Charcoal Drawings

Charcoal on concrete

Charcoal on concrete

My son got the idea to burn the end of a stick in the fire and use it to draw. First he was making some drawings on the concrete bench in the patio, then he ground the stick on the concrete and made dust that we mixed with water and made ink. He was pretty fascinated with the whole process and even brought some to school to show his teacher.

Grinding up the charcoal.

Grinding up the charcoal.

Some drawings I made with my son's ink.

Some drawings we made with my son’s charcoal ink.

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“Farfetched” at the Gregg Museum of Art and Design

Death Slapper

Sean Pace – “Death Slapper”

The Gregg Museum of Art and Design has plans to renovate the old NCSU chancellor’s house on Hillsborough Street, but for years it has been located in the center of the North Carolina State University campus in the Tally Student Center on the top floor – not the most convenient location for the public but a fine venue nonetheless. The current show is FARFETCHED : MAD SCIENCE, FRINGE ARCHITECTURE AND VISIONARY ENGINEERING, and it is an impressive exhibition of imaginative design, art, sculpture, and drafting.

Chris Hipkiss - "Anchuseazurea / Our Slit with the South"

Chris Hipkiss – “Anchuseazurea / Our Slit with the South”

Although most of the designers and artists involved are considered “outsider” by institutional standards, most of the work has deep origins, and whether or not the artists are “mad” or are artists of circumstance, their work speaks on its own, and some would be considered art-school mainstream with a different back-story. This is an example of how a well-curated show really can exceed the sum of the parts, and leave you with thoughts and inspiration.

Laser Guns

Clayton Bailey – “Ray Guns”

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James B. Hunt Jr. Library

Lower level entry

Lower level entry

I visited North Carolina State University’s Centennial Campus this weekend to check out the new James B. Hunt Jr. Library that was recently completed. The building was designed by Norwegian Architects Snohetta, and is a standout building on a campus of mainly nondescript metal panel and brick “technology” buildings. Most of the building’s space is dedicated to study areas, and it is furnished with a large selection of modern furniture.

Main space with lots of natural light

Main space with lots of natural light

But wait, where are all the books? There is some shelf space with reference books and periodicals, but the majority of the collection resides on the lower level of the library and is accessed by a mechanical “book-bot” that delivers metal book crates to the staff where they pull the individual volume and deliver it to the student. I’ve always been a fan of browsing the book shelves in a library, so I’m not quite sure how I feel about this method, but it is nice to see so much space dedicated to the student work areas.

Book storage boxes on shelves with mechanical retrieval system

Book storage boxes on shelves with mechanical retrieval system

Under the yellow stairway

Under the yellow stairway

West side faces Lake Raleigh

West side faces Lake Raleigh

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Atlantic Beach and Beaufort, North Carolina

Jump! at Atlantic Beach, NC

Jump! at Atlantic Beach, NC

Since the weather was unseasonably nice we took a quick trip for the weekend out to Atlantic Beach, then headed to Beaufort for a bit on the way back home. What can I say? There is never really a bad time to be at the coast.

Beaufort, NC at the marina

Beaufort, NC at the marina

Sunset - throw the cup

Sunset – throw the cup

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Raven Rock State Park

Down near the Cape Fear river at Raven Rock State Park

Down near the Cape Fear River at Raven Rock State Park

Raven Rock State Park is located near Lillington, NC  along the Cape Fear river, at the “fall zone”, where the foothills meet the coastal plain. There are hiking trails and camping sites available, as well as a recently constructed nature center. It was a nice spot to spend some time hiking with the family.

Stairs around the large rock formation down to the river.

Descending to the river

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Winter Photos of the North Carolina Museum of Art

Dec 30, 2012 NCMA

Dec 30, 2012 NCMA

A few shots during a family visit to the museum grounds today.

Sunny day at the NCMA

Sunny day at the NCMA

NCMA bollards

NCMA bollards

NCMA with silver tree

NCMA with silver tree

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Nothing

"Nothing" 9"x12" red and black ink 2012

“Nothing” 9″x12″ red and black ink 2012

Bah, Humbug! Three strikes you’re out. Nothing.

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Frank Lloyd Wright’s Johnson Wax Building

Interior of Johnson Wax office building

Interior of Johnson Wax office building

Around 2001 I visited the Johnson Wax headquarters in Racine, Wisconsin, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and, if it isn’t obvious by this photograph, the natural lighting in the space is amazing. Completed in 1939, the building structure is formed by mushroom columns, a design which Wright had to prove to the building inspector was strong enough to support the roof by loading one with sandbags to demonstrate that it far surpassed the required structural loading.  The building’s original skylights, made of pyrex glass tubes, leaked, and were eventually roofed over with corrugated plastic to stop the water infiltration. Wright was charged by his client, Herbert Johnson, to create an inspiring workplace for his employees, and Wright delivered a great space, which is now a National Historic Landmark.

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“Vehicle” Ink Drawing

“Vehicle” – 9″ x 12″ Ink Drawing – 2012

One of many drawings I’ve been doing lately.

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House Creek Greenway Trail

Bridge along the House Creek trail

The House Creek portion of the Raleigh greenway system was recently opened, linking the Reedy Creek trail to the Crabtree Valley trail. It is an important connection along the greenway and allows some nice distances to be traveled along the trails now. Yesterday we took a long bike ride from Pullen Park to the Crabtree Valley Mall for the first time. That’s a pretty good distance with only a few road crossings along the way, and having a destination where you can take a break makes the trip fun.

The start of the House Creek trail near Meredith campus

Steep climb along the House Creek trail

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