Washington Artist Paints with Credit Cards

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Artist Sandy Byers owns a vast collection of credit cards, but surprisingly, she doesn’t use any of them to shop. Instead, she uses them as a replacement for paintbrushes, especially when she doesn’t have any handy.

Sandy has always been rather unconventional – she actually quit her cushy job at Microsoft 12 years ago to become a full-time painter. And last year, she took another leap towards the bizarre – she completely abandoned the paintbrush and started using plastic credit cards to paint. Her finished pieces are so beautiful, it’s hard to tell that there were no brushes involved whatsoever.

She developed her unique technique when she visited Marymere Falls in Olympic National Park in 2013. She was about to start painting outdoors after a hiking for about a mile with her husband, when she realised that she’d forgotten her paintbrushes. Going back to the car to get them was simply out of question. “I did not have the heart to ask to go back and get my brushes,” she said. “So I looked around and I just took out my credit card and started painting with it. You gotta find something to paint with when the scene is there and you’ve done the work to get that far.”

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Hitofude Ryuu – The Japanese Art of Painting Dragons with a Single Brush Stroke

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The talented Sumie painters of Kousyuuya Studio in Nikko, Japan can paint the body of a dragon with a single stroke of the brush. The delicate technique is known as ‘hitofude ryuu’, which literally means ‘dragon with one stroke’, and it’s been around for four generations.

Watching these painters create a perfect dragon – with all the shades and scales – in just a couple of seconds is a true delight. It all looks so effortless, but there’s a lot of hard work and practice involved in getting the stroke right.

To create a single dragon painting, the Sumie artists first make the ornate head with various flourishes, using a smaller brush. Then, they dip a much larger sumie brush into the desired paint color and simply swipe it across the canvas in one swift movement. You really have to watch a video to realize the brilliance of the technique.

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Artist Uses Melting Ice-Cream to Create Deliciously Colorful Paintings

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While most people prefer their ice-cream frozen, Baghdad-based artist Othman Toma likes it melted. He uses multi-colored melting treats as a medium for his art, instead of normal paint. And it works incredibly well. In fact, to the untrained eye, his artworks seem painted with regular watercolors.

Toma paints all sorts of stuff using ice cream – lions, tigers, women’s faces, popular monuments, and more. It’s  just marvelous how he manages to get such a wide array of colors with very few shades of the cold dessert. All he needs to do is reach out into his freezer, and he’s ready to paint!

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Skilled Makeup Artist Transforms Her Mouth and Chin into Popular Cartoon Characters

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While most makeup artists tend to follow the conventional rules of of the trade, 25-year-old Laura Jenkinson prefers to do her own thing. For the past year, she has been using all her colorful cosmetics and makeup brushes to recreate popular cartoon characters on her mouth and chin. She paints them in such a way that her mouth becomes their mouth as well, making the characters instantly come alive.

London-based Laura has so far painted a host of characters on her mouth, including The Cookie Monster, Shrek, Taz the Tasmanian Devil and several others from Disney movies, Looney Tunes, Pixar, and South Park. Last week, she did Robin Williams’ genie from Aladdin as a tribute to the actor. She does the paintings so accurately that every time her lips move, it appears as though the character is talking.

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Artist Turns Dirty Trucks into Mobile Artworks Using Only One Finger

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Multi-talented British artist Ben Long has been making exquisite illustrations on the dusty rear doors of commercial trucks since the early 2000s. The 35-year-old uses only one finger to ‘scribe into the layer of dirt built-up from exhaust emissions’.

He calls the project ‘The Great Travelling Art Exhibition’, which is an ongoing series of his mobile canvases traveling all over the UK. Long, who studied at the Camberwell College of Art and Design in London, describes the project as an expansion of the ‘daubing and crude slogans that commonly adorn commercial freight vehicles’.

The idea for the drawings came to him during his early days as an artist, when he had little financial backing. By using dusty trucks as his canvas, he was able to express his creativity without a studio or a gallery. Although he has now advanced in his art career, Long continues to draw on greight vehicles, because it helps him appeal to people who don’t relate to the kind of contemporary art that is generally displayed in museums and galleries.

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Artist Wears Disgusting Costume Made of Raw Chicken Skin to Protest Against ‘Vanity-Driven Culture’

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A couple of UK-based artists have created a bizarre body-hugging suit made entirely out of raw chicken skin. The disgusting outfit is apparently meant to make a statement against our vanity-driven culture. The two artists – Victor Ivanov and Lewis G – are now parading the completed suit called FLESH around the streets of London and at famous landmarks like the Trafalgar Square and Camden Lock.

Victor Ivanov is so disgusted with the current ‘selfie’ craze that he predicts the world might just end with ‘everyone standing on the ashes taking selfies’. In an interview with Art Map London, Victor explained that he originally developed an interest in flesh at university, as a way of working with biodegradable matter. “It’s a little crass because obviously it’s a very direct approach to interpreting our environment but nonetheless something that I want to experience first hand,” he admitted.

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French Freediver Is Capable of Blowing Bubble Rings Underwater, Like a Dolphin

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French freediver David Helder has his own unique superpower – he can blow massive bubble rings, whirling vortices that manage to maintain their round shape for a surprisingly long time underwater. Although he appears to perform these tricks effortlessly, anyone who has ever tried freediving knows that it’s no mean feat.

“I had always seen people blowing vertical rings, I just gave it a try and all I can tell is that it’s a vortex and the air is coming out from your mouth,” said David. “It just spins in one direction creating a vortex. At the beginning, they were not good, after a couple of weeks, they were quite okay. And then I started to make some combination, trying to make some tricks.”

“Now, I’m doing some kind of figures when two rings are connecting. And I love doing those kind of rings in the sea. Laying on the surface of the sea, I just blow one ring and I can see the fishes – they are kind of eating the ring. It’s another way of interacting with the life in the water.”

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Alzheimer-Suffering Artist Drew His Self-Portrait for Five Years until He Forgot How to Draw

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When American artist William Utermohlen was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 1995, he decided to make the best use of his limited time and memory. He began to use his art to understand himself better – for five years, he drew portraits of himself before he completely forgot how to draw.

Through this unique series of self-portraits, viewers can observe the London-based artist’s quiet descent into dementia. As the terrible disease took control of his mind, his world began to tilt and his perspectives flattened. The details in his paintings melted away and they became more abstract. At times, he seemed aware of the technical flaws in his work, but he simply could not figure out how to correct them.

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Young Taxidermist Sparks Controversy For Eating the Animals She Stuffs

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22-year-old British taxidermist Elle Kaye has a pretty unusual eating habit, even by taxidermy standards – she actually consumes the meat of the subjects she stuffs for her art. Kaye mostly uses roadkill or animals that have died of natural causes, and she tries to eat as much of them as possible, as long as the meat is fresh.

The attractive young woman who studied art at Loughborough University said that she decided to eat her subjects because she wanted to recycle and minimize waste. “For me, it’s a lifestyle choice,” she says. “Doing what I do ensures I recycle a deceased animal, as a meat eater, there is no logic in wasting perfectly edible meat. It’s important to me, because it upholds all of the notions that underpin taxidermy, and it means that I do the animal justice in recycling all of it.”

“I’m a big meat eater and I believe strongly in the idea of recycling,” she says. “It doesn’t make sense for me to preserve the specimen then throw the meat away. If I can determine that it’s fresh, I wouldn’t hesitate to eat it. I’m very careful.”

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The Photo-Like Paintings of Hyung Jin Park

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Korean artist Hyung Jin Park uses photographs as inspiration to create equally realistic paintings of young Asian women. He generally paints bust-length portraits of a monumental scale, up to seven feet high, depicting women at close range. The hair, lips, eyes and skin are painted with a high level of precision, making them unbelievably real. His photorealistic technique is so accurate that once he completes a piece, it’s almost impossible to tell if it’s a high-resolution photograph or a painting.

But Park’s work can be identified if you are aware of his signature style. He often makes distortions of the women he’s painting, like enlarging the eyes or shrinking the chin, to give them an otherworldly look. He also gives the women a universalized, glazed appearance, softening features just like in Oriental ceramics. So his paintings do appear to be like photographs, but they’re also rather surreal. And although the artist chooses his subjects from among his students, the women in his paintings are really quite different from the real-life inspiration.

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The Delicate Tree Leaf Carvings of Omid Asadi

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With just a craft knife and a needle, talented Iranian artist Omid Asadi can breathe life into dry, fallen leaves. The 35-year-old, now based in the UK, carves breathtaking silhouettes into fragile brown leaves, creating exquisite pieces of art. Right from celebrity portraits to wild animals, or even random patterns – Omid is an expert at using the natural shape of a leaf to transform it into a wide range of subjects.

“Art for me is the way of looking differently to this world and around myself,” Omid said. “I started to think why nobody paid attention to these beautiful leaves and trod on them, because of their name – if they were called flowers we wouldn’t tread on them at all! I wanted to give the leaves another life and make art from them.”

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English Designer Creates Furniture That Looks and Feels Like Human Skin

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Gigi Barker, a British furniture designer and owner of Studio 9191, has come up with a new range of seating that looks and feels a lot like the human body. The seats are designed to mimic bulbous, podgy human flesh. And they’re oddly comforting, as Gigi’s customers reluctantly admit.

Although the seats are made of leather – the closest material to human skin that she could find – they’re so oddly shaped that they aren’t instantly recognisable. And that’s exactly the effect that she was hoping to achieve with the project, which she calls ‘A Body of Skin’.

Through the project, Gigi wanted to explore people’s reactions to furniture that is strangely familiar to the sight, smell and touch, but not recognisable. “That made the viewers question how to interact with the shapes and to form their own conclusions,” she said.

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Japanese Botanical Artist Launches His Bonsai into Space

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Japanese botanical artist Makoto Azuma’s flower arrangements are, quite literally, out of this world. His beautiful plants were recently launched into outer space as a part of his latest project, ‘Exobiotonica’. The launch took place on July 15 at the Nevada Black Rock Desert, with the help of Sacramento-based independent space program, JP Aerospace.

“I wanted to see the movement and beauty of plants and flowers suspended in space,” said Azuma, who is well known in Japan for his extravagant performances involving flowers. There was this one time when he stomped on hundreds of flowers during a musical performance. Once, he stuffed flowers into glass jars and filled them with water-like sardines. He has also created office chairs and Hello Kitty dolls entirely covered in green grass.

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Meet Paintboxer – The Dutch Artist Who Paints with His Fists

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It’s hard to imagine boxing and painting combined to create something artistic. But Dutch boxer Bart van Polanen Petel demonstrates that it’s really quite possible to mix a brutal sport and a delicate art form. He puts on his boxing gloves, dips them in paint, and throws punch after punch at a blank canvas wrapped around a punching bag until it is completely covered in chaotic color patterns.

“If life is ultimately a Darwinian struggle for survival, then boxing at least has the virtue of being open about it,” says the philosophical boxer. Inspired by its primal nature, painting is Bart’s way of paying tribute to the sport of boxing. “Instead of crushing bones and shattering teeth, I use my fists to create,” he explained.

Bart says that when he’s boxing, he feels a deep connection with the men of the Stone Age and the Middle Ages. He feels a certain animal within him, an aggression that he learned to curb in boxing. But with painting, he’s able to let out all that aggression on to the canvas.

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Photo-Like Monochromatic Portraits Created with Thousands of Tiny Holes

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Norwegian artist Anne-Karin Furunes’ portraits might look like black-and-white photographs, but that’s just your eyes playing tricks on you. They’re actually paintings made with of thousands and thousands of tiny holes. Anne creates them by punching perforations into large canvases, creating the effect of monochromatic hyper-realistic portraits.

Anne has been perfecting her unique perforation technique since the 1990s, when she was a student of architecture and art at the Art Academy of Trondheim. All the main painters back then used a lot of paint on the canvas, she said, but she wanted to ‘enter the canvas’ in her own way.

“So I tried to find my own language,” she explains. “At that time, I was really interested in photos – old photos, albums, private albums – and I think it was the idea of trying to transform these photos to something physical, something bigger. And to give it a kind of soft treatment so it was, in a way, a memory. Something that is coming and disappearing at the same time.” The holes, she said, are symbolic of memories – how they disappear exactly when you try to grasp them.

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