Oh what joy I had today when I found some “new” pages on Google Earth (I use new in inverted commas as I am not actually sure now new they are, they may have been around for some time but such was my excitement at finding these that I thought I would share them, incase others had not had the opportunity to see them yet!).
Google Art Project
I knew about the Google Art project before, it allows you to browse and zoom into the collections of over two hundred galleries around the world, from the comfort of your screen. You can search by artist by gallery, or alternatively browse some of the many collections available which you or other users have created. It is simple to create your own personal gallery, all you do is browse the works and then click the little pencil and cube icon at the side of the screen. You can choose to share your collection or make it private, which is an added bonus. These are some of the most interesting things I have found so far:
- Tate collections of J M W Turner
- search by keyword for a place (e.g. Brighton)
- Highlights from the National Gallery of Scotland
- a user collection of impressionist works
- it is not just paintings… here is a “Bristol sauceboat” in porcelain, held by the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston
Google Street view in Galleries
Would you like to see inside a gallery and virtually wander to the front of a famous piece of art, and put yourself nose to pixel with it? Here is a John Constable work, in Tate Britain.
There are several international galleries with this feature, view the current list here.
Google Plus slideshows
I can almost smell the espresso of Piazza San Marco through this feature…
We are no doubt all familiar with entering results in Google search bar and getting a list of relevant sites. If you type in the name of certain famous sites you can get a stream of text information, maps and reviews of the places in question, and if you click on any of the photographs it gives you a full screen slideshow all about this area. I am yet to explore Google+ and its social side, but as I understand it, if you are registered for this it allows you to post information and share it with friends in your circle (or publicly) so I think this might be a good tool for people planning a group holiday.
This site allows you to view UNESCO world heritage sites, and lots of informative background information about their importance and history. This interface allows you to view collections of sites, and search by country, continent or theme. You can even dive under the Great Barrier Reef!
Here is a rather lovely looking Stonehenge:
Here are the Trulli houses in Puglia, you can actually “walk” up and around the streets there. One day I will go and see these in real life, but in the mean time I have this site to entertain and delight me.
Happy browsing, I would love to hear of some of the places which you find out there.
Cafe’s with character in Glasgow… a short but pretty post pondering architecture and cafés.
Queens Café, 530 Victoria Road, Glasgow has lovely art deco style glass and some interesting interior fittings (and does its own ice cream). This is a Southside beauty.
University Café, 87 Byres Road, is a Glasgow institution… great folding seats, certificates adorning the walls from all sorts of awards and lovely Italian goodies to enjoy.
Tchai Ovna, Otago Lane, Glasgow is perhaps the ultimate place to go for tea, poetry and arts events; enjoy the eclectic atmosphere of the Lane (perhaps also go to the wonderful second hand bookshop nearby) and have loose leaf tea from all around the world or try one of the delicious home cooked dishes (with vegetarian specials). It is a lovely little hide-away, overlooking the River Kelvin.
Siempre Bicycle Café, 162 Dumbarton Road, Glasgow is a relatively new café which is next to Kelvin Hall subway. A little gem of a café which welcomes cyclists (hooks and places to hang your bike are provided, along with a huge selection of funky bike supplies from the latest fashions to the “must have” techny gear). The café is in the ground floor of a tenement and there is even a small hatch off the subway lane if you are in a hurry.
éSo four suggestions for a little creative diversion 🙂
I had mentioned that I do enjoy cafe working every now and then… here are two sketches which I did from the window of Waterstone’s cafe in Edinburgh… it is on Princes Street and lets you look through a giant bay window towards the castle and Tollcross. Lovely stuff. These were done with a Pilot V5 pen in black ink, and a random pen I had in my bag which was very thick and not my usual choice, in a TeNeues half lines half plain workbook. This is not my usual sketchbook either, I was in the middle of freeing my brain up to do some more thinking… but it worked OK.
I have been enjoying playing with lots of different artforms recently, which has made me consider more clearly what my own creative voice actually is. Talking to friends and colleagues about how they go about “being creative” is rather interesting. Ideas come to us in so many different ways, and we all document our thoughts slightly differently… our outputs are completely different (be it specialising in mainly visual art, photography, music or writing novels) but we all share a desire to make our ideas come to fruition and to some extent to share our work with others. I think another common factor is play; we all want to enjoy our creative work (whether it is done purely as a one off piece or for a bigger paid project) and put our heart and soul into it. Exploring art forms which I am not familiar with has really helped me generate more creative ideas, as has working with others with different backgrounds as it is great for approaching a project in a different way.
I had been reading the book “The Artists Way” by Julia Cameron and she suggests that creative people take themselves on an “artists date”, spending time doing only creative things for a certain period of time; personally I have been making time to visit galleries (as in my previous blog post) as this immerses me in the gallery experience, taking in both the work itself but also how it is presented and the additional materials which many exhibitions now put out (I have spent many a happy time exploring the books and publications, or web materials, accompanying my favourite exhibitions).
I love my studio but sometimes taking time away from my usual space also helps me be more creative, it is funny how an hour in a coffee shop can make me think of all sorts of ways of tackling a new piece of work. Listening to music can help too.. I read with interest a post by Jane Hannah on her blog recently where she talked about how she started her day with music (and made some great drawings). Sometimes music can really uplift us and also guide us to new places (I liked the recent Sonica festival where technology, visual art and sculpture all combined to make dramatic work in the Tramway arts space).
Do you make your own creative tune? Do you have a place to “be creative” or does it just happen naturally or when you are least expecting it?