Thursday, December 31, 2009

Drum Bowl

Weirdly, this image has the same "base" as "Friday Beers". Its amazing how small changes to fractal parameters have such a big effect. There's probably a metaphor for life somewhere in this, but I'm too tired to figure out what it is.

Today's Gratitude Item: The plethora of quotations pages available on the Internet - especially those dedicated to the subject of Mathematics :)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Day Dreams

This one took forever to render and the post-processing was almost more than my system could bear. I'm wondering if it was worth it.

Today's Gratitude Item: Cooler weather (with no rain). Lets just say that the long summer days are nice - the humidity that comes with it, less so.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

City Sunrise

Even though the bridge is recycled from an earlier work, I'm extremely pleased with how this one turned out.

Today's Gratitude Item: Spending at several hours doing what I love and getting to do more of the same tomorrow.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Feather Fall

When attempting the high jump, its somewhat reassuring to know that a soft landing is pretty much guaranteed.

Today's Gratitude Item: Simply being on holiday :) Its nice not to have to go to work for a while, and even nicer knowing that at the end of next month, I have a job to return to. The long summer days are pretty great too!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Flame Path

It took forever to find a suitable quote for this one.

Today's Gratitude Item: That Font Forge was not that difficult to download and use on my windows machine. This free font creating piece of software did what I needed it to do although I spent the entire day creating my first font. The punctuation still does not look great and weirdly, it looks good in Illustrator but pretty awful in Word. Of course using open source, free software is much better than paying the $200.00 that font creator wanted for a similar product (except their offering did not work as well as the open source stuff).

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Furled Up Fire

That little guy might be in trouble if he can't get his car started!

Today's Gratitude Item: An old "Lettraset" catalogue that my mom had which is a really brilliant resource for looking at typefaces from the era before computers. Said catalogue is useful for finding the names of fonts and served as inspiration too.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Ted's Room

This image took well over 100 hours to create. "Ted" was Middle School principal where I currently work for over 15 years and he retired at the end of last term. This image was a tribute to him. The actual image is twice as big as the "original" version on flickr and all the detail is clearly visible. There is a huge amount of detail in this work and happily Ted liked the image so much that at some point he will get it printed onto canvas.

This image is the result of a large amount of research and a number of people contributed ideas and information to make it happen.

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting three seven letter words when playing Scrabble with my mom. We "cheat" and use the dictionary for inspiration - we also help each other to make words but draw the line at swapping letters.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Hauraki Flagships

This was my entry for the Yellow Pages Art Awards 2009 (ie: 2010 phone book). Sadly, it did not make it as a finalist. There are two possible reasons for this.

  1. The judges made a terrible mistake
  2. They did not want the same person winning two years in a row (I won it last year)

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Its not all bad news though - I'm in the process of looking for a loving home for this image. Given that our local library is currently being rebuilt, I've offered them this image for the new building. If that does not work, perhaps the race relations office will find a place for it??

Today's Gratitude Item: This amazingly handing password protect script. I was asked to put up page on one of the sites I manage and password protect it - this script made it possible in less than 5 minutes. Did I mention that the script was free?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


This one is so hot, that even three water bottles is insufficient!

Today's Gratitude Item: The pre-Christmas rush over at Shutterstock which saw 23 of my images downloaded today. That's the most downloads I've had on one day for a very long time.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Nest Egg

Finally got Incendia to cooperate! The original image rendered for about 21 and a half hours. I rendered at the maximum size with double AA turned on and then shrunk it in PSP. Shrunk down it looks really good. Only problem with this strategy is that not using my computer for such a long time (while the thing was rendering) is the exception rather than the norm.

Today's Gratitude Item: Being asked to teach an Information Technology class next year - despite the fact that I have never taught this subject before. Getting to teach that class means having more hours (which I desperately wanted) and getting to learn new "geek" stuff - which is always good.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Golden Peel

I've been lucky with quotations recently. This one is a good fit for the image. Come to think of it, I got rather lucky with the image too.

Today's Gratitude Item: Approval / review times on Shutterstock have gotten a lot faster - and my newish stuff is getting some sales which is good. Not that review speed was ever a problem, its just with most people on vacation, my stuff seems to get looked at very quickly.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Whilst the image was not exactly what I had hoped for, the quote is perfect!

Today's Gratitude Item: A day that was pretty much perfect. Managed to get some illustrating done and created a series of fractals that worked well. Also had time to almost finish reading Fearless Fourteen - a nice "rubbish" read worth a few laughs. Recommendation would be to get it from the library as very light reading or buy it second hand - this is not a book that would appeal to blokes.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Garden Fountain

An Apophysis creation that took quite a while to render. It "works" with the fountain.

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting some really high quality chocolate at a reasonable price. To be more precise, getting rather a lot of high quality chocolate at reasonable price less 30%.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Jewel Jump

Not too sure about this one. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Today's Gratitude Item: We finally got our new library! Said library is several years overdue and has been eagerly anticipated. It opened today and the wait was worth it. We now have a sunny, spacious clean new building that is easy to access either by foot or by car.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sheep, Yarn and One Very Big Button

This image has all the raw ingredients for a very interesting jumper.

Today's Gratitude Item: Tea tags. Or to be more precise, the tags on my Herbal tea bags have a range of cute sayings on them that make me smile. One of them reads "Brew unto others as you would have them brew unto you". Corny but oddly appealing. Now making tea is almost an adventure.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Snow Fuzz

This one turned out far better than expected.

Today's Gratitude Item: Being left to my own devices :) Its really nice to be able to "geek out" and play.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

String Balance

When walking on a tight rope, its probably a good idea to make sure that you don't run out of rope.

Today's Gratitude Item: Good weather - at least according to the forecast on my igoogle page.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Magic Garden

In this garden, the centipedes wear really tiny red shoes. That's just the way it is.

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting back into illustrating - its been too long since I had the time to do this. I'm already worrying that my six week holiday from school will be over all too soon!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Echo Man

Sometimes the allure of a loudspeaker is the echo that it produces!

Today's Gratitude Item: Finding a really cool cube making script for apophysis. Said cube fractals will appear on this blog in due course.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Small things, small ripples. Big things, big ripples. Thus is life.

Today's Gratitude Item: That one of our dancers carries CD's of our music in her car. We were not in our usual hall tonight and were missing the connector that we needed to use the ipod - so being able to use CD's was a huge relief.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Channukah 5770

This one was inspired by my aversion to "the Silly Season" and the fact that so many advocate the use of fish oil capsules to cure a variety of ills. More information on Channukah can be found at the preceding link.

You can access the large version of this graphic by clicking on the image above. Images that are related to Jewish Holidays live at the preceding link where you can browse by holiday and download the image in high resolution (for printing etc).

Today's Gratitude Item: I am officially on holiday! The traditional blessing that is said on Chunnukah (and other once a year celebrations) has never been more apt.

Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, King of the Universe, who has granted us life, sustained us and enabled us to reach this occasion.

For some reason, the prayer sounds better in Hebrew. Both English and Hebrew versions are available at the preceding link.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Afternoon Activity

Watering plants in the late afternoon is a good idea - especially if its been a really hot day. Dedicated to all those gardeners out there.

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting a whole lot of loose ends all tied up. Tomorrow we basically go in to school for morning tea to farewell staff who are leaving and then we get to eat lunch together. This is a "teacher only" day that I'm looking forward to.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Autumn Tour

Autumn is such a beautiful season, that its worth getting out to take a look at it.

Today's Gratitude Item: The extraordinary generosity of one of our Israeli dancers. Said dancer has only been with us for 6 weeks and returns to Israel on Sunday. He clearly enjoyed his time with us and has given our group far more than a very welcome financial contribution.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Wing Drop

If you put a drop of water on a butterfly's wing, it might look a bit like this - assuming you managed to find a blue, orange and white butterfly.

Today's Gratitude Item: That the end of the year is in sight! Tomorrow I see my middle school classes for the last time. On Thursday we do the tutor group / prize giving thing and then the holidays will be here.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Crazy Net

I'm not crazy enough to want to try bungy jumping. I don't think that having a safety net would make this "sport" any more appealing either.

Today's Gratitude Item: An unexpected assembly Period 1 this morning which meant not having to teach my 8th graders. We have finally made it to the last week of term and the end is in sight.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Peach Ponder

Dedicated to all those deep thinkers out there!

Today's Gratitude Item: Our Kayaking trip / lunch went extremely well. I was not looking forward to the experience but it was rather fun - mainly because I got to share a kayak with our resident kayaking expert and he did most of the work!

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Calm Estuary

The fractal reminded me of a series of rivers merging with the ocean. The meditating stick figure is recycled from a project that I was working on before. More stick figures will appear in future works.

Today's Gratitude Item: Realising that biscotti dough (batter) need not be kneaded before it is placed on a baking tray! All the recipes I've used to date have resulted in very soft dough meaning that kneading the stuff is extremely messy. Adding more flour does not do anything for the taste so being able to skip that step and place the dough directly onto a baking sheet is a good thing.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Spider Spring

Interestingly, Incendia has forced me to learn a lot of useful stuff about PSP! The "select similar" option is extremely useful although PSP still does not get rid of all the jaggies.

I've decided to do one more experiment to find out if I can get Incendia to behave. If said experiment fails, I may ditch the program.

Today's Gratitude Item: Learning to podcast and discovering that it is really simple.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Celtic Silver

This one rendered for over 16 hours and was still not done! I had to smooth it out using the "noise" tools in PSP. I think it was worth the effort though.

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting a new laptop at school :) Said machine is nice and shiny and it has the latest version of Notebook which has a number of really useful features. Lets just hope that I get a new contract to go with the new computer!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Soft Soap

This one comes complete with bubbles.

Today's Gratitude Item: Finding a decent Mystery Sounds quiz to use with my students. We are currently working on our "Sound" topic but with the end of the year looming, most of my class appear to have lost the plot. The only way to keep them quiet and focused was to have a go at the quiz where they had to be quiet enough to hear the sounds. They seemed to enjoy the activity and we will hopefully finish it up in our next session.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009


Named for the flower that it resembles.

Today's Gratitude Item: That our "Celebration of the Year" was not as bad as I feared it would be. The students were well behaved and seemed to enjoy the event - so its all good.