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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Anonymous said...

Wow. Definitely unexpected from you Glendon (well, for me it was.) Great idea, though. A window into your life and soul, I like it. Yes, bring your wife to blog. I'd like to know more about her.

I have faith that, with this new direction, you won't disappoint. Besides, what runs through your mind during everyday life, interests me. Glad to have some company with blogging about our lives.

Stephanie Zvan said...

Dude, you're making me feel all inspirational and stuff. Okay, so it's no surprise, but I endorse further blog personalization--and geekiness, of course.

Jesse Graham said...

I would love to read more artist tips from you Glendon!

On a side note, I'm feeling your Star Wars collection.

Glendon Mellow said...

Thanks Raptor!

Stephanie, the inspirational mood is at least partly your fault. The geekiness lays at my feet.

Jesse, what on earth do you need my art tips for? To practice correcting with a red pen? Glad you're not being a stranger though, man.

Prehistoric Insanity said...

It is nice to finally get a glimpse of the artists behind the artwork. Isn't that a fundemental of art (or is it art history?) that knowing something about the artist can give the art more meaning.

Anyways really enjoyed the 4th wall wrecking ball post.

Though I do have to say your love of Jar-Jar is wrong, and I can prove it with graphs! ;p

Peter Bond said...

I am also concerned about the Jar-Jar... What about the Rancor? He's always cool.

I enjoyed "looking behind the curtain" too.

Karen James said...

I was three years old when A New Hope came out.

Me too! *high five*

Glendon Mellow said...

*high five*

Yay for Seventies/Eighties kids! Rubik's cubes, Q-Bert, Chuck Taylor all-star converse and Strawberry Shortcake.

Purple Pieman changed my life.

Anonymous said...

I am all verklempt to find my name cuddled in between James Gurney and Lines and Colors.
*shivers of delight*
You know how to flatter a girl.

Knowing more about the artist is always of interest. I like this post (well, aside from the flattery, of course).

Alan Lee probably did more to stimulate the next generation of artists than he could ever realize.

Do the goth stuff. I would love to see it.

Glendon Mellow said...

I wanted to include artists who are willing to share technique, and you're amazing three ways from Sunday, Leslie.

Really? The goth stuff?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the Goth stuff.
Great mystery, great character, graphic tendencies.

Anonymous said...

Is that The Predator in your Star Wars pic?
I had my picture taken with Predator at a convention. *brag*
I was actually scared even though I knew the guy in the costume.

Glendon Mellow said...

You've got me thinking about it Leslie. Maybe the gothy stuff will happen as a little aside now and then.

Predator is awesome! Loved the second one with Danny Glover. But no, in the photo that's Tarfful, leader of the Wookiees, friend of Chewbacca and Yoda.

He likes cake, but not ice cream.

Scientia Pro Publica said...

many thanks for your kind comments -- i am thrilled to know that i was able to help inspire someone, and even though i cannot speak for kevin, i am sure he also would feel likewise. keep up the good work and let me know how things are going as you add more dimension to your already fine blog.

Glendon Mellow said...

Thanks GrrlScientist! And happy birthday!

Keep posting that subway art.

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