Category Archives: Art

Art Appreciation: Colossus of Constantine

Nubby Twiglet | Art Appreciation: Colossus of Constantine

After a few weeks of traveling, it’s so good to be back! I just spent two weeks in Italy and another in Morocco and though the backup of work and jetlag has been much harder to get over than I expected, it was completely worth it to get away from the daily grind and explore.

This visit to Italy was very different for me — I spent a lot more time in museums and of course, everything the Italians do is on another level. The sheer amount of art to take in can be absolutely overwhelming. When you’re faced with hundreds of busts and oil paintings in a single museum and then, oh, there’s a Michelangelo masterpiece in the next room over, it can be a visual overload.

Nubby Twiglet | Art Appreciation: Colossus of Constantine

I lost count of the number of museums and churches and ruins we visited over the course of those 21 days away but one piece of art stands out most in my mind: the Colossus of Constantine.

Located right inside the Capitoline Museums in Rome, I was completely awestruck by its sheer size. It looks large in photos but in person? You really wonder how such a massive piece of art was even carved.

Nubby Twiglet | Art Appreciation: Colossus of Constantine

Constantine the Great (how’s that for a title?!) was a Roman emperor and as such, it was totally normal to have a 40 foot high statue of himself carved from white marble and bronze with a brick core.

Nubby Twiglet | Art Appreciation: Colossus of Constantine

When I saw Constantine, I wondered how he ended up in pieces. The theory is that the most valuable bronze cast portions of his body were pillaged during the Late Antiquity era. The remaining marble fragments you see here weren’t rediscovered until the late 1400s.

Nubby Twiglet | Art Appreciation: Colossus of Constantine

Even in his imperfect state, Constantine still has a massive visual impact.

A Day at the Museum: An Andy Warhol Retrospective

Nubby Twiglet | Portland Art Museum: An Andy Warhol Retrospective

Nearly two weeks after walking through the Andy Warhol Exhibition at the Portland Art Museum, I’m still feeling a creative buzz. I’d seen some Warhol pieces at museums before but never in this quantity and with this attention to detail.

Nubby Twiglet | Portland Art Museum: An Andy Warhol Retrospective

The first thing that makes this exhibition special is that it’s in chronological order, spanning 35 years. This detail makes a huge impact in Warhol’s art career because his early works tended to be illustrated while later works were silkscreened so you can see the clear style progression.

Nubby Twiglet | Portland Art Museum: An Andy Warhol Retrospective

Nubby Twiglet | Portland Art Museum: An Andy Warhol Retrospective

Nubby Twiglet | Portland Art Museum: An Andy Warhol Retrospective

The Portland Art Museum doesn’t just stick with stark white walls — there are bright pastels throughout, a massive swath of wallpaper covered in purple Mao heads and even a metallic silver Factory-inspired room.

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Anatomy Of An Office #2: 15 Awesome Artists To Cover Your Walls!

Nubby Twiglet | Anatomy Of An Office #2: 15 Awesome Artists To Cover Your Walls!

Welcome to Anatomy Of An Office. This series is dedicated to pulling together a functional yet stylish workspace with plenty of budget-friendly tips!

It’s important to set the tone of your surroundings and art definitely helps with that. I searched high and low to find the perfect mix and wanted to share 15 of my favorite artists with you. Better yet, I want to hear who you love as well since I still have some blank wall space. Please let me know who you’re obsessed with in the comments!

Nubby Twiglet | Anatomy Of An Office #2: 15 Awesome Artists To Cover Your Walls!

15 Awesome Artists To Cover Your Walls

1. Chad Wys: I have a few of Chad’s pieces and I love how he takes classical sculptures and oil paintings and gives them a modern spin with bold splashes of color and geometric shapes.

2. RK Design: This artist focuses on a mostly black and white palette with organic shapes. A personal favorite of mine is the cross print.

3. Max Wanger: The reigning king of negative space, Max excels at highlighting the beauty of everyday moments, from the beach to the city.

4. Replace Face: I am completely obsessed with this artist — anyone that creates old-world style portraits of celebrities ranging from Michael Jackson to Mickey Rourke is a god in my book.

5. Andy Warhol: When I want some Warhol, I know that I can depend on Art.com to deliver his best known pieces at a really affordable price.

6. Sealoe: If fashion editorial-inspired prints are more your jam, this site is loaded with tons of options from black and white photos to fantastic typography.

7. House Industries: One of the best type foundries around also creates killer hand-screened prints. I actually have two of their pieces in my bedroom and LOVE them.

8. Ciara Phelan: Isn’t her illustration style great? Ciara’s Bird Head series is a personal favorite of mine.

9. Slim Aarons: A well known photographer of American jet-setters from the 1950s through the 1980s, Slim made a living out of capturing the lifestyles of the rich and famous.

10. Gray Malin: While he’s best known for his captivating beach scenes, I’m enamored with Gray’s portrait of black and white llamas covered in balloons.

11. Georgina Paraschiv: Bright paintings of fruit, abstract patterns and landscapes fill Georgina’s work. She has a seemingly bottomless archive of awesome prints.

12. Honey Lake Studio: The simplicity of photos Honey Lake creates really shines — this palm print captures the most beautiful light.

13. Malika Favre: A true master of the human form, she’s able to create intriguing art out of the most simple shapes.

14. Sharon Montrose: If you want to display a portrait of your favorite animal, Sharon’s print shop has you covered. She’s managed to photograph even the most obscure creatures!

15. Super Rural: You’ve probably spotted their famous For Like Ever print in the houses of the who’s who over the last decade. I’m excited to finally have a yellow version of my own on the way.


It’s so exciting picking out new art — next week, I’ll show you what’s arrived and how I’m displaying it in my new space!


On the hunt for even more office tips and tricks? Check out Anatomy Of An Office!

It’s Time to Pick Up The Scisssors. I’m Missing Making Collages.

Nubby Twiglet | My Cross To Bear Series by Shauna Haider

As I was digging through my archives over the weekend, I came across my art series from 2011, My Cross To Bear. And as I scrolled through, it reminded me of how much I missed creating collages.

I started making collages years before I really understood what graphic design was or owned a computer. In the late 90s, I began carefully piecing magazine snippets together, forming rough layouts. It became a huge passion of mine and lately, I’ve felt like I’ve lost touch with it.

Design is my job, but it’s tricky because it’s also my passion and my hobby. Doing design is my everything which makes it really hard to step away. But in a way, I’ve realized that don’t need to step away from something I love as much as just switch things up. Occasionally, I need to change the mediums and take the time to get back to my roots.

I’m ready to start making collages again. Just for fun.

Nubby Twiglet | My Cross To Bear Series by Shauna Haider


All work: Collage on ceramic and wood with resin by Shauna Haider, 2011

Advice #45: Should I Use My Degree or Follow My Passion?

ask nubby advice


I am an architecture student finishing my fourth year of school this June but now I’m not sure if I will continue to pursue this path. I want to study fine art but I am scared that I’m not good enough and it costs a lot more. I chose to study architecture because I thought it was more practical to design houses than to paint pictures. Now I’m wondering if I made the right decision. I don’t want to end up doing a job that I don’t find fun!


ask nubby advice

Source.


First of all, take a deep breath and realize how close you are to reaching a goal that you began four years ago. Some people may disagree with me but I’m a firm believer in completing what you’ve started when you’re that close (and have invested a good chunk of time and money). If you were only a year or two into your studies, it might make sense to pull out but you’re almost there!

Maybe I’m a bit more traditional in my career views but here’s what I think: For now, being an architect will allow you the opportunity to earn a great living until you figure out your next move. If your goal is to be a fine artist, you don’t have to jump in with both feet first (remember, many artists aren’t solely artists for a living). Perhaps it makes sense to work full-time out of school and see if you even like architecture (who knows, you might fall in love with it once you’re doing it professionally!) And then, maybe you can set a goal of cutting back your hours to part-time within a specific time frame so that you have more time to dedicate to your art. Your decision doesn’t have to be all or nothing right away unless you’re fully comfortable with that prospect.


Your passion does not have to be the same as your career.

Consider this: Your passion or hobby doesn’t have to be the same as your job. Fine art is something many of us do as a creative outlet but it can take awhile to establish yourself and earn a great living as a fine artist. Tangling your passion with your profession can also be tricky. Once you’re creating art to make a living, the focus of your work may also start to shift. What happens if you have bills to pay and a commission comes along that you’re just not comfortable with? Do you take it or leave it? In that position, would you wish that you’d stuck it out with a steady paycheck a bit longer so that you could turn down certain opportunities that didn’t fit within your artistic vision or goals?


Do both.

Have you considered doing both architecture and fine art? Here’s the thing: It’s hard to make a great living right out of school as a fine artist. Yes, it’s possible! Yes, some people have all the charm and talent and make it look easy! But often, unless you’re an illustrator that’s willing to do commercial work or perhaps a painter that does commissions and murals, it can take some serious time and commitment to gain momentum (i.e. a distinct style, solo shows, steady clients and representation). Do you have a plan in place to support yourself in the meantime?

I, too, wanted to be a fine artist. I ended up going to school for design because like you, I felt it was more practical than art. Art was a huge passion of mine but I found a happy medium by becoming a designer which provided a much steadier income and then came home from work and set aside a few hours each night to work on my series. I had a solo show at the first agency I worked at and later, my collages were used on a line of snowboard goggles and helmets! Working as a designer actually helped me open up more doors for creating fine art. Architecture may do the same for you in very unexpected ways.


If fine art is for you, make a plan.

Be smart about your decision. Do you even need another degree to be an artist? Do you have a specific style and medium established? Is your work only accessible through a gallery or do you offer a format and style that would do well on a site like Etsy? Do you have social media set up to promote your artwork? Making a clear plan of what you hope to accomplish will make the transition into fine art as a career a lot less stressful. If you’re looking for more advice about a fine art career, I highly recommend reading Taking the Leap by Cay Lang. This book was recommended to me by another artist years ago and is full of practical advice on how to build a successful career, promote your work and put together contracts.


In Closing.

Remember, life doesn’t have to be about either / or. Fine art vs. architecture doesn’t have to be a black and white decision. If you do decide to use your degree to earn a living, you don’t have to continue down that path forever. How will you know if architecture isn’t right for you if you don’t try? You can always change your mind. Follow your gut. It’s always okay to make a change when something in our lives just doesn’t feel right.


Readers: What do you think? Have you been at this crossroads with your career before? How did you decide what to do next?