VHS Girl’s start in painting. We first spotted Katie Winchester aka VHS Girl’s fantastic hand painted and lovingly rendered homages to old VHS movie box art at Red Truck Gallery in New Orleans. They have a whole collection of originals there.
(Above original available for purchase from Red Truck Gallery)
I recently came across her origin story, which is as endearing and inspiring as they come:
“She asked her friend Brett Hunter, a prominent local folk artist, to paint some of her favorite VHS covers for her.
“He saw on Instagram that I had a VHS account where I just post movies and I review them, and I try to be funny about it. And he was like, ‘You could do this. You don’t need me to do it. This is your thing, you like VHS,’” Winchester said.
“Hunter gave her a paint set, and Winchester’s grandfather and father started cutting out VHS-sized blocks of wood for her to paint on.
“I just kept getting a little better. I learned different brushstrokes, I learned how to use all the brushes as I was going. If you practice something at least once a day, you get better fast,” she said.
Since then, Winchester — perhaps better known by her Instagram moniker, @vhsgirl — has amassed thousands of online followers. She was recently invited to the prestigious Art Basel show in Miami, and she now lives off her art exclusively.”
Good News about the Ice Bucket Challenge. Truly mass fundraising phenomena are exceedingly rare, and those that seem to have sprung out of sincere human gestures organically are all the more so. During and after the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, there was a spate of coverage about the massive amounts of cash it raised, and the likely ways the organization would use that money. As I recall, there was a period of onlooker concern that was something like “jeez, that much of an unexpected influx of money is going to destroy that organization,” followed by “hunh, mmmaybe it’s going to do a bunch of good, hope this works out!” The beneficiary, the national ALS Association did a good job shortly after of speaking to the public about the campaign as a case study and as an excuse to talk about what their organization actually does.
There’s never been anything quite like it since. There have been lots of attempts to replicate its model, but there has been nothing that succeeded in nearly to that extent as far as I know.
I’m cherry-picking just one of the impressive highlights, to further entice you to click:
Most crucially, the ALS Association was able to expand their network of specialized clinics by 50% - from 100 in 2014 to 156 today. I can’t begin to tell you what a difference it makes to have access to a certified ALS clinic in your community vs. not. It is everything.
A KFC Kimono.
Spotted on eBay:
And one bonus banana:
Dazzling crows. We’ve recently put out a bird feeder on our front porch and become de facto hosts of many an aviary social. One of the colorful characters who has become a regular is a big old crow. In addition to keeping itself well fed, it enjoys ripping an extra kernel or two off of the bird seed cake and feeding another neighborhood bird. Pretty cool to watch. And it made quite a first impression. Seeing it close up made me realize that crows aren’t really monochromatic at all. This one is an irridescent midnight blue. Like the coolest satin tuxedo you’ve ever seen.
(Photos from Urban Nature Enthusiast)
This 2016 article from photographer, artist, and jewelry designer June Hunter at the Urban Nature Enthusiast gives you a really good look at all of a crow’s impressive plumage. You can also follow June’s crow-rich work on Instagram.
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