Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Synapsid invasion almost here!

The second ART Evolved paleo-art gallery will launch May 1st! I'll have a piece in it, and one of the site coordinators, Craig Dylke of Traumador fame, has blown me away with his piece. Wait'll you see it.

The Permian Synapsid gallery has a lead-in here. The Permian is a fascinating period, pre-dinosaur, that ended with the most devastating mass extinction in Earth's history. The synapsids were a group of animals defined by a single hole in the skull behind the ear.

*sigh* I tried to do a" straight" scientific illustration but an idea struck me. You'll have to check it out come May 1st.

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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 ###

Monday, 27 April 2009

Art Monday: if this blog was a colouring book

If this blog was a colouring book, y'know, the kind of 99 cent one you find buried in a grocery store, it might look like this:
Darwin Took Steps.
Mythical Flying Trilobite Fossil III.Sara Chasm. These should print out half the size of a sheet of paper if you click to enlarge and then save them to your computer. If anyone colours them in, I'll publish them to a future post, preserving all anonymity as requested. Just send me an email.

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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 ###

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Artsy Links

A few artsy links for an overcast Wednesday. Some of these are new to my Blog Lists in my sidebar.

-Liese Martin at Deadpan Alley is giving away a free original piece of art, and the fun part is, for bonus points you can make up a nursery rhyme in the comments. I did! And now I'm expected to play Scrabble in Colorado or something.


-If talking it out is your thing, Chad Orzel has raised some interesting points about 'The Art and Science of Naming Things' over at Uncertain Principles. Is the desire to name and label in science so different than in art?

-The Day After sees new madness springing from artist Chris Zenga's mind. This is one seriously sinister-cute giraffe.

-I've added a PayPal donation button in my sidebar: but if you really want to keep my explorations of art in awe of science going, why not buy a print, shirt or pitch a commission? I'd love to make a living doing art, so the button is there as an expression of that hope.

-Miss Holly Hoolahoop has had a thing lately for monster cupcakes and robots. Yeah, no seriously, just go look at it. I like the donut.

-At Hammered Out Bits, viking-blacksmith Darrell Markewitz checks out the damage that freeze-and-thaw cycles did to his traditional Icelandic forge this past winter here in Ontario.

-Faerie illustrator Ash unveiled her Will O'Wisp -that was completed with an injured hand. Gah.

-Jesse Graham is freaking me out again.

-May 1st will see the unveiling of the new Permian Synapsid Gallery over at Art Evolved! (flashing lights, sirens, streets closed off) I can't believe it's been almost two months since this new blogchild was born. What's a Permian synapsid? Just read this. And this. The Art Evolved crew are a pretty diverse group of artists, so it will be fun to see. And I'll have one in there, so, hey. Perhaps I'll have to do one "straight" this time without my usual Symbolist-Surrealist tweakings.

Well, I hope these links made your eyes happy today.


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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 ###

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Poor confused asthmatics...

Many people reach this blog looking for information on "flying" and "asthma". So many, I wrote a blog post about it almost one year ago.

But apparently if you go to a medical-linking website called RightHealth and ask about flying in a plane with asthma, you're greeted to pictures of a flying trilobite, and of me!

The Flying Trilobite is also listed under a guide to the topic on blogs.


Methinks setting up a medical advisory website on the basis of automated Google search results is a recipe for disaster.


The comically-tragic link is here.

- - - - - - - - Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow under Creative Commons Licence. Flying Trilobite Gallery ### Flying Trilobite Reproduction Shop ###

Monday, 20 April 2009

Art Monday: Durer's mum

Been thinking about my university days a lot lately. Not sure why.

Until I was in my 4th year, I had never undertaken to copy the artwork of a great master to advance my own work. As far back as high school, friends of mine and I eschewed copying as a stunt some of our peers were adept at, but which didn't lend itself to learning. Copying still life was fine; the strokes of the pencil or brush were our own. So much better than a copy of a copy.

During a class on historical techniques and materials, I d
iscovered how wrong I had been. Re-discovering each stroke a master like Albrecht Durer had made allowed me to romanticize a connection of minds while I worked. It took surprisingly little time to complete the assignment (I'll let others judge if it should have take me more time).

Here are my drawings compared with the originals by Albrecht Durer (1471-1528) of Nuremberg, arguably the the master of Northern Renaissance Europe.




































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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 ###

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Ethics of blogging university papers?

Ever since Coturnix at A Blog Around the Clock wondered where all the good art historian blogs are, I've thought about sharing some of my own interpretations and analysis of art history.

Some papers I wrote in university may make for some interesting discussion and hopefully illumination; but is it ethical? I can remember the university held onto copies of the students' work so they could check future papers against plagiarism, but is there some ownership over these papers by the universities?

I put the question to Twitter last night, and thereby to Facebook. Tweet:
Anyone know an ethical reason not to use my old university essays as blog posts? Property of the university or my brain?

So far, I've received about a dozen responses, most clearly of the opinion that my brain owns the words, and as cautioned, to be sure to include citations. I thought I'd open the discussion up here on the blog for longer comments than 140 characters allow.

And if I do start posting portions or a series based on older essays - anyone interested in representations of the mysterious centres of thought in fin-de-siecle Symbolist painting?

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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 ###

Thursday, 16 April 2009

New items in the Repro Shop

Mythical Flying Trilobite Fossil III is now available as a greeting card, matted print, canvas print (my favourite!) and more. The quality at RedBubble is great. Just let Scicurious at Neurotopia tell you. (Thanks to Mr. Sci too!)
Darwin Took Steps is possibly my most popular image right now. I've added a few new selections of the pencil drawing version of the shirt, below.

The colour portrait of our man Charles is also available in a variety of colour shirts, as seen on Open Laboratory 2008. The shirts are sweatshop-free and a portion of the proceeds go toward the Beagle Project. V-neck, girl-fitted sleeves, short- or long-sleeves.

You can find the rest of the items in the shop here.

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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 ###

Monday, 13 April 2009

Art Monday: search, download, comment

One of the things about blogging that appeals to me is seeing a bit about the people who come across my art. Widgets can help a lot with the ever-welcome lurkers and shed some light on their shadowy existence. Everyone uses them, so I think the Big Brother aspect of them is largely mitigated by their egalitarian use.

The concept of everyone watching everyone else and the failure of privacy as a right is excellently explored in David Brin's Earth and in Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age. In Earth, there is still tension; in The Diamond Age, new social mores modeled on Victorians and Confucianism make spying uncouth.

Anyway, I'm not opening this up to reveal ISP's or anything. But as an artist, the subject of who is downloading my stuff is fascinating and a bit daunting at the same time.

If you don't expose artwork to viewers, you languish in obscurity. No security is great enough to stop someone from ripping you off though. I've heard a number of stories about how people have been caught doing just that.

Today, I would like to look and speculate.

-Someone who works at an ad company in Belgium looked at a few pages of my blog, searched for the word "coelacanth" and finally downloaded my Darwin Day liveblog result.

-The most popular download in the last little while is my poster for The Centre for Inquiry-sponsored PZ Myers lecture last Hallowe'en. And surprising to me, is half again as many people downloaded my scribbly rough sketch! What for?

-The second-most popular download is a photo of an albino squirrel in Trinity-Bellwoods park I snapped here in Toronto. Albino squirrel populations exist in a bunch of places, and I suppose the sight of one is rare enough people go online scrambling for photos of the skittish mammals. Perhaps I should apologize for my photography.

-To the person in Sweden who searched for "fossil encrinurus photo" and downloaded my pencil drawing - I make no guarantees about scientific accuracy. Although I aim for a high degree of accuracy to reach out to my core scientifically-literate audience, sometimes I just like how the pencil pattern looks.

-For the Arizona resident searching under "flying trilobite hoax", I'm kind of glad you didn't find one. I don't paint inaccurately-winged flying trilobites on pieces of shale for the same reason people make crop circles or launch flares. In other words, it is not to test people's gullibility. That's why they are usually labeled "Mythical Flying Trilobite Fossil". I paint flying trilobites largely for the same reason people paint dragons or faeries. It's fun and interesting, and hopefully sparks the imagination. (Hmm, is there a children's book of flying trilobites hiding inside me somewhere?) Can you imagine if I did try to perpetuate a hoax about finding a genuine flying trilobite fossil? How many people would read their morning papers or bloggy news-source and be shocked? Richard Fortey, Marek Eby, and Sam Gon III?

My stuff is under a Creative Commons Licence, specifically one that means you may share, email and download my art, you simply need to a)always cite it as mine with a link to me, b)not alter it in any way, and c) not make any $$$ from it. That last part's my job. So by all means, share and enjoy my artwork.

And don't be afraid to send an email or make a comment! Feedback for a blogging artist is all that and a bag of chips.

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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 ###

Monday, 6 April 2009

Art Monday: unfinished business

Running out of ideas is never something I worry about. The feeling of having no time is something that has started to obsess me lately. Balancing home, freelancing, blog and day-job feels wobbly. I'm happy and I'm scared of losing ground.

A few pieces of unfinished artwork, below. I hope to complete or start each of these anew.


Why do I worry about getting each of these ideas down before a day comes when I am no longer? How many echoes of that statement reverberate hollowly through forgotten history?
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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 ###
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