Sunday, 30 March 2008

Science-Artsy Additions to my Blogroll

Today I thought I would share some of the newer additions to my blogroll. There are a lot of talented scientific illustrators and realistic fantastic artists out there, and here's a sampling of a few who've made this Flying Trilobite's list in the last few months.

(After all, I can't always plug Leslie Hawes, Bond, Jesse Graham, Carl Buell, Jacqueline Rae and Nancy, can I? Oops.)

1. Druantia Art - An interesting discussion thread ensued on the Guild of Natural Scientific Illustrator's listserv a few months back about whether a blog or traditional galleried website is the more effective. And one of the delightful results is that supremely talented scientific illustrator Heather Ward began Druantia Art, a blog of her works in progress and tips for artists. The tips are brilliant, and Heather has even held polls about what animal to illustrate next! Marvel at her snow leopard, and at her musings about why there is a point to doing photographic realism in art.

2. Trilobite Blog - This is a blog I have mentioned before. This talented artist sells a line of Cambrian and prehistoric creature designs on clothing. His paleontology-based blog is an excellent read, and make sure you don't miss his interview with Sam Gon III of the excellent resource, Guide to the Order of Trilobites. You can shop for trilobite hoodies here and start your own finger-snapping gang against the anomalocarids!

3. Rigor Vitae - The artwork of Carel Brest Van Kempen, illustrator of the banner for the popular A Blog Around the Clock. This blog has some excellent insights in what it is like to create realistic art from nature. And frogs. Many awesome frogs.

4. PixelFish - and 5. Bluefooted - I came across these two talented and atheist artists on a thread over at Pharyngula where some people were dissing DeviantArt. PixelFish, who also goes by Lis Mitchell, has a tremendous gallery and well-crafted site. I'm particularly fond of See No Evil. Bluefooted has an amazing and intricate story-book style, reminscent of Dulac. Check out the beautiful and hideous Cat-Skin. Who needs more evidence that imagination is not divinely inspired?

6. Barry Kent MacKay - Lush, gorgeous artwork for your inner ornithologist. Some of my fellow Canuckleheads may remember MacKay from a children's show he hosted back in the day.

7. Gurney Journey - The blog of Dinotopia creator and master artist James Gurney. This blog is filled with tips and insights and shows you a week-to-week peek at what a celebrity-level artist is up to.

8. Basic Instructions - A very trendy sort of style at the moment, tracing photos to make a cartoon. But none of the others are half as funny as these instructions for living your life.

Anything in my blogroll is a place I try check out as often as I can. These are just a few of the other artists I admire. I'm also adding new pieces often, so please don't forget to check out my own gallery on DeviantArt!

All original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow. The contents of this blog are under a Creative Commons Licence. See sidebar for details.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Flying Trilobite on Facebook Pages & Poll!

If you are a fan of The Flying Trilobite and my artwork, now you can add The Flying Trilobite to your Facebook page. Just click below the image in my sidebar, the image below, or right here, and it will whisk you off into that magical Facebook land of zombies, creatures hatching from eggs, and sage prophet-programs telling you which superhero you most resemble.

If you are unfamiliar with Facebook pages, it adds a tiny icon in your Facebook profile declaring you are a fan - of celebrities, scientists, organisations, museums, artists obsessed with mythical flying trilobite fossils, television shows, video games, and more. It's another way for me to get some news out to people who frequent my blog, or communicate about issues not directly tied to my posts.

And hey, you get a teeny-tiny flying trilobite fossil sitting on your Facebook page, next to Carl Sagan, Super Mario, and Nelly Furtado.

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Poll!

I've added a poll in my sidebar that will stay open the next two weeks. Some of my favourite blog features are themed-posts on regular days. Of Two Minds has their Sunday Funnies; A Blog Around the Clock features ClockQuotes throughout the week, as well as picks from science news stories; Page 3.14 has photos from ScienceBlogs every week, Life Before Death has photos every Friday; you see where I'm going?

Would it be helpful to my readers of this blog to know that a certain day is a good time to stop in to see the art? I would likely be posting at least one original, fully new piece per month. I am considering putting up details or up-close shots of paintings the rest of the time.

You can click more than one option, if you like. Depending on which ones you pick, you have an opportunity to confuse me.

Please take a moment to do the poll! It closes on April 9th, appallingly early in the morning, eastern standard time.

All original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow. The contents of this blog are under a Creative Commons Licence. See sidebar for details.

Friday, 21 March 2008

D.N.A. Candle - Vanitas II


This oil painting was done for my good friends A & K for their wedding.

I have
blogged previously about the symbology behind this image. It is a concept I use sometimes mixed with other elements, as in my Symbolist-era-inspired, gigantic, thematic, magnum opus The Forever Painting. I attempt to make each D.N.A. Candle Vanitas a little different from the others, and some colours seem to suit certain couples, or perhaps my mood while painting.

They are a joy to do, and I hope the happy couple enjoys this one.

All original artwork on
The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow. The contents of this blog are under a Creative Commons Licence. See sidebar for details.

Myers, Dawkins and Popcorn...& LOLTrilobites!

It's rare that I post simply to direct my readers to another blog. I like to make sure I have something original and hopefully insightful to say.

If you need a good laugh though, you have to check these out.


The brief background: Noted biologists and atheists PZ Myers and Richard Dawkins were both interviewed for a movie featuring Ben Stein, under false pretenses. The movie is called Expelled, and both professors were told it would be about the false claims of creationists. In fact it seems to be shaping up to be a propaganda film trying to persuade the public that pseudo-scientists who support the theological idea of intelligent design (ick) are being 'expelled' from scientific academia by mean old biologists who understand Darwin's theory of natural selection. Got all that? Good. Ready for an I-can't-breathe laugh? Good.

Read PZ Myers' post from inside the mall where he went to finally see the movie.

You're back? Excellent. Want more?


Brian Switek over at Laelaps (one of my new favourite places) has commentary on the Expelled story and....LOLTrilobites! I'll be chuckling myself to sleep tonight.



All original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow. The contents of this blog are under a Creative Commons Licence. See sidebar for details.

Monday, 17 March 2008

Albino Squirrel of Trinity-Bellwoods

The last few years a tiny surprise has hopped and bobbed its jaunty tail through Trinity-Bellwoods Park here in Toronto's downtown. My wife saw this resident for the first time last week, and this morning I was lucky enough to snap a couple of photos.
Trinity-Bellwoods is not the largest or most wooded park in Toronto, but I pass through it to and from work every day. The little albino squirrel, going about its squirrely business with its grey and black squirrelerific friends, is something of a local celebrity. Nearby boutiques on the hipster-filled Queen St. West scene will occasionally have messages in their window, or on their sidewalk signs. One store even had a plush one in the window.
This second pic is horribly blurry. I'd like to blame that on my kindness in not pursuing the squirrel too closely, as I'm sure it is followed by paparazzi hoping to catch a glimpse of a wardrobe malfunction more often than the other squirrels. But I think the picture may be blurry due to the icy ground, and the amount of coffee I had this morning. Blurred like this though, doesn't it look a bit like it's going to pelt an acorn at my head? It's eyeing me, like I'm just another shutterbug.

I love this park. Lots of "refuge-points" in the landscape, trees dotted here and there, trees that rustle in the breeze. Walking through there is one of the best parts of my day.

(For more great posts on albinism in animals, check out Zooillogix.)

All original artwork on
The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow. The contents of this blog are under a Creative Commons Licence. See sidebar for details.

Sunday, 9 March 2008

1st Blogiversary of The Flying Trilobite

...and this time, instead of paintings, I have photos.

The Flying Trilobite began as a way to promote my artwork and find new commissions and collaborations. It has also turned out to be a terrific outlet for my intellectual growth and artistic development; I am constantly engaged by new ideas I read from the scientific, Bright and arts communities. As I mentioned in my year-end round up, I also discovered a welcoming community of creative and shiny people online.

So, let's celebrate with cake, shall we?!

Uh-oh. The Mythical Flying Trilobite Fossil found it first. Yummy!

Thanks again to everyone who has made it such a great 1st year. If you keep viewing and commenting, (and commissioning!), I'll keep painting. Deal?

Let's eat cake.

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(No monarch butterflies were harmed in the making of this blog post. At least - not harmed by me. What you are seeing are wings found lying in a park last summer with some ants on the sticky bits. Perhaps a bird or dragonfly was responsible, but it was mainly only the wings left. Scouts' honour.)


All original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow. The contents of this blog are under a Creative Commons Licence.
See sidebar for details. Please contact me before reproducing elsewhere.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Darwin meets Blue Guy

The oil painting I produced for The Eloquent Atheist, entitled Darwin Took Steps, has found another champion today, in the form of Mike H. of the prolific Tangled Up in Blue Guy blog.

You can see the Tangled Up in Blue Guy post about Darwin Took Steps here.

And hey- he's also pointed at the banner that I produced for Of Two Minds! Any chance you're moonlighting as a scientific illustration talent scout, Mike? Perhaps if I need an agent one day...

With both of these pieces being worked on throughout February, it's been a busy month. Thanks Mike, for the comments. Feedback on my artwork is always welcome. (Thrown vegetables or muttering "derivative" are less welcome, but interesting.) In addition to the link in my gallery, you can also see my popular pencil drawing, or read the 'making of' post.

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By the way, this Friday will mark one year since The Flying Trilobite began. Look for a misty-eyed reminisce-a-thon on Friday. And cake! Maybe pie!

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(Edit: March 8 2008: Darwin Took Steps also featured on The Dispersal of Darwin ! )

Monday, 3 March 2008

Blog Banner Art for Of Two Minds

Today is the launch of Shelley Batts, Steve Higgins and Pepper's new ScienceBlog, titled Of Two Minds. Last year, Shelley asked me to make a new blog banner on her old site, Retrospectacle, which you can see the steps I took in drawing and painting it, here.

These two have some crazy fun reporting about science, neuroscience, parrots, things being poked in the brain, and superheroes. Ya gotta check it out.

I am sharing blog banner duties with Len of Monster By Mail, so you may see two different ones at the moment. Click the 'refresh' button, and the page will reload and show the other banner. I contributed the one with the tragedy & comedy masks, for which I originally used Shelley and Steve's faces as a starting point. Squint your eyes all up, you'll see it.

Shelley and Steve have also made a neat little banner tab on their top bar, so you can see the previous banners they had on Retrospectacle and OmniBrain, including my 'valkyrie' banner. (Shelley is actually using my original thumbnail sketch for that banner as a tiny avatar when she posts. It was so rough and hasty, I am alternately cringing and proud by turns.) You can also see why Shelley suggested this particular font; once the final stages of the banner came together (and I sent some continuous tweaks and fiddles to it late into the night) Shelley suggested we use Blackadder ITC.

Above is a shot of the banner, and you can see it in my gallery; but it really looks much better over at Of Two Minds, so please head on over and read about x-ray vision, a pain index, and magnetic people.

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I am available for commissions to do blog elements as well as portraiture, concept design, surreal paintings and scientific illustrations. After perusing The Flying Trilobite Gallery, please contact me, Glendon Mellow, by email if you are interested.

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Horribly, terribly vain review of myself by me!

Full disclosure: I signed my blog up over at blogged.com, and then proceeded to review The Flying Trilobite myself. O, wo unto desolation...the vanity, the vanity!

It could be argued that blogs themselves are a form of vanity. Some may say that artists are also a vain lot, wanting to leave a (misunderstood, unfathomable, derivative) mark on the world as they pass through it. These things are probably true, and in no excuse me writing a review of myself.

Let's take this vanity farther. Here is the review in it's entirety. (For some strange reason, you cannot read the whole thing at blogged.com...it just kind of cuts off at the end even though it let me keep typing. Perhaps this is punishment for vainglorious fools. Hmm.)
And so here we go:


Review of myself March 1st 2008 for
blogged.com
by Glendon Mellow, authour of The Flying
Trilobite

I have impeccable spelling, I look great in pinstripe
suits, and I make paintings that often feature trilobites with wings.

Well, if i humbly say so myself, I like to make sure I don't blog
for the sake of blogging, but wait until I have something interesting to
contribute.

I am giving myself very high marks. I believe in
representational painting, the beauty of expanding our symbolic language in art
by incorporating the wealth of knowledge that science provides. I believe in
giving science the exaltation as a way of knowing that it deserves above the
outmoded supernatural that has dominated much of art history.

And
I am leaving myself room to improve, because as an artist I am never satisfied
with my skills as a whole, only elated at my moments of brilliance and triumphs
of rigour.

Thank you for viewing my artwork at The Flying
Trilobite. I look forward to more illustration contracts, visits, comments and
reviews.
-Glendon Mellow

8.5/10 because my best work is ahead
of me.
Can I possibly throw my own ego around like a bigheaded pompous artiste any more than I have?
Oh - oh - I know -
I'll put up a picture of myself! Yeah, handsome devil, check it!



What the - Who....? That's not the pinstripe-suited pic of me with Manhattan in my grasp!

(edit: what was I thinking when I posted this? Too little coffee...)

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