Thursday, June 30, 2005

A small world, Robyn Miller, and the Nature of Order

A few days ago I clicked a link on my friends blog ( to another blog ( and clicked a link there to another blog ( which had a post that had a link to Robyn Miller's blog. A blog I visit several times a week! How odd. What a small world! And His and my friends blog are completely unrelated.

Speaking of which, Robyn Miller has an excellent blog on all things odd and aesthetically interesting. He's the creative mind behind Myst and Riven, and has always been something of an 'idol' for me. One of his latest blog entries is on Theo Jansen's wooden creatures (powered by the wind) that stroll beaches in herds. Be sure to check out the videos:

I also found in my nightly procrastination, a very interesting architect named Christopher Alexander who wrote 4 books in a series called the Nature of Order:
The Phenomenon of Life
The Process of Creating Life
A Vision of a Living World
The Luminous Ground
If the weren't so expensive, I'd buy them for their elegant covers and interesting titles alone! But seriously, they look incredibly interesting. He seems to be something of a theist, given this quote:
". . . I believe he is likely to be remembered most of all, in the end, for having produced the first credible proof of the existence of God . . ."
Probably not a Christian, but still. Here's a quote from the overview of book 4

"The book begins with a critique of current cosmological thinking, and its separation from personal feeling and value. The outline of a theory in which matter itself is more spirit-like, more personal in character, is sketched"
He seems to be longing for the Trinity, and for the accurate view of the world, where Persons and not things or stuff is most fundamental and basic. In the summary of book 1 it says:
"Starting with an analysis of the arbitrariness of present-day architecture.." That also is comforting. Modern architecture and its daughter Post-modern architecture are arbitrary because they are based in an arbitrary philosophy, where knowledge is based in an arbitrary arrangement of bits of information and matter. In truth, thankfully knowledge is grounded in personally knowing the Trinity who created everything; And nothing in the universe is arbitrary. In an amazon review of the 2nd book the reviewer says
"The processes of nature can make an infinite number of human faces, each one unique, each one beautiful. The same is true for daffodils, streams, and stars"
Wow! That is the one and the many, the infinite originality, the old newness of our God! Processes of nature, baloney!

Things to be believed... Things to be done.

If you haven't read credenda, you're missing out. It's well worth the occasional poke in the eye.

Credenda Agenda is a good read.
Streaming Soundtracks is a good listen.
now is a good time for me to to study for my tests.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The Movies and Doug Chiang

Just got back from seeing the War of the Worlds. Wow! It was definitely beyond anything I had expected. I havn't read, listened to, or seen the original, but this was an excellent movie. Dark, tense, horrifying. Great acting, great John Williams score. And of course great visuals. I really didn't expect to be very emotionally involved with an alien movie. But in the theatre, it's a different world.

It was fun, I went to see it with my brother, two of my sisters, and a bunch of their (and mine too, but their age) church friends. The Narnia Trailer was awesome for the third time! And what made it even better is that every one of the 10 people I went to see it with, were in the play we did at church. Mrs. Mcreadey to my left; Then Mrs. Beaver; then a Dryad; then her sister who played Lucy; Then Susan, then another two dryads (my sisters) and then I think Edmund (my brother) and Peter. Me being Aslan of course. It was so much fun to see all of our characters on screen, just having played the parts.

And then the next trailer was looking good, some movie about a young film maker, looks interesting, oh Adrian Brody, that's cool,..sailing somewhere fantastic, looks interesting, and then: FROM PETER JACKSON! Oh my gosh it's King Kong!! Looks very good. Can't wait.

And also, they played the absence of the Sharkboy and Lavagirl trailer! That was very awesome!

Oh yes, before I forget, I was going to mention that the Concept Designer for War of the Worlds is one of my fav. artists: Doug Chiang. He did a lot of the design for Star Wars 1 and 2, and most recently came out with an illustrated book called Robota, that you can see at Barnes and Noble. At the left is a painting from the book. It was originally going to be an animated movie as well, but I think that fell through, but you can still see the beautiful trailers on . Watch Trailer 1 first to see Chiang's wonderful painting, then watch trailer 2 to see them brought to life on the computer. Pretty Amazing! Apparently now their going to make a computer game out of it. Drat. I like movies much more then games. But if you want to see robots sword fighting to awesome music in some sort of medieval church, all rendered to look like a renaissance painting, watch the latest trailer here. Robota definetly has that mixture of the ordinary with the fantastic that everyone says is the mark of good art. (Everyone being Brad Bird, Tolkien, Robyn Miller, Susanna Clarke, and What'shisname course.)

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Backlogging: Year old thoughts on Nihilism

These are some thoughts I wrote down a year ago on Nihilism:

God is the creator and sustainer of all things.
If you deny God you deny all things.
You must deny of course
morality and trees,
brothers and stars,
gravity and eyes,
movement and emotion,
humans and logic.
You must deny also that you exist.
You must deny that denial exists.
You must deny that existence exists.
If you deny the source of reason, you are left with anti-reason; just as if you deny the source of ethics you have anti-ethics.

To be a nihilist is to believe in nothing;
to hold on to nothing;
to live for nothing;
to think nothing exists.
To be a nihilist is to be insane.
To be a nihilist is to commit suicide.

That is why there are no nihilists.

atheists, if they want to exist, must borrow from Christianity.
They must borrow logic.
They must borrow the will to live.
They must borrow the concept of a concept.
They must borrow the idea of an idea.
They must borrow everything.

In borrowing these things they are actually believing God exists, secretly hoping no-one will notice, hoping that they themselves won't notice.

This is why the Bible says there are no atheists.

A-theism is not a philosophy.
It is an anti-philosophy
It is not a love of wisdom.
It is a hatred of wisdom.

Because the concept of hatred is it's self something wise, they will hate hatred, as they deny their own denial.

Nietzsche was not an atheist,
he believed in God...

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Girl in the Iron Shoes, illustration, and cg art

That is 'The Girl in the Iron Shoes' a digital painting by the great Chris Beatrice
It was based on the Fairy Tale the Enchanted Pig. Perfect Painting for a great story. Painted in Painter 8 (I use painter Classic, but there pretty much the same) He has a great gallery of Fairy-tale paintings here. Here is a very informative article by him on the making of this piece: (here)

I love illustration. 100 years of illustration has a great collection of classic book illustrations.

(warning, this is going to develop into a rant about modern perspectives on art)

It's always annoying to hear Modern Artists saying illustration isn't art. They always want to exclude Norman Rockwell, calling him a mere illustrator. But somehow want to include all the renaissance artists who painted (or 'illustrated') the Bible, or mythology. I think illustration and narrative Art recognizes that History is a story, indeed His Story (God's story), our lives are stories, and so people and places are inevitably going to be painted in the context of story. To try do disconnect them, is gnostic. It makes sense, though if you believe that history is not a story, but a collection of random events. Why paint people in story? There is no story.

Any way, one of the reasons I like, and am interested in CG art, Matte Painting and Concept Design, is that it very tied to story. One reason CG art has been tied to story because of it's use in the development and production Film and to a somewhat lesser extent video games. (Check out Dusso's matte painting) Also good art in these cirles is more tied to good craftsmanship and skill then merly to originality. Originality will flow from a mastery of the craft. This in a way recognizes God as the only original artist, and craftsmanship is simply learning to re-present his work. (Greg Wilber has interesting thoughts on this, that I don't entirly agree with) Also it has developed nearly independently from modern art theory taught in universities. Making it much more like classical art or natural art. Because CG Art developed with computers there is a much friendlier relationship between Art and Science (think Leonardo Da Vinci). Which is good, because there not that different. Only in modern times have they been in antithesis.

There has also been a revival of classical art in the traditional art world as well:

This might be somewhat scatterbrained, but it's a start...

Labels: , , , , ,

Friday, June 24, 2005

Bashful arrogance

Last week I listened to the Man who was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton. (From You have to register, and the quality isn't that great, but it's free!) Apart from the beginning of Orthodoxy, it was the first I've read of Chesterton. And, I must say I was not disappointed. Chesterton was one of those authors I'vd always heard was so good, it was great to find out that he really is! Same with Dostoevsky.
Here are some great lines:

"And it is always the humble man who talks too much; the proud man watches
himself too closely. "

That indeed is my kind of pride.

"The rare, strange thing is to hit the mark; the gross, obvious thing is to miss it."


"There he saw the sister of Gregory, the girl with the gold-red hair, cutting lilac before breakfast, with the great unconscious gravity of a girl."


Free Audio
I suppose now is as good a time as any to mention some good free audio available on the internet: Great collection of Christian Classics books, and several Audio books too. (Notes from the Underground By Dostoevsky) I just got a free 2 week trial, where I can download 3 free audiobooks to keep! I got That Hideous Strength by Lewis, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell by Susanna Clarke, and I'm going to get the Idiot by Dostoevsky. And actually, after that all there books are on sale for 9.99, normally being about 40$! So I'll probably get Augustine's Confessions, and some other stuff. If you want to convert them to MP3 you need this software though ( as per these instructions (link). Mars Hill has a bunch of free tracks online now. (great interviews on all kinds of subjects) Great Lectures on all sorts of topics from a biblical worldveiw. (art, literature, philosophy, science, and technology, etc) An audio magazine inspired by Mars Hill and Credenda Agenda

Sunlit Rain.

This morning, I woke up at 6:30, sunlight pouring into my windows.
An hour before my alarm, so I lower the blinds and return to sleep. An hour later I wake up to the sound of hard rain, but the sun is still just as bright! Huge rain drops in beautiful morning light. I've never seen that before. It probably only rained for 30 min. But it rained so much that ditches are full.

Praise God for Sun and Rain.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Abandoned Places

I love to exploring strange places. Unfortunately most places I've been only through the computer. But then again, that's better then not at all.

Through adventure games I've explored The Titanic on her maiden voyage, Atlantis, the worlds of Myst and Riven, and parts of London and ancient Rome. Great Fun. I would love to explore some real places some day though. Urban exploration is probably the only illegal thing I've only really wanted to do.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The relation of global warming to seagulls and mechanical whales.

I've been doing some sketching in Painter Classic with an old wacom tablet. Here is a piece I did titled "The relation of global warming to seagulls and mechanical whales."
I am currently selling the hard-drive on which it was originally painted on for 9 grand.

Actually not. I was just having fun doodling. Here are some other bits of fun.

a blog

Well. It seems I havn't blogged in a very long time. What should I post? Maybe a smattering of things I've been up too.

Right now I'm a full time student at Del Mar College, where I'm taking Calculus from an animated Indian named Mohomed Pasha. I've never seen anyone who could scowl quite like him. I'm also taking American History I online through Trinity Valley Community College, which I know is somewhere in the state of Texas. I'm taking it through the 'virtual college of texas'. Easy class with no lecture and a painfully liberal textbook. The one class I am enjoying is an online aesthetics class from Doug Jones of Credenda Agenda (in)fame. But thats just for fun, I don't get credit for it. (

In the afternoons I work, and in the evening I usually read or something.

Whether you care to read them or not, here are some interesting things that have happened to me in the last 5 months:
-I played Aslan in the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe play our church put on.
-My brother played Edmund, and still does from time to time.
-I had strange dreams which I remember nothing about.
-I happened to be looking at my face in a window's reflection, when I burned some skin off my arm by placing it accidentally on my reading lamp. The expression on my face was to die for. Or at least be burned for.
-I ate too much icecream.
-I cleaned my room.
-and last but not least, I got DSL at home.