Monday, April 30, 2012

From dusk til dawn

A new name in the blog. I came across this beauty by fellow Flickrite - and now Flickr friend - Peter Levi in the 200+ faves group earlier today and just had to post it immediately. Sheer perfection, one of the best silhouette shots I have ever seen, and showing me how much I still have to learn on that theme. As usual, all rights retained by the creator.

Orange bitter

Today is Queen's day in the Netherlands, a national holiday in which a large part of the population celebrates the ties with the royal family. The special drink for the day is Oranjebitter (Orange bitter), referring to orange as the national colour of our country. For the occasion a vintage poster of just over a century ago - even though this particular brand was produced in Belgium.

Vintage Posters

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Unusual concertos [28]: Hardanger fiddle

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 twenty-eighth concerto deals with the Hardanger fiddle, a traditional Norwegian variation on the violin, but with eight or nine strings rather than four as on a standard violin, and thinner wood (image sourced from here). Most people will be familiar with the sound of this instrument through its extensive use in the soundtrack of the movie Lord of the Rings, where it was used for the theme of the riders of Rohan. Concertos for the instrument are extremely rare - I am only aware of the two by Norwegian composer Geirr Tveitt. I have selected the second concerto from 1965, played by Arvfe Moen Bergset and the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra under Ole Kristian Ruud, taken from a BIS CD.

Go here

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Eye contact

Two weeks ago we enjoyed the Kampen Art Route, a 2-day tour to explore the various artists our new home town has to offer. This photograph, one of my favourites of the year so far, is a close-up of a paper sculpture by Elsa Visser. From a composition point of view, the important characteristics here are the use of negative space and the golden ratio (placement of the eye on a golden ratio focal point).

Camera: Canon EOS 400D Digital 10 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.033 sec (1/30)
Aperture: f/6.3
Focal Length: 200 mm
ISO Speed: 800
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0


Friday, April 27, 2012

Wire mesh portraits by Seung Mo Park

A typical example of art with unusual materials that is too good to shift it to Potpourri. Korean artist Seung Mo Park creates these sculptured portraits from his original photographs with layers of cut wire mesh, a few inches thick. Amazing display of artistry as well as craftsmanship. The linked site gives more examples as well as close-ups to give you a feeling of the technique involved.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Time's up

An appropriate post for today. Beautiful photo art by Norvz Austria. Well worth clicking the link to see more of his creations! All rights retained by the artist, as usual.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

EYE Film Institute Amsterdam

I have seen this futuristic new Amsterdam film museum growing form initial plans, to the construction start in 2009, to completion and opening earlier this month - it was constructed adjacent to the old offices where I worked since 2004 and just a few minutes walking from the new offices that we moved into a few years ago. The design is by the Austrian architecture agency Delugan Meissl. Image attribution: Jvhertum/wikipedia. More on this building can be found in the wikipedia link below.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Metamorphosing paper art by Cara Barer

This is simply too beautiful to put it in Potpourri. Everything comes together in the gorgeous creations of Houston-based artist Cara Barer. She takes old books that are no longer of any use, and turns them into fascinating abstract sculptural pieces, and finally photographs them against a black backdrop. Highly recommended to click the link to sample more of her work.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The end of the affair

Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful movie posters of all time, this 1999 movie by Neil Jordan. A wonderful romantic impressionist image of London, helped by the limited colour palette. I really could see this hanging on the wall of my study. More on this movie in the IMDB article linked to below.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Colsubsidio libraries

A brilliantly designed advertisement campaign for the Colsubsidio libraries to promote their book exchange campaign. The accompanying minimalist designs show two famous figures wrapped into one - in this case Snow White and Sherlock Holmes. All credits to Lowe/SSP3, an ad agency in Bogota, Columbia.

Creative Ads

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Church of Carrieres-Saint-Denis

Another painting that I selected for the blog because we saw it during our October 2011 London trip. This one by Georges Braque is in the Tate Modern Museum. It dates back to 1909, and is an excellent example of early cubism. More on Braque in the wikipedia article linked to below.

Friday, April 20, 2012


Such a magnificent play with depth of field, with the main subject in focus layered between out of focus bokeh-style fore- and background. It is a brilliant effort by my Flickr friend jenny downing, surely one of her very best. As usual, all rights retained by the creator.

Unusual concertos [27]: Recorder

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 twenty-seventh concerto deals with the recorder, an instrument many of us will have played as a child, but long surpassed by the flute in the conventional classical music orchestras (image by Tomasz Sienicki sourced from here). Recorder concertos have been rare since the baroque days, with Malcolm Arnold possibly the most famous name to have contributed to the repertoire.  I have selected the recorder concerto by contemporary Swedish composer Bjoern Lindh, played by Dan Laurin and the Sundsvall Chamber Orchestra under Niklas Willen, taken from a BIS CD.

Go here

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Paris Moods

I came across this 2003 posthumous jazz album by Barney Wilen recently, and I simply love the cover. Unfortunately, I could not find any further information on its design - the drawing might be by Marie Moor, whose art appears on other Wilen covers. Also love the detail of the font choice for the OOD sequence in the title.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Chain hang

This was supposed to be just another chains shot to use for the links subject of my blog, albeit the first one with my new toy point and shooter - but now that my Fickr friend Rick (word artist) has selected this as an example in his composition blog The image composer, I have decided to feature it under My Photography. To quote Rick: "Another exceptional piece of composition. The diagonal here is the key element holding the image together, but it it the chain – protruding into the foreground and the clear subject – that steals the show. The high contrast allows the detail in the foreground to really shine, but the eye is not held permanently on that point: it is free to roam within the triangle of chain and beam, with the background loop of chain as an additional path back to the focal point. It is no real surprise that the bracket that attached the chain to the beam on the right side straddles the golden ratio there, and the hanging chain lied snugly alongside the double golden ratio line. Even within a white setting, where the edges of the scene merge into the surrounds, that detail helps to give more emphasis. Another perfect link in an ongoing chain." By the way, I think it looks even better on white as in the Flickr link.

Camera: Canon IXUS 115 HS, 12 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.001 sec (1/1250)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5 mm
ISO Speed: 100
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Vanity Fair March 1927

Another Art Deco masterpiece from the archives of Vanity Fair. This cover was designed by Eduardo Garcia Benito - with more than a hint of Modigliani in the female figure.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Light calligraphy by Julien Breton

We have seen light painting as an art form a few times before in this blog, but this is a special variation. French artist Julien Breton (aka Kaalam) creates beautiful lightscapes inspired by calligraphy, in particular from Arabian origin. Please sample more of his works by clicking the link.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Today marks the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic. For the occasion, an appropriate news photo, depicting a visitor looking at a painting of the Titanic by George Fraser at the recently opened SeaCity Museum in Southampton, England. All rights retained by the photographer/agency (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP Photo).

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Martin Stavars

He may not be a household name (yet), but there are few photographers better than Martin Stavars from Poland when it comes to city nightscapes. Gorgeous black and white shots, working even better in their square format. I have picked his take on Shanghai to illustrate this post, but it was from an embarrassment of riches. All rights as usual retained by the photographer.

Friday, April 13, 2012

For sale: One Scream

Edvard Munch's iconic masterpiece is up for sale at Sotheby's - well, one of the four versions he made. This pastel version dates back to 1885 and was the only one still in private hands. It is predicted that it will go for about 80 million dollars. All rights retained by the photographer/agency (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP Photos).


The painter of light is extinguished

A week ago Thomas Kinkade suddenly passed away. The self-named "painter of light" is an American phenomenon - it has been estimated that in every 20th American household you will find one of his products. Obituaries have been predictably mild in spite of the controversy of his kitsch "art". The best read I encountered was by Bob Duggan, who draws an interesting parallel with Ronald Reagan. Well worth the click to read it.

web site

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Vogue December 1922

A vintage Vogue cover from the period between Art Nouveau and Art Deco. I could not find further information on this cover.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Istanbul toilet brush holder

A toilet brush is perhaps not the first item you think of when it comes to slick modern design, but the Istanbul, created by London-based industrial designer Ross Lovegrove for the Turkish brand VITRA, is a very beautiful product. I'd love to own one.

web site

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Unusual concertos [26]: Untuned percussion

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 twenty-sixth concerto deals with the untuned percussion, basically the collected orchestral "pots and pans", setting it aside from tuned percussion like marimba, xylophone and vibraphone (image sourced from here). A late arrival on the concertante scene, the percussionists can still boast concertos by the likes of Milhaud, MacMillan and Schwantner (the Glass timpani concerto will probably feature at a later stage in this blog). I have selected the untuned percussion concerto by Richard Rodney Bennett, played by Evelyn Glennie and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra under Paul Daniel, taken from an RCA CD.

Go here

Monday, April 09, 2012

Rust feather

There is something incredibly photogenic about rust - certainly when its possibilities are spotted by such an accomplished photographer as my Flickr friend ebergcanada. The result is a magnificent abstract, full of colour and shapes. As usual, all rights retained by the creator.