I love it when the edges are blurred between art and science. Here are five intricate images captured down the lens of a microscope.
1. Gingko biloba leaf stalk 16x. By Eckhard Völcker
2. Rhizome of a stinging nettle 10x. By Eckhard Völcker
3. Onion root meristem (aka the bit where growth happens) 20x. By Blue Ridge Kitties
4. The beautiful cross section of a stem. By Shihchuan.
5. Red geranium petals 400x. By Umberto Savagnin.
Posted by thefty on 19/06/2012
Whenever I’m feeling uninspired, I head to my local plant nursery. There’s so much to see there, and it changes all the time. I always come home with a camera full of pictures and a head full of ideas.
1. Huge grey/green leaves and striking fluoro blooms.
2. Leafy rosettes with hints of blues and reds.
3. Spiky, flame-like flowers and delicately painted leaves.
1. Stripes and spots and punchy hues.
3. Bubbly, dappled, heart-shaped leaves.
(All photos taken by me. See more on my Flickr page.)
Posted by thefty on 14/03/2012
A kaleidoscope is a tube containing beads and a set of angled mirrors. As the tube is rotated, the beads’ reflection in the mirrors creates beautiful, symmetrical patterns.You can read more about it here. In the meantime, click here for a digital kaleidoscope you can rotate with your mouse. You’re welcome!
1. This jewel toned image was actually taken inside a kaleidoscope. Photo by Crystal A. Murray (what an appropriate name!).
2. This is a glow-in-the-dark children’s toy. Incredible! I want to mount this on my wall! Photo taken (with the lights off, of course) by Jason.
3. This wasn’t taken through a kaleidoscope. This is a straight-up photo of a cactus. Nature knows the score, my friend. (By Daniel Kulinski)
4. Kaleidoscopic Rose, by Lucy Nieto.
5. Niklas Barsk took this through the giant kaleidoscope at Nagahama. I love that it looks so spherical, like some sort of crystalline planet.
A teleidoscope is like a kaleidoscope, except you can see through it, and can create patterns made from what you see on the other side. I’ve got a teleidoscope (it lives in my pencil jar on my desk). Click here for TOP 5: Teleidoscopic.
Posted by thefty on 29/02/2012
When I was in high school, I discovered the artwork of Chuck Close. He creates massive portraits which, upon close inspection, are made of grids of pixels – as seen here. I think we can thank (or blame) Chuck for this blog post. He was quite the inspiration to my adolescent self.
Here are five striking, clever and colourful pixelated images.
1. A needlecraft-inspired illustration by Holly Wales. I love it.
2. Intense technicolour madness by Stallio. Click here to see a larger version (believe me, you want to.)
3. Handmade fabric jewellery by the Likkle Girl.
4. ‘La Encarni’, by Karramarro. Clever, eh?
5. Fluoro pixel textiles (I want to wear this, or upholster my whole house in it). Photo by PinkMoose
I also love this pixelated portrait of Marilyn Monroe.
Posted by thefty on 22/02/2012
I’ve never had a knack for 3D construction: I can’t follow origami instructions, or even fold a proper paper plane. Maybe this is why I’m intrigued by complex structures and how they came to be (whether enormous or microscopic). As far as I’m concerned, if you want to be interesting, you need to have more than one side to you.
1. Intricate folded paper blossoms. (I’m aching to trace the original source for this one, so please let me know if you know it.)
2. These luminous structures were floating from the ceiling at the Barbican centre. Photo taken by me.
3. Hypothetical Particle 001, by Martin Isaac. I love the idea behind this. You can buy a print over here.
4. Complex folds and curves in natural forms. I photographed these flowers at my local nursery. Aren’t they beautiful?
5. Triangles and trapeziums. Found here, but original source desperately wanted.
Posted by thefty on 15/02/2012
Imaging being a Victorian scientist on an exotic expedition, without a trusty digital camera to record your observations. What would you do? You would learn to draw (or you would make friends with someone who could draw).
The study of natural history involves observing and recording the details of natural forms. As an artist with a background in biology, I am drawn to these images. While the artist in me is struck by the colours and patterns, the scientist in me looks for the similarities and differences between forms, always seeking explanations through evolution.
1. Ernst Haeckel was a master of the genre. His illustrations weren’t dry observations, they were meticulously composed masterpieces. Click here to see more of his work.
2. Look at all those intricate brush strokes! I don’t think I’d have the patience for this kind of work. By Henry Seebohm, Razorbill Eggs, (from here)
3. The Brooklyn Museum has plenty of entomological prints. This is a collection of beetles from Senegal, Guinea, Madagascar and Venezuela.
4. An engraving from 1772. Conch Shells by Pietri Antonio Pazzi (from here)
5. A grape vine, up close. You can actually buy this print (and other antique prints) from here.
Click here to see a stunning, modern application of antique natural history prints.
Posted by thefty on 10/02/2012
Hello! COLLECTIVE 5 is a weekly project involving readers’ photos. Anyone can join in! The rules, as well as next week’s COLLECTIVE 5 theme, can be found over here.
This week’s theme was TREES. I really enjoyed looking through your entries this week, as there was such diversity on the images you sent. (You guys are fom all around the world, so I got to see some very varied landscapes.) Anyway, I hope to enjoy this week’s set, and I hope to see photos from more new people next week!
Here are this week’s photos:
1. Casa de Campo, Madrid. By Donna Hatziioannou.
2. Dramatic Colours. By Claire Harrop.
3. From the Cardamoms in Cambodia. By Amy Hinsley.
4. This one is be Natali Papadaki.
5. Fredericton, NB, Canada. By Olivier Jarda.
Click here to check out next week’s theme! COLLECTIVE 5 is open to anyone, so please join in!
Posted by thefty on 17/06/2011
There’s a stunning Flickr group called Spirals in Nature. Go and take a look!
1. The sweeping, elegant form of a spiral.
2. There’s something special about the spiral on a snail’s shell.
3. Had you ever noticed the spiral inside a flower?
4. Art often imitates life.
5. And then, of course, we have the singular beauty of a lollipop. Ha.
Posted by thefty on 09/02/2011
Coming up roses.
1. My mum is good at wearing loud shirts.
2. This seamstress was good at pinning roses onto her doll.
3. My boyfriend is good at choosing cufflinks.
4. I’m getting good (well, getting better) at frosting cupcakes.
5. The real thing, because you can’t improve on perfect.
Posted by thefty on 10/01/2011
Angels, butterflies, doves and…cats.
1. Butterflies are classified as Lepidoptera, meaning ‘scaly winged’.
2. The statue of Eros, London.
3. A backstreet angel.
4. Bees are classified as Hymenoptera, meaning ‘membranous wings’.
5. This used to be a bird.
p.s. COLLECTIVE 5 is a weekly photo project involving your photos. Click here to join in.
Posted by thefty on 08/09/2010
I’m always looking out for the decorative element of nature:
1. A cabbage labyrinth.
2. A burst of twig-like protrusions.
3. The branching veins on a cauliflower leaf.
4. The branching veins of tree limbs.
5. Long, winding root tips.
Dear friends, before you go, please check this out. (It’s a photo project and I need your photos.)
Posted by thefty on 09/06/2010
London is absolutely freezing and white, and I need to be reminded of springtime.
1. A favourite pairing of clashing florals.
2.Flowers at Spitalfields market.
3. The backstreets of Athens are in bloom.
4. An extra splash of colour for my bedroom.
5. Kitschy-cool. (Or just plain kitsch.)
Posted by thefty on 09/01/2010
Flowers are pretty things, but my background in biology means that I love them for more reasons than that. There is such variety in size and shape and colour and smell. This has everything to do with pollination and evolution, and it is more facinating than you may imagine. For example, read this.
1. Stock (genus Matthiola): heavily scented, insect pollinated.
2. Cotton (genus Gossypium): Unscented, predominantly self-pollinating.
3. Lemon blossom (Citrus limon): Heavily scented, bee pollinated.
4. Jasmine (Genus Jasminum): heavily scented, insect pollinated.
5. I don’t know what this flower is, but it didn’t smell. Any thoughts?
Posted by thefty on 11/12/2009