Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Michelangelo

Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (1475-1564) was a sculptor, painter and architect widely considered to be one of the greatest artists of all time.Tomb of Pope Julius II                   

As a young boy, Michelangelo was sent to Florence to study grammar under the Humanist Francesco da Urbino. However, he showed no interest in his schooling, preferring to copy paintings from churches and seek the company of other painters.

Battle of the Centaurs

At 13, he persuaded his father to allow him to leave grammar school and become an apprentice to the artist Domenico Ghirlandaio, one of the most successful fresco painters in Florence.

Angel

Michelangelo spent only a year at the workshop the moved into the palace of Florentine ruler Lorenzo the Magnificent, of the powerful Medici family, to study classical sculpture in the Medici gardens.

The Rebellious Slaves

At the age of 22, Michelangelo moved to Rome and sold his first important work: the Bacchus and another Cupid, now lost.

Bacchus

 He was only 24 when he finished sculpting the Pieta for the French cardinal Jean de Billheres. Michelangelo went to the marble quarry and selected the marble for this exquisite piece himself.

Pieta

At age of 27 Michelangelo returned to Florence, which had become a republic, and received an order from the local authorities to sculpt a colossal marble statue of  David. 

David

In 1508, when Michelangelo was 28, Pope Julius decided to decorate his uncle’s chapel  (called the Sistine, after Pope Sixtus IV) and ordered Michelangelo to fill the ceiling with frescoes.  He protested that he is no painter but the Pope insisted and Michelangelo began to work alone and in great discomfort. He finished the Sistine Chapel frescoes in 1512.

Sistine Chapel

His amazing work throughout his long life can be found on many sites on the Internet, especially https://www.michelangelo.org/..

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Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Penny Hardy

Sculptor Penny Hardy combines discarded metal items to create three-dimensional figures based on her body’s own dimensions.

Although the physique has the same core reference, each sculpture is a unique creation based on the varied assortment of rusted gears, bolts, and screws used in its composition.

In display, the works are either presented alone or in pairs of two, and express fundamental emotions through their relationship to the environment or each other.

By using discarded man-made metal items, which have been so skillfully made and used to create their own mechanical energy, she hopes to extend their life in another form,

re-use that energy for a different purpose, and exchange their function to create a new entity.

More of Penny Hardy‘s sculptures can be found at http://www.pennyhardysculpture.com/.

I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.

~Michelangelo

The elections are over, candidates came and some went, everyone believing they know what’s best for my/our community, our district, our state. One falls and the other takes up the march. In the end, the stalks of corn whistle and whine and sing the song of tomorrow.

I just started watching “The Agony and the Ecstasy” about Michelangelo. It begins by covering his amazing sculptures such at St. Matthew, the tomb of Juliano, and the Medici tombs, including the tomb of Lorenzo. He was 24 when he carved the magnificent Pietà of St. Peters, and 26 when he started to carve famous statue of David.

And he was 33 when he started painting the Sistine Chapel. That huge, vast, empty ceiling. 

33. What were you doing when you were 33? 

I was working in downtown Chicago and had been married for three years and had a two-year-old when I was 33. The little painting I did was more a passing fancy, and the writing I did would not explode in earnest until ten years later.

Some people are just gifted. Some people are just magic. Some people have something we will never have. 

I don’t think the competition back in 1508 was as extreme as it is these days. There was no Internet, no Facebook or no blogs. No telephones, no printing presses, no TV or Xeroxes. Oh, I’m sure there were many sculptors back then. Sculptors and painters. But to have your work noticed and remembered and studied and worshipped — that’s a totally different story.

I have no idea how to sculpt anything, no less chisel a man out of marble. I may paint my pithy version of an alien landscape, but I have no idea how to paint people and ceilings and landscapes.

He did.

He knew how to create art from blocks of stone and angels from paint at the same time people lived with thatched roofs and bathed once a year.

When you stop and take a look at the history of art — really take a look at how such marvelous creations were created in such sparse and simple times — you cannot help be be amazed. 

You don’t have to be “into” the arts to appreciate the talent and stories that echo through the hallways of time. A calling was all that was needed; a calling to an artist who had the talent, the patience, and the dream of making something bigger than themselves. 

You may not have the fame or endurance of the masters of old, but you do have the talent and the inspiration. Throw yourself into your art, and let it flow through you and onto your medium.

Don’t compare yourself to artists like Michelangelo di Ludovico Buonarroti Simoni or Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn or Marc Zakharovich Chagall. You are your own magic, your own muse. You hear music others can’t hear. Follow that calling. 

And take a look at some of the artists of the past. Learn about their art, their history, their passions.

Maybe you will see yourself reflected in their creativity.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery on Friday — Guy Laramee

Montreal-based artist Guy Laramée created sculptural works, highlighting his evolving ability to excavate mountainous landscapes, cavernous hollows, and sloping watersheds from the dense pages of repurposed books.

One of his favorite mediums are bound stacks of old dictionaries and encyclopedias which he carves using a method of sandblasting to which he later applies oil paints, inks, pigments and dry pastels, crayon, adhesives, and beeswax.

When photographed up close the works appear almost realistic, as if the viewer is looking at aerial or satellite topographies of Earth

Among his sculptural works are two incredible series of carved book landscapes and structures entitled Biblios and The Great Wall, where the dense pages of old books are excavated to reveal serene mountains, plateaus, and ancient structures.

Laramee says, “I carve landscapes out of books and I paint Romntic landscapes. Mountains of disused knowledge return to what they really are: mountains.

They erode a bit more and they become hills. Then they flatten and become fields where apparently nothing is happening.  Piles of obsolete encyclopedias return to that which does not need to say anything, that which simply IS.”

More of Guy Laramée’s work can be found at http://www.guylaramee.com 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery Blog — Kris Kuski

Born March 2nd 1973,  Kris Kuski spent his youth in rural seclusion and isolation along with a blue-collar working mother, two much older brothers and absent father.Open country, sparse trees, and later alcoholic stepfathers, perhaps paved the way for an individual saturated in imagination and introversion.

His fascination with the unusual lent to his macabre art later in life. The grotesque to him as it seemed, was beauty.

 His work shows the corrupt and demoralized fall of modern-day society, a place where new beginnings, new wars, new philosophies, and new endings all exist.

Through his intricate 3-D sculptural work, we see both the beautiful and dark side of our minds.

Kris’s work is intricate, fascinating, and incredibly mesmerizing. Look close, look often.

More of Kris Kuski‘s work can be found at http://www.kuksi.com/ 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery Blog — Donatello

Italian sculptor Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi (c. 1386 -1466) , better known as Donatello, was the greatest Florentine sculptor before Michelangelo, and was the most influential individual artist of the 15th century in Italy.

He was one of the forerunners of Florentine Art, which also paved way for the age of Renaissance Art.

Donatello drew heavily from reality for inspiration in his sculptures, accurately showing suffering, joy and sorrow in his figures’ faces and body positions.

His fascination with many styles of ancient art and his ability to blend classical and medieval styles with his own new techniques led to hundreds of unique pieces in marble, wood, bronze, clay, stucco and wax.

Donatello’s legacy as the most accomplished sculptor of the early Renaissance is well deserved. With his work he ushered in an era where artists could feel free to interpret the emotion inherent in their subject matter without being tied to outdated legends.

More of Donatello’s history and works can be found at http://www.donatello.net/

Sunday Evening Art Gallery Blog — Michael Parkes

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Born in 1944, Michael Parkes studied graphic art and painting at the University of Kansas, and then traveled for 3 years through Asia and Europe.

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Parkes is both a uniquely talented painter and master of the art of original stone lithography.

He is a painter, sculptor, and stone lithographer.

But more so he has been called the world’s leading Magical Realist.

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It has been said of Parkes, “His work evokes a mysterious atmosphere, which can often only be deciphered with the help of ancient mythology and eastern philosophy.”

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More of Michael Parkes‘ striking work — sculpture, painting and lithographs — can be found at Michael Parkes.

Atmosphere, Art, and the Biltmore — Part 2

Art

Who doesn’t enjoy looking at the world through others eyes?

Who doesn’t have a painting of flowers or a scenery print or a portrait hanging on their wall?

Who hasn’t collected a glass vase or pottery mug or bronze sun to hang on their porch?

Art is created in a broad stroke with largest paint brush imagineable. It’s the appreciation of another’s work enough to research it, talk about it, collect it, share it. It depends on one’s perspective of life. One sees a sea of flowers; another a gateway of pain. One sees squiggles; another, divinity.

It’s all relative — it’s all Art.

Don’t compare what you see in an artist’s dream with what others see. If you’d like, read the artist’s explanation, then feel it, interpret it as you will. As with many other virtues, Art is an ideal all men strive for but often misunderstand. It is an expression of you but a reflection of others.

Some incredible interpretations found on my journey through North Carolina:

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Next:  the Biltmore

Sunday Evening Art Gallery Blog — Jennifer Maestre

A #2 pencil and a dream can take you anywhere  ~~ Joyce A. Myers

Sculpture artist Jennifer Maestre, born 1959 in Johannesburg, South Africa, is a Massachusetts-based artist, internationally known for her unique pencil sculptures.

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Her sculptures were originally inspired by the form and function of the sea urchin.

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The spines of the urchin, so dangerous yet beautiful, serve as an explicit warning against contact.

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According to Maestre, there is true a fragility to the sometimes brutal aspect of the sculptures, vulnerability that is belied by the fearsome texture.

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To make the pencil sculptures, Jennifer take hundreds of pencils, cut them into 1-inch sections, drills a hole in each section (to turn them into beads), sharpens them all and sews them together.

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Jennifer Meastre’s fantastic art is a tribute to her eye for nature, its fragile state, and the magical way it protects itself.

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Jennifer Maestre’s sculptures can be found at http://www.jennifermaestre.com/.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery Blog — James Doran-Webb

Wild horses…couldn’t drag me away….

Rolling Stones

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The amazing power of life and freedom has been captured perfectly in sculptor James Doran-Webb’s breathtaking driftwood sculptures.

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The driftwood’s seemingly unique forms lend themselves perfectly to figures such as wolves and horses and dragons.

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Working together with a team of craftsmen, it can take 1,000 to 3,000 hours to make a life size sculpture, depending upon the complexities of the armature and anatomy.

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James started to design driftwood furniture in the early 2000’s and it was while playing with the various natural forms that he was drawn to experiment with his first driftwood animal sculpture.

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His large supply of wood has made it possible for him to find the pieces which most lend themselves to the natural form and shape needed to give his animals the movement and reality he strives to obtain in every piece he creates.

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James Doran-Webb believes that his art is meant to promote environmental consciousness.

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If I could make one person a little more aware of nature and the impact of nature on their lives I would be happy. I am a firm believer in our need to practice sustainable living in order to give future generations a better chance of survival.

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James Doran-Webb‘s fantastic driftwood sculptures can be found at his website, http://jamesdoranwebb.com; a great article also can be found at http://www.boredpanda.com/driftwood-dragon-sculptures-james-doran-webb/.

Who Am I Tonight?

Alright Readers, Writers, Painters, Sculptors, and all other Creative Musi —tumblr_n768syHP341tp9r4eo1_500

I have been on the writing rollercoaster for quite some time now, enjoying the ride when I can get it, thinking about it when I can’t. It feels good to admit that I have focus, a purpose, and a plan (at least this week).

Before I settled on my current plan, I entertained another idea. A book, a novel, that would have taken a lot of research and smart thought and emotes in worlds I don’t often delve into.

I was going to write a book about dementia from the patient/subject point of view.

Being a mixed genre writer, I was going to throw in some faerie stuff in the prologue, and have that be in the patient’s thoughts throughout the book. The ending I was going to leave up to the readers. It wasn’t going to be campy; it was going to be merely a different take on the situation.

It’s a great idea. A great story. But then I started to think. I don’t know anyone with dementia. I don’t have it (yet), don’t have family with it, or friends, or acquaintances. The thought itself terrifies me, so that would have been my point of view.

After a lot of thinking and rearranging and NOT being able to rearrange my life, I decided to go in a different direction, working with something that I’m already familiar with, something I think will be a hit.

But one of my fears was that those who did have loved ones going through this tragedy would be offended that I “took it too lightly.” I mean, mixing faeries and memory loss and loss of bodily functions — what was I thinking?

So what I wanted to know was, have you ever written/painted/created something out of your comfort zone? Did you finish it? Did you do anything with it? Did you get any reaction because of it?

Maybe you’re pretty clean-cut but wanted to write a sex or demon novel. Maybe you wanted to paint a nude of someone. Or sculpt a piece that, in one way or another, was offensive. Did you do it?

Society is strapped with bungee cords that hold us back from doing anything too off-kilter. I admit I often am a victim of it myself. I often wondered if I took a Stephen King turn at a short story if my family would think I’m psycho. Or if I wrote 600 Shades of Grey if my grandson would coil back in horror.

There is a little of us in everything we create. Even when we step out of our comfort zone there is still a thread that holds us to our sanity. To our safety. I know there have been plenty of artists who have pushed the boundaries of sanity, decorum, and sacred truths to make their art known.

I admit I’m not that adamant about testing the waters of propriety. I know there are plenty of sexy novels out there written by 60 year old little ladies, sculptures of nudes by conservative bankers, and all that. Somehow they either create a persona — a pen name/life — that takes the brunt of the criticism, or are so confident in who they are that they really don’t care.

I haven’t totally trashed the dementia idea, but because of the structure of my life at the moment I can’t give it the time, research, angst, and especially the respect, it deserves.

I’d really like to hear if you were tempted by another “you” — and if you ever followed that Muse.

And don’t worry — I won’t give away your secret —

— you will.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery Blog — Nathalie Miesbach

To my young friends out there:

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Life can be great, but not when you can’t see it.

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So, open your eyes to life:

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to see it in the vivid colors that God gave us

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as a precious gift to His children,

Antarctic Surveyor II

to enjoy life to the fullest,

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and to make it count.

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Say yes to your life.

Nancy Reagan

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Nathalie Miebach is an artist whose work focuses on the intersection of art and science and the visual articulation of scientific observations. Her woven sculptures interpret scientific data related to astronomy, ecology and meteorology in three-dimensional space.

You can find more of her intricate work at her website, http://nathaliemiebach.com.

Enjoy your wandering.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Elizabeth Berrien

When you think of wire, what do you think of?

 

Blue Heron in Flight

 Blue Heron in Flight

 Barbed wire? Electrical wire? Telephone wire?

 

Amaranth Arch

Amaranth Arch

Elizabeth Berrien has a totally different view of the world of wire. And the Art World couldn’t be more thrilled.

Year of the Horse

Year of the Horse

Elizabeth Berrien is one of the world’s foremost wire sculptors. She pioneered her own form of textile-based, hand-twisted, non-traditional wire sculpture in 1968.

Owl spirit

Owl Spirit

Elizabeth Berrien’s wire sculptures are made “the hard way”. No gloves, no pliers, no chicken wire. Each sculpture starts by twisting together two or three strands. Then, one by one, dozens or even hundreds more strands of wire are spliced in.

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Anthemm

Elizabeth continually digs and delves into the world of her subjects – whether real, or imaginary. She taps into the soul of animals, bringing that spirit into this world to create this awe-inspiring wire art.

wall art

Wall Art

You can find much more of Elizabeth Berrien’s museum quality wire sculptures at her website, wirelady.com.  Please pay her world a visit.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Unmask Group

Photographs and paintings often give us a full representation of the subject.

 

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If we are all more than the sum of our parts, what are we if parts of us are missing?

 

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Can we be ever-so-much-more by showing ever-so-much-less?

 

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Or, more likely, what if we are more than just one thing?

 

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The Beijing-based group known as Unmask Group has managed to not only honor the human form through sculpture, but added a new twist to its visual appeal by subtracting redundant parts from the sculptures.

 

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I am amazed that so much can be said with so little.

 

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Liu Zhan, Kuang Jun and Tan Tianwei met while at the Central Academy of Fine Arts and have been producing sculptural work together since 2001.

 

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More wonderful art from the Masked Group can be found at

http://designcollector.net/sculptures-by-unmask/ and http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2012/01/dissolving-figurative-sculptures-by-unmask/.

See if you can decide which parts of you are shown, which parts have been cut away, and which parts have been melded with someone or something else.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Dawn Whitehand

Australian abstract artist Dawn Whitehand starts off her “about” page this way:

I am an Australian artist, making unique mixed media sculptures from clay, found objects and textured materials which are based on organic natural forms.

In the Balance

I have always thought of myself as a traditionalist when it came to Art — Renoir, Rembrandt, Redlin — those people I can understand.

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I never really paid attention to Abstract Art until I wandered into Dawn’s world.

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Working from my studio on the outskirts of Ballarat at the base of a slumbering volcano, I am very aware of my environment, its constant changing, and its vulnerability. I am also very aware of the current global environmental crisis.

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Within this context my art practice attempts to address these issues by making sculptural artworks that attempt to remind, though subliminally, the viewer of their innate connection to the Earth, and our reliance upon it for survival.

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And I started to understand. A little. That all art doesn’t have to be literal. That trees don’t have to look like trees, and volcanoes didn’t have to look like volcanoes.

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That Art, like Emotions, like Life, is different for everyone. Some just choose to share their unique view through creative arts.

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The thrill of interpretation is the same thrill we take with each breath.  And that there’s always someone willing to share their breath — and view — with you.

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Dawn is a multi-talented spirit. She creates jewelry and pottery and custom-made art sculptures. You can find her art at https://dawnwhitehand.wordpress.com, and contemporary poems, art, and drawings at https://apoemandadrawingaday.wordpress.com/.

Stop by and learn a little bit of Abstract Art for yourself.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — It’s Okay to Have a Big Head

I can’t begin to tell you the wonderful things I find on my way to other things. Art, in its most banal form, is an expression of emotion. Primal emotion. We all have those deep, basic feelings — we all just find different ways to express them.

Gao Zehn and Gao Qiang

You may say that some just have a “head” for creativity.

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What makes artists want to create things larger than life?

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Is it a chance to look into the eyes of God?

Wonderland, Calgary, Canada

Or is it merely a chance to challenge space? To see what our vision looks like fifty feet high?

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No matter what the artist’s vision, grand is grand. Ambition has no limits. No dream is ever too small, ever to big.

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Nothing is more impressive than wearing proudly a head that is too big for your shoulders. For only then do you glimpse the world on the other side of the rainbow.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Luke Jerram

Glass is exquisite in its delicate beauty. A crystal vase, a hand-blown wine glass, a stained-glass window, all stir the pot of reactions that make the word “sparkle” sparkle. Working with glass is an incredible art. It is so delicate, so refined, a true art of mind over matter.

So what if glass represents a disease? Is it still “sparkling” and “refined”?

 

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 E. coli

There is beauty in the micro world as well. Artist  Luke Jerram has created a number of extraordinary art projects which have excited and inspired people around the globe.

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Salmonella

One of his highlights, Glass Microbiology, is a body of glass work that puts a crystal spin on some of the most deadly viruses.

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 Swine Flu

According to his website, ” By extracting the colour from the imagery and creating jewel-like beautiful sculptures in glass, a complex tension has arisen between the artworks’ beauty and what they represent.”

Hand, foot and mouth disease

Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

Find time and wander over to Luke’s website:  www.lukejerram.com/glass . You will find it hard to believe that such horrible diseases could look so lovely.

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Ebola

Something New!

The older I get (I never get tired of saying that!), the more I am taking time to discover corners of the world that I’ve never seen before. Now, that statement is all encompassing, all omnipotent. Yet for me, it’s very simple. I can only explore one line of extraordinary at a time. There is fantastic scenery, scrumptious foods, unusual land formations and mystical forms to be discovered.

For me, it is Unique Art.

What does that mean?

There are thousands of fantastic images floating around the Internet. Blogs and websites dedicated to all branches of the hallowed world of sculpture, photography, painting, sketching. I couldn’t possibly visit, showcase, and recommend all the beauty that exists outside my middle-aged sphere.

So I have decided that once a week I will showcase creativity that stands outside of reality. Outside the every day. Now, everything can fit into those parameters. So I hope to show you images you’ve never seen or imagined or saw somewhere on Facebook and let pass. Some will have links to websites; others will just be visions that have passed my way. I will honor the sites I borrow the visions from, and I do hope you take a few minutes to visit their homeworld.

If you’ve come across any unique worlds, let me know. Let’s make our next 20 years as out-of-the-box as we can make it!

And if any of my wanders tickle your fancy, let me know that, too. For I’d love to have company along the way….

Creative Face Offs

They sculpt! They mold! They paint! They foam! And they are amazing!

I’m always a television season or six behind the rest of the world, but when I do catch up I find the wildest, greatest stuff. Only last week I recorded the latest season (Season 6) of Face Off. It’s a wonderful little show on SciFi TV that showcases another one of the “Arts”.

According to the IMDB, Face Off is a competition/elimination series exploring the world of special-effects make-up artists and the unlimited imagination which allows them to create amazing works of living art.

Now, I’ve been a fan of  shows that highlight personal creativity for years. Take cooking shows. The Iron Chef Japan was one of my earliest introductions into the exquisite beauty of food. Food as Art, as they say. Today’s contestants on Iron Chef America, Master Chef, and even Chopped, create these masterpieces that leave your jaw extended and your mouth open like a bass. I always find myself saying, “Oh…I could do that…couldn’t I?” Or “What didn’t I think of that?” Knowing darn well that I’d need a Master Kitchen, unlimited budget, a plethora of cookbooks and magazines, and a budget the size of a Presidential Dinner just to be clever on the plate.

Face Off is the “Master Chef” of sculpturing, molding, and painting. These contestants do things I only dream of. Each week they are assigned a different “creation”: dragons, wizards, robots. They have to come up with their own design, then use a warehouse full of props, materials, and models to create pieces that would easily fit in any blockbuster movie.

faceoff 1The most amazing part of this show – aside from the raw talent and imagination – is that these are (to my way of living) KIDS! They are 24. 26. 31. There was an oldie at 41. I can hardly remember what I was DOING at 27 – getting married, I think – but it certainly wasn’t creating magic like this, that’s for sure. They have cherry-colored hair and sticky up hair and mustaches and yellow Mohawks. They look like the guy next door or the girl from Planet 9. But they all share the love of creativity, something that runs through all of us.

I am just in awe of anyone who has such phenomenal talent to be able to create something from nothing but their imagination. I happen to be a proponent of writing, but there are so many other artistic expressions out there that I am often in that jaw dropping/bass-mouthed state of being.

I encourage you to constantly take a fresh look at the world around you. There are so many beautiful self expressions out there — in words, in sculpture, in jewelry.  Encourage everyone who has even an inkling to be artistic to do so. Whether it’s your grandbaby, your girlfriend, or your grandfather. Get them out there and get them to embrace their artsyness.face off 1

You will find it’s a rewarding feeling on both sides. And who knows what magic will blossom along the way?

 

 

all images courtesy of Face Off and the SciFi Channel