11 July 2012
Art and Design, Magic & Spirituality, Media
design, kavad, kavad 4.8, preliminary drawings, prototype, sketch, sketches
The Third Face of Libra has a lot going for it — for one, a lot of the original sources all agree on the bow and arrows thing; for another, there’s a lot of suggestions of sexual impropriety, and a guy with the head of a (ahem) horse has a range of meanings.
Naturally, I’ve screwed up. I’ve put the bow, and consequently, the main figure’s arm, in the wrong place. This one is going to have to be redesigned at some point. But I like the idea of the reclining man with a wineglass and a loaf of bread in hand. Can I work it into the final version that goes on the kavad? Hard to know for sure… these pictures are 4″ wide by about 11″ tall — there’s lots of space to work in. On the kavad, the space is maybe 1.5″ by 4″. That means a lot of the data from these big images is going to have to be compressed down.
Why didn’t I start out by making the windows in my sketchbook the same size as the windows on the kavad? Maybe you’re wondering that. (Maybe I am, too.)
But the core reason should be obvious — I’m working through a traditional system of learning, and working through a traditional system of training artists. If I jumped right to the crafting of an image, I wouldn’t understand what I was painting or drawing. What is essential here? Do you know? Do I know, without drawing it? How will you draw it at a tiny scale, if you’ve never even seen the image before? And so I draw them large, to figure out what I must know about the image before I try to make it tiny.
There’s a learning process at work here, and to avoid it is to short-circuit your own learning process. Don’t do it.
11 July 2012
illness, sickness, stuffy nose
I haven’t suffered many colds or illness since I started tai chi – five gold coins, eight pieces of silk and the form today – but today I have one of those wicked summer “colds” that seems localized in my left sinuses. I seemed to be sneezing every other posture, and my left ear is stopped up something bad. I seem to process colds pretty fast now that I’m building up my immune system, so we’ll see how long it lasts.
Part of it, I’m sure, is climotrauma — moving frequently from cold dry air of air-conditioned spaces and buildings to the warm humid air outside. I often wish I could just adjust to being warm or being cold, not shift back and forth between one and the other all the time.
The tai chi was uneventful. I still have knees that don’t hurt. I swallowed a bug because I did the forms outside and breathed in too quickly. The hazards of getting the work done.
Ok, off to the woods!
11 July 2012
Art and Design, Palace of Memory
creativity, Data collection, design, imagination, information, planning, planning ahead, prototyping
I’m going to be away from my computer and most electronics for a few days. Don’t worry: I’ve scheduled a few posts to play out in the time that I’ll be away, so you won’t have to be without any discussion of the Kavad progress, and you’ll think that I’m not slacking off. The tai chi posts will have to wait until I get home, but I’ll take some detailed notes so that any insights that come to me during this time will be available on my return. It’s not that I’ve given up the practice, just that I’m going to be doing it in a place where the Intertubes don’t shine.
In preparation for this departure, though, I’ve been hastily using the Internet to compile data about the decans for use while I’m off grid. I plan to take my sketchbook with me, and consult with some of my fellow campers, about the nature of the stories each decan image tells. Accordingly, I spent a fair block of time today recording what the Hindus, ibn Ezra, Picatrix, and Agrippa had to say. My friend Nick also turned me on to another list, used by the order of the Golden Dawn, and included in Israel Regardie’s big black book. I’d forgotten the Decans made an appearance there, but now I’ve got another list to work from. Goody!
Some of my teaching colleagues are probably wondering, “what’s the point?” And I’d like to say again, if it wasn’t obvious, that it always comes back (for me) to having a languages, a model and a value system that makes teaching creativity important. Analyzing this project in those terms, I’m using my skills at research and my own skill at drawing to make something new. It doesn’t have to be perfect, or even great, to teach me something about creativity. It just has to be something I value and am willing to put time and effort into. And then it’s a source of teaching and learning about creativity.