How do you depict jealousy in art? That is a question two artists posed to each other. Artist Vikki North e-mailed me and wrote she said to Michael Edens of MDE.ART, "I’ve got one for you. How would show ‘Jealousy’ in a singular image?... How do you show that ugly green eyed monster- 'Jealousy' without getting cartoon-like?"
Vikki says she was sure she stumped Michael. He wrote back that he could do it and dared Vikki to do the same. Soon he came up with an image that represented the emotion. Vikki returned the challenge. Judge for yourself- which image below depicts the emotion the best?
Says Michael, "The experience instilled a desire to make art challenges more inclusive and accessible to artists and art patrons." He presents the challenge in a joint effort called, "The Artist Challenge- A Private Art Club."
Artist Michael Edens responded to the "Jealousy Challenge" with the painting above. The face is separated by a jagged line with one side of the face brighter than the other. Does the red jagged line separate the side that is content from the side that longs for something it doesn't have?
This is Vikki North's response to the challenge. Does the painting successfully define the lines that separate anger from jealousy?
Following that challenge, Michael said to Vikki, “I’ve got one for you: How would you portray the 1956 French film ‘The Red Balloon?” Vikki had never seen the film, so she had to do a little research on the movie. The movie is a story of a young boy who discovers a large helium-filled red balloon. He soon finds that the balloon has a mind of its own. Vikki responded with art of her own.
Says Vikki, "I worked out the design and painted for several hours. Half done, I had a horrible epiphany: it was all-wrong! The film is about opening up the world and imagination of a little boy. So, I started again." Her result is online.
The two artists have continued their challenges each month and their challenges have expanded to additional artists. Since then they have created a representation of Dan Eldon, an humanitarian who drew attention to the poverty and starvation of Africa's population. The following month they challenged each other to create art that depicted "Hope."
Artists everywhere can now join them in the challenge. Says Vikki, "I equate it to the fact that there is nothing more stimulating to any artist than a challenge from another artist. It’s a tremendous exercise for all artist and just great fun. We even have craftsmen and writers that want to be a part of the challenges." You can join the challenge by visiting their website.
Vikki North is one of a kind, and together with Michael, they make an exceptional team. Long before the Challenge, Vikki was generating both written and visual content of a special kind. Pay a visit to her blog and scroll back in time to some of her posts and artwork over the past year, and you will witness an exceptional collection of artistic expression. Vikki's stories lure you in and you hang onto every word as you make the twists and turns down the journey.
She brings joy into my life on a daily basis. I'm sure that her work will affect you similarly.
February 22, 2009 12:18 AM
Go there, get to know these people! They are truly incredible and will always cheer you up just when you thought you didn't even need any more cheer! Oh, did I tell you they are amazing artist!
February 25, 2009 12:44 PM
pretty amazin work vikki your cute to i like your swagg keep upp the good work
October 14, 2009 2:00 PM
The Art of Google
On January 28, the birthday of Jackson Pollock, Google featured Pollock on its search engine (see image at left). Google frequently changes their logo during special events and holidays. The "I'm Feeling Lucky" button that day sent visitors to a fun site where you can create your own Pollock image.
Google has been supportive of the arts with their logos. Google hosted a What if competition where they invited K-12 students to design their own Google logo. You can see the finalists' art here. You can see many other entries here. The logo featuring the event is below left. Google also hosted a contest for UK students called the "My Future" contest. Over 65,000 enteries were received. The winning logo was drawn by Claire Rammelkamp, a 14-year old. See her logo below right.
Google has posted many other logos that commemorate the arts. Below left is a logo honoring the birthday of DaVinci. Lower right is the logo that honored MC Escher.
Below left: Marc Chagall - Below Right: Architect Walter Gropius
Below left: Joan Miró - Below Right: Piet Mondrian
Below left: Edvard Munch- Below Right: Claude Monét
Below left: Marc Chagall - Below Right: Vincent Van Gogh
Below left: Diego Valazquez- Below Right: Architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Bottom left: Dr. Seuss, Bottom right, Norman Rockwell.
Below: Michelangelo Buonarroti (I didn't want to reduce the size because it would lose a lot of detail.)
Below: Cartoonist Dilbert
Above: This cartoon was in honor of E.C. Segar, the creator of Popeye. Popeye was 115 years old that day.
Asterix Comics birthday
Above left: In honor of ComicCon In honor of Wallace Gromit animated cartoon
You might be asking who at Google creates these wonderful logos. The artist is Dennis Hwang, a 31-year old Korean artist now from Knoxville, Tennessee. His teachers did not appreciate his art when he was a student at Bearden High School. He has moved up in the world and is now the Google's head webmaster. Designing logos is a small part of his job.
How did Dennis get his start at Google? He had an internship there when in college. The founders knew he was an art student and gave him the chance to design a logo. They loved his work so much they have used him ever since. Says Dennis, "Usually, artists' birthdays are the ones I spend the most effort on, like Monet's birthday." 
You can see a great video of Dennis creating one of his Google logos below:
You (Google) should open the contest up to the world. I was dissapointed to here it was only for American Schools. That is what I want for the world acess for all children to display their art not just Americans. Google, above anyone should be able to understand that as a leader on the world wide web.
February 18, 2009 6:30 AM
Graffiti Art Off the Street
Many communities consider graffiti art to be a menace and defacing of property. The primary reason for this is that some graffiti artists post art on private property without the permission of the owners. At any rate, graffiti art is illegal in most communities and the artists usually have to run and hide from the law after leaving their mark. Graffiti art is not the same as tagging. Tagging usuallly involves only a black spray can that is used to paint initials or other tag. Usually the tagger just wants their name to be known in the area and feels a sense of pride when he/she sees the tag.
Example of Tagging
Example of Graffiti Art
Graffiti art involves the use of color and may or may not contain alphabetical letters. Much of it is beautiful to behold, but is usually temporary as it is painted over by business owners. Graffiti artists have also been fined an arrested.
When a good graffiti artist paints a work of art with the permission of the owner of the property, it not only can be considered a work of art, it can be lucrative for the artist.
There is a man who decided to make his art "legitimate" and take it off the street and do it in a studio. Mike Graves used to paint graffiti on trains and buildings. Now he paints on canvas.
Mike Graves is shown in his Murphy Building studio on the south side of Indianapolis.
Says Mike, "I'm too old to be jumping off trains and running from cops and spraying on people's businesses," he said, laughing. "Not that I have anything against it, but I'm not that fast anymore... I've always loved graffiti, but my favorite artists have always been the ones who've been able to take it to a more artistic level. There's something to be said for great lettering and fat characters and all that good street stuff, but I've always liked the guys who could take that sensibility and mix it with art -- people who can master two worlds." 
There is money to be had for some graffiti artists. Keith Haring, a graffiti artist in New York painted simple white chalk figures on unused advertising panels on billboards across the city. Soon many New Yorkers began admiring his work and he was invited to exhibit his work. He received international recognition. He became a wealthy man, but his life was cut short when he died of AIDS.
Mike's work is also becoming popular. He has a show this month at the Indianapolis Artsgarden called Art & Soul on February 26. The price range of his work is between $200 and $1,200. He uses acrylics, ink, markers, oil, steel, wood and photography. He has been awarded several awards and had his work recognized at the Seattle Er0tic Festival.
I am a fan of graffiti and you do things like congratulation
March 6, 2009 10:05 AM
He is probably one of the worst graffiti graffiti artist I have ever seen. I cant see how he can claim to be an artist when he has no control over letter form what so ever.
August 5, 2009 8:17 AM
dude when i go to big city i live for seeing graffiti
February 10, 2010 10:55 AM
An interesting form of art is hand paintings. No, not painting with your hand- painting ON your hand. Artist Guido Daniele from Milan, Italy began his style of super-realism as an illustrator with various advertising companies. In 1990 he began using body painting for his advertising. He paints models' bodies for commercials fashion events and exhibitions. Enjoy the video below of a series of his excellent hand paintings.