Earlier this year I went and saw the Babbage Difference Engine (a large mechanical calculating mechanism which uses the method of finite differences to determine values of a polynomial) at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. What an utterly amazing piece of machinery -- certainly one of the most impressive feats of engineering (and art, in a sense!) I have ever seen.
While there I took a few photographs of the engine. I then decided that a larger image of the Difference Engine would look lovely hanging over the fireplace here (I'd been waiting for the right thing to put in that space...) so I thought I'd take on the challenge of painting a picture based on my photos.
The result (actual size around 15" x 19") is shown below:
I would say it's 98% "done" at this point. I could frame it now and CALL it done but being a perfectionist I KNOW there are going to be things I see within the next few days that annoy me enough to fix. For instance, that one...support pole thing on the right looks crooked to me now, argh! But I am happy enough with how it looks now to post it. It was a REALLY fun painting to do...so many shapes to follow!
Oh, and this was also my first foray into using acrylics. Previously I'd mainly used watercolor, probably because I HAD watercolor paints available for whatever reason. And I still think watercolor is good for some applications, but in this case I am really glad I tried acrylics because (a) it is a lot easier to get BOLD colors that contrast nicely and don't bleed into each other, and (b) if you make a mistake you can fix it by painting over it!
Moreover I found it quite enjoyable to mix the colors. I did not want to replicate the exact colors of the real life Difference Engine OR of any of the photos I took of it, but rather, put things in tones similar to what already existed in my living room. That worked out rather well as the shapes in the image lent themselves well to brown, gold, grey, and olive-green hues.
Anyway, though, that is another project I have been working on, and I look forward to making more art as I come across interesting subjects for it!