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    How to Look at Art Paintings

    My very first visit to the art museum was a journey through a maze. I was on a school excursion intended to foster art appreciation amongst students, yet I quickly found myself losing concentration and drifting off to sleep whenever I couldn’t make sense of the abstract brushstrokes or strange imagery used by artists in paintings.

    This doesn’t look like anything!” I remember exclaiming to a schoolmate, still trying to associate the elements of painting with familiar everyday objects.

    When my efforts to put the work in perspective were futile, i scurried away with my friends to view the next most eye-catching work, often paying no attention to the ones that were less colourful or striking.

    There were always those questions of “What the paintings meant” and “How one could search for these meanings”, that we, non-art students, had no answers to. I was sure however, that there was more to art than visual appeal alone.

    After all, famous documentary maker John Grierson once described art as a hammer, not a mere reflection of reality;He believed that art had the potential to evoke emotions and bring to light to issues men have buried in the unconscious. Hit by the same questions again and again after I visited a painting exhibition in San Francisco recently, I embarked on quest to learn from the experts.

    Getting Started

    #1 Physical Properties

    Consider the dimensions of the painting, it’s size relative to the environment and how it’s displayed. (i.e: framed, unframed or freestanding)

    Some artists intend for their work to be extremely large in scale to create a certain kind of impact or to evoke a certain sense of awe.

    Look closely at the painting and examine what types of medium the artist had chosen to use. (i.e: acrylic paint, oil paint, watercolour paint, charcoal, metal) Observe how the paint has been applied. (i.e: with a brush, fingers, sponge).

    How has the artist used his or her tools to create a certain feeling and what would change if it were substituted for something else?

    Is there a certain texture that has been created (i.e: rough, smooth, edgy) that causes you to cringe, feel like touching it or respond to it in a certain way?

    Also pay attention to elements like lines which may affect the way your eye is being directed and the use of colours to create a certain mood.

    #2 Subject

    In most paintings, there should be a focal point or a central element that captures your attention and draws your eye to it first. This may provide you with clues concerning the theme or issue the artist may be trying to shed light upon.

    For example, in Blue Clamp (1981), a masterpiece of American artist Jim Dine, the eye is first drawn to the blue clamp central to the heart in the painting. The physical properties combined with the clamp evoke a strong sense of pain, as if one can picture another bleeding,

    When looking at a painting, consider whether you can associate any imagery with past experiences or symbols that may signify particular events/issues.

    Is the work abstract or something that breaks boundaries and fixed notions about beauty?

    20th century artists often experiment with different ways of creating art, questioning expectations of what art should or should not be.

    #3 Viewer’s Perspective

    Finally, pay attention to where the artist has positioned you as a viewer and what perspective you have been forced to undertake.

    Are you looking into a house, looking from above or below a subject?

    Does the gaze of the subject (i.e: a man) invite you to look closely at him or does he seem disconnected from the viewer because we cannot see his face?

    The artist makes deliberate choices about what he wants to reveal and what he wants to hide from the viewer, and we can derive meaning from these choices

    For example, if a subject’s face is not being shown, it could imply a lack of status or identity, depending on the associations one makes.

    While some pieces of work are more abstract than others, the meaning of any painting is open to your interpretation. There are no right or wrong answers, so don’t be afraid of speaking your mind!

    Try talking about a painting with a friend and you’ll be surprised how different his or her ideas could be!

    Note down what runs through your mind the next time you step into an art gallery and look at paintings with a whole new light!

    Source by Shannon Lim

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    Funny Motivational Speakers – The Best Of Both Worlds

    Meeting planners everywhere are reducing unnecessary spending. They have been using creative techniques to save on most event expenses. So it is understandable that many entertainment budgets for conferences have been cutback or eliminated completely. Fortunately, keynote speakers have endured stringent conference budgeting. But, entertainment isn’t always so fortunate-often thought of as a luxury, it is dropped from some smaller budgets. But, in order to save money you don’t have to choose a keynote over entertainment. You can save a ton of money by simply killing two birds with one stone; get a funny motivational speaker.

    A funny motivational speaker is the best of both worlds. They are a meeting planners dream keynote, because they are inspirational and funny. A funny motivational speaker blends humor and wisdom into their presentation, and transform a regular speech into something special and memorable for viewers. The speaker fulfills multifaceted functions for the audience by both boosting morale and energy levels, while discussing highly informative content. Therefore, the audience is not only going to be engaged, but they are also going to thoroughly enjoy themselves.

    Scott Alexander is a perfect example of a funny motivational speaker. He informs, empowers, and entertains his audiences. His presentations not only feature comedy, but also magic and illusion. And the content of his programs are still based on motivational concepts. Concepts such as: The Power of Perception, The Power of Goal Setting, and The Power of Laughter. Each topic is filled with magic, comedy and insights into the world of perception, goal setting and laughter. Scott takes the audience on a journey through the ways in which he obtained his career goals, and gives examples of how we manifested a successful outcome from seemingly impossible situations. Scott uses magic and humor to teach his audience about the power of a positive and lighthearted attitude. With speakers like Scott Alexander, the days of the one-dimensional “rah-rah” speaker are a thing of the past!

    A motivational speaker should be as entertaining as they are inspiring. Event planners can be confident that their audiences hunger for entertainment and need for information will be satisfied in one sitting. This will not only save conferences money, but also save them time in their program schedules. The evolution of motivational speaking is the humorous motivational speaker. Now all types of speakers are adapting their speaking styles to make themselves more appealing and marketable. Business speakers, Health and Wellness speakers, and even Economist are adding humor in their presentations for audiences. You can be motivated and informed with humor, and the speaker can still make a serious impact on your audience.

    Source by Alexis N Washington

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    Public Speaking and Panic Attacks

    It is often observed that many people's top ranking fear is not death but having to speak in public. The joke is that these people would rather be lying in the casket at the funeral than giving the eology. Public speaking for people who suffer from panic attacks or general anxiety often becomes a major source of worry weeks or even months before the speaking event is to occur.

    These speaking engagements do not necessarily have to be the traditional "on a podium" events but can be as simple as an office meeting where the individual is expected to express an opinion or give verbal feedback. The fear of public speaking and panic attacks in this case centers on having an attack while speaking. The individual fears being incapacitated by the anxiety and hence unable to complete what he or she is saying. The person imagines fleeing the spotlight and having to make all kinds of excuses later for their undignified departure out the office window ….

    This differs slightly from the majority of people who fear public speaking because their fear tends to revolve around going blank while speaking or feeling uncomfortable under the spotlight of their peers. The jitters or nerves of speaking in public are of course a problem for this group as well, but they are unfamiliar with that debilitating threat which is the panic attack, as they most likely have not experienced one before.

    Public Speaking and Panic AttacksSo how should a person with an anxiety issue issue public speaking? Stage one is accepting that all these bizarre and quite frankly unnerving sensations are not going to go away overnight. In fact, you are not even going to concern yourself with getting rid of them for your next talk. When they arrive during a speech / meeting, you are going to approach them in a new manner. What we need to do is build your confidence back to where it used to be before any of these sensations ever occurred. This time you will approach it in a unique, empowering manner, allowing you to feel your confidence again. It is said that most of the top speakers are riddled with anxiety before speaking, but they somehow use this nervousness to enhance their speech. I am going to show you exactly how to do this, although I know that right now if you suffer from public speaking and panic attacks you may find it difficult to believe you can ever over it.

    My first point is this and it is important. The average healthy person can experience an extreme array of anxiety and very uncomfortable sensations while giving a speech and is in no danger of ever losing control, or even appearing slightly anxiously to the audience. No matter how tough it gets, you will always finish your piece, even if the outside it feels very uncomfortable to go on. You will not become incapacitated in any way.

    The real breakthrough for if you suffer from public speaking and panic attacks happens when you fully believe that you are not in danger and that the sensations will pass.

    "I realize you (the anxiety) hold no threat over me."

    What keeps a panic attack coming again and again is the fear of the fear – the fear that the next one will really knock your socks off and you feel you were lucky to have made it past the last one unscathed. As they were so unnerving and scary, it is your confidence that has been damaged by previous anxiety episodes. Once you fully understand you are not under any threat, then you can have a new response to the anxiety as it arises while speaking.

    Defeating public speaking and panic attacks …

    There is always a turning point when a person moves from general anxiety into a panic attack, and that happens with public speaking when you think to yourself:

    "I will not be able to handle this in front of these people."

    That split second of self-doubt leads to a rush of adrenaline, and the extreme anxiety arrives in a wave like format. If, however, when you feel the initial anxiety and you react with confidence that this is not a threat to you, you will move out of the anxiety rapidly. Using this new approach is a powerful ally because it means it is okay to feel scared and feel the anxiety when speaking-that is fine; you are going to feel it and move with and through the sensations in your body and out the other side. Because he or she is feeling very anxious, often before the talk has begun, that person may feel they have already let themselves down. Now, you can relax on that point. It is perfectly natural to feel

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    Interior Painting: Tips From The Experts

    Interior painting seems simple enough. Some people hire professionals, and others take on this simple DIY task themselves.

    Unfortunately, those DIY enthusiasts often make quite a few mistakes along the way that can leave their living room in less than perfect condition. Often, these are simple mistakes that can easily be avoided.

    According to professionals, following these tips can make a paint job look like a professional interior painter did the job no matter how little experience a person has.

    Make sure that there is plenty of time

    The most common mistake that people make when they refuse to hire an interior painter is rushing to get the job done. When a person tries to hurry up and get something done, they cut corners and they make more mistakes.

    Instead, make sure that there is plenty of time to get the job done. This guarantees that a person can take their time when they paint the inside of the house, and they can be careful not to make mistakes.

    Wash the walls

    Most people know that they have to wash the exterior of the house before painting, but people usually forget about this step when it comes to the inside of the house. The walls on the inside of a house can accumulate dust and dirt, especially if there is trim along the room.

    Wash the walls thoroughly and give them plenty of time to dry before applying the first coat of paint to make a job look like it was completed by a professional painter.

    Don’t forget the primer

    Sometimes, a fresh coat of paint will easily go over the paint that is already there. Sometimes, it may take a coat or two, which can lead to the paint being darker than the homeowners intended.

    Avoid having a medium blue living room instead of a sky blue living room by picking up a primer. Most home improvement stores sell high quality paint that has a built-in primer to make sure that it goes on in one coat.

    Don’t spread out the job over several days

    When a person paints the inside of the house, they usually feel like they have all the time in the world, but this might not turn out so well.

    If a person paints one part of a room one day, and spreads the rest of the room out over several days or weeks, it can lead to the paint being two different colors. This usually depends on the type of paint, and it might not be noticeable with lighter colors. On the other hand, it could look like the painter used two different colors on the interior.

    When painting, it’s better to be safe than sorry and get it done in one day if possible.

    Trim tools

    Instead of trying to paint the trim with a standard paint brush, it’s better to pick up a nice tool to paint the part of the wall where it meets the trim. Products that have a guard that sits beside a small roller will make sure that the paint for the walls does not get on the trim.

    While these tools are recommended by interior painters, there are several other tools available on the market that will do the same job. Those without previous experience painting will find these tools extremely helpful during the painting process.

    Paint evenly

    If it is possible, make sure to spread the paint evenly across the wall. If there is more paint on one part of the wall versus another, it will result in the wall being two different colors. The areas that have more paint on them will be a darker color than the rest of the wall.

    It may sound like a lot of work, but all it takes is some time and thought to make sure that the inside of a home looks as though it were painted by professional interior painters.

    Source by Josh Berner

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    Pencil Art Drawings As a Birthday Gift

    Drawing is not a new concept; it has been an old elegant fashion of expressing things within a visual form. Pencil art drawings, since ages, are one of the impressive forms of visual expression that transform the luster of a thing or an object. There are quite a few procedures or approaches of pencil drawings.

    However pencil works on paper are the most common and appealing art works seen at the art gallery exhibitions. The exhibition works are basically expensive than simple pencil drawings. The art loving people love to present pencil art drawings as a gift to their heads in the different occasions like birthday and anniversary.

    The traditional drawing works were monochrome and may have some colors. Basically, traditional drawing has been drawn using a set of tools and equipment such as graphite pencils, pen and ink, chalk, marks, crayons, inked brushes and so on. Unlike traditional drawing, modern pencil art drawings are drawn using no extra tools or equipments except some pencils. Modern pencil drawings are two kinds, color pencil drawing and monochrome pencil drawing.

    In the modern age, the fashion trends are always changing. The people think the simpler is the better. In general, painting and drawing mean two different senses. In pencil artworks, people do not like drawings full of fancy colors and patterns rather some simple pencil lines filled with tone onto a piece of paper.

    Pencil artworks have been used in many purposes. The people use them as home d├ęcor and occasional gifts. Beside, pencil artwork is another way to frame up your unforgettable memories in a piece of paper. Nowadays, in the art gallery, we see different kinds of amazing pencil art drawings that catch eyes. A pencil portrait artist inks his / her love and passion onto a piece of paper just using a pencil.

    If you want to get some appealing priceless gifts for your fears, you can go for pencil drawings. A pencil work is not that expensive and anyone can afford it. You can find some fancy pencil art works at the art gallery, gift shops or from the pencil portrait artists' places. You can even get converted your own pictures or things into pencil drawings from the artists, it's called customized pencil drawing.

    A customized pencil drawing can be a great birthday gift for your friends, partners, parents, and even for your child. You can select the kiddy pictures of your child, old romantic memories of your parents, all unforgettable memories in your school life and memories that always make you feel better. Just select some of your old memories framed up as pictures, contact with a pencil portrait artist and get them converted into amazing priceless gifts for your dear's birthday.

    Source by Maria G.

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    Pop Music Can Be Creative

    Pop music may include elements of rock, hip hop, reggae, dance, R & B, jazz, electronic, and sometimes folk music and various other styles. Pop music performers typically make use of state-of-the-art technology and recording studios to achieve the sound they want, and record producers may have a heavy influence. Pop music generally uses a simple, memorable melody and emphasizes the rhythm, often with syncopation, and stripped down to a basic riff or loop which repeats through much of the song. Pop music is often criticized for being overly simple and repetitive.

    Popular

    Popular music is music belonging to any of a number of musical styles that are accessible to the general public and are banned by one or more of the mass media. Popular music is music that is not something else (usually 'folk' or 'art' music). Popular music is associated with (produced for or by) a particular social group. Popular music is banned by mass media and / or in a mass market. Popular music is also quite entirely instrumental. Popular music is not really about 'being heard', but rather about 'being heard again'; and 'being heard again and again and again' is what really popular music is really about. Pop is contemporary music and a common type of popular music (distinguished from classical or art music and from folk music).

    The term popular music does not refer specifically to a single genre or sound, and its meaning is different depending on the time and place. Within popular music, "pop music" is often distinguished from other subgenres by stylistic exercises such as a danceable rhythm or beat, simple melodies and a repeating structure. The broad appeal of pop music is seen to distinguish it from more specific types of popular music, and pop music performers and recordings are among the best-selling and most widely known in many regions of the world. The development of recording methods is seen as a major influence on the sound of pop, distinguishing it from classical music and jazz, as well as some types of popular music which may seek a more "natural" sound.

    Album

    In the recorded music era, the single (a single song) and the album (a collection of songs) are the usual methods of distributing pop music. Notable highlights for pop music in the 1980s are Michael Jackson's second Epic label release, Thriller, which went on to become the best-selling album of all time. Jackson was the most successful artist of the 80s, spanning nine # 1 singles in the United States alone during that decade, and selling over 133 million copies with only two albums – Thriller, and its follow-up Bad.

    Pop music in the 1980s was heavily influenced by an electronic sound with synthesizers and drum machines, and dance type music. Pop music, on the other hand, has formally come into use to describe music that evolved out of the rock 'n roll revolution of the mid-1950's and continues in a definable path to today. Pop music can range from the highly creative, iconoclastic or virtuosic to simple and downright dumb.

    Source by Claire Brown

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    A Brief History of Rock and Pop Music

    You may be wondering when exactly did rock/pop music begin? There’s no clear answer to this. Some might say that it started with the advent of rock n roll with Bill Haley and the Comets in 1952. Others would say Elvis, although not the first but surely the original truly global superstar. Yet none of these were really the first. Rock n roll has its roots in blues which has its roots back to the 19th century with black immigrants trying to escape from their slave driven lives. Fast forward to the early 20th. century and some of the earliest recordings on 78 began to appear. Players from this time such as Bobby Jo and Robert Johnson helped to form the structure of early blues

    Robert Johnson had recorded only thirty songs during his short life as he was prevented from achieving true fame while alive by being poisoned by a jealous husband. He died shortly before he was being sought to appear at the ‘Spirituals To Swing’ concert in 1938 by record producer John Hammond. As a result, his reputation only took off after Hammond released an album of his recordings for Columbia in the early sixties. Later blues exponents like Muddy Waters and Eric Clapton admitted borrowing heavily from these early stalwarts.

    In the 50’s, artists took the basic blues style and used electric guitars, drums and double bass for the first time creating early rock n roll, later known as rockabilly. Stalwarts like Chuck Berry, Buddy Hollie and Jerry Lee Lewis were the most famous protagonists here. Later Elvis in the US and to a lesser extent, Cliff Richard (later leading the Shadows) in the UK brought rock n roll to a truly worldwide audience. This paved the way for the 60’s beat era which could be considered the true beginning of pop music as we know it today, certainly as far as bands were concerned.

    In the 50’s and early 60’s, it was mostly lead solo artists with just a backing band. With the advent of the beat era, bands dominated with The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and the Beach Boys from the US taking the world by storm. Even so, The Beatles later admitted being heavily influenced by those earlier rock n roll and blues artists. They mostly played rock n roll and blues covers at their pre-fame Hamburg concerts. in the early 60’s. The Beatles however, were the first band to successfully blend classical music textures with rock n roll to form perfectly crafted pop songs. While bands like The Rolling Stones continued with the mainly rock n roll theme,

    The Beatles took their finely crafted style further in the seminal album ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ in 1967 by utilizing new studio techniques and instruments never used before. They used a new instrument called ‘the Melotron’ This was basically a keyboard which played looped tape recordings. of real instruments. The most famous sound from this was probably the flute used on the ‘Strawberry Fields’ single recorded at the same time but later dropped from the album. The Melotron though, was cumbersome and unreliable and had a rather grainy sound. Even so It was regarded as the forerunner of the electronic sampler, invented nearly 20 years later. Infinitely more flexible than the Melotron, the sampler helped build the framework for modern pop,dance and R&B music.

    The Beatles ‘Sgt.. Pepper’ album with its groundbreaking recording techniques was preceded the year before by their ‘Revolver’ album. These LP’s helped popularize a new wave in music known as psychedelic or acid rock, named after the mind bending effects of LSD drugs. Pink Floyd also recorded their debut album ‘Piper at the Gates of Dawn’ in the studio next door at the same time that The Beatles recorded Sgt. Pepper. It was reported that Pink Floyd were a direct influence to The Beatles as a result. This new style incorporated new guitar effects like Fuzz, flanger anger and delays. These were used along side the earliest portable synthesizers such as the therein and mini Moog. invented by Bob Moog.

    In America, the Beach boys responded with the ‘Pet sounds’ LP in 1966 and later that year released the first big psychedelic hit ‘Good Vibrations’. About this time, the band ‘Jefferson Airplane’ recorded their debut album which was also the first LP to come out of the new San Franciscan music scene. This got the record industry’s attention and they had two of the earliest psychedelic hits ‘White Rabbit’ and ‘Somebody to Love’ in 1967.

    Meanwhile in Los Angeles, Jim Morrison joined with members of The Psychedelic Rangers and Rick and the Ravens to form ‘The Doors’ They were initially turned down by Columbia but were signed to Electra Records and released their self titled debut LP in …

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    Current Trends For Painting Contractors

    The year 2010 sees the emergence of innovative painting products and applications that characterize the post-crisis atmosphere of the building industry. New paint colors reflect the light-hearted ambiance of people who are slowly getting their buying powers back. Eco-friendly painting applications sum up the ever-maturing green consciousness of the public.

    Paint Color Forecasts

    An evolution in paint pigments appears in many manufacturers' pallets this year. The array of hues caters to a variety of consumer tastes and preferences, summarized below:

    1 . Comfort Colors

    Painting contractors can choose muted neutrals for a subt calming effect in facility interiors. These colors are mixed with undertones that adjust to the surroundings. The final look is one of understated simplicity and comfort.

    2. Warm and Vibrant Colors

    Paint colors that are bright and rich are offered for interior applications. Painting contractors can use these playful and vivid colors to create a positive and dynamic room atmosphere.

    3. Artistic Colors

    Manufacturers have produced a collection of pastel-colored paints for walls and murals evocative of Monet paintings. Vibrant earth-toned colors are also being offered to create ethnic, Asian and African themes. Painting contractors note that this year there is also a resurgence of "worn" or "old-world" themes using muted patinas.

    Green Painting

    Ecologically-friendly paints are cornering a wider market than before. This is outstanding in the line of offerings from major manufacturers:

    1. Low-odor water-based latex paints that contain low- to zero-VOC (volatile organic compounds) are used as interior coatings systems.

    2. Acrylic coatings applicable for outdoor conditions and constant exposure to the elements. These paints dry faster than regular exterior coatings.

    3. Paint biocides increase in demand as the construction industry turn away from harmful solvent-based to water-based systems, driving down the cost of paint biocides further downwards. The result is the increased market for hygienic coatings.

    4. Green paint supplies ranged from recycled nylon-bristled brushes and rollers to biodegradable trays and other earth-friendly materials.

    Painting Contractors

    To adapt to the new trends in the industry, painting contractors are changing their methodologies, techniques and mind sets:

    1. Painting contractors increase their familiarity of paintings and finishes, particularly the newest released products in the market.

    2. Painting contractors deepen their skills to support almost all requirements of building construction, repair and maintenance. They cross-train personnel on tasks like interior and exterior renovations, carpentry, wood-working, and wallpaper-work, among others. A wide expertise in just about every aspect of the job allows them to deliver complete quality service to clients.

    3. Painting contractors comply with industry standards and certify themselves in industry regulating bodies to increase their competency.

    4. Painting contractors establish relationships with their trade partners to deliver more benefits to clients.

    Future Forward

    Various researches are being conducted to advance the state of the painting technology. The aim is keep in step with environmental goals of energy efficiency and less environmental toxicity.

    The paintings of the future will roll out from these research labs and into painting contractors' hands thanks to a variety of research initiatives done today. These areas are not limited to:

    1. Improved paint application efficiency

    2. Better paint curing and drying

    3. Paint disposal and recycle-ability

    4. Smart self-cleaning paints

    5. Better paint monitoring and control

    Source by Steve A. Parker

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    Why Does Autographed Art Help a Collection?

    Collectors can go after any number of items for their collections. They can delight in collecting all of the pieces of a limited edition series or in a series of autographed photos and movie stills all dedicated to some of their favorite actors. Some of these pieces can be incredibly rare and worth quite a bit of money. These items can be bought in specialty shops or found online through different websites or auctions and collectors can end up paying quite a bit of money for some of them. They are usually good investments, however, for their value will usually increase over time.

    Any piece, however, can be greatly improved in its value with the presence of an autograph on the collectible piece. This autograph will make the piece even more rare than it already is because not all of the other pieces in the world have this same autograph. The autograph in question will take the piece of collectible memorabilia and elevate it into a position that other pieces in the world do not have. This makes the piece even more rare and, quite, even more valuable. If you ever go to sell the piece, you will be able to sell the collectible for more than if it did not have the autograph.

    The same is true for collecting autographed art. Works of art in themselves can be quite valuable pieces to collect. Original art pieces generally are one of a kind and this makes them rare to begin with. Some pieces of art can sell for millions of dollars. Of course, these pieces can still be enhanced with the presence of an autograph from the artist placed somewhere on the work. Their signature is like a seal of verification from the artist that the work is complete and that they are satisfied with it.

    Of course, some pieces of art are remade as prints, so that the general public is able to enjoy them. Many of these original pieces are owned by museums who happily share them with the world, but understand the desire of people to have these wonderful paintings in their own homes, where they can continue to inspire people in their day to day lives. Therefore, prints are made of these paintings that everyone can have a piece of. These prints are generally considered to not have any value, as they are only reproductions of an original, rare piece. If, however, a collector is able to meet an artist, assuming they are still alive, and get the print autographed, the piece suddenly has much more value.

    If a collector happens to have a piece of autographed art in their collection, they should be very careful to take great care of it. These pieces are generally one of a kind and as a result, their worth can be quite high. People are often willing to pay a great deal of money for unique pieces of autographed art to complete their collections and these works of art should be considered to be investments by many. They can certainly change a person's life, and not simply for the artistic value they introduce.

    Source by Victor Epand

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    How to Keep Your Oil Painting Brushes in Great Shape

    Better quality artist’s brushes will last a long time if cared for properly. This article discusses some of the best ways to care for your good oil painting brushes. Caring for acrylic and watercolor brushes is a simpler process. You just rinse thoroughly with clean water, apply a mild soap (Dawn liquid will do), and rinse again. Conditioning with Master’s Brush Cleaner is always a nice finish.

    Oil painting brush care is a bit more complicated, but certainly worth the extra effort to extend the life of your brushes. I’m going to share a few different ways to clean your brushes and let you decide what works best for you. Timing is a key element in cleaning your oil painting brushes. If you plan to continue painting the next day, then you can simply wipe the paint out with a paper towel or clean cloth, swish in your mineral spirits or odorless thinner like Gamsol, wipe again, then set them aside. You can also wipe out excess paint, dip the brush in a light oil with a few drops of clove oil, and lay horizontally and somewhat elevated to use the next day. Just be sure to work again the next day!

    One simple strategy to clean your brushes is to wipe away the excess paint, do a light wash with oil (linseed is okay, but Safflower or Poppy Seed oils are lighter and work a bit better), then wash the brushes with warm water and a mild soap. You have to try these methods to see which you prefer. Much depends on your quality of brush, whether they are natural or synthetic fibers, etc.

    A somewhat altered method of the above strategies is to wipe off excess paint, then swish in paint thinner until all color is removed. Use a cleaning jar (Lion Silicoils are better since they have a rust proof metal coil in the bottom rather than a screen, which can be rough on brushes) half filled with thinner and rub the brushes across the coil until paint is removed. Then wash the brushes in a good quality conditioning brush cleaner like Master’s Brush Soap. Using Master’s is a good idea on all of your brushes once they are cleaned no matter the medium since the conditioner is so good for brush longevity.

    One final thought on cleaning is to use Murphy’s Original Oil Soap. This stuff is so good that it will usually remove dried oil paint if you soak your brush in it full strength for a couple of hours. Just make sure you rinse thoroughly.

    Lastly, drying your brushes is very important. Never dry your brushes standing them vertically with the hairs up. Over time this can loosen the hairs and they will fall out. It’s best to dry them horizontally or leave them horizontal if you are not cleaning and then plan to paint the next day. They can be stored vertically hairs down, but do not rest them on the hairs. This quickly misshapens the brush. After cleaning and removing most of the moisture, reshape the hairs before you set them aside to dry.

    Any of these methods work well to keep your oil painting brushes in top shape for a long time.

    Source by Rick Jones

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    Enjoy 24x7x365 Entertainment Through Online Music

    Music is considered as the gift of God. It gives peace and relief in our daily life. It brings true colors in our life. Music videos are one of the sources to find the melodious music and your favorite songs. However, the variety and intensity of the music has seen a dramatic change in recent past. Now, we can see more and more pop songs and other party songs The TV channels and different internet sites also focus more on such kind of music. At the same time, music is not only an art now. It has taken the shape of a charismatic profession in many ways. People have started making their careers in music industry. It is flourishing and giving employment to millions of people.

    A music video is the collection of films, videos and songs that is made for entertaining the people who love music. You can find such videos in a music library where a wide variety of the latest hit videos are available. Online music stores are a new concept where music can be found online. Going to a regular music shop is often not so easy for many considering it is a time taking process. People can find a number of ways to find the great music and the options available to them are many. Internet is one of the most preferred choices these days. You can find the same quality and variety of music that you have been finding in your local store. The main disadvantage involved in purchasing a music video from the nearby store is that if you like any song and want to listen to that song, you will have to buy the whole album. Online music stores offer you any single song any time. You do not need to buy the whole album in this case.

    Online sites provide you the opportunity to listen to your favorite songs through a number of sites. To save your money, you can always download a variety of favorite songs to your personal computer or save in a CD / DVD. These sites also provide the option to save your preferred songs directly in your computer and listen to it with the help of some MP3 players that have been installed on your computer. It gives you a complete liberty to listen songs on your conditions, in your way.

    The largest advantage of the online music stores is that it is available all time during day or night. You can enjoy your desired music without any time restrictions. It has gone beyond the geographical, demographic or political boundary. You can obtain songs of any country, society and in any language. However, TV music channels do play the hit songs, but you may have to wait for the VJ to play your favorite song. It feels really tedious to listen to the same song which is repeated time and again. Certainly, music websites offers a lot of fun to the music lovers. All kind of features and functions which are common to the normal mp 3 player are available with the online music sites too. The option of Play, Rewind, Forward, skip and replay give the real fun of listening music here.

    UK music stores are famous for its variety of songs and other music categories. The online version of the store is ahead of that. You can find the hit songs of famous UK Pop stars as well as the artists from the other parts of the world. The UK music stores in the UK are getting huge popularity these days. People like such a concept as they can listen to songs, download them and share with their friends. All these are available at a very reasonable cost which makes it more profitable deal.

    Rupizcompare.co.uk is one of the unique portals that give you such an opportunity. Now enjoy the music that you always wanted to have and share your thoughts with your friends.

    Source by Jacob Marshal

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    Expert Advice: Choosing Paint Colors for Interior Walls

    There’s something magic about painting your home. First, it’s incredibly inexpensive. You can almost completely transform the way guests feel when they step through your front door for a less-than-$100 investment in paint and needed materials.

    And, second, paint is powerful. When you choose the right color, it makes everything in your home sing. But that’s the hard part. Choosing paint colors for interior walls is difficult, and you often feel like you’re flying blind standing in front of a slew of swatches at the hardware store.

    To help you make the best decision for your home, here’s a guide to choosing paint colors for interior walls in different rooms.

    Oh, one final note: Different homes open into different rooms. Keep that in mind as you’re choosing paint colors for interior walls. Whatever room your visitors first step into, you want it to be bold and beautiful without going over the top. That room is typically the living room, so that’s where we’ll start – but pay the most attention to the first-impression room in your home.

    Living Room

    What matters when choosing a paint color for your living room? Start with these three things:

    1. Natural Light
    2. Furniture Color
    3. Spacing

    If your room is full of natural light, you can get away with earthier tones that add a dark complement to the rays of sun pouring through the windows during the day. If you have next to no natural light, go for something lighter.

    Also, use your living room paint to balance with your furniture. You want your living room to include a primary color and two accent colors. For example, you may have a large, bold area rug that creates the primary color. Then, use your furniture and walls as accents. Or, you may have a beautiful painting over your mantel that creates a nice accent. Then you can use furniture as another accent and wall paint as your primary color. No matter how you divvy things up, balance is key.

    Also, consider spacing. A lighter paint color can make a small, tight living room feel larger. You definitely don’t want a cramped living room with little natural light to also feature dark, earthy paint colors.

    Kitchen

    You have lots of opportunities to provide pops of color in your kitchen: wall hangings, curtains, dish towels, granite, even a fun mixer. That’s why I typically prefer a nice, neutral gray for my kitchen. (I’ve always been in love with Dorian Gray, but that’s just me.) Find the right gray, and you’ll have a nice palette on which to add fun pops of color.

    Not into neutral? OK, that’s totally understandable. Bolder options for the kitchen might include yellow, green or blue. Green is pretty versatile when pairing brighter accent colors, and yellow is like bringing the sun into your home. Blue is good if your kitchen is full of neutral dish towels, granite, curtains, etc.

    Looking to go really bold in the kitchen? Pass on the paint and take part in the comeback of wallpaper. I’m not quite there yet, but…

    Bedroom

    If you’re anything like me, you don’t do a whole lot in the bedroom other than read a book, get ready for work and rest. (OK, there’s the other thing, too, but let’s stay on topic.) With that in mind, make your bedroom the perfect place for rest by using soothing and relaxing paint colors.

    What colors are soothing and relaxing? Try lavender, a soft green or an icy blue. I know that many homeowners just can’t help but put a bolder stamp on their walls. If you are tempted to go with a stronger bedroom color, do it in a guest room or a child’s room. These are perfect space to be a little more adventurous.

    Bathroom

    Bathrooms typically have little to no natural light. If anything, you might have a frosted window, but most bathrooms have no windows at all.

    With that in mind, go to the hardware store and stock up on lighter colors from the blue-gray family – this is the best range for bathroom colors. Take the swatches home and set them on the floor to see how they work with the lighting and your tile, hardwood or vinyl flooring.

    I’ve used this method in the past, and one swatch has always jumped out at me. Wishing you the same success! But, again, along with the kitchen, the bathroom is another place where you can get away with testing some fun wallpaper – especially a half bath.

    Final Thoughts on Choosing Paint Colors for Interior Walls

    I say this a lot, but: The rules are meant to be broken. Throw everything I’ve written here out the window if it leads you to paint colors you simply don’t like. Always stay true …

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    Independent Music Promotion – Problems and Solutions For the Frustrated Indie Artist

    Independent music promotion: just another thing you have to worry about. When you aren’t signed to a particular label, you won’t have someone to tell you what to do in order to promote yourself. In recent years, a number of promotion methods have sprung up to answer the plight of the independent artist. But problems still exist if you’re an artist and tired of beating your head against the wall with independent music promotion.

    Too Many Choices

    Independent music promotion is possible in a number of ways… in fact, too many! You can promote by passing out flyers, updating your Facebook status, or playing for free for charities, but you can’t do them all at once. There are only so many hours in the day, and you are limited by your day job, if you have one. This means independent artists often spread themselves too thin and fail at promotion.

    To prevent this situation, research and planning is necessary. Research promotion methods, and make a list of ways you can get yourself out there. Then, calculate about how much time you have, and how long each of your favorite methods would take. You can use these numbers to guess at how many different methods you can pursue. Set aside a certain amount of time per day or week to promote yourself, and get into the habit of doing so. Once you become successful, exhaust the possibilities, or give up at a method, you can choose another to replace it, but don’t do this too often or you’ll jump from method to method and succeed at none.

    Can’t Pay to Play

    Much of the radio music industry is still controlled by money. This is why certain artists are always played, and others can’t seem to get airtime at all. In some areas, “pay to play” is frowned upon or illegal, but there are always ways to get around these restrictions. Sometimes, independents will gift the radio station with gift cards, vacations or cars for the radio station to give away in promotions, and in exchange, the station plays their music.

    Of course, most independents can’t afford to do this. Instead of targeting major ones, try looking up local or online stations, and those which are closely aligned with your band’s history or values. Independent music promotion is best received by those who understand the philosophy and struggles of indie artists. By going for the more personal approach, you may get airtime without the cost.

    Failing at Business

    You need to know business to succeed as an independent artist. This is a plain and simple fact – if you don’t have someone on your side who knows business, or don’t know it yourself, you can run yourself into the ground very quickly.

    If you can’t afford to take business courses at a local community college, look in your circle of friends, family members, and loved ones to see if anyone you know can take the classes or already has business experience. Read online, try to find a mentor, and read business books to get a better grip on business practices and philosophy.

    These are just a few of the problems with independent music promotion, and solutions that will help you get your music out there.

    You Do Have Choices

    Source by Kenneth Thompson

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    Paint On Your Own With Professional Results

    Fresh coats of paint can make your home look fresh and just the way you want it. New exterior paint can make your home look appealing and inviting. It can be fun to pick colors for such projects. Yet the biggest barriers are often the time involved and the cost when you hire someone else. With a paint sprayer, you can paint on your own and get professional results.

    You will be able to save both time and money. At the same time, you can get the appearance you want anywhere inside or outside of your home. Take your time to compare the various paint sprayer products out there. They are offered with various features and in various sizes. Think about the scope of the work you will do with the tool, and go from there.

    Use with Ease

    Even though a paint sprayer is going to offer you an array of features and benefits, the product is not going to be hard to use. The company takes pride in offering user-friendly products for do it yourself products. This is why so many of the home improvement stores offer such products. You can also find them online and have them shipped quickly.

    Of course, you still need to follow the directions for the specific model you buy. This will make sure you get the most benefit from the product and it lasts a long time. Never assume these products are the same. While they may be similar, there are significant differences to take note of.

    Fast Application

    You will be able to get the paint applied in a fraction of the time with a paint sprayer versus a roller. This means you can get a professional look but you are not going to spend tons of your time to get it done. Most paint jobs must at least two coats, and you will be able to get that all done with ease. You can do it in sections and you will love seeing the progress.

    Even Flow

    One of the benefits of using a paint sprayer is the even flow design. You do not want to paint your be thicker in some areas than in others. You do not want to have paint splatter or blotches either. They will be hard to cover up and you do not want to leave them because they will be an eyesore. Instead, you want the paint to go on evenly and smoothly.

    In order for that to happen, you need to make sure you spend enough time prepping the surface. This includes removing paint that has chipped for exterior jobs and washing the walls and the ceiling for interior painting.

    Easy to Clean Up

    Once the job is done, you will be appreciative of the fact you can clean a paint sprayer with ease. The process is to make sure it can be packed away until you are ready to use it again. Yet there will not be any gunk or residue inside of it that can compromise how well it works the next time around.

    Durable and Affordable

    This is a well-known brand with plenty of local consumers due to the durable nature of the products. The materials are carefully selected to hold up well to the ingredients in paint products and storage. They are also considered a good investment as the price is reasonable for such a product. In fact, you will often find them priced lower than competitor products.

    That is very encouraging, especially since you know you will be saving money but not compromising anything about quality. This is a painting project tool you can put to use and be very happy with from start to finish.

    Source by J Gill

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    Design & Art History – The Psychedelic Movement (CA 1960 – 1970)

    In the late sixties something happened to an american generation that would mark them forever. It is a story of war, the struggle for racial equality and the explosion of counter culture, it was a time when a generation rebelled, and lost its innocence in the fight against injustice. Vietnam was the first ever televised war, and the images were inescapable.

    A decade that ended with disillusionment and rage began on a moral high note. Thanks to Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King jr, it seemed the time for racial equality in the US had finally arrived.

    There is so much to write about in this era, that it is very difficult to select just one thing to focus on. Even though there is an absurd amount of art and design that stems from this time period. When we talk about the “sixties” all we seem to recognise is the music, psychedelic rock and artists like Janis Joplin and Jimmy Hendrix in particular.

    Album art and festival posters however is a good place to start. As music was a force to be reckoned with, so came the album art work and poster designs, hand in hand. One thing that seems to be re-occurring with most of the visual artists at the time is a relation with “Underground Comix”. These were small press or self published comic books, usually socially relevant and satirical in their nature. These depicted content deemed unfit and forbidden to the more strict mainstream media.

    Rick Griffin:

    When we look up band posters it is hard to avoid finding a Grateful Dead poster somewhere, anywhere. The artist behind these were Rick Griffin. He was an American artist and one of the leading designers of psychedelic posters in the 1960s. His work within the surfing subculture included both film posters and his comic strip, Murphy.

    Victor Moscoso:

    A Spanish-American artist, Moscoso was the first of the rock poster artists of the 1960s era with formal academic training and experience. After studying art at the Cooper Union in New York and later attending Yale University, he moved to San Francisco in 1959 to study at the San Francisco Art Institute. Here he later became an instructor. He was one of the first of the rock poster artists to use photographic collages in his art work.His art and poster work has continued up to the present and he is a big inspiration to rock poster and album illustrators to this day.

    Bonnie MacLean:

    Another American artist making a name for her self at the time was Bonnie MacLean. She was born in Philadelphia and graduated from the Penn State University in 1960. She then moved to New York where she worked at the Pratt Institute while attending drawing classes in the evenings. She later moved to San Francisco where she met and worked with a man named Bill Graham, who became famous as the promoter of rock concerts at the Fillmore Auditorium. There she worked alongside another artist by the name of Wes Wilson.

    Wes Wilson:

    The aforementioned artist Wes Wilson was also one of the leading illustrators of psychedelic posters in the 1960`s. Working with Bill Graham and Bonnie MacLean, he was a big part of promoting venues at the time with posters and illustrative work for musicians and bands. The font and lettering of the posters from this era were created by him. He popularised this “psychedelic” font around 1966 that made the letters look like they were moving or melting. This lettering is still used on newer albums and art works for artists like Foo Fighters, Kyuss Lives and The Queens of the Stone Age. This in turn proves that the psychedelic movement is still influencing artists, especially in the world of metal, desert rock and stoner rock. The style is very much still alive as its own staple.

    Modern poster styles:

    Posters still influenced by the styles of art work can be traced through homages and inspirations in rock and metal posters from the present all the way back to this era. Several modern posters can be viewed on the web pages of Malleus Rock Art Lab if you should be interested. I personally find a lot of inspiration through their imagery.

    Thank you for reading.

    Source by Johan Torhaug

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    Western Painting – Precisionism – The Timeline of Art History

    Precisionism – The History

    Precisionism (also known as Cubist Realism) was an American style of painting that developed around 1920 post World War I. It reached its crescendo during the Inter-war phase. Precisionism focused on industrial subjects. The paintings had a very smooth and precise technique, sharply delineated colors, and geometrical forms.

    Precisionists were never properly structured as a group; instead, they were connected through their painting styles and subjects. Precisionism was also influenced by the works of the American Photographers like Paul Strand (1890-1976), who used sharp focus & lighting, unpredicted cropping & viewpoint, and had a bent towards the abstract form of the subject.

    Precisionism also displayed a pride in America, during the era of political and economic struggle – the increasing amount of industries in the US was considered as symbol of country’s power and accomplishment. Dealing with its pure form, Precisionism was popular until World War II, slowly it went towards Abstraction, and eventually faded away as an important inspiration.

    The Correlations

    Precisionist Painting style is believed to be strictly American; however, the style reflected high influence of European Cubism, Futurism, and Orphism. Targeted at American industrialization and modernization during early 1900s, the favorite topic of these Precisionist, as indicated above, included the industrial landscape of factories and smokestacks, skyline (both urban and rural) buildings and machinery, and the country landscape of crumb elevators and barns. Many of the Precisionists used their new, hard-edged style to long-familiar American scenes, such as agricultural structures and domestic architecture. Artists used these patterns to make formal designs; a good amount of Abstraction work is involved in their painting. The image developed by Precisionists is the combination of both Realism and Geometric Schematization.

    Precisionism was significant in the growth of American Modernism and Precisionist works were presumed to be greatly influenced by the Pop Art aesthetics.

    Precionist Examples

    Charles Demuth and Charles Sheeler were the painters closely associated with Precisionism. Demuth was also well versed with ‘lyrical’ watercolors. His oil painting like “My Egypt” (1927, Whitney Museum of American Art), symbolizes the traits of Precisionism. In “My Egypt,” the Precisionist magnificently represented a Lancaster grain elevator, perhaps the best work by Demuth. “My Egypt” was painted with such an attention that hardly a brushstroke can be seen. Charles Sheeler’s paintings on bridges, factories, grain, farm buildings, and elevators were usually based on his composed photographs.

    Other American artists associated with Precisionism include Ralston Crawford, Preston Dickinson, and Niles Spencer. Painters Lyonel Feininger and Joseph Stella also contributed well toward Precisionism, with some stylistic tendencies, while Georgia O’Keeffe applied Precisionism’s sharp vision to capture the topics related to natural subjects.

    Source by Annette Labedzki

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    Music Addiction

    Music means sounds arranged in a way that pleasant or exciting to listen. “People sing music or play it on instruments.” Music appeals to the soul more than to the ear as someone has said that it is food for the soul. We now have pop music or modern popular with a strong rhythm and simple tunes that thrill young people and make them walk rhythmically and dance passionately.

    We are music addicts when we cannot stay away from it for long hours. We cannot stay away from songs, and spend much time listening to it as a matter of habit. We are even prepared to damage our regular work or studies at the cost the music. At first we had the gramophone that reproduced recorded sounds and voices and could not be carried easily.

    With the introduction and popularity of the tape recorders, we could record sounds anywhere and listen to them everywhere. We came to have portable and pocket-size tape recorders with headphones that facilitated dramatically listening to songs. Now we have compact discs with hundreds of pre-recorded musical units for CD players for hearing as long as we like. Moving vehicles of different kinds are fitted with these gadgets to satisfy our thirst for music.

    Dance music makes us dance in joy and hope. Religious music is devotional that creates in us moods of prayers and worship. Classical or traditional is serious and connected with old musical instruments played with the hand. Whatever the form of music may be, it is the mood and thoughts of the player that make him interested in it. Even computer and electronic music demands special moods of appreciation.

    We can study or work at a place, sometimes better while listening to music. Often different tunes move, encourage and inspire us and help us to take momentous decisions. Many a soldier fights energetically while listening to light tunes. Even while dining or lunching we are pleased to listen to soothing light songs in the background.

    The music that pleases us as we work and study, and improves the tempo or pace of our work is the best. Music addition would surely be condemnable if it makes us attend rock concerts, pop concerts, jazz concerts, and the like as a habit. We, then, get lost in these concerts and attend them at the cost of our studies, professional work, and household duties. Some religions like and Hinduism sanction music and singing with prayers.

    Source by Batool CH