Beneath the Surface: Sublime Underwater Portraits by Samantha French

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Artist Samantha French was born raised in Minnesota where she attended the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and now lives and works in Brooklyn. Her current body of work explores nostalgic memories from her childhood spent swimming in lakes of northern Minnesota. The underwater portraits portray people both in and out of water in the midst of perfect tranquil moments captured gracefully with oil paints. She says of her work:

My current body of work is focused on swimmers underwater and above. Using vague yet consuming memories from my childhood summers spent immersed in the tepid lakes of northern Minnesota, I attempt to recreate the quiet tranquility of water and nature; of days spent sinking and floating, still and peaceful. These paintings are a link to my home and continual search for the feeling of the sun on my face and warm summer days at the lake. They are my escape, a subtle reprieve from the day-to-day. At the same time, I am drawn to an idealistic time before my own, where swim caps and wool swimsuits were commonplace. This combination of memory, observation and photography has allowed me to preserve the transitory qualities of water and remembrance.

You can see many more of her works in this gallery, and prints are available in her shop. She also opens a solo show at Groveland Gallery on January 25th, 2014 in Minneapolis. (via This Isn’t Happiness, My Modern Met)

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Sponsor // Expand Your Creative Practice With a Master’s in Interdisciplinary Arts from Columbia College Chicago

Columbia College Chicago’s Interdisciplinary Arts master’s programs encourage you to practice the art of fearlessness. Columbia’s three programs—Interdisciplinary Arts MA, Interdisciplinary Arts & Media MFA, and Interdisciplinary Book & Paper Arts MFA—give students the knowledge, skills, and hands-on practice to become leaders in their fields.

Candidates of the Interdisciplinary Arts programs will:

    • confront traditional ideas about creative practice by working across disciplines—such as visual art, dance, music, theater, or literary arts—to catalyze radically new inquiries, methods, and forms of art-making.
    • work in state-of-the-art facilities.
    • become innovative professionals who understand how to position themselves in the contemporary art landscape.
    • learn from our faculty of working artists and visiting guest artists.

Application Deadline: January 15, 2014.

A Huge Collection of Embroidered Temari Spheres by an 88-Year-Old Grandmother

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Temari balls are a form of folk art that originated in China and were introduced to Japan in the 7th century. The carefully hand-embroidered balls often made from the thread of old kimonos were created by parents or grandparents and given to children on New Year’s day as special gift. According to Wikipedia the balls would sometimes contain secret handwritten wish for the child, or else contained some kind of noise-making object like a bell.

Flickr user NanaAkua photographed this amazing collection of geometric spheres created by her 88-year-old grandmother who began to master the art in her 60s. She has since created hundreds of them, nearly 500 of which you can see right here. (via DDN Japan)

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Midday Traffic in San Diego Collapsed and Reorganized by Color

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In this new video art clip from San Diego-based filmmaker Cy Kuckenbaker, we watch as a 4-minute shot from the Washington Street bridge in San Diego is deftly edited, sorted, and compressed resulting in perfectly color-coded traffic. Kuckenbaker notes:

The source footage for this video is a 4-minute shot from the Washington Street bridge above State Route 163 in San Diego captured at 2:39pm Oct 1, 2013. My aim is to reveal the color palette and color preferences of contemporary San Diego drivers in addition to traffic patterns and volumes. There are no CG elements, these are all real cars that have been removed from one sample and reorganized.

The filmmaker wowed us at about this time last year when he condensed five hours of plane landings into 30 seconds. (via Stellar)

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Into the Atmosphere: A Breathtaking Timelapse of the Skies Above California by Michael Shainblum

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Into the Atmosphere is the latest timelapse tour de force from photographer and filmmaker Michael Shainblum (previously), shot in numerous locations around California over a period of year. For the nearly four minute clip Shainblum payed special attention to the clouds and ever changing atmospheric conditions above the Golden State, shooting some 75,000 photographs which he edited down to 12,500 for the final cut. Of the work he shares:

“Into The Atmosphere,” is my tribute to the state of California and the beautiful deserts, mountains and coastlines that exist there. This video showcases a variety of national/state parks as well as less recognized natural areas. The video also focuses on clouds, fog and interesting atmospheric conditions. Although California is known for blue sunshine skies, seeing a colorful storm cloud over Half Dome or an incredible sunset at the La Jolla Coves is really a sight to see. The goal of this video is to show these environments in their best possible light.

Additionally the Creator’s Project sat down with Shainblum to learn more about how he works and shot some fun behind the scenes video.

Unraveling Animals by Jaume Montserrat

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I tend to have weird dreams too when sleeping on a plane, but nothing comes close to those of Jaume Montserrat. While on a flight home the Barcelona based illustrator dreamt he was on a Noah’s Ark-like island and “there was only one animal from each specimen. All of them were empty, asexual and immortal. They didn’t need to hunt, nor were they scared of being hunted – so there was a perfect symbiosis.” And thus came the inspiration for his series “Emptyland,” a surreal representation of unraveling animals often depicted as being intertwined with each other. At first glance the drawings are a little creepy, but upon closer observation there’s actually something very peaceful about them. (via ghost in the machine and iGNANT)

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Trees Cut From Paper Shopping Bags by Yuken Teruya

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For his recent solo show earlier this year at Pippy Houldsworth, Japanese artist Yuken Teruya (previously) transformed the waste products of consumerism—luxury gift bags—into cut paper trees that rise like fragile silhouettes from inside each bag. Via Pippy Houldsworth:

Discussing how Teruya’s bags are made, Megan Ratner explains that he ‘begins with photographs of trees, which he transfers to his computer, superimposing this image on the logo-ed side of a shopping bag. Using the original shape as a guide, he deftly cuts a two-part silhouette – lower branches/trunk and leafy top – folding and twisting the two halves into the interior of the bag, rooting the trunk with a single drop of glue.’

The works are part of Teruya’s ongoing Notice – Forest series and seems like almost a miracle that each piece comes together as it does, somewhat similar to the cut paper works by Peter Callesen. You can see much more over on Pippy Houldsworth. (via My Amp Goes to 11)

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