Friday, October 18, 2013

Growing up Dsylexic...

This week is Dyslexia Awareness Week in the UK. I happened upon that information reading Hot Key Book's blog last night.
Having not thought of such things for a long time,  I did some dyslexic "surfing" on the web, and yep...I'm as dyslexic as I have ever been- still strong in fourteen  or fifteen traits of thirty something, when ten is all that is needed.
I'm Ambidextrous- though haven't doodled with my right hand for a bit. Pretty impressed with my drawing, even though it kind of made me dizzy doing it.
I still mix up words and phrases- Feed the Whale (see here) instead of fill the well.
Still don't have a sense of direction and still don't know my right from my left.

You can test yourself (here). But can you read this?

if not flip your laptop of tablet over

Its funny, something that can be so overwhelming for so long can eventually move into the shadows and you kind of forget about it.

Perusing the web I also found...

To be honest, whenever I come across any idea of Dyslexia being a "gift" my initial reaction is to laugh, though reading and writing upside down comes is awful handy teaching kids, working across a table from them, though it freaks my husband out.
But growing up, there was no hint that I had been blessed, instead I have memories seared in my brain of spending part of my day in Special Ed, or my fourth grade teacher's look of disgust when I wore my shirt backwards or couldn't put my shoes on the correct feet. One summer I had a large R and L drawn on my hands and I was continuous drilled on my right from my left. I couldn't remember, either, after the letters faded.
I was deemed lazy by the history teacher in Middle School, because he knew I was smart and had no excuses for the grammar on my papers. Thank God for Word and spellcheck now.
But I could draw...
Princesses in ball gowns for my friends and so was not considered too much of a freak. Though when
anyone would go on about my artistic abilities, my family's favorite joke was "Don't you mean autistic?"
Which, according to THE DYSLEXIC ADVANTAGE, could not be farther from the truth!
Apparently, there is a thin sheet of cells in the brain called the " cortex" where cells, called mini columns,  are stacked on top of each other. Well in Autistic brains, the minicolumns are tightly clustered together and in Dyslexic brains they are...well loosely spaced and in Autistic brains only make connections between the minicolumns locally, where the Dyslexic brain have long connections, well, all over the place, surprise, surprise!  Literally according to one theory, Dyslexia is the exact opposite of Autism. Autistics  see the trees where Dyslexics see the forest.
I don't know how I feel about that I just read it last night, I'll let you know, only on Chapter 4.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Evolution of an Illustration...

Often people ask about the process of doing fabric collage and often while I'm doing it the idea to take pictures of the process does not occur to me, well this time I am trying.
With a summer of traveling and adventure, followed by a few quiet weeks at home,  the "whales are starting to be full" ( read THIS for an explanation) I am diving back into revamping my portfolio.
So like all illustrations, it starts with some research, these days on the web, instead of a bunch of dusty files...

I'm sucker for the big white bows and needlework on little girl's dresses from the Victorian era, so that was easy enough. As was finding  pictures of country cottages...

I had to resign myself to zooming in far enough to get the details of Goldilocks and the Three Bears loosing most of the cottage's detail. But alas what did my instructors in Art school always ask, "What is the focal point, what is the picture about," well it is about Bears and Goldilocks! 

Still needed some bears, so thought "dancing bears" would be a good thing to Google. Not! So many sad pictures of old, tired bears in places like the Far East and Russia that are still being forced to preform in the streets, their masters put a cable around their heads and through their noses, and out a slit on their face!!
But enough about the harsh realities of what is real verses what is make believe. Let see, have I ever illustrated an anthropomorphic illustration, or one that has animals with human traits? I don't think so.
Step one after the sketch is to do a line drawing of the illustration on see through tracing paper...

then I take more scraps of tracing paper and make patterns for the various piece and parts, doing the back ground first...

And then ironing them down, since the fabric has a fusible web on the backside...

Then the middle ground and foreground is laid down, and the stitching begins...

Part Two is coming, I promise....probably....if I remember!

Monday, October 07, 2013

We went to the coffee shop...

and I watched this father with his two little girls, one climbing up into his lap to look at a picture book and I so wanted to have a place to go give "alms" in thanks to God that my daughters have a father like that, that it was okay, I didn't, because I married a man who is and nothing has healed me more then watching him be that kind of a father to our girls."