Category Archives: great images

Where Urban Life Meets Natural Art

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The image above may look like a gardening project gone wrong, or a lot of effort to set up a unique photograph. However, neither of these options can explain the image.

Art can take on many forms and serve many purposes. The photograph above showcases the collaboration of art and nature. It serves as a medium for discussing the importance of growing awareness for both nature and art in urban areas.

This photograph is just a tiny piece of a larger project. The French village of Jaujae celebrated the 10th year of its Arts and Nature Trail program by spreading 1,400 feet of living turf throughout the community.

In this urban city there is little room for art or nature. This extensive stretch of turf weaves its way throughout the city; up stairs, around corners and down streets calling one and all to experience both nature and art.

The 3.5 tons of natural, living turf grass is meant to bring both art and nature into an urban area that would otherwise be overwhelmed by its stone structures. The goal is to provide urban dwellers with a link to all things artistic and shine light on the beauty of the natural world. This winding band of grass serves as a connection for the individuals of Jaujae with the place where art and nature meet.

This endeavor forces individuals to take a moment away from their everyday activities and appreciate that which is creative. It urges the public to support both the arts and projects that bring the natural world into the city. This creative, artistic idea definitely calls for attention and support in a way that a simple garden never could.  It literally attempts to use art to connect man with the environment.

The grass path that runs throughout the city is only a temporary installation. However, it will be interesting to see how this artistic effort works to inspire not only the people of Jaujae, but also others who wish to discover artistic ways of bringing communities together through nature.

Image made available by Web Urbanist – Local Designs to Global Destinations

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Plexiglass + Light = Awe Inspiring Art

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Think back to when you were a child, easily fascinated by the tiniest things. Maybe you remember the excitement of finding a rainbow on the wall and the joy of discovering the crystal figurine that seemed to magically create this kaleidoscope of color. Perhaps you even spent the afternoon moving that figurine around the house waiting to see where the rainbow would appear next.

Do you remember the first time you saw a rainbow through the hazy drizzle after a storm? Your first sunset on a beach? Can you recall that first stained glass window that caught your eye and captured your attention?

More importantly, can you call back that simple childlike joy; the pure awe of bearing witness to something so fantastical? It’s hard to do as adults when we are able to wrap our minds around the scientific reasons behind rainbows and light.

Currently on display at the De Pury Gallery in London is a unique style of artwork which calls to the surface that simple, childlike wonder. The image above is part of the “Fly to Baku” Contemporary Art Exhibition.

The effect is achieved by shining light through Plexiglass airplanes. The arrangement of these airplanes creates the image on the wall. If the mobile of hanging airplanes doesn’t stop you in your tracks, then the picture it creates is sure to amaze.

Light has an important relationship with color and with art. Painters go to great lengths to achieve a specific light or a hint of a shadow in their paintings. Those who make stained glass pieces consider how the glass will react to light shining behind it. Sculptures can’t escape light either and seem to constantly change as light rotates around them. Even interior decorators factor in the way light filters through a space when they choose colors and designs.

In the case of “Fly to Baku,” light harnessed in little Plexiglass airplanes is actually creating pieces of art. Take a moment to really look at the image above. You may just find yourself entranced by childlike awe.

Image courtesy of http://www.imgur.com/gallery/86upn

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The Op-Art of Josef Albers

Josef Albers, photograph by Arnold Newman, 1948. © Arnold Newman

In a recent post, a popular art form of the 20th century was introduced. Op-Art puts thought provoking optical illusions onto a flat canvas. During the early 1900’s, the art form flourished with the creative use of lines and patterns. At the start, artists used black and white paint or ink to create captivating images; color was incorporated later. One artist and theorist at the forefront of this art style, who also pioneered the technique of adding color, was a man by the name Josef Albers.

German-born American artist, Josef Albers studied at the Bauhaus school for arts and crafts in Germany. The school existed at the time of Nazi dominance in Germany and, subsequently, closed in 1933. After spending decade at Bauhaus as an art instructor, Alber’s emigrated to the United States, where he continued his career as an artist and teacher.

After spending some time in the United States, Albers accepted a position at teaching at Yale University. It was there that Josef Albers was able to advance the graphic art program before retiring from teaching in 1958.

In the early years of his retirement, as a fellow at Yale, Albers received funding to exhibit and lecture on the art form he had done so much to advance. By this time, Albers had catapulted many artists into successful careers. The list of notable students includes Richard Anuszkiewicz and Eva Hesse. Both artists are considered major forces in the Op-Art movement that swept the world during the 1960’s and 70’s.

Aside from his artwork and teaching, Josef Albers added another form of art to his long list of talents: In 1963, his book, Interaction of Color detailed the theory behind colorful op-art. This writing built upon a foundational thought of Albers — that colors have an internal and deceptive logic all-their-own.

Albers continued to paint and write until he died in 1976. However, the impression he left on the world of art, especially as an abstract painter and theorist, continues to live and influence abstract art today. Even though much of his work is well known and recognizable, it continues to thrive because of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation. To this day, the organization supports exhibitions featuring the work of Josef Albers and his wife Anni, who was a textile artist.

The contribution Josef Albers made to the world of art is undeniable. He was successful at merging traditional European art with modern American art, to create an abstract style all his own. While his roots were grounded in the type of constructivist thinking that allowed Bauhaus school of arts and crafts to flourish, his experiences in America allowed him freedom to explore patterns and colors that are now the signature of optical art.

Op-art and graphic art continue to advance while consistently affirming Josef Albers influence. The world renowned teacher, artist, and color theorist is very much alive in the work of abstract artists today. Whether it is through his written words, paintings, or students who survived him, Albers will influence young artists for years to come.

No words can conclude a story about the life of this great man, except, perhaps his own. Alber’s was quoted as saying, “Abstraction is real, probably more real than nature. I prefer to see with closed eyes.” Others are happy to have their eyes opened by the influential life and art of Josef Albers. May his legacy and art been seen for years to come.

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Beach Fun

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Enjoy a relaxing day at the beach – being outdoors with the sun, sand, and surf. There are lots of fun activities to keep you busy including volleyball, sailing, windsurfing, swimming, playing with beach balls, fishing, building sand castles, watching the sun set, or doing nothing at all except working on your tan. Our Beach Fun pattern set has a great set of images which capture this experience splendidly… and there’s no suntan oil needed!

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