Saturday, June 28, 2008

Visuals Thus Far

So far I've been swamped with work, both in class and at home. The picture above is another master copy-"Prometheus Bound" by Charles LeBrun, 16th century(right), and my attempt(left). My teacher uses classical methods to teach us human proportion, so copying the masters themselves aides in that. The figure drawings, cube studies and notes are projects done in-class, and the last image is my latest sketchbook entry.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Fog Cometh...And Stayeth

That's right, FOG. And lots of it, baby. What better way to top off a week long bliss of sunny, eighty degree weather, in which one can enjoy all the fruits of cargo shorts and sunglasses, than with a weekend of nipple-perking wind that makes it seem as though one should be inside stoking the fire and stirring the stew. So much for sunny views, surfer dudes and groovy attitudes.

Really though, the fog doesn't bother me so much as the inconsistency; such as thick fog and cool air in the morning and hot streets and sunny skies in the afternoon, or vice verse. Most of the weekend was spent recovering from the week-long boot camp that occurs in the first semester of graduate school. And week two plans to be no different. Thus my preparation for week two began in the wee hours of Saturday morning and continued through the weekend to included the following: hand-sharpening my pencils to razor point precision, inspecting each sheet of my drawing pad for proper tooth and weight, eating large quantities of raw steak covered in gun powder, tying a red cloth tightly around my sweaty, furrowed brow, searing the Academy of Art University logo into my arm with a red-hot Leatherman knife, and sitting in my dark room for hours repeating my mantra, "Murdock...I'm comin' for you!"

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Classical Appeal

The first week of ass-busting is coming to a close, and I must say it's been a good one. Because of the condensed summer semester, I can plan on doing a week's worth of homework in roughly two days. So far I haven't been found in my underwear, mumbling to myself in the fetal position in the alley way next to the Chinese restaurant across the street... of course it's only the first week. Above is the fruit of my artistic labor thus far- a copy(left) of Pierre Prud'hon's Seated Female (right). It's been a while since I've had to do a master copy, but I'm satisfied for the seven or so hours I've got in it.
Below is the downtown building on Post St., in which the liberal arts classes are held, including mine. The other pictures show the surrounding area. These shots could have been better, but the kamikaze cab drivers and speeding Mercedes' being driven by girls on their cellphones screwing with the radio dictated I should seek pedestrian grounds for my photos.

Monday, June 16, 2008

And A Scholar Is Born

Behold, gents and fair maidens, the great intellect that poses boldly before ye, who perhaps holds the fate the world in his firm, yet sensitive grasp. That's right- enrollment at a prestigious academy, the purchase of several textbooks and attendance to the first day of class...what more does one need to solidify one's place among the upper echelon of today? Never mind the sleepless nights, grueling workload and tens of thousands of dollars of debt which are to come. To focus on such things would be buffoonery.
Today, the first day of class for the summer session, went well. I had my modern art history class which went as most "firsts" go, with introductory speeches form the professors, class overviews, and short lectures. The rest of the afternoon consisted of walking, buying books, more walking (with my new books), applying for a part time job, more walking (with my new books and a burrito) and ultimately a train ride back to the 'hood. It took more out of me than I realized, but it was a successful day, nonetheless.
This is a crude drawing of the classroom, along with a portrait of my shoe under the desk as a bonus.

Friday, June 13, 2008

In The Staging Lanes

Well, my introductory period is coming to an end as I wrap up my second week in San Fran. As last week yielded no casualties, this week appeared to be headed in the same direction, until Tuesday night when I decided it would be a good idea to sleep with my window cracked, as it had been rather warm that day. And a good idea it was, until I spent the following morning trying to lift the fifteen bricks that had laid themselves in my forehead overnight, along with the pack of razor blades I apparently swallowed sometime after I dozed off. Needless to say, most of this week has been spent dealing with headaches and congestion. The mugshot on my new AAU ID badge above serves as good visual aide for the situation. Though despite the grueling hardships, I finally went through new student orientation Thursday, which consisted of a Graduate school overview, a meeting with my department director, a small tour of the school and of course my new identification card, which privies me to all the sweet action cuttin' loose behind the school's closed doors. So with that, and a trip to the art supply store, I'm all set to start classes next week. This summer session, along with the rest of my Graduate career, is gearing up to be very intense, which makes me both anxious and excited.

Below are some more sketches from orientation and train rides back home. Drawing people on trains can be tricky, especially if the person you're observing is several inches away. Sunglasses come in handy for this type of guerrilla art-making, as they disguise any eye movement that may distract your unassuming model. The sweet, and equally worthless animal pictured below is Alice, the resident canine.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Some Bland Visual Stimuli

Waiting for school to start is making me a bit anxious, which is nothing to write home about. Henceforth, I present: More pics from the road(Nevada), drawings from my excursions to Union Square, and worthless Photoshop shenanigans.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Weeks On The Ground: 1 Casualties: 0

Yes, despite all odds, I have survived my first week on the left coast. I'm starting to get more settled and familiar with the town. Today was good in that it was beautiful out, which meant I got to walk around different parts of downtown. I went to Union Square for a while to sketch people. It's kind of tough to draw people when they're constantly moving, which meant I focused more on people sitting, and some old folks with disabilities who moved a little slower. After that, I walked to the building where my school is having their Spring Show, which showcases the best student work from all majors. I saw a little of the show on Friday night, as they had a special reception for Graduate students, but I spent the majority of the time talking with my advisor and department director. So today I focused on the art and I was very impressed. It definitely makes me anxious for school to start. Another good note today is that dad finally made it home to Virginia, safely and in time for the Belmont, I might add. Both he and I had crisis-free trips across the country, which is a testament mostly to the Yukon we drove. Apart from getting great gas mileage ( I got about 18-19 going out and loaded down), it failed to give us one hint of any mechanical problem, with the exception of some carbon knocking upon starting it the morning after I arrived in San Fran. This is due to the copious amounts of ethanol-infused, low grade gasoline one finds throughout the mid-west. But, after a couple bottles of STP gas treatment and octane boost, the problem was no more.

All in all, things are going well so far. I've gotten most of the logistics straightened out, and managed to find a gym, so I'm not banging holes in the wall with my head and throwing bed frames out the window. And I've got a few leads on part-time jobs, so I can start making that big money. Below are a few pics from my walk today(click em to make em biggur).

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Dad Shows Up

Today Dad flew in from DC to spend the day checking out my place, my school and parts of the town. He got in around 10am, pacific of course, after which Aleta and I gave him a driving tour. Dad finally got a little used to the time change once we drove around some, and saw a few sights. We then headed back to the house to unload bags and give a quick tour of the home, after which Dad and I set out to see downtown and my school while Aleta went to work for a few hours. It took Dad a while to get acclimated to public transportation, including some of the crazies that inhabit the trains from time to time. One of these "eccentrics" proceeded to lecture dad on every detail of Bush's failure as President for at least fifteen minutes. Once we got downtown we started making the rounds to various school buildings, including my Illustration building where I will be spending the majority of my graduate career. After that, we went to see the Federal Building, City Hall, and the Supreme Court. Later that night, Dad, Aleta and I went out to dinner at great restaurant facing the ocean.

Dad will set out tomorrow morning to begin the long trek back across the country towards the good ol' Shenandoah Valley. Below are some pictures of my place on Irving street.

Monday, June 2, 2008

We're There

Well, after a steady five-day excurison across the great US, I have finally arrived in San Francisco. I got in just before noon on Sunday (that's pacific time of course, three hours earlier than eastern.) The trip was pretty much uneventful, and beautiful most of the way, with exception to the mid-west which was a little too flat. Not to mention the tornadoes, the sight of which can strike fear into any unsuspecting rookie from the mountains of the east coast. The sierra through Utah and Nevada was truly a sight to see, which had large, jagged mountains with snow caps at their highest peaks all along the horizon. Being surrounded by mountains made this last part of the trip much more enjoyable. Crossing the border from Nevada to California takes you through the Tahoe National Forest, which is similar to driving along Blue Ridge parkway, but with bigger mountains, tighter valleys, and worse roads. Speaking of which, the road conditions most of the way were less than par, espcecially in the right lane of each highway. This lead to extensive cruising in the left lane, which only presented problems when drivers going twice as fast came up behind me.

Above and below(since I'm still getting used to posting this blog) are pictures I took along the way with my camera phone, which explains the blurry quality of some.