Photograph by Dennis Ramos, National Geographic Your Shot
It seems that Mother Nature was in a collaborative mood, helping Your Shot member Dennis Ramos snap an unusual shot of Lake Hollingsworth in Lakeland, Florida.
“I was walking with my wife,” he writes, “when we noticed this one duck [fly] to the top of the young tree. As we were taking shots, I noticed this cloud very slowly [move] into my camera frame.”
A long-exposure photographer, Ramos was prepared to capture the moment. “I always have my neutral-density filter in my camera bag,” he explains. “I set up my tripod and [dialed] in a 90-second exposure—just enough to blur the water and still have the cloud above without too much motion blur”.
Ramos’s shot was recently featured in the Daily Dozen.
The early Roman celebration of Saturnalia, designed to appease agricultural gods who determined the fate of their crops, included the use of evergreen boughs to decorate homes.
The Druids, Celts and Vikings also used them during their winter solstice ceremonies to signify hope during the seasonal dead zone.So how did the practice morph from humble branches to majestic trees?
Some credit 16th Century Germany for that shift. That’s when small evergreen trees were decorated with candies, apples and berries and used in church plays.
Suddenly, the pagan ritual got a Christian makeover, and the uses of larger and grander trees during the winter season spread across Europe. By comparison, Americans got in on the practice relatively late. It’s believed that the first Christmas trees appeared in German American communities in the early 1800s.
But by and large, 19th century Americans still viewed the holidays as pagan until Britain’s Queen Victoria and her family were sketched standing near a brightly festooned Christmas arrangement in 1846.
Soon after, members of the American elite competed to earn credit for the most lavish displays of holiday splendor.
From there, it was game on for American Christmas.
Nowadays, it’s hard to imagine getting through a December without encountering at least one form of iconic Christmas image, regardless of your geographic location.
Until 1880, inventors had to submit models along with their patent applications to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Some models were crudely made but others, like this wooden press, were fine and exacting replicas.
Known as the father of the platen press, George Phineas Gordon received his first patent in 1850 and submitted over 50 more in his lifetime. This particular patent, No. 148,050, implemented improvements in the operation of the platen, grippers and ink distribution.
Gordon’s platen, or job, press was one of the first truly American contributions to printing technology. The basic and fairly simple platen design was copied extensively.
About seventy different manufacturers in the US produced their own versions. In its day, it was used for small printing jobs like handbills, tickets, programs, and business forms.
Today, many commercial shops still have a “jobber” for imprinting, numbering or die-cutting; and it is a mainstay with letterpress printers.
The Museum of Printing has several versions of the Gordon press
Audrey Kawasaki, one of our favorite artists, is back with her latest series titled Hirari Hirari, which translates from Japanese as “the sound or movement of a petal, leaf, or flower slowly falling.”
Using her signature medium of oil, graphite, and ink on wood panels, the Los Angeles-based painter creates gorgeous depictions of dreamy and enigmatic young women.
Kawasaki’s newest work is inspired by kimonos given to the artist by her mother.
Borrowing the colors and natural motifs found in the traditional Japanese garments, the stunning paintings are filled with vibrant hues, striking flowers and birds, and the fluid lines found in wind and water.
Simultaneously contemporary and traditional, innocent and sensual, the young women’s graceful bodies and delicate features blend seamlessly with the flowing imagery, yet stand out with their bold outlines.
TRENTON — It might be called Jersey Fresh, but it came out of a can — a spray can.
Graffiti artists from around the country flocked to Trenton Saturday for the ninth annual Jersey Fresh Jam, a festival highlighting graffiti, street art, music and community held at the Terracycle headquarters on New York Ave.
“This is a celebration of hip-hop, of art and graffiti and music,” said local graffiti writer Leon Rainbow — like most of the artists there, he goes by a pseudonym — a co-organizer of the event. “We want to bring the community an understanding, get them to know what we do and start a dialogue.”
That conversation includes the discussion on the importance of graffiti as both art and a cultural movement, Rainbow said.
To illustrate his point — literally — he invited around 50 artists from across the country to transform the dull warehouse into a functioning canvass of steel, brick and wood.
As a faint smell of aerosol filled the air, gray walls filled up with colors.
Industrial barrels behind the warehouse “watched” with painted purple eyes as Marilyn Monroe and a smattering of skulls, aliens or imagined cartoon characters slowly took shape along the company’s outside walls.
In other areas, elaborate artist tags — stylized graffiti signatures — created a patchwork mural in a kaleidoscope of colors.
“Everything we’re doing here is with the permission of Terracycle — it can’t be questioned, so it’s an opportunity to let the art shine,” Rainbow said.
“We want to broaden what people’s ideas of graffiti are, and what it can do to a place. And we not only have a lot of artists here, but the best artists from around the country.”
One of the visiting painters was a New Yorker who goes by the name Part.
He’s been tagging walls since 1974 and is well-known in the graffiti community as one of the original artists from the city.
The love letters between Leonard Kip Rhinelander and Alice Jones were read to giggling spectators in the courtroom on Nov. 21, 1925. – Bettmann/CORBIS
The lack of interest in Kanye West’s and Kim’s race stands in sharp contrast to the 1924 marriage and separation of Leonard “Kip” Rhinelander, son of the New York glitterati, and Alice Jones, a blue-collar woman with at least one black grandparent.
Theirs became perhaps the most examined interracial relationship in our nation’s history when Kip sued Alice for annulment on the grounds that she’d hid her “Negro blood” and intentionally deceived him into believing she was white.
The newspapers of the day alternatively called Alice a quadroon and octoroon. Quadroon was once used to describe someone who’s one-fourth black. An octoroon was the offspring of a quadroon and a white person. (All this talk of quadroons and octoroons now feels more than a little offensive and silly.)
Contemporary accounts vary as to whether Alice had one or two black grandparents. No matter the ratio of the mix, much of American society and statute adhered to the race standard colloquially called the “.”
Color in Love
Kip, 18, and Alice, 22, met in 1921 and began a three-year courtship.
Despite Rhinelander’s powerful and wealthy New York family taking measures to end his relationship with Alice, the two rendezvoused, wrote hundreds of letters to one another, and then eloped in October 1924.
The next month, the marriage was made public when The Standard-Star published a headline story titled “Rhinelanders’ Son Marries the Daughter of a Colored Man.”
Kip’s father immediately demanded he file for an annulment, and court proceedings began shortly thereafter.
The suit endeavored to prove Alice duped the stuttering, socially awkward, younger Kip and used sex to swindle her way into riches and high society. It was the celebrity nature of the Rhinelander family and the exposé of intimate marital details that turned the proceedings into a national spectacle.
To prove it was impossible to mask her race, the color of Alice Jones Rhinelander’s nipples was examined by judge and jury as evidence of her blackness.
Kip testified that Alice told him her complexion was courtesy of Spanish ancestry.
His lawyer attempted to show that all the dimwitted Kip wanted from Alice was sex and that he initially had no intentions of marrying her.
To this end, hotel trysts were described in excruciating detail and sensual passages from Alice’s love letters read aloud to show she was loose and licentious.
The artist Kat O’ Sullivan has been creating upcycled sweaters and clothing for over 20 years. “It seems like anything within my grasp ends up painted a million colors,” she says.
And this statement certainly held true when the artist decided to purchase a home in upstate New York that had been built in 1840. “I just thought it was cute,” explains Sullivan, but “it was the kind of house you would drive by and never notice.”
But once in the hands of the artist and her “creative mayhem” the home quickly began to change.
After a trip to the local paint shop – “give me one of everything!” – Sullivan spent countless hours painting and renovating until the home looked like a psychedelic rainbow complete with oddly shaped windows, eyes and a big mouth.
But “Calico,” as Sullivan calls her home, is an eternal work in progress. “It will only get weirder.”
You can keep up with Sullivan and her psychedelic home on Facebook or on Etsy, where she sells sweaters and tutorials on how to make her sweaters. (via Designboom)