Saturday, August 27, 2011


I'd never thought I'd ever spend this much time in a burger king.

Yesterday we went to the Arecibo Observatory. It's way in the middle of mountainous nowhere (which is typical for telescopes). The drive there made me a little nauseas; there roads just went up and down constantly with sharp turns. On the way back my dad actually took a video of the road. Anyway, it's the biggest single dish radio telescope in the world, or in Spanish (radiotelescopio).

The middle of nowhere (Arecibo)

It's quite large. twss.

I thought it was pretty cool, though there's not much to see there. They have an area with a bunch of science activity booths. Typical museumy stuff, most of which didn't work. Then there's this 20 minute video about a typical day for the observatory or something like that. The production value was pretty low. I appreciated it for the fact that the scientific things said in the video were real, because they were clearly not actors. I would've liked more explanation of how the thing worked. It did give a sense of scale though. They showed some engineers working on the thing and inside the secondary reflector, and you see how tiny they are. After the film everyone goes outside to the the observation deck and you look at it for a while.
Physics tea party.
They had a Nobel Prize
We got back to my grandpa's place just before it started raining. The church band was warming up. I guess the concert was last night. This time they had music followed by talking, repeat. Rather than trying to sleep I watched 20th Century Boys and several episodes of Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood. I still have no idea what happened in 20th Century Boys. I'm gonna need to watch the second one. Regarding FMA, is it just me or do things happen faster in Brotherhood? Everything is very familiar, so I'm not sure if the episodes weren't just reedited or if they're actually different episodes.

The support cables for the secondary reflector

Finally got both of them in a picture. They're quite skittish. 

Woah, Banana Flower.

One of those loud roosters, and my Grandpa's dog, Brownie

Animal Count: 15 lizards, 10 chickens, 5 dogs, 8 horses, 4 (fields of) cows
No new cats yesterday?

Friday, August 26, 2011

El Morro

Slept in today. Making up for yesterday. The church band was just finishing up by the time we got back yesterday. We went sight seeing with Nirav and his family. It was a lot of fun. Didn't have time to write a real post this morning, so here are some pictures:

Old Spanish Fort, El Morro

El Morro's light house from outside the walls.

Inside the fort
More from inside the fort
Birds outside the fort. Nirav called Merkrow's looking for their hats.

Cat on one of the walls

Cat at base of the fort.

I thought these were pretty

This iguana was sitting on the fort wall by the old latrines.

Triangular staircase. I thought it was cool.

Animal Count: 2 lizards, 3 cats, 9 dogs, 1 chicken, 10 cows (in a field), ~8 hatless merkrows.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

What kind of Church is this?

Just one of the banana trees in
my grandpa's yard.
Instead of waking me up this morning the rooster decided it would rather keep me up last night. But I don't blame it. I blame the church next door for keeping me up. Why is a church having a concert until 11 o'clock on a Wednesday night? The coquí frogs didn't help either. The night before they were charming; Last night they were more annoying than crickets. I still blame it mostly on the concert. At one point it seemed like there was a strobe light pointed at my window. Anyway, today I woke up at eight and was incredibly groggy.

Yesterday was nice. We visited some of my dad's cousins, as well as his aunt. My great aunt was nice, though the need for everyone to feed me is kind of tiring.

"I don't eat meat"
"Oh my god!...Still fish though?"
"No fish"
"Oh my god!"
"I can't drink milk either. It's been upsetting my stomach lately"
"Oh my god! What do you eat!?"
"Vegetables, Fruits, grains"
"Oh. I guess that's good. Lots of vitamins...Um, have some mashed potatoes and gravy"
"I... don't eat mashed potatoes"
"Oh my god!"

I had fried plantains (mofongo) and rice. And after was given two bananas. Everyone has banana trees in their yard. My great aunt also had an incredibly friendly dog named Pipa. I made a sketch of her face and I promised I'd make a full body sketch my aunt could give to her daughter, but Pipa moved around quite a bit and I don't have much practice drawing dogs. So we ended up taking some pictures, and I'll do the sketch later.
The first sketch of Pipa
Oh! On the way to my aunt's place we actually ended up on some of the roads we were trying to take to my grandpa's. We were looking at the strange grass and then passed a familiar looking house with a ridiculously steep driveway, and then realized all the grass and trees off the side of the road had been under water yesterday (Where I failed to get a picture). It drained really quickly! We made it passed the point where the road was flooded and I got some pictures of the river. My grandpa said the other day, "We'll have water as long as it doesn't rain too much". It's because when the river overflows it brings silt into the reservoir and they shut off the water.
It's clearly taken some dirt off the mountain.

Today I see Nirav. He's got a 6 hour layover here on his way to Antigua.

Because the internet needs more cats (and dogs):
My Dad's Cousin's Pets
One of my Grandpa's cats hiding in the leaves. 
This is Pipa, the friendliest pit-bull in the world.
Animal Count: 9 lizards, 20+ chickens, 2 ducks, 4 cats, 16 dogs, 2 sheep, 7 horses, 8 (fields of) cows, 4 (individual) cows

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Come on Irene...

I was awoken this morning around 4:15 by a rooster. That's new. Fortunately I went to sleep at 8 last night and I was just about ready to get up anyway. I'm at my Grandpa's house in Puerto Rico. It's nice. It's not too big, but still pretty spacious; high ceilings; large second floor patio; banana, papaya, and mango trees in the backyard (though the mango tree lacks fruit); and the best thing about it: It's on a hill. This is very important, as the island was just hit by a hurricane and it's been raining for a week.
San Juan

The trip from the airport in San Juan to my Grandpa's place in Camuy normally takes about an hour and a half, I believe it took us four. Which I suppose isn't so bad considering the traffic we saw. The main route across the island was backed up for miles, so we followed smaller roads. Many of which were flooded, winding, or really, really narrow (and the people drive aggressively). After making it halfway there on the smaller roads we reached a river and had to return to the main road, which was clear that far down.

I didn't manage to get a picture of the river we drove next to for some time, but there was a forest growing in it. I did manage to get pictures of the island as we were landing. I also made some rapid sketches of it. I saw two flashes of lightning between the clouds as we were flying over the island. It made me a bit nervous but I figured it can't be helped and I don't get many chances to draw aerial views.

Also, there's no internet here. So I expect to be back in NJ before anyone reads this.

Animal count: 3 lizards, 2 cats, 5 dogs, 4 horses
(I'm not counting the cows 'cuz there were a lot of them and they were fenced in, unlike the 3 horses hitched to a house and the one horse grazing by the side of the road. Also I'm not counting the roosters until I see them)

Edit: BK has WiFi here! 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Guess Who Rode His Bike Today!

It feels good to be on my bike again. It's been tough finding time for it with school. I didn't even make an attempt last year to ride with the team. But I think I've figured it out. If I want to get things done, I need to wake up before any of my friends. I was out of the house around 7:15 this morning and rode for about an hour and a half.

I drew a mind map of my interests recently. It's more of a web though I typically see them as trees. It's part of a project I'm planning, but it also tells me how much I need to be organized if I'm going to pursue any of these interests.

And there're more details under each bubble I'm sure.

It's been a goal of mine for years to get organized, be on a good sleep schedule, and find time for all the things I want to do. I've had promising starts, but a wrench always gets thrown in the plans. Well here goes another try.  I'm in a much better place than I have been in the past. I have more experience, and more resources. I've got a whiteboard calender and I keep a to-do list up there along with daily tasks. I'm keeping a list of longer term goals, and keeping track of what I get done on a daily basis. My room is clean. I've been meditating daily. My bike and gear are easily accessible. And waking up early will be really useful once I start teaching. 

Hopefully this structure is flexible enough to stay intact regardless of wrenches.

Monday, August 1, 2011

How to Redirect Blogger to a Custom Domain Hosted by Fatcow

So there didn't seem to be any up to date instructions on how to do this, so it was a real pain to figure out. Anyway here's how:

1. Contact fatcow support and ask them to allow you to modify the 'CNAME Alias' or CNAME Record. This is most easily done through live chat (which can be found under the help option in the upper right of the control panel). The change may take a few minutes to take effect.

2. Go to 'Domain Central' under the 'Domain' tab.

3. Click on the domain you want to modify and click on the 'DNS' option.

4. Previously you would have only seen the 'Nameservers' option under this tab. The support team should have changed this so now you have a dropdown list. Go to 'CNAME Alias' in the drop down.

5. Add a new entry. If you would like to redirect to a top level domain type 'www' as the 'Host' and '' as the 'Points to'. If you would like it on a subdomain type in 'www.mysubdomain' (where mysubdomain is the subdomain you want)*.
Here's mine on the subdomain 'blog'
6. Once you've added this entry it should take about 12 hours to take effect. (I know it's annoying. Try troubleshooting this with that wait time)

7. Next go to you're blog's 'Settings' tab. Click publishing. Switch to Custom Domain. Type in your domain (with the www).

That should do it. I know for sure it works on a subdomain, but I haven't tried it on a top level one. Let me know how it works if you try it.

*If you would like to redirect to (as opposed to giving a 404 or redirecting to the main domain) you need to do 1 or 2 of 2 things. I'm not sure if both of these are critical, but I did both, and haven't had any problems. I think the more important one is to go to the '.htaccess Editor' under the 'Website' tab on the control panel. Go to 'URL Redirect' and type '' under 'Redirect this URL' and '' under 'To this URL'. The other thing I did was to repeat the CNAME step (5) except type 'subdomain' into 'host' and '' under 'Points to'.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Thesis in Review

So we installed Thursday before last. It was quite the experience. We were given four days to get the job done. It was basically finished the morning of the fifth day. It may as well have been started the night of the fourth. But, it doesn't really matter at this point. It's up.

I'm happy with my installation. It's incredibly scaled down from the monstrous wall of paint i had originally proposed. I'm ok with that. It may have even worked out for the better. After actually installing I can see how horribly cluttered my original plans were. Not only that, but my theme didn't come across as clearly as I hoped. The connection between light was, ahem, overshadowed by other differences between the works. There is an emotional content to the landscapes which had not previously occurred to me. In many places they look ominous and desolate. Furthermore, the paint handling changes from painting to painting. Working from photographs in some places caused me to desaturate my palette. Looking at landscapes through the screens of photographs disabled me from painting from multiple moments in time, like with the still life. My still life are a compilation of many moments of observation. A slight tilt of my head will drastically alter my painting. This forces me to make choices with regard to assembling these moments. This collage in which I am trying to hold on to every moment at once is something I feel is very crucial to my still life painting. However, the strain of assembly often leads me to working very tightly. I have said before that I do not want to toil as I paint. In my landscapes there is only one moment. This allows me a certain level of freedom. I can never lose the image; it's printed in front of me. As loose as I go I can always see just how to correct it. This leads to the strongest connection between my landscapes and still life: The landscapes allow me to change my paint in the still life. The looseness in one will carry over to the other.  With that in mind I think if they had been arranged chronologically to some extant I might be able to show this connection better.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Return of the Blog Post!

So I'm currently in the middle of four paintings. Three of them are landscapes, one of them is a still life.  Based on past critiques the landscapes seem to be supporting themselves. The space is much clearer in my landscape paintings. So what I've been focusing on creating depth of space in my still lifes. I really like my current set up... More background... In my painting seminar we were looking at Las Meninas.
My point of interest is the mirror in the background. In that little space the viewer sees him/herself as the king and queen.  The discussion reminded me of some of my earlier work with mirrors in still lifes. In particular, I was reminded of the options mirrors provided for opening up space in the painting.  I often have little self portraits in my paintings as a result of some reflective surface, but I haven't been pushing this option lately.  It's always nice remembering something I was really interested in and only stopped working on because someone knocked over my still life*...Anyway, I really like this still life.
under painting
There are two mirrors and the reflections get really complicated.  There's an object which only appears by way of reflection off another object.  I even have diffraction through water showing up in one of the mirrors! (I had been trying unsuccessfully to get diffraction to be prominent in a painting for a while, now it happens incidentally 9_9).

This was complex enough I needed to make a view finder.  I haven't done that in sooo long. I was rather nostalgic about it. ^__^ I first cut the hole inconveniently large so I had to origami it to a quarter the area.
My view finder

*Though if that hadn't happened I wouldn't have decided to start painting landscapes from photographs on account of photos being perfectly fine to fall 3ft.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What Remains

So I have a lot on my plate right now.  I've actually started writing several post but I haven't had time to finish them.  So I haven't been posting them (they're there though). Be on the lookout for a comic, an artist talk review, a critique reaction, a museum visit, some goal assessment, and something random to suddenly show up as having been posted within the last week.  For now though:

Oh... and the current plan for my thesis project looks like this:

I think it's more comic like now. Which I think should make it easier to assess flow.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Difference of Two

I have been struggling to complete my application to the Graduate School of Education perhaps because I my heart is not really in it.  I can not say how true that is, but there are surely seeds of doubt which have just begun to sprout.  I have expressed my intent to pursue Education to many and it is usually met with such approbation that I hardly consider the deviation from my more deeply seated goals.  In the case of my intention being met with reproach it is usually with such aggression that I have no choice but to defend my stance.  However, recently my intention has met with neither approval or repulsion but with the sincerest curiosity as to why I would want to do that. Having not found an answer which resonates with me a half of what drives my other intentions the seeds began to sprout.

Becoming a teacher was never a dream of mine. Though it was always something which I believed I would both do and greatly enjoy; It was never my dream.  I dreamed of becoming great in my field, to be a teacher of peoples, to be a teacher by deed.

Am I giving up? Am I being sidetracked? Am I underestimating my desire to teach?

I am not sure where I wish to be in a year.  I am sure I would like to have some time off between the attainment of one degree and the pursuit of the next. Could the trepidation merely be from my desire of a break? I honestly would love to be a travelling teacher.  I want the qualification. I want a chance to do college over. I don't expect to efface my undergrad record, but it would be nice to have a stunning two years to place atop it, something less riddled with the mistakes of a love plagued solipsist turned Buddhist. I know that is one of the major reasons I wish for a new degree: to feel that I have turned this whole mess of five years into something more tangible than insight. But if I could be convinced that with solely the experience of these past five years it is time to set out for something more great, then why should I delay?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Seven Eyed Hitsuji

Chapter 5 Line 6

Watch out for this one...
Also!  Today I got told about It's has virtual tours of several major world museums. Certain paintings also have REALLY HI-DEF photos.  You can zoom in far enough to count the bristles on Van Gogh's brushes!  Glorious.
And that's not even full zoom.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Comic: Rats On A Hill

Yeah! I kept a promise!
This comic took far more effort than they're giving me credit for.

I have this thing about self reference. It seems to be my preferred way to start off a series of comics. Anyway, I was having trouble coming up with ideas so this is what you get. Most of my ideas were too long for now, and I'm not sure what kind of continuing story I feel like drawing right now. I may poll for opinions later.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Still Working out the Kinks

So I know I promised a comic for Mondays but that may be more difficult than I anticipated.  I will try to have a comic posted tomorrow night however. I don't have much to say today, even though it feels like there's a lot going on right now.  I'm really set on developing my thesis exhibition. I think I can finish advance general physics before spring break.  I'm all set to stay on top of my other classes. And I'm even continuing Japanese practice. So good stuff. Here are some photos which might become paintings:
The trail of lampposts might be a way of guiding the
 viewer from painting to painting in the final assembly.

I like the shadow the post casts on itself.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Moving Along

I finished a painting today!  This will soon become less of an event and more of a ritual.  Based on my thesis plans I will have ten weeks to do about twenty paintings.  I expect ten of them to be on the small side; so it's not actually too bad, but that still means two paintings a week.  Also, I'm still messing with the mock up I made for my hanging arrangement. I expect the small paintings to break up the pages and lead the viewers eye from one "page" to the next.  This will be partly affected by the color scheme (which itself should create a composition in each page) of the paintings which make up the "pages" .  It somewhat difficult to know plan the overall composition when I don't know what the paintings that make up the panels will look like yet.
The Green is what I think will be landscape and the gold is still life

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Unicyle Guy

I like being the unicycle guy.  I hadn't ridden in months because my unicycle had been making a really annoying squeak.  This past week I started riding it again because I missed it.  I also wanted to get some riding in before the opportunity would be lost thanks to all the snow we've been getting.  The way the weather's been I may not be able to ride for perhaps another week, but it's been nice.  I'd also forgotten what it was like having random strangers call out to me to tell me I'm awesome.  I don't want an inflated ego, but that kind of thing can help keep you in a good mood, especially if you're worried about classes and such.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Thesis Proposal

I'm excited for the thesis exhibition.  I lucked out and got placed in the second group; which means I get three more weeks to prepare than the first group.  I'm going to need it.  This will be the most paintings I've managed to make in an single semester. Below is a draft of my thesis proposal.

I will be making a series of paintings assembled into three rectangles. The individual paintings will be of varying sizes but the entire assembly will construct a three rectangle 78 inches  by 125 inches aligned vertically. Each rectangle will consist of about twelve paintings of varying sizes. The paintings will be a series of glass still life and night landscapes.  The rectangles are meant to resemble a page. I conceive this overall image as a comic of sorts. A story can be told with each painting acting as a panel. I do not intend there to be an explicit narrative. The comic will be an exploration of light, refracting, reflecting and diffusing. I paint as part of an exploration of the natural world. I wish to bring to surface the peculiarity of every day occurrences and scenes. 
My current areas of focus is glass and landscape as a means of playing with light. When I paint I am not merely re-crafting reality as it is, but reality as I perceive it and as I see fit. The exploration of glass and light does not yield objective results but rather one possible interpretation of the world. I personally find a great deal of mystery in every day occurrences. This is in part because I know that no one truly understands the underlying mechanisms which produce daily life. Vision is a complicated process. When light hits glass it interacts with the particles that make up the glass. The light bounces back and forth between the particles, being absorbed and released. On the visible level this results in the path the light seeming to bend. When it finally reaches my eyes it is focused onto cells which have evolved to stop sending signals to my brain should they bit hit by certain wavelengths. These certain wavelengths are of course determined by the microscopic structure of these cells and their ability to absorb light is done is created by the same mechanism of the glass. When these cells stop signaling my brain my brain is given a lot of information. The wavelengths are translated into colors. The intensity is translated into brightness. This forms an image. This image is processed into things I recognize or things I don’t recognize. All of these processes are transmitted by the same mechanism as the light through the glass. Of course this is a simplification. One cannot say what truly happens during any of these interactions. One can only see the results. One cannot be sure if the particles one is referring to are “real” or if they’re just useful tools for guessing what will happen on an observable level. No one truly understands how or why anything we see can be seen or perceived. And everyone perceives things in a different manner. 
My thesis project intends to focus on the act of perception.  Night landscapes offer a sense of the ephemeral not found in daytime landscapes.  At night a point of light may be a surprising point of interest rather than an a commonplace expectation. The play of light among shadows will make the connection between the interior space of the glass and the outside world. 
I believe I can make my study of light apparent by arranging my paintings into a large comic. The works will be arranged so that the composition does not have to be “read” in a traditional manner. I expect the final arrangement of pages to be about 22 ft. wide. Because it will not be possible for someone to view every panel on the “page” from the same angle the shapes of the panels and the objects within them must guide the viewer to different parts of the comic. I intend to overwhelm the viewer with the light.
Everyday objects will be presented on an unnatural scale alongside landscapes and the light play between them will be magnified bringing attention to the beauty and mystery which can be found in something as simple as a glass of water and as everyday as a streetlamp.

Mock up. (The blue line is average viewing height 58") 

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Yeah! This is a post! It counts! I'm sorry. I have a headache. Here's a distraction.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Best Laid Plans of yada yada... It Was Cold!

So instead of painting for many hours today as per my original plans.  I pretty much spent today reading.  I started the day with an exquisitely awful piece of fiction, Atlanta Nights. It was written as a hoax to prove that PublishAmerica would print anything.  It features such great lines as "wept a sorrowing floodlike of tears; "I’ll go sees he now,” he stormed, and stormed out of the room"; and "Fortunately, fast and efficient Emergency Medical Services, based on a program founded by Lyndon Baines Johnson the 36th President of the United States helped y'all survive an otherwise, deadly crash," Isadore chuckled. And that's just the beginning! Chapters 4 and 17 are word for word the same. There are two Chapter 12's. Chapter 21 is missing. Chapter 34 was written by a computer programmed to pick up word patterns in the previous chapters. Characters also randomly change gender without explanation. The text can be found here.

A few chapters into that I realized if I'm not going to work I should probably read something worthwhile. The rest of the day was spent on Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. It's a fictional historical account of early 19th century England from the perspective some one writing from someone within the same century as the events described.  Everything is as it would be during the Napoleonic Wars except that several hundred years ago magic was well practiced in England and now it no longer is.  No longer practiced that is until the appearance of Mr. Norrell (and later Jonathan Strange).  The book is complete with footnotes referencing an elaborate history of magic and the biographies of the characters themselves. It's a good choice.  Unlike this.

...Back to the snow. I just wanted to commend Rutgers facilities. They were shoveling the walk every few hours to make up for the schools unwillingness to close; Though it did cancel classes past 4:30pm. And the sidewalk plows were running all day. So thank you for making it more pleasant for me the few times I was outside today.
I've always thought it'd be fun to drive one of those things. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Renewal, Revival, Restarting, Retcetera

So at this point it's pretty clear that I've failed to post for thirty days straight.  However! I have not given up! From today I will be restarting my attempt, and with an extra challenge.  I will post once a day for thirty days and Monday's post (or Sunday's) will be a comic. It is also likely that certain days will have specific topics. Tuesday and Thursday will likely be art related. I'll be in the studio 4-5 days a week this semester so there will also be plenty of painting updates as well. (Today I was called away from my studio in the middle of mixing paint so no painting update today.)
Here's a waterbear for your trouble.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The First Day of Spring (i.e. The Frozen Waste)

The "Cold, Wet & Dreary" semester doesn't have quite the same charm as "Spring". That's probably why they call it the spring semester (plus "winter" is already taken and winter 2.0 would be tacky).

Despite spending half the day walking through slush and icy puddles in shoes which are more and more beginning to resemble slippers things went rather well. Some back story: I did poorly in one of my classes this past summer.  The class is only offered in the summer.  So to make it up would require me to stay for one more summer session.  That's not going to happen.  The instructor from the summer is teaching another class this semester and the instructor and my dean said it'd be ok if I used that class to make up my grade.  Initially  that class was full but it opened up today and I registered. So all's well there.  Getting into that class allowed me to drop another, which opened up my schedule for a class I wanted to take.  I can now go to the early section on Thursdays. I would have had to drop the class otherwise because I have a club obligation Thursday night and the class is really only serving as an ego boost.

The second half of the day was spent with gloves, an extra coat, and BOOTS!  And it ended with juggle dinner, when only a few hours before I thought I'd be eating alone.
I'll have some original art up tomorrow, I swear!
 For now enjoy the fruits of Google

Monday, January 17, 2011

So It Begins.

The tenth and final semester.  I don't have much to say...  Hopefully it'll all end on a high note. I don't know what picture to put up for that.  This will do.
I have no idea who this man is.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

36 Is Far Too Many

I've recently started using Ubuntu (10.10) .  It's neat.  It has many of the features I like about both Windows and Macs and the things I don't like are changeable.  One feature I'm a fan of is having multiple workspaces.  As I'm using Ubuntu on my netbook it's nice not having a bunch of windows cluttering the tiny screen.  In an attempt to demonstrate my love of workspaces to a friend I increased the number of workspace columns to 16.  At some point during this escalation the preferences window changed and instead of selecting number of rows and columns I needed to select number of rows and number of workspaces.  Workspaces went up to 36.  Overall this was a bad plan.  My application dock (Docky) began coloring  an 8th of my screen black and the borders of all my windows went missing (You know the part with the close window button.  I also lost the ability to change the number of workspaces, though I could change the number of rows.  Whether or not an application would launch was also now up to the computer's whim. After some searching (rebooting, searching, using alternate log in, not being able to connect to the internet, going back to my main log in, and more searching) I found the way to manually change the number of workspaces using the terminal.

gconftool-2 --type=int --set /apps/metacity/general/num_workspaces #
(where # is the number of workspaces desired)

That solved most of the issues but under appearance the visual effects were now set to none and all attempts to change it back to normal caused the window to temporarily freeze. After more searching I found the solution to be reinstalling the package that was supposed to handle that.

sudo synaptic
(and then marking "compiz" for reinstall)

Then just for kicks removed the shut down menu from the top panel and couldn't figure out how to get it back so I looked up how to reset the default panels.

gconftool --recursive-unset /apps/panel && killall gnome-panel

...Anyway, I still like Ubuntu*.

*I've had stranger problems on Windows: like having the start menu disappear.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Not as productive (painting) as I should be...

Painting is coming along but I'm still hitting road blocks. I think it has to do with all the other stuff I need to / feel like doing. Like inking!
Even if the lines are in the wrong place ink just looks cool
PS. I'll make up for missing yesterday's post later

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Wet, Messy, Carcinogenic, Fun!

Ah... Painting. I think I've finally figured out why it's been so hard to get myself into the studio.  I've written about this before. It's just no fun painting when you know exactly what it's going to look like.  Given enough time and expended energy I can make anything look however I want.  It ceases to be exciting! I can't toil away making paintings. Toiling is no fun. Toil.
But I feel I have found a solution! I know I can rework any parts of a painting I don't like. So why not just do it all faster? If it doesn't work out on the first layer I mix another and I won't have wasted time on unnecessary precision.  It's exciting and I don't always know if I'm going to do it right so it's challenging.  Plus it gets me great textures and that satisfying wet into wet look.
Honestly I had already found that this worked on smaller paintings.  I could do them quickly on not worry about it.  Taking it to a larger scale was intimidating. But I've found that part of the reason it was intimidating was because it just didn't seem to work.  There just wasn't enough paint to be spread that quickly over a large surface and I couldn't force myself to just start globbing half tubes of paint onto the canvas. The first two hours I painted today went by slowly and carefully. I had to stop after two hours. I was getting tired. I forced myself to at least paint a little bit more before wrapping up. Not long after I started again I realized I didn't need a lot of paint to paint quickly (and opaquely).  I mixed 1 part linseed oil with 3 parts mineral spirits and the colors glided on. The next two hours went by quickly and I only stopped so I wouldn't be stuck hungry in the studio too late and have to travel back home with it being colder outside than it already was.
...So anyway I think I can look forward to painting again.
Current Incarnation

One of the more useful fruits of procrastination I  finally have a convenient way to hold my brushes without becoming Wolverine. Made from a shallow card board box, the edge was caught on the door of the cabinet.  The brushes were then stabbed into it until snug.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

...The Little Things (continued)

Well that last post was a bit rushed. Which is in part due to this website:
Neat Silky Pictures.

Also while I was cleaning my brushes today I had a great idea for my thesis project. A professor of mine, Paul Bruner, told me once not to make pictures with two focal points.  Having two points creates one line, one choice.  Your eye must move from point A to point B.  The event of looking becomes a dizzying headache (At this point I'm extrapolating 'cuz I don't remember exactly how he said everything.).  When comparing two things one will be compelled to contrast them against each other.  However, with three things similarities between two will emerge in contrast with differences with the third.  There are now three lines to be drawn between points A, B, and C.  And from any point one may choose to travel in one of two directions, not one of one.  This freedom is necessary for balance and interest.  In any case this thought has made me decided to add a third wall (page) to my thesis plans.  What exactly that wall is, I will not say yet.