Van Gogh on a pumpkin seed

Van Gogh on a pumpkin seed

Teeny tiny

Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” on a pumpkin seed? Astronauts on the head of a figurative pin?

I know, I couldn’t believe it myself until I saw it with my own eyes. Miniaturist painter and sculptor Salvador Fidai sees life in microcosm, using pumpkin seeds and matchboxes as his canvas.

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Fidai, a Russian artist, also carves tiny delicate sculptures of such things as the Eiffel Tower on the tip of a lead pencil. Watch him carve two interlocking hearts from a pencil tip.

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You can see more of Fidai’s work on Instagram, his Facebook page, or at his website. His forte’ is in original handmade paintings, carved pencil sculptures, miniatures and copies of famous paintings.

If you liked that, you’ll probably like these crayon sculptures of New York City landmarks and inlaid flowers.

Take a look at this miniature hand thrown pottery. Size does matter, according to Jon Almeda Miniature Small Scale Ceramics!

Solution to urban blight?

Can you guess what this is? Hint: It could be the answer to urban blight.

Photo via Günter Pilger

Photo via Günter Pilger

A sugar shack – literally

This sugar shack lives up to its name. “Each of the 162 panels is made of sugar cooked to different temperatures and then sealed between two panes of window glass. The space functions as both an experimental greenhouse, growing three species of miniature citrus trees, and a meditative environment. In warm months, a 5×8 ft panel on each side of the house opens up to allow viewers to enter and exit the house from all directions.” — William Lamson Solarium

Reviving a masterpiece

From painstaking to easy computer clicks: Restoring art.

What does it take to revive a masterwork? Retouching, structural work, re-varnishing, and other conservation techniques. In these posts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art website, restorers introduce you to Charles Le Brun’s 355-year old portrait of Everhard Jabach and his family, explaining how a painting that old is restored to its original vibrancy. A series of short video clips help the reader understand the process.

According to, “Completed in 1660, Charles Le Brun’s painting of Everhard Jabach and His Family had seen better days. The 355-year-old family portrait was covered in a badly tinted varnish, had multiple superficial scratches and structural damage had split the painting nearly in half. This video documents the 10-month restoration at the Metropolitan Museum of Art lead by Michael Gallagher that involved retouching, structural work, re-varnishing, and numerous other conservation techniques to bring this giant painting back to life. The Met also documented the process in some 20+ blog posts over on their website. (via Sploid).”

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Argentinian photographer and retoucher Joaquin Villaverde shows his abilities with modern-day Photoshop software, reviving a damaged black and white portrait of a young girl. Watch the time lapse video that compresses two hours work into three minutes to see how it was done.

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America the Beautiful

Hillsdale College’s choir celebrated Independence Day with a breathtaking rendition of America the Beautiful accompanied with a patriotic video montage that’s a fantastic way to honor the 4th of July.

Hillsdale College is located in Hillsdale, Michigan and you can find information about their free online courses here. And like I have done, you can get a free copy of Imprimis. the free monthly speech digest of Hillsdale College, sent to you each month. Imprimis “is dedicated to educating citizens and promoting civil and religious liberty by covering cultural, economic, political, and educational issues. The content of Imprimis is drawn from speeches delivered to Hillsdale College-hosted events. First published in 1972, Imprimisis one of the most widely circulated opinion publications in the nation with over 2.8 million subscribers.”

One other thing: Hillsdale College does not accept federal taxpayer subsidies for any of its operations.

Unexpected pianist

Hat tip to Twitchy for posting: “Former U.S. Secretary of State and accomplished pianist Condoleezza Rice teamed up with Grammy-nominated concert violinist Jenny Oaks Baker to perform a wonderful rendition of Amazing Grace. Proceeds from the download at iTunes go to the Wounded Warriors Project.”

I defy you to watch this and not be moved.

From the Wounded Warrior website:

“Our nation’s injured veterans, perhaps more than many, are impacted by this holiday in a particularly unique way: their personal enlistment in the military is in direct correlation to the value they place on independence. No stronger motivation exists for the kind of valor and unspeakable sacrifices veterans make in the name of keeping us protected and free. Independence Day has deeply personal meanings for our brave service members; when we honor the holiday, we honor them.”

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