Monday, May 14, 2012

The best way to read an ebook

Text block in homemade clamp, ready for spine to be gluedI've never been able to get into the idea of reading "books" on a computer screen, or a phone, tablet, or e-reader. This is partly because I don't like reading on a screen, and partly because I like the look and feel of a well-made hardcover book.
Completed text block with partly finished coverOn the other hand, there are a number of sites out there from which one can download older, public-domain texts for free, and some of those texts are out of print and impossible to find as actual books, so the ebooks are the best option if you want to read them at all.

Now, for a quick reference, a downloaded PDF or text file is just fine, and occasionally even preferable if you want to be able to do keyword searches.  But for reading a book straight through, I much prefer a physical copy, so when it's a book I plan to read cover-to-cover, and I'm pretty sure I'll want to keep it in my collection, I'll sometimes print it out and bind it myself.

Four handmade hardcover books, printed from public-domain ebooks

Monday, March 5, 2012

Winter comes round at last

Yesterday I was thinking about the winter we've had around here, and how it hasn't been much of a winter at all, really.  I knew that there was the possibility that it would snow later that day, but the forecast says that a lot more than it actually happens, and it had been seeming very much like spring had arrived early this year and was here to stay.

And then the snow showers actually happened, after dark when it wasn't so noticeable, and by about one in the morning the tree branches were heaped with snow, and it was falling not as powder or as simple flakes but as great glops of snow that stuck to everything, and suddenly it was really winter after all.  So I wandered outside with my camera and tripod and spent about an hour trying to capture the look of a snowy wood at night.  Between the city lights reflecting off the clouds and the streetlight glare and power lines and houses and cars, most of the photos ended up looking like a snowy suburb in late afternoon, but a few came out all right.

This morning I drove out to a local nature preserve (the same one I mentioned in December 2010), this time with functional batteries, and got lots of pictures of trees with snow on them.  With any luck some will be helpful as references for the drawing I mentioned in that earlier post, which I never did get around to doing, having continually put it off in favor of other projects.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

New artwork

I've just got 'round to putting up a portfolio page of some of my artwork; currently you can reach it by clicking on "Paintings and Drawings" just under the header at the top of the page.

I've been meaning to do so for ages, and was finally prompted to by this painting for the ArtOrder's Art Evolution Challenge. The challenge was to depict a character described simply as "a young female human wizard with black hair who always wears white trimmed in gold."

It's definitely worth checking out the full line-up; there are a lot of entries, and a number of them are really amazing.