Art Madness!

“People in Glass Houses…”
March 1, 2009, 9:45 am
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… Should send me photos!


I have been aware of this type of artistic construction for years, and have always wanted to give it a try.  The basic concept is that you build an exterior wall that is made from whole colored glass bottles.  Mortar (a cement and gravel/sand mixture) is used in between each bottle to keep them in place and stabilize the wall.  When the sunlight hits the outside of the wall, the view from within is a beautiful combination of colors and shapes.


I love the idea of using recycled materials to create a usable space for friends and family to enjoy that is colorful and unique.  This style of construction doesn’t have to used for large scale building projects, like the living room shown above.  You could create a small wall in your garden, or fill one window of your house, or the end of the sun porch…  Thanks to Vitreosity for these images.

Another thought, bottles might not be the only material you could use.  What else is out there that would create an interesting surface for an enclosure wall?  What about using old pottery, mirrors, tiles, etc.  It worked for Nikki de Sant’ Phalle, check out her beautiful sculptures that are covered in recycled and found materials.



MC Escher in the Real World
February 28, 2009, 12:18 pm
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We all love and appreciate the art of MC Escher, whose unique artwork often fools the eye of the viewer. What makes Escher so interesting is how the images are made of shapes that blend together and interlock. Check out this example, called Bird Fish Sky.


Thanks to a friend, Jackie Gimson, I have a great comparison from the natural world! She sent me a link to these photos of a group (flock?) of migrating sting rays that create a formation very similar to the interlocking shapes of an Escher work. This is what the Madness is all about!

Update (3/1): A large group of sting rays is called a “fever”!  No kidding, look it up!

Back to Art…
February 8, 2009, 11:01 am
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Dorobanti TowerI love architecture, but I often find myself drawn to ancient structures, as you all know!  However, I also really enjoy some of the newer architects who are creating these fantastic structures that function as sculpture as well as useful buildings.  The architect Zaha Hadid is pushing the modernist trend to the limits, creating an amazing structure that is truly stunning!

Check out this website that presents a new building in Bucharest, Romania that is designed by Zaha Hadid.  This building, called the Dorobanti Tower, is proposed for the center of the city, and would be a sculpture/building that towers over the current architecture that Bucharest now has to offer.  Now, imagine how unique this building will look compared to the other architecture in this very old European capital.  Do you think that this building will be awkward among the older, more traditional city structures?  Or will this original and dynamic new style bring a breathe of fresh air to a city in need of a spark?  Look at the photos and you decide…  Send me a comment, let me know what you think.

The Dorobanti Tower is HERE

Thanks to the CrankyProfessor for drawing my attention to the Dorobanti Tower.

More photos…
January 22, 2009, 8:32 pm
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Here is another batch of photos from my trip to the Inauguration.   The interesting thing about this experience is that even though I was there to soak it in first-hand, I don’t have  many great photos.  The shots are mostly from  a distance and don’t accurately reflect the experience.  You all probably had a better view  sitting at work or at school!

One thought continues to stick with me over the last 48 hours:  Given the fact that there were 2 million people on hand for the Inaugural address by President Obama, I still cannot believe how quiet everyone was.  The entire crowd, 2 million strong, stood enraptured.  We all knew this was the moment we had waited for, over the last several years and the long cold hours on Inauguration Day.  We savored all nineteen minutes, and it sure tasted sweet!

New Satellite View
January 22, 2009, 1:46 pm
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Amazing view from space.  This is only a fraction of the people who were actually in attendance, however!


January 22, 2009, 8:04 am
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Proof that we made it!  Becca on the left, and my older brother Luke

Proof that we were there! Our friend Becca on the left, and my older brother Luke in the center.

We all know that a national and international event occurred on the Washington DC Mall midday Tuesday. What needs to be remembered is that it was also very personal for many who watched from afar, but especially for those who were present. We were immediate witnesses to history. We were part of the backdrop for the Inauguration of the first African-American President – very few nations have the faith in their democratic system to elect a person who represents such a small portion of the population. But
President Obama is more than that; he represents all of us, and we elected him not because what he looks like or where he came from, but because he offers the best chance for meaningful change. American elected the candidate they believed represented hope and new ideas; A New Beginning for America. The crowd that you see in these pictures was radiating this sensation of optimism and faith that these new ideas can be carried out under the leadership of President Obama.


More photos of the crowd!
January 22, 2009, 7:30 am
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I wanted to share a few more images of the crowd and the sheer volume of people that were at this event.  At times, we felt like we would never move again!  The press of thousands and tens of thousands of people was intense and more than a little intimidating.

The first image is us waiting in line to enter the Purple Gate where our spots on the Mall were located.   The second image shows us inside the North Standing section within the Purple Gate.  Apparently, many people never made it through the Purple Gate to the Mall but were stuck outside during the Inauguration.  How frustrating!