Thursday, March 06, 2008

Blockprints are hard, new podcasts, etc

Well today I was trying to finish my second blockprint. But I had to finish printing off my first blockprint, and ran into a couple snags: one of my papers which was in the water bin got snatched by some unknown person, and I remembered afterward to clean up my ink, and that ate up a bunch of time. I spent the first hour of class in the print lab running the prints and then cleaning the ink off the table using paint thinner and (via a classmate's recommendation) pages torn from a phone book.

I then worked on making the last few needed cuts in my key plate while listening to my iPod. Once I was ready to transfer the image to the other plates, I went and found the teacher and asked him how to do it. He told me, and I brought over to the print lab (where the ink rollers were) my plates, some butcher paper, a rubber thingie, and this flat thing for holding your plate flat so you can register the image for test prints and for getting the image on the initial plate. The process was supposed to be thus: you make a print of the key plate (i.e., the one that was cut). You then take that block out, put in a blank block, and rub the paper to make the image transfer from the paper to the block. Unfortunately, the lines on one block weren't too clear in some places, and one image didn't transfer well at all cause the tape holding down the paper loosened so the paper moved.

I told the teacher that my images didn't transfer well and he was saying something about cutting parts out and some other stuff my brain didn't quite process (must be that darn caffeine-free soda they had at College Hour). Anyway, we went back to the studio and he showed me with some colored pencils a way I could add colors to my otherwise black-and-white print. It involved cutting pieces out of the key plate - the cape, shoes, and the upper part of the outfit - after transferring the image to another plate, from which plate I would cut out everything BUT those parts I cut out of the key plate and then ink those in whatever colors I want. Then I would have a background plate, from which I also have to cut something out if I don't want the colors to blend. It's all so confusing. I'll have to come back to it with a clearer head.

I should mention what it is I'm doing a print of. Determined to do a person this time (after my previous print, a print of the weapons making up the Armor of God from my CYA story), I am doing a print of Yosi from the PowerMark comic series. I can't find a good picture of him, but if you go to and click on "Goodies" and then click on the coloring page for Yosi, you will see the image I am doing a print of.

Speaking of blockprint #1, while it did not turn out perfect in either run (besides the sample one I did with my teacher's T.A., which of course looks better than my attempts), I am ok with it. Since I did a run with a light blue background and a run with a pink background, I am thinking of naming them "CYA Armor of God, Blue Period" and "CYA Armor of God, Rose Period," as a bit of a joke homage to Picasso, who is known for his "blue period" (where he painted a lot of paintings in blue hues) and his "rose period" (where he painted a lot of paintings in oranges and pinks). I suppose I am more satisfied with that print because since I actually drew the drawing from which it comes, I had more control over the look of it.

I am trying out new podcasts as a result of browsing iTunes yesterday in search of new things to listen to. I'm kinda low on money right now, and so podcasts are a good option to go for cause they're all free. During class today I listened to a NPR (National Public Radio) podcast on Books, where they talked during the first part about Hester Prynne as a character (which is what I wanted the episode for, actually, but the rest of it was good too), and to a BBC podcast called World Have Your Say, which explores news issues and lets people worldwide comment on them during the broadcast via phone, e-mail, text message, etc. This particular episode was on Russia and was done just prior to the recent elections there. It was quite interesting.

I better go soon so I am home in time for us to go out to dinner, since it's my brother's birthday. But I just have one more thing to say quickly.

My brother - Andrew - might have to move out soon.

Yeah you read right. You might be wondering why.

Well, it's a thing between my parents and my brother mostly, but they told me about it too, and while I don't plan on probably telling any actual person, I really wanted to work out my thoughts about it.

Basically, the issue is this: apparently my brother has been going out drinking and smoking marijuana with his friends. And our parents know about it, and they aren't happy (now granted, they themselves drink some alcohol now and then, but very moderately, and my mom occasionally smokes cigars, but not addictively). And they have told him to stop but he refuses. And so if he doesn't stop, he's going to have to move out by April 15.

If he does, I suppose it will be just as well, but still, he is my brother, and we have just in the last few years really started getting along. It will be weird if he leaves, especially if he moves out before me (since I'm the older one).

My first thought after hearing this had to do with my Aunt Jane (probably because my dad had just told me the confirmed date for my uncle's funeral earlier that day). She left my grandparents' house under similar circumstances - not drugs or anything - but basically moving out after having a fight with them. My mom also moved out at 17 because of issues at home. Is history repeating itself?

All of this too makes me wonder if I will ever move out. It doesn't look promising right now.

One last tidbit: My Mum did my taxes before I did the FAFSA, and it looks like I am going to get over $300 back as a tax refund. I have never gotten very much back from taxes, and always the refund came from the federal side (I always owed money to the state). So this is surprising.

I want to use the money for driving school, even though that would take up most if not all the money in one fell swoop. But I do want to get my license soon, even if I can't afford a car for a bit, just cause by this age, I am starting to feel really embarassed about not having a license.

Okay it's almost 5 so I'm gonna go. Bye.

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