Tuesday, December 28, 2010


The gorgoneion is a decorative gorgon's head, face-on, which was quite common in Ancient Greek art for a few centuries. The gorgon features prominently in myth, and changed in form over time. Medusa was one of the three gorgons.

In its earliest depictions, the gorgon was a distorted, leering face, with serpents encircling but unattached. Over time, the face became more beautiful, and the serpents became the hair.

I based this small drawing off several coins (not mine, I don't have any, but I'd like one). It's a composite.

Friday, December 24, 2010


I don't know if it shows in this photo, Brian, but at Meijer, two sides of the sign say "Coke" but the third says Pepsi. It's the same ratio at both ends of the aisle.
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Thursday, December 09, 2010

One thing that has occupied a (very small) amount of my time over the past few days is a little mental game: attempting to sing the words of one Christmas carol to the tune of another Christmas carol. To make the game more challenging and amusing (and I do find it to be both), I substitute lyrics syllable for syllable, instead of trying to force words or stretch them out to fit.

So, the first two lines of "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer" sung to "Jingle Bells" would be:

"Rudolph the, red nose rein, deer had a ver-eeee

Shiny nose, and if you ev, -er saw it you would even, SAY!" ..or something like that.

Anyway, since I have a hard time remembering song lyrics as it is, this is challenging. I think it would be tons easier if I had the words written in front of me, but that's just TOO easy.

Kim seems to find my attempts to sing this out loud to be equal measures of annoying and impressive. It has been demonstrated that there are other people who take to it much more naturally than I do, but I don't think they like the concept as much.

Another idea that hit me yesterday, and which keeps popping into my head, is how cool it would be if someone made a political thriller in which one or more vampires attempt to take control of one of the Houses of Congress (or a state legislature would work, too.) Werewolves might work better. I haven't worked out their reasons for doing this yet.

It's a great idea, and would work equally well either as a tight dramatic thriller with a few great action scenes, or as a goofy political-horror spoof with shades of "From Dusk Till Dawn" and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." I envision it involving a young idealistic senator going to the Capital to clean up the corruption, then realizing dark forces are at work, and teaming up with a vampire/werewolf hunter (probably a sexy blonde).

Of course, there would be a scene near the end involving massive gory combat inside the legislative chambers.

So many ideas, so little time.

Monday, November 29, 2010


"Why, I have a Rolodex, a calculator, and all sorts of pens.  What on earth do I need this old computer for? I don't even see a reason to turn it on!"
(Photo via computer training clip art at work.)

Friday, November 26, 2010

First snow

The morning after Thanksgiving
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Monday, November 22, 2010


I worked outside quite a bit this weekend, and I feel like it. Right now, so far, nothing is actually sore (except my thumb, which has a small splinter), but I'm stiff and worn out.  Saturday, I mowed.  This not only evened out the grass but also chopped and mulched all the leaves that had collected in our yard. Then I raked out the daylily bed so that it looked a little more presentable.


Yesterday, I dug up and divided the asiatic lilies, and also unearthed and rinsed off about half of the gladiolus bulbs.  I'll probably just leave the other half for next year, although I'd like to get all of them up.  They always seem to overwinter pretty well, but some of the bulbs are getting a little crowded and I'd like to spread them out.  Also, digging them up is a great way to get the weeds out of the bed, and the bed is mostly weeds.  The weeding (separating the grass roots from everything else) was most of the work.


I don't know where I'm going to replant all those glad bulbs, but figuring it out is half the fun.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Big Rock - Beargrass Creek

Finally done.

As I previously stated, this is 10.5 x 13.5 inches on hot press watercolor paper, pen and ink.
Kids swimming at Big Rock, Beargrass Creek, Cherokee Park

Monday, November 15, 2010

in other news

You'd probably be dumbfounded at how much I haven't been knitting lately.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

St. Louis Arch

This was from some years ago...2003? Anyway, I sure looked different back then.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Fawn can be a little dense

Jill and I were playing fairies this morning. She was Rosetta, I was Fawn.

Rosetta: "I'm going to fly up to my secret hideout. I want to be by myself."
Fawn: "Secret hideout? Is it up high someplace?"
Rosetta: "It's way up in the clouds."
Fawn: "Neat! I'd like to see a secret hideout in the clouds. Can I come?"
Rosetta: "No. I want to be by myself."
Fawn: "Oh. What about tomorrow? Can I come then?"
Rosetta: "No. Listen to my words...'secret'...'hideout.'"

the blurry line between artist and exhibitionist

We all knew it was just a matter of time before I started posting photos of myself nearly naked. Don't worry, there's nothing there that hundreds of people at the Y water park don't see in the summer.

I've been messing around with the image editor some more, and I've figured out the essential things I need to know for now. There is a lot more to learn, but it's not stuff I currently have a need for.

Friday, November 05, 2010

House of Madness

I've been messing around with GIMP, the free image editor. I'm not finding it very intuitive, but over the past couple of days I've been picking up more and more. Here's a photo from our first anniversary trip to Red River Gorge, warped by my nascent warping skills.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Halloween pictures 6, unless I've lost count

Here's the firebreathing chipmunk accepting her prize for best costume at the Parkside Halloween parade.  I won a prize, too.  The rainbow won a similar prize at our school's trunk-or-treat event.  Excellent designs by my daughters, and excellent execution of those designs by Kim!

Halloween picture 5

One is a family photo, and the other-of the two ladies standing with me--is just one Kim took of people having their picture taken with me.  I got quite a bit of that.  I don't know how many photo albums, Flickr pages, and Facebook photo albums I'm now showing up on.

Halloween pictures 4


Halloween pictures 3


Halloween picture 2


Halloween pictures 1


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Second Due

I answer to the question below, "second due" seems to refer to the second to arrive at an emergency scene.  They're making fun of the pokey firefighters behind them.


What does the sign on the back of this fire truck mean?
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

pumpkin picture


The text is the first part of a Halloween rhyme: "5 little pumpkins sitting on the gate/ the first one said, 'Oh, my, it's getting late!'"


I quite like this for a number of reasons.  One of them is that it reminds me of the peripheral legend on an ancient coin—encircling the picture and difficult to translate.  In that regard, I love the dots that separate the words.




Monday, October 25, 2010


 My 6-year-old made this all on her own.  I think it's very nicely done.

Friday, October 22, 2010

comets and meteors


I went out to look for comet Hartley 2 this morning and thought I was barely able to make it out (by not looking directly at it).


However, now that I've looked more at some star charts, I think was I was seeing was the stars Nu Aurige and Tau Aurigae.  The comet was riiiiggght theeeerre close to them, but was probably just a little too faint to register.


The moon was full and up, so viewing wasn't great.  Perhaps if I'd been further out from the city I could have seen it.


I did see three shooting stars inside of a minute, though, and I saw another one as I was driving to work.  The radiant for these is very near Auriga, the constellation that the comet is currently passing through, so I was staring straight at the first three meteors when I was them. Very nice!


These meteors are the Orionids, which are the remains of Halley's Comet.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Horse and Jockey

I did a lot of this work sitting in Jury Pool. I think it's done, though I might decide to darken a couple of areas. The size is about 8 x 10 inches.


A couple of days ago I finished The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, which I enjoyed, and now I'm reading the oddly engrossing Mr. Jefferson And The Giant Moose. I've nearly given up on The Case For Christ, which I'm about half way through.

Yesterday I also finished a drawing of a horse and jockey, and I'll post a photo when I get a chance.
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Thursday, October 14, 2010


Jury duty
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Last night/Day so far

Last night I took another progress photo of my Big Rock drawing. I want to post an update on Wetcanvas.com. I also worked a little more on it. I took a photo of myself to use as a model to finish the guy swinging on the rope.

The power was out this morning so I overslept. No shower. Power came back just before I left. Made it to work only a little late and worked on budget data entries. Left work at 9:30 for jury pool. Now I'll sit and continue reading my novel.
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Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Indo-Sasanian coin

Here's another coin show purchase. It is Indo-Sasanian drachm, and I have tentatively identified this as a Chaulukya Dynasty era coin from Saurashtra, Gujarat, or Malwa in western India. This would date from AD 950-1150 (the guy who sold me the coin had it labeled 800-900, but I think it's probably in a slightly later date range.)

The obverse shows the stylized head of a Sasanian king, and the reverse shows a fire altar with two attendants.

...What, you can't see it? I'll outline the pertinent features in red to make them more obvious.

The design is hard to see because this is an example of something one sees from time to time in ancient coins: A very popular design that outlives its cultural context but keeps getting repeated. Over time, the people making and using the coins lose consideration of, or just forget, the original meaning of the symbols on the coin, and just keep using them because that's what money is supposed to look like. This means that the imagery becomes stylized and warped as it is repeated over the decades and centuries, sort of like a message being passed from person to person in that telephone game.

This coin was probably minted centuries after the deaths of the Sasanian king or kings that were depicted on the original coins. I don't know whether or not the die maker knew what he was depicting. Did he know this was the bust of a long-dead king, an altar with two sets of arms tending to the ritual? Did he ever see an example of the older coins?

There are many versions of these coins from a pretty broad region over a long period of time. I don't know if I'll ever nail down a more exact time or location for this coin.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Big Rock, Beargrass Creek WIP

Work in progress:  this is a drawing I'm working on of kids swimming at Big Rock.  It's been a bit of a struggle, and I'm not sure it will turn out.  It's pretty busy, and I'm having to really work to make it "read" right spacially and to give a good sense of values.  Also, there have been a few minor drawing screw-ups that have been demoralizing.  However, it's still coming along (slowly), and I'm optimistic that I'll be happy with the finished piece.


St. Pierre et Miquelon, Vanuatu


A little over a week ago I attended the Louisville Coin Club's annual Fall Coin Show. I was only able to spend about an hour-and-a-half there.  There were about fifty dealers, I guess, and I visited three of them.  The one I spent the most time at was the last.  He had many boxes of inexpensive world coins, and I found some fines ones to fill some holes in my collection.


The coin from St. Pierre et Miquelon sent me to do research, for I didn't recall every hearing of those islands before.  I should have, for it's the only North American territory still held by France; a tiny bit of space, but interesting.


The other coin is from Vanuatu.


The scans of the coins aren't very good.  I might have to see if there is a better setting for the scanner.


I bought four other coins, of which I will post pictures later.


Thursday, September 30, 2010

Orbit simulator

I mentioned this to Kevin a short time ago, and just found a link:
If you click, move the mouse, and release, you can launch a satellite.
I've seen other versions of this where you can do it without the moon.
I find it difficult or impossible to get a stable orbit unless I make the satellite go the opposite way the moon goes.

skull drawing


This is yet another recently found and touched-up drawing.  I drew this in late 2000, and it was tucked away since then until I pulled it out last week and cleaned it up a little.  I don't think it's a great drawing, but I sort of like it, and it could easily be used as the basis for another work.


The subject is a skull I found outside Saratoga, Wyoming.  I didn't know what kind of skull it was until a few days ago when I did some rummaging using Google's image search.  Looks to me like it's a dog skull.


This was done with charcoal and chalk.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Vedauwoo Snow

I found this old drawing in the back of a closet and thought it had some promise, so I worked on it a little more - mostly making some areas better defined, and filling in some holes in the sketchiness.


This is about 10 x 16 inches, charcoal, white chalk, a little graphite, and (I think) touches of acrylic gesso.

Waved Sphinx

 This big guy (gal?) was above our garage door.  I saw him as soon as I pulled into the driveway; he really stood out against the white, and he was pretty big (maybe not 2 inches, but close.)  I think he's a waved sphinx moth.