Sunday, September 23, 2018

Artsy adult coloring pages: seashells and ocean life

So, there are lots of adult coloring books out there. Supermarkets even put them in the checkout lane impulse-buy section. For my first venture into designing them, I've published 5 seashell-themed designs on Etsy. Why seashells? First, I like them; I've been collecting them for years. Second, when I researched the competition on Amazon, I saw lots of designs of various types, but very few ocean life themes. So I'm hoping those who have had enough animals, people, flowers, butterflies, and fairies might like a change.

To make the designs, I photographed specimens from my own collection and also downloaded some pictures of seashells from Google images. Then I opened them in Photoshop and used the Bezier tool to outline them. It was laborious, painstaking work. Of course I had to use some artistic license in transforming them into line art; many shells have subtle gradients of color over much of their surfaces. Remembering how Chinese jade carvers translated soft-form things like clouds into solid waves and tiers, I made the sections work as line or just left them out. I think I succeeded with most, but there are a few unfinished images that still have me stumped.

While I worked on preliminary designs I talked to people who like to color, about their preferences. Some love complex designs, the more detailed the better, while others want simple images that will be relaxing for them to fill with color. So I did one design which is just two columns of the plainest shells, and another which is slightly more complicated and features a big seahorse in the middle.

Next I have to finish coloring one of my own designs so I can publish it online for everyone to see how gorgeous the finished product can be. To check out my designs, go to

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Digital Oldtimers: Oral Histories from the Early Years of Computing

These are oral histories from the early days of computing. The interviewees are, with one exception, personal friends of mine. They have some fascinating stories to tell, stories which will enrich the understanding of the field for students of both history and computer science.

Trailer of Digital Oldtimers Interviews
Brief clips of six interviewees describing their experiences in the '50s, '60s, '70s, and '80s.

Women in Computing
Video of three women describing their experiences in computer programming and computer programmer recruiting in the '60s, '70s, and '80s.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Oral History of Robert A. Stryk: A Talent for Science

What is art, and what do you care anyway?

YES, damnit, it IS SO art!

The other night I struggled with a moral dilemma. An ad for came through my Facebook feed - this is a company that ...