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Archive for January, 2010

It’s All A Conspiracy

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Conspiracy Crowd
Are You In On It?

Yes they are all in it together. In this case they is that unknown force which has worked to arrange it so that everything that I am even remotely interested in doing is happening on the same weekend in February.

It all started with the Capricon Science Fiction Convention. I will be participating in their art show, deliver two presentations on art, and be a panelist on a number of panels. Capricon is Feb 11-14.

Along comes the Northwest Cultural Council and offers a seminar on State Of The Art Giclee Reproductions. I would love to attend but can’t because it is that same Saturday.

I was then asked if I could do a presentation for the Northern Illinois Rocketry Association at their mini-conference scheduled for the same Saturday. Would have loved to both present and attend but alas no can do.

I was also asked to speak to a school group on that Friday about careers in the aerospace, astronomical, and planetary science fields. Can’t make that one either.

Most of all I would have loved to attend the College Art Association Annual Conference being held in Chicago this year! If it wasn’t for my obligations to Capricon, I would be at this conference.

There was something else as well – I forget what it was but it was the same weekend so that was dismissed.

And oh, I forgot to mention that my older son’s birthday is, yep you guessed it, that Friday!

On the bright side – nothing else has showed up on my radar screen for the other 24 days of the month.

Sadly this seems to be all to typical for me. I distinctly remember after returning from my honeymoon with my wife – we were discussing vacation plans for the next year. Out of 52 weekends I had only one weekend blocked out – that to attend the International Space Development Conference. My wife wanted us to go to California to celebrate her father’s 60th birthday. You guessed it – out of 52 possible weekends her father’s birthday was the same weekend as the conference I was obligated to attend. So for our first vacation post-honeymoon, we spent it a few thousand miles apart.

Being powerless to stop this evil conspiracy, I’ll just shrug it off and do my best to enjoy all those other free weekends.


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A Visit to the Harper College Art Gallery

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Lift Off space art painting
Lift Off digital space art painting

Yesterday I visited the Harper College Art Gallery. The impetus was my decision to enter the 33rd Harper College National Art Exhibition, featuring Small Works juried exhibition. It was my first visit to Harper’s art gallery. Currently on display is an exhibit titled House Painting.

The artist behind House Painting is Matt Irie. The exhibit featured 8 latex paint on wood panel paintings. The common element of all the paintings was the use of only straight lines of paint, each a little more than 1/8 inch wide. The paintings were of two compositional styles. One type featured straight overlapping lines of paint laid out in a horizontal and vertical grid. The second type featured the same straight lines but oriented so that there were no horizontal or vertical lines in the composition.

The House Painting exhibit runs January 19 through February 11 2010. There will be an artist’s reception on February 3. For more information, phone 847.925.6568.

Probably planned to coincide with the main exhibit, on the wall adjacent to the gallery exhibit was a collection of 16 lithographs by conceptual artist Sol LeWitt. The 16 lithographs are from the Suite 1 series dated 1970. Suite 1 consists of tightly packed squares of short vertical pencil strokes.

The Illustration

To illustrate this post I’ve used the digital painting Lift Off which I completed last spring but am only now adding to my web site. My choice of colors and brush style for this piece are meant to impart to the viewer something of the exuberance of witnessing the launch of a space ship. The model for Lift Off was a NASA photograph of a Space Shuttle launch. To view larger versions of this picture, and for additional information, see Lift Off

Ad Astra, Jim

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Art Exhibit at Advocate Good Shepard Hospital in Barrington IL

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

Life Pulse digital abstract art
Life Pulse digital abstract art by Jim Plaxco

Monday 01/11/2010 saw me setting up an exhibit of my digital art at the Advocate Good Shepard Hospital in Barrington IL. The art exhibit will run through April 4, 2010 and is sponsored by the Northwest Cultural Council’s Corporate Gallery Art Program.

For the sake of consistency I had to decide on what style of art to include in the show. My choices were either astronomical art, space art, or abstract art. I chose abstract art as that was most likely to have the broadest appeal. Note that some of the abstract art I create is done using a technique that I term algorithmic gesturalism. To elaborate, in algorithmic gesturalism I make use of an algorithmic based art program of my own creation which takes as input the "brush strokes" of my hand. Two examples of this technique are Geometer’s Dreamscape and Finding My Center of Gravity – neither of which appear on my web site.

Included in the art exhibit are four new works of art that I have not previously exhibited:

  • Life Pulse
  • Impression of Water Lily
  • Bionic Cnidaria
  • Microscopic Metropolis

The five other works of art in the exhibit are:

  • Geometer’s Dreamscape
  • Shades of Escher
  • Harmony of Spheres
  • Contemplating Infinity
  • Finding My Center of Gravity

Of the nine works of art, the only one listed on my web site is Contemplating Infinity. Unfortunately I just haven’t been able to find the time to post more of my art to my web site. I should make that a belated New Year’s resolution.

The Illustration: Life Pulse

I created Life Pulse, a 20 by 15 inch abstract, earlier this month. The idea for this painting came to me while sitting in a doctor’s office in Arizona last month and watching the ever changing pattern of lines on an EEG display. Wave like yet irregular, long periods of tranquility with brief bursts of storm like activity. That was the inspiration for the painting Life Pulse.

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