment in this class: create a color chart by mixing each of the colors on our assigned palette with each other to create middle hues and then mixes in between, with three tints of each mix per combination.

We mix on glass palettes, smearing the finished products on tracing paper. I start two sets over, since my mixes leaned more toward one color than a combination in the middle. Stewart sits dejected for a few minutes in his chair. "Look at this," he indicates his color chart. "It looks like a war zone."

ART2210 - Drawing for Illustration

Instructor: Don Seegmiller

Tuesdays and Thursdays will be my day of Don. I like Don. He seems accessible, jokes with his students, plus, bonus nacho with cheese: he's a brilliant artist.

200 pages of sketchbook will be due at the end of term. The sketchbook is 85% of the grade. He wants each sketch to be around thirty minutes. Class time is devoted to sketch examples, a brief lecture and then assigned drawing.

"Draw a building in perspective. Make it creative."

We all looked at each other. Kenna, Stewart and I headed outside to sit in the grass. Hopefully drawing inspiration from the sunshine. Kenna giggled about her building (a Hansel and Gretel cottage, complete with conniving witch in the foreground), I fretted about mine (what to draw? what to draw? what to draw?) and Stewart drew a masterful bug-wash (car wash-bug style) and then had a mini-freak out: "I didn't draw a building! I drew a bug! Don's gonna eat me alive!"

After we tacked all them to the wall back in the art room, Don walked along the line of drawings and mentioned something good about each one. Stewart tiptoed to my side of the room. "Don's being so nice. What's going on?"

Soooo, all I'll have to do is keep up on the sketchbook, paint awesome pictures and churn out drawings IN CLASS for critique, and my Days of Don will be fine....

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

On ENGLISH 2010....'s finally done!

I got an A.

Be happy for me.

Also here are final grades for summer:

I know I'm supposed to be focusing on experience, learning, and marrow-sucking now, but isn't that prettier?

Check out my groove.

On First Days... 2010!

ART327R - Rendering the Human Head

Our professor is Peter Sakievich, graduated in the illustration program at BYU. His two websites: and bring together an impressive body of work, both in traditional painting styles and illustration and concept design.

Two students I know were there today, enrolled (one of them is dropping), as well as two people I recognize from previous classes. It's nice to see familiar faces that I like. There are a few I don't like, but it's unlikely that I'll run across them in upper division illustration classes. yay!

Sakievich got to class 20 minutes late, after finally finding a spot to park. He informed us of his recent move. Just arrived in Utah on Sunday! So he was prepared with the supply list on his iPhone, a verbal syllabus and his NO LATE WORK policy. Our first assignment: a two-hour self-portrait from life. Blergh. *sigh*

Also, he let us know of a book The Art Spirit by Robert Henri that we are encourage to read. We can turn in an optional five-page response paper that could make up scores for late work. I'll read it. Hopefully I won't have to write a paper.

Sold two books back today: $25.00! w00t.

The weather is warm. Parking lots bulge. Hallways rerouted as disoriented students spill out onto the sidewalks. We can no longer boast walking from one end of campus to the other without going outside.

Tomorrow: Drawing for Illustration, Illustrative Media and Techniques I and Art Lectures.

Back to school!

Monday, August 9, 2010

On my Professor....

Professor of my HUM320R Class:

Vibrant and enthusiastic, carrying a bag of DVDs over his shoulder, he was never late to class.

We shared a love of film.

He taught me a million things I didn't know about movie making and adaptation.

He complimented me on the papers I handed in.

He sat with me in the hallway, catching me up on lectures I'd missed during the WIFYR days.

We walked along the carpet, discussing possible movies and source books to study for future versions of his class.

On Wednesday, June 23, he wasn't in class. It was the last day of the semester. Finals day. I sat with two other classmates until the class period ended. We walked to the Humanities Department and turned in our papers.

The next day I received an email from the department: "We are sorry to inform you that your instructor suffered a massive stroke and has been admitted to the hospital. Please reconstruct your grade by turning in all papers along with any progress reports to the department."

Another email from a classmate: "I talked to UVRMC. He is in the ICU in a coma and it doesn't look good."

I cried that day. I didn't know how much of an impact the professor had had on me. I thought of his grin, the way he would ask each of us in turn what we thought, his humorous anecdotes about movie directors and composers.

I thought about how much the world would miss him if he didn't survive. Mostly I thought about how much I would miss him. Not just because of his class (although I had planned to take it again, multiple times) but because of his impact. The human impact. This man loves film as much as I do!

I called Utah Valley Regional today. "Just checking on the status of a friend," I told them. They transferred me to IMC (Intermediate Care) and the nurse who picked up said, "Do you want to talk to him?" In my shock, I said yes. He's ALIVE! I thought.

The nurse in the room asked who I was, and when he answered the phone, I suddenly couldn't talk. I began to cry again. I told him that I had been worried about him.

"I can't hear you," he said. His voice sounded different. Slower, deeper.

He said he was trying to place me. He told me if I needed to turn in papers, I could put them in his box. I said, "I'm not worried about the class. I got an 'A'. I just wanted to check on you. I'm glad you're doing better."

"I'm doing better and better," he said. "I'm glad you liked the class."

He doesn't remember me.

But it doesn't matter.

I'm happy. He gets to keep watching movies. To keep teaching kids about the art form. To pass along his funny stories. He gets to see Inception, and Toy Story III, and the remake of Karate Kid.

I'm happy.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

On On On Online Classes...








Wednesday, June 23, 2010

On Being An Insane Person...

I am insane. I am an insane person.

Who takes summer school? And then who takes summer school when you have a writing conference planned? Who DOES that?

Apparently, I do.

So I attended a writing conference in the middle of summer school and it was a week long and it was AMAZING. I met an amazing group of writers in the middle of amazing manuscripts (except for Christian, he's not in the middle) in an amazing workshop group and it was all. Completely. Amazing.

Have I used that general descriptor enough?

That being said, I am completely validated as a writer and I am ready to go forth and conquer the world. Also, why do I not have any pictures of the conference. As I said, insane person.

Here is a little thing I wrote after WIFYR

Here's to:

Puffs Plus,
sentence fragments ,
organic curry,
photos of goats,
disobedient skirts,
Lady GaGa,
true confessions,
blueberry muffins,
"Every Minute Counts!",
showing not telling,
Avatar's enduring story,
bitter tears,
toe museums,
AnnDee Ellis,
Sam and Mabel and Novi and Rhoda,
telling the truth,
quelling the fear,
writing it down.

And now now now what?? Now I have to go back to school and be all academic when all I want to do is go and write a book.

Also I hate online classes.

As you were.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

On Summer School...

I am taking summer school. Since they are offering Pell grants for summer this year, I thought, "Why not? It will help me get my groove back."

Here is the summer schedule:

ENG 2010 - Intermediate Academic Writing - Brenda

Sigh. This is an online class. Never done it before. We'll see how it goes.

ENG 3450 - Intermediate Creative Nonfiction - Karin Anderson

Professor Karin Anderson seems like a very intense person. She LOVES writing and reading, so I'm looking forward to getting to know her.

HUM 320R - Movie Adaptations & Their Soundtracks

I know, right?? This class is going to be so fun.

No art classes. That is weird.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

On Final Grades...

... and how not to let them define you.

I think I'm getting this now.

When I was little, I felt that getting anything less than an A would be the end of the world. And because it never happened, I never had anything to contradict that belief. My parents let me know that I was an A student, and anything less was unacceptable.

This semester, I had a relapse. I had to dig my way out of the crazy place again, and it was hard. It felt a lot harder than the first time, because the first time, I didn't even know how bad it was so I didn't realize how hard I worked. But this time, I had to come back from an abrupt spiral and get everything running smoothly again. Well, it's not quite there. But I did get my grades and I've been thinking about them:

One D and one F (it's an E, but it's really an F). Wow, that is ugly. I'm used to all these pretty A's lined up, like a perfect row of academic soldiers. And what a shock to my system, to earn those grades. Those aren't just decidedly below average. Those are FAILING grades.

And look. I'm still here. I'm still standing. Sort of. I'm kind of limping and crying like a fox with its foot caught in a trap. But the world didn't end. And I'm the same person. I think I'm actually a better person.

I've decided that my education will no longer be based on grades, but on experience, on learning, and on what I can suck from the marrow of life.

So long, Dean's List. It's been nice knowing you.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

On Relapse...

... So life is difficult right now.

 There was an attack at my work (a client beat up my co-worker) and it happened so fast and I couldn't remember the number to call for a team and it brought up all this crap for me and I started having crazy symptoms again and I stopped attending certain classes (the ones Tyler couldn't come to) and I went to see Michelle and she was like, "You have Acute Stress Disorder. It's kind of like PTSD, but the symptoms will pass as long as you process everything and keep moving forward," and I've been eating everything in sight (one of the symptoms) and I took a leave of absence from work after I found out that I'm just a cog in their machine and they don't REALLY care about me and I don't even know how to cope.

At all.

So I don't know what the end of this semester's gonna look like. I'm F.I.N.E. I've been here before and I don't like how it feels.

Friday, January 15, 2010

On The Future...

Certain year numbers hit and I'm like, "We're living in the future!" Seriously. 2010. Look at that.


That's a futuristic number if I ever saw one. A scary number even. Aw, I've read too much vintage sci-fi.

Here's my schedule for this semester:

ART 1130 - 3D Design - Andrew Turley

Andrew Turley looks like a teenager. He is seriously one of the youngest looking grown-ups I know. Here's a photo of him that I stole off of FB. He actually looks even younger in person. Like, 15.

Hopefully 3D Design will be better than 2D Design, which was like digging your own eyeballs out with a spoon and then being forced to eat them raw.

ART 2450 - Digital Imaging 1 - Tyson Monson

I love Tyson Monson, so I thought this Photoshop class was an obvious choice. He likes me too, after our analogue class together, so I'm looking forward to it.

ART 2650 - Watermedia 2 - Sue Parkinson

She reminds me of a retired hippie.  

ENG 2250 - Intro to Creative Writing - Julie Nichols

"My name is Doctor Julie Nichols. I have a doctorate degree in __________. I worked hard to earn that doctorate. You will call me Doctor Nichols."

There's a midget in that class. She sits next to me. I love that. There are a few writers who sound like promising friends. Janelle Evans and Emily Simmons.