Artwork, web projects, and updates to

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Parallel Lines

Looked a lot at the sky this afternoon. Unusual formation of clouds to the east. A grey sky, with lots of very tightly packed parallel lines. What was extra unusual though was that immediately to the south of that patch was another patch in the same fashion, only this set of parallel lines were perpendicular to the other patch.

Now if one was to paint such cross-hatching in the sky, well the painting would look ridiculous, or at best not very realistic. I think I just might do it.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Portrait by Scott Mack

Earlier this year I posed for a painting class given by Scott Mack. From those sessions Scott produced the portrait presented here on Talking Squares. It also features on the About The Artist page.

Sizing digital images causes loss of quality necessitating adjustments to get them close again to the original. Have a look at a bigger version of Scott's portrait of me, and in a better light - though in reality, I am much skinnier than this painting portrays.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Cistern Chapel Thumbs

Thumbnails of the Cistern Chapel murals have been added to the Mural Page. Tantalisingly, just like the Bridge Street thumbnails, they don't link to anything yet.

So for now you're stuck with looking at an array of small rectangles - which according to a recently published discovery, by some clever people in the field of cognitive neuroscience at the University of Oregon, can illustrate that awareness, or "visual working memory," depends on your ability to filter out irrelevant information.

Using new techniques for measuring brainwaves, the study asked people to remember arrays of colored squares or rectangles. In one experiment, researchers told subjects to hold in mind two red rectangles and ignore two blue ones. Without exception, high-capacity individuals excelled at dismissing blue, but low-capacity individuals held all of the rectangles in mind.

"Until now, it's been assumed that people with high capacity visual working memory had greater storage but actually, it's about the bouncer – a neural mechanism that controls what information gets into awareness."

As Pravda phrases it Ignoring Useless Information Aids Memory

And the reason I'm telling you this? Because "this doesn't mean people with low capacity are cognitively impaired. There may be advantages to having a lot of seemingly irrelevant information coming to mind. Being a bit scattered tends to be a trait of highly imaginative people.

Shan't be too long and I'll get around to finishing that Mural Page. I think.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Midwest Complete

The Midwest Category has finally had the two unlinked thumbnails hooked up. One of these is a painting that doesn't feature in any other section, because being a depiction of an older-style grain elevator - and not much else - I can't decide if such an agricultural structure is a Cityscape or a Landscape. Don't phone; it's just for fun.

I do have a few other paintings of the Midwest, both complete and not so, none of which are yet posted on the website. Watch this space.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Thanksgiving Mug

Four years ago when Quinn was five he painted a mug and gave it to me that Christmas. It smashed last week when I dropped it. Momentarily I was tempted to use it in a Schnabelesque painting, but instead in the early hours of Thanksgiving I glued the many pieces back together.

Quinn was here when I broke it and upset until I told him of my previous broken mugs and showed them to him in their current state. One - with blue squares - I use as my water holder whenever painting with acrylics - which is every day. And the other - with black squares - I use to house various drawing utensils.

The reassembled mug that Quinn painted was on the bookshelf when he arrived Thanksgiving morning, right beside the first baseball that he burst open with the bat from when we were playing three years back.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Abstract Category Complete

With the final five paintings in the 'Squares' section now linked up today, that means that the Abstract Category in its entirety is now complete. Until I start posting some more.

So that leaves me with Murals, Animals, and On the Easel, which are not fully implemented yet. And there's a couple of holes around that need filling. Onwards.

On the bike ride home with Quinn this evening, we made plans for making this year's batch of Christmas Tree ornaments, but realized we'd have to put the tree up ten days or so before Christmas if Quinn is to be involved. That's about ten days earlier than usual. Having this conversation we mostly ignored the Christmas lights lining our route.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Abstract updates

The next five paintings in the 'Squares' section of the Abstract category have been created and linked up.

Yesterday I almost made my first purchase of an artwork for over fifteen years. Cost: One dollar. Plus two dollars postage. And the dollar bills were to be mailed.However the card machine was down at the Aldi checkout so I had to return all the messages except the milk and whatever else the last of my hard cash was enough for.

That last artwork I bought was by a homeless old man who lived on a bus in England. The 900 was a big silver taxi of a thing that shuttled expressly between Birmingham, the airport, and Coventry, twenty four hours a day. With a black marker he had drawn a fantasy land, and then drew a grid on top of it before colouring the resultant squares and shapes with coloured markers. I gave him five quid.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Squares, Squares are Everywhere

Not before time, the first five paintings in the "Squares" section down the bottom of the Abstract category have finally had their pages created. This means the thumbnails actually link to their respective pages. Most of these are quite large paintings so their pages feature a detail rather than a complete image. Among them is Squares In The Basement, which was used in even greater detail for the Masthead of the Abstract category.

Talking of squares, Emma Brockes has an interview with the architect Renzo Piano, where he fumes over the difference between a Piazza and a Plaza, or more specifically over the treatment of Piazzas as Plazas. Admirable.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

What's new? This is.

Storming into the 21st Century, I'm starting a blog on the website.

The purpose is primarily to keep track of all website updates - a What's New page effectively. With the website now consisting of several hundred pages and growing, together with major plans for it currently in development, it strikes me as a necessary device to help those who visit once in a while looking particularly for changes that aren't covered simply by the 'New' Category. It will also help keep me on target for my own updating deadlines.

While this blog won't be a place for confessional personal stuff, it is the obvious place to document paintings as they progress, from conception through to completion. Similarly news regarding web projects will also be posted here. In so much as my personal life is relevant to my painting or webwork, it will likely make the odd appearance. There's a joke there somewhere.

And Here's The Stuff I Wrote Earlier:

  • November 2005
  • December 2005
  • January 2006
  • February 2006
  • March 2006
  • April 2006
  • May 2006
  • June 2006
  • March 2007
  • August 2008
  • October 2008
  • November 2008
  • December 2008
  • February 2009
  • March 2009
  • April 2009
  • July 2009
  • September 2009
  • April 2010
  • May 2010
  • June 2010
  • October 2010
  • December 2010
  • September 2012
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