Saturday, 31 January 2009

Secular Nation podcast now up!

Now you can listen to David Driscoll of Secular Nation magazine interview me about Darwin Took Steps, education, ScienceOnline'09, Toronto and being a young freethinker here. (- -really? young? thanks David!)

As an artist, I'm pretty pleased with the reception this painting has received so far. It seems to resonate with some pretty diverse folks. Not bad for something I speed-painted in three hours! (I think the drawing took about four.) I have plans for a younger Darwin piece for Darwin Day this year as part of the Blog For Darwin. Staircase not included.

It continues with a reading by David and editor-in-chief Tom Melchiorre of an interview with Dr. Massimi Pigliucci concerning Charles Da
rwin and Darwin Day. Darwin Took Steps is available as cards, prints, canvas repros and sweatshop-free t-shirts in a variety of colours & styles.

Half the proceeds from the sales of my Darwin Took Steps swag goes toward the Beagle Project. Tangled Up In Blue Guy Mike has written to Al Gore to bring the noble ship some attention. Artist Diana Sudyka of Tiny Aviary has contributed some crackingly good prints for the cause. Many others are working on much more.

Let's get that boat in the water!


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

Flying Trilobite Gallery ### Flying Trilobite Reproduction Shop ### 2009 Calendar available for a limited time

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Pucker & Bloat have a new fan

Here's our 3 year old hermit crab Shiny enjoying Pucker & Bloat from the Cephalopodcast.

I've added an abundance of new bloggy-peeps to my blog lists since ScienceOnline'09. And the content is entirely appropriate for 3-year old hermit crabs! Educational and fun.

As you can see, Shiny is sporting his fah-bulous leopard print shell. Almost grown out if it, the big boy!

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

Flying Trilobite Gallery ### Flying Trilobite Reproduction Shop ### 2009 Calendar available for a limited time

Twitobite

Trilotwitobite? Twitobite?

You can tell I'm new to Twitter. I'm making up lame Twitter words and blending them with myself.

My Twitter updates are displayed here on my blog right below the "About me" in my sidebar, just above the RSS subscriptions. Follow me at http://twitter.com/flyingtrilobite.

(Peer pressure. Just say "no" kids!)

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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow under Creative Commons Licence.
Flying Trilobite Gallery ### Flying Trilobite Reproduction Shop ### 2009 Calendar available for a limited time

Monday, 26 January 2009

Art Monday: mucking around

Continuing to muck around with my blog banner since re-decorating The Flying Trilobite's bloggy aesthetics. Here's a look at where it's been.

The original overall look.

Blog banner year one.

Year two.

Taking advantage of the new white background, here was a pixelly version I removed after about a week.And where we are now. This feels more painterly and blends better than the hard edges.

I have plans to post a completely new banner in time for my second blogiversary in March. The shale is ready, I've been sketching and I've got a design ticking in my head.

Blog banner design is something I enjoy, and I have done some freelance for other bloggers. I've found it to be pretty rewarding to try and capture a blogger's "voice" in a 700x250 pixel space.

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Here's a making of The Meming of Life, and commentary by the blogger.
Here's the making of Of Two Minds.
And the making of Retrospectacle.
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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow under Creative Commons Licence.

Flying Trilobite Gallery ### Flying Trilobite Reproduction Shop ### 2009 Calendar available for a limited time

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Things I don't blog about

...and maybe I should. One of the sessions I learned the most from at ScienceOnline'09 was the Nature Blogging, moderated by Kevin Zelnio and GrrlScientist. When the discussion became an open question of what type of blogs do you most enjoy, in many ways it became about blogging in general, and not just nature and/or/vs. science blogs.

So, to veer away from the question of nature blogging, here are a few things I don't blog about, and maybe should once in a while.


-My family life. Last October for our fifth wedding anniversary, my wife suggested we drive up to the Scenic Cav
es near Collingwood Ontario. It was a beautiful autumn day, and it the hike and views were terrific. I admit to an unexpected bought of claustrophobia going through one narrow passage: I backed out! Michelle made it through. Next time, perhaps.

Michelle is a big supporter of my artwork and burgeoning illustration career.
I'm a lucky man to be married to someone who so thoroughly 'gets' me.

Our nephew has also had a large impact on my life. I seem to be one of the major 'male' influences in his life, and I take that responsibility seriously. I don't believe it's completely fair to post pictures of him all over the place when he's too young to consider the impact, so usually the pictures are when his back is turned. I've identified him before as Obi-Wan, and later, Dr. Jones. Perhaps at the moment he's Bruce Wayne.

Some time maybe, I'll be able to ask Michelle to guest-b
log here on The Flying Trilobite. Would that be fun?

-My walk to work. There's a spot in Trinity-Bellwoods park where you get this clear view of the CN Tower between two trees. I've often thought how great it would be to do a photo essay of the the view of the trees and world's tallest free-standing structure (until two years ago, anyway) as they change with the seasons.

-Star Wars.
Why? Well, this is in part because of the Science Fiction in Science Blogs session hosted by Stephanie Zvan. Why not?

I was three years old when A New Hope came out.
When I was 9, my mother gave me all three "Art of" books for the trilogy. I think they, along with the book Castles by Alan Lee are major inspirations for why I am an artist. I really don't care what trash-talkin' people have to say about the dialogue, directing, plot holes - for me Star Wars stands as a pinnacle of human imagination. I like Jar-Jar. Every scene, every costume, every alien is the result of artists with unbridled creativity challenging their minds and their technical skill. For pure visual aesthetic alone, Star Wars is tops.

With the Clone Wars series and the movies on dvd, my nephew is a huge fan. So I have an excuse to keep playing with 3 3/4" figures. Below is a picture of Han Solo's birthday party in the cantina, with my nephew in attendance. (I Photoshopped his face over Obi-W
an's body.)

-Gothy archetypes. I've had this idea to sketch some of the gothy "looks" that have remained part of the club scene here in Toronto for the past ten years. Not specific people, just certain styles that seem to be perennially present in the dark spectrum of Toronto. I keep toying with doing this.

The young goth-try-too-hard. The Victorian top-hat-and-velvet. The vaguely H.R.Giger-esque jeans-and-t-shirt guy. The Betty Page. The goth b-boy.

The closest I've come to so far is mentioning some of the fast music I listen to while painting.

-Being a Bright, and an atheist. You may not be able to tell from my actual posts (though there's plenty of evidence in my sidebar), but I'm an avid read
er of many of the "New Atheist" books and blogs. The National Post paper here in Canada seems to address the culture war (though not by name) more than any other, and I follow the damage done in the name of religion on a daily basis. I try to balance this with plenty of reading from the other points of view, but I have yet to be persuaded that religion does more good than it does harm.

This ties into every aspect of my life. I try to bring a skeptical, curious worldview into everything I do. I'm still searching for a way to bring it into my painting more directly. So far it either becomes satire or horribly depressing, and with the world of science inspiring me, not as appealing. We''ll see if a couple of things in my sketch book make it out this year.

-Art tips and techniques. This I think I'll start doing, and soon. The second session I helped to moderate at ScienceOnline'09, along with artist-biologist Tatjana Jovanovic-Grove was about how to put up decent images online. There are already plenty of great sites about art online (Gurney Journey, Leslie's Blog and Lines and Colors spring to mind[edit: who can forget the tips at Heather Ward's?]), but perhaps I'll be able to contribute something here as well. Mainly, I like blogs that have a focus, but break the wall now and again to show some other aspect of the author's life. Maybe this post is enough for a whole year of breaking the wall. Maybe not.

Art in awe of science remains.

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

Flying Trilobite Gallery ## Flying Trilobite Reproduction Shop ## 2009 Calendar available for a limited time

Friday, 23 January 2009

Art & Science at ScienceOnline '09 discussion continues...

ScienceOnline this past weekend really has me reassessing what I'm doing as a blogger and with my artwork. The conference as a whole and the Art & Science session in particular seem to be continuing as discussions in the blogosphere.

Here's a few links.

-Conference blog & media link page (new ones at the bottom)

-ScienceOnline'09 Flickr set

-Ryan Somma at Ideonexus has a concise overview of the Art & Science session. In addition to the 5 categories I had outlined, Ryan has suggested an entirely appropriate type of artistic science: "Found Art".

-Lenore Ramm of Eclectic Glob of Tangential Verbosity reports feeling inspired to possibly create art once again

-Brian Switek of Laelaps mentioned cave art in the comments here and explores the connection in "The Plight of the Pleistocene Poet".

-Betül of Counter Minds summarized her excited views of the conference

-Bora at A Blog Around The Clock has posted a few photos of the seriousness and shenanigans on the Friday night.

-Jessica Palmer at Bioephemera (can Tatjana and I refer to her as our ephemeral third moderator? Or am I being lame?) shows how the intersection of real science and artistic fancy can be a ball of confusion, (that's what the world is today). Hey. Hey.

-Eva of Easternblot has left a comment here about that elusive grail of mine, art directing the course of scientific research. That's two examples! (First example found here, in the comment and fascinating paper by Andy of The Open Source Paleontologist.)

I may continue to use this post to collect up various links. Working out what to do with myself and my artwork is another matter.


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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow under Creative Commons Licence.
Flying Trilobite Gallery ### Flying Trilobite Reproduction Shop ### 2009 Calendar available for a limited time

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Secular Nation Podcast featuring Flying Trilobite

***Edit! Scheduled date and time have changed! Watch the sidebar for details. (We don't want to overshadow Obama in that timeslot. He's a nice guy.)

In an upcoming podcast, I'll be speaking with David Driscoll on the Secular Nation Podcast.

My Darwin Took Steps image is featured on the current issue of Secular Nation magazine, thanks to editor-in-chief Tom Melchiorre.

Check it out, it should be fun. I'll have to gargle and speak in a whisper until then, but if you missed me at ScienceOnline '09 last weekend, you'll be able to hear my heroic tenor tones wax philosophical about art and science on Friday.


If the Darwin Took Steps oil painting is to your liking, don't forget to check out the reproductions available in my online shop. I think there's still time to pick up cards, prints, canvas repros and sweatshop-free t-shirts in a variety of colours to give to your evolution-loving and rational friends for Darwin Day (Feb 12th).

And half the proceeds from the sales of my Darwin Took Steps swag goes toward helping build a reproduction of the legendary Beagle that took Darwin on the voyage that changed everything. These Beagle Project people are serious, committed and inspiring. Why not help build an educational and scientific mission to resonate in our day as Darwin's voyage resonated in his?
Catch you on the podcast!

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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow under Creative Commons Licence.
Flying Trilobite Gallery ### Flying Trilobite Reproduction Shop ### 2009 Calendar available for a limited time

Monday, 19 January 2009

Art Monday: airport sketches

Some sketches done while waiting at the airport to ScienceOnline'09.
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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow under Creative Commons Licence.
2009 Calendar available for a limited time

Umm.

Oh what the heck. I look like this now.

Expect tweaking to follow.

Greg, I always did just like jumping in the pool without testing the water.

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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 visit my blog, gallery and reproduction store. 2009 Calendar available!

Sunday, 18 January 2009

ScienceOnline09 - Art & Science afterword

Alrighty, first, in case you were not in the session, please go and check out the artwork of every single artist on the wiki page. I will wait patiently without looking at my watch and display my Haldane's Precambrian Puzzle in this post.

Thanks to Jason Robertshaw of Cephalopodcast, we had images on the screen! I was totally flummoxed by the projections, which is always an inspiring way to stand in front of a crowd. Jason let my mouth and brain work and kept my hands from messing with the keyboard. Thanks, man.

After glancing through some of the examples and attempting to throw some definitions on-screen, the discussions in this unconference began. Some points (and further questions to explore!) that stood out:

-Movies such as Jurassic Park have done a lot to inspire science d
own specific paths (could a T-Rex catch that jeep?)

-Despite the success of movies, visual (static) art inspiring areas of research remains elusive. The example by Andy of The Open Source Paleontologist notwithstanding, the question remains: can art inspire new areas of research? With any sort of regularity?

-The question of whether art and science are separate cultures about to come back or not is one that we were reminded happens over and over, perhaps every twenty years or so. I wonder then, is the relationship between art and science something that stands out against the backdrop of history better than standing inside one's own culture?

-How much of nano-imaging, for example, could be taken seriously by the fine art world? Could it be taken seriously?

-When scientists choose how to image data captured about objects in space, algal blooms and so on, they must have some knowledge of colour theory and make artistic decisions.

-When I inquired as to how many people working in science in the room ever sketched out a visual, back-of-the-napkin sort of thing, many people raised their hands. Anyone willing or able to share? I'd love to post a few examples here at The Flying Trilobite.

-Many people knew of terrific examples of art and scientists co-mingling in provocative ways! Please send me links in the comments or by email, and I'll publish them here.

- We left with an open suggestion: how could each person in the room involved art or an artist in their area of research? Please email me, days, months or years from now
if you follow through!

Thanks to the excellent group that coalesced in room C, and thanks to the people who cornered me variously at the conference and dinner afterward to discuss the issues further.

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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 visit my blog, gallery and reproduction store.
2009 calendar available for a limited time!

ScienceOnline09 - my bouncing brain

Today was filled with meeting more bloggers and my head is bouncing. The pace of conversations in each session that moved deftly from topic to comment to rebuttal to expansion to completely-different-fascinating-facet.

My sketch pens were put to some furious scribbling in my sketchbook about what I saw and heard. Marvelous day.

For those not at ScienceOnline09, there are multiple topics in each time slot. Here's where I was Saturday, along with random, (and unfairly uncredited, sorry) comments that stuck with me. Random bits, that's all - I don't drink alcohol, so three dinner coffees and two Cokes later, and my brain is bouncing like a superball.

-Science fiction on science blogs with Stephanie Zvan. Though SF has a something of a credibility issue on many science-based blogs, there is still a strong sense of SF culture, especially in random asides and jokes, often in the comment threads. Also, in a way, each time a scientist proposes a hypothesis, it is a kind of science fiction put forth until data back it up.

-Transitions - your online persona as your life changes with ScienceWoman and Propterdoc. The idea of 'polyblogging' to preserve anonymity, and the importance of being able to say things from a responsible, anonymous standpoint to help others, and to gain community. Revealing yourself when you can to widen the acceptance of blogging as a valuable aspect of your cv.

- Teaching college science: blogs & beyond with Andrea Novicki and Brian Switek. Useful ways for students to learn how to give and take criticism. Accretionary blogging vs wikis. Bait student above abilities, lead them up the ladder. Use of lecture notes into blog posts as a study aid.

- Delicious lunch sponsored by ScienceInTheTriangle.org . Two things; thank you, and does this caterer deliver to Canada?

-Blogging adventure
with Karen James, Talia Page, Anne-Marie Hodge, Meredith Barrett, Kevin Zelnio, Vanessa Woods and Rick McPhearson. Don't be alone in a room with two or more marine biologists in the dark. Especially not when they have puppets. New frontiers of humanity untouched by cellphones do not exist. Don't blog when you have the runs in India or you'll be robbed. Don't accidentally take a poacher's picture. Very informative lively session.

-Art & Science avec moi. I'll post about this separately. I learned some things from the group, so I hope that means it went well.

- Online science for the kids with Janet Stemwedel. Great googly-moogly, there were a lot of resources here!

More later today about my art & science session -I have yet to update the wiki- and I'll be attending a few more, and sharing a workshop with artist Tanja Sova about putting images online. It sort of begs the question about where all the images are in this post, doesn't it?

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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 visit my blog, gallery and reproduction store.
2009 calendar available for a limited time!

Friday, 16 January 2009

Arrival at ScienceOnline '09

After a very strange black-out that knocked out power for a huge chunk of Toronto's west end and after braving public transit to the airport due to the aforementioned black-out, I made it to ScienceOnline 09!

Managed to get a couple of drawings started in my advance-copy Moleskine 9x12 sketchbook too, including some rough work on my new Darwin Day piece, and a weird little opabinia with a sort of tail-net thing.


I feel pretty lucky to be here. Less than two years of posting pictures of anatomically incorrect arthropods, and I'll get to meet a ton of science-bloggers I love to read, and I'm sure, meet many more I'll be happy to know.

A big thanks to all the sponsors, Bora, Anton, David, Enrico and the rest.


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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 visit my blog, gallery and reproduction store.
2009 Calendar available for a limited time!

Monday, 12 January 2009

Art Monday - forgotten format

A few years ago, I became very excited by a possible format for a huge series of paintings.

The canvas was 12"x24", small-ish on the wall, but a comfortable size to depict some detail. My intention was to do a series of images blending human elements with unusual organisms that catch my fancy. I referred to it as a "Primer Series" to inform viewers about the subject matter I tend to paint.

The composition was straightforward. Over the years, I have found that we as human beings tend to enjoy and be intrigued by images of other human bodies. Not too surprising. So I put a human figure or at least partially human figure in the center to entice the eye, and draw viewers in. Around the human, I would place the fossil or organism, and as you can see in Life As a Trilobite, I blended the trilobite with the man.

Above and below the figure, I placed the thematic organism in series as an almost decorative element, possibly with labels. This idea was inspired in part I think, by my love of Alphonse Mucha's work, which you can see influenced Life With Diatoms quite a bit. Then, I planned on having a small card with the work's title and information about why the organism grouped with the human figure mattered so much. The Primer Series would then provide an introduct
ion into the rest of my work. One of the main reasons behind using this format was that I found that many of my peers in university, my professors and my close friends did not necessarily share my interest in biology and paleontology. They enjoyed my paintings, but greater insight was a little closed off.

I had an art show with another excellent artist and close friend as my university days waned. When I exhibited Symbiosis (left, click in gallery to enlarge), a fellow coffee shop employee who was also a zoology major, asked me, "okay, if this means nothing to you, never mind, but in that painting with the green guy, is that a tardigrade?".

Replying that it was, she smiled and said, "I could tell because of those little hooked feet." It was an inspiration. Most people thought the painting looked cool, a little dark and creepy, and here was someone who understood the purple blobby thing hovering above the plinth.

So the plan was to draw in non-bio-paleo folks into the paintings with intriguing paintings of people, and then open them up to the wealth of creatures I find so fascinating, perhaps with an explanatory card off to the side.

When I took this show on the blogosphere almost two years ago, the beauty became that so many people who were also fascinated with these organisms find me.

There were others planned in the series. An ammonite, shells like ram's horns on his head. A Primer Series version of Symbiosis with the tardigrade looking all cute and water bear-ish.

Perhaps one day I'll begin explaining myself again.

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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 visit my blog, gallery and reproduction store.

2009 Calendar available for a limited time!

Sunday, 11 January 2009

The diverging complexity of art and science?

At one of many topics at ScienceOnline'09 later this week, we'll be discussing the relationship of art and science.
In my last post here about this topic, blogger Eva Amsen of Expression Patterns brought up an interesting point about the possibility of diverging technical complexity in both art and science. After thinking about this lucid point for a while, I've added it to the page on the conference wiki, and added some of my own thoughts. I've left my opinions out - for now!

Here is the question from the wiki:

The local apothecary was once a place to purchase medicinal ingredients as well as painter’s pigments, (and both share the same patron Saint as a result, Saint Luke the Apostle). In the Renaissance, the techniques of medicine and science and the techniques of artists were increasing in complexity.

Today, it can be suggested that fine art has largely decreased in technical complexity, while science and medicine continue to specialize and gain complexity. Nowadays, fine art can include whole animals in formaldehyde or casts of packaging, whereas in science and technology, we can manipulate cells or visualize planets orbiting another star.

Is the modern divide in technical complexity real?

If so, is it primarily responsible for the common notion of art and science as “two cultures”?


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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 visit my
blog, gallery and reproduction store. 2009 Calendar available for a limited time!

Monday, 5 January 2009

Art & Science at ScienceOnline'09

The ScienceOnline'09 conference is coming up fast, so here are possible starting points I may use for the discussion I'll be moderating.


Do any of my regular or irregular readers have thoughts, suggestions or other examples? 5 types of science-related art

Here are some rough categories of science-related art for use as starting points. (My bias is showing: many are biology related.)

1. Scientific Illustration - Examples: Carl Buell, Michael Skrepnick, Albrecht Durer, James Gurney, many artists’ work at the Guild of Natural Scientific Illustrators.

2. Science Fine Art & Design - Examples: Felice Frankel, Wim Delvoye (Cloaca), Marc Quinn (blood portrait sculpture).

3. Art inspired by scientific subjects - Examples: Dali’s Crucifixion (Corpus Hypercubus), my own work, Archimboldo.

4. Art inspired by scientific technique - Examples: op art, trompe l’oeil, Man Ray, Holbein

5. Speculative science art & science fiction - Examples: Nemo Ramjet, Speculative Dinosaur Project, some Dougal Dixon books, Wayne Barlowe.

Discussion questions:

-Is art parasitic on science? Does art ever inspire science or lead science to new areas of inquiry?

-Is art about science beneficial to the public or confusing issues in science?

-Art is often based on allegory and symbols, by their nature inaccurate; science often strives for accuracy and precision. Is it possible to make wholly accurate art?

-Should it be possible to inject more skepticism into the often ‘New Agey’ art world of artistic subjects? Technique often relies on innovative technologies, media and materials; should this be a starting point?

-How much scientific content is there in your local art gallery? Is science obviously intended as villain, savior, or inspiration?



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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 visit my blog, gallery and reproduction store. 2009 Calendar available now!

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Art Monday: banner rough sketches

Around this time last year I posted a new version of my blog banner. It was the second trilobite on shale painting I had completed and used as a banner, and I'm at work on a new one for this year. Why not annually?

Here's my thumbnail sketches, done with a ballpoint pen in my beloved Moles
kine sketchbook.

There's something exciting about sketching in ballpoint pen. It always turns out looser. Perhaps it may go back to those days in high school and university when I would listen to lectures and lessons while perpetually doodling.

I also may update my footer and side bar art before the end of the month. Last year, I feel I accomplished many of the goals I had set out for myself. This year, I hope to work on a new series of portraits in addition to playing with my fossil images. I'd like to complete six portraits by the end of the year. Three are planned out already, and executing a portrait is always a test of an artists' abilities.

Previous banners are here and here, and a selection of portraits is here. Click each to enlarge.

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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 visit my blog, gallery and reproduction store.
2009 Calendar available now!

Friday, 2 January 2009

2008: cake smashing fossils

Looking over my shoulder at the trail of scientifically-induced paint spatters I have left strewn in my wake, I'm gonna share. Here's a glance at handful of The Flying Trilobite's 2008 images.

This year, I've put up 36 artworks, 26 of which were new (the remainder pulled from my pre-online portfolio) and 17 of which were in colour. I began this blog as self-promotion, and I've also dramatically increased my output. The icy sorbet next to the smashed cake is the amazing and fascinating bloggers and commenters I get to interact with.
January 2008: some incorrectly-assembled arthropods clung to the walls of the interwebs. The debut of a new banner.

February: The Charles Darwin portrait no one asked for. It debuted originally on Darwin Day over at the online literary 'zine, The Eloquent Atheist. It later showed up (by my count) on over half a dozen other blogs in English and Spanish, and remains popular in my DeviantArt gallery and Online Reproduction store. Darwin Took Steps will also soon be appearing in print, possibly in more than one venue! I can confirm that it is featured on the front cover of the current issue of Secular Nation.

March: The Flying Trilobite debuted on Facebook, in both the Pages and Blog Networks, keeping me in touch with
many readers who I would otherwise be unaware of. I have refrained from sending Facebook fans Zombie attacks and Garden Patch decorations, though I have made Flair.

March was also my first cake smashing anniversary.A new blog banner launched in time for the inaugural post of the Scibling-melded blog, Of Two Minds in March.

April: Began Art Mondays, reviewed Darwin: The Evolution Revolu
tion at the Royal Ontario Museum for the fine folks at The Beagle Project.

May: Wrote Flying & Asthma based on faulty searches that find their way here. The conversation continued with the insightful and thoughtful Zach of When Pigs Fly Returns and Jeff of Blue Collar Scientist.

June: New tattoo.

Hosted The Boneyard and focused on a small portion of the amazing paleo-inspired artwork that finds life online. I promised bunnies this year, and I delivered a creationist bunny on Haldane's Precambrian Puzzle when it was still wet.

July.

August: Lost a blog-friend at the beginning of our friendship. I'm not the only one who misses Jeff Medkeff, The Blue Collar Scientist. He managed to inspire me with the story of his brave last days. Jeff's death shook me for some time, though our comments had been brief.

I wrote about Inspiration and Drugs.
Completed the blog banner for The Meming of Life, the free-wheeling wonderful parenting blog by Dale McGowan.

Launched The Flying Trilobite Reproduction Shop through the wonderful Redbubble after some advice from artist-illustrator Heather Ward. Proceeds from the sale of the Darwin Took Steps image reproductions will go to The Beagle Project.

September: My good offline friend, artist Christopher Zenga took his Walking T
edd paintings and drawings online at The Day After.

October: donated some studio time to The Centre for Inquiry - Toronto lecture featuring PZ Myers of Pharyngula. Got to meet and shake hands with PZ, Skatje, Larry Moran, Geoff Isaac, Amanda Peet, Monado, Gary Roberts, Katie Kish and Justin Trottier and many others. Great weekend.

November: Began to plan for attending and moderating at ScienceOnline'09. I'm pretty freakin' excited. Ahem.

December: Launched my most successful reproduction, the 2009 calendar, and added a Darwin t-shirt to my store. Jointly posted holiday trilobites with Marek of eTrilobite. Emails regarding publication began to float my way...

A special thanks to all those who made it such a great year. I know I'm missing many, but here goes anyway:
Mo, Eric J, Traumador, Craig, Bond, Leslie, Sean, Chris, Marek, Stephanie, Mike, Dale, Shelley & Steve, Carl, Michael, Heather, Brian, Jeff, Zach, Lim, Kristjan, Betül, Emile, Karen, Eric O, Jeff H, Raptor, Bora, HW & the Captain, my Facebook fans, Atheist Nexus peeps, DeviantArt freaks, Redbubble watchers, my family, my friends, and most of all my wife Michelle who gets to watch me freak out at each paintings' ugly phase.

Merry 2009!

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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 visit my blog, gallery and reproduction store.
2009 Calendar available now!

Darwin Took Steps featured on Secular Nation magazine cover

Starting the new year with stairs from a venerable mind.

Darwin Took Steps
, has been featured on the cover of Secular Nation Magazine, the Jan-Mar 2009 issue!

A big thank you to Editor-in-Chief Tom Melchiorre for asking to reproduce this oil painting of our man Charles and promoting the importance of the theory of evolution by natural selection in this important year. And thanks for the great cover design from this terribly biased illustrator.

The version used on the cover is the one I sometimes think of as "Darwin Took Steps mark I". It's the original photo of the painting (with some Photoshop tweaks) when it was still wet and featured on The Eloquent Atheist for Darwin Day last year.

Remember, you can help support The Beagle Project by purchasing Darwin Took Steps t-shirts, Darwin Day cards, and prints on canvas or archival paper from my online reproduction shop.


I hope to have some more news shortly about Darwin Took Steps appearing on another publication in the near future. This is my first print-and-published work for a magazine, so I'm feelin' proud.

Support Atheist Alliance and pick up a copy of Secular Nation for a Darwin Day whirlwind.


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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.
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2009 Calendar available now!

Thursday, 1 January 2009

About Glendon Mellow

Glendon Mellow - The Flying Trilobite - Art in Awe of Science



Links

-glendonmellow.com
-The Flying Trilobite Reproduction Shop
-DeviantArt.com Profile + Gallery
-Twitter
-Art Evolved Profile
-Facebook Page
-Facebook Blog Network
-Redbubble Profile
-ImagineFX Gallery
-Atheist Nexus Profile
-LinkedIn
-Nature Network Profile
-FriendFeed

Professional Art + Illustration

Since
The Flying Trilobite's inception in March 2007, I have found support and resonance from the science, secular and artist communities online. I continue to be available for freelance art and illustration. My work has been featured on numerous blogs in the past couple of years as examples of the intersection of art and science.

Glendon Mellow: Art in Awe of Science, my professional portfolio can be found here.
The Flying Trilobite Reproduction Shop
can be found here.

January 2010, I attended ScienceOnline2010 and was involved in two sessions. I led a workshop introducing the versatility of digital tablets and the program Gimp. Also, with session co-leader Felice Frankel, we discussed our topic, Push it 'til it breaks: what are the limitations of visual metaphors?

An interview and 4 illustrations appeared in the new coffee table book, Geology in Art: an unorthodox path from visual arts to music for geologist and trace fossil artist Andrea Baucon for his. You may preview the entire book at the link.

Beginning in the fall of 2009, I began a series entitled Going Pro at the group paleo-art blog Art Evolved. My aim is to discuss with new illustrators some of the lessons I have learned so far in my career.

Published in Fall 2009, my illustration of an Ent from can be seen in issue #48 of Mallorn, the journal of the Tolkien Literary Society.

The group paleo-art blog to which I belong, Art Evolved, was featured in a two-page spread in the September 2009 issue of EARTH Magazine, the publication of the the American Geological Institute. The issue included my Mythical Flying Trilobite Fossil III as one of four illustrations from the Art Evolved members.

The Flying Trilobite was included in an article entitled Blogging Evolution by Adam Goldstein for the journal Evolution: Education and Outreach as an example of "imaginative" blogs about evolution. Other blogs featured on the list od evolution-education included Pharyngula, Why Evolution is True, The Loom, The Beagle Project, and many more excellent blogs.

In May 2009 I completed a blog banner commission for Migrations, a blog about science, society conservation and migration patterns.

Also in May 2009, I took part in SciBarCamp Toronto and moderated a session entitled, "Can art benefit science?"

The popular Darwin Took Steps is now appearing on a book of science philosophy, entitled La Mente di Darwin, ("The Mind of Darwin") by Andrea Parravicini, and published by Negretto Editore of Milan.

In early 2009, my Darwin Took Steps image was seen on the cover of Secular Nation magazine, and I was interviewed in a podcast about it. This image has been quite popular, and was included as part of my contribution to the cover of Open Laboratory 2008, an annual science blogging anthology. I also donate a portion of the sales of t-shirts, cards and prints of the image to The Beagle Project.

In January 2009, I attended Science Online '09 in North Carolina, U.S.A. In the unconference format, I moderated a session about Art & Science, and co-moderated an online-image workshop with artist-biologist Tanja Sova.

In November 2008, I produced a poster for PZ Myers' Toronto lecture, hosted in part by The Center for Inquiry Ontario.

Summer 2008, I completed a blog banner for The Meming of Life , a secular parenting blog.

I was commissioned to produce a new blog banner for the Scienceblog, Of Two Minds , as well as the online ‘zine The Eloquent Atheist . Unreal trilobites with insect or bat wings have been a part of my work for over 12 years now and I have painted some of them on pieces of shale, as in this interview on Page 3.14 with Virginia Hughes .

Artist's Statement
With my drawings and paintings, I seek to increase our metaphorical vocabulary using the discoveries of science, particularly biology and palaeontology. The genius of representational painting, epitomized by the Renaissance masters, the Symbolists and a handful of Surrealists has never had a more apt time for inspiring wonder in humanity than during our modern scientific age.

Why use Odin to portray wisdom when I can paint Darwin?


Why paint flowers when the beauty of the structure and oxygen produced by diatoms is so compelling?

Regard the resilient stony success of the legions of trilobite species waiting in the rocks. Ready to spring forth into our imagination, taking flight in my mind. They are the mischievous goblins underground, pointing the path to the richness of Earth's history. I can stand here, separated by 550 million years and look at this long dead animal and understand some things about it. I can imagine adventures for it. How can I not? It is a responsibility I delight to indulge in. The absurdity of unimaginable time and my eyes and hands crafting an image of a fossil while flying in a plane still makes me laugh.

I have studied Fine Art at York University, majoring in art history, drawing and oil painting. The Symbolist era of fin-de-siecle Europe inspires much of the aesthetic of my work. The urgency of Symbolist artists such as Fernand Khnopff, Odilon Redon, Arnold Böcklin, as well as the Surrealist Frida Kahlo, appeals to a dark sense of the world, with fragments of hope. The imagination found in faery artists like Arthur Rackham, and current illustrator Alan Lee are delightful, and shaped much of my early work.



A bit more about me...
I was born under a cabbage leaf in the summer of 1974, covered in stork feathers and placenta. I’m inspired by evolution and biology to create my paintings. I’m particularly fond of Naples Yellow. Delicious looking colour, and not healthy at all.

I live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with my wife Michelle and our hermit crab Shiny and school of neon tetras collectively known as Roger. I love to sketch at the Royal Ontario Museum.

In 2008, I also had one of my Mythical Flying Trilobite Fossils tattooed on my arm.

Feedback and commissions keep me going!

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

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