Sunday, January 31, 2010

How to Learn the Origami Art

Do you want to learn one of the oldest and most exciting crafts? The origami art comes from China or Japan many centuries ago and still is very popular among children and adults. What makes it so great? Maybe the simplicity of the shapes, the elegance and the beauty of the created crafts. Maybe the fact that it's the most affordable and unpretentious craft for you or your kids.

If you want to learn how to make origami yourself, there are just few steps you need to take. The best way to start is buy buying a practical origami book containing cut out sheets for folding. Such books provide you with an easy way to start, because the dashed lines and arrows make it perfectly clear what to do on each step.

These books are most appropriate for beginners. Once been there, you can start with something more complex. Buy a book containing models and instructions but without pages with real size folds and dashed lines. Generally these books will be cheaper and will contain more complex models. You will need the experience you gained with the beginner books, because some folds can't be explained well on paper no matter how hard the book authors try. Knowing the basics however you should be able to read and understand even the not so clear parts of the instructions.

The only way to really learn origami is by practicing. Don't just read and look, but actually build the shapes that you see. For most of them all it takes is just a sheet of paper so you are not investing much. Just like when reading the books, start practicing with the simple models. If needed, learn the basic folds before doing any complete figure - knowing the folds will help you even for the most complex origami in the future.

One great way to learn building more complex origami is to watch live or video demonstration. Fortunately as the web grows, there are many videos appearing and showing how to make origami crafts. Of course, having a live person show you how to do the things is even better, because you can ask questions - that's why joining an origami club is always a good idea! On the other hand watching videos online is free and doesn't take much time, so it still may be the option you will prefer.

The frequent subjects of origami are birds, flowers, animals, airplanes, cars and houses. There is no special preference what subject to start with, as long as you enjoy it and feel interested in it.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Black and White Art on Your Wall - Adds Drama and Sophistication

Years ago I attended a party that took place in a Deco style stucco house.

The dining room had walls the color of terracotta pots and a classic Greek keystone pattern ran around the bottom of glossy black crown molding. The wall had at least a dozen black and white photos of architectural details. Obviously I was impressed. Any moment Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall could have walked through the door!

You might not be ready for something this dramatic. However the look of black and white art on a wall can make a highly sophisticated statement. When you are shopping for black and white images, keep in mind the main elements that viewers notice are line and mass. Many images will have grey tones throughout and this helps soften the overall look or you can select highly distinctive pieces with bold lines and large shapes.

The size of the image will determine the level of intrigue that the viewer experiences. For example, a series of small images will invite closer inspection and a single large image will increase the power of the subject.

A few suggestions for finishing your black and white artwork:

Look for mats in subtle shades from beige to rose.

Try double mats with a narrow liner of a bright color such as scarlet.

Try mats with colored edges that are less expensive than double mats.

Matt black frames won’t overpower the image as would a gloss finish or gold frame.

A white frame can create a totally different look for the image.

Remember that you are about to invite drama into your home – If you see Bogie or Bacall don’t be surprised.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Baby Girl Clip Art

The online baby girl images help you to design attractive invitation cards and e-greetings easily. The World Wide Web is a great storehouse of information on any subject matter (we too are aiming to contributing to this store). Nowadays, many websites (both paid and free) host baby girl images, baby boy images as well as baby shower images.

Clip art, as its name suggests, is a form of graphic art that makes use of pre-existing images. These drawings / images are either copied or physically cut from existing works in the printed format on a particular topic. The sources of these pictures are either books that have entered the public domain or books specifically published for such use. Logos, mascots, identity and business cards, invitations, letterheads, etc., can be made by cutting or copying the images. Clip art facilitates the availability of a pool of generic art that can be used and reused by non-artists.

Baby girl images are the cheapest and most viable options for enriching your content of baby shower invitation cards and greetings. With the right software, any picture or image may be converted into clipart. Free baby images is a great way to enhance any presentation as it provides colorful and attractive images exactly in tune with the content presented.

Baby girl Images:
Various websites contain thousands of readily available images. These drawings are further grouped under sub-categories; say baby girl images, baby boy images, baby shower images, etc. One can avail the services and select a single drawing or a group of drawings from a particular sub-group according to ones needs.

Baby shower Images:
The shower ceremony celebrates the arrival of a baby in this world and particularly into a family. As such, invitations are sent out to the near and dear ones. The images become handy while sending invitations for the shower ceremony. Many sites host baby shower images on various themes - baby boy shower images, girl clip art, baby adoption clip art, etc. One can refer to either the paid or free baby shower clip art sites in designing your invitations.

If the occasion is say the arrival of a girl, then the theme of the invitation card as well as that of the party will be for a girl. In these cases, baby clip art photos are to be used. You may opt to send either printed invitations or invitations via the Internet. The huge stocks of baby clipart pictures enable one to make a distinct choice. One can further give a personalized touch to the cards by innovative use of ideas and words.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Printed Wall Art Images

A striking and impressive way to bring an empty wall space alive is to display printed wall art. This form of art is becoming a unique and contemporary way to provide a room with natural images. The variations available are immense and cover virtually any subject or theme to suit both individual needs and the rooms style of decor.

One of the advantages of using printed wall art to cover walls spaces is the availability to have the enlarged images broken down into different sections. This offers alternative ways to hang the prints as well as hanging them in the latest block approach. Blocks of three or four images which when positioned in order close to each other provides the illusion of a far greater image and wall space covering while retaining the main focus of the picture. With advances in technology photographic images can be successfully transformed into works of art covering a whole host of different topics.

Popular scenes of from the United States in black and white make a real statement, these printed wall art images are also available in night scenes with the street lighting bringing the images alive. This style of wall art is ideal for contemporary living as it provides a printed wall art which offers a real alternative design concept from traditional prints.

For a minimalist look printed wall art for natural cloud formations are a great way to bring the natural world inside a home. These images are uplifting to the mind and brighten the moods on the dullest of days.

People's love of animals has been used effectively in the printed wall art range which is available, rare and endangered wild life species in their natural habitat offer stunning wall art displays. Underwater scenes of dolphins swimming against oceanic blues are truly amazing and would look superb displayed on bathroom walls. Rooms which get can become hot and stuffy also benefit from these refreshing images, merely looking at them can provide the illusion of real time cool blue seas!

One of the most popular printed wall art designs available are images of flowers which have been enlarged to super sizes, these offer a real alternative from conventional floral pictures. Individual parts of the flower blooms cover the canvas and highlight the delicate flower parts. These look incredibly stunning when a white background is used and the vibrancy of the flower's natural colours is shown. A creamy white Cala lily against a white background offers a truly dramatic effect, the only colour seen is the merest hint of the green stem. This clean, crisp image looks effective when hung against either a white wall or contrasted against deep rich colours.

Whichever printed wall art images is chosen the sleek style will compliment modern and contemporary interior design styles and invite family and friends to discuss the art works, which for many is a fundamental point of displaying art. Art works should be utilised rather than merely hung on a wall and forgotten about, they are part of the room's design and atmosphere to be shared and enjoyed by all who view them.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Museum of Buddhist Art – A Rare Collection of Buddha Statues

The Museum of Buddhist Art in Bangkok is reputed to have the biggest collection of Buddha statues, sculptures and figurines based on Buddhist art work from kingdoms dating back to the 6th century AD. The exhibits reflect the cultural heritage of the various kingdoms in Thailand and neighboring kingdoms as well.

Visitors to the Museum of Buddhist Art are usually advised to start their tour in an annex to the main building that houses the Kuan Yin Palace and Museum which displays statues of Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy. The courtyard outside this museum has six miniature wooden palaces housing Chinese deities.

The main theme of the Museum of Buddhist Art, however, is housed in eight rooms upstairs in the main building displaying Buddha statues, sculptures and figurines from the different kingdoms that had an impact on Thai art and culture.

The various schools of Buddhist art of each era blended with the previous and added its distinct touch. Detailed explanations are provided for the Buddha statues, their characteristics, different postures and subtle variations in the folds of the robes.

The museum is a useful source of knowledge for the scholar of Buddhist art and Buddha sculptures. The casual visitor, seeking an overview of an important aspect of Thai culture, would find this museum interesting as well.

Buddhist art from the various kingdoms displayed in the Museum of Buddhist Art

Dvaravati art (6th – 11th centuries AD)

Dvaravati art is based on the culture of the United Kingdom of Dvaravati in Nakhon Phahom, Central Thailand established by the Mon from Burma. The Buddhist art work of this period is based on the Southern India and Sri Lanka models.

Srivijaya art (7th – 14th centuries)

The Srivijaya kingdom covered Sumatra, Java, the Malay Peninsula and Southern Thailand, right up to Surat Thani and Nakhon Sri Thammarat. The art form from this era had a rich mix of Indian, Khmer, Sri Lanka, Java and Sumatra cultures.

Khmer art (11th - 19th centuries)

From 6th – 14th centuries, the Khmer Empire in Cambodia ruled over Laos and northeastern Thailand (Isarn). Khmer art was to have an enduring legacy on Buddhist art work for centuries to come.

Burmese art (11th - 19th centuries)

Burmese art evolved from the various ethnic groups in the ancient Burmese kingdom of Pagan. The Burmese, Mon, Arakan, Tai-yai kingdoms developed Buddhist art during their respective reigns. All these groups had an influence on Thai art.

Sukhothai art (13th – 15th centuries)

Art flourished in the Sukhothai Kingdom under the reign of King Ramkhamhaeng. Classic Sukhothai art soon emerged from the Khmer influence and established its unique style.

Ayuthaya art (1350 – 1767)

The exhibits on Ayuthaya art in the Museum of Buddhist Art represents the longest period in Thai art. Pre-Ayuthaya art was a combination of Khmer art of the Bayon period (the Bayon temples in Cambodia) and Dvaravati art, a mixture which was known as U Thong Art.

The establishment of Ayuthaya produced a blend of Khmer and Sukhothai styles which gradually evolved into its own distinctive character in the 16th century.

Lanna art (13th - 20th centuries)

The Lanna kingdom (Land of a Million Fields) was established by King Mengrai in northern Thailand in 1296. Pure Lanna art developed when the kingdom was independent. Lanna came under Burmese rule and later under Thai rule. The Buddha statues during these periods had their subtle differences.

Lan Xang art (14th – 18th centuries)

The Lan Xang kingdom (Land of a Million Elephants) was founded by King Fah Ngum in the 14th century after the fall of Sukhothai. The kingdom covered present day Laos and parts of northeastern Thailand. King Fah Ngum made Buddhism the state religion and so began an art form that also left its mark on Buddhist art.

Thonburi art (1767 – 1782)

Thonburi art had a brief period as the kingdom lasted for only 15 years.

Rattanakosin art (1782 – present)

What followed was Rattanakosin art of the modern Bangkok era. The Buddha statues and sculptures during the reign of the Chakri Kings developed a distinct identity of their own.

The other eight rooms in the Museum of Buddhist Art are not directly related to the central theme but are equally interesting. These cover artifacts from the pre-historic Ban Chiang culture, Yao paintings, stone sculptures.

An unusual set of exhibits in this museum is the room displaying statues of Jesus Christ and Mother Mary, a reflection of the religious tolerance in Buddhist society.

The Museum of Buddhist Art embodies not just the art and culture evolved for more than a millennium through the rise and fall of several kingdoms. It symbolizes the philosophy of moderation and tolerance, values that serve as a beacon of light in these troubled times.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Picasso - Father of Modern Art

Modern art, incorporates canvas art, sculpture, print, and all the other new forms of twentieth century art. Scholars and historians rarely agree, as to the exact point when modern art began. Therefore, the term generally refers to all art, produced in America and Europe, during the nineteen hundreds. In addition to a hand full of other countries, which were primarily influenced by the West. This was a time when Artists were introducing new materials, new techniques and new concepts. It was the intention of those Artists to break free from the restraints of the 'establishment', and redefine the boundaries of art. Without doubt, one of the most important and innovative 'inventions' of twentieth century art was Cubism, and the concepts of abstraction. Pablo Picasso is considered to be, probably, the most important artist of the twentieth century. His work was highly influential, and he is regarded as the creator of Cubism.

Pablo Picasso was born in Malaga, mainland Spain. Pablo Picasso was a child prodigy, by the age of fourteen his technical skill was incredible. In 1895, his father became an art teacher at the Academy of Fine Art in La Coruña. Picasso was entered into the advanced classes quickly. He completed the entrance exam, which took most at least a month, in one day. Two years later, he began to study at the Madrid Academy. Picasso left soon after, dissatisfied, and returned home. Between 1900 and 1904, Picasso shifted between Paris and La Coruña. After four years of moving back and forth, Picasso finally made his home in Paris. This would be where he would live and work for most of his life.

From 1904, Picasso encountered many different art forms, showing great interest in the style of Henri Toulouse and African Art. Since his first visit to Paris, Picasso loved to paint the Parisian nightlife and café scenes, which generally, included a menagerie of circus performers and social outcasts. Some feel that Picasso was displaying empathy with the entertainers and outcasts he portrayed, like the Clown. The Clown is recognized inside the Big Ring, yet falls into obscurity, the second he removes his Clown face. Society pays the Clown to be entertained. Nobody is particularly interested in his real face, or feelings. Before Artists broke free of those Artistic restrictions, which had previously bound them, there was little difference between the Clown, and the Artist.

Towards the end of 1905, Picasso's work passed through many rapid changes in style. There was a notable withdraw from emotional content. The melancholy thoughts of the outcast, was replaced by reason. Picasso began to study early century sculpture from the Iberian peninsula. His fascination with Iberian sculpture reflected his increased interest in simplified, geometric forms. Picasso's had a preference for experimentation. He also had a keen interest in Art, which lay outside the realms of the establishment. By 1907 he had produced one of the most revolutionary oil paintings of the twentieth century; Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. The influence of both his native Iberian sculpture, and African Art is paramount in this work. The painting is greatly simplified, with oval forms, the faces and figures of this painting are incongruent. This piece was extremely adventurous for 1907.

The incongruities of Les Demoiselles d'Avignon proved too much for many of Picasso's contemporaries. Matisse is even believed to have accused Picasso of ridiculing the new, modern art movement. Curiously, today, many art historians and scholars regard this piece as the beginning of Cubism. The year of 1907 is also known to many as Picasso's African period. At first, Picasso rebuked the analogy of his work with African Art. However, later, he agreed that African Art had been greatly influential upon him, and his work. While some scholars believe that African Art was the primary catalyst for this rapid and drastic change in form and style, others believe it was Cézanne who provided this catalyst.

From 1907, until around 1917, Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque developed and experimented with their new art concept, dubbed by the critics as Cubism. Most art historians and scholars will usually split that development into two dynamic stages. The first stage is referred to as Analytical Cubism. This describes the method of dissecting three dimensional forms, depicting them as multiple geometric planes. Synthetic Cubism sought to achieve the opposite. Instead of dissecting the form, they would create it using geometric planes. Picasso worked much, throughout his life, with the human figure and still life. Even today, we continue to analyze and enjoy his work. Without doubt, he was one of the most influential and innovative artists, of twentieth century modern art.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Office Furniture: Save Money When Setting Up Your Office

Getting the right office furniture is part and parcel of setting up a business operation. That applies to simple home offices as well as large multi-city enterprises and everything in between.

Here are several things you can do to ensure that you buy office furniture as economically as possible.

* The first step is to plan your office. Write down your exact needs. Figure out what furniture you will need at the minimum. These are things which if absent will impair your ability to run the business.

Here's the most important rule for buying office furniture economically -- everything other than the essentials you identified above is an optional extra. You may decide to buy it or not depending on your budget. Buy only what you truly need.

* Draw out a sketch of the office and where each piece of furniture will go. This is a vital step in cutting down waste as well as in planning your office properly. You may discover that the big, attractive desk you saw at the discount store will actually take up space that's needed for something else.

This step will help your fine-time your real needs further. It will help you focus on the must-have furniture as opposed to the nice-to-have stuff.

* Now that you know how much you will need to spend on furniture, make a decision regarding whether you'll buy it outright or rent / lease it. If you are under a severe budget constraint, leasing may be an option to look at.

* Functionality rules over appearances. Sure, it's great if you can afford office furniture that looks terrific. But in general, it is better to plan your office space keeping functionality in mind rather than looks. You will likely save a lot of money that way.

* Think about what you already have. This applies more to a home office than to other types of offices. If you have a well-designed chair with good back support, for instance, you may be able to eliminate that item from your purchase list.

* Get creative with your needs, particularly for home offices. Do you really need to buy a large desk? How about placing a board across two filing cabinets? That's one way you can instantly create a desk with storage space!

How about swapping furniture with a friend? If you have children's furniture you no longer need, maybe someone you know will be willing to swap them for storage units.

* Consider buying use furniture. Where can you get them? Lots of places -- auctions, businesses closing shop, estate sales, government sales, classified ads, garage sales, used furniture shops and more. Good hotels redo their guest rooms every few years and may sell furniture at low prices.

One issue with buying used furniture from many of the sources mentioned above is that you may have to arrange transportation on your own. That can be a problem sometimes.

Nevertheless, buying used furniture is one of the best ways of saving money on office furniture. Don't overlook it.

* If you do need to buy new furniture, avoid buying at full retail wherever possible. Large stores often have special deals available from time to time. For instance, floor display models that have minor scratches may go for steep discounts.

With a bit of planning, it is possible to dramatically reduce your expenses on office furniture. Use some of the above ideas and get the functionality you need even if you have a limited budget...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Adding Design Art to Your Home

When it comes to art everybody likes something different, what one person absolutely loves another person might hate. Some people might know the paintings they like when they see it, even if they don't know anything about art.

Interior design is very important in your home because it says a lot about you. The way in which you decorate your room will convey your personality, not only that but it can also set the mood. You can quite easily use the décor of a room to scare the living daylights out of someone if you are that way inclined.

Interior design is very personal, it's all down to personal preferences. No matter whether an individual is designing a home, or an architect designing a high rise office building, both will express their own personalities. That's why you need to spend plenty of time deciding on the right design art to include in your home, get it right and it will look brilliant, but get it wrong and you will live to regret it (especially if you're married!)

Whenever we discuss interior design we can talk about a variety of different subjects, from hanging a painting on a wall, to moving a very expensive statue into pride of place in a new office building. The type of art you choose will depend on the type of building that you are decorating. If you are looking for art for a home then you should use something that you personally like.

You could even consider using movie posters to create some great artwork in your home. You just need to think carefully about where you will hang it, and how you will tie it in to everything else. It is important to consider where you place the poster, you shouldn't for example hang it in a posh office building because it would be out of place.

Using Art to Your Advantage

Interior design art can be used for many different purposes, not just to add some color and decorating in your room. For example the art work displayed in dentists and doctors waiting rooms are normally calming pictures which are quite relaxing.

It's very stressful and nerve-racking to go to the doctors at the best of times, the images should help to calm you down and make you feel more comfortable about waiting for your appointment. Sometimes the same concept is used in corporate waiting rooms. Positive paintings can be used to improve the mood of people.

You can use the artwork to create many different messages and ideas, this is suitable for use in your office or at home. You just need to make sure you think about the function of the space you are buying artwork for. Make sure that anything you buy is appropriate for the room and won't cause any negative reactions.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Photographic Art - A Contradiction in Terms?

It started out in a tiny basement room!

In a room so small, when I closed the door and curtain tight (to keep the light out, see), the chemicals in tanks and trays for making prints and develop films changed temperature so radically and quick the films were much grainier than they needed to be and the prints took on a cast of gray. It was not pretty but it was a start...

In my short sweet life I have witnessed incredible refinements in the production of photographs. Digital photography has made the smelly, messy chemicals that went bad in days completely obsolete. You can 'develop' digital prints with the air conditioner broken at an indoor temperature of 102 degrees, it makes no difference! You do not need to put a darkroom in, no safe lights, no curtains, no trays and tongs or tanks for films. Everything glides quiet as a whisper from your camera through the computer into the printer until you have prints of whatever size you like, crisp as autumn leaves and bright as sunlight.

So much for technical improvements! Well, almost so. The other thing about digital photography is the incredible advances in photographic resolution it has introduced. When I took the first really high-resolution digital camera into my hands and compared the results it produced with the photos I had taken for years on end with my prize analogue camera, I was able to understand why the photographers had all dragged their Leica cameras to the photography stores to sell at ridiculously low prices. It is like the difference between a horse and buggy and a formula one racing car!

All right, we have a digital photo of a building in front of us on the table. It is high-resolution, which means you can see every pimple on the cement wall, and the texture of the linen curtains in the window is incredibly clear. The question is, is the photo of Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House a work art? Most certainly the house is but what about the photo?

It depends completely on the photo. The snapshot, taken from a tour bus with a cell-phone camera is most likely nothing of the kind. A photo badly taken with the best camera in the world is no art work either! Out of balance, using the wrong program, a photo taken using a focal length that distorts the vertical lines of the house, the photo taken using the world's finest camera turns out to be more a distortion of the Robie House than it is anything else.

"Art criticism is to artists what ornithology is to the birds," means art is a free expression; what is more, the canons of taste, 'rules of art' cannot define art since rules cannot define freedom.

To tackle the question, "why is photography considered an art," is to define photography's freedom. The subject matter, what a photo shows -- a building, a person, a prairie, is nothing free. A photo of you washing the dishes is a photo of a person who is subject to the laws of biology doing dishes that are each subject to the laws of physics. If the soap makes it slip, the dish you let fall to the floor will probably break. The operation of the camera is subject to the laws of physics too. Refraction, light, the operation of the camera's sensors are all finely calculated and worked out precisely according to these laws.

What is free in the photo of you doing dishes is neither you, who will age and die, the camera that sooner or later will break, and the dishes, ditto. What is free in a photo is the observation and therefore, the observer.

Let us consider the whole domain of commercial photography for a moment. The cover photo of nude Demi Moore, a highlight of her rounded belly pregnant with child was a great commercial success. Clean, essentially framed, spotless, well-crafted the photo is no work of art because the spectator, the observer of the photo, is as pre-planned as everything in and about the photo is. The observer's relation to the picture and the star whose belly it is are elements that are as strictly defined as the photo itself is. "Wow, Demi Moore, a film star, belly right out there, rounded, pregnant, a famous woman, what am I to say, look, see?"

The photo, on the other hand, which Henri-Cartier-Bresson took of a pedestrian mid-stride springing over a mud puddle, one shoe touching ground as delicately as possible in a place carefully pre-planned, it is plain the man shot in silhouette is trying to minimize contact with the water, is doing his best not to get wet. Although everyone can related to Demi Moore's belly as an observer in whatever fashion they relate to fil

to The reason I have called the photos I love "Moveable Visions" is because they do not simply contain a person, some object or design, abstract or real, they are moveable because they include the people who look at them. It is the people who move with photos that capture their interest. The object seen includes the viewer, includes the subject who is no part of the image and yet is included in it.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Five Office Decorating Tips

As gas prices continue to be at the highest levels that we have ever seen, more and more people are working at home. How you go about your office decorating can make a big difference in how productive you are going to be. Think about it. If you do not like how your office is decorated you will not like being there and you will not be in an optimal work mode. As you think about office decorating for your home office or your office at work, you want to make it as comfortable as possible for yourself. Below are five office decorating ideas to get you started to make your work space enjoyable and make you as productive as possible whether you are working at home or at the office:

1. Whether you are ready to start the office decorating at home or at work, use color. I am not saying that you need to go crazy with wild colors but the last thing you want is to be surrounded by boring white walls. Many studies have been done that prove that the color of a room can change your attitude. Casinos and retail stores use this tactic every single day to get you into a mood hat will benefit them. Choose colors that make you happy. If they are a little "wild" for some other people, you can always re-paint later. It is good to use two colors that compliment each other and then you can base the other décor in the room around those colors.

2. Place plants in various places around the room. There are many plants available that do not need much attention and will live through many things. If you are anything like me, this is very important as not everyone has a green thumb. With office decorating, you can pick a plant theme by plant or by color. There is nothing wrong with going with a theme of something you like.

3. Depending on haw much freedom that you have at work or if you are decorating your home office, you can still have an office with a view, literally any view. With a wall mural painted on a wall you can look at your favorite skyline, your favorite beach or even your favorite stadium. Then you can have your favorite view right from your office chair.

4. If decorating your home office, create your own art gallery by adding an art collection to your walls. This may allow you to collect different art that your spouse may not care to place in main living areas of the house. If you are a golfer you could include golf prints by artists such as Linda Hartough. You could either collect her work at Augusta National or collect all of her work done on the US Open golf courses. Maybe you are a race fan and want to collect some work of Sam Bass. You can always carry the theme of your house into your home office.

5. Many people are creating an office theme to resemble a favorite resort or spa that that they have visited. Do you have a favorite resort or spa? Decorate your office like the resort you went to in Miami or Los Angeles. You can use any place that gives you great memories. This can make you more relaxed and more productive and relieve a lot of stress.

All of us spend more time working than we do anything else, with this being said, nobody wants to have to work in an area for hours that makes them unhappy. Use these office decorating tips to create a space that you will enjoy. If these ideas are not what you have in mind, there are many other decorating ideas that are available to you. On second thought, you can simply use your imagination. Only you know what will make you happy!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Art Paintings - Exploring the Artist Identity

In this article, I have outlined the experiential processes of art paintings; the processes of dialogue and the processes of reflection or witness. These processes are taken from my own personal research into my artist identity and the findings have greatly informed my practice. This account forms a guide to those artists who wish to delve into their artist identity or those interested in exploring art painting processes.

Art Paintings Processes
The painting processes in this research endeavour to study the artist identity of the artist through the exploration of consciousness. The basic components of what; where, when; how and why they take place will be described in the following applications, which form a personal account.

These processes have been chosen instead of other media because of the quality of paint's immediate and fluid response. Despite a background in ceramics, art paintings is where my passion lies.


What the Art Paintings Will Comprise
In my exploration, six art paintings will be undertaken. These will be abstract art paintings and figurative paintings. I will use alternative surfaces. The paintings will include canvases stretched professionally with concrete underlay (thick black plastic).

The dimensions of each art painting will be uniform: 120 x 70x 5 cm. The media used will include oil paint, enamel, oil sticks, Black Japan stain, shellac, pastel, charcoal and ink. The primary artistic focus in this process will lie in the use of alternative materials in painting and in the use of alternative surfaces. Boundaries may be intentionally pushed through the use of construction materials to create aesthetics on surfaces not intended for this purpose.

When the Painting Will Take Place
The proposed plan involves painting every second Tuesday and every Thursday for a period of six weeks. This art painting will occur at night in two to three hourly timeslots.

Where They Will Take Place
The space will consist of a studio set-up in a lock-up garage. For the purposes of the research, the computer and reference materials will be set up on one side of a garage space, and the work bench with art painting materials on the other. I plan to be able to move quickly and freely between both.

How They Will Occur
The intention is to include a timetable of art painting processes, which will consist of certain times in the following months. Ideas of setting a limit on the painting time have been considered.

Dialogue with Art Paintings
The personal dialogue processes approached in this research combine elements of Heuristic research, but allow for an individual account.

These processes are based on the internal search mechanisms present within the creative-self processes The processes relate to a conversation or dialogue that takes place between the researcher, artist and a higher consciousness of either the self, an artwork or other object studied closely. Many artists and art therapists have utilized these methods in their research and inquiry.

Why the Dialogue Will be Undertaken in This Manner
The dialogue process is intended to provide a different level of consciousness. It is anticipated that I will connect with my art paintings through the processes of dialogue. The dialogue may inform me on levels unavailable to me experientially.

What the Dialogue Will Comprise
This process is intended to encompass a journey into art painting. The aim is to literally enter into the art paintings through passages of different levels of consciousness. In order to make the space available to connect with these other levels of consciousness, the following will be utilized: indwelling; a search of the self through thought; meditation and contemplation. The insights may come through hearing the words in my mind, intuition, or new concepts emerging from or into internal frames of reference.

Where the Dialogue Will Take Place
This process is an internal one, while the external and inter-objective realities in my surroundings may have bearing on the internal mechanisms. The proposed dialogue will occur in the studio space designated for writing this research. The set-up of the computer on one side and the art paintings on the other is intentionally designed towards easy access to writing when dialogue occurs.

When the Dialogue Will Take Place
The method of dialogue within this research will be approached using a lack of structured timetable or schedule. As I have not attempted this process before, I am unsure of whether it will be able to fit into a time-frame. I am unsure of whether I can summon dialogue at will; or whether it will emerge in an indiscriminate manner.

How the Dialogue Will Occur
This is largely unable to be determined at this point in time. There is a commitment to a total immersion in the processes of this inquiry and it is likely that the dialogue will naturally emerge from the art paintings through channels due to the immersion process. It is anticipated that the creation of the unique personal space for communication with my art paintings will reveal and allow for documentation of how the process occurs.

Reflection on Art Paintings

Why the Reflection Will be Undertaken in This Manner
The reflection process formulates the basis for the intimate connectivity of the processes of art paintings and dialogue. It forms the fabric from which the evaluation cloth is cut. The sacred witness will allow the space and time to measure the experience and to dwell on the emergence of new information.

The reflection process aims to draw the art paintings and dialogue processes together and provide the stand-back viewpoint, indispensable to making art paintings and primordial self- inquiry.

What the Reflection Will Comprise
The reflection process in this research will comprise transpersonal processes as a method of self-inquiry. It will evoke notions of the witness. These reflection processes will present a unique witness account of the experience of art painting, the dialogue experience and the overall experiences.

The observations of thoughts, emotions, dreams, dialogue and art painting processes provide the foundation from which to evaluate the personal interior experience.

Where the Reflection Will Take Place
The reflection is anticipated to take place within the transpersonal self -this being wherever the art paintings and dialogue processes are taking place. They may take place in other areas of life, such as times of driving, walking, meditating and working.

When the Reflection Will Take Place
Much like the whereabouts of the reflection processes, the time-frame of this process encompasses all other processes in this research. It is predictable that I will bear witness to my art paintings and my dialogue processes. The witness will be present when I make the connective leaps in consciousness and when the intellectual synapses jump into action. Thus, the internal observer will have to be on duty at all times, knitting the components of my processes together. These observations can then be evaluated into a unified and presentable critique.

How the Reflection Will Occur
The reflection processes aim to transcend the art paintings and dialogue states of consciousness. Reflection is anticipated to occur through the watchful gaze of the transpersonal witness. I will endeavour to consciously manifest the witness during times of art painting and dialogue. This will involve dis-identifying with the art paintings and dialogue processes.

Findings of the Exploration Into the Artist Identity
The basic components of why, what, where, when and how investigated in the art paintings and dialogue and reflection applications can be located in the art paintings themselves and in some of the text and explanation of each of the art paintings on the website.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Popular Art Decor For a Nursery

Every expectant parent has their own way of preparing the room of their little one. It may be hard sometimes to meet in the middle, but things work out once the baby is born. Some parents would put storks or even angels as the wall art décor. Of course, the design will vary depending on the gender of the infant. Usually, if it is a girl, expect lots of pink. If it is a boy, blue is his color.

Flowers are one of the most popular art décor for girls. Because the girls look dainty in white and pink, flowers are those that the parents just love to see in her nursery. It gives them that girly feeling seeing their daughter dressed in pink and wearing earrings. Girls are just so fun to dress up because the wives and other female relatives can have fun with her hair and let her use some hair clips and headbands. People love looking at an infant when she is all dressed up.

For the boys, one of the most popular wall art décor is cars. Oftentimes, people associate cars to the men because it is something that they like playing with. More so, cars are the things that people just love to tinker when they have nothing else to do. In addition, in the racing circuit, you would usually see men driver. There are, however, a few women, that drive too but not too many. When it comes to the maintenance of the cars, also men get down and dirty. Women can do some mechanic things too but you would see the men who do it more.

If you are uncertain as to what the gender of your kid is yet you want to make the nursery already, you can always settle for something neutral. Nature is one thing that you can put in the room. Both girls and boys love nature and learn about it. With this, you can always add more items that are personal when the child is out. You can then add a little touch of girl's stuff here and there. If it is a boy, you can do that too. There is nothing wrong if you build your nursery even though the baby is still in the womb. This just means that you are very excited with the baby.

The wall art décor is only one of the many things that you can put in the nursery. There are times wherein you and your partner can just have fun in decorating the room of your little one. Even though the infant does not understand what he is seeing, he knows and feels if his parents love and care for him. It may be hard sometimes to get everything in place especially if you have many things in mind. You just have to remember to put the most important things first like the bed, bottles, water and the likes. These are your priority because it is what the child will use for a long time.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

African Art mask

African art masks are handmade by the best artisan in the locality. It is an important accessory as most people wear masks during the year as they take part in the local festivities. Each African art mask is unique and original. African art masks are made up of many kinds of material like gold, stone, bark, copper, bronze, tin clay and feathers. They may have a recent or stylish outlook or may be of an ancient style.

The African art masks are usually very colorful and use various patterns as decoration. African art masks may have different looks and may depict different emotions. Some may look fierce, some festive and others may have a solemn, sober look. Some African art masks are a part of a costume for festivities.

Each African art mask has a specific function. Some are used to drive away spirits, while some are used in plays to depict comic features. African art masks are also used in ceremonies and religious functions. They are also used in traditional dances.

Masks are usually made of wood, as it is easily available and economical. Many African art masks are used to cover the face or the head. Some are used as a hair dress and are attached to the top of the head.

Today, we also see African art masks in the form of decorations. Many African art masks are becoming a part of modern home décor. People use the ancient designed African Art masks to decorate their homes. These original decorative pieces are available in antique shops and fetch a good price.

Thus, the African Art masks are not only restricted to the tribal land of Africa alone, but are now seen in modern homes today.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Affordable Art Paintings and Prints - Buy Online Direct From the Artists

You want to buy a piece of art for your home or work but think you can't afford it as art is way too expensive? Save money purchase art online, direct from the artists, at an affordable price to suit your budget.

There are many self-representing artists who sell original paintings, limited edition prints, photographs & all fine art including sculpture, pottery & handmade jewellery on the net, artists recognise that many art buyers cannot afford to spend £500 - £1000 on a painting, when buying direct you can find art that is affordably priced at around £250 or even less.

Another good reason for buying art direct from the artist is that you could discover the next Picasso or Turner! You may get to chat with the creators themselves, by purchasing art from an emerging artist you could buy art that has a good chance of being an investment if the artist reaches greater heights in their artistic career, or just choose your art because you like it and it compliments the interior of your home or office space.

Online art galleries represent all artists, from amateurs to new or emerging and full time professionals, who exhibit a wide variety of art in all styles and mediums, including abstract paintings, landscapes, seascapes, figurative art, still life, flowers, wildlife paintings, and more, in oils, acrylic, watercolour and other mediums, each artist has their own pages on these art sites where they exhibit a portfolio of their art, you can send enquiries or leave feedback when you have made a purchase, some galleries charge their artists an annual fee but take no commission, some work on a commission basis where artists pay a percentage usually 25 - 50% on each artwork sold.

You can buy some stunning art online, or you could also do a search in your local area, find an artist and visit them in their studio where they will have paintings on display for you to see before you buy.

If you are looking for a painting or print to complete the look of your home or office, buy art direct from the artist, save money and help support and encourage talented artists.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Basics of House Painting

Your house is your lifetime asset. And it's a matter of time when you take a notice that your house needs renovation - not because it's getting old, but because you feel the need of vibrant colors in your house.

Repainting your house is a tricky business. Some rely on painting companies to do the job for you. Hiring the house painting service may also cost you. But if you are planning to paint it yourself, you might want to consider the basics; and consider the time and effort you will put on painting your house.


There are many types of paint available today, some giving different surface finishes, others are designed for a particular application. Choosing the correct paint type may appear to be confusing at first, but once you have projected which theme you would like to paint your house and sorted out which job and what finishes you want, the choice is rather easy.

There are two bases of paint for your house: solvent-based (oil or alkyd) and water-based (latex). Oil-based paints dry slow - usually taking up to 24 hours. The best clean up for an oil-based paint is turpentine or paint thinner. Latex paints' advantage is that it dries relatively fast, but it is not desirable in hot weather or direct sunshine. The best clean up for latex paints requires just soap and water. So if you are painting the inside of your house, it is recommended to use water-based paints, while solvent-based paints are suggested for painting the exterior of your house.

There are different types of paints that is either water-based or solvent-based that produces different finishes that is measured by its sheen factor. "Sheen" is a term used to describe the degree of light reflection the paint has. Lesser sheen for an interior or exterior paint means it has lesser stain resistance.

· A Gloss paint is easy to clean and resists scuffs better. This is ideal for rooms that are constantly used. Most gloss paints are best recommended to use on woodworks, baseboards, kitchen and bathroom walls, doorjambs, and window casings. The downside of using gloss paints, however, is the noticeable imperfections in the wall surface.

· A High-gloss paint is highly reflective and works well for highlighting details, such as trim and decorative molding. They are also the best choice for doors and cabinet - or any area that sees a high volume of abuse.

· Semi-gloss paints are very similar to gloss plaints except it has lesser sheen. Semi-gloss is also suitable for rooms with high humidity (best used for children's room) and can be used for trim works and casings. These paints ensure maximum durability.

· Eggshell paints provide a smooth and low-sheen finish. Paints that are smooth and low-sheen that is ideal for your living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, and dens. It is washable and ideal for bedrooms, hallways, home offices and family rooms.

· Satin paints offer a good combination of easy-clean and moderate sheen. These paints go a step above eggshell in scrubbing ability. They perform and look great in just about any room.

· Flat paints (matte paints) are non-reflective and always a good choice for large walls and ceilings. Flat paints hides imperfections on wall surfaces and spatters well during application. Flat paints are the best choice for vinyl and aluminum siding that is scratched or dented because it hides imperfections and spatters less when applied. These paints are ideal for low-traffic areas such as formal dining rooms and master bedrooms.

Special paints have been innovated from different consumer insights and brilliant paint technology that allows specific paints for specific needs.

· Ceiling flats are designed specially for ceilings. These are usually extra spatter-resistant.

· Primer paints may be oil- or water-based and are used to seal unpainted surfaces to prevent covering coats of paint soaking in. The appropriate type of primer should be used for the surface being painted - wood, metal, plaster or tiles. There are some 'all purpose primers' available which are designed for two or more of these surfaces.

· Anti-condensation paints are used for rooms with humid conditions such as kitchen and bathrooms. This paint is usually formulated to prevent condensation and often includes fungicide.

· Fire-retardant paints do not resist fires completely but its fire-resistance formulation prevents it from fire in spreading fast.

It is also important that before painting your room, you use a primer. A primer will help paint adhere to the surface by providing a uniform appearance. It is a must to use a primer if you are painting over new wood, bare wood, drywall, or repainting over existing bright or dark colors.

But before doing this, you have to know the condition of the surface you wanted to paint. Regardless of whether the base coat is oil or latex, you must dull glossy paint by sanding or de-glossing it with a chemical de-glossing product. If you don't dull glossy paint, the second coat will streak and not stick to the base coat when drying.


If you want to alter your room's ambience, painting it is a great option. When interior painting, use paints that are quicker to dry and does not have a strong odor that lingers around where your kids can smell it.

Painting the interior of your house requires a thorough estimation, visualization and preparation. When you have chosen your theme for your rooms and have bought the job materials you need (paints, paint brushes and rollers, extension handles, paint tray, paint stirrer, drop clothes, step ladder, painter's tape, etc.), you simply follow these interior house painting tips:


· Always provide adequate ventilation when painting inside your house. If you cannot get enough ventilation in the work area, use a respirator or a mask.

· Keep paint containers or solvent containers closed when not in use.

· Keep paint products out of the reach of children.

· Avoid direct contact with skin.

· Always read packaging (label) instructions.


· Remove as much as furniture as possible from the room or group the heavier fixtures and the delicate ones together and cover them with a drop cloth.

· Provide adequate lightning to allow a good view of painting imperfections.

· Remove switch plates.

· Patch holes and cracks in the surfaces you wanted to paint with premixed spackling paste. After the paste dries, sand the patched the areas.

· Dust and wash the ceilings, walls, baseboards, windows and door moldings.

· Clean, sound wallpaper can be painted over, but in most cases it is better to strip it. Painting over a wallpaper may begin to peel.


· If you are painting the entire room, it is best to paint the ceiling first!

· If you are using a paint roller, maneuver your arms in series of diagonal swaths (forming a letter M). Fill in the open areas by cross rolling.

· If you are using a paintbrush, apply the paint in short strokes towards the unpainted area, known as "wet to dry." Then brush back into the area you just painted for a smooth surface.

· If you are painting your ceiling, remove light bulbs, chandeliers, fluorescent lights and fixture covers.

· Paint trim first, including edging around the ceiling, molding, and trim.


· Paint around the trim first, including edging around the ceiling.

· When painting with a gloss finish, make the final brush strokes away from the light source of the room. The tiny ridges that a brush leaves won't be as pronounced. Use the same "wet to dry" method of painting.


· Check woodwork for damage. if there is one, patch it with a wood filler, dry it overnight and sand it for any rough spots and apply a sealer before painting.

· If you'll be using the same paint on the walls and woodwork, paint the woodwork as you come to it. If it is another color of higher in gloss, wait until the walls are done.

· Paint double-hung windows from the wood between the panes then outward. On casement windows, us the same technique, but keep the windows slightly open until the paint dries.

· For panel doors, paint the decorative molded edges first, then the individual panels. Paint from the center out. When the panels are completed, paint the vertical and horizontal flat panels.

· Use a painter's tape or painter's shield to keep paint off windowpanes. Do not use a masking tape or a duct tape. Using a painter's tape or painter's shield allows you to keep areas covered for up to 3 days.

· Paint the top edge baseboards first, then the bottom along the floor. Paint the middle section last.

· Remove cabinet doors and drawers and paint the flat surfaces first. Paint inside the edges, then move to the outer surfaces.


· If there are paint drops on your floor, don't let it stay there. As the paint sets longer, the harder it will be cleared. Use a cloth with soap and water or a solvent for cleaning.

· Use a razor-blade scraper or a putty knife to chip off bigger paint droplets that have dried.

· Use a scraper to trim around windowpanes.

· Wash and dry paintbrushes and rollers. Store them according to the brand's recommendation not all paintbrushes have the same type of bristles nor the rollers have the same material.

· Clean the paint from the rim of the can. Tap container lids tight with a hammer and block of wood.

· Store solvent-based paint cans upside down to prevent a skin from forming.

· Store your paints in normal or room temperature. Never put the paints in extreme hot or cold rooms.

· Each states in the U.S. or every community/ county differs on paint can disposal methods. Check your local environmental, health, and safety laws.


In buying paints that you are going to use for your exterior house, you have to pick a brand that has essential characteristics: hiding power, color retention, chalk-resistance, and blister resistance.

Hiding power comes from the paint's pigment and is affected by the manner and thickness of the application. Color retention is the ability to maintain its original color during exposure to sunlight, etc. Chalking resistance prevents the white chalky powder from forming on the surface and lightening the color of the paint. Chalking occur over a period of time. Blister resistance keeps excessive moisture from coming through the substrate and affecting the paint layer. Tip: if paint is applied over a damp or wet surface, blistering is imminent.

Painting the exterior of your house requires a thorough estimation, visualization and preparation. When you have chosen your theme for your rooms and have bought the job materials you need.

You will need any of these tools in painting your exterior: caulk, sandpaper, rags and/or paper towels, painter's tape, garden hose, power washer, or hose brush attachment, sponges & buckets for wash water, spray nozzle, stepladder, extension ladder, paint scraper, wire brush, putty knives, heat gun, rotary paint removing tool and electric drill, caulk gun, sanding block, and work gloves.

When you have all the tools at hand, examine your exterior. You might find exterior painting problems, which could be any of the following: alligatoring, blistering, chalking, chalk run down, crackling, dirt pickup, efflorescence, fading, frosting, lapping, mildew, nail head rusting, paint incompatibility, peeling, poor alkali resistance, poor adhesion, poor gloss retention, surfacent leaching, staining, vinyl siding wrap, wax bleed, or wrinkling.

If you already know what your house exterior's problem is or just for repainting it, simply follow some of these tips. You can also refer to INTERIOR PAINTING for brush or roller strokes, etc.:

· Start by thoroughly cleaning the outside of your home. Start at the top and work your way down the sides of the house. If your siding has areas of mold, mildew or discoloration, wash it with an anti-fungal cleaner.

· Mask off areas that are not to be painted. You may want to place masking tape along the edge of house trim, and around window and door frames and trim, since this is likely to be painted in a different color or with a higher sheen paint. You can also tape newspaper or plastic drop cloth material over windows and doors, including sliding glass doors, to protect them from drips.

· Place plastic drop cloths over plants and shrubs, or where paint may drip on porches, roof sections, sidewalks, driveways or other surfaces.

House painting takes time, house painting costs a big chunk on your budget, but the end-result is always great.