WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Work of Art

_ASC8146Before you can create a work of art, you need to have the proper tools!

Posted in Art, San Francisco, Stephen Kelly Creative, Stephen Kelly Photography, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Kicking It Old School: The Classic Paintings of Georges Seurat

A Sunday Afternoon On The Island Of La Grande Jatte

Georges-Pierre Seurat needs no introduction to even the casual art admirer, as he is one of the more pre-eminent late 19th century artists, and is largely responsible for ushering in the post-impressionist movement in art. Many of his works are instantly recognizable, and his classic painting, A Sunday Afternoon On The Island of La Grande Jatte (above), altered the course of modern art by initiating the neo-impressionist era. It remains an icon of 19th century art.

Born in Paris, France on December 2, 1859 to a wealthy family, Seurat studied art, following conventional academic training. After a brief stint in the Army, in 1881 he moved to the island of La Grande Jatte with his friend and fellow artist Edmond-Francois Aman-Jean. The island would serve as his life-long inspiration and the setting of his most seminal work.

Eiffel Tower 1889Meanwhile, in 1886, A Sunday Afternoon On The Island of La Grande Jatte was rejected by the Paris art elite, a rejection that stung him deeply, and propelled him into turning his back on conventional art scene. He then joined ranks with the Groupe des Artistes Independants, a collective of French artists who had been similarly shunned or rejected by the established elite.

It was during this time that Seurat had begun to become interested in color theory and balance. It is also when he developed and perfected the technique of pointillism, in which small, distinct dots of pure color are applied in patterns to form an image.

Seurat’s main influences in coming up with this technique were scientists, especially Michel Eugene Chevreul, a French chemist and tapestry restorer who produced the first color wheel of primary and intermediary hues. Chevreul advised artists to think and paint not just the color of the central object, but to add colors and make appropriate adjustments to achieve a harmony among colors.

In his work with tapestry, Chevreul discovered that two colors juxtaposed, slightly overlapping or very close together, would have the effect of another color when seen from a distance. The discovery of this phenomenon became the basis for the pointillist technique of the Neoimpressionist painters, one that Seurat utilized to great effect.

Georges Seurat died in Paris on March 29, 1891 at the age of 31. The work he left behind has become some of the more important examples of classic late 19th century art. Continue reading

Posted in Art, Weekly Art | Tagged , , , , , , | 14 Comments

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: On The Move

Hi everybody! I thought I would turn things slightly on their ear by presenting videos as my take on this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge, because a big part of me says that a challenge dedicated to being On The Move should, you know, actually move.

So here’s a couple of vids I shot in a city that never stops moving: Tokyo. Above is me strolling through the busy marketplace in Ueno, while below is me marching boldly into the heart of the constantly-moving throngs of people at Tokyo’s famous Shibuya intersection. Now that’s a place that’s on the move!

Posted in Japan, Photography, Stephen Kelly Photography, Tokyo, Travel, Video, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tagged , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Ailsa’s Travel Theme: Close-up

IMG_0414I’m really late to the Travel Theme party this week, and I almost blew it off until I found these pics of an amazing close-up encounter with a lioness at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo that I took back in 2009.

I had seen this particular lioness lounging way at the back of the pen, and she kept watching me as I snapped a few shots of her. I turned in another direction to take a few other shots, and when I turned back the lioness had sauntered over to the very edge of the compound, just a few feet away from me. I must say, the sight of her licking her chops was slightly discomforting.

As it turned out, lunch was not on her mind, and she was just as curious about me as I was about her. She sure is a beauty, isn’t she? Man and beast, just checking each other out, and at least one of us is glad there’s a thick sheet of glass separating us!

Check out more up close and personal stuff at Ailsa’s Travel Theme!

Posted in Ailsa’s Travel Theme, Animals, Australia, Photography, Stephen Kelly Creative, Stephen Kelly Photography, Sydney, Travel Theme | Tagged , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Emotions In Motion: The Symbolist Surrealism of Duy Huynh

Dreamers Meeting Place

Vietnamese born Duy Huynh (pronounced Yee Wun) creates poetic and contemplative acrylic paintings. Duy draws inspiration from a variety of storytellers in formats that range from music and movies to ancient folklore and comic book adventures. While much of his work is deeply personal, his clever and often times humorous use of symbolism and wordplay invites the viewer to create their own storyline.

Metamorphosis of a MetaphorThemes of geographical and cultural displacement are prevalent in his artwork. Ethereal characters maintain a serene, precarious balance, often in a surreal or dreamlike setting. With his figures, Duy explores motion along with emotion in order to portray not just the beauty of the human form, but also the triumph of the human spirit. Reoccurring images of boats, trains, suitcases, and anything with the ability of flight relate to travel, whether physical or spiritual.

He also attempts to literally and symbolically connect fluid patterns in nature/wildlife with that of human made aspirations. The results are often hybrid dreamscapes filled with melodic manifestations and flowering fragments that transcend limitations of logic. The goal is to nurture a visual language that evokes a sense of wonderment while celebrating the fragility of a precarious life.

Duy’s interest in art began shortly after his arrival to the States from Vietnam in the early eighties. With difficulties adapting to new surroundings and language, he took refuge in comics, cartoons, and graffiti. His first art commission came in the third grade when a classmate hired him to draw the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Payment came in the form of 2 dollars and chocolate milk for the week. More importantly, he learned it was possible to make a connection through the use of a visual language. This simple experience serves as a reminder for him even today to always enjoy and maintain his childhood love. Continue reading

Posted in Art | Tagged , , , , | 19 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Letters


This sign post in Kyoto, Japan is packed with letters of all sorts. Go ahead, say that one three times fast … I dare ya!!! Say it one time fast and I’ll still be very impressed.

Posted in Japan, Kyoto, Photography, Stephen Kelly Photography, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

Ailsa’s Travel Theme: Glow

IMG_2165The competition is intense, especially when illuminated in the pale ghostly
glow of a vintage Pac-Man machine.

Posted in Ailsa’s Travel Theme, Photography, San Francisco, Stephen Kelly Photography, Travel Theme | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments