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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The art of Googling (unreal, unbelievable, human achievement, artistic, Auckland, New Zealand)

A US artist who cannot afford to travel is using Google Street View to visit stunning locations around the world and capture them in paint.

Bill Guffey, 45, from Burkesville, Kentucky, has spent hundreds of hours travelling thousands of virtual miles to visit places he will never get to in person.

He has walked through every state in his home country as well as England, Scotland, Italy, France, Switzerland and Portugal.

After electronically hiking through some of the planet's most beautiful spots, Mr Guffey sits down to paint them at his home studio.

He has created over 100 paintings of scenes including a red phone box in Trafalgar Square, a lonely house in Scotland, a yellow taxi in New York City, and a canal boat in Amsterdam. His pieces sell for up to £1,500.

Mr Guffey said: "Having to look after my family and hold down a job have meant that my travelling days are numbered.

"Street view has really changed everything for me because it means I can go to all of those places I am in love with, sit and paint them as if I am really there.

"Travelling is what really does it for me. When I was younger and single I travelled around Europe and other countries across the world and it is the best thing I have ever done.

"Now that I have become a painter I would love to revisit some of those places and capture them in paint. But for the present, Google is an amazing substitute.

"We have always been able to look up pictures of famous buildings and places around the world. What's great about street view is that I can go to those places I would go to myself, to those places where tourists don't normally go."

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