Along the Daily Trail

I’ve not been keeping up with #western106 much other than a couple of artonthecouch posts.

But I have done the odd Daily Create. I am noting them here as some sort of record before they are lost in twitter.

The 4th February:

Create an Oregon Trail Game Screen for DS106


A quick google for the Oregon Trail found a pile of bitmap art. Seemed like a nyan cat riff might be appropriate. Downloaded the gif, opened in fireworks and chopped away.

5th February:  Create some stop motion using Vine

I’ve not got a vine account so just make a 6 second stop motion video. Snapped some photos with my iPhone (sitting on a lego mount), stitched together with the 5secondApp and exported as a video. I had to speed it up a bit to get 6 seconds, here is a 17 second version.


7th February  Add to the Code of the Cowpoke

A one line response:

8th February  5 Years Since Dr Oblivion Disappeared: Craft an Western…


The idea of Cowboy G-Men is a a wee bit mind boggling. This is a really badly edited file. Quick & dirty. I did run a quick fliter over the cover to try and match the Doctor’s face, but didn’t spend enough time on it to do a good job.

11th February  Treasure of the Hills

We were to draw a map. Remembering the ‘lights out for the territories’ above I remembered that the map is not the territory. So my tweet went:  this mondrian is not the territory


Which lead to a nice bit of twitter banter.

and so on…

12th February  Extra Terrestrial Visitors from the Far Frontier?


Was a no brainer, back to FireWorks for a quick edit. The cow head was found on Flickr with a no known copyright restrictions filter.

Yesterday:  Caption Remington


I was trying to hint to other folk that they should license their DS106 content to make it review and remix friendly.

The stream for the daily create has been pretty active and it is great to see all of the different responses. I am not sure I’ll get to doing much more on #western106 but I am certainly enjoying the odd 15 minutes on the daily create. Thanks to Alan (and Mariana) for the continual work on organising the fun.


Lazy Art on the Couch

I did manage a couple of daily creates this week but my hold on the ds106 stream is pretty tenuous. Given the public commitment to Art on the Couch last week both here an on The DS106 Good Spell I clicked the random button a few time this morning until I got my first visual image. This is it:
Daily Create 2 – Susan V. Laws

Again I can’t see any license on the image so you will have to head over to the link to see it.

1. What stands out the most when you first see it?
The Rotated S

2. Explain the reason you notice the thing you mention in number 1.
It is quite an organic line, it immediately reminded me of a river on a map.

3. As you keep looking, what else seems important?
The background colour and grid.

4. Why does the thing you mention in number 3 seem important.
This reinforces the idea of a map for me. Although the scale would be off it it was a map unless the river was very broad.

5. How has contrast been used?
The nature of the assignment, creation of a cattle brand leads to a very strong contrast indeed. There is also a contrast between the curves of the s and the straight lines of the L. The L becomes imposed on the S perhaps.

6. What leads your eye around from place to place?
The lines. There is not much else to follow. The longer I look at it the more I feel the tension between the straight and the curves.

7. What tells you about the style used by this artist?
The lines are very strong the occasional kinks are surprising.

8. What seems to be hiding in this composition and why?
When I first saw the image I was immediately reminded of something, but could not quite put my finger on it. I search on google for similar images unsurprisingly brought up mostly typographical ones.


This then brought to mind occult symbols:


a group of pentacles from the Hebrew manuscript (BL Oriental 14759, fol. 35a) By Anonymous – [1], Public Domain,

And the language of hobos and tramps:


Hobo signs Karen Apricot CC BY

Both of these types of image are secret languages, they give hints of something behind, just out of touch. Is this a map of a secret language.

9. Imagine the feelings and meanings this artwork represents?

A brand has quite negative connotations. Here a painful reminder of ownership. In other contexts a marketing tool. Here the L seems to cut across and stamp the more natural S.
In a western context we are aware of the history of the west, a series of impositions on the natural environment. We have the idea of the ‘original’ Native Americans working with the land as ‘part of the natural landscape’. This was followed by ranching which was then fenced in by farmers.
I know this is a pretty sketchy overview gleaned from various poorly remembered western movies I watched as a child, the short story Shane that was one of my favourites aged 10 and Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee a few years later.

10. What other titles could you give this artwork?
Cutting Across, Imposition or Squaring the river, Yin and Yang go West.

11. What other things interest you about this artwork?
I am guessing that this was made on a phone. I didn’t do this daily create, but assumed that most folk would use fonts. I am presuming that this was made on a phone, with an app that straightens drawings out a bit.

Late Create

I was planning to do this one, but didn’t get round to it, mine would have been the double-J. Perhaps like this:


Thanks to Susan for providing me with an hour or two’s musings. And to Mariana for gathering and suggesting the questions.

My Way To The West

Last week on the first #DS106 GoodSpell of the year Mariana and I talked about her DS106 Art on the couch idea. Simply this is a way of looking at someone else work in DS106 and thinking about it in a bit more depth.

Critique is often most instructive for the person offering it. In looking at other people’s work, and formulating your opinion of it, you’re learning a great deal.

I’ve given this a go before but as mentioned on the show, neither Mariana or I had done as much as we hoped. I said I was going to try and use the technique in playing with Western106.

I’ve managed to reach Saturday without participating in western106 at all this week. Real life intervened:( I decided to at least give this a shot. I headed over to the ds106 and typed /random after the url. This will lead to a random post, try it: And because DS106 syndicated posts it will lead, more often than not, away to a participants blog.

I had decided to go with the first visual post (movie, image, gif ect) that I hit and arrived at: Assignment Heaven – The Good, the Bad and the Kelly 3 roll of the dice. The post mentions 2 assignments, the first was to take a picture and change the hues to make it look different. which fits the visual bill. (You can head over to the blog or butterfly! onFlickr to see the image as it is All rights reserved.)

I hope Kelly takes this extended look at her work in the spirit intended. She might find this useful or not. The intention is for me to think and learn a wee bit.

1. What stands out the most when you first see it?
The lurid pink that edges the clouds.

2. Explain the reason you notice the thing you mention in number 1.
I’ve been playing with glitching photos on and off for a while, this is the sort of effect that could alomost have come out if you glitched an image. Eye catching and unnatural that emphasises somethings in the original and deemphasises others.

3. As you keep looking, what else seems important?
The angle that the picture has been taken at. The ‘butterfly’ and its slightly wonky antenna. The wings of the butterfly. The effect of the wrought iron is agmented by the colours coming through from the sky.

4. Why does the thing you mention in number 3 seem important.
I am not sure if the orientation of the photo was carefully selected or if it was rotated 90 degrees by accident. This adds to the overall ‘glitchness’ of the image. and adds to the idea that it might be accidental.

5. How has contrast been used?
There is a very strong contrast between the wrought iron in the foreground and the sky beyond. This is perhaps stronger in the original as the change of hue effected the almost black foreground as well as the back.

6. What leads your eye around from place to place?
The butterfly’s antenna, one leading onwards into the sky the other off to the right of the image.

7. What tells you about the style used by this artist?
There is an offbeat quirkiness about the image. There is something optimistic going on.

8. What seems to be hiding in this composition and why?
The bigger picture, we do not see the whole gate, where it is ect.

9. Imagine the feelings and meanings this artwork represents?
Curiosity, looking into the unknown, heading west.

10. What other titles could you give this artwork?
New Horizons

11. What other things interest you about this artwork?

I wonder why the blogger choose a All rights reserved license on flickr. Early days in #DS106, or a deliberate choice?

I would like to see a third version with the flattened very high contrast foreground of the original over the adjusted sky.

I enjoyed that, the structure from the questions helps me stick with an image for a lot longer than I usually would. I hope to keep up this practise for the rest of the Western106 course.

Greenhorn Mistake

I’ve had a bit of difficulty getting time to watch any westerns. I decided to have a listen instead. I headed over to the Old Time Radio on Internet Archive and had a dig around, I spotted Gunsmoke – Single Episodes where there are 473 files.

I have heard of the show but knew nothing of it so I added the first episode to an RSS feed I am subscribe to in overcast and listen to it on my phone on the way to work.

As I listened I was quite surprised, this sounded familiar, sort of a bit noir 106. The hero showed a fair amount of cynicism, there were a couple of very negatively portrayed characters and most of the townsfolk were mob minded.

The hero was quick on the draw but noble in a Chandlerish way. He had a much worse temper than Marlow.

After listening I had to check Wikipedia

In the late 1940s, CBS chairman William S. Paley, a fan of the Philip Marlowe radio serial, asked his programming chief, Hubell Robinson, to develop a hardboiled Western series, a show about a “Philip Marlowe of the Old West”.

from: Gunsmoke – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

So much for my insight. The whole Wikipedia article is quite interesting. I’ll probably listen to a few more on my commute.

The gif is from the trailer of Cowboy (Delmer Daves, 1958)

One of the more unorthodox westerns of the 1950s, Cowboy is also one of the best.

Seems like the stereotype of cowboy movies is a bit more complex than I though.

Saddling Up

I’ve signed on as a hand to ride the Western 106 trail. Seems like it hard to quit DS106. Although I’ve been on this trail afore I’ve never been as far west. I ain’t much of a cowhand. I am more of a blanket stiff, a bit of a moss-back when it comes to the actual story tellin. I guess I’ll have t’ use the skill I have, cooking, giffin and the like and try an learn me enough stuff to ride along.

To fit into the outfit I’ll have to make some changes around here. I’ve been ds106ing for a while so I’ve got most of the supplies I need for the Blog Riding Camp or I’ve decided I don’t need ’em.

I did decide to change my theme, now I ain’t much of a dude 1 although I’ve a bit of a handle on the tools to spruce up a site. I just decided to go with the new TwentySixteen theme, the default for new WordPress blogs.

Unfortunately for me the theme does some fancypants stuff with different sizes. As I’d uploaded a gif it was resampled to various sizes and lost its animation.

The easiest way to fix this was to replace the different sizes created with animated gifs with the same name via FTP. That I’ve done.

1. Dude – A fancy-dressing, would-be cowboy. (Derived from the Scottish word, “dud,” meaning “clothes.”) according to the Free Cowboy Dictionary