Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Library is my Friend

I have had some challenges hanging over my head for which 2 books found on a recent trip to the library may help tremendously.

1,001 Best Slow-Cooker Recipes:
The Only Slow-Cooker Cookbook You'll Ever Need
1) Even though my blog refers to Monday soup, that rarely happens any more.  I am just not that creative with soups and we are tired of my limited repertoire.   Also... I guess this would qualify as Challenge 1B, we have a crock pot that rarely gets used, because I don't know many recipes for it, and the ones I've tried have not produced anything we'd like to eat again.

1,001 Best Slow-Cooker Recipes: The Only Slow-Cooker Cookbook You'll Ever Need may have given me an answer that kills both those birds with one stone.  I don't know if it's that much better than other crock pot cookbooks I've looked through, or if I'm just more open-minded this time... But there were several recipes I was excited to try, and seemed they might actually turn out!
I'll let you know.

2) I have been in painting and drawing classes since I was in junior high, and tried artwork on my own long before that.  I took a watercolor class all through my sophomore year of college, 
I consider this my 'best' watercolor.  I painted it in 1980.
I think I was afraid to do more because I felt it was a 'fluke'
that I'd created something I considered a 'real watercolor,'
and I wouldn't be able to do this well again...  Lame. 
and continued with enough art in my junior and senior years that I earned an art minor.  But one professor at college kept telling me the same thing over and over... I could master techniques with all sorts of media, but my art 'didn't mean anything.'   It hurt, but I could see that it was true.  I called my watercolor instructor at the community college and told him what the professor kept saying, and that I was at a loss in knowing how to do what he wanted.   He told me that my art couldn't mean anything, as I hadn't lived long enough to have anything to say.  But I don't feel time has solved the problem!

I have always excelled at things like line, balance, and proportion... Basic design.  I had designs chosen for sweatshirts, posters, etc., where line, balance, proportion, and impact made the difference.  I got high marks for assignments that were, basically, drills on the elements of design....
Demonstration of color, line, and use of space.  I liked doing such things, and I still do.  I see these concepts in 'modern art' types of paintings, and think I could use this skill to my advantage.  But I know there is more to those pieces, too, and I have had no idea how to achieve that "something."

This is in an old drawing pad...
It's dated "Aug. '76."  Talk
about "Throwback Thursday!"
I could never draw cartoons... I was too careful.  I have trouble portraying the essence of something without trying to picture it realistically, with all the detail.  I look at modern art work, or expressionist pieces, and am in awe.  I see clearly what the artist is portraying, but it's not anything near photographically perfect.  It may be all the wrong colors, the brush strokes often don't move in the 'right' direction for shaping and shading, and some of the figures may be just a blur or a drip of paint... but it works and I don't really understand...  How they knew it would... Or why they tried it that way.
The Creative Edge:
Exercises to Celebrate Your Creative Self

But now I found The Creative Edge: Exercises to Celebrate Your Creative Self.  There are activities using 25 techniques to explore "artistic potential...Building on basic creative processes."  There are certainly no photographically perfect paintings in this book!  I think/hope with the guidance to start, and enough time and practice to see what I can create, I may break out of my shell a little and make a move in the direction I'd like.  Again, I'll let you know how it goes... Maybe.  ;-)  At the least it will give us reason to add some fun and mess-making into our homeschool day.

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