Friday, May 27

Daily Notes 14-20

Somehow 6 weeks have flown by. Spring stayed cool until yesterday it decided to become 90 degrees. I survived PSSA testing and drama club. I voted. I taught kids how to weave and photoshop and build clay containers. Mama cat had kittens. I rode a bike to and from work nearly every day. I completed a second piece for a children's book illustration. I dropped off work for an alumni show at Moore. School is almost over, and my summer adventure at UPENN will start soon.
I've been doing this project for 5 months now. Life is looking colorful.

Sunday, May 1

Skirkanich 1

I am very happy to share that I've been selected for the Skirkanich internship in Network Visualization at the University of Pennsylvania this summer. They are teaming up artists, scientists, high school students and an art teacher (me!) to explore visualizing scientific concepts- especially how the brain and other networks work. The first resource we've been asked to consider is the video above.
I love thinking about the brain. It's such a complex organ that controls everything we do and say. How do we end up being such unique individuals with different ways of thinking? How does creativity work? How is it possible that I can think about how I think??!? I love it. This video shares research about how semantics are stored in the brain. I've heard about there being a "language center" in the brain, but this video seems to refute the idea of language being only in one place. Words and their meanings and related categories are grouped all over the brain. I'd like them to do more study on how foreign language is stored in the brain and how the translations may be grouped. Is mere and maman and annecigim and mom all stuck in one spot in my brain? Is that why I mix up french and turkish and english words all the time? And why do I feel a throbbing or strain in my left temple area when I'm trying to think of a word? Or why do the words breakfast, lunch, and dinner seem interchangeable when they come out of my mouth? How do the words get from auditory processing to understanding to saying? Could there be too many connections?
I like how in this video they used color to help map out categories of words and where they lived in the brain. I also found it interesting how they kept changing the way the brain was represented- sometimes showing all the wrinkles, sometimes butterflying it out, playing with 2D and 3D versions.

I expect I will continue to post more about my experiences as I go through the internship- as long as I'm allowed to share openly.

Monday, April 25

Conversation 2 & 3

 While I didn't get to stitching up a new strip yet this week, I did spend several hours this past weekend finishing the previous week's strip and painting up Conversation 2. On top of that I cut about 20 stencils to use in a teacher workshop with my colleagues. (I refuse to do"painting with a twist" where all the paintings end up all the same!)
I didn't have as many photos to work from this week, but apparently it's Spring and all the Azaleas are in bloom.

From our pair of bushes I collaged these two together:
All those azaleas will be fun to paint.

I went to the Philadelphia Sculpture Gym on Saturday and saw Christina Day's piece:
She was working with all recycled materials- lawn chairs in this instance. I believe she had a RAIR residency, which I would love to do someday....

Monday, April 18

Conversation 1 & 2

After last week's digital collage I painted this small composition.
After another week of texting images with my friend, these 2 seemed to echo each other the most. I made another digital collage blending those with  3rd photo I took which became this:

Unfortunately, I spent more time napping than working this afternoon and evening. I barely finished last week's Daily Notes strip, and for the first Sunday since January I haven't got a new strip started.
 This past week was the start of PSSA testing at my middle school, and the accumulated stress of the week has taken its toll.

Sunday, April 10

Conversation 1

Starting something new with a friend. This is the result of week 1. I'm not sure if it will become something else or just be as it is.  We'll see.

Saturday, April 9

Daily Notes 13-14-15

I don't have much to say, except March was difficult. 
 This is 3 months worth of work. I took all the pieces down on Monday to share with a group of M.Ed students at Tyler. They gave me a great response, and I'm feeling good about how this project is progressing.
April is starting. I feel stressed with responsibilities, but I have a high current of creative energy running though me.

Sunday, March 27

Daily Notes 11-12-13

March has proved to be miserable. While Spring has supposedly arrived, my last 2 weeks of patches have remained dark. I prepared piece #12 in time, but then this past week I felt no motivation to stitch it. It was such a bad week, I didn't want to revisit it through stitching. On the other hand, I was also trying to complete an entirely separate piece of embroidery in preparation for Good Friday. Since the other piece had to meet a deadline, the daily notes strip stayed on the back burner.
This past week (#13) I've been on Spring Break from school. It was a much-needed rest and relief from this past month of stress, bad news, and worry. But perhaps things are looking up. The palette for #13 feels calmer. Soon I'll have to find another way to hang the piece- I'm running out of space above my desk.

Sunday, March 6

Daily notes 8-9-10

Week 8 was very creative. My daughter won a regional Shakespeare Monologue contest, I got a bit carried away with teaching color theory, I turned 38, I helped my 7th graders make about 80 clay creatures (leaving my hands dry and cracked from clay all week), I showed my screenprinting students how to create Benday dots, and I had a lovely walk in the woods.

In preparation for week 9 I dumped out my scrap box and went digging. But it really is starting to feel a little stale now. If anyone wants to send me scraps of fabric I'd happily do a small exchange (just comment). My aunt sent me some, which will find their way into one of these strips sooner or later.
Week 9 brightened to match the warmer weather, perhaps. I was thinking about math and surface area, braiding, types of mark, different roles I have at work, a little Moroccan inspiration,and another walk in the woods. Someday I really need to find somewhere closer to the Wissahickon to live.
 The strip for Week 10 has begun. March has not started off very well- but every day is just a pixel in the bigger picture. I have to keep remembering that.
Two months worth of strips now hang in my studio. They are starting to really look like something substantial, and I have a glimmer of what this will all look like in the end. I am enjoying the daily ritual  of journaling and the weekend ritual of finding fabrics and stitching. It's becoming a positive habit.

Saturday, February 20

Daily Notes 6-7

Week 7 is finished and pinned up. There was subbing for 1st graders, value/ proportion exercises, unfulfilled snow expectations, a visit to CHAD and PAFA, and Valentine's.

I've already picked out scraps and sewn them up ready for this past week's strip. Time to finish week 7 and head into week 8. 

My scrap bin is beginning to feel predictable though...

Sunday, February 14

Daily notes weeks 5-6-7

 My daughter found a pottery shard and gave it to me. Week 5 is all my busting of pride for all her accomplishments. The shard looks like a heart attached using shisha stitch. On Sunday that week, Corinthians 13 was read. Love endures all things. These are words I cherish.
A car accident shook up week 6. Everything I encountered seemed to radiate- the spokes of wheels, the impact of accidents, pistachio shells on a table, a student's collage, and confetti at mardi gras/ shrove pancake breakfast at church.
 I'm surprised how much red is appearing in these pieces. I don't really like red. It's my tension/angry color, but I think it's showing up more as a mark of energy or excitement. My scrap box has more of it than I'd have expected.
My energy for stitching was low through week 6. I didn't finish stitching on it till this morning and then lacked motivation to start on one for week 7. I suppose it's normal for enthusiasm for a project to wax and wane, but I don't want to give up on this project idea so soon. One month's worth of stitching is done and I can envision the potential of 12 months' worth.