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Warning: The following post is rank speculation and contains few, if any, verifiable facts.

One day I was out in a park taking photos and struck up a conversation with a man. After a lengthy conversation, he invited me out to a place a few blocks away for dinner and drinks. Several times he mentioned that he liked smart women in a context that I understood to imply that he thought I was smart and that he liked me. After a few drinks he said, “I feel like I’m pushing my luck to even ask, but you wouldn’t happen to be an atheist?” I said, “Yes,” and he looked up as if to thank ceiling cat.

It’s not surprising that he should thank ceiling cat for his good fortune. Received wisdom has it that among atheists men outnumber women two to one.

Wow – here’s one of those days when I feel lucky to be a blogger not a legit writer. My original intent was to start with an introductory anecdote, make the statement that atheist men significantly outnumber atheist women, speculate wildly on why that would be the case and finish up with the conclusion of my anecdote. So I was trying to find a good, recent source with a gender breakdown of atheists in the United States. I’ve been poking around for about two hours now. This post is taking significantly longer than I had intended due to this rather big hiccup. If anyone has a good, reliable source for the notion that the number of men who don’t believe in any divine being is actually double that of women in the United States, please give me a source. Until then, I will have to wait for another day to finish my post.

Sorry folks.

As for the end of the anecdote, let’s just say that I fished around on the internet for this image: underwear.

I feel funny adding the warning, “Nudity,” to the title, but I’m just trying to be nice to people who might not be expecting it. The majority of my paintings are of nudes. The one I’m posting today is very modest compared to most of my work.

This post was partly prompted by Maugryph’s self-portrait. I had two, not entirely unrelated thoughts. One was that I should do a digital self-portrait myself, but I’m not sure exactly how I would set up a mirror in a way that would be comfortable to draw. I’ll have to think about that, so don’t expect a contemporary self-portrait anytime soon. The second thought had to do with some suggestions I was going to make to Maugryph about his technique, especially regarding skin tone. Although I had taken many figure drawing classes, as well as a few figure painting classes, I took a portrait painting class a number of years ago and I found it to be extremely helpful.

The sketches I’ve put up have been things I’ve forced myself to do in large part because I haven’t been in the mood to draw. I’ve found that working actually helps me get in the mood, so I keep trying to force myself from time to time despite not feeling inspired. Suddenly, I became self-conscious and I thought to myself, “You’ve really put up some shabby work lately. Before you give anyone suggestions, you should put up some better work.”

As it happens, I started painting in oil at the age of eight, taking it very seriously. It probably came as something of a surprise when I decided to not major in art in college. I think the whole world just assumed I would. However, I continued to paint, and I’m in my late forties. So, whether you like my work or not, I have a lot of experience handling paint.

So, I wanted to dig up a portrait I did of myself about ten years ago. First I poked about the old canvases in the corner of my room until I realized that when I moved, I only put the unfinished canvases in my apartment. The finished ones are in storage somewhere. Then I started going through my old floppy disks on which I’ve stored most of the photos of my paintings. Of course, I couldn’t find a photo of the painting I have in mind. I’m probably going to spend the rest of the day transferring the contents of the floppies onto an external hard drive I had lying around.

In the meantime, I thought I’d show everyone an old painting I did. I sent these photos to a friend when he said that he had always been curious to see paintings at different stages. In this case, I worked from photographs. I much prefer live models, but I can’t afford to pay one, and I don’t really have the room for it any way. I did this before I took the portrait class. I was playing around with trying to build up a painting using semi-transparent glazes over a monochromatic underpainting. The skin tones are not intended to be realistic.

The photos were taken in April 2002.

 

An unfinished painting.

A partially finished painting.

The finished painting.

This is going to be fast. I rarely post twice in a day, but this is a subject that is near and dear to my heart. A woman, Adria Richards, attending a developer conference, PyCon, heard men making sexist jokes at the conference. She tweeted their picture. One of the men in was fired by his employer PlayHaven. Hackers congregating at sites like 4chan put pressure on Richards’ employer, SendGrid, which then fired her.

Woman is sacked for tweeting picture of men who made ‘sexist’ dongle jokes at PyCon developer conference