Greening art

Greening artGreen art is a popular sub-genre in art and architectural circles today. In today’s era of global warming and climate change, the thematic association with natural elements, both flora and fauna, could not be more relevant. Today, more and more environmentally-conscious men and women are taking advantage of their abilities to express themselves through art and architecture, combining artistic creativity with engineering skills and entrepreneurial inventions. Through art, we sometimes discover new elements in nature and consequently express ourselves through actions in response to our new awakenings. Owing to geo-political and economic factors, more people have become urbanized, withdrawing further from depleted natural surroundings.

Blending in with nature

For most people, preoccupied with their daily lives, it has become challenging to notice those objects of beauty which rarely escape the eyes of artists and designers. But to compensate, the less-artistic of society still appreciate the gifts of their creative peers. You only need to look around your own home to appreciate aspects of art being combined with mechanical functions. Even the automobile that you drive to work each day has been inspired by some form of artistic expression.  Modern buildings are functional and environmentally sustainable, engineered from scratch to be artistically assimilated with nature.

Previously, the concern was always over how much natural space had been appropriated by mankind. In the sport of golf, hardly a necessity to most people and merely a form of recreation for some, large areas of land were cleared to build acres of greens on which enthusiasts could then hit a tiny ball from one end of the park to another with a club. Fortunately, whether through legislation or necessity, even artistic expression, today’s designers of golfing links are a lot more considerate where nature is concerned.

In communion with nature

Whether by design or not, much of the flora and fauna has been left untouched by builders who lay out their greens around natural forests and streams as opposed to demolishing them. For instance, it is no longer a rare occurrence to hear of a golfer having to watch his natural surroundings carefully while sizing up his next shot. Some golfing greens have even been placed near rivers populated by alligators. But thanks to modern technology, avid golfers have the benefit of using a custom-sized GPS navigator.

It is mainly used to optimize their performance on the greens but discerning golfers may argue that the sport remains true when only relying on instinct and the naked eye. You would have to visit or join a golf club to fully appreciate all of this. This website shows you how you can get started and what you will need as a beginner. Hikers, skiers and cross-country runners would agree that battling it out with their natural surroundings is the essence of their sport.

Originally, humankind was designed by their own artistic creator to be in communion with nature. It is still pleasing to see that we are slowly but surely returning back to basics, whether out of necessity or by design.

Poetry in motion

Poetry in motionThe title of this post was not chosen lightly in view of the fact that this expression has been used for many years to describe the artistic and emotional sensations associated with human motion. Fair to say, it should not even be regarded as a cliché because it remains relevant to our everyday lives. The use of poetry has been with us since the beginning of time. Think how the ancient scribes composed their verse when witnessing scenes of war and bravado, watching soldiers clash with each other with their swords and bows. In spite of proxy wars being fought mainly in the Middle East today, the rest of humankind has moved on from their predecessors’ early, blood-curdling days.

Art in nature

Today, most men and women challenge each other on the playing fields. Not only do men and women battle it out with each other, they also challenge themselves quietly on their own. The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner tells the story of one delinquent man’s battle with himself. Incarcerated for petty theft, the protagonist discovers the sport of cross-country running by chance. Much to the disappointment of the prison authorities, this young man, blessed with above-average levels of stamina and endurance, decides not to race against other athletes that he would surely beat, but against himself.

In the process, this young man encounters for the first time the joys of being close to nature, running through green forests and over muddy hills. While running, he sees the artistic beauty in his natural surroundings. The playing field may not be entirely natural but there is a good reason why soccer (football) is called the beautiful game. This term was first associated with the adored Samba Kings, five time soccer world champions, Brazil.

Expressing yourself

If you have not had the privilege of taking part in one or another sport during your lifetime, you ought to give it a try. You won’t have to test your body to the limits. Rather, you can take time out to truly experience the beauty of using all parts of your body in strategic ways, combining it with cognitive thinking skills. Also, a lot of artistic expression and engineering skills go into the manufacture of the equipment that sportsmen and women use.

Long-boarding enthusiasts appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into building their custom-designed boards from natural fibers such as bamboo and maple. Granted, synthetic fibers are being used more nowadays in order to enhance and streamline the performance of top athletes. Ultimately, sport is more than competing with foes. It is a means of expressing the individual self and reacting to one’s surroundings, much like poets have been doing for centuries. Even if you are just taking a leisurely stroll through your favorite park you can take a moment to observe how your body responds to undulating paths.

More importantly, you should take time to absorb how it makes you feel inside. It feels beautiful, doesn’t it?

New Pool News

New Pool NewsI have some really great news! We have just installed a new swimming pool at my house. After several months of research and planning, it is finally done, and it has been well worth it.

Because it was one of the bigger purchases I’ve made if a while, I though that I would give anyone how is interested I buying a pool some of the information that I’ve learned in this process. This blog post is only an overview of my experiences. A far more comprehensive place to get information is over at the Pool Mania website, which contains best above ground buying guide.

In or Above Ground

The first thing that anyone buying a pool needs to consider is whether they want an above ground or an in ground pool. We decided to go with an above ground model because they are easier to install and less costly than the in ground versions on the market. They are nice because they can also be moved to a new location and do not need to have any concrete poured or necessitate major permitting issues or construction changes made to the house.

Sizes, shapes and styles

Even after you have decided on whether to go with an in or above ground pool, there will be a myriad of models, features and price points to try to wade through. This can be overwhelming at first. I found that the best place to start is with measuring your outdoor space and coming up with the size of pool that is right for you.

After that, it becomes easier to focus on shapes and prices within that size range. We ended up with a 12 by 24 foot rectangular pool. From this point on, it is a fairly easy step toward choosing the remaining necessary equipment like a pool liner, filter and the efficient above ground pool pump possible. This process is really important, as it constitutes the mechanical workings of the pool. The filter and pump need to be the right model and have enough power for the pool you choose.   


Installation

A team came to take care of the installation of the pool, so we really didn’t have to worry about that part of the process much at all. The only things that are good to remember here are that it does take some time and digging and, also, to be sure to clear the ground of debris (and lawn furniture) before hand. After that, I had to learn how to install my pool lining, which was quite straightforward. I am learning to maintain the pool slowly but surely. After the weather changes, I’ll have to winterize the pool by cleaning the filter, draining the pump and covering he whole thing.

Buying a new pool has been a process, but I have really enjoyed this new addition to our home so far. I highly recommend investing in a pool if you are able. With this information in mind, you can also enjoy the benefits of swimming at home.

The Beauty in Brisket

The Beauty in BrisketOne of the things about trying to live the artistic life is that you become very aware of all of your senses. This is particularly true if you have a family full of good cooks. Food is, and has always been, an integral part of our home life. This goes back to memories of my grandparents carefully preparing Sunday brunches and my aunt canning and preserving everything in sight. It extends through to my dad and his love of grilling and smoking during the summer.

This past week, everyone in our family got together to have an end-of-the-season meal together, and my dad was the cook for the occasion. 
Nearly everyone in my family has an opinion about he best way to prepare their favorite dishes. This becomes the discussion topic of choice at almost all of our get-togethers. I know from experience that this can be a bit hard on the nerves of whoever is in charge of cooking, but dad is up for the challenge. Dad says that as long has he has the right equipment everything else falls into place.

Needless to say, my father is very proud of his grill, and he swears by his Old Smokey electric smoker.

The Beauty in BrisketSince my mother insists on having “colorful food” we can always be sure to have plenty of vegetables, but the centerpiece of the meal is always his smoked brisket or ribs and his sauces. This time around we ate brisket, roasted potatoes, pinto beans, corn and salad. Brisket is, admittedly, not always the most aesthetically pleasing food. It comes out looking black and is hard to plate it and messy to eat, but I cannot tell you how good my dad’s brisket tastes.

Dad’s food is an event. This is partially because it takes a while to prepare it. He takes his time and is careful in everything he does. Most of it has to marinate or sit in seasoning overnight and takes hours to cook at a low temperature. This develops the flavor in a way that cannot be replicated otherwise. Because of this, “Cook it low and long” is something of a motto for dad. Having said that, he says that having the right smoking equipment means that the process is really simple and there isn’t much maintenance or cleaning.

While I was watching my dad cook, I realized that his way of preparing food is really very craftsman-like in its approach. It emphasizes the tradition, quality and time. In our modern culture, food is often about convenience or about the quick rush of sugar and fat to the system. We often don’t think of food as something that takes time and skill to create, but some of the best traditional recipes require just this.

The way that my father approaches food has a long tradition and is more in keeping with the values of I would typically associate with a leather worker or a basket maker—someone who creates a handcrafted product that they can have pride in. Even more, his cooking fosters a sense of community and tradition within our family as it gives us the tie and the reason to gather together to talk about food and the happenings in our family.