I had my first official thesis committee meeting on Friday. I initially felt really good about it. The thoughts expressed about the work were generally positive and the comments about the writing I've done were very valid. Essentially, I just need to make sure that I am working at a steady pace and I need to find someone to consult with about the institutional aspects of my work.
I've done a lot of thinking over the past week about how I am approaching the production of my portraits. I was just finishing a day as I go: paint the background, draw the portrait, paint the portrait, finish the edges and mount it on wood. I think I am going to change that process. My year is up, and I think it will be easier if I go through the steps one by one. Paint the backgrounds for all my remaining days. Draw the portraits for my remaining days. Paint the portraits for the rest of year. I am anticipating that this will speed up general production. Then, every 40 portraits, I will finish the edges and mount them.
I am hesitant to employ this process though because I don't want this project to become labor. If I give myself the impression that what I am doing is work, then I will become bored and burnt out on the project and really struggle to finish it altogether.
That being said, I go through phases where I am really excited about my portraits and then I am totally frustrated, bored, etc with them. I am totally frustrated, bored, etc with them right now. I feel like I have no time to work with all of my other obligations and even though I work on it steadily, I don't feel like I am getting anywhere. I took all last week off just to think and rejuvenate, and I'm planning on getting back into a groove this week if I can. There are several shows coming up very soon that I want to submit to, so I need to get ready for those.
I am also preparing a presentation for the NCAEA conference next week about textiles in art education, which is taking up more time than I would like it too. September is always a busy month and I am ready for it to be over.
Well, it's official: my year is over. Yes, 365 days of journal writing and taking pictures of myself has ended. When I started this project, I never thought that I would make it the full year. I thought for sure I would forget about it day after day, forcing me to abandon The Phenomenology of Impairment all together.
Turns out, that wasn't the case. I managed to write and take a picture everyday. Now all that lies ahead are finishing my portraits, a daunting task to be sure. But, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. One aspect of this project is complete and even though they took up only a fraction of my day, I now have that fraction back and can devote it to painting. I told myself that I will keep writing a daily journal, but honestly, I haven't done that. I think that I just want to enjoy the sense of being liberated from that task for now, although, I have been documenting my therapy sessions.
Anyway, with regards to last week's post, I did manage to figure out the pixel aspect ratio problem by just playing around in photoshop. So now, I can start designing full force. I am going to start with one of my simpler designs first and send it off and make sure that it is done correctly before I invest a lot of time in these designs. I'd hate to turn around and find out that I did it all wrong and have to do it again.
I have been attempting to seriously start designing for the mill. The only problem is trying to figure out the calculations for the designs I will be doing and getting Photoshop to cooperate.
The problem is essentially this: files for the mill that are designed in Photoshop have to be created at a 1.25 aspect ratio. Otherwise, the image will be distorted when its woven (it has to do with picks per inch vs. ends per inch, but I don't really want to get into that). However, no one seems to know how to change the pixel aspect ratio or the size of the image in a way that will leave me with a square image.
I thought that designing digitally was going to be easy. Turns out, it is going to be a lot harder than I anticipated.
I finally got all the specs for the mill loom that my pieces will be woven on! I'm getting more and more excited, but more and more nervous. I think that this has the potential to be some great work.
Anyway, it was brought to my attention that I can create the illusion of a weave structure when I am designing for the mill, so I have been playing around with creating different structures to use in case I decide to do just that. The threading and the treadling are all derived from texts relevant to the piece. Here are some examples of what I have been creating: