Top 10 Films About Contemporary Art

Visiting art galleries and reading art magazines and books is great. But sometimes you just want to lie on your sofa with a cup of tea and relax watching a good movie. Now that it’s winter, you might feel this desire more often. A movie can be an art form and when it is a movie about great artists and art, it’s like watching ‘art squared’, so to speak. So don’t miss out, give it a try – you won’t be sorry.

Here is a list of movies about contemporary art to get you started. Some are old, some new, but all are really inspiring. I have listed the movies alphabetically, and I haven’t given any of them a personal rating since as far as I’m concerned, all of them are worth watching. This is just to inspire you to watch these films, and perhaps move on to others afterwards.

Art School Confidential

Who said anything about talent?

IMDb rating: 6.3

Director: Terry Zwigoff

Production year: 2006

This movie is a comedy rather than drama, and it focuses on the story of an art student who had spent all his life dreaming about being a great artist. Although the film makes fun of the contemporary art world in many respect, it also shows its attractive side, and gives an idea of the dedication artists can feel to their work.

Basquiat

In 1981, A Nineteen-Year-Old Unknown Graffiti Writer Took the New York Art World by Storm. The Rest Is Art History

IMDb rating: 6.8

Director: Julian Schnabel

Production year: 1996

This is an absolutely unforgettable movie about American street artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. It gives you a deep view of Basquiat’s world, his life, friends, love and works. Julian Schnabel is an artist himself, and so has personal experience of the world he’s looking into, something that adds an unusual and meaningful level of validity to the movie.

Exit Through the Gift Shop

The incredible true story of how the world’s greatest Street Art movie was never made…

IMDb rating: 8.2

Director: Banksy

Production year: 2010

It is brilliant movie, which keeps you guessing and puzzling right through to the end. At first sight you may think that the film is about street art documentary filmmaker Thierry Guetta, but actually it is about world famous graffiti artist Banksy. I won`t be surprised if after watching this film you want to hit the streets with a spray can.

Factory Girl

When Andy met Edie, life imitated art

IMDb rating: 6.1

Director: George Hickenlooper

Production year: 2006

Although the movie is dedicated to the life of underground film star Edie Sedgwick, and this aspect of it is certainly interesting, much of the appeal comes from his explored relationship with Andy Warhol. Watching the movie will give you the a fairly comprehensive impression of the Factory, a place where artists of any genre met and created what became a game-changing part of modern art.

Frida

Prepare to be seduced

IMDb rating: 7.3

Director: Julie Taymor

Production year: 2002

This is a fantastic biographical story about the life and work of an extraordinary and immensely strong woman, the well-known Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. The film is like her works: colorful, full of love, powerful and unique.

Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus

IMDb rating: 6.2

Director: Steven Shainberg

Production year: 2006

This is a sincere look at the iconic American photographer Diane Arbus and her real love for Lionel Sweeney, who helped her to become an artist who came to help define photography in the twentieth century.

The Great Contemporary Art Bubble

IMDb rating: 7.3

Director: Ben Lewis

Production year: 2009

This is an extremely interesting BBC production, by a UK art critic, Ben Lewis. It will take you on a journey into the contemporary art world, with all its secrets. You will visit world famous auction houses and galleries, and even the homes of art collectors.

How to Draw a Bunny

IMDb rating: 7.2

Director: John W. Walter

Production year: 2002

This is a documentary about Ray Johnson, who has been called “New York’s most famous unknown artist,” and is about the mysteries of his life and art, and of course his influence on the Pop Art world.

My Left Foot

A film about life, laughter, and the occasional miracle

IMDb rating: 7.8

Director: Jim Sheridan

Production year: 1989

This is based on the fantastic true story of Christy Brown, painter and author, who could control only his left foot. It is the only film in this list that won 5 Academy Awards, – Best Actor (Daniel Day-Lewis), Best Supporting Actress (Brenda Fricker), Best Director (Jim Sheridan), Best Picture and Best Screenplay (Shane Connaughton and Jim Sheridan). With that recommendation, how can you fail to give it a go?

Pollok

I thought I knew …

What Is Fusion Music?

What is fusion music? Well, you don’t have to be an atomic scientist to understand fusion music. Let’s look at a basic definition of fusion; ‘the union of different things by or as if by melting; blending; coalition.’ This definition is from the New World Dictionary of the American Language, Second College Edition. So, in music, different musical elements, often from different musical genres are put together. Here are some examples of fusion music;

  • Reggae Rock
  • Rap Rock
  • Jazz Fusion
  • Gypsy Punk
  • Gypsie Jazz
  • Folktronica
  • Folk Metal
  • Folk Punk
  • Celtic Punk
  • Country Rap

From most of these titles, you can see what genre has been mixed with what other genre; ‘Country Rap’ is obviously Country Music mixed with Rap Music and ‘Folk Punk’ is Folk Music mixed with Punk Music. This is only a partial list, of course, since the combinations are pretty much unlimited. Being of Germanic heritage, I have attended a number of Oktoberfests and heard ‘Umpah Bands’ playing rock songs. One of the more successful types of fusion music is Country Rock.

Another term applied to fusion music is ‘cross-over.’ You have probably heard the term ‘Cross-Over Hit,’ referring to a song that captured the attention of listeners in different genres of music. Fusion music often originates from the desire of a band to reach a broader audience but it can also come from the effort to establish a unique or new sound.

Most musical artists who have stood out have had a unique sound of their own and this is actually the end product of this fusion process we are talking about. Whereas some fusion efforts are very obvious, that is to say they have combined a very identifiable musical element with another very identifiable musical element, some fusion processes are much more subtle and involve a larger number of musical elements.

To illustrate this point, I will share a short story of when I heard a lecture by the late, great author Ray Bradbury. He knew that he was addressing an audience of young writers and he said, quite simply, if you want to be a writer, you just read and read and read and it starts coming back out. Somehow, I understood just what he was saying which was that, in being a writer, you don’t shut yourself off in an ivory tower but you get as much exposure as possible to the writings of other authors and then this starts to come across in a mix that reflects your own personality.

You can take just about any great musical artist and trace his personal favorite musical artists in his music. In Beethoven, for example, we can find Mozart, Haydn, Handle and Bach, not ripped off verbatim, but present stylistically in the mix that is uniquely Beethoven. When we really look, we see that no musical genre has popped out of the blue but is a product what is fusion music.



Source by Brian Beshore

What Makes Country Music ‘Country?’

It has been around for decades, growing back in the 1920’s with such artists as ‘Eck” Robertson and Jimmie Rodgers, but this has come far since them, in leaps and bounds and has become unrecognizable to some and unpalatable to others. It can be hard to imagine how the two eras of Country Music could be so different yet the same. With such diversity among artist and sub genres such as Pop and Rock, just what makes Country Music Country?

Instrumental

Is it the instruments? Traditionally it had fiddles and even high spirited instrumentals, and later slow simple chords, but if that makes, then it definitely rules out almost all the top Country artists on today’s top ten, and even many older artists.

Lyrics

Traditionally this Music had very recognizable lyrics. The song would tell a distinctive story, of loss, pain and life lessons, this set it aside from many other genres of music, but this ‘old’ style seems lost in today’s modern world, and even the ‘story telling’ lyrics seem to be lost among more commercial type songs.

Twang

Has it truly lost its twang? Is it the twang that makes Country? Many modern songs have lost their twang, but does taking the twang out, take the country out? Does Country become merely pop or maybe blues? When we listen to this Music, we recognize a certain element that distinguishes it from other subgenres of music. But even the most hardened Country Music fan can have problems distinguishing Country from other pop genres, if we look at someone like Carrie Underwood, a popular up and coming star, her music seems to hold little in common with the this Music singers of old, and despite her, it can sometimes be hard to distinguish her music from modern day pop.

Is there one thing that determines whether you are listening or not? A purist might say that it hasn’t truly been Country since the 1970’s where the term Countrypolitan came into being, and C. Pop became a genre. It is here we lose it, for them anything that isn’t ‘pure’ Country, should not be considered in this genre.

Those that branch off from the Genre to “Traditional” in an effort o preserve their C. Music heritage; do they see something specific lacking in the modern day Country Music? Perhaps it is the true commercialization of Music genre, that has ruined it for so many of the traditional music lovers, after all, you can write a song that you love, or you can write a song that will sell, those two ideas hardly ever cross over, at some point in their careers, it is forced to choose between the two, and ever readily, many choose popularity over the traditional and not so popular styles, many even crossing genres completely and turning their back on their old Country style. One day will this Music be so far gone from the sounds of C. Music Pioneers that is completely and ultimately unrecognizable as a C. Music form, and will Traditional C. Music be lost forever?



Source by Joe Hansen

Understanding H2O At Home: Can You Really Make Money With H2O At Home?

H2O At Home is a direct sales company founded in 1997. They started off in France and opened shop in the USA in 2009. They offer clean, non-toxic, eco-friendly related products for a variety of purposes. Additionally, they offer a business opportunity for entrepreneurs looking to making an income marketing their company or its products.

The Thing:

H2O At Home offers natural home care, organic personal care, and natural home fragrance. They provide products using their “3 E Concepts”, Efficient, Eco-Friendly, and Easy To Use. Their products are not only designed to be effective, but more importantly safe! Therefore, no more fretting over your child potentially being able to get a hold of the harmful chemicals in your household!

  1. Natural Home Care – They have several home care related products in this category but overall it is designed to save you money, ban toxic-chemicals, give you the ability to clean with water and their non-toxic chemicals, use less product to get the job done, make the cleaning process faster and easier, and includes only natural ingredients. Such items included are their Cleaning Clay Kit for things like ceramic or ovens, Lime-scale remover, Purifying Laundry Power, and many others.
  2. Organic Personal Care – This category includes Facial Care, Body and Hair Care, and Microfiber Bath Towels and Accessories all with 100% natural and organic ingredients.
  3. Natural Home Fragrance – All the products in this category are made with 100% natural essential oils to provide a safer home while saving you money. Items included are Aroma-therapy, Scented Extracts, Essential Oil Diffusers, and many others!

The Opportunity:

The question still remains; can you really make money with H2O At Home? In order to answer this question accurately, we need to look into their Compensation Plan, which is awesome fun and exciting!

It appears that there are 4 ways you could start making money with H2O At Home such as Personal Sales, Team Members Sales, Bonuses, and Rewards. I will briefly explain them below!

  1. Personal Sales – You are able to profit 25% to 40% commission from all of your personal sales.
  2. Team Members Sales – With this payout, you can receive 10% of your personally enrolled down-line members’ sales.
  3. Bonuses – They offer a Fast Start Bonus, eligible for new members for their first 60 days to earn up to $400 in rewards or personally enrolling someone into your team.
  4. Rewards – This isn’t necessarily a payout, however, you could earn 10% to 15% of your product sales in free product. That’s right, free!

To Conclude, Yes, You Can Make Money With H2O At Home!

The Cost:

For some, this is the most important question before joining H2O At Home or any company like this! It’s important to remember, however, that all businesses require some type of start-up fee! However, in this industry, it is generally much cheaper to get started then it is in a traditional business that could cost around $30,000 to start!

In order to get started with H20 you need to purchase one of their Business Starter Kit!

  1. Business Kit – $99.00
  2. Executive Business Kit – $230.00

With both kits you are able to get a Personal Website to help market and grow your business online for free the first three months and then $13.00 thereafter.

Final Thoughts:

The products this company offers are decent and seem to be great for those wanting non-toxic cleaning and personal use chemicals! However, their prices for certain items are rather pricey and could damage your budget quickly!

The opportunity is weak sauce! They only have four payouts and all four are low percentages. Also, finding a pdf of their compensation plan is difficult to do, for whatever reason, which is never a good sign. You are, certainly, able to make an income from marketing this company, however, it doesn’t appear like you will become rich any time soon and for most of us, that’s the goal! To make money while helping others receive a better standard of living!

The cost is affordable but for a company founded in 1997, they should have more options to choose from! However, both kits come with enough business materials, sample products, and training to get your business going and growing immediately! Also, the personal website for the first three months is nice and the upkeep cost for it is not bad at all! However, if you know how to properly grow a business like this, a personal company website is a total waste of money!

*Dustin Hale is NOT affiliated with H2O At Home or their business/income opportunity!



Source by Dustin A Hale

Four Basic Speech Types: Do You Want to Persuade, Inform, Inspire or Entertain?

Public speaking is much more than just “standing up and saying a few words.” Any audience has certain expectations that they hope will be met by the speaker, no matter the occasion. They want you to be clear, interesting and tell them something they don’t already know. There are 4 basic types of speeches that you can use to accomplish these goals.

The purpose of any speech is to persuade, inform, inspire or entertain. Sometimes speeches will contain more than one of these elements. All speeches, no matter the type, must have an opening, body and conclusion. It must be clear to your audience what you intend to say. If they can’t tell where you are headed after a minute or two of your speech they will tune out.

Let’s look at the four basic speech types more closely:

Speech to persuade: Every day we are constantly exposed to attempts to persuade us to do one thing and not do another. TV commercials, political ads, salespeople, spouses and relatives, bosses and coworkers all try to convince us to follow their particular proposal. Because of this, audiences tend to be a little reserved about your attempts to persuade them. People have become wary.

Your primary purpose in a persuasive speech is to influence the thinking or behavior of your audience. In order for your audience to be willing to listen to you they have to like you, respect you and trust you. They must be able to identify with you in some way and you have to give them a reason why they should listen to what you have to say.

Speech to inform: This is probably the most common type of speech you will give and the most common that you hear others give. Your purpose is to teach your audience something new or to expand their existing knowledge. It may mean exposing them to a topic or idea they know nothing about, showing them how to use a piece of equipment, or helping them learn a new skill. You might be explaining a new managerial system at work. Informative speeches cover many areas. Remember to use some humor in these speeches and try to keep it light. Informative speeches can be boring to the listener if care is not taken by the speaker. Think back to a teacher or professor you had who was dull. Don’t do that to your audience!

Speech to inspire: The purpose of an inspirational speech is to ask your audience to improve in one of several ways, personally, emotionally, professionally, or spiritually. The inspirational speaker relies more on emotional appeal than logical appeal. You are attempting to connect with the individual listener’s feelings. You explain why and how the situation is changing or why their current emotions, fears or goals may be inadequate or counterproductive. Inspirational speakers motivate the audience and challenge them to do more at a higher level and specify the benefits they can expect if they do so.

Speech to entertain: Conventions, dinners and seminars often include entertaining speakers in their agenda. Everyone likes to laugh and that’s an entertainer’s job. Ideally the entertaining speaker will also present a serious point in a low-key humorous way. You don’t have to be naturally funny to give an entertaining speech.Your job is to provide an interesting diversion. Entertaining speakers normally do this by telling stories. Know who your audience is and match your stories to that group. A young audience will not be interested in what you have to say if you are talking about events and people from before they were born.

You need to be a showman when you are doing an entertaining speech. If it’s supposed to be humorous then your attitude must be fun and lighthearted. Your primary goal is to make sure that the audience has a great time.

Warning: Make sure you know the details about the audience before you agree to give an entertaining speech. These are often after-dinner speeches and people have been drinking for an hour or so. If you don’t have significant speaking experience and a very tough hide this can be a harrowing experience. I know! Even many professional speakers refuse engagements where the audience has been drinking.

Public speaking is a skill and as with any skill you will only get better with practice. Volunteer to speak at work or church or school. Organizers are always grateful when someone volunteers. The more you speak, the better you will become and the more you will enjoy it.

For more information on these topics check out Toastmasters International. Joining Toastmasters is a wonderful way to practice and polish your skills, and it’s fun!



Source by Barbara A Toney

The Revolution of Pop Art

Pop Art was an art movement that emerged in the mid 1950’s in Britain, and in the late 1950’s for the United States. The British artists were the product of the independent group (IG), formed in 1952. The members resisted the institute’s commitment to modernist art, design and architecture. It was the Americans however that really gave increased awareness and success in the Pop Art movement.

Pop Art used the visual commodities of popular culture within the movement of fine art. English Critic Lawrence Alloway used the term ‘pop’ as art that made use of objects, materials and technologies from mass culture, to bring out the yields of the industrial society. It was characterized by themes and techniques drawn from popular mass culture; such as comic books, packaging, advertising, television and film.

Pop Art evolved at a crucial time in society, post World War II, which saw an enormous economic growth. This was the beginning of commercial manipulation, celebrities and exhibitionism. It wanted to bring art back to the people in their everyday lives, working with simple everyday objects.

Around 1962 Pop Art established itself as a serious recognized art form. It marked the end of modernism and the beginning of the postmodern era. It merged the divide between the fine arts with the media and advertising commercial arts; a divide that had been prominent for hundreds of years. Pop Art soon became one of the biggest movements of the 20th Century. It was beautiful, polished and glamorous, even though it was mass produced on a low budget; it caught the changes in society perfectly.

Andy Warhol was one of the biggest American Pop Artists around. It was Warhol’s paintings that made him so famous worldwide. His painting of Campbell’s soup tins which was used commercially has become extremely well known. As well as his screen-print of Marilyn Monroe which depicts Warhol’s own insight on American fame.



Source by Louise Gandolfi

The Multiple Advantages of Childrens Entertainers

Childrens entertainers are all the rage at the moment, and with good reason. They do a whole lot more than just provide a guaranteed focus for a kids’ party: they can also represent better security and help deliver as smoother feel to the whole party experience. Leaving, generally, a lot more breathing space for the poor old parents, who usually end up twice as tired and scratchy as the children at the end of a birthday party or other celebration.

The first and most obvious benefit of the kids’ entertainer is clearly his or her ability to entrance a whole house or garden full of children with jokes, games and magic routines. Childrens entertainers are highly skilled professionals, used to dealing with the most critical audiences in the land.

Children are notoriously good at seeing through less than perfect routines, or spotting adults they know who have dressed up as something else. A kids’ entertainer is a different box of tricks entirely. Because the children in question don’t know the entertainer, they are incapable of divorcing the man or woman inside the costume from the character he or she is conveying. That means that to a child, a children’s entertainer really is whatever he or she purports to be – a clown or magician, for example. Because childrens entertainers encourage kids to suspend their disbelief in this way, the children who see them are more disposed to believe that the things they are doing are “real” – real magic, real tricks and real clown routines. Having mum or dad try to do the same thing, even if mum or dad happens to be pretty good at it all, will be seen through in seconds.

The other obvious benefits of hiring and using a kids’ entertainer all revolve around the free time that mum and dad have when the entertainer is used. First, mum and dad are able to keep a much better eye on everything that is going on because they don’t need to provide the entertainment themselves. That means fewer upsets and no tantrums. Childrens entertainers take the focus of games and so on away from the parents, leaving them free to watch the kids as supervisors rather than nervous amateur magicians.

Secondly, a kids’ entertainer’s presence gives the parents or house holders more time to arrange the food, liaise with other parents and so on. While the children themselves may not notice much of a difference, all the parents of those children will find a party staffed by a kids’ entertainer much easier to deal with, in terms of picking their charges up at the right time, feeding them at the right time and taking them home happy.

Childrens entertainers are pretty much an all in one solution for any child’s party. Why waste time, energy and emotion trying to do everything at once – when a really good entertainer can take all the stress out of the occasion and make it a happy one for adults as well as kids? Choose the right one and there’ll be no tears before bedtime, no fights and no tantrums. Perfect.



Source by Amelia Hudson

How To Become A Christian Recording Artist

I have been asked by a few friends to compile a list of things that you need to do in order to make a living at Christian music. So, below you will find my personal opinions on what you need to do to succeed. I will warn you that these are my opinions and not the only way to succeed. There are always exceptions to the rule. However, these things have worked for me and thus I will share what I know. I am not going to sugar-coat anything so if you are easily offended, my apologies already. Before I start, let me dispel a few myths.

Myth #1 If I had a record label to support me, I could be full-time

So, So, So Wrong. I have a better idea, go max out all your credit cards, take out a huge loan, borrow money from your family and live off that while you build your career in music. What? No takers? Why not? In effect, that is exactly what you are doing with the label. You are living off of money that isn’t yours. When you are out busting your butt touring to support your new CD, guess where the income goes? It goes to pay back that money they gave you to live on. I am going to say this once, STOP CHASING A DEAL! I did it for years. When I finally stopped and focused on making my music my business, the record deal found me. What you would be offered as a no-name/no-momentum band will be crap anyways. Go out and sell 10,000 copies of your self-produced demo and then we can talk about record deals and if they make sense. Until then, shut up and play.

Myth #2 I can just play churches/Christian events and survive

How can I put this? Christians are cheap! For the most part, Christians are not going to give you the financial support you need to survive. This will vary by region but all-in-all people think that ministry = free. Be careful how you present yourself to not get pigeon-holed here. You can be an artist that is Christian as well as a Christian artist. Let the music speak for itself, and when the opportunity presents itself, share what’s on your heart. If you try to bill yourself as only a Christian artist, you will not be able to play enough to survive.

The fact is I can go play 3 hours of cover songs at a bar and make more money than taking a love offering from 200 people. Shocked? Don’t be. It is sad but true. Be open to playing where you are needed, where your message is needed. If churches can’t sustain themselves financially, how can they sustain you? The research tells us that 2% of people who attend church actually tithe (the full 10%). Those are not the kind of odds I want to bet my family’s well being on.

On to the Top 5 list:

1) Be Competent

I heard Billy Joel once say that the reason he has been successful for so long is that he is competent. Most musicians are not as competent as they can be and thus fizzle out faster. If singing is your thing, take lessons, improve, study, practice! The same can be said for your respective instrument. If you are only OK at playing, OK isn’t good enough for full-time. There are plenty of mediocre musicians doing gigs for free that make it harder for you to make a living. So, be better! Be much better. The back half of this is to accept the Truth. If your parents tell you that you are great, get a second opinion. If strangers come up to you after hearing you play and fawn over your music, now you are talking!

2) Be Unique

There are many good performers out there. What will separate you from the pack? Is it your vocal style? Your guitar playing? There needs to be something that makes you, you! Whether it be using loops, a different tuning, a particular look or whatever; keep people watching and wanting to see what you are going to do next. A great resource for creating memorable moments is Tom Jackson seminars. I have had Tom’s home course for 4 years and refer to it often. I build my set lists around his formulas. Guess what, it works! You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, just research and study wisely. Find yourself before others find you.

3) Have a Great Recording

So, you have practiced hard, prepared a good show and created moments to remember, now what? If you do these things well enough, others will want to remember as well. You need a recording of yourself. This is the first …

Weekly Review: SAO Abridged

Hello, and welcome back to another week of anime! This week we are taking a look at the YouTube sensation Sword Art Online: Abridged. The parody is produced by a group of individuals known as Something Witty Entertainment. The group created the series as a parody of the already popular Sword Art Online series, and it quickly caught on. Their expert editing skills along with some incredibly humorous dialogue are only a few reasons for the series’ popularity. Something Witty Entertainment has also gained a lot of respect as every episode starts out clarifying that the original series is owned by specific companies and that the viewer should support the official release. This covers themselves, and also looks good as they support an already successful franchise.

So you haven’t seen or heard anything about Sword Art Online? Really? Well, the series is about a young teenager named Kazuto who joins the world of Sword Art Online, an incredible breakthrough virtual reality MMORPG. However, as Kazuto and the ten thousand others like him soon realize, the game is a death trap. They soon find themselves trapped within the virtual world with the only hope of escape being to clear all 100 floors of Aincrad and beating the game. If they happen to die in the game, they will also perish in real life. In game, Kazuto is known as Kirito, a solo, floor clearing beast who’s reckless fighting style on the front has earned him several nicknames. Throughout we get plenty of support from other characters such as Klein, Agil, and Asuna. So that’s the basis, no go watch it. I mean, come on, it’s in English on Netflix. Now go!

Back to the parody. Yes, it is in English, in case you are wondering. The story line follows that of its original roughly, with finer details changing as the editors see fit. Our beast of a main Kirito is still a beast, but he is quite the ill mannered in the parody. He is joined by supporting character Asuna who’s personality has got a hilarious twist as a stalker, crazy, kind of racist girl. While the means of the parody is to give us a nice chuckle, the story line is still surprisingly gripping. Some even say that the romance between Kirito and Asuna is better than the original series, not to mention Kirito’s character development is way better, at least in my opinion.

The parody has become a part of my life now. Every time I see a clip from the original Sword Art Online release I can immediately think about the parody as well. It compliments the original series very well, and is a nice laugh, which is the complete opposite of the vibe from the original series. I suggest you give it a watch, it’s on YouTube, therefore it is free. Don’t worry about not being able to follow if you haven’t seen the original, the parody does a surprisingly good job of explaining the story line as well.



Source by Kyle W Hawk

Wassily Kandinsky and His Many Styles

Wassily Kandinsky is the artist responsible for painting the first strictly abstract works. Born in Moscow on December 16, 1866, Mr. Kandinsky grew up in Odessa before enrolling in the University of Moscow. He chose to study economics and law and was very successful in these fields. He was even offered a professorship at the University of Dorpat, but began painting when he turned 30.

Anatomy, life-drawing and sketching were his three painting studies. When he started painting he chose to move to Munich where he studied at Anton Azbe’s private school before moving to the Academy of Fine Arts. He returned to Moscow in 1914. Wassily Kandinsky wasn’t happy with the official art theories in Moscow so he chose to return to Germany in 1921 where he taught art and architecture. When the Bauhaus school of art closed in 1933, Kandinsky emigrated to France and became a citizen in 1939. He lived there until his death five years later.

Wassily Kandinsky always loved art. In later years, he would remember being stimulated by and fascinated with color when a child. This love of psychology and colour symbolism continued as he grew and he studied folk art of the region. These influences show up in his early works. He was also influenced by the works of Richard Wagner and H.P. Blavatsky. Blavatsky was a proponent of theosophy which believes that creation is a geometrical progression. This is seen by a descending series of triangles, circles and squares. In addition, he was visually influenced by John Varley and his illustrations.

In Kandinsky’s early works, one will also see elements of pointillism as well as Fauvism. He uses a flat, luminescent surface for depth of field and color as an expression of subject matter rather than objective nature. Most of these paintings featured towns and landscapes rather than human figures. The most notable exceptions were Riding Couple and Sunday, Old Russia. Intentional disjunction, seen in The Blue Rider, also delineates Kandinsky’s early works. Here the viewer participates in creating the artwork. This style was a forerunner of his later works.

Wassily Kandinsky later moved to the use of geometrical figures in his works. This is unlike the suprematism and constructivism movements which were popular at the time. When he moved to Paris, he was even more isolated from the general art world. He continued to paint abstracts while others were focused on cubism and impressionism. In his latter years, he combined elements seen in his previous works. His two last major works used this technique and were simply called Composition IX and Composition X. With so many techniques used over his lifetime, you may find you love some pieces while disliking others. It’s all in the eye of the beholder.



Source by Brent Tan

Overwatch Review

Overwatch is the first new IP from developer Blizzard Entertainment and the first time I can recall them ever releasing a console counterpart of a new game the day as PC. This game flew under my radar until I played its beta, along with millions of other gamers. Actually playing Overwatch for the first time, it gets its hooks straight into you. No matter what play style you have or what character you play as, there’s fun to be had. I’ve only played a handful of hours of the final release, but it hasn’t disappointed in the slightest and I can’t wait to see how the prestigious Blizzard supports this title over the course of its initial release and the foreseeable future.

I’m not going to sugar coat anything here. There is a small cutscene when you boot up the game that gives context to the characters you will play as during your time with Overwatch, but I can’t say I even spent time to watch it. I’m sure it is an interesting couple minutes, but I’m not investing my time and money into Overwatch for a story. Thankfully the game knows that and that’s the last you get from any kind of story.

What takes the place of a story would be 21 very detailed and different heros. These heros are the core of Overwatch and they are what make the game stand out from other first person multiplayer games. Each one bring specific abilities to a match and can really meld well with other characters during combat. But not one character feels vital for a team to succeed. I would say a whole team could play as the same character and still have a chance of winning a match, albeit a small chance depending on what character.

In the same vein though, there isn’t a character that stands out as a must play every match type. Each character has their own weakness and strengths, it’s up to the player to use them to their fullest potential. Each of the 21 characters has a few abilities up their sleeves that suit their play style and class type. Some characters admittedly feel a bit bare compared to others, but in the end, they all feel nice to play as.

The maps in Overwatch are very fun to play on. They serve the characters more than anything and setup specific choke points that beg you to work as a team to overcome. They look nice and stylized, but more importantly they don’t take away from the characters inhabiting them.

Game modes are very standard. You have capture and defend type matches, along with escort missions. These are both thrown into the same quick play option. You can also play against A.I. and create custom matches.

There is also a leveling system in place. It’s very standard and moves along at a brisk pace. It will be interesting to see if people stay around after the presumed level 50 cap. I’m sure it will be raised after a few months though. Customization comes in the form of character skins, emotes, voices, and sprays. They are fun to collect, but they are definitely not the reason I will be hanging around to play the game.

My only minor complaint would be that there isn’t a bunch of content in the game. Sure you have a crap ton of characters to choose from and some decent apparel to collect, but there’s nothing to keep someone like me who’s used to unlocking weapons and attachments in Battlefield to stick around hours on end. Though hoping in for a couple hours a day has been extremely satisfying.

One thing I would have liked to see is during a match your abilities can be upgraded to do more damage or last a little longer, maybe a shorter refresh rate. Something other than just the bare bones we have now.

Also, Overwatch costs an affordable $40 on PC, while console players will have to fork over some extra cash for the $60 version that is the exact same thing. If you’re into first person shooters or character driven gameplay, I could easily recommend Overwatch if you are interested in it. But I don’t know if there’s enough to satisfy most gamers for the asking price, on the console that is. Luckily I’m having a blast playing Overwatch and know my money has been well spent. Not only do I have a very solid game on release, Blizzard will continue supporting the game until nobody is playing it anymore. That makes purchasing the game easier to do.

Overwatch deserves a 3.5 out of 5. It has an extremely solid foundation to build from and has the potential to be a huge game over the next year depending on how …

The Art of Selling Final Expense Insurance

Final expense insurance has been around a long time and will continue to be sold for a long time in the future. Although the product itself is simplistic and easy to learn and get your arms around, there is definitely an art when it comes to selling final expense insurance.

Selling burial insurance is a process that requires and agent to build a need, want and desire for the product. Like any life insurance, everyone needs it but no one truly wants to buy and pay for it. As with other things in life we should have, if it was free, everyone would most definitely have it. Problem is… it’s not free so we need to create that need they can’t live without. So how do you do that?

First off, the client needs to see the value of having a policy and protecting the people they care about. Any life insurance I have I look at as an asset and not as a monthly expense each time I make a premium payment. It’s important you talk in terms that the client is creating an instant asset for their family and not an expense.

The second thing that is very vital to helping your client is don’t tell them they need final expense insurance but have them tell you. This is one of the biggest mistakes agents make selling absolutely everything. A successful agent does not tell a client they need the product, a successful agent has the client tell them why they need it and want it.

It is very important to ask probing questions to get the client to tell you. This is where most agents fail. Agents usually tend to do the telling in the selling process and by telling the client instead of having them tell you, in the end the client doesn’t take ownership to the sale and the sale is lost.

“Mrs. Jones, do you see planning for your final expenses your responsibility, or do you see it as your children’s responsibility?” The follow up question after Mrs. Jones answers it is her responsibility would be “Why? Why do you think it’s your responsibility and why wouldn’t you want to put this on your kids?” Sit back and listen to her tell you why she needs to buy your final expense product. These types of questions make the client take ownership and make the sale for you.

To be successful selling final expense, you need to create a need for your product since not many clients really want to purchase what you have. How you create that need is by asking questions that get your client to sell themselves and take ownership. Don’t make the mistake that 99% of all agents do and that is tell your client why they need final expense insurance.



Source by Steven Rohrer

The History and Evolution of Dirt Bikes

This article discusses three of the largest dirt bike manufacturers in the world – Honda, Kawasaki, and Yamaha. Starting with Honda, “a company that became the dominant force in American motorcycling”, all started when Soichio Honda opened a small bike shop in Los Angeles, California in 1959.

He had an inventory of small bikes that were not selling and the company was losing money. At that time, there was no such thing as trail riding because there was no such thing as trail bikes (referred to as dirt bikes); everyone was riding street bikes. Near the end of 1959, Honda was left with a stock of small bikes that no one wanted to buy, but all that was about to change. A large advertising campaign was set in motion and by 1963 Honda’s U.S. sales were up and trail riding in United States was born.

In 1961, the CA-100T trail 50 (trail cub) made its debut. It had a 50cc four stroke engine, a three-speed and automatic clutch, mounted on a step through frame which allowed ladies with skirts to ride it. In 1968, Honda’s first real dirt bike the Z50 mini trail came along. It was a three-speed unit that had fold-up handle bars so that it could fit into a car trunk. The Z50 still holds the record as Honda’s all time best selling bike in America with a total sale of, 450,000 units, and is responsible for introducing off road ridding to more youngsters than any other bike. Today, Honda is one of the leading dirt bike manufacturers in the world. Their line-up for 2010 includes such updated models as: the CFR450R, and the CFR250R. To see the complete line of Honda off-road trail bikes visit the Honda website.

Yamaha’s off road bike saga began after WW-II, when Gen-Ichi Kawakimi – then president of the “Nippon Gakki Company” – decided to make use of a production line & tooling that had previously been used to produce aircraft propellers, to produce the forerunner of Yamaha dirt bikes. Yamaha, named after it’s founder – Toracusu Yamaha separated from the Nippon Gakki Company, and produced the DT1- a 250cc two stoke, their first truly off road bike. Then in 1975 the YZ250 the first motocross bike to feature a single shock rear end was introduced. Yamaha has come a long way since the early days. With an impressive line up for 2010 Yamaha show cases such models as: the YZ450F, YZ250F, YZ125, and the YZ85 for motocross, and the WR450F, WR250F, TTR230, TTR125LE for off-road ridding. Visit the Yamaha website to see the complete line of Yamaha’s newly updated 2010 models and view previous models of Yamaha dirt bikes.

Kawasaki, the last noted manufacturer of dike bikes in this article began in 1949. A previous producer of parts for the aeronautical industry, Kawasaki was producing motorcycles for the Asian market by the 1950s. In 1963 Kawasaki introduced the B8M motocrosser bike and Kawasaki’s dirt bike legend was born. The B8M was a purpose built machine that won most of the motocross tournaments in Japan at that time. Their impressive line up of off-road bikes include: the KLX450R, the KLX140 series, and the KLX110 series. Their motocross bikes include: The KX450F, KX250F, and the KX100 to name a few. To see the complete line of Kawasaki dirt bikes, motocross bikes and of-road bikes go to the Kawasaki website to view previous model bikes and all updates.



Source by Edward W Moore

The Functions of Art Galleries

When we think of an art gallery, we generally form an image of empty hallways filled with dim light and paintings on the walls. Well, to a certain extent, you may be right, but not in all cases. They can be defined as a single or cluster of rooms that serve the purpose to showcase the work of various artists in many different forms such as paintings, drawings, sculptures, photos or any other form of art. An art gallery can be a place where people share a common interest to promote and appreciate art of aspiring or established artists. Painting is the most common type of art displayed at these places.

Aspiring artists can use art galleries as a platform for them to gain recognition and appreciation for their work. These galleries also encourage aspiring artist to be confident and enthusiastic about displaying their art pieces. Many art enthusiasts visit these places to admire and purchase the work of various artists and this can provide motivation to artists. Examining of art work is most beneficial to young debutant artists as they can get feedback as to how to improve their work and see people’s reaction towards their artworks. If the art piece is good, it would gain recognition amongst the community and even the world. Some artists even visit galleries to acquire new ideas for their projects and people who wish to be one can visit these galleries to learn about the different techniques used by artists, get ideas and inspiration. These galleries also hold art fairs for artists to showcase their skills.

Art galleries can either be exclusive or open to the public. Exclusive galleries only admit people who have been invited to the showcase or people who meet the preset requirements. These galleries can have purposes such as showcasing and selling the works of either an individual or a group of artist. It is at such galleries that budding artists can gain recognition as more professionals would be there who understand art. Art galleries that are open to the public can have many advantages as well. Since the audience to such galleries is usually more, the artist’s work can gain more exposure to the public thus gaining recognition for the artist. An entry fee applies to such galleries sometimes for them to operate.

Nowadays some artists post their work on the internet on online art galleries that allow for easy viewing for anybody across the world. This also exposes the art work to a greater audience thus gaining recognition for the artist. Artists are able to sell their work piece from the comfort of their homes and so are the audiences able to view it without having to step out or traveling to another country.

Art galleries, be it online, public or exclusive, are very important in helping an artist gain the recognition that he deserves. They can even benefit the audience as they can study the different forms of art and a specific artist’s work style.



Source by Amrit Pal

Facts About Online News

It has created a lot of opportunities for the newspapers to provide breaking news more timely. In this way they can compete with the broadcast journalism. Online newspapers are also cost effective compared to the printed-newspapers. Online newspapers follow the same legal regulations of the printed-newspapers. Online publications are known to reap larger rewards than the printed publications. It can draw larger traffics compared to the printed publications.

Many news reporters are taught to shoot videos and to write news stories that can be published in the online publication also. In many journalism institutions students are being taught about the online publications and online newspapers along with the printed newspapers. Some newspapers have already integrated the internet into each and every aspect of their operations. The classified advertisements are now also being published in both the printed newspapers as well as online newspapers. In today’s scenario it would be difficult to find a newspaper company without a website. With the declining profit margins from the printed newspapers they have explored every corner to get higher profit margins from the websites. Most of the online news-papers do not charge any subscription fee. Some of the news-papers have come with a new version of newspapers that is called E-paper. These E-papers are regarded as the digital replicas of the printed news-papers.

There are also some newspaper companies who provide only the online version of the news-paper. They don’t have any connection with the printed newspapers. These news-papers are recognized by many media groups which makes them different from blog sites. Some of the leading news-papers company which has been operational in printed media for over 100 years have been stopped their printed newspapers and are running on only online news-papers. There are newspapers companies who have only online news-papers but also provide limited publishing or hard copies. These news-papers are called hybrid news-papers. Recent development in electronic news-papers may force some of the newspapers companies to supplement electronic papers too.

Today, you will also come across online news portals that will deliver exam news and short news on the most significant happenings in the country or the world.



Source by Grayson Wong

Japanese Woodblock Prints Artists – Hokusai and Hiroshige Compared

One famous art genre is the Japanese woodblock prints, known as ukiyo-e, which literally means “pictures of the floating world.” It is an art genre that originated in the 1600s and became popular among the ordinary citizens of Japan because the relative ease of reproduction meant that these prints were affordable to the general populace. The subject matter of these Japanese woodblock prints was mainly scenes and people of the entertainment and pleasure quarters in Edo (now Tokyo), namely the theaters and brothels. Indeed, ukiyo-e was used as posters advertising the geisha women, courtesans and kabuki actors who work in those establishments.

In the late 1700s, ukiyo-e woodblock prints branched out to include landscape prints. Two contemporaries who were prominent in this period are Katsushika Hokusai and Ando Hiroshige, though the latter was 37 years the former’s junior. Both of them were famous for their landscape prints, although both of them also painted more “traditional” themes of women and actors. At first glance, the works of these two masters may look very similar in style and subject matter, which includes scenes from Edo and Mt. Fuji. Unless one is familiar with their work, it can be hard to tell them apart and see the differences that become more apparent upon close inspection. Furthermore, works by both of these masters influenced a few big name European artists: Hokusai’s works influenced Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Hermann Obrist while Hiroshige clearly had an influence on Vincent Van Gogh and Ivan Bilibin. Both men also inspired and influenced a whole new art movement — Jugendstil in Germany and Mir Iskusstva in Russia, respectively.

The differences between these two artistic geniuses lie in their backgrounds, which probably had an effect on their styles and approaches to their art. Hokusai was from an obscure parentage while Hiroshige was born to a low-ranking samurai, a servant to the shogun and whose job was to protect Edo castle from a fire. Hokusai would then take on nearly 100 different names throughout his career and move from one place to another, thus causing people to perceive him as crazy or unstable. Hiroshige, on the other hand, inherited his father’s job as a bureaucrat at the age of 13, but turned to art a year later. Perhaps owing to this difference in their backgrounds, Hokusai appeared to be more dramatic in his prints, painting with sharp, forceful lines and a range of colors, which is a complex technique in woodblock printing, as they require a series of woodblocks. Hiroshige, however, emphasized more on the mood, atmosphere and ambience, which can make his paintings appear more subtle and passive. One other difference may be in their choice of subject matter. Hokusai is a Buddhist of the Nichiren sect with Mt. Fuji considered a sacred site and his beliefs and spirituality are reflected in one of his most famous work, titled “One hundred views of Mt. Fuji” with Mt. Fuji being the central theme. Hiroshige painted Mt. Fuji as well, but it is only as a part of a scene captured along the way during his travel from Edo to Kyoto along the Tokaido road, which led to the paintings of one of his most famous work, “Fifty-three stations of Tokaido”. In this sense, one can say that Hokusai’s approach to his work is spiritual while Hiroshige’s is realistic.

With this understanding of the different styles of these two Japanese woodblock artists, hopefully their work can be enjoyed and appreciated even more.



Source by Jane J Simmons

"Wild Nights – Wild Nights!" – A Discussion of the Poem by Emily Dickinson

Wild Nights – Wild Nights!

Were I with thee

Wild Nights should be

Our luxury!

Futile – the Winds –

To a Heart in port –

Done with the Compass –

Done with the Chart!

Rowing in Eden –

Ah, the Sea!

Might I but moor –

Tonight – With Thee!

The Poem

“Wild Nights” can be interpreted several different ways, but the most obvious interpretation is that the poem expresses love, passion, and sexual desire. The opening stanza certainly gives the modern reader the image of a passionate encounter between two lovers. The second and third stanzas are far more obscure, creating a metaphor for the ardent experience with ocean images and nautical terms. Emily Dickinson was masterful at being able to describe life’s mysteries in imaginative ways with an economy of words.

While Thomas Wentworth Higginson, one of Dickinson’s mentors, was preparing the first edition of her poems in 1890, he wrote to Mabel Loomis Todd, the co-editor: “One poem only I dread a little to print – that wonder ‘Wild Nights,’ – lest the malignant read into it more than that virgin recluse ever dreamed of putting there. . . . Yet what a loss to omit it! Indeed it is not to be omitted.”

The use of the word “luxury” in the first stanza probably refers to an old use of the word, meaning lust and gratification. The phrase “heart in port” in the second stanza can be interpreted as a lover’s embrace. The marine terms used in each line of the second stanza create the nautical metaphor. They also create the feeling that control has been given up.

The third stanza completes the amorous, watery imagery. “Rowing in Eden” and “moor . . . in thee” can be interpreted as sexual passion. “Ah! The sea!”

Each stanza of the poem is a short quatrain, four lines. Each line has a dimetric rhythm, meaning that there are two poetic feet in each line. Most lines have iambic feet, such as in the first stanza. Each line in the first stanza has two groups of two syllables with the second syllable of each group being accented. In the second and third stanzas there is less regularity. Several lines start with a trochee, a two syllable group with the first syllable being accented. The line, “To a heart in port,” begins with a three syllable group, called an anapest. Despite the several irregularities, the poem flows smoothly and is easily recited.

The rhyme scheme in “Wild Nights” is typical of Emily Dickinson’s poetry. In each stanza the second and fourth lines rhyme, though in the second stanza the rhyme is a good example of a near rhyme.

With just a few words and a few lines, Emily Dickinson has captured the image of a wild night of passion.



Source by Garry Gamber