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Geneva Varga

∆ The documentation of my life work as an artist & naturalist ∆

Self Potrait – September 2017

For the year 2017, I spent my 15th birthday in Liverpool, England. However, the day before we were driving a rental car through the countryside with our destination being Liverpool. During the drive, I drew on my IPad to entertain myself. By the end of the drive I had completed a self potrait of myself in a simple cartoon style. I really like the style that this drawing ended up being and I want to try doing more of this style. 

In the future, I plan on making it a tradition that every year during my birthday I draw a self potrait. This will be helpful in seeing my improvement on my art journey, yet I will also be able to see how my style of clothing and hair changes through the years. 

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Octopus Design – October 2017

When fooling around in one of our Biology lectures, one of my friends drew a squiggly line. It wasn’t meant to be particularly anything, but while looking at the line I got an idea from it. As such, I started adding to the small doodle, slowing adding details until it became the octopus that is now. Currently, the octopus design is residing in my notebook. Since I grew to like the design so much, I took a picture of the sketch and drew over it on my IPad; forever digitalizing the image. I imagine that this design might be similar to one someone might choose if they were desiring an octopus tattoo, without too much detail and more zentangle elements.   

Loki – October 2017 

As I draw my original characters more and more, I have begun to get a more solid picture of my characters appearance and their personality. Loki is the type of guy to come off as being too extroverted and optimistic about everything. He is down to do anything and nothing seems to frightened him. I think in a way, I have based him off of my more reckless, adventurous self. Loki is the complete opposite of Khaos. It’s rather cliche, but they’re the sun and moon, earth and sky to each other. 

Journal Excerpt – London 2017

Throughout my family’s recent holiday to the British Isles, I kept a travel journal. I wrote in the journal everyday about what we had seen, how I had felt, and my thoughts at seeing some truly beautiful places with a rich history. In total counting all of my entries from the entire trip, I wrote filled 51 pages in the journal. This is just one of them from my journal of a day when we were visiting London, England.

• 6 September 2017 •

• Lamborghini Shop • Bater St. Underground • King’s Cross Station & Platform 9 3/4 • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Part 1 & 2 • Twinings Tea Shop • 

Unfortunately, when I woke up today I had a horrible sore throat and a stuffy nose. However, I wouldn’t let that put me down. After a simple breakfast, we went to the Lamborghini Shop for Jeff [my younger brother], who had been begging for days to go. I will admit that the cars were no half-bad, yet I find it unlikely that I will ever buy a car from Lamborghini. We then went back to Baker Street to get the a photo of me next to the underground sign. As the other day Dad failed to get the entire sign in the photo, having cut of the B in Baker.

Finally, we were able to make our way to King’s Cross Station after a couple of detours. I thought ahead when packing and had broughtt my wan that I got from Ollivander’s when we went to Universal Studios. The people in charge of the props and taking photos of Platform 9 3/4 were suprised to see I had brought my own. In the end, I left the shop at Platform 9 3/4 having bought a hoard of things: Slytherin jumper, scarf, and pin badge along with a marauders map t-shirt, an acceptance letter, a printed photo of meat Platform 9 3/4, and all four of Hogwart’s houses patches.

After Platform 9 3/4 we made our way to the Palace Theatre (where the Cursed Child would be played) by riding the underground. No matter how many times we use the local subway system, at one point during the trip we always manage to get turned around or more accurately, someone decides not to listen to what I am saying and instead get everyone else to do what they think is best. Most of the times it goes alright as they probably have the same idea as the subway expert (me), but every once in a while it doesn’t turn out quite like they’re expecting.

Anyways, before we actually checked in at the theatre we needed to have a quick lunch, as Part 1 of the play started at one and ended two hours later. Today we are at the Pizza Express, think the word express in the name would imply it is quick. It was not.

Quite to the contrary of the meaning of the word express, we ended up having to shovel our food down our gullets to make it to the theatre in time. Even worse, out of the two pizzas we ordered, I didn’t like one and the other was slightly spicy, causing my sore throat to become worse. However, I made it through and we finally arrived on the premise of the theatre.

From the very first scene to the very end my eyes were glued to the stage, memorized by the beautfiul sight. Actors clothed in robes rushing about the stage carry props to and fro, in sync with the music. The truthful and confident dramatic tone of eac line, loudly proclaimed to us by talented, passionate people. It was absolutely, awestruckenly amazing. Something that I will always connect with this trip.

Inbetween the parts of the play we walked to Twinings Tea and had dinner at a little fish & chips dinner. Once again, I probably purchase a little too much tea, but they were having a great deal, to which I couldn’t bare to say no.

By far, my favorite scenes of the play were those when it was Voldemort Day. The combination of actors, music, choreography, and props was seamless. Truly something unforgettable. I even choose to buy another Harry Potter related sweater, but this time with Voldemort’s Dark Mark. I also purchases a different design of the Slytherin Crest patch. The ending of the play left me giddy inside and all I could think about on the way back to the hotel that night was the play.

 

Shiro, Black Paladin of Voltron – fanart

My cousin recently had a birthday, and consequently a birthday party that my family would be atttending. Since I started my journey in becoming an artist, I’ve stopped purchasing presents and instead creating my own. This allows me to customize the pieces of art I do to each individual person receiving the gift. I had previously been aware of the fact that my cousin is a big Voltron fan making the decision in deciding the subject of my drawing easy. 

This piece is of Shiro, the Black Paladin of Voltron or known to the Voltron fandom as “Space Dad”. I decided to use a mix of waterolor and ink, using mainly the Speedball India Ink and Windsor and Newton Ink in the color titanium white. 

2017 National Youth Leadership Training

I had been anticipating attending Nation Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) for nearly a year and so when it was finally the 13th of August I was pumped, but also extremely nervous. I had no clue as to what to expect, I had never particapated in a camp run by the Boy Scout Association. When my family lived in Northern California, I attended a camp for two weeks based all on Norwegian Heritage, but NYLT was something different entirely, yet also the same.

The Patrol Method

Luckily, I knew Dustin, another member of my Venturing Crew, would also be attending. My mom and I carpooled with Dustin and his mom as the location of the camp was nearly five hours away from home. Unfortunately, we arrived later then we were meant to, meaning Dustin and I missed the orientation, however we were both glad to discover that we would be in the same patrol, the Scorpions.

With 46 participants in total staying at the camp, the staff needed to have a way of controlling the large crowd and help illustrate the workings of a patrol. Each patrol was assigned eight participants, not counting our two Patrol Guides (who were there to help us if needed). Luckily, one person assigned to our patrol didn’t show, this meant the Scorpions were able to have an extra portion of food for everyone to share throughout the week.

Cooking & Cleaning Duties

The first two days of camp were undoubtedly the most stressful for me. After having a relaxing summer of not doing much, I was unaccustomed to the amount of activities we had to do. Even though there was a fire ban over the Willamette Forest, each patrol was required to cook their own food. Cooking duty consistently fell to Dustin and I – mainly because we wanted to cook and were both watchful to make sure none of the food burned. The moment we let someone else from our patrol cook, they burned the noodles as they thought it would be a good idea to pour the entire package of noodles into the pot at once. This obivously didn’t work how they intended it to and the noodles spilled over the pot, completely missing the boiling water. The noodles went everywhere, spilling onto the table, the floor, into the crevices of the stove, and even into the small fire. We had to quickly turn the stove off and clean the mess up, but after that no one else, but Dustin and I, were allowed to cook.

Additionally, I often willingingly chose to partake in cleaning up after the meals, as I find cleaning stress relieving. As an introvert, I needed all the stress relief I could find, seeing as I was unable to have any alone time with the buddy system in place. Regardless of the fact that Dustin and I, along with Gabe did most of the work in our patrol, I had a spectacular time after the first two days passed.

Leadership Classes & Team Building

Throughout the camp, we attended a variety of speeches by the patrol guides all designed to help us become better leaders, which was the entire point of the camp. Even though we were constantly learning something new (I, myself, learning more than just things relating to leadership), there was also many fun games. Many of the games were meant to help strengthen the patrol as a team, yet they were always fun and enjoyable.


One of the games we played was where we had to all stand on one tarp and then flip it over with everyone still standing on it. It was a good thing that Gabe knew exactly what to do as I had no clue what to do, I was even confused on the format of the game. After we completed it the first time, we had to do it again, but not talk at all. The second time through was slightly more difficult, but not so much that it was impossible.

The Outbound

On Thursday afternoon, all the patrols departed to go on the Outbound. We were not allowed to bring tents, seeing that we were required to make a shelter out of tarp and rope and then stay the night in the tarp shelter. Fortunately, they did allow us to bring sleeping bags and pads. Ironically, Dustin and to some extant Gabs had it in their heads that it would be rather warm that night so they purposely did not pack their sleeping bag. Dustin even neglected to bring a jacket so all he had to sleep in was his t-shirt. In the end, I lent him my scarf and he later told me that it probably saved his life as he was accidentally pushed out of their shelter. In the morning, when the girls returned to the boy’s campsite, Gabe and Dustin were desperately trying to stay warm, their feet and arms having become numb. It was a rather amusing sight to see so I also lent them my shawl from Peru, which was made of Alpaca wool. In the end, Dustin, Gabe, Seneca, and I ended up cuddling for a good hour in order to stay warm.

Closing Ceremony

At the end of camp, we had a campfire ceremony to celebrate, but because of the fire ban we had no fire so I dubbed it Camp-rock. As part of the ceremony all the patrols were required to perform a skit that each patrol had been working on throughout the week. The skits were designed to show the meaning of leadership or something else that we learned from camp. Several patrols took inspiration from skits well known by all the Boy Scouts, but the Scorpions decided it would be better to create an original skit. Our goal was to make sure that everyone in our patrol had a significant role to play in the skit.

Gabe was the narrator of a grand quest that six young scouts went on to find the great Cameron Willet (our patrol guide) to ask him the meaning of leadership. There were a variety of scenarios that these scouts went through to illustrate that they already had the beginning of leadership inside them: crossing a river, treating hypothermia, creating a shelter, tending to a scorpion sting, and encouraging fellow teammates. In the end, they found Cameron and told him of all they did to find him. Cameron informed them that based on their previous actions they had already found the meaning of leadership and that it was inside them all along.

At the end, my mom tells me that of all the skits performed that evening, she thought that the Scorpion’s skit was the best. I am still not sure if a portion of her decision was effected by the fact I was apart of it.

Another part of the ceremony was to exchange our patrol neckerchiefs for a special neckerchief only given to you after completing NYLT. Personally, that was one of the most exciting parts of the entire camp, namely because I love neckerchiefs and may have a slight obsession with them.

The ending of camp was bittersweet, having created new friends that I wanted to get to know even more. However, I was eager to return home, after spending an entire week in a location with dusty dirt that I am still brushing out of my hair. I’m looking forward to possibly staffing at NYLT next year.

Marine Science Camp

I recently attended a two-week day camp focused on marine sciences. The session that I was apart of was fairly small, which was nice as it allowed everyone to get to know each other really well and made it capable for the teacher/counselor to talk to everyone in detail if anyone had a question. The main person that was in charge of use throughout the two weeks was a young women who this fall will be staring graduate school. Her name was Dani and super friendly to everyone. She even stated several times that she would be willing to write a letter of recommendation for any of us that was interested.

Everyday it seemed that the group was taking a mini field trip somewhere. One of my favorite spots that we went was Middle Cove near Cape Arago. This cove in particular was an adventure to go to as in order to get down to the beach, there was a steep and narrow trail that everyone had to walk down to. In the end, however, it was worth it as Middle Cove has a reputation for always being able to find some seaglass there. I was able to collect two whole handfuls of glass and other cool looking agates. I also found pieces of trash such as a bait bag, two golf balls, a sauce container, and an aluminum beer bottle; I carried all of the found trash to a trash can, where I properly disposed of it.

During the camp, all the students were expected to come up with a project related to marine biology, this was really fun as there were no requirements except the project needing to relate to the ocean in some way. I chose to continue progress on my tiny house, which I plan to have the majority of the materials be either recycled, reclaimed, or eco-friendly materials. It related back to the ocean as I discussed the possibility of using plastic water bottles as insulation, unfortunately after I did more research after the camp I discovered that plastic water bottle insulation might not be the best form of insulation. Even so, I enjoyed working on creating a blueprint of my tiny house, which I then showed to everyone on a PowerPoint as I talked about my vision.

In the end, I thoroughly enjoyed the two weeks. It was an adventure learning about different marine life. Even if some of it was review, I was still able to learn new information about different organisms everyday. By having a deadline, I was finally able to document some of my ideas for my tiny house on a basic floor plan. This first draft will be the basic outline for my tiny house in the future.

Biological Illustration

On the 15th of July, I took a Biological Illustration class hosted by South Slough. We spent the entire day at the OIMB boathouse practicing different drawing techniques. 

One of my favorite parts of the entire class was when the teacher walked us through on how to find patterns in nature. She started out by handing all the students a pinecone to draw. She then showed us a way to make a preliminary reference on paper: an egg shape with spiraling lines going both left and right, similar to a simple pineapple graphic. This was so that we could later go in and add the details of each umbo. This helped me tremendously, in almost no time I had drawn a decent looking pinecone with practically zero effort. 

Another great technique that she showed us was using a tool called a proportional divider. It is used to help with making sure all the proportions of the item you are drawing are correct and are not slightly skewed. A tip when using this tool is to hold it towards the chosen object of drawing and to keep your head in the same spot throughout the measuring of the item. There is also the really cool trick of changing the size of the object on paper without hindering the proportions at all, this is made capable by the proportional divider as it allows you to magnify things or make them smaller. 

Overall, I really enjoyed the class as it allowed me to discover some new techniques to apply when struggling to get the proportions accurate such as, focus on the shapes of the negative space, blind contour, use a proportional divider, and look for patterns. The class was not geared towards showing you how to draw scientifically, but to show you how to use a variety of techniques in all areas of drawing, even when not drawing a biological illlustration. 

Khaos Fernwell - Full-body 

Full-body art piece of Khaos Fernwell. I created this piece to mainly get feel for where his patches of lighter skin would be and to get an idea of what type of clothes he might wear. 

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