Sunday, October 31, 2010

The red witch

As Halloween draws to a close here (and midnight approaches....), what better way to close out than with this recent favourite from my dear Flickr friend andy_57. Once more he has been able to get the lovely Oksana in front of the camera, resulting in what is probably the best Halloween shot I have ever seen on Flickr.

All rights retained by the photographer.


Trick or treat

My original shot of this mannequin doll in Portugal was already a bit scary, but the after-treatment with the on-line Picnik programme, applying one of their Halloween gizmo's, really brought out something extra. It gives me the impression of looking through the peep hole of a door to see who just rang the bell on Halloween.

Camera: Canon EOS 400D Digital 10 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.017 sec (1/60)
Aperture: f/5.6
Focal Length: 134 mm
ISO Speed: 400
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0, Picnik


Halloween II

Last year's Halloween, I took the opportunity to start the then new subject of movie posters with that classic of the same name. This year, the logical follow-up is Halloween II - and although the movie sucked wookie, the poster is still classy and scary.

More on this movie in the IMDB article linked to below.

Night on bald mountain

Happy Halloween! For the occasion, one of the scariest pieces of classical music ever written, Mussorgsky's Night on bald mountain, as featured in Disney's masterpiece Fantasia. Incidentally, this is neither Mussorgsky's original version, nor the more popular arrangement by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, but a version created especially for the movie by Leopold Stokowski.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Earth Fish (Sculpture by the Sea 2010)

The yearly modern sculptures exhibition at the beaches of Sydney (Sculpture by the Sea) always offers some very suitable shots for this blog, combining journalism and art in one shot. This example is by Daniel Wallwork. A wonderful fit with the surrounding.

All rights retained by the photographer (Media Mode / Rex Features).

web site

Flight of fantasy

Probably my favourite shot form the holiday. Architectural details on a wall of a Barcelona building, resembling toy airplanes thanks to their shadows. Minimalist and special - certainly when viewed on the white Flickr background. And it got a very favourable response at Flickr.

Camera: Canon EOS 400D Digital 10 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.04 sec (1/25)
Aperture: f/36.0
Focal Length: 115 mm
ISO Speed: 400
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0


Friday, October 29, 2010

Love is.....

...when you add salt and life tastes sweeter, to quote the photographer, my Flickr friend aftab. Wonderful still life, perfectly rendered in monochrome. And marvelous quote as well.

All rights retained by the photographer.


Helix bridge Singapore

The Helix Bridge is a pedestrian bridge linking Marina Centre with Marina South in the Marina Bay area in Singapore, officially opened on April 24, 2010. Its stunning design is courtecy of an international team comprising Australian architects the Cox Group and engineers Arup, and Singapore based Architects 61. With a total length of 280 m it must be one of the longest pedestrian bridges in the world. More on this bridge in the wikipedia article linked to below.


When I started (and later re-started) this blog, I made a conscious decision to make it "safe for work", which means excluding images that a substantial part of the readers would deem sexually controversial, either from their own opinion or in the context of viewing (like in the work place). Of course, that does limit the contents somewhat. Artistic nude photography has been an obvious no-no, but I have also shied away from nudity in paintings, like in the works of de Lempicka or Heckel. After all, we live in a society where the USA Justice Department famously decided to cover partially nude art deco statues permanently with drapes (story). In the future I will be going for a compromise in these matters. Tasteful nudity in art will make its occasional appearance in the blog, but instead of directly showing those images, they will be one click away behind a warning picture.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


I recently came across a blog by a London based artist going by the name of "Blackpaint". The writings on art are interesting but his/her own work really fascinates me - such as the one depicted above. Abstract expressionism that deserves a far wider circulation - check the blog linked below, with samples of his/her work included at the end of each post.

All rights retained by the artist.



Exquisite. That was the one word comment I left on this shot of a white rose the moment I saw it. And I still think it pretty much sums it up. Another masterpiece by my Flickr friend Caecilia Metella.

All rights retained by the photographer.


The game

German digital artist Hans Peter Kolb (born 1957) creates wonderful detailed fantasy landscapes. Browsing his linked site is highly recommended. As a chess player, this one appealed to me most.

All rights retained by the creator.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The fall

Taken from a great collection of recent autumn shots released by several press agencies, I particularly like this photograph of a person waiting to cross a street during an afternoon rainstorm in Philadelphia.

All rights retained by the photographer (AP / Matt Rourke).

web site

Terror at the slaughterhouse

Fake... fake... fake... Nothing is original about this debut album. First off, in spite of the hype and the use of Russian letters for its name, Kirov Plant are NOT from Volgograd - but from Manchester. Secondly, their music is not as the press package suggests "a refreshing new look at progressive metal", but a third class watered down version of this style which has been done infinitely better numerous times. Thirdly, the melodies and riffs are hardly disguised straight copies from the likes of Metallica and Dream Theater. Awful, awful, awful.

The idea of this little game is to create an album cover for an imaginary artist/group, as well as an imaginary review, following these instructions:

[1] The artist/group: go to the wiki random page generator. The first random Wikipedia article obtained this way is the name of the band or performer. In this case, I ended up with Kirov Plant.
[2] The title: go to the random quotations site. The last four words of the very last quote of the page is the title of the album. The random quote that came up was by Craig Volk: I'd rather get my brains blown out in the wild than wait in terror at the slaughterhouse.
[3] The illustration: pick a suitable one from my Flickr collection. My picture, Slaughterhouse Five, can be found here on Flickr. The on-line editing was done with the programme On-line image editor, the font settings selected were Gargoyles Normal 85 silver and Rushkin Regular 70 silver, respectively.

Note: this is a variation on the "Debut album game" that has been making its rounds around bulletin boards and blogs for some time now - the original version called for a random Flickr Explore photograph to be used as the cover. I have been trying to find out who had the original idea, but so far no success.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Fortunately, my Flickr friend sannesu continues her experiments with glasses, liquids, light and a camera, resulting in yet another fantastic abstract.

All rights retained by the photographer.


Bird designs by Josh Brill

Triggered by a Jenny Downing buzz - this also could have gone into my Potpourri blog, but in the end I found these minimalist bird drawings so artistic that they ended up here. Josh Brill is a graduate from Maine College of Art with a degree in New Media Design, and his work is really excellent.

All rights retained by the artist.

web site

Monday, October 25, 2010


A wonderful image, showing people sitting on steps designed to look like piano keyboards in a Beijing shopping mall.

All rights retained by the photographer (Stephen Shaver/United Press International).

web site

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Watching this classic right now at TCM for the umpteenth time. No need to say anything about the movie ( is there anyone who has not seen it?), but I quite like this poster, designed to lead your eye through the frame.

More on this movie in the IMDB article linked to below.

The moment

And what a moment it must have been. To quote the photographer, my Flickr friend aftab: "One humpback blows mist. Another dips deeper. A lone gull hovers. I was there in this remote corner of Alaska to watch the drama unfold. It was a privilege. Life has been a privilege. People. Precious moments."

All rights retained by the photographer.



Nazatron is the musical vehicle of Australian artist Genaaron Diamente. Fork in the road, released June 2010, is a very interesting first effort, one of the best independent debut albums I have heard in recent years. Highly melodic alternative pop/rock music, with a thrusting beat. His voice (a bit in the style of the softer side of Steven Wilson, as in Blackfield), though not outstanding, suits the music very well. The album contains nine songs, with a duration between 3 and 6 minutes. My favourite songs are Pay me last (which would not be out of place on a Blackfield album - which coming from me is very high praise indeed), and the almost instrumental You, with its Peter Gabriel like rhythms. Highly recommended to check him out.


Henniez - water full of life

It's been done before, and it is actually not that difficult in Photoshop. But it is used to great effect in this advertisement, and I always had a weak spot for this French brand, which is my first name with a Z added.

Creative Ads

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The environmental aspect of con-artists

This morning I came across a fascinating article on the site Hyperallergic, about the environmental aspects of the creations of conceptual artists (con-artists as I like to call them), such as Christo and Jeanne Claude’s 1983 “Surrounded Islands” in Florida, a project that wrapped small islands in skirts of bright fabric. Thought provoking.

(re-labeled in the category Art-icles, which I started later)

web site


One of the all-time classics, this Roger Dean cover for this great Yes album, even better in the flipped open double front/back combination. Further comments are superfluous.

All Music

Friday, October 22, 2010

A bouquet of thoughts

What better way to mark the second anniversary of Art for Art's Sake new style than to post a recent floral favourite from the stream of one of my followers and supplier of many great ideas for my two blogs: my dear Flickr friend jenny downing. My aversion for flower photographs has been termed "legendary" by another Flickr friend, so this is a really special shot. Magnificent colours and bokeh. And pansies happened to be my late grandfather's favourite flowers - incidentally, in Dutch they are called viooltjes (little violins).

All rights retained by the photographer.


Two years have gone by

Can't believe it has been two years already since I decided to wipe out all existing posts and make a fresh start. And what a fun two years it has been, at least for me. The blogging blues never returned, and an average of about 2 posts per day is easy to maintain. Image sourced from here.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


During our holiday, my wife used her new iPad to keep in touch with the (virtual) world, but also used this new device for some digital creations (with the Art Studio program she downloaded). At my request, she allowed me to post one.

The Art of Lu Schaper

Old Brooklyn Bridge

When we say "Art Deco" and paintings in one sentence, it is not easy to look beyond the luscious works of Tamara de Lempicka. Italian American artist Joseph Stella (1877-1946) deserves attention as well, especially his numerous paintings on the Brooklyn Bridge, a totally different side of Art Deco - even though most articles list him under Modernism or Futurism. Whatever the label, his art is great. The above interpretation of the subject dates from 1941, one of his latest works. More on Stella in the wikipedia article linked to below.