(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘history of art

“The vivacity and brightness of colors in a landscape will never bear any comparison with a landscape in nature when it is illumined by the sun, unless the painting is placed in such a position that it will receive the same light from the sun as does the landscape”*…

Plein air painting: the practice of painting entire finished pictures out of doors…

When painting in plein air, artist Jeremy Sams scours the landscapes around his home in Archdale, North Carolina, for a spot that rouses all of his senses…

He then paints sublime interpretations of the nearby landscape, relying on a realistic color palette in acrylic to render slightly blurred edges and the location’s generally serene qualities: overlaid by a dreamy haze, brooks reflect the surrounding trees, a small brood of chickens pecks at spring grass, and snow melts into a rocky stream….

Sams tends to photograph his finished paintings against their original source…

See more sublime plein air paintings by Jeremy Sams, photographed against the lush North Carolina landscapes they depict. See even more on Sam’s Instagram feed.

* Leonardo da Vinci

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As we find our place, we might send artful birthday greetings to Ellen Day Hale; she was born on this date in 1855. An American Impressionist painter and printmaker from Boston, she exhibited at the Paris Salon and the Royal Academy of Arts.

Summer Place, 1925, watercolor (source)
Self-Portrait, oil on canvas, 1885. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (source)

“I’d imagine the whole world was one big machine”*…

 

From Harvard’s Houghton Library (where your correspondent is currently ensconced), a pair of plates (click here for larger) from Jean Errard‘s Instruments mathematiques mechaniques, 1584.  Errard, who was a pioneering mathematician, engineer, and developer of military fortifications, is thought by some scholars to have based these drawings on thoughts from Archimedes.  In any case, they’re a treat.

* Hugo Cabret (in Brian Seltznick’s The Invention of Hugo Cabret)

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As we muse on mechanization, we might send well-suspended birthday greetings to John M. Mack; he was born on this date in 1864.  At the turn of the 20th century, mack and his brother Augustus developed a successful gasoline-powered sightseeing bus; then in 1905, they joined with three other brothers to form the Mack Brothers Motor Car Company.  They continued to build sightseeing buses, but shifted their focus increasingly to heavy-duty trucks; then, in 1909, they produced the first engine-driven fire truck in the United States.  With financing from J.P. Morgan, the company grew into what we now know as the Mack Truck Company.

 source

 

Written by (Roughly) Daily

October 27, 2014 at 1:01 am

Everyday heroes…

 

Over the years (R)D has considered action figures of all types, from the political (e.g., Barak Obama) to the cultural (e.g., Shakespeare and Jane Austin).  But heroism isn’t always an epic proposition; and it doesn’t always accrue to recognition, much less fame.  In the end, these smaller and more anonymous acts of leadership, courage, and sacrifice are the lifts that elevate life-at-large.

Jesse Weiss, an assistant professor of sociology and environmental studies at the University of the Ozarks, has pioneered a way to redress the bobble-head balance:

A pop culture enthusiast and inveterate collector of kitsch, Weiss saw that the head had come off one of his collectible action figures: the professional wrestler, Rhino. “I guess it was kind of serendipitous,” said Weiss. “One of the heads popped off and I realized you could take them apart and put them back together”…

He has created more than 100 action figures modeled on fellow professors, administrators, students, community members and even the college’s president…  Sean Coleman, an associate professor of biology who teaches interdisciplinary courses with Weiss, said he keeps his action figure next to the nameplate on his desk…

… [Coleman] praised the evident attention to detail, down to the mole on his figure’s lip and the color of his belt. “We’re academics, but we’re quirky a little bit,” he said. “Everyone I know would like one of those things. It’s definitely part of the campus culture.”

Find the full story– and more pix– at Inside Higher Ed.

As we strike heroic poses, we might might wish an animated Happy Birthday to sculptor Alexander Calder; he was born in Pennsylvania on this date in 1898.  The son of a sculptor and a painter, Alexander studied engineering before following in his parents’ footsteps.  While he painted and drew, he is best remembered for his wire and his motor-driven sculpture– dubbed “mobiles.”

Alexander Calder (source)

Calder mobile (source)

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