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For one of my classes, I had three weeks to develop another project that had to depict some kind of guardian figure. To get the mental juices flowing, the suggested things like an angel, a gargoyle overlooking a city, medieval castle guard, and Native American deities. This one came to me quickly. I decided to do something with Bastet, the ancient Egyptian goddess of cats, fertility, and more. She has a human body but the head of a cat. In the early days of her mythology, it was usually a lion head, but later it was a domestic cat. I found a good image to work from that I loved: (Found at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bastet_dame_katzenkopf.jpg)  Her ears are tall here but she looks so sleek. The next step in the project was to figure what she’d be doing in the painting. I brainstormed a few things, but right away an idea I…

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BEGINNINGS For one of my classes, we had a three-week assignment to create a piece using surrealism based on an idea or theme we were supposed to develop the first week. I have been wanting to develop a character that’s a flying cat, but with dragon-style wings, thank you very much. I drew the first version of this character in a three-point perspective you can see in my portfolio. But somehow mental health came up as a theme, and then somehow I realized that the flying cat would perfectly embody one of the symptoms of my mental health issues: what I’ve always called spinning negative thoughts (those usually self-hating thoughts that just keep coming, no matter how you try to distract yourself). Cats are independent and pretty much do what they want Give them wings and imagine how that would be—they’d be everywhere if there were a lot of them.…

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I finished the illuminated manuscript I talked about in my first blog post, and I’m pretty happy how it turned out. It’s not perfect, but I followed the plan I outlined in that first post, and it looks decent. The paper was a little buckled from the laser printer, so I ended up having it dry-mounted so I could get a better picture of it. Here’s the final version: I’m going to talk a little about the process here. I also forgot to mention the font that I used, an Arabic-style English font called Bulan Rajab that I found online here. I love how this turned out. There were quite a few fonts available, but this was very readable and visually appealing. As far as decoration goes, I’m not sure how real illuminators worked, but I decided to put the gold and silver foil (it was the artificial stuff) down…

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I’m taking Life Drawing II this half-semester term, with III coming in late August (and one more to go after that). This has been interesting, this drawing naked people thing. My instructor at Squak Art Studio in Issaquah, WA tells me that after a while, it stops feeling weird and you just see shapes. I think I’m almost there when drawing women, but not quite with men. Part of what stops me is fascination with how they could just stand there naked in front of all these people. I’m not actually sure if these models are, because I’m obviously watching videos of them and I don’t know if there are students in there when they’re recording (though they actually run the length of time we’re supposed to work, so we have to deal with a naturally-moving model).  Anyway, to liven things up, the weekly exercises are sometimes a little different.…

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For my first real post, I thought I’d talk about a project I’m working on for a nonwestern art history class. This one has a studio component as part of the final research paper. For the research paper, we had to pick a nonwestern country/culture and one art medium, and discuss that. I have always loved Islamic art, with its many intricate patterns and designs. I wrote a paper a couple terms ago about a Pictish sarcophagus and compared/contrasted it to the façade of an early Islamic palace called Mshatta from about the same time (~700-ish C.E.). The façade had an intricate vegetal pattern with fantastical animals all over it. It was really cool. Although a lot of what we think of in regards to Islamic art is actually architecture, or at least building related (mosaics inside mosques and so on), but they also have a rich tradition of creating…

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Just a welcome to the world blog post. Watch this space for details on my development as an artist. I’m going to freely admit I’m not 100% sure how I’m going to use this blog, or how active I’ll be. We will see.

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