The Art of Music

Art is what defines the human spirit and sets us apart from all the other creatures on this planet. I have seen a video clip of an elephant painting somewhere in Thailand. It holds the brush in its trunk and splashes some different colours onto the canvas. When there is an animal doing something seemingly clever like that, there is always an entrepreneur around, and in this case, the zoo sells the paintings for amounts of money that an individual artist would dearly love just so that he/she can eat! But a painting like that, be it by a monkey, a dog, a cat, or snail crawling over paper can never compare to what a human can produce.

What is art? It’s an expression of one’s creative skill and imagination, usually in a visual form, like a painting or sculpture. This creation can be admired or appreciated by others. Art also exists in things like music, literature and dance. When I look at certain artistic events or things, I really do appreciate the skill that goes into the finished product. I have visited many, many churches across Europe and seen religiously inspired art that just amazes me.

I love music. I actually play a couple of instruments myself, a guitar and an accordion. I would like to learn how to play the keyboard, be it a piano or an electronic keyboard. I can sit back in my lounge chair at home and immerse my mind in some classical music. I was recently at a public park, near where I live and they have a bandstand designed to accommodate musical bands performing concerts. This day they had the local university band playing a classical piece, Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. I had to stop and listen, although acoustics in these sorts of places aren’t the best. I love the sound of the violins, though. They are always in the front row and provide the sweetest sound mixed with cellos and French horns. Where do you buy a violin from these days anyway? I have never seen them in a musical store, just guitars, drums, maybe a clarinet, some electronic keyboards and more guitars.

As a kid, I always associated violins with an orchestra playing classical music, or maybe gypsy music in the countryside of Hungary and Romania. (Okay, I can’t help the way I think all the time!) But with the internet and Facebook and YouTube and all manner of social media, I have been introduced to different aspects of violin playing that makes me think of it as a really cool instrument. I have now seen some artists performing with these violins in various bands and groups and they provide a diversity of sound mixed with traditional band instruments like guitars and drums. If you want to listen and see a real artist perform on a good electric violin, I suggest you check out a young lady by the name of Lindsey Stirling. She will blow you away with her performances.

The Renaissance Art

The Renaissance ArtHistory teaches us so many things. What I love most about human history is the way art forms were glorified. The Renaissance period in particular was highlighted by the novel ideas and approaches used during that time. For instance, the concept of humanism was focused on more, where human needs, interest and skills were given significance.

Humanism altered the way artists viewed their work and the subjects they chose. Human beauty and pleasures of life were portrayed in the paintings more. This is what made the Renaissance art to outshine that of the Middle Age art forms. The Renaissance artists like Da Vinci chose to study the human form in different perspectives and this can be seen in the paintings of that period.

More depth and liveliness can be seen in them. The Renaissance artists sought inspiration from nature and I think that it is great nowadays to be able to stay in touch with nature at home, have a peek here to know how. Also visit this page for practical way on how to grow inspirational garden at home.

Departing from convention

When you take a look at the artistic achievements during the Renaissance period, you’ll be stunned at the way the features were exquisitely portrayed. While Florence remained the undisputed leader, the influence was seen in Milan, Rome and Venice too. Right from the sculptors, artists, musicians and painters to the architects a marked deviation from the medieval age can be seen. You can find naturalism in all their works. While the Medieval people believed only in God’s power, the Renaissance artists looked up to artistic originality and considered works of art as unique and brilliant.

Wealthy artists

The Renaissance ArtRenaissance period saw many of the artists flourishing as they were handsomely paid for their work of art. There were many wealthy patrons who were ready to shower their wealth on the artists for their work on nature. Records show that Leonardo da Vinci earned 2000 ducats annually, when 200 ducats were sufficient to live luxuriously for a whole year. Michelangelo received 3,000 ducats for creating the art work on Sistine Chapel’s ceiling and since he didn’t need any more money, he’s said to have refused payment for his work on Basilica of St. Peters. These facts suggest that Renaissance period was indeed a golden era for artists who are always portrayed as struggling individuals.

Renaissance art concepts

There are two main concepts in Renaissance Art.

1. Realism

Artists focused on realistic portrayal of the universe and human beings. The natural human form was replicated in their creations. This made realism being termed as naturalism. Also during Renaissance period, human beings were in essence good people and God’s ultimate creation. This thinking can be seen in the paintings, which had psychological profile with facial expressions being given more prominence.

2. Perspective

This involved the linear depiction of space and time, which enhanced the naturalism concept. This brought in another dimension to paintings done on flat surfaces namely distance. The objects in background were depicted in smaller size than those in the front. Brunelleschi used this concept excellently in his works creating a wonderful three dimensional effect.

Artistic & Creative Hobbies You Could Try Out

Artistic and Creative Hobbies You Could Try OutThe world of hobbies goes beyond the Sunday afternoon’s of stamp collecting, a hobby you enjoy can help improve talents or realise passions. While it can be argued that nothing beats sitting down and reading a good book, there are plenty of things out there to try which can even be hands-on. The perfect present can be made from crafting items such as homemade candles or beauty products. Don’t fear that you’re not skilled enough, the main joy of trying a hobby is finding something to play with that can relax you or take your mind off things.

Below is a list of hobbies that you can try out:

Painting:

Creative hobbies are the classic ones, which can range from sewing to paper craft. The first and most simple step into a creative hobby requires buying some paints, paper and brushes. Watercolour sets can be a great way to start getting into painting, as they are easy to use and relatively cheap. Any art shop or even local stationary shop will have some watercolours and brushes. The next step is chosing your subject, it’s best to paint from life at the start to get a sense of what shapes and colours you enjoy experimenting with. From there feel free to get more abstract or conceptual releasing your inner Mondrian.

Other possible paints are acrylic and oil. Acrylic is also a good choice for beginners and can be applied more thickly. Oil paints cost a bit more and require practice to get the hang of, but once mastered is an extremely enjoyable medium to use. You also don’t have to rely on paint brushes! Anything can be used to put paint to paper, such as ping pong balls and the base of old glass bottles. Whatever junk you have lying around the house may come in handy.

Marbling:

On the inside of antique books there is often a page dedicated to a print of marbled ink, these mesmerizing prints are surprisingly easy to create yourself. Not only is it a calming activity but it can be great for making your own cards or home decorations. A number of tutorials can be found on youtube or websites. Marbling sets can also be picked up from art shops but if you plan to make the hobby more longterm you can buy the parts yourself. What is needed:

  • Oil pants
  • Turpentine (Keep this away from children and always use with an open window)
  • Uncoated paper
  • Baking tray or any other shallow rectangular tub.
  • Rubber gloves
  • Items with which you can mix the paint – old combs, tooth picks or tips of paint brushes.

You then pour a little water in the tray, about an inch. Mix your oil paints with a little turpentine (wearing gloves is advised), and the ration is a teaspoon of turpentine for every half a teaspoon of oil paint. Pour your paints in the water, and mix away until patterns you like are formed in the water. Lay a piece of paper gently across the water and once it is completely flat across the top quickly remove. Lay flat to dry and voila, you have a marble design.

Paper crafts

This can be all manners of things, and is a fantastic activity for kids as well as adults. Papier-Mâché is used in primary schools for good reason, it is easy and relaxing. There’s a lot on online about how to begin Papier-Mâché from creating the pulp to possible designs.

Paper can also be used to make three-d sculptures, with a number of videos on youtube showing how to make honeycomb structures and paper vases. Origami is also an excellent hobby and there are more than enough brilliant origami folders out there to learn from. You can begin with the site papercraftsmag.com, offering extensive projects and downloads.

Sculpting

A step up from Papier-Mâché, sculpting can be done at home or in workshops. Lots of places have pottery workshops or other sculpting workshops with equipment that can be so readily brought for home. Unless you plan on buying a ‘firing’ oven. However, for home sculpting, oil-based modelling clay can be easily brought. It may not appear to be the most refined and difficult for detailed work, but it is easily workable and stays soft whilst being manipulated.

Woodworking

Whistle while you whittle, there are all kinds of high end equipment you can purchase for advanced wooodwork but you can also begin at basics. At home you can make wooden candle holders or simple boxes which you could later paint and decorate. A drill and shaping tools are essential items for anyone wishing to begin woodwork. Local hardware stores are more than happy to help in advising beginners so that you can swiftly start to make your own furniture and abandon Ikea for good.

Linocuts:

Linocuts are a perfect harmony between sculpting and painting, they require a focus and detail which may not result in a 3-dimensional object but you can create deep lines and depth. The choice of how deep you cut into the linoleum affects the shade and detail of the picture you wish to print. Art shops and craft shops will supply the necessary linoleum sheets and tools, from there it is up to you. The beauty of linocuts is that even the most simple design can come out looking incredible, the resulting prints can be great gifts.

Finally, if the creative crafts aren’t so appealing for you then there are many practical options to take up. Become a master of chess of start learning a language. Not only are there websites for such activities but also books that can be picked up at second hand shops, following that it is a case of practice makes perfect. Making your own soap and candles is a skill anyone can pick up with a bit of patience. the foundation of both these is picking essential oils and scents that you like. Homemade candles can even be made from using leftover candle wax from old candles. Fortnum & Mason’s of London began on the idea of selling left over candlewax from Queen Anne’s household.

Most importantly make sure to have fun with which ever hoppy you select and not to turn it into a chore.

Know the Best Wood Types for Wood Carving

Know the Best Wood Types for Wood CarvingWood carving is among the most accessible and fun art forms. It doesn’t normally require costly equipment or studio. You simply need the basic set of carving tools, a wood and place to work in. In fact, anyone can enjoy wood carving. The difficulty, safety and quality of wood crafts will depend on the wood type used.

There are many wood varieties that can be used for wood carving. Each of these wood types has individual characteristics (color, hardness, texture, striation and grain), which make them suited for specific wood carving techniques and purposes. As such, it is very important for wood carvers and sculptors to know the different types of woods that they can use. Here are some of the different wood varieties for carving:

Basswood

Basswood is soft-wood type that is popular for hand carvers. It is close grained but relatively soft which allows it to hold detail very well. You can use a power tool, such as a reciprocating saw (find out more about this wood carving tool by visiting this review site), for cutting or shaping the wood.

This wood type has little grain pattern which may appear bland. Usually, basswood crafts need to be painted to accentuate the grains and carving details.

Northern White Pine

Under the pine category, the Northern White Pine has similar characteristics with basswood. It is readily available and also affordable, making it a favorite for avid wood carvers. Sugar pine is also another good wood type for carving.

Know the Best Wood Types for Wood CarvingCottonwood

Cottonwood has a characteristic white color which looks very attractive even when unpainted. It is a soft wood type that is easy to carve, however, has the tendency to split.

Butternut

The beautiful grain and color of butternut make it a favorite wood carving canvas. It has similarities with walnut except it is much easier to carve and with a lighter color. The cons with butternut are: it can be difficult to find and often attracts insects. Usually, this wood type will have wormholes in it – a feature unique to butternut.

Walnut

For advanced wood carvers, hardwoods such as walnut are the usual picks. A Bosch reciprocating saw or similar power tool comes in handy when working on hard woods. The tight grain and rich color make it a popular furniture wood and carving.

Mahogany

The reddish colored mahogany is a strong lightweight wood with characteristic straight grain. It can be easily worked with hand or power tool, but is also prone to splitting.

Basically, there are thousands of wood varieties that can be used by carvers. Other common wood types that are often worked with power tools include rosewood, fruit trees, maple and teak. The type of wood can have a huge impact on the final output, so make sure to choose the right one.

Woodworking Art and Modern Tools

Wood is a material that is used to make objects of art from ancient times. The wood was always readily available and easy to handle. Woodworking tools were developed in line with the growing needs. Today exist hand tools that you will use if you want to make woodworking art. The basic are the saw, hammer, chisel, and so on.

Some woodworking pieces serve only for decoration, as for example statues. Other works are a combination of art and practical use. These include, for example, a modern and stylish piece of furniture. Making a work that is simultaneously beautiful and functional, requires a special approach to work. In essence, there are two options. You can make a useful thing first, then to decorate it and make it special. Another way is to create your masterpiece work, then try to find an everyday use for it.

Today it is much easier to make masterpieces and be woodworking artist. To be a good artist, you need good tools. A good part of hand tools are now replaced with modern power tools. Of particular benefit can be an oscillating tool to which can be added various extensions. Many of the works on wood require frequent repetition of some same movements, whether it is in question the processing of edges or ordinary sanding. Oscillating tools significantly reduce the effort of this work and make woodworking art easier. The Oscillating Tool Depot is a place where you can get information about the types of oscillating tools, and methods of their application.

First steps in woodworking arts mainly are making simple objects of wood, such as birdhouses. Then you can generate a love for this art and new ideas, or you can conclude that you are not so artistic soul. Simpler projects require simple tools and, for a start, it is enough to have the most basic hand tools. It is never redundant because there are always little things that are easier done by hand. As your ideas and inspiration grow, it grows the need for tools. One oscillating tool can be very useful because it can perform many different actions – from cutting jab hole to grinding and shaping the edges. And best of all, it can be used on other materials, not only on wood. The characteristics of such a versatile tool can be found here: http://oscillatingtoolsdepot.com/rockwell-rk5140k-review/

In addition to modern tools, today you can get computer software and applications that can be used in the making of wooden objects. They can help with calculations, more rational use of wood, modeling… Many production processes are modernized, and today it is easy to make a myriad of typical things of wood. But is this an art or production? Can anyone be a woodworking artist today?

It may seem that easy. You have the modern tools and computer modeling. Woodworking acts as a game. However, the process of idea generation starts from the artist, and it is a part of his inspiration. This will always remain irreplaceable, and it is the core of woodworking art.

Greening art

Greening artGreen art is a popular sub-genre in art and architectural circles today. In today’s era of global warming and climate change, the thematic association with natural elements, both flora and fauna, could not be more relevant. Today, more and more environmentally-conscious men and women are taking advantage of their abilities to express themselves through art and architecture, combining artistic creativity with engineering skills and entrepreneurial inventions. Through art, we sometimes discover new elements in nature and consequently express ourselves through actions in response to our new awakenings. Owing to geo-political and economic factors, more people have become urbanized, withdrawing further from depleted natural surroundings.

Blending in with nature

For most people, preoccupied with their daily lives, it has become challenging to notice those objects of beauty which rarely escape the eyes of artists and designers. But to compensate, the less-artistic of society still appreciate the gifts of their creative peers. You only need to look around your own home to appreciate aspects of art being combined with mechanical functions. Even the automobile that you drive to work each day has been inspired by some form of artistic expression.  Modern buildings are functional and environmentally sustainable, engineered from scratch to be artistically assimilated with nature.

Previously, the concern was always over how much natural space had been appropriated by mankind. In the sport of golf, hardly a necessity to most people and merely a form of recreation for some, large areas of land were cleared to build acres of greens on which enthusiasts could then hit a tiny ball from one end of the park to another with a club. Fortunately, whether through legislation or necessity, even artistic expression, today’s designers of golfing links are a lot more considerate where nature is concerned.

In communion with nature

Whether by design or not, much of the flora and fauna has been left untouched by builders who lay out their greens around natural forests and streams as opposed to demolishing them. For instance, it is no longer a rare occurrence to hear of a golfer having to watch his natural surroundings carefully while sizing up his next shot. Some golfing greens have even been placed near rivers populated by alligators. But thanks to modern technology, avid golfers have the benefit of using a custom-sized GPS navigator.

It is mainly used to optimize their performance on the greens but discerning golfers may argue that the sport remains true when only relying on instinct and the naked eye. You would have to visit or join a golf club to fully appreciate all of this. This website shows you how you can get started and what you will need as a beginner. Hikers, skiers and cross-country runners would agree that battling it out with their natural surroundings is the essence of their sport.

Originally, humankind was designed by their own artistic creator to be in communion with nature. It is still pleasing to see that we are slowly but surely returning back to basics, whether out of necessity or by design.

Poetry in motion

Poetry in motionThe title of this post was not chosen lightly in view of the fact that this expression has been used for many years to describe the artistic and emotional sensations associated with human motion. Fair to say, it should not even be regarded as a cliché because it remains relevant to our everyday lives. The use of poetry has been with us since the beginning of time. Think how the ancient scribes composed their verse when witnessing scenes of war and bravado, watching soldiers clash with each other with their swords and bows. In spite of proxy wars being fought mainly in the Middle East today, the rest of humankind has moved on from their predecessors’ early, blood-curdling days.

Art in nature

Today, most men and women challenge each other on the playing fields. Not only do men and women battle it out with each other, they also challenge themselves quietly on their own. The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner tells the story of one delinquent man’s battle with himself. Incarcerated for petty theft, the protagonist discovers the sport of cross-country running by chance. Much to the disappointment of the prison authorities, this young man, blessed with above-average levels of stamina and endurance, decides not to race against other athletes that he would surely beat, but against himself.

In the process, this young man encounters for the first time the joys of being close to nature, running through green forests and over muddy hills. While running, he sees the artistic beauty in his natural surroundings. The playing field may not be entirely natural but there is a good reason why soccer (football) is called the beautiful game. This term was first associated with the adored Samba Kings, five time soccer world champions, Brazil.

Expressing yourself

If you have not had the privilege of taking part in one or another sport during your lifetime, you ought to give it a try. You won’t have to test your body to the limits. Rather, you can take time out to truly experience the beauty of using all parts of your body in strategic ways, combining it with cognitive thinking skills. Also, a lot of artistic expression and engineering skills go into the manufacture of the equipment that sportsmen and women use.

Long-boarding enthusiasts appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into building their custom-designed boards from natural fibers such as bamboo and maple. Granted, synthetic fibers are being used more nowadays in order to enhance and streamline the performance of top athletes. Ultimately, sport is more than competing with foes. It is a means of expressing the individual self and reacting to one’s surroundings, much like poets have been doing for centuries. Even if you are just taking a leisurely stroll through your favorite park you can take a moment to observe how your body responds to undulating paths.

More importantly, you should take time to absorb how it makes you feel inside. It feels beautiful, doesn’t it?

The Art of the Motorcycle

harley davidson motorcycle closeup photoAs you know, I love all things related to art. A few days ago, I was researching the Guggenheim when I came across an interesting review for the exhibition “The Art of the Motorcycle” that ran there in 1988.

I was intrigued so I did some research, and here is what I found out.

The Art of the Motorcycle was an exhibition which featured more than 100 exceptionally interesting motorcycles. The motorcycles were chosen for their exceptional design and features, and their historical importance in the development of design.

An interesting detail is how the exhibition ended up in such an esteemed place as the Guggenheim. The director of the Guggenheim at the time was Thomas Krens, who was a real motorcycle lover. He chose some of the bikes himself, and was helped by other experts such as Manon Slone and Charles Falco.

Another interesting fact is that this exhibition came at a time when motorcycles had a stigma attached to them, and riders were seen as low-lives. This exhibition marked the transition from that – an end of the period of demonization and social rejection of riders.

It helped along the cause of accepting and reintegrating motorcyclists, and moved along the representation of motorcycles as something desirable and fashionable. It also celebrated the sport of riding motorcycles.

The end result is what we can see today – countless people riding motorcycles, numerous sites, shops, gatherings and expositions dedicated solely to motorcycles. Today the market for motorcycles is so big, there are even whole websites dedicated to motorcycle helmets such as this one.

The Art of the MotorcycleWhen researching the exhibition, I also came across the catalogue for it which showed amazing motorcycles all the way from steam powered velocipedes to iconic Harley-Davidsons like the ones we can see cruising down streets today.

As far as the rating of the exhibition, it was deemed a complete success. Enormous numbers of people came to see the exhibition, and the Guggenheim recorded highest ticket sales ever with more than 4 thousand people coming to see the exhibition every day, and over 5 thousand attendees on the weekends.

The total number of people went just over 300 thousand, which was a record attendance when it comes to exhibitions at the Guggenheim. Seeing how popular it was, many other venues started basically copying the exhibition, for example the Orlando Museum of Art and the Guggenheim Bilbao.

The exhibition also travelled, so when the total number of people who visited it is added up, it comes to well over a million, making this exhibition one of the best viewed in history. It was so popular that, for many people, this was their first and only visit to a museum.

The catalogue which I mentioned was also sold, and in remarkable numbers – until 2005, over a quarter of a million copied were printed which is the most of any museum catalogue ever. That’s additionally impressive since the catalogue is pretty large. It has over 400 pages of quality color print. It would definitely be interesting to get a chance to see something like that now!

The Importance Of Societal Preservation

The Importance Of Societal PreservationAs the world has continued to develop over the years, there are a number of changes that have been made in different sectors and industries as various concepts and the introduction of technology has molded the original ideas that had emerged from the initial societies that had set up shop in God’s green earth. There are many areas that an individual is able to look at when identifying the progress that has been made by the human race as a whole and one cannot help but be impressed by the significant differences that can be found in such observations.

Some ideas have come to life only to go into extinction and be replaced by another while others have maintained their grip on the global community and as a result have only developed and progressed in design as people find new ways of doing things. It should be noted that the aforementioned extinct ideas are only non-existent in practice but have maintained a place in the memories of the world. This knack for preservation can be seen as one of the more impressive traits of the world.

The ability to pass on information from one generation to the next has allowed for the conservation of past practices and traditions in the process giving the human race an idea of where they have come from and how far they have reached. Items such as guns for instance have not been around for a long time but the designs have drastically changed with the old models hardly applicable in today’s world where almost everything that is mechanically run has an automatic element.

Whereas in the past such relics (as they are referred to now) were stored in armories) the size of rooms, the introduction of the gun safe has ensured that every individual with the appropriate permits and other documentation is able to have a mini armory so to speak in the corner of their house somewhere (read more about gun safes here). Such changes would not be considered significant had the current generation had no idea of how things were done in the past.

The artwork that is stored in galleries today vary from different time periods with some paintings clocking almost a century in existence as others are being introduced to the world at this very moment. Artistes such as Michelangelo are celebrated to this day despite the fact that they lived in a time when not a single person who exists now was alive and yet he is still revered by the world of art as one of the greatest in his profession as a result of his works which are still put on display in various locations.

The importance of this habit for preservation that has been developed cannot be underestimated with regard to the role it has played with connecting the past with the present, nor for the role it will play with connecting our present with the future.

It is essential for the human race to hold on to this sense of preservation for the sake of the future generations that will come into existence. Such knowledge creates a bond that would have otherwise been impossible to come to fruition and expands the vision of the human race allowing for the appreciation of past, present and future efforts.

The Beauty Of Wooden Art

The Beauty Of Wooden ArtWooden art has been one of the most famous forms of art and sculpting. This is not a recent practice; this has been going on since the Stone Age days. Wood is the most readily available material and is thus in huge demand. Wood became a rather popular material for man even before anything else could be invented. The plasticity of wood is what works to the interest of this art form. You can shape it any shape you want to and you are eventually going to get some amazing art.

Wooden art is being practiced in different parts of the world. Let us look into some of these.

African sculptures: West Africa has been a centre of artistic brilliance. This region is rich in arts and crafts. There are many tribes here that practice different forms of art. Needless to say, wood is a very good option here. Wooden art is mainly manifested in the forms of headrests and animal figurines. There are also masks and some other sculptures that have made African wooden work famous around the world.

Greek sculptures: If Africa is famous for its wooden sculptures, Greece is not far behind. However, Greek art is a mixture of Egyptian and Persian cultures. Painting and sculpting in this part of the world have been popular since the times of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. Starting off with mainly religious art, Greek art then manifested itself in different forms. Sculptures and statues form the majority of the art work here.

American Indian art: America has been a fan of artistic forms right from the time the continent was discovered in the 15th century. The tribal art in this part of the world based on wooden work is hugely reliant and depicts the cultures of the people here, the religious beliefs and rituals. Head masks, sculptures, pots and the likes are most popular here. Most of the art work now is done with the use of different machines that make wood carving a lot easier. You can learn more about them at WoodLatheReport.

Oceanic art: Another art form that makes use of wood is the oceanic art. This is mainly the art form practiced in the settlements of the Pacific Ocean region. Because of the mixed origin of people here, the art forms also vary. Wood carving and sculptures are common in this part of the world. Add to that, shield, paddles, pottery and shields; this region emerges to be a great artistically advanced area.

These are only some of the various wooden art forms prevalent around the globe. Wooden carving is not exactly a very easy job to do. It includes different steps that need to be followed very carefully. The first step is choosing the appropriate wood, cutting the wood to reduce it to various shapes. This is then followed by smoothening the surface with sand papers. Lastly, to preserve the sculpture, wax, resin, or walnut oil is used.  In this way, we are able to obtain beautifully carved wooden art forms.