Tuesday, 30 November 2010

This Sunday - on Atheists Talk Radio with Lynn Fellman

This Sunday 5th December, I'll be taking part in a discussion on Atheists Talk Radio with Lynn Fellman and our host Mike Haubrich.

I'll post the link on Sunday. You'll be able to listen afterward as a podcast, and an iTunes download!  Lynn and I will be discussing science-art, atheism and influence with Mike.

You can listen for the sound of my mouth hanging open as I gawp at Lynn's continued science-art awesomeness. Bonus points if you hear a drosophilia flying in.

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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow
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Sunday, 28 November 2010

Sale in my print shop!

From now until the end of Monday, all shirts, hoodies, canvas prints and framed prints in my shop are 15% off!  No coupon necessary.

Great stuff like this:


and this:


and this:




and this:




and this:




And much more.  Perfect geeky science gifts for the fossil fans in your life.  Head over to The Flying Trilobite Print Shop and check it out. Shop in US, CAN, GBP, EUR or AUD, using credit cards or PayPal.

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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow
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Saturday, 27 November 2010

Science-Art Scumble #4


Scumble:
"A painting technique in which semi-opaque or thin opaque colors are loosely brushed over an underpainted area so that patches of the color beneath show through." 
From The Artist's Handbook, by Ray Smith.  

A weekly digest to highlight some of the posts I found most interesting, most provocative, or otherwise caught my eye from the Science Artists Feed. Sit back, have a coffee and enjoy.


Click here for earlier scumbles.
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Foraminiferal Sculpture Park: a question of scales, Geology in Art.

Darwinian Theory of Beauty, Gurney Journey.  James Gurney's straight-on take about Denis Dutton's recent TEDTalk.

Making my own dinosaur, The Tyrannosaur Chronicles. Kid-friendly site!

Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter, lines and colors. Charley Parker reviews James Gurney's new incredible book, which in part grew out of Gurney's blog posts.

The "Lost Women": science popularizers and communicators in the 19th century, Bioephemera.

Pink Dinosaur Wrap-Up, Art Evolved.  Admin & catalyst for this charity drive Peter Bond gives us a grand finale: all 248 pink dinosaurs created by dozens of artists collaged together in a single image.

The artwork has changed drastically between conception and execution.  Therefore it has no meaning, The Art of a Carbon-Based Lifeform.

Slide lecture given about biomimicry, Hybrids of Art and Science.

Sketching at the Royal Ontario Museum, News from the Studio. 



Walcott's Quarry #123: Waiting it Out, eTrilobite.

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Great science-art posts not in the Feed:

An artist's interpretation of a teenager's head exploding in science class, A Journey Around My Skull.

Geology History in Caricatures: Dr. M. in extasies at the approach of his pet Saurian, History of Geology.

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For next week:

There's been a change on deviantArt, that popular website for artists.  They now have RSS feeds for individual galleries.  I'll be adding a few of these to the Science Artists Feed for next week, including some of my favourite artists who consistently challenge and delight.

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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow
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Monday, 22 November 2010

Art Monday: the green guy



An up-close detail of the green guy in my painting Symbiosis (oil on canvas).  I like how the canvas texture came out in this shot. His head tattoo says, "This body corrodes yet still I can move".

You can see the whole painting here.
You can purchase my 2011 Calendar with the image above, here.

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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow
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Saturday, 20 November 2010

Science-Art Scumble #3

Scumble:
"A painting technique in which semi-opaque or thin opaque colors are loosely brushed over an underpainted area so that patches of the color beneath show through." 
From The Artist's Handbook, by Ray Smith.  

A weekly digest to highlight some of the posts I found most interesting, most provocative, or otherwise caught my eye from the Science Artists Feed. Sit back, have a coffee and enjoy.


Click here for earlier scumbles

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Old Paintings, Omegafauna.

Artist Organization Goes Virtual, Britt Griswold, Guild of Natural Science Illustrators.

Big Bang Ball makes a Big Bang, Britt Griswold, Guild of Natural Science Illustrators.

More Life of the Cell Animation, Boulders 2 Bits.

War Paint: Styracosaurus, The Optimistic Painting Blog

The Space Age Enters the Stone Age, Visual Science

Andrew Vomhof Mapps the Cosmos in the Rings of Time, Hybrids of Art and Science.
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These next few posts weren't in the Feed, since their blogs don't primarily deal in science-art.  Check these out!

Closer than Expected, Dan Dos Santos - Muddy Colors.  (Art and life comparison with astronauts.)

Giant Isopod Stained Glass panel, Deep Sea News.

San Francisco: Imaginary Foundation art show and pop-up shop, Boing Boing.

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The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow
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Thursday, 18 November 2010

wip - Anomalocarid Girl intro



Work-in-progress on an introduction to Anomalocarid Girl, a foil for Trilobite Boy.  

Unsure what an anomalocaris is?  There's a great post over at Why Evolution is True by Matthew Cobb.  

The idea that they might not have preyed on trilobites actually works out great: I kind of want Anomalocarid Girl to be a villain and love interest for Trilobite Boy.  Sorta. 

Here's another look at the sketch on my desk, done after dinner one night.  I based the pose on Bottecelli's Birth of Venus, and that's an oil rig burning in the background that she's blown up with her guns. 








On another note, thanks to everyone who offered advice on my last post - it's very much appreciated, and while I'm still thinking things over, I think I may try and limit myself to 2 personal art projects at a time for the time being. Above, is part of one of them!

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Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Report card on freelancing

Okay, so at the beginning of October, I left my job of 10 years to give freelance illustration and fine art a try. The Strong and Free(lance) series is my attempt to document what I can for myself and others wanting to do the same.

Here's a report card.

Creative 
I have been painting and sketching a lot, and still have a healthy list of self-driven projects to work on.  No boredom in the creative arena. Many days, I start painting, either with oils or ArtRage, lose track of time and forget to eat lunch. I tried setting a timer on my iPod, but I just turn it off and think "20 minutes more" and lose the afternoon.

 A number of people have asked about a Trilobite Boy comic or graphic novel. 
Anyone else want to see that? If there's interest in a story, it could be worth a try. 


Months back, I raised the idea of a book of my art with one-page or short science fiction stories by various writers. A couple of readers and peeps expressed interest in writing for it.  I'm not sure how to get it off the ground: pay two of you to write stories I can shop around? 
Grade: 
B+  Good ideas and quality. Needs to work on routine and output speed.
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Professional


New business cards.  New calendar for sale, as well as lots of new prints. New baby onesie.  I'm grateful for each one of these items sold, but I don't make a lot of money off of each print.  I keep it going because I really love when someone has my art on their wall.

Launched a couple of items on Etsy. I'll add more and announce.

Freelancing is a slow process.  I'm still sending out portfolios, and I've had a few nibbles, but nothing is past the contract stage.

Some of the artwork I created the last several weeks has generated more interest than many of my pieces have in the past, so that's really heartening.  I think if I was attempting to try freelance without the benefit of feedback on my blog and satellite social media, I would have folded up into a ball and given up by now.

So the biz side: I'm broke, but it's going as well as I should expect, I guess - there's not a lot of money in the science community or in publishing for new artists.  So I won't be able to afford to do this full-time.
Grade: D  Running and running to stay in place.  Is science-art marketable at a living wage?

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Family
It's been a big year of changes. My wife, a school teacher, switched schools. I earned my B.F.A.  We moved into a new apartment. I left my job.  We're expecting a healthy baby next month (who looks like Jack Skellington in the latest ultrasound photo).  Our nephew continues his awesomeness.
Grade: B  Needs to financially support family to get top marks.

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Attitude
Optimistic and excited by upcoming ideas, both in art and blog.
Financially, sometimes I wonder if I'd be better off painting half-naked amazon women.  Holding trilobites. 

I have plenty of moments of self-doubt and cursing myself for stupidity. A huge portion of the public has no idea what a trilobite is. Things have changed enough that most people expect to see cool images for free, all day long. The business model I have been hoping to see develop, is to put enough quality work on this blog, aimed at a scientifically literate audience, and maybe an institution or publisher will start to pay for new images.  It hasn't happened so far, which gets me down...

...and then I have a coffee, and remember that I can't understate how grateful I am for my fans and supporters. And I feel optimistic again.
Grade: C
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Needs to work on
-Finding a new job.
-Decide whether I keep going as I am right now, doing a bit of everything to cast a wide net in the job market (scientific illustration, comic-style stuff, more concept art, fine art) or settle into just one field which could reap greater commercial rewards. Lately, I've been thinking the latter.  I can't do it all: there's literally not enough hours in the day. I'm leaning toward book illustration and maybe a Trilobite Boy story of some kind.
Final Grade: C+


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Monday, 15 November 2010

Art Monday: Tardigrade

©  Glendon Mellow 2010


It's always about the legs. You either recognize a tardigrade or people see a purple brain in this painting.
 

It's funny, but this painting kind of cemented my art-life trajectory. I had an art show back in university. One of my co-workers from the coffee shop was a zoology major. After seeing this painting, she came over and said something like, "ok, this may mean nothing to you, so if it doesn't, forget it: is that a tardigrade?" I replied it was. She said she could tell because of the hooked feet, and was really happy about it. I've always loved science, but I think it was that experience that showed me there's a huge audience in scientifically-literate people who respond to representational art for them.  
Sometimes on this blog, I mention science enabling artists to expand the visual vocabulary in representational art. This is kind of what I mean.

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For my information about tardigrades (water-bears, moss piglets) head over to Catalogue of Organisms.
You can see the full painting here.
This image is available as a print or as one month in my new 2011 calendar

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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow
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Saturday, 13 November 2010

Science-Art Scumble #2


Scumble:
"A painting technique in which semi-opaque or thin opaque colors are loosely brushed over an underpainted area so that patches of the color beneath show through." 
From The Artist's Handbook, by Ray Smith.  

A weekly digest to highlight some of the posts I found most interesting, most provocative, or otherwise caught my eye from the Science Artists Feed. Sit back, have a coffee and enjoy.

Click here for earlier scumbles.

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Leonardo Thinks: new blog section, Roger Malina.

Medical imaging used to probe Tower of London mural, CultureLab.   

For the Fallen, eTrilobite.  (Science-art only possible in a free society.  Thanks Marek.)

How long does it take for you to look at a painting? (James Elkins), lines and colors.

Sprout utility ventricle, A distant ugly mountain.  (I see an ear: what do you see in this new painting by the inimitable Chris Hutson?)

The Duomo and the Dinosaur, Stories in Stone.  (Not in the feed, don't miss this!)

Amazon is Amoral and Complicit, Renaissance Oaf.

The Person You Love is 72.8% Water - Teagan White, Street Anatomy.


A bioart experience resembling a TSA millimeter-wave scan - performed by bacteria. (Would you respond to this ad?), Bioephemera.


Tuco-tuco, Changedwind's Ink.

The Angel Academy of Art, Gurney Journey.  (Interesting debate in the comments.) 

The Lanzendorf Collection, Love in the Time of the Chasmosaurs. 

Pink Dinosaur #248: Our Final Submission!, Art Evolved.  (Bravo to Peter Bond and everyone who made this charity drive so much fun.)

Two Upcoming Events at the Hunterian Museum in London, Morbid Anatomy.  

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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow
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Friday, 12 November 2010

Last chance to save on Flying Trilobite merch!

Today and tomorrow are your last chances to get a discount on prints, calendars, stickers, greeting cards and kid & adult clothing featuring my artwork.

And I've added a new calendar collection, including some never before seen paintings!

Here's a glimpse of May, September and October:









All 3 of my calendar collections are available, and you can even pick what month the calendar begins with.

Everything in the print shop is on sale, clothing included until the end of day tomorrow!

Go to the online print shop, (It takes CAD, USD, GBP, AUD and EUR) and enter this code at checkout:
Flying_Trilobite_is_on_sale_7886
to receive 15% off your purchase.


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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow
under Creative Commons Licence.



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Thursday, 11 November 2010

Remembering in high school

My grandfather, George Moore fought in World War II.  He didn't talk about it much, but I know some things.  He lied about his age to get into the Canadian Navy, I think at 17. I suspect his love for engineering came from working on a supply ship.  He spoke about the camaraderie, not about conflict.

Memories of Remembrance Day cause me to recall high school.  The school I went to for five formative years, 
Danforth Collegiate and Technical Institute, has a vast collection of letters from former students from WWII who fought in that war, writing back to their teachers.  Each Remembrance Day assembly, some students would volunteer to read the names of the former students who died in that war. 

The list was long, I think about 5 students were needed to get through it alphabetically. I remember being one who could get through reading the "Smiths" without the giggles.  There were so many, as a teenager, some found it hard to read with a straight face - and these were not vapid teenagers, these were bright students who cared, and were ashamed that the litany wasn't easy to read in front of over 1000 other students. We all tried to understand the day and took it seriously.

I think what sobered me those few times reading the names, was letting my eyes wash over the list, and thinking it would be too easy to forget them, especially the Smiths; yet each was a whole person fighting to preserve our way of life.  And the Canada I live in today rocks because of them. 


Remember, and teach others to remember, as our high school teachers taught us. 

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Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Getting ready for Etsy



Getting ready for my Etsy launch this Friday.  Oil paintings on slate.

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Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Coffee with a travelling Beagler



Last weekend I had a great time having an Americano with wandering Beagle Project scientist/Twitterforceofnature Karen James here in my hometown.

That's us, by the giant thimble and buttons in Toronto's Fashion District. Note Karen is sporting the NASA hoodie, rockin the Galapagos tan and necklace and wearing open toes in November, here in Canada's south.  In November. I'm wearing the fashionable ex-goth-not-hipster ensemble.  With hair by Bike Helmet.

So good to see you Karen! Next time: the R.O.M.


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Monday, 8 November 2010

Proposed session for ScienceOnline2011

My proposal so far for a session at ScienceOnline2011:

===
Science-Art – The burgeoning fields of niche artwork aimed at scientific disciplines.
  • Is science-inspired art a new zeitgeist, or just cyclical?
  • An overview of science's influence in art history, and how the internet changes its influence.
  • What makes something "science art" anyway?  How does it differ from fantasy or scientific illustration?
===

I'd love to have a co-moderator or two on this.

At this time I'm waiting with baited breath about what will happen with the unconference's registration fees.  I understand completely they are necessary.  I'm still trying to figure out a way to afford to go if they are the case.

Perhaps my Etsy launch later this week will help generate the funds for me to attend.

In any case, I'll certainly keep blogging more about science-art and the topics above.
For now, take a look at these posts:



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Art Monday: Trilobite Boy head sketches



A few quick warm-up sketches this morning, trying to nail down some of Trilobite Boy's anatomy.  Done using ArtRage and my tablet. A couple of times I almost reached for the monitor to smudge the shadows.

Toying with the idea maybe half of his fossil-y face is riddled with cracks. I'm also trying to avoid having the pointy head-shield look like ears.

Maybe I need to sculpt some clay over top of one of my artist mannequins to nail this down further.

Listening to Moby, Covenant and Goldfrapp.

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Saturday, 6 November 2010

Science-Art Scumble

Scumble:
1. To soften the colors or outlines of (a painting or drawing) by covering with a film of opaque or semiopaque color or by rubbing.
2. To blur the outlines of: a writer who scumbled the line that divides history and fiction.

Several weeks ago after a Twitter discussion with Bora Zivkovic, I created the Science-Artists Feed which is also carried on ScienceBlogging.com.    It's proven to be relatively popular, and to date, there's over 60 blogs represented in the feed. So I thought I would create a kind of weekly digest to highlight some of the posts I found most interesting, most provocative, or otherwise caught my eye.  And because I come from a narcissistic Fine Artist background, I'll probably throw some of my own in the mix too.

This first one may reach a little further back than a week.  The feed is full of fascinating science-art and illustration.  Please feel free to suggest some I may have missed or did not highlight. As well, you might suggest some in the comments below.

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Gustave Klimt's mysterious embryos by Amy Maxmen, CultureLab.

Epic Art Science Exhibit and Exploration, SaCrIt.

Pink Dinosaur #200! at Art Evolved.  This charity drive for breast cancer research has professionals and amateurs alike sending in art with Pink Dinosaurs.  The 200th one, and it's still going!

Using Engineering Principles to Reconstruct Leaf Shape by Marlene Hill Donnelly, GNSI.

(no title: about Mylodon and modern sloths), An Eye for Science.

Mushroom Festival: the final art, Katura's Sketch-blog.

Sidney Nolan's stunning Antarctic paintings at the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, by Richard Moss, Culture 24

American Waters by Alex Kirkbride, Joris Van Alphen

Fish Fleet, Gurney Journey.  (A whole different kind of flying trilobite!)

Ent-o-Lantern 2010 Part 2, Biodiversity in Focus.  This isn't the LOTR one that made the blog rounds; it's as in entomology.

vLog from the past! , The Tyrannosaur Chronicles.  Finally we hear Traumador's voice!  Kid-friendly.

Now online: In Defense of Space Art: The Role of the Artist in Space Exploration, Roger Malina

Color Vision & Art, lines and colors.

Vintage Dinosaur Art: The Gishosaurs, Love in the Time of the Chasmosaurs - they breathe fire!

"I aten't dead" Pink Dinosaur #164, by Trish Arnold, Art Evolved.  Addressing the media's "oh noes, triceratops never existed" nonsense.  Trish's delightful blog is here.

Stained beauty, naked neurons: visualizing the brain through history, Bioephemera.

Anatomic Fashion Friday: The Donor, Street Anatomy.

Finally, I touched a nerve with this:
Why don't more science bloggers cite their images? , The Flying Trilobite
A Diplodocus-sized Pet Peeve, Love in the time of the Chasmosaurs
Glimpse at image credits on science blogs, The Flying Trilobite
And I thank all the commenters on the blogs and Twitter for their support.

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Friday, 5 November 2010

Trilobite Baby onesie!



Available in my shop as adult shirts, kid's shirts, baby onesies and as a sticker. I wanted to make this image for the baby we're expecting in December next month, and now it's available to everyone.

You can pick the colour of your shirt too.

*Until November 14th, there's a 15% off coupon: flying_trilobite_is_on_sale_7886 .

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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow
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Thursday, 4 November 2010

Coupon of earthly delights

My print shop, hosted by RedBubble is having a sale!  

But only if you use my super-secret coupon. If you purchase anything from my online store between now and November 14th 2010, you'll receive 15% off.  

Scroll down to get the coupon code!  

Stickers
T-shirts, hoodies, and kids clothes

Greeting cards
Laminated prints

Framed artwork
Calendar collections
Great way to get a dozen of my high-quality prints at an excellent price.


The super-secret coupon code:

flyingtrilobite_is_on_sale_7886


Now until November 14th everything is on sale!  The Flying Trilobite Print Shop.

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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow
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Wednesday, 3 November 2010

MOOOO! My business cards arrived!



My business cards arrived yesterday!

I ordered these from MOO.  They're the recycled paper option, and I'm thrilled about the quality.  As you can see above, there's 4 different backs, each with a QR code that goes to glendonmellow.com. It's the little things that made this nifty.  For example, they already pre-mixed the cards, so I can pick up a random handful.

Even though I went to university to study as a fine artist, there's a very telling way I began to know that my future would lie mainly in illustration:  I loveloveLOVE seeing my artwork in different media.  Different textured papers, rough, smooth, glossy, I love seeing my art online, and on calendars and shirts.  It's exciting and narcissistic and awesome.
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