Friday 29 April 2011

Starts Tomorrow!

Click to enlarge! On throughout May!  Show starts tomorrow! Check SONSI for more deets!!!!1!eleventy!!

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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow

Wednesday 27 April 2011

My atheist billboard

The Freedom from Religion Foundation has a fast, neat little application to make your own atheist billboard.  Mine's above and you can see more of them here. I learned about it from radio-show host Mike Haubrich.

When thinking about a quote, I thought about how a lot of people will possibly reference science or morality for these quotes (you can see them all here).  As an artist and an atheist, I thought I would try to sum-up some of the feelings I wrote about it in this post two years ago: Gift from God? I don't think so.

In the post, addressing the 'compliment' of artistic ability being a 'gift', I said;
Just because something is hard to understand, just because complicated processes occurred that you did not witness, does not mean it was caused by a benevolent mythical being who hands out aptitudes like Santa with presents...
...That was studying. That was attempts at keen observation. That was making countless mistakes I attempted to learn from. Feedback. Crits and criticisms. Learning from indifference. Trying new materials. Replicating happy accidents. Sharing techniques. 

I received a lot of support in the comments. When I re-posted it at my RedBubble (online store) account, I ended up with concern trolls.

Far too many artists believe in the divine - probably more in New Age nonsense than organized religion, though there are plenty of those types too. "Meant to be" is the cause of many happy accidents to many artists, when in fact, happy accidents have a lot more in common with Richard Dawkins' ratcheting up Mount Improbable: you hang on to the successes, duplicate them as close as you can and eliminate the artistic attempts that fail in your eyes. Developing a skill, technique and style in art has a lot in common with natural selection. 

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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow

Monday 25 April 2011

Trilobite Boy Tumblr

Trilobite Boy now has his own Tumblr

After a lot of discussion and suggestions from various peeps on Twitter and elsewhere, I thought Tumblr might be a good way to collect the new Trilobite Boy daily sketches.  I've made some of my feelings about Tumblr before, and the culture of non-credited artwork that seems to exist there: so this will be an experiment for me.

Do more eyeballs actually translate to greater popularity (and hopefully, as an artist who needs to eat, revenue)?

Saturday 23 April 2011

Trilobite Boy Daily Sketch #2 - Waking

Trilobite Boy - Waking.
©  Glendon Mellow 2011, using ArtRage. Share under Creative Commons, see sidebar.

The second daily sketch that's part of my new regimen. I'm giving myself a 30 minute time limit for each sketch in the Trilobite Boy story in an attempt to loosen up and in some cases, sharpen my style. And quite frankly, to crank this story out. As a new dad with other items on the go, it's been pushed back far enough.

What do you think?

First Trilobite Boy Daily Sketch is here.

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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow

Friday 22 April 2011

Daily Regimen

Since our little scamp was born at the end of December, it's been difficult to maintain routines.  This week, I plan on going back to being an early-riser by getting up everyday at 5:30 to draw, paint or sketch for 30 minutes, even if I go back to bed afterward.

I'm not going to restrict myself to what little sketch I'll do, but then again: what better way to make some headway on the Trilobite Boy story than this in my time-crunched schedule?

At the moment, I'm envisioning Trilobite Boy less of a traditional comic book and more of a series of captioned illustrations, tied to a single narrative. Let's see how it goes.

Day 1, click to enlarge: 

Trilobite Boy - Late. 2011, ArtRage.
©  Glendon Mellow, share under Creative Commons, see sidebar.

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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow

Tuesday 19 April 2011

Dimetrodon-Sphinx - a continuing wip

Still playing with digitally colouring this image of a Dimetrodon Sphinx.  It's become an idle work to spend a few minutes on when I need to take a break from more pressing projects. 

I think I'd like to use her as a character in the Trilobite Boy story. That's coming along, but I'm starting to think it will be more of an illustrated story than full-on comic with my schedule. 

Most recent dabble at the top, older descending. Click to enlarge. 

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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow
Print Shop

Thursday 14 April 2011

Flying Trilobite Etsy

There's a lot of new original art and signed prints in my Etsy store

Encrinurus trilobite

Eremotherium (extinct sloth) and Glyptodon skulls

Mythical Flying Trilobite Fossil IV

Young Darwin Discovers Glyptodon sketch

 Admittedly, freelancing has been pretty rough and I'm in some immediate need, so I've put a few originals in here I haven't attempted to sell before. Consider buying one of these on Etsy and help me keep the lights on. Or you can contact me at about them.

I also continue to sell prints, calendars, stickers, posters, postcards and greeting cards through my RedBubble Print Shop. As usual, my work appears online under Creative Commons and can be enjoyed digitally for free minus the cost of the weirdness inflicted.

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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow

Monday 11 April 2011

Two Arthropods Meet - a teeny commission challenge

After meeting the tireless Karyn Traphagen at ScienceOnline11 in January, she asked me for an unusual commissioned painting: something on slate, no larger than 1.5"x2".

It was more difficult than I had thought.  I have often painted creatures and details that small -I knew I had the right brushes- but I had never tried to fit a whole composition in something that small.

The challenge was on.

Apparently I drink too much coffee to reliably use the camera's up-close feature.
The piece languished on my desk for a little while, unfinished, until I came up with the idea of adding the ladybug, an image that I've done in a similar way before in pencil. I added a bit of gold-coloured paint (actually titanium-coated mica flakes) to the ladybug to give it a shimmer.

Here's the final piece:

Thanks Karyn!
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Interested? I have a couple of larger, similar pieces painted on slate for sale and I remain available for commissions.

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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow

Friday 8 April 2011

Upcoming SONSI Gallery Show

Really excited about this!

Postcard design by Jennifer Osborn. Illustrations © individual artists of SONSI.

Postcard design by Jennifer Osborn

For the month of May, I'll be taking part in the Southern Ontario Nature & Science Illustrators first gallery show at the Burlington, Ontario, Royal Botanical Gardens. You can view the press release here

I'll be showing the original oil painting of my popular Darwin Took Steps, and a high-quality print of my Pink Parasaurolophus, which will be for sale with the frame included. Here they are below, all framed up for the show:

We've got upwards of 25 members in SONSI, and I can't wait to see this show.  I also think this show will be Darwin Took Steps's sawn song - it's easily my most popular image, but I don't want to keep pushing it. Time to put my best foot forward with something new.

Actually, I'm hoping maybe to do a series of prehistoric critters as brightly coloured and as stylized as the Pink Parasaurolophus. Maybe an alphabet? I think framed like it is above, it could make a nice series of prints for a child's bedroom.

If you're interested in this print, you can also get them framed or unframed in my online store

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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow

Monday 4 April 2011

Slutwalk and Koran Burning

[Preamble: I'm a white atheist straight male living in Toronto Canada. So, except for the atheist thing, I'm speaking on these political, gender and religious issues from a position of privilege. This blog post represents my understanding at the moment.]

Today, here in my beloved city of Toronto a huge crowd rallied and marched and demonstrated in the first possibly annual Slutwalk. It was in response to an idiotic, insensitive hurtful, perpetuating-antiquated-stereotypes comment by a Toronto Police officer who said, "women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized".

The SlutWalk encourages women to dress how they want to dress, and joined by their families if they wish, to march from Queen's Park (our Province of Ontario house of legislature for you non-Canucks) to Police Headquarters. The basic message is simple: it doesn't matter how a woman dresses, she is not asking to be assaulted or raped.

The SlutWalk Toronto site is here. has a great interview about it.
Our Lady of Perpetual Win comments about it on Almost Diamonds.
Some footage from the rally by Torontopia.

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Koran Burning
To shift gears, let's look at the actions of the Pastor in the USA who burned a Koran after threatening months ago to do so.  At first largely unnoticed by mainstream media, it was announced in Afghanistan by Hamid Karzai. After last Friday's prayers, a mob, possibly filled with Taliban infiltrators left a mosque, rioted and attacked a UN building, beheading two, and killing in total 15 people, revised upwards to 21 the next day.

New York Times.
Sam Harris's take on his new blog, with which I largely agree.
Josh Rosenau's response on Thoughts from Kansas, with which I largely disagree.
Notes and Comment.
Why Evolution is True.

Josh and I had a brief discussion on Twitter about it. If I may say, in the end I concluded, "Well it seems you and I agree the pastor is wrong to some degree, but murder is worse than book-burning to some degree."The rest of the conversation was a disagreement over the degree of blame lies at the Pastor's feet.

Basically, I find a lot of attention and blame in the media and some bloggers online are blaming the idiotic Pastor who burned the Koran for the deaths of the UN officials and other civilians in Afghanistan. 

What he did was provocative and idiotic, but hardly worth murder, beheadings and attacking an all-girls school (wtf, but yes really).

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Responsibility for Violence
I can see a parallel - and very very significant differences- between the Pastor's Koran Burning and Slutwalk. Saying the Pastor should expect and therefore be be blamed for fanatical Islamic violence is similar in some ways to saying a "woman is asking for it". 

The Pastor is an ass - I personally don't like book burnings. I once worked at a school library where I was asked to burn some beautiful old Andrew Lang Colour Fairy books in the incinerator, because they were unpopular. I took 'em home. Josh pointed me to this post by PalMD pointing out that book-burning can be an act of violence and not just expression. But book-burning by a denounced nutbar should not be conflated to responsibility for beheading and murdering. 

Women should absolutely dress however they want. I agree with Ontario not having a double-standard when it comes to toplessness (though the social stigma is mainly still there, the legal barrier was and should have been removed.) Standards of what constitutes "proper" dress are fluid with the times and with individual tastes. One person's conservative is another person's offensive. And no clothing choice should be conflated to responsibility for being raped. 

In both situations, the blame for violence falls with the perpetrator of the violence, not with anyone who may or may not have provoked them.

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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow

Friday 1 April 2011

Flying Trilobite in the new Blogger Dynamic Views

Blogger has been adding more and more functionality. Check out this video for whole new Dynamic Views you can use to look at and read The Flying Trilobite:

All of these are enabled in preview form by clicking
Or click on one of the options below:
Soon, these will be available as new Blogger templates.  Do you have a favourite? Should I go for one of these? I love the artsy view of Mosaic - I just hope the background would come in black or green. 

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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow

Do not adjust your Trilobite

*Do not adjust your Trilobite*

*keep enrolled and carry on*

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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow

Copyright © 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 Glendon Mellow. All rights reserved. See Creative Commons Licence above in the sidebar for details.
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