A Physicist and Artist try to make it in Silicon Valley

A Physicist and Artist try to make it in Silicon Valley
In which a couple tries to thrive creatively and intellectually on and offline

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Book of the Week #17

This week's book is Art Spiegelman's Maus.

If you haven't already read this Pulitzer Prize winning graphic novel, you really should. It is a heart felt and honest allegory that grips the reader and won't let go. Totally changed comics. Check it out.

Monday, August 30, 2010

A Science-filled weekend in the city

This last weekend my husband and I drove up to San Francisco to meet up with the Bay Area Badgers Group in the Presidio. I also decided to use this as a fact-finding trip for me to do some serious research on animals for my children's custom work. We spent Saturday at the California Academy of Sciences, which, while pricey (about $25 each for adults) is a gorgeous spot. We took our bikes through Golden Gate State Park to get there, which on a weekend is a little hairy, but we got there safe.

The California Academy of Sciences is basically a really state of the art field museum, with a fabulous aquarium and tons of animal and plant related exhibits. It is also always crowded. We didn't even make it up to the Extreme Mammals exhibit due to the lines, and the planetarium tickets were gone in an instant. Having said that, it was well worth the time and expense to go. The exhibits are really interesting, and we got a lot of photos and information on the animals that I will be using in the future.We also spent a decent amount of time just walking around, including along the Bay Beach in the Presidio area, where we both love to watch the dogs and their owners, the wind surfers, and the boats passing through. After a breakfast near the old Sutro bathhouses and a walk on the beach, we went to the Exploratorium with the Badger Alumni. This is without a doubt the coolest and most engaging science museum I have ever been to. Totally worth going to. My husband and I were like kids in a toy store running around and playing with all the exhibits.
They have an Artist in Residence program that I'm looking into. Once they open up the application process, I'm definitely applying. My husband and I already have plans from what we saw to create some sculptures and experiments! Once he is back to only working 60 hours a week, we may even have time to start working on them. :)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Sketchbook Friday #19

Today's sketchbook Friday sketch is another Alice in Wonderland sketch from my early college years:
The Mad Hatter

Monday, August 23, 2010

Book of the Week #16

This week's book is Making Comics by Scott McCloud.
This book has, in many ways, changed the way that comics are made today. Scott McCloud made it possible for comic illustration and writing to be approachable and wrote in an easily understood manner for visual learners. Written in comic book format, this instructional book is funny, entertaining, and informative. A beginner's must for those looking to break into comics.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Sketchbook Friday #18

This week's sketchbook Friday is a sketch I did for a series of illustrations for J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan while I was in college. It's the Neverbird.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


My family and I participated at Chalkfest in Eau Claire, Wisconsin last weekend while I was visiting. While it was intense (6 hours of drawing), we had so much fun!

About 90 artists participated, and it was a fantastic event.

Our panel was a spoof on the video game Katamari Damacy, and we got Runner up for Adult Group.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Sketchbook Friday #17

This week's sketchbook Friday is a sketch from my early college years. Back when I went to punk shows, cut up a perfectly good sweater to have arm cuffs, and wore very large boots.

Apparently, my cat was a pirate at the time also. Who knew?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Book of the Week #15

This week's book is one of Richard Feynman's memoirs: What Do You Care What Other People Think?: Further Confessions of a Curious Character

Feynman is one of our (my and my husband's) favorite physicists. His writing is smart, funny, and enjoyable.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Painting in Progress Update 4

It's getting so close to finished! As you can see, I've gotten the detail work done on the snowy owl. I'm really, really happy with the way he turned out. I wish, for composition's sake, that I had placed him about 1/2 an inch to the right, but I think it will be okay as is.

Now I have to add detailing to the trees and paint the snowflakes. This is my first time painting snow, and definitely the first semi-realistic landscape I have done.

I think that once the snowflakes are added, the feeling of silence in this painting will be portrayed. I really want this painting to be successful (as in successfully executed, not like CEO successful).

Sketchbook Friday #16

This week's sketchbook Friday is a piece I did as a sample for a comic job. I was asked to take a character and place it in an apocalyptic environment, so I made zombies. Lots of zombies.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Painting in Progress Update 3

This painting is definitely coming along nicely! I added a layer of Dioxazine Purple with raw sienna swirls to the sky, and worked more on the snow drifts. I did an under painting of the darker areas to the owl, and I'm really excited to get down to details on his feathers.

I'm hoping that the raw sienna swirls will add motion to the sky when I start painting the snowflakes on top, we'll see if that experiment works or not. You can barely see the abstract under painting I originally created now.

Not long now!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Book of the Week #14

This week's book is: The Book of Genesis illustrated by R. Crumb

Yes, you read that correctly. If you haven't heard about this book already, it's a fully illustrated version of the book of Genesis by the underground comic book illustrator that created characters like Mr. Natural and Fritz the Cat.

This book is great, but not recommended for households with children. It follows the Book of Genesis literally and unabridged, so it can get pretty graphic with all "he beget" and so on. But is a visually stunning work and well worth a look.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Painting in Progress Update 2

I've been working like crazy on this painting, and it is coming together fairly easily. The snow and trees are still fairly simplistic, I will be adding detail later on. Can't wait to start painting the detail in the owl.

I've been looking a lot at Goya, since he is, in my opinion, the master when it comes to white. I guess this could be called a study in white as much as a study in silence.