My Work in Progress

A sketchblog where I post a few of my scribbles from a variety of works-in-progress, usually from my rather random personal creativity outside of the daily grind. I occasionally, but not always, post the final artwork.


Random Creature

What the heck is a Golden Guddle Greaper? I'm not sure either, but this is the creature concept I came up with - 30 minutes "research", 1 hour sketching, 1 hour coloring:

And here's the original sketch:


It's Cold

And that's all I really have to say about it right now. Brrrrr....


Old stuff

I was going through my old stuff looking for some of those "comfort drawings" that I used to do. And found these horsie ones. :) Mostly pastel art. A couple of them were of my horses, a mare (based on a photo we took on the day she was rescued) and a gelding. Some were drawn when I was in high school (long, long ago); and others are from when I was just starting university about 20 years ago...trying to figure out art on my own (was studying biomedical science back then) and doing t-shirt paintings for extra money.


Counting Down the Book Binge: Next

I've been quickly going through the nice stack of books that I got for Christmas, gifts and otherwise. Over on the right in my "Reading/Watching" section you can see the listing of books that I have on hand and haven't read just yet. My book binge at the moment is about a book a night or so. I'm going through them fast! The most recent book I finished was Next by Michael Crichton.

Well the story wasn't as engaging to me as some others that Crichton has written (Andromeda Strain, Coma, Jurassic Park, Airframe) and at times it felt like there were entirely too many characters that I had to try and keep straight in my head (flipped back a couple of times to make sure I had remembered the right character during the first third of the book)...but the info behind the genetic engineering - the genetic patent quandaries, who owns your cells, your very DNA, the media, too much! Had me both enraged and stunned at the possibilities at the same time. Heh, one of the reasons it was probably a good thing that I'm an artist now instead of a scientist, as much as I enjoyed my time in the labs studying genetics back when I was pursuing a biomedical degree for veterinary medicine, I was entirely too tempted to come up with my own little creative creatures by having some fun with cellular manipulation. (Ah...sweet unicorns...ha!) But that was long ago. And as an artist of today, I have no interest in creating "works of bio-art" with lab developed tissue or
glow-in-the-dark bunnies.

I was interested in Crichton's interpretation of private funding influencing University research versus private research versus government sponsored genetic research.

Also interesting is how in the last few days, the news media is headlining "new research results" about gene variants and stem cell discoveries. Curious, most curious.

Japan scientists link strokes to gene variant

Study: Amniotic fluid yields stem cells

Fun to read articles by scientists who are now publishing responses to what is, after all, only a book of fiction, right?

Why Michael Crichton Is Wrong About Patenting Genes

Michael Crichton's 'Next' is noxious

I'm definitely going to be reading some of the sources cited in Mr. Crichton's latest book, "Next", that I just finished reading this weekend. Food for thought, yesh.

Bird Feathers

After watching my screener copy of "Happy Feet" last night and seeing how the character designers attempted to somewhat differentiate the male and female emperor penguin characters by adding implied waist curves with the black feathers and giving implied breasts to the main/speaking female characters. (I suppose that's better than just sticking a bow on top, adding major eyelashes and calling it a "girl"). It brought to mind a Starbridge story (a series I really enjoyed) that I read back in 1990 called "Silent Dances". The "alien" avian characters in the story were very similar in appearance to the all white cattle egrets (at least in my memory...however they were about 14 feet tall), and it wasn't until the human observers viewed the intricate art and details on the "capes" made from the skins of these birds with ultraviolet light that they realised that the slaughtered avians were an intelligent species with a language and extensive community. The above picture is actually an etching I did in my print class after reading the book "Silent Dances" since egrets were kinda on my mind, heh.

Thinking about the book made me curious to find out if current biological scientists have done any research on emperor penguins to see if they, too, have art or other patterns on their feathers (applied by beak or just grown that way) that humans cannot see with the naked eye. While I didn't find any specific research about emperor penguins feathers, I did find a rather interesting article about songbird feather patterns as seen under ultraviolet light:

BTW, I did like the "Happy Feet" story alot. Title/logo - good lord, what a horrible job! All of the designers and art directors surely must have been out of the studio when that one got approval. Animation, eh. Lighting, texturing, sound, environments, other characters (elephant seals and killer whales - sweet!) really nice job. I also thought it was pretty funny how they tried to incorporate some of the layouts and narration style from the successful movie "
March of the Penguins" which I loved. The HF movie was an excellent way to hit the kiddie market with info about the global effects of human mismanagement of natural resources. Reminded me of similar messages in a couple of my kiddie animation favorites back in the seventies, "The Lorax" and "The Last Eskimo Curlew". I do wonder how "Happy Feet" might influence some people in the future like the other two did me....


Happy New Year!

Wishing all my occasional visitors, friends and family a very happy and most successful new year!