Sunday, February 12, 2012

yay for productiveness!

Who knew it would be so difficult to get a copy of the poster version of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms? None of the government websites mention where it's available, and I had to do some serious hunting around before I found out where to contact. This is our constitution--hard copies should be easier to find.

Monday: That day, we didn't really have a class: just meet with Linda to talk about our current project. I used most of that time to finish off that week's blog post, as I'd finished the rough draft for my assignment and didn't want to go any further without talking with Linda first.

As I'd expected, she suggested that I use fewer colours (I went a little nuts and used six or so different colours in the first draft). She also suggested moving a couple of the elements around--and making sure everything was straight.

Tuesday: As of about noon, the important "if I lose these files, I'm screwed" parts of my external hard drive were officially backed up onto my school account. It took three hours--all of my Photoshop class--but it was worth it. Those parts are 1. my Olympus RAW Files, 2. the photos I took with Tom's Nikon (the original NEFs, plus multiple sets of DNGs in various stages of editing), and 3. my school assignments. So now I just need to remember to update every week or so. However, I won't do a Big One again: next time, I'll just transfer individual folders (assignments, etc.).

This week, Photoshop class was all about adding effects to video in that program. Photoshop isn't the most powerful video-editing software in the world, but when it comes to adding effects, it works really well.

That day, we didn't have Still to Motion: the first-year Photogs had a field-trip to Saint John, which meant a visit to Rod's studio. Rod usually has a full day of classes on Tuesdays, so because he didn't have his usual morning class with the first-years, he cancelled the afternoon class. Some of the other Photogs griped about that move, but although I was disappointed that I didn't have class, I could see his point.

But no matter how disappointed I am when class is cancelled, my second thought is always, "more time to do homework!" And that's exactly what I did that afternoon, after running around, trying to find out where I could get a copy of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I tried Service Canada first, and then they referred me to Justice Canada. They didn't have any copies, but the librarian at the law library took down my contact info and said she would look into where I could get a copy. About an hour later, she emailed. The result: the Heritage Canada Foundation is the place to contact.

Wednesday: Happy eightieth birthday, John Williams! (Music to follow in a bit.)

That day, we had a guest come to our Gallery as a Market Place class: Sarah Petite, who has worked with CARFAC Maritimes almost since the beginning, and is about to retire. She talked about CARFAC, and the couple of organizations that are part of it, like the Copyright Collective. Among other things (like making sure galleries pay the artists who show there), CARFAC is a lobby group, and is currently fighting to have various parts of the Copyright Bill (Bill C-11) changed, to benefit artists (ever heard of "fair dealing", Harper?).

In the afternoon class, we talked about where we were in our current research projects. Drew also showed us some of his research techniques, including sites where he gets materials, ebooks, etc. He and I also talked about the Photoshop plug-ins that I was having problems with, and checked them in my computer. They were working without any problems, so I have no idea what was going on when I downloaded them and they didn't work. Hmm...

Thursday: I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm pretty much finished my current independent study project for Peter's class. That means I'm finished early by a couple of weeks. In our meeting, we talked about some of the improvements I could make, and he suggested that because I haven't really had anything to present to the class, due to the nature of my project, that I do the first ten minutes of the course that I've designed as a presentation/demo.

After my meeting with Peter, I met with Karen to go over the essay part of a scholarship that I'm applying for (the RBC scholarship). Tom and I wrote the answers together over Christmas break, and while Tom's a good writer (I know where I got my writing skills), it sounded more like him and the way he speaks, than it did me and the way I speak. I tried to make it sound more "me" a little while ago, but I failed, so I asked Karen for help as she's also a good writer.

I was wondering about how to make effects appear and disappear in the video I was editing for my Photoshop homework, so I asked Drew. This week, the Photo Studio has been crawling with FVAs, as they've been doing photograms (ah, fond memories). Drew was in charge of the whole thing, so he wasn't able to help me until around four that afternoon. Because he didn't know whether or not what I wanted to do was possible, it was a learning experience for both of us. But in the end, we got that effect to work.

That evening, I skyped with Helen. This time we talked about art, and I showed her the rough draft of my drawing homework.

Friday: For the last couple weeks, I've been noticing the change in the quality of sunlight that can only mean one thing: SPRING ISN'T FAR AWAY! I always get really excited when that happens--when the light becomes softer and colours start to look richer. My walk to school that afternoon was nothing short of wonderful, and I didn't put my gloves on once.

It was so nice out that I wanted to do my homework outside. But when I tried, the wind picked up and forced me back into the college. That day, I focused on doing the final draft for Imagery. As I was doing transfers, and the ink in the transfer pens stinks like you wouldn't believe (it's worse than Sharpies), I needed all the ventilation I could get. For the rough draft, I transferred the images onto paper from a sketchbook that I then glued onto cold-press watercolour paper using gel medium. But when I did the final version, I did the transfers directly onto stonehenge and then painted over it, using watercolours in a very nice shade of red.

Saturday: I managed to be out the door and on my way to the college before noon. The reason? The Met's broadcast this week was Götterdämmerung, which is the last opera in Der Ring des Nibelungen. That opera is probably the longest one I've ever heard, as it is a whopping six hours long, including two intermissions (so the actual run-time for Götterdämmerung is five hours). As a result, the broadcast started at one AST--an hour earlier than usual. Although I'm not the biggest Wagner fan (though I appreciate his music and respect him as a composer), the opera was worth it. And the ending was spectacular. I found out afterward that there were ninety-eight musicians in the pit. Wow (according to the BSO's roster page, the symphony maxes out at ninety). That number included ten French horns(!), and a larger-than-usual violin section (no numbers were provided).

Because I was at school about an hour-and-a-half earlier than usual, that meant that I was doing homework an hour-and-a-half earlier than usual. That meant that I was extremely productive, to the point that I hardly had anything to do today, homework-wise. My homework level was already fairly light to begin with.

Sunday: I spent today putzing around, watching a documentary, doing the last of my homework, thinking about going over to the college--and then deciding not to. I skyped with Mom and Tom, but none of us had anything to say.

And now for the music.

And the grand finale, conducted by the Bangor Symphony's conductor, Maestro Lucas Richman:

Because it's so awesome, I decided to toss in the finale from Götterdämmerung. The good stuff starts at the eight-minute mark. This is the Met's old production, which was designed by Otto Schenk. Go horns!

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