Category Archives: Learn Something New

Cool and/or interesting topics I learn about that I want to share with you!

Relating to Robert Mangold

Currently in the Kemper Contemporary Art Museum in Kansas City, there is an exhibit called, “Deconstructing Robert Mangold.” Mangold is a minimalist artist who was very profound in the Modern Art movement. On display are 7 woodcut prints titled “untitled A-G”, along with pieces from the museum’s permanent collection. The exhibition brings together a very wide range of conceptual pieces that form some sort of connection with Mangold’s seven prints.

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untitled (A-G), 2000; from the portfolio of Robert Mangold Print

At a glance, these woodcuts are representations of geometric analysis’s, and no two prints are exactly alike in terms of structure. There are niches cut out of the prints that clash with the idea of artistic structural formulas. When walking around the gallery space, the viewer must interpret how the pieces made by generations of different artists relate to Mangold’s seven small prints.

Out of the many pieces in the gallery, there were three that stood out to me as truly relating to the inspiration for the collection, the first bring a piece called Murmur.

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Murmur 2014, Cheonae Kim; acrylic and graphite on canvas

I was drawn to the piece mainly due to how busy it is; the shapes made by dozens of tiny squares create a piece that feels as though it is vibrating on the canvas. From far away, the lines seem crisp and perfectly straight, but when you get a closer look, you are able to tell how loosely Kim creates her abstract paintings. While this piece is almost overly simulating compared to the simplicity of Mangold’s prints, there is a connection between the use of loose, structural lines. The print series and the painting are both logical and playful at the same time; one invoking a simple whimsy in geometric shapes, and the other reminding the viewer of the popular game Tetris. 

The second piece that I feel connects with Mangold is Movement in White, Umber and Cobalt Blue. 

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Movement in White, Umber, and Cobalt Blue 1950; John Marin

This piece is much different from Murmur in the sense that the overall subject matter is much looser. You don’t have to get close to the canvas to see how loosely Marin used his three colors to create the composition. What does tie this piece to Mangold’s is how even though the subject matter is more free form, there is still a sense of structural unity in the piece. The background is full of squares and crossing lines than create a subtle frame work that relates to Mangold’s structurally sound woodcuts. There is also a relation through the low key color choices of both artists. The colors are calm, yet are boldly added on top of the cream background, creating strong compositions.

The final piece that stuck out to me as truly connecting with the original seven is Study for Self Portrait. 

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Study for Self Portrait, 1982, Francis Bacon; color lithograph

Out of all the other pieces in the exhibit, this seemed the most out of place at first glance. It is one of the only pieces with an organic form as the main subject of the work. But after studying it more carefully, the viewer can connect the geometric structure of the background to Mangold’s prints. There is also a square-like quality to the figure itself; it is closed off and could easily be broken down into a box-like form. The color choice also connects in the same way that Movement does, with the low key quality of the image really pushing out the idea of the form and lines, rather than making bold choices with color. The softness of the human figure also ties in with the rounded lines in Mangold’s prints, but doesn’t take away from the sharpness of the straight lines in the background.

 

Artists are constantly pulling inspiration from other artists. It’s not cheating to use an idea that dawns on you while looking at the art of someone that you admire. Art is constantly evolving, and with exhibits like this, we are able to understand how our work relates to our fellow peers and people we aspire to be like. “Deconstructing Robert Mangold” is an exhibit I will more definitely spend more time in during future visits so that I can better understand the art of inspiration that moves throughout the artistic community.

 

 

Until Next Time,

 

Abby

 

 

I’m back! Excuse the leave of absence; stick around for more future posts!

How to Feel a Little Bit Better in 1 Minute or Less

This past week and a half has been really weird. I’ve been lacking motivation and have been having some really weird moody spells. Sometimes, when I get down, I like to sit down and think about all the good things that I have going on. By having that list, I’m able to see how many awesome things are going on, and that often chases away some of my down-in-the-dumps thoughts.

Today, I decided to set a timer for a minute to see how many good things I could think of, as opposed to thinking about my soul-crushing homework. Here’s what I wrote:

Seven Brides Rehearsals

Hanging out with Suz

New Dresses

Finding a good new book

Finally getting my print right in photography

Rewatching the Clone Wars with Grant

Toby being home from the vet

Ice Cream

Starbucks Mornings

Jesus Time in the Morning

Carlos’s Backwards To-Do lists

In just 60 seconds, I was able to come up with 11 things that were positive in my life. While things on my list or your list might not make sense to other people, knowing for yourself that there is still light during icky times is really important. Give this a try yourself! You don’t even have to do it for a minute; try 30 seconds to get yourself started. Or, set more time aside to write down things that make you thankful to be alive 🙂

Now, I’m back to the constant battle of Abby vs. Homework. Hoping that the homework won’t beat me 😛

Until Next Time,

Abby

Be a Girl Worth Fighting For

Over the past year, I have learned a lot about myself. Many doors have closed, but so many new ones have opened, and I’ve started to understand who I am. Finding my identity in the right things has been a long journey, but through this process of refinement, I feel that going through some really tough times has been the best thing that could have happened to me.

I recently had the honor of playing the role of Mulan, which made me start to think more about the young woman I want to be. There is a song in the show called, “A Girl Worth Fighting For,” when the soldiers are singing about the kind of girl they want to fight for as they march off to war. The things they sing about are very superficial; they want girls who have good looks, will fawn over their battle scars, and cook a good meal. The fellas don’t really care about girls who have a brain or speak their mind. In our society, girls are often told that looks are the most important thing and that their value is found in what others say. Well, this isn’t the case. To be a girl who is worth fighting for, there are a few qualities that the world will just brush aside that you need to know.

Be a Girl Who is Kind

Make people wonder how  you keep smiling. People are going to hurt you. That’s what people do, but people also have the potential to overcome hurt for the better. There are going to be times when it is hard to be kind, but in the long run, being kind is one of the most attractive qualities that you can have. Keep your chin up, Princess. It’s gonna be worth it in the end that you didn’t spread that rumor or that you don’t retaliate with a hurtful comment.

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Be a Girl Who Doesn’t Compromise

Being strong means standing firm in what you believe. Set high standards for yourself, and don’t let anyone make you compromise. It’s so easy to let yourself slip up and start bending. If you ever find yourself saying, “Okay, maybe just this once,” that’s a giant red flag telling you to get out of that situation. You are entitled to your beliefs and your boundaries; don’t let anyone take that away from you.

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Be a Girl Who is Herself

It’s really easy to want to change parts of yourself to fit in with the crowd. Everyone wants to be liked by everyone else. But here’s the harsh reality: Not everyone is gonna like you, and that’s okay. Granted, there are things that you might want to work on, like being a better listener or keeping your space tidy, but don’t feel like you need to hide the things that make you You. If you love baseball, you rock that jersey. If you like getting dressed up, by all means, you work those high heels. If you’re quiet, don’t feel like you have to shout and if you’re loud, use that to make other people laugh or feel good about themselves. God has given you specific qualities for a special purpose; don’t feel like you have to change yourself just to get that boy’s attention.

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Be a Girl Who Waits

This one is super difficult. You’re scrolling through your Facebook and see all your friends out with their boyfriends or girls you grew up with getting engaged, and you’re thinking, “When am I gonna get that?” Or you might even already be in a relationship, but you hear friends talk about their wild nights with their significant other or run across a magazine that tells you all the tricks and tips to “having a good time.” It’s a battle to wait. I’ll be the first to say that sometimes I get a little bummed out seeing all the cutesy couple pictures as I scroll through my Instagram. But would I rather have a so-so boy now, or an amazing man later? Waiting can be really hard, but it’s so much better than having regrets.

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Be a Girl Who Knows Her Value

Everyone is valuable, and sadly, so many girls don’t understand the concept of being valued. But oh my goodness, you are so precious and wonderfully made. You were hand-crafted by a Creator who is crazy about you, who designed your laugh, picked the color of your eyes, and placed you in this time and place to live an extraordinary life. It’s up to you to realize this for yourself. Those mean girls or dumb boys don’t have any right to assign your value, so don’t let anyone sway the way you view yourself. You are strong, you are beautiful, and you are so loved. This is something that will always be a constant battle, and there are going to be times that you feel that you are utterly worthless. When times like this hit, remember that the God who knitted you together died so that He could spend an eternity with you.

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As I continue to grow up in challenging times, it is wonderful to get reminders of who I am as a child of the King. There are always gonna be hard days, but during those rough times, I’m thankful to know that the One who designed me thinks of me as not only a Girl Worth Fighting For, but Dying For!

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

Psalm 139:14

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Until Next Time,

Abby

How to Survive Show Week (In Seven Easy Steps)

Ah show week: the most exciting part of the process of theatre (and also the most stressful). With adrenaline and emotions running high, it’s easy to crash and burn half way through the run of a show. That being said, I have devised a list of helpful tips to keep you on your toes and ready for each curtain rise during the week, without pulling your hair out (or wig off)

Let’s begin:

#1) SLEEP. 

It’s great! It fixes a whole lot of problems. Believe me, I love to say up late binge watching “Gotham” as much as the next kid, but sleep is really really important. It let’s your body repair and your mind to reset for the next day of performing.

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#2) Eat Healthy Food

I am notorious for snacking on junk food. Half the time, I forget to pack a lunch for the day, so I’m stuck munching on goodies from the vending machine. What I like to do is have a big bowl of pasta stocked in the fridge so that I can grab a quick meal before call time. Apples, peanut butter, and granola are also other favorites I like to have packed in my back pack so that I can grab a bite on breaks. Fruit, veggies and carbs are your friends!

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#3) Hydrate or Dydrate.  (Totally stole this from the Hesmans)

WATER WATER WATER. I am a total coffee addict, but water is so important. Last spring during Godspell, all of the disciples hid water bottles on stage so that we could grab a swig in between songs. Sometimes you have to be creative, but constantly hydrating will save you from getting super sick.

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#4) Don’t Sing All the Time

This goes out to all the musical theatre folks. Singing is great, but too much of it will kill your voice. If your director gives you the option to mark your songs during rehearsal, TAKE IT AND RUN. You’ve worked hard, you know your stuff, give yourself a break.

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#5) Have a “Comfort” at the Theater

In the company I do theatre with, we are all required to have “show boxes”, which is where all our costumes, make-up, and street clothes live while at the theater. It’s also nice to stash some sort of comfort item in your area, whether it’s a really cozy jacket, a blanket or even a stuffed animal. I am amazed by the diversity of pillow pets that I see during show week. I personally like to have my Clone Wars throw blanket with me to doze with on breaks or in between acts. No one is gonna judge; they might try to steal it though if it’s really awesome.

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#6) Get alone for at Least 5 Minutes

Even if you love people, being around 60+ people at a time can be extremely overwhelming. So whether it’s before or after a show, find time to get alone and center yourself. In the current theater we’re getting ready to perform in, I like to go to the steps by the tunnel that goes under the stage and talk to God before a show. Having a few peaceful moments can make all the difference (just make sure that someone knows that you’re having quiet time so they don’t think you went missing ;P).

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#7) Love Your Fellow Cast Members

The bond that you have with your cast will effect the entire course of your show run. If it’s not solid, it’s not gonna be a good week. You want to support the ones who are going through the story with you night after night, because they are going to be the ones to lift you up with you are struggling. Don’t be a diva, because you’re all in this together (yes, the pun was intended). Tell the person next to you that they’re doing a great job, and help that little kid make sure that they’re eye liner is straight. Little things like that can go a long way.

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All in all, show week is fantastic. You get to put on all the hard work that you’ve been pouring yourself into for weeks on end. So enjoy it! But don’t forget to take care of yourself and everyone around you 😉

Until Next Time,

Abby

Redoing Homework

I am now in full swing at school, which means homework. It’s not super terrible stuff, but my literature class takes a little bit more time than other classes have in the past. So, today, I did my homework in the office of the art lab, planning to print it out there so that I wouldn’t have to worry about it at home. Well, due to the the annoying fact that school computers are the not the most reliable machines to store homework on, when I went to the library to print it out, the file was gone. Nowhere to be found, even though I saved it three times. Needless to say, I was a little less than thrilled.

Obviously, there’s a chance that I made a mistake when I was trying to save the file, but this isn’t the first time this has happened to me at school. Also,saving files is a habit now. I’ve been doing it since elementary school. It’s been engraved into my brain for the last ten years how to save a Word document, so I don’t know how I screwed it up on the computer at my college. Due to the file running away at school, I had to come home and redo the work, which was frustrating, since I had spent an hour and a half at school getting it done the first time. It’s done and printed out, ready for my class tomorrow morning, but as I reflect on the day, I have come to some conclusions.

My day was pretty swell up until 4:30 when the fiasco with my homework happened. On Mondays and Wednesdays, I have two art classes, and it’s wonderful. I had worked on two projects that day in Design and Painting, and had gotten some really great feedback from my teachers.

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“After Paris” My line project for Design Project

Monocromatic Painting WIP

“Peach and Flower Still Life” WIP of my first oil painting

I let lost homework almost ruin my entire day. Something that took me only 30 minutes to redo almost messed up six hours of awesome studio time and meeting new people. Often times, I let little things screw up the good things that are going on in my life, and that’s something I’m working hard to fix.

Sometimes, things go wrong. It’s inevitable. But the way that we choose to handle those situations is up to us. God doesn’t ever give us anything that we can’t handle, and through the sucky times in life, He is always there to carry us through them. He cares about every part of our lives, and He wants to helps us through our trails, even if they are smaller ones, like having to redo homework. He doesn’t get mad when we get upset, in fact, those are the times when we can draw closer to Him.

So, what have I learned from today?

  1. I need to put a flash drive on my lanyard and use it all the time.
  2. I need to take my laptop with me to school to avoid the school PCs.
  3. Having to redo homework is not the end of the world (even though it really sucks)

Until next time,

Abby

Isaiah 41:10: Fear not, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you in my righteous right hand.

Tips to Having Fun at Community College

I am have a lot of friends who are starting their first year of college, and instead of going off to a four year college, they are doing community college (which is honestly probably one of the best decisions that you can make when it comes to getting gen. eds out of the way without burning a huge hole in your pocket). Since I am going into my third year at my current school, I thought I would share a few things that I have picked up during my time at community college.

Join a club. They are so much fun. You make new friends, and often times, there is free food. (I hear that Art Club is lots of
fun.)

Find out when there are events during the week. Most colleges have 3-5 activities per week, and often times, there is free food. (Are you seeing the theme?)

Do your homework. Now, this isn’t a fun activity, but by getting your homework done sooner rather than later, you will have more time to breathe and not feel like you are going to die. Also, this is a great time to eat food.

Play out on the lawn between classes. This might just be at my school, but every now and then, one of my friends will start a game of catch or hacky-sack out on the lawn in the middle of campus. These almost always lead to awesome conversations and/or everyone ending up cracking up because of how bad you all are at hacky-sack. (This is also an ideal time to eat food)

Talk to the humans around you. Seriously. Humans are the best! At college, you’re going to meet so many different kinds of people, so take advantage of this and make new friends. At community college, you will have a lot of opportunities to meet people who are older than you, and these can be the best people to have study groups with. Broaden your horizons and introduce yourself to the person sitting next to you. You might find that you have a new person to eat food with!

To all those going back to school this week, I wish you the very best of luck and I hope you have an incredible semester! Make sure that you sleep and feed yourself to keep your brain happy and ready to learn. Let me know if you have any other tips for having fun at school 🙂

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Until next time,

Abby

Being Jealous of My Main Character

I like to think that I’m a decent writer. I’ve been doing this blogging thing for a while, and I’ve dabbled in the script writing and poetry realm. But, my biggest goal as a writer is to become a published novelist. The program that has helped me work on this goal is NaNoWriMo. I’ve mentioned this program in the past, but as a quick over view, you write a 50,000 word manuscript in 30 days. That’s about 100 pages in a Word document. I tried back in April with Camp NaNoWriMo to write just 10,000 words for another project, and I utterly failed. This month though, I have hit the half way mark on my current project, which is rewriting the novel that I wrote in middle school called Drawn to Life.

While I’ve been working on the project, I’ve come to find out that my main character is someone I really want to be. In all honesty, she has a lot of the characteristics that I have, but as the story as progressed, I’ve become jealous of how my main character handles certain situations. This is making me feel slightly crazy, because I’m the one who created her. I’m the one who has made her a person who doesn’t take crap and always stands up for herself. So why am I jealous of a fictional girl of my own creation?

As a writer, I often write characters with attributes that I wish I had. For example, I once wrote a short story for a school assignment about a surfer  because surfing is something I’ve wanted to learn how to do for a long time. I love writing about superheros, because I think having some sort of super power would be extremely awesome. So, when I write a character who is assertive and sticks up for herself, it’s a wake up call for me. It’s a reminder to me that I think about being a person that does not let people walk all over her, but sometimes, I don’t put those thoughts into action.

I guess my biggest hope to get out of writing this story is that I grow as not only a writer, but as a person. I want to learn from my characters how to be stronger, which is basically learning from myself. Man, it’s really weird being a novelist.

I made a video on this topic, so check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v

If you are a fellow writer, let me know if you’ve had any of these kinds before! I’d love to know if I’m not the only crazy one ;P

Now, time for me to go back to noveling.

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Until next time,

Abby

Things I Learned While in California

I’m a Midwest girl; born and raised, I’ve lived in the middle of the USA my entire life. But recently, I went San Diego for an Improv competition and got to experience life on the West coast. I’ve always been interested in surfing, skate boarding, and just traveling in general, so getting to experience that life style for a week was incredible. Below is a list of things that I learned while spending time away from home:

1) I have to start working harder at learning different languages (mainly Spanish).

2) Becoming more coordinated would be awesome, as I desperately want to learn how to surf someday.

3) Sunscreen is EXTREMELY important, as is reapplying said sunscreen.

4) The ocean is breath-taking, and a lot colder than you would think.

5) Art can be found anywhere, even electrical covers.

6) You have to keep trying sushi to get used to it.

7)  Sand. Gets. Everywhere.

8) You can pull up to the beach with a sketchy white van and let people take pictures by it, as long as you have four exotic birds with you.

9) California has super good ice cream places.

10) There are so many opportunities on the coast for the career path that I’m pursuing, but I can’t get those opportunities without working hard at home. It’s great to have dreams, but you have to work to achieve them.

I am so thankful for the time that I got to spend in California. It was a big eye-opener, and I feel very motivated to start working even harder at refining my skills as an artist, writer, performer, and leader. I hope to head back to San Diego someday for a longer stay, but until then, I’ll be chasing my passions back home and working my tail off to be the best that I can be.

Until Next Time,

Abby

Recharging

I hate sitting still. I’m one of those super irritating people that we’re watching a movie or tv show at home, I’ll be working on a drawing or typing on my laptop or messing around on my phone. It’s often from a feeling that I have to be making progress on something, even if it’s really trivial, like finding reference pictures for a future drawing of Batman riding in a hot air balloon. I’m also one of those people who multitasks in really weird ways. For example, I learned that I can read a book while doing crunches, planks, and lifting weights. I am workout while reading, and it has made me very happy.

But over the past few days, I have been sleeping. A lot. My motivation to move has been overtaken by my body’s desire to burrow under my covers and sleep for another 30 minutes. And guess what? My world has not collapsed around me because I haven’t been as productive as I usually am.

We are made with the potential to do incredible things. I have accomplished things that couldn’t have been done while laying around on my butt all day. But, there are times that you have to rest, or you will get burned out. There’s even examples in the bible when Jesus rested. He left the crowds to go spend time to refocus and recharge while spending time with His Father (Check out Mark 6:31). Our bodies have to recharge at some point, or we won’t be able to do anything.

There are some days when my pride wants me to push myself past the breaking point, but I am slowly but surely learning that I have to take a step back every now and then chill. It’s better to do good work with a rested body than bad work on empty. It’s not a sign of weakness to get some quality rest, even when it means not working as much as you want to at the time.

Until Next Time,

Abby

Done

Hey Summer, how have you been?

It’s kind of funny that my summer has begun, cause it definitely does not feel like it’s time to break out the swimsuits and Beach Boys Albums (it’s currently storming outside my window as I type). But, nevertheless, I am done with my 4th semester of college and I only have a year left to finish my Associates Degree.

This was possibly one of the hardest semesters for me physically and emotionally. A LOT was happening during these last four months, and I am grateful that I made it through and learned some really important lessons that are going to help me succeed down the road.

1) Not everyone likes you.

Yeah, it’s a fact. Sadly, you can’t be everyone’s friend, because not everyone wants you in thier life, even though you’re awesome.

2) You can’t work with everyone in the same way. 

Some people are super easy to work with; you click right away and you work extremely well together. But then there’s other people who don’t think the same way that you do. Sometimes, you need to put your pride aside, hold your tongue and be patient. I’m still working on steps 1-3.

3) Write the paper sooner than later.

Just do your homework, Abby.

4) Math is not as hard as you think it is.

It’s actually sort of fun sometimes. Sort of.

5) Don’t speed.

You can get a ticket for doing that apparently.

6) SLEEP.

It’s the one thing that can keep you sane.

7) Don’t say ‘yes’ to everything. 

Even it’s for a really good cause. Sometimes, you need to step back and let other people fix their problems. And other times, you need to say “no” to really fun things, and even though it really sucks, it is not the end of the world.

8) Alone time is great. 

Going to Olive Garden by yourself is awesome.

9) People change. 

Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. Just love people where they’re at, but always remember #1.

10) Hard work pays off. 

Though it can take a lot of sweat and tears, your hard work will eventually pay off, even if it’s not in the ways that you think it will.

I am so thankful for this new found free time. I am hoping to be blogging more over the next few months! To those of you who are getting ready to graduate or are finishing up finals, best of luck to you! You got this 😀

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Until next time,

Abby