You have to be amazed by your own brain. Really, think about all that your brain does for you, and the processes and synapses that fire away so that you can function every day. It’s really a beautiful thing.
The artwork of Dr. Greg A. Dunn takes you into the mystery and beauty of the human brain. He and his colleague Dr. Brian Edwards invented a technique that manipulates light on a microscopic scale. Dunn creates microetchings, hand-made lithographs that capture a moment of reflection in the incredibly intricate tapestry of the brain. Reflected microetching unveils a view into the brain that touches upon the delicate balance of neural choreography.
Microetching is one of the techniques that Dunn uses to create his amazing artworks. He also works with an ink-blowing technique to to form intricate works that could be forests, trees, or forests of neurons in a mind-blowing landscape.
Dunn is a fan of Asian art, and the minimalist scroll and screen painting techniques from the Edo period in Japan. He draws from that inspiration, and combines it with the knowledge gleaned from having a doctorate in Neuroscience.
Visit Dunn’s website to view more of his beautiful and detailed work.
I’m working on my second honeycomb piece. The first one looked amazing, and then I tried fusing the top details onto the base and it melted into a puddle of color. This is a photo of my second try before fusing. I would like those top details to nicely melt, just a little bit, into the base. The problem is that when you heat all that glass together, it must heat and cool at the same rate. If those thinner top pieces cool slower than the thick bottom, they will crack, or the whole piece will crack. It gets complicated. Stay tuned to see if I can figure out a very slow fusing schedule that will heat and cool everything to perfection.
We have been fusing glass downstairs in the home studio since we bought our Skutt kiln in 2004. It has been a workhorse, but we are dealing with our first repair issue. We programmed it to go one night, and the screen displayed the dreaded Err1 message. I could have guessed what was wrong, but was really glad that I gave Skutt a call. Their technician was amazing, and patiently led me step by step through using a multimeter to diagnose the problem. It turned out to be a bad relay. That would have been minimal to replace, however, I thought it was good advice to purchase a whole new panel. The base they use now is much heavier, giving more heat protection to the elements. Considering the age of the kiln, I thought it a great value to purchase the whole panel for under $200.
Crazy, huh? It took some time to re-wire all those connections to the circuit board, carefully following Skutt’s instructions, using their thoughtfully tagged wires.
So now we’re back in business! The fusing continues. Stay tuned for some new pieces coming out of the kiln.
Warm weather is coming, spring is in the air, and its time for a change. This will be the last post on this particular blogsite, although I will leave it here as an archive.
When I started this blog, I enjoyed playing with the free tools at WordPress.com, and created my blog and website here. Fast forward to 2015, and my life is moving forward and expanding in many directions. Instead of being confined to the free templates of WordPress, I have immersed myself in learning how to work with custom templates, manipulating them and creating custom websites with my business partner in graphic design.
The inspiration found in writing an art blog and scouring the internet for ideas has turned into a focus into my own business of creation. I am thinking about continuing a variation of this art blog on my Rowanberry Studio home site, but will not do the research I have done here, which I love, but is very time consuming.
Thanks to those of you who have followed and those who have kindly commented. Namaste.
Find me here:
Have you been to Artsy yet? Prepare yourself, you could be lost for years in the intricacies and information in this site.
This is just a small glimpse of this crazy busy website. Follow your favorite artists, browse galleries, museums, fairs & shows, auctions, for sale, education… the list goes on. The site goes on. And on. And on.
So let me focus on one of my favorites – Anish Kapoor. A rep from Artsy contacted me, suggesting the new Anish Kapoor page on Artsy, and I think it’s a great thing to share, so I’m spreading the word.
Canvas, Anish Kapoor
Artsy is a site that takes everything to the next level. Each page could be a site in itself, and Kapoor’s page is no exception. View his artwork and read his bio. Move on to articles that present yet another dimension into the artist’s life. See upcoming exhibitions. Then take it a step further and delve into related artists.
Get lost in Artsy and have fun exploring, or bookmark it and use it as a reference. Lots of info here, and plenty of eye candy as well!
Alas, as the membership fee is a bit steep for me, (also, the society seems to be more oriented to glass blowers rather than fusers) as non-members we were only able to access the public displays at this conference.
Our main goal was to visit the Bullseye Glass booth, as I am planning to use a great deal more of their product in my own work. We had a great visit with the reps at the booth, who were very welcoming and receptive to all questions. I scored a great re-usable Bulleye shopping bag to fill with show literature and give-aways.
Next we met a few more helpful reps from Covington Engineering and HIS Glassworks. We began asking questions about coldworking equipment, but the conversation was cut short as they were leaving for the GAS gallery tour. They were nice enough to encourage us to tag along, and we quickly changed our plans to do just that. What a great decision that turned out to be, as we toured the Ken Saunders Gallery, Echt Gallery, and the Vale Craft Gallery, all located on W. Superior in Chicago.
One of my favorite pieces was by artist Steve Jensen, combining natural wood with resin and glass.
Jensen hails from Seattle, WA, coming from a long tradition of Norwegian fishermen and boat builders. He grew up on his father’s fishing boat. His artwork displays incredible range in mediums including glass, wood carving, and bronze sculpture.
This is a close-up of a piece by Harue Shimomoto that was another favorite of mine:
I once watched Shimomoto unpacking and hanging a piece at a SOFA show in Chicago. The delicate traceries of glass are hung in overlapping sections to create the full display. It was amazing to think that you can actually ship something this delicate.
Although this blog could go on for days on this topic, I’ll just include one more piece today, from Thomas Scoon:
“Stone/glass/stone/glass, the two substances layered like some sedimentary strata on the side of a cliff. But, though cold to the touch, Scoon’s assemblages still echo with their igneous source; this is the stuff of magma and the core.” – James Yood, Art Critic
It was quite a memorable evening. We were completely taken in by the art displays, but also tremendously enjoyed the company of the HIS Glassworks and Covington Engineering representatives. Their observations and comments were interesting and informative.
Visit for more information:
HIS Glassworks: http://www.hisglassworks.com/
Covington Engineering: http://www.covington-engineering.com/
Bullseye Glass: http://www.bullseyeglass.com/
Ken Saunders Gallery: http://www.marxsaunders.com/home.html
Echt Gallery: http://www.echtgallery.com
Vale Craft Gallery: http://www.valecraftgallery.com/
Artist Julie Clement creates intricate designs made of dots.
Clement’s Venus and Sun was displayed at the Longmount Museum & Cultural Center in Longmont, CO. Her pointillism follows renowned artists Lichtenstein and Seurat. It brings to mind the artwork of Australian aboriginal artists.
She is described on her website as “vivacious; and her energy, contagious!”, and looking at her colorful, flowing images certainly reflects that energy. Her paintings are composed of hundreds upon thousands of dots, and she describes her process as meditative. She draws inspiration from dreams, books, and life experiences.
Clement paints with acrylic on canvas, metal and wood. Visit her website: http://clementinedotart.com
We are buried in snow right now, with below zero temps and arctic winds buffeting the house. It’s a great time to think about the grasses that are dormant beneath the icy layers of snow, just waiting to spring forth in a few months. And who better to give you the feeling of grassy growth than Santa Fe artist Charlie Burk.
Burke has been painting landscape for over 40 years. His paintings seem a blend of abstraction and realism, with their vibrant colors and grassy stems and seeds.
Burke is one of the artists represented by the Winterowd Fine Art Gallery, one of the galleries that recently participated in the LA Art Show. The show took place at the LA Convention Center, January 2014. The Winterowd Gallery is located in Santa Fe, and notes that “many of our artists have an enduring fascination with nature that continue to inform and inspire.”
When walking in the nearby parks here in the Midwest, I am fascinated by the tall prairie grasses. I try again and again to capture their beauty, but don’t seem to quite capture the magic to my satisfaction. I am a little gratified that they seem to echo the feeling of Burke’s work.
It’s a new look for the Rowanberry Blog this year, and I have a new goal to strive for in continuing to post. Reflecting back on this artistic journey, I just can’t let it go and give it up. I have to keep trying to find the time to share artistic inspiration, at least more consistently if not as frequently. I also wanted to upgrade the look of the blog to be able to share larger images. There’s nothing like the impact of a large, beautiful image. For those who spend more time on the phone screen, I guess it might not matter, but if you get home to a nice large monitor… wow!
Today I am sharing some beautiful and somewhat surreal photography from Cody William Smith. He is a photographer and cinematographer with some interesting work. These pictures are from “A Moment’s Reflection”, from June of 2013.
“A Moment’s Reflection” is my ongoing study of specular, or mirror-like, reflections. My intention is to draw new connections between familiar forms by introducing specular reflections to environments where none would typically exist. The mirrors serve as a focal point within a given scene and also function as a window to provide an entirely unique perspective on the same location. -Cody William Smith
Smith specializes in landscape, fine art, and environmental portraiture. In the film world, he freelances as a gaffer, 1st AC, and photography assistant. He has an interesting set of credits to his name, including being involved with several professional music videos, short films and magazine shoots.
Visit Smith’s website: http://www.codyslr.com/
Kind of a convoluted blog story, but I belatedly saw this article (from 2011) and cracked up.
“The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living” by Damien Hirst
(Image credit: Fickr user Rupert Ganzer)
Kind of ironic that in “the physical impossibility of death”, the dead tiger shark suspended in an acrylic tank filled with 224 gallons of water immediately began to rot. Hirst’s artwork was on display at London’s Saatchi Gallery. It started to smell, and efforts began to stem the odor. They added bleach, which only made the shark decompose faster. Read the whole, fascinating story here: Neatorama.
I shouldn’t laugh – karma will always come back to you in the end. As much as you think you plan your artwork, you never know what you may forget to consider.
My fellow glass studio workers consistently tease me for the “Oeffling Standard of Work: Make it Last for 100 Years.” I insist on structuring pieces as best I can, to be as sturdy as they can be, so that they can withstand handling and often, outdoor elements, for as many years as possible. (No, I don’t believe I would guarantee one hundred years…)
So every dimensional stained glass piece I create has copper wire painstakingly soldered around each outside edge. This can add up to an hour or more of work for a small piece, not to mention copious amounts of solder, which keeps increasing in price. The copper wire reinforces the piece, holding it together as gravity tries year after year to make it sag apart.
So “ha” to my lovely co-creators in glass! Learn the lesson from Damien and wire that baby!
“I consider my work as an exploration and a celebration of nature. To pay attention to smell is my way to observe quietly what I encounter on my path, a form of meditation, “Caminando se hace el camino.” (translated, “walking is the way”). My blog is called Chemin Faisant. If you are really quiet, everything has a scent, even the pebbles, even the meteorites.
It is my way to acknowledge the mystery of being alive on this planet.” – Catherine Willis
Willis is always looking for interesting papers on which to create pieces. She has used essential oils as pigments, but also has utilized beeswax based pastels or watercolor.
Willis has also participated in olfactory performances, burning perfumes while accompanied by musicians playing instruments.
Her blog is a delight: http://catherinewillis.tumblr.com/
I am enjoying the artwork of Jun Kaneko (thanks to Brandie for the link to this artist!). He is an incredibly prolific artist, producing work in Ceramics, Bronze, Glass, Textile, Drawing, and Painting. Whoa.
The beauty of glass is in its capture of light, and Kaneko’s installations wow the eye with color and reflection.
Kaneko was born in Japan, and began his studies in painting. After coming to the U.S., he was drawn into sculptural ceramics. He has taught at some of the nations leading art schools, and holds honorary doctorates from several notable Universities.
He has fantastic pictures on his website. I love to see the scale of the work as shown by the photo above. See the finished pieces below.
Kaneko plays with scale and proportion, and is a pioneer in the field of monumental ceramic sculpture. His latest exhibition can be seen in Millennium Park in Chicago, IL, in the Boeing Galleries, from April through November of 2013.
See more on his website: http://www.junkaneko.com/
I came across some unique and beautiful photography today, from the lens of Bob Croslin.
Croslin starting taking portraits of injured birds at a local bird sanctuary in Florida.
Every Wednesday I would show up and photograph a bird or two never knowing what kind of bird and if I’d even come away with an image. I’d set up lights and a back drop and cross my fingers. Birds, like humans, don’t like to be in a new environment and would immediately run for the exit. Add a camera and several lights and inevitably we were corralling birds – no easy feat because several of the birds were still flighted. I can’t count how many times I was told by a sanctuary volunteer that there was no way I’d be able to photograph a particular bird – especially the shore birds. Every time I’d make an image that would blow them away. Nothing like a challenge to bring out the best in me. – Photographer Bob Croslin
Croslin was, in his own words, a “punk rock kid” who discovered a love for photography. Floating around without a definite goal, he ended up at the University of Florida, majoring in Journalism. This is where he really fell in love with telling stories with a camera.
His photos have a surreal quality, making you want to study them closer. They do draw you in to the tale. See more of his work on his website: http://www.bobcroslin.com/
Continuing on from yesterday’s blog featuring the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum, I want to share the wonderful experience of seeing glass artist Michael Meilahn at work.
We traveled out to the cornfields of Pickett, Wisconsin, to arrive at the family farm where he was raised, and where he and his family still farm today. Meilahn describes himself as a person with “one foot on the land and one foot in the sand”, referring to the fertile fields of corn and the sand which is the basis for glass.
We marveled at the texture and amazing color detail in his huge, blown glass ears of corn.
What looks like chocolate-dipped corn is actually wax. The glass piece is dipped into wax, which is then carefully peeled off to form the basis for a bronze casting that will fit the glass creation like a glove.
The expansive studio space allows plenty of room for machinery, glass equipment, and immense hanging ears of corn.
We were thrilled when Michael and his crew (that’s his son, in red), offered to create a piece so that we could watch the process, even though their usual crew consists of four members.
A metal rod is dipped into a furnace of molten glass to obtain a “gather” of glass at the end. After a couple of gathers of glowing, translucent amber, they coated it with yet another gather, this one of a creamy off-white color.
Nearing the end of the process, the ball of molten glass is rolled on a marver table to shape it further. You can see the metal corn form, tucked among the hoses on the right side of the picture. Now the process is moving really quickly, as they have limited time to form and mold the glass before it cools down. If it cools down too much, the glass will crack.
Michael quickly jumped up to the platform so that the glass could hang down inside of the form, which was quickly closed down to surround it. He blew into the end of the pipe to push out the glass into a long, corncob shape.
The mold opened up to reveal the glass corncob.
Now the finishing touches, where Michael used a caliper tool to grasp the end, pull and shape, and create a hole that is used to hang the glass.
A torch is used to flame along the project, so that the heat is evened out and kept relatively steady, without cooling too quickly.It is then placed into a large annealing kiln, where the controlled temperature drops slowly through the night, cooling slowly until it is taken out the next day.
I am so grateful to the Midwest Contemporary Glass Art Group (MCGAG) for the opportunity to come along on this field trip (with friend and member Brandie Dunn). It was quite a privilege to have this experience, and to have this demonstration really put the day over the top!
There is a lot to see online for Michael Meilahn – a number of You Tube videos and several gallery exhibitions. Take a look, and read a little bit more about this guy; it is quite interesting.
MWA: Wisconsin Museum of Art
You Tube on Upcoming Exhibition
Poor, neglected blog! I have been kept busy these days with other things, and I really need to post something new!
Fortunately, I have just the thing. I was recently invited to attend a field trip with The Midwest Contemporary Glass Art Group (MCGAG) to the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum in Neenah, Wisconsin. The museum had a wonderful exhibit on the legacy of Harvey Littleton and his students. Harvey was a ceramic artist and professor who is known as the “Father of the American Studio Glass Movement”.
The Museum is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Contemporary Studio Glass Movement. This is particularly fascinating to me as an art-lover and glass artist. Harvey Littleton paved the way for artists like myself to create art in their own home studios by developing a small, relatively inexpensive furnace that allowed artists to bring glass from factory production into home experimentation.
Harvey Littleton (American, b. 1922), Blue Crown
pulled and cased glass, 1988
Littleton’s students are some of the most world-renowned glass artists of our time, including Dale Chihuly and Marvin Lipofsky.
Dale Chihuly, Wild Poppy Persian
Marvin Lipofsky, Group Taiwan #4
It was hard to narrow the blog material down for this post. I could go on about the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum, the history of art glass, Littleton, Chihuly and Lipofsky, and all their contemporaries. This blog post could go on for weeks, and I like to keep my posts short and graphic. If you are interested in more, visit the links listed, and stay tuned for the next blog post to read about the rest of our field trip and a thrilling glass adventure in the farmlands of Wisconsin…
The Bergstrom-Mahler Museum: Wisconsin’s Glass Museum http://bergstrom-mahlermuseum.com/
Harvey Littleton http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvey_Littleton
Dale Chihuly http://www.chihuly.com/
Marvin Lipofsky http://www.marvinlipofsky.com/
I came across a beautiful piece of sculpture on design boom the other day. Take a look at the work of Rolf Sachs.
There is just a beautiful feeling about this sculpture. The hewn trough, the rough old bucket and battered stool. Dusty, workman’s things, highlighted by a glowing stream of blue light.
Sachs has a fun website as well. Put your cursor over the various objects to get a closer view, or a glimpse of imagination at work: www.rolfsachs.com My favorites are the white house with the staircase, and the round thing on the wall that looks like an old-fashioned thermostat. You just want to meet this guy because he has got to be a lot of fun!
Sachs is a business tycoon who is also an artist-designer, working out of London. He started in business, but over the years found the need to create taking over more of his life. He states, “Now I am 40 percent business, 40 percent studio, and 20 percent everything else I love to do in life”.
“We all have these incredibly huge egos, but actually we are just a small part of an enormous universe. I want people to look at this and for it to put a smile on their faces, because life demands humour more and more.” ‘Rolf Sachs, from an article in The Financial Times, December 7, 2007, “the Joy of Sachs”
I have upgraded my Rowanberry Studio website, using a lovely template from WordPress.: 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 is one of my favorite shows. I participated last year and can’t wait to go back to the Starline Gallery this September. I hope any of you blog readers who are local can come out to see the show. Entries must be nature-inspired, showcasing the beauty of McHenry County. The people involved are warm and welcoming. The Starline is amazing. See more about the Starline, an old factory turned studio space. See more about the great work being done by the Land Conservancy of McHenry County.
Finding the right typography for a graphic design project can take me hours. In looking for something functional, I often get sidetracked by creative and fun ways that designers re-create alphabetic design.
Today’s fun find is a sculpture based on the art of Wassily Kandinsky. Here is one of his paintings, just to remind you (or introduce you to) his style:
And here is the recent sculpture, created by Turkish graphic designer, Büyükbas.
“I had the idea of experimenting with Kandinsky’s color and form theory in 3 dimension. I started with thinking each letter as a 3d canvas to play around with color and form, but also together they would form a type experimentation on Kandinsky. I presented each letter as a color and form composition and tried to relate them with the space as they are intended to be perceived in 3d dimension.” Sinan Buyukbas, from Behance Network
Büyükbas only recently graduated with his MA Degree in Visual Communication and Design. He is a Motion Designer and 3D Artist, specializing in the emotional perception of computer generated audio and visuals.
See more great photos and close-ups on the Behance Network: http://www.behance.net/gallery/KANDINSKY-TYPE/4039379
The world is flocking to London for the Summer Olympics, and I wonder how many will wander away from the athletes to discover art? Those who find the Shizaru Gallery in Mayfair will find the work of Holton Rower.
Pouring container after container of paint, Rower creates bold and wild masses of color.
Several hundred cups of acrylic paint are lined up and waiting before each “pour” begins. The paints are poured one by one over specially constructed platforms. Each pour consists of up to 50 gallons of paint.
The paints used vary in texture, creating different rates of flow and dry. Some are infused with reflective elements. Cost for these immense paintings can range from $20,000 to $55,000.
See more on Rower’s website: http://holtonrower.com/
We do need rain. This time it’s not just our little corner of the Midwest, but widespread, this hot hot weather and drought. Today, Art + Com brings you a beautiful kinetic sculpture of golden raindrops.
ART+COM is a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring new mediums in the fields of art, design, science and technology. they were commissioned by Changi Airport Group in Singapore to create a signature art installation.
The sculpture is made of two parts, each with 608 rain droplets made of lightweight aluminum that has been covered in copper. A hidden computer-controlled motor controlls the precise, floating movement of the drops.
The photos above are still shots taken from the video, which is really beautiful and set to amazing music.
[vimeo 45188800 w=400 h=300]If by some reason the video does not work, see it on the ART+COM site: http://www.artcom.de/en/news
In fact, the site is worth a visit to see more of what they do as well. They have an 80 member team of media artists and designers, software developers, media technicians and engineers. Their projects are beautiful and thought-provoking.
I like the idea of decorating staircase treads. In one of the most stunning examples, Aileen Barr and Colette Crutcher worked with over 300 volunteers to create this mosaic:
The steps contain over 2,000 handmade tiles and 75,000 fragments of tile, mirror and stained glass.
Even the average person with a supply of paint can brighten up the staircase in their life. I like Horst Glasker’s work, using Pantone colors for these steps.
Horst Glasker Pantone Steps
Decorated steps are not a new idea. The famous decorated staircase of Caltagirone paved the way long ago. (sorry:)
There are 142 steps in the staircase, each decorated with a unique design.
Caltagirone is located on the island of Sicily, and is long famous for its pottery, specifically majolica and terra cotta ware. The staircase was built in 1608.
San Francisco steps Via My Modern Met
I know, I seem to have dropped off the planet. My computer work has gotten quite busy, and the gardening season has been here for a while now. Instead of my cozy winter mornings searching out new art online, I have been making over my perennial beds, digging grass with long white roots, and persistently fighting bindweed vines. Beautiful gardens are indeed a form of art.
My own art is coming along, with a nice boost from my blacksmith friend Will Slagel. He stopped over yesterday to bring more iron stands for the mandalas.
Lily of the Valley is my current favorite, despite the fact that I have to use a purchased stand, and not a custom design by Will. I made this piece with several layers, and so it is too thick to fit in the other stands.
Now my current focus must be getting these out into the world, specifically by finding galleries that would be a perfect fit for my work.
What’s an Alpona, you ask?
An Alpona is a common Indian folk art form, made of patterns meant to adorn an area for celebration. Five of Bangladesh’s leading senior artists led 220 young artisans and thousands of citizens to create this form by hand, covering the full 1-kilometer stretch of Manik Mia Avenue in joyful celebration of the Bangla New Year.
Alpona, photo from www.psfk.com
The basic Alpona is made up of shapes in a symmetric design. Occasional breaks in the symmetry offer an element of surprise, making each design unique.
Although the world’s largest Alpona was created with many colors of paint, the traditional Alpona is usually white. A paste is created with finely ground white rice and cold water, then usually the artist uses a rag dipped in the paste to create the design.
I found a nice blog post detailing more information about this interesting art form: http://omhome.blogspot.com/2008/11/about-alpona.html
I took a quick trip last week to Door County, Wisconsin, a much beloved summer destination for those around the Chicagoland area that yearn for the fresh, piney air of the North Woods. Door County is a seven mile finger of land that extends out from Wisconsin and into Lake Michigan. It is a charming area with five state parks and 300 miles of shoreline with Green Bay on the West and Lake Michigan on the East.
Although cold for a night of camping last week, at least the tourist season wasn’t in full swing yet, and so I could navigate the tiny towns and their art galleries without the excesses of traffic and strolling tourists that clog the sidewalks.
The Arts abound on this beautiful peninsula with over 100 galleries, many featuring internationally known artists.
Edgewood Orchard Gallery is located in Fish Creek, and features work from William Jauquet and Chris Jauquet. Father and son each have their own unique technique sculpting and fabricating in metal.
James G. Moore’s bell sculptures were among my favorite things at this gallery. I loved wandering through the paths of the sculpture garden, occasionally hearing the deep tones of the bells as random visitors used padded mallets to vibrate the carved bronze bells.
Moore hails from Colorado, and you can read the history of the land and the wildlife in his creations. I loved reading his blog and learning about his inspirations. He has also begun a series of videos on You Tube that give you insight into his process and bring you to an Arizona gallery opening.
Explore some more…
Door County: http://www.doorcounty.com/
Edgewood Orchard Galleries: http://www.edgewoodorchard.com/content/
William Jauquet: http://www.jauquet.com/
Chris Jauquet: http://www.chrisjauquet.com/
James G. Moore: http://www.sculpturebyjgmoore.com/jamesg.moorefine.html, Read the Blog: http://sculpturebyjgmoore.blogspot.com/?view=classic
In my last post I blogged about the Monumenta art installation at the Grand Palais in Paris. The art exhibitions are amazing, but the building is blog-worthy as well.
The Grand Palais was constructed in 1900 for the Universal Exhibition. The Universal Exhibitions were world fairs, and some of the buildings created for these monumental events include the Crystal Palace in London, and the Eiffel Tower. A competition was held for the design, and the final was a collaborative effort between architects Henri Deglane, Albert Louvet, Albert Thomas, and coordinator Charles Girault.
The Grand Palais’ glass roof is the largest in Europe.The building is a complex that houses a science museum, the Galeries nationales (art collections), a restaurant, a central police station, rehearsal rooms and additional exhibition space. Chanel hosts many fashion shows here each year.
The Nave is the central area of the building, and the best known part of the Palais, with its magnificent glass roof. (On a side note, FYI, a “nave” is the central approach to the high altar of a church.)
Visit the official site to take a virtual tour – it is a beautiful journey online: http://www.grandpalais.fr/visite/en/#/the-exploration/ If you can’t get to Paris to see it in person, this is the next best thing. Wow.
‘Excentrique(s)’, Daniel Buren, 2012, in situ at the Grand Palais.
Photography: Didier Plowy, courtesy: Daniel Buren, ADAGP, Paris
Buren’s work “in situ” is created on the site, and is one of the hallmarks of his work. He first began working onsite as a struggling artist, because he could not afford a studio.
“Parisian daylight has a very special quality—sometimes soft, sometimes hard—and when you’re under this amazing roof, there’s nothing obstructing it from flooding in. All the time I was thinking of ways of sculpting light and air.” -Daniel Buren, from the Wall Street Journal
Part of Buren’s inspiration resulted from a drawing of five concentric circles that he saw while leafing through a book of Arabian mathematical drawings from the 10th century. He saw that the circles covered a greater amount of space than any other geometric form.
I am disappointed that I broke my streak of consistent blog posting 4-5 days per week. However, it was for a very good reason. I had a relative from the family tree track down our branch of the family, and she came from Buenos Aires to visit. She brought a huge poster of our family tree, with pictures of my grandparents, their brothers and sisters, and the descending relatives. It was truly amazing. We then skyped with another relative in Slovenia, where our history as we know it begins, and I was able to introduce the two of them, making another new connection in the family. I can’t imagine traveling so far to stay with an unknown family, but we had an amazing week together and made a lasting connection.
We found out so many interesting things about our family history. Our visitor is a neurologist, with an additional degree in psychiatry. We found out about a cousin who was involved in diamond mining in Africa, was a millionaire, then mysteriously lost everything and came back to Slovenia with nothing. We have cousins who migrated to England and France. And we heard many sad stories about the war, and the bad times they endured in Slovenia.
“Art and culture hold a special place in Slovenian history, as they helped the Slovenes to compensate in many ways for the lack of national political and government institutions in the past.” from Slovenia.si
According to the website, Slovenia.si, Slovenian painting reached its qualitative peak with works of Impressionism, displayed at an acclaimed exhibition in Vienna in 1904.
St Michael church, on the outskirt of Ljubljana, Jože Plečnik
Photo by Karmen Smolnikar @ Flickr
Slovenia is also proud to claim architect Jože Plečnik, whose influence is seen in the shaping of Vienna, Prague and Ljubliana. He was considered a visionary and a reformer, using new building materials and acting as a pioneer in urban planning. His style was unique in that it was highly original and experimental, yet simultaneously incorporated historical dimension and established traditions.
Meeting family, and hearing about the history of my own family in particular, gives me a feeling I can hardly describe. I feel very small, just a tiny part of this long time line. In these days of disconnected families, it is truly a treasure to have this knowledge and have history come alive.
A Recent History of Art in Southern California(Mass MoCA #165) 1998-2012, Stephen Hannock
polished mixed media on canvas
8 x 20 feet
The paintings are huge, as you can see above, this one at 8 x 20 feet. His technique is unique and original, working with acrylics, resin, pasted papers and photographs. Specialized brushes and power sanders are the tools he utilizes, producing light effects which are his signature style.
Northern City Renaissance, Mauve Dawn (Mass MoCA #161), 2012, Stephen Hannock
polished mixed media on canvas
8 x 12 feet
Hannock layers, then sands and polishes, and layers again, achieving luminous light effects, as if the paintings are glowing from within. He works in bits of handwritten text, comments on the locations and histories.
The Oxbow: For Lane Faison with Betty and Agnes Mongan (Mass MoCA #147), 2011, Stephen Hannock
polished mixed media on canvas
6 x 9 feet
Hannock studied art at Smith College, and though he moved to Manhatten in the early 1980’s, involved in the downtown contemporary art scene, his focus has been primarily on landscape.
This exhibition at the Marlborough includes a display in the Process Room that includes notebooks and studies for the large pictures, equipment he uses, multi-media displays that give insight to his approach, and also early work that displays the evolution of his painting style.
See more of his images: http://www.stephenhannock.com/index.html
I was looking at the overview of Spencer Finch’s installations, and the thing that really struck me was the way that he fills space.
In many of the pieces that I work on, I find myself going smaller, and smaller, and using toothpicks or tweezers to move tiny little pieces. It give me a great feeling of expansion to view Finch’s work, filling a room.
Finch has been strongly influenced by Monet, and the study of light. He plays with light, color, and time to influence human perception. I think that the expansive spaces that hold his constructions certainly add to the feeling of being immersed.
“As abstract and ephemeral as some of Finch’s projects appear to be, they are based in fact and scientific phenomena. He acutely observes natural occurrences, which he then filters through memory as well as literary, artistic, and scientific accounts. The results are often poetic, as he tries to make visible what cannot easily be seen,” – Judith Tannenbaum, Richard Brown Baker Curator of Contemporary Art.
It is an odd mix of favorite things I have – being outside, in a kayak, in the woods, on a beach, and being on the computer, staring at a screen. I guess I am in good company with Sandra Dieckmann, whose artwork is reflective of my own passions.
Dieckmann is an artist based in London, working as a freelance illustrator. She explores a love for animals through her talent for illustration.
I guess she is pulled in different directions as well. She writes in her blog that she is sad to leave her position with the RSPCA (leading UK animal welfare charity) so that she can pursue her freelance work.
Sweet Dreams Ursus Arctus, Sandra Dieckmann
The fabulous SOFA Show (Sculptural Objects and Functional Art) began its 2012 season on April 20 in New York.
Iskandar returns again this year with her blown glass sculptures. She builds her pieces in 3-D patterns, using repetition to build the form.
Each segment is blown from molten glass to achieve the shapes, which are then cut and fused together. The simplicity of the overall form catches the attention, but the complexity of the structure up close is quite intricate.
Jeannet Iskandar at the Heller Gallery
Jeannet Iskandar is based in Denmark and has shown her work in galleries in the U.S. and Europe. See more of her work at the Heller Gallery.
Piles and piles of trash create a new form of sedimentary sculpture, and surprisingly, integrate beautifully with natural forest floor.
Siegel’s sculptures draw attention to the process of compaction, layer upon layer, building up in our landfills.
Siegel stacks literally tons of newspapers over large wooden armatures to create massive boulder shapes.
His works have been installed across Europe and North America. He enlists the help of paid staff and volunteers to complete his projects, using free materials that are available in large quantities.
See more of his work on his website: http://www.stevensiegel.net/index.html
On Earth Day, thinking of the Earth . . . I found artist Terry Berlier.
Reclaimed Time, Terry Berlier
2′ x 2′ x 2″
Berlier works primarily with sculpture and expanded media. She often focuses on everyday objects, the environment. With “Reclaimed Time”, she reflects on the “perspective of deep time and long-term thinking, both into the future and into the past.” (from her website)
Long Time II, Terry Berlier
Plywood, aircraft cable
In “Long Time II”, Berlier created the sculpture in Girona, Spain. There are 61 rings in the sculpture, referring to Professor Nalini Nadkarni’s research comparing the number of trees in the world to the population. Back in 2008 Nadkarni did a study using data from NASA, finding that the world’s human population as of Dec. 31, 2008, was approx. 6,456,789,877. It turns out that in 2008, we had about 61 trees on the planet per person.
Core Sampling (Tick Tock), Terry Berlier
FGR-95, dyes, steel, motors, MAKE Controller, computer, sensor, microscope camera, PVC, aluminum, pocket watch, MAX
“Core Sampling” is pretty interesting – it creates sound from handmade pseudo core samples. See and hear it in action: http://www.terryberlier.com/core.html
We all know the common things that come from trees, like paper, books, & furniture. Here are some things you might not have thought of: buttons, chewing gum, cork, crayons, linoleum, luggage, pingpong balls, rubber, tambourines, tires and turpentine. (compiled by Professor Nalini Nadkarni’s graduate students)
Maybe its just a thing I have with dead insects. Despite my prejudices, I can truly appreciate the delicate and fine work that goes into Ten Donkelaar’s artwork.
“Goudraffeltje”, Anne Ten Donkelaar
Dutch artist Anne Ten Donkelaar collects broken butterflies and repairs them with fine care and skill. The broken wings above are fixed with gold leaf to give them new, luminous edges.
Look closely. Not a fuzzy photo, but two embroidered wings on top.
My personal favorite, the moth whose wings are completed with pieces of maps. Some of the maps used are the ones of the country where the moth originated.
See her website for more of her work. She also creates flower collage pieces and other intricate threadwork art. http://anneten.nl/
Krista Charles spends about two hours per artistic creation, painstakingly drawing inside a matchbox cover.
Charles finds the physical location of the business on the matchbook, then searches Google Maps. Inside the matchbook, she makes a pencil sketch of whatever is shown at the location.
McCarvers Old Town, Tacoma, Washington, Krista Charles
She describes her work as a unique view into the previous business, the dreams of its owner, and how places and histories change over time.
Although Sandra Kantanen’s work is photography of real landscapes, her technique is other-worldly, fantasy come to life.
In her earlier work, she was inspired to work in the tradition of Chinese landscape painting, developing a technique to combine painting and photography.
In this series, Shadow Images, she has photographed places in China, Tibet, Finland, and Japan.
“Entering these different cultures have given me insight into very different ways of perceiving image.” Sandra Kantanen, from Helsinki School
Kantanen creates acrylic paintings on metal plate, then prints her photographs with pigment over the painting, finishing with varnish. The results are magical, misty and dream-like.
Each beautiful work evokes a story; I feel like I am peering through illustrations of a fantasy novel. See her website for gorgeous, large images of her work: http://sandrakantanen.com/works
I don’t often put the words “architecture” and “jewelry” together, but that is exactly what artist Ute Decker does with her sculptural, wearable pieces. She is being showcased in July of 2012 at the London Festival of Architecture.
“Ute Decker’s work has a contemporary yet somehow timeless feel. Her pieces are not so much literal re-interpretations of actual edifices but rather wearable sculptures suggestive of an architectural language of forms. ” from Art Daily
individually hand-crafted in recycled silver
sand texture, matte finish
Minimalist neck cuff, Ute Decker
semi-matt, individually hand-crafted in recycled silver
Decker is influenced by the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, which is the art of finding beauty in imperfection, accepting natural cycles of growth, decay and death, simple, slow, uncluttered and authentic. On her website, she writes, “serene beauty requires discipline, not ostensible splendour – or even perfection. by leaving small marks of the work-process of bending, forming and joining the hand-made quality of crafting remains visible as a humble recognition of our human flaws and imperfections.” See more of her work: www.utedecker.com
The environmental art commission for Islington’s City Road Basin was launched about a year ago, in May 2011. British artist Tania Kovats designed a floating garden, an organic sculpture, to attract attention and enhance this hidden public space.
The island is constructed from a floating pontoon, and contains planted trays and a damp water meadow made up of rare local aquatic plants. The nests are inspired by local birds, including moorhens, herons and swans.
Listen to Planting List
Meadow Sweet, Cotton Grass, Wild Red Clover
Scabious, Cowslip, Sorrell
Yellow Rattle, Toadflax, Ox Eyed Daisy
Marjoram, Milfoil, Yarrow.
Water Mint, Musk Mallow
Cat’s Ear, Weeping Sedge
Ragged Robin, Campion
Yellow Flag Iris
Buttercup, Betony, Bulrush
In advance of the Walk | Talk on 17th Sept – a piece inspired by the list of plants used as ‘plugs’ for HABITAT, and those found growing in the meadow turf. (from Sarah Butler’s blog: http://secretgardenproject.wordpress.com/)
Kovats’ overall body of work has focused on landscapes and geological processes. Online articles abound regarding her work, but I did not find an artist’s website. If you want a quick glance of her body of work, search “Tania Kovats” in Google Images.
The photos are breathtaking, although I am partial to snakes anyway. It is Mocafico’s eye for patterns in nature that pulls my eye and holds my attention.
You know and recognize his subjects, but his arresting work takes you past the reality and into the mesmerizing patterns.
Mocafico lives in Paris, and specializes in still life photography. He works for several international magazines and has undertaken many advertising campaigns for renowned designers such as Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, and Hermës. He has several books published (see Amazon) as well. See his website for more exquisite composition and detailed still life photography: www.guidomocafico.com
In searching the web every day for interesting pieces of art, I come across some very odd things. I usually post what I think is pleasing to me, things I personally think are beautiful, or thought provoking. Funny and odd come into play as well, and today’s artist cracks me up.
Katchadourian was in the lavatory on a flight when she spontaneously put a tissue paper toilet seat cover on her head and took a picture with her cell phone. It reminder her of 15th-century Flemish art. The black background was created by hanging her black scarf on the wall.
Here is a little reference for you, some old Flemish masters:
She subsequently took a long flight from San Francisco to Aukland, and made several more trips to the lavatory, cell phone in hand, to compile a collection of her Lavatory Self-Portraits.
I love the expressions on her face. See more of this series on her website: www.ninakatchadourian.com/photography/sa-flemish.php
Katchadourian works in a wide variety of media, including sculpture, video and sound. Her work has been exhibited in the U.S., Europe, Japan, and New Zealand.
Her website is interesting – and there is a lot of stuff there to peruse. One of my favorites is the Mended Spiderweb Series.
She actually used red sewing thread to mend broken spiderwebs, held in place by the sticky spider web itself. The morning after her first patch job, she discovered a pile of thread laying on the ground. Apparently the spider repaired the web and discarded the unwanted man-made materials.
I am left speechless at the process of creativity, and how she views & interacts with the world around her.
I’m so late with my blog posting today. Sometimes I just can’t find the right thing to feature. I came across these paintings today from Singapore artist Prabhakara Jimmy Quek, and they caught my fancy.
I like the gradations of color and abstract look to this. It also reminds me of some of the ripped paper collage pieces I have seen lately.
Quek has participated in group art exhibitions around the world, including Europe and the U.S. He lives and works in Singapore.
Quek began as a student of the Nanyang Academy of Fine Art and La Salle of Singapore. At the end of his first year, he was promoted to third year status. His career began with his own design company, but moved into full time painting.
He uses the Sanskrit name “Prabhakara” to sign his work, which means “Store of Light.” See his work online: http://pabha.com/.
I take a lot of disappointing pictures when I am out hiking or kayaking. Things that just amaze me by their form or delicacy don’t translate the way that I SEE them in my eyes. So many pictures come out flat and mediocre, nothing special.
Michael McGillis’ sculptures have a pop of color that forcefully pulls your eye to look and see.
It is exaggerated by his use of man made materials, but that’s what I SEE as I float down the stream – the beauty of how a random pattern of twigs traces over the rocks, the way that one piece curves and bends…
Neon colors illuminate the cracks, highlighting the deliberate and precise laying of stone, drawing your eye up around the beautiful old door and climbing higher still.
Although I have my typical rose-colored-glasses perspective, drawing your eye to the beauty is not really his goal. In an artist’s statement, he speaks about portraying the impact of human presence upon the environment, and our shifting interpretations of what is natural. The pretty neon colors in Infiltration are actually those ubiquitous plastic bags that float through the air, finding their way into pristine environments and polluting the earth.
See more of his outdoor installations, as well as his studio work on his website: http://michaelmcgillis.com/
(spotted on studiogblog)
When I look at Henrique Oliveira’s work, I am overwhelmed by the feeling of POWER.
The artist grew up in São Paulo, Brazil, where he still lives and works. As an art student, he scavenged deteriorating tapumes, strips of wood fencing surrounding construction sites, for his sculpture.
”What first caught my attention on this kind of deteriorated plywood was its pictorial aspect,”
“The textures, the colors and the different tones that were organized in layers, reminded me of a painting surface,”
Some of the sculptures appear as if they were created from a gigantic hand, wielding an enormous paintbrush. Others, like the tree trunk pictured above, erupt like living things, breaking through the concrete like a blown up version of saplings in an abandoned parking lot.
It is well worth a visit to his site to see his installations as well as his paintings. The photos are beautiful and large – eye-popping works that fill the screen with writhing forms and bursts of color. See it for yourself: http://www.henriqueoliveira.com
My friends and family tease me about my obsession with fonts. I have been known to shout out “Copperplate” or “Papyrus” while passing billboards along the highway. Fonts and typefaces are a major part of a graphic designer’s life, trying to make things readable, or unique, or expressive. There are a million fonts out there, and I can spend days scrolling along looking for the perfect one for a project. The font I came across today on Design Boom is worth posting about.
So maybe it’s not what you are used to – it isn’t clean and crisp. It’s not really consistent in its spacing and form. But how he made it is so interesting!
Khasanov is a Russian graphic designer, and he created the font with sunlight. He dabbed gel onto a piece of glass and drew the letters with a clean brush. Bringing that piece to the sunlight, the light was refracted into colors, similar to how light is dispersed in a rainbow.
Visit Khasanov’s website to see the font in a moving image, and also some other very cool designs, like Liquid Calligraphy and Pixel Distortion: http://ruskhasanov.com Visit Design Boom as well to see his work, which is where I spotted it in the first place.
Artist Anne Lindberg describes her work as “subtle, rhythmic, abstract and immersive”. (from interview with Les Femmes Folles) I think her words describe her work beautifully.
Her shimmering curtains of vibrant colored thread seems to float through space, rainbows of light spectrum.
After earning her B.F.A., Lindberg worked as a curatorial assistant at the Smithsonian, dealing with textiles. She continued on, studying fiber arts at the Cranbrook Academy of Art. Her artwork gravitated to drawing, but her recent works return to her textile roots.
In a close-up view, the staples and threads become visible, and you can see the detailed structure of her creations. Visit her website to see more of her work, including detailed drawings and mixed media pieces that contain the same intricate, detailed precision as her installations: www.annelindberg.com
I am not a shopper, and I live in a pretty rural area, so window displays are not in my everyday world. Luckily, the world of Pinterest brings bits of everything to my screen, and thanks to metalsmith Troy Hines, I got a glimpse into the world of high fashion displays.
Louis Vitton Window Display, from RodeoWindowDisplays.com
Hines posted the image on his Pinterest bulletin board, which led me to another interesting discovery – the blog of MissMentomori. Her blog is worth a visit to see the bizarre and artistic fashion designs posted.
Louis Vitton Window Display, image from MissMentomori’s Blog
This last image was taken in Dublin, Ireland.
Louis Vitton Display Window, image from Alex Monroe
Alex Monroe’s site was another great discovery. A British jewelry designer, Monroe uses nature to inspire his whimsical jewelry. I might have to feature his designs in a blog soon, but if you care to check it out, here is the website: http://www.alexmonroe.com/
Artist Scott Hazard works with photography to turn it into a sculptural piece of art, drawing the viewer in to explore. His work is being featured in the New Works Exhibition at Artspace, a visual arts center in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he is an artist in residence.
Hazard creates new physical spaces by layering images. He considers his work more sculpture than photography.
He photographs dozens and dozens of images, then reviews them to select a few that have room for a space to explore. He will also search for elements that can be highlighted, as in the photo above. Part of his work involves sketching different sculptural voids, experimenting with what looks best.