Thursday, April 24, 2008

Competency #7: Area of Study

This is the first semester that I have been an official Art Major. I'm focusing on drawing and painting but I am also very interested in design principles and there is a lot of crossover between my drawing and painting work and my knitting design work.

  • This is my favorite piece of work from this semester. It is an oil painting that I did of my friend's dog. I think it shows my proficiency with painting very well.

Tucker 2008

  • Another way that I demonstrate a competency in Art is through my knitting designs. I think that the piece I produced for the 2008 Capstone project shows how my study of art influences my knitwear designs.

Octopus Mitt 2008

Competency #6: Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is the reason that I decided to go to UAS in the first place.
For me getting a liberal arts education is all about learning to think critically. Critical thinking is all about examining ideas, analyzing situations and problem solving.

  • I think a good example of my critical thinking skills is the design process that I used to make my Octopus Mitts.

  • I examine my design process in the video that I made for this class.

  • Another example of the application of my critical thinking skills is in this paper that I wrote for an upper division English class. The class was "Major Authors: Hemingway and Faulkner." I used a lot of techniques that I learned in another English class, "Ecocriticism," to write a paper that examined Faulkner's short story, The Bear from an ecocritical perspective.

Competency #5: Professional Behavior

For me this competency is about more than just how your present yourself in person by getting along with your classmates and teachers but also by how you present your work. I am careful to work hard and take pride in all my completed projects and I think that kind of professionalism in your work is very important.

  • I would like to link again to my knitting blog because I think it is a good example of taking the care to present yourself in a professional way even in a less professional environment.

Competency #4: Computer Usage

I think that this is one of the most important competencies for a Humanities student to master. It involves being comfortable with a computer and with all varieties of computer programs so that you can accomplish your projects in a professional manner.

  • It may not be immediately clear why an Art Major needs to be comfortable with a computer but these days most graduate programs require artwork to be stored digitally. This means that the artist must be able to photograph using a digital camera, transfer the images and most importantly manipulate them in photoshop for clarity. This is one of the first images that I practiced on for storing digitally.

Jack 2008

  • For this competency I also present this blog as well as my knitting blog, Knitosaurus

  • I also have my video that I made for this class which I will be posting after its premiere at our Capstone Collage.

Competency #3: Information Literacy

For Information Literacy you have to be able to use and cite a variety of different sources for projects. I think this is especially important as we begin to use more and more digital sources for information such as video clips and websites.

  • To demonstrate this competency I have a bibliography for a paper citing all the different sources I used to write the paper. I used books, websites and Wikipedia.

Competency #2: Quantitative Skills

The UAS Comptency in Quantitative Skills requires the student to understand and apply basic math.

I do not consider mathematics to be one of my areas of expertise. I am a logical and analytical person but I do not enjoy math. I think that is because I find math isolating and I had trouble in the past finding ways to apply math that held my interest.

In the Humanities Department students are required to take MATH 107 which is Basic Algebra.
I have not finished this course. I have enrolled to take it as a distance course and enlisted the help of a tutor to help keep me on track and make sure that I understand the concepts covered.

However, this past year I have found myself using more and more math! As I have knit more and more I have begun altering and now designing my own knitting patterns and this is actually a great mathematical challenge.

An example of the math involved in adapting a pattern is this sweater:

To make this sweater I combined two different patterns. I wanted to use the cable design from this sweater but keep the overall fit and style from this sweater.
In order to make this work I had to calculate how the repeats of the cable pattern would fit into the hooded sweater pattern as well as make adjustments for my size and shape and the yarn that I had chosen for the project.

When designing a pattern for publication there is the added mathematical challenge of resizing the design while keeping the proportions the same.

There is also some geometry involved in structuring garments to fit 3-dimensional shapes.

These days I am using math all the time!

Competency #1: Communication

The Competency in Communication at UAS requires that students be good communicators within their communities. This means that we must be able to interact with the community and to set a good example within the community.

I think that being competent in communication is a very important and often difficult skill to master. Our community is very diverse and you have to learn to be able to communicate effectively with all people regardless of culture or background.

  • One way that I think I have shown my competency in communication was by doing a year of foreign exchange. I spent one academic year in Dunedin, New Zealand studying at the University of Otago. In Dunedin I practiced my skills at understanding another culture and learning to communicate within that culture. I also had many opportunities for sharing my knowledge and experience of SE Alaska culture and history.

I think that my success abroad shows that I am ready and willing to communicate across cultures within my community.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Mitt Progress

x-posted to my knitting blog here.

Personal Creativity Project: Take II

Okay, I am changing my Personal Creativity Project.
Actually, I already changed it...
My new plan is this:
Create a unique knitting design, implement the design, write the pattern and offer it for sale on my knitting blog.
I'm really excited about this project.

Over the past couple of weeks (while I've been sick) I brainstormed and came up with a plan.

First I limited my options:
  • Because I have a limited time frame and knitting does take a bit of time I limited my design to a small item.
  • I've been really interested in colorwork lately because there are just so many design possibilities with it so I thought a colorwork design would be best.
With those limitations in mind I thought I would do a pair of colorwork mittens. Trying to think of ideas I had my friends help me brainstorm all our favorite animals. In the end I went with my own favorite animal, an octopus.

As I worked on the drawing I realized that real mittens wouldn't be as good as fingerless mittens (also, they are faster to knit).

Then I converted my sketches to knitting charts and here is what I have so far:
Hope this works!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Personal Creativity Project Proposal

For my Personal Creativity Project I am going to keep an “Art Journal.” In this journal I want to keep track of my progress on the term projects that I have going for my art classes (drawing, painting and printmaking), discuss my frustrations and triumphs with particular pieces and also include actual sketches, drawings and possibly even small collages. I’ve recently switched my focus from English Literature to Art and I want to explore that transition. I am also very interested in the idea of making creativity a regular part of my life. I’ve never kept a journal of any kind for longer than a week or two so that part will also be very interesting.

Human in a Digital Society: Poetry Exercise

Words from a novel:


A million dollars.
Foundation in Africa.
An office.
License revoked.
Moved to Ireland.
A successful artist.
No symptoms of AIDS, as yet.

Computer Generator:

art IS A happy dog.
NEVER paint A painting.

Personal (2 Haikus):

The snow has fallen
In drifts as big as a house
Pretty, but too cold.

I think to myself
“Will the winter never end?”
shovel the driveway

How is poetry created? Is the important thing where the words come from, how they are put together or both or neither?

One thing I noticed in the exercise was that it was easy to tell how the poem was made. I think this means that the author's touch is essential. Be the creator and the shaper.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Group Creativity Project

Ideas from in-class brainstorm:

Env. Focused
Convert Objects that were thrown away
found objects

Crashing UAS w/ art

Happening/Effect viewer
burning man on lake
emerge from lake
art party - different materials, challenges
cafeteria/white paper

shock people/get their attention/make them remember

comm. based auction

advertize w/ flyers, tv, radio

My Comments:

I am attracted to the idea of involvement but it is hard to get people to do things (other than observe)
Also: What is our message anyways? Motive? Aim/Goals?

Might be able to think of lots of ways of getting people's attention
BUT what will we do with it once we have it?

Visually Differentiated Text

I love visually differentiated text (although I didn't know that was what it was called until this evening).
  • Other types of text are frustrating and distracting for me.
  • They take much longer to convey the same amount of information.
  • I use visually differentiated text whenever I can.