Category Archives: Fine Arts

Naturally Unnatural

I came across an unnatural picture on where else but Pinterest the other day and naturally I was drawn to it. Soft colours, whimsical creatures, earth conscienceness, and the pull of false science had me clicking through about at least a hundred links until I finally found the original source of the image, Leontine Greenberg.

Leontine’s inspiration is self-defined as by “the coming environmental apocalypse” which leads me to suspect is what her new show Unnatural Selection is all about. This two-person show along with Lou Pimentel, that features Leontine’s crazily adapted critters struggling to survive in the ever-changing and encroaching man-made world around them.

I’m very inspired by the combination of  feminity and steam-punk. Soft colours, organic shapes, flowers, and ink spots decorating the page seamlessly interact with the fantasy of the detailed insects and birds making their way through the world by means of wheels. Ok so the ‘machines’ aren’t quite steam-powered but they are a great combination of science and fantasy.

The show runs until July 29 so I see a problem posting a lot of full illustrations until after that date. If you live in NYC I would just go on over to My Plastic Heart Gallery and see these in person. Or check out more of Leontine Greenberg’s work at http://leontinegreenberg.tumblr.com/.

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All My Friends Are Dead

I set out Saturday afternoon for the Vancouver Aquarium with Kasrah, who would have thought that 1pm on the Saturday of a long weekend of the first weekend after school is out for the summer that the aquarium would have been so busy…

Hmm…Maybe we’ve been out of school too long if we couldn’t figure that one out. Anyways, we skipped the insanity in favour of lunch and shopping along West 4th. Much better idea. After gorging ourselves at Las Margaritas we decided to walk some of the stomach cramps out and stumbled into one of those kitschy stores that are great for buying presents for those people who don’t need anything. As it turned out, I bought no presents for others, just for myself! Among those presents was the book All My Friends Are Dead. I read the whole thing in the store and got quite a few good laughs out of it. I could have left it at that but decided I should thank the artist and writer by buying the book. It’s now sitting on my coffee table so that all my alive friends can come over and enjoy it too.

Super simplistic illustrations, personified objects with quirky expressions, sarcastic comments, dry humor…what more could you ask for in a book? And what grown-up doesn’t love the chance to read an illustration book? Especially if it’s meant for grown-ups. No honey this is a grown-up book, I know if looks like your books, but it’s not. It’s mine.

Cover Page

Dodo Bird

Expired Milk

Plants

Best Friends

Not Best Friends

Probably not the usual sort of coffee table book full of scenic travel photos or life quotes, but definitely more enjoyable! Check out All My Friends Are Dead for more peeks into this book and the sequel.

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Personal Robots

After being inspired by the robots in Machinarium that I blogged about yesterday, I decided to sketch up a couple of my own. The first one is supposed to be me; with a roller as feet she’s fast but a little unsteady on her “toes” and as such tends to be clumsy. She also has a paint can hat that has inadvertently decorated her head and body. And the glasses help her poor junk yard eyes see better, plus they double as fire starters!

I also made a mate for my robot to reflect my real beau. He is very smart as you might be able to tell by the (energy efficient) light bulb illuminating the top of his shiny domed head. Springs for legs allow him to jump to great heights and bound forward at lightening speeds. He has long monkey arms that I worry would get caught up in his spring legs so these arms have an adjustable length!

{Excuse the poor cell phone photos of my sketch book but I plan on jazzin’ them up in photoshop anyways!}

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A friend sent me the link to a point and click game called Machinarium, now I’m not a gamer. In fact-the only game I’ve ever played on the computer is Spider Solitaire, unless you want to count Oregon Trail in elementary school. This link was sent to me not for the game, but for the visual arts in the game. A small Czech Game Development Studio called Amanita Design, designed Machinarium and won an Excellence in Visual Arts award in 2009 in the Independant Games Festival.

First off, the game is centered around Robots! If that’s not enough to peak your interest, the whimsical sketched style and soft colours should do it for you. I love the contrast your mind creates because robots are “supposed” to be hard, shiny, mechanical, and maybe flashy. Soft, muted colours along with dark lines create this sort of underworld feeling while the main character is this cute little misfit robot. The animations are simple but the little shrugs the robot can give you or the toe taps if you’re taking too long add to the cute-ness. And I know the word cute isn’t a great way to describe something but I honestly think it can be used in this case. Ok, I’ll try to describe it better, how about Dr. Seuss combined with Rube Goldberg combined with the movie 9. More accurate or more complicated?

 

I’m not sure if there is a winter-time level but I found this pic on the web advertising a Christmas Sale. I wonder if robots rust in the snow? And if they do do you have to avoid the red spots instead of the yellow ones in the snow?!

And while it took me forever to figure out the first level, it did get addicting and I’m contemplating buying the whole game now that’s I’ve passed all the demo levels. Ahem-but only for the inspirational art, I swear! Check it out at www.machinarium.com or check out Amanita and their other games at www.amanita-design.net/.

Actually, maybe before I buy it and spend all my time trying to beat the levels I will try to create my own personal robots!

Robotic Whimsy

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Deck yourself out in Tech

This has got to be every web/computer/blog/tech girl’s dream, combine the geeky inner workings of a computer with the stylish beauty of jewelry and voila–Cirkuita Bands!

Based in Milan, Paola Mirai creates one of a kind handmade contemporary jewelry from old technology. I love anything that has been repurposed, it’s part my love of being “green” and the fact that it’s recycling and part my love vintage objects–Give me a vintage stone ring over a diamond ring any day! This Cirkuita Jewelry has old charm and new beauty all wrapped up in one.

Check out how it’s made or visit http://paolamirai.myshopify.com/

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Felt Mistress

I have been waiting for the Felt Mistress for a while now. I found this great photo and it led to a website under construction, Noooooooo! But yes, today I found the Felt Mistress with a great new site complete with these fabulous, one-off creatures showcased with playful photography.

Most of these felt buddies are created in conjunction with Jonathon Edwards and his illustrations.

Even though I love the vibrant colours, the black and white photography brings more life into these guys.

Find out who the Felt Mistress is at http://www.feltmistress.com .

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Post-it Book

Today I followed a whale with big lips. This whale lead me to Ricky Trickartt.

Ricky introduced me to his Post-it Book which I think is fabulous; it reminds of so many things. The first thing that came to mind was my gramma’s own obsession with sticky notes, and how similar she is to that old Simpson’s episode where they go to Ned’s cabin and he has Post-its EVERYWHERE! Food goes here…

But back to the book…The weird drawings with their varying degrees of complexity seem to meld well in a simply laid out book. I like the structure of the yellow blocked pages contrasted with the rough textures of the Post-it doodles.

Apparently, besides Ricky’s “healthy obsession with Post-it notes” he also creates other stuff with can be see here  http://www.trickartt.com/.

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Water Painting

Ebru, Suminagashi, Sizing, whatever you call it, the art of marbling on paper has been practised since 825-880 CE in Japan. I was just recently introduced to this art and I’m pretty floored by this backwards, floating ink method of painting. The artist starts by dipping a fine brush into an oil based paint that will float on water, and then dips this paint loaded brush into the water to form coloured rings and circles. The paint can also be flicked onto the water for a sporadic pattern. The artist must work backwards, knowing exactly which order to paint certain objects or colours. The paint can then be manipulated from circle form into leaf or petal shaped objects that can then be combined with each other to form other shapes. Eventually a piece of paper is carefully placed on top of the water and pressed and tapped in different areas to be transferred from the water to the paper. The paper is then scraped along one dried side of the water box and comes out beautifully! A great marbling effect is produced and in this video below the artist uses the marbling to create a great shining water effect.

http://www.wimp.com/paintingwater/

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David Kassan

I was honestly confused when I was first going through David Kassan’s online gallery of paintings. I saw this picture first and thought that’s a strange photo, he’s painting the wall and a girl is just randomly modeling in the background?

And then I realised she was part of the painting. The realism in Kassan’s paintings is astonishing. I simply can do no more in describing his art than just posting some pictures.

As if just his paintings weren’t crazy enough, let’s see him paint with that same realism on an iPad. Seriously, this guy is nuts. The video is almost 8 minutes long of a fast-forwarded version of what actually only took 3 hours. 3 hours people. 3 hours to paint THIS on the iPad. It’s worth it so don’t just skip to the end result.

Check out more illustrations, paintings and videos on David’s website http://davidkassan.com/.

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1000 Strangers Art Show

I saw a sneak preview of this show called 100 Strangers a couple of months ago on drawn.ca and kept waiting for the show to open so that more pictures would be available online. It never really happened so I’ll post the few pictures I have managed to grab. If the show was even slightly closer to Vancouver I might have thought about going because the few sneak peek pictures were so intriguing.

Larry Yuan and Hilary Leung started a collaborative art project, combining Hilary’s 1000 strangers sketches with Larry’s urban photography. The goal was to create different narratives about the people and places around the cit of Toronto.

Flickr has more prints I just wasn’t able to steal them! Check it out http://www.flickr.com/photos/hilaryleung/sets/72157622695727415/

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