Eight Years

Eight years ago this evening, I married Michelle.

I drew this for our invitation, based on John Atkinson Grimshaw's Iris, my favourite painting, which we saw on our second date.

Victoria College, University of Toronto.

She is my favourite person. 

Times have sometimes been challenging but mostly they've been amazing.
We're never at a loss for conversation and I can't take my eyes off of her. 

We still have the best of times...

Even more now that little Mr. Amazing has rolled into our lives.

I love our family. Happy Anniversary. 

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

Art Monday: invert. No, the other kind of invert.

Sometimes I like to invert pencil drawings. It allows the artist to view the pencil strokes with new eyes, revealing the contrast and altering the mood. It makes the familiar unfamiliar.  

More after the jump. 

You may have seen last week I altered my blog, shop and portfolio to be black, and changed the header image to match.  Although I love the artwork on a black background, it just felt to harsh in contrast, and I switched back to the art-gallery-wall-white. 

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


Print Shop

Anniversary 6

Six years ago this evening, I married Michelle.(I drew this for our invitation, based on John Atkinson Grimshaw's Iris, my favourite painting, which we saw on our second date.)Victoria College, University of Toronto.

She is my favourite person.

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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 ***

Drawing Day!

It's Drawing Day! The goal is to remember how much fun it is to create and view drawings, and to upload a million online in one day!

Today I have two new pieces I'm working on, a recent sketch and one drawing from about a dozen years ago. Click to enlarge. I'm not going to spend a lot of time talking about each one: it's Drawing Day. Enjoy!
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My self-portrait I began this week. Still not done. Do I look intense or angry? A recent drawing for a piece I'm painting on a wood panel. It's a diatom fairy. A sketch for the Introducing Sara Chasm, as seen in the inaugural ART Evolved gallery on ceratopsians. Hmm. Lately I seem to have developed Derek Zoolander's problem of turning left. Not so in this old piece: one of the three fates, from a project on narrative I did while in university.
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Great stuff out there, take the next few days to look around on deviantArt, Redbubble, and more through the Drawing Day site. With so many artists uploading, I'm sure even the strangest subjects are out there.

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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 ***
Created for Drawing Day - www.drawingday.org

Art Monday: loosening up

Painting is still a learning process, or as I refer to it, a struggle. It's rare that I produce a piece I am 100% okay with. Going back and forth on the amount of realism I want to inject into my work is a part of the struggle. The small oil sketch above is a light in the tunnel for me, or perhaps a point-change mutation with beneficial traits being expressed, if you prefer.

This piece, Callimorphia dominula, was created for a colleague as a Secret Santa gift. (The recipient is extremely talented, and though I don't often refer to folks at my day-job, keeping the two worlds separate, you can see Ash's paintings here.) Since her name is Ash, I painted leaves from an ash tree (Fraxinus excelsior), and a Scarlet Tiger Moth - - or is it one of the faerie-like Meliae?

The mutation for me was in the attempt to create a thickly-painted -one might say slathered- background, and a realistic foreground.

The background here on the left is obscured, partly because I put the still-very-wet painting onto my scanner, and it left shadows of the sticky paint when it scanned. What you're missing there is largely off-white, with a hint of blue-green.

In the coming months, I hope to get a number of paintings developed, and this little sketch feels like I've uncovered a small but vital technique that breaks a block I've had for a while.

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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.

Knowledge Pupates: how I left paganism for science

Part 1

With my birthday once again marching merrily toward me, I have been reflecting on how my mindset of memes has gotten me to where I am today as a skeptic in love with imaginative things. Knowledge pupates. It's a phrase I wrote on the bottom of the drawing to the left, when I gave this piece to a friend & co-worker. I've come a long way from my disorganised muddle of pagan ideas in my teen years. Over the next few weeks, I would like to indulge (it's my birfday!) in noting some of the mental roads I believe helped me travel to where I am now. I will continue to link from each part of the series on each post. Comments about other people's experiences are most welcome.

In my larval stage, (kids can be gross, it's an appropriate metaphor...watch one eat a popsicle), I was raised mostly without organised religion. My father was raised under the United Church, and my mom's family was "high" Anglican. Our family heritage is mostly English-Canadian from my dad, and my mom's was a mixture of English, Irish, Jamaican & Panamanian, and both my parents were born & raised in Ontario, Canada. My mom became a single parent when I was 8 years old, and had always filled the house with books. My siblings & I had books on just about any topic in the house. Tons were about science, and many books, fiction or not, had excellent illustrations. I learned to read for pleasure at an early age. On one school project, I listed dinosaurs, Star Wars, the Muppets and dragons as my biggest influences.

We got a dog. I would take him for long walks, in any season, from hot summer to tall snow drifts and we usually went to a wooded park nearby. I'd sit under the creaking branches, and draw or read or think, while my dog enjoyed the air and the many things his olfactory system could sniff. Around the same time, when I was about 12, I began reading folklore & mythology, and began taking a "Saturday Morning Class" called When Knighthood was in Flower with an amazing teacher, who introduced himself as Salard of Eagle's Haven. Cool indeed.

Salard was a member of The Society for Creative Anachronism, and taught the class about the middle ages, and about sword-fighting. It was amazing, and coupled with my growing interest in celtic folklore, as well as teenage hormones beginning to run amok, I began to find belief in magic more & more appealing.

But for a society class, we had to do a project on "counter-culture" groups, and I focussed on modern witchcraft. I was disappointed with what I learned. Since most traditions had been oral, and since men did not write them down, much of modern witchcraft had been revived (or outright invented) by Gardener & Crowley. This was a bit of a blow. I wanted the real stuff. In my teenage arrogance, I assumed I could figure it out. (I was in a program for "gifted" students...we'd been taught to do research and critically think on just about everything, including pop music lyrics. Most teenagers would benefit from the teaching style in my opinion, but that would be a whole other post.) I kept looking for as many fairy tale books as old as I could find, and read everything voraciously. I looked for patterns, and saw significance in the number 3 as an element of change (ladders make a 3-way portal, I was convinced this would lead to change, not bad luck. I walked under a lot of ladders.) Most of the world's mythologies that I could find had the moon female and the sun male, except in ancient Japan, so I read what I could about the hero Raiko, and kept reading about Arthur & Cu Chulain and the Morrigan and her aspects.

I should have been paying more attention. The Society for Creative Anachronism was not about fantasy or the supernatural, it was about how people used to live. The classes Salard taught for the Board of Ed. were taught in a secular way, and the religious component was left out of it. (He's a fantastic blacksmith by the way...hit the link on his name).

Somewhere along the way, I decided I did not want to share a lot of these thoughts with others, even if they were people I could trust or assume to be like-minded. It was a private worship, taking place in the trees and the wind while spending time with my dog. I made up a few tiny rituals that never worked, and I did not repeat.

I had always been fidgety and liked to draw, and I found I liked to write. I worked on a book off & on for a few years of high school, and novel of vampires and magick that incorporated many of my ideas (it was called "Tears of Blood", and was full of high melodrama). A lot of the drawings & paintings were an impetus for the story. (At some point, I may be persuaded to post one.) The artwork of Alan Lee (below) was what first inspired me to develop my drawing and painting skills. Eventually I won an award in high school for the book, and I felt it had been a large part of my life.

And, one night in a flurry of creative outburst, I finished the thing. About another 60 pages, if I recall (it was about 300 hand-written scribble). It was cathartic. The book had seen me through major friendships, girlfriends, and my forming, pupating years as a teenager, and I had finished it. And although for a while I planned two more parts, they just weren't in me. It was an ending of one part of my life.

In Part Two of Knowledge Pupates: How a fantasy novel about vampires led me back to rationality! Parrots & Astrology! Eve & Richard Dawkins!