What is gesso

July 2nd, 2009

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gesso

http://www.jtresser.com/GESSO.html

What does your photo hosting service say about you?

June 10th, 2009

Did you really need another reason to not use flickr?

Here it is:
flickr Pro Account Deleted Over Political Comments.

I’ve no idea what the guy said. I don’t care. Because even if he was in the wrong, this is unjustified.

Here’s the thing: accounts are insecure. Sometimes they get hacked. People re-use passwords sometimes. Point one: data used in account resets can be gained easily through basic social mining. Point two: Yahoo forces everyone to sign in under the same username and password. Like what Google eventually got around to doing. One login. Great. So many more places my username can be seen and potentially hacked.

So whatever, flickr. What a shame your staff feels justified to play nanny state and delete someone’s irretrievable photos, judge and jury. No notification, nothing.

There are a lot of other services where you can back up your photos for free. Where you are even allowed to post political comments. Free speech, and whatnot.

And if you use another service you won’t have to worry about looking like a small-minded idiot by association.

Read the whole story from thomashawk.com.

Bamboozling ourselves

June 4th, 2009

A wonderful series from Errol Morris exploring the Vermeer forgeries by Van Meergen. Seven parts. All wonderful.

disasters of war, abu ghraib 1

May 31st, 2009

abu ghraib 1

18″x24″ Oil on canvas panel.

This painting is the first in a series of my reaction to the suppressed Abu Ghraib photographs. More about that here and here. Human rights abuses should transcend opinion and politics.

I don’t know if the actual photos should be released or not. They are evidence of criminal wrongdoing. The photographed prisoners had no choice in the matter, and maybe the individual victim’s rights outweigh the benefit to public display of the photos here. But the content must be announced and the world must see and understand the scope of interpersonal atrocities committed here.


Phillip Zimbardo’s enlightening talk
tells how normal people’s behavior can be drastically changed in situations of inequity. Abu Ghraib is horrific, but yet predictable. Explainable. The chain of command failed in this case, and regardless of politics, those responsible should be held accountable.

Finally, a word on the painting. Although I have studied many styles of art, I am a figurative painter. I paint people in a visually realistic manner. I spend hundreds of hours studying anatomy and drapery and qualities of light, as well as materials and their chemistry and proper use.

Artists who focus on the human form develop a deep sense of empathy for their subjects, and the images of twisted and abused bodies of the Iraqi prisoners creates a visceral sense of pain and an anger that I cannot express in rational form. My feelings on this topic cannot be expressed in a figurative manner.

I traditionally paint things like butterflies, birds, and pretty girls, but as more pieces of the truth are alternately revealed and hidden, it is difficult to relax into the curve of a flower, or the shape of an eye. I am getting more frustrated and more angry.

With the government’s continued suppression of information regarding additional torture and possible sexual abuse photos, I have only my own imagination of the horrors of war.

Thank you for reading.

Ongoing studies in how learning the arts affects the brain

May 25th, 2009

LATimes story on some ongoing studies about neurology and creativity: Getting Scientific About Arts Education.

Perfect pitch never helped me much in high school algebra, but it would be nice to see some results proving that studying the arts facilitates learning in other areas. And I am looking forward to the day when the positive psychology folks are able to do some in-depth work linking gratification and satisfaction to participation in extra-curricular activities.