Friday, September 29, 2006

For the past month or so...

... blogging basically took a "back seat" while I enjoyed the dwindling days of late summer and early fall. People from "northern climates" are painfully aware that summer is a short season. They also know that it's essential to enjoy the good weather while it's here. Just a week after the "official" start of autumn, the first frost arrived last night, leaving windshields iced over as we headed out in the chilly morning air. It wasn't a severe frost, a few passes from the wipers quickly cleared away all the evidence, but many more, and much worse, mornings like this lay ahead.
... I transitioned from spring to summer with some specific goals in mind. First,I was intent on learning how to animate in Flash. The manuals I ordered on Amazon started arriving one by one. They kept coming until my mail carrier tired of climbing three flights of stairs to set each book neatly in front of my door and began tossing them from the landing of the second floor. I'd slip these books into my backpack and head downtown on my bike, reading them in the parks, outdoor cafes, coffeehouses, and restaurants. Back home, I'd stay up late, following the tutorials. It was a good strategy because I actually learned. Encouraged by the progress I ordered manuals for other programs that I own as well.
... another goal for summer was to improve my drawing skills, I carried a sketchbook and pencils in the backpack, sketching out many "gesture drawings" while downtown. These 30 second exercises helped me understand form, anatomy, figure drawing, and posture as I drew sketches of people crossing the street, window shopping, ordering a latte, or carrying an umbrella in the rain. I visited the art department of the local university, learning about the University of Michigan's nationally ranked "Communications" program in the process. I got copies of class syllabuses and lists of required textbooks, again searching Amazon to get copies of these books to study over the winter!
... before long, we'll be turning our clocks back for daylight savings time and sunset will come earlier and earlier. The holidays will arrive, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and then Christmas and New Year. We'll be shivering, trying to keep warm beneath layers of quilts and blankets as the snow piles up outside. I intend to have a good book by my side the whole time.