Tag Archives: AlphaBands

Blue Carbon Based Flowers AlphaBands ~ C & D

Digital painting of bizarre blue flowers, Photoshop art by Leah Palmer Preiss

So… I’m cheating a bit here. I began this image in homage to Carbon Based Lifeforms, a Swedish ambient music band that is one of my favorites to listen to while sketching. Their music is mostly instrumental with wordless vocals, but lyrics do come in from time to time, such as these:

“Only illogics can find
Hidden flaws in a straight logic line.
Only erratics recognize
Errors in patterns of a perfect design.”

These particular lifeforms were of course heavily influenced by the work of Ernst Haeckel, with the central structure inspired by an allotrope of carbon popularly known as the Buckyball.

Unfortunately, some very erratic household chaos kept me away from the computer last week, so I missed my chance to chime in with the “C”s for AlphaBands. But as it happened, my choice for “D” was the bizarre alter ego of Kool Keith known as Dr. Octagon. Though his music could hardly be more different from CBL, (and, I should warn, it is mostly extremely NSFW) some of his color-crazed & hallucinatory lyrics somehow wormed their way into the picture:

“I come prepared with the white suit and stethoscope 
Listen to your heartbeat, delete beep beep beep
Your insurance is high, but my price is cheap
Look at the land…blue flowers!
Drawing by the purple pond, in the purple pastures blue flowers!
Drawing by the purple pond, yellow ink that flows blue flowers!
Drawing by the pond, look, it’s raining yellow” 

So, consider this the visual equivalent of a mashup. It’s just a pity that Buckyballs are constructed from hexagons & pentagons, with nary an octagon in the picture.

Photoshop with text scanned from Steele’s Fourteen Weeks in Chemistry, 1876


The Bobs: Mr. Duality AlphaBands

Mister Duality--digital art Photoshop painting of split personality heads by Leah Palmer Preiss

Ah, I do have a weakness for The Bobs. They’re an a cappella group with a decidedly quirky bent. They do originals that range from silly (lots & lots of silly) to surprisingly intense, & amazing covers that are all over the musical map. This image illustrates their song, Mr. Duality. Sample lyrics:

My two sides want to pull me apart
But we’re stuck together, where do we start?
That might seem to be dichotomy
But it could be worse if there were a lotta me
I don’t want to have multiple personalities
Two is enough! 

The art is Photoshop, with background text & diagrams scanned from Iriquois Arithmetics, Iriquois Publishing Co, 1932 & Audel’s Engineers and Mechanics Guide 8, Theo Audel & Co, 1921, plus painted textures.

Animal Collective AlphaBands

Animal Collective Art, AlphaBands, Digital Photoshop painting by Leah Palmer Preiss

It’s the beginning of a new alphabet challenge! This time around it’s AlphaBands, the brainchild of Sam Wolk. We’re doing images inspired by bands for every letter of the alphabet, & we’d love for you to join us! If you’d like to enter your work, please check out the rules & enter here.

I’ve decided that rather than depicting the band members themselves I’ll mostly do illustrations inspired by their name, their sound, or their songs. My first entry is for the experimental band, Animal Collective– check out their music here. One of the members goes by the name Panda Bear, but the other animals are just what came out of my pencil as I sketched. The illusion of three heads, six bodies was inspired by a traditional Japanese visual trick.

Photoshop with text from the good old Practical Standard Dictionary. What I’d really love to do is animate this piece so that the animals spin– maybe I’ll have time to update later this week. :-)