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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: architecture, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 26 - 50 of 175
26. Gallery: The Organic Architecture of “The Flintstones”

The Flintstones have been duly celebrated throughout the years, but one part of the Hanna-Barbera series that hasn’t received much attention is its iconic architectural setting: those brilliantly appealing and organic circular ranch houses topped with pancaked granite slabs.

The designer of the prehistoric Flintstones universe was a man named Ed Benedict (1912-2006), the same man who designed the show’s characters.

Benedict dreamt up the Flintstones homes almost entirely from imagination. He was once asked if he used any reference to design them. He replied, “No, with the exception of on the interior of one of the samples I made, I did look up some prehistoric stuff—cave paintings. I just looked up in there and got the old typical buffalo looking thing running across a wall, just to get the flavor of it.”

Benedict had had a bit of practice with this kind of work. He had designed cavemen and cavehomes once before for the 1955 Tex Avery short The First Bad Man:

The cave homes in The First Bad Man, built into the sides of rock formations, look uncomfortable compared to the domesticated setting of the Flintstones, replete with garages, front yards with flower beds, swimming pools and living rooms with couches. Benedict probably didn’t come up with the original idea of allowing the Flintstones all the creature comforts of suburbia, but the credit for making the idea work visually belongs to him.

The Flintstones designs in the image gallery below were created by Benedict for the original network presentation. These pieces established the general look and feel of the Flintstones universe and served as a guide for the layout artists who were charged with building out the world in each episode. A rare photographic print set of these drawings is currently being auctioned on HowardLowery.com.

flintstone-a flintstone-b flintstone-c flintstone-d flintstone-e flintstone-f flintstone-g flintstone-h flintstone-i flintstone-j flintstone-k flintstones-l

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27. Part 3: How the golden mean caught on with artists

After considering the Parthenon and Leonardo Da Vinci, let's see if we can continue taking a rational look at the claims about "phi," (or the "golden mean" or "golden ratio") that has been so popular with artists.

The story gets more complex in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as artists begin to consciously adopt it in their work, and so it gets harder to separate fact from fiction. Let's start with what we know for sure.

One of the nineteenth century champions of the golden mean was German psychologist Adolf Zeising (1810-1876) who found the golden mean in nature, especially in branching patterns, leaves, and seed patterns. These manifestations of the ratio are acknowledged by even the most skeptical scientists.

Over the years scientists have found other places where the golden mean turns up. In 2010, the journal Science published a paper about how these numerical patterns appear in crystals at the atomic scale.

The golden mean appears most often in terms of numerical relations, such as the Fibonacci numbers that appear in flowerheads, seeds, and shells.

Zeisler promoted the idea that the golden mean could be found in the Parthenon and the works of Leonardo. He made broad claims that the golden ratio was: 
"the universal law in which is contained the ground-principle of all formative striving for beauty and completeness in the realms of both nature and art, and which permeates, as a paramount spiritual ideal, all structures, forms and proportions, whether cosmic or individual, organic or inorganic, acoustic or optical; which finds its fullest realization, however, in the human form." 
Whether or not Zeisler's ideas had a solid grounding in observable fact, they caught on with artists and mystics. 

A group of painters led by Jacques Villon and called "Section d’Or," (French: “Golden Section”) held exhibitions in Paris between 1912 and 1914. They included Juan Gris, Robert Delaunay and Giro Severini and several others, though not all used the mathematical principles. Later artists such as Salvador Dali also claimed to use golden mean principles. 

In the 1920s, Jay Hambidge, a student of William Merritt Chase, published a book called Dynamic Symmetry  which presented a grid system based on the golden mean. The system was picked up by artists such as Maxfield Parrish, whose preliminary drawing for the famous painting "Daybreak" is above. Here's one person's analysis of the structure behind Daybreak. 


Above: Architects' Data (German: Bauentwurfslehre) First published in 1936 by Ernst Neufert,

Golden mean principles were adopted in extremely different quarters in the twentieth century. Many readers of this blog are acquainted with them in the context of contemporary realist ateliers.

The methods were also embraced by the Bauhaus school (literally "House of Construction"), founded by Walter Gropius in Germany between World War I and II, and run by influential architects such as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. 

The Swiss architect Le Corbusier, who championed the international style of building design, used the golden ratio and the Fibonacci series as a central tenet of his teaching. He described the patterns as:
 "rhythms apparent to the eye and clear in their relations with one another. And these rhythms are at the very root of human activities. They resound in man by an organic inevitability, the same fine inevitability which causes the tracing out of the Golden Section by children, old men, savages and the learned."
Many Bauhaus teachers emigrated to America, where their ideas about the golden section became incorporated in university art educations, where they are taught to this day. 

Tomorrow we can evaluate claims of Zeisler and Le Corbusier about whether the golden mean really does appear in natural forms such as the human figure.
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Book: The Elements of Dynamic Symmetry (Dover Art Instruction)
Book: Bauhaus 1919-1933 (Taschen 25)
Book: Maxfield Parrish by Coy Ludwig
Photos of planet, hand, etc. from here
Previously in the Golden Mean series on GurneyJourney

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28. Mythbusting the Golden Mean, Part 1

In architecture and design schools, it's common to hear the claim that "golden mean" geometry was used in the design of ancient buildings, especially the Parthenon. 


According to mathematician Keith Devlin of the Mathematical Association of America, this is a groundless myth, with no basis in fact whatsoever.



The golden mean (also known as the golden ratio or the divine proportion) refers to the relationship of 1:1.618..., an irrational number also known as "Phi." The ratio is found in nature, and has been championed in the last two centuries, but many other claims are unfounded. Although Greek mathematicians knew about Phi, there is not a shred of evidence that any Greek architect used such a system as a design principle. Euclid's study of Phi occurred long after the Parthenon was already finished. Devlin says:
"The oft repeated assertion that the Parthenon in Athens is based on the golden ratio is not supported by actual measurements. In fact, the entire story about the Greeks and golden ratio seems to be without foundation. Numerous tests have failed to show up any one rectangle that most observers prefer, and preferences are easily influenced by other factors. As to the Parthenon, all it takes is more than a cursory glance at all the photos on the Web that purport to show the golden ratio in the structure, to see that they do nothing of the kind. (Look carefully at where and how the superimposed rectangle - usually red or yellow - is drawn and ask yourself: why put it exactly there and why make the lines so thick?)"
In the examples above, the placement of the golden rectangle doesn't agree from one diagram to the next. In the top example, the sides of the rectangle hug the columns, and in the next, they're touching the edges of the pediment. In some, the bottom of some rectangles correspond to the bottom of the columns, while in others, they're several steps down the base. In the middle example above with the white lines, the source photo itself seems to be stretched vertically by about 15%.

According to University of Chicago math professor Phil Keenan, it doesn't matter how you arrange the diagram, because the lines in the Parthenon aren't straight or parallel anyway due to entasis and other factors. He says:
"One cannot define an exact rectangle on the front or back faces of the Parthenon. Even though the Parthenon is built to extremely accurate specifications, its curvature precludes rectangular measurements of any greater precision than about 1%. This built-in error precludes finding any Golden Mean rectangles, since the required accuracy is simply not attainable."

George Markowky elaborates:
"The dimensions of the Parthenon vary from source to source probably because different authors are measuring between different points. With so many numbers available a golden ratio enthusiast could choose whatever numbers gave the best result."
Keenan points out that, "the presence of the Golden Mean in the Parthenon was postulated by Adolf Zeising in the 1850s, and appears nowhere in ancient Greek architectural treatises."
Devlin concludes: "I am not convinced that the Parthenon has anything to do with the Golden Ratio."

Anticipating some questions and comments:
Does the golden mean appear in nature? Yes, and I'll get to that later in the series.
Is it a useful tool for composition or analysis? Sure, if it works for you. Busting this myth doesn't take away anyone's candy.
Do contemporary architects use it? Bauhaus training has reinforced both the myth and the practice.

Since this topic is likely to raise some discussion, may I suggest that before commenting you please read at least Devlin's article, cited below:
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The Myth That Will Not Go Away by Keith Devlin
Misconceptions about the Golden Ratio by George Markowsky
Debunked Legends About the Golden Ratio by Julia and Jesse Galef
Meandering Through Mathematics by Phil Keenan, Ph.D.
Diagrams from this, this, and this website

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29. Make It New, Make It Fit

When I was 12 years old, Aunt Sophie gave me my first book on architecture: Sir Banister Fletcher's A History of Architecture on the Comparative Method. I think Aunt Sophie liked it because it was elegant and English. I liked it because it had 3,500 drawings. Originally published in 1896, running to 20 editions (Aunt [...]

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30. R.I.P.

I decided to design my own tombstone.
Pencil and pen. 16cm x 16cm. Click to enlarge.

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31. Illustration Academy: Project #1 (Part 2)


This is the second image I created at the Illustration Academy for the first project (for more details scroll down ever-so-slightly and check out yesterday's post). I probably created 50 different thumbnails for this because I wanted to ditch linear perspective and yet still give the viewer the sense they were above the guy on the stairs. Alas, it was a no go. Turns out you still gotta' use a couple vanishing points sometimes (but god bless Brunelleschi for figuring it all out)

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32. Architectural Cast Collections

In the 19th century, several museums assembled collections of full-size plaster casts of architectural details, such as doorways and choir stalls. The philosophy was that "a replica of a masterpiece was superior to a mediocre original." 


I made these pencil studies in the 1985 at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. At left is an ornate Celtic wood-carved ornament. On the right is a 15th century Spanish cloister doorway.

In an age when travel to Europe was a rarity for average Americans, cast collections gave everyone a chance to see masterpieces of architecture. They also provided architecture students with fine examples to study, especially when the original detail is high up or otherwise inaccessible.


According to the Carnegie Museum, which has a fine collection, "In the 19th century, the demand for plaster casts skyrocketed. As centerpieces of the great international fairs, casts nourished nationalistic pride, while independent cast galleries served the Victorian fervor for education by providing instruction to both the amateur and the art student. Also, the dominance of historical styles in premodern architecture required that the architecture student study the outstanding buildings of the past; in this pursuit, plaster casts played an essential role."

Unfortunately, twentieth century trends conspired against architectural cast collections. Making casts from fragile originals is no longer possible. The study of ornament fell out of favor in architecture schools. Museums came to prefer originals over reproductions. And casts take up a lot of space in museums.

In 1949, the Art Institute of Chicago intentionally destroyed their cast collection, and many other museums and universities followed suit. In 2005, the Metropolitan Museum dispersed its architectural cast collection. Two of the lucky recipients were the architecture school of the University of Notre Dame in Indiana and the Institute of Classical Architecture in New York.

If you live near London, Edinburgh, Pittsburgh, South Bend, or New York, visit their collections with a sketchbook, and make sure you let the museums know that you appreciate them keeping their collection on view.
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More info and links:
I just finished writing an article on plein-air studies of architecture for ImagineFX magazine, so that will be out in a couple of months.
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Victoria and Albert architecture collection/ History of the Cast Courts
Carnegie Hall of Architecture
University of Notre Dame Cast Collection
View the UND collection online via gigapan technology
Institute of Classical Architecture and Art in NYC
Edinburgh Cast Collection
George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum in Springfield, Massachusetts
Previous GJ post on figural plaster casts

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33. João Filgueiras Lima: Edifício Morro Vermelho

edifício morro vermelho

For fans of brutalist architecture, feast your eyes on this beautiful slice of Brasilian modernism conceived by architect João Filgueiras Lima. The Edifício Morro Vermelho complex, aka “Red Hill” housing. features a series of swiveling bright orange fiberglass panels that are not only pleasing to the eyes but also act as a functional shading device.

edifício morro vermelho

Photos via Seier + Seier

Also worth viewing:
Kurokawa Nakagin Capsule Hotel
The architecture of Gomorrah
Space age soviet architcture

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34. Understanding Olympic design

By Jilly Traganou


After attending the “Because” event at the Wolff Olins office on July 4th, I was once again reminded of the big disconnect that lies between designers and their public. Wolff Olins is the firm that designed the London 2012 brand, a multifaceted design campaign that included much more than the London 2012 logo. Readers may remember the numerous complaints that the logo generated. As my research revealed, this was caused partly due to International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s restrictions and the corporate unwillingness to allow for the full application of what might be seen as a “no logo” campaign.

Wolff Olins proposed an open-source framework that would integrate the public by providing a design language that could be shaped into new forms and messages. The designers’ intention was to “hand over some tools that would allow people to make everything they wanted.” Design would be “off the podium, onto the streets.” But neither the public nor the broader designers’ community were ready to accept that the Wolff Olins team showed no compliance to the usual set of corporate instruction and that what they were trying to achieve lied beyond the creation of beautiful forms.

London 2012 event. Photo by Gary Etchell. Used with permission. All rights reserved. http://www.flickr.com/photos/gary8345/557769058/

The designers’ goal was to evoke an effect similar to that of the Mexico 1968 design: a visual language designed by Lance Wyman that was not only appropriated by the counter-Olympic movement, but also marked future visual languages developed by local designers in Mexico. In a way, Wolff Olins’ design succeeded in its adaptability, even though its multiple viral deconstructed versions that appeared on the streets and online were meant to primarily express conspiracy and protest, or even a disdain for the very visual language that the designers provided (and which these “dissidents” are now using).

But why would designers today strive for openness and participation? And why should IOC, London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), or the general public be indifferent or even hostile to these intentions? After all, are there any designs that would meet the aspirations of all stakeholders: Olympic organizers, designers, and their multiple publics? The Olympics, as indeed most public events, are complex platforms that bring to the surface deep social conflicts and generate heated debates about the notion of public good. The new temporary or permanent configurations that are designed for the Olympics express these tensions and often become the targets of opposing voices.

Everyone today recognizes that the modern Olympics only partly concern sports. Few, though, are aware of the multiplicity of the design engagements that are mobilized for their realization. Being characterized as something between urban festivals and quasi-religious events, the Olympics have a strong ceremonial character that design generates. Hundreds of designers are mobilized to create a series of objects (logos, posters, uniforms, mascots, souvenirs) that are indispensable for the Olympic ensemble. This may seem to some a contemporary distortion to the original 19th century idea of the modern Olympics’ founder, Pierre De Coubertin, but Coubertin was keenly aware of the importance of design for the identity of the Games. He designed what has been credited as the most recognizable logo in the word, the Olympic rings, and spent considerable energy in prescribing the ceremonial characteristics of the event, with writings on subjects that ranged from attention to lighting and decoration, to specifications on the architecture of the venues.

Photograph in newspaper (unspecified) of Richard Beck working on the design for the Olympic poster. This proto-version differs from the final design, particularly in its typography. Collection: Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, 92/1256–1/4. Used with permission.

The design for the Olympics has been an overlooked subject in the fields of design history and Olympic studies alike. Olympic design’s role as an instrument of modernity becomes obvious, for instance, in the way British athletes’ uniforms were designed for the early Opening Ceremonies, expressing but also helping to shape the identity of modern Britain. The Melbourne 1956 poster designer, Richard Beck, abandoned the neoclassical body of the male athlete that characterized earlier Olympic posters for a non-figurative composition along the tenets of modern design.

As it has become only too obvious with the current case of London, in late modernity the Olympics are also an opportunity for new infrastructure projects and major real estate enterprise, which leave a debatable legacy to the host-city. Planners, architects, and urbanists play a major role in this process, as well as those who sponsor, lease, or invest in the projects in the longue durée of the post-Olympic era. The design for the Mexico 1968 Olympics had significant ideological implications for the social segregation that marked the future of Mexico City. The architecture of the Athens 2004 Olympics is emblematic of ‘instant monumentality’ and a lack of legacy planning that has characterized many modern Olympics.

At the same time, the high visibility, budget, and scale of the Olympics have provided designers with opportunities to realize ambitions that are not possible through ordinary projects, and to envision ideas that are often too advanced for their times. Katsumi Masaru for instance insisted in compiling a design manual for the Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games (a set of prescriptions that would secure the unified application of the graphics, and thus a cohesive Olympic image), even though he knew too well that it could hardly be applied in the Tokyo Olympics per se. Indeed it was completed just before the start of the Games leaving nevertheless an important legacy for all forthcoming Olympics for which a design manual became a staple. Should we similarly expect that the “no logo” idea of the London 2012, with its openness and lack of corporate compliance, is signaling a new paradigm shift?

Jilly Traganou is Associate Professor in Spatial Design Studies at the School of Art and Design History and Theory, at Parsons The New School for Design in New York. She has published widely in academic journals, has authored The Tokaido Road: Traveling and Representation in Edo and Meiji Japan (Routledge, 2003) and co-edited Travel, Space, Architecture (Ashgate, 2009). She is currently working on a new book Designing the Olympics: (post-) National Identity in the Age of Globalization. Traganou has recently edited a special issue titled “Design Histories of the Olympic Games” for the Journal of Design History, where she also serves as Reviews Editor.

The new issue of the Journal of Design History titled “Design Histories of the Olympic Games” introduces the Olympics as a multifaceted design operation that generates diverse, often conflicting, agendas. Who creates the rhetorical framework of the Olympics, and how is this expressed or reshaped by design? What kind of ambitions do designers realize through their engagement with the Olympics? What overall purposes do the Olympics and their designs serve? ‘The Design Histories of the Olympic Games’ brings together writings by a new generation of scholars that cross the boundaries between traditional disciplines and domains of knowledge. Some of the articles look at the role of Olympic design (fashion design and graphic design) in representing national identity. Other articles look at the interconnected area of architecture, urbanism and infrastructure and the permanent legacy that these leave to the host city. You can view more on the Journal of Design History’s Design Histories of the Olympic Games Pinterest board too.

Subscribe to the OUPblog via email or RSS.
Subscribe to only art and architecture articles on the OUPblog via email or RSS.
Read more blog posts about the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

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35. Michael Graves Talks About Lost Art Of Drawing In Architecture

Architect and industrial designer Michael Graves, in an op-ed piece in the New York Times, laments the lost art of drawing in architectural practice. His thoughts have obvious parallels with the world of computer animation, though thankfully, drawing still plays a major role in many CG creations.

Grave doesn’t have a problem with computers “as long as it’s not just that.” He talks about the creative possibilities that are opened up through the act of drawing, and uses as an example a drawing jam session he once had with a colleague:

Our game was not about winners or losers, but about a shared language. We had a genuine love for making this drawing. There was an insistence, by the act of drawing, that the composition would stay open, that the speculation would stay “wet” in the sense of a painting. Our plan was without scale and we could as easily have been drawing a domestic building as a portion of a city. It was the act of drawing that allowed us to speculate.

As I work with my computer-savvy students and staff today, I notice that something is lost when they draw only on the computer. It is analogous to hearing the words of a novel read aloud, when reading them on paper allows us to daydream a little, to make associations beyond the literal sentences on the page. Similarly, drawing by hand stimulates the imagination and allows us to speculate about ideas, a good sign that we’re truly alive.


Cartoon Brew | Permalink | No comment | Post tags: ,

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36. ImagineFX on Sketching Buildings

The new ImagineFX magazine is on the newsstands in Britain, and soon will be in the States. It has an article that I wrote on sketching architecture on location.

Since ImagineFX specializes in fantasy, science fiction, and concept art, I emphasized how on-the-spot work fits into my imaginative painting, and how I sometimes give a surrealistic twist to what I observe.

The article has quite a few images that haven't been published before, and I hope it will be inspiring both to digital and traditional artists, whether you do fantasy or not.

The magazine includes work by the 2011 Rising Stars winners, Marta Nael, Jean-Sebastien Rossbach, David Gaillet, Eric Deschamps. And one more extra: The magazine comes with a free DVD with one of my painting videos on it. By the way, when you're at the bookstore or newsstand, look for the magazine in the computer section, not in the art section.
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ImagineFX magazine
Video produced by IFX about the entire issue,

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37. Legends of the Arch Bridge

"There is nothing in machinery, there is nothing in embankments and railways and iron bridges and engineering devices to oblige them to be ugly. Ugliness is the measure of imperfection," wrote H.G. Wells. One gets the feeling that Oregon master bridge builder Conde McCullough read Wells and took his exhortation to heart, because Conde didn't [...]

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38. The Mill of Meaninglessness

How my ancestors made their fortune.
Pen and ink with digital colour 11.5cm x 11.5cm. Click to enlarge.

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39. Bury the Moon

Some thoughts put down on paper today:

  • The identical twins, one was beautiful, the other considered ugly
  • An incredibly sophisticated object
  • Cut a painting in half to double its value
  • Nonsense objects for wealthy idiots
  • A dog specially trained to sniff out art
  • Shit....a new asset class
  • The perfectionist crosses himself out
  • The Earth destroyed by a planet sized Ferrero-Rocher
  • The Church of Coltrane
  • A tax inspector set to the plough
  • Why should the moon care about howling dogs?
Pen and wash with digital colour. A4 size. Click to enlarge

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40. Long ago and Carraway

Just finished this woodcut for an ex libris for an American client.
Woodcut 30cm x 20cm. Click to enlarge.

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41. Travel Sketch: Las Vegas


Went on a trip to Vegas recently. Very interesting place. Odd too. They've created something unique there.

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42. Review: Earth-Friendly Buildings, Bridges and More: The Eco-Journal of Corry Lapont by Etta Kaner

Venture into the world of marvels of engineering with "green" building advocate, Corry Lapont. Click here to read my full review.

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43. Steeplechase

TOP: It's time to replace some of those old worn out religious brand identities with new religious symbols. Here are two of my ideas to get the ball rolling.
BOTTOM: While we're at it, let's think outside the box and make full use of recent technological advances in the design church steeples.
Pen and ink with wash 14cm x 9cm. Click to enlarge.

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44. The Leek and Astrolabe, Now in 3D

You need those red/cyan glasses to view this in awesome 3D. My eternal gratitude to The Wagman for performing the conversion.
Pen and ink with watercolour and 3D conversion. Click to enlarge.

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45. Langweil's model of Prague



(Video link) Antonín Langweil began as a painter of miniature portraits. Then, starting in 1826, he began his big project: a detailed model of the city of Prague. 

He measured each building and then drew the elevations on stiff paper. 

Then the paper could be folded and attached together. This is a good way to make reference maquettes, too.

Langweil's Prague is scaled at 1:480, and includes not only an accurate portrait of each building, but also tiny details such as signs and sundials.

The model is a valuable document for historians of the city because it shows how things looked before 20th century modernization efforts.
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46. Inspired by Granada

Granada really captured my imagination, and I’m not the first. The city’s ancient Moorish palace, the Alhambra, was brought to worldwide attention by American author Washington Irving, who stayed there briefly in 1829. Yes, that’s Washington Irving of Sleepy Hollow fame. Read more about the Alhambra’s history, starting in the 9th century, here.

After his visit to Granada, Irving wrote Tales of the Alhambra, which sparked interest in the beautiful, crumbling building complex. Fifty years later (it wasn’t the age of the internet, after all), the movement to restore the Alhambra had begun.

Nice to hear about an American writer doing something good abroad!

It’s easy to see why he was so inspired. I found myself wanting to move into the Alhambra. While the castles in northern Europe are impressive in their own right, the Moorish palace made me want to hang out on a chaise lounge, write a novel, and throw a party when the sun went down.

A good spot for a window seat, no?

This was one of my favorite views of the Alhambra (there in the distance). This tower in the foreground, we discovered, is an 11th century minaret, the only remains of a mosque that was destroyed after Isabella and Ferdinand’s army conquered Granada. As in many places, a church was built right where the mosque stood.

It seems to be fairly common that one minaret was left when a mosque was destroyed (for instance, you see it also at Seville’s cathedral). If anyone knows more about the story behind that, I’d be interested to know.

As one of the last holdouts of the Moors, the whole city of Granada has a very strong Moorish influence. The ancient Muslim Albayzin quarter is particularly fascinating, with its maze-like cobbled paths and tangle of ancient white-stone buildings. And as I mentioned before, the food was great!

I threw some more Spain pictures up on my flickr gallery, so hop over there if you like. I went gaga over the tilework at the Alhambra and at the palace in Seville, the Alcazar. Sooo gorgeous! And I kept thinking: quilts, quilts, quilts!  So many ideas, so little time.

Travel Tip: if you’re interested in seeing the Alhambra, make sure you book tickets well in advance via the Alhambra website. We did book ahead but we still ha

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47. In April, Come He Will

"In April come he will
In May he sings all day
In June he changes his tune
In July he makes ready to fly
In August go he must"

That's my summer sorted, then.
Pen and ink with watercolour. 15cm x 36cm. Click to enlarge.

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48. The Enchanted Kettle

I partook of The Enchanted Kettle and before I knew it I had delivered a fresh Moon to the Hawaiians. Unfortunately the islands were abandoned: the inhabitants had been severely traumatised by reading Tales Told to Polish Children. Several queer and lowly creatures carried my brushes away.
Watercolour, gouache and biro. A4 size. Click to enlarge.

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49. The Day the Kinema Came

The day the kinema arrived in my remote village.
Ink, gouache, watercolour on sugar paper. A4 size. Click to enlarge.

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50. The Burial Vault

Last Sunday, while my wife sang sacred harp music with Bard College students in the meeting hall, I sat outside nearby painting the burial vault. 


As the shadows flickered across the stones, I could hear the music and words of a song called "Greenwich" drifting out from the chapel.
Lord, what a thoughtless wretch was I,
To mourn, and murmur, and repine,
To see the wicked placed on high,
In pride and robes of honor shine! 
But O their end, their dreadful end.
Thy sanctuary taught me so;
On slipp'ry rocks I see them stand,
And fiery billows roll below.

—Words by Isaac Watts, 1719

Bard's sacred harp (Shapenote singing) club is led by Benjamin Bath and is open to all.
Bartlett Burial Vault.
Sacred Harp music on Wikipedia
See and hear a group singing Greenwich 183 on YouTube

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