Sunday, March 17, 2019

Challenge Update

March 17, 2019 Sunday

OK...I cannot do it anymore. As you might have guessed from my last posting for Day 13, it was the beginning of my unlucky days of exhaustion from sitting in front of a computer working on tiny cells of numbers and letters in a spreadsheet of rows and rows and rows and rows of information (aka ‘data’). By the time I finished that project (Tuesday, March 12, 2019), I was convinced that I had no creative energy left in me AND that I still had a lot of analysis work to do on the dataset I’d just ‘cleaned’ for analysis. Mind you, I don’t mind working with data for analysis purposes. It’s part of my job-for-pay. But I usually take my weekends and parts of every weekday IN MY STUDIO!! and I had not done that for what felt like too long. I should not have been afraid that it was gone but yesterday was the first time back and here is what turned out was also on my mind...

SNOW still on the ground and early sign of spring.
This first one (above) is watercolor and gaouch on a small piece of paper...just playing around with the colors of snow.  

This one is a revision of a painting I’ve been working on since before the data cleaning project. I covered the whole thing with white paint (acrylic) and scrubbed and scrapped it back to reveal the colors underneath. Stepping back, I saw that I was still in the grip of SNOW but the signs of spring were showing through. Hopeful and subtly bright signs. 

I’ll keep working on this visual essay on spring but the 100-Day Challenge is DONE!!! I don’t feel that I failed; I just needed to take my creativity back into painting. Thanks for checking in.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Challenge Day 13

February 28, 2019 Thursday

This is an odd posting because it is a screen shot of a tiny section of a data project I am working on for my job. It has consumed me over the last week and shows sign of continuing for at least another week if not longer. How does it relate to this challenge??

Process and reflection: You have to stretch your thinking about this project’s qualifications for the challenge theme “A Stitch in Time”. I had to do that when I felt resentment creeping in because the project is taking me longer than I anticipated. 
The work goal is, basically, to merge any duplicated entry for a single person in an alphabetical list of several thousand individuals so that the final list shows all activities engaged in since 2015 in one line of ‘code’ for each person. I visually scan the list, row by row (no, I could not find a consistent pattern in my trial work to create an automated procedure), until I find duplicate/multiple lines for a unique individual that I often must verify by looking at all the entries, that the entries belong to one person not two or more with the same name. I must transpose information from ‘extra’ lines of information my merging - I’m calling it ‘stitching’! - the ‘timed’ activity entries made for that individual that are recorded for activities between January 1, 2015 through January 31, 2019. All yellow highlighted lines in the art photo above are the results of stitching multiple lines; lines not highlighted had only one entry. I delete the extraneously lines for those with multiple entries after I verify that all of the additional information is stitched into the one line.
The resulting data set will be used for several purposes: (1) a complete historical record of individuals and their activities engaged in within a nationally-funded program that has provided services, resource, training, mentoring, etc. over the period noted above; (2) a list of individuals and their email addresses that allow evaluation follow-up to learn whether the program services made a difference in advancing the participants’ scientific careers for a diverse target audience; (3) an analysis dataset for examining the statical descriptions of those who participated and correlates that information with other data collected about their scientific output (discoveries, funding success, publications of their work, etc) to determine whether the program services gave them an advantage over others who did not receive the services. 

So...the project is worthy and will be valuable when I complete it. It hasn’t felt ‘artistic’ in the least ... until I started picturing it in my mind as a stitching process related to a specific period of time. Whew! I told you you’d have to stretch your thinking about this challenge. 

I promise I won’t bring my for-pay work into this blog again.