Finding the Artist Within: Chapter One

I picked up The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain on Tuesday, then Laura and I took a trip to Pat Catan’s to pick up some art supplies. After we got home, we both did the first three exercises in the book.

  1. Self-Portrait. Not too bad. I squished my head a bit on the horizontal, and I had a real problem with the lips, but it came out much better than I expected.
  2. Portrait from Memory. Simply dreadful. I started and stopped no less than half a dozen times. I tried my maternal grandfather, my maternal grandmother, my father, my friend Rob and a couple of other people and erased my futile efforts in each case. I could see each of these people in my minds eye, but when I tried to focus on their features I failed miserably. According to the author, this is not at all unexpected.
  3. Non-drawing Hand. Weird. The end result came out very lumpy, but it was definitely recognizable as my hand.

I have to read the rest of the chapter so I can get to the next exercise. The author goes into great detail about the assymmetrical nature of the human brain and the studies that have been done surrounding the separation of the hemispheres. It’s all very interesting stuff. Laura and I are (I think) going to try to do the exercises together whenever possible. Perhaps I’ll scan some of the drawings and post them for all to see when I’ve finished.

Lazy Thursday

I woke up yesterday morning feeling completely rundown and crappy, so I allowed myself the luxury of calling in sick. I didn’t leave the house all day (which, unfortunately, included skipping the April Cleveland-area NaNoWriMo group meeting). Here’s what I did do:

  • Played Pool of Radiance. Old school. The original Pool of Radiance was released by SSI in 1988 and I had it for my Apple IIGS. I played for hours upon hours, mapping each area I visited on graph paper and then reproducing those maps in the art program, printing them (in glorious dot matrix color) and mounting them on poster board. Most of the time I was playing I was also listening to Rush’s A Farewell to Kings over and over and over again. I recently found a copy of the DOS version of Pool of Radiance and (with the help of DOSBox) began my quest to finish the game once and for all. Did I mention that I never finished the Apple version? Come on, this is me. Of course I never finished it. So I fired up Chronicles on iTunes and played a game that transported me in time and place. My party consists of Brak, bold human fighter; Boddy, daring and clever halfling fighter/thief; Isabeau, pious human cleric; Jaegen, devious dwarven thief; Sara, wise half-even cleric/magic-user; and Drea, mysterious elven magic-user. Together, they have kicked acres, nay, hectares of 16-color ass.
  • Watched a bit of an anti-smoking show on HBO Family. Why? I don’t even know. I was just flipping through the channels and it caught my eye. The show, aimed at teens and pre-teens, featured some rather shocking statistics and interviews with some shockingly ignorant and naive teen smokers.
  • Watched Warlock: The Armageddon. Why? Well, the TiVo recorded it and I was feeling far too lousy to find something better to do. Plus, I like cheese. Julian Sands is the title character, and he spends a lot of time killing fashion designers, prostitutes, old men, cabbies and fuzzy bunnies with gore-rific effects, only to be defeated by… headlights.
  • Watched some of the extras on the second Spider-Man 2 DVD. Interesting stuff. I like extras. There’s a mini-documentary that follows Doctor Octopus from his origin in the comics about forty years ago to his most recent incarnation in the movie. I only wish they’d showed a little more about the design and implementation of the tentacles. Perhaps that’s elsewhere on the disc.