Preview of Work for a Show in July

Graphic Geography, Needlework

It’s been a while, partially because I’ve been busy, but also because the video glitches from earlier have pretty much overwhelmed my poor computer and it tends to crash every fifteen minutes. I finally bit the bullet and ordered a new iMac yesterday.

One of the things I’ve been busy with is a project specifically created for the Black | White show that will be going up in July at the Bromfield Gallery. I don’t want to spoil the entire thing, but here’s a glimpse at what I’ve been working on:


Average Continent Colors

Averages, Graphic Geography, Needlework

I’d mentioned it in my needlepoint gallery, specifically on the floss color I used for Australasia and North America, but I realized I’d never posted it before. So, to rectify that situation, here are my averaged colors for the continents:


This was created using a NASA true-color cloudless satellite montage of the world, represented in a Dymaxion projection by R. Buckminster Fuller, so the relative scales and sizes of the continents would be more-or-less comparable:


A note on the continental divisions I used: I consider Europe and Asia to be pretty much one continent, as there is no major division or chokepoint between them. For tradition’s sake, I did determine a separate average color for both Asia and Europe (divided by the Ural Mountains), but when I do the needlepoint piece it will use the Eurasian color and depict both traditional landmasses.

Africa is nicely separated from Asia by Sinai, and the Isthmus of Darien does a pretty good job of separating North and South America, so I’m happy to include these continents as separate and not part of “The Americas” or “Eurafricasia”.

Needlepoint Gallery


I’d been working on them piecemeal for a while, but I had the chance to really sit down and work on some needlepoint pieces while I was at Somerville Open Studios on May 3rd and 4th. Here’s a gallery of what I’ve been working on.

Analemma-SolsticesThis is the analemma, the shape that the sun traces out during the course of the year. I have marked the dates of the solstices at the minimum and maximum points.

Cross-stitch CGA Palette

Data Representation, Needlework

Continuing on my pixellated cross-stitch experiments, allow me to present to you the color palette of the Computer Graphics Array (CGA) card from circa 1985, in cross-stitch form:


I’m quite pleased with this little creation. You might remember some other CGA experiments of mine from a while back.

Pixel-Based Artwork: Voxel Mississippi

Data Representation, Graphic Geography

By now everyone knows I’m interested in pixels and gridding visual information. Well, it goes farther than just a flat plane. Using the same pixel layout as I did for my cross-stitch pattern, I have been playing around with using pixels in space, of “voxels”, short for “volume element. (“Pixel” is short for “picture element”, just in case you were wondering. Here, for your enjoyment, is the Mississippi-Missouri River, rendered in cubes and approximating the relative elevations of the various tributaries:


The Appalachian tributaries are a little foreshortened here, but they’re quite a bit lower than the Rocky Mountain tributaries. This is done building up layer upon layer of cubes and gluing them in place. I’m also trying a version where the underlayers are not built up, and the riverbeds will simply be suspended in space at their relative height. I’ve been having some technical difficulties, but nothing a little free time wouldn’t cure.

Pixel-Based Artwork: Needlepoint Mississippi Finished

Graphic Geography, Needlework

I posted this image on Twitter a few days ago:


So I figured some people might be intrigued to see where this went. Well, it went right here:


This is the Mississippi-Missouri River basin, done inverted with medium-gray floss for the background. Of course, I realized I chose the most difficult way of rendering something in needlepoint, so I will probably re-do the Mississippi in positive and then continue on the four other river basins I’ve pixellated, the Congo, the Nile, the Amazon and the Yangtze.

Skygrid 03: Spring 2013 to Spring 2014

Data Representation

At long last, the skygrid is done. A year ago, I started the process to capture an image of the zenith sky every two minutes from 4 in the morning until 9 at night. Today the Sun crossed back into the sky of the Northern Hemisphere, and the camera on my porch took the last set of photos of the zenith. Here is the color spread of the equinoctal day:


And here is the final yearly grid, 495 x 365, or 180,675 separate squares (click to embiggen):


I will be processing another time-lapse movie of the Winter Half of the skygrid when I have time. Until then, check out the Summer Half.