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Drawing with AmberLight

I’ve discovered a new and interesting digital drawing tool that has captivated my mind.

It is difficult to properly describe this tool. It’s a particle field image capture software. It’s an experimental software modeler that lets you create various types of energy fields, then flood those fields with particles, and then take a picture of it all at various stages of evolution.

I’m still experimenting and learning this tool, so it’s probably best to just show a few of the images I’ve been able to create with this software.

Art Explorations

A wild and vivid dream recently led me to begin experimenting with some very interesting digital drawing tools.

The purist in me wanted to rebel against this incursion of digital arrogance into the fine arts in much the same way I wanted to dismiss digital photography when it first appeared. New and innovative directions are rarely comfortable at first.

I’m still struggling with the idea of digital watercolor…

But my curious mind doesn’t sit still when it is intrigued. These tools not only open up creativity to a larger universe, but they also encourage meaningful connections between the arts and sciences. These digital “paint brushes” are crafted from mathematical raw materials and present an interface that makes them accessible to modern artists.

I am now convinced that these early art explorations will lead to some significant scientific revelations as creativity is re-introduced into the scientific process.

Warning: One of these images is not like the others.


nepenthes-ventricosa-4A potion used by the ancients to induce forgetfulness of pain or sorrow.

Also a dangerous flower.

It’s from both Latin and Greek origins, which means it comes from some very significant alien visitations!

I had a wonderful adventure this weekend in Big Sur. For the first time, I stopped at Nepenthe and enjoyed some food, wine, vistas, and delightful company. I was most intrigued by the company.

I’ve always known that my soul is young, even if my body is aged. But never before have I come up against this stark dissonance like I did this weekend. The melancholy of time lost is not an easy thing to endure.

Perhaps this is why the gods gave us nepenthe.

Sunlit Muse

It is difficult to properly express the joy of finding a new muse.

I realize that this has happened to me now twice in the last year. It’s like a harvest moon and a super moon in the same month. Rare.

She was delightful and strong and joyous and independent and smart and beautiful. I was already preparing my heart for injury after only 10 minutes with her. But what a treat to shoot with her today.

My experience tells me to take note whenever I come upon another soul who allows me to see the perfection within them.

The Dangers of isms

I had an interesting discussion with a dear college friend the other night.

Our discussions are always exceptionally interesting. She has a sharp and agile mind and is never shy about expressing her opinions. When sufficiently stimulated, she is every bit as tenacious about her point of view as I am. I love and respect her, and think of her as a life-long friend –– no matter how much time may pass from one encounter to the next.

“Why don’t you write and speak more about your atheism?” Although she tends towards agnosticism, she has always encouraged me to express my atheism in a more frequent and aggressive fashion.

“I just don’t feel the need to shove it down people’s throat anymore.” There was a time when I felt this need. I was convinced that blind belief in a non-existent “god” was the root of humanity’s greatest failures.

“I could ask you a similar question.” I looked at her in the way I always do when I am about to challenge her. She could see it. “Why have you backed off from turning every issue in your life into a feminist issue?”

She smiled. “Every issue is still a feminist issue. I just don’t need to say it as much now.” I looked at her while she rolled her eyes. I smiled.

“To a hammer, everything in the world looks like…” She finished my familiar and tired refrain. “… yah, yah, everything looks like a nail. You really need to come up with some new material.”

I laughed in agreement. “Atheism, Feminism, Socialism, Environmentalism, Humanism, they are important ideas. But I think when they become your ‘religion’ they can potentially give you a myopic vision of the world.”

I refilled her wine glass and queued up “Little Broken Hearts” on my sound system. “This band is called ‘Puss n Boots’. They do country/jazzy/angsty tone. You probably know one or two of the artists.”

She looked at me with eyes that I could see were ready for rage. “Did you just say ‘Puss n Boots’?”

I smiled. “Beware the dangers of isms.”

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