Saturday, May 26, 2007

Dark Matter

Dark Matter Ring Modeled around Galaxy Cluster CL0024+17
Credit: NASA, ESA, M. J. Jee & H. Ford et al. (Johns Hopkins U.)
From Astronomy Picture of the Day.

This post is for my brother-in-law, Alan, who died suddenly last week.

Gravity holds together clusters of galaxies, otherwise they would fly apart. But there isn't enough visible matter in galaxy clusters to account for the gravity that holds them together. So scientists infer the presence of dark matter, which doesn't reflect light or shine. In fact, some scientists believe over 90% of all matter in the universe is invisible. You can read the complete article on Science Daily.

From my book, true character of the light.

I love the idea that the vast majority of mass in the universe is unseen dark matter. Could there be invisible worlds made of dark matter?

I sometimes envision a starry landscape as the place where people go when they die. I see a vast world, with small houses, or temples, here and there on the hills. The stars wheel slowly overhead. From a distance this world would appear to be one tiny point of light. It is small enough to hold us all as the atoms of one being, yet large enough to hold our spirits, with great spaces between us.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

It's all over but the clean-up

set up overview 1
Originally uploaded by bertmac.
Open Studios was fun! We had about 20 people, about half our usual number. Unfortunately, there were many other events happening on the same weekend. But this year we definitely had quality over quantity.

On Saturday someone drove over from San Ramon, probably an hour each way. She was so enthusiastic and asked tons of questions about my work, both the ideas and the processes. This is what makes Open Studios so valuable for me. When I had work in galleries, I seldom got to talk to people. Most of the gallery owners I dealt with were lovely people, but they have to approach everything from the "will it sell to my clientele" angle. Of course this makes sense, they have to pay their rent. But they don't usually have the unbridled enthusiasm that some "fans" have. I try to remember this when I see work I love. You can't tell someone too often or too emphatically that you like what they do.

On Sunday two people came from BABA, a wonderful book arts group. I don't get to meetings very often, and was delighted that they came. It was a chance to talk to them about books, and about content in art. I hope we will be able to continue these conversations. There were also visits from friends, who I just love to see. And in between guests, I worked on taking photos for a photo-tour on Flickr.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Heart Thrower Earrings for Open Studios

This week I'm making earrings. These people were my part of my jewelry line several years ago when I had a lot of work in galleries. I thought I would like to have a few pairs out with my other jewelry for Open Studios. They are $60 per pair. You can buy a pair, an individual ($30), or I can custom make two women, or two men. Each person is about 2 inches high. They are sterling silver and copper.

People asked about the jewelry last year, I strive to please. I also strive to make back my costs every year. All the jewelry will be offered at wholesale prices, since I'm not in galleries any more. Some galleries frown on competition, since they are working to provide publicity and space to sell the work that is consigned to them.

By the way, have I mentioned my Open Studio? It's this weekend, May 19 and 20. Here is the line of people flocking to the door, as we speak. No Smoking, Please!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

FeedBlitz Subscription Service Added

Since I don't post daily, I thought it would be good to have ways for people to subscribe to this blog. Once you are subscribed, you will receive notification in your email program when I post a new entry. There has been a Feedburner link since I started the blog. You can subscribe using a number of services, including Yahoo and AOL. I haven't used this one.

This week I added a FeedBlitz subscription button in the sidebar on the right (scroll down to the section below the archives). Where it says "To receive email notification of a new post, enter your email here and follow the directions," you can enter your email in the FeedBlitz window. I have used it, and I found the directions clear. You can email me at "art at" with questions if you have a problem.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Animated Bayeux Tapestry

Wandering around from link to link to Layers of Meaning I found a link to an animated section of the Bayeux Tapestry on YouTube.

The medieval drawing style is much more appealing to me than accurate, perspective-enabled drawing. I have always loved the section where Halley's Comet is seen. The caption says "Isti Mirant Stella." "These ones are wondering at the star". There are also interesting page elements in the tapestry. The borders keep my eye moving along the length. Because it is a long stretch of cloth, there are visual divisions between sections. Watch for trees and towers in the animation that indicate a new scene. Although, sometimes a tree is just a tree. Wikipedia article on the Bayeux Tapestry.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Open Studios is two weeks away!

Okay, now it's time to panic. I need to clean my big worktable and make some kind of display. I am tired of my old one, but I don't think there will be time to make a new one this year. Then I will get boxes of stuff out of the closet and set up. I hope to have a lot of the found objects I love around the room, like the dinosaurs above.

Keeping in mind last year's meltdown, and my general stress over these events, I am trying to be very cool. I won't do any major cleaning, there will be piles of stuff in corners and I don't plan to do a big mailing this year. I had hoped to get the Dream Focusing Device done in time to have a postcard printed, but that didn't happen. I do want to get the old jewelry out, several people asked about it last year. It is mostly earrings, a few pins, made of copper and brass. I see it as fairly simple, funky metal things that I made years ago to be shown with the more complex brooches that I was selling in galleries.

And of course I will be showing all the work I can fit on my big worktable. The Dream Focusing Device will the the star this year.

There will be a spiral binding demo both days at 1 PM. Here's a spiral bound book. It doesn't require a lot of fancy tools or special techniques.

The Zymoglyphic Museum will also be open. You can see the exibits (for free!) and take a peek into the inner depths of a natural history museum's storage area. It's guarateed to be amazing.

This is part of Silicon Valley Open Studios. We will have free map guides available.