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Photography

Stunning Aerial Photographs by Mitch Rouse Capture the Precise Patterns of Farmland

May 20, 2020

Grace Ebert

Bridger, Montana. All images © Mitch Rouse, shared with permission

Before crops are harvested and combine tracks mark the soil, Wyoming-based photographer Mitch Rouse captures the immaculately planted farmland that patterns the western United States. His captivating aerial shots frame the patchwork fields, concentric rows, and land-hugging lines formed with sprouted produce and vibrant trees. Sometimes disrupted by a natural landmark like a small mountain range, the photographer’s images provide a new perspective on the cultivated land.

Rouse tells Colossal that the Palouse—a major agricultural area in the northwest— is one of his favorite regions to visit because it’s often full of luxuriant fields. “This year, it was particularly lush, and I was very surprised getting out there how soft and velvety the green fields looked. Unlike the first photograph (shown above), the shapes in the Palouse are much more organic flowing and curving with the natural form of the hills,” he says. The photographer also has explored Montana, Oregon, Idaho, and California, capturing the precisely placed rows of trees near Bakersfield.

Originally frustrated by the limitations of drone and aircraft techniques, Rouse said he has “now found the sweet spot between the two by developing a system that incorporates a Bell 407 helicopter, with a Shot Over gimbal mounted to the nose, which contains a 150 MP Phase One Industrial camera.” Much of his process consists of spotting land patterns and flying over them.  “A lot of it ends up really just being aware of your surroundings and eventually develop an eye for what will look good, making it pretty easy to pick your targets,” he says. “The key to getting these is timing it right. You want favorable light, whether it’s from clouds or sunrise or sunset.”

For more views of flourishing crops and organic patterns, head to Behance and Instagram, where Rouse catalogs much of his work.

 

The Palouse in Eastern Washington

In Montana, on the way to Glacier National Park

In the central valley of California, around Bakersfield

Near Bakersfield

The Palouse

Near Bakersfield

The Palouse

 

 



Art

Dreamy Paintings by Jacob Brostrup Layer Interior and Exterior Scenes into Surreal Composites

May 2, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Out of the Swamp,” oil on canvas, 130 x 140 centimeters. All images © Jacob Brostrup

Danish artist Jacob Brostrup (previously) beautifully blurs the organic and domestic in his enchanting scenes of soaked floorboards and branches that jut from every corner. What could be a reason to phone a contractor in real life, the downed trees and pooling water in the artist’s oil paintings create a fictional universe in which nature and humanity exist simultaneously in the same space. Each artwork is filled with an incredible number of realistic details that pattern armchairs and provide moss its fuzzy texture.

In a statement, Brostrup referred to his vivid works as “a sampling of snapshots, of hidden glimpse(s) of the past, of other cultures, of the movement of everyday life… There are layers upon layers; a fusion of sensory impressions.” His process begins with a pencil sketch on canvas before covering backdrops of cloudy skies and tiled floors with ornate molding and tree blossoms.

You can find an extensive history of Brostrup’s charming paintings on Instagram, along with his available pieces on Artsy.

 

Left: “On Top,” oil on canvas. Right: “Fallen Tree,” oil on canvas, 160 x 120 centimeters

“The Bridge” (2019), oil on canvas, 35 2/5 × 31 1/2 inches

“Calling Back Home” (2019), oil on canvas, 27 3/5 × 21 7/10 inches

“The Laboratory” (2019), oil on canvas, 51 1/5 × 70 9/10 inches

“The House” (2019), oil on canvas, 47 1/5 × 55 1/10 inches

“Entries and Exits” (2019), oil on canvas, 47 1/5 × 63 inches

 

 



Art

Pejac Launches Movement to Transform Home Windows into Imaginative Silhouette Art

April 10, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Pejac, shared with permission

From his home in Madrid, Pejac (previously) revived his miniature window figures, and simultaneously began an inventive global movement, by using nearby landmarks as backdrops for creative marker silhouettes. Since then, the Spanish artist has prompted hundreds of people around the globe to imitate his playful work as they convert structures, fences, and even powerlines into light-hearted and often humorous sites for their outlined figures.

The burgeoning initiative is an attempt to inspire interaction with urban environments from indoors, while also providing a creative and collaborative public art initiative. “I always believed that everyone has an artist hidden inside and that if you give them a good reason they are capable of doing wonderful things, and in these strange days of global lockdown, I believe that creativity can be one of the best therapies to fight anxiety and boredom,” says the artist, who’s been positioning figures atop airplane contrails and telephone poles since 2011.

Pejac also offered a simple tutorial (shown below) for those needing more guidance on how to create such realistic silhouettes. The artist first photographs himself posed in dark clothing and traces the image from his computer screen. He then cuts the drawing out and reproduces it on a window, perfectly orienting his own silhouette on the building next door. The trick, of course, is to be resourceful with the outdoor landscape and find ways to transform a mundane window ledge into a lively scene.

Head to Pejac’s Instagram for a deeper look at his process, and dive into the hundreds of imaginative contributions featuring kids picking fruit from a tree and a rollercoaster ready to dive down a powerline under #stayarthomepejac.

 

 



Art

A Dense Cluster of Birdhouses by Artist Bob Verschueren Rests in a Treetop

April 6, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Annecy Paysages

Hopefully, the birds flocking to Bob Verschueren’s wooden housing complex won’t mind if their neighbors stay up late chirping or make too much noise as they head out in the morning to look for worms. Resembling a dense apartment building with shared walls and common perches, Vershueren’s “Implantations” features rows of stacked homes that vary in size for multiple birds to live in simultaneously. They’re a stark contrast to traditional single-family birdhouses.

The Brussels-based artist erected the tree-like pillar—which also bears a likeness to the Tower of Babel—in the Jardin de l’Europe as part of Annecy Paysages 2017, an annual festival that embeds art throughout the French city. After its debut, the work was installed permanently.

For more of Verschueren’s work, check out the book he released in 2013. You also can find future installation plans that merge art, nature, and landscapes on Annecy Paysages’s Instagram. (via Jeroen Apers)

 

 



Art

Grassy Inclines Embedded in the Ground by Tanya Preminger Throw the Earth Off Balance

April 3, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Round Balance” (2008), soil, grass 900 x 900 x 260 centimeters, Saint-Flour, France. All images © Tanya Preminger, shared with permission

Take a seat on one of Tanya Preminger’s grass-covered artworks, and you won’t be able to right the balance. The Isreal-based artist created immovable slants and indentations embedded in the land that seem like they should tip depending upon the amount of weight settled on either side. For each sloping piece, Preminger employed an excavator to dig a hole and pour the soil into a nearby pile. She then used a shovel, rake, and lengthy ruler to sculpt the slanted earth, covering it with sod at the end.

After seeing a footprint left in a bit of sand, Preminger wanted to express the relationship between give and take that’s inherent in nature. “In physics, an action is equal to its reaction,” she tells Colossal. “The project expresses in material form the philosophical law of balance between opposing sides of one essence.”

The artist produced the first oval impression in 1989 in the fields of the kibbutz Givat Brenner. When organizers of the Chemin d’Art asked her to recreate her original work for their 2008 festival in France, she designed “Round Balance,” altering her oval to a circle “to give a more universal meaning.” (via Design You Trust)

 

 



Photography

Lounging Seals, a Ravenous Pelican, and a Startled Owl Top Impressive Entries in Nature Photography Contest

April 1, 2020

Grace Ebert

Florian Ledoux’s “Above the Crabeater Seals,” taken in Antarctica with Phantom 4 Pro+. Aerial view of crabeater seals resting in a group on the ice after feeding at night. “The aerial view allow(s) us to better understand how the wildlife use the ice to rest and give birth,” Ledoux. Image © Nature TTL/Florian Ledoux

Replete with stunning shots of Tuscan farmland and close-ups with spiders that reveal their prickly legs, the Nature TTL Photographer of the Year competition garnered an impressive array of images from creatives in 117 countries. Out of the 7,000 entries, Florian Ledoux won the top prize in the annual contest with his aerial photograph capturing nearly two-dozen seals resting on an ice mass floating in Antarctic waters. Categories range from wildlife and landscape to macro, providing an expansive look at nature’s most impressive qualities and characters—Caitlin Henderson exposes a Lichen Huntsman spider that’s attempting to disguise itself on teal-speckled tree bark, while Paul Holman serendipitously captures a fluffy owl in the midst of a surprise. We’ve gathered some of the entries below, but for a complete look at all the Nature TTL winners, check out the contest’s site and Instagram. (via My Modern Met)

Robert Ferguson’s “I’m not going easy,” using Singapore using Canon EOS-1D X Mark II, 200-400mm f/4. “This is the Great white pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus), struggling with a non-native fish. These wonderful birds are free to roam, but have established a large colony on one of the artificial islands in the old Jurong park in Singapore. I had set up my camera to take some portraits and watch their behaviour, and noticed one particular bird that had caught one of the big fish from the pond. I watched, intrigued, as the bird swam in circles, dipping his bill, taking water, then raising his beak to attempt to swallow his large prey. But every time the fish extended its sharp spines on its fins – you can see it hooked on the beak here – and lodged itself firmly. This went on for over 20 minutes, with no sign of either party tiring. I was fascinated to see the intricate veins in the bird’s throat pouch, as the overcast day backlit the thin skin, and I had to move and crouch low to the ground to get the shot,” said Ferguson. Image © Nature TTL/Robert Ferguson

Dipanjan Pal’s “Coexistence,” taken in Iceland using DJI Mavic Pro. “This is a scene very close to one of the popular mountains of Iceland. While flying my drone to the mountain with my drone’s camera pointed downward, I suddenly noticed this beautiful landscape with the blue river perfectly popping against the black sand. The sun peeking through the clouds added more drama to the scene,” said Pal. Image © Nature TTL/Dipanjan Pal

Paul Holman’s “Startled Owl,” taken in the U.K. using a Canon 7d II, Canon EF100-400 Mark II. “The baby little owl made an appearance within the window during a burst of early morning sun. A couple of jackdaws spooked by his presence started dive bombing him. After a few passes I noticed the jackdaw’s reflection in the adjacent windowpane and decided to try and capture this behaviour. The startled look on the little owl’s face adds a little humour to the image,” said Holman. Image © Nature TTL/Paul Holman

Tamás Koncz-Bisztricz’s “The Cradle of Life,” taken in Hungary using DJI FC300C. “Late winter in February, the soda lakes are full of life in Hungary. These lakes are the sanctuary of wide variety water birds. There is a nice, but unknown, hidden lake between the village of Tömörkény and Pálmonostora which is surrounded and covered with cane and sedge – therefore impossible to observe. I took this aerial photograph by a remotely controlled drone. I use a special technique to slowly approach the birds from very high altitude, which is a method also used by conservation experts to count the population of the birds. In the picture the wild ducks roil in the muddy water and leave lines in the yellowish-brownish, sometimes purple, water coloured by organic materials coming from decomposition of cane. The sparkling colour pallet of the image is composed by the blue sky and the white cloud reflection on the water’s surface,” said Koncz-Bisztricz. Image © Nature TTL/Tamás Koncz-Bisztricz

Jesslyn Saw’s “Home Sweet Home,” taken in Malaysia using Olympus EM5 mark II + 60mm f2.8 macro lens. “While on holiday at my family home in Malaysia, I set out to document as many different types of jumping spiders as possible in a fortnight. Battling the rain and heat and humidity of the tropics, the best time to hunt these spiders was early in the morning and late afternoon. It was on one of these late afternoon jaunts that I saw this colourful jumping spider and discovered a nest nearby. Hoping that the nest belonged to this particular spider, I came back again early the next morning to photograph it in its nest. To my delight, I saw that the nest did indeed belong to this spider. However, it took me another two days of early morning visits to finally successfully photograph the spider in its nest,” said Saw. Image © Nature TTL/Jesslyn Saw

Left: Minghui Yuan’s “Chinese Painting,” taken in China using NIKON D7000, Tamron 180mm/3.5 macro lens. “I was wearing a piece of waterproof overalls in the stream of Dabie Mountain, waiting to observe this Matrona basilaris (damselfly). Matrona basilaris is the king of the stream here. There is a male Matrona basilaris every 3 meters. They were waiting for the female to fly over its territory; the male chased away a male opponent and then stopped at the tip of the grass. Against the background of the sky, I discovered the connection between the lines of the grass and the subject. Nature itself is a simple painting,” said Yuan. Image © Nature TTL/Minghui Yuan. Right: Caitlin Henderson’s “Nothing here but this tree,” taken in Australia using Canon 7D, Canon 60mm macro lens. “The Lichen Huntsman (Pandercetes gracilis) is an incredible species of tree-dwelling spider from Australia’s tropical north. Its astounding camouflage enables it to blend perfectly with the tree bark and lichens, and is near impossible to spot by day.
At night, I went searching for these spiders with a torch, using their reflective eye-shine to discover their hiding places in plain sight,” said Henderson. Image © Nature TTL/Caitlin Henderson

Marek Biegalski’s “Shadow game,” taken in Italy using DJI Mavic Pro 2. “Aerial image taken in Tuscany in autumn light. (A) flock of sheep was hiding in the shade from the sun under the shadow of a tree,” said Beigalski. Image © Nature TTL/Marek Biegalski

 

 



Art

Idyllic Landscape Paintings by Artist Tomás Sánchez Render Nature’s Meditative Qualities

March 27, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Aislarse” (2001), acrylic on linen. All images © Tomás Sánchez

For nearly three decades, Cuban painter Tomás Sánchez has been painting serene landscapes of calm waters and verdant forests full of towering palms and dense shrubs. Now part of a lengthy series, his realistic works focus on nature’s immensity as they contrast massive waterfalls and miles of endless treetops with a nondescript figure, who often can be found seated or standing amongst the lush scenery.

In a statement, Sánchez explained how his practice of meditation informs his work. “The interior spaces that I experience in meditation are converted into the landscapes of my paintings; the restlessness of my mind transformed into landfills,” he writes. “When I paint, I experience meditative states; through meditation, I achieve a union with nature, and nature, in turn, leads me to meditation.”

For more of the Costa Rica-based artist’s projects, head to Instagram, and check out Artsy to see which tranquil paintings you can add to your own collection.

“Orilla y cielo gris” (1995), acrylic on canvas, 23½ x 35½ inches

“Autorretrato en tarde rosa” (1994), acrylic on linen, 30 x 39 ³/₄ inches

“Llegada del caminante a la laguna” (1999)

“Meditación y sonido de aguas” (1993), acrylic on canvas 60.5 x 76 centimeters

“Atardecer,” acrylic on canvas, 109.9 x 149.2 centimeters