Stunning Street Art

I have always had a love for street art. It is fascinating how an artist can take some spray paint or chalk and create a breathtaking masterpiece. It's also exciting that it appears spontaneously, sprouting up unexpectedly all over the world.

There is such a wide variety of styles associated with street art. Street artists often use their work to express an idea or address social problems. Sometimes artists choose to highlight the beauty of the urban landscape, or transform it into something new all together.

Here are some awesome street art masterpieces, for your enjoyment and inspiration.

Paris, France   |    Author: Marko

Art Nouveau mural "Our Lady of Grace" in the City of Montreal

Photographer and street artist JR (some call the 'French Banksy')

Breaking Bad amazing-ness by Axe Colours

and who doesn't like some Banksy?

 Smug specializes in photo-realistic graffiti; the Scottish city Glasgow funds a mural initiative.

 Smug specializes in photo-realistic graffiti; the Scottish city Glasgow funds a mural initiative.

Herbert Baglione's "1000 shadows" project, here in an abandoned psychiatric hospital

Alexandre Farto (a.k.a. Vhils) is a Portugal-based street artist renowned for his murals which he creates using stencils, chisels and drills.

by Wes21 in Berlin, Germany

New York based artist Gaia often chooses to showcase some dark imagery

Polish artist NeSpoon is known for beautifully intricate patters

British street artist Julian Beever creates 3D scenes with just pavement and chalk.

in Horsens, Denmark by 215

ROA is known for his awesome animal murals

Great way to incorporate the landscape in Oz, France by Vinie Graffiti

Spanish artist Pez began painting in 1999 on the outskirts of Barcelona

awesome street art in Barcelona, Spain by ManuManu

Shoreditch Street Art in London has a dedicated tour

by Millo in Milan, Italy

Chichester Street Art Festival, 2013 Liqen held in in West Sussex, England shows a mechanical locust traveling in a pollution-infested world.

stunning piece in New York by artist Jorit AGOch

Kelly Goeller experiments with pixel art to the streets of New York

Chinese artist DALeast's signature 3D style appears across the globe

Contest - Navigator Dreams

I always love a good contest. I think it all started way back on a family trip to Arbuckle Wilderness. We were coming back from touring the park and noticed a crowd gathered at the pavilion. An event was happening to honor the park's special theme that season - dinosaurs. They were giving away an old Pepsi machine painted with a dinosaur scene. I stopped my parents and told them I'd like to enter. I remember my mother telling me I wouldn't win, and, being a stubborn child, I insisted that I would like to enter anyways. Sure enough, my name was called, and shortly later we were calling my grandparents to come help us take home this giant soda machine.

Ever since then, when presented with the opportunity, I like to enter to occasional contest, and have won all sorts of things over the years from jewelry and money to a trip to NASCAR. Of course, the odds are never in your favor with sweeps/contests, but if your name is in the hat there is always a chance.

Now that I'm a designer I have become more interested in creative opportunities. The last creative contest I entered was a poster contest hosted by Barilla. I did not win; but, to me, the main objective is experience. And these contests are wonderful exercises in unleashing your creativity and honing your skills.

I just stumbled upon a new design contest that was recently launched earlier this month: the Navigator Dreams - Global Talent Design Contest. The objective is to create a design for this year's paper ream that complies with Navigator Students brand values--  technological, modern, innovative and fun. Prizes include a MacBook and Wacom pad.

2015 Winners

Admission period ends March 11, 2016.

So if you design, you might be interested in this one as well.  And never let the odds hold you back!

 

Restoring Memories

Photoshop is magic. No, really, I think it is.

One of the most important things Photoshop can do (to me at least) is restore memories. Images that are fading, discolored, torn, and almost lost forever can be brought back to life, to span generations of time in digital format.

They can either be brought back to (or in some cases, close to) original form, or they can be enhanced with various creative effects such as colorization.

Recently my family has discovered old slides and images from generations ago, some from overseas- a great-grandfather's military travels. To me, these are such great treasures. Photo Restoration is a time-consuming labor of love, but absolutely worth it.

Printed images will continually degrade over time (as will those VHS tapes!). If you care to preserve them for the enjoyment of future generations, take the time to digitize them or get someone else to. Someone down your line will certainly thank you for the peek in history.

Some of our restorations:

Before

After

Before

After

Children's Paintings

For the last several years, I have started a tradition of gifting my children with a painting for their birthday. Depending on what the birthday 'theme' is, I choose a scene to replicate with Acrylics on Canvas. My oldest, who is 4 now, has started to help with the image selection process as well.

I wish painting was something that I could quickly produce, but, with me, it takes an enormous amount of time to produce one painting. Hopefully it is a sustainable tradition, and that painting comes easier with practice.

Here are some paintings created in the past few years:

1st Birthday: Winnie the Pooh

2nd Birthday: Mickey & Minnie Mouse

3rd Birthday: Dora the Explorer

1st Birthday: Bambi

Bambi Work Flow:

The next painting requested by my oldest is everyone's (current) favorite character: Ice Queen Elsa from Frozen. I am at somewhat of a loss at the moment on which medium to use.

Queen Elsa from Frozen

Queen Elsa from Frozen

This image is seemingly a much more challenging project than what I've produced so far. I don't know if it would be better created with oil or water colors. Time will tell? 

Do you paint?

Mosaic Masterpieces

Lately I have been wanting to learn something new. I’ve always found mosaics to be a beautiful art form. Like pointillism, little individual pieces of color coming together to create a larger image is something that catches my eye. My dad has always had an artistic streak in him, as well. In the past he has sketched, painted, wood-worked, created stained glass and mosaics. It is inspiring to watch a friend of family member learn a new craft and create.

Mosaics by Danny McMahen:

And some other mosaics to be inspired by.....

Autumn Landscape by Sandra Bryant

Secret Between You and Me by Atsuko Laskaris

Storm is Coming by Michael Graham

Winters Beauty by Laura Rendlen

Beautiful Staircase in San Francisco


When You Grow UP

What do you want to be when you grow up? It’s a question that is asked of us at an early age. It’s interesting how our goals and hopes for the future evolve as we do. When I was young, I would always say I wanted to be an artist. Aside from reading, art was always my number one go-to activity. I had an artistic grandmother, who loved crafting and painting. Painting next to her is one of my most cherished memories.

 

As I progressed through grade school and learned about the mysteries of space, “artist” changed to “astronaut.” I would write NASA all sorts of different questions, and I had a folder with various facts and colored images of planets, black holes, and anything space related I could find.

 

Entering high school, my interests shifted again as my extracurricular activities changed from sports to debate, acting, and other speaking related activities. In high school it is pushed more than ever to have a occupational goal and know what you want to do. For a variety of reasons (probably some wrong ones) I decided to study law. And I did leave to do so in New Orleans (only to be blown back to Texas a mere week into my semester by hurricane Katrina).

Only when some years passed gaining a bit more maturity and understanding about myself, did I come full circle back to my first love - art. It took several years of hard work, during which I had 2 more children to make 3, but finally I graduated Full Sail University last month in October 2015. I still can’t believe this is what I will do the rest of my life- creating things, my passion. Even better, it allows me to work at home and fully experience the joys of motherhood while still producing.

I look back now and think that certainly too much emphasis is placed on knowing your path to the future. A self-involved teenager who is still largely forming their beliefs and identity is certainly not going to know these answers. While I agree it is good to know a general direction you would like to go, life, to me, is a much more un-charted journey. So finally, going on 30, I have found my life’s work and love, and am so excited to produce and get started!

Looking back