Tripping over art while wandering online

Some things that caught my eye despite the busy-ness and the drawing and the screaming and crying and mm-hey.

-The Sauropod Gallery over at Art Evolved launched last week, and as expected those cuddly lumbering giants brought out the best in some of today's hottest young paleo-artists. The diversity of animals in this group of dinosaurs is matched by the many many styles.

-Macabre artist Chris Zenga of The Day After has reached his 100th post and launched a new series of artwork based on the Day of the Dead festival. This stuff is pretty amazing, and lies somewhere between tattoo linework and cartoon art.

-Artist extraordinaire Leslie Hawes decided a while back to do one drawing every day for a month. Well, she's just finished month two! Holy monkey. Beautiful little moments of life.

-Nature artist Heather Ward has added a new calendar of her jaw-dropping renderings from the animal kingdom. My favourite is whenever she draws an ape, and the massive coral reef is not to be missed!

-Renaissance Oaf and his new series examining art and its failings, as well as his own direction. Toward Pretensionism is essential reading.

-One of my favourite slideshows about the internet. Most marketers don't seem to understand any of this. Shown at A Blog Around the Clock.

-An artist stands up for his principles. The story of Bill Viola turning down the Pope at ArtInfo.

-My fellow Torontonians will love the sketches by recent artist-transplant Morena P at I pocci della Morry.

-I discovered this blogger after they discovered me following the Blog of Note excitement over the past couple of weeks. Check out
Idegenszövet blog (it's in Hungarian) for all sorts of amazing science-art.

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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow
under Creative Commons Licence.
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Look over there!

-->Artist-writer Sean Craven of Renaissance Oaf has been liveblogging the stages of a psittacosaurus the last couple of days, and I love it. Especially the neck. Sean wanted to give it a try after my Darwin Day attempt, commenting,

"Exhaustion, caffeine intoxication, and frustration swirling into a potent cocktail of self-torture... I'm gonna have to try this myself. It looks like a blast."

Sean is bold experimenter and tinkerer in his art. It's interesting for me to watch someone whose process is so different from my own.

-->Prehistoric Insanity Productions has the latest teaser about the ArtEvolved launch. Is it spoiling the fun to say I'm a part of it? Found out March 1st!

-->The Eloquent Atheist is back! After a hiatus of several months, the premi
ere online space for positive atheist literature (and the occasional artwork) is back and looking for submissions. Polish off that prose, point those brushes and submit to this fine online magazine.

-->Ooo, we're being teased by teddies! After wowing us with his Darwin-zombie-teddy bear (no really!), artist Chris Zenga at The Day After hints at the second wave of Living Tedd classic Hollywood monsters. 1st wave here.

-->Faery art! More mysterious than the mask she wears, who is this attending Mardi Gras? See Leslie's Blog for the potential of pencil crayon realized. Eric Orchard shifts gears from some recent comic superheroes to some insouciant fairy art.

-->Get your Twitter thumbs ready! Science journalist David Bradley of ScienceBase is compiling a huge list of science-blog-Twitterers! Fun! Don't forget, you can follow my tweets here in my sidebar, on my Facebook status or find me at: .

-->Would you like to hear me discuss my artwork in my own voice? Check out the Secular Nation Podcast #33 from a few weeks back regarding the art I provided to their Darwin Day magazine cover.

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

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Ooo, a sparkly statue! Blog Award!

Arte y Pico Award!

This art-blogging meme award was bestowed upon The Flying Trilobite by the inimitable Leslie d'Allesandro Hawes! In her words, "The Flying Trilobite Glendon Mellow at The Flying Trilobite, Art in Awe of Science, deserves this award. And I think it’s his birthday."

In actuality, it's my very merry unbirthday. Have a cup of tea, Leslie!
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So, this is one of those blogging-award memes. Here's how it works:

1) Pick 5 blogs that you consider deserve this award for creativity, design, interesting material, and contributions to the blogger community, regardless of language.
2) Create a post showing your choices of award winners. Include the name of the winning blog and a link to that blog, to be visited by everyone.
3) Each award winning blog, has to show the award and put the name and link back to the blog that has given her or him the award.
4) Each Award winning blog and the one who has given the prize should show this link:
“Arte y Pico“ showing the origin of this award. (The original blog originates from Uruguay. Here is a translation of the Arte y Pico blog.)
5) Show these rules.

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I have a ton of artistic types on my blogroll. So for now, these are my picks, each excellent in their artistic skill, their frequency of posting and their openness to discussion on their respective blogs.

1. Druantia Art - by Heather Ward. Heather is a master of drawing animals, and frequently shares her talent in the form of tips and techniques. A favourite of mine: Moonrise Message. This one speaks to me on so many levels.

2. State of the Art - by Jeff Hayes. An oil painter who paints every day. In centuries to come, people will look back on Jeff's miniature series and try to glean what our culture was like. A favourite of mine: Chocolate and Foil. It's all about the foil.

3. Eric Orchard Illustration. Illustrator of children's books and steampunk, there's dark whimsy in Eric's work. Terrific discussions in the comments, too. A favourite of mine: Experimental Mermaid, displayed on Eric's blogiversary.

4. Hammered Out Bits - by Darrell Markewitz. Darrell was once a teacher of mine when I was a lad. A fascinating artisan-blacksmith, Darrell is keeping alive traditions that will help us all when the robot uprising takes over computers. Favourites: Just look through the decorative work, and thank me when you've finished re-modelling.

5. Tiny Aviary - by Diana Sudyka. I lived with a blue-fronted Amazon parrot for over ten years, some years ago. What I love is how Diana captures the expressions birds have on their faces. Two favourites of mine: Red-Winged Blackbird for the lush black wings, and Diana's Darwin with Finches in support of The Beagle Project.

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Take a bow in your studios! (Or your forge. If you have a forge.)

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All original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow. The contents of this blog are under a Creative Commons Licence. See sidebar for details. Please visit my

blog, gallery and reproduction store.

Science-Artsy Additions to my Blogroll

Today I thought I would share some of the newer additions to my blogroll. There are a lot of talented scientific illustrators and realistic fantastic artists out there, and here's a sampling of a few who've made this Flying Trilobite's list in the last few months.

(After all, I can't always plug Leslie Hawes, Bond, Jesse Graham, Carl Buell, Jacqueline Rae and Nancy, can I? Oops.)

1. Druantia Art - An interesting discussion thread ensued on the Guild of Natural Scientific Illustrator's listserv a few months back about whether a blog or traditional galleried website is the more effective. And one of the delightful results is that supremely talented scientific illustrator Heather Ward began Druantia Art, a blog of her works in progress and tips for artists. The tips are brilliant, and Heather has even held polls about what animal to illustrate next! Marvel at her snow leopard, and at her musings about why there is a point to doing photographic realism in art.

2. Trilobite Blog - This is a blog I have mentioned before. This talented artist sells a line of Cambrian and prehistoric creature designs on clothing. His paleontology-based blog is an excellent read, and make sure you don't miss his interview with Sam Gon III of the excellent resource, Guide to the Order of Trilobites. You can shop for trilobite hoodies here and start your own finger-snapping gang against the anomalocarids!

3. Rigor Vitae - The artwork of Carel Brest Van Kempen, illustrator of the banner for the popular A Blog Around the Clock. This blog has some excellent insights in what it is like to create realistic art from nature. And frogs. Many awesome frogs.

4. PixelFish - and 5. Bluefooted - I came across these two talented and atheist artists on a thread over at Pharyngula where some people were dissing DeviantArt. PixelFish, who also goes by Lis Mitchell, has a tremendous gallery and well-crafted site. I'm particularly fond of See No Evil. Bluefooted has an amazing and intricate story-book style, reminscent of Dulac. Check out the beautiful and hideous Cat-Skin. Who needs more evidence that imagination is not divinely inspired?

6. Barry Kent MacKay - Lush, gorgeous artwork for your inner ornithologist. Some of my fellow Canuckleheads may remember MacKay from a children's show he hosted back in the day.

7. Gurney Journey - The blog of Dinotopia creator and master artist James Gurney. This blog is filled with tips and insights and shows you a week-to-week peek at what a celebrity-level artist is up to.

8. Basic Instructions - A very trendy sort of style at the moment, tracing photos to make a cartoon. But none of the others are half as funny as these instructions for living your life.

Anything in my blogroll is a place I try check out as often as I can. These are just a few of the other artists I admire. I'm also adding new pieces often, so please don't forget to check out my own gallery on DeviantArt!

All original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow. The contents of this blog are under a Creative Commons Licence. See sidebar for details.

more than scribbles in the margin?

The Flying Trilobite's 1st Blog Award!

The headmistress of The Free Range Academy has bestowed upon The Flying Trilobite's humble cephalon the E for Excellent Blog Award!

This is a pay-it-forward meme of sorts, as well as an award. In accepting it, it needs to also be granted to ten blogs chosen by the recipient. This is tough: I'm adding to my blogroll all the time.

I'd love to grant it back to The Free Range Academy if I could. If you love reading about parenting, science and the myriad experiences growing up in Ontario offers to kids, you gotta check this site out. Leslie's Blog is another vibrant community drawn to Leslie Hawes, artist & personality. However, since Leslie granted the award to The Free Range Academy, I will leave them off my list of ten. Presenting in no particular order...

I solemnly swear to grant the E for Excellent Blog Award to:

1. Fresh Brainz - For a blog about neuroscience and rationality to be so eclectic and wild and just plain bonkers, I need to grant this award to where my brain goes for a freakout.

2. Life Before Death - Reflective, sensible, insightful, witty and recently, frequent photos of the bees the author keeps.

3. Traumador the Tyrannosaur - written from the point of view of a Canadian ex-patriot living in New Zealand. Oh and he's an extra-small tyrannosaur. There needs to be a movie with videogame tie-in. And action figures.

4. Retrospectacle - I know Shelley Batts' blog is ending/spawning soon. What is it about neuroscience students that makes them so well-informed about weird things that really matter? Needs another award.

5. Sentient Developments - serious, thoughtful, and about nothing less than humanity's future, this blog is strange and vital.

6. Jesse Graham's Art - J. Graham's art is playful and tiptoes up behind you with the kind of drawings you wish you'd thought of. A talent unfettered by narrative.

7. Metamagician & the Hellfire Club - smart, concise, and the type of writing that needs no pictures. For freethinkers, science-types and Russell Blackford's groupies.

8. Olduvai George - The art of Carl Buell, no longer being updated regularly. I don't care; this blog is the gateway I rush through there to see what new stuff materializing in Carl's Flickr account. Real extinct artiodactyls make the concept of a unicorn look just lazy.

9. Zooillogix - captions so funny it actually makes me snort espresso out my nose. And it's about zoology.

10. Page 3.14 - I never know what I'm going to find here. And I really look forward to finding it. SEED magazine's editors know how to interview and uncover the things you didn't know you wanted to know.

Please enjoy the awards! Mine will sit on my mantle, next to my trilobite fossils and favourite paint brush I had dipped in gold. (It doesn't spread the paint as well as it once did, but -man alive!- it can keep it's tip pointy...)

The Flying Trilobite Business Card

The winner!

Thank you so much to all those who helped this one along. In
my previous post, I asked and received tons of help deciding between two new business cards.

The image on the winner is Photoshop adapted from an ink drawing I have done. The image is meant to be for a (non-winged) tattoo I will likely get in the spring when this blog is one year old.

9 people preferred the first card, 2 the second. I myself preferred the second choice as well. As Lim Leng Hiong of Fresh Brainz called it, it has "extreme quirkiness". I will likely still use this image somewhere, and tweak it some more. Chadmac pointed out that its centre of mass is misplaced, so I'll need to fix that.

But I am very happy with card #1, and it does have my core image. As Leslie Hawes and Rudi pointed out, it needs to be a card that shows off the art. The wings are popular for this artistic ancient aquatic arthropod, as Dale McGowan, Lauren, Traumador the Tyrannosaur, Gastrolith, and Luna_the_Cat and Shelley Batts all agree.

For the final version depicted above, I tweaked a couple of things based on some reader's suggestions. Lauren suggested I shrink the trilobite image slightly, and I think that works well. As Leslie had pointed out, I could also have blown the image up to make it more abstracted. I think shrinking it works a little better, as some people have no idea what a trilobite is, let alone a Mythical Flying Trilobite Fossil. Lim Leng Hiong thought it might work better to have more contact between the trilobite and its wings, so I added some crumbly bits to make a better connection between the disparate parts.

I'd like to thank everyone who gave me an opinion, both online and offline, especially my wife, Michelle who watched me seesaw back and forth. Shelley of Retrospectacle also pointed out a business card service that she highly recommends, Moo, so I will probably look into that. This whole process really helped me out. I started this blog to promote my artwork, and also to get feedback on my work. Sometimes an artist is throwing so much into the process, it is easy to become myopic about how well the final image works.

My gratitude to each of you.

(Edit: whoops! Earlier today, the card I uploaded had an older version of the text layout on the card. All fixey-fixey now. No more blogging without the morning coffee. )

Return of the Pharyngula Mutating Genre Meme!

...this time it's personal.

I have already been tagged by this meme once, and now again! It took me a while to respond to the second one, by Dale at The Meming of Life. What can I say, I was gestating.

The meme has an elaborate set of rules, you can read at my first post about it. The whole thing was started by PZ Myers at Pharyngula. Now Dale, being sly and sneaky, has turned the tables and asked to spread the meme back to those previous to himself in the lineage! Rather than use phrases like "blog-the-casbah with Grampa" I prefer to think of these posts as organisms, and the blogs they sit in as environments. The organism's descendants change when they wander through each blog. (My blog environment is murky and oily in case you were wondering. Sometimes there is strange smoke.)

So then here is my lineage:
My common ancestor is Pharyngula.
My great great grandparent is Metamagician & the Hellfire Club.
My great grandparent is The Flying Trilobite.
My grandparent is Leslie's blog.
My parent is The Meming of Life.

My new contribution to the meme, following The Meming of Life, is as follows:
The best romantic movie in scientific dystopia is: Gattaca (1997). Same as my 1st post.
The best sexy song in electronica is: "Angel" by Massive Attack on the album Mezzanine (1998).
The best satirical movie in comedy is: Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (1990).
I will add one new statement:
The best hot coffee in beverages is: caffe macchiato.

To continue the meme this time, I choose:
Frozen Toothpaste

Forms Most Beautiful

Primordial Blog

Please make a comment on this thread if you are participating. Hope you do, it's crazy-weird-fun. On another note, while checking Technorati for my links, I can see this has gone quite far. I am a 5x great-grandparent already. One of the interesting links I found down the line was from Really Small Fish. It contains Darwinian poetry, at Code As Art. That's been my favourite thing about this meme so far; finding blogs and ideas I may not have found through search engines since to find it that way, you have to know what you are looking for.

Surprise is living.

Flying Trilobite recommends...

I've been working a lot on some new pieces lately. I've finally got my studio space set-up so it's a joy to sit down to the work, instead of awkward.

These are some of my favourite places online recently. You'll find them at right in my sidebar. Everything in my links to the right there are places I enjoy or frequent; but the ones I'm highlighting today are ones I wanted to share with my blog-o-viewers (cue theremin).

The artwork and banter over at Leslie Hawes' blog is always a lot of fun. Great sense of community there. And, hey, print out a fairy & lion to colour!

I find myself checking out the antics of the slender protagonist at
xkcd more and more often. His equally slender girlfriend is a riot too.

For some pure quality writing in a grab-bag, never-know-what-you'll-find kind of way, click through to Unkie Herb. Great photos from his world travels as well.

If you feel like being all scientific & rational and have a fire in your belly, there's lots of entertaining ideas to rail against at Xenophilia. And Lego M.C. Escher!

And for the scientific, secularist parent, check out The Meming of Life. I love the writing found here.

If the weather is gettin' chilly, you need a Cambrian hoodie. Shop at Trilobite Clothing! Warm, fuzzy arthropods...

Alright, now back to that studio of mine...