Leaning Into the Wind is a film about Andy Goldsworthy. I have long been a fan of this amazing artist. I find his sculptures made from natural materials to be contemplative and mesmerizing. He is an ephemeral artist, creating works outdoors made from natural materials that eventually succumb to the elements. His work is not preserved on-site, but held in the moment through the his own photographic images.
In an interview by Patrick Markham, Goldsworthy states:
“The ideas I’m having now are far better than anything I’ve thought of before. Most of them I couldn’t have even conceived of 10 years ago, works that take me way out of my comfort zone. The biggest failure is to make a work that is safe, that doesn’t take a risk. I’m taking big risks with no safety net.”
He has always worked with nature, using materials found around him, yet he does not describe himself as a pastoralist, or even an environmentalist. Although I personally find his work environmental and zen, he views his surroundings not as a place of therapy and peace, but as a place that is challenging — a place to challenge his intellect and engage his body in physical work.
Goldsworthy’s rain ‘shadow’ in Edinburgh. From The Guardian, article by Patrick Barkham.
Photograph: Jane Barlow
At one point in the film, Goldsworthy struggles with explaining his thoughts about nature and its integration with his work. He tells us, “it isn’t so clear anymore”. Rather than boxing “nature” into a compartment that includes branches and rocks, rivers and meadows, he seems to see it as an all-encompassing everything. He works with whatever is around him, wherever he is, whether it be country or city, fields or cement sidewalks. By physically connecting with elements around him, involving his own physicality, he is exploring the world in a very personal way, trying to make sense of the world around him.
One of my favorite books and inspiration for art is by a German scientific illustrator, Ernst Haeckel, whose works are featured in Art Forms in Nature: The Prints of Ernst Haeckel. The illustrations will draw in me for hours of contemplation. This year, 2019, is the 100th anniversary of Haeckel’s death.
Kunstformen der Natur (1904), plate 28: Discomedusae
Haeckel had a professorship in 1864 at the University of Jena, and this is where he studied various weird forms of sea life, such as segmented worms, protozoa, and sponges. With such a subject, who would think there is a whole world of intricate beauty to be found?
Kunstformen der Natur (1904), plate 31: Cyrtoidea
Haeckel supported Darwin’s controversial theory of evolution, and spoke in well-attended lectures to students and fellow townspeople. He may have influenced more people than Darwin himself, having sold more copies of his scientific work and getting translated into more languages.
In the 1800’s, scientists had to work with primitive equipment. Some of his colleagues accused him of distorting his images in his detailed sketches. His practice was to portray idealized “types” of organisms and thus his representations may not have been completely scientifically faithful.
Kunstformen der Natur (1904), plate 43: Nudibranchia
All science aside, his illustrations were works of art. Haeckel, in fact, was originally going to be a landscape painter before he turned his interests to science. His work influenced many later art forms, including lighting, jewelry, furniture, and the gateway to the Paris World Fair in 1900, designed by Rene Binet, pictured below.
During his career, Haeckel produced over 1,000 engravings based on watercolors and sketches he made on his travels.
Haeckel-inspired Porte Monumentale on the Place de la Concorde, René Binet, Architect
World’s Fair 1900
The design/business side of my life has brought a whole new world of enriching art experience to my world this past year. My business partner and I have launched an online destination for adult ballet dancers, BalletforAdults.com. I am wholeheartedly loving this project for creativity I can bring to it.
Integration of photography, vintage ballet paper doll cutouts
We are playing with all sorts of fun artistic experimentations, from photo shoots with vintage ballet items, to animated gifs, and finding fine art on Instagram.
Animated gif of book cover for “Cantique”, by Joanna Marsh
Ballet for Adults
One of my pet projects for our site is an Instagram account called @danceartgallery. I am growing to love this research as much as I love doing the research for this art blog. There is so much inspiration to be found, and it is fascinating to see portrayals of dance through history and through all cultures. Dance and Art have been hand in hand since prehistoric time.
“Midnight Campfire” found on Instagram, Iluka Designs
Dance and art are both visual. Watching a performance or studying a painting can take you into your imagination and beyond your self. Inspiration can be found, and both of these mediums speak to the inner heart.
I picture a dancer in arabesque, poised gracefully on the tip of one toe, her other leg straight behind her at 90 degrees, one hand back and one artistically stretched forward — the embodiment of grace in classic ballet.
The name arabesque applied to the flowing ornament of Moorish invention is exactly suited to express those graceful lines which are their counterpart in the art of dancing. [“A Manual of the Theory and Practice of Classical Theatrical Dancing,” 1922]
Look a little deeper into the arabesque, and you find a rich history, and the story of biomorphic art. Here, the arabesque refers to flowing, spiral patterns that represent the underlying order and unity of nature. Interwoven lines form They are a fundamental element of Islamic art, and have subsequently been found in European, and then Western design.
Photo by RD Shaw, from islamic-arts.org
The intricate patterns of the islamic arabesque symbolize the infinite, the nature of creation, conveying spirituality without iconography. The photo above was taken in the Alhambra, a palace and fortress in Southern Spain.
Design Art, Arabesque en Grisaille, Antique Watercolor, 19th Century
The art of the arabesque moved on to Europe, and from Renaissance until the early 19th century, it was used to decorate illuminated manuscripts, walls, furniture, metalwork and pottery. As the design was westernized, human figures were sometimes introduced into the design.
Mahmood Kaiss, The Dome, 2017
featured at The Museum for Islamic Art: Contemporary Arabesque exhibition Jan – Apr 2018
If you are around Winter Park, Florida this summer, you can stop in at the Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens. They are hosting an Arabesque Exhibit, interpreting Islamic art through the eyes of contemporary artists.
I think I have mentioned before that I am often teased about my penchant for over-organizing things. So when I came across an article about Kevin Harman and his “Skip” projects, I was immediately drawn in. I think there is a mandala-like quality to this work, so painstakingly arranged.
Kevin Harman, Skip 13 (2012).
(found on artnet.com: Photo by David Fernandez, courtesy of the artist and Ingleby, Edinburgh.)
Harman actually brought a rusty old dumpster to Frieze, New York (featured by Ingleby Gallery of Edinburgh). He does clean each dumpster, emptying it piece by piece and discarding all organic material. He then sorts all of the trash by material and color, and rearranges it neatly back into the dumpster.
Kevin Harman, Skip 16 (2018)
(Photo by Christopher L. Cook, courtesy of the artist and Ingleby, Edinburgh, found on Quiet Lunch)
Although Quiet Lunch rates Harman on the Worst of the Day list for Frieze, I have to disagree. I think there is beauty to be found in the symmetry of organizing. Piece by piece, layer by layer, section by section, the sedimentary layers of trash are compiled to create a satisfactory design.
Kevin Harman, Skip 2
For his “Skip” project, Harman worked in rubbish containers around Edinburgh. Sometimes he would hang around after finishing, just to see builders’ reactions when they came to work and found their garbage neatly stacked.
“Problem-solving the material into a structure and then standing back and looking at it gives me a massive sense of satisfaction…It’s like changing your room around or folding up your clothes up in your wardrobe. You know how good that feels—it’s amazing!” (Kevin Harman, from artnet.com)
In the Midwest it’s the season for burning. In the parks, the prairies are burned to help manage weeds, restore nutrients, and lead to more more desirable plant growth. I was participating in a restoration workday, hauling brush and playing with fire. Maybe that’s why I found Theodora Allen’s soft, muted artwork today.
Wildfire, No. 4, 2016
Allen applies thin layers of oil paint, slowly building up the painting. She then uses a soft cloth to systematically remove the paint. What is left is the pigment that has been able to soak into the linen. The shadow of a painting, remaining, much as the memory of the blooming prairie hovers in the consciousness as the field is burning.
Wildfire, No. 1, 2014
“It’s a process that retains the traces of every decision – the material has a memory. It’s why the images in the paintings appear to be both forming and disappearing” -from an interview with Allen in ArtNews.
Calendar, No. 2
Allen was featured this past winter at Strange Attractions, The Anthology of Interplanetary Folk Art Vol. 1 Life on Earth, a group show organized by Bob Nickas in Los Angeles,CA. This month (April 2018) through May 2018 she is featured in Galleri Nicolai Wallner, in Denmark.
View her website: http://www.theodoraallen.com/
Another Black Dress With Its Own History
Eugenia Zoloto is a Unkranian artist who creates fantastical, intricate cut paper artwork. She uses an X-acto knife to meticulously cut out images that draw you into a fairy tale world.
Handmade frames for my paper works
Every time when you create something new, develop new skill, etc – you feel almighty , that’s what I liked . . . Now I became a mother, I have a loving family and I want my child to look at me and be proud of, learned a lot and walked in the footsteps of creativity.
Birds Made a Nest in My Hair
Zoloto is a lifelong reader, inspired by noir Russian literature. She takes her inspiration from written pages as well as strange dreams, and beautiful songs. Nature is a common theme running though her works. She also credits her grandmothers as inspiration, sewing doll dresses for her with beautiful Ukrainian embroidery, and knitting home decor.
Her larger pieces take up to 7 hours to create. As a mother of two, she struggles to find time for her art and often works at night, finding it the best time to be creative.
Images from Eugenia Zoloto on Behance.
Nautilus (scale model), 2011
laser-cut stainless steel
It was hard to choose what to feature from the prolific portfolio of Wim Delvoye. Start with his website home, a techie, video-game-like interface that is great fun to explore. Dive into the site and one project is as fascinating as the next, full of intricate details and bizarre twists and turns. Live tattooed pigs. Painted ironing boards. Life-sized stained glass goal posts.
Delvoye creates fantastic sculptures from laser-cut steel. His sculptures in this style include life-sized construction trucks, but the classic form of the nautilus shell is mesmerizing.
Devoye is a Belgian artist, his home portfolio beginning in 2008 with a solo show in Brussels and many group exhibitions that same year. He is considered a neo-conceptual artist. His unconventional use of media, and his often shocking exhibitions define his most well-known work. Museum Tinguely in Switzerland recently hosted a major retrospective, showcasing his work from early days to the present.
You have to be amazed by your own brain. Really, think about all that your brain does for you, and the processes and synapses that fire away so that you can function every day. It’s really a beautiful thing. The artwork of Dr. Greg A. Dunn takes you into the mystery and beauty of the human brain. He and his colleague Dr. Brian Edwards invented a technique that manipulates light on a microscopic scale. Dunn creates microetchings, hand-made lithographs that capture a moment of reflection in the incredibly intricate tapestry of the brain. Reflected microetching unveils a view into the brain that touches upon the delicate balance of neural choreography. Microetching is one of the techniques that Dunn uses to create his amazing artworks. He also works with an ink-blowing technique to to form intricate works that could be forests, trees, or forests of neurons in a mind-blowing landscape. Dunn is a fan of Asian art, and the minimalist scroll and screen painting techniques from the Edo period in Japan. He draws from that inspiration, and combines it with the knowledge gleaned from having a doctorate in Neuroscience. Visit Dunn’s website to view more of his beautiful and detailed work.
I’m working on my second honeycomb piece. The first one looked amazing, and then I tried fusing the top details onto the base and it melted into a puddle of color. This is a photo of my second try before fusing. I would like those top details to nicely melt, just a little bit, into the base. The problem is that when you heat all that glass together, it must heat and cool at the same rate. If those thinner top pieces cool slower than the thick bottom, they will crack, or the whole piece will crack. It gets complicated. Stay tuned to see if I can figure out a very slow fusing schedule that will heat and cool everything to perfection.
We have been fusing glass downstairs in the home studio since we bought our Skutt kiln in 2004. It has been a workhorse, but we are dealing with our first repair issue. We programmed it to go one night, and the screen displayed the dreaded Err1 message. I could have guessed what was wrong, but was really glad that I gave Skutt a call. Their technician was amazing, and patiently led me step by step through using a multimeter to diagnose the problem. It turned out to be a bad relay. That would have been minimal to replace, however, I thought it was good advice to purchase a whole new panel. The base they use now is much heavier, giving more heat protection to the elements. Considering the age of the kiln, I thought it a great value to purchase the whole panel for under $200.
Crazy, huh? It took some time to re-wire all those connections to the circuit board, carefully following Skutt’s instructions, using their thoughtfully tagged wires.
So now we’re back in business! The fusing continues. Stay tuned for some new pieces coming out of the kiln.
Warm weather is coming, spring is in the air, and its time for a change. This will be the last post on this particular blogsite, although I will leave it here as an archive.
When I started this blog, I enjoyed playing with the free tools at WordPress.com, and created my blog and website here. Fast forward to 2015, and my life is moving forward and expanding in many directions. Instead of being confined to the free templates of WordPress, I have immersed myself in learning how to work with custom templates, manipulating them and creating custom websites with my business partner in graphic design.
The inspiration found in writing an art blog and scouring the internet for ideas has turned into a focus into my own business of creation. I am thinking about continuing a variation of this art blog on my Rowanberry Studio home site, but will not do the research I have done here, which I love, but is very time consuming.
Thanks to those of you who have followed and those who have kindly commented. Namaste.
Find me here:
Have you been to Artsy yet? Prepare yourself, you could be lost for years in the intricacies and information in this site.
This is just a small glimpse of this crazy busy website. Follow your favorite artists, browse galleries, museums, fairs & shows, auctions, for sale, education… the list goes on. The site goes on. And on. And on.
So let me focus on one of my favorites – Anish Kapoor. A rep from Artsy contacted me, suggesting the new Anish Kapoor page on Artsy, and I think it’s a great thing to share, so I’m spreading the word.
Canvas, Anish Kapoor
Artsy is a site that takes everything to the next level. Each page could be a site in itself, and Kapoor’s page is no exception. View his artwork and read his bio. Move on to articles that present yet another dimension into the artist’s life. See upcoming exhibitions. Then take it a step further and delve into related artists.
Get lost in Artsy and have fun exploring, or bookmark it and use it as a reference. Lots of info here, and plenty of eye candy as well!
Alas, as the membership fee is a bit steep for me, (also, the society seems to be more oriented to glass blowers rather than fusers) as non-members we were only able to access the public displays at this conference.
Our main goal was to visit the Bullseye Glass booth, as I am planning to use a great deal more of their product in my own work. We had a great visit with the reps at the booth, who were very welcoming and receptive to all questions. I scored a great re-usable Bulleye shopping bag to fill with show literature and give-aways.
Next we met a few more helpful reps from Covington Engineering and HIS Glassworks. We began asking questions about coldworking equipment, but the conversation was cut short as they were leaving for the GAS gallery tour. They were nice enough to encourage us to tag along, and we quickly changed our plans to do just that. What a great decision that turned out to be, as we toured the Ken Saunders Gallery, Echt Gallery, and the Vale Craft Gallery, all located on W. Superior in Chicago.
One of my favorite pieces was by artist Steve Jensen, combining natural wood with resin and glass.
Jensen hails from Seattle, WA, coming from a long tradition of Norwegian fishermen and boat builders. He grew up on his father’s fishing boat. His artwork displays incredible range in mediums including glass, wood carving, and bronze sculpture.
This is a close-up of a piece by Harue Shimomoto that was another favorite of mine:
I once watched Shimomoto unpacking and hanging a piece at a SOFA show in Chicago. The delicate traceries of glass are hung in overlapping sections to create the full display. It was amazing to think that you can actually ship something this delicate.
Although this blog could go on for days on this topic, I’ll just include one more piece today, from Thomas Scoon:
“Stone/glass/stone/glass, the two substances layered like some sedimentary strata on the side of a cliff. But, though cold to the touch, Scoon’s assemblages still echo with their igneous source; this is the stuff of magma and the core.” – James Yood, Art Critic
It was quite a memorable evening. We were completely taken in by the art displays, but also tremendously enjoyed the company of the HIS Glassworks and Covington Engineering representatives. Their observations and comments were interesting and informative.
Visit for more information:
HIS Glassworks: http://www.hisglassworks.com/
Covington Engineering: http://www.covington-engineering.com/
Bullseye Glass: http://www.bullseyeglass.com/
Ken Saunders Gallery: http://www.marxsaunders.com/home.html
Echt Gallery: http://www.echtgallery.com
Vale Craft Gallery: http://www.valecraftgallery.com/
Artist Julie Clement creates intricate designs made of dots.
Clement’s Venus and Sun was displayed at the Longmount Museum & Cultural Center in Longmont, CO. Her pointillism follows renowned artists Lichtenstein and Seurat. It brings to mind the artwork of Australian aboriginal artists.
She is described on her website as “vivacious; and her energy, contagious!”, and looking at her colorful, flowing images certainly reflects that energy. Her paintings are composed of hundreds upon thousands of dots, and she describes her process as meditative. She draws inspiration from dreams, books, and life experiences.
Clement paints with acrylic on canvas, metal and wood. Visit her website: http://clementinedotart.com
We are buried in snow right now, with below zero temps and arctic winds buffeting the house. It’s a great time to think about the grasses that are dormant beneath the icy layers of snow, just waiting to spring forth in a few months. And who better to give you the feeling of grassy growth than Santa Fe artist Charlie Burk.
Burke has been painting landscape for over 40 years. His paintings seem a blend of abstraction and realism, with their vibrant colors and grassy stems and seeds.
Burke is one of the artists represented by the Winterowd Fine Art Gallery, one of the galleries that recently participated in the LA Art Show. The show took place at the LA Convention Center, January 2014. The Winterowd Gallery is located in Santa Fe, and notes that “many of our artists have an enduring fascination with nature that continue to inform and inspire.”
When walking in the nearby parks here in the Midwest, I am fascinated by the tall prairie grasses. I try again and again to capture their beauty, but don’t seem to quite capture the magic to my satisfaction. I am a little gratified that they seem to echo the feeling of Burke’s work.
It’s a new look for the Rowanberry Blog this year, and I have a new goal to strive for in continuing to post. Reflecting back on this artistic journey, I just can’t let it go and give it up. I have to keep trying to find the time to share artistic inspiration, at least more consistently if not as frequently. I also wanted to upgrade the look of the blog to be able to share larger images. There’s nothing like the impact of a large, beautiful image. For those who spend more time on the phone screen, I guess it might not matter, but if you get home to a nice large monitor… wow!
Today I am sharing some beautiful and somewhat surreal photography from Cody William Smith. He is a photographer and cinematographer with some interesting work. These pictures are from “A Moment’s Reflection”, from June of 2013.
“A Moment’s Reflection” is my ongoing study of specular, or mirror-like, reflections. My intention is to draw new connections between familiar forms by introducing specular reflections to environments where none would typically exist. The mirrors serve as a focal point within a given scene and also function as a window to provide an entirely unique perspective on the same location. -Cody William Smith
Smith specializes in landscape, fine art, and environmental portraiture. In the film world, he freelances as a gaffer, 1st AC, and photography assistant. He has an interesting set of credits to his name, including being involved with several professional music videos, short films and magazine shoots.
Visit Smith’s website: http://www.codyslr.com/
Kind of a convoluted blog story, but I belatedly saw this article (from 2011) and cracked up.
“The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living” by Damien Hirst
(Image credit: Fickr user Rupert Ganzer)
Kind of ironic that in “the physical impossibility of death”, the dead tiger shark suspended in an acrylic tank filled with 224 gallons of water immediately began to rot. Hirst’s artwork was on display at London’s Saatchi Gallery. It started to smell, and efforts began to stem the odor. They added bleach, which only made the shark decompose faster. Read the whole, fascinating story here: Neatorama.
I shouldn’t laugh – karma will always come back to you in the end. As much as you think you plan your artwork, you never know what you may forget to consider.
My fellow glass studio workers consistently tease me for the “Oeffling Standard of Work: Make it Last for 100 Years.” I insist on structuring pieces as best I can, to be as sturdy as they can be, so that they can withstand handling and often, outdoor elements, for as many years as possible. (No, I don’t believe I would guarantee one hundred years…)
So every dimensional stained glass piece I create has copper wire painstakingly soldered around each outside edge. This can add up to an hour or more of work for a small piece, not to mention copious amounts of solder, which keeps increasing in price. The copper wire reinforces the piece, holding it together as gravity tries year after year to make it sag apart.
So “ha” to my lovely co-creators in glass! Learn the lesson from Damien and wire that baby!
“I consider my work as an exploration and a celebration of nature. To pay attention to smell is my way to observe quietly what I encounter on my path, a form of meditation, “Caminando se hace el camino.” (translated, “walking is the way”). My blog is called Chemin Faisant. If you are really quiet, everything has a scent, even the pebbles, even the meteorites.
It is my way to acknowledge the mystery of being alive on this planet.” – Catherine Willis
Willis is always looking for interesting papers on which to create pieces. She has used essential oils as pigments, but also has utilized beeswax based pastels or watercolor.
Willis has also participated in olfactory performances, burning perfumes while accompanied by musicians playing instruments.
Her blog is a delight: http://catherinewillis.tumblr.com/
I am enjoying the artwork of Jun Kaneko (thanks to Brandie for the link to this artist!). He is an incredibly prolific artist, producing work in Ceramics, Bronze, Glass, Textile, Drawing, and Painting. Whoa.
The beauty of glass is in its capture of light, and Kaneko’s installations wow the eye with color and reflection.
Kaneko was born in Japan, and began his studies in painting. After coming to the U.S., he was drawn into sculptural ceramics. He has taught at some of the nations leading art schools, and holds honorary doctorates from several notable Universities.
He has fantastic pictures on his website. I love to see the scale of the work as shown by the photo above. See the finished pieces below.
Kaneko plays with scale and proportion, and is a pioneer in the field of monumental ceramic sculpture. His latest exhibition can be seen in Millennium Park in Chicago, IL, in the Boeing Galleries, from April through November of 2013.
See more on his website: http://www.junkaneko.com/
I came across some unique and beautiful photography today, from the lens of Bob Croslin.
Croslin starting taking portraits of injured birds at a local bird sanctuary in Florida.
Every Wednesday I would show up and photograph a bird or two never knowing what kind of bird and if I’d even come away with an image. I’d set up lights and a back drop and cross my fingers. Birds, like humans, don’t like to be in a new environment and would immediately run for the exit. Add a camera and several lights and inevitably we were corralling birds – no easy feat because several of the birds were still flighted. I can’t count how many times I was told by a sanctuary volunteer that there was no way I’d be able to photograph a particular bird – especially the shore birds. Every time I’d make an image that would blow them away. Nothing like a challenge to bring out the best in me. – Photographer Bob Croslin
Croslin was, in his own words, a “punk rock kid” who discovered a love for photography. Floating around without a definite goal, he ended up at the University of Florida, majoring in Journalism. This is where he really fell in love with telling stories with a camera.
His photos have a surreal quality, making you want to study them closer. They do draw you in to the tale. See more of his work on his website: http://www.bobcroslin.com/
Continuing on from yesterday’s blog featuring the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum, I want to share the wonderful experience of seeing glass artist Michael Meilahn at work.
We traveled out to the cornfields of Pickett, Wisconsin, to arrive at the family farm where he was raised, and where he and his family still farm today. Meilahn describes himself as a person with “one foot on the land and one foot in the sand”, referring to the fertile fields of corn and the sand which is the basis for glass.
We marveled at the texture and amazing color detail in his huge, blown glass ears of corn.
What looks like chocolate-dipped corn is actually wax. The glass piece is dipped into wax, which is then carefully peeled off to form the basis for a bronze casting that will fit the glass creation like a glove.
The expansive studio space allows plenty of room for machinery, glass equipment, and immense hanging ears of corn.
We were thrilled when Michael and his crew (that’s his son, in red), offered to create a piece so that we could watch the process, even though their usual crew consists of four members.
A metal rod is dipped into a furnace of molten glass to obtain a “gather” of glass at the end. After a couple of gathers of glowing, translucent amber, they coated it with yet another gather, this one of a creamy off-white color.
Nearing the end of the process, the ball of molten glass is rolled on a marver table to shape it further. You can see the metal corn form, tucked among the hoses on the right side of the picture. Now the process is moving really quickly, as they have limited time to form and mold the glass before it cools down. If it cools down too much, the glass will crack.
Michael quickly jumped up to the platform so that the glass could hang down inside of the form, which was quickly closed down to surround it. He blew into the end of the pipe to push out the glass into a long, corncob shape.
The mold opened up to reveal the glass corncob.
Now the finishing touches, where Michael used a caliper tool to grasp the end, pull and shape, and create a hole that is used to hang the glass.
A torch is used to flame along the project, so that the heat is evened out and kept relatively steady, without cooling too quickly.It is then placed into a large annealing kiln, where the controlled temperature drops slowly through the night, cooling slowly until it is taken out the next day.
I am so grateful to the Midwest Contemporary Glass Art Group (MCGAG) for the opportunity to come along on this field trip (with friend and member Brandie Dunn). It was quite a privilege to have this experience, and to have this demonstration really put the day over the top!
There is a lot to see online for Michael Meilahn – a number of You Tube videos and several gallery exhibitions. Take a look, and read a little bit more about this guy; it is quite interesting.
MWA: Wisconsin Museum of Art
You Tube on Upcoming Exhibition
Poor, neglected blog! I have been kept busy these days with other things, and I really need to post something new!
Fortunately, I have just the thing. I was recently invited to attend a field trip with The Midwest Contemporary Glass Art Group (MCGAG) to the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum in Neenah, Wisconsin. The museum had a wonderful exhibit on the legacy of Harvey Littleton and his students. Harvey was a ceramic artist and professor who is known as the “Father of the American Studio Glass Movement”.
The Museum is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Contemporary Studio Glass Movement. This is particularly fascinating to me as an art-lover and glass artist. Harvey Littleton paved the way for artists like myself to create art in their own home studios by developing a small, relatively inexpensive furnace that allowed artists to bring glass from factory production into home experimentation.
Harvey Littleton (American, b. 1922), Blue Crown
pulled and cased glass, 1988
Littleton’s students are some of the most world-renowned glass artists of our time, including Dale Chihuly and Marvin Lipofsky.
Dale Chihuly, Wild Poppy Persian
Marvin Lipofsky, Group Taiwan #4
It was hard to narrow the blog material down for this post. I could go on about the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum, the history of art glass, Littleton, Chihuly and Lipofsky, and all their contemporaries. This blog post could go on for weeks, and I like to keep my posts short and graphic. If you are interested in more, visit the links listed, and stay tuned for the next blog post to read about the rest of our field trip and a thrilling glass adventure in the farmlands of Wisconsin…
The Bergstrom-Mahler Museum: Wisconsin’s Glass Museum http://bergstrom-mahlermuseum.com/
Harvey Littleton http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvey_Littleton
Dale Chihuly http://www.chihuly.com/
Marvin Lipofsky http://www.marvinlipofsky.com/
I came across a beautiful piece of sculpture on design boom the other day. Take a look at the work of Rolf Sachs.
There is just a beautiful feeling about this sculpture. The hewn trough, the rough old bucket and battered stool. Dusty, workman’s things, highlighted by a glowing stream of blue light.
Sachs has a fun website as well. Put your cursor over the various objects to get a closer view, or a glimpse of imagination at work: www.rolfsachs.com My favorites are the white house with the staircase, and the round thing on the wall that looks like an old-fashioned thermostat. You just want to meet this guy because he has got to be a lot of fun!
Sachs is a business tycoon who is also an artist-designer, working out of London. He started in business, but over the years found the need to create taking over more of his life. He states, “Now I am 40 percent business, 40 percent studio, and 20 percent everything else I love to do in life”.
“We all have these incredibly huge egos, but actually we are just a small part of an enormous universe. I want people to look at this and for it to put a smile on their faces, because life demands humour more and more.” ‘Rolf Sachs, from an article in The Financial Times, December 7, 2007, “the Joy of Sachs”
I have upgraded my Rowanberry Studio website, using a lovely template from WordPress.: https://rowanberrystudio.com. I have Fall/Winter shows coming up, so this is a great time to have a new showcase.
Art of the Land is one of my favorite shows. I participated last year and can’t wait to go back to the Starline Gallery this September. I hope any of you blog readers who are local can come out to see the show. Entries must be nature-inspired, showcasing the beauty of McHenry County. The people involved are warm and welcoming. The Starline is amazing. See more about the Starline, an old factory turned studio space. See more about the great work being done by the Land Conservancy of McHenry County.
Finding the right typography for a graphic design project can take me hours. In looking for something functional, I often get sidetracked by creative and fun ways that designers re-create alphabetic design.
Today’s fun find is a sculpture based on the art of Wassily Kandinsky. Here is one of his paintings, just to remind you (or introduce you to) his style:
And here is the recent sculpture, created by Turkish graphic designer, Büyükbas.
“I had the idea of experimenting with Kandinsky’s color and form theory in 3 dimension. I started with thinking each letter as a 3d canvas to play around with color and form, but also together they would form a type experimentation on Kandinsky. I presented each letter as a color and form composition and tried to relate them with the space as they are intended to be perceived in 3d dimension.” Sinan Buyukbas, from Behance Network
Büyükbas only recently graduated with his MA Degree in Visual Communication and Design. He is a Motion Designer and 3D Artist, specializing in the emotional perception of computer generated audio and visuals.
See more great photos and close-ups on the Behance Network: http://www.behance.net/gallery/KANDINSKY-TYPE/4039379
The world is flocking to London for the Summer Olympics, and I wonder how many will wander away from the athletes to discover art? Those who find the Shizaru Gallery in Mayfair will find the work of Holton Rower.
Pouring container after container of paint, Rower creates bold and wild masses of color.
Several hundred cups of acrylic paint are lined up and waiting before each “pour” begins. The paints are poured one by one over specially constructed platforms. Each pour consists of up to 50 gallons of paint.
The paints used vary in texture, creating different rates of flow and dry. Some are infused with reflective elements. Cost for these immense paintings can range from $20,000 to $55,000.
See more on Rower’s website: http://holtonrower.com/
We do need rain. This time it’s not just our little corner of the Midwest, but widespread, this hot hot weather and drought. Today, Art + Com brings you a beautiful kinetic sculpture of golden raindrops.
ART+COM is a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring new mediums in the fields of art, design, science and technology. they were commissioned by Changi Airport Group in Singapore to create a signature art installation.
The sculpture is made of two parts, each with 608 rain droplets made of lightweight aluminum that has been covered in copper. A hidden computer-controlled motor controlls the precise, floating movement of the drops.
The photos above are still shots taken from the video, which is really beautiful and set to amazing music.
[vimeo 45188800 w=400 h=300]If by some reason the video does not work, see it on the ART+COM site: http://www.artcom.de/en/news
In fact, the site is worth a visit to see more of what they do as well. They have an 80 member team of media artists and designers, software developers, media technicians and engineers. Their projects are beautiful and thought-provoking.
I like the idea of decorating staircase treads. In one of the most stunning examples, Aileen Barr and Colette Crutcher worked with over 300 volunteers to create this mosaic:
The steps contain over 2,000 handmade tiles and 75,000 fragments of tile, mirror and stained glass.
Even the average person with a supply of paint can brighten up the staircase in their life. I like Horst Glasker’s work, using Pantone colors for these steps.
Horst Glasker Pantone Steps
Decorated steps are not a new idea. The famous decorated staircase of Caltagirone paved the way long ago. (sorry:)
There are 142 steps in the staircase, each decorated with a unique design.
Caltagirone is located on the island of Sicily, and is long famous for its pottery, specifically majolica and terra cotta ware. The staircase was built in 1608.
San Francisco steps Via My Modern Met
I know, I seem to have dropped off the planet. My computer work has gotten quite busy, and the gardening season has been here for a while now. Instead of my cozy winter mornings searching out new art online, I have been making over my perennial beds, digging grass with long white roots, and persistently fighting bindweed vines. Beautiful gardens are indeed a form of art.
My own art is coming along, with a nice boost from my blacksmith friend Will Slagel. He stopped over yesterday to bring more iron stands for the mandalas.
Lily of the Valley is my current favorite, despite the fact that I have to use a purchased stand, and not a custom design by Will. I made this piece with several layers, and so it is too thick to fit in the other stands.
Now my current focus must be getting these out into the world, specifically by finding galleries that would be a perfect fit for my work.
What’s an Alpona, you ask?
An Alpona is a common Indian folk art form, made of patterns meant to adorn an area for celebration. Five of Bangladesh’s leading senior artists led 220 young artisans and thousands of citizens to create this form by hand, covering the full 1-kilometer stretch of Manik Mia Avenue in joyful celebration of the Bangla New Year.
Alpona, photo from www.psfk.com
The basic Alpona is made up of shapes in a symmetric design. Occasional breaks in the symmetry offer an element of surprise, making each design unique.
Although the world’s largest Alpona was created with many colors of paint, the traditional Alpona is usually white. A paste is created with finely ground white rice and cold water, then usually the artist uses a rag dipped in the paste to create the design.
I found a nice blog post detailing more information about this interesting art form: http://omhome.blogspot.com/2008/11/about-alpona.html
I took a quick trip last week to Door County, Wisconsin, a much beloved summer destination for those around the Chicagoland area that yearn for the fresh, piney air of the North Woods. Door County is a seven mile finger of land that extends out from Wisconsin and into Lake Michigan. It is a charming area with five state parks and 300 miles of shoreline with Green Bay on the West and Lake Michigan on the East.
Although cold for a night of camping last week, at least the tourist season wasn’t in full swing yet, and so I could navigate the tiny towns and their art galleries without the excesses of traffic and strolling tourists that clog the sidewalks.
The Arts abound on this beautiful peninsula with over 100 galleries, many featuring internationally known artists.
Edgewood Orchard Gallery is located in Fish Creek, and features work from William Jauquet and Chris Jauquet. Father and son each have their own unique technique sculpting and fabricating in metal.
James G. Moore’s bell sculptures were among my favorite things at this gallery. I loved wandering through the paths of the sculpture garden, occasionally hearing the deep tones of the bells as random visitors used padded mallets to vibrate the carved bronze bells.
Moore hails from Colorado, and you can read the history of the land and the wildlife in his creations. I loved reading his blog and learning about his inspirations. He has also begun a series of videos on You Tube that give you insight into his process and bring you to an Arizona gallery opening.
Explore some more…
Door County: http://www.doorcounty.com/
Edgewood Orchard Galleries: http://www.edgewoodorchard.com/content/
William Jauquet: http://www.jauquet.com/
Chris Jauquet: http://www.chrisjauquet.com/
James G. Moore: http://www.sculpturebyjgmoore.com/jamesg.moorefine.html, Read the Blog: http://sculpturebyjgmoore.blogspot.com/?view=classic
In my last post I blogged about the Monumenta art installation at the Grand Palais in Paris. The art exhibitions are amazing, but the building is blog-worthy as well.
The Grand Palais was constructed in 1900 for the Universal Exhibition. The Universal Exhibitions were world fairs, and some of the buildings created for these monumental events include the Crystal Palace in London, and the Eiffel Tower. A competition was held for the design, and the final was a collaborative effort between architects Henri Deglane, Albert Louvet, Albert Thomas, and coordinator Charles Girault.
The Grand Palais’ glass roof is the largest in Europe.The building is a complex that houses a science museum, the Galeries nationales (art collections), a restaurant, a central police station, rehearsal rooms and additional exhibition space. Chanel hosts many fashion shows here each year.
The Nave is the central area of the building, and the best known part of the Palais, with its magnificent glass roof. (On a side note, FYI, a “nave” is the central approach to the high altar of a church.)
Visit the official site to take a virtual tour – it is a beautiful journey online: http://www.grandpalais.fr/visite/en/#/the-exploration/ If you can’t get to Paris to see it in person, this is the next best thing. Wow.
‘Excentrique(s)’, Daniel Buren, 2012, in situ at the Grand Palais.
Photography: Didier Plowy, courtesy: Daniel Buren, ADAGP, Paris
Buren’s work “in situ” is created on the site, and is one of the hallmarks of his work. He first began working onsite as a struggling artist, because he could not afford a studio.
“Parisian daylight has a very special quality—sometimes soft, sometimes hard—and when you’re under this amazing roof, there’s nothing obstructing it from flooding in. All the time I was thinking of ways of sculpting light and air.” -Daniel Buren, from the Wall Street Journal
Part of Buren’s inspiration resulted from a drawing of five concentric circles that he saw while leafing through a book of Arabian mathematical drawings from the 10th century. He saw that the circles covered a greater amount of space than any other geometric form.
I am disappointed that I broke my streak of consistent blog posting 4-5 days per week. However, it was for a very good reason. I had a relative from the family tree track down our branch of the family, and she came from Buenos Aires to visit. She brought a huge poster of our family tree, with pictures of my grandparents, their brothers and sisters, and the descending relatives. It was truly amazing. We then skyped with another relative in Slovenia, where our history as we know it begins, and I was able to introduce the two of them, making another new connection in the family. I can’t imagine traveling so far to stay with an unknown family, but we had an amazing week together and made a lasting connection.
We found out so many interesting things about our family history. Our visitor is a neurologist, with an additional degree in psychiatry. We found out about a cousin who was involved in diamond mining in Africa, was a millionaire, then mysteriously lost everything and came back to Slovenia with nothing. We have cousins who migrated to England and France. And we heard many sad stories about the war, and the bad times they endured in Slovenia.
“Art and culture hold a special place in Slovenian history, as they helped the Slovenes to compensate in many ways for the lack of national political and government institutions in the past.” from Slovenia.si
According to the website, Slovenia.si, Slovenian painting reached its qualitative peak with works of Impressionism, displayed at an acclaimed exhibition in Vienna in 1904.
St Michael church, on the outskirt of Ljubljana, Jože Plečnik
Photo by Karmen Smolnikar @ Flickr
Slovenia is also proud to claim architect Jože Plečnik, whose influence is seen in the shaping of Vienna, Prague and Ljubliana. He was considered a visionary and a reformer, using new building materials and acting as a pioneer in urban planning. His style was unique in that it was highly original and experimental, yet simultaneously incorporated historical dimension and established traditions.
Meeting family, and hearing about the history of my own family in particular, gives me a feeling I can hardly describe. I feel very small, just a tiny part of this long time line. In these days of disconnected families, it is truly a treasure to have this knowledge and have history come alive.
A Recent History of Art in Southern California(Mass MoCA #165) 1998-2012, Stephen Hannock
polished mixed media on canvas
8 x 20 feet
The paintings are huge, as you can see above, this one at 8 x 20 feet. His technique is unique and original, working with acrylics, resin, pasted papers and photographs. Specialized brushes and power sanders are the tools he utilizes, producing light effects which are his signature style.
Northern City Renaissance, Mauve Dawn (Mass MoCA #161), 2012, Stephen Hannock
polished mixed media on canvas
8 x 12 feet
Hannock layers, then sands and polishes, and layers again, achieving luminous light effects, as if the paintings are glowing from within. He works in bits of handwritten text, comments on the locations and histories.
The Oxbow: For Lane Faison with Betty and Agnes Mongan (Mass MoCA #147), 2011, Stephen Hannock
polished mixed media on canvas
6 x 9 feet
Hannock studied art at Smith College, and though he moved to Manhatten in the early 1980’s, involved in the downtown contemporary art scene, his focus has been primarily on landscape.
This exhibition at the Marlborough includes a display in the Process Room that includes notebooks and studies for the large pictures, equipment he uses, multi-media displays that give insight to his approach, and also early work that displays the evolution of his painting style.
See more of his images: http://www.stephenhannock.com/index.html
I was looking at the overview of Spencer Finch’s installations, and the thing that really struck me was the way that he fills space.
In many of the pieces that I work on, I find myself going smaller, and smaller, and using toothpicks or tweezers to move tiny little pieces. It give me a great feeling of expansion to view Finch’s work, filling a room.
Finch has been strongly influenced by Monet, and the study of light. He plays with light, color, and time to influence human perception. I think that the expansive spaces that hold his constructions certainly add to the feeling of being immersed.
“As abstract and ephemeral as some of Finch’s projects appear to be, they are based in fact and scientific phenomena. He acutely observes natural occurrences, which he then filters through memory as well as literary, artistic, and scientific accounts. The results are often poetic, as he tries to make visible what cannot easily be seen,” – Judith Tannenbaum, Richard Brown Baker Curator of Contemporary Art.
It is an odd mix of favorite things I have – being outside, in a kayak, in the woods, on a beach, and being on the computer, staring at a screen. I guess I am in good company with Sandra Dieckmann, whose artwork is reflective of my own passions.
Dieckmann is an artist based in London, working as a freelance illustrator. She explores a love for animals through her talent for illustration.
I guess she is pulled in different directions as well. She writes in her blog that she is sad to leave her position with the RSPCA (leading UK animal welfare charity) so that she can pursue her freelance work.
Sweet Dreams Ursus Arctus, Sandra Dieckmann
The fabulous SOFA Show (Sculptural Objects and Functional Art) began its 2012 season on April 20 in New York.
Iskandar returns again this year with her blown glass sculptures. She builds her pieces in 3-D patterns, using repetition to build the form.
Each segment is blown from molten glass to achieve the shapes, which are then cut and fused together. The simplicity of the overall form catches the attention, but the complexity of the structure up close is quite intricate.
Jeannet Iskandar at the Heller Gallery
Jeannet Iskandar is based in Denmark and has shown her work in galleries in the U.S. and Europe. See more of her work at the Heller Gallery.
Piles and piles of trash create a new form of sedimentary sculpture, and surprisingly, integrate beautifully with natural forest floor.
Siegel’s sculptures draw attention to the process of compaction, layer upon layer, building up in our landfills.
Siegel stacks literally tons of newspapers over large wooden armatures to create massive boulder shapes.
His works have been installed across Europe and North America. He enlists the help of paid staff and volunteers to complete his projects, using free materials that are available in large quantities.
See more of his work on his website: http://www.stevensiegel.net/index.html
On Earth Day, thinking of the Earth . . . I found artist Terry Berlier.
Reclaimed Time, Terry Berlier
2′ x 2′ x 2″
Berlier works primarily with sculpture and expanded media. She often focuses on everyday objects, the environment. With “Reclaimed Time”, she reflects on the “perspective of deep time and long-term thinking, both into the future and into the past.” (from her website)
Long Time II, Terry Berlier
Plywood, aircraft cable
In “Long Time II”, Berlier created the sculpture in Girona, Spain. There are 61 rings in the sculpture, referring to Professor Nalini Nadkarni’s research comparing the number of trees in the world to the population. Back in 2008 Nadkarni did a study using data from NASA, finding that the world’s human population as of Dec. 31, 2008, was approx. 6,456,789,877. It turns out that in 2008, we had about 61 trees on the planet per person.
Core Sampling (Tick Tock), Terry Berlier
FGR-95, dyes, steel, motors, MAKE Controller, computer, sensor, microscope camera, PVC, aluminum, pocket watch, MAX
“Core Sampling” is pretty interesting – it creates sound from handmade pseudo core samples. See and hear it in action: http://www.terryberlier.com/core.html
We all know the common things that come from trees, like paper, books, & furniture. Here are some things you might not have thought of: buttons, chewing gum, cork, crayons, linoleum, luggage, pingpong balls, rubber, tambourines, tires and turpentine. (compiled by Professor Nalini Nadkarni’s graduate students)
Maybe its just a thing I have with dead insects. Despite my prejudices, I can truly appreciate the delicate and fine work that goes into Ten Donkelaar’s artwork.
“Goudraffeltje”, Anne Ten Donkelaar
Dutch artist Anne Ten Donkelaar collects broken butterflies and repairs them with fine care and skill. The broken wings above are fixed with gold leaf to give them new, luminous edges.
Look closely. Not a fuzzy photo, but two embroidered wings on top.
My personal favorite, the moth whose wings are completed with pieces of maps. Some of the maps used are the ones of the country where the moth originated.
See her website for more of her work. She also creates flower collage pieces and other intricate threadwork art. http://anneten.nl/
Krista Charles spends about two hours per artistic creation, painstakingly drawing inside a matchbox cover.
Charles finds the physical location of the business on the matchbook, then searches Google Maps. Inside the matchbook, she makes a pencil sketch of whatever is shown at the location.
McCarvers Old Town, Tacoma, Washington, Krista Charles
She describes her work as a unique view into the previous business, the dreams of its owner, and how places and histories change over time.
Although Sandra Kantanen’s work is photography of real landscapes, her technique is other-worldly, fantasy come to life.
In her earlier work, she was inspired to work in the tradition of Chinese landscape painting, developing a technique to combine painting and photography.
In this series, Shadow Images, she has photographed places in China, Tibet, Finland, and Japan.
“Entering these different cultures have given me insight into very different ways of perceiving image.” Sandra Kantanen, from Helsinki School
Kantanen creates acrylic paintings on metal plate, then prints her photographs with pigment over the painting, finishing with varnish. The results are magical, misty and dream-like.
Each beautiful work evokes a story; I feel like I am peering through illustrations of a fantasy novel. See her website for gorgeous, large images of her work: http://sandrakantanen.com/works
I don’t often put the words “architecture” and “jewelry” together, but that is exactly what artist Ute Decker does with her sculptural, wearable pieces. She is being showcased in July of 2012 at the London Festival of Architecture.
“Ute Decker’s work has a contemporary yet somehow timeless feel. Her pieces are not so much literal re-interpretations of actual edifices but rather wearable sculptures suggestive of an architectural language of forms. ” from Art Daily
individually hand-crafted in recycled silver
sand texture, matte finish
Minimalist neck cuff, Ute Decker
semi-matt, individually hand-crafted in recycled silver
Decker is influenced by the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, which is the art of finding beauty in imperfection, accepting natural cycles of growth, decay and death, simple, slow, uncluttered and authentic. On her website, she writes, “serene beauty requires discipline, not ostensible splendour – or even perfection. by leaving small marks of the work-process of bending, forming and joining the hand-made quality of crafting remains visible as a humble recognition of our human flaws and imperfections.” See more of her work: www.utedecker.com
The environmental art commission for Islington’s City Road Basin was launched about a year ago, in May 2011. British artist Tania Kovats designed a floating garden, an organic sculpture, to attract attention and enhance this hidden public space.
The island is constructed from a floating pontoon, and contains planted trays and a damp water meadow made up of rare local aquatic plants. The nests are inspired by local birds, including moorhens, herons and swans.
Listen to Planting List
Meadow Sweet, Cotton Grass, Wild Red Clover
Scabious, Cowslip, Sorrell
Yellow Rattle, Toadflax, Ox Eyed Daisy
Marjoram, Milfoil, Yarrow.
Water Mint, Musk Mallow
Cat’s Ear, Weeping Sedge
Ragged Robin, Campion
Yellow Flag Iris
Buttercup, Betony, Bulrush
In advance of the Walk | Talk on 17th Sept – a piece inspired by the list of plants used as ‘plugs’ for HABITAT, and those found growing in the meadow turf. (from Sarah Butler’s blog: http://secretgardenproject.wordpress.com/)
Kovats’ overall body of work has focused on landscapes and geological processes. Online articles abound regarding her work, but I did not find an artist’s website. If you want a quick glance of her body of work, search “Tania Kovats” in Google Images.
The photos are breathtaking, although I am partial to snakes anyway. It is Mocafico’s eye for patterns in nature that pulls my eye and holds my attention.
You know and recognize his subjects, but his arresting work takes you past the reality and into the mesmerizing patterns.
Mocafico lives in Paris, and specializes in still life photography. He works for several international magazines and has undertaken many advertising campaigns for renowned designers such as Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, and Hermës. He has several books published (see Amazon) as well. See his website for more exquisite composition and detailed still life photography: www.guidomocafico.com
In searching the web every day for interesting pieces of art, I come across some very odd things. I usually post what I think is pleasing to me, things I personally think are beautiful, or thought provoking. Funny and odd come into play as well, and today’s artist cracks me up.
Katchadourian was in the lavatory on a flight when she spontaneously put a tissue paper toilet seat cover on her head and took a picture with her cell phone. It reminder her of 15th-century Flemish art. The black background was created by hanging her black scarf on the wall.
Here is a little reference for you, some old Flemish masters:
She subsequently took a long flight from San Francisco to Aukland, and made several more trips to the lavatory, cell phone in hand, to compile a collection of her Lavatory Self-Portraits.
I love the expressions on her face. See more of this series on her website: www.ninakatchadourian.com/photography/sa-flemish.php
Katchadourian works in a wide variety of media, including sculpture, video and sound. Her work has been exhibited in the U.S., Europe, Japan, and New Zealand.
Her website is interesting – and there is a lot of stuff there to peruse. One of my favorites is the Mended Spiderweb Series.
She actually used red sewing thread to mend broken spiderwebs, held in place by the sticky spider web itself. The morning after her first patch job, she discovered a pile of thread laying on the ground. Apparently the spider repaired the web and discarded the unwanted man-made materials.
I am left speechless at the process of creativity, and how she views & interacts with the world around her.
I’m so late with my blog posting today. Sometimes I just can’t find the right thing to feature. I came across these paintings today from Singapore artist Prabhakara Jimmy Quek, and they caught my fancy.
I like the gradations of color and abstract look to this. It also reminds me of some of the ripped paper collage pieces I have seen lately.
Quek has participated in group art exhibitions around the world, including Europe and the U.S. He lives and works in Singapore.
Quek began as a student of the Nanyang Academy of Fine Art and La Salle of Singapore. At the end of his first year, he was promoted to third year status. His career began with his own design company, but moved into full time painting.
He uses the Sanskrit name “Prabhakara” to sign his work, which means “Store of Light.” See his work online: http://pabha.com/.
I take a lot of disappointing pictures when I am out hiking or kayaking. Things that just amaze me by their form or delicacy don’t translate the way that I SEE them in my eyes. So many pictures come out flat and mediocre, nothing special.
Michael McGillis’ sculptures have a pop of color that forcefully pulls your eye to look and see.
It is exaggerated by his use of man made materials, but that’s what I SEE as I float down the stream – the beauty of how a random pattern of twigs traces over the rocks, the way that one piece curves and bends…
Neon colors illuminate the cracks, highlighting the deliberate and precise laying of stone, drawing your eye up around the beautiful old door and climbing higher still.
Although I have my typical rose-colored-glasses perspective, drawing your eye to the beauty is not really his goal. In an artist’s statement, he speaks about portraying the impact of human presence upon the environment, and our shifting interpretations of what is natural. The pretty neon colors in Infiltration are actually those ubiquitous plastic bags that float through the air, finding their way into pristine environments and polluting the earth.
See more of his outdoor installations, as well as his studio work on his website: http://michaelmcgillis.com/
(spotted on studiogblog)
When I look at Henrique Oliveira’s work, I am overwhelmed by the feeling of POWER.
The artist grew up in São Paulo, Brazil, where he still lives and works. As an art student, he scavenged deteriorating tapumes, strips of wood fencing surrounding construction sites, for his sculpture.
”What first caught my attention on this kind of deteriorated plywood was its pictorial aspect,”
“The textures, the colors and the different tones that were organized in layers, reminded me of a painting surface,”
Some of the sculptures appear as if they were created from a gigantic hand, wielding an enormous paintbrush. Others, like the tree trunk pictured above, erupt like living things, breaking through the concrete like a blown up version of saplings in an abandoned parking lot.
It is well worth a visit to his site to see his installations as well as his paintings. The photos are beautiful and large – eye-popping works that fill the screen with writhing forms and bursts of color. See it for yourself: http://www.henriqueoliveira.com
My friends and family tease me about my obsession with fonts. I have been known to shout out “Copperplate” or “Papyrus” while passing billboards along the highway. Fonts and typefaces are a major part of a graphic designer’s life, trying to make things readable, or unique, or expressive. There are a million fonts out there, and I can spend days scrolling along looking for the perfect one for a project. The font I came across today on Design Boom is worth posting about.
So maybe it’s not what you are used to – it isn’t clean and crisp. It’s not really consistent in its spacing and form. But how he made it is so interesting!
Khasanov is a Russian graphic designer, and he created the font with sunlight. He dabbed gel onto a piece of glass and drew the letters with a clean brush. Bringing that piece to the sunlight, the light was refracted into colors, similar to how light is dispersed in a rainbow.
Visit Khasanov’s website to see the font in a moving image, and also some other very cool designs, like Liquid Calligraphy and Pixel Distortion: http://ruskhasanov.com Visit Design Boom as well to see his work, which is where I spotted it in the first place.
Artist Anne Lindberg describes her work as “subtle, rhythmic, abstract and immersive”. (from interview with Les Femmes Folles) I think her words describe her work beautifully.
Her shimmering curtains of vibrant colored thread seems to float through space, rainbows of light spectrum.
After earning her B.F.A., Lindberg worked as a curatorial assistant at the Smithsonian, dealing with textiles. She continued on, studying fiber arts at the Cranbrook Academy of Art. Her artwork gravitated to drawing, but her recent works return to her textile roots.
In a close-up view, the staples and threads become visible, and you can see the detailed structure of her creations. Visit her website to see more of her work, including detailed drawings and mixed media pieces that contain the same intricate, detailed precision as her installations: www.annelindberg.com
I am not a shopper, and I live in a pretty rural area, so window displays are not in my everyday world. Luckily, the world of Pinterest brings bits of everything to my screen, and thanks to metalsmith Troy Hines, I got a glimpse into the world of high fashion displays.
Louis Vitton Window Display, from RodeoWindowDisplays.com
Hines posted the image on his Pinterest bulletin board, which led me to another interesting discovery – the blog of MissMentomori. Her blog is worth a visit to see the bizarre and artistic fashion designs posted.
Louis Vitton Window Display, image from MissMentomori’s Blog
This last image was taken in Dublin, Ireland.
Louis Vitton Display Window, image from Alex Monroe
Alex Monroe’s site was another great discovery. A British jewelry designer, Monroe uses nature to inspire his whimsical jewelry. I might have to feature his designs in a blog soon, but if you care to check it out, here is the website: http://www.alexmonroe.com/
Artist Scott Hazard works with photography to turn it into a sculptural piece of art, drawing the viewer in to explore. His work is being featured in the New Works Exhibition at Artspace, a visual arts center in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he is an artist in residence.
Hazard creates new physical spaces by layering images. He considers his work more sculpture than photography.
He photographs dozens and dozens of images, then reviews them to select a few that have room for a space to explore. He will also search for elements that can be highlighted, as in the photo above. Part of his work involves sketching different sculptural voids, experimenting with what looks best.
Ad agencies are forever trying to integrate client content with marketing strategies and eye catching art design. Designer Andrew Miller, with Carbone Smolan Agency, is doing an about-face with his Brand Spirit Project. Before you read the titles, can you guess the item?
Every day for 100 days, Miller paints a branded object white, reducing the object to its purest form.
He has set the rule for himself that the item must be purchased for under $10, something he owns already, something given to him, or something he has found.
Did you ever realize how recognizable the shape of certain things are? And take a good look at one of my favorite items, the ubiquitous Sharpie marker. Did you ever notice the beautiful way the marker tapers down at the tip end? How smooth and rounded the form is in your hand? (Well, I am partial to nice writing instruments.)
I like this project, and the way it really makes me look at the design of the things around me, in my home and at my desk. Watch his progress as he continues with Brand Spirit: http://brandspirit.tumblr.com/
Oh, the beautiful Midwest weather these days! Spring has us out in the garden already, and it is tool time.
With many design awards and several patents to his name, Ahnjoonggeum now brings art to the zen task of raking leaves. I look at this rake and wonder why every tool or functional item we use every day can’t be a beautiful work of art. Now you can get your yard work done and have a wall display too! Go to his website for a view of the lovely rake in several colors – wow. www.ahnjoonggeun.com
So the rake was functional, but the shovels not so much. They are beautiful though, plasma cut creations by sculptor Cal Lane. She uses contradiction in her work, pulling together contrasting ideas and materials.
Oldenburg’s sculptures take the ordinary and blow it up to a playful, gigantic size. Visit his website to view more enormous works, including things from our theme today (saw, hammer, pickaxe), and also some other miscellaneous (some of my favorites: a spoon & cherry, shuttlecock, and a button).
Pop-up books are most commonly thought of as books for children, although I think most adults must enjoy them as much. Andreas Johansson has a new exhibit that puts a new spin on the pop-up.
Swedish artist Johansson’s first solo exhibit, From Where the Sun Now Stands, is at the Galleri Flach in Stockholm. The landscape sets he creates are set up in pop-up books with six pages each, showing different perspectives of a vacant lot.
The artist spent a lot of time skateboarding in his youth, drawn to desolate industrial lots where boarders have space to ride. He cuts photographs to build these paper environments, giving us a sense of escape and exploration.
“For me, deserted places have a great symbolic value. They represent society’s backside, but also freedom beyond control and regulations. As a child, it was the funniest playground imaginable.” -Andreas Johansson, from the Volta Show in New York
There is a lot of art to be seen from the New York subway, and there is an Apple App to help you find it.
Sandra Bloodworth, director of the MTA Arts for Transit and Urban Design, believes that New York’s transit system is the largest museum in the world. The new app can guide you to find it all, and you can also view it online on the Subway Art Guide.
The Subway Art Guide can be found on a site dedicated to the history of the New York City Subway system. The site, nycsubway.org, has many volunteers that help to create the wealth of information to be found there. They are not affiliated with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and began in 1995 as a photo essay site.
Click on the links in the paragraphs above and check it out. There is an abundance of glass art, which I can really appreciate, but a lot of other things to see as well. It is a really interesting site to visit, giving you bits of history, maps, and miscellaneous subway facts.
I have blogged about aboriginal art before, as it is one of my favorite inspirations. Artist Terry Hays creates beautiful painted works that also are inspired by other cultures and countries such as Australia, Indonesia, New Guinea and China.
Hays painted sets for stage production for many years, his art career starting then stopping as his life went on, eventually returning to painting his own artwork.
Some of his work (I am guessing this includes the pieces featured above), is made with tree roots from his back yard that he transforms with paint.
Hays speaks of finding a “new voice” as he continued to explore his art. The statements that he makes about his art strongly resonate with me:
“… what art should be or should not be
…trying to create the extraordinary or phenomenal versus following the path of least resistance
…what we think we are communicating versus what people see”
See more of his work: web.me.com/jamesterryhays
Visit his Tumblr blog: http://terryhays.tumblr.com/
Fly Freeman is not what I expected. When I first saw her sculptures, some of them quite large, and carved from wood or stone, I assumed Fly was a man. I looked at her website and found wonderful images, but not a lot about Fry herself. Then I found an interview on You Tube, and was impressed by her views on transforming and caring for a community by beautifying it.
Freeman trained at the Edinburgh College of Art. Her sculptures can be seen in Scotland, England, France, and in private collections.
Not only do I love her sculptures, she also works in collaboration with a glass artist. Francis Muscat works with Fly, and joins in her passion for public art that can transform the feeling of a place.
With their shared passions for art, and shared desire to impact the community in a positive way, the two artists bring something special. See more of their work: http://www.flyfreeman.com/home.html and http://muscatfreeman.com/muscatfreeman/
French artist Mathieu Lehanneur’s sculpture allows the viewer to be a day ahead of time.
He originally created the piece with the intention of displaying it in the Palliative Care Unit of the Croix-Saint-Simon Hospital Group. Weather information is gathered in real time online, then the image of the sky is diffused through a honeycomb structure.
As he explains on his public talk on TED, Lehanneur is inspired by science and its ability to deeply investigate the human being — our ways of working, and our ways of feeling.
His background is in Industrial Design, and when he opened his first studio in 2001 it was dedicated to industrial design and interior architecture. Soon after, he developed a passion for interactions between people and their environment; living systems and the scientific world.
Check out his website for some amazing interior designs: www.mathieulehanneur.fr
King’s Cross is a London railway station built when Queen Victoria was in the early years of reigning her country. It is currently in the finishing stages of an eight year, almost $800 million dollar restoration. Architectural firm John McAslan & Partners has transformed the space, and it is breathtaking.
The new station will be complete in time for the 2012 Olympics, providing a super-hub with new infrastructure and improved interchange links with other public transportation.
Design Boom featured King’s Cross last Friday, and they have some exclusive photos that are lovely – picture this network of line bathed in bright purple, or soft, deep blue. Their photos are copyrighted, so I can’t share them here, but you can click over to Design Boom and see all the photos.
Grateful Dead musician Jerry Garcia passed away in 1995, but as Dead-Heads all over the world can testify, his music and legacy lives on. Leaving a legacy of music is one thing, but Garcia also left a few artworks behind.
Garcia was a student at the San Francisco Art Institute, and though he went on to become famous for his music, he also painted as often as possible. There is a wild and interesting mix in the things he left behind, but undeniably there was talent there.
In his lifetime, he produced over 2,000 original works. He used quality materials in his work – the best Schmincke watercolors, and Prismacolor pencils, and as a result, most of the work is fully archival.
Garcia painted strictly for his own pleasure and amusement. Now, galleries are benefiting with prices as much as $100,000 for a single piece from the deceased artist. See more of his original work at the Weir Gallery online.
Environmental artists usually have some time to enjoy their creations. If you consider calling the rock cairns I posted about art, you might enjoy them for weeks. The sand sculptures created by Jim Denevan might only have hours, or minutes.
Denevan creates drawings on sand, earth and ice which are then erased by wind, waves and weather.
The photo above shows his work in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert in 2009. He spent two weeks drawing out the design, marking the pattern freehand, but using GPS for the four largest circles. He widened the lines with a pickup truck and a roll of chain. When part of the lake filled up with water, the enormous artwork vanished.
“These ephemeral sand drawings are performances. They emerge like a dance and become interactive public spaces when he’s done. Surfers walk over and through the elegant patterns he leaves behind. Delighted beachgoers follow the curling spiral work like it’s a labyrinth, pacing inwards and then retracing their steps. The incoming tide participates as well, and always has the last word as it erases the temporary artworks with the sweep of each passing wave.” – from GreenMuseum.org
When you see his figure, so small amidst the large scale drawing, you can’t imagine how he can create such perfect forms. View more images and information on his website: http://jimdenevan.com/jim.htm
Creating stained glass windows is a meticulous art, but the work of Eric Standley goes over and above the fine detail required for a typical church window.
Standley will work out a design on paper and then laser-cut the intricate pieces in a process that can take months. Sometimes his works are as thick as 3″ deep in layers.
The artist works as a design coordinator for Virginia’s School of Visual Arts.
His background is pretty interesting — from earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston he went on to study Renaissance oil painting. He then moved into the field of technology-based imaging, employing laser engraving and cutting. It has all come together in a tremendous result. See more at: ericstandley.30art.com
One of the features this past weekend in Art Daily announced the collaboration of Buckingham Companies and the Indianapolis Museum of Art in creating for The Alexander, a new hotel in downtown Indianapolis. I researched one of the participating artists, and was happy to find the work of Alyson Shotz.
Alyson performs beautiful manipulation of light and reflection in her installations. She is based in Brooklyn, New York, and her works are in the collections of several prestigious museums, including the Guggenheim, the Hirshhorn, and MoMA.
“I don’t think of myself as a site-specific artist,” says Shotz. “I think about my work being able to be molded into the space that’s offered to me. I like the idea of something morphable or modular.” When presented with the triple-height, sun-drenched space, she says, “I wondered what it might look like to see light stopped in time.” – from ArtInfo.com
Mirror Fence is one of her earlier works, from 2003, but one of my favorites. I would love to see this piece interacting with my yard – reflecting growing blooms, birds, snow falling, and whatever else passes through.
See more photos of Shotz’ installations on the Derek Eller Gallery site: derekeller.com
Spring is coming here to the Midwest, temps are creeping up, grass is turning green. It is a subtle change, like the soft colors in watercolor art.
Curley sculpts in low-fire clay, hand-building vases and landscapes with references to geology and nature. The fired surface of this type of clay is porous enough to accept water color paint, colored pencil, and collage.
“I enjoy playing with visual balance, thrusts & checks, overlays, see-throughs, textures, hints, secrets, & suggestions…
The clay stretches, twists, tears, rebounds, talks back…….so responsive & sassy!…
I treat it like wonderful 3-D watercolor paper.” Jayme Curley
It was hard to choose which pieces of her work to feature here – all of her work is mesmerizing to me, dreamlike. I want to hold it in my hands and stare at it to figure out what it is whispering.
The story behind her work is pretty powerful – her house was only 1/2 mile from the 1999 Olympic Gas Explosion, which decimated a nearby forest and killed three children. Her work is a way to work out her depression about the human impact on our planet. Money from the sale of her art goes to the Whatcom Land Trust whose mission is to protect wild & rural lands from development.
Visit her site to see all of her work: www.prayersforthewild.com
I have to give a shout-out to Colossal for today’s blog post, featuring photographer Bjoern Ewers. His advertising task was to create a campaign for the chamber-ensemble of the Berliner Philharmoniker. The goal of his photography on this project is to show the instruments from the inside, taking the viewer as close as possible to the creation of the music. photography by Bjoern Ewers
Ewers works out of Berlin, Germany as an illustrator, photographer and art director.
His images are creative and powerful, giving you quite an amazing perspective inside classical instruments.
Have you ever visited Deviant Art? I have been on that site many times, and am always amazed by the talent I find there. If you look on my sidebar to the right and click on Artist: Emily Miller, you can see her work posted there. (One of my absolute favorites).
Today I am featuring Calabarte’s gourd lamps. Gorgeous.
Calabarte makes his lamps out of Senegalese gourds. The white surfaces are wood that is carved to a deeper level, allowing brighter light to pass through. The thickness of the gourd generally does not exceed 4mm.
I love the shadows cast by his intricate carvings. The gourds are generally 20 – 22 cm. in diameter, and the bases are carved in wood and finished with natural Italian oil.
The picture above shows the intricacy of the carving in daylight. Calabarte has a website, but it is still in progress. You can see more of his work on his Deviant Art page, which also has a link to his Flickr account.
One of the things we did on our vacation trip was to go snorkeling, and we saw some amazing tropical fish, and many black, spiny sea urchins. What a perfect time to feature artist Norman Mooney, with his spikey, urchin-like creations.
Mooney was born in Ireland, and now lives in New York City.His sculptures are nature-inspired, an attempt to understand the joy and wonder of feeling the first rays of the sun on your face, or the explosion of color within a flower.
The sculptures above are made from cast aluminum.
It wasn’t just a dream, it really was a trip to the islands. (see the last week’s blog entries) My sisters and niece and our husbands took a trip to the Caribbean island of St. Martin last week. It was paradise, from the weather, to the most excellent French food, to the great company and endless laughs.
The explosion of color began right at the airport. While we waited for our luggage I admired the rainbow and the shadows it cast on the walls of the busy baggage claim area.
I was pretty excited to walk into our villa to view the artwork of Antoine Chapon on the walls! It looks even better in person. Click the link to go back to my previous post about Chapon.
One of the most intriguing architectural creations was the Dune Preserve Bar, which we visited while on a catamaran sailing trip to the island of Anguilla. The bar was originally created from flotsam and jetsam that found its way onshore. Now there are parts to the building which have been upgraded, but it keeps its quirky atmosphere.
Shame on me for not getting the name of this restaurant in Grand Case. Up a set of stairs, and behind the lush greenery, you can have a luscious French meal. This is just an example of typical scenes along the street. Wall murals decorate the buildings, color and lovely curlicues decorate porches and patios.
Happy Bay is a little beach tucked away, unreachable by car. You have to hike over a hill to get to this beach. The stone sculptures welcomed us into the bay, and a friendly local set up a little stand and provided fresh grilled fish for lunch.
There is much more to tell, and maybe I’ll revisit this theme another day, but for now I am behind on unpacking. Sigh. I wish I was still in bare feet and a pareo instead of looking at the snow in fuzzy slippers and warm bathrobe…
That’s a good theme for a Monday, as I am the middle sister of three, and we recently spent a lot of time together!
Unfortunately, I don’t have the artist’s name for this piece. I really like it though, so I am featuring it anyway. I found it online at the Jill Underhill Gallery, located in Harbert, Michigan.
Zhang is one of three Chinese-American sisters, two of which paint professionally. The third sister has a non-art profession, but does paint on the side. The artist has utilized pictures of hair since 2004 as a source of inspiration and a symbol. For Chinese women, hair is a physical attribute which is an object of power as well as an expression of personality. See more on her website: hongchunzhang.com
Diana Shepherd took home the Best in Show award from the Jacksonville Coalition for the Visual Arts Fall Show in 2011 for her bronze sculpture, “Three Sisters”. She is intrigued by the human figure, and the endless variety of human experiences that can be expressed by the slightest manipulation of clay. She conveys such a sense of joyous abandon with this piece! It is a great portrayal of my sisters and I – but I will leave it to your imagination to figure out which one is me…
So we come to the end of an island-inspired week of blogging. I hope it took you away for at least a little while. I am finishing up the week with some art from the West Indies.
An African-Haitian painter, Hector Hyppolite was a voodoo priest who lived in the early part of the 20th century. He is noted as one of the prominent untrained painters in the culture of Haiti, and the first Haitian painter to actually gain recognition. Note the difference in paint strokes between the bold, stark strokes of the figures and the soft, flowery underbrush. Hyppolite was said to paint with fingers and brushes as well as using chicken feathers. I wonder if he used the feathers on “Papa Zaca”?
Chery is a modern-day Haitian painter who has become known internationally for his paintings with bold color and a sense of humor. I love the look on this girl’s face, and her sturdy, strong stride. He is represented in many galleries, and has been featured in Vogue, Time Magazine and many books and publications. See his work at Haitian Paintings.
Tito (Juan Antonio Gomez Gutierrez), was born in Havana, where he attended art school. For many years he worked for the state and created his unique paintings on the side. In 1997 he became an independent artist. He currently lives in Miami, Florida, where he devotes all of his time to painting.
Although his style is a complete departure from the “folk” traditions of the West Indies, I love the saturated colors, which often seem to be a common element in paintings from hot, tropical regions. See his website for more: www.tito-art.com
I have tried my hand at glass mosaics, creating several stepping stone designs. They are all just ok to me; I think my talent lies more in glass art that comes alive when in the light. Since I can’t seem to bring my mosaic visions to life in the way that I like, it is a pleasure to find someone who excels at this form. I am delighted to present these island-inspired mosaics, drenched with bright color.
McDonell first paints the artwork, then lays the glass, carefully selecting pieces with textures and color nuances that work with his vision of what he would like to portray.
Cutting glass is precise work, and it is not easy to get shapes to fit with such exactness as you see in McDonell’s work.
I like the primitive quality to his work. It reminds me of Caribbean artwork, similar to pieces I will be featuring in tomorrow’s blog post. McDonell is from Cedar Key, Florida. See more of his work on the website he hosts within Fine Art America: fineartamerica.com
The Caribbean region is known for calypso rhythm, white sand beaches and spicy cuisine. However, the richness of the region’s cultural assets are not as well-known. The Caribbean Fine Art Fair – Barbados (Cafa Fair) aims to remedy that lack of knowledge by becoming an annual exposition for the appreciation of Caribbean Art.
With his mandala artwork, artist Bill Grace is easily my favorite participant in Cafa Fair 2012. His artwork takes many forms, and he works in coral, stone, glass, and clay. His works have been commissioned by religious institutions, the U.S. Embassy in Barbados, and have also been given by the Barbados Government as gifts to U.S. Heads of State.
“Open #9” is a beautiful, meditative piece that brings to mind the tracings of wind, or birds, on fine white sand, with polished ocean treasure at the center.
2012 will be the second year for the Cafa Fair, and over 35 exhibitors will be displaying paintings, sculptures, photography, and new media at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre in Two Mile Hill, Barbados, West Indies, opening on March 7, 2012.
Flotsam are items floating as a consequence of the action of the sea. Jetsam are items which have been jettisoned by a ship’s crew. So technically, I guess I would be dreaming of flotsam, since my subject today is driftwood art.
Cronk is among a group of artists who carve driftwood using the LuRon Technique. LuRon is actually a trademarked name for a method of developing finished wood sculptures from found wood. Artists learn specific techniques for cleaning, design development, and finishing and displaying completed sculptures. See the website for the Northwest Driftwood Artists for a gallery of beautifully carved pieces, and more information about this carving technique.
I have some of my glasswork in a wonderful gallery in the historic downtown area of Janesville Wisconsin. I was dropping off some of my pieces, and browsing through the new things when I saw the driftwood birds created by Petranek. According to Raven’s Wish Gallery owner, Alicia Reid, Dave’s garage was filling up with found wood until he simply had to do something to justify building his collection. He fits pieces together into these crazy bird forms, using a light touch to impart a subtle color quality and richness to the piece. Petranek doesn’t have a website, but he does have a Facebook page with a couple more photos.
Dahlsen is an environmental artist who scours Australian beaches for materials to use in his assemblage pieces. Along with his driftwood pieces, he also creates many items from found debris. (That would be jetsam!) By making this art, he hopes to share the message for the need to care for our environment. See more of his work on his website: www.johndahlsen.com
I can’t resist the lure of collecting these twisted, water-carved pieces of wood. This is one of my smaller mandala pieces, the glass is about 3.5″ wide. Something to hang, to catch the light, turning some flotsam into a little piece of art.
It’s almost March. We are still shoveling snow. It’s true, all throughout the winter season I ask for snow, and enjoy it, but it is time for a turning of the seasons. So this week, we are taking a little virtual vacation, where balmy breezes waft softly through ocean-scented air, and the sound of waves on the sand provides the heartbeat to your days…
Chapon is an artist living on the Caribbean island of St. Martin. Born in France, he sailed to the islands in 1981 and settled in the tiny village of Colombier.
In December of 2010 Chapon opened his own gallery at the Marina Royale in the town of Marigot. This little island is a bit unusual, in that it is split into a French side, St. Martin, and a Dutch side, Sint Maarten. Marigot is the capitol city on the French side.
Here in the Midwest, surrounded by deep green forests, deep blue lakes, and deep brown earth tones, my palette gravitates to these familiar colors. When I go on vacation to some tropical destination, suddenly I want to redecorate, using clean white, turquoise, and the pinks and purples of a sunset sky.
They are faceted like precious stones, but they are made of paper (and some other things).
“Some friends were visiting from France, and one described speaking with her doctor about a medication. She had inquired if it would make her “dans la lune.” When I asked her what that meant, she said, “dopey, drugged.” Later I looked up the French idiom and found that it referenced daydreaming. “Il est dans la lune” can be translated as “He’s got his head in the clouds,” or “He’s on another planet.” Dans la Lune is a perfect title because in my work I try to create an imaginary place that relates to our longings for a better, grander existence.Hassenfeld describes her work as “a three-dimensional daydream”. -Kirsten Hassenfeld
She expresses her ambivalence toward materials wealth, power and privilege by creating images of precious objects using paper as a primary material. Her installations are dreamlike, and I would love to wander through her fantastic, created worlds.
The artist finds inspiration in her collection of auction catalogues and books on decoration. Her research involves experimenting with new types of paper and methods, and it takes many hours of work hand-cutting, coiling, folding and gluing the various types of archival papers that she uses. See her website: www.kirstenhassenfeld.com. There is also a nice photo selection of her installations at Bellwether Gallery: www.bellwethergallery.com
Hadieh Shafie finds inspiration in the Sufi whirling dervishes, Islamic ascetics who whirl around in a dizzying attempt to get closer to Allah. Google “Whirling Dervish” and select “images” to get a page full of colorful, spinning costumes.
Shafie titles her pieces according to the number of tiny strips of paper that are tightly scrolled and set into the frame. Inside the scrolls are written one word: “Eshghe”, or “Love” in the Farsi language.
She is very interested in process-oriented work, with repetition and patterns that find their roots in traditional Iranian art. As she performs the methodical, repetitious work, she loses herself in a meditation of memories and thoughts and inspirations.
Some weeks ago, looking at my friend’s pictures from Turkey, we noted that the flowing brushwork Arabic lettering is like an art form in itself. Seeing it here on Hafie’s pieces, I love the way it forms patterns as it scrolls around her wheels of color. She has wonderful, huge images on her website that display the details and colors beautifully: hadiehshafie.com
I was browsing through the artists that are being honored with the The Catlin Art Prize 2012, an annual exhibition that features the most promising art grads in the UK. Julia Vogl caught my eye with her rainbows of color.
Vogl is an installation artist who works to challenge social issues through public art.
“…I started to understand the role that public art can have in a community. It can make neighbourhoods safer, it can lead to positive engagement with strangers and generally it can beautify an otherwise neglected area.” – Julia Vogl from an interview with Aesthetica Magazine Blog
In “Colouring the Invisible”, Vogl covers 150 windows of an interior atrium at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies. Her artistic aim is to reflect on the languages spoken there.
Her rainbow bursts of color grab your attention. I like the interactive aspect of “Preferences Overview”, based off the childhood game of hopscotch. Did you know that game has ancient Roman origins?
Color and pattern are essential elements of Vogl’s work. See more on her website: www.juliavogl.com
Yesterday’s post was on a new form of lighted, translucent concrete. This led to an investigation of some concrete art . . .
Not sure how comfortable I would be with a massive, concrete ceiling over my head. It is pretty cool, though.
Andrew Goss is a concrete artist who writes a blog about his work and other interesting ideas. He is a Canadian jewelry designer, who works in concrete as well as metals. I wanted to feature this piece because I think of concrete sculpture being blocky and heavy, and I love the “twiggy” feel of this one. Visit his blog: artconcrete.blogspot.com
He also creates some beautiful wall mounted pieces. See the David Kaye Gallery in Toronto, “Lift – Some Ideas about Concrete”.
Gaspers is an artist working out of Port Townsend, Washington. She creates sculptures that are created from kiln-cast glass and concrete.
“Since I often think of glass as transparent stone or rocks, the “themes” of the pieces are in reference to fossils, or ancient walls that are carved with a story.” Rachel Josepher Gaspers
She also produces oil paintings, fiber art, and pastel paintings, in addition to the concrete & glass work. Visit her website here: www.rachelgaspers.com
A new form of concrete caught my eye the other day, making me think of this materials being used for artistic applications.
Luccon is a new material, a translucent concrete that is made up of concrete blocks with embedded webbed fiber optic cables. The stone appears incongruously massive as well as transparent.
The Luccon website has many examples of how this material is being used around the world in architectural applications.
The architectural uses are beautiful. I would imagine concrete installation artists might be eying this new material, wheels turning as to how to integrate it into sculptural works.
Luccen stands for “lucent concrete”, and was invented by Austrian Jürgen Frei. He researched this project independently, finding information online and experimenting in his garage. He was the “Category Idea of the Year” winner in the 2009 Austrian contest called “The Start-Up Entrepreneur”.
There have been some “book carving” artists out on the blogs lately. I have thought them interesting, but haven’t featured them. Then I saw the work of Brian Dettmer, and I think he takes it just a bit farther, and I like it.
He speaks of his work as a collaboration between himself and the book. With tweezers and surgical tools he carefully excavates, searching to expose images and ideas, history and memories. Take a closer look at “Fear”, and you will find “secrets”, “dark”, and “inactivity”. There is more to explore here than the graphic sculpture of fear.
Dettmer does not rearrange any images or words from where they are found in the book. Things are removed, to reveal, never added in or replaced.
In many of his sculptures you are hard pressed to determine the materials used, if you didn’t know they were books. They twist and flow, or pieces are geometrically cut to flare out into abstract shapes.
He has exhibited internationally, and has upcoming shows in 2012 throughout the U.S., including California, Georgia, Illinois and Washington D.C. See more information and images on his website: http://briandettmer.com
The broken sculptural pieces of Jonathan Prince reveal visual treasures.
The Cynthia-Reeves Gallery in New York is presenting Prince’s work from February 10 – March 30, 2012. His Torn Steel series is the result of laborious hand-working. The outer surfaces are oxidized steel, and the inner forms revealed have been polished to a shining finish.
Prince begins by sketching out his concepts on paper, then refining that on computer. He creates a urethane foam model next with engineering drawings, noting the essential materials for fabrication. After the work is constructed, he marks the sections to be “torn” out, which is a process accomplished with a plasma torch.
And this is not the end . . . stainless steel plates are shaped and welded into the form, patterns are overlaid onto the plates with a MIG welder, and all areas are then smoothed and blended with a TIG welder. The final step is polishing and smoothing with various abrasives.
His background is just as interesting as his work. From sculpting in his teens with stone, clay and plaster, he moved into the art of dentistry and maxillofacial surgery. From that career he went on to directing and producing films and computer animated special effects projects. After those varied twists and turns in profession, he finally came back to sculpting.
Visit Jonathan Price’s website for more of his sculptural work: www.jonathanprince.com
I think kinetic art is amazing – it takes your perception and experience to a whole new level. Studio Glithero has an amazing repertoire of art that is created by action. I’m not sure if it would be classified as kinetic art, but motion is a defining element in many of their works. British designer Tim Simpson and Dutch designer Sarah van Gameren met and studied at the Royal College of Art, then started a studio in London where they create installations that result in products.
The gorgeous blueware pottery is created by applying dried plants to ceramic surfaces treated with light-sensitive chemicals. The arrangements are exposed to UV light. See a visually stunning video of this process as they dip the vases into the vat of color: www.glithero.com/blueware-vases.
Fire Drawings are one of the newest works on the Glithero website. The pattern is screen-printed with a flammable paint. As the flame travels along the lines, it leaves a charcoal trace behind.
An important part of the Studio Glithero process is to produce films that document the creation of their products. They aim to capture the spirit of the moment in which things are made. Their work is basically science based, as they look to how elements react, the key ingredient being transformation. They want the consumer to experience the moment at which artwork appears from raw materials into something that is complete.
The very best thing about working in the elementary school was working in the library. Books and art are my passions, and children’s book illustrations are some of my very favorite art pieces.
The Frick Museum is an art and historical center located in Pittsburgh, and they are featuring a new exhibition, Draw Me a Story: A Century of Children’s Book Illustration, from February 11–May 20, 2012.
The exhibition spans one hundred years of illustration, and includes watercolors, pen drawings, and experimental combinations of media. Artists include Ernest Shepherd, Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are), and Randolph Caldecott, to name just a few.
They are hanging the artworks at a lower level than the standard, and step stools will be available for child-friendly viewing of this charming collection.
Would you like the explore more children’s book illustration? Take a look at a great link to some of my old fashioned favorites: www.ortakales.com
And here are a few thumbnails:
Cicely M. Barker
Amidst the amazing landscape of Cappadocia, in the center of Turkey, there rests a tremendous stone sculpture. Andrew Rogers is the artist, and he has created a series of outdoor installations entitled Rhythms of Life, forming a chain of 48 massive stone geoglyphs around the world.
The Rhythms of Life project began in 1998, and has involved over 6,700 people in 13 countries, across seven continents. Sustanance incorporated over 10,000 tons of stone and rock, and was completed in September 2011.
The installations are so huge that they have each been photographed by satellite, from hundreds of miles above the earth. Some cover the land over a distance of two miles.
Rogers makes every effort to utilize materials native to each site.
“These structures may last for centuries or may slowly erode into their surroundings. For me either outcome is acceptable, as I like to leave these works to the vagaries of time, climate, and the control and care of the local community” -Andrew Rogers, from Landscape Architecture Magazine
See more of Andrew Rogers work: andrewrogers.org
They glow, they glisten, you can almost smell the citrus-y fragrance, and they are painted with oil on canvas.
It’s kind of funny, but I love the background painting as much as I love the actual fruit. The whole thing is a wonderful composition of realism and soft, vibrant palette.
This is what Willy Wonka’s wallpaper should have looked like . . . the grapefruit tastes like grapefruit! The melon tastes like melon! The snozberries taste like snozberries!
Wojtkiewicz begins each painting with a monochrome under-painting, in a color complementary to the subject. Then he layers semi-opaque to transparent colors with up to ten layers before he considers it finished. This technique is basically a modified version of how the old European masters would paint, with Vermeer being an example.
” When I go into the studio it is with the intent of imbuing the paintings with a living spirit and to realize something that will connect with the viewer on a sensual if not metaphysical plane.” -Dennis Wojtkiewicz
Bill Yardley’s printmaking draws from the country life around him and translates it into simple, detailed beauty.
Yardley is an artist who also works as a farmer on his 200 acres of Warwickshire land. His farm and daily manner of life are also his inspiration, and you can see the love in every meticulous detail.
He holds a first class honors diploma in Fine Art, a diploma in Printmaking, and was awarded an honorary Masters Degree from the University of Warwick. He sketches throughout the year, but when farm chores wind down a bit for the winter months, spends time transforming the rough drawings into etchings and engravings.
I am sorry to relate that Yardley is currently having serious health problems. Best wishes for recovering health go out to him. See more of his work on his website: http://bill-yardley.co.uk
Shapeshifting: Transformations in Native American Art is an exhibition at the Peabody Essex Museum is Massachusetts, on view from January 14 to April 29, 2012. It is being hailed as one of the largest Native American Art exhibitions to open in North America in more than 30 years.
Théâtre de Cristal, 2007 Kent Monkman, Cree Artist
chandelier, plastic beads, acrylic string, cabochons, simulated buffalo hide and super 8 films
© Kent Monkman, image courtesy MacKenzie Art Gallery, photograph by Don Hall.
The scope of this exhibit is pretty amazing, including sculpture, textiles, photography, ceramics, paintings, and large installations. Items are drawn from collections in the U.S., Canada and Europe. The art displayed represents the Native American culture from 200 B.C.E. to the present.
Seeing images from this exhibition could shift the shape that we might automatically assign to Native American art, realizing it is not simply ethnographic craft.
CSST V2.0, 2011, Pat Pruitt, Laguna Pueblo artist
stainless steel necklace
Wicked Local Photo by Nicole Goodhue Boyd
The show is grouped into four conceptual frameworks consisting of: Changing, Knowing, Locating and Voicing. The works are placed in context as artistic achievements rather than being shown as historical artifacts. By doing this, it impacts and changes the common views on Native American art, reinforcing the continuity between past and present. Read more: New show transforms understanding of Native American Art
Sculptor Mark Davis began his work with sterling silver, gold plating and brass, fabricating chosen metals into jewelry. His current work takes those same base materials to a different level, experimenting with larger sculptural forms and mobiles.
Davis takes inspiration from Calder, and his glowing, burnished metal work is self-taught. He begins with flat sheets of metal, using steel, brass and aluminum, with steel being the heaviest and aluminum the lightest weight. He uses traditional methods of silversmithing, using hammers and other forming tools to create the shapes.
The soft, glowing gradients of color provide an additional depth to his work. I could view each beautifully worked piece of metal within the sculpture as a work of art itself, and he balances them perfectly into a moving vision.
“Icarus” is the mobile Davis created specifically for the Fuller Craft Museum in Massachusetts. The sculpture hangs in the museum’s courtyard gallery.
“To me, there is a wondrous joy that comes from creating something that comes from inside and bringing it out into the world. And metal will probably be in the world for many years after I’m gone.” Mark Davis, from Galleria Silecchia
Interesting that this quote on “wondrous joy” comes on the heels of an email from friend and fellow glass artist, Brandie Dunn. Brandie just sent me a link to a newsletter referencing a Harvard study on artist creativity and success. In a nutshell, artists are at their most creative when simply looking for joy. The work of Mark Davis illustrates the principle very well.
Four women who met in Industrial Design school decided to form a business, and now they offer their design creations, combining function with a whimsical sense of artistry.
The bowls are hand-made from a variety of species of salvaged trees, one of a kind functional objects of art. I think they would be interesting mounted on the wall as a pop art installation, as well as using them on a tabletop to hold something special.
This Canadian group of friends consists of artist/designers Doha Chebib, Carmen Douville, Dara Humniski and Anna Thomas. They work both collaboratively and individually to create artwork for everyday life.
I absolutely love the metallic colors in the selection above. They were featured in 2008 in the Radiant Dark exhibition in Toronto.
I prefer the rougher textured bark, pieces coming from the natural forest contrasting so nicely with the smooth, contemporary color within.
Their simple, elegant style stands out in a cluttered world. It reminds me of Danish products and architecture, with its plain, natural, clean lines. Visit their website to see more: www.loyalloot.com
The natural flow of grain in wood is a beautiful thing, and artist Jason Middlebrook builds upon that natural artistry with his painted lines.
Middlebrook selects internal wood cuts by hand from mills in New York and Massachusetts, using maple, redwood, English elm and Cairo walnut tree trunks as source materials. The highly saturated pigment lines sometimes flow with the wood grain and sometimes directly go against it, but in both instances creating a sense of infinity.
The artist lives and works in New York, and has exhibited widely throughout the U.S. and Europe. He is intrigued by the relationship between humans and nature, and his varied artworks reflect that theme.
The rough cut planks lean against the walls in his exhibitions, often towering over audience heads. The pieces pictured above are eight to almost fourteen feet tall, a forest of geometric lines and natural, organic shapes.
Although his plank painting are my favorites, Middlebrook has a wide range of work that includes drawings, paintings and sculptures. See his website for more: http://jasonmiddlebrook.com/
MariaLuisa Tadei is a prolific artist who creates in a wide range of media, including bronze and steel casting, watercolor, portraits in wax, iron, textiles, and of course, my favorite, glass.
Born in Italy, Tadei works in London Bologna and Rome. Her intention as an artist is to create something that “bridges the gap between the material world and the spiritual dimension.” (see Tadei’s artist statement) Art Daily refers to her as a rising star in the art world, and she participated in both the the 2009 and 2011 Venice Biennale art shows.
Untitled 2007, MariaLuisa Tadei
I love the way that her “Oculus Dei” pieces are displayed, suspended in space and luminously back-lit. In all of her works, she creates with the subject of gravity, with polar opposites like light materials and heavy materials, playing with audience perception.
“The pieces I create now are works of art that seem to me as if they might be found in our dreams, reminiscent of another world. I think that inside every one of us there are signs of this other world, signs of a universal essence that produced the cosmos and all life therein. ” MariaLuisa Tadei
See her website – there is so much more to view along with her beautiful mosaics: www.marialuisatadei.com