Pics Appear as Paintings

After Vacation

If you’re like me, returning from vacation and going “back-to-school” this week is HARD! ;(

I so want the beach-living-life and living-in-the-moment with little to do to continue. If only I didn’t have to work….

Although our vacation was cut short by tropical storm Hermine, we had the most glorious weather for a 2 week getaway. I can’t complain that we were evacuated and caught one of the last ferries to Hatteras during the only day of rain.

Beach Sunset Ocracoke_AIE

Pics Appear as Paintings

Upon returning, I have tons of photos to organize and delete from my phone due to lack of storage. Yes, I cursed Apple and thought of that new Google phone advertisement that uses other phones’ “storage full” alerts just as you’re trying to get that single moment captured. It’s happened to me more than once! Just like the yeti crossing the forest, I almost didn’t get this picture of the Pamlico Sound on the most calm and perfect-beach-day, right before the storm and look what showed up!

Dolphin in Pamlico Sound_AIE

A shark in the water!

Actually, it’s a bottle-nosed dolphin, and not a shark but sure spooked me at first, especially after thinking about the many shark bites that have occurred in the Outerbanks in waist deep water, as I’m fishing in waist deep water. I’m used to seeing dolphin in the ocean, beyond the surf but still in moving water with waves. This is why I was surprised to see this one swimming with its mate in great arks while blowing water out their spouts, as they serenely swam from the sound at North Point, where the calm waters meet the rough Atlantic waves. I tried to capture this but alas, I really needed something better than an iPhone. If you look beyond the waves, you can see how calm the water was in the sound.

North Point Ocracoke_AIE

What I really wished I had was one of these fairly new photo apps that adds filters to your photos to make your pics appear as paintings. NPR questions whether it is “art”? Photography is an art form and choosing how to display one’s photograph adds to that description. They are not real paintings however and should not be misrepresented as such.

I personally don’t think anyone is doing that but instead sharing on various social media networks, for which they are meant.

Prisma translates your photos into various styles and those used by famous artists and Artisto works similarly for videos.

I loved these two examples, one of Venice, my favorite Italian city, and the NPR building, in DC, using Prisma’s appropriately named “wave” app for this post.

Venice Prisma App_pic as painting_AIE

NPR building with Prisma Wave app pic as painting_AIE

I have a lot more photos to share but want to try these apps first.

Kayaks Ocracoke_AIE

We kayaked to Teach’s Cove where Blackbeard hid but was caught and supposedly beheaded at this Springer’s Point Beach. The pathway through the woods is beautiful and creepy — what I call American Gothic and very True Detective-like.

Kayaks with Running the Storm Prisma app filter_AIE

Kayaks with the “Running the Storm” filter using the Prisma app

In the meantime, I’ve spread out all my collected shell treasures so I can make a wreath or something to visually enjoy rather than just adding them to storage.

Beautiful White Shells_AIE

Beautiful White Shells via Dinner en Blanc

Finally, I’ll end this post by relaying a funny story about one of our last nights in Ocracoke when we closed down Zillies while waiting in between bands of rain from the first tropical depression that threatened to evacuate us but fortunately, petered out. It was a good excuse, however, for more rounds. We met two NOAH researchers, who were there working on excavating the many shipwrecks off the coast. They recently discovered a German U-boat that they had been searching for for 8 years! I asked them when is the PBS documentary going to be aired? They weren’t too sure on that but did mention a story that was due to publish in the Washington Post the Sunday after we returned. Then they asked us, “What does one do for 2 weeks on Ocracoke?” That was an easy answer, “live in the moment” and enjoy the many different surprises this island always delights us with. This year it was Dajio’s for breakfast, shrimp fest and pizza and ghosts! (another story), as well as listening to new live music, like Barefoot Wade. He can do a mean island-man Led Zepplin and Red Hot Chili Peppers acoustic all with guitar and steel drums! Who knew? Here’s his Lets Slowdown as reminder to the hectic fall ahead. (Ocracoke is so hippy, but I love it!) 😉

When we returned, and finally went through the huge mounds of mail back home, we were lucky that I decided to restart the paper early. The article published on Thursday, the official non-resident evacuation day — the day described at the start of this post. We left the next morning since we weren’t being run out and enjoyed one last night in what I think was a haunted house, complete with a friendly-spirit, river-mink that visited us and had a beautiful sunset off the deck. Although, not the same as the Blue House, which we had to move from the second week, it was lovely in an odd, mid-century, kind of way.

Sunset at Faraway Oaks in Ocracoke, NC_AIE

Sunset at Faraway Oaks in Ocracoke, NC

Reflecting on my reply to the NOAH guys, one of whom I had seen several times over the years (Ocracoke is a small enough place for this to occur and start to get to know locals), it would be nearly impossible for me to live there and have to do work. There are just too many temptations to enjoy. I realize I gave them an answer that really doesn’t apply to their situation. Oh well, I hope I see them next year, as they mentioned they were parked by the island cemetery and I relayed the story about how our friend’s bike lights just randomly went out while riding by there and then he heard really strange sounds that weren’t just the wandering wild chickens. His cute but chatterbox 6-year-old son suddenly got verrrrry quiet, bringing his father a bit of eerie relief. The NOAH guys laughed and hesitantly said “no,” they didn’t need a “walk home” (– to their car) when I offered jokingly. Fortunately, we were biking home but in the rain and laughing all the way. This is when I wish someone had gotten a picture. Fun times I won’t forget.

The wooded path at Springer's Point Ocracoke_AIE

The wooded path at Springer’s Point, where ghosts have been seen.

Springer's Point path into the Ocracoke woods_ AIE

Springer’s Point path into the Ocracoke woods

single-grave-in-cemetary-in-woods

Graves in the wooded cemetery & single flower carefully placed

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Getting Your Southern Fare Fix

Before vacationing in Ocracoke, North Carolina, we tried out the new Hen Quarter restaurant, in Alexandria. It took over the old Austin Grill but is managed by the same owners with this new Southern cuisine concept. It’s a way to get your Southern fare fix, complete with porkbelly pops, down-home collard greens, fried chicken and some of the best fritter waffles you’ll ever taste and a very smooth-balanced mint julep. Now that’s something coming from a native New Orleanian and still one at heart!

Love their décor and their Southern phrases and charm:

“You’re like the butter to our biscuits…

…and whiskey that warms the heart”

and wouldn’t be the South without the, “Bless your heart” sign hanging.

fried chicken and biscuits_hen quarter_AIE

Classic Southern Biscuits and Fried Chicken

Belly pops prep_Hen Quarter_AIE

How they make their Belly Pops

Belly Pops as appetizers_hen quarter_AIE

Pop ’em in – porkbelly pops melt in your mouth

Here’s the play-by-play video with some good Southern, bluesy music too!

Egg Basket lighting_hen quarter_AIE

Egg Basket lighting that I’ll have to make someday. Love this idea!

Hen Quarter upstairs decor_AIE

Hen Quarter upstairs décor with wood plank walls that kinda remind me of….

Hole in the wall entrance at Captain Gregorys on AIE

You guessed it. It’s a hole in the wall entrance. The flag is the “doorbell”

Now we’re back to thinking of  mint juleps and….

Bourbon flight_hen quarter_AIE

Bourbon flight but where’s the Pappy?

“Free Range Cocktails” (Hen Quarter’s slogan)

…but looking forward now to some much-needed relaxing days while waiting for the green flash at sunset. We haven’t seen it yet but keep hoping!

Pre sunset porch time_AIE

Pre sunset porch time

Sailboat view from dock on AIE

Sailboat view from dock

End of day starting on AIE

Sun Rays – End of day starting

Picture perfect sunset and kayaker in silhouette on AIE

Picture perfect sunset and kayaker in silhouette in Pamlico Sound

Ahhh, summer and cicadas, don’t want it to end…

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Wall of Birds

I had posted before about Jane Kim and her InkDwell team painting a wall of birds for Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Now you have the best, most interactive way to view them up close and personal. There are more than 700 images and the detail is incredible.

Cornell Wall of Birds_Art Is EverywhereHere’s another bird wall worth checking out in this time-lapse video of the Tautoko mural, honoring the endangered Kuaka bird painted by Charles and Janine Williams at Napier Port for the annual Sea Walls: Murals for Oceans street art festival. The event took place in New Zealand this year. Click to read previous posts regarding this event.

SeaWalls Mural Tautoko, at Napier Port by Charles and Janine Williams_AIE

SeaWalls Mural Tautoko, at Napier Port by Charles and Janine Williams

 

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The Other Zoo News – Washed Ashore

With all the tragic news about Harambe, the silverback gorilla that was shot to save a child at the Cincinnati Zoo, it’s nice to see other positive zoo news.

Washed Ashore is a multi-venue sculpture exhibit that is currently being hosted at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo through September 5, 2016. The large sea-life sculptures are made with plastic and other such trash items that have washed ashore.

What a great and colorful use of everyday, tossed-and-forgotten objects that really validates the statement, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” In this case, artwork that is truly everywhere.

washed-ashore-octopus-_Art Is Everywhere

washed-ashore-shark_Art Is Everywhere washed-ashore-parrotfish_Art Is EverywhereHere’s a little more info about Washed Ashore.org, their other exhibits and educational programs and what you can do with trash that you may find washed ashore on your beach this summer.

Animal Inspiration and Patience

My original intent was to post my Slipcovers for your walls, casartblog post here this week but then I received these incredible pictures of animal sculptures made with cut paper. I’ll do a little of both. Plus, you’ll see an appropriate mention at the bottom in light of Mother’s Day this Sunday.

Firstly, here’s a snippet of the Animal Inspiration post:

 I recently learned of a new video about one of my favorite artists, Jane Kim, of Ink Dwell Studios. The video not only depicts her creative process but explains how she paints with Nature always in mind, through animal inspiration.

Jane’s artistic talent is tremendous as is some of her projects.

We’ve posted about Jane and Ink Dwell previously regarding the project (and here on AIE), in which she used Casart wallcoverings as templates to paint the continents for her exceptional and huge mural at Cornell University’s Ornithology Lab.

1_Many-birds-painted-by-Jane-Kim_InkDwell_AIE

Many birds painted by Jane Kim / Ink Dwell

Jane has also completed an ocean collage mural at Baltimore’s National Aquarium, which I’m dying to go see, using a combination of paint and cut paper techniques, and that perfectly leading into part two of this post.

Jane-Kim_livingseashore_inkdwell_18-960x423_AIEClick here to read more of the full story...

Another amazingly talented artist using Nature and animals as their inspiration is Calvin Nichols. He creates incredibly intricate paper sculptures. He’s such a keen observer of his subjects. It’s almost as if he’s created a 3D format for scientific illustration. I love how the pieces break their framed boundaries, which is very indicative of trompe l’oeil artwork, but this is not because you know it is not real, however, the intricacy and detail is just as jaw- dropping in wonderment.

(Most of the wording below is taken from the email that I received — so I cannot take credit for it.)

1_Paper Sculpture Calvin Nichols_AIEHe has worked 25 years to perfect his method. First he draws his subject, then he cuts paper shapes to create the foundation or form upon which more intricate cut paper is adhereed on top. It must take pain-staking patience. (Something I lose more and more as I get older.)

This particular series is appropriately titled, “Paper Zoo.”Fish_Paper Sculpture Calvin Nichols_AIEBut he doesn’t just draw on it. He shapes it to create intricate works of staggering detail and beauty. 2_Paper Sculpture Calvin Nichols_bear-process_AIE 3_Paper Sculpture Calvin Nichols_bear_AIETo make the art, he starts by observing real-life animals and their movements. He takes numerous sketches that he will later use as reference for his paper art. He then cuts up thousands of tiny pieces of paper and pastes them together to form each animal. 4_Paper Sculpture Calvin Nichols_hummingbird process_AIE 5_Paper Sculpture Calvin Nichols_hummingbird_AIE 6_Owl_Paper Sculpture Calvin Nichols_AIEThe texture he is able to achieve with this technique is astounding. Given that he’s only working with white paper, the details must be exactly right in order to create the appropriate depth and shadowing. Each small piece can take many weeks to complete. Owl Paper Sculpture Calvin Nichols_AIEIt’s incredibly delicate work. Each small piece can take many weeks to complete. Flying Birds_Paper Sculpture Calvin Nichols_AIEWhile the bigger ones can take months, or even years. Flying Doves_Paper Sculpture Calvin Nichols_AIE Dog_Paper Sculpture Calvin Nichols_AIE

The texture he’s been able to achieve gives the illusion that it must be soft. Make you want to touch it to find out.

Fox_Paper Sculpture Calvin Nichols_AIEHis work has been featured in National Geographic, as well as numerous galleries and art shows all over the world.

The porcupine is probably my favorite with all those wispy paper pieces.Porcupine_Paper Sculpture Calvin Nichols_AIEHe uses X-ACTO knives, scalpels, and scissors in the construction of his critters. Beavers_Paper Sculpture Calvin Nichols_AIE Bobcat_Paper Sculpture Calvin Nichols_AIE Mama Monkey_Paper Sculpture Calvin Nichols_AIEThis intricacy of this money and his face captures our emotion when viewing.Monkey Surprise_Paper Sculpture Calvin Nichols_AIE Orangutan_Paper Sculpture Calvin Nichols_AIE Bamboo Bear_Paper Sculpture Calvin Nichols_AIEThe commitment these amazing pieces of art require is just mind-blowing. Can you imagine how frustrating it would be if you messed up a little detail on those pieces? Talent like this just doesn’t come around that often.

I’m not sure how he was able to achieve the realism of these zebras with different colored paper but his work is for sale and he does demonstrations, so worth looking into.Zebras_Paper Sculpture Calvin Nichols_AIEIf you’d like to learn more, for there is not much info about this artist on his website except that he is from Canada, go to his Facebook page to see his most recent news.

In keeping with our animal inspiration theme and with Mother’s Day this weekend, here’s a beautiful mural that could use some motherly care in the Mothers Building, which was originally designed to be a resting place for nursing mothers at the San Francisco Zoo. The building, with its Greco-Roman style and WPA project murals, was built in 1925 but has been closed to the public since 2002. The murals visually depict the story of Noah’s Ark in the largest existing, egg tempera work in the Western US. They could soon be lost and are in need of repair. Click here to read more of the story.

Full Mothers Building Mural_475x316_AIE

images via San Francisco Chronicle

Mothers Building Mural_475x316_AIE Lamas in Mothers Building Mural_475x316_AIE

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