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Jun. 2nd, 2012

green door

100 things: Less colorful

 Back in the 80s I worked as an art director and print production manager for a software company. ~ I also did a bit of logo design.

(It's sort of hilarious, actually, since most of what I draw usually looks like I used my feet while drunk - here's evidence - but I guess that's just another spin on "those who can't do." The term "paradesigner" (like paralegal and paramedic) got tossed around for a few years for someone who had a good eye but who wasn't a full-blown artist.)

Anyhow, key principle: "If it looks like crap in black and white, throwing color at it won't improve things." ~ Very important when designing printed  materials that work in one color printing as well as 4, but it also reflects a larger truth: if the underlying structure of a piece - the sketch, the plot outline - isn't solid, piling on color and detail generally doesn't lift the piece above mediocrity.

I'm not sure if it's at all related, but personally I've always enjoyed seeing all the in-progress sketches for an artwork - sometimes even more than the completed piece.

And this photo is barely related to the topic but it's one of the better ones of our two:

photograph of two cats, one black, one black and white, on a beige carpet This entry was originally posted at http://oftwominds.dreamwidth.org/86257.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Jun. 1st, 2012

green door

100 Things: Beauty

Original photography of window hardware at Taliesin West The art teacher at my high school had a huge impact on me. Not because she was able to teach me to draw - I doubt Apollo, the Muses, and Athena combined could have accomplished that -- but she did teach me a definition of beauty that I've retained to this day.

Continuity. Contrast. Balance.

I even remember the lesson. She showed us a picture of a stunted, leafless tree on a hill. "Is this beautiful?" she asked.

After we had all pretty much said, "Nup, it's ugly," she then analyzed the picture based on those principles, and I can still - 40 years later - recall that exhilarating sensation of getting it, of having my definition of beauty expanded by an order of magnitude.

The "ugly" photo I've included with this entry is one that, somehow, is beautiful to me as well, and I think I have that tiny little art teacher to thank.
This entry was originally posted at http://oftwominds.dreamwidth.org/86483.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
green door

100 Things: Triangulation

"You don't really know someone until you find out something completely unexpected about them."

This "triangulation principle" - which I suppose can also be stated as "there's usually more to anything than what you take in at first glance/first impression" - probably seems overly obvious, but I also think it's one of the things that helps keep the mind open. (It's also a handy way to approach character design and analysis.)

For me this idea is associated very clearly with one particular moment of the 1980s television series Saint Elsewhere.

From Wikipedia: "Irritable and irascible, Dr. Mark Craig was the hospital's lone superstar. An arrogant but brilliant heart surgeon who could easily have left the halls of St. Eligius to take a position at rival Boston General but chose not. He stays, however, to act as mentor and tormentor to young doctors. Acting primarily as the mentor to Dr. Victor Ehrlich (Ed Begley Jr) Dr. Craig would not hesitate to toss a bullying and sarcastic barb at any doctor, nurse, administrator or patient who happened to pass his way.

I remember so clearly a moment on the show - I'm not even sure which episode it was from - where Craig says of a brave and likeable woman patient who died during surgery, "Her heart just ... fell apart in my hands." ~ There was something about the way Daniels delivered this line - my memory is that it was emotional and almost anguished - that shifted my perception of Craig as a character, transforming him from a stereotype into a three-dimensional creation.

Picture of actor Mark Daniels as the characters Doctor Craig from the television series Saint Elsewhere.

This entry was originally posted at http://oftwominds.dreamwidth.org/85931.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Jul. 22nd, 2010

green door

! Cheer !


Jul. 8th, 2010

green door

Strange and Sad and Beautiful

Following a link from someone who favorited one of my stories brought me to this video:

Doll Face

Jul. 7th, 2010

green door

Lord of the Vuvuzela


Doesn't take much to amuse me at 6 am while the coffee is brewing.

CIP: I need a better Abby icon.

Jun. 18th, 2010

green door

Geek videos


Spouse came across the first one, on the alkalai metals. Make sure to watch til the end. :p

The second one, on the 4 halogens, is quite interesting on its own, but the narration is what makes it great (especially near the end - you'll know the part I mean.)


Jun. 11th, 2010

green door

O really?

Johnny Depp is going to play Barnabas Collins? O.o

May. 28th, 2010

green door

Bedside table

Finally finished reading (re-reading) bits of Alan Coren's The Lady from Stalingrad Mansions and The Sanity Inspector. These are old old collections, full of cultural references I don't get, and yet some of those pieces still make me laugh so hard I have to jump up and go in search of someone in the house to read them to.

Anyhow, new Book Pile listing:

The Strangest Man, Graham Farmelo's biography of Paul Dirac. This one ... well, the prologue had me close to tears. But for some reason I have always enjoyed reading biographies of mathematicians and physicists. (No idea why, as I am a toddler in both subjects.)

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. I think Spouse picked this up as a result of the Salon article on it that I'd read to him.

two by Connie Willis, Bellwether and Passage. Spouse promises I'll like these better than Charles Stross's the Atrocity Archive, which was like ... listening to a really REALLY exciting book read by a drugged Steven Wright. In a monotone.

May. 17th, 2010


Lou, Laurie A, and dogs


And what surprised me most?

No, not that he's playing dog-frequency music, but that he and Laurie Anderson are married.

I am in awe of the complete shallowness of my philistinism. p

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green door

June 2012



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