Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette

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Dusk at Sydney’s Milson’s Point brings out the silhouettes in a guy waiting for the ferry (above), and a couple just taking in the magnificent Australian sunset (below).

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Ailsa’s Travel Theme: Horizon

IMG_0966When you’re hiking the famous 3-mile coastal walk between Bondi Beach and Coogee Beach outside of Sydney, sometimes you just need to sit, take off your shoes, enjoy some water, and take in a horizon that goes on forever.

See more horizons at this week’s Ailsa’s Travel Theme.

Posted in Ailsa’s Travel Theme, Australia, Photography, Stephen Kelly Photography, Sydney, Travel Theme | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Impulsive Detours: The Collage Art of Michael Waraksa

New Aluminum Thursday

I usually find new and exciting artists through online art sites like Visual News, Lost At E Minor and 50 Watts, or magazines like Hi Fructose or Juxtapoz. But I found this week’s featured artist, Chicago illustrator and collage artist Michael Waraksa, through my latest addiction: Pinterest. I was immediately drawn to the complexity of his collages, the intricate layering, the bizarre juxtapositions of mashed-up figures (like in New Aluminum Thursday, above) and his sly commentary on modern life.

Mapping the Exposome (for Atlanta Magazine)A Chicago based artist/illustrator and a graduate of the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, Waraksa has exhibited his work at various venues around the United States and his illustrations have been published in numerous magazines and newspapers including The New York Times, TIME and The Los Angeles Times, and many of the pieces seen here are part of his extensive editorial work.

Michael explains his work by saying, “I see collage as a form of recycling. I am attempting to build something new and unexpected by layering and juxtaposing a variety of disparate elements together. Scraps of text, photographic material from books, magazines and the web, my own photography and drawings along with items fished out of the trash or found blowing in the wind may all find their way into the mix. I allow any preconceived ideas to take impulsive detours as my final destination is purposely vague. Nature, history, technology, advertising and dreams are some reoccurring themes and influences but much of the direction is driven by my subconscious and simple reaction to the elements at hand. Any meaning is mostly open ended and the viewer is encouraged to fill in the blanks.”

Check out more of the dense, fascinating collage art of Michael Waraska in the gallery after the jump. Continue reading

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Ailsa’s Travel Theme: Endearing

Squidball Display in Odeiba, Tokyo

One thing I love most about visiting Japan is taking in all the cool, fun, cutesy things you see everywhere. From store packaging to advertising to the really interesting mini-sculptures you see in front of businesses of all types, everywhere you go you’re greeted by a smiling, happy icon, be it an orange elephant, an ice cream cone, a frog (or a lot of frogs), even an upset tummy. It’s hard not to smile when you see ’em, and that’s part of the reason I find visiting Japan so much fun. Here’s a small gallery of some cool cutesy stuff I’ve encountered in my various travel to Japan. Now if these aren’t endearing, I don’t know what is!

 

Posted in Ailsa’s Travel Theme, Japan, Kyoto, Photography, Tokyo | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Art Coutre: The Fashion Forward Illustrations of Peggy Wolf

Magic Fairy

Peggy Wolf is a Germany-born artist whose love of fashion inspired a career in art. A former student of fashion design, Wolf gravitated more towards drawing rather than dressing sophisticated, artfully-clad women who would be right at home on the fashion catwalks of the world. Along the way she worked for an art gallery, a trend-consulting company, and she started a successful career as a freelance illustrator of fashion magazines. She currently lives in London, where she moved on a whim, juggling careers as an illustrator and interior designer. Her use of bold lines and juxtaposed textures, patterns and bright colors are all hallmarks of fashion, and her interesting use of found images in a collage-like format gives her work a unique, almost dimensional feel.

So check out the work of Peggy Wolf in the gallery after the jump. As usual, you can see much more of her art at her website, or at her Etsy page, where you can buy many of the prints you see here for affordable prices.  Continue reading

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Ailsa’s Travel Theme: Shine

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Kyoto Bike Girl shines like a pink diamond as she waits for the light to change.

Posted in Ailsa’s Travel Theme, Japan, Kyoto, Night, Photography, Stephen Kelly Photography, Travel Theme | Tagged , , , , , | 19 Comments

Dark Forests: The Folksy Surrealism Of Kathleen Lolley

Captive Light

The night, darkness and nocturnal creatures figure prominently in the rustic yet mysterious art of Kentucky-born artist Kathleen Lolley. Owls, fireflies, and even little ghosts frolic in the softly-colored forests and woods of Lolley’s imagination. Like many of the artist I’ve featured in these posts, her art celebrates the sinuous, peaceful connection of nature and humans.

Spending a childhood “split between the green hills of Kentucky and the magical dark forests of Pennsylvania,” as well as a long-held family tradition of sharing oral stories and folk tales, helped form a visual narrative that serves as the backbone of her intriguing work. These influences could also explain the many fantastical creatures that populate her dreamy greenspaces.

The Magic of SolitudeWhen it comes to her technique and the thought processes that go behind her creations, Lolley says it best on her website:

“My visual style is an organic mix of surrealism and folk art. I use a wide variety of mediums including acrylic, oil, paper-mache, gouache, mixed -media and collage. I strive to allow enough ambiguity for the viewer to draw upon their own imagination to create their own interpretation.

“I am very interested in exploring the unconscious influence of childhood in our adult lives. When I paint, I use innocence and playfulness to explore complex themes. I derive visual inspiration from nature, folk tales, philosophy & music and seek to synthesize these elements in my work.

“My work is not about humans having a spiritual experience, it is about spirits having a human experience.”

Enough said! You can enter her magical worlds by checking out the gallery after the jump. Again, this is but a small representation of her excellent work, and you guys can check out even more on her website (in which she shares more detailed information on each piece) or her Flickr page. Continue reading

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