Such a Buzzkill

I hate to burst your bubble, but while this is very pretty, in real life it wouldn’t look anything like this.

First off, assuming this is supposed to be the Pleiades (based on the shape of the “beam ship“), you can’t get close enough to the cluster for it to fill the sky to the degree shown in the artwork above and retain the same configuration it does when viewed from earth. In order for it to retain the same shape as seen from Earth, you’d have to be no closer than approximately 40 light years out from the nearest star in the cluster and at that distance it would appear only about half the size shown here. Any closer, and the relative positions of the stars start to shift so dramatically that the cluster quickly loses it’s “tiny dipper” shape altogether.

Secondly, even with the stars of the Pleiades being extremely bright blue-white giants hundreds of time more luminous than our sun, at 40 light years out they still wouldn’t cast shadows; they’d only be as bright as the brightest stars in Earth’s night sky.  Hell…even if you’re standing on a hypothetical planet orbiting one of the stars in the cluster, the brightest stars of the rest of the cluster would still be outshone by Venus in Earth’s sky (currently seen in the west after sundown—go outside and take a look!) by an order of magnitude. Yeah, pretty, but they wouldn’t cast shadows.

So science kills fantasy again. Almost as disappointing as when I learned that even if you’re close to stellar nebulae you still wouldn’t see the colors captured in those amazing shots from Hubble. (Another discussion for another time.)

Artists Strike Back

Thankfully Herr Trump will not get anywhere near the White House, so his proposal for an unbuildable wall (of any color) will never come to fruition.

Via Dezeen:

Trump’s Mexican Border Wall Envisioned As Barragán-Inspired Pink Barrier

Mexican firm Estudio 3.14 has visualised the “gorgeous perversity” of US presidential candidate Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall along the countries’ border.

In response to the controversial proposal, a group of interns at the Guadalajara-based studio came up with a conceptual design that would celebrate Mexico’s architectural heritage.

The giant solid barrier would run 1,954 miles (3,145 kilometres) uninterrupted from the Pacific coast to the Gulf of Mexico, and be painted bright pink in the spirit of the 20th-century buildings by Pritzker Prize-winning Mexican architect Luis Barragán.

“Because the wall has to be beautiful, it has been inspired in by Luis Barragán’s pink walls that are emblematic of Mexico,” said the studio. “It also takes advantage of the tradition in architecture of megalomaniac wall building.”

Republican candidate Trump announced his idea to build a wall along the US-Mexico border early in his campaign, as his solution to keeping illegal Mexican immigrants out of America.

The team suggests that the wall could employ up to six million personnel. It could also incorporate shopping centre straddling its width, and a viewpoint from which US citizens could climb up and look down onto the other side.

Just Because

Time to spread the wealth. At this point I have no recollection of where or when I found the majority of these, so if you are the original artist and want attribution, let me know. I have years worth.

Public Service Announcement

If you’ve been considering visiting the Georgia O’Keefe Museum in Santa Fe, think twice before plunking down the $12 admission fee.

First of all, when we went this past weekend none of her iconic works were on display, and only a few very bland paintings of her famous flowers were seen. Photography is prohibited in half the galleries, and the few pieces that you might want to photograph in the rooms where you can take pictures are all marked “No photography.”

I guess the museum doesn’t realize there’s something called the Internet, where I can get pictures of what I wanted anyway.

However, if you want to see lots of black and white photographs of the artist, by all means, go and knock yourselves out.

Thankfully, this wasn’t the only reason Ben and I decided to skip town for the holiday weekend. We both needed to get out of Denver and a road trip with a couple nights in a nice hotel was the perfect antidote for funk that both of us had been feeling.

But yeah, the museum was a big disappointment. We were expecting so much more.

Desert Breath


Located near the Red Sea in El Gouna, Egypt, Desert Breath is an impossibly immense land art installation dug into the sands of the Sahara desert by the D.A.ST. Arteam back in 1997. The artwork was a collaborative effort spanning two years between installation artist Danae Stratou, industrial designer Alexandra Stratou, and architect Stella Constantinides, and was meant as an exploration of infinity against the backdrop of the largest African desert. Covering an area of about 1 million square feet (100,000 square meters) the piece involved the displacement of 280,000 square feet (8,000 square meters) of sand and the creation of a large central pool of water.

Day 4: Crystal Bridges

After hearing praise from John, we knew we had one last stop to make before leaving Arkansas.

So, after bidding adieu to our little home away from home…

…and grabbing breakfast, we were on our way.

No, not there, although Ben did get a great cut from Robert.

I’m talking about Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

I mean seriously, who knew such a fabulous place would be found in rural northwestern Arkansas?

We met up with JP ‘n Earl and were joined by Erik shortly after arriving, who took our picture…

Of course, while waiting I couldn’t help myself but take a couple sneaky pics.

Several 18th and 19th century pieces caught my eye:

But I really liked the 20th century pieces…

I also got some shots of the man I love…

And someone tried to molest me…

I could’ve spent way more than the 2 or so hours we were there. We didn’t even get to explore the grounds surrounding the museum; something I’d definitely like to do.

After saying our goodbyes and grabbing some lunch, we started our journey home.

But is it Art?

You know what’s depressing? Discovering a 99-cent piece of software that applies an effect to photographs that I’ve spent the last two decades of my life perfecting with paint and brush on canvas.

A friend of mine remarked that the finished products are similar, but lack the life and sparkle of my paintings. Agreed. But still…

I guess I should really consider it a blessing in disguise; I can apply the effect to the photograph I want to work from before I start painting and then use that as a guide as to where to make the tone differentiations in the painting (the hardest part of my whole process).