You’ve got to hand it to them…

19°C, heavy rain- but nice…

Landscape painters: they must have some patience. The picture below has new grass on the left quater, and just that bit took 50 minutes on top of a prepared ground. This is growing into the longest gestation period for one of my paintings. The crane flies have been painted over but they will be back, the field ground had to go back in then the crane flys will be overpainted again.
Creationism is attacking education again. the bit of the story I like is on their own website. Here is the quote from the blog page of the "Truthinscience"(sic) website.
Thursday, 28 September 2006

Feedback has started to come in from science teachers who received a TiS resource pack this week. Of the twenty-five responses so far, sixteen teachers have said that the DVDs are a useful classroom resource, and only nine have said they will not be using them.

Here are comments made by teachers who welcomed the resource:

"Thanks for sending the two DVDs to the science department. I watched one today and will be using it in critical thinking lessons to illustrate flaws in arguments."

I can’t help thinking they have shot themselves in the foot with that quote. The Critical Thinking teacher will have used the resource as an example of faulty argument construction. Perhaps this group just don’t know how education works. The FAQ page is full of such faulty reasoning, conclusions that just don’t derive from their own evidence, and big big assumptions that have no justification. Read up on the link.


lollygaggers, gallinippers, gollywhoppers, doizabizzlers & flipadoodles

21°C, clouds

A year on…
Reading through old entries is interesting, for comparison with the now.
I was avidly painting as well as finishing a 3D animation for the Whitley Project. this year I have but one painting on the go, I grumble about tiredness but that has clarified itself into a head-cold now.
The Walrus is despirate for a completed animation clip, in addition to a new plan that is old. A few years ago I made an animated video for the Stirling Association AGM. The guy I swent to Shuttleworth with last weekend tells me that they are very keen to see more and ask of me every time they meet. As a carrot & stick, they are having  a big "do" next winter which should be attended by their Chair – Dame Vera Lynn. The request was to get the film built up for that occasion. That puts me now in the planning phase again, storyboarding and keen to include the Walrus in a walk on part.
Making the storyboard also produces a shopping list of models to make, I have the various planes, crew and an airfield. It needs populating with buildings and vehicles (see below). Deespona’s 500 3-D collection should help here, though I prefer to do all the building myself. It will have sounds.

If you are a silly looking creature is it better to have a silly name?
lollygaggers, gallinippers, gollywhoppers, doizabizzlers, flipadoodles. And here was I thinking Daddy-long legs was a silly name.
BBC have featured an article on the Crane fly, but it doesn’t seem to provide an answer to its own title "What’s the point of daddy longlegs?".
The population round here has crashed, it seems a species that only lives about 2 weeks. They are still going in my painting, crash or not.

Rambles on bloggages

20°C, sun

Despite the world seeming full of blogs and spaces, very few kids at school actually write a blog. I have asked amongst 3 classes today and only 3 kids regularly post to a blog. The reason can only be speculated upon, so speculate I will. They actually use Spaces ( Live/Bebo/Myspace) for networking advertising their sub-culture status with lists of favoured music and embedded video clips. A lot of the pupils had several “websites” that they claimed ownership to, but it wasn’t clear how much effort went into them. About a quater of each class had accounts with all three of the main players. I bet that the market share held by Microsoft has fallen over this last year.

Shuttleworth and the old Edwardians

21°C, clear & light winds

The Shuttleworth Collection is based at the airbase RAF Old Warden. they have the oldest planes that can still fly, over 90 years some of them. Anyway, my step-father and another friend and I went there for the afternoon airshow today. It’s a very fine airshow with less of the macho atmosphere of the heavy metal Duxford shows. Commentators on the tannoys even waited as planes took off because they know a lot of people like to hear the roar of engines- which adds to the atmosphere.

Below are some photos of the "old Edwardians". Aircraft from the Edwardian era- in other words, the oldest planes still flying in the world. the picture quality is poor because light was really poor by the time they flew. They took off shortly after sunset because the wind is lighter then, just like hot-air balloons do. We didn’t know they would be able to until late, some spectators had already left but there was a strong atmosphere of tense expectation amongst us all, this could be really somethign special. these antique machines so rarely fly. the Origional Bleriot flew when it was almost dark, the photos are really blurred and grainey from then. Perhaps that helps the mood of them – this machine dates from 1909 and has to be treated with the greatest care, it can’t be taken out in winds above 5mph.

There was a real family atmosphere there, the show probably appeals to people who don’t normally go to airshows. The crowd was friendly and wellspoken if you know what I mean. I didn’t see any of the geeky spotter types you get at Duxford so this show comes highly recommended from me

picture the crane fly…

18°C, sun & lots of wind

Geese are canny. Getting a photo of their daily flight to roost is turning into a hunt, I have ot lie in wait. This evening the camera was ready, I had the music on low, window open so I could hear their approach. Still I didn’t put my drawing board down, get camera focussed untill it was too late. they flew a perfect vee-formation straight over this house, heading south along a familar route.
Crane flys are making it onto my painting. I’m going to put a number of them in, perhaps even one as if it’s stood on the surface. that could be fun. See the picture below, there have been quite a few undocumented day’s work on this picture and the sky was a surprise to me too. I can do this stuff.

Music I’m not listening to

22°C, clouds gry & pink.

By not listening to Robert Wyatt, I didn’t miss a greater treat- yes the geese have spun their magic again in formation low over the skies of this town. You have to be quick when you hear their distant formation talk, you have to have no television on and windows open. Speed is important not because they fly quickly, but because you need to find a vantage point to see them, they fly at low altitude so dissappear behind houses or trees. Be sprightly. I stood on a bench.
Having the Television switched off and no music-noise blotting out the real world  really is living.
Crane flys: despite some insight with a working theory from yesterday, they still astonish. Eating supper tonight, one flitted a fluttery impact with my eye, in danger of trapping itself behind my glasses. Less than two seconds later it dropped into my dinner and got stuck in the viscous pesto sauce. Gently, I lifted it clear, but it was not airworthy anymore. They must be perishing by the millions in Britain this week, each life snuffed out in some bizarre unfortunate mishap. They’re clearly not destined to live long anyway so why not?
Neither of these creatures have the faintest idea of the pleasure they instill just by being.


19°C, cloudy

Shopping: bought a nice new laptop style bag from Muji. Even not owning a laptop doesn’t stop these things being useful. Muji is a very nice shop, and with my birthday coming up in a couple of months, I suggest you plan a trip there. They have likable clothes, stationary and hand-made sketchbooks- of which I bought a little one today.
It’s two weeks since we started back at school. Still we are plagued by uneven sleep routines, bouts of tiredness or surplus energy. Barely done any painting in the last few weeks, though drawing is coming back. Is it always like this at this time of year?
Actually, yes.

Actionscript: I really need a usable book that I can learn Actionscript in Flash 8. It’s really hard to decide on which one, there are dozens. Any suggestions?

News: is full of a story that is silly enough to be in the Castle of Camelot when full of knights. The Pope has finally apologised for some citation he made in a lecture in Regensburgh University. While you are on a roll mate, any chance of looking at the Catholic Church’s support for the Nazi Genocide? Your organisation still has dirty hands from that one. When you have done that, can we go onto the next one on the list?
….this may take some time.

On the other side, what do we think of a group of protestors- complaining about linking Mohammod with "evil & inhuman" behaviour? It’s the bit where those indignant men burnt an effigy of that pope, isn’t that a symbolic death threat? Those chaps aren’t doing the cause any good are they?

They can’t be as silly as the Yorkshire hens besieging schools with their packets of deep fried chips.

Flight Sim X

27.5°C, hot & later- storms. But it’s september!

What about this for an idea? Make the Walrus model available to people who play Microsoft’s Flight Simulator X? I can port it across when the details for the newest version are available- so this could happen at the christmas holiday. It has no cockput in the model yey, but that should be do-able with another visit to RAF hendon, I bet they would be persuaded to let me inside. If not – then Yeovil.

anything is possible…

LINKS: I’d skip this bit if I were you, it may be a useful note for me later.


Munich, and Geese to roost

24°C, clear

Speilburgh film, Munich struck a nerve tonight. Extremely powerful film that ties up home, family with violent political events. It’s topical right now, and breaks through to something inside in a way I can’t explain here. Close Encounters was on the TV today earlier, noticable how he uses film and camera techniques to reach through to the audience. Just think, I loathed and detested Speilburgh back then. the lad has come a long way. the film Luc Besson’s "Leon" did this ten years ago, perhaps a clue there.
The geese stunned me in here as the sun went down. The photo below shows only half of them, a group flew in corodinated formation straight over this house as I talked to a friend. They drew me to the window in open mouthed astonishment. Like a team training and calling out to rally, The formation loose as they talked.
Turpentine: It’s been two weeks since I touched this picture. The feeling had left me, but it’s back now. I’m looking again, I feel it again. the holiday was too long this year. There’s a picture below of the canvas from today- day four. Unbelieveably, it’s still in the turpentine phase after so many days. A  picture that is proving difficult- a real test.
As Saturdays go, this has been one, animationpaintingphotogrphygeese and a flightless Starling. Sorry I couldn’t help you, I hope you weren’t tormented. And the crane flys make me smile into the evening.

Honoured guest.

14°C, clear

How many of you have enthused on Live Space about a book recently bought, only to receive a comment from the author? I had one yesterday! Here’s the book, and you’ve possibly seen some of the animations I made from it.
(Just in case he comes back) I began the windswept tree animation following on from the Candleflame scene.

1/ It uses two noise modifiers on top of a Vol-select (set to inverse & soft select). It needs some refinement, but it may be possibly so apply the vol-select by material ID. If I get time, it should be possible to host an animated gif on here.

2/ Later changes: abandoned the large noise modifier instead of a hand-animated FFd 2×2, it bends better now. VIEW
Cheers to Pete Draper.

finally, to conclude on an irrelevant dog-walk photo:-