Category: Art

ArtIt’s a Small, Small World (Really, Really Small)

Never has a lab coat looked so much like an artist’s smock. The Nikon International Small World Competition has been “recognizing excellence in photography through the microscope” since 1974, capturing the rarely-seen world that stays invisible to the naked eye.
Curious? According to their site:
A photomicrograph is a technical document that can be of great significance to science or industry. But a good photomicrograph is also an image whose structure, color, composition, and content is an object of beauty, open to several levels of comprehension and appreciation.

Now, call  me shallow, but the close-ups of intestines, cancer cells, and bugs, while fascinating in their own right, kind of gave me the creeps. Don’t worry, I wouldn’t subject you to that. So I went ahead and selected my own personal winners from 2011. Not that an English degree qualifies me as a judge, but hey, ths is just my “level of comprehension and appreciation.”
Some are amazing because of what they are, like a needle and thread, a down feather, a snowflake, or frost crystals (clockwise from top left). This microscopic view of sand from Beijing, however, has to be my favorite (above).
Others look remarkably like abstract art, though I couldn’t begin to tell you what they actually are. Unless, of course, you happen to know what a “graphite-bearing granulite from Kerala ” is…(below).

What really blows my mind is how much some of these photos look like landscape paintings. Scenic hillside, anyone? Oh, no, that’s a “gallium antimonide semiconductor wafer surface after metal peel-off,” actually. Duh.

Sunset, right? No. Try fire agate magnified by ten. Silly me.

I’m always a sucker for a holiday theme…
Also, since this competition has been active since the mid-1970′s, I figured I should pay homage to the winners of 1977, below. You’d think they’d look a lot more low-tech, am I right?

Who knew science could be so pretty?

(Images courtesy of Nikon Small World)

ArtHalloween Craft Idea: Firefly Glow Jars

If any of you are Pinterest freaks like me, you might have seen this picture making its way around many boards. Pretty sweet right?
I thought so, too. Soooo…I decided to make some for myself!
Check it out:
What You Need
  • Glass Jars (Either save your old pickle jars or pick up some cheapies at a thift store)
  • Glow Paint, as many colors as you want (Find it at a craft store or any place that sells craft supplies)
  • Small Paintbrushes
  • Whisk 
  • Glitter
  • Small Spray Bottle
  • Water
How You Do It:
  • Make sure your jars are clean (Spaghetti sauce smears don’t look so hot when lit up)
  • Assemble your supplies
  • Pour Paint into small bowls (ones you don’t care if they might … *cough* … be glowing for many years to come.)
  • Dip your paintbrush into the paint and try to coat the bristles evenly. If you have big ol’ globs on the end, the paint doesnt splatter so much as plop into the bottom of the jar.
  • Hold brush about halfway down and insert the other half into the jar. Tap the brush back and forth against the inner rim to splatter the paint. Turn the jar as you splatter so it covers all the sides.
  • Continue tapping the brushes with the various colors of paint until you get the desired coverage and colors.
  • Once you’re all done, allow the paint to dry. Then set your jars under the light for a while so they can absorb as much as possible.
Sadly, I do not have a cool enough camera to capture the results of this awesome glow jars, but suffice it to say that my guy was so impressed with the glow effect that he tried to sneak a couple of the jars home with him. The end result was actually very similar to the picture at the top, albeit with a more ghoulish green glow.
As you can see from my final results, my own splatter effects were a little different than the top picture. To achieve a smaller spatter, you might try using a small wire whisk, or even a spray bottle with water (I tried the spray bottle without water, and it instantly clogged.) I also thought that throwing some glitter in there might be kinda cool.
No matter what color or method you use, you’re definitely going to have an awesome glow effect with very little effort. If you’re really into decorating for Halloween, then these jars would be great for lining a walkway or illuminating a haunted doorway.
Gonna try this for yourself? Post your results below! I’d love to see what you gals come up with!


ArtLEGOs Make a Home Sweet Home for Le-Ghosts

Can’t you just imagine the tiny LEGO ghosts who must wander these halls?

I’ve seen some cool uses for LEGOs, but this just blows my mind. And since ’tis the season for spooks, how perfect are these scary-movie-ready, Halloween-happpy, LEGO masterpieces by MOC enthusiast, Mike Doyle. (New thing I learned today: MOC is an acronym for “my own creation,” which refers to any Lego creation designed and built without instructions.
Absolutely stunning to look at, yes, but the fact that they are composed purely of LEGOs, (no glue, no paint, just plastic toy bricks), makes these creepy little houses the coolest thing around, and a feat of artistic ingenuity. Whether it’s a mud-stricken manor (above), a freakish fallen tree, or a weather-worn abode, Doyle’s creations are startlingly realistic and more than worthy of a few “ooo’s” and “ahhh’s.”

I know you’re curious (I was), so here are a couple stats for the “Three Story Victorian with Tree”:
5′ X 3′ X 2′ (that’s almost as tall as me!)
 50-60,000 pieces used
 Approximately 450 hours to build
Check out the close-ups below to really appreciate the intricacies.

I love the detail on the burnt out window to the left. On the right, you can see how he used droid arms and levers to create the weeds, branches, and grass; my geek senses tell me these fancy pieces have something to do with LEGO Star Wars…

Doyle’s first “Abandoned House” of the series (above), and according to his site, his first ever MOC. Wow.
If you mosey on down to his site, you can check out in-depth play-by-plays for all of the buildings, plus tons of information about what inspired this project, and loads more pictures. Also, his sister site, reMOCable, is too cool to miss.

(Images courtesy of Mike Doyle’s Snap & thanks to BitRebels)

ArtPortrait & Sketch: iPad Art by Meric Canatan

Turkish artist Meric Canatan makes art from his iPad. That’s right, iPad. All of his work from his portrait & sketch series has been photographed and illustrated directly from his iPad. He shot the pictures using the ever popular instagram app, and sketched using the Sketch app. The results are amazing. This is the way to make art with your phone/tablet. Check out the rest below!

ArtPenmanship Portraits by John Sokol

And I thought learning cursive was a waste of time….
Yep, those are words, and not just any old words, they’re the very words that made these faces famous. Up top, Walt Whitman’s portrait is drawn/written using his classic collection of poetry, Leaves of Grass, while the two writers below, Eudora Welty and Robert Lowell, are composed of their respective works, Powerhouse and History. This is the vision of Ohio artist/writer/overall genius John Sokol, who brings the classics to life like never before.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow as A Psalm of Life
John Keats as Lamia (left) and James Joyce as Ulysses
Grace Paley as Debts
And just in case these faces don’t look terribly familiar, check out some side-by-side comparisons with actual photographs, below. Spittin’ image!
William Faulkner as The Sound and the Fury
Charles Baudelaire as Les Fleurs du Mal
Henrik Ibsen as Hedda Gabler
Anybody else feelin’ the urge to crack open a book??


(Images courtesy of demilked and the artist’s website)