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Saturday, March 29, 2008

More Smushed Art & Lights Out

I did this smushed art tree last night as an experiment. Unfortunately I used a little too much water & some of the paint thinned a bit too much, but you live, you learn. Because of the overly-thin paint, however, the veining effect (which represents the tree bark pretty well,) shows through on both sides. I prefer the abstracts more, though--less hassle & the outcome's more of a surprise.

Tonight is "Lights Out America." From 8-9pm, people across the country will turn off their nonessential lights. Although this is primarily an environmentally-based event, I learned about it through the Int'l Dark Sky Association, who are all about reducing light pollution. As an amateur astronomer, I support the premise & encourage my readers to educate themselves on the issue.


Marvin said...

Another great Smushie, but I think you're right about the process being better suited to abstracts.

As someone who lives out in the boonies (and doesn't have a yard light), I can attest to the fact that the night sky without any light pollution is truly awesome. Until we moved here, I never dreamed there were so many stars.

Tom said...

Lana- I'll be at a concert tonight but I've been amazed how quickly the word about lights out has gotten around. The clearest and starriest skies that I have ever seen were when I was 19 and traveling around the Australian outback. Seeing the Milky Way band across the sky was amazing. Who knows, maybe this lights out thing will really catch on!


Charles Gramlich said...

I grew up without much light pollution until my mom insisted on getting a yard light. she hated being in the dark, dark country. Still, we saw a lot of stars.

Billy said...

Thanks for the reminder about earth hour tonight. Before I had heard of this, I had done a post on my other blog about "vampire volts"--electricity still wasted on unused appliances as long as they're plugged in. There is still a "draw" from these dormant appliances.

Amateur astronomy. Ahhhh. I really want a 12" Celestron to take pics of deep space objects, planets, the moon, etc.

Lana Gramlich said...

Marvin; I experienced something similar when I moved from Long Island (just outside of NYC,) to Canada. Just awesome.

Tom; Fortunately I'm able to see the Milky Way from my backyard. The best skies I've seen were in Arizona (during my road trip there Mars was at opposition & Hale-Bopp was out,) but I'm sure Australia's got that beat by a long shot.

Charles; You are the brightest star in the sky of my life. :)

Billy; A friend of mine in Canada has a high-powered telescope w/camera attachment. Saw so many wonderful things there, including Saturn's moons. It was so cool.

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Love the tree trunk especially. VERY cool pic!!!

I just turned off my dryer. HOpe that counts.

Hugs, Nancy

Travis said...

I'm doing the lights out at 8pm PDT. I'll be turning out the lights and going to battery power on my laptop. If the basketball game is over, I'll turn off the tv as well.

eric1313 said...

Hey, some of the best artistic statements around were "happy accidents" from the onset. I know that from music--one screw up can lead to a new guitar riff and the like.

That's the beauty of art; somebody tells you you're doing it wrong, and you can tell them they're talking out their crapper, or tell them to let real critics do their job, because you have no time for frustrated amateurs!

As for lights out, yep it's about that time.

Not to make light of an important issue--I was all about Earth Day before I was ever dropped off at this planet. said...

I'm sure you took the same Psych course I did.
That tree is really in need of some springtime growth.

(Maybe this winter is getting us all down.) Psych prof used to say trees should be reaching, reaching for the sun.

Shauna Roberts said...

Thanks for sharing your next experiment in smushed art. It's fascinating to watch as you test the strengths and weaknesses of the technique.

Erik Donald France said...

Ooh, that's cool. Looks 3D from an angle, like lychen on textured wood or hide.

Lights Out & see the stars!

Travis Erwin said...

One of the great benefits of living at the bottom of a deep canyon is that the palisade walls block light from everything. Thus I have a great view of the stars.

Lana Gramlich said...

JJ; It all counts. ;)

Travis; Cool! Was the game over in time?

Eric; Agreed on the "happy accidents" (I just watched one of his shows this afternoon, actually. *LOL*) I wish I could maintain my high environmental standards, but my cynicism's hijacked the reasoning centers of my brain. <:(

Ivan; Considering all I did was glob paint on glass & smush it w/o benefit of brushes or much preplanning, I'm amazed at how well it came out, actually. I'd expected a completely unrecognizable blob, myself.

Shauna; It's been fun to do, almost like fingerpainting in kindergarden. Completely no stress. Glad you're enjoying it, too! :)

Erik; Thanks. We seem to have been the only "lights out" people in our neighborhood. Better than nothing, anyway!

Travis E.; Ooh, yes...I can imagine! Lucky you!

Sidney said...

I missed your post and every other mention of the "Lights Out" effort or I would have participated. I've been a little under the weather so about all I could muster was veging in front of the computer last night but I could have done better.

Julie at Virtual Voyage said...

Interesting result with glass - I came to the same conclusion about natural subjects, though like the bark effect on this.

Miladysa said...

I liked the way Google turned their website black in support of the cause.

I have been aware of light pollution for a few years now following a BBC documentary. It is surprising how once it is brought to your mind you realise how much of it there is!

I like the tree :-D

Lana Gramlich said...

Sidney; I hope you feel better soon! The beauty of environmental consciousness is that it doesn't need to be implemented on a specific day. We're free to do what we can when we can. :)
The exercise reminded me of Canada, when I relied on candlelight (& Xmas lights,) every night. My power bills were the minimum charge every month; $15 (& the candles didn't cost me much over & above that.) Using power before that on a regular basis, my monthly bills were about $70, so it was quite a difference.

Julie; Thanks. :)

Miladysa; Thank you! The thing about light pollution, too, is that we can still have lights at night, but pollute much less. It's all in the light shades used & the angles of how the lights are hung. There's no need to send so much light upward. It's such a waste of energy!

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