Molly and I spent a weekend in Cincinnati this summer, and I happened across the Miller Gallery during a short walk. The gallery owner looked unbearably artistic and stylish, dressed entirely in black with platinum white hair and a New Zealand accent. She was as welcoming as she looked intimidating, and though I was initially attracted to some pieces by Bruce Riley, it was her comments that made me stop and appreciate the beauty of the work.
I’m not a huge fan of abstract art. That’s why I was surprised to find Riley’s work so compelling, and I’m painfully aware the links I provide will express very little of the works’ incredible grace and sensitivity. One reason is scale. They are generally quite large, some as tall as six feet. The second reason is the dimensional quality of the work. He creates them by pouring resin over a huge wooden panel, allowing it to dry, and painting in oil before pouring the next layer and repeating the process. His flickr account contains close-ups that hint at the layered quality, but they don’t express the the way light filters through the paper thin layers of translucent resin. It’s best appreciated in the flesh, so to speak.
The whole experience was a surprising treasure in the midst of a beautiful weekend, and I’m grateful for it.
I’ve been using a simple technique I consider my “second dock” for semi-frequently used applications. It’s a simple setup, and if you use a lot of apps but aren’t exactly a mac “power user”, you might like it:
You owe H.A. Rey. If you passed an astronomy test on constellations any time since 1960, chances are you passed because this author/illustrator (best known for the original Curious George books) wrote The Stars, A New Way to See Them.
I heard of the book listening to Science Friday. I grew up on Curious George and love when art meets science, so I did a quick search in our local library system. Royal Oak and Ferndale didn’t have it, but thanks to inter-library loan I got my hands on it late last week.
When I first looked at his redrawing of each constellation (Figure 4) I thought, “Oh, this is how I learned the constellations. He must have popularized this.”
But I was wrong. He made it up.
It’s a great intro to stargazing; mostly practical, non-technical guides to recognizing the constellations. The end of the book has some technical details regarding astronomy but leaves out most of the math. He’s quoted in the book jacket, “What surprises me is that nobody has done it before.” Indeed.
My home has two AC window units, one upstairs and one in the living room. This normally works out perfectly considering mine and my wife’s opposite body temperatures. I keep my office door closed and windows open. This keeps our electric bill down and keeps me from freezing all day.
I don’t often get too hot. I’d even use the term “rarely”, but when MichiganRadio.org says today’s 91º “feels like 99º”, I know what they mean. So I’m toughing it out this week, considering the AC would never reach into my office anyway. And I’m utilizing an advantage of working from home: working in your underwear. TMI? Too bad.
I created three ink & watercolor drawings as a wedding gift this weekend. It’s been years since I created some finished artwork entirely by hand — there’s an element of excitement to having no option to “undo”. I drew the herbs from life, tying and hanging each to draw. Then I took a photo for color reference and added the watercolor using the photos.
I added the labels by printing them backwards, making a laser photocopy, and transferring the ink to the drawing using xylene (a wonderfully toxic solvent/cleaner). The transfer came out far too light, so I used a 005 micron pen to trace the type by hand. It was the last detail I added to the finished drawings. The effect is perfect, and after a half hour my nerves had sufficiently recovered from the ordeal.