A wild tit appears

Dear diary,

A great tit flew into our house today. It probably landed on the sill below our bedroom window and found itself on the wrong side of the glass when trying to leave. Maybe it followed a tasty insect inside, or maybe it was a juvenile, too young to have learned that houses are scary places.

In any case, it came crashing through the living room while I was playing with our 7-month old. I rushed to get the veranda door open, while it fluttered from a curtain to the sofa to a hanging lamp cord. Door finally open, it chose a potted cactus on top of a cabinet as the perfect spot for an emergency landing and a bit of a poo.

Great tit (Parus major) perched on a potted cactus indoors.

Silly bird.

I suspect tits are unfamiliar with cacti, but it showed a remarkable ability to avoid impaling itself, even in a panic. By now the bird was exhausted, so I gently lifted the cactus outside, took a quick bird portrait, and left it alone. It sat there for a while, petrified, but by the third time I peeked outside it was gone.

Closeup of great tit (Parus major) perched on a cactus branch.

One stressed out Parus.

Stay safe, little great tit.

Flower modeling

Trying to make some simple flowers in Cinema 4D, thought I’d try something new. I’m experimenting with a hand-drawn look.

Peeking at a reference image, I drew some flower parts in Procreate.

Hand drawn texture map, diagram layout of flower parts.

After turning the drawing into a texture map, I could make a simple 3D model and UV map everything into place.

Screenshot from 3D modeling software showing a wireframe model of a flower, next to the rendered image with hand drawn texture maps.


Animated GIF: spinning turntable animation of textured flower model.

Instagram pics from Oslo, 2014–2019

Deleted my personal Instagram account some time last year, but thought I’d repost some pics here for posterity. The first batch are photos from my old hometown of Oslo. (Warning: I’m the only person to find these interesting.)


Fourteen Foot Bank Lighthouse

Fourteen foot bank lighthouse, Delaware USA

Fourteen Foot Bank Lighthouse, Delaware (Photo by James Hatcher, CC BY-NC-ND)

Stumbled upon a picture of this wonderful building in an old book. It‘s called the Fourteen Foot Bank Lighthouse and sits in the Delaware Bay. Lighthouses are usually pretty fascinating, but there‘s something special about a house just sitting on a pillar out in the ocean.

Some interesting stories from the link above:

James C. Jones was appointed the first head keeper of the lighthouse and served in this capacity until his passing in 1895. In June 1911, Assistant Keeper Lewis F. Robinson committed suicide at Fourteen Foot Bank by drinking carbolic acid. His companion at the lighthouse heard Robinson cry for help after downing the liquid, but all he could do was watch Robinson die in agony, after expressing remorse for his act. The previous December, Keeper Robinson broke his ankle at the lighthouse and had to wait two weeks before being able to get off the station and receive medical attention. A newspaper article reporting his death conjectured that “the sufferings he endured while ill affected his mind and that led him to commit the rash deed.”

Fourteen Foot Bank was the first assignment in the lengthy career of Chester P. Joseph. During the winter of 1917-1918, Keeper Joseph was stranded at the station for three straight months, as heavy ice floes prevented any relief from reaching the lighthouse. Joseph and the other marooned keeper busied themselves with every conceivable task, but life soon became monotonous. The ice fields that occasionally banged against the foundation did provide some excitement, as they would cause any unsecured item on a table or countertop to slowly migrate to the edge and fall off. After the ordeal, Joseph confessed, “I don’t believe I ever was as tired looking at one person in my life.”

On November 15, 1931, a party of three female high school teachers and five young men from Millville, New Jersey became lost in their motorboat during a thick fog. After exhausting their supply of food and water and nearly their fuel, the group made it to Fourteen Foot Bank Lighthouse the following day by following the sound of its foghorn and was welcomed aboard by its keepers. An intensive search for the missing boat had been launched by the Coast Guard, but it wasn’t until a relief keeper was brought to the station on November 17, that news of the group’s whereabouts made it to shore. Later on the 17th, a Coast Guard vessel took the group off the lighthouse, and with their motorboat in tow, returned them to Millville.

Link dump special: Signs and storefronts reference

Hitting tumblr in search of storefront reference images. Here are a few good ones:

Also, Colossal has featured some great illustrators drawing Korean and Japanese storefronts:

GitHub Mania

Mentioned earlier that “I can track my mental health by looking at the frequency of GitHub commits”, here‘s how that looks:

Screenshot of GitHub activity

The first half of 2018 stands out because that‘s when I worked with my diploma project, but the other activity is more or less hypomanic fixating on this website.

The Marcinelle school

This splendid cover by Maurice Tillieux caught my attention this morning. I admire that drawing style a lot, but had never really heard of Tillieux before, so I started wondering why the styles of so many Belgian cartoonists are so similar, did they all go to the same art school or something? (And do they offer classes? 🙏)

Some quick googling led me to The Marcinelle School (as in “school of thought”, not “a place to study”), named after the site of the Dupuis printing firm who published Le Journal de Spirou. The Comics Journal has written a great piece about The Belgians Who Changed Comics, including magazine rivalry and where this style comes from:

The team's cartooning technique – partly inherited but soon individualised – was an animated, breezy, ultra-modern one. Eventually, it became known as 'le style atome'. This moniker derived from the 1958 Brussels World's Fair, whose signature was a sculpture called 'the Atomium'. An outsized icon of Populuxe design, this seemed to match the sparky visual spirit of post-War Spirou. Certainly it paralleled the artists' angular shapes, their streamlined drawings and a use of bright, sharp colours. Graphically much brasher than Hergé's ligne claire, le style atome gave a nod to '50s and '60s US culture. It featured rounder speech bubbles instead of rectangles and privileged short, spunky dialogue over declamations.


Spirou's energetic art is now known as "the Marcinelle school" or "the school of Charleroi". Both terms refer to the site of the Dupuis' printing firm. But those artists who worked with Jijé had a different name for it. They called the work gros nez – or "big nose" – comedy.

The flipside of Marcinelle art was found in the pages of Tintin. A vehicle for Hergé's hero, this weekly was the laboratory of a rival "Brussels' school". Just as Marcinelle art reflected Jijé’s temperament, the Tintin employees operated in Hergé's shadow. Their highly polished work was required to resemble his and, in their atelier, an artist wore his suit and tie. He would labour to produce pristine pages, with refined lines underscored by un-shaded colour.

It also has this quote about Franquin’s amazing line style:

Inside the frames, everything is concrete, everything is charged with the energy of the line. The speech bubbles, the paper lying around on the floor, the exclamation points…nothing can be inanimate; everything has to come alive. Fantasio's anger is more than simply buggy eyes, dishevelled hair and a wide, gaping mouth. It's also puffs of cloud around him, lines that tremble like forceful cries and the tail of a speech balloon turned into a zigzag of lightning. There are so many graphic incarnations of the intangible, of invisible and interior moods… it makes metaphysical anguish absolutely palpable.

Check out the linework in these old, felt-cled postcards!

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