Point of Exquisite Suspension

Thoughts & life experiences of a Chicago area graphic artist

25 August 2016

Behold the Octobot

Baby steps in robotics. Work on the 1st soft-body robot offers new tool set. AND it looks sweet.

If you follow my blog you probably know how much I love octopuses (or, if you prefer, octopi)!

Check out this excellent article for more technical info on the Octobot.

The little dude does really no more than flex and unflex his arms. But it's a significant step in robotics and, as the article states, will lead to more fine-tuned applications and diverse strategies in creating robots to meet needs.

And I especially liked the shot of the creation process by which the soft body material in it's mold is being injected with various robotic components. Does anyone remember the "Thing Maker" kits by Mattel? --With their metal molds of insects, snakes and other " creepy crawlies? It was like the boys' version of the "Easy Bake Oven". In a way it was like the 3D printer.

Here's a link to the video of a Thing Maker commercial from 1964.

Photo of Thing Maker Kit

Today's safety standards wouldn't allow production and sale of the Thing Maker.

But my grandkids will probably be making these little Octobots at home in a new hi-tech version of the Thing Maker which will be more like a 3D printer with robotic infusing capabilities.

08 July 2016

Pop-Up Studio Library Comics Event

I and my fellow teacher, Matt O'Connell (right) were happy to take part in the first of this Summer's Arlington Heights Public Library's Pop-up Studio Events.

It is part of the Library's Summer Reading program that features a Super Hero Theme this year. It was well advertised as you can see from the printed materials they've been distributing all Summer.

Matt (shown here at the demo easel) and I alternated between demonstrating Super Hero Comic Art and helping with family activities

Here I am at the demo easel sketching some action panels. Tables were set up behind the demo space for hands-on art activities. We had wonderful Library support staff to help us as well. Special thanks to Kelley and Sydney!

Parents would bring their children and have some time to socialize or take part in the art projects with their kids.

Here Matt is demonstrating the importance of settings and background to the comic story.

This is a detail of Matt's setting and background demo.

One of my demos (shown above) was about drawing the hero figure. This is the ink portion of the demo that included the preliminary sketch as well.

We rotated demonstrations for a total of 4 hours. Each demonstrations was 25-30 minutes.

Many families took part. Above is a dad and his three children ages 5 through 10. They all created heroes using worksheets that I developed for the event.


Five years ago as part of a Creativity Journal, I made a comic about my desire to give a comics workshop at my local library. It never panned out. But I finally had my wish fulfilled when Arl. Hts. Pub. Library contacted me through one of the students at the Art School where I teach to arrange the Pop-up Studio Event. It was terrrific! Never give up on your dreams ^_^

01 July 2016

Watching Gallery Watchers, Summer 2016

I'ts been a while since I've devoted a blog post to one of my favorite topics: Interaction between art gallery patrons and art.

I hope you enjoy the pbotos for the unspoken connections and personal relationship people have with art. It reveals an inner private consciousness that is happening in a public space.

© O. Douglas Jennings. All rights reserved.

17 June 2016

Mash-up Kings Twenty One Pilots AND Imagine Dragons on Suicide CD!!!

First I had heard that Twenty One Pilots had released a new track. That was exciting enough news. But when I caught the video of that track paired with the Suicide Trailer along with the news of their song being featured on the Soundtrack album, I now am super-psyched. Perfect fit.

So here's the Awesome OFFICIAL |-/ video:

UPDATE 14 July - So, my top 2 fave bands have songs on The Suicide Album Sound Track! Check out the official video of Imagine Dragons (with featured rap artists) Sucker for Pain

Suicide Cast Member Scott Eastwood has more footage of the music video for Sucker for Pain. It's sweet! AND you can see more clips on instagram if you search for #suckerforpain:

BONUS vid from Twenty One Pilots concert that I like for added measure:

Ever-endearing in their performances, Twenty One Pilots thrive on live performances as the above clip shows. This is why so many fans love their concerts.

13 June 2016

A Time to Mourn

No words can express the sorrow, the loss
the pain and the tragedy of the senseless shooting in Orlando.

The only action one can take is to mourn.
To embrace.
To love without conditions or qualifications.
To pray with humility. To intercede. To advocate. To defend.
To endure and be there to help survivors endure. 

There must to be change.
We must speak out and have an honest
discussion...But in the meantime
we must mourn the loss of sons, the daughters, the brothers and the sisters, 
the fathers and mothers that were
cut down by ignorance, hatred and bigotry toward the LGBTQ community, &
the cynical, soulless gun policies that plague our nation.