Sometimes you can’t win

That’s the look I give when I’ve just lost a couple more brain cells.

Day 1:
Man: Men are sexual beings! We evolved to be promiscuous!
Woman: Um, but biology isn’t an ultimatum. You can control your actions.
Day 2:
Man: We should care about a skewed gender ratio because then I’d have more women to date!
Woman: No, we should care because women also have ideas to contribute. We don’t just exist so you can have sex with us…
Woman: *stares blankly at viewer*
The Joys of Feminist Blogging]

My atheist lovechildren

Hemant: “Draw doodles! What would the lovechild of you and various famous Atheists look like?”
Sleep deprivation induced doodle, or accidentally insightful commentary on diversity in the atheist movement? You decide.

I think Hemant just wanted a cute drawing of our latte colored lovechild.

This is post 46 of 49 of Blogathon. Pledge a donation to the Secular Student Alliance here.

lol modern art

Yesterday I went to the Art Institute of Chicago with my parents, aunt, and uncle. I love the Art Institute. Between many art class field trips and my mom being an art teacher, I’ve been there so many times that I no longer need a map to navigate it. Definitely in the double digits. But they had built a whole new modern art wing since the last time I visited, so I was excited to check that out.

Oh boy.

Now, I probably have more of an appreciation for modern art than your average person. Up until my senior year of high school, I thought I was going to be an artist, not a scientist. I’ve taken many advanced classes, won art awards, yadda yadda. There is plenty of modern art I really enjoy, including some crazy abstract/weird/symbolic stuff.

But man, I just don’t get some modern art. Seriously, what the hell?That is an old oversized car mat someone bent and pinned. And it is now hanging in the Art Institute of Chicago. WTF. And this wasn’t the weirdest stuff. There was a black canvas, a pile of rocks, a painting of a date, a video of an electric guitar being drug through grass…

I’m sorry, but just because you were the first person to think to do something doesn’t make it good art. Nor does writing up some flowery bullshit post-hoc explanation of what deep symbolism your piece has. Gah, artist pet peeve.

Some of the stuff there looked comparable or even worse than stuff I did as a toddler. For example, The First Part of the Return from Parnassus by Cy Twombly:

“Cy Twombly’s famously inimitable art is tensely balanced between expressively abstract and suggestively pictorial impulses. His work originated under the auspices of Abstract Expressionism in the late 1940s and early 1950s and advanced uniquely along lines afforded by its freedoms. Twombly’s entire enterprise is characterized by unruly marks—stammering, energetic, and raw—that merge drawing, painting, writing, and symbolic glyphs. Scrawled, overwritten, erased, or willfully misspelled, words cite people, places, events, and stories nominally derived from Greco-Roman culture and history, especially literature, poetry, and myth.”

…And here’s the watercolor hanging in my bathroom that I did at age 3:Let’s have a contest.

Write the best summary you can of my piece that would make it worthy of an art museum. “Best” can either be most humorous, most deep, most similar to the BS descriptions we’re used to hearing. This is art, I’m not going to make strict rules!

The one I like the most will get a quick sketch by me of something of their choice. I’ll post my favorites in a couple of days.

My art background

This is a question from Go ask me something!

Have you ever had art classes or did you learn on your own? ‘Cause you’re pretty good!

Thank you! And the answer is both! My mother was a middle school art teacher (just retired), so I was surrounded by art my whole life. My bathroom back home is decorated by watercolor paintings I did when I was 2 years old – basically just blobs, but my mom thinks it’s as good as some modern art. I was an introverted kid, so I would always sit around and draw for fun. People who knew about my artistic ability always thought my mom sat me down and trained me, but she really didn’t. I was way too stubborn to listen to her then, and I mostly figured it out on my own. But if I did want advice on how to make something look better or more realistic, she was there for the tips.

Priorities – This is hanging up in my high school because it won a major award.

Even though I didn’t like to listen to her personally, she really enriched my life with art. We went to the Art Institute of Chicago nearly every year, to the point where I could have given you a tour of the exhibits by age 10. I was well versed in the history and style of most famous artists. In addition to art classes I took at school, I also took some summer classes.
Lift-off painting of Jude Law I did during my sophomore year of high school. Had no idea who he was at the time, just found a pretty magazine photograph of him.

School classes were my favorite though. I always looked forward to art, and teachers gave me a lot leeway. I was an honors student and good in most subjects, but in art I was years ahead of everyone else. Every year since first grade I had at least one piece in the Northwest Indiana art show, and I usually won at least something. Whenever there was a class project that needed an illustration, I was the go-to girl.
Oil painting and colored pencils are my favorite medium. And if you can’t figure it out, I love drawing people. And yep, this one is a self portrait.

My mom was actually my art teacher from 6th through 8th grade, which was a little awkward in the beginning (especially since it took everyone forever to figure out that she was my mom!). At the time I was annoyed that she graded me tougher than the other students, but in the end it made me a better artist. My high school art teacher was wonderful too – she was so spunky and creative, and had a good mix of teaching skills and encouraging creativity. I took AP Studio Art my senior year, with a class size of one – I just sat in the corner and painted while another class was going on (by the way, I got a 5 on my exam – woot). And on top of all that, I was the Art Club President for two years. Yep, I was more of an art geek than a science nerd!

My favorite piece from AP Studio Art – Pygmalion

So how did I end up a scientist? Well, I liked genetics and art equally. My logic at the time was that art can be a hobby, but genetics kind of can’t. Not to mention I like doing art my way, and I couldn’t imagine doing it as a job. So here I am, a geneticist. I’m very happy with my decision, even though I don’t do as much art as I would like. Regardless, that artistic ability still helps me in science. I have labmates come to me to help with figures and posters (No, do not use neon green and orange for that figure…). But more importantly, art has trained me to think creatively. You can do science without it, but to ask the innovative, cool questions you need to be able to think outside of the box. So to all those people who don’t see art as a worthwhile class to have – think again!

Proof that I’m actually doing these!

I haven’t updated my art much since high school, but if you want to check out my other stuff, I have an old deviantART page.

Darwin finds the best evidence against his theory

Like always, click for larger.Disclaimer: This is not supposed to mean evolutionary biologists are hostile to any contrary evidence. It’s a joke. I hate to have to include this, but I know if I don’t this comic will get picked up by some creationist site as proof that we’re all dogmatic Darwinists. Actually, that’s probably going to happen anyway, so oh well.

I Squid Science

I needed something lighthearted after yesterday’s drama (which is apparently still continuing today) so I decided to make the PZ/Ham comic a t-shirt. Then I realized I accidentally saved over the large file, so I don’t have a shirt-quality image. Fudgenuggets. Don’t worry, I’ll redraw it as close to the original as possible – you’ll get your shirt soon!

But until then, I thought I’d draw something else for a shirt/mug/merch/etc:After seeing the comic, someone wanted a shirt that says “I (squid) the Creation Museum.” Not sure if I want to do that – most people will probably not get the reference and think of it as an endorsement of the “museum.” But I liked the image in my head. So what do you think? Would you actually be interested in buying this, and if so, what phrase would you want? I (squid) Science? I (squid) Biology? I (squid) Squids? Let me know!

What atheists wish would happen at the Creation Museum

What atheists wish would happen at the Creation Museum (I partially blame Mark for this insanity).

Click the images for a bigger image (it’s so big I couldn’t fit it as one comic).What did I learn from making this? …It is impossible to draw Ken Ham NOT evil looking. I mean, seriously. Compare this comic to a photograph and you’ll know what I mean.

And I know Cthulhu fhtagn is two words. My handwriting just sucks. Sigh.

EDIT: Shirts of this comic available in the store!

Drawing Challenge

There’s a new challenge at the Blogathon for $5 – draw something related to Blogathon! Well, this is basically how I feel right now: going insane and jacked up on caffeine.
Though it’s a bit of a stretch. I really only have a couple Pepsi cans surrounding me, and they’re not ginormous. Unfortunately I didn’t have to take too much artistic liberty with the deranged look on my face.

This is post 32 of 49 of Blogathon. Pledge a donation to the Secular Student Alliance here.