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Entries in physics (2)

Monday
Feb292016

Life, the Universe, and Everything

I had the honour of working on this cover image for Queen's Alumni Magazine. Dr. Arthur McDonald was awarded the prestigious Nobel Prize for his research and discoveries in physics. This assignment combined my love of science with a challenging cover assignment, to explain the unseen, the subatomic, the Neutrino Breakthrough.

I am not a particle theorist, but I know this. Dr. McDonald and his team of researchers built an observatory 2 km deep in a mine shaft in Sudbury. What they discovered enhanced our understanding of physics and what we are made of, energy and the universe around us. The name of the observatory was SNOLAB, filled with heavy water and removed from man-made electric energy fields and interference.

Every second millions of neutrinos pass through us, unhindered and non-reactive, generated from deep within the sun. So then, how can they be observed and quantified?

Here's a very brief synopsis.

1.      Neutrinos are sub-atomic particles coming from the sun.
2.      There are three “flavours” of neutrinos: electrons, muon, and tau.
3.       Neutrinos switch flavours during their oscillation.
4.      Their oscillations prove that neutrinos have mass.

The SNOLAB observatory was able to record the oscillation of neutrinos. During oscillation, energy is released in the form of a photon. Observing this phenomenon established the mass of neutrinos, and enhanced our understanding of the universe in terms of it's overall mass, which affects how we understand where we came from and where we are heading.

The final illustration depicts a logorhythmic chain of images, from the sun to the earth to the SNOLAB sphere to the inner workings of an atom. A window into what we are made of.

Thanks to Andrea Gunn, Dr. Arthur McDonald, and the people at Queen's. Keep up the good work!

 

 

Thursday
Jul032014

Escape

I am about to escape the studio.

I am taking the month of July off - I have an epic road trip coming up, driving across North America to Portland (and back) with stops in Salt Lake City and Yellowstone Park. First and foremost is ICON 8. Looking forward to connecting with some old pals in the biz and making some new friends! Then it's off to Yellowstone Park, camping with my family.

It's easy to get weighed down by assignments and paperwork. I have been lucky to have an incredible workspace and studio, in an old barn that I renovated. But after sixteen years, I am sorting through piles of books and old illustrations, filing boxes and recycling bins and getting ready to relocate. I will be moving right after I get home. I scouted out my new space and it looks promising. I will provide some pics once I get settled in. So, I am escaping from my current digs in more ways than one. As an artist change is a force that drives us, spurs creativity and opens up new opportunity. Plenty on the horizon to look forward to.

Here's the latest illustration for the New York Times. Gravity is the least understood of the universal forces, yet it controls us and threatens our well-being in so many ways. I have been working on this series and the writing is top-notch. Challenging and rewarding work. You can read the full article here: Still Exerting a Force on Science, by George Johnson.

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I might as well jump in and talk about an exciting project I recently completed. I was invited by art director Jim Burke to participate in this year's Frogfolio calendar project. The calendar takes the personal interpretations of various artist on one theme: the frog. Artists are given creative freedom to explore and define their vision of the subject, and over the years eight medals have been awarded by the Society of Illustrators. It was a real honour to have been invited. No pressure, right?

Earlier this spring I worked on a collage called Spring Peeper. Winter was so long this year and extreme, I love the sound of frogs in the swamp that come out after the thaw. You can hear them before things turn green, and it's always a chorus of hope for warmer weather, and an explosion of life and activity. I wanted to capture some of that energy in this image.

This year's calendar is available for purchase in September. Details to follow soon. A great lineup of artists including Bill Mayer, C.F. Payne, Victor Juhasz, Wesley Allsbrook, John Dykes, Melanie Reim and more!

I will be blogging photos from the road trip on the ICON instagram feed. See you in August! I am out of here.