Friday, September 14, 2012

Assignment #2 Partner Portrait

In class we paired off and had to take portrait pictures of our partner. I got to work with Toya and she is a very beautiful lady. Portraits display the expression, mood and personality of the subject. The focus is usually on the person's face, but it is also possible to include the person's body and the background if desired. I had so many fun pictures of Toya that it was super hard to choose only five to post on my blog. Some were in better focus, others had more natural poses and some just had more emotion evoked from the lighting and the subject. I may just post her other images on another day so y'all can see them. I had so much fun photographing her that I just want to practice portraits all the time now! Alrighty everyone, here are the pictures for your viewing pleasures. Please post a comment and let me know what you think. Don't hold back on your critiques ^_^

Here's my one shout out for the day---Thanks for letting me photograph you Toya! You rock! 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Rain Rain Don't Go Away

It's raining it's pouring
And Nina is scoring
She went to school and used the tool
to paint until the morning....

well at least it felt like she was painting that long. I hope you like my rendition of the nursery rhyme. It is actually super hard to find words that rhyme with pouring and that also apply to what happened to me today. Anyway, rain is lovely and there's nothing better than a Texas rainstorm :) Here's the latest on my painting project:

It is a lamp on the Chain Bridge in Budapest Hungary. I used to ride past that bridge all the time while I was a missionary.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What rhymes with 24?

Happy birthday to me! I have now been on this blessed earth for a grand total of 24 years. Not bad, eh? Looking back over the past 2.4 decades I think I've accomplished a lot. I've ridden a jet ski, owned a cat, sang in the choir, painted a watercolor picture, built a snowman, hiked the Y mountain, canoed down Lake Austin, made a pizza, changed a car tire, read a book... etc, etc, etc. And today to cap things off, I came home to my husband and a delicious Hungarian chocolate cake. He made it in the microwave (he's a skilled man) and also bought me the coveted Hungarian birthday troll that comes with your favorite flavored Martinelli :) We've named the troll Lila. Shout out to the Westsik family!

Boldog Szuli Napot Magamnak! Huszonnegy eves vagyok :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Night Owl Nina

I rented out a camera from the checkout center today for our portrait project. It's been interesting playing around with the gadgets and settings. I was told that I've been the only known PHO beginning student to ask for a camera manual. Heh. I think it's pretty handy. Sometimes you make something really cool and other times you have a photo flop, but all-in-all you learn more from each shot. The instruction book does help you find the buttons faster. Anyway, today was the first time I had ever been on campus past 5:30pm. After taking our pictures, I left my partner's apartment and ventured through the middle of campus snapping shots as I went. Campus is a pretty deserted place at night:

Tonight I played with the aperture setting at F5.6 and used the tungsten lighting. Pretty neat. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Charcoal is the New Black

In my drawing class we had our first critique of the semester. We drew a still life (which you can view on the Wednesday, September 5th post) in class and then we had it critiqued the following week. All of our drawings were pinned to the gigantic push-pin-board-wall, I don't know what you really call those, and then there was a number placed by each one. I was number 5 :) I just like that number because there are five kids in my family, five fingers on a hand, five members on the court for a basketball team, five days in the week...oh the list could go on forever. Yeah, five is just a good number. Anyway, after the drawings were numbered to retain anonymity we each received a number from our teacher and we had to critique the drawing that matched it. I'm glad we had time to write good critiques, because I always have a lot to say and sometimes there isn't enough time. After we finished and handed in our written critiques, we critiqued each piece as a class and for each drawing critiqued the artist was revealed.

Some would think that a critique is an awful thing because people criticize your work and say awful things about it. But in reality, they don't say awful things they just speak the truth as to what can be improved so that the student can more effectively accomplish the purpose of the drawing assignment. Mind you, they do address the things that you did well in the drawing, but the constructive criticism is always there. For this project we had to use charcoal and work on tones and if you didn't really get that concept down, you just received more useful information to utilize in your next piece. Personally I think critiques at school are great because they provide learning opportunities for you and your classmates. After learning about where you could improve,  you start to "see" like an artist. It was super cool to see how I could make my drawing more realistic by simply adding or subtracting more value in certain spots that I didn't see when I first drew them.

I won't include a picture of my drawing because it's already been posted, but I will post some funny comics that I found about art critiques:

Sunday, September 9, 2012


No that is not an asian face or a smiley icon in today's title post. Please keep reading and I will explain :) Today I really started to feel old when I sat in church with the Beehives and they all whipped out their smart phones/iphones to read their scriptures. I got confused for a second and then realized what was going on. I just remember sitting there and thinking, "Huh, I remember back in the day when I was 12 and we held scriptures in our hands and they had turnable pages..." I just love the organic feel of an actual book in your lap and the smell of the pages. Mmmm... Anyway, afterwards I thought, "Wow, I can actually say that was 11 years ago...jaj I am getting old so fast!"

Upon returning from my mission, I have been plunged into the latest technology of the 21st century. So just a little explanation for those that are new to the "mission" term. When you are a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints you move from home to your mission area and you live according to specific missionary rules and regulations for the 2 years (boys) or 18 months (girls) that you serve. One of those rules entailed the limited use of technologies.  We only used the computer to email our families once a week, then maybe if we had to make fliers for some event we could use a computer at that time too. Even then, that meant we only used simple programs like microsoft word. We also used cell phones that were assigned to each companionship, but they were just the ancient Nokia ones that you used maybe five or seven years ago. Anyway, it helped us steer clear of doing things like updating our facebook statuses, mindlessly surfing the net, playing video games or playing games on our phones. This technology rule was of course in place so that we would focus more of our time on teaching people about Jesus Christ because that's why we were there in the first place.

While I've been home I've had to readjust to the technology dependent lifestyle I used to live. I got a new macbook from Jeffrey and figured out all the keys on that (I had to readjust to the American English keyboard), then there was my new phone I had to play around with among other things. Mind you, I was a savvy tech kid before I left, I knew how to use all the little toys, programs and gadgets that every college kid uses plus some and then I came home and the little kiddies in elementary school had cell phones and my 2 year old niece knew how to use ooVoo. Do you know what ooVoo is? Yeah I remember when my 18 year old sister asked me if I knew how to use ooVoo. I thought she was speaking a different language or had something caught in her throat. Below is the logo, maybe it'll jog your memory of this new program:

Tonight I tried to put my ooVoo skills to use so Jeff and I could talk to my niece Skyler Rae and my sister. I thought it would be easy since I saw my kid sister do it once to show me, but for some reason I couldn't get the program to work properly. Ugh. Finally I got it to work and we got to see my cute niece and my sister. My favorite thing is to pinch her checks through the screen. My sister kindly transfers my pinch to her little child and Skyler Rae just gets a kick outta that and smiles super big. Here is that cute kid at our wedding tea party:

So if you don't know how to use ooVoo you should check it out. It's one of the many video chat programs out there and hey maybe you'll be all the more tech savvy for doing it.

Also, photo credits go out to our great photographer Athena Danoy. You can check out her work at Pictures from our wedding and wedding tea party will be posted up later this month :) Be excited!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Do you know these artists?

So today I had an intense homework session of about 4+ hours...I don't know exactly how long, but it was too long and too much since I can't count past four. Anyway, there were some fun things that I got to do and one of them was to look up work by contemporary artists. Once again, I just have to say that I love being an art major. Ok, I said it. I think I might say that at least once a day or maybe once a week because I really do just love all of it.

Today I stumbled across this fun list of contemporary artists and thought I would share. It was made by an artist on her personal blog, so the list is obviously biased, but there are still a lot of fun artists and art to check out. Here is the link:

Do you recognize this guy? Maybe you've seen his face in your art class or in an art book. He's on the list:

Yeah, I felt like I was enlightened today. Now go on, make a list of all the artists you know and then compare them to this 100 contemporary artists list.