Driven to Abstraction Part II

The thing about chaos, is that while it disturbs us, it too, forces our hearts to roar in a way we secretly find magnificent.

Christopher Poindexter

Diary entries

After the workshop at the Providence Art Club on Diving into Abstraction with Karen Rand-Anderson, I started a new sketchbook. These early entries were done while listening to podcasts and/or just letting the mind go. It may not be great art, but it is certainly a great meditation practice!

The Fine Art of Chaos

In an age of global instability, the threat of chaos looms. Chaos and Awe demonstrates the aptness and relevance of painting as a medium for expressing the uncertainty of our era.

Edited by Mark W. Scala
Essays by Media Farzin, Simon Morley and Matthew Ritchie

I would be remiss if I didn’t include in this post the recent publication from MIT Press “Chaos and Awe”. This catalogue of the major exhibition at the Frist Center for the Visual arts in Nashville represents a dialogue that has haunted me as a visual artist. Is painting dead? How do I create amidst the chaos and alienation of this world? This opens the door to seeing the deep existential necessity of expanding our “perceptions of knowledge, intuition and spirituality”. I highly recommend reading and perusing the beautiful images in this book as it explores painting as a relevant means of expression and cathartic experience in extreme times.

Code and Chaos

I discovered another aspect of chaos and abstraction while learning code. So much that is beyond me draws me in just the same. I remember the first time I discovered generative art and thought how can I do that? The basics are as follows from medium on generative art:

  • Randomness is crucial for creating generative art. The art should be different each time you run the generation script, so randomness is usually a large part of that.
  • Algorithms — Implementing an algorithm visually can often generate awesome art, for example, the binary tree above.
  • Geometry — Most generative art incorporates shapes, and the math from high school geometry class can aid in some really cool effects.

SVG Animation

We are biologically trained to notice motion: evolutionarily speaking, our survival depends on it

Sarah Drasner
SVG Animations by Sarah Drasner

This book was the next step for me to dive deeper into the possibilities of abstraction and animation. Vector art saved as an SVG opened the doors to my first animated logo!

I continue to research the link between chaos and art as it influences my work. There are so many links to share on this topic here’s just a few:

https://jasonwebb.io/2018/01/superformulasvg-a-vector-based-2d-line-art-generator-for-web/

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/lucy-mcrae-art-innovation-healthcare

Try creating generative art yourself! click http://color-wander.surge.sh

Abstraction Rocks!

Abstraction: Handcuff in Sterling Silver

Driven to Abstraction Diary

Part One: the ’80’s, 90’s, 2000’s

Wow, that’s a long time! I’ll make it brief

“Sunset I” airbrush – not photoshop 🙂 on paper 1980’s

Abstract drawings to limber up for lost wax casting

Renderings as a Jewelry Designer for Precious Metal Manufacturer

Earrings and Pendants in 18k gold with diamond pave painted in gouache on paper.  1999

Fabricated Metals and lost wax castings – 2000 to 2017

Diving into Abstraction again . . .

In 2017, I had the pleasure of taking a workshop at the Providence Art Club with painter Karen Rand-Anderson titled “Diving into Abstraction”.  Eyes closed drawings were part of the direct response to the media and paper close at hand. It reminded me of the sketches I did a long time ago when learning model making.  Seemed like a full circle back to this class and I was very grateful for the trip!

abstract mixed media
“FIRE” mixed media on paper
One of the first exercises I did in Karen’s class.

Part two follows with more about the role of abstraction in fine art, design and technology where 3D software and animation is an essential tool as a graphic artist and chaos is happening with JavaScript!

Back to freeCodeCamp

It’s been two years since I finished the front end web development certification from freeCodeCamp, and recently took a look at what’s happening in the curriculum.  There is so much more to access for free on this massive open online course (MOOC /mk/).  I was immediately hooked and started submitting my solutions to challenges in new updates in CSS (Flexbox, Grid, Web Design Projects) and Javascript (ES6, Debugging, Basic Data Structures, Functional Programing).

Back in my 2016 blog post for web development, I mentioned data visualization courses coming soon such as React and SASS which are now available along with React and Redux.  There are certifications in Apis and Microservices, Information Security and Quality Assurance.  Also, visit the news page which offers numerous tutorials from Intro to Game Development in Javascript to Maths for Programmers.  AND IT’S ALL FREE!

There is so much more to say but for now checkout freecodecamp today while they are  “launching the 2018 New Coder Survey - an anonymous survey of thousands of people who started coding less than 5 years ago. You can take the survey here”.

Happy Coding!

See the Pen Gust of Wind Animate by Lori Labrie (@llabrie) on CodePen.

https://static.codepen.io/assets/embed/ei.js


Front End Development

I have just successfully completed FreeCodeCamp’s Front End Development Program as of October 19, 2016!  You can visit my profile at  https://www.freecodecamp.com/llabrie   to view projects and challenges.  I have to give credit to all the you tube videos and Coding Tutorials 360 given by Dylan Israel that included a lot of jQuery and JavaScript training.  It was very enlightening!

I always look forward to Quincy Larson’s emails keeping me up to date and informed.   Quincy started up an open source community called Free Code Camp back in 2014.  I have included a link to his posts on Medium here.

So what’s next on freeCodeCamp? Really looking forward to the data visualization challenges coming soon including Sass and React!  Always Be Ccoding!

Code newbie

Journey to Code header copy
The start…

We all have to start somewhere. My journey to code began when I found myself freelancing again after 20 years working as a fulltime designer for a manufacturer of giftware and jewelry. No matter how much I knew I was a victim of burn out and needed a change the uncertainty left me with an even greater feeling of “ubiquitous nervousness” to quote a zen master.

The first book I read regarding code was HTML&CSS by Jon Duckett. I never expected to enjoy this book as much as I have, and still holds up as great reference material. It’s really beautifully laid out and easy to read.  I have practiced with many online tutorials and worked with templates using Dreamweaver and Bootstrap and most recently became a participant in Tech Force RI.  I soon went onto receive certification in HTML5 and CSS3  New and Advanced Features.  I joined meet-ups to become part of the community of coders and from there joined FreeCodeCamp.

Part of the challenge in studying Front-End Web Development in FreeCodeCamp is to create projects which I write and design using the CodePen text editor.  So far I have created a tribute page to Chogyäm Trungpa, a portfolio site with thumbnail placeholder images, and a random quote machine. I hope to develop a strong portfolio of work during my current study of JavaScript. Patience is everything!