Author Archives: Vironevaeh

15 day draw, part 2

Drawings 6-9 of my art sprint. I’ve been developing my analog/digital mixed workflow, and developing material for my personal wiki project.

Prompt 6: “Sheltering in Mt Vit”

This is not the first time I’ve been fascinated with tafoni. Then a recent trip to Utah rekindled the passion.

Materials

  • Faber-Castell pens on water color paper (Punjab 270 gsm)

Reference materials

  • Photos of tafoni erosion

Prompt 7: “Bubbles”

This one I had hours of struggle for inspiration, and then ended up doing something a little tangential to the prompt. Pleased with this one. I used the “ripple” filter in photoshop, and I’m pleased with the effect. I’ll be using this again.

Materials

  • Faber-Castell pens on Canson Mi Teintes colored paper

Reference materials

  • “M.C. Escher: the graphic work”

Prompt 8: “Second Founding”

A sequel to prompt 2, “First Founding”.

Materials

  • Faber-Castell pens on Canson Mi Teintes colored paper

Reference materials

  • “Walter Anderson: Birds”
  • “The Carved Line: Block Printmaking in New Mexico”

Prompt 9: Hammer

Materials

  • Prismacolor color pencils and Faber-Castell pens on Canson Mi Teintes colored paper

Reference materials

  • “Walter Anderson: Birds”
  • “Cutting Edge: Modernist British Printmaking” (a pretty direct homage to Sybil Andrews here)
  • “Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists”

Days 1-5 of the 15 day draw

I’ve made it through the first 5 days of my 15 day drawing–or as someone pointed out, a drawing development sprint. So far, so good, and using a lot of reference books to help fuel the creative flames.


Day 1: Monster

Depicting the “World Wyrm”, a mythological monster with significance to Digurtians and humans and represented in several ways at various points of time and in various subcultures.

Materials

Prismacolor color pencils on black Canson Mi Teintes paper.

Reference Books

  • The Night Life of Trees
  • A Journey in the Phantasmagorical Garden of Apparitio Albinus
  • Ernst Haeckel Art Forms in Nature

Day 2: First Founding

Trying not to belabor building materials here—trying to capture how First Founding might have been remembered by later Vironevaehns as a fleeting idyllic time between crises, a time when the community came together. Referencing an old drawing of the Vironevaehn mountains.

Materials

Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens on colored Canson Mi Teintes paper.

Reference Books

  • The Carved Line: Block Printmaking in New Mexico (especially the work of Willard Clark)

Day 3: Flow

Looking toward the city and a storm tower during a storm.

Materials

Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens and Prismacolor color pencils on Canson Mi Teintes paper.

Reference Books

  • California’s Wild Edge
  • Oscar Dröge: Landschaft Witz und Reiselust
  • The Complete Graphics of Eyvind Earle

Day 4: Going to Mt. Vit

Showing the flight to the mountains after the start of the Great Rains. I wanted to show it in a storybook style, the people leaving one life forever and going to something new and a bit ominous, but nonnegotiable.

I want to re-do this one after the sprint. I want to preserve the silhouette of the mountains that is broken by the clouds in this version. Before I added the rain, it wasn’t too bad, but the rain and the clouds make the image too muddy. I think I’ll take the lightning out too. Maybe try the people in a light color too. This should be fun to redo.

Materials

Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens and Prismacolor color pencils on Canson Mi Teintes paper.

Reference Books

  • California’s Wild Edge
  • The Horn Island Logs of Walter Inglis Anderson

Day 5: Balance

I’ve been really obsessed with the idea of Vironevaehn identity and how it spans two humanoid cultures and their intersection. The city they build together spans above and below, and spans night and day. As night and day balance in a rhythm that defines our hormonal and cellular processes, human and Digurtian form an emergent people and culture.

Materials

Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens on Canson Mi Teintes paper.

Reference Materials

The city of Derinkuyu.

Reference Books

  • Sanna Annukka illustrated “Snow Queen”
  • Visions Underground: Carlsbad Caverns Through the Artist’s Eye

15 Day Draw #1

Inktober has lead me to do some great art, but October is a ways off and I felt like channeling that energy again. Also, 31 days seems like a lot! So yesterday I started what I’m calling a “15 Day Draw”—I wrote down 15 prompts for the 15 days, July 17-31.

I have some specific art I’d like to produce, but I also appreciate the open-ended aspect of Inktober. So the even days are prompts specific to my project, and odd days are open ended.

The project these prompts are for is my Viropyidiaeh, a wiki of Vironevaeh based on the dokuwiki wiki tool. On this wiki, I’m working to document the history, culture, and details of Vironevaeh. Many details that have been part of my “canon” for years have no images of them—I’ve been too intimidated to just create something. This 15 Day Draw is an effort to create first and worry later.

Prompts:

  1. Monster
  2. First Founding
  3. Flow
  4. Going to Mt. Vit
  5. Balance
  6. Sheltering in Mt. Vit
  7. Bubbles
  8. Second Founding
  9. Hammer
  10. The Naenaiaehn Departure
  11. Star
  12. Ouryici map
  13. Shadow
  14. Solar system
  15. Reflection

2020 artistic goals

Happy 2020! This time last year, my job was so terrible I was losing vision in one eye from the stress. Now I have a new job, and the creative juices have been flowering (plus I can see again). I hope to get back into the habit of sharing my work from time to time.

This seems like the time and place to lay out some creative goals for the year. I’m sure I’ll have more ideas, but it helps to have an anchor in the sea of short attention span.

Vironevaehn

  1. Complete 100 illustrations for the 100 views of Vironevaeh series. After 6 years, I have 90 illustrations. I can do this!
  2. Create a decorative version of the Vironevaehn block font for use with the 100 views series.
  3. Digitize my Vironevaehn archive.
  4. Start the digital organization process for the archive—­­either with a database, Mathematica, Python, or some combination.

Water Polo

  1. Make a logo for the New Mexico Masters water polo team.
  2. Make a suit design for the New Mexico Masters team.
  3. Produce a crazy design for my summer team =)

Book Arts/Printmaking

  1. Create a pop-up design which includes some electronic element, like a blinking light.
  2. Produce a two color woodcut design.
  3. Design and bind a rough draft with all 100 views of Vironevaeh illustrations.

Arts Exploration

  1. Document and organize my list of artists whose work I admire.
  2. Play with new media—specifically water colors and block printing inks. Try making a circuit using metallic block printing ink, with an eye toward a smart pop-up.
  3. Engage with the local arts community. Attend at least 10 events throughout the year where I meet people and talk about art.

Inktober Days 12-17

Happy Inktober!

I’m a day behind, which is fine.

My favorite two this week are “whale” and “clock”.

I was struggling for inspiration on whale until I heard BackStory podcast’s episode last Friday about whaling. In 1880, some businessmen shipped a whale carcass around the midwest on a train as a tourist attraction. AMAZING. Here’s an article about it. I always liked the whaleziac episode of South Park, so I guess it’s whaleziac old school.

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Inktober Days 5-11

Happy Inktober!

Here are my drawings for the week. Day 5, chicken, I started on my iPad in AutoDesk Graphic, and finished later in Adobe illustrator. The vector tools in Graphic made importing the started work a lot easier than the Adobe vector tool for iPad. The tools can be a little cumbersome, and don’t feel natively designed for a tablet, but if I want to use work from the iPad later, Graphic is better than its Adobe equivalent. This is mostly because I love Bezier curves. All the other drawings were done in Adobe Sketch.

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And for Day 10: flow, I decided to learn one of Adobe’s animation programs, Adobe Animate. I’m still a bit clunky with it, but not bad for a first stab! I made my own Gif!

zoiderg

Inktober Days 1-4

Four days into Inktober! It’s been a great way to motivate myself to try drawing apps on my iPad. I normally work entirely on my laptop, but there are a lot of times when I don’t want to be around town with it.

So far: I’m really disappointed how Adobe’s vector-based iPad program, Adobe Illustrator Draw, has no pen tool function. This means that, although I form every object with a stroke of the pencil, I have very unwieldy blob brush paths when I import into Illustrator. My workflow on the laptop is all path based, not blob brush. Adobe’s pixel based program (Sketch) is more fun, and it’s where I’ve done all four drawings so far. But I do prefer to work in vectors.

I just downloaded Autodesk’s Graphic for iPad. It can do Bezier Curves (which I adore) and can export as a fully organized document to Illustrator. It’s not as effortless as the Adobe programs.

For both Graphic and Adobe mobile apps–the online help resources are extremely annoying. Googling puzzles about the Adobe apps will turn up threads from 2015 which are now incorrect due to rapid changes in functionality. Googling about Graphic turns up the desktop program by the same name. Trying to draw a circle took 5 minutes because I could only find the desktop recommendation–hold shift.

Happy inking! I hope to explore Graphic more this weekend!

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Inktober 2018

It’s funny how loss lands in different ways even within the same lifetime. I bought my first DSLR camera less than a month after my brother’s death. Maybe I felt like I had to make records of the uncomfortably ephemeral. On the other hand, I didn’t feel like documentation after my father’s illness and death eight months ago, and I’ve only posted on this blog a couple of times since then. Stresses have strange ways of adding and multiplying, and, for a while, the stress of committing to posting (even for this humblest of blogs) was something I didn’t need. I might be ready to re-commit to this little journal of my wonders. We’ll see!

I’m back with Inktober 2018. Every day is a new prompt for a new drawing. My personal goals are to learn to use Adobe’s iPad apps better and to share some silly drawings of probably mostly cats with my friends. Happy drawing!

2018promptlist

Free Downloadable Science Brushes for Adobe Illustrator

I’ve used Adobe Illustrator for years, but I didn’t use brushes very much. This weekend I watch the Lynda.com course “Creating Custom Brushes”. My library gives me free access to Lynda.com through their website; yours might too so check it out.

In my zeal, I created a few science-themed custom pattern brushes. Two of them are created from real experimental data. You can see them drawn onto paths below. If you like them, you can download the .ai files through my Creative Cloud presence at the following link: https://adobe.ly/2GpnK9Y.

If you use the files, please satisfy my curiosity, and either comment here or mention my twitter handle @Vironevaeh. I hope they are as fun to use as they were to make!

What are the paths? (counting from the top)

  1. The top path is loosely based on the body-centered cubic crystal (BCC) structure. A real BCC crystal has atoms in the middle of every cube, rather than every other. It also extends in all three dimensions. Iron and chromium form BCC crystals.
  2. This path is real experimental data from coupled Colpitts oscillators. A Colpitts oscillator is a simple electronic oscillator made from resistors, inductors, capacitors, and a transistor. Without coupling, the oscillations are simpler; the interactions cause them to make this interesting pattern.
  3. This path is the “skeletal formula” for a random organic molecule. Next time I will make some polymers, but this one was for play.
  4. A cubic molecule.
  5. More real experimental data, this time from an electrochemical experiment. This is the current produced from the dissolution of nickel oxide in acid. Here, six oscillators are locked in a pattern. (Note that this path has a lot of anchors so it’s a little slow. Maybe this one was more for my fun.)

BlahaScienceBrushes

Utopias in America

Does dystopia seem more tangible than utopia? Media such as Handmaid’s Tale, Hunger Games and Mad Max depict fractured futures. Science and economics speak of the effects of climate change, the next big flu pandemic, wealth inequality, and dark campaign money.

Utopianism seems gullible and naive, while dystopianism seems world-weary and chic. But it wasn’t always this way. 19th century America was littered with utopian societies. There were the Shakers, the Rappites, the Owenites, the Associationists, the Oneidans (yes, the silverware folks), The Amanans (yes, the refrigerator folks), and others. Look it up; there were probably utopian communities in your area too. In St. Louis, the Icarians briefly settled near present-day Dogtown. A German utopian group called the Giessen Emigration Society settled near Washington, Missouri. In New Mexico, we have Blackdom, a settlement for black families; there’s also the Faithists who founded the Shalam community. Most of these communities lasted only briefly, but vestiges of many remain; Washington, Missouri remains heavily German today although the surrounding area is not.

Some utopian colonies, like Blackdom, were more pragmatic than religious or dogmatic; Blackdom was founded to leave behind the KKK and Jim Crow. Millenarians, like the Shakers, believed that the Second Coming was imminent; they had to prepare for a thousand years of heaven on Earth, as predicted in the book of Revelations in the Bible. This thinking was influential in the Second Great Awakening. Others, like Robert Owen’s Owenites, were secular and believed that the industrial revolution could be harnessed to improve life if people pooled their efforts.

So why were there so many utopias founded in the United States in the 19th century? Europeans interpreted the Biblical arc of history as traveling from east to west; they saw history as starting in the Middle East, advancing in Europe, and ending in the Americas. The American revolution still seemed truly revolutionary, but also to some, incomplete. There was a lot of cheap land available for purchase. The industrial revolution destabilized long-standing traditions. The woman who brought Shakerdom to the United States, Ann Lee, grew up in the industrial miseries of Manchester, England–the city where Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels also developed their social theories.

These intellectual ties to 20th century communism probably explain why we’ve forgotten these kooky and imaginative social experiments. Marx and Engels used the term “communism” because “socialism” was so tied to Robert Owen in the public imagination. The utopias of the 19th century inspired later communist theory, but they differ immensely from later authoritarian regimes. They were voluntary social experiments. The Shakers were led by a woman and preached celibacy and gender equality. Many advocated gender equality, universal education, sexual liberty (or at least relaxation), and later, abolitionism.

The utopian thinking of the 19th century, though largely forgotten, was influential. Robert Owen spoke to congress twice and President John Q. Adams displayed a diagram of Owen’s utopian “parallelogram” in the White House. Many of the famous transcendentalists of New England, including Nathaniel Hawthorne, participated in the Utopian colony of Brook Farm. The famous editor, Horace Greeley, advocated Associationism. Louisa May Alcott, author of Little Women, was brought up in the vegetarian Fruitlands Utopian Colony. (Not strictly relevant but hilarious: In the book Paradise Now, the author describes a few Fruitlands residents; “the community included… a man who refused to eat tubers because any vegetable that grows downward displays questionable ambitions;” another man “advocated spiritually cleansing obscenity. ‘Good morning, damn you,’ was his preferred salutation.”)

I think today’s dystopianism and 19th century utopianism are two sides of the American coin–we think expansively. Things are either the worst or we’re going to create heaven on earth in western Indiana. Both utopianism and dystopianism emerge from the observation of fault in today’s society. Both today’s dystopianism and 19th century Millenarianism utopianism are obsessed with the end of the world. Current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has raised eyebrows with his talk of the rapture. Either way, we like to think that, when it all goes down, we’ll be at the center of it.

Some good resources on American Utopianism