Open that sketchbook!

The Flying Trilobite is my filter for what I am most engaged by. This includes fascinating scientific work, interesting books, and painting and drawing.

Not every artistic specimen is Fine Art. On the sci-art listserv, there has been an interesting thread going about how private should your sketchbook be? I am usually fairly reserved with my own - signing sketches with ' Glendon Mellow Mr. Smarty-Artsie ' is not quite my thing.

Sketches differ from drawings in that drawings are finished pieces, with graphite or pencil, pastel or charcoal, grease pencil or skritchy quill, and sketches are the roughs, the studies. Sometimes my original pieces have an energy I like more than the final. This is what I am struggling with in my Richard Dawkins unauthorised portrait - I need to regain the energy of the sketch in my painting.

Here's a few of mine:

A winged pumpkin & a bubbly mermaid on the next page.

Michelle's foot.

Our hermit crab Shiny's first shell. Featuring some bling. Saucy!

Mythical Flying Trilobite Fossil. I drew this on an Air Canada flight, Toronto to Calgary at about 38 511 feet, 459 mph. I like the thought of that. Hurtling through the air. Jerry Seinfeld said something about that once - that when you're in a vehicle, you're moving, but you're sitting still. I like the thought: I may not be da Vinci, but I can draw an extinct arthropod while that high up, at that speed.

A few sites by other people with great sketches:
Leslie d'Allesandro Hawes
Jesse Graham's Art
Jacqueline Rae's Art
Digital Graphite

Want to add another link for sketches you like, or have done yourself? Please add it in the comments section!

Galileo Thermometer

For those who say science is cold and devoid of beauty, I present the Galileo Thermometer.

I received this as a gift and I am smitten. I check it whenever I'm home, and want to play with the air conditioner just to see it change. It moves from room to room so that I may see the bubbles move.

Different coloured oils are encased in glass bubbles, a small brass tag hanging from each. The brass tags are subtly different weights from each other. All are suspended in water and as the water changes temperature, it also changes density. When the density changes, some of the glass bubbles will float and others will not. The lowest bubble in the top cluster indicates the current temperature, which is engraved on the brass tag. Yeah, it's another muggy summer here on Toronto. For a full explanation, check out I have seen Galileo thermometers available at Winners or at this nifty site, the Thermometer Shop. The alternate name is "thermoscope", which sounds nicely paleo-futuristic.

The other fascinating thing about a Galileo thermometer, is that it's shiny. I like shiny things. Shiny.