A New Appreciation for Frank Lloyd Wright

 

Frank Lloyd Wright

Fallingwater House by Frank Lloyd Wright

For those of you who don’t know, I’m taking online courses from Southern New Hampshire University to get a degree in Communications. I’ve been going for many years and I’ve been through various ups and downs, but I’ve managed to maintain my A average. Well, this last term that ended last week had me worried that I might actually fail a course. The course was a fine arts course called Modernism and the first week’s assignments had me very confused and I was struggling with the ideas of modernism and art history. I received low grades the first week and I was disheartened.

I shared my struggles with my close circle of friends and they all insisted that I’d pass just fine and probably with flying colors. I appreciated the support, but I didn’t entirely believe them. As is true often in my life though, I was underestimating myself and sure enough, the class soon clicked for me and I took my grade from a C to an A. I was soon receiving perfect grades every week and I was impressed by how my brain was actually learning new things.

What made me the most happy was working on my final project. We had to do a Modernism exhibition and I chose to focus on Frank Lloyd Wright because I’d always loved his architecture. I found so much interesting information on him that I could’ve written a book, but I limited my exhibition to just under 20 slides. I’m so proud of my accomplishment in the course and of my work on the project that I’m now sharing it with you (with SNHU’s permission of course). I hope you enjoy it!

Frank Lloyd Wright

 

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Rendering Dreams into Reality

A partially rendered city from one of my fantasy books.

A partially rendered city from one of my fantasy books.

I’ve been writing fantasy stories since the age of 12. I started after reading A Spell for Chameleon by Piers Anthony. I found the idea of creating anything I wanted through my words extremely appealing! It was also a great escape from the trials and tribulations of my tween and teen years.

My beloved English teacher, Derek Hulse, read some of my fantasy work and one of the big things he told me I needed to work on was my scene descriptions. What I saw so vividly in my mind wasn’t coming across in my words and while that was disheartening to me, I knew I could improve! Derek always believed in me and with his help, I developed into a far better writer.

Through the years of writing about my fantasy world of Aindar, I created over 10 books that spanned multiple generations of my favorite characters. As the time passed and I tried to recall certain events and scenes from the past, my memory faltered and describing areas in a way accurate to times gone by became a challenge. I drew places out in sketchbooks such as houses, castles and outdoor scenes but I’m not a good enough artist to quickly, easily and realistically flesh out those scenes with pencil and paper. That’s when I decided to investigate 3D rendering programs.

This was back in the days of Windows 95, long before I had children. I came across a highly recommended program called Punch! Home Design and I bought it. It came with a thick book of instructions and helpful tips and for the first few weeks of using the program, that handbook was my best friend. Eventually I began figuring things out on my own and everything from then on has been self-taught through trial and error.

harn midshire deya layout

The floorplan for a room in one of my fantasy castles

harn sitting rm1

A 3D view of one of the chambers of that castle room. I created the wall torches by modifying one of the program’s wall sconces.

I’ve continued to upgrade the program through the years and it’s still a very solid and easy to use 3D rendering program for my needs. When my Dell laptop was thoroughly killed by a random virus two years ago, I stopped creating houses. I kept meaning to install the program on my new Toshiba laptop but kept being sidetracked by life, the universe and everything.

Earlier this month I finally put the program on my laptop and then upgraded to the newest version. It’s lovely how quickly my Toshiba renders the 3D images! On my old laptop, it took forever and it sounded like the poor thing was going to expire. I’ve been refreshing my memory on the ins and outs of the program as I work on a sample room for my New England dream house.

A start to the living room of my New England dream home.

A start to the living room of my New England dream home.

One of my favorite parts is tweaking the size, shape, color and material of the furnishings in the room. I’ve created several original 3D objects from scratch for castle scenes in my fantasy books. I’m a bit rusty in that area but I’m sure it will come back to me as I work more with it. Nothing compares to having the ability to walk right through the room I’m writing about in order to get all the details just right. Overall, I’m having a fun time rendering things I see in my dream and imagination into the reality of a 3D computer model.

An outdoor scene I created for a fantasy story.

An outdoor scene I created for a fantasy story.

Queen of the King Size Bed – Part 2

Saying I am Queen of the king size bed is all well and good but I thought I’d show it as well. I’ve worked hard for everything I have and endured my share of ups and downs but I am stronger because of it. I workout daily by walking my dog, playing Dance Central or doing P90x2 and while I am not a hardbody by any means, I am pleased with my shape. There is something to be said for a woman with curves and that something is that she is beautiful. I am beautiful. My beauty comes from within and my physical form is just the vessel for it. I have self-image issues just like every other woman in the world but most days I’m pretty content with how I look and who I am.

As a ghost writer, I blog daily about interior design and it keeps me so busy I don’t have the time to focus on my own interior design. I made time for it recently and purchased a new floral quilt for my bed and leaf print sheets to replace the dark red comforter and sheets I’ve used all winter. Though Spring has disappeared for the moment, I felt it necessary to create light and cheer in my bedroom. I so often write in my freelance blogs that the bedroom is a sanctuary and I truly believe that. I always find peace when I sit or lay upon my bed and when I close my eyes I am quickly lost in the dreams of my vivid imagination.

On weekend mornings my large bed is covered with open magazines and books as I research the topics I write about and scribble furiously in my spiral notebook. Those notes are later typed into an Excel spreadsheet as I create what I call my “interior design cheat sheet.” I am loving every moment of learning about interior design, decorating and architecture. My mind is a sponge and I’m trying to soak up as much knowledge as possible so it translates properly when I write. Printed books are amazing tools and digital media will never replace them in my world. Folding down pages and highlighting sentences is such a rewardingly tangible experience!

Perhaps what I do on my oversize bed is not as exciting as some people might have imagined but that doesn’t concern me. I am a responsible woman and my life might sound boring to some but to me it is fulfilling, gratifying and a true gift.