Tag Archives: blue

Blue Door: Cultural Influence in Action

In southwestern art there is a set, or palette, of colors that appear more than any other. These popular colors are part of the local culture and seen in the Spanish and Pueblo inspired architecture in the area. Whether you find blue, green, red, tan, white and brown they all follow the pattern of being a natural color. That is a color found in the natural environment.

In my mind, any southwestern architectural design must include the color blue.   Namely, the brilliant sky blue you find on the doors and windows of the houses and business in the Taos and Santa Fé areas.

This light blue color not only distinguishes itself by creating a wonderful contrast between the tan and brown of the usual adobe, but in a sense draws your attention to the doors and windows and highlights the reds and whites of the colorful chili ristas and fragrant flowers that are so common in the local gardens.

Not only does the blue work as a wonderful artistic counter to the other rich colors of the Southwestern palette, but it has a religious and spiritual significance too.

In the Southern areas of the United States, especially located where the original Spanish existed, blue is the color chosen to paint the ceilings of the porches that typically surround the colonial houses.   This is not by accident.   There was a belief, now more of a prescribed tradition, that the blue ceiling would confuse any evil spirits from entering the house. The spirits would think the blue ceiling is the sky and become trapped on the porch without the ability to enter the house proper.

The same tradition occurs in areas of the southwest. Blue DoorHere, The doors, gates, and especially windows show off the brilliant bright blue paint. So when the evil spirits try to enter the house either of their own volition or by following someone, they become trapped in the window or door unable to enter the house proper.

Whether you believe such stories or not, the fact remains that between the crystal blue skies of the mountains and the bright and cheerful colors of the houses, the Southwest has a lot to offer for artistic inspiration.

So, I leave you with a famous doorway that has been the focus of many an artist due to its size, color and sheer beauty. Enjoy.

 

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How to FLOAT like a Pro!

How can something as simple as a floating jellyfish improve your life as an artistic person?  Well, after spending quality time in my super-secretive mad scientist photo lab I came upon the idea of FLOAT and how we as artists use this in creating our work.

Floating JellyfishIn order to FLOAT we must:

 

Function as an artist.  Artists are creators.  We delve deep into our souls and transfer that ethereal realm of thought to canvas, clay or even photograph.  While every artist is different in our methods, our philosophies, and yes even our madness, we all create.  Painters dabble in paints; sculptors in clay and photographers use a perspective as seen through the lens of a camera as our tools to place our feelings of wonderment and awe of the universe in tangible visible form.  To be a successful artist you must create!  Function like an artist makes good art.

Locate places with similar people like yourself.  Artists are people too.  That sounds like a bad bumper sticker doesn’t it?   But the truth is that there are other artists who have the same kind of personality you do.   Find them.  A quick search on Google will yield all kinds of fellow artists to communicate with.  It might be in a downtown nightclub, maybe at certain art fairs, or, as I hope, even this blog.   Discover each other and make an effort to make friends among them.  You can share ideas, philosophies and even business advice, whatever you want.  Locating other artists is a must for a FLOATing artist.

Observe what they do.  This is perhaps the most difficult part of being a FLOATer.  Once you have met other artists; watch them.   No, I don’t mean become a weird stalker or anything illegal.  Just pay attention to the work and attitudes your fellow artists keep up.  After a time, it will become clear who the leaders in your art community are, and who are the followers.  Observing these successful leaders allow you to learn through their experience also.  Don’t exist in a bubble.  Observe!

 

Assess what artistic techniques work and those that do not for what you want to do.  Concentrate on the techniques that work. One key element overlooked in the proper assessment of the effectiveness of a technique is its relationship to your own personal goals.   If you want to become a successful wildlife photographer but find yourself constantly chatting it up with wedding photographers, you will learn new techniques, but your growth as a wildlife photographer will not advance very quickly.  Assess what works!

 

Try new things.  To grow as an artist you must try new things.  This is the hardest part of the FLOAT system.   Why?  Failure.  People hate to fail.  What is the number one reason for failure?  People hate trying new things and making a mistake in their technique.  The trick to successfully trying new things is by understanding that failure in technique will happen.  Failures are an opportunity to learn and refine the proper technique for next time.  Never take yourself so seriously that you can’t laugh at yourself.  Try new things and have fun doing it!  Your confidence will grow and so will your art.  Try it!

So FLOAT your way to success as a creative artist.  Most of all have fun doing it!

We hope you also enjoyed our photograph of  Floating Jellyfish.

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Lava Lamp of Nature – A Dance of The Deep

The black light at the top of the water illuminated the undulating white shapes slowly swimming through the murky blackness of the deep.  Slowly swimming with strange ethereal motions to the surface, these strange otherworldly shapes would drift and float with the currents to forever search for their next meal.

 

Each jellyfish appeared as a blob of floating paraffin in nature’s oldest copy of the modern-day lava lamp.   Yet these blobs contained living shapes of real creatures that share the dark and murky depths each night.  No simple blobs of wax, these jellyfish danced as their ancestors had millions of years ago.

Lava Lamp of Nature

As each jellyfish appeared at the surface it would for some mysterious reason start a slow dance towards the gloomy obscurity of the bottom.  In time the twisting and turning allowed them to swim silently sideways or even seem to do silent loops in time to some strange rhythmic orchestra that only a jelly could hear.

 

As a visitor to their nocturnal wanderings, a person can only stare in amazement at the motions and glowing movement of the jellies.  It is amazing how a simple yet elegant creature can have so much grace and beauty floating in calming silence. It is almost hypnotic in retrospect.  The same form of impression one gets from watching a lava lamp breaking into and recombining small globules of wax suspended in mineral oil floating silently as the currents push them to and fro in a enthralling light.

 

Snapping the picture to share this tranquil scene, I remind myself that every night in the black cold pressing depths of the sea that same dance occurs unseen by human eyes.  Instead, meant for an unseen audience with dark colorless eyes quietly keeping time to unheard music while watching from the murky black of the sea.

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We hope you enjoyed our dark tale of Lava Lamp of Nature. Discover other works in our collection at http://aa-photographic-arts.artistwebsites.com/index.html.

 

 

The Serene Blue Screen of Death

Serene Blue is an example of how color in a work of art can set up a particular mood.  Blue is such a calming color to begin with.  But light glowing ethereal blues surrounded by dark deep blacks and greys offer a quiet almost serene emotion.  When you discover a jellyfish on the beach after a violent thunderstorm, you see a clear jelly like substance from which the jellyfish gets its name.  They are not however the blue shade you see in the photograph.

 

A low-level blue light hung just at the surface of the water obtains the Serene Blue light seen in the photograph.  The deep blue light gives it a calming and satisfying blue hue with a deep black background.

 

The miracle of the seductive jellyfish is found in its strange undulation motion that allows the animal to swim with the current.  This is provides a delightfully calming effect when combined with the wondrous dark waters and beautifies this humble killer of the dark.

 

Looking closely at the sides of the jellyfish you notice the floating remains of fish scales and tiny bits of its last meal floating towards the murky depths waiting hungrily below.  In an aquatic environment the jellyfish is a majestic animal floating and swimming trying to satisfy its hunger for its next meal.

 

That is exactly the point.  Nature is about enchantment and imagination when it comes to some of its most prolific and yet simple predators.  The jellyfish is yet another holistic example of how arousing beauty and enthralling motion can captivate our eye and yet belong to a voracious deadly hunter of the dark.  Is it not interesting how beauty and hypnotic charm in nature so often results in a painful death?

 

For make no mistake, the jellyfish is dangerous.  The hanging long tentacles sway in the current and rhythmic motion of the jellyfish.  Thus providing a blue screen of death to small prey.

 

For us, the good news for us is that this happy jellyfish would not be capable of putting enough toxins in our body to kill us.  That provides very little comfort to the voracious painful stings that it is capable of giving or, for that matter, the flagrant impartialness  it shows when it delivers those stings.

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7 Things About Sea Anemones You Want To Know

Forest of Light is a photograph of a sea anemone under a strangely ethereal dark light.  The light creates this wondrous glowing effect on the tips of the tentacles.  The tentacles are almost hypnotic as you watch them sway back and forth in the warm water current.  It’s easy to see how a fish might be captivated to investigate this Forest of Light.

Few things arouse people’s curiosity of the underwater world like the sea anemone.  This strange animal has both a charming beauty and an impressive slant on how looks can kill.   Well, at least if you’re a fish.  While I’ve never heard of a human death originating from the handling of an anemone, I’m not going to be the first in line to try to grab one.

Here are 7 things you always wanted to know about sea anemones.

 

  1. They are usually grouped together in the same group as coral or jellyfish.
  2. Like the jellyfish the tentacles of an anemone have microscopic harpoon shaped spears that shoot out into a victim causing paralysis and death to small fish.  For humans, you can imagine that while you might not die, it’s more than likely going to hurt. A LOT!
  3. They come in almost every conceivable size, color and shape from about 1 cm to almost 2 meters across.
  4. Anemones have a foot, mouth, body and tentacles.
  5. They use their foot to attach to any inanimate object on the sea floor.  They then allow their tentacles to dangle in the hopes that food will drift or swim into them and become paralyzed.
  6. When attacked or feel threatened they curl into a tight ball to protect their tentacles.
  7. There are over 1,000 different species of anemone and they live in all but the deepest parts of the oceans we’ve explored.

While it is possible that these 7 quick facts about sea anemones have laid the foundation for your next triumph as the trivia master at the next cocktail party, imagine how fabulous you would look as you acquainted your guests with the haunting beauty of sea anemones while actually looking at Forest of Light hanging on your wall showing off your fine style.

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Reference links for this article and for more information about sea anemones:

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/invertebrates/sea-anemone/

http://animal.discovery.com/marine-life/sea-anemone-info.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_anemone