Archive for February, 2011

Green Monster Sketches

The first two pictures go together and the last two pictures go together.  The way I scanned them is that you have to read across the top of the first two pages, then the bottom.  The same goes for the second two pictures.

Greed

  Greed is a funny thing.  It can be kind of fun until you realize who you could be hurting.  Most of the time it is yourself.  I think greed is more of a personal thing.  I mean, everybody wants things, but greed is shown in your actions.  You could want everything in the world, but as long as you are not constantly asking for things or complaining that you do not have anything you are only greedy in your mind.  So maybe everybody has some degree of greed, but only some people are decent enough not to show it or let it rule or ruin them. 

  I know I feel greedy sometimes.  However, I do not feel like I am a greedy person.  If I see something I want, I usually do not even tell anyone.  For example, at Christmas time when someone asks me what I want I usually say,”Oh, I don’t know,” or something like that.  But in my head I am screaming I really, really want this cute hat I saw H&M the other day but I can’t tell you because I don’t want to seem greedy.

  If you had everything in the world, but you did not ask for it, and you were not going to ask for more, would you be greedy?  I sure do not think so.  Some people might think you were because why else would you have all that stuff in the first place.  But I would bet that if they got to know you, you would not seem greedy to them anymore.  I once saw a movie called “Greed.”  It was really funny.  It is an older movie  with Michael J. Fox.  It was about this really old, really rich man and his greedy relatives.  The old man was pretty tricky, so he came up with this crazy plan to see who in his family actually cared about him and not just his money.  He ended up pretending to be broke to see who stayed behind to help him in his last few years, which was Michael J. Fox of course.  All the relatives acted horribly and put up with horrible things just to try to get the money.  It just goes to show that greed does awful things to people.  It is probably the easiest emotion to get without realizing it.  It is almost like a disease, and the only way to survive it is to realize you have it.  It certainly is hard to look around and see things that other people have that you want.  And I’m talking about the extra unnecessary things, the people who have a lot and still want more.  I’m not talking about someone who wants and can’t afford the basic necessities and comforts that everyone should have.

The Little Green Monster

So this “little green monster” comes up to a woman’s house all the way from deep in the ground just to proclaim his love for her.  I think it is kind of sweet.  I mean sure he has no manners and he looks funny, but is that really any reason for the woman to think such horrible thoughts.  I know the woman was married and she was just scared at first, but I think she went too far.  He was called the monster in the story, but I think the woman was the real monster.  The author might have been trying to say something about not judging someone or something by its looks.  The woman considered for a moment that on the inside the monster had a soft heart, but then she just used it as his weakness in order to destroy him. 

It is interesting to think where this story came from.  The woman had a relationship with the oak tree.  “It was my special favorite.  I had planted it when I was a little girl, and watched it grow.  I thought of it as my old friend.  I talked to it all the time in my head.”  It felt like maybe it was the soul of her oak tree coming up from the ground.  He professed his love to her because he thought that she loved him.  She is the one who gave him life.  He really could always read her thoughts, similar to when people talk to an inanimate object just knowing it will understand them.  And when she thought all of those cruel things about him he faded away, crushed. 

This story says a lot about human nature.  Like the way we unnecessarily hurt each other, even with our thoughts.  Once you think something about someone you cannot erase it from your memory.  It always stays there in the back of your mind and affects our actions.  Really our first thoughts on somethings are usually very far off from the truth.

Writing

If I had to pick one thing about school that I do not really like it would be writing.  Not writing my name or a few sentences, or little things like that, but writing papers and essays and reports and things like this.   I really have to be in the mood for writing and that happens ummm… well, it never happens.  First you have to pick a topic that is interesting and easy to write about.  But I think that is one of the harder parts.  I want it to be about something that interests me, but I can never seem to get enough information about what I like.  At this point it has been a week and I have not even started to write.  And of course I would like it to be about something that other people would want to read about (which I have no ideas about).  After I finally decide on a topic, usually because I have run out of time, I have to write the first draft.  A good writer is supposed to write three to four drafts, but I am lucky if I end up with two.  I don’t want to have to copy anything over more than I have to, and by that time I am tired of reading whatever I wrote about.  I really am not the kind of person who can keep writing no matter how many mistakes I make.  I get very picky on even the first draft.  Like now as I am typing this, every time I make a mistake I have to go back and fix it instead of letting the spell check do it or fixing it later.  I know you are just supposed to let ideas fly, but it goes very slowly for me.  I do not think I would make a very good author.  I  like to have someone else look at my writing when I am done (or think I’m done) because they always find things (sometimes obvious things) that I can’t believe I missed.  Then comes the typing part, which I am pretty slow at doing, so I don’t think I would make a very good secretary either.  This whole process usually takes two to three weeks.  I find it hard to get motivated sometimes because I do not really have a deadline.  I think that part of the reason that I do not like writing is because I don’t do it enough.  I am usually only required to write one big paper a year, along with a few essays every once in a while.  I feel really great about myself when I write something good.  I would probably enjoy writing  more if I felt I were better at it.  But I cannot get better without doing it more often. So probably  writing these memos every week will be really good for me, even though I will continue to complain about them!  So who knows, maybe I will like writing better at the end of this semester. I doubt it, but you never know.

Pictures


A brain might be an interesting possibility. It might be a representation of our intelligence. Plus it is mysterious because there is so much about the brain that nobody understands, like how it works and controls everything and which areas do what.

To me, cows represent your average, everyday person. They are kind and gentle, very useful, and seem so peaceful. People can pretend to be whatever they want, but often we just plod along like cows.

I think a sunny side up egg would sort of just look cool! There is something about it that just feels happy and wholesome and kind of old-fashioned.

Umbrellas are common all around the world, yet they come in so many varieties. A person’s umbrella can make a statement about that person. It is used on rainy days and sunny days. The umbrella can provide protection or disguise, or just fashion fun.

I think a traffic light would make a cool amalgamation not only because the bright colors would stand out, but because the concepts of stop and go have much deeper meanings. And what about slow down? Traffic lights spend the least amount of time on yellow. To some people yellow means speed up to make the light. So I guess 100 yellow traffic lights could represent slow down and enjoy life.

Pets

       As long as I can remember my family has always had pets. We used to have two female Siamese cats. My parents owned them before I was born so they were older cats. One of the cats was nervous around people. She always hid when anyone came to the house. The other cat was kind of grumpy and irritable. If you tried to pet her and she was not in the mood she would nip you. They both looked almost identical except one of them had a tail with a white tip. Neither of them were related to each other, but they were very close. The two of them slept in a ball so you could hardly tell where one cat ended and the other began.  I think cats are great company.  I know some people do not like them.  They think cats are too stuck up or kind of creepy.  I think they are funny characters and each have such different personalities.  Even though cats are pretty independent, my cats preferred to be in a room with other people in it.  The Siamese cats were snuggly and liked to sit on your lap.  And they seemed to know when you were upset and wanted to comfort you.  Cats are demanding in a funny way.  When you are playing a game they come lie on the board, or sit next to it and knock pieces over with their tail.  Or when you are reading they come between you and the book just to get attention.  They can be annoying but mostly they cheer me up.  My cats lived to be something like 17 years old and they passed away about the same time.  We also had a husky dog around that time.  We got her at the  veterinarian’s where someone who bred sled dogs brought her to be put down because she broke her hip.  She wasn’t even one year old yet.  She was a great dog.  People were afraid of her because they thought she looked like a wolf but she was really a big baby.  Once we took her on a trip to my aunt’s house.  She was very old and gray then, and with her bad hip mostly hobbled around.  She got loose and limped down the road to the local school.  When we finally found her she was being circled by security guards who were sure she was a wolf.  My dad had to tell them she was just our dog.  When she was younger, she was super fast.  We have a big fenced in yard and she would just race around at top speed.  When we were little we used to try to get her to pull us on a sled but we weren’t very successful.  She loved being outside, even in cold weather, and would sleep right on top of the snow in the sun.  She lived to be 14 years old, which is really old for a big dog.  It was a very sad day for my family when she died.  After a short break, we got another cat.  He was a cute little kitten and is very playful, even today.  He is black and white with a little black moustache right under his nose.  He’s not the cuddly type, but is very good to us.  One day we were taking him to the Vet’s for his shots and sitting behind the counter was an older golden retriever all taped up around her back.  It turns out she was found on the side of the road with her back cut open.  The Vet sewed her up and was hoping to find her a home.  My family felt so sorry for her, a week later we decided to adopt her.  This was only a few months ago, but it feels like we have had her for a lifetime.  She is such a sweet dog and she does not cause any trouble.  She eats quite a bit though!  As you can tell, I like animals and think they make good family members.

Sketches

Masks

       Last night I went to a masquerade party at a youth group.  The youth group is called Noise.  It happens at a church in Liverpool; it is not my church but all of my friends go there and the youth group is open to anyone.  Some people brought masks, and others just came as they were.  For those who didn’t bring masks, there was a box of Mardi Gras masks with feathers and sequins.  We played games that involved masks, like Pin the Mask  on the Face( basically Pin the Tail on the Donkey only with paper masks and an outline of a human), Blind Man’s Bluff, and a game where you had to guess who was behind the mask.  It all made me think of the cover/cover project we are doing in class with our sketch books.  How you had said that some people had just made masks on their sketch books before, and a mask is like a cover.  We were talking about that in the beginning of Noise, how some people wear masks all the time and pretend to be who they are not.  For example, false identities.  A lot of people use fake identities to get into bars and clubs, and some people live under false identities full-time for many different reasons.  Can you imagine giving up your entire identity to go into the witness protection program?  Sometimes kids and teenagers and even adults wear “masks” around friends, family, or people they do not like.  They may feel like they need to be someone else for people to like them.  Or it may make someone feel safe.  And of course people wear different masks with different people or in different situations.  It makes you wonder, am I wearing a mask?  Maybe I am wearing one without even knowing it.  Is this who I really am?  It is weird how unsure of yourself you can be sometimes.  People always wear masks when they want to cover something.  Like how we are trying to cover up the fact that our sketch books are sketch books.  Or like in Phantom of the Opera where the phantom wears a mask to cover his scar.  Everybody probably has something to hide, so are we all wearing masks?  Whenever you lie, it is like putting on a mask, but you can only wear so many masks.  Some masks are good.  You can wear masks for protection during a sports game.  Masks can be fun –  you could wear a mask as a part of a costume on Halloween.  Or even during a play.  Wearing a mask can give you confidence, but you don’t want it to give you false confidence or the confidence to do something wrong’ like commit a crime.  I guess if you are wearing a mask, real or imaginary, it is important to realize it and understand why.  And maybe it’s time to take it off!

Reading Response #2

             I found this question difficult to answer because as a home-schooler I did not have to worry as much about grades as other students.  I like to try to think outside the box and just have fun with projects.  That is one of the reasons I am excited about taking this class.  I don’t want to worry about passing or failing.  I’m taking this class to become a better artist. I want to learn about all types of art and different techniques.  This is a great opportunity for me to explore and see what I can do.  Of course, there is always that feeling that makes me want to impress the teacher, and I think young artists especially want people to like their work.  The “reward” doesn’t just come in the form of a grade, but can be approval or acceptance.  Any kind of pressure can suppress creativity.  It’s hard not to worry about what others will think of my work.  If I am struggling with an idea or feel stuck I like to talk my ideas out with family or friends.  It helps me to bounce things off someone and makes me feel less stressed about a project.  Plus if I talk through my ideas I usually end up working through my questions and sometimes coming up with better ideas.  If I can’t figure out how to make something work I don’t mind asking for input.  It is hard for students not to worry about grades when everything is graded and that is how students are rated.  My brother has an academic scholarship that he loses if he doesn’t keep high grades.  This affects what courses he chooses to take.  Our whole society is based on the reward system – whether it is grades, approval, recognition, or money.  Like the video was saying if everybody did things for free just to help others the world would have a lot more creative ideas.