Category: art

Math in Art

*I am a lazy blogger. Mind you I have been blogging off and on since 1999. Why yes, I had a blog on the original “Blogger”. I remember vividly making one, being so excited (I had a new baby and was one of the early “mom bloggers”), and then Blogger reset everything after a crash and I lost my blog. We all had to start over. Sigh. Anyway, point is nowadays I seldom have time to blog, what with working full time, having 3 teenagers, running the Christian Unschooling facebook group (nearly 2000 members now), and well, life. So you mostly get posts that are reposts of things I have written elsewhere, because, posts.


The following is in response to a new to unschooling mom asking how to make sure her passionate about art daughter was learning math. Obviously my post here is proof read, formatted properly, etc unlike the original post which I wrote on the fly. ūüėÄ

Family Portrait- Heather Young 2010
Family Portrait- Heather Young 2010

With art, math is more of a natural thing that happens and less of a “this is math” thing. If I try thinking of math while I draw/paint my brain actually stops doing the type of art I want to do and I get too analytical to do the more organic work I prefer. (I play a lot of logic/puzzle video games which use the math part of the brain when doing programming and very architectural drawings and tend to spend more time watching vibrant/visually stunning animes and movies and listening to music when painting- helps my brain get into the right mode to work). That said you do use math naturally as an artist and it develops as you develop. So this is more for the mom and whoever else is worried about the child learning math than for her.

Book Dragon- Heather Young 2013
Book Dragon- Heather Young 2013

You use a lot of math think to do perspective, scaling things for drawings- whether up or down, composition, layout, proportions, as well as anytime you work on a realistic drawing it is all in your head visual math. The only art I can think of that does not use math as a default would be doing complete abstract (and many abstract pieces are full of math). Anytime you are taking something real world and putting it on paper (including fantasy and manga style, but I am saying, anything you could build and see rather than abstract concepts) you are using an organic math in your head to decide where things go and how they fit and where the lines should go. Mostly it is because when God created the world He filled it with patterns and lines and you can’t draw without replicating those at least in part, and the more you do it and the better you get the more math you are actually using, whether you recognize it or not.

Dragon Daydreams- Heather Young 2013
Dragon Daydreams- Heather Young 2013

Nowadays I can actually see myself doing it, and my art is much better because of it, though when I was young, math made me panic and I had to “ignore” the fact that I was using it and rather intuit it to get it figured right. I still intuit it, but I also intuit most math in other things- if I think about numbers my brain switches them around (there is a name for it- it is called “dyscalculia”- makes doing bills extra interesting), but if I let myself not think about them and intuit the answer it is almost always right.

Beach House Portrait- Heather Young 2009
Beach House Portrait- Heather Young 2009

There is a big difference between conceptual math and arithmetic- arithmetic is 1+1 and people naturally get that stuff because we use clocks and money, bake and play games, and everything else in the real world that uses arithmetic every day. Art, on the other hand, uses a lot of conceptual math- the scientist/mathematician stuff that most people don’t think of as “math”, it is just another form of that. Seeing patterns and using them to know where to put lines and color and shape is much more conceptual than it is arithmetic . That said artists do also use basic arithmetic for figuring proportions and things in more complicated drawings and layout- think M.C. Escher type stuff.

St. Mary's Convent, Freeport, PA- Heather Young 2010
St. Mary’s Convent, Freeport, PA- Heather Young 2010

More on the difference between conceptual math and arithmetic here: http://www.christianunschooling.com/math-think/

Art Media series #2 ACEO- Heather Young 2012
Art Media series #2 ACEO- Heather Young 2012

Also, is you want to see where I am actually posting my art nowadays on a semi-regular basis you can visit my tumblr here: Pocket Lint of the Soul

The Book

It is done. Well, the e-book edition is done.

What is it?

As my friend Dana, who helped edit it, said:

In this guide, Heather shows how decluttering the home is about far more than just ‚Äėpicking up stuff‚Äô, yet it is a simple as starting right where you‚Äôre standing.¬†The steps in this book are tried and true, as Heather‚Äôs insight was gleaned from her own family‚Äôs journey in decluttering. There is no one-size-fits-all formula, but by¬†providing you with practical baby steps, tips and tricks, Heather can help even the most reluctant folks see the way to decluttering their lives. ¬†~Dana

Another testimonial:
This is the most amazing book! Heather did an amazing job of putting her finger on the link between house clutter and heart clutter and helps you tackle both. She offers practical advice on decluttering every room, ways to help keep the clutter tamed, and build relationships while you do so. Her honesty and forthrightness talking about her own struggle with the clutter beast are a huge encouragement to the rest of us. I can’t recommend enough that everyone needs a copy of this book, even if you’re not a self-proclaimed packrat. ~ Mari
You can go to the book page on my site to buy it direct from us (we make more money sooner) or you can go to the Smashwords page and purchase it there (probably easier for those who are not sure how to get an e-book from their computer to their e-reader). Later it will be available on Amazon as well as in print format but for now you can get it here or on Smashwords only.  If you look to the right you will also see a link in the sidebar.

Please contact me at ElasahArt@gmail.com if you have any trouble with the payment process or downloading it.

 

 

Goings ons: GAPS, unschooling, work and more

So I have been a bit busy. I mean, I am ALWAYS busy in the summer, but this is unusually busy. Some of it has been the Christian Unschooling Facebook group which take as lot of my time as I am admin there. Some of it has been learning new things: between Pinterest (you can find me here) and Google + (find me here). BTW both programs are wonderful but I am really, really in love with Google +. The artist community there is amazing and inspiring.

We are still on the GAPS diet and it is still helping.

 

P1090081

  • Rachel has been able to fully add multiple foods into her diet that triggered full SJS symptoms before– including lemon, chicken, and ginger. ¬†She can also be around tomato and apple without symptoms (just being in the same room with them would trigger a reaction before.) ¬†She has also had plenty of energy and zero RA symptoms since going on the diet.
  • Issac is doing very well on the diet though he now has added¬†regular¬†raw milk in (it is¬†something¬†he can fix himself quickly and will always drink.) ¬†He doesn’t like broth so I make reductions with whatever he is eating — kind of like gravy which works well.
  • Esther was doing very well until she started forgetting to eat and just started drinking straight raw milk all the time. Around that time she contracted a stomach bug, her system got all out of whack and she has to restart intro ¬†in order to heal. ¬†We are nearly back to where she was already and she is now able to eat way more foods than she could before without enzymes.
  • I am continuing to heal well though we ran out of grass fed beef and it is hard to get around here without ordering quarter (which we are doing but it will take 8 weeks to get.) ¬†I can¬†now¬†eat chicken and eggs with no reaction though after years of¬†being¬†allergic I am really nervous of it. ¬†Up until this week I have had no RA symptoms at all. ¬†This week we ran out of broth and I have been slightly stiff (no big flare-ups) and¬†dealing¬†with the exhaustion that comes when I am dealing with what would be a flareup if I were eating a regular diet. ¬†Considering¬†that¬†in the past the first weeks of August are my worst flare-up times and have meant me on crutches most years I am doing exceptionally well.
Unschooling is still going on:

P1090050

  • It has become so much of our lifestyle that I seldom think about it anymore. ¬†The kids as always are doing all sorts of things– mostly on the computer (but what do you expect when most of their parents time is spent on the computer?)
  • Rachel is spending a lot of time playing piano, watching anime, drawing manga,¬†learning¬†Japanese, focusing on being more independent, reading the driver’s handbook again and again (she can’t wait to get her¬†license¬†in 3 years), ¬†playing Minecraft and WoW and doing odd jobs for money.
  • Esther is spending much time reading, on Minecraft, Roblox, and Sims 3, drawing, and trying to get her sleeping and eating into healthy patterns so she grows properly (her goal not mine).
  • Issac is spending lots of time playing with his Fisher Price castle, pirates, and submarine thanks to finding more parts via my brother and the thrift shop. ¬†He is also really into Roblox and Minecraft, chemistry, and electricity.
Work stuff:
  • Shamus finally got paid. ¬†It was a year in coming but it is here which means we are no longer struggling (though we still can’t make the full house payment since we need to make this last — since who knows the next time we will get paid. :))
  • This means that part of our current work is figuring out how best to spend on the big things (ordering things we use in bulk, paying off bigger debts, and generally¬†learning¬†how to live on freelancer income.)
  • Shamus is working on a game engine and a book and is thinking about another book. ¬†He is currently working on a game proposal for the game engine as he has potential backers, finishing the first book, and thinking on the new book. ¬†We are also considering different ways of monetizing his site more efficiently.
  • I am working on some more book illustrations/cover art, several portraits, and have some website work on the backburner (waiting for clients to get back to me.)
  • The card game is out and for sale (once we get the cost of making it paid off in sales then we get a chunk in proceeds so…go buy a copy, or two or three? ¬†It makes an awesome gift, is fun to play even as adults, is fast paced and¬†educational¬†(math, history –since I made the costumes and everything involved historically accurate to the 16th century, reading, logic). ¬†My kids love it as do other unschooling friends who have played it. ¬†It is also easy to adapt to other games or for more than 2 people.
Provision:
  • It has been amazing how God has provided this last year and we are trying to learn from the experience and make wise decisions for the future. ¬†He has made sure we have had all we needed despite our lack of funds and it has been awesome to see how various people have stepped in ¬†and provided where work did not. ¬†Shamus’s¬†readers¬†on his website are absolutely amazing as their random gifts saw us through many¬†tight¬†spots, as did several families who took us on and¬†sponsored¬†us, making sure we had what we needed. ¬†We praise the¬†Lord¬†for all of their help. ¬†Our personal goal is to make this (which the Lord has lead us to) work. ¬†To avoid needing to eat into the chunk of ¬†money we have been paid for previous work done and to instead of try to work our way out of the debt we are in. ¬†We want to get to the position where we can freely give and help those in need out of our excess instead of just out of our tithe. ¬†We are praying that the Lord will get us to that point via the work He has provided for us to do. ¬†That said the life of a freelancer may not be easy but it is always interesting.

 

The Games are In!

Remember a while back I was illustrating a game? ¬†Well the game has been printed, shipped, and is now FOR SALE!!!! ¬†Yeah, I am a tad bit excited! ¬†you can go buy a copy for yourself (and one for your friends and family and birthdays and holidays and….) over at Whimsy Games.

And in case you are wondering, yes, we have played it and yes, it is not only fun but takes a bit of brain work, decision making and some math.

The Daily Blather

My brain is not doing so well as far as coming up with postsРfrankly we are just too busy living.  So here is a cross section of what we are up to:

We spent the day running errands, going to the library (where we got some awesome book and audio books, including a Diana Wynne Jones) and got to go to the park for the first time this year. ¬†We brought along Esther’s best friend -we called spontaneously as we were driving by her house. ¬†I love that her mom, Rachel’s pinano teacher, is as spontaneous as I am and happily agreed that she could go along. ¬†It was windy and chilly despite the supposed 65 degrees though it did get nice and warm when the sun peaked through the storm cloud dominated sky. ¬†I love having kids that are old enough to play at the park on their own¬†whole¬†I sit in the warm minivan and read my library book. ¬†They managed to get¬†muddy via¬†mud puddles and creek plus they explored a fallen tree and all the old fountains at the park. ¬†(I forgot my camera and though my cell has some photos they are hard to get to.) ¬†We got to explore both the purple park and the lower (gazebo) park because we had to leave for a bit (someone had to use the restroom so we ran to Big Lots and picked up some snacks too.) ¬†After that we headed down to the smaller¬†Alameda¬†park where the kids climbed around and had enjoyed the creek. ¬†Rach sat in the car with me as she is still pretty run down after being sick so we read our books and watched some Larpers preparing to play. ¬†It was actually pretty awesome and Rach was tempted to go talk to them to see if she could get involved since that is one of her dreams and we didn’t even know there was a group in the area. ¬†I am sure there are more but I actually recognized several of the people from the comic book store.

We stopped at the thrift shop where we found the original Clue game– which we played over and over when we got home. ¬†LOVE that game. ¬†We also found a Lego Harry Potter Night Bus still in it’s plastic bag for $.49 which is awesome. ¬†Also we found Esther some much needed tennis shoes, Rach an awesome skirt (she is like me and lives in skirts–her sister? ¬†not so much, except for in the summer.) ¬†I found something for me as well but now I can’t remember what it was. ¬†Oh, but I found my husband an awesome hat at Kohl’s (where I had one of those $10 gift cards they send out.) ¬†I spent $4 which is more than I usually do with those but it looks awesome and I had promised him a hat after PAX, because we are also a hat wearing family. ūüôā

 

We also managed to mail out a pile of things that had been waiting to go. ¬†Of this I am proud–I am bad at remembering to mail things. ¬†Our post office is awkward to get to though we have a sweet little post things place where we¬†love¬†the owner and this time, because my brain was on backwards, we ended up using both the main post office AND¬†visiting¬†Miss Josie who when the kids were small would let them help her box things.

I am working on another painting– based on the ¬†18th photo down on Melissa’s post here. ¬†Aren’t her photos wonderful? ¬†When my own photos run out of interest I have a habit of turning to hers for¬†something¬†to paint, and that one is gorgeous. ¬†I am thinking of doing partial color so that should be fun. ¬†I am taking photos as I go and you can keep up with them here at my Facebook page. ¬†I didn’t get anything done on it today because we were gone all day but I did get the masking on last night– which the kids think is funny because the liquid friskit I use is bright orange (you use it to mask out the white in watercolors) so the painting looks freaky. ¬†Will post¬†a photo of it to the¬†Facebook¬†page when I get the next layer don e and can post both photos.

We are celebrating our first Passover this weekРit has been an interesting experience which I will relate in another post.

Work and a Gift

Actually the title should be something about how work is a gift from God, which it is. ¬†How bored we would be and how little enjoyment we would have if we didn’t have something to do with our hands.

I am excited because the Lord has gifted me with several bits of work to do that may lead to other bits of work in a field I adore. ¬†This is especially exciting because it combines skills I have developed over time (which is always nice– I would much rather do that which God has prepared me to do than some random new thing for which I am not designed), books (which if you don’t know already I am passionate about), and creativity (design using Gimp as well as with my pen and paints).

A friend of mine, Grace, owns a small publishing company, Splashdown Books, and was talking about all the work she had to get done this month and I (per usual) volunteered to help.  I got to layout a book cover (which I enjoyed a lot more than designing websites) and got to do a small painting that will be incorporated into the covers for the series.  And then she paid me for my work on the very first night which I was not expecting (like I said I volunteered) and for which I was grateful.  And it looks like she may have other work for me (at the very least the rest of this series which is also exciting, and fun.)

Ever since I was a child and wrote “BCL” in every one of my picture books (B___ Children’s Library) and then proceeded to organize them by author (and type for the non-fiction) I have adored books and wanted to have something to do with them. For a long time I thought I wanted to write and though I do I do not consider myself a “writer”. ¬†I don’t care enough about writing itself to research the best ways to write, writing styles, getting published and all that. ¬†On the other hand I AM passionate about art, a well designed book cover (I will often pick up a book based on a great cover), and encouraging good writers (and there are a lot though there are also a lot of ¬†the other sort of writers out there.) ¬†So it is exciting that God is leading in that direction at this time (I don’t know what He has planned for the future but I am enjoying where I am.)

That, combined with doing the box art for the card game (more art from that over here) is making for a very busy me. The sooner the box art is done, the sooner we can get it published so I am working to get it done quickly, and praying over the work constantly.

Also cool is that Shamus has had several possible offers regarding paying gigs (for both writing and his videos).  We are prayerfully considering each, especially since we are feeling very led to continue in the direction we are going.  He has also been writing about 2,000 words a day on his book, which is coming along nicely.

Finally my mother-in-law showed up with some cash from my father-in-law this morning. ¬†She ¬†said, “He just told me that I was to give this to you kids.” ¬†So that is pretty awesome and appreciated. ¬†Have I mentioned that our families are wonderful and have been such a blessing to us? ¬† Regardless, I will say it now, they are wonderful and a blessing. ūüôā ¬†(Later on Rachel came home (she had spent the day helping her grandma and practicing piano at my mother-in-law’s church) she came laden with perishable groceries that my mother-in-law had gotten us: eggs, salad, fruit, and cheese. ¬†Did I mention they are awesome?!

And now back to work. Trying to finish the final element of the box art before Sabbath so I can touch it up then get it scanned after Sabbath.

Appreciate a Dragon Day 2011

It is Appreciate a Dragon Day!

Around here dragon appreciation is a daily thing. We love our dragons. Last year I posted pictures of the dragons around the house. This year the kids got excited and made dragons and I have several new dragon paintings to share.

Rachel started making a dragon with plastic forks and coffee filters but realized that idea wouldn’t work and started making a sculptural one with a marble track Issac has. That worked– it has a rotund body, a round head, a ribbon smile, and wings from the netting of Issac’s pirate ship. Only thing is she used tape to hold it all together and it fell apart before I could get a photo. So that was a sad dragon.

Issac was going to make a dragon but got distracted trying to build the Empire State Building with his railroad track pieces.

Esther attempted to make a standing dragon from Issac’s old dragon costume (which is very too small on him). She used wire clothes hangers and old blankets to fill it. After several attempts she gave up on the clothes hangers and stuck with a plain stuffed dragon.

Finally I did a few dragon paintings (mostly asleep, I should note:) I like sleeping dragons) over the last year that I thought I would share:


Let sleeping dragons lie.


Long Winter’s Nap

Dragon’s Day Off
Dragon’s Day Off

Now go forth and appreciate the dragons in your life. ūüôā ¬†(And if you did a post about it leave a copy of the link in the comments so we can come check it out.)

Where We Are: December

Painted this a few minutes before Sabbath began Christmas eve--an excellent reminder of my own need for rest and peace.

*Please excuse the awkward wording–I have a cold and my brain is full of goo and my brain is transposing words left and right.)

First off, hoping you have had a blessed holiday season whether you celebrate or notРwe kind of celebrated Hanukkah (we lit a small menorah made of playdough and birthday cake candles and played with the dreidel)  and celebrated Christmas on Christmas eve with our extended families Christmas day we had a small immediate family celebration then a short visit with my 82 yr old grandmother) while celebrating a much needed Sabbath.  It turned out that we all got sick which made me even more grateful that we did most of the celebrating the day before.

This month has seen much blessing from friends and family who have stepped in to cover our needs in various ways despite the paycheck we expected not showing up (please pray it comes in the next few weeksРthings are going to start getting shut off otherwise).  From friends who sent us cash (which bought much needed groceries and paid the immediate bills) and gave me  small jobs that covered Christmas dinner and a few small gifts to family members who stepped in and paid for gas and our steer (which means that we have plenty of organic, grass-fed beef), to small gifts of much needed items, even Christmas gifts of clothes that are needed and FIT and grocery money (the kids are so excited about the Whole Foods gift card from my WONDERFUL sister-in-law) we have been amazingly blessed.  It is not comfortable, especially each day not knowing where, when and how the next need  will be met.

I am usually the “God will provide” person– every time we have a need I am the one who trusts and believes and watches for God to step in– and He always does because He is faithful, but I am struggling– every few days I get knocked over with a wave of fear and I am battling it with His help. ¬†The thing is, because I am usually the one who just trusts it is affecting the rest of the family having me worried. ¬†So I am praying diligently for patience, faith, and the ability to stand strong in faith.

So now I am praying for a miracle, and trusting we will have one soon.  He is faithful and He has provided thus far therefore I can trust Him and I am standing on His promises that He will take care of us.  That said just an update on other things:

Shamus is writing a brilliant book while working on all his other projects. ¬†Brilliant I say. ¬†He was working on an epic tale (which was well written, makes a perfect short story, and fizzled out because he didn’t have his arc figured out before he started) but this one is shorter, funnier, and just plain awesome and I can’t wait to share it with others. ¬†He is also trying to finish up so loose ends so he can start applying various places who may be interested in his work– but those would all mean moving and him working in an office (which would mean not writing). ¬†We are really praying that somehow the Lord would provide so that he can continue to work from home (and actually get paid what is promised to him) and that he would be able to keep writing which is really his passion.

The kids are growing like weeds (Rach is 5′ 5″ and a half! and the other two have rapidly shortening clothes). ¬†They are also maturing at an alarming rate. ¬†They all set out to buy gifts for everyone in the family with their own money and did a beautiful job. ¬†Rachel has been saving up and purchasing her own lunch foods (her own choice–she wants to¬† learn about economy, the cost of food, and learn to do for herself so that when she is old enough to move out she knows how to live economically.) ¬†Issac made rice packs as gifts for everyone and Esther not only purchased special gifts for individuals but she stepped in several times to help the family out using her birthday money.

All three kids are keeping very busy with various projects.  Rachel had to stop piano lessons until we get paid again but is occasionally babysitting for her teacher in exchange for a lesson and is also doing quite a bit of babysitting otherwise.  Esther is not going to be in the next show due to monetary restraints but is happily engaged in other projects (most including books either reading of or writing.)  Issac is building and creating and making constantly.

I am sure there is a lot more they are doing but right now my brain is shutting down so I will instead point you to a post that is where my heart is and is better able to express how I am feeling at the moment than I apparently am in my addle brained state:  My dear friend Holly shares it here.