rex ray biozine

When asked to choose someone to do a biozine project on, my mind shouted Rex Ray! The project gave me a reason to purchase his book, Rex Ray: Art + Design. This was a book that Chris Maier, an instructor and department head of MHCC’s graphic design program, turned me onto a couple years ago. I fell in love with his work immediately.

Students didn’t need to write their own copy or create any of their own images for this project. It was mostly an exercise in layout and design. I kept the design nice and simple, as a container to hold Rex Ray’s beautiful work. I used copy and images from the book (normally an unacceptable practice, but it was a student project). I’m posting this project to honor Mr. Ray with the purpose of exposing his genius.

salvador dali


To bring up images from his subconscious mind, Dalí began to induce hallucinatory states in himself by a process he described as “paranoiac critical.” Once Dalí hit on this method, his painting style matured with extraordinary rapidity, and from 1929 to 1937 he produced the paintings that made him the world’s best-known Surrealist artist. 



I’ve always been amazed by certain artists. Salvador Dali and his exploration with surrealism has always intrigued me. I recently read in order for him to connect with imagery from his subconscious, he’d place himself into a hallucinatory state through a process he called “paranoiac critical.” This method helped him produce paintings that made him the world’s best-known surrealist artist. Here are a couple of my favorites.


Soft Watch at the Moment of First Explosion

This piece expresses the destruction of atomic weapons and broke artistic ground with its realistic detail and dreamy imagery. Dali was influenced by Freud’s writings regarding dreams and the subconscious. He surrealistically expressed his era’s fears with works such as this.

FPF1155~The-Disintegration-of-the-Persistence-of-Memory-c-1954-PostersThe Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory

A 1954 representation of the consequences of an atomic bomb. Dali’s work is easily recognized through its blend of realism and bold, disturbing dreamlike fantasy. It’s obvious how equally disturbing the invention of the atom bomb was to much of the public and was effectively demonstrated through Dali’s paintings.

Pretty wild, huh?


(images and information from All Posters)

optical illusion design


While doing some research on magazine covers at Barnes and Noble, I happened to open a music magazine (not sure which one, sorry) because I saw John Lennon’s name on the cover and was curious about what it was about. I never found the article because I became distracted by a full page ad using optical illusion design. Very effective at getting a viewer’s attention, isn’t it? Much like the image above,the page appeared to pulsate and move continually, while I attempted to focus on the opposing page (table of contents to, you know, find that article I was looking for). Instead I became fascinated with the visual stimulation at hand, got a little dizzy after a while and put the magazine back on the shelf.

Leaving an impression with me, today I googled for optical illusion design and found a few samples to share with you. Akiyoshi Kitaoka, who created the above and below designs is a Psychology professor at Ritsumeikan University in Japan. His focus is in visual illusion, visual completion, motion perception and stereopsis. Wow!


As the warning states on the website linked to these images, if you begin to feel dizzy, look away. It appears that vibrant color combinations and patterns help to make these designs come to life. Check out the links. You’ll have a lot of fun, as I did.

I also happened to follow links to an artist, Felice Varini, who paints on architectural and urban spaces. The paintings are created with one particular vantage point in mind. I found his ability to create illusion with color, shape and space amazing. He’s been leaving his mark of design since the 1980s, so you’ll find a lot of his work on his website. Striking, isn’t it?

Paroi orange ŽclatŽ


(Two top images from Akiyoshi’s illusion pages at | Bottom photo from Felice Varini’s website:

crackedpots in troutdale

Cracked Pots uses art to encourage our community to creatively look at trash. Reuse is at the heart of all we do. Think before you throw.”

 This is one art show I try to attend every year. All the garden art is created from recycled materials. The show features more than 80 artists in a garden setting that surrounds McMenamins Edgefield in Troutdale, Oregon. The people are down to earth and the event is enchanting. This year the dates for the show are July 21-22.

I’m displaying some past items to give you a feel for what you might find. The 80 plus artists on with work on display (and for sale) have more than artistic ability in common – they’re ingenious!



(photos from crackedpots website)

verner panton’s patterns on veerle’s blog

I was visiting one of my faves, Veerle Pieters’ blog, when I came across her entry regarding Verner Panton. I was quite taken with his outstanding and intriguing use of pattern and color. To find out more about him and see more samples of his work, go to veerle’s blog site, and of course hit directly on his link as well. I did extract a few of Panton’s images from the site to inspire you to go view more.

Panton patternPanton pattern2Panton pattern3Panton pattern4Panton pattern5

rex ray


Are you familiar with Rex Ray? I wasn’t until Chris Maier placed one of his books into my hands. I was immediately enthused by his colors, shapes and textures. A single piece of his work can be a universe of design within itself. Many of my favorite pieces of his are done on resin panels. Whether you’ve never seen his work or just haven’t seen it in a while, treat yourself to a visit to his website.

(photo taken from Rex Ray’s website to demonstrate style of his work only: