Public Domain Pictures from the Met

A lot of art falls in the public domain. Now the Metropolitan Museum of Art has made it easier for you to use some of it. (And by “some” I mean “quite a lot”.)

For example, a high-resolution photo of Van Gogh’s painting Sunflowers is available for me to use free of charge. You too.

And if Munch’s The Scream is more your cup of tea, well, they’ve got you covered there too.

Have a look for yourself. If one of the 400,000+ pieces of art in their catalogue strikes your fancy, check for the Public Domain icon (a little 0 in a circle) and the download link. It appears that the public-domain content comprises 375,000 images, which, I think you’ll agree, is a lot.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to look at some J. M. W. Turner paintings.

Joseph Mallord William Turner (British, London 1775–1851 London)
The Lake of Zug, 1843
Watercolor over graphite; 11 3/4 x 18 3/8 in. (29.8 x 46.6 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Marquand Fund, 1959 (59.120)

Thanks, The Met!

Thanks to my friend Kelly for pointing out this Engadget article on the topic.






A day past full

The moon

I shot some photos of the moon through the branches using my longest lens (55-250mm), and was quite pleased how they turned out.

Then I retreated indoors (it’s frickin’ freezing out there) and wrote about 800 words in a new Prairie SF short story. First contact with a farmer. We’ll see where it leads.

Jim Johanneson


This is my dad, Jim Johanneson. “JJ” to his students, his co-workers, and his friends. “Jimmy Danger” to his sons-in-law.

A couple days ago, he left this world. I miss him but I know he’s not feeling any pain now.

I will surely say more later, but for now: Thanks, Dad.


If you’re interested in making a memorial donation in Dad’s honour, here are the charities we as a family have selected:

If you’re interested in sending flowers, please, spend the money on one of the above charities. If you want to leave a note of condolence for us, the ones left behind, you can do so on the funeral home’s site.



It has finally arrived.

I’m not ready yet to slit that seal, though.

Wait, what’s Word-o-Mat?

Word-o-Mat is an art project that aims to sell packages of short stories from a repurposed Wurlitzer cigarette vending machine in Malmö, Sweden. I have six very short stories included in issue #1.

Writing retreat, 2016 edition

For the last week of July, I left my home and invaded our friends’ cabin at Minnedosa. My goals were to get 10,000 new words written in Translations, along with a weekend’s worth of a flash fiction story for a contest, and try my hand at photographing the Milky Way. 

Great success. 

I managed to get the flash story done in the time allotted, and reviews in the forum are very positive. One day I plan to try to sell it. 

I also managed to a average about 2,000 words a day from Monday to Friday, usually in two shifts of 1,000 words each. I wrote pretty much entirely on the deck. It was glorious. 

I didn’t get the Milky Way. But I got this…

Aurora at Minnedosa
…so let’s call it even. 

Also, I indulged in some lake kayaking, swimming, and read The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell, which I expect I’ll review later, once I’ve digested it a bit more. 

Good times. Same time next year, I hope.

Robert J. Sawyer reading

Tonight I went to Winnipeg to the book launch for Robert J. Sawyer‘s latest novel, Quantum Night. The reading was great, and the Q&A session afterwards with Struan Sinclair was great. Eye-opening and packed with little tidbits about the craft and the art of writing, tidbits that I’ll be mulling over for a while yet. Once I’ve had some time to process things—and sleep—I’ll return with a longer post.

For now, enjoy this photo of the author at work.