Category: Art

ArtToothpick-ture Perfect Artwork

How much do you love your city?
Scott Weaver has 100,000 toothpicks and 34 years worth of love for San Francisco. This 9′ X 7′ X 30″ kinetic sculpture includes touching personal tributes, like a heart in the center of the Palace of Fine Arts made from toothpicks thrown at his wedding, and strategically placed birthdates of loved ones on clocks all over the “city”.
Oh, and did I mention “kinetic”? As in, “movement”. Watch the video below to see the touring ping pong balls “Rolling Through the Bay” on various routes. As if it wasn’t cool enough already!

So this amazing feat of craftmsmanship got me thinking… I wonder what else people have made out of toothpicks…

Steven J Backman‘s collection includes a working remote control boat, and a large variety of toothpick portraits.
Or, how about a ship? Maybe the Sydney Opera House, the Taj Mahal, Masjid al-Haram, or St. Peter’s Square… Stan Munro‘s tackled them all!

Including a mammoth “Toothpick City” of his own, including over fifty(!) landmark sculptures from all over the world:

Munro is currently working on “Toothpick City II“, and the photos are amazing!!
So I guess this what happens when you pick your brain instead of your teeth…

(Images courtesy of Colossal, EPICr, & Landmarks of SF)

FashionArt Inspired Fashion by Jen of Jenloveskev: Rachel Ruysch

Hi Everyone, it’s Jen again! I am back for this month’s Art Inspired Fashion post. I hope you are all enjoying this beautiful fall season. This month I wanted to pick something that gave off a great fall vibe. I was particularly looking for a painting that had rich colors in it.  I fell in love with this floral painting by Rachel Ruysch.
It has so much depth and life in it. I especially love the pop of coral, peach and mustard colors in the flowers. Rachel Ruysch was a Dutch artist who specialized in still-life paintings of flowers in the 1700′s. 
When I saw this Coral Dress I knew it was the perfect match.
I paired it with this Olive Hurley jacket because I think it creates the perfect balance just like in the painting. Can you imagine painting with such detail? This painting is so beautiful!
Paintings can be such great inspiration to pull from when picking colors for an outfit. I am totally inspired! 
See you next month for the next Art Inspired Fashion post! Happy Halloween. 

Items Featured:


ArtLauren DiCioccio’s Embroidered Art is SEW Cool


I could try to paraphrase, actually I did, but you just don’t mess with perfection. Artist Lauren DiCioccio says it best in her own words:
My work investigates the physical/tangible beauty of commonplace mass-produced media-objects, most recently: the newspaper, magazines, office papers and writing pads, plastic bags, 35 mm slides. These media are becoming obsolete, replaced by the invisible efficiency of various technologies. In some cases, this transition is a good thing- faster transmission and distribution of information, streamlined systems, openness to user input, less waste. But a hole is left behind by the disappearance of these everyday objects. What will happen when we no longer touch information? When newsprint does not rub off onto our fingertips? When we no longer write longhand?
The tedious handiwork and obsessive care I employ to create my work aims to remind the viewer of these simple but intimate pieces of everyday life and to provoke a pang of nostalgia for the familiar physicality of these objects.

As you can see, the original newspaper is still there, underneath her beautiful embroidery. The same is true for her National Geographics collection:

You really get the nostalgia she’s talking about with her “35mm sewn slides“. I haven’t seen these since third grade!
I know. It’s amazing. But, I can’t help myself; there is more:

Playing cards, money, books, paper products… You wouldn’t believe some of the other fasincating work this young lady has done. Seriously, narrowing down my favorites was a gargantuan challenge.
AND she’s a good samaritan, too. Her “Dear Soldier,” collection gathered volunteers to embroider hand-stitched letters (on her own machine-sewn, lined, fabric “paper”) to members of the armed forces currently deployed in Afghanistan.
(Images courtesy of Lauren DiCioccio and Colossal)

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)

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)