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georgia journey

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Kadamaian Stream Toad

This is a rendering of the 'Near Threatened' Kadamaian Stream Toad.The resource was taken from ARKive.

This is another project from school. The parameters were as follows: On illustration board Use Watercolor Use Colored Pencil Blend the colored pencil over the watercolor with some sort of solvent. Render with perfect precision without success (this part I made up for effect)

I like how it turned out mostly. For the duration of the project I was freaking out about how bad it was, which it still is, but there was no need to fret as I did. I overreact very well. The toad himself is absolutely dashing- a specimen of pure delight. The leaves on the other hand are almost as if someone took a crayon to the board.

Also, I should mention, the composition is a bust, which no one-not even my professor- had mentioned to me before hand. Jay loves to critique, but the most I get out of him is, 'Yeah, sounds good, just work on it and it should be fine.' That's what he says, then my grade comes around, and that's a story in and of itself. There is also a component of my openness to critique. This goes back to a revelation I had in grade school.

I had very few friends before my junior and senior years, and I always wondered what it was about me that was so different. Without too much consideration I could name many several things that set me apart from my peers. Still, my wonder lingered, until it hit me. After I realized that there were people who were willing to be my friends, and that they truly did accept me as a person, my stand-off-ishness was queerly apparent.

Teasing was never a part of my daily experience, but neither was friendship, and that confused me to no end. Finally it had come to me, the reason wasn't my difference, it was my seeming arrogance. I didn't talk to people, so they didn't know how to talk to me- part of that is an awful social awkwardness that has slowly been dying.

So here is to the Kadamaian Stream Toad- the metaphor to my 'near threatened' social awkwardness. Hopefully, the soon extinct social awkwardness, but perhaps it would be best to have a resurrection of the Toad, and to see the beauty in what it is.

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My Poker Face...

Here is the first real art piece of my SCAD career, if school could be considered a career. Unfortunately my grade on this project was a lousy B. I think that is due to the pen illustration not having a full range of blacks and whites. Jay, my professor, is a great guy but sometimes he doesn't really let you know what he wants from an assignment unless you have a deep discussion with him about every move you make. That being said, I had to miss a couple classes due to unfortunate things, and was unable to speak with him about the whole process.

Though the grade is unfortunate, the artwork is awesome.

Click on the images to enjoy even more...I guess.

Poker Face 1- Prisma Color Black and White, Verithin Black and White. 8"x6"

Poker Face 2- Micron Pen, Old Old India Ink. 8"x6"

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A Dreadful Thing...

My chronicle of the night I lost a brother.In descriptive essay form...

 

A Dreadful Thing

I was at work, starving for water- the saliva in my mouth was like mush. It could have been that I hadn’t eaten anything all day. The only thing that satisfied was a fervent surrender to the needs of my thirst. I pursed my lips to the straw and sucked and gulped and nearly drown myself.

Work was work in spite of my thirst, and this night I cared little about the amount of time I spent spraying the remnants of dinner off every plate, or the fighting of stubborn crumbs from bowls and saucers. This was just another night.

It ended and I looked at my phone. It is a rare night for me to check calls or texts during work (unless I feel particularly daring), and there I saw two missed calls and a new voicemail.

It was my roommate Andrew’s number and I snickered to myself, with a twinge of annoyance, ‘Oh Andrew, what does he want now?’

So I dialed my voicemail, in the slothful pattern of the night, utilizing a systematic listening-to and deleting-of previous voicemails that had yet to be attended. After several minutes of reviewing the fascinating, and even entertaining recordings, I came upon the newest one, presumably from Andrew. The moment was confusing when the voice I heard belonged to Melanie, Andrew’s fiancé, which quickly shifted to disturbing when her voice was trembling in fear.

“Matt,” she quivered, “I need you to come quickly, Andrew fainted and we are headed to the hospital.” That was more than 2 hours earlier.

After speaking with Mel by phone I wandered to the emergency room that sat right behind my and Andrew’s apartment. The night still dragged on, more in agony now than the earlier lethargy of work.

There were several people in front of me who were speaking with the attendant at the desk. One lady sat plump in her wheel chair with a bag of ice over her eye. She stated that she was there for a migraine. Within me welled a spurt of laughter, ‘A migraine!’ Of course that thought stayed in my head. Another man, in my cynical view, was taking advantage of the services of the emergency room. He purported to have ‘fallen’ in the parking lot and hurt his leg- his street-worn clothes grew the bias in my mind.

At long last the lady at the desk asked me, and the gentleman next to me, why we had made the trek to the emergency room? I informed the small and soft-spoken woman that I was there to see my friend, Andrew Millette.

A different lady, younger yet similar in height and similar in tone of voice, showed me to a room just around the corner. Her words expounded on the mounting confusion, “Right over here is for the friends and family.” The door was opened enough for me to peer in the quaint room before entering. Inside I found a slouched and distraught Melanie. She was sitting on a couch to the right, and a large, strange man was holding her hand. Why is there a room for friends and family? Where was Andrew? Who is this guy? These were the thoughts that clouded my mind in the few precious seconds before Melanie informed me, through the whimpering and crying, that Andrew had passed on.

Immediately, as an instinct to the moment, I placed myself beside Mel and threw my arms around her. She kept sobbing that she was sorry. If I had had any semblance of sympathy I would have made known that I was sorry, that she hadn’t need to apologize. As it was, though, I was speechless. My words were stolen from my tongue. My throat knew nothing of speech, only silence, and that was the tune I played the entire night.

The man across from Melanie was the hospital chaplain. I am unaware how long he had been comforting Melanie. Barbara, Andrew’s aunt appeared in the room after a while, she had already begun the general’s task of arranging and organizing the details of the night as Mel and Andrew’s parents’ were flying in from out of state. After some time had passed Leah, Andrew’s cousin and Barbara’s daughter, arrived. She, like me, was unaware of what had happened until she arrived. There was no holding the reins on her sorrow.

Several hospital employees had filtered in and out through the night- one had blue scrubs on, another wore a nice picot and slacks. The man with the picot serenely introduced us to a tray of assorted drinks, mostly water. It is a funny thing that I was no longer in need of water. My mouth wasn’t mush anymore. Once they informed us that we had a short stint of time in which to view Andrew’s body, if we so desired. None of us went to see him. I wanted to.

I did cry some, mostly when Mel had been wailing. My heart was grieving in unison with Melanie. Her pain was bare and naked. It was honest and raw, and I couldn’t be witness to it without being affected as well. The next couple days were less riveting. I did not stop and cry with the force of a hurricane, or get lost in memories. I simply lived life as normal, even sitting in the lonely apartment felt normal, mostly.

I did not know the pain of loss before that night, and I am still attempting to understand it now, only days after my dear brother’s death. Death is a dreadful thing postponed.  It is final, but it keeps me waiting for the moment when I realize my heart has been rend from my chest and filled with the hollows of lost time. It has already flooded my mind and pounded my heart, but is waiting for my eyes to collapse like levies that are ill prepared for the torrents of the storm.

Maybe if I had gone to see his cold body I wouldn’t have this postponed pain. I wonder if it would have stopped my imagination from creating illusions of him. Then again, maybe it is better this way.

I’m reminded of the time when my van was stolen. Andrew didn’t speak he simply moved toward me and hugged me. At the time the hug wasn’t warm and welcome, it was cold and awkward and I did not understand, but now I know. He was looking beyond life and death, into eternity, and saw that I needed a hug.

 

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Andrew Millette...

  Click here, or on this picture to view Andrew's obituary and guestbook where you can share experiences and condolences.

 

Andrew Millette was my roommate, my friend, and my brother. When I moved to Atlanta in January of 2010 he took me in. I was living in a house in home park with four other guys, but Andrew gave me a place with heating and an adequate bathroom.

We spent most of the first few months plunking on the ground with our ice-cream filled bowls, and marathoning MASH.

We talked about church, and community, and girls, and failures, and love, and wisdom, and relativism, and soccer, and politics, and we prayed.

He is still my example of how to live in the world, to love people, to give humbly and graciously, and to love life.

Death is a dreadful thing postponed.  It is final, but it keeps me waiting for the moment when I realize my heart has been rend from my chest and filled with the hollows of lost time. It has already flooded my mind and pounded my heart, but is waiting for my eyes to succumb to the torrents of the storm.

A dear brother is gone, and missed. I love you Andrew.

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I’m reminded of the time when my van was stolen. Andrew didn’t speak he simply moved toward me and hugged me. At the time the hug wasn’t warm and welcome, it was cold and awkward and I didn't understand, but now I know. He was looking beyond life and death, into eternity, and saw that I needed a hug.

Also, he ate really really loudly, and I never told him how much that made me want to put a stake through my skull, and I'm glad I didn't.

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I'm not just Me- I'm You

I am an Individual.I am Matt. I am Matthew [Adam] Miller.

I dress a peculiar way-

My personality is my own (full of awkward anticipation)-

and my hair is me.

But I resign my individuality. I am a collaborator. I am a part of a community. I have a purpose, but it is not simply my own.

To dream my own dreams is to live in my own lonely world. To dream with people is to participate in the restoration of the world- corporeally and incorporeally.

I am not just me...I am you.

 

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The Golf Course...

The Golf Course behind the apartments here at Colonial Homes have been a constant and consistent place of awe. The way the sky plays with the tops of the trees, the subtle color in the faithful leaves, and the amazing textures in the earth form an Eden of visual pleasure. Not lying, every time I drive by there I fall in love again.

It's a love that is predicated on the beauty of the view, but a love that I cherish as it continues to resurrect itself.

So Saturday- 6 days after the 'snow storm'- I went out to soak in the beauty, and to capture, in as much as is possible, the glory of the view.

It was a chilly afternoon, but the sun was perfect, and the trees were begging for me to join them and bask in warmth of the light.

As I was 'snapping' away, this vantage point of the golf course was new and intimate. I had always given the trees in the center all of my attention. They were, to me, the epitome of the beauty in this place, and then I saw these trees, in this space, singing a song I hadn't yet heard.

If I had left before capturing the immaculate texture of the earth, I would have walked away empty. Immaculate in the sense that in all of the darks and lights, and lines and shapes, and the crazy randomness, everything worked together in a perfect collaboration of beauty.

As I walked back to the house I laughed. On the one side of the street there was ice everywhere, as if the snow storm had come in the night before, and on the other side was green grass and warm reflected light. I laughed.

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Watercolor Booklet...

So I have this idea. I want to illustrate worship (obviously it is not an original idea, but hey...). I want to see how people worship this power in the universe we call God. I want to experience a different face of humility-

A different face of beauty-

A different side of God.

So I am doing just that. I am going to be attending services at church's all around Atlanta and illustrating in watercolor (at least watercolor for now) the way the people worship.

And, just for the occasion[s] I made, and bound, this watercolor booklet.

My friend Ruth and I have been in a booklet making frenzy lately, and it just so happens to have coincided with my new found interest.

The laces tie it shut!

The front cover flips all the way around-i.e. stays out of my way

Thank you for helping me figure this out Ruth.

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Homeless not Hopeless (thankful)

I saw man after work one day. He was standing in the median on Buford Highway. I am one to see what's on the surface of things, to notice the homeless and have my heart broken. I have a friend who looks at things beyond the conventional, let's say easy, initial thoughts.

There are so many people who are hopeless in the world. There is a lack of hope. Can I say this another way, perhaps we can look at it in this light, there is a lack of hope in the air. I said the same thing three times, 'hope'fully my point is coming across.

I see the homeless, and I think hopeless.

 

I stopped my car that night, it was raining. I had some left-over pizza from work that I was bringing home, but the man's sign asked for food.

I gave him my bag of pizza, and what happened is he took my hand, looked me in the eyes, and simply said, 'thank you.' I was filled with hope, this man was full of hope.

 

Let's approach this again. I see the homeless, and I think hopeless. I see my classmates, and I see hope for the future (i.e. a job, a family, etc.)

But I fail to take their hands, look them in the eyes, and get to know them.

I hope for hope in the hearts of everyone I meet. I hope that hope can well up in me, and overflow to those around me. I hope, for the hope of glory found in the freedom of Grace in the ghost who walks on water.

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The Card...

It took me a while to actually decide to do this. Then it took me a while to get the design done. Now it's taking me a while to get it printed, but that's alright. The process is allowing me time to know that I truly do want and feel the need for this. It's my business card! woohoo. Now I guess this means that I am legit...hopefully...maybe...

Anyway, the time has come for me to advertise myself as a source of illustrative talents.

Business Card

 

Above is the final product (still under construction, but ready for the initial invasion).

Below is some of the progression to this point.

Matt(art)

Matt(art)

 

Business Card initial design

Business Card turned to the beginning of perfection

 

Business Card... now with text

 

 

Business Card... the almost final step before the end

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