Friday, February 26, 2010

The right foot forward

A terminology word search led me into the multi-syllable world of foot structure this morning. Why? Because someone I know kept referring to the top middle section of the foot as "the instep." That just didn't seem right to me. I always thought the arch and the instep were synonymous in referring to the bottom central portion of the foot.

It seems that I was right and wrong. The instep is generally considered to the the bottom, inside, curved portion of the foot. But I have not yet found a satisfactory term for the top middle portion of the foot. "Midfoot" and the ever-obvious "top of the foot" (as opposed to "the toes", I suppose) seemed to the the simplest terms I could find the for area above the 5 metatarsal bones.

As a writer, I like to have the right word in the right spot. (Of course, writing or not, I just like to be right. But you might have guessed that already, right?) As an artist, I found a couple good resources for those interested in drawing feet, or understanding them from a visual accuracy perspective.

The first is The Foot Thread on WetCanvas, where a series of studies and exercises lead you through different and relevant portions of the foot. It's fascinating even if you don't plan to draw detailed feet.

The second is a Wikipedia article which may drown you in Latin, but has some great illustrations of the various muscle groups that influence the foot and lower leg. What a mechanical marvel!

So have a look and then step out and put your best foot forward.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Packing for literacy learning

I'm just packing to get ready to go to the 20th Western IRA Regional Conference in Portland. While I'm there with a friend as a vendor, the beauty of going with a friend is that we can still take in some of the sessions on literacy education. If you want to check it out, see the details here.

I'm hoping to come back with lots of news!

What are your don't-miss events for this year?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Stage works

I promised a little while ago to put up some pictures of the Christmas drama/musical set I'd been part of and it's finally time.

It turned out great! I was responsible for set design/assembly and helped again with costumes (so cool - we had a lady supply us many authentic vintage items for the costumes!) Each of the panel sections in the center were mobile and would swing forward to be an 1850s market place or a dock scene (complete with a stuffed boar's head outside the pub!), or they flipped to show orphanage walls on the back side. Our builder was amazing! I gave him two pencil sketches and a brochure from West Ed Mall and he turned it into magic! Including a twenty+ foot mast (he cut down a tree!). Of course, no 1850s London docks scene would be complete without a fogger. And did I mention the snow machine?

It was four performances of original music, an original new script and fabulous costumes.

As I mentioned before, I would really encourage writers and artists to get their toes into a dramatic production if the chance ever arises. It really produces a living, dynamic event that teaches much in the process and rewards greatly in the finished product.

At the end, it was bittersweet to take it all down. But it also left the question that faces every author, artist, songwriter or playwright - what'll we do next to top this?

I'll have to keep you posted.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A new exhibit

Along with some of my artwork (and that of a lot of other talented people), the exhibit will also feature the award-winning Homemade Confections, and ForGiving handcrafted jewelry. Feel free to stop in and check it out!