Dolphin Sails

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Photographer Unknown, Title Unknown, (Dolphin Sails)

“Nowhere else than upon the sea do the days, weeks and months fall away quicker into the past. They seem to be left astern as easily as the light air-bubbles in the swirls of the ship’s wake, and vanish into a great silence in which your ship moves on with a sort of magical effect.”
Joseph Conrad, The Mirror of the Sea

Edward Julius Detmold

Wasps by Edward Julius Detmold

Edward Julius Detmold, “Common Wasps”, From “Fabre’s Book of Insects”, 1935, Tudor Publishing Company

Painter, printmaker and illustrator Edward Julius Detmold was born in London in 1883 along with his twin brother Charles Maurice Detmold. Provided patronage by their uncle Edward Shuldhan, the two brothers studied painting and printmaking under the tutelage of their uncle Henry Detmold, also an artist. In 1898, at the age of 13, the twins exhibited watercolors at the Royal Academy, and issued a portfolio of color etchings that same year that quickly sold out and brought them notoriety. In 1899 Edward and Charles began illustrating books jointly, begining with “Pictures from Birdland”, which was commissioned and published by J.M. Dent. This was followed by a portfolio of watercolors inspired by Kipling’s “The Jungle Book”.

The brothers’ tandem success, however, was ended with the sudden death by suicide of Charles in 1908. Edward Detmold threw himself into his work, beginning with an illustrated ” Aesop’s Fables” that included 23 color plates and numerous pen and ink drawings. This began a decade of intense productivity, in which the Detmold’s execptional eye for the detail and complexities of nature allowed him to achieve his place among the best illustrators of the Victorian era.

Edward Detmold continued to illustrate numerous books, including Maurice Maeterlinck’s “The Life of the Bee”, Camille Lemonnier’s “Birds and Beasts”, his own “Twenty Four Nature Pieces”, and Jean-Henri Fabre’s “Book of Insects”. However by 1921, after witnessing the horrific results of World War I and feeling a disillusionment with his own art, he had reached the end of his zenith. Though Edward Detmold went on to illustrate one last edition of “The Arabian Nights” in 1924, he had effectively ended his career with the publishing of a literary book of aphorisms entitled “Life”. He retired to Montgomeryshire, England, and died in 1957, also from suicide.

The Dragon Tree

Photographer Unknown, The Dragon Tree (Dracaena draco)

The Dracaena draco, or the Dragon tree, is a subtropical tree in the genus Dracaena, native to the Canary Islands, Cape Verde, Madeira, and locally in western Morocco. It has been introduced to the Azores. The tree  is a nmoncot with a branching growth pattern currently placed in the asparagus family. When young it has a single stem. At about ten to fifteen years of age, the stem stops growing and produces a first flower spike with white, lily-like perfumed flowers, followed by coral berries. Soon a crown of terminal buds appears and the plant starts branching. Each branch grows for about ten to fifteen years and re-branches, so a mature plant has an umbrella-like habit. It grows slowly, requiring about ten years to reach 1.2 metres (4 ft) in height but can grow much faster.

Victoria Crowe

Victoria Crowe, “Ferragosta: Fireworks and Crocosmia Lucifer”, 2017, Oil on Linen, 22 x 24 Inches

Born in London, Victoria Crowe trained at the Kingston School of Art and the Royal College of Art. She moved to Scotland in 1968 and began teaching at Edinburgh College of Art. Crowe is a painter of still life, interiors, landscapes and portraits, and works in oil and in watercolour.

Crowe’s  work is often autobiographical and visits to Italy, Madeira, Egypt and India have influenced her work. She has several portraits in the National Galleries of Scotland’s collection, the National Portrait Gallery of London, and the Royal Scottish Academy..

Summer Storm

Photographer Unknown, (The Storm Upon Us)

“By early evening all the sky to the north had darkened and the spare terrain they trod had turned a neuter gray as far as the eye could see. They grouped in the road at the top of a rise and looked back. The storm front towered above them and the wind was cool on their sweating faces. They slumped bleary-eyed in their saddles and looked at one another. Shrouded in the black thunderheads the distant lightning glowed mutely like welding seen through foundry smoke. As if repairs were under way at some flawed place n the iron dark of the world.”
Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses

Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei, “He Xie (River Crab)”, 2010, Porcelain

The installation “He Xie” consists of 3,200 porcelain crab sculptures. They were created after Chinese authorities ransacked and destroyed Weiwei’s studio in 2010. Following that event, a feast of real river crabs was hosted by Weiwei, who was unable to attend, due to his house arrest. The term “He Xie” is a homophone for “harmonious” in Chinese and has also become a term for internet censorship.

Walter Mason

Natural Photography by Walter Mason

German artist Walter Mason offers an interesting perspective on the natural world surrounding him. He examines relationships between natural elements, re-arranging and pulling them apart to put them back in new positions. The results are profound time-based-art sculptures that highlight the fragility and beauty of the environment. His careful geometric positioning of objects in space create surreal scenes that highlight the simultaneous complexity & simplicity that can often be found in nature.