Category: Amazing Artists

Amazing Artists

Los Angeles Hobbit House is a vintage treasure

Created by Disney artist Joseph Lawrence
Created by Disney artist Joseph Lawrence

This fantastical home was recently listed for rent in Culver City, California. It’s so beautifully awesome and intact.

Here’s the entire ad:

Enchanting 2 Bedroom Cottage in “The Hobbit’s House”

Property Address
3819 Dunn Drive | Culver City, CA 90232

Located in prime & hip Downtown Culver City, Here is a rare opportunity to live inside a Storybook cottage straight out of a Fairytale. Known as “The Hobbit’s House”, this unique property was created by Disney artist Joseph Lawrence who spent 24 years creating between 1946 and 1970. This cottage features rustic stone hewn walls, leaded glass windows, and magical looking ponds filled with fish and a family of turtles. The main house features 2 bedrooms and 1 bath, plus a huge bonus room that could be an office or den. The living room that is situated around an original stone fireplace features stained glass windows, nautical details and a bar that is perfect for entertaining. The quaint kitchen comes with a mini-fridge that is built in. 2 bedrooms sit behind a wooden plank door and offer great sunlight, and a view of the fountain and pond at the front of the house. The sparkling green tiled bathroom features a tub/shower combo with a large vanity and great custom built ins. The house also features a 3rd bonus room off of the kitchen that could easily be used as a extra bedroom or entertaining space. This is a truly enchanting cottage that is located just moments from The Kirk Douglas Theater, Trader Joes, fantastic restaurants in Downtown Culver City, and The Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Center and easily accessible to the 10 and 405 freeways

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Created by Disney artist Joseph Lawrence
Created by Disney artist Joseph Lawrence






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Save the (Plywood) Cows!

For sale: One herd of cows (ceramic, plywood, fabric, paint, etc.). Comes with a supply of warm, gooey cinnamon rolls and a classic cafe.

After 25 years, Jeanne Mae Barwick is retiring from Mae’s Phinney Ridge Cafe in Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood. She’s put the place up for sale, and threatens to close it in March or April if an appropriate buyer isn’t found.


There’s been a cafe at this location since the 1920s. But when Barwick took it over in 1988, she transformed it from a neighborhood destination into a city institution.

Michael Stern at describes it as “a multi-room cafe decorated everywhere with pictures, statues, blow-up dolls and every sort of nick-nack imaginable, all depicting cows (an ode to the proprietor’s Wisconsin roots).”

On weekend mornings, it can take as long as an hour to get seated. Besides the cinnamon rolls (baked in-house), it offers large portions of your basic American breakfast and lunch fare, plus such specialties as trout and eggs.

It closes at 3 p.m. daily; in offering the business for sale, Barwick notes a new owner could make more money by opening for dinner and offering alcohol.

In an email sent to customers, Barwick says she may hold an “open house and garage sale” at the cafe in March. Depending on what items a new owner may want to keep, the sale could include the cafe’s cow-shaped salt and pepper shakers “and other miscellaneous moo-morabilia.”

Barwick also says she’ll continue to host her popular “Karaoke Bingo” once a month at the Greenwood Senior Center.



Street Scenes, Unseen


“Quite possibly the most important street photographer of the 20th century was a 1950s children’s nanny who kept herself to herself and never showed a single one of her photographs to anyone.”

That’s quite a statement. But it may also be true, in the case of Vivian Maier.

Maier’s works are now on display at the Photographic Center Northwest Gallery in Seattle, through March 23.

How Maier’s pictures were found and brought to the world’s attention is a story at least as fascinating as the pictures themselves.

As the site Messy Nessy Chic puts it, Maier’s discovery begins in 2007, when

…in 2007, a Chicago real estate agent and historical hobbyist, John Maloof, purchased a box of never-seen, never-developed film negatives of an unknown ‘amateur’ photographer for $380 at his local auction house.

As Maloof inspected and developed some of the negatives, he discovered a treasure trove of images, taken between the early 1950s and the late 1990s. They depict thousands of unposed instants of life on New York’s and Chicago’s streets.


Maloof tried to track down the pictures’ enigmatic creator, only in 2009 to find her Chicago Tribune obituary. She’d died at the age of 83.

Maloof’s own site,, describes what he’s learned since then about Maier:

 An American of French and Austro-Hungarian extraction, Vivian bounced between Europe and the United States before coming back to New York City in 1951. Having picked up photography just two years earlier, she would comb the streets of the Big Apple refining her artistic craft. By 1956 Vivian left the East Coast for Chicago, where she’d spend most of the rest of her life working as a caregiver. In her leisure Vivian would shoot photos that she zealously hid from the eyes of others. Taking snapshots into the late 1990?s, Maier would leave behind a body of work comprising over 100,000 negatives.

Maloof hopes to complete and release a documentary video, Finding Vivian Maier, later this year. (Here’s a preview trailer for it.)


For now, Maloof has a 144-page coffee-table book compiling part of Maier’s legacy, titled Vivian Maier: Street Photographer.

The Life of the Garment

Photo by Karolina Wallace; via Henry Art Gallery and Interview magazine.

There might be no more intrinsically “feminine” art form than fashion.

And perhaps no other art form holds so much meaning within each of its products.

A single garment can contain a myriad of stories. Stories about its design, materials, and manufacture. Stories about who would wear it and when. Stories about the social and economic status of its intended wearer.

These are some of the tangents explored by Seattle textile artist and costume designer Anna Telcs. She has an exhibit, “The Dowsing,” at Seattle’s Henry Art Gallery through May 5.

According to a gallery blurb, “Telcs explores the liminal space between form, fashion, presentation, and performance. Her recent work attempts to question existing perceptions about manufacturing, worth, and beauty – ultimately seeking to delve deeper into the armature of the fashion object itself and the systems and structures that contextualize and regulate it.”



We Can Be Heroes, Just For One Day

“Out of work Sith Lord.”

The Emerald City Comicon, held at the Washington State Convention Center, has become an annual sign of Spring’s impending arrival in Seattle. It’s March! Time to shake off that Gore-Tex and wool. Time to reveal the unencumbered Real You to the world, by becoming your favorite fantasy character.


Like most “comics conventions” around North America, including the giant San Diego Comicon, the Emerald City Comicon is only partly about comic books and mostly about fantasy film/TV. This year’s special guests included Star Trek: TNG and X-Men star Patrick Stewart and ’60s Batman stars Adam West and Burt Ward.


But the real stars every year are the attendees themselves, channelling their copyrighted-and-trademarked icons.




Perhaps nowhere was this smelting of commercial art into folk art more obvious than with the guy who played the Star Wars theme on bagpipes, while riding a unicycle.

(P.S.: For a viewpoint on Comicon from an actual comics creator, check out Donna Barr’s blog.)

Dreams of the Last Butterflies

Dreams of the Last Butterflies is a mini-epic, live-action “Dark Faerie Tale” short film, with a unique environmental message.

Unusual Life is proudly helping to fund this project. Please join us in lending a hand to the butterflies and the production costs of this film. Thank you very much.

Dreams of the Last Butterflies is a unique vision with a powerful environmental message, full of wonder, dreams, and otherworldly performers. Combining cutting-edge cinematography, fantastical costumes, epic faerie-tale poetry, and a sizzling electronica soundtrack, it will feature stunning performances by tribal bellydancers, ballet stars, fire masters, contortionists, and many more.

Dreams of the Last Butterflies is a tale about the loss of butterflies in our world, and why they are disappearing – as told by the last Butterfly Queens themselves.

Directed by award-winning filmmaker Zina Brown, with new music by electronic rock artist and singer Kai Altair, the film is currently in pre-production and is scheduled to begin principal shooting in the autumn of 2012.

Here is a link to the Kickstarter Page. Every pledge counts in making this project a reality.

Join the Facebook event page to show your support and get updates as we progress on the film!

Follow our Tumblr blog for exclusive new images and content!

• Check out Director Zina Brown’s most recent short film, “The Hidden Sister”  – screened internationally at 11 film festivals last year, including the Miami Short Film Festival; Melbourne, Australia’s Sexy International Film Festival; and New York’s VisionFest 11:

Obscura Day celebrated around the world April 28, 2012

Each spring, Atlas Obscura organizes a global event called Obscura Day.

On Obscura Day thousands of people, all over the world, go out and explore interesting and unusual places. Sometimes they organize the event, sometimes folks organize it themselves! Over the past two years nearly 10,000 people have attend over 200 different events on Obscura Day.

The Atlas Obscura is the definitive guidebook and friendly tour-guide to the world’s most wondrous places. User-generated and editor curated, the Atlas is a collaborative compendium of amazing places that aren’t found in your average guidebook.

And this month, Saturday, April 28th is Obscura Day, an international celebration of unusual places, full of expeditions, back room tours & explorations of the hidden wonders around the world.


Since we’re located in Seattle, we’ll tell you about Atlas Obscura’s two places in the Seattle area that are weird and wonderful enough to be included in the official Atlas Obscura Day celebration, the Official Bad Art Museum of Art and a tour of the Inscape Building and the Northwest Museum of Legends and Lore.

Tour #1: Atlas Obscura Day at the Official Bad Art Museum of Art, sponsored by Hendricks Gin, a “Gin made Oddly”.

All day is Atlas Obscura Day at Cafe Racer and the Official Bad Art Museum of Art.

Doors open at 10AM Saturday, April 28th. Have breakfast, peruse the Bad Art in the OBAMA, enjoy some “Hendricks Obscure Punch”.

Schedule is as follows:

2:00pm View in amazement an incredible array of bugs, marine invertebrates, isopods and lepidoptera from “Bug Man” Don Ehlen.


3:00pm Musical performance by Operadisiac, a surreal opera comedy duo that is sure to delight


4:30pm Performance by God’s Favorite Beefcake, featuring Shmootzi The Clod of Circus Contraption fame, with music and sword swallowing and God knows what else.


6:00pm (or thereabouts) the Nu Klezmer Army will entertain with their honkin’ versions of old time favorites.

… The hijinks continue until 1am.

Tour #2: Tour of Inscape building and Northwest Museum of Legends and Lore
Peek into Seattle’s past with a tour of the city’s 77,000-square-foot former Immigration and Naturalization Services building, plus a visit to the Northwest Museum of Legends and Lore for rare D.B. Cooper, UFO, and Bigfoot-related artifacts.


Happy Valentines Day

Saint Valentine’s Day, often simply Valentine’s Day is a holiday observed on February 14 honoring one or more early Christian martyrs named Valentinus.

We are commemorating the day by looking at some unusual homes and interior decor celebrating the holiday.

Life in a Pink House (collection of pink house photos)

Shea Hembrey: How I became 100 artists

I love TED talks!

This is one of my favorites. It’s conceptually a brilliant performance art piece. It also appeals to the juvenile prankster part of my brain.

How do you stage an international art show with work from 100 different artists? If you’re Shea Hembrey, you invent all of the artists and artwork yourself — from large-scale outdoor installations to tiny paintings drawn with a single-haired brush. Watch this funny, mind-bending talk to see the explosion of creativity and diversity of skills a single artist is capable of.

See the video below.


Bumber-by-Number show at 2011 Bumbershoot Arts Festival

“Bumber By Number” is an interactive and fully immersive Paint-by-Number art exhibit curated by Marlow Harris and JoDavid for the 2011 Bumbershoot Arts Festival.

The show features an interactive audience participatory paint-by-number homage to Edouard Manet’s “The Picnic” (“Le Dejeuner sur L’Herbe”) by artist Ryan Feddersen. In addition, bask in the glory of Victoria BC artist Bill Blair’s amazing life-size paint-by-number banners and guitars, and local Seattle artists create incredible canvases of altered vintage Paint-by-Numbers.

Ryan Feddersen has created a tableau complete with hand-cast wax crayons used to bring her murals to life.

Canadian artist Bill Blair creates Stories for Paint-by-Number and paints huge 9’x7′ foot Paint-by-Number backdrops.

Over 40 modern, contemporary, abstract and pop surrealist artists were given vintage completed Paint-by-Number paintings and asked to alter them in their own style.

Here is Janet Galore’s “Blue Boy”, prior to transformation.

Seattle artist Troy Gua chose two clowns he called “Father and Son”.

Pop culture cutie Lisa Petrucci adds her own personal style to this tiger painting.

Fantagraphics favorite Jim Woodring puts his own twist on this bucolic covered bridge scene:

John Brophy, fresh from his show at Seattle’s Roq La Rue Gallery, creates “Gift Horse”:

Art Army artist Mike Leavitt, who shows in Seattle at Roq la Rue, Copro Nason in LA and the Jonathan Levine Gallery in NYC made this fine trio of work:

Detail of Mike’s work:

Jim Dever’s Duck’s Revenge is for sale with all proceeds to benefit Camp Corey:

Nancy Guppy’s piece is an homage to Robert Hardgrave:

And her completed piece:

And Robert Hardgrave himself took a staid and formal arrangement of flowers…..

And re-created the piece in an unusual and unexpected way.

Seattle artist Mary Iverson was recently featured in Juxtapoz Magazine.

“Bag Painter” Chris Crites, chose a classic ship to alter:

And added his own personal style to the piece:

Show details:

• Curated by:
Marlow Harris

• Featured Artists:
Ryan Feddersen
Bill Blair

• Special Guest Artists and PRICE LIST will be posted on the Bumber-by-Number website.

High-Resolution photos by Jodavid on Flickr

MORE PHOTOS HERE: Seattle Twist Bumber-by-Number

Bumber By Number and other Visual Arts exhibits are open 11am – 8pm, 9/3 – 9/5, and the Location of the exhibit is the Seattle Center Pavilion (just east of Key Arena)

Free Visual Arts Preview, Thursday, September 1st, 3pm – 9pm, – Mayor’s Arts Awards are 4-6pm

• The dates and times of Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival are 9/3 – 9/5, 11am – 11pm at Seattle Center.

Please visit their website for information…

A visit to our Paint-by-Number Salon on Treasure Hunter’s Roadshow hosted by Andy St. Claire.

The Bathtub Couch

This bathtub couch started as cast iron clawfoot bathtub and has been converted to a fashionable and comfortable sofa for the new millennium. Ruff House Art starts out with old cast iron bathtubs, which were found in nearly every home at the start of the 20th century, and were often thrown out when the house was remodeled, and converts them to groovy furniture

Email Blacklist Check

Cna Exam Study Guide

Dick and Jane’s Spot

Dick and Jane’s Spot was created by artists Dick Elliot and Jane Orleman in Ellensburg, Washington. Dick Elliott died on November 19, 2008, but the dream lives on in downtown Ellensburg. Jane was kind enough to show us around recently and she continues to live her life creatively and artfully in this beautiful home.

I was also able to make a short video of the exterior of the home the last time I was here. Jane told me that she has made provisions after her passing to leave her amazing home to the Yakima Valley Historical Society.

The art of Richard Elliot

The art of Jane Orleman

The Love Love was built to look as if it is sinking

Happy Valentine’s Day!
Today’s post is about a boat named ‘Love Love

French artist Julien Berthier has designed a fully functional boat to look
as if it is sinking. The 21ft yacht was cut in half with a new keel
and motor added so it remains in the sinking position while being fully
functional. He describes it as “the permanent and mobile image of a
wrecked ship that has become a functional and safe leisure object.”

Berthier has taken the boat (or should I say half-a-boat) across the
English Channel to London and has toured it around Europe , getting plenty
of offers of assistance from unwitting good Samaritans, who would
presumably be either very annoyed or rather bemused by the contraption.

The designer and artist designed and built the floating installation in
2007. He named his creation Love Love.

A Tip-O-the-Hat to Ms Kelly Lyles for the heads-up on ‘Love Love’

Slums into Rainbows

Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn, known as Haas & Hahn, saw potential in places that most Brazilians view as unsightly, undesirable and terrifying. Favelas like Vila Cruzeiro and Santa Marta drip with sewage and ring with gunshots and police sirens, but Haas & Hahn wanted to give local residents a source of pride. The Favela Painting Project started with a huge mural called ‘Boy Flying a Kite’ and expanded into covering nearly every surface in Santa Marta with cheerful shades of green, blue, pink and yellow.

Slums into Rainbows

Extreme Home Tour

Gage Academy supporters recently took a tour of several artists homes and studios around the Seattle area in the Mighty Elvis Mobile. Hilarity ensued.

Gage Academy received a donation of $50 in gift certificates, so midway into our tour, we stopped at Dick’s Drive-in for lunch. Delicious!

We started the tour at Close Enough Engineering with Kim Hall and Steve Walker, then went on to the Paint-by-Number Salon and moved to the home and studio of Kelly Lyles, the home of Steve Bard and then ended the day at the beautiful home and studio of Ginny Ruffner.