Fallen Comrades

So today I did something I do when days, weeks, months, or even years go by between posts here violent coughing and hacking from dust kicked up from the cobweb-shrouded mummified corpses of former readers in my waiting room. I go through the blogroll and see who’s still around. A good 25% of the links there have been taken over by cyber-squatters and spamblogs. I wonder if the, what is it, two or three or seven or nineteen various blogs I’ve abandoned have turned into something similar, okay, let’s be accurate here, been similarly hijacked by suckers who just wasted their money on a communitycollege "how to make money on teh intarnetz" class there, I said it.

Of Shapes and Lines

Recently, one of my mentees sent me some sketches for a assignment I gave to her. Yep, she was gutsy enough to ask me for assignments that she could work on. In the email that accompanied the assignment, I explained that I wanted to see roughs so that we could discuss composition first, and then do detailed sketches later. When she sent me the sketches she made the comment that composition wasn't her strong suit. No worries... a lot of folks have that problem. I tell my wife that I can compose anything... as long as there are three or fewer elements involved. Lisa is one of those folks that specialize in being able to juggle a million things in a composition, well... the more the merrier. I hate her a little for that... Anyway, the exercise my mentee was undertaking gave rise to a few exercises that I employ when I'm evaluating art for composition (whether my own or others). First, let's find an unwitting participant... Mathias Kollros and his "Gotta Have a Hook" entry are the winners! Remember this image? My evaluation process has two steps:

#1 Blocking. I this step I take the image into photoshop or lay a sheet of tracing paper over the image and block in the major elements of the composition. I'm not looking to be pretty or super accurate (good thing since I'm trying to draw with my laptop pad). I just want to block in the shapes roughly and see how the shapes relate to each other and the coloring pages. There are a couple of things you can notice right off the bat: There is overlap of the objects. A good way to create depth in the image; The shapes interact with each other and with the frame. Creates tension and movement; An interesting negative space is created by the shapes. Creates visual impact and good reads; There is framing and visual lines created with the shapes. This helps us move the viewers eye around the image. More on this in a second... As you can see, this image has a lot of things going for it even when it is blocked out. When I look at it in this way, I might have suggested a slight shift to the right to help with the crop/negative space, but overall it is a very solid "blocking".

#2 Sight Lines. The next thing I'll do is look at the sight lines in a piece. I'm trying to figure out where the eye might be going in the image. I'll draw in lines that indicate where the eye might be drawn to look. I'm looking for leading lines, shapes that show movement, where things are looking, and just about anything else that makes my eye move or stop. One thing that Mathias doesn't have a lot of in his images is hard tangents. I like to indicate them with a circle - to indicate spaces where my eye will stop. As you can see, there's a lot of movement going on here. The nice thing about the composition that Mathias has going on here - is that the lines are leading us around the image space, and then back into the major tension area. If you have lines that are all leading willy-nilly all over your image, or all running off in a single direction, you might have a situation that you need to deal with. Funny, I knew that I had really enjoyed Mathais' piece, but I hadn't realized how well he had hit the compositional elements until I started mapping this exercise out. I originally picked this just because we had been talking about it at work yesterday, and it jumped into my brain when I decided I needed an image to use as an example piece. Now that you have a tool to play with. Snag a few images and give them the test and see how they stack up to the ArtOrder compositional test.

Nailed to The Church Doors

This broadside from smirking chimp’s ernest partridge. Here’s a taste, but you should really go check out all of it: Aggressive war is a crime. Torture is a crime. Warrantless surveillance is a crime. Contempt of Congress is a crime. Defiance of acts of Congress is a crime. Extortion and bribery are crimes. Election fraud is a crime. The Nuremberg and Geneva conventions, the Constitution of the United States, and the federal statutes say what they say. The remedy is unequivocal: “The President, Vice-President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors”. “Shall,” not “may.” (Constitution of the United States, Article 2, Section 4). Without question, the Bush regime now rules in disregard and defiance of the rule of law. Each and every day that passes without decisive action against this lawless junta.

Each day is another day of anarchy. The courageous senior intelligence officers who demanded the release last week of the NIE have opened a window of opportunity for the dissenting activists, journalists, government officials and members of Congress. We would all be foolish and derelict in our civic duties not to respond promptly and decisively to this opportunity. The catalytic moment may be at hand, wherein a mass of individual dissenters coalesce into a “movement” when these dissenters look about and discover that they are participants in a significant political force; when they achieve perceivable results, perchance minor at first, but with the realization that significant reform is within reach and even, through coordinated effort and inspired leadership, irresistible; when, in short, perception becomes reality. Heady stuff, but well-considered. While i step out back and sharpen the tines of my pitchfork, go read the rest.

Electronic Circuits

Electronics... fancy word but what does it mean and how we deal with it? Lots of physics and mathematics beyond this concept. We have all heard about electrical circuits and electrical components such as vacuum tubes, trasistors, integrated circuits or diodes. But what for? Electronics is widely used in telecommunications, signal processing and information processing.  More than that, the ability of electronic devices to act as swiches makes digital information processing possible. One of the biggest and more important parts of electronics represents the focusing on engineering aspects. Nowadays  electronics engineers can design circuits using power supplies, integrated circuits, semiconductors. 

Construction methods have changed and progressed over the years and most modern day electronics now use new materials that bring along better results. More than that, the accent is now on health and environmental concerns associated with electronics assembly  that have gained more and more increased attention in the past recent years. Over 1000 circuits schematics http://www.electroschematics.com/page/2/, ideas for beginners and more than that, valuable information that will help you practice your hobby, you can find it all browsing through our project. If you want to improve your knowledge and your skills, but also to prove yourself as a great electronics engineer, our projects will definitely help to find complete information and inspiration for your further projects. We invite you to browse through our main categories and discover many interesting and concrete articles: solar charges for solar panels, battery chargers, kits, voltage converters, datasheet, etc.

Good Horses

On Sunday we took another opportunity to work with Llego and Griton before Mike has to leave on Tuesday. Since Llego had challenged Mike a bit the last time we worked, we wanted to make sure we had definitely gotten through the little issue they had before Mike took off again. As we expected, this good horse remembered what he had learned and cooperated with complete focus. We even began to teach him about lateral yields of the hindquarters and he caught on to what we were asking for immediately. We kept it short as a reward and Mike ended the session with asking Llego to practice standing quietly next to the mounting block while he climbed up and down, made noise with it, and put his weight across Llego's back. As you can see, the level of trust we have slowly built with this formerly wild horse certainly removed any concern he had about it! The fundamentals of what we teach our horses aren't any different than what most people teach; what changes from person to person is more like the differences in regional dialects when you learn a language.

Llego worked first with my nephew, Boyd, who taught him a Texas drawl, then with me during the fall and spring, and now he has had to learn the subtle differences in how Mike speaks to him. This trip home was an excellent beginning in developing a lasting dialogue between the two of them that we will be able to continue to develop on Mike's next trip home. Every horse has been getting mounting block practice. I reminded him of when Griton would be across the arena if you even thought about mounting him. Now all he thinks about is when he's going to get his next cookie. It was a several year process to get Griton to this place of calm relaxation, starting with showing him he could accept the saddle without fear. From there he learned it was safe to have me slip onto him bareback. This year, we are putting the two together and later this spring will be his first time to calmly carry me and a saddle at the same time. In case you're wondering about what is going on with Besol, he has gone back to horsey kindergarten in hopes that starting him over from the beginning will help him to let go of his old fears. That was the process we used with Griton and it certainly worked with that big Cookie Monster!