Posted in Journal, Projects

Still working on an Embroidery Idea

This was my original idea. I wanted to make a little character, Harrison, who represented me. On it’s clothing would be people, places, and things that I think affected and shaped my personality. The patches would be what people see when they look at me, representing how that affects me too. On the back I was going to leave all the string loose and hanging, at the bottom would be a patch which read “Justice” as that is my identity in a nutshell, my name.

However, after a rather unsuccessful critique, I began to rethink. Over the weekend I got together with a few friends and began to brainstorm. At first, I didn’t really come up with anything.Brain Storm 1

Then I just started asking everything people thought of me. Here’s what we came up with: bear wearing boxing gloves – anxious – hair cut (coconut) (bowl cut) – getting really angry – chillin’ – round face – flow – queer – beautiful person – glasses – rolling with the punches – tiny person – thorny – Danny Phantom – Bravest Warriors – dork – nerd (book) (comic) (movie) (TV show) (anime) – sleepy (tired) – shy but confident – colorful (as in clothing) – cartoon character – non-bianery – blunt – sweat – warhead candy

After that I actually began coming up with ideas. I originally had thought about maybe creating multiples of my character Harrison, to show how ordinary I really am. I don’t feel particularly unique and that doesn’t bother me. My mind is unique but my “identity” in terms of race, ethnicity, class, age, and culture do not set me apart. And they don’t need to. What sets me apart is how I think, not an equation to create the perfect person. My next idea had to do with, as the teacher called it “rebellion” against the labels the teachers gave us to work with. All I could think of were the Russian dolls that fit into one another (specifically the part where North explains his “center” to Jack in the Rise of the Guardian movie). However, I couldn’t figure out how to do that in a powerful manner using fabric and embroidery.

My last idea is a kind of diary. A few fabric pages, put together  to express all that I believe makes up my identity. With in the book will be labels, loosely sown to the pages, possibly beginning to be ripped off. The book will be a collection of what I think my identity is made of not what others believe it to be. I will probably be seven or so “pages” and a cover if I have time. I’m not completely sure this is what I’m going to do yet but I really need to get working.

Brain Storm 2

Posted in Journal, Projects

See Lab – Being myself

We have been given a five weeks to make an embroidery project. There aren’t really any specifics about it other then that it has to be about our identity. We were asked to do some sketches about designations of our identity; class, age, race, gender, ethnicity, culture, and sexuality. This is what I came up with:

Although these were just prompts to get us thinking about the project, I didn’t think they helped. When I think about my identity, I don’t put myself in these boxes. When I think about my identity, I don’t really think about it through labels. I mostly think about myself as a person, nothing else. Not a girl, not a boy, not Italian, not American, not high-middle class, not white (though that is probably because I am white), or anything. I’m just me.

Mom said I should go back and look at my personal manifesto. That is a wonderful idea, thanks mom. But it got me thinking, and I should just go through all the projects I’ve done this year, or even before that. I’ll probably start a personal art mining for ideas tomorrow. I know once I’ve started this project, ideas will be jumping off the wall but I haven’t started yet. I need a jumping point, a place to take the first step before I can start running.

I’ll probably call my mom or something if I don’t think of something by Thursday. The beginning is always the hardest. Until you get to the end, then that’s the hardest.

Posted in Journal, Projects

The Ritual Project

Okay. So over the last cluster of weeks I have been uploading posts with have my homework to do with the class’s ritual project. And I didn’t explain any of it.

It started with the sixty iterations of a mundane task. This began when the teacher asked us to write down everything we did in a day. Once we had our list, we were to pick something to repeat sixty times in sixty different ways. I did this and my post which has my recordings of it. I didn’t really like most of my tries with this. My drawings weren’t very impressive, my writings were boring, and I didn’t really know what I was doing when I was taking the picture. The video showed how rigidly I was thinking about the project. At that point is wasn’t art, it was piano practice.

Instead of beginning a new project, our next homework assignment was to narrow down our ritual and make it better. Think outside the box. The first week, we were supposed to think about what we could do. We only needed four iterations this time and we had more time to work with. I uploaded a small part of my thinking process. In class we spoke to the teacher about how to do our projects and what we could do to make them better. Whenever I speak to the teacher, I feel like I’m bursting with ideas but when I walk away it’s like they disappear. That makes me so annoyed because I want to do good work but it’s hard when you need to think through everything with other people. Anyway, these are the two parts of the ritual I uploaded and the explanation to that.

Lastly we were told to create a final piece for critique. Mine was the dance video. It was just a refinement of the dance I did for the four rituals but seeing it stacked up against all the work I had done this semester actually made me feel like I had improved. The first 60, I was so stuck in my head about the project. I wasn’t thinking about it like an art project, I was thinking about it the way I think about preforming piano pieces. After having time to think about the project and talk to Kat, I was able to get out of my head a little bit. I put on my art cap. It became more about the representation of the piece and less about playing the piece itself. Though a lot of my projects were just me throwing something on the wall to see what sticks it helped me learn.

I love writing. One of my four projects was just constant thought. It was a good idea but it wasn’t displayed well. I need to use the right materials, i.e. good paper, a nice pen, maybe some sort of frame, to make it art work. Doing it helped me realize that I will always incorporate writing in my work, it’s just how I think. Now I know some ways to make it better. Then the project with all of my friends, when I tried to get them to play the piano taught me something too. When you are “choreographing” a performance piece there are lots of things that need to be controlled. You need to read the situation and bend it to where you need it to be for the piece. You also need to know how to talk to people so they will do what you ask of them. You need to be a director. And at the time, I wasn’t a very good one.

Lastly my dance project. It was the one I chose to recreate for my final piece. I completely abstracted the original idea, practicing piano, by taking out any form of sound. The dance is me playing the song, specifically the melody of the piece but through movements instead of playing the notes on a keyboard. I really like this piece. It was fun to do because of the dance and it was fun to think of. I would really enjoy becoming some form of performance artist in the future or at least have it be a part of my practice. This piece let me explore a small portion of what that could be. It has also convinced me to continue taking dance classes to further my knowledge in that field.

Posted in Journal, Projects

Roadblock Cleared

Apparently all I need to get past art block is to have a conversation with my sister, Emily. We were talking about my manifesto and my lack of interest; immediately she fixed it. She just said to think about it in relation to the book 1984. Posters to fight against the government. Suddenly I’m looking at this in a whole new way. It’s no longer my crappy personal manifesto. Now it has become a story. And I can work with a story.


See. Not that great. And this is better then when I had them all laid out, haphazardly on the table, with their corners slightly curling.

So the first thing I did was take everything down. I didn’t really like the way they were set up on the wall. There wasn’t a lot of purpose to my choices. Even though I liked a lot of the statements I had chosen, the way they were being shown was boring. Everything other then “Listen” was illegible and there wasn’t a reason why. But I realized even though I had  made a lot of my print, there still wasn’t enough to fill a satisfactory amount of space on the wall. Therefore I began to make more material. As every foundations teacher will say, more material means more to work from.


I created a city scape with the ink I had from my prints and just put it slightly under. I also made a little poster with a monster spewing opinions on an unidentified person. As I worked on my city scape, I took brakes to sit down and glue together my print pieces. Emily, always willing to help with art, was working on outlining the word “Listen” with black paint. Once both were finished, I mixed a bloody color and dragged fingerprints  down under the letters. This was no longer an innocent plea to let others speak, it was an order from the government, from a higher power to do as you’re told.


That done, it began to look like a wall. Now my other words were beginning to take a shape. They weren’t just illegible scribbles I had put on my piece, they were graffiti. Specifically graffiti from the resistance. The goal of the resistance, my manifesto, was to take the word of power, listen, and turn it into something good. Listen to others, stop doing nothing, let your opinion change, always tell the truth, etc. That thought in mind, we needed more graffiti to make it feel real.

We went up to the computer lab to make some copies of a pattern Anya made for me and look up some other images. We looked up some images of classified documents and Emily helped look up some quotes to put on the wall. When we went back down, I taped the posters over “Listen” purposefully.


The purpose of the pattern, at least in the context, was to make a mockery of the government’s message. They tell you what to do and you don’t have a say. Next I chose the resistence’s color, red, and gave it a watercolor wash. I also ripped down the sudo-posters to kinda show how the gov’t would respond.


Last but not least, I added my graffiti monster. Then we went to get food. It was really nice. I was glad to finally get out of my head about this project. I am finally having fun with it.


Posted in Projects

Brainstorming for ritual

One song

   Really good at it

      Not sure if I have a song I’m particularly good at

      “Medieval Fair” very pretty and simple

   Completely new

      That might be difficult

      “Allegro Grazioso” a lot like the songs I played as a kid




      No recording, a one-time performance

   Outside of writing?

      American Sign Language – but that would be a lot of research

   No typing

      Handwritten is pretty easy, not exactly pretty

   Letter to note from story

   Write a story then every letter is a note on the piano

      But this doesn’t really jive with the one song idea

   Writing the feeling of playing

      I don’t really like high notes because my hearing is kind of sensitive, I’ve thought about this kind of thing a lot. I could probably write a book about memories and sound.

      I like this idea the best, it would be fun to do

Do not stick in the medium

   Play without the piano

      I have actually been doing this around my room and stuff

      Easier to do because having a piano around all the time is difficult

      Tends to make all the songs blur into thumps – I can hear the music, cause I know what it should sound like but I don’t know how that would translate to another person

Record the piano

   Dance to it – that could be video or photo

Play the piano through other people

   Every key would be played by a different person, I would direct them through the piece

   I could teach another person to play the song

Listen to the song, instead of playing it



Ink on fingers as I play the song

Dance the letters of the notes

Dance the story

I’m taking a dance class, so it’s on the mind

Posted in Journal, Projects

60 Repetitions


31 – One of my iterations was that I played Maple Leaf Ragtime, the jazz piece, as quietly as I was able.

32 – Then I played it only with my right hand.

33 – Next the left.

34 – Now I played two measures three times, then the next two measures. Then I continued to play the whole song in pieces and parts, repeating as I continued.

35 – Next I played it with a metronome, varying the speeds until I was able to play a quarter note 160 beats per second.

36 – When I began to play the Aurora Borealis, I played as loud as I could. Instead of using the damper pedal I used sostenuto pedal, which makes the notes louder.

37 – Then I played it next, I only used my index fingers. It was very slow and choppy.

38 – For the last time I played this song, for every note written I played it six times. So the song was extremely long.

39 – Now “Jurassic Park.” I played it with just the right hand.

40 – Then just my left hand, mostly because this is the hardest song I’m currently working.

41 – Next I played it in parts and pieces. Every time I messed up I started two measures previous.

42 – When I played In the Hall of the Mountain King, I played it two keys off. So the song started on C instead of A. I had to stop a few times to change the sharps and flats to fit in the song.

43 – While playing it staccato, I did my best to play as softly as I could.

44 – When that didn’t really work, I played the song again but without pressing down on any of the keys. Just lightly tapping on top of the keys.

45 – Next I tried to play the song but only playing every other note. It was really difficult to only read half of the music. I had to keep stopping to remind myself not to play certain notes.