The art of pencil carving is becoming more and more widespread, intricate, and skilled. Over the past few years we have come to see many incredible things being carved from the humble pencil. Whether it is colored, or plain graphite, a leaden tip can be transformed into many icons, symbols or dioramas. Artist Tom Lynall‘s effort sees him shaping pencil tips into emojis, tiny characters and landscapes. From an artist’s paint palette, to idyllic pastoral views, to Rapunzel in her tower, to the hearts, lightning bolts and happy faces from our smart phones, Lynall is capable of achieving great detail on a minute scale.
A bespoke jeweler by trade, Lynall is no stranger to working at this level, or at the pace required to finish a delicate piece. But only having started his pencil carving hobby last November, he is quickly adapting to his new material. Being malleable and dense, graphite is an ideal material to carve intricate and complicate details into. He says about his new time consuming hobby:
I love art but I have never been able to draw so this is a good way for me to create things with the limitations of my skill. The main tool I use is the scalpel blade shown in the pictures as well as a few pins which I have altered the end of to give me different blades.
This is great fun to do so if you would like to give it a go the best advice I can give is to not get annoyed when they break, they are extremely fragile but once your done they are fantastically satisfying. (Source)
There is a reason why Amy Bennett‘s paintings look like dioramas. In fact, it is part of her process to build miniature dioramas of various scenarios before the painting process begins. When completed, these miniature constructions are used as models for the pieces you see here. The paintings, she says, are “glimpses of a scene or fragments of a narrative. Similar to a memory, they are fictional constructions of significant moments meant to elicit specific feelings.”
This arduous process is perhaps a way to reconstruct the process of memory making itself. When we construct memories, we are feeling and living that specific moment. When we are trying to reenact or recall that memory, it all feels distant, blurry, and small. In this case, the painter’s initial construction (the physical building of the diorama) and re-constrution of it (trough painting) mirrors this process.
I am interested in storytelling over time through repeated depictions of the same house or car or person, seasonal changes, and shifting vantage points. Like the disturbing difficulty of trying to put rolls of film in order several years after the pictures have been taken, my aim is for the collective images to suggest a known past that is just beyond reach.
Dominic Shepherd’s Paintings invites us into a time and place that is in-between, a place of mystery and the imagined. Calling to mind John Fowles’ ‘The Magus’, Shepherd envisions a place populated by magicians, solitary wanderers, messengers, lost poets, artists and musicians, a place that is between reality and sur-reality where the macabre and the frivolous walk hand in hand. This imagined place is prompted by Shepherd’s own immediate environment, where cottage and studio sit isolated in a clearing within dense Dorset woods. Stepping into these woods at night one feels simultaneously stimulated and threatened, but one is urged to embrace the shadows and the illusion that lie therein, where the fictive obfuscates truth.
At night, perhaps, such experience is appropriate, during the time of revelry and ritual, magic and intoxication. All take place beneath the cover of darkness. But at the hour of daybreak, as the morning star rises, thresholds other than night to day are broken. Reality returns and with it a wistful awareness of a loss of the other. The dreamlike and hallucinatory are overcome by a confrontation of the self where one can emerge enlightened as with St John of the Cross or fallen as with so many romantic heroes from throughout history. Indeed, Shepherd’s canvases might be populated by lost icons and anti-heroes such as Hesse, Redon, Shelley, Blake or Wagner or more contemporaneously Jack Kerouac, Keith Richards or Charles Manson. ‘The sleep of reason brings forth monsters’, cautioned Goya and Shepherd outlines that escapism, individualism and heroism, and the drives of the intuitive and the unconscious can bring egotism, destruction and excess as well as beauty, magic and discovery, thus simultaneously enticing and forewarning.
Pedro Ramos, of Sydney, Austrailia by way of Madeira Island (Portugal, I had to look it up), has a nostalgic, snapshot kind of style to his photographs. Looking at his photos, you feel like you were there during all of these adventures he’s documented.
For his series, Wilder Mann, photographer Charles Fréger traveled to 18 different countries to capture the costumes and masks of folk festivals and traditions. Creatures like bears, stags, mysterious hybrids and the occasional Krampus appear otherworldly—fashioned from materials like animal hides, bells, antlers, twigs and leaves. Photographed within their natural settings, the results are more film still than portrait instantly conjuring primitive stories and fairy tales. (via)
Llobet & Pons installations and site interventions include a basketball hoop too small to fit a basket, creating a collective sculpture by collecting a single strand of hair from gallery goers, and creating geometric shapes out of broomsticks and floormats.
At the SFMOMA’s Rooftop Coffee Bar, baker Caitlin Williams Freeman has found a fun way to pay homage to the artists featured in the museum. If you’re in the area, visit the museum, then swing by the Coffee Bar to munch on pastries of art you just saw!