Improvised Life » ideas from artists http://www.improvisedlife.com If you can't hunt with a dog, hunt with a cat... Mon, 20 Oct 2014 08:57:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 So Many Pathways At Any Given Moment http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/16/many-pathways-given-moment/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/16/many-pathways-given-moment/#comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 07:59:48 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=46015

Ellie Davies

This morning we ready this haiku by Buson:

       Coming back—
so many pathways
       through the spring grass.

Only nine words, it has been resonating all day (more…)

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Max Lamb’s Inspired Furniture http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/15/max-lambs-inspired-furniture/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/15/max-lambs-inspired-furniture/#comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 17:58:18 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45898

We’ve written quite a bit about Max Lamb in the past because of his unique ability to combine art and simple practical design. An integral component of his art is showing people HOW he made it. At MaxLamb.org you can see illuminating how-to’s on just about all his pieces.

His latest work is his Marmorial series of furniture. We had to look up “marmoreal”; it means “made of or likened to marble“. (more…)

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Tom Ashcraft: Artist and Sprite Hunter http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/14/tom-ashcraft-artist-sprite-hunter/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/14/tom-ashcraft-artist-sprite-hunter/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 08:00:50 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45969

Tom Ashcraft

When we’re a little blue, or wondering where we’re heading, we find it helpful to look beyond our own small life and get a bigger picture. And the best way we know to do that is to look at either nature, or art, or both.

The person we know that combines these two transformative forces best is our friend Tom Ashcraft, recently profiled in the New York Times for his cutting edge work tracking sprites: wondrous, rather mysterious emanations of light that flash for an instant above thunderclouds. They can look like and are named for  jellyfish, carrots, angels, broccoli and mandrake root. (more…)

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Beaver Brook’s Mind-Expanding Deep Woods Retreat http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/07/deep-woods-skate-park-paradise/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/07/deep-woods-skate-park-paradise/#comments Tue, 07 Oct 2014 21:32:39 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45082

snarkitecture.com

The folks of Beaver Brook, “a forest preserve shared by a community of friends in Sullivan County, NY,” have put a creative twist on the traditional woodsy escapes we so lust after. Check out the wooden hot tub overlooking everything…

…and the curvaceous little skate park flanked by acres and acres of trees…

Everything communal and everything D-I-Y, you can take a look at the newly-erected skeletons of ambitious new buildings and Andy Goldsworthy-esque art installations on their official website. It offers inspiring ideas for any country retreat.

We especially love the burnt path installation by Snarkatecture, above.

via (more...)]]> http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/07/deep-woods-skate-park-paradise/feed/ 0 Matisse Painted with Scissors (You can Too!) http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/07/matisses-cut-outs/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/07/matisses-cut-outs/#comments Tue, 07 Oct 2014 18:12:54 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45816


(Video link HERE.)  We readily admit to being spaced out, fogged, our mind on other things lately, so we deeply appreciate reader Zoe Komaransky putting herself in our shoes and coming up with an inspiring article:

I appreciate how challenging it is to come up with these posts. I bet there are days when complete ideas just show up and then others that require beaucoup research. This often makes me think, “Ha! I need to send this improvisation to Sally and IL.” Then that day goes on, I get busy and I don’t. But there’s one now that won’t let go so here it is—’keep your hand wide open’ as Abbey Lincoln proclaimed in her wonderful song.

I saw the The Matisse Cut Outs show at the Tate Gallery in London this summer and was astonished. I said, ‘Here’s a man who could not stop improvising.’ When he became so ill that he was bedridden or wheelchair bound and could no longer paint, he switched to making art with scissors and paper.

(more…)

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Artful Pubic Wigs! http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/24/artful-pubic-wigs/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/24/artful-pubic-wigs/#comments Wed, 24 Sep 2014 08:32:39 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45679

Sinnae Choi in collaboration with unnamed participant

We check into Improvised Life part-time support staff and contributor Sinnae Choi’s website periodically to see what the multi-talented artist is up to. We were amazed at the LOL beauty of the human hair merkins she collaborated on… And learned that a merkin is by definition a pubic wig.

Who knew? and… Why not?!!   Writes Choi and her collaborator:  (more…)

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Interiors Painted in the Style of Famous Artists http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/18/rooms-painted-style-famous-artists/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/18/rooms-painted-style-famous-artists/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 17:00:12 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45492

Brand New Paint Job

At Brand New Paint Job, artist Jon Rafman overlays the visual style of iconic artists onto rooms and objects, from a Fernand Leger Bomb to a Cy Twombly Lamborghini.

We were especially struck by Rafman’s interiors which seem completely viable, while instantly shifting our view. We would love go sleep in the Paul Klee Master Bedroom, above, or go to a school with a De Kooning-esque Hallway and Lockers.(more…)

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Air Baths and Other Ways to Enhance Creativity http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/18/daily-rituals-artists-work/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/18/daily-rituals-artists-work/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 09:15:17 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45477

At Improvised life,  we’re always interested in ways to become more creative and productive. So when we came across Mason Currey’s latest book Daily Rituals: How Artists Work we were excited. Currey describes personal quirks and daily rituals developed by many of the world’s great artists, musicians and film makers.

From the bizarre right through to the strikingly simple – the book reminds us that we all work in individual and often improvised ways: (more…)

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Surprising Painted Patterns on Floors, Walls, Ceilings http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/17/simply-paint-spartan-sublime/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/17/simply-paint-spartan-sublime/#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 16:59:28 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45388

Jerome Galland via myscandinavianhome

Why buy rugs to roll out on your floors, when you can paint them? Why collect art when you can decorate walls, floors and ceiling, with found materials?

I’m smitten by these two wildly different, improvisational ways that artists have used paint to mimic and displace art in such disparate places as a house on the Cycladic island of Serifos in Greece, and a classroom in Bihar, east India. In Greece, the floors get the spartan treatment; in India, on walls and ceilings, the sublimely ornate and colored with suprising materials. Both are divine. (more…)

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Underwater Film Break with Néry’s “Narcose” http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/11/underwater-film-break-nerys-narcose/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/11/underwater-film-break-nerys-narcose/#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 22:00:29 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45074

(Video link HERE.) This intoxicating little under-sea film by Julie Gautier follows record-holding deep diver Guillaume Néry down, down until he experiences the confusion and euphoria of high-pressure nitrogen narcosis. A little bit scary and very much lovely, this thirteen-minute journey into the depths of the ocean and Néry’s hallucinations will throw you far out of your daily routine and into the “rapture of the deep.”

Sinnae Choi via The Dish

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Formula for a DIY Donald Judd-esque Sofa http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/08/formula-donald-judd-esque-sofa/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/08/formula-donald-judd-esque-sofa/#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2014 17:00:00 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45005

Farrah Sit/Rebecca Atwood

Artist Donald Judd's austere, organic, ultra-simple furniture has been inspiration for lots of knockoff's and diy's and straight-out ripoffs. His iconic sofa, below, inspired the $6,000 Maple sofa, above, a collaboration of Brooklyn-based industrial designer Farrah Sit and textile designer Rebecca Atwood. Sit and Atwood have made improvments on Judd's design, from a practical comfort point-of-view. The sofa is definitely DIY-able.]]>
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Gratitude Where You Don’t Expect It http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/08/gratitude-dont-expect/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/08/gratitude-dont-expect/#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2014 08:06:31 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45106

Joanna Pan/Flickr

Leaving Manhattan on the commuter train the other evening, we were surpised to see a billboard towering above the South Bronx amidst the bleak industrial landscape. It says simply “GRATTITUDE.”

This teeny video —best viewed with chirpy music OFF — captures the expected and somehow remarkable experience. (Video link HERE.): (more…)

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Reorganization as Soul Cleanse http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/04/workspace-reorganization-soul-cleanse/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/04/workspace-reorganization-soul-cleanse/#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2014 08:54:33 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45132

A 48-hour disappearance into the depths of my studio was finally interrupted late yesterday by a well-meaning friend. He peered in to find me on hands and knees wiping out the lowest shelves with damp paper towels.

“Jeez. Still at it?”

I swiveled and growled like a rabid dog, sweat pouring down, hair plastered, eyes raccooned by melted mascara. “I can’t stop now. This is important. This is soulwork” He faded without a word.

Panting, disheveled, covered in cobwebs, I sat back on my heels. WTF? Why did this reorganization seem like a matter of life and death? Taking a swig of ice water, I collapsed on the floor. Presently, it came to me why it was––and is––such a big deal. (more…)

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Trees with Ladders: Tree Climbing for Adults http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/03/climb-tree-adults/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/03/climb-tree-adults/#comments Wed, 03 Sep 2014 22:20:11 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45184

E. Sanders

Every day we go to the park across the way and enjoy the huge, hundreds-years-old trees. We WISH we could climb them, as we did as a kid, and wondered, in our minds eye, WHY NOT just put a ladder up to one to give our creaky adult selves a boost up. Then we stumbled on images of L’Arbre aux Echelles — The Tree with Ladders — an installation by French artist François Méchain.]]>
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