Ben Crowder

Prints 1.9

Welcome to Prints volume 1, issue 9.

Table of contents: Reading • Making • Links


Recent nonfiction reads

  • The Last American Aristocrat, by David S. Brown. Confession: I went into this thinking it was about Henry James. No. It’s about Henry Adams (grandson of John Quincy Adams), who I knew nothing about beforehand. It ended up being a much slower read, I believe because its prose was dense and less scannable. There were also some mildly confusing time jumps. Overall, though, I liked it and I’m glad I read it. Learned a lot about the late 1800s and early 1900s. Also picked up the word filiopietistic.

Recent fiction reads:

  • Network Effect, by Martha Wells. The full-length Murderbot novel. Really liked it. It was more horror in some ways, but still a comfort read. I’m going to be sad when I read Fugitive Telemetry and run out of Murderbot.

Books acquired since last issue

  • Shakespeare: The Biography — Peter Ackroyd
  • The Barbary Plague: The Black Death in Victorian San Francisco — Marilyn Chase
  • First Platoon: A Story of Modern War in the Age of Identity Dominance — Annie Jacobsen
  • Heir to the Empire — Timothy Zahn
  • Dark Force Rising — Timothy Zahn
  • The Last Command — Timothy Zahn
  • From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death — Caitlin Doughty
  • This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate — Naomi Klein
  • A Victorian Lady’s Guide to Fashion and Beauty — Mimi Matthews
  • Pulitzer: A Life in Politics, Print, and Power — James McGrath Morris
  • Emerson: The Mind on Fire — Robert D. Richardson
  • Part-Time Gods — Rachel Aaron
  • Night Shift Dragons — Rachel Aaron
  • Ebony and Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities — Craig Steven Wilder
  • An Eye for an Eye — Carol Wyer
  • The Puma Years: A Memoir — Laura Coleman
  • The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America — James Bamford
  • The Zoologist’s Guide to the Galaxy: What Animals on Earth Reveal About Aliens—and Ourselves — Arik Kershenbaum
  • Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found — Suketu Mehta
  • The Species Seekers: Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth — Richard Conniff
  • Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence — Christian Parenti
  • The City We Became — N. K. Jemisin
  • The Great Fossil Enigma: The Search for the Conodont Animal — Simon J. Knell
  • Arts and Minds: How the Royal Society of Arts Changed a Nation — Anton Howes
  • Threads of Life: A History of the World Through the Eye of a Needle — Clare Hunter
  • Powers and Thrones: A New History of the Middle Ages — Dan Jones



Some religious art:

When Our Heavenly Parents We Meet II
When Our Heavenly Parents We Meet II. More in the zoomed-in negative-space vein. I like how it feels more intimate and personal.
Why Weepest Thou? II
Why Weepest Thou? II. I know, I know, it also looks like a) an old floppy disk or b) a headphone-wearing creature with an open mouth which bears resemblance to my Nom Nom painting. Turns out these negative-space pieces end up looking like other things half the time.
By the Laying on of Hands III
By the Laying on of Hands III. Going back to full bleed. In hindsight, this maybe feels a little too zoomed-in to me.
My Yoke Is Easy II
My Yoke Is Easy II. More in the newer style. Not sure how I feel about this one, though. Also feels a bit too zoomed-in.
By the Laying on of Hands IV
By the Laying on of Hands IV. This is basically the same as the other. Felt like doing it at the time, now second guessing that decision. If it’s not yet clear, I have a complicated relationship with some of the pieces I make.
I Am a Child of God III
I Am a Child of God III. Inordinately pleased with the painterly look of the background. The mult-layer SVG technique is a new favorite for sure. This piece also looks to me like a crazed fox wearing a white-collared shirt and red robes. These are the perils of negative-space art!

Current projects

Retzi (working title): Ten minutes a day is still working spectacularly well, and I’m making good if slow progress. The first draft of this story is done (it’s only five pages), just need to do a final editing pass. Expect it next time!

Religious art: Got burned out on this and planned to take a long break, but that didn’t last. Thinking about using Blender more for texturing, like I did with Within the Walls of Your Own Homes, using both displacement/bump maps and sculpting. But I also really like the SVG techniques I’ve been using lately, so we’ll see.

Picture book: Haven’t really done much of anything on this (soon to be a common theme). Thinking about using the multi-layer SVG technique for the art.

Shadow art: Nothing to report.

Type design: Nothing to report.

Musical: I think I have the basic idea and some initial song ideas.

Film: Nothing to report.

Getty’s Persepolis Reimagined. So cool.

Julia Evans with a list of newish command-line tools. I’ll admit I have a weakness for these kinds of tools.

Ernest Blum back in 2008 on learning languages via interlinear texts. Mixed feelings on this.

Mermaid, a Markdownish tool for diagramming and charting. Intrigued, particularly from the genealogy angle (pedigree/descendancy charts).

Kottke on kaketsugi. Love this.

Jim Nielsen on ordering CSS declarations. Agreed. I’ve been using alphabetical declarations for a while and it’s worked well (and any exceptions are then obvious).

Rikako Murayama and Akiko Okamoto on new electric chopsticks to enhance salty tastes. I don’t know what to say, but I’m intrigued.

Isabel Slone on learning to sew at the end of the world. I still itch to get into sewing.

Rob Gardner’s “My Kindness Shall Not Depart from Thee”. One of my favorite songs.

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