Coherent Lighthouse

Shields and Spears: Art Show

So it's been more than a year since I last updated this space. The last time was for a show. And this time?
Poster/Flyer for our show!
A new show by Raven Amos, myself, and Zach Miller! (To be honest, I update often enough elsewhere, so it seems sort of redundant to come here every time. But here I am.)

And so the details: First Friday is on the 3rd of October 2014, and we'll be there. But the show runs throughout the month, and I'll update this space with a few more photos after the hanging. Shields and Spears: the Ceratopsid Dinosaurs at the Yak and Yeti Café location (next to Title Wave in midtown Anchorage, Alaska). Pieces will be available for sale for the duration, and some extra stuff will be available at our table during First Friday.

Well, we're still painting for the show as of this writing, so I must be brief so I can get back to my work. There's a Facebook page for those who do such things, or if you want to scan one of those code thingies with your phone or tablet, go ahead:

Hi. I link to a Facebook events page.One more thing: there are still some free postcards available for the receiving, if you'd care to own a piece of mailed ephemera:
(Cf. for e-mail.)Edit (19 September 2014): our show has been mentioned over at Symbiartic (a Scientific American blog). Check it out!

Edit (3 October 2014): our show now has a video promoting the event!

Archosaurs and Robots Show in Homer, Alaska

Out next show is set to go up in April, and we'll be present for the first Friday on the 5th of April, so if you're in town, you can see us there! We may even be talkative.

Archosaurs & Robots.

Errata at the @adndotcom:

That is, the Anchorage Daily News: Modern Dwellers, is, in fact, located in Midtown, not downtown Anchorage.

Here's their website: —this may be another case of Google Maps simply not being accurate (this happens quite a lot, in my experience) and being used to fact-check.

And the name of Raven's piece is Swamp Dragon.

First Friday at Modern Dwellers: the Live Blog

First Friday is now on for our art show, #ArchosaursAndAutomata. The last minute rush covering previously missed details is over, and the show is completely hung up at Modern Dwellers Chocolate Lounge!
The wall of done.
Obviously, the entire internet is invited, but for those who can't make it, I'll be live blogging it as much as I can, which probably means uploading a few small movies and photographs of the exhibit, and then I'll be drawing and painting analog-style for the remainder of the evening. And possibly stuffing my face with sugary, chocolately stimulants.

Pieces include some of the work of Raven Amos from 2012, who, I think, really raised the bar this time around. Check out her work-in-progress for the show. Seeing these in person is impressive, but don't take my word for it. Since the show runs through the end of January 2013, visit and see them for yourself if you can. Raven inspires me to do better, even while I'm pushing myself though incredible self-doubt.

Trikeratos.Other pieces are a direct link to our show from October 2011, Dinosaurs and Robots. I think I might be in the process of building a series with these pieces, and might actually plan the next one.

At left is Trikeratos, which originated in a speed painting of a Triceratops skeleton for a day in February. The background and lighting elements came much later, but I only spent a few weeks on this one. Perhaps Tron was a source of inspiration, but I tend to think of Christmas lights more than anything in particular.
A Gloom of Duralumin Dragons

These Guidracos in A Gloom of Duralumin Dragons  (thank you both Emily Willoughby and Brianne Lyons for the title) took a lot longer.  Hundreds of hours of work, not including the studies I did. They are reasonaby accurate, thanks to the critiques by Michael Habib and David Hone; but any errors in their reconstruction is my fault alone. I also took a wrong road on the background, which wasn't bad, but seemed to me to be of the wrong sort of character for the piece. (I may be wrong again, but this is the look I wanted. Hindsight is 20/20, but perception can still be flawed, and I am far too close to the problem in this case to be objective.)

I might even have the animal I want to cover picked out already for the next in the series.

I also did the show's mascot, a Clockwork Carnivore, which we used on all of our promotional materials and made into postcards:
Clockwork Carnivore in Red.
Clockwork Carnivore in Blue.
This left me two pieces into the show, compared to Raven's four. We discussed my doing something else, but sometimes, you just can't plan these things. I did two different speedpaintings, and my final piece was born and finished within sight of the last half hour of the year's end:
"Richard Basehart!"Gypsy is a robot, after all, and qualifies as an automaton. In she goes!

And it's about that time. So off I go.

Edit: one final piece of graphic design made it in right at the last minute. It was accomplished in 2012, it does concern itself with robots, and it is the nerdiest piece I've ever done. Which might be saying something.

The Last Painting of 2012

And the last painting for the #ArchosaursAndRobots art show:

Gypsy elocuting Richard Basehart!This image was made from two speedpaintings: this study and this other study, and with the new background I probably put a total of about eight hours into it.

As I type this, Friday is just a few days away. If you're in the Anchorage area and headed to Modern Dwellers, I may see you in the evening. I'll be the one standing next to his fiancée, trying to look like I belong there.

Be seeing you.

My Previous Post on this Image Was "I'm Done."

That turned out to be wrong. Very.

Three days later, I repainted the background, almost completely, and by the time I uploaded my file to be printed, I was utterly drained and exhausted. But here's the result, a piece more in character with its prequel, Trikeratos:

Finished. I swear.But if there's any interest, I may offer the (slightly) older piece as a digital print. It was a lot of work just to come to realize where and how I'd gone awry:

Still good. But not good enough.Someday I'll relate the full tale of how I saved Xmas with this repaint. But not today. I've got a lot to do before the beginning of next month.

Archosaurs & Automata, My 2nd Piece

For the #ArchosaursAndAutomata art show:
A Gloom of Duralumin Dragons.Possibly final! Finished, for sure, or possibly with a few minor revisions in time to print, and certainly not a complete rebrush of the entire sky, sea, and land.

UPDATE: Which has <a href="">happened</a>.

The New Filament of Coherent Lighthouse…

This is something that's been in the works for a while—a new graphic suitably representative of us:

The 'bug', designed in July 2006.
Previous iterations ranged from clumsy to gruesome.
And it goes along with this:

Logotype, designed and refined in 2010/2011.
The typeface,
Santana, is slightly modified.
The 'gfx' plate element is optional/modifiable.

So why a cube, or a box? Boxes are common motifs in logo design (and some much better than others). I find platonic solids interesting, but I could have gone with any of them. I didn't, because there's a personal reason for choosing it (beyond the obvious implications of a three-dimensional form rendered in two): in 1985, I went to Expo 85 in Tsukuba, Japan.

And they had a 3D theater for the Sumitomo Pavilion, with a magnificent, giant yellow box inset into two mirrored facades, creating the illusion of a complete cube:

Brochure of the pavilion.

I never made it into the theater (the lines every time we went were far too long, and there was a lot to see). But the set up always impressed me.

I've run Coherent Lighthouse since 2004. I think of Cubelight as its filament, something which lights our way.

We're One Third the Way There!

Hey, I managed to change the #ArchosaursAndAutomata thumbnail on YouTube! Maybe I should have started out with this, but I was pretty busy when I uploaded it.

Our crowdfunding campaign has just passed the one third mark! There's still two weeks left to contribute to the printing and travel costs (because we live so far from the venue).

Right. Back to painting now.

Art Show Announcement: Archosaurs & Automata

The Clockwork Carnivore, the show mascot for Archosaurs & Automata. 
It's a sequel of sorts, to our Dinosaurs and Robots show, and it runs during January 2013. We'll be present for the first Friday on the fourth, so if you wanted to see us both, we'll be there.

Funding for the new show has been set into motion: Raven and I started our first crowd sourcing initiative to help fund our next art show, Archosaurs & Automata, to be held at Modern Dwellers Chocolate Lounge in Anchorage, Alaska. Our goal is relatively modest, but if we make it, we can feature a bit more art at the show than we otherwise might, as well as offset some of the cost of time off work, travel to Anchorage from Homer, and the expense of printing.
Promotional post-card featuring Trikeratos, the 2011 show's mascot.
We think it's very possible to accomplish this. Donations as of this writing have very nearly put us at one quarter of our funding goal, and it hasn't even been a full week yet.

The proprietors of Modern Dwellers told us our show was one of the most successful they'd had. We would like to build upon that success. Indiegogo has all the info for show donations. And you can also follow Raven or myself (@coherent_light) on Twitter for updates.

My Tumblr journal, Cyrillic Typewriter, also has details.

Why I do not rely exclusively on Google Image searches for Paleo-related research.

Darren Naish ( @TetZoo ) has a new post up on Tetropod Zoology concerning artist Dave Peters' website, and his blog at Pterosaur Heresies. David Peters is known for paintings and detailed reconstructions of extinct animals and an unorthodox way at looking at fossils.

Peters has used photos of many pterosaur taxa, traced a bunch of stuff in Photoshop and then based his ideas and reconstructions on these tracings.

Pareidolia may be best explanation for what Peters sees in these photos; other researchers seem unable to replicate his observations. And these tracings are just about the only evidence Peters has for the novel structures and reconstructions he now offers; he has not examined the specimens in person. While I don't think this is a necessary step to creating a reconstruction, it is certainly something which needs to be done if you're going to posit the existence of anatomy that people who have seen the original fossils don't see or publish anything about.

The problem is, anyone looking to do research on pterosaurs is going to find Peters' sites really easily—they are among the first images that pop up in any Google image search for "pterosaur," (and not just pterosaurs either) and most of what you find on Peters' sites is misleading, unsupported by any independent standards of evidence, or just wrong. I like the idea of being able to search a worldwide network of information from the convenience of a location which is rural and far far removed from libraries which carry subscriptions to periodicals like PNAS, Nature, or JVP, but not when I have to plow through a ton of rubbish to find useful information.

Peters' views are actually fairly interesting if considered from the standpoint of animals rooted exclusively in fantasy (or perhaps alt-evolution), but these ideas aren't worthy of consideration or of interest when I need to know what the current scientific consensus is when it comes to reconstructing animals like pterosaurs. As it is, his presence is pervasive on the web; Wikipedia includes frequent mentions and links to his work for even the more obscure animals.

Naish has presented some much-needed criticism of Peters' work, while bending over backwards to avoid damaging Peters' reputation or attacking him personally.

Snow on the ground in April in Alaska?

This is awkward in ways that only a man who has too little knowledge but far too much confidence can be.

Being a skeptic doesn't mean we will ignore evidence for the sake of taking a contrary position. Doing so doesn't make anyone a skeptic, it makes them uninformed, and quite possibly uninformable.

Cf. Real Climate or, if you are, like me, less "trained as a scientist" and more "likes to watch videos" (not un-mutual conditions, please note), there's some very accessible critiques on blogs and YouTube which cover this exact subject. and is occasionally covered by the Bad Astronomy blog.

Granted, it's difficult to understand subjects as complex as this as a whole unless one is very well-read (and it's obvious from Medred's writing that in spite of his "science training" he just isn't). It's very easy to find denialist talking points like these everywhere on the web (this doesn't grant them any merit). So this so-called "skepticism" is ubiquitous. And, like creationist talking points they have been refuted in some cases for decades.

And so I find articles of this sort frustrating.

When Craig wants us to be real and accept that his statistical and climatological illiteracy gifts him with an ability to  represent reality, I don't see any reason to take him seriously.

(Yes, I updated. I'm still really busy, but, as ever, I'm a little more actively blogging over at Cyrillic Typewriter.)

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  1. crisis
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The hiatus is now on, until further notice.