Archive for the ‘art fridays’ Category

ART! - Contemporary Wood Cuts

Welcome to ART DAY! We here at mnp think that you readers out there might be a little spoiled with expecting a themed ART DAY! and whatnot every damn week. SO just to keep you happy, I’ll announce the theme today as being that of Asian Art. It’s no more specific than that, but you know, keep it simple.


So way, way, way back in the day in China, like the year 500 or something, cats started doing a sort of art called woodcuts or woodblock prints. The method involves printing on to wood and the cutting away the unwanted parts. It’s pretty simple really, but some very stunning work comes out of that era. All of these initial images are examples of oldern Chinese woodcuts.


Mostly these woodblock or woodcut prints were used to accompany text in a sort of didactic way, not unlike early European illuminated manuscripts (except mad earlier). For instance, the earliest known Chinese woodcut (as in woodcuts with a date on them) accompanies the text of the Diamond Sutra, which is a Buddhist text.

The word [sutra] comes from Sanskrit, the ancient and sacred language of India. It means a religious teaching or sermon, and is most often used to describe the teachings of the Buddha. Sutras preached by the Buddha were committed to memory by his disciples and passed down from generation to generation. The illustration at the beginning of this a€Diamond Sutraa€™ shows the Buddha expounding the sutra to an elderly disciple called Subhuti. [via]


The Diamond Sutra - woodblock 9th century

Just like rice, pasta, and civilization, woodcut techniques eventually made it out of China and to everywhere else in the world, notably western Europe and Japan. In Europe, according to trusty Wikipedia, the technique developed around 1400 and was a descendant of techniques that were already in use for printing to cloth.


Jost Amman - Switzerland


Durer - Germany

Despite (plenty) prolific European examples (Goya, Rembrandt etc.), the technique is widely associated with Japan, the source from which were inspired countless artists of the 19th century. Notably, the impressionists were very fond of woodblock (though not as a rule). That’s probably because woodblock in Japan shares a commonality with impressionism in that it sought to depict scenes from the the everyday life of the cityscape [Ed: See Ukiyo-e]. Almost as important was the fact that these joints were affordable because of the technique and the capabilities of mass-production.

So, like I said, Japan happens to be the focal point in woodblock printing.AA The Japanese were into all types of different woodblock paintings.AA A lot of them were actually of women participating in communal baths, which must have been a little bit risque at the time.AA It’s no wonder why they sold so well.AA Here are some examples:


most everyone has seen this



This brings me to the section which is the crux of this post in general.AA I thought it would be fun to look at modern day examples of woodblock printing, Japanese and Chinese style.AA You can just call it ninja art if you want, although associating all ninjas with Japan or China would be a little bit racialist, if I do say so myself.

Here are some woodblocks by Norio Takamiya:

Takamiya includes contemporary ideas and characters into the whole woodcut business to basically create an ahistorical style that I find really ill.AA Below you find representations of a Japanese Cooper in Australia, Ned Kelly in Australia, amongst others:




And next we have some examples of modern Chinese woodblocks:



Keep scrolling down for more great ART DAY! content, and, stay tuned for part II of Asian Art!


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Posted: October 12th, 2007
at 9:31am by Black Ock

Categories: art,contemporary,9th dan,art fridays

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ART! - Human Collaborations

Welcome to ART DAY! Those of use who’ve been with us already know what the deal is, but for those that don’t, every Friday we feature art from around the internet. We’re mostly lovers of representational and abstract art, but you can expect to find anything from sculptures to words here. For those of you who know what the deal is already, thanks for comin’ out.

Seeing that last week we brought you collaborations between man and insect, it’s only fair that we also bring you some collaborations of the human kind, namely, human kind co-operating with human kind to make art.

Collaborative art is a broad topic, especially given that many collaborative art projects (at least on the contemporary level) cross the boundaries of what many people would consider to be art, in the traditional sense.


Many online projects in collaborative art have started, mainly because of the relative facility of sharing ideas and images and words over the internet as it is.

One of my favorite internet collaborations I have seen to date is a project called Glyphiti, a product of which is featured above. Glyphiti basically incorporates a white board that is divided into different squares or glyphs. When you come along to the webpage, you can choose one of these squares at a time to edit. Each square is divided into smaller pixels which can be either left white or turned black. By editing each small glyph, a larger pattern begins to emerge. Some people are especially skilled and can create whole intricate pictures by editing one glyph at a time. That’s basically the paraphrased explanation.

The image you see above is a timelapse capture of all the activity for the month of 07/01. They actually have an archive that includes stream captures of all the months. You can just watch them or you can jump right in and start editing glyphs.

It’s important to stress that I only aim to give you a sample of what’s out there, for the web is basically teeming with collaborative art projects if you keep your eyes open.

a user generated apple!

Another cool project is Art.Othernet.Com which operates on a similar principle as Glyphiti. Similar but different. In this experimental collaborative art project, the user is shown a collection of computer generated images and asked to say which one looks more like [insert subject]. The paintings that survive serve as the genetic material for the next generation of generated pictures. Using the interface the creator has designed, by logging into the page and participating you affect the final outcome.

The topics from the project range from abstract things like "fear" to more concrete things, such as the "apple" pictured above, or the "sunset" below. I think this is a pretty ill idea, but only time will tell what it produces. Log in and try it out!

an [impressionistic] sunset

Keep scrollin’ for more ART DAY!

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Posted: October 5th, 2007
at 10:05am by Black Ock

Categories: art,contemporary,art fridays

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ART! - Collaborations of Kin and Kind


We have to admit that at times we here at mnp can be somewhat constrained by tradition and our ideas of the world as it is. For instance, a tradition around here is ART DAY! and, on Fridays, you can pretty much expect it, regardless of what it is you really want to see. It is in that same sentiment that we apologize for having not yet brought you a piece of collaborative art. However fear not, for that ends today. Next week we will focus on collaborative art projects between people and other people. Today’s feature, one might say, is a sort of collaboration, but one between people and nature, man and insect.

What with all the creepy crawly activity around the mnp network this week: namely vermicomposting with red worms over at green.mnp, it seems only appropriate to bring you these awesome little jewels, by Hubert Duprat and some little insects.


The images above illustrate the results of an unusual artistic collaboration between the French artist Hubert Duprat and a group of caddis fly larvae. A small winged insect belonging to the order Trichoptera and closely related to the butterfly, caddis flies live near streams and ponds and produce aquatic larvae that protect their developing bodies by manufacturing sheaths, or cases, spun from silk and incorporating substancesa€"grains of sand, particles of mineral or plant material, bits of fish bone or crustacean shella€"readily available in their benthic ecosystem. The larvae are remarkably adaptable: if other suitable materials are introduced into their environment, they will often incorporate those as well. via

We first found out about this project at a cool blog, so we’ll give them the link love they expect and deserve. Below you can watch a video of these art-loving insects in action.

Collaboration between human being and nature is obviously the norm, and it’s funny that we think of ourselves as being somehow ‘outside’ of nature in relation to anything we do - even art. But working within the bounds of nature is no strange concept to our ninjas over at architecture.mnp

Keep scrolling down for more ART DAY! goodness you crave.


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Posted: September 28th, 2007
at 7:59am by black octagons

Categories: life,art,contemporary,fo' real?,science,art fridays

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ART! - Catalunya


What’s amazing about FridaysAA is that the vast majority of people don’t have to work on Saturday (at least not for their corporate overlords).AA That is part of the reason why we have ART DAY! on Fridays, sort of to help you decompress and slide into your weekend.


Today’s featured artist didn’t even start painting until he was well into retirement years.AA Imagine that, a talent like this undeveloped until you’re 73 years old.AA LluAAs MassAA i Garriga (RIP), a Catalan artist, really waited that long before painting all the wonderful work you see before you.AA Exceptionally stunning are his floral paintings and landscapes.AA His photo-realistic style will have you transfixed for extended periods of time.


Apparently, up until his death in 2003 he refused to sell any of his work.AA However, he did permit the inheritor of his estate to sell the works, making them currently available to the public, sold by his grandson.AA Check it out.


I know that last week our featured artist was also an artspan featured artist, and in the future that may not be the case, but right now it’s sort of a tradition around here.AA Scroll up and down to check out the rest of ART DAY!

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Posted: September 21st, 2007
at 10:45am by black octagons

Categories: art,contemporary,art fridays

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ART! - Is it ART DAY! yet?


It’s been a while in the makin’… but it’s Friday once again, meaning that none other such-loved feature than ART DAY! is making it’s triumphant return.AA Those of you who have been with us since the beginning may remember that every Friday used to be ART DAY!AA Well, I’m here to tell you that the same thing is still true - and we’re back in effect mode.

If you scroll on down the page you will see pieces from across the web, some of them originating from some of our tried and true favorite user-contributing sites.

The artist featured above and below is Rebecca Amroian.AA We’re really loving her acrylic on canvas steelo and are thinking of nominating her as an official warlord of the mnp shogunate.AA She kicks it out in Vista, CA where she is co-chair of publicity for the Vista Art Foundation.AA She’s being featured on right now.AA Amroian was also featured at the recent Rancho Sante Fe Art Fair.AA She has a nice mix of abstract, figurative paintings, and painted ceramics. Check out her site, buy her art, and keep it real.


I have always been fascinated with art, especially when used with textures and bold bright images.AA My figurative pieces mainly feature impressions of women’s faces where the eyes are the focal point.AA My abstract work comes from the desire to instill a sense of happiness in people who view my art! - Rebecca Amroian


And keep it moving down the page for more of our ART DAY! selections.

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Posted: September 14th, 2007
at 1:01am by black octagons

Categories: art,contemporary,art fridays

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ART! - the New Year is Coming

The presentation ceremony for the First Annual Ninjie Awards has been postponed until the new year to give final entrants a chance to still make it big in ’06.AA There’s a lot to say about the year behind us, as always, so stick around for that.

Because of technical difficulties we haven’t had a proper ART DAY! in a while, and so today I’m pleased to present you with many art entries.AA I could waste your time talking about them here or you could just scroll down.

self portrait, nancy calcutt

In keeping with our artspan tradition, we bring you paintings by Nancy Calcutt.AA Born in Southbridge MA and currently residing in Kentucky, with a long list of professional accomplishments, Calcutt is making some ill ish. Nancy has an artspan page that has some really sick pieces that you should most definitely check out.AA I’m just gonna drop a few pieces on you, but really this doesn’t do her justice.AA She has many styles and experiments with different materials.AA Go check out her wide range.



from the artist

Within each of us is a world.AAAA By drawing and painting people and animals, I explore their world, dig deeper and delve into what is behind and beyond the surface.AAAA My work is a lot about connection and empowerment.AAAA I paint the relationships that people have with animals by combining the human and animal in one composition.AAAA I also merge animals and humans, oftentimes creating what appear to be new creatures, imbued with a renewed life force and strength that result from their unity…the power of two as opposed to one.
I have difficulty with any type of falseness.AAAA Animals don’t pretend to be anything other than what they are.AAAA They communicate with us in nonverbal ways, which can be much truer than words and a lot more fun.AAAA Animals are comfortable in their own skin and keep us connected to the earth and the sensual world.AAAA We could all learn a few lessons from them.AAAA Animals have no opinions about art or how one should do their portraits, freeing artists to depict them any way they see fit.

Friday’s ART DAY! at myninjaplease is brought to you by viewer support.

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Posted: December 29th, 2006
at 3:04pm by black octagons

Categories: myninjaplease,art,art fridays

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My Ninja, Please! 12/1/06: ART! - ARF!

People, at, every day is a milestone, ya dig? Today, as you know, is ART DAY! Some of you already know the drill, which is that if you want to check out further art, there are several ways to do it within this site.

You can click on the ‘art‘ category, which encompasses the categories of design, architecture, contemporary art, film, music, and photo. Or, seeing as anybody with common sense already knows that, you can click on any friday in our ninja calendar over there on the sidebar (dating back over 1,000 posts, which is 9,000 posts in dog-posts). Or you can click the ART DAY! link in this post, which automatically searches myninjaplease for the term ‘ART!’ That will bring up all the ART DAY! main posts.

Also, some of you more diehard followers have noted the absence of the My Ninja, Please! posts. This is the triumphant return.

That being said [and beaten like a dead horse], today is a special ART DAY! because our in house ninjas have cooked up quite the eclectic treat for you, the masses. I’ll let you scroll down and find out. Also, our first microsite, arch.mnp, has opened for business! You can check it out my going to or clicking on the link in ‘the dojo’ over yonder to the right. Now without further ado…

Tillie the canine artist!

So it’s not like we usually watch late night with Conan O’Brien [aka big-headed ninja], but for some reason the ninja fam found ourselves sitting around at the correct time. And who do we see? Tillamook Cheddar, the canine artist. She has been described as:

"The most successful living animal painter."
-The Art Newspaper

"A masterpiece of conceptualism."
-Time Out New York

"A sham."
-Jerry Saltz, Village Voice

"When possessed by an artistic vision, Tillie is fearless."
-AKC Gazette

"[Because of tillie] I have had to rethink two of my most basic assumptions about art and life: first, the notion that animals cannot have an aesthetic sense; second, the core conviction that no sentient being could possibly paint anything worse than what Julian Schnabel recently showed at the Gagosian Gallery."
-James Gardner, New York Post (May, 2002)

Damn near all I can say is, My Ninja, Please! Check out a national geopraphic article on Tillie, and her artist bio. I’m not gonna link to him here, but you can also check out the webpage for that big-headed Conan. She also has a book out. Don’t laugh too hard: "Portrait of a Dog as a Young Artist"

The artist’s primary process is a dynamic color transfer technique. In preparation for each of Tillie’s works, her assistants assemble a touch-sensitive recording device by affixing pigment-coated vellum to a sheet of lithograph paper backed by mat board. The artist takes the prepared "canvas" in her mouth and brings it to her workspace. Working on the outside surface, she applies pressure with teeth and claws in a methodic ritual marked by dramatic shifts in tempo and intensity. The resultant sharp and sweeping intersecting lines complement the artist’s delicate paw prints and subtle tongue impressions, composing an expressionistic image that is revealed on the paper beneath when she is finished. She works with shocking intensity, sometimes to the point of destroying her creations.

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Posted: December 1st, 2006
at 3:49pm by black octagons

Categories: myninjaplease,art,too good to be true,art fridays

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ART! - myninjaplease is Your Crutch

As you can see, we continue blessing you with all the bangin’ material that makes you come back! For free! For more! One for ALL!

What more could you ask for? A myninjaplease of the day? More ninjas? What do you wanna see? Bless us with and e-mail at or drop a comment and let us know what you’d like to see more or less of. We probably won’t listen to you, but you know how ninjas are (be actin’ ignorant).

Anyway, people, it’s ART DAY! and you know what that means. Wait, you don’t? Click on any Friday in the calendar on our sidebar and knowledge yourself.

And here is a dude who gets ill with his crutches. Watch that video.

And that right there is a painting by Wayne Forte. And the other is his version of the Conversion of St. Paul (Caravaggio).

Ill right? Riiiight. Check him out!

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Posted: November 17th, 2006
at 1:14pm by black octagons

Categories: youtube,art,contemporary,art fridays

Comments: 1 comment

ART! - We Don’t want no Pigeons

You know it’s ART DAY! … and so we sometimes don’t even feel the need to tell you until the afternoon. Today is an eclectic day (um, as usual) and so we hope you enjoy. My favorite post of the day is the bomb mech sculptures a couple posts down.

You might have noticed the new category in our list of ninjanometry, "9th Dan." 9th Dan is the category reserved for some of the illest most ninjarest posts on the site. Keep checking it as we slowly fill it with ninjary goodness.

Turn that frown upside down! It’s Friday my ninjas and ninjettes! And you know what that means: damn near 72 hours of freedom (from work only, but myninjaplease will be working around the clock to get you ready for Monday). We’ll be here when you get back suckas!


Ok besides the egregious use of exclamation points in this post, here’s a couple of photos for you by Roe Ethridge. I’ve never seen someone make dirty ass pigeons look so good(!)


Wow, what a noble bird! Okay so we know it’s a slow day, but if you want you can go check out the rest of the Andrew Kreps gallery. Or browse previous ART DAYS! by clicking the link or clicking on any Friday on the calender over yonder in the sidebar (if I have to say that again I’m going to smack somebody). If you have feedback or suggestion for ART DAY! hit us up at Shout outs to my ninjas from Quandry!

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Posted: November 3rd, 2006
at 1:47pm by black octagons

Categories: art,photo,art fridays

Comments: 1 comment