Spring Burning

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.

theodora-allen-wildfireWildfire, No. 4, 2016
Theodora Allen

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.

theodora-allen-wildfire 1Wildfire, No. 1, 2014
Theodora Allen

“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.

theodora-allen-calendar 2Calendar, No. 2
Theodora Allen

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/

Lacy Paper Dreams

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.

Blossom

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.

Purchase Zoloto’s artwork on Etsy.
View on Instagram | Behance |  Saatchi

Images from Eugenia Zoloto on Behance.

A Gothic Twist

wim-delvoye-nautilus-penta-3

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.

wim-delvoye-nautilus-penta-

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.

wim-delvoye-nautilus-penta-2

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.

wim-delvoye-nautilus-penta-4

 

The Art of Brainwork

greggadunn-self-reflected-in-violets 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. greggadunn-cortical-columns 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. greggadunn-hippocampal-formations 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.

Honeycomb

Fused glass honeycomb mandala

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.

New wiring for the kiln

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.
20150727_wiringCrazy, 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.

Time for a Change

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:

Chelini & Oeffling, Inc.

C&O animated gifRowanberry Studio

Linda Oeffling animated gifOutside Indigo

Outside Indigo animated gif

Tumblr:

Land of Oh

Anish Kapoor on Artsy

Have you been to Artsy yet? Prepare yourself, you could be lost for years in the intricacies and information in this site.

Artsy.netThis 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 KapoorCanvas, Anish Kapoor
-from http://artsy.net

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!

GAS Conference in Chicago

The Glass Art Society Conference 2014 was held in Chicago this year, so friend and fellow-glass fuser Brandie Dunn and I took the train down to check it out.

2014 GAS ConferenceImage from the GAS Conference 2014 Program Book

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.

GAS conference goodiesNext 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 GalleryEcht 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.

Steve JensenJensen 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:

Harue ShimomotoI 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:

Thomas ScoonAgain, I am drawn to pieces that combine natural materials with glass, in this case, chunks of stone.

“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/

 

Mesmerizing Dot Murals

Artist Julie Clement creates intricate designs made of dots.

Julie ClementClement’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.

Julie ClementClement is pictured working on her mural “Venus and Sun” in 2012 at the Longmont Museum and Cultural Center, Photo by Lewis Geyer/Times-Call.

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.

Julie ClementVenus and Mercury, 11″ x 14″ Metal

Clement paints with acrylic on canvas, metal and wood.  Visit her website:  http://clementinedotart.com

 

 

 

 

there is grass under all that snow

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.

2014-0127burke3Luxurious Passage
49×97″ oil on panel

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.

Charlie BurkSerene Afternoon
48×48″ oil on panel

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.”

Charlie BurkStride Spirited
24×24″ oil on panel

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.

Photo by Chelini & OefflingPhotograph by Chelini & OefflingPhotograph by Chelini & Oeffling“We find that it’s ever so
In this life’s uneven flow;
We’ve only to wait,
In the face of fate,
For the green grass under the snow”
– from “Consolation”, Annie A. Preston

 

a new look, reflecting

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.

Cody William Smith“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

Cody William SmithSmith 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.

Cody William SmithVisit Smith’s website:  http://www.codyslr.com/

go ahead and wire that baby

Kind of a convoluted blog story, but I belatedly saw this article (from 2011) and cracked up.

Damien Hirst“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…)

Linda Oeffling: stained glass snowflakeSo 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!

Walking is the way

Catherine WillisCatherine Willis
the perfume rings: exhibition curated by Diana Esnault-Pelterie

“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

Catherine WillisCatherine Willis
ROOTS. a Perfume Ring.
July 2013 figtree branch, cinnamon bark, root from a planetree, textiles, metal, rubber.

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.

Catherine WillisCatherine Willis
FULL FATHOM FIVE
graphite and ink on filipino paper. 2010

Willis has also participated in olfactory performances, burning perfumes while accompanied by musicians playing instruments.

Her blog is a delight:  http://catherinewillis.tumblr.com/

Forest Light

One of my first mandalas, still one of my favorites.  Especially when the morning light makes it sparkle on my wall.  Soft, dappled light filtering through green branches, sparkling on the forest floor. Quiet.  Peace.

forest mandala

Layers of Light

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.

Jun Kaneko

Jun Kaneko, Installation View, Bullseye Glass

The beauty of glass is in its capture of light, and Kaneko’s installations wow the eye with color and reflection.

Jun Kaneko

Hump, Glass, 2001Kiln-formed glass| 6h x 18w x 10.5d in. | Photo credit Dirk Bakker

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.

Jun Kaneko

Jun Kaneko, Mission Clay, Fremont Project,1993-1995

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.

Jun Kaneko

Jun Kaneko, Mission Clay, Fremont Project,1993-1995

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.

Jun Kaneko, Legends, Myths and Truths,  Temporary Exhibition: April 12 – November 3, 2013.

Jun Kaneko, Legends, Myths and Truths,
Temporary Exhibition: April 12 – November 3, 2013.

See more on his website:  http://www.junkaneko.com/

Birds like you have never seen them

I came across some unique and beautiful photography today, from the lens of Bob Croslin.

Bob CroslinBob Croslin, “Cedar Waxwing”

Croslin starting taking portraits of injured birds at a local bird sanctuary in Florida.

Bob CroslinBob Croslin, “White Pelican”

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

Bob CroslinBob Croslin, “Yellow Crowned Night Heron”

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/

Slow Spring

It’s a slow, cold, wet, spring in the Midwest.  Snow flurries today.  I dream of lovely summer, bursting with green growth and scent and songbirds …

Out of the kiln yesterday:

Fused glass vase "Hedgerow"
“Hedgerow”

field trip, as promised

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.

Michael Meilahn

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.

Blown glass corn by Michael Meilahn

We marveled at the texture and amazing color detail in his huge, blown glass ears of corn.

Blown glass corn by Michael MeilahnSome of his art pieces incorporate bronze castings of stems and husks.

Blown glass corn by Michael Meilahn

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.

Blown glass corn by Michael Meilahn

The expansive studio space allows plenty of room for machinery, glass equipment, and immense hanging ears of corn.

Blown glass corn by Michael Meilahn

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.

Blown glass corn by Michael Meilahn

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.

Blown glass corn by Michael Meilahn

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.

Blown glass corn by Michael Meilahn

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.

Blown glass corn by Michael Meilahn

The mold opened up to reveal the glass corncob.

Blown glass corn by Michael Meilahn

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.

Blown glass corn by Michael Meilahn

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.

Michael’s Website:
http://www.michaelmeilahn.com/
MWA:  Wisconsin Museum of Art
http://www.wisconsinart.org/archives/artist/michael-meilahn/profile-104.aspx
You Tube on Upcoming Exhibition
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wu3uyM71hUE

neglected blog . . . glass resuscitatation

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”.

Bergstrom-Mahler museumHistoric Bergstrom mansion, now home to the Glass Museum

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 LittletonHarvey Littleton (American, b. 1922), Blue Crown
pulled and cased glass, 1988

-from http://www.kornbluthphoto.com/TwentiethCentury3.html

Littleton’s students are some of the most world-renowned glass artists of our time, including Dale Chihuly and Marvin Lipofsky.

Dale ChihulyDale Chihuly, Wild Poppy Persian
from http://www.vetriglass.com/category/38167306101/1/Dale-Chihuly.htm

Marvin Lipofsky

Marvin Lipofsky, Group Taiwan #4
from http://www.duanereedgallery.com/Artists%20Pages/lipofsky/lipofskytaiwan4.html

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/

stream of light

I came across a beautiful piece of sculpture on design boom the other day. Take a look at the work of Rolf Sachs.

rolf sachs
Rolf Sachs, Ewiger Lauf

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.

rolf sachsRolf Sachs, Ewiger Lauf

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”.

rolf sachsRolf Sachs, Gargantua

“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”

new website

I have upgraded my Rowanberry Studio website, using a lovely template from WordPress.: http://www.rowanberrystudio.com.  I have Fall/Winter shows coming up, so this is a great time to have a new showcase.

art of the land 2012

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.

sculptural typography

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.

Abusive Pencil by Scotticus“Abusive Pencil” font by Scotticus

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:

Wassily KandinskyWassily Kandinsky, Transverse Line
1923

And here is the recent sculpture, created by Turkish graphic designer, Büyükbas.

Sinan Buyukbas
Kandinsky by Sinan  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

Sinan BuyukbasSinan Büyükbas

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.

Sinan BuyukbasSinan Büyükbas

See more great photos and close-ups on the Behance Network:  http://www.behance.net/gallery/KANDINSKY-TYPE/4039379

pouring paint

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.

Holton RowerHolton Rower, Pour

Pouring container after container of paint, Rower creates bold and wild masses of color.

Holton RowerHolton Rower, Pour

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.

Holton RowerHolton Rower, Pour

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/

golden rain

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 installation at Changi AirportKinetic Rain, by ART+COM

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.

ART+COM rain installation at Changi AirportKinetic Rain, by ART+COM

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.

ART+COM installation at Changi Airport SingaporeKinetic Rain, by ART+COM

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.

 

staircases of vibrant color

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:

Mosaic Stairs The 16th Avenue Tiles Steps in San Francisco

The steps contain over 2,000 handmade tiles and 75,000 fragments of tile, mirror and stained glass.

San Francisco Tiled StairsThe 16th Avenue Tiles Steps in San Francisco

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 stepsHorst Glasker Pantone Steps

Decorated steps are not a new idea.  The famous decorated staircase of Caltagirone paved the way long ago.  (sorry:)

Tiled staircase of CaltagironeTiled Steps of Caltagirone, Italy

There are 142 steps in the staircase, each decorated with a unique design.

Tiled stairs at CaltagironeTiled Steps of Caltagirone, Italy

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

finally something new

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.

Japanese Crane by Linda OefflingJapanese Crane by Linda Oeffling, Iron Stand by Will Slagel

Sun Kaleidescope Mandala by Linda OefflingSun Kaleidoscope Mandala by Linda Oeffling, Iron Stand by Will Slagel

Nest Mandala by Linda OefflingNest Mandala by Linda Oeffling, Iron stand by Will Slagel

Lily of the Valley Mandala by Linda OefflingLily of the Valley by Linda Oeffling

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.

 

world’s largest alpona

What’s an Alpona, you ask?

alponaWorld’s largest alpona,painted in Manik Mia Avenue on 14 April 2012
Bangladesh

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.

alponaAlpona, 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.

alpona

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

metal sculpture in door county

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.

William JauquetThe Gate to Nowhere, William Jauquet

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.

Chris JauquetBowl of Fire, Chris Jauquet

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.

James G. MooreFarm Pond, James G. Moore

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

more on the grand palais

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.

Grand PalaisThe Grand Palais, Paris, France

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.

Grand PalaisThe Grand Palais, Paris, France

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.

Grand PalaisThe Nave, Grand Palais

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.)

grand palaisThe Nave, Grand Palais

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.

time again to fill the space

Monumenta is an annual art project in its fifth year, located in Paris’ Grand Palais. The project asks an artist of international stature to fill the Nave of this stone and steel building with its soaring glass vaults and a space measuring about 145,000 square feet.
Grand PalaisThe Nave, Grand Palais, Paris
This year the artist featured is Daniel Buren, a minimalist artist who is considered one of France’s national treasures, according to Art Daily. I love many of his works because they fill the space with vibrant color, and his ‘Excentrique(s)’  follows suit.
Daniel Buren

‘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.

Daniel Buren‘Excentrique(s)’,  Daniel Buren
Photograph: Francois Mori/AP

“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

Daniel Buren‘Excentrique(s)’,  Daniel Buren
Photograph: Patrick Aventurier/Getty Images

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.

Enjoy a slideshow of images at The Guardian, and visit Daniel Buren’s site to view more of his work: www.danielburen.com

a little break

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.

Family TreeFamily picture from (what was then) Yugoslavia

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

Ivan GroharPomlad (Spring), Ivan Grohar

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's ChurchSt Michael church, on the outskirt of Ljubljana, Jože Plečnik
Photo by Karmen Smolnikar @ Flickr

Plečnik Ljubljana, Market, 1940–1942, Jože Plečnik
Foto: Damjan Prelovšek

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.

ah, what a view

Art Daily reports on the opening of Stephen Hannock’s recent paintings at the Marlborough Gallery in New York, an exhibition that will be on display until June 2.

Stephen Hannock

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.

Stephen Hannock

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.

Stephen Hannock

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

the ability to fill the space

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.

Spencer FinchMoon Dust (Apollo 17), Spencer Finch

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.

spencer finchMoonlight, Spencer Finch

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.

spencer finchPainting Air, Spencer Finch

The Museum of Art Rhode Island School of Design is featuring a major exhibition by Finch.  More than 60 pieces selected by the artist are on display until July 29, 2012.
“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.
VIsit Finch’s website to see more:  http://www.spencerfinch.com/

a strange mix, but i like it

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.

Sandra DieckmannJapanese Crane, Sandra Dieckmann

Dieckmann is an artist based in London, working as a freelance illustrator. She explores a love for animals through her talent for illustration.

Sandra DieckmannBook illustration commissioned by Paper Darts Publishing, Sandra Dieckmann

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.

Sandra Dieckmann

Sweet Dreams Ursus Arctus, Sandra Dieckmann

The Ursus image above was published in Ammo Magazine, Issue 6. She’s a busy lady on the web.  See her various sites:  on Etsy, website,  and blog.

a new year of sofa

The fabulous SOFA Show (Sculptural Objects and Functional Art) began its 2012 season on April 20 in New York.

Jeannet IskandarFrom Fragment to Whole: Elongated Ovoid, Jeannet Iskandar

Iskandar returns again this year with her blown glass sculptures. She builds her pieces in 3-D patterns, using repetition to build the form.

Jeannet IskandarBetween Fragment and Whole, Ellipse I,  Jeannet Iskandar

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 IskandarJeannet 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.

 

 

 

a new geology

Piles and piles of trash create a new form of sedimentary sculpture, and surprisingly, integrate beautifully with natural forest floor.

Steven SiegelOak 2004 Gong-Ju, Steven Siegel
Korea paper

Siegel’s sculptures draw attention to the process of compaction, layer upon layer, building up in our landfills.

Steven SiegelNew Geology #2, Steven Siegel
1992 Milan, NY

Siegel stacks literally tons of newspapers over large wooden armatures to create massive boulder shapes.

Steven SiegelBridge 2 2009 Arte Sella, Steven Siegel
Italy paper

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

thinking of the earth

On Earth Day, thinking of the Earth . . . I found artist Terry Berlier.

Terry Berlier

Reclaimed Time, Terry Berlier
salvaged wood

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)

Terry Berlier

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.

Terry Berlier

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)


it kinda creeps me out

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.

anne ten donkelaar

“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.

anne ten donkelaar“Zwart vlek vlinder”, Anne Ten Donkelaar

Look closely. Not a fuzzy photo, but two embroidered wings on top.

Anne Ten Donkelaar“Landkaart”, Anne Ten Donkelaar

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/

Also visit her new website, with tiny embroidered treasures:  http://miauski.com/ (via http://bloesem.blogs.com)

art in your pocket

Krista Charles spends about two hours per artistic creation, painstakingly drawing inside a matchbox cover.

Krista CharlesOur Specialties Are Fourfold, Krista Charles

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.

Krista Charles

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.

Krista CharlesIt Pays to Look Well, Krista Charles

The artist has a website:  http://xa.pcmxa.com/index.html and a shop on Etsy:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/xacharles?page=1 (via Booooooom)

reflections and mist

Although Sandra Kantanen’s work is photography of real landscapes, her technique is other-worldly, fantasy come to life.

Sandra Katanenforest, sandra kantanen

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

Sandra Katanenlake3valmis, sandra kantanen

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.

Sandra Kantanenlake4valmis, sandra kantanen

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

building blocks of jewelry

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 DeckerPointed Arm Sculpture, Ute Decker
semi-matte recycled silver

“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
Ute DeckerCurvature – arm sculpture, Ute Decker
individually hand-crafted in recycled silver
sand texture, matte finish
I so admire the careful thought Decker maintains regarding every aspect of her craft. She utilizes fair trade gold, 100% recycled silver, and recycled packaging materials.  When her pieces are created using resin, she substitutes bio-resins derived from sunflowers for the traditional toxic resin materials.
Ute Decker

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

floating garden

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.

Tania KovatsHABITAT, Tania Kovats

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.

Tania KovatsHABITAT, Tania Kovats

Writer Sarah Butler is part of the same project, creating her works of art in the form of short literary works in relation to HABITAT.

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
Birdsfoot Trefoil
Cat’s Ear, Weeping Sedge
Salad Burnet

Ragged Robin, Campion
Ladies Bedstraw

Hawkbit, Plantain
Tufted Vetch

Cranes-bill, Self-heal
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/)

Tania KovatsHABITAT, Tania Kovats

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.

 

natural patterns

The snakes photographed by Guido Mocafico are all over the blogosphere this week. (butdoesitfloat, colossal) It is unlucky to feature scary subjects on Friday the 13th?

Guido MocaficoSerpens Series, Guido Mocafico

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.

Guido MocaficoRoses Series, Guido Mocafico

You know and recognize his subjects, but his arresting work takes you past the reality and into the mesmerizing patterns.

Guido MocaficoMedusa Series, Guido Mocafico

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

odd, very odd

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.

Nina KatchadourianSeat Assignment: Lavatory Self-Portraits in the Flemish Style,
Nina Katchadourian

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:

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.

Nina KatchadourianSeat Assignment: Lavatory Self-Portraits in the Flemish Style,
Nina Katchadourian

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.

Nina KatchadourianMended Spiderweb #19 (Laundry Line)
Nina Katchadourian

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.

finding paintings

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.

Jimmy QuekMountain, Beach and Sea, Prabhakara Jimmy Quek

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.

Jimmy QuekDream of Wineglass Bay, Prabhakara Jimmy Quek

Quek has participated in group art exhibitions around the world, including Europe and the U.S. He lives and works in Singapore.

Prabhakara Jimmy QuekCelebrations 2, Prabhakara Jimmy Quek

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/.

bursting from the landscape

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.

Michael McGillisWaterborne, Michael McGillis

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…

Michael McGillisInfiltration, Michael McGillis

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.

Michael McGillisWake, Michael McGillis

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)

the power of growth

When I look at Henrique Oliveira’s work, I am overwhelmed by the feeling of POWER.

Henrique OlivieraHenrique Oliveira, from his website

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,”

from an interview with Yatzer online

Henrique OliveiraDesnatureza, Henrique Oliveira

 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.

Henrique OliveiraUntitled (Brushstroke), Henrique Oliveira

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

 

font fun

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.

Ruslan KhasanovSunbeam Font by Rus Khasanov

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!

Rus KhasanovSunbeam Font by Rus Khasanov

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.

Ruslan KhasanovSunbeam Font by Rus Khasanov

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.

fine lines

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.

Anne Lindbergandante green , 2012
Egyptian cotton thread, staples
Anne Lindberg

Her shimmering curtains of vibrant colored thread seems to float through space, rainbows of light spectrum.

 

Anne Lindbergvapor, 2009
rayon thread and pins
Anne Lindberg

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.

Anne LindbergClose-up view of andante green, Anne Lindberg

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

 

 

fashion displays

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 WindowLouis 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 DisplaysLouis Vitton Window Display, image from MissMentomori’s Blog

This last image was taken in Dublin, Ireland.

Louis Vitton WindowLouis 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/

tearing into a new dimension

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.

Scott HazardScott Hazard

Hazard creates new physical spaces by layering images.  He considers his work more sculpture than photography.

Scott HazardScott Hazard

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.

Scott HazardScott Hazard

Read an interview with the artist online at:  www.themorningnews.org   See more of Hazard’s work on his website:  http://scotthazard.net

its all about form

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?

Andrew MillerItem #12, Red Stripe

Every day for 100 days, Miller paints a branded object white, reducing the object to its purest form.

Brand Spirit, Andrew MillerItem #8, White Out

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.

Andrew MillerItem #7, Sharpie

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/

time for tools

Oh, the beautiful Midwest weather these days!  Spring has us out in the garden already, and it is tool time.

ahnjoonggeunRake:  Reverse for Rebirth, designed by Ahnjoonggeun

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

Cal Lane5 Shovels, Cal Lane

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.

claes oldenburgTrowel 1, Claes Oldenburg

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-ups for grown ups

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.

Andreas JohanssonThree-Dimensional set piece landscape, Paper, Andreas Johansson

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.

Andreas JohannsonThree-Dimensional set piece landscape, Paper, Andreas Johansson

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.

Andreas JohanssonThree-Dimensional set piece landscape detail, Paper, Andreas Johansson

“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

look around on the ride

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.

New York Subway Art4 Seasons Seasoned, Robert Kushner
found on the IRT East SIde Line, 77th St.
Photo by Robbie Rosenfeld

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.

Duke RileyBe Good or Be Gone, Duke Riley
on the IND Rockaway Line, Beach 98th Street
photo by Robbie Rosenfeld

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.

Dan SinclairFast Track & Speed Wheels, Dan Sinclair
on the IRT Times Square-Grand Central Shuttle
Photo by Robbie Rosenfeld

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.

 

enamored with enamel

Christie’s auction house is featuring cloisonné enamel amidst the sale of Russian works of art on Monday, April 16. The pre-sale estimate is $3 – $4.3 million.

Ming dish

Cloisonné is a technique that dates back to Byzantine times, and has also been traced to ancient China. Compartments are created on a metal object, usually using silver or gold wire strips,which are filled with enamel powder. The piece is then kiln-fired.
Sheila Beatty
The ability to do this craft is within our reach at Rowanberry Studio, but we have yet to delve into this process.  It is incredibly intricate. The artist paints one coat of enamel at a time, firing after each layer.  As many as 25 layers can be added to a single piece of jewelry to attain the deep, vibrant colors. After multiple firings, the final piece is polished, and can be placed into a gold or silver jewelry setting.
Click on the links below each picture to read more about the artists and pieces.  Patsy Croft has a pretty nice site with information and pictures showing the process with step-by-step illustrations.

pulling from other cultures

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.

Terry HaysSwimming to salvation, escape from the water demons, Terry Hays

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.

Terry HaysTrees #1 & #2, Terry Hays

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.

Terry HaysGrass Fire! Terry Hays

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

…commitment

…discipline

…what we think we are communicating versus what people see”

(from Ro2 Art)

See more of his work:  web.me.com/jamesterryhays

Visit his Tumblr blog: http://terryhays.tumblr.com/


 

transformation

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.

fly freemanGrasses, Fly Freeman

Freeman trained at the Edinburgh College of Art. Her sculptures can be seen in Scotland, England, France, and in private collections.

fly freemanA Public Commission by Fly Freeman

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.

muscat freemanColoured-glass-in-river, Francis Muscat and Fly Freeman

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/

peering into tomorrow

French artist Mathieu Lehanneur’s sculpture allows the viewer to be a day ahead of time.

LehanneurTomorrow is Another Day, Mathieu Lehanneur

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.

LehanneurTomorrow is Another Day, Mathieu Lehanneur

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.

LehanneurTomorrow is Another Day, Mathieu Lehanneur

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

spectacular web over King’s Cross

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.

King's Cross renovationKing’s Cross Renovation

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.

King's CrossKing’s Cross

The old King’s Cross station has been the setting of several major films, including Harry Potter, The Ladykillers, Mona Lisa, and Friday the 13th.
King's CrossKing’s Cross

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.

 

dead drawings come alive

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.

Jerry GarciaFlamenco Dancer, Jerry Garcia

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.

Jerry Garcia:  MixmasterMixmaster, Jerry Garcia

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.

Jerry GarciaVolcano, Jerry Garcia

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.

and then it’s swept away

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.

Jim Denevanfrom Sand, by Jim Denevan

Denevan creates drawings on sand, earth and ice which are then erased by wind, waves and weather.

Jim Denevanfrom Earth, by Jim Denevan

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.

Jim DenevanFrom Sand, by Jim Denevan

“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

layers upon layers

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.

Eric StandleyEither/Or Decreed, Eric Standley

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.

Eric StandleyCircle 3.1.1 detail from Either/Or Drawings, Eric Standley

The artist works as a design coordinator for Virginia’s School of Visual Arts.

Eric StandleyEither/Or Arch for Ipswich Detail, Eric Standley

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

alyson’s installations

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 ShotzA Curve in Space and Time, 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.

Alyson ShotzAngle of Incidence, Alyson Shotz

“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

Alyson ShotzMirror Fence, Alyson Shotz

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

watercolor clay

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.

Jayme Curley#1 Largest Ovoid, Jayme Curley

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.

Jayme Curley#6 Oceana I, in 5 Sections, Jayme Curley

“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

Jayme Curley#49, 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

get closer to the music

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.  Bjoern Ewersphotography by Bjoern Ewers

Ewers works out of Berlin, Germany as an illustrator, photographer and art director.

Bjoern Ewersphotography by Bjoern Ewers

His images are creative and powerful, giving you quite an amazing perspective inside classical instruments.

Bjoern Ewersphotography by Bjoern Ewers

Ewers is featured on Behance Network, an online showcase for creative work:  www.behance.net  Also see his website:  studio314.de

glowing orbs of light

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, by Calabarte

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.

CalabarteStanding Lamp XV String structure, by Calabarte

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.

Standing Lamp XV String structure, Calabarte

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.

colorful urchins

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.

Norman MooneyStar, Norman Mooney

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.

Norman MooneyWallflowers, Norman Mooney

The sculptures above are made from cast aluminum.

Norman MooneyGolden Sun No. 2 (detail). Norman Mooney,
Waterhouse & Dodd Contemporary. By: Corban Walker

Golden Sun No. 2 is one of his most recent works.  Mooney laser-cuts stainless steel and bronze sheets, following his hand drawn markings.
Visit his website to view more of Norman Mooney’s work:  normanmooney.com

home from st. martin

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.

SXM airportBaggage Claim at the St. Martin Airport
photo by Linda Oeffling

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.

Bar on AnguillaDune Preserve Bar on Anguilla
photo by Linda Oeffling

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.

St. Martin RestaurantRestaurant in Grand Case
photo by Linda Oeffling

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 BayHappy Bay
photo by Linda Oeffling

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…

three sisters

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!

Three SistersThree Sisters Ceramic Art Sculpture

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.

three sistersHong Zhang, Three Graces,
charcoal on paper on scroll.
Photo courtesy Whitespace Gallery

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 ShepherdThree Sisters, Diana Shepherd

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…

 

now is it spring?

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.

Papa ZacaPapa Zaca, Hector Hyppolite

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”?

J. R. CheryArtist J.R. Chery

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.

Tito30 – Untitled, Tito

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

tropical mosaics

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.

Charles McDonellIsland in the Sun, Charles McDonell

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.

Honeymoon SunsetHoneymoon Sunset, Charles McDonell

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.

Charles McDonellTribal Visions, Charles McDonell

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

a growing force in international art

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.

Bill GraceOpen #9, Bill Grace

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.

Bill GraceIcon Obelisk Maquette Obsverse, Icon Obelisk Maquette Obsverse #1, and Brothers, Bill Grace

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.

Bill GraceWearable Prints by Bill Grace

See more of Grace’s work on his website, “Ocean Meditations”:  www.billgraceart.com  You can find more information on the Caribbean Fine Art Fair on their site: www.cafafair.com

dreaming of flotsam and jetsam

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.

LeRon CarvingEternity, Gary Cronk

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.

Dave PetranekArtist Dave Petranek

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.

John DahlsenDriftwood Assemblage by John Dahlsen

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

Linda OefflingTurtle Mandala with Driftwood, Linda Oeffling

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.

time for a virtual vacation

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…

Antoine ChaponRendez-Vous Bay, Antoine Chapon

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.

Antoine ChaponReflection, Antoine Chapon

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.

Antoine ChaponTurquoise at Cap Juluca, Antoine Chapon

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.

suspended paper jewels

They are faceted like precious stones, but they are made of paper (and some other things).

Kirsten HassenfeldDans la Lune, Kirsten Hassenfeld

“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

Kirsten HassenfeldUntitled (Star) detail, 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.

Kristen HassenfeldDollar Dreams, Kristen Hassenfeld

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

whirling kaleidescope of color

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.

Hadieh Shafie20871 Pages
2012
Hadieh Shafie
Ink/ acrylic and Paper with printed & hand written Farsi Text Esheghe
“Love”
48″ x 48″ x 3.5″

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.

Hadieh Shafie21680 Pages Detail
2011
Hadieh Shafie
Ink/ acrylic and Paper with printed & hand written Farsi Text Esheghe
“Love”
48″ x 48″ x 3.5″ / 121.92 x 121.9 x 9 cm

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.

ShafieImage from Morton Fine Art

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

bring on the rainbow

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.

Julia Vogl
£ 1 000 000 | 1 000 opinions ( where would you allocate £ 1 000 000 of public spending?), Julia Vogl

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

Julia VoglColouring the Invisible, Julia Vogl

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.

Julia VoglPreferences Overview, Julia Vogl

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

speaking of cement

Yesterday’s post was on a new form of lighted, translucent concrete. This led to an investigation of some concrete art . . .

Casa do ContoCasa do Conto Hotel, Portugal

Not sure how comfortable I would be with a massive, concrete ceiling over my head.  It is pretty cool, though.

Andrew GossLeaning, Andrew Goss

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”.

GaspersSculpture, Rachel Josepher Gaspers

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

concrete concepts in art

A new form of concrete caught my eye the other day, making me think of this materials being used for artistic applications.

LucconLuccon

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.

LucconLuccon Concrete Steps

The Luccon website has many examples of how this material is being used around the world in architectural applications.

LucconLuccon

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”.

digging through the text

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.

Brian DettmerThere’s Nothing to Fear, Brian Dettmer

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.

Brian DettmerThe Encyclopedia of Architecture, Brian Dettmer

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.

Brian DettmerNew Books of Knowledge, Brian Dettmer

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

what is revealed

The broken sculptural pieces of Jonathan Prince reveal visual treasures.

Jonathan PrinceDisc Fragment 2011, Jonathan Prince

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.

Jonathan PrinceSouthern Remnant, Jonathan Prince

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.

Jonathan Princeworking on Torus 340, 2011

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.

Jonathan PrinceSouthern Remnant, on display on Madison Avenue

Visit Jonathan Price’s website for more of his sculptural work:  www.jonathanprince.com

the motion of art

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.

Studio GlitheroBlueware Collection, Studio Glithero

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.

Studio GlitheroFire Drawings, Studio Glithero

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.

Studio GlitheroFire Drawings, Studio Glithero

Studio Glithero
Fire Drawings, Studio Glithero

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.

Visit their website to view videos of their many varied installations.  Glithero.com  View a video interview of the artists and their process:  www.detnk.com

favorite things for monday

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.

Kate GreenawayKate Greenaway, Hush a Bye, Baby

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.

Randolph CaldecottRandolph Caldecott, A Frog He Would a Wooing Go

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.

Ernest ShepherdErnest Shepherd, Wind in the Willows

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

Cicely M. Barker

Tasha Tudor

Tasha Tudor

Gabrielle Vincent

Gabrielle Vincent

Garth Williams

Garth Williams

the largest contemporary land art in the world

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.

Andrew RogersSustenance, Turkey
Andrew Rogers

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.

Andrew Rogers  Kurunegala, Sri Lanka
Andrew Rogers

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.

Andrew RogersShield, Kenya
Andrew Rogers

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

 

 

 

luscious, tangy, fruity color

They glow, they glisten, you can almost smell the citrus-y fragrance, and they are painted with oil on canvas.

Dennis WojtkiewiczDennis Wojtkiewicz

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.

Dennis WojtkiewiczDennis Wojtkiewicz

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!

Dennis WojtkiewiczDennis Wojtkiewicz

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

See more of his luscious work:  www.petersoncodygallery.com, www.evanluriegallery.com

an artist and a farmer

Bill Yardley’s printmaking draws from the country life around him and translates it into simple, detailed beauty.

Bill YardleyStarry Night, Bill Yardley

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.

Bill YardleyShooting Star, Bill Yardley

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.

Bill YardleyStrange but True, Bill Yardley

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

shifting the traditional view of native american art

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.

Shapeshifting ExhibitionThéâtre 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.

Shapeshifting ExhibitionAnishinaabe; Fringe, 2008;Rebecca Belmore (born 1960)
Inkjet print on paper
© Rebecca Belmore, image courtesy Rebecca Belmore, photograph by Henri Robideau.

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.

shapeshifting exhibitionCSST 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

burnished metal takes flight

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.

Mark DavisBRILLIANT NOIR, MD360, Mark Davis
Brass, Aluminum and Steel Wires
With Acrylic Color

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.

Mark DavisGARDEN OF THE MOON, MD348, Mark Davis
Brass, Aluminum, 23K Gold Leaf
and Steel Wires with Acrylic Colors

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.

Mark DavisICARUS, Mark Davis
Large hanging mobile in brass and
aluminum with steel wires, oil and
acrylic colors

“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.

from planks to bowls

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.

Loyal Loot CollectiveLog Bowls, Loyal Loot Collective, designer Doha Chebib

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.

Loyal Loot CollectiveLog Bowls, Loyal Loot Collective, designer Doha Chebib

I absolutely love the metallic colors in the selection above. They were featured in 2008 in the Radiant Dark exhibition in Toronto.

Loyal Loot CollectiveLog Bowls, Loyal Loot Collective, designer Doha Chebib

I prefer the rougher textured bark, pieces coming from the natural forest contrasting so nicely with the smooth, contemporary color within.

Loyal Loot CollectiveMonsieur Dressup coat hangers, designer Anna Thomas

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

abstraction on the grain

The natural flow of grain in wood is a beautiful thing, and artist Jason Middlebrook builds upon that natural artistry with his painted lines.

Jason MiddlebrookVertical Landscape Painting, 2011, Jason Middlebrook
acrylic on black walnut plank
Photo: Karen Pearson

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.

Jason Middlebrook Black and White Number 2, 2011,  Jason Middlebrook
acrylic on wood plank
Photo: Karen Pearson

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.

Jason MiddlebrookGeode Plank, 2011, Jason Middlebrook
acrylic on english elm plank

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/

mosaic mandalas

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.

marialuisa tadeiMoon of My Eyes, MariaLuisa Tadei

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.

MariaLuisa Tadei

Untitled  2007, MariaLuisa Tadei

MariaLuisa Tadeioculus dei 2001, 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

mwa-ha-ha-ha

Rebecca Ing is a self-professed artist, photographer and science geek, and I love her inventive photographs.

Rebecca IngPhotography by Rebecca Ing

Ing was curious about how a layer of oil on water would impact the way an object passes through it.  She used a marble and “a few lasers” . . . I wish I could see her studio and how she sets up these scientific photographic experiments!

Rebecca IngViscous Liquid Sheet Atomisation – Fluid Fishbones, photography by Rebecca Ing

The “fishbones” photo is actually two liquid jets of sugar syrup at a low and high rates of flow.  Have you ever done dishes at the sink and just watched the flow of water?  Sometimes the simple movement of liquid is mesmerizing, and it is beautiful when captured in a moment of time.

Rebecca IngPhotography by Rebecca Ing

Who would know?  What you see are the fumes from nail polish remover bottles.  She uses Schlieren photography for this capture – a process used to photograph the flow of fluids of varying density.

Illustration for a Blue Locks – a short story by Wendy Wagner
photograph by Rebecca Ing

“It is a photo :)  I drew all the bits, cut them out stacked them and manipulated them, lit them…and then took a photo.  Mwahahahaha.” – Rebecca Ing

Just when I think she is simply (ha-ha . . SIMPLE? I don’t think so) a scientific photographer, I look through her blog to find the illustration above.  Not only can she wield a camera, but also colored pencils (my guess), and a computer. I find this process very interesting, and I like the dimensionality she created by using all of these methods. See her blog for more:  rebeccaing.tumblr.com

construction sparkle

The incongruous use of what you might call ugly utilitarian materials become fantastic sculptures in the hands of sculptor Soo Sunny Park.

Soo Sunny ParkCapturing Resonance, Soo Sunny Park & Spencer Topal

Park collaborates with sound artist and composer Spencer Topel on this installation, featured at the DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum near Boston. Can you guess the material used?

Soo Sunny ParkCapturing Resonance, Soo Sunny Park & Spencer Topal

Chain link fencing is filled with thousands of iridescent squares of plexiglass, reflecting and refracting brilliant colored light, while Topel’s blend of “whispering chords, soft tonal washes, and elongated instrumental sounds” fill the air in a composition that changes as it responds to human interaction.  (from the DeCordova website)

Soo Sunny Park36, Kr-81 (2006), night view, Soo Sunny Park
PETG, cotton strings, black paint, daylight, artificial green light
10’x25’diameter

In her “36, KR-81” installation, Park utilizes artificial light to create an extra other-worldly dimension.  Beam me up.

Soo Sunny ParkMending Infraction (2010), Soo Sunny Park
metal lath, rivets, light
10’x19’x18’6″

Again in “Mending Infraction”, Park uses rough construction materials in a unique combination with light to create a landscape, pulling my eyes into the curving, reflective paths.It makes you look twice at the everyday world, at how anything you see or use can also be a thing of beauty. See more of Park’s work on her website: www.soosunnypark.com

feathers of my own

Yesterday I featured Kate MccGwire’s feather sculptures, so it seems appropriate to feature some of my own feathery works.

Crane Dance by Linda OefflingCrane Dance, Linda Oeffling
Custom wrought iron stand by Will Slagel of Metal Meanders

Sandhill cranes were a rare sight around this area several years ago.  There must be new habitat or different migration or something, because now we regularly see and hear them. According to the International Crane Foundation, they are in fact the most numerous of the world’s cranes.

While calling, cranes stand in an upright posture, usually with their heads thrown back and beaks skyward during the display. . . . All cranes engage in dancing, which includes various behaviors such as bowing, jumping, running, stick or grass tossing, as well as wing flapping. Though it is commonly associated with courtship, dancing can occur at any age and season. – from the International Crane Foundation website

Japanese Crane by Linda OefflingJapanese Crane by Linda Oeffling

Like MccGwire, I am fascinated with bird lore and the mythology associated with birds. Greek and Roman myth tells us that the dance of cranes is a dance for the love of joy, and a celebration of life.  The Japanese refer to the crane as the bird of happiness.

These fused pieces are so fun to watch throughout the day.  They change as the light changes, which makes the art piece something new at any given time of day.

something about feathers

Artist Kate MccGwire’s feather sculptures have made the blog rounds the last couple of years. She creates large, flowing sculptures that can sometimes be on the creepy side as they flow sinuously out of walls and along the floor. The title “Heave” doesn’t help.

MccGwireHeave, 2008, Kate MccGwire

Her use of pigeon and dove feathers is deliberate.  Though they are the same type of bird, common pigeons are often thought of as pests, dirty and feral, while doves are described as symbols of purity, peace, and hope.

MccGwireQuell, 2011, Kate MccGwire

MccGwire originally collected the feathers herself.  When she realized the scale of the sculpture she wanted to create, she began a correspondence with pigeon racing clubs, asking for their trash bins of molted feathers. Now she regularly receives envelopes full of her medium.

MccGwireLure, 2011, Kate MccGwire

 “Design Boom” is featuring some wonderful close-up images that bring home the inherent beauty in the feathers that she uses for her sculptures. Breathtaking. Kate’s website: www.katemccgwire.com

from finnish forests of imagination

Once you delve into blogging, it can become quite addictive.  The whole world of opinions, lives, experiences and achievements is brought right into your home.  The best surprise for me is the unexpected friendships made around the world, from comments, or a simple push of the “like” button.  It seems so abstract and removed to view things online, but when people comment and communicate, suddenly it is a very small world.

I met the most interesting gentleman from Finland yesterday who commented on my blog, thereby causing me to go back to view his blog.  And what a treasure!  I am sure that today’s post is just one of the many things I will bring to you that I have found on his site:  sartenada.wordpress.com

It was hard to choose what to feature first, but his personal favorite is the carved wooden art from Finland, so I will begin there.

Photo by sartenadaFinnish Outsider Art, photo by Sartenada

Outsider Art, or Art Brut, is known in Finland as ITE-art. ITE means “Self Made Life” when translated from Finnish.

photo by SartenadaPhoto by Sartenada

I love the rough forms of carved outsider art, especially the forest troll below, mythology come to life.  Trolls are such a huge part of Finnish folklore, there is actually a doctoral dissertation on these little guys. (http://www.hs.fi/english/article/1101978425335)

photo by sartenadaPhoto by Sartenada

I searched the web for this place, located in the town of Ilomantsi, near the Russian border, but could not turn up much information.  What a hidden gem, about 6 hours drive from Helsinki.  I think I found the restaurant Sartenada has in his photo: Parppeinvaara Bardic Village

Parppeinvaara Bardic VillageParppeinvaara Bardic Village, photo by Sartenada

A remote, special place in the world.  And how many might go there, thanks to the photos of Sartenada!  See more of the carvings here:  http://sartenada.wordpress.com/2011/08/

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