This is a lovely video profile of artist Steve Spazuk (previously) who has developed a unique way of “painting” using the soot left behind from candle smoke. While it seems like he just holds a candle to paper and draws with the smoke, his range of techniques are a bit more subtle. Spazuk often doesn’t know what images he intends to make but instead explores patterns and shapes found in the soot to guide the artwork. He also employs stencils and a reductive process akin to etching, where he scrapes images into the soot with feathers and paint brushes. You can see more of his recent work on his website. Directed by Patrick Peris. (via iGNANT)
The Bigger Picture is a new animated short from filmmaker Daisy Jacobs and animator Chris Wilder about two brothers struggling to care for their older monther. The film is notable for its animation technique that blends life-size wall-painted characters who inhabit full-size sets, interacting with real objects. Included here is the trailer and a nice making-of video that goes behind the scenes. The Bigger Picture is currently screening in film festivals around the world and has won more awards than you can shake a pair of leaf-covered sticks at. I seriously can’t wait to see this.
Postcards for Ants is an ongoing painting project by Cape Town artist Lorraine Loots who has been creating a miniature painting every single day since January 1, 2013. The artist works with paint brushes, pencils, and bare eyes to render superbly detailed paintings scarcely larger than a small coin. After the first year, Loots relaunched the project in a second phase inspired by Cape Town’s designation as World Design Capital 2014. On her website you can “reserve” a future painting (it’s all booked up for this year), and she’s also printed five limited edition postcards for each day. You can watch her work and hear a bit more about her inspiration in the video below by Gareth Pon, and she also regularly updates on Facebook. Hopefully we’ll see a 2015 project? (via Lustik)
Their Refinement of the Decline, oil on canvas, 48 x 60 inches
Their Refinement of the Decline, detail
Diminishing Returns, oil on canvas, 48 × 60 inches
Diminishing Returns, detail
Witching Hour, acrylic on paper, 34 × 42.5 inches
A New Religion, oil on canvas, 40 x 30 inches
Hollow Pursuits, acrylic on canvas, 54 × 54 inches
Fool’s Gold, oil on canvas, 60 × 48 inches
Michael Kerbow is an artist based in San Francisco who works in a variety of mediums including painting, assemblage, drawing and digital photography. Of particular note are his large oil and acrylic paintings that depict surreal and at times nightmarish visions of the future, where industry and human development has grown without regulation or care for the environment. Kerbow shares via email:
My work explores the way in which we engage with our surroundings and the possible consequences our actions have upon the world in which we live. Through my work I attempt to question the rationale of our choices, and try to reveal the dichotomy that may exist between what we desire and what we manifest. Recently my work has focused upon the mechanisms that power our society and examines how they may influence the construct for a possible future.
Conceptual artist and illustrator Gediminas Pranckevicius possesses an imagination to covet. While most of his digital painting is centered around character design, his larger landscapes seen here are rich in detail, creating impossible but ingenious juxtapositions of water, land, and haphazard architecture. You can see more of his work over on Facebook, and all of these are available as prints via INPRNT.
One of the most common feelings I get when watching an artist working is “oh, that looks easy.” After all, the materials and method are all right in front of you: paint or ink, a paint brush or pen, and a hand that moves deftly across a canvas. What goes completely unseen of course are the years upon years of practice, the trials and failures, and the possession of innate talent. A great example of this are these Japanese dragon paintings that are rendered almost completely with a single stroke of paint.
According to Japanese culture blog Iromegane, the paintings are called Hitofude Ryuu (Dragon with one stroke), and the ones shown here originate from a small studio called Kousyuuya in Nikko, Japan. The studio has seen four generations of master painters who have been creating these stylized dragons for decades.
The process involves carefully painting an ornate dragon head with various flourishes, and then finishing the piece using a giant sumi brush in a carefully orchestrated stroke. The process has much in common with both ink wash painting and calligraphy, and similar to letterforms, the images are often repeated. From the videos you can see certain designs are reused in different colors or with added details. All the videos here start at the fun part where the torso is painted, but you can rewind them a bit to see the creation of the entire painting. (via Cineraria, Iromegane)
With the exception of the repurposed containers, almost every aspect of these artworks by Singapore-based artist Keng Lye (previously) has been rendered in acrylic paint, carefully applied within layers of clear resin. A fish in a plastic bag, a tin can of tadpoles swirling under a frog on a lilypad, and even a completely convincing betta constructed from carved resin and painted with acrylic—each work a strange, lifelike amalgam of painting and sculpture. These are just a few of Lye’s work over the last year, you can see more over on Facebook.