Friday, 29 January 2010

Image-Citation Citation!

As I write this in early 2010, I must state I freakin' love blogs. As an artist-illustrator who blogs original content, one of the things I love most is when bloggers cite the artist, illustrator, graphic designer, photographer or image-maker who created the pictures that adorn their blog posts.

It doesn't happen enough. Too often, images are pasted on by a blogger to help make a point without recognition to those who work hard at creating image content. It's taken for granted that many images are freely used online (whether they are allowed to be or not). Artists' recognition shouldn't be neglected.

Images educate about new concepts, beg to be shared for their cheekiness and insight, and enhance the blogging world. We know this. Time to credit those who take the time to give image-credit where it is due. I hope this meme will spread through the blogosphere.

May I present, The Image-Citation Citation!

Share and award this blog award to bloggers who take the time to cite, backlink and applaud the people who create original images. Giving this award
doesn't mean you've read every blog post the author has penned since the phrase "web log" was used: it means you acknowledge those who regularly acknowledge our bloggy artistic treasures and jesters.

Download, right-click & save or request a copy of this image from me in another form or with a blog colour specific background, and I'll see what I can do. Email your award to the intended blogger with an explanation and backlink to here. I'd love it if you'd comment who you've awarded it to and why on this post, and backlink it if you are a recipient announcing your accolade.


To begin, I award the Image-Citation Citation to:

1) Lines and Colors by Charley Parker, for making the citing of image-makers a joy every post.


2)
Not Exactly Rocket Science, by Ed Yong, for above average journalistic attention to citations and sources.

3) Infectious Greed by Paul Kedrosky, for taking the time to consistently show his infographic and illustration sources through labels and links.


Who do you award the Image-Citation Citation to?

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Edit, 21 Feb 2010: I've created a new, more compact, easier to understand Image-Citation Citation image for recipients to put on their blog, at the request of the commenters (thanks, peeps!)


Please feel free to forward to those who deserve it, and link back here so we can keep a growing list! The url to link to easily is http://tinyurl.com/imagecite .

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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, 25 January 2010

Art Monday: what's this all about?


While I was at ScienceOnline2010, I was lucky enough to get in another fascinating conversation with Roger Harris. At one point, Roger was telling me about how he had explained the flying trilobites to someone, and I was riveted. It was an explanation I hadn't heard before, not far from my thoughts, but taken in a much more socially relevant direction (there aren't a lot of people more socially relevant than Roger, I suspect).

So what's this all about?

Why would I spend that last 14 years populating my drawings and paintings with trilobites with wings? Lend the concept to my blog's title and theme for the last (almost) 3 years?
What do you think these weird drawings mean to me, enough that I would actually get one tattooed on my left forearm?

I'd love to hear your thoughts and interpretations.


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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, 21 January 2010

ScienceOnline2010 snaps part 2

Part 1 of the photos can be seen here, or you can see them all on my Flickr photostream.


The tweet board at the opening reception.


Southern Fried Scientist with his friend Charles, out for a walk.


Mr. & Mrs. Cephalopodcast.


Jeff and Miriam are excited.


Dinner!
From left, Jeff from the New England Aquarium, me, and the Southern Fried Science crew: Amy (bluegrass bluecrab), David (Why Sharks Matter) and Andrew (Southern Fried Scientist himself).


Chatting with the inimitable Beth Beck of NASA.
Do they need artists on the ISS?


Me chillin' with Gee.
I won a copy of Henry Gee's book, Jacob's Ladder: score!


Enjoying lunch and company outside. Craig, Kevin, Jason, Beth and Karen. And possibly Miriam's boots.


The elusive Scicurious of Neurotopia caught on film!


A slice of Bora.

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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, 20 January 2010

ScienceOnline2010 snaps part 1

While I'm working on the follow-up posts to the tablet workshop and the Art & Science session, here are some pics from ScienceOnline2010 last weekend. This is just part 1, and you can see more on my Flickr.
Attendees sign in.

My session co-leader Felice Frankel with copies of her new book, No Small Matter.

The paleo-blogger contingent. From left, Brian Switek of Laelaps, Andy Farke of The Open Source Paleontologist and a guy with a tragically incorrect trilobite tattoo.

Me, Abel Pharmboy of Terra Sigillata and Arikia Millikan of The Millikan Daily.

Sea Chantey time! Karen James of Data Not Shown and The Beagle Project hits the right note.

Photographic showdown against Jason Robertshaw of Cephalopodcast. He handed out buttons. I like buttons.

Craig McClain and Kevin Zelnio of Deep Sea News.

Jelka Crnobrnja-Isailovic and artist-biologist Tanja Sova.

The kids' table.

Our celebrity hosts, Bora Zivkovic and Anton Zuiker.


I'll get part two up soon!



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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 ***

New Going Pro about copyright


I've posted another edition of Going Pro over at Art Evolved. This time looking at different kinds of copyright that are useful for artists to think about.

Click here
to check it out. I promise Lego.


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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, 18 January 2010

Art Monday: ScienceOnline2010 iPod sketches

Created using the Sketchbook Pro app on my handy iPod Touch.
Pre-Dawn Clouds
Made while on the plane heading to the unconference from Toronto. I haven't captured it well enough. It was a solid, almost melted-blue lavaflow landscape of clouds. The dawn sunlight became visible as I was finishing the piece.


ScienceOnline2010 Participants
Created during one of the sessions while sitting near the back. Which session? Ain't tellin'. The person at the front is no one in particular. Or else they would've been wearing blue.

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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 ***

Friday, 15 January 2010

ScienceOnline2010: anthropomorphizing is fun to say

(You can read more for our session Pushing it 'til it breaks: what are the limits of visual metaphors? by clicking here or on the scio10art label below, or by checking the wiki.)

Visual metaphors not only help describe difficult concepts, but they can also allow you to play with them. One of my favourite ways to do that, is by anthropomorphizing them, giving objects personality and purpose, either through their relationship to one another, or by injecting them with human qualities they don't actually possess.

Consider the following images I've made.

Darwin Took Steps

Sowing Seeds & Fossils

Science-Chess Accommodating Religion

Haldane's Precambrian Puzzle (config a: false rabbit)
Haldane's Precambrian Puzzle (config b: true trilobite)

How does each give a personality to inactive objects?

What are the spatial relationships?

Do you feel the metaphor is decisive about an issue, as in a political cartoon? Is it open ended?

What do you see? What do you imagine happens next?

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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, 14 January 2010

ScienceOnline2010: Push it til it breaks

(Today, a guest post by my ScienceOnline2010 session co-leader, Felice Frankel!)The process of coming up with a visual metaphor to explain to someone a particular scientific concept can be quite effective, not only for your readers, but for you –– the process can help to clarify the concept in your own mind. In addition, a discussion about the limitations of that metaphor can be just as clarifying (and fun!). We are incorporating this idea in our NSF-funded Picturing to Learn program.

For years, I have wanted to create an online library of metaphors to communicate complicated science concepts and to engage whoever was interested in why and where those metaphors fall apart. We should do it. Who wants to be part of it?

Here a just a few examples from George Whitesides' and my new book No Small Matter, Science on the Nanoscale.
Quantum Apple

...an attempt to depict the counter intuitiveness of quantum mechanics. Not necessarily a deep portrayal to be sure. I just wanted the reader to get a handle about the idea that QM is NOT like the world as we "see" it.



Writing with Light

How some devices are made using "photolithography".



Graduation Chairs

...so much of what we see is dependent upon where our heads are at, at the time we see it. Coincidentally, while I was working with researchers at MIT imaging samples showing "templated self-assembly" of block co-polymers (another example with which you are more familiar would be DNA replication), the facilities folks were setting up chairs for parents which were meant as "guides" or "templates", where to sit during graduation. Again, nothing that profound but perhaps interesting enough to get some feedback. I decided to post the image and ask people to write to me and suggest what they see in the metaphor. The responses were all over the place:
"... an illustration of orbitals and similar constraints on electrons in an atom."

"The image reminds me of columns (or rows :D) of ICs"

"...circuit on the motherboard of a computer."

"...gravestone markers in a cemetery."

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We'll see you at ScienceOnline2010!
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Today's images Copyright by Felice Frankel.

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


Flying Trilobite Gallery *** Flying Trilobite Reproduction Shop ***

Monday, 11 January 2010

Art Monday: Mountain Discovery

Mountain Discovery
"We're gonna need another Order of trilobites!"

Created for the January time capsule gallery at Art Evolved. This time the theme was a paleo-environment. I tried to make the fossil itself an environment. And to put Isotelus to shame.

This is the first complete fully digital painting I have displayed: most of my digital work involves enhancing my oil paintings, or digital roughs. I feel I still have a lot to learn before I am satisfied with my skill set, though my friend, artist Chris Zenga, suggested I may be uncomfortable with this since most of my work is quite a bit darker than this.

Michelle likes it, and would like to see me produce more landscapes

This was created using mainly ArtRage 2.5, a bit of Photoshop Elements 6 and my Intuos 3 tablet.

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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, 10 January 2010

Help me with my homework

This term, I'm taking a new studio course that looks gruelling in the best possible way. To start it off, we were paired with another student alphabetically, and we each separately need to come up with a favourite quote which will fire the trajectory of the term.

So, why not a poll, I thought immediately. But I gotta hurry. Poll closes Tuesday morning at 5:30 am.

Help! Please vote on the poll in the sidebar, and be a part of my art. You can pick multiple answers.

(This is the last class of my Bachelor of Fine Arts Honours degree. Can't wait. All those times I'll be at the opera, and the stage manager comes rushing out, "is there an artist in the house?!" and I'll coolly take out a ballpoint pen and perform emergency blow-painting with ink all over their backdrop.)

Here are the quotes I am nominating:

1) "-no frogs called, no insects sang, the tree branches stood silent, and no breath disturbed the motionless air."
-the last line of The Stress of Her Regard by Tim Powers

2) "The word transformed the land surface of the planet from a dusty hell to a verdant paradise."
-from Genome: the autobiography of a species in 23 chapters by Matt Ridley

3) "I no longer believe that the momentum of a life headed in a worthwhile direction ends when that life does."
-from Star Wars: X-Wing - Wraith Squadron by Aaron Allston

4) "Science is spectrum analysis. Art is photosynthesis."
-from Half-Truths and One-And-A-Half-Truths by Karl Krauss

5) "This may be because they are forest animals, and the leaf litter of forest floors is not friendly to fossils."
-from The Ancestor's Tale: a pilgrimage to the dawn of life by Richard Dawkins

6) "The strawberry was too old to remember anyone. By this time the hedgerows were filled with bones."
-from the poem, A Child's Garden of Strawberries, from Selected Strawberries and other poems by Susan Musgrave

Vote! Oh, and keep in mind we have been encouraged to draw and paint with unusual materials.


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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 ***

Saturday, 9 January 2010

ScienceOnline2010: Art & Science - what works?

At the upcoming ScienceOnline2010 in January, Felice Frankel and I will be on hand again to lead a session discussing art & science.

To follow this series of posts, click the "scio10art" label below. (I will also be doing a workshop about digital painting with a tablet - for more on that, look for posts labelled with "scio10tablet".) You may also comment or check in with our session's wiki page.
Part 1
- Art historical background to metaphor

Part 2 - Categories of visual metaphor in science art

The type of metaphor I spend a lot of time thinking about could be called narrative or allegorical metaphor. I like to use one object as a symbol for an idea, or sometimes multiple objects, to tell a story or give an image meaning.

An image I am very familiar with (and many Flying Trilobite readers will be as well) is the oil painting Darwin Took Steps I made in 2008. I'd like to use it as an example for some questions for the session. I think Darwin Took Steps is useful due to its relative popularity; it has appeared on a magazine cover, two book covers, numerous blogs, is on display in
a museum in Spain and caused a ruckus on the art network deviantArt last year.

Okay, so; the Darwin painting.

1) What are your first thoughts about this painting and what it may mean?

2) How necessary do you think knowing the title was before seeing the painting to the metaphor's success? Does the title point too blatantly?

3) Is the painting disrespectful to you? Irreverent? Exalting? Does it imply worship or mockery?

4) I stuck stairs on the head of an esteemed (sometimes reviled) naturalist. How
do your feelings match the metaphor?

5) Portraiture has a long history, and it's likely most people have seen portraits, possibly even the Charles Darwin photos I used as reference for this painting. What mental scaffolding does the idea of a portrait raise in your mind?
How do you know when you are looking at a portrait

6) Although I'm proud of most of my paintings, this one seems to resonate with people. Let's be specific: Um why? Why a portrait of Darwin with stairs?


7) Years ago, I did another painting of an elderly gent with stairs on its head, called Disease (below). Its popularity does not approach anywhere near Darwin Took Steps.Is it the colour and skill-level of the painting? What does Charles Darwin bring to the painting that this random figure does not? Which is a more conventional portrait and why do you think so? Despite the similarities, how do the titles change your perceptions of each painting?

8) A clue to the baggage any image of Charles Darwin specifically brings is through the comments on deviantArt. Darwin Took Steps was an image-of-the-day on Feb 12 2008, and kicked off over 500 comments from dA users debating Darwin's contribution from both a scientifically & historically literate stance and a creationist stance. Few comments were directed at the painting itself.

Is the power of a metaphor through suggestion rather than explanation?


Comment below with more questions you would like to discuss, responses or directions you would like to see the discussion session move to. You don't have to be attending the un-conference to contribute!


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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 ***
A portion of the sales of reproductions of Darwin Took Steps go to benefit the Beagle Project.
Copyright © 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 Glendon Mellow. All rights reserved. See Creative Commons Licence above in the sidebar for details.