Bull in a china shop skills

Using my ‘bull in a china shop’ gardening skills’ – I spent most of Saturday topping off high hedgerows and trimming down their sides, all in preparation for my feathered friends to start nesting. Fortunately it was a beautiful bright spring day; unfortunately throughout the evolution I inhaled dust clouds and fine debris through the process, which left me chock-a-block this morning. Nothing that a few hot toddies couldn’t sort out this cold evening. Having viewed the following picture, I may have got the Bushmills Whiskey mix wrong – or not as the case may be…        Click to enlarge for the full effect.the_architect_erik_johansson_1

It’s the work of Erik Johansson;“A photographer and ‘retoucher’ from Sweden who uses photography as a way of collecting material to realise ideas in his mind.”  Dear Gawd; I think my stabilisers have gone slightly skew-whiff, as I appear to be listing to port! Speaking of which, I’ve just thought of the prefect night-cap that is also a decongestant ‘cough, wheeze, and splutter’ purely for medicinal reasons of course…      Yours Aye.

The Great Picture project

The worlds largest photograph measuring 31 ft high & 107ft wide goes on display.article-2626977-1DCCB11400000578-891_636x382 The snap, called ‘The Great Picture’, measures a huge 3,375 square foot size and was taken using the world’s biggest camera. It shows an abandoned United States Marine Corps air station in Southern California and was created by six artists – Jerry Burchfield, Mark Chamberlain, Jacques Garnier, Rob Johnson, Douglas McCulloh, and Clayton Spada – along with hundreds of volunteers.        USMC Air Station El ToroUSMC Air Station El ToroWorlds-largest-photograph-measuring-31ft-high-107ft-wide-goes-display

The concept of a bespoke wallpaper image taken from a favourite photograph has been around for a while now, www.mrperswall.co.uk  When I move from my humble abode I intend on transferring my office view to wallpaper, as there are far too many memories to leave behind.                  Yours Aye.

A Coat of Arms

understanding-your-coat-of-arms_52f89dad449ce_w1500The amazing work of Joe Shervell, London, United Kingdom.

The College of Arms is the official heraldic authority for England, Wales, Northern Ireland and much of the Commonwealth including Australia and New Zealand. As well as being responsible for the granting of new coats of arms, the College maintains registers of arms, pedigrees, genealogies, Royal Licences, changes of name, and flags. The heralds, besides having ceremonial duties, advise on all matters relating to the peerage and baronetage, precedence, honours and ceremonial as well as national and community symbols including flags. 

Here endeth todays historical lesson…      Yours Aye.

Guinness World Record wood carving

article-2509367-197BDB7400000578-683_964x624A Chinese artist has won a place in the Guinness Book of Records after creating the world’s longest wooden carving. Zheng Chunhui, a famous wood carver, spent four years creating the artwork which is over 40 ft long and made from a single tree trunk. The scene is actually a copy of the famous Chinese painting ‘Along the River During the Qingming Festival’ which was created over 1,000 years ago. article-2509367-197BDB4C00000578-405_964x563Though it has been replicated many times, Chunhui’s version, which is made from a single piece of tree trunk, is surely the most spectacular. The intricate work features boats, bridges, building and even 550 individually carved people. The piece measures 12.286 meters long, is 3.075 meters tall at it highest point, and is also 2.401 meters wide. The original painting, referred to as the ‘Chinese Mona Lisa’ because of its fame, was completed during the Song Dynasty by artist Zhang Zeduan. A ‘whittle’ goes a long-long way! Chinese wood art breaks record for longest carving out of single piece of timberarticle-2509367-197BDB6900000578-306_964x565You would have to have a cold heart not to respect the workmanship, dedication, and artistic flair presented within this fascinating piece. Did someone mention Guinness?      Yours Aye.

Super Heroes with Corporate Sponsorship

What would happen if big business started sponsoring Super Heroes? Many of our favorite superheroes are wealthy, sponsored by the government, or otherwise manage to scrape together the funds to keep up their crime-fighting lifestyles. But what if super- heroes instead took on corporate sponsorships, bearing the colors and logo of whichever company paid their way? Would city-shattering battles turn into scenes of corporate warfare? That’s the question that Roberto Vergati Santos invites with his Sponsored Heroes series. Santos takes images of familiar superheroes from movies, television, and comics, and assigns each one a brand. It’s a simple execution, but one that forces us to contemplate how easy it could be to see super-powered folks sporting Adidas exclusively, or earning a little extra income from Red Bull. What happens when super-heroes stop fighting for the American way and start fighting for the American corporation?corporate_sponsored_superheroes_18  Thankfully the manufactures of Preparation H, and Anusal ointment were left out of the equation when the theme of corporate sponsors occurred to Roberto Vergati Santoscorporate_sponsored_superheroes_19corporate_sponsored_superheroes_23

 And what ‘really’ happens when Super Heroes enter the twilight years of life?aging_superhero_oil_paintings_laging_superhero_oil_paintings_3Artist Andreas Englund has an idea or two… that doesn’t bear thinking about.   Yours Aye.

The best of Man’s Best Friend

article-2462959-18C7A17700000578-993_636x382Stunning photographs show dogs of all shapes and sizes at work and play The series of pictures were picked from almost 8,000 submissions for the Kennel Club’s annual Dog Photographer of the Year Competition. Roger Sjolstad from Norway has been selected as the overall winner of the competition with his dynamic image of a young girl and a Great Dane running through water, which was the winner of the ‘Man’s Best Friend’ category.article-2462959-18C61D5100000578-169_964x1415Police dog Harry nuzzles a worried looking Archie the puppy on his first day home in this touching image by Simon Reynolds.      Click on the pics to enlarge…Nipper scenting rabbitsThe one above is my own that I sneaked in when none of you were looking! Nipper scenting and chasing rabbits (that have long gone back into their warrens). Yours Aye.

Banksy, an Englishman in New York

Sorry New York, but you have one of our graffiti artists visiting you from England, who goes by the name of Banksy a great artist but also a criminal. But! If you are ‘fortunate’ to have one of his pieces sprayed over your wall or door, please think twice about spraying over it, or scrubbing it out, because his art work graffiti is deemed as collectable, pieces can sell for hundreds of thousands of £/$ (please delete where appropriate). Banksy speaks! Elusive graffiti artist gives rare interview to talk about his new project in New York Citybt0hv6k2i2noex7olcgci2d0jdlzevzinzw8zhz1banksy-graffitiBetter Out than In: An Artist Residency on the Streets of New York Love him or loath him, he does produce some ironic, thought provoking graffiti.           Yours Aye.

The fallen. 21st September 2013

A misnomer in one sense, but a tribute none the less, as this year, 2013, the International Day of Peace fell on Saturday, 21st September. To commemorate the day a pair of British artists created a stunning installation of 9,000 silhouettes on a D-Day Landings beach The project, named, ‘The Fallen’ was a tribute to the Allies, civilians, and German forces who lost their lives during the ‘Operation Neptune’ landing on June 6, 1944. The design was the brainchild of British Artists Jamie Wardley, 33, & Andy Moss, 50. Together with a team of hundreds of volunteers the pair travelled to Arromanches beach, Normandy, to create the silhouettes, which were individually drawn into the sand. The shapes were then left to the mercy of the tide which washed away the ‘fallen’ after around four and a half hours.                       article-2429903-18314F7700000578-966_634x475article-2429903-183153EA00000578-818_634x474To understand the true scale of the task ahead of the Allies on the morning of 6th June 1944, you have to visit and put yourself in their place, and walk the various beaches taken by them. Raw courage, and pure determination won the day, at a terrible cost.  Yours Aye.

Easy-peasy for Japanesey…

While most people kill time on a commute by catching up on a book, listening to music or indulging in some Sudoku, one Japanese office worker is up to something quite different. Seikou Yamaoka, who studied at Osaka University of Arts, uses his iPad to create incredible finger painting portraits with the app ArtStudio. His stunning works look like they’ve been painted with oil or acrylic, not with just his fingers and his Apple device.article-2429833-1831412900000578-680_634x821article-2429833-18313FFD00000578-620_634x876Finger painting goes hi-tech: Japanese office workers’ stunning iPad sketches are amazing I would give my right arm to be able to draw or paint (being right handed that puts me at a great disadvantage straight away)? Even using an iPad to paint is one step too far; having fingers the size of oxygen bottles I some times struggle texting…                                    Yours Aye.

Brendan O’Connell Paints Like a Four Year Old

When I read this comment about Brendan O’Connell, the artist:

What intrigues me is the distinct possibility that 100 years from now, people will find O’Connell’s pictures of the isles of WalMart as intriguing as we find the Degas’ and Toulouse-Lautrec’s portrayals of the bars and dance halls of turn of the century Paris

I don’t expect it to be referring to a painting like this:

Brendan O'Connell also crowdsources the photographs he uses as fodder for his paintings. This piece, which shows men buying candies and Valentine's Day cards for their sweethearts, was based on a submission.
Brendan O’Connell also crowdsources the photographs he uses as fodder for his paintings. This piece, which shows men buying candies and Valentine’s Day cards for their sweethearts, was based on a submission.

Let’s not pretend like he has talent. I’ve seen five year olds with more skill. Check out this talented local artist, Letty Nowak.

Indians Pay Tribute to Margaret Thatcher

Indians pay tribute beside a sand sculpture of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, made by sand artist Sudersan Pattnaik, at the Golden Sea beach in Puri, about 65 kilometers from the eastern Indian city of Bhubaneswar. Britain will hold the funeral of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher on Wednesday April 17 with Queen Elizabeth II leading the mourners, officials said,
Indians pay tribute beside a sand sculpture of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, made by sand artist Sudersan Pattnaik, at the Golden Sea beach in Puri, about 65 kilometers from the eastern Indian city of Bhubaneswar. Britain will hold the funeral of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher on Wednesday April 17 with Queen Elizabeth II leading the mourners, officials said.

Tilda Swinton, Communist?

In an earlier post, Ex Bootneck confessed to watching Top Gun for twenty minutes and Billy Elliot for ten. In college, I watched a movie called Orlando for all of five minutes before I decided it was simply not for me. The starring actress, Tilda Swinton, came across as both bloodless and anemic, which may be a contradiction. And now she is up to new tricks:

Tilda Swinton has snoozing down to an art.

The “Moonrise Kingdom” actress, 52, took up residence in a glass box at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City on Saturday as part of an unannounced performance piece.

Tilda Swinton, She helped launched the ‘David Bowie Is’ exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Actress sleeps in box: Tilda Swinton. She helped launched the ‘David Bowie Is’ exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Clad in jeans and a blue button-down shirt, the Academy Award winner slept on an unadorned white pallet in a transparent display case.

A label for the work lists its materials as “living artist, glass, steel, mattress, pillow, linen, water, and spectacles.”

Her public napping is part of a performance art piece titled “The Maybe,” which she debuted in 1995 at London’s Serpentine Gallery. She later repeated the work in the Museo Barraco in Rome.

Swinton will return to the glass case several times to appear in the installation, but the exhibition dates remain a mystery even to MoMA employees.

Interesting facts about Tilda:

Her father is Major-General Sir John Swinton, KCVO, OBE, DL, and Lord Lieutenant of Berwickshire from 1989 to 2000.


While at Cambridge, she joined the Communist Party.

Her father must be proud. Of her (yawn) artistic expression.

Desk Jobs, by Louis Quail

Louis Quail, a UK artist, photographed office workers for his series Desk Jobs:

A Dubai worker, from Louis Quail's Desk Jobs
A Dubai worker, from Louis Quail’s Desk Jobs

Louie is not the first to track office workers. Previous office art drudgery includes Anna Fox’s Work Stations back in the late 80s, while Lars Tunbjörk’s snapped pics of weird work moments. As for Jan Banning’s Bureaucratics, he was less upbeat in his photos.

I joined the Navy to get out of cubicles and guess where I am now? Back manning my cubby. If you look carefully at the Dubai guy above, you can see an action picture of some manly warrior, maybe riding on horseback. I got pics of Navy ships. And I put up my flying patches. Um, Dwight K. Shrute from the Office, I got his picture too. It’s a long story.