Tuesday, December 14, 2010

More Comics!:Page 100

These comics are based off of page 100 of a few books.  The first one had to be an experiment in style so I picked cave painting.  The next one had to be wordless. And the last was however I wanted. The reference texts can be found here if you're confused.

Page 100  The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis

Page 100 The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Page 100 The Cyberiad by Stanislaw Lem

Comic Fans Rejoice!: Anthology Comic

Finally some comics! This first one is part of a group anthology about nightmares.  The narrator is the last of the counting sheep (If you were wondering).

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Out of focus

I need to paint more. I really just want a good series of paintings.  If I can stop getting distracted... For my final thesis project I really just want a wall of glass. Thirty 3'x2' still-lifes in a 6 by 5 grid would be rather impressive looking as well as make it impossible to hang 58"high to center.
Here's something recent:

I've also been looking at the pipes in the stair wells of the art building.  I really want to do a series of wide rectangular paintings that could be displayed above each other. Each painting would have the pipes on a different floor. I think the shapes are kind of neat.
The paintings I want to make would have most of the  pipes orthogonal to the edges of the canvas so this isn't the best picture but these are the pipes I'm talking about.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Brass and Oil

A friend of mine told me about this artist, Diana Gibson. I am a fan. It's nice to see some modern realist still life paintings. There's a smoky/watery feeling to these paintings that I'm not sure how I feel about. Part of me likes it, part of me is unsettled by it somehow.

Three Garlic Cloves

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thesis Exhibition Proposal/Angry Rant

I intend to have a series of related paintings.  This seems rather obvious as I am a painting major.  My focus and my desire have been to paint glass for the past several years.  I think it’s fitting that my senior thesis culminates in paintings of glass.  For four years the reception of this idea has been both poor and good.  There always seems to be some question as to why anyone would want to paint still life. Nearly every time, when given the option I will paint glass. And very often this has been dismissed. My final projects have been assumed to be some kind of introductory class assignment. I am constantly pushed in one direction or another to paint what others conceive as a path with more options.  I enjoy painting landscapes. I enjoy painting figuratively.  I have even enjoyed painting abstractly. I have. But still life is the only thing I’ve painted that I feel like I have to keep defending.  It’s not merely defense of a painting, but defense of an entire genre. Am I honestly expected to meet this challenge? My first oil painting was seven years ago. For the last five years of that time I have met with only occasional encouragement for the path that I want to pursue. My work cannot defend itself.  I have only just begun my exploration. At every step I am tempted to say “Morandi did it!” and lock myself away. But I yield to comments. I explore other options. I try to placate. I paint abstractly. I look for ways to relate painting to my study of physics. I try to find other elements of interest for people. I’ll modify my style and see where that takes me. I’ll paint something different and see where that takes me. Time after time I abandon what I really want to do because the grass may be greener. And time after time I return to glass.  Perhaps I’ll have expanded my technique. Perhaps I’ll see something different. But nearly every time my return is a quest for salvation, for a return to peace, for something that I understand and can explore happily.  But that is not the case. I am forced to look at my work with new eyes and question “why this, why that?” I return cynical and discouraged.        Eventually I remember that the whole point is that I enjoy looking. I like imagining the light curving until it meets my eye. When light hits glass it interacts with the particles that make up the glass. The light bounces back and forth between the particles, being absorbed and released. On the visible level this results in the path the light bending. When it finally reaches my eyes it is focused onto cells which have evolved to stop sending signals to my brain should they bit hit by certain wavelengths. These certain wavelengths are of course determined by the microscopic structure of these cells and their ability to absorb light is done is created by the same mechanism of the glass. When these cells stop signaling my brain my brain is given a lot of information. The wavelengths are translated into colors. The intensity is translated into brightness. This forms an image. This image is processed into things I recognize or things I don’t recognize. All of these processes are transmitted by the same mechanism as the light through the glass. Of course this is a simplification. One cannot say what happens during any of these interactions. One can only see the results. One cannot be sure if the particles one is referring to are “real” or if they’re just useful tools for guessing what will happen on an observable level. No one truly understands how or why anything we see can be seen or perceived. Should I paint abstractly?   Nothing that humans have ever imagined is stranger than nature. Should I relate my paintings to physics?  I paint as part of an exploration of the natural world. My current area of focus is glass. To exhibit anything else for my final thesis would be untrue to myself. I intend to fill the space provided to me with paintings of glass. I don’t know why I needed to write so much explain that.
Morandi did it.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Consistently Inconsistent

Why do physicists do this*? Don't use 'm' to index energy states and to denote mass or use 'e' for the charge of an electron and the exponential constant in the same blasted equation! Scientists are supposed to question conventions, not perpetuate senseless traditions**! You're allowed to define your variables! Why not use μ for mass or q for charge? Those are pretty standard. Or why not just make up a symbol? ħ anyone? Pisses me off...

*This rant brought to you by footnote 4, on page 147 of Griffith's Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (2ed).
** Apparently Feynman made his own mathematical notation when he was younger but gave it up when he realized it made it impossible for him to communicate what he was doing.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Shiny Things

These are paintings by Janet Fish.  I love the subject matter and the final product, but there's something strange to me about the construction. I haven't seen any of these in person, but I saw her paintings a few summers ago in DC Moore.  For the most part she doesn't blend her colors on the canvas.  There are trails of solid colors snaking through the canvas.  The precision is amazing but I feel like it'd be a constant struggle with the paint to lay anything down that way.

Contrast that with George Nick: Up close sections of these painting look like indistinguishable blobs.  The paint is thick on the canvas and there are several colors in a brush stroke.  This doesn't feel like such a fight with the paint.

This is a recent painting of mine (My submission for the water show). I've never painted as tightly as Fish, but for this one I loosened up more towards Nick (Though I doubt my surface is a quarter the thickness of his).

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Comic: Fight or Run

In class we each made up a few characters and had to fight them or "run" them.  Floater and Linear were two of mine.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Comic: Anecdote

As described here:

An anecdote presents a remarkable event experienced by the narrator (as witness or participant) and a reaction (usually the narrator's) to the event. In contrast to the recount, the anecdote's purpose is to convey the extraordinariness of the event, minimally through the reaction.

Comic: Simple Narrative

As described here:

The narrative should have each of the four obligatory stages in standard order: Situation, Complication, Resolution, and Denouement. You should also fill each of the following standard participant roles: Agent, Patient, Complicator, and facilitating Prop. As discussed: the Agent and Patient roles can be filled, as they usually are, by the same character or group of characters, affected by the disruption in the Complication stage and responding to it in the Resolution stage.

Diary Comic

A comic of some highlights from Sept 17 to Sept 28, 2010.

(Please excuse me if you were misquoted to better fit the comic format)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Sun is a Mass of Incandescent Gas (well... plasma)

So I stayed up all night Monday reading "Surely you're joking Mr. Feynman".  At some point he starts to talk about his reasons for wanting to learn to draw.

"I wanted to convey an emotion I have about the beauty of the world. It's difficult to describe because it's an emotion. It's analogous to the feeling one has in religion that has to do with a god that controls everything in the whole universe: there's a generality aspect that you feel  when you think about how things that appear so different and behave so differently are all run "behind the scenes" by the same organization, the same physical laws. It's appreciation of the mathematical beauty of nature, of how she works inside; realization that the phenomena we see result from the complexity of the inner workings between atoms; a feeling of how dramatic and wonderful it is. It's a feeling of awe -of scientific awe- which I felt could be communicated through a drawing to someone who had also had this emotion.  It could remind him, for a moment, of this feeling about the glories of the universe."

Every time it's suggested I combine art and physics this is what I want to do.  But how? I don't know if I can make something that can give such a feeling, at least not to me.  The greatest sensation I feel in painting is in the act of doing it.  The discovery and the process of making.  I think it's a similar sense of discover which pulls me to physics.  This feeling might be in the glass, pulling some one into a stranger's twisted reflection, searching for some point of stability, then finally orienting yourself and seeing things as they are.  If I could build a maze into my paintings... Perhaps I could do some physics before making my still life. Figure out what I want something to look like, and figure out a way for the light to bend to my painting. In any case, there are some possibilities to think about.

Feynman did a drawing titled "The Magnetic Field of the Sun".  I like the idea, but it just doesn't feel like me.  As beautiful as astronomical phenomena may be, I think it'll be too easy to unwittingly end up an abstract expressionist.
On the other hand something simple like this can still be beautiful.  And I've always wanted to bring a kind of wonder to the everyday.  It's simple, yet not.
note: same physical laws as previous picture: mini-epic

Friday, September 24, 2010

Why's it all?

Dukkha (doo-k-kha) : Dissatisfaction with the world.

I was wondering why I paint.  It sounds like a simple question with a simple answer: I like making stuff.  But what stuff? why? The same answer can be applied to any multitude of things I choose to do.  Why do I: fold origami; draw; craft jewelry; program; knit? Why do I feel compelled to take up: glass blowing; ceramics; silk screening; animation; carpentry; engineering; tatting; cooking; ice sculpture; metal working; Celtic knotting?  What is the point behind: bicycling; fencing; unicycling; juggling; aikidou; qi gong; tai chi; Japanese (not to leave out the things I want to to do: rock climbing; swimming; parkour; gymnastics)?  Why have I settled on painting and physics? What about these two raises them above the rest?  Are they fundamental? Are they better than the rest?  Are they just broad?  And why two?  Why not three? Why not one?
I'm already stretched to my limits if these two are to be considered main, and the rest minor. And then I get asked "Do I see myself combining them"? Into what? What could these two possibly become together? Why these two? Why not any other combination of ANY other obsession?
Is glass not good enough?  What does "good enough" even mean?  Must I paint with an agenda?  Why don't I paint free body diagrams on old masters?  Why not the probability distribution of an electron?  Why not atom smashers? scattering experiments? galaxies? the universe?
...And in the comic below I realize I've successful combined physics and drawing. Should I paint comics?  It might be fun.  But then why am I bothering to paint it?  Is that really the right medium?  Does it give my comic historical authority? Do I care about historical authority?
I paint GLASS! It's fun! I like looking at things.  I like observing the world around me, studying it; That's why I'm interested in physics.  Painting about physics may be too self referential. Whatever...
I'd wear it on a T-shirt.
Fun fact: This post has 32 rhetorical questions and 15 statements!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Comic: Wrong Planet

Wrong Planet Assignment:

Comic: Hellboy, Bechdel, Me

Assignment two.  Picture with Me, HellboyAlison Bechdel.

Comic: Picture-less

Picture-less Comic Assignment:
(note: no punchline, just a story)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Things That Go

I'm getting really tired of being confused.  Maybe there are too many options?  Maybe there are too few obvious ones.  I can't tell. The whole situation is a little troubling.  Bitter, disillusioned, disheartened, (maybe I should've said disgusted to get the triple alliteration).  My dreams don't seem to have been what they seemed... After putting it that way it sounds rather obvious.  But in the end, the specifics don't really matter I guess.  I just want to create and learn magnificent things.  I want to show people wonders.  I suppose that's doable in many forms.  I just hope that I can recover that spark I once had.  That driving, blind determinedness that I used to have.  The fervor and ferocity I held onto even when things seemed hopeless.  It's not that things seem hopeless now, but they are not quite hopeful.

I must learn how to paint with glass.  This feels like a path with potential.  It's at least a path of

Michael Glancy, Elliptical Proof
Elliptical Proof, Micheal Glancy 2009

Friday, August 6, 2010


I'm still not sure what I want to write about here.  I figured drawings would be a good place to start.  I really just want to create something.  I don't have any stories in mind right now so maybe I'll start by scanning some things from my sketchbook.  That's not what the thing below is.  That's a random drawing I made in MS Paint so I'd have something to get me started with this post....It started off looking like a skull.  But now I think it's a monkey.
Monkey possibly?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I'm writing this space.

Do you know why?  Because I have this space to write.  That's why!  Soon this week will be over.  After two papers, two presentations, one quiz, and one final I will have time to do things like... fun.  Hoo-ray for summer classes... for now read about this. 'Cuz it's neat and it's what one of the papers is on.

Friday, June 11, 2010


I have a headache. I've been staring at a computer screen all day. Mostly, teaching myself video game architecture... I have a lot of reading to do for my classes. I don't particularly feel like doing any of it right now. It's getting darker in my room. I should probably turn the lights on. This is a strange stream of conscious babble. I'm not sure what I feel like doing right now... Bye.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


I haven't felt like painting lately. Not just lately, but for almost an entire year now I've only really felt like painting a few times. It's kind of sad. Maybe I have a distaste for goals that seem achievable. Something about painting lately has seemed too predictable. I keep vacillating over whether or not the problem is too much freedom or too much constraint on behalf of the classroom environment. Or maybe it's the fact that I've progressed from the classroom to the studio. I do tend to feel the need for people to be around when I paint. I don't pay them much attention, but there's something supremely isolating about going into a painting. To preempt mental/spiritual isolation with total physical isolation may be too devastating.
I do prefer painting with music. It does relieve some of the isolation... So maybe my slump is just due to having an unreliable mp3 player, or not the right choice of music when I do get to it.
Perhaps it's the overall effect of the slump. But even inspiration doesn't seem to motivate me properly. Back to the predictable point: I see things in terms of paint. I was looking at a classmates eco-water bottle (or whatever you call those reformulated metal canteens with the screw off cap with a plastic loop at the top that have become so popular lately) today. It was a muted green, kind of an "army" color. I was struck by the reflection of light off of the surface. The base color was rather flat. I could begin with a wash. Scrape away the surface to make room for highlights. Paint in darker areas while the surface was still wet. I could use some of the canister color to soften the whites. The reflections on the bottle were already broken down into distinct shapes. I could mix those colors in a heartbeat. Some ultramarine, some cadmium yellow, a bit of permanent green to get the hue up. A bit of cadmium red (or maybe alizarin) to mellow it out again. And white as necessary to pale it. And there. Done. Painting finished in the span of a few moments for none but me to observe. Of course were I to actually paint it I would need to first prime a surface (if not stretch the canvas), and wait for it to dry. And I would sketch an under-painting in raw sienna and burnt umber, to keep track of the lightest and darkest areas, and furthermore emphasize the depth of contrast when the final layers were overlaid. And then I'd wait for that to dry. And then I'd lay out my palette, and my brushes, and my rags, and set up my canvas on the easel, and I'd adjust my seat, and my benches and my easel, and... and...I'D FINISHED THE PAINTING AN HOUR AGO BEFORE I'D STARTED!
If I can picture it in my head, I can make it! It's not a matter of skill, it's a matter of persistence. Perhaps there's skill in knowing what to change or the progress made with each successive change, but that's what practice is for. In the end I am just moving pieces around until the image in front of me looks like the one in my head. Perhaps it's the skill of holding a complex image in my head? Then perhaps that's my flaw. Because if the image can be fully realized in my head what use do I have of painting it? There's no challenge, no interest, just the slow tedium of correcting and refining.
Who am I painting for? It seems like a purely selfish endeavor from the way I've described it. But it wasn't always. I wanted to present a world which my viewer had never seen. A world which they had looked at everyday, but never seen. The most simplest of objects have mysteries that the average person rarely ever minds. I wished to present the everyday in its full spectacle. But now... it seems as if I dread this construction. Is it a lack of appreciation? I don't think so. I wasn't particularly used to my work be lauded (At least not at this school). And it's not that I have become bored with my subject matter. But the effort of painting it does not seem worth it when I have attuned myself so much to the feeling of painting even before production. Has the mystery has lost its intrigue? No. Not the glass itself. But perhaps paint. The problems in glass can change with a tilt of the head. But my methods of representation have become regimented. I know too well what I am doing before I start. I can approach every problem in the same way. So while even though the exploration takes me to new places, I'm tiring of hacking my way through the jungle with a machete. The solution then, just may be to change methods or subject.
At the moment it is very tempting to just drop it all and pursue a side project (book art, paper, comics, etc). Though I dabble in these things and wish to pursue them to a greater extent. None of these have ever struck me as the same level of importance as paint. Perhaps that's just my traditionalist artist sensibilities...More on that later. If I feel like it... Bye.


There's a neat hidden page on my other site btw. It randomly flashes a Japanese Kanji with approximate meaning/connotation and stroke number every few seconds.

...Well I think it's neat...Bye.


I can't sleep. So I started a blog! Typical.

While struggling to find a name that wasn't taken, I just kept typing "name" into the address bar to see what came up. I'd say at least 9/10 had one post or less.... from 2000 no less! I at least had the courtesy to delete my old blog(s) after a year or two of inactivity. Some of the most resent posts were from 2007. But most were at least seven years old. Some of them didn't even have any postings. There were several where the creator had just messed around with the templates for a while and then I guess got bored, like so many, realizing they really don't care enough to whine where the whole world may hear them, chances being that they will remain obscure and unsubscribed for the entirety of their blogs existence. I wonder if anything would change if I subscribed to some of them. Perhaps they might update, or even delete their precious name placeholder.

Maybe I should follow suit and start an empty blog at my namesake just so no one else can have it... It was open as of a half hour ago...

Nah, I'm not feeling that vindictive tonight.

Anyway, time to plug my other website from which this blog steals its name:

My apologies for its lack of updates. At least it has more than: (okay admittedly this guy has 5 posts)

I wonder if any of them will ever find this page/If I could actually get hate mail after just one post.

I wonder if I'll get to sleep now... Bye.

Edit 6/10/10 12:52: It seems I used to own but it was quickly claimed by someone else.