Sunday, September 03, 2006

Making Hay

...Actually, that will happen later (and I mean that *literally*).

Yesterday was pure JOY. It was perhaps the first day of my life that I felt I legitimately had no other obligation on earth than to work on Halfland. No family obligations, no work obligations, my craft projects set aside in my mind. The difference was a kind of bliss.

I started in at 11, after two hours in the morning of breakfast and surfing and I have no idea what. (I just remember what the delay was, I woke up yesterday with a real pain in the neck. I couldn't turn my head and so spent a while trying to relax the knot with heat treatments, didn't work but I worked anyway. It's nearly gone today.) I was rushing to get as much done as possible while there was daylight as the lighting here at night is very poor. During the day the light is inspiring and energizing, go, go, go. And at night it's sit in one place and do small things that aren't very exciting or taxing. And you may too have noticed that the sun set an hour earlier by about 7 last night. Happy End of Summer Holiday indeed. I'm going to have to go to bed earlier so I can wake at sunrise to maximize my progress.

I fell asleep on the couch after dinner and am up at it here at 8, a little better. Before I conked out I was able to work out the solution for how to handle my desire to have a basement in the cottage. It'll be the Writing Mouse's teeny tiny house built into the roots of the tree. The house's entry is at the roots and then descends down underground level, like a burrowing animal's might. I built the rough of the house.

I also re-worked the bay window and added another dormer in the kitchen. Much like the way Mike gave me insight into the working of animal leg structure that helped me grasp it enough to animate my goat character, I'm starting to get a sense of houses from boring holes of hard focus into the reference images I have for them. When I drive around, my eyes can't help but notice every house's form. I'm starting to understand that slanted roofs over doorways are there to channel rainwater and such away from the home's interior as people enter and exit, etc. Basically that everything concerning a house's structure is functional and developed in that way after centuries of experience of what is practical. They don't just put things like eyebrow windows because they're decorative (bad example). The point is, my world has increased to understand more about how houses are built. And to a degree that I feel is sufficient to get mine built.

Tarn sculpt progress later...


  1. art is observation & intuition. i love how delving into a project makes you see the world differently!

  2. That is so true, Gretchin. I've heard of art teachers assigning students to use all of their senses of the world around them more fully in order to know more and in turn be able to enrich what they say.

    Art is an expanding experience. Wonderful!

  3. I see an architect here? :P

    Definetly it makes you look at things from a different point of view, paying much more attention. I remember when I was doing the animation tests on pac guy, I used to stare at people for a while (till the felt scared and run away). Anyway, it made me appreciate how beautiful every step can be.

    (ok, so now I get a 4 hour sleep and then go to work...what da hell am I doing here!?)

  4. Really glad you stopped by, Ale! Hush now, go tye tye.

    I'll animate in these houses but I wouldn't live in em, as I still don't do math. ;_;

    I used to think, back in the dark ages, that simply copying the Muybridge studies would be the way to animate. But now, like Mike talks about, I think it's something that one gets a natural feel for after keen, deep observation as you describe.

  5. How great is it that we're constantly learning more about how things work because we decide to put them onscreen, and therefore have to make them ourselves? I can't wait to see the finished cottage, it's really looking good!

  6. Right on, Michael! You said it best, having to make the things ourselves forces closer attention to life around us. Whether that's Alejo staring at his friends and family like he's a psycho or me noticing every house all of a sudden. There's a name for that brain process I believe called, the reticular activating system.

    From Wikipedia on it: "It's the name given to part of the brain (the reticular formation and its connections) believed to be the centre of arousal and motivation in animals (including humans). It is situated at the core of the brain stem between the myelencephalon (medulla oblongata) and metencephalon (midbrain)..." Blah blah, but what it doesn't say about it is that, as I believe it's really about, is a term describing that weird thing that happens when something new captures our imagination, in my case right now it's houses, at other times it's a kind of car I'm thinking of buying and then see EVERYWHERE!, or even falling in love and everything reminding me of that person, every song, etc.

    Apparently, when our brain gets a new toy it's excited to play with it, no batteries required!

    Thanks for the encouragement on the cottage! Ack, I so want to see it too.

  7. Whoah Shelley...

    I get all RETICULATED when you talk like that!!

  8. Mike, does that make us Meduellists Oblongdata?! XD

  9. Heh. Gretchin could tell you about how reticulated I get... "Ooh! Look at that truck passing us -- it's carrying a load of STEEL!"

  10. Exactly, Sven!! I bet you notice ball bearings, power tools, things with perfect radius curves, Gretchin's elbows, etc. You must be one of the most reticulated fellows I've ever known because when you go into a new interest you go way in! Your brain scan would probably look like a Christmas tree's in there.


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