Fluidism Art – From Traditional To Transcendental Action Painting

New Category Of Art The word, “fluidism”, can be used to label a distinct category of fine art painting where both the substrate and the subject are the same. “Substrate” means the actual material from which a painting is constructed (ie, the paint). “Subject” means the intellectual motivation from which a painting grows (ie, the…

New Category Of Art

The word, “fluidism”, can be used to label a distinct category of fine art painting where both the substrate and the subject are the same. “Substrate” means the actual material from which a painting is constructed (ie, the paint). “Subject” means the intellectual motivation from which a painting grows (ie, the meaning, representation, or purpose).

In fluidism art, the substrate (ie, what the painting is made of) and the subject (ie, what the painting is about) are inseparable. The substrate IS the subject, and the subject IS the substrate. The visual and verbal appeal of fluids extends directly from physical properties, chemical characteristics, and dynamic patterns of fluids in motion. In fluidism art, both the perceptual and the conceptual appeal of fluids interact to produce deep enlightenment.

Fluidism paintng, thus, is the activity of mixing and manipulating real fluids, in order to discover, to experience, and to present fluid dynamic patterns as ephemeral forms of art.

Primal Source Of Inspiration and Intelligence

Throughout history, various artists have engaged in creative activities that fit the label, “fluidism”. More than 2000 years ago, Shinto practices of ancient China, for example, created sacred art by dropping ink into ponds and transferring the resulting concentric patterns to rice paper. Ancient Japanese artists, during the twelfth century, refined this ink-dropping style into what later came to be categorically defined as suminagashi, which means “floating ink”. Craftspeople in the Ottoman Empire, during the fifteenth century, developed a closely related painting style called “ebru”, which roughly means “cloud art.”

In modern times, a technique known as “marbling” came into fashion in the West, subsequently falling out and into fashion periodically. Closer to the present-day, as the physics of fluid dynamics progressed, various science students discovered the beauty of this physics, which is reflected in some scientific-minded people turning their primary interests toward the art of fluid dynamics. One such scientist-turned-artist, for example, is Chris Parks, who originally studied engineering at the Imperial College, London.

Most of the world's religions appear to have always had a close connection to fluids that ran parallel to artistic and scientific interests. The idea that life and reality areose from fluids, in fact, seems widespread in the world's various beliefs, from Ancient Egyptian myths to modern Judeo-Christian stories of creation.

While select artists through history have found great inspiration in fluids, and while modern science has made extensive use of fluid dynamic ideas, almost all religions have reflected fluid as the origin and foundation of reality, as we know it.

Modern astronauts have played with fluid water in the weightlessness of outer space. Contemporary painters have played with fluid paints in the minimal-gravity conditions of parabolic airplane flights. Don Petit is one such astronaut, and Frank Pietronigro is one such painter. Both metaphysics and physics now revere fluid in each field's own special way.

Consequently, a special word, “fluidism”, seems justified to help unify this widespread, human creative interest.

Transcendental Action Painting

American painter, Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) might best be regarded as the premier fluidism artist. Art critics of his day referred to him as an “abstract expressionist” or, more specifically, as a “drip painter” or “action painter.” Pollock, however, probably understood fully that he was not intentionally expressing anything. Rather, he was the expression itself – both the substance and the action of the expression, without any formal intentions to be either. Pollock realized that spontaneous actions could result in pleasing patterns. His drawn painter patterns were frozen echoes of his once liquid actions. Pollock, then, was an extension of the active flow of his chosen substrate (ie, paint). He could register residual patterns of his actions in the original paint medium, because these patterns were stable while still wet. Pollock's fluid patterns ran in almost the exact same appearance as their wet counterparts.

The advent and advancement of photography has shown that some fluid patterns can not dry in their original substrates. These fluid patterns either are too transient, or they are destroyed by drying. In other words, some visibly tempting moments of wet flow can not be preserved in the original substrates where they emerge. A bubble, for example, pops. A splashing sheet of liquid quickly moves from the air back into the mass from which it splashed. A particular collision or firing of liquid layers dissipates, before the mechanics of drying can even take hold to contain those patterns. Clearly, the idea of “painting” extends beyond the substrate of the dry painted artifact.

Photography has shown that painting is, or can be, an action where certain patterns can not be captured, except an artist transcends the medium in which those patterns originate. A photographer artist, thus, can capture an impression of a bubble before the bubble pops. A photographer artist can actually freeze a flying sheet of liquid before the sheet crashes back into her mother pool. A photographer artist can immobilize a particularly appealing color collision or a particular strike of colored liquid bands, before they dissipate into homogeneous solution. Patterns once invisible because of the speed of particular actions now can be made visible by the stop-action capability of the photographic artist's camera. Photography makes possible a class of action paintings that defy the traditional static definition of the word, “painting”.

Fluidism, then, has evolved from various traditions that involve manipulating wet liquids and allowing these liquids to dry. Fluidism has evolved into the modern pursuit of photography manipulated liquids while they are still wet. Traditionally, only dried remnants of stable wet patterns were possible artifacts. Now virtual disconnected remnants (ie, photographs) of ephemeral, impossible-to-dry patterns are possible. These are “transcendental action paintings” – substantial extensions of the basic idea of ​​”painting.”

Copyright (c) 2011 Robert G. Kernodle

The Increasing Popularity of Modern Ketubah

A document called a Ketubah is a traditional and an integral part of the Jewish wedding ceremony. This modern ketubah has also become an increasingly popular custom for non-traditional weddings as well. A Ketubah is a Jewish marriage contract that will be written by the couple, approved by their rabbi and signed in front of…

A document called a Ketubah is a traditional and an integral part of the Jewish wedding ceremony. This modern ketubah has also become an increasingly popular custom for non-traditional weddings as well. A Ketubah is a Jewish marriage contract that will be written by the couple, approved by their rabbi and signed in front of 2 witnesses. This Ketubah often created with original fine art next to the text will later be framed and be displayed in the home of the married couple. Written in the modern Ketubah is the promise of the husband to take care his wife and their future children in all aspects, emotionally and financially. It is also a place where the couple can articulate their vows of love and devotion to each other. Many couples today like to write their own wedding vows to each other and the Ketubah is a great place to record those so you will always have a beautiful reminder of your deep feelings of love and respect for each other.

Today a modern Ketubah can be made for any couple who are marrying. You do not need to be Jewish or traditional in any way. A modern Ketubah can serve a couple of any faith, background, and sexual orientation. In fact anyone can shop for a custom Ketubah online. Finding the perfect Ketubah design and text can be one of the most enjoyable preparations of the bride and groom as they lead up to their big special day.

The popularity of the modern Ketubah has increased tremendously as more and more creative artists and non-traditional people are actually choosing to apply their own talent and creativity in creation of a unique and modern Ketubah. You can find their artwork in different gift shops, websites and even in artists' studios. Not only in Jewish communities can you see Ketubah artists, but now many artists of different backgrounds are using the Ketubah as a creative medium.

Another reason why the modern Ketubah has become more popular is the through advertising and media. You probably have seen a movie with a scene of a couple getting married and having to sign their Ketubah. This may be the first time you've seen this coupling of marriage traditions and fine art. After the signing of the Ketubah, and later after the ceremony the Ketubah will be given to the bride or bride's mother for safekeeping. Usually it is hung on the wall of the newlywed's house to hang on their wall through the rest of their married life.

JMW Turner’s The Fighting Temeraire Painting

Fighting Temeraire is one of the most impressive pieces of British art in history and was produced by Romanticist JMW Turner. It remains his best known work of all which an impressive title considering the impact of this innovative painter over the direction of European art in the 19th century. It was thanks to expressive…

Fighting Temeraire is one of the most impressive pieces of British art in history and was produced by Romanticist JMW Turner. It remains his best known work of all which an impressive title considering the impact of this innovative painter over the direction of European art in the 19th century. It was thanks to expressive paintings like Fighting Temeraire that we now enjoy more modern art movements such as impressionism and expressionism. The National Gallery now holds the best collection of JMW Turner paintings and that is the best place to head for those who still follow his career.

The Fighting Temeraire painting features a war ship on it's last voyage before being broken down into scrap, so in some way this painting could have a sad feeling surrounding it but in fact it is more about a triumphant ship which served in the successful Battle of Trafalgar marching on through the seas whilst captured among a stunning seascape scene which enables the artist to show off his exceptional technical talents with regards to the multi layered sky and sea sections of the painting.

JMW Turner remains a significant entry in the history of British art and whilst part of the Romanticist art movement, there were significant changes with in the direction of European art which started to move away from sterile realism styles toward all that we have today with the likes of impressionism and then later the various types of expressionism. John Constable alongside Turner played crucible roles also in the greater acceptance of landscape painting when previously it had not been seen as the equal to other genres such as religious based paintings and portraits. It now seems unimaginable the landscape art would not be appreciated as equal to these other genres because it is so much loved today and easily accessible to all, regardless of their understanding of painting techniques or art history.

We can conclusively accept that Fighting Temeraire was a significant work with in the career of Turner and is a good example of his impressive technical depictions of seascapes as well as offering more information on this famous ship which at the time was on it's final voyage having previously served in the Battle of Trafalgar. The is a great amount of British history found with in this painting and it happily takes center stage with in the career of this highly innovative artist who brought new ideas into European art and was key to a greater academic acceptance of the landscape painting genre.

Photos to Paintings

Visual history was only recorded mainly by painting before the photograph back in the early 1800's like canvas paintings, frescoes, wall paintings – bas-relief or sculptures for example, but then the first photograph changed everything as far as the way history could be conveyed to future generations. Just like the last supper: Leonardo di ser…

Visual history was only recorded mainly by painting before the photograph back in the early 1800's like canvas paintings, frescoes, wall paintings – bas-relief or sculptures for example, but then the first photograph changed everything as far as the way history could be conveyed to future generations. Just like the last supper: Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (April 15, 1452 – May 2, 1519) made a monumental time in history so now a photograph and even better, that photo can be turned into a beautiful portrait.

Any style can be painted and requested to be edited in the photo before the artist starts to paint which adds another dynamic. As long as the photo's resolution is high enough they can enhance it so when it goes to paint the output will be nothing short of spectacular due to all the available details the artist can see and also the vibrant colors added to accentuate old photos to fabulous paintings.

I needed to have an old photo restored of my Grandfather when he was in the navy during the second world war, I asked if it was possible due to the condition of the black and white photograph being of quite poor quality because of it's age, and thankfully they said it was of good enough quality to do so, and asked if I would like it to be in color. I thought on that and accepted as it would bring a more contemporary feel to the painting.

I chose watercolour and they made a start. The edited photo came out great, I only made a few minor changes to the brightness of the colors and then once I approved it was off to be painted.

Then I was advised that watercolour would be a better medium for a landscape painting of a house for example or something similar to that and would not translate well with my Grandfathers' photo in all his navy regalia. So in light of that advice I opted for Oil as it is more robust, more rustic, not so subtle specifically for this type of style from photo to painting .

Eleven days and it was done, they sent me the first draft and I was gobsmacked! All that I requested was to have a message incorporated at the bottom of the canvas to my Grandmother as she is still here, my Grandfather passed over 3 years ago.

After the Oil had dried properly (which takes a day) they shipped via DHL and it was at my door two day's later. It looked even better in the flesh, so to speak. Then when I presented it to my Nan on her anniversary and she fought with joy.

Vanity and Arts

You know when someone is happy within, she is blooming. Whatever that really means we can just say that there is a glow in her skin, there is a positive change in her aura, or simply put she is beautiful when compared before. Being previously ugly is not insulated here, anyway. But she is just…

You know when someone is happy within, she is blooming. Whatever that really means we can just say that there is a glow in her skin, there is a positive change in her aura, or simply put she is beautiful when compared before. Being previously ugly is not insulated here, anyway. But she is just like an art retouched or better yet an affordable art that recently has appraised its price.

Vanity is seasonal . And a person who is vain is a person who is happy within. This only connotes love for herself. Hypocrisy aside, a person not loving oneself is depressed. Love of self is different from selfishness as how vanity as a sin quoting the Bible is different from vanity every girl loves to be accused of. It simply means, she is happy to wake up in the morning looking at oneself and being cautious of how much water she has drunk which is good enough for the day to flush out toxins from her body. It is health, wellness, neatness, hygiene, and beauty. Then what could be wrong of being vain when this is much better than waking up one day and the least thing you want to see is your reflection in the morning which for you is extremely unsightly. No matter how other things may seem okay, this only denotes one thing. And that is depression. Beauty is an art. When one looks dull, then you can tell that there is no art in her life because a simple song or poetry or a relaxing wall painting can make the heart grow ponder already and appreciating not a single art form is a life on the verge of ending because there is no appreciation anymore of the pleasures around us.

Vanity for woman can be about art she puts on her body like some accessories or by trendy clothes that will make her look stylish. But the best vanity of all is an affordable art that every woman can have. It is health and wellness. This is being fit with glowing skin, knowing what hair style and what clothes suit you, and realizing that overdressing and over styling can overshadow your own self. A woman needs to carry her dress, her style, and her art and not the other way around.

The bottomline of this is a woman who is loving herself is happy. A woman who is not interested to look at herself in the mirror is not happy at all but may appear as disguised by achievement, power, money, and worst the happiness of someone.

Pet Portrait Pointers – Learn The Subtle Tricks Of Oil Painting

I have learned, when doing my pet portraits, that oil paintings have a luster and glow that can not be matched by other works of art. Place an oil painting next to, for instance, a painting done with something like acrylic, and this will become plain to see. Here are some things you should remember…

I have learned, when doing my pet portraits, that oil paintings have a luster and glow that can not be matched by other works of art. Place an oil painting next to, for instance, a painting done with something like acrylic, and this will become plain to see. Here are some things you should remember when using oil in paintings.

When creating an oil painting one should increase the amount of oil for each overlapping layer of paint. This is important because the lower layers of paint tend to 'suck' at the high layers of oil. Proper layering will decrease the chances of the oil cracking on the top layers of paint.

The drying time of oil is can be highly variable from one color to another color. Using a color like ivory black, for instance, will result in that particular oil drying slower than other colors. As silly as it sounds, one needs to actually 'watch the paint dry' to get an idea for this.

Linseed oil is a very valuable material if you want your painting to dry evenly. It is especially useful in the underlay layers of oil in your painting. Linseed oil has a tendency to dry at the same, even rate.

You should know, however, that linseed oil is not good for all colors. It can cause certain lighter types of colors to 'yellow.' So you should avoid the use of linseed oil whenever you are using lighter colors.

You can hurry up the dry time of your creation by mixing in the proper 'ingredients.' Paints having such elements as lead, cobalt and manganese, for instance, will speed up drying time considably. You can also mix these pigments with other types of colors if you need a particular oil to dry faster.

And here's a funny one that will not happen to many people, if you dry your painting in the dark, a thin sheen of oil may rise to the surface. This will cause your painting to take on a yellowish tint. So you must leave the lights on when the oil in your painting is drying.

There are other things you should be careful of when working with oil, so the beginning artist must do is 9or her) research before starting work. Is your painting wrinkly, yellowed, sticky after a week, or even two, or (horrors) even three? Simply do a little research, and then, like I do with my pet portraits, start work on another painting.

Jack Shadbolt: Vancouver, War, and Scavenger Dogs

When months ago I visited the Shadbolt Art Center for the first time- an Art facility nestled in the scenic Deer Lake Park in Burnaby- I had no idea that the center was named after two very influential Burnaby artists and art lovers: Jack Shadbolt and his wife, Doris Shadbolt. So, when on a recent…

When months ago I visited the Shadbolt Art Center for the first time- an Art facility nestled in the scenic Deer Lake Park in Burnaby- I had no idea that the center was named after two very influential Burnaby artists and art lovers: Jack Shadbolt and his wife, Doris Shadbolt.

So, when on a recent trip to the library I saw a book on Jack Shadbolt by Scott Watson, I did not think twice before picking it up.

Born to English parents on the 4th of February 1909 in Shoeburyness- an Essex county village in England- Jack Shadbolt was the second of five children. He moved to Canada with his family in 1912. The idea of ​​immigrating to Canada was his mother's; a dress maker, a strong, religious Christian woman and the dominant figure in his family who strict work ethics and perfectionist and religious views would haunt and repress Jack and create in him a restlessness that would drive him to “create” at all times.

He created in order to escape the rigidity of his household and the feeling of inadequacy his mother's dominant and demanding personality instilled in him. As a child Jack often escorted into nature and the outdoors, he also fled into a world of imagination and fantasy, enjoying exotic, fantastical and oriental tales. He was drawn to the dark and the cruel, and this would later show in his paintings.

Jack's father was a sign painter and a paper hanger, and Jack often helped him with his work. Between his mother's dressmaking, his father's painting, and his sisters' fondness of playing the piano, Shadbolt grew up in an artistic home. The Shadbolts first lived in Nelson British Columbia for two years, before moving to Victoria.

In addition to commercial art, as a teenager Jack loved sports and even had Olympic aspirations in track and field. In 1927, he enrolled in Victoria College and Met Max Maynard. Maynard would become his good friend and first mentor on modern art. His ideas and passion would inspire Jack's decision to become an artist himself. With Maynard, he met Emily Carr and would later write a critique on her work.

The book, A Canadian Art Movement: The Story of the Group of Seven by FB Housser's had a very strong impact on both Jack and Maynard, as the comments in the book made art seem masculine and heroic at a time when in Victoria, art was in the hands of society women.

In 1931, Jack moved to Vancouver to work as a teacher for one year. During that time he took courses with one of his idols, Fred Varley, a founding member of the Group of Seven. Unfortunately, this would turn out to be a humiliating and depressing experience for him as Varley continued to ignore him, refusing to critique his work until finally at the end of the course he simply ripped Jack's drawings and tossed them to the ground. Shadbolt would later have the habit of destroying his own paintings.

Jack Shadbolt would continue to move around and travel, teaching, visiting exhibitions, taking courses, all in order to mature as an artist. He studied in New York, Paris and London, and even contemplated traveling to Mexico to study under Diego Rivera who mural Man at the Crossroads of Civilization was removed from the Rockefeller Center during Jack's stay in New York.

Shadbolt experimented with various styles and techniques. However, he remained restless about his art and as his role as an artist, feeling very strict that art must address universal issues, express the human condition and be veered toward social engagement.

He is quoted in Scott Waston's book to say:

“I think of painting as something essentially Noble and dignified- of necessity cold and aloof in its essence yet animated by passionate human motives- something where color and form and the inevitable 'architectural' elements take control … There is no softness in art There is a voluptuousness … there is sometimes the greatness and severity of the controlling impulse- the tremendous charge of the spirit that rules with titanic majesty and sweeps all the resources of the painter into a unity and its ultimate dignity. ”

Jack enlisted in the army as a signalman in 1942. In May 1944 instead of getting a job as an official war artist, he occupied the position of a narrator. He would later ever get the job of a war artist. The war in 1945 deeply troubled him, and when he was transferred overseas to London, he assisted with administration duties and witnessed the ruins that were the result of the war.

He documented his impressions by sketching the destruction that bombs left behind. His job as a war artist meant that he had to look at photographs from concentration camps that were sent to him daily as the army documented its advance. The images were violent, cruel and devastating, and his job was to catalog and sort them.

He painted the local scene in Vancouver in a series he called The Canadian Scene.

In 1947 he moved away from the social realism of pictures in The Canadian Scene and returned to the theme of war. He painted a mural for The United Service Recreation Center called About Town with the United Services. The mural which no longer exists took six months to finish. During this period, he would combine the destruction he saw in London with scenes and buildings in Vancouver. Some of my personal favorite works of his include his drawings of dogs amongst ruins; the accidental survivors of the war and the symbolic representations of the aggressive forces that controlled the world at the time.

Jack often drew from Medieval, Oceanic, Native and African sources. He would later engage in drawing masks and bird skeletons. This came after a period in which Jack had spent time sketching driftwood on the beach, stumps and tangled branches at Buccaneer Bay. These images were figurative abstractions of the bones and skeletons of a mutilated man.

In 1948, his exhibition in the Art Gallery of Toronto revealed his stylistic transition from realism to expressionism while employing symbolism in his art. This shift put him in the public eye as one of Canada's important modern painters and a national and international contributor to abstraction and Canadian art.

Jack Shadbolt passed away at the age of 89, on November 22, 1998. His development as an artist and his motifs can be traced by looking at his paintings. Scott Watson's book includes a wealth of information on the artist and some of his most beautiful work.

The Gallery Contract – What’s in It for the Artist?

Some galleries insist upon your signing an exclusive contract with them. I suggest you, in turn, politely insist on taking a copy of the document home to mull over. Any legitimate gallery will not refuse this. You must be sure of the terms you'd be accepting. What is an exclusive contract? This means you will…

Some galleries insist upon your signing an exclusive contract with them. I suggest you, in turn, politely insist on taking a copy of the document home to mull over. Any legitimate gallery will not refuse this. You must be sure of the terms you'd be accepting.

  • What is an exclusive contract?

This means you will not consign works to any other commercial gallery within a stated radius. Even if there is no written contract, you must be sure of the terms you'd be accepting. Most important are:

  • The percentage of Commission the gallery will take from your sales. Today, inner city galleries demand up to 60 percent. Some will charge a 'hanging fee' on top of this. When you are given a solo exhibition, the gallery may hold back a percentage of the sales revenue as your share in the expenses of mounting the show. Because your work's appeal to buyers is an unknown quantity until the first few sales are made, you need to take advice from the gallery on pricing your pieces. The gallery will take these costs into account when deciding the initial prices. Be aware they come under two headings:

(a.) The List price.

This is the price posted on the catalog. It represents the price you and the gallery hope to achieve for that piece.

(b.) The Reserve price.

This is the lowest amount both artist and gallery have agreed to accept from a buyer.

TIP. Do not let your ego stand in the way of getting your work onto the market. Collectors talk to each other about their purchases and are a huge factor in boosting awareness of a new artist on the scene.

  • The contract must state a minimum Duration and a Termination clause, where either partner may dissolve the Agreement. You should photocopy this document and keep it safe for future reference.

What's next?

Buy a regular Invoice / Statement book with carbon copies. (There is no substitute for good old hard copy – paper and pen.) From day one, when you hand over your artwork for the gallery to sell, get a responsible staffer sign for it on your itemised and dated Consignment Note. Never leave work at any gallery without this.

TIP. Get a printing shop to print your name or studio name on the pages with your contact numbers – a really professional look. At the least, get a rubber stamp made or use a labeling machine to personalize the pages.

  • Finding out what the gallery expects of you.

Understood, even if not set out in writing, is that you will not sell directly from your studio, unless you pay the gallery some portion of its regular commission.

No matter how shy you are, you will be expected to take part in media promotions the gallery undertakes from time to time. These will be for the benefit of all the existing 'stable' of artists, or of a group category. So, until you reach 'star' status, just pitch in and be a willing participant.

You should never be pressured by the gallery to accommodate any client in ways you are not comfortable with, eg to make a portrait if you only do landscape subjects. Or any other unacceptable request.

TIP. Settling in your mind, right now, the 'Line in the Sand' you will not cross, will make it easy to give a graceful but utterly firm sentence should the time ever come.

To sum up:

Just be sure you understand what you're signing up for, be content to wait for sales and recognition, be courteous and co-operative with the gallery staff and you will reap the rewards, without the angst of trying to do all the promotion and marketing alone.

Not All In The Mind

Could it be that we create our own world through our perceptions and our responses to our surroundings? It has been said that one has complete control over the world and one's own life when one completely accepts what is going on without fighting it or judging or feeling that it should be different in…

Could it be that we create our own world through our perceptions and our responses to our surroundings? It has been said that one has complete control over the world and one's own life when one completely accepts what is going on without fighting it or judging or feeling that it should be different in some way. In this sense whatever we see or whatever takes place is not happening in conflict with a mind that is fluid and simply observing. Easier said than done in a busy, modern world? However, a meditative approach to everyday life is definitely possible.

Drawing and painting are a kind of meditation. From first-hand experience I have noticed that often, when sitting in some woods or hill, for instance, usually on a freezing cold day (probably because the light and contrasts are better and more present in autumn and winter), inspired to look closely at the details infront of me and capture them in paint, after a certain amount of time (sometimes an hour or less) a change seems to take place in my mind, as if some connection between my eyes and the brain is under some fine -tuning. After this 'change' everything seems to gleam and sparkle – the ordinary appears extraordinary! You would have thought I was ingested a drug of some kind, but no.

Sometimes I do not even need to have been painting for this to occur, but I am sure that close observation through painting, as well as trying to be a bit flexible and even 'lazy' with my mind, has augmented this in me ( even though, on many other occasions, my mind and imagination can really run riot and I can feel at odds with the world and stop seeing anything as it really is!). Our minds are very tricky and erratic things. As well as being over-active (in extreme cases leading to neurosis, delusions etc), the mind can also become fixed and stuck in one way of operating and we then limit our own view of the world. Most of us live in a 'thought realm', divorced from 'what is', while the 'reality' of things is that we have no way of really knowing what it feels like to be alive. I have borrowed these phrases from the 'world teachers' Jiddu and UG Krishnamurti (both unrelated).

As well as describing it as living in a 'thought realm' you could say that we often live in a world of symbols rather than a world of the senses. We often reduce things down to symbols. If a child is asked to paint a tree they usually paint a brown stick with a green ball on top (I'm not criticizing kids – they are just learning, and they have probably told that this is how you paint a tree – ie – do not bother looking at the subject, just create the sign / symbol for a tree, then move on … whereas, in actual fact, kids probably see the world much more vividly until they gradually have that ability driven out of them ). I saw a tree today whose trunk was a deep, dark green (covered in thick ivy) and who foliage at the top was golden brown and yellow. It was a remarkable thing – not just a 'tree', because that is just a word – something beyond a word. If it was to be painted it might take on an other-worldly appearance, though it is a pretty common, earthly thing. And that is another aspect: once you start to move the paint around and create visual equivalents on the canvas to what you are seeing before you, you are then looking at two things, and the paint takes on a life of its own, as well .

What I am writing has been said before in various ways, but I have not heard anyone else mention the experience of a change in the 'sensation' of seeing, and the world / scene around them becoming more alive or vivid just from continuing looking. The best way I can describe it is like fine-tuning a radio in to a station that was a bit unclear and muffled before. Of course, our sense can be heightened at different times, and by different stimuli. I think that the physical eye allows the world to enter, but it's the mind that does the rest. if I was a scientist I might have more of an explanation.

Some references / inspiration for this article:
J. Krishnamurti
UG Krishnamurti
Eckhart Tolle
EH Gombrich
Tim Robinson etc

Drawing and Painting Using the ‘Picture Plane’ To See Perspective and Foreshortening

The Picture Plane This is a very simple but very important concept. Imagine the Picture Plane as a sheet of glass between you and what you're drawing. It makes no difference how far away you imagine it is. Now close one eye and imagine everything you see is squashed flat onto the back of the…

The Picture Plane

This is a very simple but very important concept. Imagine the Picture Plane as a sheet of glass between you and what you're drawing. It makes no difference how far away you imagine it is. Now close one eye and imagine everything you see is squashed flat onto the back of the glass, like a picture on a TV screen. This translates all the perspective and foreshortening you can see into flat two-dimensional shapes that can be copied onto your paper. This must be done with one eye closed because each eye will see these shapes in different positions. We'll come to perspective in a minute but, for now, just remember that the 'Horizon Line' runs across the picture plane at eye level, or to put it another way, your eye level is called the 'Horizon Line' – meaning you're looking down on anything below it and you're looking up at anything above it. It's important to imagine the picture plane in open space so that your drawing board does not 'puncture' it. They are not the same thing and should not be confused with each other. Nothing can occupy the same space as the picture plane, otherwise you would see a cross-section of the object in your drawing!

Once you can see everything on this imaginary 'surface' you do not need to think about perspective and foreshortening. All shapes on the picture plane are flat. It takes some practice to see foreseen objects as flat shapes (and it always helps to close one eye), but once it clicks you'll find drawing everything a lot easier.

A good way to get used to the concept of a picture plane in portrait drawing is to stand or sit in front of a mirror and draw yourself or anything else you can see, with a wax pencil (Stabilo make a nice range called 'Aquarellable' ), and with one eye closed, straight onto the mirror. Try to choose subjects that are turned at awkward angles and foreshortened. Another way of achieving the same effect is to stand inside a window and trace the objects outside straight onto the window pane, again making sure you keep one eye closed. This is supposedly what Hans Holbein (the famous portrait painter in the court of Henry Vlll) used to do before transferring his drawings onto paper. Yet another way of practicing this is to balance a sheet of glass on the outstretched fingers of one hand and to trace around it's contour with the other.

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Witches of the Wild Wild West Art: A Hey-How for Halloween!

It's autumn again! The season of golden leaves, chilly air and carved pumpkins! It's my favorite season. Autumn never looked so colorful where I come from, so I have a sincere appreciation for all the colors autumn's experienced brush leaves on everything here in Vancouver. I love waking up in the morning to absolute mist…

It's autumn again! The season of golden leaves, chilly air and carved pumpkins! It's my favorite season. Autumn never looked so colorful where I come from, so I have a sincere appreciation for all the colors autumn's experienced brush leaves on everything here in Vancouver. I love waking up in the morning to absolute mist engulfing my neighborhood, or listening to the crunchiness of the dry leaves decorating the sidewalks and breaking underfoot. Even the solemn black crows look more in place in autumn. The romanticism and melancholy of coats and gloves and boots warms me somehow, and my secret desire of wanting to spread the fallen leaves, lie down on the ground, and move my arms and legs frantically to make leaf-angels always resurfaces when I go out for walks.

October for me is synonymous with Halloween. I've never celebrated Halloween, which is a pity really because it looks like so much fun; one very amusing way of unleashing your creativity while being with your friends and bloating on candy at the same time … not to mention the Halloween recipes and decorations! But prior to moving to Canada, October for me was Samhain; the Gaelic Harvest Festival, just like May was Beltane. Not because I am a Celt or because I am a Wiccan, I am alone, but simply because when I was younger I was fascinated by those two things, and in a way, still am.

Samhain (Pronounced Sa-wen – Gaelic rocks!) Is one of four medieval Gaelic festivals. It marks the end of the harvest and is still celebrated today by Pagans and Wiccans as one of the four big Gaelic Sabbaths. It's also still considered in Celtic cultures as the Celtic New Year. The date of the night of Samhain is, as you may have guessed by now: October 31st! The death of the sun and the beginning of darkness is marked by Samhain, a time when the gates between realms are open and spirits are free to wander and cross thresholds for a few hours before the gates are shut again. The church calendar has its own day associated with Samhain, and that day is Hallow's Day or All Saints' Day on the 1st of November. The 2nd of November is All Souls' Day, a day to remember the dead.

So how was Samhain celebrated back in the olden days?

Animals were slaughtered for food, and their bones tossed into huge bonfires which were lit in villages. Bone Fire, can you now see where the word 'Bonfire' comes from? The fire was thought to relieve the pain of souls stuck in purgatory. People would walk around wearing scary costumes and masks, in an attempt to appease evil spirits and keep them at bay. Kids would spend their time driving faces into turnips and leaving them on their doorsteps, another way of warding off wicked spirits. It was common in the nineteenth century for children to go “a-souling” in Samhain, collecting offers for faded souls. Knockings on doors they're offer music, pranks, and amusement of all sorts, all in exchange of trips, a drink or money. Sounds familiar, does not it?

Fortunetelling was also part of the festivities, with fruits, eggs and nuts used to divine something about the future; a spouse's name, the number of children you were going to have, where you were going to live, etc …

Probably the most predominant of all Halloween costumes and decorations, is the Witch. Back in the day, witches, or those poor women accused of sorcery were normal women who did not dress much differently than those around them. In certain cultures, witches were thought to wear earth colors, browns and greens or even dress like fairies, all due to their associations with nature and with other supernatural realms. So if that was the case then, where did this inaccurate and insulting image of a cone-hatted crone on a flying broom come from?

Well, the color black is commonly linked to darkness and evil in the West! It is said by some that pointed hats alluded to the devil's horns and that's how that conical headwear became connected to evildoers. After all, the easiest way back then to condemn someone and turn everyone on them was to associate them with Satan. Wearing conical hats was also a sign of vulgarity and backwardness as those hats, once fashionable in Europe, were suddenly being worn by peasants. Historical finds also portray the lunar hunting Goddess Diana, revered by some Wiccans and Neo-pagans, as wearing a pointed-hat decorated with sun and moon symbols, and it is suggested by scholars that some 3000 years ago, wizards and wise men who those hats.

Disney's Merlin suddenly comes to mind …

Okay. I need to stop with the cartoon references. But you get the point.

It's worth mentioning that the few Wiccans I've met in my life who actually practiced the craft were people very much in tune with the world, who held the earth in the highest regard, and for what I have tremendously respect. I understand why many of them would be bothered by these unjust perceptions of witches.

Maybe I'll make it a first and play with some ideas for costumes and Halloween decorations this year. How young do you have to be go trick or treating?

A blessed and happy Samhain … I mean, Halloween!

6 Essential Items for Art: Acrylic Painting

We are all aware that painting is an art. In the most basic sense, it is the method of expressing itself through lines, colors, etc. With this definition, we can say that everyone can paint, although there are those who are really good at it. Some experts believe that a person who is good in…

We are all aware that painting is an art. In the most basic sense, it is the method of expressing itself through lines, colors, etc. With this definition, we can say that everyone can paint, although there are those who are really good at it. Some experts believe that a person who is good in painting is the person who can identify the relationship of colors with each other and can play with lines at the same time. Most people do not even know they are good in art, especially painting because they never really tried it. The best way to discover your talent or to hone the artist in you is through practice and exercise.

One big problem with starters is, where do I begin? There are a lot of art disciplines and I do not even know where to start. Do not worry. You can start with whatever interests you the most. Take for example acrylic painting. It's a good discipline to start with because its relaxed and free-flowing. But before you can start making art, you need to have the necessary materials first. I have listed some of the most basic necessities in acrylic painting. Their uses will also be included so that you can decide how helpful they will be in your painting.

1. Colors – OK, so painting would not be painting without colors. You do not have to buy the whole rack of colors for this one. Just get a few reds, yellows, blues, some whites, and grays. You must remember though that some paintings can be hazardous when it comes in contact with your skin so you need to check them out first.

2. Paint Brushes – The bare necessities. Same as colors, you do not need a bucketful of brushes when starting. Some experts suggest 2-4 brushes in different sizes so you can develop a preference for a certain size. When you do, then you only need that brush or an extra in your arsenal.

3. Palette Knives – Palette knives are useful in mixing colors together and can also be used to scrape some “errors” in the canvas when the paint is not yet dry.

4. Palettes – Acrylic paint dries easily when outside its tube. Because of this, experts suggest using those moisture retaining palettes. This way, you can squeeze different colors into your palette without having to worry about them drying out.

5. Canvas – When choosing for painting canvasses, make sure the canvas you purchase is already well stretched and primed so that you can go directly to painting on it. The size and shape of the canvas will depend on how you are going to use it.

6. Others – There are other things you can add to your list but are not as important as the first five. Some of these items include rags, water containers, paper to be used for practice, aprons, an easel, varnish and a varnish brush. You can select which one you can use because some of them are dependent on the artist himself / herself.

The Interview – What Impresses a Gallery Director?

It's hard to go past the old one: 'You never get a second chance to make a first impression.' Private galleries have to make a profit to stay in business. A new artist who presents in a business-like way is halfway towards being accepted into the gallery's 'Stable.' If you're not serious about making a…

It's hard to go past the old one: 'You never get a second chance to make a first impression.' Private galleries have to make a profit to stay in business. A new artist who presents in a business-like way is halfway towards being accepted into the gallery's 'Stable.'

If you're not serious about making a career in Art, go ahead and turn up without an appointment or late for the one arranged. Arrive stoned and un-washed, lacking footwear but laden with metal in every piercing you've ever had done. You get my drift by now, I'm sure.

What 'business-like' does not mean: a suit, white shirt and tie, do not 'maketh the man or woman' in this instance. Just dress in whatever you'd normally wear for a day in town. Before you leave home, check in the mirror that you look neat, so that you can forget about your appearance and concentrate on the more important parts of the upcoming interview.

  • If you have uploaded your profile ahead of the interview and come with your Portfolio, you have the Director on-side from the start. So, let's recap those definitions:

What is a Profile?

A typed document with your vital details: your name, place of residence, date of birth, the medium and style you work in, any exhibitions you've had, any rewards earned, and a one-sentence Mission Statement. Avoid the mistake of using Art School language, just be clear about what you do and what you aim to achieve.

What is a Portfolio?

Any portable collection of samples of your artwork. Best for a busy gallery director is an album of photos that s / he can flip quickly through. Do not worry – gallery staff are used to assessing the true quality of work from even the poorest photos.

What are the most important parts of the interview?

  • Presenting your art.

Of course you will bring some actual artwork to display on the day. Enlist a friend if needed to help carry them in. Do this with as little disruption to the gallery's staff and customers as you can manage. Simple good manners are never out of fashion.

TIP. Park as close to the gallery as possible and leave the works in the vehicle until you've checked with the director that it's convenient to bring them inside.

You're passionate about Art, your own art in particular, of course you are. But for today, go softly on the dynamic ideology. Better to let your philosophy unfold along with your personality in the natural course of getting to know each other over time.

  • Finding out what the gallery is offering you.

In the next article, I'll discuss what the artist needs to know about the exclusive contract .

© Dorothy Gauvin

How to Paint Trees With Watercolor

Painting trees with watercolor can seem difficult, especially if you do not know where to begin. Hopefully this article can help you to feel more comfortable approaching your watercolor landscape paintings. The first thing I recommend is drawing a couple of quick thumbnail sketches in pencil of your subject. This is the time to plan…

Painting trees with watercolor can seem difficult, especially if you do not know where to begin. Hopefully this article can help you to feel more comfortable approaching your watercolor landscape paintings. The first thing I recommend is drawing a couple of quick thumbnail sketches in pencil of your subject. This is the time to plan your composition as well as your values ​​(light to dark placement). Consider your light source and make sure you carry it through your composition. Include your shadows as part of your sketch. Their placement will become a design element of your piece.

Closely observe a tree. What color is the bark actually? Probably not brown! You will most likely notice shades of gray, both warm and cool. Note any twists and turns in the trunk and branches. Look at the leaves and the way they refer to the branches. Where does the sky peek through? Sketch these openings and the groups of leaves. Remember to indicate your light source.

Consider the green of the leaves. There are many greens you can purchase in tubes, however, I prefer to mix my own. For the lighter shades of green, Viridian makes a good base since it is a transparent color. It can be mixed individually with Aureolin Yellow, Cadmium Red, or Rose Madder Genuine. Experiment with these one at a time to see which results appeal to you. Only use two colors in each mixture. For deeper greens, start with Winsor Green, which is also a transparent hue, but is a “staining color” as well. This means it will not completely lift out if you wish to make corrections later. Add Cadmium Red to Winsor Green for an even deeper color. Combining Winsor Green and Alizarin Crimson makes a deep rich color, but since these are both staining pigments, use caution when painting with this mixture also.

Remember there are cool greens and warm greens. The ratio of warm and cool in your mixtures is important and allows you to experiment with various combinations. Place your warmer mixtures toward the foreground, and the cooler greens in the distance. If your painting features more than one tree, paint those in the distance with less pigment and more water. This will help to achieve a sense of depth.

Save your brightest greens for your focal point and have all the others related to this area accordingly. This is where your strongest value contrast may be placed also. (Keep in mind that anything white in your painting will draw the viewers eye to it first.)

Practice mixing transparent greens and enjoy experimenting as you venture outside to paint trees.

The Artist’s Plan – How to Get a Gallery Interview

You are ready to become an art professional. You want to show your work to the world and you hope to make a living from it. Your next step is getting an interview with a gallery director. Doing your homework well ahead of time will give you an edge. It makes you look professional from…

You are ready to become an art professional. You want to show your work to the world and you hope to make a living from it. Your next step is getting an interview with a gallery director.

Doing your homework well ahead of time will give you an edge.

  • It makes you look professional from the outside.
  • Gallery staff see you are serious about your career.
  • With paperwork ready, you can take up opportunities on the spot.

1. On your computer or that of a friend, type up a Profile document with your vital details: your name, place of residence, date of birth, the medium and style you work in, and a one-sentence Mission Statement. Avoid the mistake of using Art School language, just be clear about what you do and aim to achieve.

This might be something like: 'I want to share my passion for the landscape of [insert Region] and hope to encourage responsible environmental practices.' Or it might be something like: 'Inspired by the history of [insert period or place] I aim to raise interest in and preservation of its unique features.'

TIP Do not get too fancy here. Remember the Number One Basic fact of the private gallery: it is a shop, selling art.

2. Make up a portfolio of photographs of your completed artwork. Be sure to include samples from your whole body of work to date, not just the most recent nor the pieces you consider 'the best.' Gallery staff can make shrewd judgments about such things as your direction and the subject matter you best portrait from a wide sample. Better to include too much than too little.

TIP Transparencies or 'slides' are not necessary. But if you've uploaded your photos to a flash drive, you can take that along, in your pocket, to produce if wanted at the interview.

Gallery staff are well versed in assessing an artist's abilities from even poor quality photos. They have no time to spend fiddling with light boxes or projectors, nor do they usually want to take up the company's computer time to view your samples. An album of photos, of best quality you can manage, will be more welcome in the Director's busy day.

3. Check out the galleries in your area. For each one, take note of the type of art they display. Does it include the style you are working in? Does the place look lively or deserted? If you know any fellow artists who show there, ask their opinion of the treatment they receive from staff, and if they are having satisfactory sales at that gallery. Take any complaints as a fair warning, just do not take it as 'gospel' because everyone's experience is personal.

4. When you find a gallery where you feel reasonably confident of fitting in, go home and relax, then phone and ask to speak to the Director. When the receptionist asks the nature of your business, reply that you are looking to show your work with that gallery and make a straight-forward, courteous request for an interview. Do not forget to ask for the name of the Director. It does not hurt to ask for the name of the receptionist as well. Remember to use her name when – as we hope – you arrive for your interview.

  • You may be told that a written application is required, so pull out that document you made earlier – the one with your profile and your one-sentence Mission Statement. Print it up – on one page – and include it in the envelope with your letter to the Director. On a separate page attach a 6 x 4 photo of one of your artwork with its details printed below.

TIP Photos are easily lost or mislaid in a busy office, so be sure to paste your business card – if you have one – or add a label on the back, with your name and contact numbers.

Copies of any press clippings or Web reviews you may have can also be included in the envelope, which should be a manilla A4 size so your pages lie unfolded. You really should print several copies of these documents or keep them on file on your computer.

So, what's next? I'm thinking through what impressed me as a gallery director, when new artists arrived for a first interview.