Vitruvian Muppet Mash Up

There seems to be a huge surge in the artworld in a certain genre: the Mash Up.   It seems to be every where I look, every blog I click, every new artist I find.  Everyone is putting their own unique spin on the Mash Up.

What is a Mash Up?  Our friends at Dictionary.com explain it this way:

mash-up

  /ˈmæʃˌʌp/ Show Spelled[mash-uhp] Show IPA

noun

1 Music, Slang . a recording that combines vocal and instrumental tracks from two or more recordings.
2 Slang . a creative combination or mixing of content from different sources: movie mash-ups; a Web mash-up that overlays digital maps with crime statistics.
 
This blog is in honor of definition #2, the “creative combination or mixing content from different sources.”  Today’s sources: #1 Leonardo DaVinci’s “Vitruvian Man,” a famous icon of Renaissance thought and innovation, and #2, Grover, my favorite Muppet. (Partly due to the fact that my father would read me stories in his “Grover” voice since I was very small.)
 
This is a work in progress, hence the screen shot from the iPad to include to toolbars.
Created in ArtRage on iPad 2 with Nomad Brush.
 

“Picasso, The Rooster, and Me” — Unexpected Art: Scribbles with Light

I have had the great honor of being able to study photography under Christine Walsh-Newton, a Certified Professional Photographer who just happens to be located near my neck of the woods.  I have long had great respect for Christine and her work, and I feel pretty darn lucky to be able to call her my friend. (You should check out her website, linked above, and her blog, which is phenomenal.)

CWN offered a series of photography classes this past year that I participated in, and I learned a great deal about photography from her.  I most certainly learned to respect it as its own art form, and that despite the cool effects one can get (from Photoshop and “the website that shall not be named” that everyone uses for free photo effects to my beloved iPhone with Hipstamatic), no amount of cool effects on a poor photograph will make it any better.  You have to know what you’re doing and why when you’re capturing light with a camera.

But I digress.  My mini-dissertation on why everyone should take a photography class before they start thinking they’re amazing just by using processing software is going to have to wait.

Today’s post is about drawing with light.  Yes, I typed “Drawing With Light.”  It is possible.  How, you ask?  Easy peasy if you happen to have a camera with an adjustable shutter speed, a tripod, and an endless supply of sparklers.  Add three friends, a warm summer’s night, and the occasional (perhaps adult) beverage, and you’ve got yourself the makings of a par-tay.

Now before you start thinking this was just some sort of lark on which we embarked, there’s legitimate artistic street cred for such a project.  Pablo Picasso (Yes, the Great PP!) experitmented with light drawings and was featured in a spread in Time magazine for said experiments.  You can view his work here.  Basically, the Great PP used a flashlight and drew his creatures in the air, and the photographer was able to capture the “trail” of light left by the flashlight by delaying the shutter speed. (There could be a gigantic technical explanation inserted here to explain why extending the shutter speed captures light trails, and I’m not qualified to give it.  If you are curious, that’s why there’s Google.)

To create this light drawing, I used a sparkler.  Yup, a lit sparkler and 10 seconds was all I had to create this lovely rooster drawing in the air without being able to really see what I was drawing.  Yes, some might call this result “dumb luck.”  I prefer to think of it as eccentric talent.  My friends and I spent a whole night of me being the “Sparkler Arteest” while they tested their camera settings and manipulated shutter speed to capture my photon doodles.  It was a fantastic time.

Life is Hip: Spontaneous Art photography

One of the things I like to think I excel at is capturing spontaneous art moments in the everyday, mundane vortex of “stuff” that surrounds us.

(Nothing like starting off with a fantastically pompous statement, eh?)

Seriously, though. I really do have a knack for Catching little moments of life using my cell phone camera, and most of the time, the result is a photo I am pleased with. (And before you get all preachy on me that a cell phone can’t create real photography, just calm down. I realize the limitations of my phone in regards to quality.) I have enjoyed this challenge (of catching fleeting life moments) so much that I even have 3 albums on Facebook dedicated to just such photos.

Today I had the pleasure of taking a tour of Pittsburgh Here is some of what I saw today: just a fun slice of life, spontaneously captured in fleeting seconds.

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