Who Needs a Paintbrush When You’ve Got Magic Fingers

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You probably thought finger painting was just for kids, but Iris Scott is determined to prove you wrong. Wearing a pair of latex glove, the American artist dips her fingers in color paint and wiggles them on the canvas to create beautiful work of art.

“I see the world through ‘finger painted’ colored glasses,” Seattle-based Iris Scott says. “I paint what I see. Finger paintings are hiding everywhere, sometimes I catch them when I’m walking down the sidewalk, or lounging in a living room.  I search for color relationships, and intriguing forms.” The young artist discovered this ingenious painting technique while on a relaxing artistic retreat in Taiwan. She was exercising her painting techniques in an air-conditioned room, when she realized she needed to go clean her brushes before switching to bright colors. But that required leaving the room and facing the high temperatures outside, so Iris just put away her painting tools and started using her fingers. “I knew within 10 strokes that finger painting with oils was what I would spend the rest of my life doing,” the 28-year-old remembers about that very first finger-painting experience.

Iris-Scott-finger-painting

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Beautiful Word Paintings Are Made with Deconstructed Book Text

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Jamie Poole works mainly as a landscape painter and art teacher, but today we’re going to look at his unique style of painting with words by using shredded poetry and book text to create   incredible works of art.

WE’ve featured some pretty unbelievable text artworks in the past, from John Sokol’s hand-written portraits of famous writers, to the detailed dog portraits of Florida-based artist Stephen Kline, but English artist Jamie Poole sets himself apart by using shredded pieces of text from poetry books and novels. His works are all large scale, meaning he has to use hundreds, sometimes thousands of deconstructed text pieces to achieve the effect he’s looking for. Despite the rigidity of the material he uses for his artistic pieces, compared to the commons paintbrush or pencil, Jamie Poole always manages to nail every detail he desires, from perfectly placed shadows, to little things like the glow in his subjects’ eyes, or rebel hair strands that make them look so much more realistic.

Jamie-Poole-text-self-portrait

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Computer Programmer Spent Two Years Creating Awe-Inspiring World Map Mosaic from 330,000 Tiny Glass Shards

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49-year-old Chris Chamberlain, an IT worker from London, England, spent the last two years of his life piecing together the “Jewel of the Universe”, a giant mosaic of Earth made with 330,000 hand-cut pieces of stained glass, each smaller than a fingernail. Now, he’s trying to sell his magnificent artwork for £250,000 ($380,000).

Chris Chamberlain has always had a thing for the arts, but he can’t paint or draw to save his life. But what he can do is cut glass into tiny little pieces, so he decided to use this skill to create his very own impressive work of art. The Jewel of the Universe project started over two years ago, in the artist’s garage. Using NASA photos of Earth, he set out to create a unique mosaic of our planet, from glass and precious stones. It took Chamberlain six months just to cut the glass into little pieces, and another 21 months to set them in just the right place on a 3.18m x 2.18m sheet of perspex, using a pair of tweezers. During this long painstaking process, the English computer programmer even had to train himself to become ambidextrous, in order to avoid repetitive strain injury. Practically every hour of his free time was spent on this incredible mosaic, and Chris admits his wife didn’t see very much of him during these last two years.

jewel-of-the-universe

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Amazing Fantasy Creatures Brought to Life by Talented Artist

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It doesn’t happen every day, but I sometime get the chance to write about something truly special. This is definitely one of those rare occasions. Ever wondered what the creatures of your imagination would look like in real life? I’m sure you have, but just like me, you probably lack the talent and patience to actually take them out of your dreams and into reality. Luckily, artist Wood Splitter Lee is both incredibly talented and patient-enough to do it. Plus, her imagination is so much better than mine…

Do you know what a Tundra Stag looks like? How about a Moondust Wolf? Relax, you’re knowledge of zoology is probably not that bad. The only way you could have know about these fantastic creatures is if you lived inside Wood Splitter Lee’s head. The young Virginia-based artist breathes life into the figments of her imagination by sculpting them in clay and covering them with vividly-colored fur. Horned wolves, fire foxes, ice dragons, forest guardians, they’re all real in Lee’s astonishing art collection and she makes them all look so incredibly life-like you’re tempted to think these stills from an awesome fantasy film you somehow missed, and not just really good photos of hand-made sculptures. As a huge fan of mystical creatures, I am in awe!

wood-splitter-lee-tundra-stag

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Artist Turns Adorable Teddy Bears into Creepy Zombies

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Nothing seems to escape the zombie epidemic sweeping the planet; not even fluffy teddy-bears. English artist Phillip Blackman uses zombie-flick special effects makeup to turn the lovable toys into creepy undead that will keep you awake at night.

45-year-old Phillip Blackman, from Suffolk, England, says the idea for his zombified teddy-bears was born from a silly joke between him and his partner. “She had a terrible cold at the time and we’d been talking about a gift for a friend’s baby. With a very stuffy nose ‘teddy-bear’ kept coming out as ‘deady-bear’, and we joked about zombie teddies that creep from under your bed at night to feast on your brains while you sleep,” the artist remembers. He eventually became quite intrigued by the idea of making undead toys, so he bought a bunch of teddy-bears from eBay. But it was during that time that his girlfriend became pregnant, and in the chaos of moving to a new house and starting a family, Phillip forgot all about his creepy projects. Years later, while sorting his son’s soft toys, he came across the teddy-bears he had bought, and decided to put the his old idea into practice. And that’s how the wonderfully-creepy Undead Teds came to be.

UndeadTeds zombie Teddy bears by Phillip Blackman, Ipswich, Suffolk, Britain - 01 Feb 2013

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Young Artist Creates Portraits from Thousands of Chewed Pieces of Gum

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Anna Sophia Matveeva, from Makiivka, Ukraine creates sticky portraits of celebrities from a very unusual material – used chewing gum. Every one of her artworks numbers over 1,000 pieces of chewed gum.

22-year-old Anna Sophia Mateeva says she came up with the idea of making art with chewing gum by accident. She was traveling with a friend in a car and they were both chewing on the rubbery treat when she realized the elastic texture of the gum made it an ideal art medium. She found a few brands of colored bubble gum and decided to give it a go, only it wasn’t as easy as she thought. Instead of chewing on every piece of gum, Anna tried soaking them in water and then modelling them with her hands, but she noticed the material became crumpled and would not stick to the canvas. The artist later learned it’s an enzyme in our saliva that makes the gum such a great material to work with, so she started chewing away at her provisions, until she realized it was impossible for her to chew all the gum she needed, by herself. And this is where it gets disgusting…

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Josh Bryan’s Triangulations – Captivating Celebrity Portraits Made with Triangles

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I’ve never been a fan of geometry, but I found Josh Bryan’s artistic use of a basic geometric shape simply irresistible. The 20-year-old English artist uses triangles of various sizes to create incredibly detailed portraits of celebrities he calls triangulations.

“The creative process is quite simple,” Bryan told My Modern Metropolis.  “I make sure the image I use as a reference isn’t too well-known, even though the subjects are. I then map triangles over the face drawing, around the different tones on the face. The lines are added in afterwards to determine the amount of tone needed in each triangle.” When I first saw some of his works, I was convinced they were digital renderings made with advanced software like Adobe Illustrator, but it turns out every line is drawn by hand with black fineliner pens. After examining these incredible artworks more carefully, I noticed some of the lines weren’t perfectly straight, proof that the almost computer-like portraits were indeed drawn by a human hand.

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The Fascinating Wooden World of Livio De Marchi

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Venetian artist Livio De Marchi is like a real-life Gepetto. Except, he doesn’t need a fairy god mother for his works to come alive. De Marchi’s works of art are so life-like, sometimes it’s hard to tell they’re made of wood.

The tools that De Marchi works with are fairly simple – a hundred varieties of chisel dated back to 1964, an old hammer and a steady hand – but the stuff he produces is nothing short of spectacular. A wooden replica of a leather jacket he made looks so real, you’d actually reach out to try it on if you didn’t know better. The only distinguishing factor between real and wood is that he doesn’t paint any of his creations, because he believes that the grain and knots of the plain wood are very intriguing. He spends hours at his workbench every single day, producing masterpiece after masterpiece.

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Talented Artist Tattoos Celebrity Portraits on Bananas

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Honey is a talented graphic artist and designer from the Philippines, who occupies her free time by turning bananas into organic works of art. Her only tool – a common safety pin.

Even when she’s not working with big names like Mercedes Benz, Seiko, Yamaha, Takamine, Carrows, or Volvo, Honey likes to be creative. Constantly trying to expand her range of abilities, she came up with a way of making art from household fruit. “When I’m not sitting in front of a computer, I’m always looking for something creative to do,” she says on her blog. “We always have bananas in the house so then, I thought maybe I could draw on them but it wasn’t easy as I thought it would be. I kept puncturing the skin with my pen.” After noticing that the  peel turned brown after being exposed to air, she decided to use this oxidation process to her advantage, and replaced the pen with a the first sharp and pointy thing she could get her hands on – a safety pin. Using the same technique as tattoo artists, Honey pierces the skin of the banana peel hundreds of times, in specific patterns, creating beautiful ephemeral portraits of celebrities.

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Self-Taught Amateur Artist Paints with Ground Coffee and a Pinch of Sand

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Alexander Wald works as a plumber in the Ukrainian city of Lviv, but in his spare time he likes to exercise his artistic talents by painting with unusual mediums like ground coffee and sand.

Painting with coffee is not exactly unheard of. Artists like Karen Eland and Steven Mikel have been doing it for years, and even coffee beans have been used as an artistic material in an impressive mosaic by Saimir Strati. But until I came across Alexander Wald’s works, I had never heard of anyone using ground coffee. The Ukrainian amateur artist makes a living working as a plumber at the Lviv Circus, but most of his free time is spent creating unique works of art from dried coffee residue and sand. He drinks 2-3 cups of coffee a day, and instead of throwing away the coffee grounds on the bottom of his cup, he dries them and uses them as an art medium. His colleagues pitch in as well, otherwise Alexander would actually have to buy fresh ground coffee. This way, he enjoys his morning cups of java and has plenty of free material to work with. The self-taught artist says any kind of coffee will do, except for instant coffee, which doesn’t produce any leftover grounds.

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Catalan Artist Folds Table Napkins into Awe-Inspiring Masterpieces

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You might have seen napkins folded into impressive shapes at some fancy dinner, but they probably look like child’s play compared to the masterpieces created by Catalan artist Joan Sallas.

48-year-old Joan Sallas is considered the world’s best virtuoso napkin folder, and is credited with almost singlehandedly reviving the Baroque-style art that appeared in Renaissance Italy and reached its peak during the 17th century, in German speaking countries. Believe it or not, the Catalan master has managed to take the classic art to new heights with only old engravings and documents describing royal banquets as his inspiration. He learned the secrets to folding paper from his grandfather, when he was only a child, but the passion stayed with him through adulthood, when he discovered the lost art of folding linen. After spending years researching old documents and trying to copy napkin works of art created for the opulent events of 17th century Europe. He has mastered eight folding techniques, including fans, rolls and lilies, that allow him to recreate some truly awe-inspiring decorations.

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Fearless Artist Photographs Herself in the Most Precarious Positions

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It’s hard to believe the photos bellow are real, but South-Korean artist Ahn Jun insists she does not photoshop any of her works. Although she will sometimes use measures of protection like a harness, the young daredevil really is dangling on the side of buildings or leaning out skyscraper windows, all in the nae of art.

Remember Natsumi Hayashi, Tokyo’s levitating girl, who used to post photos of herself jumping at just the right time to make it seem like she was floating through the city? I loved her work, and today I get to write about an equally talented and creative Asian photo artist, Ahn Jun. Her project titled Self-Portrait, for which she photographs herself in precarious positions on high-rise buildings around the world, has taken the art world by storm. Many have claimed that the photos are digitally altered to create the death-defying portraits, but the young South-Korean photographer insists it’s all real. She just sets the timer on her camera to take as many pictures as possible until the memory card is full, and then gets into position, either leaning dangerously over the edge of a skyscraper, climbing out the window or just staring at her feet into the abyss below. She then goes through the thousands of photos, picking just one or two in which her body looks “peaceful or aggressive, rather than fearful”.

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Caramelized Sugar Painting – A Tasty Chinese Tradition

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The sweet art of painting with caramelized sugar can be witnessed in China’s Sichuan province. Although not as popular as it once was, this ancient craft still manages to amaze tourists lucky enough to stumble upon a skilled street artist.

According to experts, this type of Chinese folk art originated from the Ming Dynasty when sugar animals and figures were created as part of sacrificial rituals. During the Qing Dynasty, it gained even more popularity and the techniques were upgraded, which resulted in an increased number of patterns, most of them inspired by nature, wildlife and religion . In the beginning, people used molds to shape the caramelized sugar, but they were gradually replaced with a small bronze spoon that had to be wielded by talented artists who were usually well versed in the art of normal painting as well. “Painting” artistic pieces from melted sugar is very different than regular painting. Because the hot sugar cools down very quickly, the painter has to work swiftly, making sure he follows the correct order of strokes to get every shape just right. In order to get familiar with the process and the technique, it’s recommended that artists practice normal painting first.

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Kelvin Okafor’s Photo-Realistic Drawings Are Simply Mind-Blowing

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Look closely at the images below, and tell you don’t see artistic black and white photos? Well, they’re really just incredibly detailed pencil and charcoal drawings by talented British artist Kelvin Okafor. Mind blown, I know.

It’s safe to say some of the world’s most talented photographs couldn’t capture  all the details in Kevin Okafor’s portraits, and instead of high-resolution cameras, his only tools are a set of pencils, a piece of paper and sometimes a stick of charcoal. But then again, not many people have his amazing talent. Like other new-generation artists like 22-year-old Diego Fazo, or the incredible Dirk Dzimirsky, London-based Kelvin Okafor works wonders with his pencils. Too poor to leave the house and socialize, the gifted artist spent most of his childhood and teenage years improving his drawing skills. Instead of partying and clubbing like other kids his age, he found refuge in drawing, and is now reaping his rewards – he charges between £800 ($1,300) to £3,000 ($4,750) for commission works, and some of his best portraits are already being sold for as much £10,000 ($16,000). It might seem like a lot of money, but considering the quality of his work and the amount and time and patience that go into each piece, I’d say it’s worth even more.

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Artist Hides $12,600 Check in Art Gallery to Raise Public Interest

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Tomas Georgeson, an artist from Buckinghamshire, England, has come up with an ingenious way of getting people to visit the local Milton Keynes Gallery – he placed an advert in the local paper informing town folk that he has hidden a blank check for £8,000 ($12,600) somewhere in the gallery and that they are invited to claim it by March 1.

There are a number of ways to get people interested in art galleries. Some people bury themselves in a tiny hole for a whole week, others give birth in front of a live audience, but probably the most effective way is to actually offer visitors financial incentives. That’s what English artist Tomas Georgeson decided to do, in a desperate attempt to raise local interest in Milton Keynes’ gallery. He has apparently hidden a blank check for £8,000 somewhere inside the small venue, which visitors are invited to look for and claim as their own. Although the bold artist says it’s pretty much all the money he has, treasure hunters can be sure it won’t bounce. He describes his unusual gesture as a statement of support for the galley, and a way to”get people through the door and change the mood of the place.”

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