Saturday, December 21, 2013

Tim's Vermeer

How's this for a trick? A middle-aged guy who has never picked up a paintbrush decides to replicate a masterpiece by one of the greatest artists in human history. To tell a story that unbelievable, you'd need a couple guys who have some experience with the impossible: magicians Penn & Teller.
Directed by Teller (his feature debut) and produced and narrated by Penn Jillette, the documentary "Tim's Vermeer" tells the true story of Tim Jenison, an inventor who created digital editing and computer animation tools that helped revolutionize the video industry. The film shows how Jenison turned his inquisitive mind and visual expertise to unravelling a mystery that has confounded art historians for nearly 350 years: How did Johannes Vermeer, the 17th century Dutch Master, create the most realistic paintings the world had ever seen.

Definitely interested in seeing this one!
May Inspiration and creativity be with you!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Art is not Democratic...

“Art never responds to the wish to make it democratic; it is not for everybody; it is only for those who are willing to undergo the effort needed to understand it.” 

--Flannery O’Connor

May inspiration and creativity be with you!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

On Nov. 10, 1982, the newly finished Vietnam Veterans Memorial was opened to its first visitors in Washington, D.C.

May inspiration and creativity be with you!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Patience is a Virtue in the Classroom

John Singleton Copley’s A Boy with a Flying Squirrel, 1765.

"The Power of Patience: Teaching students the value of deceleration and immersive attention" 
by Jennifer L. Roberts

"I want to focus today on the slow end of this tempo spectrum, on creating opportunities for students to engage in deceleration, patience, and immersive attention. I would argue that these are the kind of practices that now most need to be actively engineered by faculty, because they simply are no longer available “in nature,” as it were. Every external pressure, social and technological, is pushing students in the other direction, toward immediacy, rapidity, and spontaneity—and against this other kind of opportunity. I want to give them the permission and the structures to slow down."

"What this exercise shows students is that just because you have looked at something doesn’t mean that you have seen it. Just because something is available instantly to vision does not mean that it is available instantly to consciousness. Or, in slightly more general terms: access is not synonymous with learning. What turns access into learning is time and strategic patience."

"Where patience once indicated a lack of control, now it is a form of control over the tempo of contemporary life that otherwise controls us. Patience no longer connotes disempowerment—perhaps now patience is power."

May inspiration and creativity be with you!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Ancient Egyptian Jewelry from Outer Space

Far Out: Ancient Egyptian Jewelry Came from Outer Space by Denise Chow (Yahoo! News) 8/20/2013

First paragraph: 
"Ancient Egyptian beads found in a 5,000-year-old tomb were made from iron meteorites that fell to Earth from space, according to a new study. The beads, which are the oldest known iron artifacts in the world, were crafted roughly 2,000 years before Egypt's Iron Age."

May inspiration and creativity be with you! 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Artist Pranks Best Buy

An entertaining art prank at Best Buy from the artist Plastic Jesus:
“Useless PLASTICBOX 1.2 for $99.99. Another gadget you don't really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of use.”
The manufacturer’s warranty warns that there is none “with this piece of crap.” It added: “If you are dumb enough to buy it you deserve all you get.”
The artist's website:
May inspiration and creativity be with you!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Nation's Largest Yarn Bomb

"Commuters in Pittsburgh used to seeing steel and concrete across the city's Andy Warhol Bridge got a colorful surprise this morning thanks to more than 1,800 knitters who covered the bridge with yarn.
The result of the knitters' weekend work, and more than 18 months of planning, is 580 blanket-sized panels flanking the bridge's pedestrian walkways. Each of the 72-by-34-inch acrylic panels was knitted by hand.

"What's amazing about this project is how many people it's brought together," Penny Mateer, co-director of Knit the Bridge, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "Thinking of the bridge as a metaphor, it's bridging differences and getting people to meet each other."

Volunteers worked on the bridge - closed for the day to vehicle and pedestrian traffic - until nearly 10 p.m. Saturday, covering it in roughly 3,000 feet of yarn. The yarn will remain on display through the weekend of Sept. 6."

May inspiration and creativity be with you!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Elephant Parade

Elephant Parade comes to the US

The Resorts of Dana Point will showcase dozens of colorfully decorated life-size elephant sculptures as Elephant Parade® makes its much-anticipated domestic debut after stops in London, Singapore, Milan and Amsterdam. The open-air exhibition connects acclaimed artists and celebrities with corporate and community leaders to attract public awareness and support for the world’s most majestic land mammals. In anticipation of the coming of the parade, Capistrano Unified School District held a elephant design contest.

Elephant Parade® is the world’s largest open-air exhibition of life-sized, decorated elephant statues created by local and international artists to generate worldwide attention, public awareness and support for the endangered Asian elephant. To date, Elephant Parade has raised more than $5 million for Asian elephant conservation and approximately 8 million people worldwide have experienced the expositions.

The Elephant Parade will be on exhibit from August 23th through November 17th.

May inspiration and creativity be with you!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Amazing Art Education Pinner!

This is the mother of all Pinterest users for art education pinners, Donna Staten.  She has 354 boards filled with some amazing pins!  About every category you can think of from projects to funny art related images, definitely worth hitting that "follow all" button!

Donna Staten on right (images are from the article linked below)

-Here's the link to her Pinterest:

-Here's the link to an article about her on Pinterest:

May inspiration and creativity be with you!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Jay Z "Picasso Baby: A Performance Art Film"

Jay Z "Picasso Baby: A Performance Art Film" 

Not too sure what I think of this yet but an interesting gesture to combine different artists together for his video.  Be forewarned, there is adult language in his lyrics.

This article from NPR Music puts it into context well, "Jay Z Video Puts Hip Hp and Art Back in the Same Room" by Cedric Shine (8/3/13):

Friday, July 26, 2013

Egyptian Cats Big & Small

"Seated Wadjet," a bronze statue from the Late Period, 664-332 B.C., exemplifies the important role that cats played in ancient Egyptian imagery.

Review in the New York Times by Holland Cotter of the Brooklyn Museum Show "Divine Felines: Cats of Ancient Egypt." 

Its Reign Was Long, With Nine Lives to Start

May inspiration and creativity be with you!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

40 Inspiring Workspaces of Artists and Writers

Marc Chagall from "40 Inspiring Workspaces of The Famously Creative"

May Inspiration and creativity be with you!

China's Dafen Oil Painting Village

Dafen village, which produces 60% of the global trade in oil paintings.  Their work is excellent, but the artists earn only about $307 a month.

May inspiration and creativity be with you!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Doctor Who and Van Gogh

I must buy this poster for myself one day...Doctor Who and Van Gogh...what is not to love?

May inspiration and creativity be with you!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Art Quote: Gabrielle Roth

Art is not just ornamentation, an enhancement of life, but a path in itself, a way out of the predicatable and conventional, a map to self-discovery.

~ Gabrielle Roth (February 4, 1941 – October 22, 2012) was an American dancer and musician in the world music and trance dance genres, with a special interest in shamanism.

May inspiration and creativity be with you!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Robert Mapplethorpe

"I went into photography because it seemed like the perfect vehicle for commenting on the madness of today's existence." 
Robert Mapplethorpe, Self-portrait, 1975.

     It is difficult to write about such a profound and controversial artist like Robert Mapplethorpe.  He took immensely beautiful photographs and ones that disturbed many people.  He was even taken to court posthumously when curator Dennis Barrie and The Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center were put on trial for pandering obscenity for showing images from his Portfolio X series.  For more on the Mapplethorpe censorship controversy: 

Robert Mapplethorpe, Calla Lily, 1984.

To begin understanding and appreciating Mapplethorpe and his works, I would suggest doing 3 things:

1. Look at his works and decide what you think for yourself: 

2. There is a good documentary on Mapplethorpe and his work (adult viewers) directed by Nigel Finch for the BBC in 1998 (52 min.): 
Profile of photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, one of the most controversial of American photographers, which accompanied an exhibition of his work at the National Portrait Gallery in the year before he died. Contains interview with Mapplethorpe himself, along with critic and author Edmund White, and with several of Mapplethorpe's subjects.

3. Read Patti Smith's book Just Kids (Nov. 2010, Ecco): 
    -video of her talking about Mapplethorpe around the time the book was published:   

May inspiration and creativity be with you!

Women and Tattoos

Book review in the NY Times for “Bodies of Subversion: A Secret History of Women and Tattoo" by Margot Mifflin: 

Above: Tattoo by Stephanie Tames
Below: Tattoo by Saira Hunjan

Excerpt from the review: 

“Bodies of Subversion” is delicious social history. Tattooing was an upper-class social fad in Europe in the late 19th century. Winston Churchill’s mother had a tattoo of a snake eating its tail (the symbol of eternity) on her wrist. The fad spread to America. In 1897, Ms. Mifflin writes, The New York World estimated that 75 percent of American society women were tattooed, usually in places easily covered by clothing.
By the 1920s, tattooed women were mostly to be seen in freak shows and in circus acts, where they could make more money than tattooed men. They offered, the author avers, “a peep show within a freak show.”
Tattoos lost their appeal for nearly everyone shortly after World War II. One reason was because “tattoos perpetrated in concentration camps had added a ghastly new chapter to tattoo history.”

May inspiration and creativity be with you!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Humanities in Dubious Battle

Great article yesterday in The Chronicle of Higher Education by Anthony T. Grafton, professor of history at Princeton University, and James Grossman, executive director of the American Historical Association.

Title and excerpt below:

The Humanities in Dubious Battle:

What a new Harvard report doesn't tell us

Have you heard about the classics major who intends to be a military surgeon? Or the employers who think entry-level interviewees ought to show up having read the company history? No, of course you haven't.

Those people are not just unmentionable, they're unthinkable—at least in the vast, buzzing worlds of the news media, the blogosphere, and the many TED Talks. No one who studies the humanities could possibly have a practical career in view, anymore than someone who has a practical career in view would ever bother studying the humanities, right? And in the corporate world, only the CEOs, not the HR people, value a liberal education. Why would a company like Enterprise Rent-A-Car care if a prospective employee took the initiative to read the company history? What could the study of the past contribute to a career in, say, medicine?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Restitution of Nazi-Looted Art

George Grosz's heirs want MoMA to return Poet Max Herrmann-Neisse.

     Great article and short video posted to the Arts section of the New York Times today by Patricia Cohen (7/1/13).  I am currently researching something related to this and thought the article was on point.  Cohen's argument focuses primarily on the fact that these cases are not being heard on their merit, because museums are evading the cases through legal loopholes, such as time expiring, museums showing up and talking to the judge who declares that the art belongs to the museum before the family has a chance to appear in court, and so forth.  
     There is no independent committee for hearing these cases of Nazi-looted art and possible restitution to their surviving heirs in the U.S.  There are legal committees dedicated to this process in many European countries, since it is quite a challenge to sort through the documentation, whether or not art dealers were coerced or threatened by the Nazis, and how precisely the art was obtained by the museums (provenance).  One of the problems indicated is that many art institutions in Europe are owned by the state, so they can uniformly apply the order for the designated committee to hear the cases.  Since the majority of institutions in the U.S. are privately owned, such unilateral measures could not be so easily enforced here as they are in Europe.  

Video Link: 

Museums Faulted on Restitution of Nazi-Looted Art
Critics assert that museums have backtracked in recent years on returning art to the heirs of Jews whose property was seized by the Nazis.
May inspiration and creativity be with you!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

E3 Art Exhibition: Into the Pixel (2013)

A topic I have been interested in for years, video games as art.  Here is a link to the exhibition:  

And here is a link to a paper I wrote and presented about the topic of video games and art about a year and a half ago (January 2012) called “Wake Up and Smell the Digital Age: Art History’s Gross Neglect of Popular Art”:  

May inspiration and creativity be with you!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Jackson Pollock Restored

A Pollock Restored, a Mystery Revealed
NYT article 5/27/2013 by Carol Vogel

May inspiration and creativity be with you!

Phil Hansen: Embrace the Shake

This is a truly inspirational video, we are only limited by the limitations we impose upon ourselves, amazing guy!

May inspiration and creativity be with you!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Happy Mother's Day 2013!

“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.” 
― Washington Irving

Mary Cassatt (American, 1844-1926), The Child's Bath1893. Oil on canvas, 100.3 x 66.1 cm (39 1/2 x 26 in. ). Signed lower left: "Mary Cassatt." Robert A. Waller Fund, 1910.2, The Art Institute of Chicago: 
Happy Mother's Day!

May inspiration and creativity be with you!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Threat to Afghan Buddhas

An interesting article from the New York Times with an excellent video (7:40) that details the destruction of Buddhist art and architecture in Afghanistan so that a copper mine can be created.  The video explains how much of the art is too large to be moved, so instead it will be destroyed, for the sake of profit.  It is so sad that we often value money over our shared cultural heritage.  Afghanistan was an extremely important location on the Silk Road, responsible for the exchange of ideas and the spread of Buddhism from India to other locations in the east and west.

‘A Chinese Threat to Afghan Buddhas’
In Afghanistan, a Chinese mining company threatens to destroy the remains of an ancient Buddhist city, which archaeologists are now racing to excavate.
by Brent E. Huffman (4/23/2013)

May inspiration and creativity be with you!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

"China's Terracotta Warriors" from PBS

A great and updated film about Shihuangdi's Terracotta Army.  It includes some excellent footage that explains the restoration techniques and fragile state of the paint on the sculptures.  There is also some interesting footage of the scientific properties of Chinese purple and a fully painted reproduction of one of the soldiers, showing you just how brightly painted they really were, which is a little shocking if you are not used to looking at painted sculpture.  It originally aired on PBS 05/04/11 and is also currently available on Netflix, enjoy!

May inspiration and creativity be with you!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Kumbh Mela 2013

Kumbh Mela is one of the largest religious gatherings known to man, that occurs in its entirety every twelve years in Allahabad, India.  It will end on 3/10/2013 with Maha Shivratri - the Sixth Snan, the Final Bath.

1. Official site for 2013 events:

2. Information linked from their site that explains it well, and how it is linked to "The Churning of the Sea of Milk," one of the most depicted scenes in Hindu Art:

Maghi Purnima Snan

A fun video from their site with music, dance, and images.

May inspiration and creativity be with you!

Blog Awards

Some awards this blog has received thanks to some nice folks!

One Lovely Blog Award

One Lovely Blog Award
given on 07/24/2009 by Nanny Dee (