Thursday, February 26, 2015

Digital Paintings at Fine Art America

The variety of styles in the digital paintings shown at Fine Art America is huge. Art connoisseurs avail yourself of this feast for the eyes and mind.

digital paintings for sale

Below is a link to one of my favorites. This talented artist has combined digital layering with a hand painted watercolor work to create a lovely piece.

Enchantment by Robin Mead

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, Number One, Star Trek

Majel Barrett-Roddenberry is quintessence Star Trek. Why? She was so involved in the shows, movies, video games, and animations that she was know as the "First Lady of Star Trek."

Her career with Star Trek began with her role of Number One in the pilot episode (The Cage, 1964) with Captain Pike. But she wasn't accepted in that role by NBC's network executives. The women viewers that participated in test screenings didn't like her character either. Thus, Spock became the first officer. Though the network didn't like the Vulcan either. Apparently, hard to please.

Her film career started with the movie Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957) She appeared in films from 1957 to 2000. Her TV appearances ran from 1963-1999. Her episodic career ran from 1960-2001. She acted in many genres including science fiction, comedy, and western stories.

She played Nurse Chapel in the original Star Trek series. She moved up to Doctor Christine Chapel in star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) (This was the original film based on the series.) and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986). In Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, she played Ambassador Lwaxana Troi

Barrett's voice sounded as the computer in the first series from 1966-1969,  Christine Chapel and M'Ress voices in the animated series (1973-1975),  the Federation computer in Star Trek: TNG (1987-1994), Federation computer voice in DS9. Her voice featured in many Star Trek video games from 1994-1997. She was the voice in the Star Trek: The New Generation; Q-in-Law of 1992 a product of  Simon & Schuster of New York.

She co-wrote the Star Trek Cookbook with Ethan Phillips published in 1998 by Pocket Books of New York City.

Barrett had a long and illustrious career associated with Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek despite the opinion of the executives and the women viewers that originally objected to her role as Number One.

Star Trek Crosswords Book 1

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Alien Invasion:Trope: Science Fiction Trope

Public Domain Image

The trope is a stylistic device used in science fiction for example, in the alien invasion scenario. These are some tropes of science fiction or speculative fiction with aliens: they come to earth to destroy, enslave, or eat.

H. G. Wells introduced the alien's come to destroy the earth, planet wars, initial contact, and different species themes in 1898. Other authors have written science fiction about aliens during the same period. Robert Potter published The Germ Growers in 1892.

It is about a concealed invasion wherein the invaders cloak themselves to look human, use mind-control, and teleportation. They  create a deadly disease to help them control the earth. Potter could have been credited with introducing four well-known tropes: unknown deadly disease, mind-control, teleportation, and aliens camouflaged as people. But his novel wasn't popular.

The allegory in the story involves fallen angels and a pure angel that opposes them. Maybe the allegory put people off, but symbolism is a legitimate writing element. Though this element puts it into a mixed genre of science fiction and fantasy.

When Wells wrote and published War of the Worlds (1897), the invasion story was already in vogue. The theme and plot concerned other countries invading Britain. It normally involved their long time allies/enemies France or Germany. He turned the idea on its head with an alien invasion from outer space. Space alien invasion stories became very popular in short stories, novels, and movies.

The Invasion of the Body Snatchers ( 1955) by Jack Finney plays on the trope of aliens looking like humans in order to destroy people, which is part of their reproductive process. Seeds infiltrate from space and duplicate humans using plant type pods to grow the replica. The sleeping people crumble into dust. The aliens lifespan is five years.

They only reproduce by pod. So, if they aren't stopped, they will demolish earthlings and go to another planet and duplicate the process.

Above Donald Sutherland is screaming the horrid pod scream in the 1978 film version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. It is a redo of the 1956 film.

In The Puppet Masters published in 1951, Robert A. Heinlein tells the story of a parasite alien invasion that controls people's minds. They are slugs that fasten to their victim's back and control their nervous system. The enslave trope is applicable in this scenario.

World War is the name given by aficionados to a series by Harry Turtledove. These science fiction alternate history novels happen during World War II, so the earthlings have to unite against a common enemy: aliens. The alien race is reptilian. their rate of change and development is slow. They had scouted out earth during sword battling days, but come back later to find a more advanced technology that they didn't expect. They ponder invading, decide to go ahead by order of Fleetlord Atvar. The battle is on.

The books in Turtledove's World War series are Tilting the Balance, Upsetting the balance, and Striking the Balance. In the Balance.

In the Balance: An Alternate History of the Second World War (Worldwar, Volume 1)

 In Death Ground  by David Mark Weber and Stephen White is a military science fiction novel in which alien bugs cultivate ranches of other species to eat them. The Shiva Option is the sequel.

They come to earth to invade it and annihilate, control, or eat humans. These are the main alien tropes, and they overlap sometimes, but they are perennial favorites that writers and readers return to for a science fiction thrill.

The Classic War Of The Worlds

The Germ Growers-Robert Potter
Kindle Edition

The Body Snatchers

Happy Peninsula Digital Painting

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Surrealism Movement: André Breton: Joan Miró

By Molly at
 The goal of the surrealism movement in art and writing was to harness the imaginative power locked away in the subconscious mind. It began in Paris. A few writers that besmirched rationalism and realism in literature and trusted the concepts of Sigmund Freud thought the conscious mind quashed the imagination. They wanted their imagination and art to be released from taboos.

It began as a literary movement. Some writers were doubtful that it applied to painting,  later on Breton accepted the possibilities of painters to use surrealistic techniques.

In 1924, they began a crusade to overturn the onerous decrees of their time. The main initiator was the poet, André Breton. He said it was a violent reaction opposed to the sterile thinking and results of rationalism. He wrote the Manifesto of Surrealism in which he explained the movements tenets. 

Manifestoes of Surrealism (Ann Arbor Paperbacks)

They were akin to the Romantics or Romanticism in their trust of the great power of the imagination, but they thought that ordinary life and city streets held epiphanies, whereas Romanticists relied on nature for inspiration.

They influenced the Abstract Expressionists whom were also fascinated by fable and unsophisticated thinking not persuaded by objective reasoning. The surrealist painter Joan Miró had a far-reaching impact on the Abstract Expressionists. The surrealist movement ended after World War II.

Fine Art America
Surrealistic Greeting Cards

Related Article
Abstract Expressionism: Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Wassily Kandinsky  

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Why People Read Fantasy Fiction or Why People Don't Read Fantasy Fiction

Clip Art by OCAL at
 The question is why do people read fantasy or why don't other other people read fantasy. It is more than a matter of taste to some people that like it. This genre caused someone to learn to like reading because he tried a fantasy book. He found it fascinating as Spock would say. Then this guy really became a reader and began reaping the benefits of reading.

A well written fantasy story develops characters, has a good plot, and creates a world. It is a suspension of disbelief thing, but that applies to all fiction. Readers of fantasy fiction appreciate the imagination and creativity of the writer. Again, that applies to realistic fiction also, but more so with fantasy.

Knights: The Eye of Divinity (A Novel of Epic Fantasy) (The Knights Series Book 1)
There are the detractors that wonder why we read fiction period. The answer is that stories have always been a part of the human psyche and experience. From oral to written form tales have been the way to remember experiences, relate meaning about events, experience situations they wouldn't otherwise experience, and stories entertain.

The Island (Fallen Earth Book 1)
The reader of fantasy fiction may learn about warfare, herbs, hunting, clothing, or food. A well researched fantasy novel includes such information.

But alas, some folks think fantasy reading is a waste of time. But this type of reading exercises the brain and stimulates the mind like reading realistic fiction does. The detractors also say it is just an escape route, but that is so with any fiction. And please don't watch TV or a movie because you are escaping, and we wouldn't want the detractors to escape from reality for awhile.

The bottom line is some people enjoy reading fantasy short stories and novels.

Flowing Edge World Digital Painting

Happy Peninsula Digital Painting at Fine Art America

Happy Peninsula is my latest digital painting at Fine Art America. It is inspired by the work of Matisse. It depicts a fun, peaceful scene on a beach. It is an imaginary place to go to and feel that childlike happiness we remember or wish we did.

 Happy Peninsula Digital Painting: Buy Now

Print or Greeting Card

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Toni Grote, Contemporary Folk Artist, Painter

Toni Grote is a folk artist that lives in Iowa. She paints nature scenes, and I really like her work. She has studied graphic art, but considers herself a folk artist. She paints with acrylic on tin, Masonite, or wood.

You can see her work at Pinterest, or at Toni Grote Folk Artist .

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel Superhero Team, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy is going to stand on the foundations of the comics of 2008. In this storyline, aliens join forces against combatants like Thanos and Ronan the Accuser who is an affiliate of Accuser Corps. The Corps are military administrators of government and jurists.

Thanos tries continually to court Mistress Death, which is born out in the comics. His big play was grabbing the Infinity Gems. These jewels have immense power.

Nebula the space pirate is in the movie. She had formerly captured the huge spaceship, Sanctuary II, that Thanos had commanded.

The movie is sure to be an action, adventure, edge of your seat ride. The cheeky Peter Quill steals a secretive orb that Ronan lusts after, and a bounty hunt ensues. Quill joins in a letup of differences with four oddballs to dodge Ronan's fierce manhunt: Groot, a human kind of tree, Gamora, Thano's adopted daughter, Rocket, a gun packing raccoon, and Drax the Destroyer.

Quill learns of the authentic power of the stone, and the threat Ronan that would wield with it in his possession. He decides to assemble his oddball opponents against a huge menace to the universe.

It hits the theaters 08/01/14.


  • Director, James Gunn
  • Writer of screenplay, James Gunn
  • Story Writer, Nicole Perlman and Gunn


  • Vin Diesel
  • Bradley Cooper (Rocket's voice)
  • Chris Pratt
  • Dave Bautista
  • Zoe Saldana
  • Karen Gillian
  • Lee Pace
  • Djimon Hounsou

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

G.K. Chesterton Art quote

Chesterton-.Public Domain
"Art, like morality, consists in drawing the line somewhere.” ~G.K. Chesterton

Chesterton always makes you think. Even a one liner from him is full of meaning. In creating art, the artist must draw the line, daub the brush, mold the clay, or write the words, and if the work has a deeper meaning the lines of thought it brings forth will point to something definite.

Like morality it will make a definite statement and not be wishy-washy.

Cupcake Saucers Over the City, Mug

The design on the mug is entitled "Cupcake Saucers Over the City." It is copyrighted by C. Dumont, 2013. 

Designer Mug
Designer Mug by Deltachord
Shop for Coffee Mugs online at

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Mad Scientists, Alchemists in Literature (1)

Alchemy was the route of the mad scientist prior to the modern concept of the character type.
By Izzy at
Prometheus is the exception because he stole fire from the gods. That is a mythical technological advancement; it puts him in the category according to some writers. defines alchemy as a kind of chemistry and speculative philosophy. It explains that it was popular during the Medieval Period, and it was primarily involved with trying to change baser metals into gold.

Christopher Marlowe's Dr. Faustus is obsessed with alchemy, and treads the evil path to damnation. It sounds mad but not scientific. The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus was published in 1604.

By OCAL at
The mad scientist theme of modern times came from Mary Shelly's book Frankenstein (1818). But the doctor was influenced by an alchemist Cornelius Agrippa. According to Merriam-Webster, one definition of alchemy is " a power or process that changes or transforms something in a mysterious or impressive way." The doctor transforms body parts into a living creature using electricity.

Dr. Victor Frankenstein did horrible things with corpses trying to invent life apart from God. He thought his creature was appalling and was afraid of him.

When the creature had to make it on his own, his attempts to get along with people were bumbling. He started as gentle and naive, but the monster got hurt and stuck for revenge against his creator. Eventually, the monster in the movies was known as Frankenstein.

But are the stories that involve alchemy and not modern science really about mad scientists, or mad alchemists? But perhaps that is splitting hairs. Dr. Frankenstein did use electricity, so his experimentation is a little different, but alchemists used chemicals. Ah. Where to draw the line is the question.

Consider the Strange Case of Dr. Henry Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, wherein Gabriel John Utterson probes into the odd matters encompassing Dr. Jekyll, as Mr. Hyde takes over his personality, thus a battle of ultimate good and evil ensues. The doctor makes a tincture of a specific salt, but doesn't reveal the other ingredients. Alchemy perhaps?

He experiments on himself and discovers a despicable inner self. His objective was to control and rattle, or set in motion the fortress of identity. Apparently, he reached his goal, but it wasn't what he thought it would be.

The Island of Dr. Moreau  is a novel by H.G. Wells published in 1896. Moreau conducts animal experimentation trying to concoct them into humans. The doctor thinks this is alright, though trying to make people into animals would be coarse.

Edward Prendick is shipwrecked on the South Sea island where Dr. Moreau resides. Pendrick finds out about the experiments by encountering some of the creatures the doctor put together.  He is concerned that he may be a victim of the scientist madness, and he isn't a welcomed visitor. The doctor is killed by one of his creations. Prendick lives on the island and leaves when a drifting boat appears, and he is rescued.

Back in London, people think he is crazy when he tells his story. He fakes amnesia and moves to the country to get away from people because he thinks they might go back to an animal like existence.

Doctor Moreau definitely takes the mad scientist from alchemy to actual science using vivisection. All of these stories are concerned with philosophical and moral issues, and are well written stories, which is why they have endured the test of time.

10 Trivia Concepts from Dr. Faustus, Watch Video

10 Trivia Concepts from Frankenstein, Watch Video

10 Trivia Concepts form Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Watch Video

Dr. Faustus (Dover Thrift Editions)
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
The Island of Dr. Moreau (Dover Thrift Editions)

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Paul Cezanne Art Quote, Constructive Brushstrokes, Post Impressionist

“A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art.” -- Paul Cezanne
Paul Cezanne, 1861, Public Domain

That is a statement that touches the artist in me. Of course, some art is more technical than other art, such as commercial art. But art that gets to me and inspires and gives me joy expresses emotion.

Art that expresses feelings in color, or brush strokes hits home. This is the kind of painting that I like the most. This can also be done in a drawing.

Cezanne's Brushstrokes 

The conventional brushstroke technique was to paint bigger strokes in the foreground and smaller brushstrokes moving to the background that continue to diminish in size. This method showed the distance of objects.

L'Estaque, Cezanne, 1883-1885
In contrast, Cezanne regularized his painting strokes. He created a technique called "constructive brushstrokes." Foregoing  perspective and foreshortening, he balanced warm and cool colors using them to move up, or move back the painting's objects.

Maybe being a French artist made Cezanne more emotional, or perhaps it was just part of his nature. He was a Post Impressionist meaning that he wanted to convey emotion in his work, rather than going for the optical concerns of the Impressionists.

Pyramid of Skulls, Cezanne, 1901
When he was older, he painted a few still life's that utilized a pile of skulls. Now that is emotional and a sad depiction of his resignation to death some say.

What do you like about art? Do you like emotional art? Comments are welcome.

580 Color Paintings of Paul Cezanne (Cézanne) - French Post-Impressionist Painter (January 19, 1839 - October 22, 1906)

Cezanne: A Life