Friday, September 30, 2011

Bevis Sheen Fashion

One of the most stunningly artistic posters I have included under this heading so far. Dating back to the twenties, this is a minimalist art deco masterpiece for the fashion company Bevis Sheen.

Vintage Posters

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Learn composition by example: Silhouettes

If you have been following this blog, you may remember a series of short posts about basic composition techniques in the Art-iculations category. These were written for beginners by a beginner (moi). My Flickr friend Rick (word artist), a very accomplished photographer with a brilliant sense of composition, has embarked upon a similar series for the Flickr group Learn Composition by Example, providing far more information and examples than I did. Previous posts on this subject can be found here:
Leading lines
Negative space
The S-curve
Recently, he posted his thoughts on silhouettes as a composition technique, with 19 photographs as illustration of his points (also to be found in his blog), ranging as usual from the most basic to the advanced very subtle and thought provoking uses. For this topic I have picked a shot by my Flickr friend aftab (She did it), which Rick commented on as follows: "As a foreground silhouette can provide context in a scene without distracting from the main subject, so a series of silhouettes can be used to emphasise the visual depth of a scene. The trick here is that the eye sees light rather than dark. As such, the gaps are not seen, only inferred (you don't see the lack of information). This evening scene is naturally beautiful. The range of tones in both sky and water are so very peaceful. The addition - or, visually, subtraction - of the silhouetted pillars give context to the water's surface, very clearly showing just how fast it recedes into the distance. While the colours are nice, without the silhouetted structure, the depth would at best be guessed at. And, the eye never stops on the silhouettes themselves… they are the absence of information, so - while seen in the larger context - they are skipped over in the details." Like the others in this series, highly recommended to expand your compositional horizon.

web site

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Poster design by Homework

The Polish design duo Homework (Joanna Gorska and Jerzy Skakun) excel in minimal posters of extremely high quality. I immediately fell in love with their version of the poster for the famous movie Last tango in Paris.

All rights retained by the artists.

web site

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

PhotoFunia [4]

I have blogged about this interesting site three times before, but they keep on adding so many new features that I think another post is warranted - even more so, since the previous post is one of the most watched of the year in my blog. This website is an endless source of fun. It gives you the opportunity to see your own photographs in predestined surroundings, such as billboards, TV screens, or magazine covers. One of the features is face recognition, by which they can transpose the face of someone you select very professsionally in a chosen set-up. In this case, I took a photograph of my wife and had her transformed into Bond. Jane Bond.

web site

Monday, September 26, 2011

Happy Birthday Darling!

A beautiful art deco birthday card for my dearest wife, whose birthday we will be celebrating somewhere in Germany or Austria probably. Image sourced from here.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Frozen Ghost Vodka

Full marks for whomever came up with the design for the bottle of Frozen Ghost Vodka. The bottle itself is already stylish, but the includsion of the ghost like figure is perfectly done.

web site

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Army dreamers

One of my favourite Kate Bush singles, and one of my favourite Kate Bush covers, focusing on her beauty in a great colour scheme, and with title and artist included as if dedicated by the artist on a fan photograph. More about Kate Bush on the linked wikipedia page.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Unusual concertos [8]: (Alto) Saxophone

Before the purge of end 2008, one of the most popular topics of this blog was "Unusual concertos", classical concertos for all kinds of instruments and orchestra. I have decided to revive this, aiming for less familiar composers in general. In its original incarnation, I came to 40 different concertante instruments - aiming for 50+ this time.

The eighth concerto deals with the alto saxophone, a member of the saxophone family of woodwind instruments invented by Belgian instrument designer Adolphe Sax in 1841. It is smaller than the tenor but larger than the soprano, and is the type most used in classical compositions - if the description of a concerto just says "saxophone" it will be the alto version. It took until 1934 before a major composer wrote a concerto for the instrument: Alexander Glazunov's Concerto in E flat major, which is still one of the finest in the repertoire. Later efforts include concertos by Creston, Denisov, Ibert, Aho and Larsson. I have selected the 1949 concerto by Ingolf Dahl as the example, in the version by John Harle with the New World Symphony under Tilson Thomas from a Phoenix CD.

Go here

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Summer 2011

An appropriate shot to mark the end of summer - quite possibly the worst summer I have ever experienced in terms of weather, wet and cold. I shot this one a few weeks ago at home, after another deluge. I quite like the outcome, and it got good reactions at Flickr as well.

Camera: Canon PowerShot Pro1 8 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.013 sec (1/80)
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 43/2 mm
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium

The play with negative space as second image may not be very original, but it is perfectly done. An excellent logo for the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium.

web site

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Performing Arts Center Taipei

Another fantastic architectural design that only exists on the drawing board unfortunately. It was conceived by B+U Design for the Taipei Performing Arts Center in Taiwan a few years ago.

web site

Monday, September 19, 2011


As a child I was once given a small kaleidoscope by my parents - a real treasure. When I stumbled upon the linked web site, I was hooked for pure nostalgia. Not for everyone, but the way you create different moving kaleidoscopes by rearranging your mouse really made my day.

web site

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Andy Barter

A fascinating photographer whom I disovered via the Illusion site. I particularly like his special project Kiss, depicting various couples kissing in a yin/yang shape against a black background. Well worth exploring his web site I link to.

All rights retained by the artist.


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Genetic portraits by Ulric Collette

Genetic portraits is a fascinating art project by Canadian photographer Ulric Collette. He combines portraits of family members into one new portrait, creating images that are sometimes disturbing, sometimes (like the one above) hauntingly realistic. The one I chose is of mother Francine (56) and daughter Catherine (23). More on the linked web site.

All rights retained by the artist.

web site

Friday, September 16, 2011

Pearls before breakfast

Chances are you have heard this story before, but if not, it is well worth reading it in the original version (see link). At the request of the Washington Post, one of the best violinists of the world, Joshua Bell, played some of the most beautiful pieces Bach ever composed for that instrument in the Washington subway - on a multimillion dollar violin. He hardly got any attention and collected a grand total of 32 USD from the rushing commuters, most of whom did not even bother to stand and listen for a while. It says a lot about our society.

web site

Thursday, September 15, 2011

La Vie Parisienne 1919

Provebial Parisian elegance in a magazine cover that somehow seems much later than its actual date - only the font of the magazine title seems in line with the time of release. An exquisite image.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

House on the rocks, Valencia

Most buildings featured in the architecture series are relatively large: churches, libraries, museums, opera houses, and so on. Here we have a small house, but of such minimal modern elegance that I just had to share it. It was designed by Fran Silvestre Architects and can be admired in Valencia, Spain.

More on this building can be found in the link below.

web site

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Wind Bowl

Miscellaneous art was another tempting category to feature this in. The hand-made porcelain vases that Jennifer McCurdy creates are truly stunning, and none more than the one I selected, the so-called wind bowl.

web site

Monday, September 12, 2011

Autobahn (the cover)

A logical follow-up of the day before yesterday's post. The Kraftwerk album that heralded their breakthrough in Europe, with a gorgeous neo art deco cover. I think I recall a more simple one when the album was released in 1974, maybe this one was created for the CD version.

All Music

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11-2001 - 9/11-2011

By far the most impressive special commemoration poster for 9/11 that I have seen these days. Sourced from here.

A decade ago

The only possible subject for today - ten years ago the world as we knew it changed forever with the cowardly attack on the twin towers in New York. The linked web site has a good collection of photographs of that day. May all its victims rest in peace.

web site

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Autobahn (the song)

This song, reflecting where we will be for six hours or so today, brings back memories of my late teens. A gigantic hit in the summer of 1974, that was a must to include on my holiday MP3 mix USB stick... Kraftwerk were far ahead of their time, for sure. And although I like the full 22 minutes album version even better, the single edit is well worth while.
Art Rock score: 8/10 (great song, I'd put it on my MP3 player)


Friday, September 09, 2011

The Black Forest

We're off tomorrow for a break of a few weeks, starting in Freiburg, at the rim of the Black Forest. As usual I have pre-posted contributions to this blog, but comments may take a while before they are moderated. Auf Wiedersehen.

Vintage Posters

Thursday, September 08, 2011


It's been far too long since I showed the other side of my wife's art: black and white drawings in Chinese ink. This is a unique procedure: every stroke has to be right first time. In these drawings she merges the ancient Chinese technique, which she studied at the Beijing University, with a more modern western approach of the choice of themes.

The Art of Lu Schaper

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Blue on orange with white

After my Flickr friend caeciliametella had posted four or five of these breathtaking Rothko-esque abstracts, I had planned to post them all - after all, I faved them all as well.... However, she keeps posting more and more of these gems (eight and counting), so in the end I decided to pick the one I liked best and let you look at the others in her stream.

All rights retained by the photographer.


Tuesday, September 06, 2011


The most beautiful collection of microscopy photos I have ever seen, thanks to their creator Ray Nelson. Please click the link and fully explore this treasure. The one I selected depicts crystallized nicotinamide at a magnification of 100x.

web site