Pure Art

Voorwold Pic

I’m fascinated by how art can affect people and by how every person is different in what moves them and inspires them. I think everyone has been moved by some piece of artwork that spoke to them or caused them to look inside themself. It may have been the colors or the type of medium used, or the subject or subject matter depicted, or the simplicity or the complexity of a piece that drew some usually buried feeling from within us. But there is something about using only what nature gives you in its purest form to create that speaks to me on some basic, internal level.

 Earth Art or Land Art is art in which the landscape and the work of art are inextricably connected. Both the canvas and medium are the earth and nature. While there are more famous contemporary Land Artists, Dietmar Voorwold is my favorite. Here’s a great sampling of his work.

I’ve been moved to emotion by many pieces of art, but what I feel when I see Dietmar Voorwold’s land art creations is pure AWE. Not awe because of the amount of work or time it took to create the piece or some unattainable skill possessed by the artist; but awe in its duplicity. My brain can’t comprehend how something can be so beautiful, simple and pure and yet so complex at the same time.  Dietmar Voorwold’s work is childlike in its simplicity of materials and its canvas but at the same time it can be as complex as a calculus algorithm. He seems to also have the eye for and gift of photography that can capture his Land Art at the perfect moment of light

I can see why Dietmar Voorwold’s work and vision could involve Art Therapy for children.  One spring, I showed my students some video of some Land Art creations and then took them on a walk as Dietmar Voorwold described it “the perfect stage and canvas…” It was amazing to see their eyes light up just by finding a leaf or a rock or a berry because they saw it’s potential. Everything they found in nature, they saw as a gift left just for them to be used for their own creative expression.  The hardest part for me with this “art project” was walking away from their creations. We took pictures and then walked away. There was something sad and freeing at the same time to just walk away. Interestingly, though, the kids didn’t have a hard time walking away. But there was definitely a feeling of reverence for their work in knowing it was ephemeral.

  • When you hear the word ART, what is your first thought?
  • In your opinion does creating artwork that is meant to be ephemeral or temporary lessen its value or beauty?
  • As a child or an adult, did you create works of art from nature?

Here’s a great video of Dietmar Voorwold’s work.

A few other Land Artists that create unbelievably works of Art:

Patrick Dougherty

Andy Goldsworthy

Sherry Eubanks



Cars!-extra credit blog post

click here for photos

Growing up, I was absolutely obsessed with toy cars! From matchbox cars to larger di-cast models, I collected and played with them constantly.  My dad had a huge collection at his work office and would always bring one home for me for Christmas, thus making my collection grow. I specifically remember keeping a shoebox under my bed full of my favorite matchbox cars that I didn’t want my brother to play with. Needless to say, my passion for cars still exists. There will always be that little kid in me when it comes to playing with toy cars and making car noises on the floor.

When I saw this article on Facebook of Michael Paul Smith’s life-like scenes, I was absolutely blown away! He had brought to life the world of toy cars and with the use of perspective.  He successfully turned a model world into a real looking world (something I had unsuccessfully tried to do every time I played with my cars). Knowing that all he used in his photographs was a card table, some model cars he has collected, a few model structures and merely eyeballing the surrounding environment to get the perfect shot.  He captures the image at the perfect angle, leaving out the real streets and sidewalks and replacing them with his own smaller version.  Keeping the background is the hardest part because he must shoot from the perfect distance to make the surrounding trees and environment look proportional to the rest of his scene.  He uses natural light, which elevates the authenticity of his models because they are reflecting the sunlight much like actual cars would.

One thing I wish he would do would be to do the same thing with different generations of cars. He collects and uses mostly old, early 1900’s vehicles, which are classic and awesome, but I think getting some newer cars and putting them in some modern environments would be really cool. Although the his work is refreshing and definitive of the early 20th century, I think integrating some 21st century cars would be a great addition to his work.

All in all, Michael Paul Smith has a great art form in my opinion. It relates to me in regards to my love for cars and the fact that model cars were my toys of choice when I wanted to play for hours.  His vision is an amazing implication of perception and proportion. It shocks me how real you can make something that is the size of your hand by just placing it just right in a field of view.


  • Do you think this is considered art?
  • Did you think these pictures look real, or are they sub par attempts at perception distortion?
  • Do you think he should use newer cars or stick to his passion for classics?

Jack Rea

Poetic Cosmos of the Breath

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I came across a single picture of this installation while scrolling aimlessly through my Tumblr feed having no idea what it was. I merely thought it was a picture of a metallic structure that must have been photo shopped in some way or another. I clicked on the image to enlarge the picture and was completely blown out of the water. There was unfortunately no name of the installation or artist attached to the image so I began my frantic research purely out of curiosity. “What is this?” “Where is this?” “Can I go see this?” were all questions that immediately came to mind. I started typing in things like “huge metallic structure” “inflatable reflective foil” and eventually was brought to a link on Vimeo, which finally put an end to my search. This link however caused my amazement to flourish even more and now I was truly in awe of this work. The clip was a short 3-minute film of a large piece of foil like material being inflated into a breathtaking solar dome. I had finally found what I had been looking for and I am incredibly excited to share Poetic Cosmos of The Breath, an installation by Tomas Sarcaceno with all of you.

Poetic Cosmos of The Breath (2007) was an experimental piece done by artist Tomas Sarcaceno. The Argentinian artist has been creating these cloudlike installations for several years and continues to push concepts of gravity and our previous perceptions of architecture towards new heights. The piece I chose to share with you, “Poetic Cosmos of The Breath” was apart of ‘The Arts Catalyst’s’ 2nd International Artists Air show, where viewers started to crowd the experimental solar dome at dawn while Sarcaceno and his team proceeded to fill the reflective foil with air throughout the day; this gave viewers a chance to walk through the installation and actually inhabit the space.

Being both an architect as well as an artist, Sarcaceno has been fascinated by the idea of a floating city; this fascination has been the sole inspiration of his past installations as well as this one. The Poetic Cosmos of The Breath is made of giant, reflective, circular foil harnessed to the ground by sand bags on all sides. The initial release of the inflatable structure was done at sunrise to allow the sun to reflect off of the piece as both rose higher in the sky.

Here is the link to the short film showcasing the installation and its inflation at sunrise. So incredibly beautiful!

My questions for you are:

  • How do you feel about the idea of a floating city?
  • Do you consider installations such as this one to draw a more emotional response than a painting or drawing?
  • What did you think of the relation between sunrise and the inflation of the radiant foil?

Bailey Van Horne

Día de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead

As most people know the Day of the Dead is almost like that of Halloween, the only difference is that it not celebrating the tricks or treats. Instead the day is to celebrate your lost loved ones death, where ofrendas, “offerings” which is a table is set up covered with a tablecloth. On the table there are candles meant for our deceased relatives to find their way back home but only just for this one night. Now most of you are probably frighten and think that this is of a voodoo scene, it’s not that way at all, and it’s actually quite peaceful and special. We are simply honoring the memory of our ancestors and legend has it that it’s the night they came back from the dead. Nothing spooky right? Along with the candles we set up their favorite foods, favorite objects, and lastly the most important part a picture of them. Down below is a photo of how ofrendas should be.

day daed1

If you notice closely to the background of this ofrenda, my most favorite painting is up. Here is a closer picture.

day dead2

The artist was named José Guadalupe Posada. He is known for his most famous drawings of Calaveras Spanish word for skulls. What I like most of his drawings was that he brings humor into them. Most people define death a horrible thing, which I believe it can be but he brought back fun into life by making the skeletons look warm and inviting, after all we all turn into skeletons we all can’t be that scary. I like to look at art with the knowledge of what the background is about for example; this drawing is well known and used most in ofrendas because it basically symbolizes an ancestor coming back to “life” to visit their families. The picture reminded me of home because of its location, if you look closely to the background the statue is El Ángel de la Independencia, the angel of independence which is in Mexico City. Another reason to why I favored this drawing is the people within the drawing, again knowing the knowledge of art pieces before reading its description. The skeleton is walking along with his live husband to her right in behind her is Frida Kahlo, another well-known famous artist with her artistic husband Diego Rivera. To the skeleton’s left are the famous politicians and veterans to symbolize the Mexican revolution. What can I say, you teach a lot of Mexican culture in just one drawing or in this case my blog!:) here is a Fascinating link that I highly recommend that all you check it out and realized that our culture is our Art!

My questions to you are..

  • Do you think death should be celebrated or mourned?
  •  I love learning new cultures, other than this Mexican tradition are there other cultures that do something similar to this holiday? Would you do this in your home?
  • I told you my favorite parts in this picture what were your top two?

Artist: José Guadalupe Posada

By: Guadalupe Medina