Sunday, December 13, 2009

more loot from the semester bag

Today I am trying very hard to remember the good things I've accomplished this semester, and not beat myself up about the few things that I wish I'd done better. I had a bad dream last night in which one of my professors was chewing me out about the poor quality of my work and saying that this was not the program for me. Oof. Stop it, subconscious. To whit:
  • I taught my first class, ever: Watercolor for Landscape Architects. I managed to pull together a show of my student's work, and it was so satisfying to see people examining & admiring the artwork every time I passed through the LA gallery. Below, one of the demonstration paintings I made (for a class on using gouache paints together w/watercolor). I wish I could show you some of my students' work. I learned a lot from teaching this class, both about teaching and about painting techniques.

  • I learned a lot more about Photoshop. It's exciting to be able to make use of more of its tools, and to push the limits of those tools. I've learned that I *can* make original art with a computer that is not so different in feeling from a traditional-media painting. Below, #3 of the triptych of images I made to illustrate my studio project (other two, previous post).

  • I started to make friends with AutoCAD and Sketchup. My goal is to be so comfortable with all the main programs that I can combine them fluidly and cut down on work time significantly. Already I've learned that it's much faster to create a measured section drawing in CAD, and then render it by bringing it through Illustrator and Photoshop. Hurrah faster sections! (you'll have to enlarge this one (a section of the existing site) to see its detail)
  • I've also learned, through Stormwater and Site Engineering classes, so much more about stormwater management practices, and the creative possibilities of combining the science of these practices with visual/spatial goals for a site. Below, a bus shelter design that incorporates (in this section view) a green roof, permeable pavement, and a raingarden. The bus stop would also be a WiFi hotspot, and include bike storage in its footprint. Part of its roof would have solar panels, to run the lighting for the shelter, and power the WiFi router.

This design was for a group final project concerning a Prototype Stormwater Master Plan for Cornell, which we presented to the campus landscape architect, a campus engineer, and a traffic/building systems coordinator. We received very positive responses about our expanded-amenity transit stops/shelter idea (which was but one of our several ideas concerning stormwater-focused design in various areas of the campus). I was really excited about this class, because I had come into it knowing next to nothing about stormwater practices and it opened a whole new chapter of possibilities.

So, difficult semester in some ways, I definitely feel more pressure to learn new programs and get huge amounts of work done in painfully condensed spaces of time. I'm excited for, not dreading, next semester.

Now, for some holiday hectic-time (but FUN hectic-time), and then off to Key West. I'm looking forward to doing some painting, taking photos of egrets and anhingas, and going to some new places (the Keys!) and some old favorite places (Sanibel Island!). Crossing my fingers for warm sunshiny weather...

1 comment:

Sarah H. Knox said...

excellent work, Liz! Absolutely beautiful paintings/computer renderings. You really showed photoshop who is boss :)