Art Monday: Haldane's Precambrian Puzzle

This post originally appeared on the 29th of November, 2008 

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"...Evolution makes the strong prediction that if a single fossil turned up in the wrong geological stratum, the theory would be blown out of the water.


"When challenged by a zealous Popperian to say how evolution could ever be falsified, J.B.S. Haldane famously growled: 'Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian.'



"No such anachronistic fossils have ever been authentically found..." -Richard Dawkins

-p127-128, Richard DawkinsThe God Delusion, 2006.
Houghton Mifflin Company. ISBN-13: 978-0-618-68000-9.

A scan of my Haldane's Precambrian PuzzleOil paint on 9 pieces of shale, 2008. Prints now available.

Haldane's Precambrian Puzzle (configuration A): False Rabbit 
available as greeting cards, mounted print, matted print and canvas print. Click here.

Haldane's Precambrian Puzzle (configuration B): True Trilobites
available as greeting cards, mounted print, matted print and canvas print. Click here. 


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


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Art Monday: Ammonite Flax Flower



Image available in
The Flying Trilobite Reproduction Shop, from greeting cards to framed prints. A variation of this image was originally seen as part of the Sowing Seeds & Fossils series.
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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 ***

Art Monday: Sowing seeds and fossils

This is a multi-media drawing project about York University's landscape. Once, southern Ontario was underwater. Many marine fossils can be found here, such as ammonites. More recently, the land was used for farming. Here, I am showing flax, a favourite of mine due to its use in oil painting.

This is
Sowing seeds and fossils.
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It is constructed out of beechwood panels,
a piece of shale, various pumice mediums,
with acrylic matte medium transfers of the drawings,
chalk pastel, graphite and charcoal,

mylar and india ink,
.3mm mechanical pencil with HB lead on vellum-finish bristol,

with notes from scientific documents,

and notes from my sketchbook.

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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 ***

Art Monday: 1st school assignment so far

Here's what I've been working on so far for school.

Our drawing studio class has a simple structure. 1st class,presentation of the assignment. 2nd class, present progress so far and work on it. 3rd class, class and instructor critique. That's tomorrow, and the final is much further along than you can see here.
Hand sowing flax seeds and fossils.

We are to do a drawing about the York U landscape. Our professor has an evident love for nature (he came to the first class with a list from the environmental studies program of every catalogued species found on campus), and so I got to thinking about York's deeper history. Like much of Southern Ontario, marine fossils can be found. Or would be. Most of York's campus was once farmland, and any larger sized rocks are gone from the soil. The rest is landfill. There's no rocky outcroppings anywhere.Ammonite shell sprouting flax flowers (incomplete).

So I have also done a shale drawing of an ammonite. I'll show that with the final next week.

My project has also gone in an unexpected direction after last week's group discussion about works in progress. I'll find out tomorrow if I'm pushing it too far from the literal I had started with.
Flax seed sprouting cephalopod.


The final is being matte medium transferred onto beechwood supports, and over-layed with mylar containing notations. I've also layered a couple of the wood supports with pumice stone medium to give it a rocky feel.

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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 ***

Mythical Flying Trilobite Fossil III

The new blog banner is now installed above.
Mythical Flying Trilobite Fossil III
Oil on shale, pencil on bristol and a surprising amount of digital done in Photoshop with my new tablet. Copyright to moi, 2009.

For Art Monday, I'll try to show some of the details, and maybe just how much digital there is overlaying the oil on shale. I added quite a bit of colour to this little beastie.

Insect wings instead of mammal! Do I need a new tattoo?

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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 ###

Art Monday: shale banner progress


The new Mythical Flying Trilobite Fossil blog banner is almost complete. Here you can see the oil on shale, with oil & pencil crinoids off to the right hand side.The last few steps will be to peel the bristol off the back of the shale, and scan the bristol and shale in separately. This shale is too big for the scanner, so I may have to tilt it to wedge it in, or Photoshop-together two parts.

In the little peek of it last week, Eric Heupal of Eclectic Echoes and The Ot
her 95% suggested we don't often see enough bite marks on trilobites. Hmm. Battle-scars, eh? So far I have not put any on this little critter. This week I have taken a new leap forward in technique and invested in an Intuos 3 tablet. I know there's a couple of touch-ups I may try with it, and scars are on the list. I hope to have this baby completed in the next couple of days.

As a little aside, here's my first efforts (besides some loopy happy face exercises to get me use to the feel) with my new tablet. Remember this encrinurus drawing?
So here I've tried to mimic my pencil strokes and added two new nodules to the head, and a new elongated nodule on the left side of the cephalon. I may need to adjust the sensitivity of the pen to mimic my lighter pencil strokes. In the upper middle, I tried some light washes, and below that, some bolder painted strokes. Can't wait to play some more.

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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 ###

Art Monday: shale painting underway

A raw and unedited scan of what will be my new blog banner. Note the shiny wet oils glaring off the shale.

A mythical flying trilobite fossil heading for some crunchy crinoids.

Enough lollygagging! Back to work!

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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 ###

Happy Flying Triloblogiversary to me...

Two years ago today, The Flying Trilobite began. A lot has happened since. I have back-posted a new "About" page which covers many of the highlights.
Last year, we celebrated with cake.

This year, I will be launching a swanky new blog banner. Another Mythical Flying Trilobite Fossil painting on shale, but with a bit of a twist. More deets tomorrow for Art Monday.

Oh, and I have pie! Celebrate with coffee, pie, and the music of Julee Cruise! Cue the bas
s: derm derrrmm...derm derrrrrm...Warm, hearty thanks to my readers, commenters, lurkers, blog peeps, ScienceOnline session attendees, and art patrons; friends, familiy and most of all my wife Michelle who 'gets' what I am trying to do and encourages and inspires my work at each turn.

When waiting for my flight back to Toronto from ScienceOnline09, Nature Network guru Henry Gee asked me if blogging had changed my life.


It most certainly has. The degree of intellectual and artistic fulfillment I have gained rushed in to fill a void whose dimensions I had not been aware of before. I began The Flying Trilobite as a way to self-promote my art and artistic skills , which is still a major purpose for me, and I've also been enveloped by community. It's a challenge to keep up with the clever heavyweights in the science, secular and artsy continents of the blogosphere. I hope my paintings continue to inspire and find a place of interest.

What's in store for year 3?
Watercolours!
Digital painting!
Casting sculpture!
More t-shirts!
More portraits!
More human figures!
More lack of sleep, more coffee, more yearning to do art for a living, more Beagle-y goodness, more naples yellow...

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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 ###

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