Dec 24, 2014

Painting Evolution

One of my favorite uses for a blog is to track the evolution of paintings. I am intrigued with the changing versions and documenting them makes it easier to paint over moments of a painting that I like but that don't make for a good whole-piece. This one isn't finished so there will probably be several more versions.

And here's the thumbnails I started with: sketchbooks are awesome!

Dec 23, 2014

Jim Donnelly and the Mechanical Paradox Orrery

I forgot to post the article I wrote about Jim Donnelly who makes 18th century scientific demonstration apparatus in his own machine shop. His story was very inspiring and reminds me how life can give us opportunities to discover what we love and get more and more involved with it despite any reticence we might have. Here's the article, Conversation Orbits. And here is Jim's web-site if you want to get directly to the business of viewing Mechanical Paradox Orreries, Napier's Bones, and more.

One of my favorite sections was cut for space reasons about how Jim and his circle of friends inspired eachother's learning. They each have their own shop and would occasionally use eachother's tools. "There’s a special artifact of that process...” Donnelly says, “ The synergy of the different needs and skills of this little group of people have contributed to our collective ability to do more than we ever imagined was possible” 

I love that quote. For the technically inclined the specific story he used as an example was how "Mark wanted to use my mill to make circuit boards, that involves cutting very thin lines into copper.…well Mark really pushed the envelope for what my machine can do and then he stumbled across the idea of adding a high speed spindle to the mill so we could turn a bit much faster. That led to a whole new chain of learning about how you cut metal in small dimensions which has revolutionized what I can do in the shop, that’s partly where the Napier’s bones engravings come from." 

It was also wonderful to be reminded that we never know what amazing things our neighbor's might be up to unless we ask. I waited on Jim at the restaurant I work at. I never would have known he builds orreries except he came in one day with a large, extra nerdy looking book that I had to inquire about. I hardly ever see people with books anymore, much less sciencey-looking books. I'm so glad I asked and then had the opportunity to share his story with the community.

Dec 2, 2014

Giving Tuesday

It's giving Tuesday, the perfect day for me to finally commit a percentage of my art proceeds to charity. I've been meaning to do this for a while since I have more art than extra income and thought I should wait until I am better at marketing so I could make a more meaningful contribution. But we all know with money it's easy to fool ourselves into thinking its never enough and I've realized that giving is a skill one can practice to get better at.

There are a lot of organizations I'd like to support, from now until the end of April I'll be saving for the Corvallis Environmental Center. I love that they work to protect the environment, educate the community, feed less fortunate folks and connect school kids with healthy, locally grown food. I'll start the pot out with some tip money from my part-time serving job and add to it 15 % of all sales of cards and paintings from my web-site. I will also add 20% of my portion of sales through other parties, like galleries, shops and print-on-demand services.

Dec 1, 2014

Sketches and Struggles

I felt a little disturbed at the text to image ratio here on Weight of a Crow and decided to post some process pictures to even it up. These are studies for a new illustrated poem book I want to make.

Actually I made this poem into a book a long time ago but wanted to revise it, here's a couple photos from the original:

And here is the current state of treescape 55, I am struggling with it and tempted to paint over the whole thing and start over. I totally enjoy working on it even though I can't figure out how to make the background as woodsy as it really is without overwhelming the foreground.