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largepostitpobservationsThe process log is simply a blog for documenting the process, support and insights of your visual thinking work. The log provides a venue for you to reflect on what you make in order to consider relevance and meaning for your work. Ideally through the process log you can see specific work in the context of your larger learning. In a class log, observe specific projects within the whole of the class. In multiple class logs over time, see your semester in the context of a year of learning, or the year within the four-year experience, etc. Learning and meaning emerge through reflecting on the specific experience. The process log is meant to create a mechanism for forming a habit of documenting and reflection.

The log can provide you with references and benchmarks to make visible patterns of interest that you might not otherwise notice.  These patterns can lend insight for making sophisticated choices for further study, or simply provide a vehicle for getting to know yourself better: what you like to study, what approaches you seem to prefer, and what doesn’t work for you.

Use it as a repository for annotated research (a live bibliography), and for a reference “image bank” illustrating your increasing skills. Use it to review world-wide images with live links for accessibility, annotation and to provide paths to follow for further discovery. Post as often as you like but regularly enough so that it becomes a habit. Observe the time of day/week that are most efficient and effective for you to stimulate your learning. When are you most engaged? When is the best time for you for reflective writing and thinking?

How To Begin:
Any blog software will work. This blog is created in WordPress which is flexible and versatile and provides good support. It’s also free of charge at the basic level. But any blog software will work–as long as viewers can directly comment (important: please ensure that commenting does not require any kind of password or image word translating—I have found that that inhibits free comments from your peers because it is too much trouble). You are welcome to set privacy settings so that only your classmates and instructors can see your p-log if you would rather not yet go “world-wide”. www.wordpress.com will help you get started. Google’s Blogger is an excellent choice as well, and may work more seamlessly with course content. Lynda.com offers tutorials for you with tips on blogging and various softwares. Using tags and categories will make for more efficient and meaningful resource mining as you expand your site.

Post daily. Use your images and screen shots of where you are in your work (this is a great way to show your work as it changes, especially as you work in PhotoShop and make significant changes to the iamge). Try to make sure images are in focus and position yourself so that the subject you are shooting is uncluttered. For examples and further reading see Links under P-Log hall of fame to the left of this post, and read Bees, Being and Blogging, a post inspired by the June 2012 Summer Visual Thinking course. You can see a more general discussion on the process log on the “about” tab in this blog.

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Carolines “mess”: In class exercise 1

The point of my request for you to make a mess on this drawing is to deflect you from trying to create a precious and perfect artwork. The truth is, there is work and mess that goes into art. The particulars of the mess are what makes the drawing interesting! Like when you tell me gossip, I want to hear all the details, not just the end facts. The precious and perfect part comes at the very end in the PRESENTation the work. If you don’t divorce these two categories: making and presenting, you bind yourself with judging a work that hasn’t had a chance to develop. My intention is to free you from the constraints of preconceptions about how to make a “good” picture. (Never “should” on yourself, as my brother’s acting teacher said) In fact, remove the idea of having to be “good”  altogether. It doesn’t help you take the risks you need to take to learn, and it will ensure bad (or at least dull) work. I was interested that instructions to “make a mess” made some of you happy and comfortable and others  very uncomfortable! Which side do you fall on? Caroline made a beautiful drawing (above), but she doesn’t recognize it, and doesn’t want to own it! The line work and power of how authentically and accurately she engaged the act of observation brings the marks on this page to life. The integrity of the marks make this rewarding for me to look at. In her reflection

my perfectionism got the best of me and I was unable to complete half of the assignment. (from Caroline’s blog)

In my mind, this is a finished work, and very much a complete assignment! The “unfinished”-ness of the object cause me to focus on the mark-making (and not the chair) as the central “figure”  of the drawing. The marks do not disappoint–rigorous, and self confident, they stand on the page as a mysterious pointer that begs questions of the viewer instead of giving an answer.

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