Category Archives: Art

How can I not re-blog this?

Thanks Joseph for the original, and customized art!  🙂

The joke here has to do with the fact that my real name is Charlie and both Joseph and I think cephalopods (squid, cuttlefish, octopus) are some of the most amazing animals ever

Check out Joseph’s Lunch Sketches.  These sketches he dashes off most days just over lunch are delightfully creative, amusing, and just very good.


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Ana Somnia — this is so cool

Well I don’t have any paintings finished at the moment, but I found something really cool for you to look at instead.

Ana Somnia.  It’s freaky, creepy, cool.  It’s very strange, bizarre, even a bit nightmarish.  Trust me — this is the reason you have the internet.  🙂

This is a sample of Ana Somnia. There’s more — it keeps going — it’s animated. And it’s different every time.


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Paint Sound Sculptures

No painting finished for today, but check out these awesome sculptures made with paint and sound waves!

Click for more!

Pretty cool stuff!  Paint always looks better when it’s still wet…


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How cool is this sun-dial sculpture?

Solstice sun-dial sculpture, Jean Salins, 1980

Click to find out why it’s so cool at APOD, NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day!


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Art Project: Drawing the word ‘Draw’

One Wednesday sbmacinnis invited his readers to participate in an art project.  Actually he does that a lot of Wednesdays.  This one was to draw the word ‘draw’ and then leave the drawing in a dictionary at a library or book store, etc., on the page that defines the word draw.  Free original art for the next person that looks that up, or one of several other words beginning with ‘dr’…

From sbmacinnis:

On a 3×4 inch piece of paper draw the word draw. Then go to a library or used bookstore and place your drawing in a dictionary by the definition of the word draw, and leave it for someone to find.

Here’s my drawing:

Draw, pen and ink on 5"x5"ish paper, March 2012

Then I practically wrote an essay on the back to make clear the great good fortune of whoever finds it:

Explanation of Draw, pen and ink, 5"x5"ish paper, March 2012

Yesterday I took it to the library:

At the library, a perfect day! For my schedule...

Guess what was the first thing I saw when I found the reference section?

The Dictionary of Art! edited by Jane Turner

Needless to say that’s where it had to go:

Art in the Dictionary of Art (this part not edited by Jane Turner)

Well that was fun.  Hopefully it will have the smallest influence on someone someday and nudge them in the direction of seeing the personal value of having a creative outlet with which to express themselves.  Just having an outlet for self expression is the most important and valuable aspect of this whole ‘art’ thing imo.  Even if no one appreciates it.  Maybe I should have added that if you blog your art, you may find the half dozen or so people in the world who also appreciate it.

I feel most fortunate and deeply grateful to have at least doubled that number.  This is my sincere thanks to you for reading and commenting.  🙂


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“Independence”: Abstract photography of abstract paintings with abstract digital collage

Independence, abstract photograph of abstract paintings with digital collage, 1024x768 pixels, March 2012

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Had an idea to do abstract photography of abstract paintings.  So “Independence” here thus started with photographin’ of a composition of  Andlega Landslagi and Movement had Burgeoned.  Intrigued by all the reflective surfaces sbmacinnis has been using in his daily studio photographs lately, I incorporated a small concave mirror for additional reflectitude.  Took a bunch of photos of this and other compositions of my other paintings.  Last I finished it with some digital collage, using clippings from another photo of Movement had Burgeoned.  I named it for the best word on page 42 of the 12th book on the 4th shelf, 12 and 4 being random numbers.

Quite the technicolor puke, eh?  🙂

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I spend a lot of idle moments pondering the nature of creativity.  I don’t think creativity is an ‘instinctive’ capacity, or maybe ‘innate’ would be a better word.  It’s not innate, like breathing is.  Breathing is something we’re born with the ability to do — it does not have to be learned.  Creativity is more like thinking, something we naturally start doing at some point in childhood, but that we can improve by learning.  We can learn to think “better” by learning reasoning, logic and critical thinking, for example.  Creativity is not just a “talent” in other words, I think it can be learned.  And if you do have creativity as a talent, you can learn to do it better.  Though of course what is “better” creativity has got to be one of the most subjective things ever.

What I also mean by saying creativity is not an instinctive or innate capacity is that creativity is not a ‘thing’ in itself, but is built from other, more basic things the brain does.  I’ve often said that creativity is knowledge, memory, and experience put in a blender, and spiced with inhibition.  You can hit “mix” or you can hit “puree”.  The above is closer to a “puree”.  🙂  Creativity is the arbitrary recombination of ideas.  Previously separate ideas that before may have had little to nothing to do with each other, like photography and painting perhaps.  Though both creative visual arts, the execution of each it seems could not be more different.  Composition is about the only thing they have in common — their processes and technical considerations are otherwise utterly foreign to each other.  And yet, they can be arbitrarily combined…  photographs of paintings, or paintings of photographs, or painting on photographs… or collage with paint and photographs, or sculpture using camera optics and paint, or painting cameras…

So thinking of creativity as the arbitrary recombination of ideas, seems to make it something you could improve at by practice.  If you’re looking for a theme for abstract art, maybe you could just pick two words at random from the dictionary and just run with them.   “Initial prow”, or “Djibouti madrigal” (ooh that’s a good one), or “loquacious Tam-O’-Shatner”.

Creativity is also usually directed at a purpose, which may seem antithetical to notions of ‘pure’ creativity (whatever that is), but if this were not the case creativity would never leave the mind to find manifestation in the physical world.  In visual arts creativity is most often directed at producing something that is in some way beautiful, or cool looking, or expresses an idea or a feeling, or is thought-provoking.  Innovation on the other hand, is creativity bounded much more by practicality and directed at producing something useful or better than what came before.  The proverbial ‘better mouse trap’ in other words.  Paintings don’t trap mice!  Paintings are mouse-friendly.  Paintings may even help mice sharpen their teeth or serve as luxuriant nesting material.

Well anyway, that’s what I’ve been trying to do at least since Horizons — improve at being creative, and ‘Independence’ and these thoughts about creativity are just where I am today.


Filed under Art, Paintings, Photography

Digital art: Inscriptions no longer refer

"Inscriptions no longer refer", digital image 1200 x 650 pixels, March 1, 2012

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I used to do a lot of art digitally, mainly in Paint, before I decided to try actual painting.  Yes, that’s ‘Paint’ under Accessories in your Windows Start menu.  The simplest of digital art tools, or at least the most widely distributed and easily accessible to the most people.  I had foolishly not done any kind of artwork for years before that.  Having decided I should art again, and after hemming and hawing over what media I should use for at least several weeks, I finally just exploded and picked up the tools already close at hand.  And went with it for the next few years.  I have half a mind to post all that stuff at some point.  Anyway, for some reason the other day I opened up ol’ Paint again and found myself doing my “small painting” experimentation thing, only digitally.  As much as you can with an “oil brush tool”, putting down some color, ‘spreading it around’ and seeing what happens.  The above is what happened.  “Inscriptions no longer refer”.  Reminds me of “Woosh!”:

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Small painting #2, "Woosh!" acrylic on 8.5" x 5.5" paper, February 3, 2012

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In other news, I found the solution for curly paper!  Cheap collage frames!

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Small paintings in collage frames -- studio shot! Check out the particle board workbench I designed and put a drill through my thumb building. And the shims -- the shims! Valuable art tools!

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Filed under Art, Paintings

Korean grade school students winter camp English projects — fascinating stuff! Blended animals and cartoon strips! Which chimera would win in a fight? The snakpus or the sqraffe? And could the winner eat bombs?? Really creative stuff here!

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