Into the Wind

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.

Andy Goldsworthy: Leaning into the Wind
Andy Goldsworthy in Leaning Into the Wind: Andy Goldsworthy (2017)
from imdb.com

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.”

andy goldsworthy: leaning into the wind
Image from MV times, Article by Brooks Robards

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.

andy goldsworthy: leaning into the wind
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.

 

 

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Intricacy of Science as Art

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.

Ernst Haeckel, scientific illustrationKunstformen 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?

ernst-haeckel, scientific illustrationKunstformen 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. ernst-haeckel, scientific illustrationKunstformen 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, Paris FranceHaeckel-inspired Porte Monumentale on the Place de la Concorde, René Binet, Architect World’s Fair 1900

Additional Sources: https://arthistoryproject.com/artists/ernst-haeckel/
 https://www.strangescience.net/haeckel.htm

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Art and Dance

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
BalletforAdults.com

We are playing with all sorts of fun artistic experimentation, 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.

Iluka Designs
“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.

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Hello. Welcome to the Blog.

linda oeffling I'm Linda Oeffling. I've been working in glass for over 30 years, finding time to keep up the habit in between having children and starting a business in graphic design.

I have a home studio in the basement, and a bunch of steadfast friends who also love glass. We meet almost every week to work together. I won't say the wine & snacks afterward is the best part, but it's a nice way to wrap things up!

I have a great husband who puts up with it all, three grown children, and four grandchildren. They are the greatest loves of my life, but right behind family is my computer, kayak, camera, and travel plans...

Yes please, send me new posts!

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