The Spinner Paintings:

Below are The Spinner Paintings that I created in college. These were experimental works that I created as a first step towards interactive and installation type painting. Each painting was 3′ x 3′ in size and had two paintings on it, one on each side of the 2″ x 4″ stretcher bars. The stretcher bars had large dowel rods in each of the four sides of the paintings, and each painting had a stand that I had specifically designed for these works which allowed them to work as an installation piece that would allow the paintings to be viewed at various angles and rotated in numerous ways.

Whistler
Whistler © 1998 Jeff Thomann
Media: Oil Painting
Da Vinci
Da Vinci © 1998 Jeff Thomann
Media: Oil Painting
Matisse
Matisse © 1998 Jeff Thomann
Media: Oil Painting
Mondrian
Mondrian © 1998 Jeff Thomann
Media: Oil Painting
Van Eyck
Van Eyck © 1998 Jeff Thomann
Media: Oil Painting

Degas
Degas © 1998 Jeff Thomann
Media: Oil Painting

I feel that in many ways these works were sort of my way of showing an appreciation for the art and artists that these works were portraits of (and simultaneously emulations of) in much the way that many of Red Grooms works showed an appreciation for other artists by emulating them.

Odilon Redon’s “habitual state of melancholy”

I was reading a contemporary art book just a few minutes ago… In it was mentioned that Odilon Redon considered himself to be in a “habitual state of melancholy” and the book attributed that to being one of the reasons he was not suited to be in the Academy. That is a very interesting phrase… It is something that my ‘old life’ involved all too often I think… it actually describes me in a lot of ways from the past… not really ‘depressed’ all the time, but in a negative state that bordered on it and may have led to depression at times… Negativity breeds negativity. However, on the other hand, catharsis is a good thing, so not necessarily all things negative should be avoided. Without shadows light cannot be used to see anything…

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

http://allartists.wikispaces.com/

I have a tendency to start big projects and not get them done sometimes… especially if they are in locations I don’t visit much… I’m a visually oriented person. Out of sight, out of mind. Anyways, a while back I started a blog to list artists, and then made a wiki for it since the blog was limiting as I was the only one that could enter info on it… I will try to add more to the wiki going forward, and you should feel free too. The wiki is located at http://allartists.wikispaces.com/

http://allartists.wikispaces.com/

http://allartists.wikispaces.com/ is a new wiki I started today. I plan to add more to it on a regular basis, and grow it to be a gigantic list of artists both future and past, both greats and lesser knowns. Since it’s a wiki anyone can edit it. Feel free to add to it at any time. This is growing a project I’ve started because I think places like wikipedia, and most art history books are a bit biased in what and who they include and do not include.

The point of this is to create a list of every artist that we can find anything about. Since visual arts is my thing, I’m starting there, but over time it might be highly possible to add musical arts, and other art types there. I want this thing to be come a hugely comprehensive list that will be usable by the masses for various purposes. Art students and art historians doing research papers could use it as a starting place for doing research. Art collectors could use it to find up and coming artists. Art galleries could use it to find artists and ways to contact them. Artists themselves can use the wiki to link to their home pages, study trends, get inspiration, etc.

a dream…

I think this is the first time I’ve ever used this blog to record a dream. I used to keep dream journals way back in college, but didn’t keep them much after college for some reason. Anyways – the dream I had, which is why I’m now up — Tekla and I were in a small dorm room type of apartment. There was some rustling out in the hallway. Peeking out the door, which was not locked, I saw several people that lived in the apartments down the hall and across from us there in the hallway… looking down… near the bottom of the doorway, just outside of the door, there was a couple of the younger people in the group of about 8 or so handling a number of squiggling worms. I felt highly offended because it seemed as though they were trying to put the worms under the door to let them in to our room/apartment. There was some sort of fear about squishing the worms since some were black and some were nromal pinkish colored earthworms. … so they might be poisonous on some level?

The reason I awoke – after we thought we’d killed them all, and the college aged kids out in the hall had left, and we had gone back to bed, one of the half dead ones that had been flung on the floor inside of the apartment in the scuffle was still moving, and a blackish furry one that looked like a catepiller sort of had crawled on my back, near my shoulder blades… this was reality kicking in with dreams because when I awoke, laying on my side, I was having problems breathing, and could feel tingling sensations in my upper back, neck and shoulder blade areas. The place with the most tingling was where that darn worm was crawling in the dream.

I usually cannot remember dreams, but when I awake from dreams due to physical reasons like this, I do sometimes remember them. In college in order to facilitate remembering dreams more often then I normally could do, I would sleep with the lights on, and cover my eyes, or block the light from them with little blanket mountains near my head. The instant transformation from dark to light would caused shock of awakening the concious mind enough that it was able to capture the main elements of the subconsious dream, but I had to write darn fast to make the real elements of the dreams appear on the dream journal — waiting seconds too long would allow the now highly active conscious mind to make up details of the dream that were not really in the dream, but are logical enough they could have plausibly been in there… a half a minute or so is all this would take to happen before the “new brain” would cover the details the “old brain” made in the dream so to speak. … keeping dream journals as I did in college helped me to realize that dreams are really the subconscious mind playing around with elements of reality, whether it is various images and scenes actually seen, or the physical reality of pain in slumber — an emergency 911 type of call to the self from the unconscious mind for self protection to keep the self from going in to cardiac arrest, etc.

…………
Today (actually yesterday now that it’s after 1 am) I was reading about Jung and Freud a bit. Jung’s idea(s) about individualism are similar to the idea of the Holy Guardian Angel/seeking the true self in various religions/and Imago idea in Harville Hendrix’s books that I mentioned in this blog before somewhat.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/1452091/CARL-JUNG

Jung’s idea about the psychic unconscious and the future, etc. is something I remember having a bit of a keen interest in when I took psychology class in college. It’s that weird element of religion, mythology, psychology, art, alchemy, and other things that is somewhat similar to a lot of ideas/themes, etc. that roll around in my head sometimes that draws me towards sort of identifying with him on a lot of different levels.

Some of the links I have on facebook posted tonight and links in delicious from the last few days are about art therapy, psychology, and a really interesting Nam June Paik reading in Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art book that I like to read a lot now and then to get in to the mindset behind what a lot of various artists have done/where thinking about at various times when they created art. The Art and Satellite (1984) reading is the one I’m talking about. Lots of interesting things in there…

at one point it says, “There is no rewind button on the betamax of life. An important event takes place only once. The free deaths (of Socrates, Christ, Bo Yi and Shu Qu) that became the foundations for the morality of three civilizations occurred only once.”

Then it goes on to talk about how art in the future will need to integrate various parts of the world like satellites do sort of… electronic signals bouncing around connecting different parts of the world, in the same way that electric signals in neurons bouncing around in our brains and bodies make us work… a hodge podge of pieces working together in cohesivly.

That’s a pretty deep sort of thing to think about… sort of reminds me of the weird idea of the thetan alien germs bouncing around in what I read about scientology and posted about here before on some level.

The truth is I think we all are somewhat connected… with ourselves in the conscious/unconscious way and with others on some levels, which might be psychic on some levels.

I remember reading something in some literature class once about how the indians see the same stories played over and over throughout time… same story a different take on it with different characters all doing the same thing – that’s the sort of stuff I think Jung was talking/thinking about… it’s something we can all relate to as a sort of unconscious collective. It’s something that makes the blogsphere go round… It’s something that keeps news channels full of stories 24/7. It’s something that makes us all relate to one another empathically. It’s something that keeps religions going.

We all want to feel the connections and connectivity between ourselves, our world, and our conscious and unconscious minds. We are not single beings, but multiple parts working together as a single being, so who is to say God isn’t somewhat similar — or maybe God’s dreaming state is like that… which is our entire universe/multiverse/megaverse… maybe Buddhist/Zen has it right and reality is just a dream. I think there is a bit more to it then that, but that line of thought is somewhat similar to what I think Jung was grasping at… and it is somewhat similar to what Nam June Paik was getting at too…

we all are interrellated and see the diamond that is the world from different angles. War does not have to happen any more then people have to hit themselves in self-mutilation when they are thinking thoughts that betray their religion, etc.

The harmony and peace of coexistence is something we should strive for within ourselves and our worldwide society. Constant bickering and disagreement are ok… it’s ok to agree to disagree. What is not ok is when you try to force your ideas on others. You cannot control the other, nor should you. Even those imprisoned have their own brians, own thoughts, own reality that is different then the reality the prison guard is trying to enforce upon them. If we would all start thinking about this sort of stuff more, maybe the amount of wars in the world would decrease. Maybe the violence and idiocy would lower…

Maybe there could be real world peace like Jesus was striving for, like Socrates hinted at, etc. Maybe we can stop the hatred, violence, and people trying to find themselves but doing so in silly ways by trying to push their ideas on others and come to a real harmonious concensus…

I know, I know… lots of typos here… keep in mind is’t 1:30 now and I’m tired and trying to think all of this through, lol. I might put some of my old dream journaling on this blog someday, but am not sure if I will or not. Anyways, I guess I’ll try to go to bed now. Lots of interesting stressful things coming up later today/this morning at work… stuff I need a little more rem time to get between now and then in order to be able to deal with it in a logical manner..

Good night/morning. Have a great day. Stop trying to push your thoughts on to others. Part of the focus of art is to leave things open to interpretation on some level. Just because you see things your way does not mean your mind about it won’t be changed a bit later on, or that you have the whole picture.. so stop trying to push your interpretation of things off on others as the only true and right way to see it.

Can Art Change the World?

As Director of Digital Learning, I might just have the best job in the world. Take today as an example. At 10:00 a.m., I reviewed video for an online studio course about the materials and techniques of Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, and Barnett Newman (among others) that my coworker Amy Horschak and I hope […] http://bit.ly/d14bAR

This weekend…

This weekend, if I find some time, I’m going to work on scanning more drawings from the ol’ sketchbooks and posting them in to the Artfolio Category here in the blog. There’s still lots of art that I don’t have online yet, lol! 🙂 😉

Eventually, if I get everything online, I’ll just keep making more and always scanning it in on the weekends or whatever free time I can find.

If nothing else, this at least helps get my name out there, and helps you folks see some stuff I’ve done in the past. All artwork any artists creates has something from his or her past involved in it in some way… It’s important to know where we’ve been so we know where we are, and where we are heading.

Hopefully this blog is helping you, as well as myself, discover, or rediscover where I’ve been… then you and I can put the pieces together to see where I stand now… and I can ultimately arrive at some really interesting and difficult questions about where I’m heading.

Maria’s getting another apartment. Loooong history…

This post is a lot longer than I thought it would be… what’s sad is a lot of details aren’t in here… a lot has happened in the last couple of years in Entropia Universe for my avatar… there’s enough plots and stuff in here and all that’s been going on with the NBK on the forums at Entropia Forum to make an entire mini-series or 19 of them, lol…
——
Maria mastermesh Mesh is about to purchase a second apartment again. She previously had 2 of them… but sold off one a few days ago. Now she’s getting a second one since it’ll be on the same floor as the one that she already has.

There’s a lot of history… now here a little back story for those of you that are in to reading about that sort of stuff…

In the Pre-Maria Days, I had heard of Entropia Universe, via Slashdot.org. However, it sounded like a crazy idea… then… there was this one post about some guy named Deathifier that had spent a lot and earned it all back… and another guy named Neverdie that had spent even more, and earned it all back… so then Maria came in to being…

Yes, the hype was mostly hype, but it was an interest way to spend time and some small amounts of money as I was home on weekends as my wife worked then… and a few months prior to that time, a casino had opened a few blocks away from where we lived… At the casino I could blow through 30 dollars in less than 20 minutes. IN Entropia Universe, I could survive on 30 dollars hunting snablesnots for a month, so it seemed like an interesting thing…

Maria started out her life in Entropia Universe as a poor homeless citizen, like all avatars are when they first begin the game, with nothing more on her back than an orange jumpsuit.

Then, Maria sweated a lot and finally got a little income through that. She also shortly got an income from a deposit from an Earthling and took up hunting. She axed her way across two continents with a few 2×0 axes that got bloodied up pretty fast and needed repair. Maria found that the axes were not very economic weapons eventually (no Skill Increase Bonus – SIB)…

Then, Maria took up hunting with a rifle. Her trusty rifle accompanied her everywhere. Her favorite hunting spots were, and still are locations that are not real busy spots. Prior to the recolonization of Calypso (Version Update 10), she hunted a lot around Fort Argus, Fort Zeus, North of Fort Ithica and radom other spots on occassion.

She no longer hunts much to the east of Argus since it is now a Player vs Player (PvP) Zone. She does still travel north of Argus on occassion. She’s also found a new hunting location that did not exist prior to the recolonization – EOS. She loves hunting Foul in the hills between EOS and Athena Space Base.

Back in the early days, Maria loved trading, and joined the Entropia Forum Dollar Growth Fund (EFD Growth Fund) Smart Trade Terminal Solution (STTS), and thought about joining Entropia Investment Fund (EIF).

STTS only existed for a short time and now no longer exists. EFD Growth Fund still exists on the forums at Entropia Forum. If you are a regular over there, you might think about joining the fund since the only investment requirement is Entropia Forum Dollars, not real money – although it is possible to buy or invest real peds to get EFD in that fund…

Luckily, Maria never joined EIF since they sunk a lot of money in to investments such as Land Areas, a mall shop, and a hanger, all of which have zero Trade Terminal Value. If Maria had bought in to that fund, her money would now be gone with little to no way of getting the money back since the EIF still exists but has no plans on ever selling out for any time in the near future it appears, so all peds that went in to those investments are now gone… The investments are bringing EIF some money, but it’s arguable how much since it’s likely that the original investment money is gone unless they ever sell their invested money, which they have no plans on doing… so until they get that money back, they have lost a lot of cash… Unfortunately, sometimes, to get ahead on Calypso that it is required to make big investments like that. I still think the EIF is extremely risky since there is no such thing as multiple owners of an asset in EU, and everything is based on trust. If the Fund manager dies or something, the assets he holds can be considered gone like the wind, along with all the Project Entropia Dollars (PEDs) that various individuals put in that invested in that stuff through the EIF.

Maria also thought about joining MMA Bigshow in his quest to create Entropia Holdings at one point in time. However, MMA is no longer in game, so Maria is glad she did not do that. MMA’s cockiness got the entire community irritated at him in the forums at entropia forum, even though he really probably had some ok ideas… I guess if you are martial artists that fights all the time, you might get too aggressive sometimes… and that may reflect in other areas of your life…

Maria jumped around to several different societies in the beginning of her journeys. For a while she was in The American Soldier (TAS), where she met some nice friends, including big Dodge Ram, and Fillipe Castanhas, among others.

Later, TAS was disbanded, and Fillippe talked Maria in to joining Entropia Asia Cadets (EAC), which was a cadet society for Entropia Asia. Maria was not Asian but joined anyways because some of her friends were there. Shortly thereafter EAC got blackmailed a little – one member of the society (I won’t name names here) bought a dot com for the Entropia Asia… and did so without consenting with anyone… in part because he ran an ISP… it was a nice site with it’s own forum and things… but wasn’t that great… Later, the higher ups in the society were asked to pay for that domain or something (not sure about all the details since I was a lowly cadet)… and the leaders of EAC broke off to start Zoku instead of staying as a cadet society for EA. At that time Cadets were given a choice – either stay in a dead cadet society, join Zoku, join EA, or go off on their own way. Maria decided to join Entropia Asia because Vortezy, Bryon, and some of the other folks over there were nice, and helpful.

Shortly after that, Maria went silent for 9 months because all deposits and activity from earth that powered her dissappeared (VU updates caused me not to be able to log in for 9 months til I got new hardware… could not even get past the login screen with the ol ATI-All-In-Wonder 9000 Pro and pentium III…).

When Maria awakend from her 9 month slumber, she was still EA, but it was a nearly dead society at least for her part of the world… There were still Asians in the society, but being located in the States, I could not see people in my society unless I stayed up til 3 am… which was a bad situation…

Maria decided to change directions if she was going to continue to survive on Calypso… so I started reading the forums… and I read them A LOT… Over time, I started thinking it’d be neat to cut some deals with shop owners, so I started studying the entropia forum and looking around at various shop owner’s avatars and visiting various terminals in game to see who owned what estates, etc. As a result, Maria met a lot of folks that owned shops in the Port Atlantis Mall and a few other places and befriended quite a few of them. She started trading things at Trade Terminal (TT) Value to some of those folks, including Nihilist, who happens to run EFD Growth Fund. Nihilist sort of became Maria’s mentor in the ways of running a shop successfully in game. He ran, and still runs a consignment shop called Dead Man’s Plunder… He buys things at TT value, trys to sell it in his shop, then pays back a percentage of profits…

Maria bought tons of things off of the auction for him, paying TT value for it. Some got accepted, others rejected. The rejected stuff, Maria did not know what to do with it… so she started trading it. Around this time, Vortexy, which is one of the leaders of EA started handing Maria lots of blueprints to sell too since he was crafting a lot… so she’d go sell his blueprints at Port Atlantis near the TP… and would also sell whatever else he handed her… she was a pretty good scounger in those days. She cut a few deals and met lots of traders… She actually started a non-society guild called United Buyers Exchange Resource (U.B.E.R.) and traded things to and from a lot of folks at TT values back then. It was fun and games, and no losses really since TT value was always growing, or getting traded off for something else to sell. STTS took that idea to a new level, but Josh Edwards (who ran STTS) only sold via auction, so he actually lost a lot of potential profit… and cost people that worked with him 100% of auction fees + 30% of the profits on top of that… pretty steep cost, but it was all junk people normally sold to the TT anyways, so it was not a bad deal… Maria eventually got in to that as an investor, and urged Josh to stop using the auction and get in to using a shop or something… He never listened, so she sold off her investment and moved on… There is still a massive void in EU that STTS filled that should be filled by someone, but is not currently being filled by anyone, so stuff gets sold in to the TT and avatars in the entire community get poorer and poorer because of that…

Around that time, NBK Entrepreneurs was formed by Hardwrath, someone who used to be leader of NBK, but had also been in a deep slumber, like Maria. Maria liked the enticing sound of being in NBK E, since she wanted to change her focus towards running a business and not being a ped loosing hunter the rest of her life… so she joined NBK Entrepreneurs… it got active about a year, had lots of great people in it – several shop owners (some of which Maria had brought in due to her U.B.E.R contacts, including Nihilist), an Land Area owner, and lots of traders… and some of the best crafters in all of the virtual universe…

Eventually though, a lot of the crafters wanted to do their own thing and focus on cutting deals with miners, so NBK Miners started, and NBK E was more or less abandoned by all but Maria and a few other dedicated folks. After that NBK E was forced by NBK leadership to become NBK Otium. Otium means “at ease.”

The idea from leadership is that Otium should be a place for the retired avatars to go that don’t fit in any other NBK society… a while before then, Nihilist quit because the promises that Hardwrath had made with a steady supply line being created when NBK E. first started out was never really brought in to being – it was, but only to benefit skilling crafters and miners, not shop owners… This and a lot of other things going on caused Otium to exist. I still am not sure I like otium since it sounds an awful like like Opium… but it’s started to grow on me a bit… sort of nice to not be under pressure to skill or cut business deals all the time even though I’m still doing some of each…

Anyways, at some point in time, prior to the recolonization, Maria purchased an apartment in Treasure Island. It was Apartment 10A in the Silver Building. The “Stack Exchange” was there, which was a service Maria ran to trade stacks of items among a lot of different individuals. Maria also had 2 shopkeepers that more money that magically appeared on her pedcard from a transfer from earth allowed her to buy. The real purpose behind the Stack Exchange was to get people in to the apartment to look at the shopkeepers and buy things. A few events were done with the NBK (Maria’s society)

Eventually, Maria bought a booth in the basement of the Delta Tower at Omegaton West Habitat… and bought Apartment 1A in the Delta Tower too… Those funds from earth helped her to make that happen…

and the Stack Exchange became the NBK TT shop… when Maria bought out the old NBK TT shop’s inventory and moved it in…

Then a few months later, the Treasure Island Silver apartment deed was traded for a deed to Apartment 4A in the Delta Tower… so Maria had 2 apartments and a booth all in the Delta Tower… 4A, 1A and Booth #3. She moved the NBK TT Shop and shopkeepers to the 1A apartment.. but that business never took off since the booth and shopkeepers were hidden away and not visible… then Maria moved everything out of the NBK TT shop apartment and converted it to a blueprint shop since NBK folks and others were continuing to TT Maria blueprints along with other things…

Then Maria did something radical and traded the two shopkeepers and booth in for the Shop 1 in Block A in Delta because the guy that owned that place, Rufwon, had been trying to sell it for a long time… Maria felt sorry for Rufwon and also found the idea of being visible from outside of the building to be nice…

So the Lost Library was established in Block A, Shop 1 of Delta Tower in Omegaton West Habitat. Maria owned Aparment 1A in the same building and 4A as well..

about 2 weeks ago, she sold 4A…

and now one of the folks that is selling blueprints in the Lost Library, who sniped 1D from Maria in an Auction at time when Maria was a little poor, is wanting to sell 1D…

So going Forwards, Maria mastermesh Mesh will own Apartments 1A and 1D, as well as Block A – Shop 1 in the Delta at Omegaton West Habitat. There’s also potential to eventually buy the booth back or buy another booth too, leaving lots of room to expand the shop at some point in the future, both horizontally, and vertically at some point in the future… The costs of expanding looks way too pricey right now, but I’m going to hold the deeds because that price may not look so bad in the future… I never thought that 2 years ago I’d join the NBK, much less own an estate… or three estates!!!… You never know what will happen in the virtual universe… the future is bright now that I have 3 estates in the same building… lots of potential room to grow eventually, even if the costs aren’t justified for that growth yet… Hopefully I can find a way to make that justification change and get profitable at the same time! 🙂

Inspirations – Anselm Kiefer

Another couple of great and inspiring works that I found at the Modern Museum of Art in Fort Worth, Texas were Anselm Kiefer’s Book with Wings


Book with Wings by Anselm Kiefer

, and Die Aschenblume.
Die Aschenblume by Anselm Kiefer

I have always been a fan of Kiefer’s works. The first work that I ever saw of his is located in the St. Louis Museum of Art, Breaking of the Vessels.

Breaking of the Vessels by Anselm Kiefer

Kiefer’s work is gigantic, and epic, but also sublime and simple. It questions history, and our place in it. It takes Germanic Expressionism to a whole new level. It brings the painting/sculptures to the people, quite literally… It calls to mind the supernatural and makes us think about why it is, what our relationship is with it. It makes us question our reality and opens our minds to thinking about things more. I could write tons about the psychology behind Kiefer’s works, but think many great authors have already done so over and over, so I’ll leave you to explore their ideas on your own time.

Kiefer’s works are something that you need to experience in person. The hugeness of the works, and strange physicality to the works is something that digital photos and art books do absolutely no justice to.

Anselm Kiefer is a master of mixing physical things in to his paint and integrating sculpture in to his painterly works. Frank Stella is the only artist I know of that has works that combine 2d and 3d elements in such strange combinations that they start to come close to the mastery that Kiefer has over this realm. However, Stella’s works are typically pretty happy colors from the pretty happy rainbows that the pop world embraces while Kiefer’s is made of the mud-like dreary colors that are true dramatic tragedies that explore the psychological world a heck of a lot more in-depth than Stella’s simple facades ever can.

I’d love to do artwork the size of Anselm Kiefer’s most popular works, but don’t because the sheer enormity of such works make storage a gigantic problem unless the works are going directly in to museums and galleries. Taking photos of the works is also problematic because of the huge size. A photo just does not do these sort of works any justice since there is so much more to the works than a simple photo can capture.

History of Caligari… and a little 3d industry history.

This is all ancient news to those that pay attention to the 3d industry, but I’m posting here anyways just for folks that may not be aware…

http://www.caligari.com/company/timelinenew.asp?Subcate=Company&SubV=Timeline

1982, Roman Ormandy defects from Czechoslovakia and spends three years in New York. Starting in the shipping department of a suitcase factory making Apple suitcases, he breaks into the PC business.

1985, Roman attends Siggraph ’85 in San Francisco. He admires the SGI workstations, but buys an Amiga PC and the trueSpace vision is born!

1986, Video tape of Caligari prototype is displayed in Commodore’s booth at 1986 Siggraph which generates tremendous interest. Octree Corporation is founded, setting out to revolutionize the 3D marketplace.

1988, Caligari1, one of the first 3D visualization products for the Amiga is released. It does not do much yet but it has a novel interface and integrated workspace.

1990, Caligari2 is released for the Amiga. Positioned as a design and video production tool, it supports photorealistic rendering and “real time response to all user actions”. (2Mb of RAM required)

1991, Caligari Broadcast sports animated deformations, sweep tools, interactive spline based hierarchical animations, a visual time editor and resolution up to 8000×8000.

1992, Caligari24 is released with upgraded features such as 32Bit color, organic deformations and further improvements in perspective interface. It soon becomes clear, however, that MS Windows would become the standard operating platform.

1993, Octree moves from New York to the Silicon Valley. Leaving the East Coast behind, it designs a new software architecture and changes its name to Caligari Corporation.

1994, trueSpace, powerful, usable 3D graphics and animation for Windows is released. It changes the landscape of the 3D market with the first integrated 3D animation and modeling package.

1995, trueSpace2 is released to receive critical acclaim and industry awards. It is the first 3D software to support 3D acceleration, alas no 3D accelerators are shipped at the time.

1996, Pioneer is released as the 1st VRML authoring tool integrated with a built-in browser. Wins critical acclaim but VRML fails to live up to user expectations.

1997, trueSpace3 builds upon the excellence and ease-of-use legacy by integrating VRML, inverse kinematics, physics, metaballs, 3D paint and collision detection. More awards follow.

1998, trueSpace4 – Born to Accelerate. 8th generation and a major step forward in 3D authoring, trueSpace4 closes the gap between high end and ease of use.

2000, iSpace – a web graphics tool that enables the creation of stunning 3D graphics in HTML and Flash format. It delivers photorealistic web sites and uses simple drag&drop interface.

2001, trueSpace5 – Reality Designer, providing designers access to an affordable and powerful 3D design tool for all stages of the creative process including conceptual design.

2002, trueSpace6 improves workflow and professional design tools like layers and deform tools. It also reduces repetitive tasks through arrays, mirror modeling and more, making everything from modeling to final render, faster and simpler than ever before.

2003, trueSpace6.6 – introduces non-linear animation, and improved physical simulation. Workflow and modeling are further enhanced, keeping trueSpace the ideal choice for animation, design, illustration and game creation.

2003, gameSpace – 3D content creation for game development software and game engines, based on the trueSpace6.6 core and providing tailored modeling and animation tools, import and export, at a realistic price point. 2006, truePlay – free application to allow anyone to enter the shared 3D spaces, for collaboration with colleagues, friends and peers.

2006, trueSpace7 – introduces a whole new software core, which includes the first ever collaborative workspace that allows people to work together in the same shared 3D space. V-Ray renderer, new DX9 real-time view, and new scripting, physics and procedural objects also introduced.

2007, trueSpace7.5 – expands on the tools introduced in trueSpace7, adding better character animation, and more tools in the new workspace aspect of the program.

2008, Caligari and Microsoft join forces – Now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation, Caligari is able to release trueSpace7.6 for free. With further expansions and improvements to the tools, now anyone can make professional 3D at no cost

It’s been interesting seeing this company come to life, and die by being bought by one of the biggest companies around. Caligari was a neat startup. Unfortunately, a lot of neat startups get gobbled up by gigantic corporations. This is just one of the latest examples of this in the 3d industry…

Autodesk and Adobe are too other giants that eat their competition like Microsoft did with Caligari, and other companies are too to various degrees..

Alias bought Kaydara in 2004. Kaydara had created some awesome software called Motionbuilder, and they actually were selling it to individual artist very cheaply. Go check out the history of it on the forums at 3d buzz… Back when I got my personal edition from Kaydara itself it costs about 100.00 or 200.00…

Autodesk bought Alias in 2005 thereby taking over both Motion builder and Maya…

and looky here at what happened… Now the personal edition is long gone and Motion Builder costs $3995.00!

Adobe did the same thing with Flash a long time ago (originally owned by Macromedia).

It is nice that what used to cost a lot (TrueSpace) is now free… I originally bought version 3, then upgraded to 4, then 5… and quit upgrading after that because I switched over to Lightwave around that time… but it is sort of sad to see a company get gobbled up… especially one that was nice to new users and had a very good interface that helped developing 3d artist learn the ropes.

If you like the fact that trueSpace if free since you are an artist or want to become one, you might check out http://www.wings3d.com/, http://www.anim8or.com/, and http://www.blender.org/since Wings, anim8or, and blender are also free. Other freebies are out there, but these are the main ones that I know of that a lot of folks use.

Gmax is also free, but it’s several years old and is really just a dumbed down version of 3d Studio Max, which the big corporation Autodesk owns and wants you to pay a lot for…

It’ll probably just be a matter of time before Microsoft execs figure out some way to make Caligari’s trueSpace and gameSpace technolgy become massively expensive toys for the rich.

(If you can’t tell by the tone in this post, I’m not a huge fan of Micro$oft. I can’t tell you how many crashes have killed my artwork and other creative endeavors because Windows 95, 98, and XP all were pure junk. Vista is not far behind, but it a little more stable… Also, as someone that plays Entropia Universe a lot, I have a little bit of a grudge against Microsoft for when they tried to kill of Project Entropia in it’s early days by falsely accusing them of being pirates.)

A few thoughts about illustration… copyright, trademarks, why “Work-for-hire” is EVIL… and Zombies, or actually Golems Really due exist!

While I say I love illustration, and want to get in to the illustration field, I think it only fair to give you a little bit of background about me, and some of my own personal biases and things about illustration… In the wide world of illustration, usually the client always comes first. The artist does work for the client. The artist creates things, but seeks approval from the client at each step of the process. The preliminary concept art is just thought of as something to hand to the client to seek approval. The client and artist then have a disucssion and talk about things, and go to the next step… and the artist continually changes the idea to be in agreement with what the client is wanting since the client has the ultimate say as the artist is seeking payment for the work from the client.

A little bit of a philisophical problem that I have with that sort of thing, at least in my own works, is that I consider each work of art that is created in every stage of creation as a seperate and unique art form… something that is not just a preliminary work for something later, to be discarded like pretty wrapping paper that is torn apart as a Christmas present is opened. The process of creation has multiple stages. Quick little doodles done in a sketchbook are just as valid as a final work of art as something that’s been re-worked three hundred times by an illustrator or designer that is seeking permission from his or her client.

Another huge issue in all of that is the “work-for-hire” issue. Many clients want illustrators and designers that work for them to consider their work as “work-for-hire.” According to the way contract law works, art that is created as “work-for-hire” is artwork that the client will own the copyright to. In other words, if an artist creates work-for-hire artwork, the artist will have to seek permission from the copyright owner to republish the work that he or she created, and the same thing applies to and “derivitive” work… that is work that is dervived from the original… That puts artists that work in “work-for-hire” contracts in a really sticky situation since they can never use the work for hire stuff unless they get permission again, which might actually end up costing them money, etc. The derivitive issue makes the bad situation even worse because most artist tend to build a sort of visual library in their subconscious that forces works they create later in life to resemble works they created earlier… which is something they could possibly get sued for if the earlier work was a work-for-hire form of art.

For this reason, I’m not sure if I could ever “really” be a full time illustrator. However, I do like the idea of illustrating things, and creating narrative structures, so it’s possible that I might be able to get in to this field sort of. One reason I really am attracted to using Public Domain stuff as the basis of illustration is that the original copyright owner no longer has copyright over that stuff, nor does anyone else… so it’s free game for anyone… However, writers that no longer have copyrights on their books are probably long gone, and so other people probably have created derivitive works of those books and artforms over and over throughout the years, so it leaves the ancient stuff as content that will be difficult to gain any economic profits off of in a direct manner… since dead writers won’t pay anything usually… That’s why I got interested in Cafe Press, Lulu.com and other similar types of places in my exploration of all of this stuff. The internet has created a lot of new little niche areas for many of us to investigate if we want to take the time to get in to it. There’s a lot to explore and play around with in the huge playground of tweaking public domain concepts, ideas, and works, and redistrubting them with our own little additions, changes, etc.

Eventually, if I do get in to making book covers and interior illustrations for Public domain books I will build up a lot of variety and introduce new fresh ideas, in hopes that maybe someday a real writer that is alive today might ask me to do some works for their books, magazine articles, blogs, etc. If that does happen, this whole work-for-hire issue will likely come up down the road. I guess I’ll cross those bridges if/when I get to that point. Regardless, if you create artwork, this IS something you should be thinking about somewhat. There’s a lot to copyright and trademark laws. I don’t claim to be a lawyer, but do know that this sort of stuff can be a major hassle if you don’t think about it before you dive in to a contract or situation similar to a contract that is all done with verbal agreements, etc.

Do you really want to give away your right to be creative?!?… Just something to think about.

A similar thing to think about – be sure that you are honoring the Copyrights and Trademarks of other… If you want to create a work of art depicting a soda can or car, are you aware that you could be sued by Ford or Coke, or any other company if the work looks too much like theirs? This is especially true of photographs. Speaking as someone that has had some photos removed from Turbosquid a few years ago because Turbosquid received a Cease and Desist Letter from Ford due to the fact that there was a Ford car somewhere in the forground of a picture I shot once, even though it was not the main focus of the composition, I can say this stuff is a reality you SHOULD think about before and while you are making your artworks. The possibility of having to go to court and pay high lawyer fees and court fees just because you clicked your camera in the wrong place is not a fun situation to be in! Ford is probably one of the biggest companies that chases people down for this sort of thing, but any copyright or trademark owner can do similar at any time because copyright and trademark law DOES apply to “derivitive works.”

For yourself, this can be a good thing, as you could possibly sue others if they create artworks that are in your style or just look too much like your work for your liking… However, what comes around goes around, and the you can find yourself on the receiving end of the same issue if you create works that are too much like other folk’s stuff too… which is something we all need to think about a LOT as everywhere you turn today there’s some namebrand, logo, or copyrighted thing in your face 24/7.

Your computer has a logo on it… oops better not photograph or draw it. You want to take a photo of a street – oops there’s a car on it that was created by an automobile company that has a trademark on that design. You shoot a photo of a gargoyle on a building – oops there’s an architect or sculptor somewhere that owns the copyright to that design. You shoot a picture of the sunset – oops there’s an airplane flying low there that was designed by a company with a trademark on that shape. You take a picture of a wall in your house – oops someone has a tradmark, and probably a copyright on the design of that wallpaper… Where is nature? That is one of the few things people can’t copyright… Nope?!?… someone has done a picture of a deer posing in that posture before! YIKES!

If you take a photo of someone, or create any form of artwork depicting anyone – you have even more issues to deal with since there are privacy laws. That’s why you always see notices in various films, literary works, etc. say any resmblence to real people in the characters depicted is coincidental, etc. It’s also why photographers need to get the permission of anyone they photograph, usually in a written form so that they can prove that the permission was obtained. The little photo of Barrack Obama standing next to the China Wall that was put in Times Square by the coat company is just one of the newest little examples of where these sort of issues can come up and cause major problems for all parties involved…

All of these little issues are amplified by the fact that Zombies, or at least Golems really do exist! As mentioned in How to Argue & Win Every Time: At Home, At Work, In Court, Everywhere, Everyday, corporations and money are both lifeless beings that we give life to… things that are really dead that we give power to.

(*Perhaps the Golem are the invisible corporations and the Zombies are the employees that become “dead” 40 hours a week to serve the golem?*)

Sometimes, actually far more times than we probably want to acknowledge, we actually give our entire lives to these souless, lifeless beings! Corporations are our society’s gods from the ancient world. They don’t really exist but everyone knows that they are there. Everyone talks about them… shares stories about them… We even give them Social Security Numbers and call those Tax Identification Numbers… We give them life through our <a href="Memes“>about them.

Logos and employees are just one sign of their existence, as are all the contracts created in their names… Curators of Universities, CEOs, Company Presidents and others in power in the coporate world, just to name a few, are the priests of this religion that we don’t call a religion, but they are NOT the corporation itself, even if they think they are. They are hired and fired by the invisible zombies or golems that we breathe life into, just like everyone else. The piece of paper that creates a corporation is NOT the corporation itself. The corporations don’t really exist in our world, but we all pretend that they do and continue to bring life to them in our belief in them… continue to pay homage to them every time we think about that brand name we want to pay for, etc…. They are the true gollems that all of us helped bring in to power to submit our entire beings too in some way, shape, or form.

Advertising, and all of the little illustrations that come from it is just one of the many little offerings that are given to these souless, lifeless zombies to help them exist. You can call me a crazy lunatic if you want, but when you really dig deep and think about it, you have got to know that it’s true!

Does this mean I don’t want to be an illustrator. Of course not. I love to illustrate things, tell stories, bring life to the lifeless objects around me.

In a strange way, all people that create art, or anything really – letters that you made when you hit the keyboard on your computer (you do know that each letter and phrase is different from place to place in the world which is why there’s different languages that exist – we all breathe life in to our own perception of reality that the elders in our tribe have taught us IS reality and so we make it become OUR reality too), recipies you put together to eat, All Things that we do really… sort of do the same thing, whether it’s for a corporation or their own needs and wants to create. Art itself is something we breathe life in to, and it sort of takes on a life of it’s own in that process. Maybe all of this is something Jesus was talking about when he said you cannot serve God and Mammon?… but in reality, that’s not really possible is it, at least not if we want to live in this world and exist – Give to Ceaser what belongs to Ceaser…

Anyways, I am a living being, just as you are, and as The Universe’s Creator is. The act of creating things is in some ways the real and ultimate goal and meaning of the universe?… or is it? Maybe, maybe not. Either way, be sure to make your works your own, and unique enough that you don’t get sued for copyright infringment by other humans or the golems that exist in our society.

Just something to think about…

Interesting Reading – A few Technical “Bibles”

I just wanted to throw these out here because they are amazing books that I use a lot and recommend a lot of other people to use too!

The Photoshop Bibleis THE book that you will want to get if you want to learn how to use Photoshop. I am sad to say that I’m still running Photoshop 5 LE, so I have not picked up a newer version Photoshop Bible that is for newer versions of Photoshop myself, but have read a few pages out of the newer versions in a bookstore now and then. It still appears to be the best source to go to for all things Photoshop. It covers just about every main function in the application and gives you a simple plain English explanation of why everything is there and what you should be using each function for and which Icons you should push on or quick keys to hit to get what you are trying to accomplish done quickly and competently.

The JavaScript Bible is THE book to have on Javascript. You CAN learn some of the basics from visiting websites such as Web Monkey, but when you really want to start digging deeper and understanding how to do things on a more complex level, this is the to go to book that you will be wanting to get. Just about every aspect of Javascript is covered and there’s coding example after coding example that will get you up and running quickly and give you a working understanding of how all the spokes in the wheel run together to get your website advanced to a new level of interactivity.

Beginning Game Programming with Flash is another great book to have for web design. Surely you have played a few flash games on occassion. They are all over the internet. This book teaches you from the ground up how to start building those sorts of games yourself. If you thought Javascript was fun, you ain’t seen nothing yet. The graphics and programming power behind Flash can let you create just about any sort of game that you want online if you have enough time to program and test your stuff out. There are definite limitations to what Flash can do, but many of those limits dissappear with every new version of flash that comes out, especially as more and more people are getting off of dialup and heading to dsl or other high speed internet carriers.

The Artist’s Handbook, or The Artist’s Handbook of Materials and Techniques: Fifth Edition, Revised and Updated (Reference)
is just about one of the best “Bibles” on traditional art methods.

Both of the books cover many of the same topics. Mayer’s is considered a little “better” by some since I think it is actually the older of the two.

They cover just about every technique that there is in the traditional arts, and gives some really neat in-depth information that you just won’t find many other places, especially in a single book. It’s actually pretty hard to believe how much information there is packed in this book…It tells you some of the little known facts about how to make pigments, what formulas to use to make your own gesso, explains in-depth information about various surfaces and how you should treat them and more importantly, why. It just has a lot of little key bits of information that are invaluable to anyone that really wants to create artwork.

Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art: A Sourcebook of Artists’ Writings (California Studies in the History of Art) is another great art related book. While this book is not really a Technical Bible per se, it is a bit like the more traditional Bible in that it goes directly to the source to get first hand accounts of what is going on in the minds of various artist in the contemporary art world. The book is filled with tons of interviews done with artists, diary entries created by artist, and a variety of publications created by artists and those that have an in depth understanding of artists. It gets to the heart of why contemporary art really exists, and has more in-depth, behind the information than you are likely to find ANYWHERE else all in one place.

Interesting Reading – Asimov’s Guide to the Bible: A Historical Look at the Old and New Testament

You folks reading this might think I’m nuts doing this many Interesting Reading posts in this short of a timespan, but there’s a lot of various books that I’ve read and/or am in the middle of reading that have a lot of relevance to this blog and life in general really, and are just great books that I think everyone should at least take a glance at some point in time… I’ll probably add more interesting reading posts in the not-too-distant future…

Asimov’s Guide to the Bible: A Historical Look at the Old and New Testaments is a very interesting book. Asimov, possibly one the greatest science fiction writers of all time, explores the bible from a scientific and historical perspective in this book. He’s an athiest, (and a former Jew I think) but that does not matter. He covers a lot of the historical aspects of each chapter of the Bible in this book from a scientific perspective. There’s not a lot of mushy love and miracle belief talk in the book like you see in a lot of the bible study books that are written by Christians. Also there’s a lot of discussion about geography and history of the locations in the bible, and how each of the main characters in the bible is thought of from a historian’s perspective and how they sort of fit in to the Social Studies and History books. That is something you don’t typically get a lot of with a lot of other books about the Bible. I don’t know that I agree with him on everything (since he is an atheist after all), but I do think he presents a lot of ideas that anyone interested in Religion, History, or Geography, regardless of whether they are Christian or not a Christian might find interesting.

His explanations that seem to explain away miracles or give them a new twist by allowing you to think about them in a different way than the way you might have been taught in Bible School by adding a bit of science is somewhat refreshing, and for the most part does not make the Bible any less relevant or True.

Remember, there are multiple perspectives to our reality… What everyone that witnesses anything experiences is likely slightly different than others that witnessed the same darn thing. It is good to sometimes think about things from a different angle. There might be a slight challenge to your faith in some of the info in this book, but that actually might be a catalyst that will help you gain a stronger faith by reading the book. There is a lot of historical and geographic info in here that you probably won’t come across many other places unless you are theologian and have read a LOT of ancient texts and have a masters degree in religion. It’s good to learn a few new things. and think about things in a different way on occassion! 🙂

Fellow Artist – Chris Mast

Chris is the webmaster for the popular gaming website http://www.merqurycity.com/

I’ve known Chris since high school. He and I were on the high school newspaper staff together at Boonville High School way back in the day (16 years ago, geesh, I feel old now). Back then, Chris lived one and a half blocks away. Chris, Chris’s brother, Sam, my brother, Danny, a few other close friends, and I used to play many video games and pen and paper role playing games together. The main games that we played were Heroes Unlimited, Beyond the Supernatural, Ninja and Superspies, Rifts, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT – no longer in publication since the Copyright and Trademark owners dumbed the TMNT down and made it in to a kid’s cartoon instead of the gritty, urban ninja comic it originally was intended to be). In my college days, we even played a few games of Nightbane, and a weird role playing world that I created using Palldium Books game system with modified versions of World of Darkness characters on occasion. (I won’t publish the conversion rules here in this post, but might in a future post – they are fairly simple).

I have many fond memories of role playing with Chris. Him and I used to take turns being the Game Master. Role Playing is one interest of mine that got me interested in taking up theater in college. Chris was one of the grooms men in my wedding. I keep in pretty close contact with him and see him about once or twice a year most years nowadays. He’s a very talented artist, and with two bachelor degrees behind his name, is about as well rounded of an artist as there can be.

Chris’s portfolio website is http://www.chrisjmast.com/.

Growing up… .stream of conciousness… fleeting thoughts…

growing up … train-of-consciousness running me down!..stream of conciousness… fleeting thoughts, racing through my mind.. dream like visions… life is flashing before my eyes as various realities that I have known come colliding together in kaleidoscope forms making a rainbow prism for myself to see… myself… who I am…

Watching sunsets on Aunt Jo Ann’s porch (the brilliance blinding and beutiful), ruts in dirt roads. Covered bridge. Cows crossing the stream..
lincoln logs,
He man, Spider man, GI Joe and Fonzy
etc.

Fond memories of my dad’s flannel jackets, my great granma’s bonnet, clubhouse/treehouse… space cadets, imagination running wild. I feel like I’m awakening from a dream as I type this and begin letting my brain reconnect with some old memories… neurons are all a chattering away … excitement like a Child awaitng opening presents on Christmas morning… Christmas, Ceder Tree, tinsels, icicles… taking the icicle from the coyote’s cave near grandpa’s farm…

mind is racing as I conciously do what I need to do, at work, and elsewhere… however, I am no automaton. My subconcious races thinking about many thing… both wonderous and mundane. Creativity is flowing through every neuron in my body as I feel a tingle. I know that I am alive. It is good to feel this level of happy exhileration again… to be in touch with who that I am…. knowing that I am… being who I am… I am.

I am reminded of an old meditation that several nun’s and other Catholic mentors that I have related to at various retreats throughout my life have taught me…
Be Still and Know that I am God… Be still and Know. Be still… Be…

zest for life after mourning… inspirations of Jon – He is alive and is proud to be alive… spirit quests… change is good although we don’t like it when and fight it tooth and nail… understanding… wisdom…

It is good to be alive.

====

I am…
I am that.

ALIVE AND WELL here. How are you today?

inspirations

Inspirations… This, and future postings that are tagged as Inspirations are postings dedicated to works of art that inspire me. The postings tagged as inspirations could be thought of as a sort of “Jeff’s favorites” list of artwork, or list of art works that Jeff thinks about somewhat when he’s creating his own works. I honestly like a lot of various artwork for different reasons – and might even go so far as to say that there is something I can find to like about any artwork in the world… at least for some reason… In inspirations tagged postings I’ll try to explain why I like or am inspired by the works of art described or linked to in the individual postings. The Inspirations postings are actually sort of a challenge to myself to think about my own habbits & thoughts, as well as force me to actually look at more artwork than I typically do today on a regular basis. I live in a city where there’s not a whole lot of art galleries or museums, and those that are here or nearby are typically opened only during hours that I have to be at work, etc. so my actual viewing of artwork is a lot more limited than it probably should. Hopefully the inspirations tagged postings here will help me get past that a a bit, and continually grow as an artist myself by looking at what others in the world around me are doing instead of only looking at myself in the mirror…

Fantasy Lands…

Wikipedia is bad for studying fantasy game worlds in mmorpgs since they have rules that keep that sort of thing from staying in posts there…. can’t verify blah, blah, blah… which is weird since they have entire sections on fantasy places in literature

like Oz…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_of_Oz

Land of Oz

Mavel Universe,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marvel_universe

and even Heroes…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heroes_(TV_series)

etc.

I guess for now, folks in Entropia will just have to continue to use places like http://www.entropedia.info/ because the place that should describe all of these sorts of things in detail, wikipedia, refuses to do so. Gigantic bias against virtual game worlds there on wikipedia in my opinion, which is really too bad… How are places that real people visit with their avatar every day less real and needing to be in there than silly make believe places like the land of Oz?, especially since places in Entropia Universe are paid for with real world money?

Something that really frustrates me about all of this is that they apparently have different rules for different virtual worlds… since they apparently don’t mind listing locations inside of the virtual universe of Warcraft… even though it’s an MMROPG and is “less real” than Entropia since it’s based entirely on a virtual gold system instead of a PED system that has a real world monetary system as the PED is tied to the dollar in a 1:10 ratio.