Sunday, July 20, 2014

Slightly Larger Worlds - Part 2.

   Let's see, where was I? Oh yeah, here's the rest of my 'Slightly Larger Worlds' and some other stuff you might enjoy.

   The title of this first one was inspired by a Dilbert cartoon.

Dilbert, by Scott Adams, 1995

The Sound of Paradigms Shifting Without a Clutch. 8/15/05
So... I guess I owe Scott Adams a Musey? Fair enough!

A Musey for Dilbert!

Cornucopia. 8/16/05 

Spiral. 8/17/05

Mostly Green. 8/22/05

Full Blown Linked Spiral. 8/30/05

   As you can see by the previous four designs, I was playing with a lot of different styles in August of 2005. However, they all had one thing in common; they were all slightly too large!

Compressed Fractile. 01/16/06

Quest For Summer. 02/25/06

Tree of Life. 9/15/06
   I did two different versions of 'Tree of Life' for a prospective customer. She bought the other one.

Netted Stars. 11/27/06

Year In Review. 12/31/06

Complex Sanity. 5/21/07

Big Swirly. 11/20/07

   Well, that's it! Since 2007, I've done some larger designs, (11" x 14" or even 14" x 17"), but I've avoided the grey zone of "slightly larger".  Maybe I've just gotten better at managing the scale of my imagination. This group of designs are therefore unique, select, exclusive, rare ... in other words, Misfits!

   Now, here's another few picture pages for your consideration.

Black and White Test #7

Black and White Test #8.

And finally ...

"Species-ism" raises it's ugly head!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Slightly Larger Worlds - Part 1.

Update: IMAO Link of the Day: My World's Bigger Than Your World.  
 When I first started all this drawing abstract geometric designs business, I tried a lot of different kinds of art paper, some larger, some smaller. In my exuberance, I'd sometimes draw right out to the edge of the page, only stopping when I realized that I had to stop, or continue the drawing on the table top (which would be a hassle to try to frame).
   Another consideration was how to preserve the designs after they were finished. I couldn't afford to frame each one, but I wanted to keep them handy so I could show them to people, but I also wanted to protect them so they wouldn't get wrinkled or smudged. Hmmm... what to do?
   Then I discovered those clear plastic page protectors with the 3 ring binder holes conveniently attached! They're designed to snuggly hold a standard size 8.5" by 11" sheet of paper, I can get them at my friendly, neighborhood Walgreens for a very reasonable price, and they last forever! Perfect, right?
    Unfortunately, most drawing tablets don't come in 8.5" by 11" size, which meant I had to trim the paper so the pictures would fit. For most of my designs, that wasn't a problem, but what to do with the slightly larger ones? Well, ever creative, I bought a 12" by 12" scrapbook binder with clear plastic page covers build in and stuffed them into that; making a label for the outside that read, "Slightly Larger Worlds."

Slightly Larger Worlds - Cover
Now I wouldn't have to trim my pictures too tightly, Ho-ray!
   Later, I started drawing on sheets of 8.5 x 11 cardstock, which suits me to a T, and most of the time until then I remembered to leave a margin of safety around the edges of my designs so I could save them in a 3 ring binder, But not always, so my collection of 'Slightly Larger Worlds' slowly increased. I've shown some of them at this blog in previous posts; globes, hypercubes, mazes and so forth, but tonight (and next week) I'm going to show the rest! Aren't you lucky?

Step 9. 7/31/04
Step 9 is the 9th in a series of designs I just called "steps" ('cause there were so many steps in the construction of each design). This one was drawn on tan construction paper with a #2 pencil, without guidelines, colored with Crayola pencils and then traced over with a felt tip marker. Oh well!

P.O.C. 4 - 8/16/04
P.O.C. stands for "Points Of Contact". I used to busy myself by circling the little specks and flecks on a sheet of cardboard, like on the back of a drawing tablet, then connecting the dots. I don't know if that qualifies as "art", but it kept me amused for hours! Anyway, in this design, since the page of clean, white drawing paper had no specks or flecks, I made some by drawing a bunch of random circles on the page, and imposing a dot wherever two lines crossed, then erasing all the circles, just leaving the dots. Then I did some other things, and this was the result!

50 Color Exercise. 10/29/04
Purple construction paper, silver inked felt tip marker, and a brand new box of 50 colored pencils!

Embedded Random Fractile. 2/18/05
I've tried to get the hang of fractals in several forms in my pictures - I know real fractals involve complex mathematics, but the idea of some pattern repeating itself, smaller and smaller each time, was kind of neat! I called these efforts 'fractiles' because I didn't know how to spell fractal. This one is kind of neat because I fiddled around with the edges of the design to make it look as if it was embedded in a block of amber.

Oops! I left one out because I thought I'd already shown it at one of my posts about mazes, but after double-checking, I saw that I hadn't. So this counts as a
Update: 7/15/14
Random Fractile Maze, Mostly Green. 2/24/05

Random Progression. 3/14/05
In this one I ran out of page before I ran out of ideas. For some strange reason I dated this one 3/14/25. Maybe it was a message to me from myself in the future? If you could send a message to yourself from the future, or from today to yourself in the past, what would it say? Maybe, in this case it means something true, but timeless, like "See? I told you so! But did you listen? Nooooo! You had to be a big shot and do it your own way! Well, I hope you're satisfied!" or something like that.

Here's another one I overlooked when I was posting this first batch of slightly larger worlds. Oops.
Update #2: 7/15/05

Linked Structure With the Works. 4/26/05
   There! Now all my ducks are in a row! Yay!

Almost Symmetrical Linked Structure. 5/7/05
Fractile Monolith. 5/31/05
   Remember that movie, 2001, a Space Odyssey? I read that the dimensions of the monolith in the movie was supposed to be the ratio of the first three prime numbers, squared. So it was 1 x 4 x 9. I tried to capture that ratio here, with a labyrinth thrown in for good measure. I did another drawing featuring a monolith that I entitled, "My God, It's full of squiggly lines!" and gave it to a nephew of mine because he was the only one who got the joke!

Green Crystal. 6/15/05
Designs like this one are a development of my earlier crude 'step' designs. It's a easy way to fill a sheet of paper, and sometimes it turns out pretty good. Later I figured out how to add curves.

There's no way this next one will fit in my scanner, but here's as much of it as will fit at one time.

72 Colors. 6/19/05
12" x 12" brown cardstock, and a new, larger box of colored pencils to break in.

I Couldn't Stop Myself. 6/29/05
I don't remember why I felt a need to apologize for this one in the title. Perhaps I should apologize for this next one instead?

I Don't Know Where I'm Going But I'm Getting Close! 8/11/05
   Well, I've got another 12 slightly larger worlds to show off next week, so stay tuned for those!
In the meantime, here's another black and white picture page for you budding artists to work on.
Do you remember the Nickleodeon Show? At one point, good old Bill Cosby joined the cast to do a segment called "Picture Pages". I suddenly remembered the jingle they'd play to announce the segment of the show, and now it's running over and over in my head!
Caution, this link may be habit forming! Picture Pages - You Tube

Black and White test #6

And now, Kevin Koastie!

Nobody wants to be the bearer of bad news.

Monday, July 7, 2014

2014 Fresh - June. (Plus One, and a Tribute)

   June, 2014 was another "It was the best of times, It was the worst of times" kind of month. I'll explain as I go along.

Update: IMAO Link of the Day - Star Windows and Fiddly Bits

   I began experimenting with a new design in June. I'd pretty much nailed the 4-point globe pattern, but I wanted to see if I couldn't figure out a way to make a 5-point globe; one that would let me work a 5 pointed star into a design element that would still look globular. So I tried several times in June to hammer out the necessary pattern elements, while discarding unnecessary details. It was a process of trial and error.

Green Star Window. 6/4/14

   6/4/14 coincidentally is the day that my older brother Jerome died. I didn't learn about it until the morning of the 5th because when I'm not at work, I turn my cell phone off and put it on the charger.
My, wasn't I surprised when I checked my voicemail messages the next morning.
     Did you ever tell someone, when you were a kid, "My big brother can beat up your big brother!"?. Well, my big brother COULD, and if your big brother ever looked at him funny, probably did. It was  quite a shock to learn that a guy so full of life had "crossed over" so suddenly.

Requiem for a Brother. (Grey Star Window). 6/6/14

   I'd already started 'Grey Star Window' when I got the news, so when I finished it, I dedicated it.
I was also experimenting with a new border treatment around the edges. I haven't decided on what to call it - perhaps "hyphenated fiddley-bits"?

Globe - With Fiddley Bits. 6/10/14

   At least with this third design, I' managed to make the lines look curved, but I'd lost the star-shape in the confusion; so back to the drawing board!
   Also, by this time, the family had made some funeral arrangements, so I asked for time-off from work, squeezed my credit card until it squeaked, and made plans to fly back home to North Dakota to be with the family as we laid my brother to rest. (Once upon a time I had three brothers; now I have one - it's funny how circumstances change our perspective, ain't it?)

Cool Grey Star Window. 6/16/14
   I called this one "Cool Grey Star Window" because it's a Star Window and the color of the central star is 'Cool Grey'. I've still got some work to do on the hyphenated fiddley bits, but I almost got the 5-pointed globe pattern down pat with this one. The color progression pattern, working from the outer circumference inward had just one little flaw, which threw off the uniformity on the upper left quadrant of the design. But I saw what I did wrong.
This bit, at the top center of the globe ...
Cool Grew Star Window (detail)
... Was colored differently from the other 4 corresponding points of the design, which threw off the whole pattern. I'll get it right next time, I reckon.

   Jerome was cremated in Missouri, where he lived (and died) and his widow and her sister drove up to North Dakota with the urn containing his ashes for his memorial service and burial. He was buried June 14th. I flew back to Memphis the next day and was back to work on Monday. Friday night we held a wake, and his friends and relatives took turns retelling stories about him. I learned things about him I'd never known before.

Jerome, 1994
   Anyway, life goes on, right? So when I got back to work, I decided that I should create a tribute picture for my brother, something to do with wings, perhaps.

Designing Wings For Jerome (1st Attempt). 6/18/14
I worked the letter "J" (for Jerome) into these next few designs.

Designing Wings For Jerome (2nd Attempt). 6/22/14

Designing Wings For Jerome (3rd Attempt). 6/25/14

Designing Wings For Jerome (4th Attempt). 6/30/14

I wasn't able to get the wing element of the design quite right, so I looked up a prototype angel design I'd done years ago for inspiration.
Wings of the Arc-Angel. 4/4/11

So, building off this design, I finally got it close enough to all right to be all right. I left off the letter J, I took another stab at the 5-pointed star globe in the center, and since it was nearly the 4th of July, I worked in some Red, White and Blue. (I think Jerome would have liked that).

Wings For Jerome. 7/3/14

High Flight
Oh, I have slipped the surly
 bonds of earth
And danced the skies
on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and
joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds - and done
a hundred things
you have not dreamed of -
Wheeled and soared and swung high
in the sunlit silence.
Hov'ring there, I've chased the
shouting wind along, and flung
my eager craft through footless
halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue
I've topped the windswept
heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew.
And, while with silent,
lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the
face of God.
By John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

I'm gonna miss him.

Well, now that I've brought everybody down with all this mourning and sadness, I'd better end this post with a little humor. You know, I started drawing cartoons in grade school and junior high. I'd mail them to Jerome who was serving a hitch in the Army at the time and he'd pass them around to his friends. I like to think I helped his unit's morale at least a little bit.

The Game's A-foot, and The Fix is In.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Secret Messages and Stuff.

   Over the years, as I learned to wrestle with randomness in my designs, I tried different gambits for getting the foundation lines of my designs set so that I'd have something on which to build. I had to build within the confines of the page I was drawing on, of course, but also within the confines of the pattern I'd chosen. If the pattern was too regular or repetitive, it looks like floor tile. If it's too random, it looks like an explosion in a floor tile factory.
   So, in my quest to find the happy medium, I tried sneaking secret messages into some of my designs. Then the challenge was to make the  messages readable, but not too readable, workable as an abstract design, but with a wink and a nod to those who could see the message - a sort of visual joke.
   Some of the messages were intended to be inspiring, others more risqué or crude. Some, looking back on them now, just seem silly to me. But anyway, here they are.
   I thought about displaying these without revealing what the 'secret messages' were supposed to be, just making the viewers guess, but that seems rude, in a way. So, I'll reveal the secret message in the caption  below each design for your convenience. If you want to guess - be sure you don't read the captions!
Update: IMAO link of the day - Secret Messages and Stuff 

   These first two make a matched set - providing one, two-part message.

Secret Message #1 - 4/15/04
Pain is just weakness leaving the body!

Secret Message #2. 4/16/04
The trick is not caring that it hurts!

Secret Message #3. 4/22/04
Kick ass and take names

Secret Message #4. Tribute to R.R. 6/5/04
Win One For
(R.R. is Ronald Reagan)
   I had the idea that if I created a work of art that contained a secret message; the one who bought it , framed it and proudly displayed it could take secret glee in knowing what it said while their visitors wouldn't have a clue. Considering what some of the secret messages were, it'd probably be a good thing if they couldn't be read unless you knew where to look. Considering that I never sold any of these, I no longer care if anyone can read them or not!

We Always Get Paid. 8/11/04
Snafu, Fubar and Bohica: Collections

It's Amazeing! 8/24/04
Its a maze ing

Secret Message #6. 9/4/04
If I Want Any Crap Out Of You I'll Squeeze Your Head.

Secret Message #7 - Tribute to J. F. S.
Life is like a $#!t sandwich. The more bread you have, the less $#!t you have to eat!

J.F.S. refers to my brother John, who told me the "secret of life" one day while we were sitting around the kitchen table, eating sandwiches. It was the only time in my life I ever ROFLMAOed for real, and the internet hadn't even been invented yet. The 'secret message' contained a rude word, which unfortunately was too easy to read, so to obscure it, I turned the whole thing upside-down.

Secret Message #9. 11/23/04
If I Wanted Your Opinion, I'd Beat It Out Of You!

WWJD. 12/9/04
   I couldn't resist trying the letters WWJD in a design; not so much as a secret message, but just as a foundation for a regressive fractile design I was working on. I Did answer the question, "what would Jesus do?" in a later secret message. (see below).

Secret Message 3/8/05
Talk To Da Hand

   At this point I decided to try the same secret message, in different styles, several times.

Secret Message. 7/10/05
Lord, give me patience right now!

This next one is a mystery even to me! I created it, labeled it "Secret Message", then filed it away for about a year. Now I can't remember what the secret message was supposed to be and I can't decipher it. Should I consider that a success or a failure?

Secret Message. 7/10/05
I got no idea!

Secret Message. 7/18/05
Lord give me patience right now!

Secret Message. 7/21/05
Lord give me patience right now!

Now, in answer to the question, "What would Jesus do?" I have the answer!

Jesus Would Ride (Rev. 19:11). 8/1/05

   Then there was a slight pause before I did another secret message. (Only eight years). But since those later designs have been featured here before at previous posts, I won't bother to drag them up again at this time. Besides I have some new stuff to show off.

Black & White Test #4

Black & White Test #5

And last but not least ...

Secrets of Command.