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Science Art

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Tom at the easel as his robot paints. Click to see all the machines.

Helen XIII, 16" x 20", October 2007, Click to see all the art made with machines.

Click To see all the man powered art machines.

Tom and Helen on the flying bicycle.

The poster for "The Great Tomaso."    

Helen XIII, 16" x 20", October 2007

Web Art


Tom has been working on art making robots for eighteen years


Goal: Artificial Creation Using Computers for Intelligent Tasks


A Russian farmer who while walking through his fields one day noticed some newspapers outside a raccoon’s den. At a distance he intently watched and soon the raccoon came out and went through the papers looking for something to read. The farmer did the right thing. He shot that raccoon.


Work started in 1980 using a Radio Shack Color Computer to address individual pixels, creating computer art.  Later Tom purchased a stepper motor controller using the Radio Shack Color Computer in 1989 and created a metering and dispensing oil paint device using screw driven plungers.  

Tomís simplest painting device was a palette he screwed four oil paint tubes into the base and squeezed out the paint, as he needed it. Tom used the simple palette for three years as he studied color mixing. A derivative of this was adapted caulking gun where the plunger drove angled treaded rods that squeezed out various quantities of oil paint determined by the angle created.  Following this device, Tom developed an air pressure palette where oil paint was dispensed according to various air pressure applied to oil paint in syringes. Tom used this painting device during his painting of Voyager II while a reporter at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory during Voyager IIís encounter with Uranus. Next, Tom started to create small windup devices that made strokes on paper with watercolor dispensed through a brush from a syringe. He elaborated on this idea by adapting a remote controlled car into a painting robot. Tom laid off small robot art machines for a year because they started to seem menacing. He created three man powered art machines, a pushcart, flying bicycle and a sculpture making exercise machine. It was not until Tom was confronted with the impossible belief that the brush and paint could not be the ultimate painting device, he set afresh, by purchasing a Lego robotic system and quickly prototyped three robot printers. One was a large format pastel printer that followed a same size paper plate suspended above the robot as it copied the plate below it in pastel. The second printer used a pantograph system to follow a smaller size plate. This system an advanced method of applying color. This allows quick application instead of the laborious going over that occurred with the pastel.  The third system is a computer controlled printer where one of eight colors are choosen to be appiled to 4161 spots on a 16" X 20" canvas. On the drawing table is using state-of-the-art  IMAQ vision software provided as part of RoboLab, the graphic programming interface that drives the Lego motors and sensors.  This is the same software used by NASA in its Sojourner, Pathfinder mission to Mars in July of 1996. The upper level vision commands are included in the simpler RoboLab version. It is the same vision software used to analyze medical images and automatic industrial assembly. What will be needed is to take advantage of the four ways to analysis images, frequency & spatial filtering, quantitative, morphology, and pattern matching.

It was a strange series of events that lead Tom to the epiphany of using advance science to further Art.  He was befriended by an en plein artist out of Portsmouth England and spent four days with him painting out side in Portsmouth in January of 2002. Having spent six years painting outdoors earlier in his career he tried to get back into the swing of things. What stuck in his crawl was that painting with brushes on canvas could not be the end all of human creation. It was then that he realized that oil painting must have seemed revolutionary when it was invented and it was advanced science at that time. Tom decided then to concentrate on his own science art ideas and continue to paint extremely refined oil portraits in the old academic manner.





New Ideas

Web Art

A computer program that will mine the Internet and deliver art.

Face Recognition Art Creating A Human Profile From a Formula

tobacco.jpg (2119 bytes)

Click to see the timeline on using the tobacco gene map to paint on the leaves surface.



Humidfier Painting, 5' 6" x 4', Waterproof paint on concrete board, copper tubing, K gutter, water pump, January 15th, 2002