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Genius Art Quotes: Day 1 “Analysis of Marc Chagall”

“If I create from the heart, nearly everything works: if from the head, almost nothing.” ~ Marc Chagall

Today I decided to analyze a famous quote from painter, Marc Chagall. Marc Chagall was a Russian-French artist of Belarusian Jewish origin known for his unique style of cubism and expressionism. Marc Chagall focused primarily on painting and stained glass styles of art, such as his 1977 piece below, “America Windows” Vitrage Window for Art Institute of Chicago“.

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“America Windows” 1977 by Marc Chagall

Marc Chagall’s quote, “If I create from the heart, nearly everything works: if from the head, almost nothing.” is pretty self explanatory, but expresses the idea to embrace your original creativity and to trust your heart and feelings to guide you to creating a great masterpiece. As an artist, I can definitely relate to this and I’m sure some you can as well. At times, when painting a subject from direct observation, it doesn’t feel as natural or as personal. It instead portrays a representational piece of art, something that is predictable, too familiar. But when you create from the heart, it opens up so much more opportunity to relate, to tell a story, to be creative, to be experimental. It makes the viewer think more deeply about the piece, to be able to appreciate it.

Although all subject matters portray greatness, there is still something that is admiral about expressionism and the genius of the unconventional. When you think too hard when doing something that you love, you often lose that raw emotion and ability to explore the unimaginable. Thinking logically, rather than letting go and trusting your heart, limits the satisfaction and overall concept of art. Art is created to inspire, to tell a story, make a statement, to appreciate and be appreciated, to share an experience, and to release. Logic sometimes only tends to portray the representation of something we all know. Take a look at the two pictures below for instance. How does each make you feel? What it is saying to you?

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“The Triumph of Music” 1966 by Marc Chagall

 

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                                                                                “The Blue Circus” 1950-52 by Marc Chagall
This painting was based off of the acrobats and circus performers that inspired                                                                                         Chagall in his youth.

 

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For The Love of Art

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What is the overall point of a 9-5? I mean, of course the obvious….to pay the bills. But, what about the fact that you have to actually “prepare a legitimate “meal” because you’re going to be away for THAT long?”(words of truth from my boyfriend) Or the fact that you spend a majority of your time around strangers rather than your own family? 40 hours a week, to be exact. Some even more. Given, that doesn’t even include the considerable amount of time it takes to get up at 6:00 in the morning, get dressed, prepare your lunch and breakfast, drive to work, sit in a cubicle for 8 hours with only two 15 minute breaks and a 30 minute lunch, drive back home in traffic, get a little time to relax (maybe), cook dinner, go to sleep, and start all over. Where is the life in that? By society’s standards, that is life. Life by society’s standards means to have a time frame on everything that you do. To work and pay for the things that you barely get to enjoy, miss out on time and family milestones and events, all while most of the time filling someone else’s pockets at a job that you don’t even have a passion for.

What’s even more frustrating is that you’ve worked so hard to get that “dream job”. Whether it be a writer or artist (like myself). Tell me, where’s the fair in that? What’s even more frustrating is that you’ve been told that college is pretty much liable to get you that job that you went to school for. Maybe it’s just me, but I think that it’d be pretty sweet to get compensation for the money and effort you put into a college education if you’re not guaranteed a job. Not just any job, but a good paying job. Your dream job. In the perfect life, sure it’d be nice to predict the state of the economy before diving into the sleepless chaos we know as college.

Now, I’m sure it’s tough for many out there who thought going to college for your passion would be the right way to go, but especially for the art majors. According to Harry Bradford’s “10 Artistic Careers With The Brightest Futures: NEA And BLS” on Huffington Post, finding  a career in the arts that will essentially pay the bills is still a continuous struggle. Bradford mentions, “people with educations in the humanities are among the lowest earners, and the expected job growth may be in part due to the fact that artists will often work for less — the median annual wages of archivists in May 2008 was $45,020, for example.” All of this is not to say that artists, or any other humanity majors should lose all hope. The art careers below are expected to increase significantly in 2018:

  • Graphic designersEmployment change 2008 – 2018: 13 percent Employment 2008: 286,100 Employment 2018: 323,100 Median annual wages in 2008: $42,400
  • Actors Employment change 2008 – 2018: 13 percent Employment 2008: 56,500 Employment 2018: 63,700 Median hourly wages in 2008: $16.59
  • Multimedia Artists And Animators Employment change 2008 – 2018: 14 percent Employment 2008: 79,000 Employment 2018: 90,200 Median annual wages in 2008: $56,330
  • Writers And Authors Employment change 2008 – 2018: 15 percent Employment 2008: 151,700 Employment 2018: 174,100 Median annual wages in 2008: $53,070 (salaried)
  • Architects (Excludes Naval And Landscape Employment change 2008 – 2018: 16 percent Employment 2008: 141,200 Employment 2018: 164,200 Median annual wages in 2008: $70,320
  • Interior Designers Employment change 2008 – 2018: 19 percent Employment 2008: 71,700 Employment 2018: 85,600 Median annual wages in 2008: $44,950
  • Landscape Architects Employment change 2008 – 2018: 20 percent Employment 2008: 26,700 Employment 2018: 32,000 Median annual wages in 2008: $58,960
  • Interpretors And Translators Employment change 2008 – 2018: 22 percent Employment 2008: 50,900 Employment 2018: 62,200 Median annual wages in 2008: $38,850
  • Curators Employment change 2008 – 2018: 23 percent Employment 2008: 11,700 Employment 2018: 14,400 Median annual wages in 2008: $47,220
  • Museum Technicians And Conservators– Employment change 2008 – 2018: 26 percent Employment 2008: 11,100 Employment 2018: 13,900 Median annual wages in 2008: $36,660

Notice, this list doesn’t include fine and visual artists. Most of the above careers involve digital media or jobs that demand so much experience and specific education requirements. With the evolution of digitization, the art industry is in more demand of careers such as graphic designing rather than traditional arts. Don’t let this discourage you though. With that, I have only one piece of advice… start your own business. Let people know that you exist. Put your art out there, so that it gives your viewers a reason to stop and pay attention. Just because statistics or media says it’s a struggle, doesn’t mean there isn’t a demand for the traditional at all. The last thing you want, is to be forced into something you don’t have a passion for. There are still people out there who still appreciate the traditional arts and prefer it to digital arts.

There are some other ways of pursuing that art degree, without feeling like all of your hard work and time have gone to waste. All it takes is some research, time, patience, and learning. Some other careers that involve the traditional arts are becoming a gallery owner, freelancing, marketing, and art consultation. Given, all or most of these career paths require learning a bit more outside of your field but it will be worth it. Besides, being well rounded and having broadened knowledge is never a bad idea. Take out some time to watch some youtube videos or courses on Lynda about marketing, advertising, and using social media at your disposal to help promote your products and craft. Also try participating in nonprofit gallery shows and festivals for exposure. It is possible.

Sure, if you’re willing to go down this route it may require a 9-5 job, but know that this is temporary until you make it on your own. Begin saving. This could be towards your advertising, studio space, supplies, or whatever else you may feel is necessary for what you want to do. Consistency is also key. Without that, it is easy for you to fall in between the cracks, and makes it harder to get your work recognized. It’s hard, and sometimes you may wake up punching your pillow (like I’ve done myself), but all is not lost. You have to keep reminding yourself that this is just temporary, you are a brilliant artist, and one day you will be sitting on your keister collecting the checks. It may be slow, or maybe you’ll be one of the lucky ones where you will just take off like a rocket but regardless, there are many options and methods. All of them may not work for everyone because we all are different and have different styles of work. We also learn through trial and error.

If all I had to do in the morning was wake up and paint, I’d be just fine with that. One day, that will happen. So hang in there artists, there is a place for you. It takes time, consistency, patience, passion, strength, research, and faith. There are still those who know what good is.

The Start of my DIY Very Merry Mini Christmas Village

It’s the most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Hello readers, it’s that time of the year again! I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, but ya know…life. For that, I am sorry BUT on the bright side, I hope this post makes up for it. In the craziness of preparing for Thanksgiving, shopping, decorating, and uuh… yea you know the whole story I’m sure; I was finally able to venture into something I found quite pleasing. I began building my own DIY Christmas village. This is a great hobby to do with the family to get you into the artistic, joyful, holiday spirit.

For my village, I used the materials below. I also included the places where I purchased/ brands of items used for my project:

  • Cotton blanket cover (Kohls)
  • Hot glue gun (Michaels, Amazon)
  • Cotton Balls (Dollar Tree)
  • Figurines (Kohls)
  • Cardboard
  • Creatology brand Wooden Puzzles (The “Ranch House” One) -Michaels
  • Artist Loft Acrylic or watercolor paint (Michaels)
  • Xacto Knife (Michaels)
  • Foam Board (Dollar Tree)
  • Battery Operated Tea lights (Dollar Tree)
  • Printed brick patterns or whatever you like on plain white printer paper
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Masking Tape
  • Green paint (for painting paper for trees)

 

Here are some pics of my current progress on my village. I will purchasing more figurines and have to finish cutting and painting the cardboard toystore, bakery, and bar I am going to install as well.

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I measured and cut out the sides of the church using cardboard. Then cut out the windows with the xacto knife.
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The Cross was made using mini dowels

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Printed out brick pattern on printer paper and measured perimeter of church. It was easy just laying the church on the paper and tracing each side of it on the paper, and cutting it out.

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Painted the roof with white acrylic paint.

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Added a little cotton to the roof for snow.

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I put my battery tea lights inside of the buildings. I like the flickering ones.
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hot glued the figurines to the board
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Currently working on Stores. Have to finish cutting out windows, gluing plexi glass inside of windows, attaching brick pattern, and painting.
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For the trees I made tall and short cones using printer paper and taped it to hold together.
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This is what my trees looked like after. I painted printer paper with forest green paint. After drying, I cut the paper into strips, then proceeded to cut small clits into the strips. I then glued the strips around the cone in a layered method so that they overlap each other on each row. I then played around with flipping some of the slits up and down to create the effect of a tree with leaves. Here is the end result.

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The Exquisite Beauty of Painting

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     Painting is an element of self-expression that forms a path for revealing the interior of one’s mind, body, and spirit. Bernard Berenson, an American art critic and writer stated, “Not what man knows but what man feels, concerns art. All else is science.” (Mim, M.Y. “The Difference Between Great and Adequate Writing-Part Three of Three.” Inkwell Newsmatch. 23 Apr. 2006.)  People analyze a painting as a formation of one subject, but as you look closely, you begin to notice how the small details and numerous stories unite the entire composition. It illustrates the importance and power of artistic ability. The overall concept of a painting enables the viewer to perceive a composition as more than a work of art. It is a colossus, radiating the intense charm of vibrant, analogous colors and figures that seem to open the door to another world without limits. Painting clears the mind of irrelevant information that distracts an artist from expanding use of material and art technique. Picasso once said, “Art washes from the soul, the dust of everyday life.”    Painting deteriorates negativity and silently enables new ideas to flow freely, nonstop, like a rain shower beating upon the window. It is freedom of expression and a talent that develops over time, affecting how artists interpret the world around them.
    Artists convey their expressions through painting to create inner peace within themselves and their surroundings. This results in harmony, which interacts throughout art in general, creating a rhythm of movement. It forms a circle around each culture and tradition of painting and how they express art differently through beliefs and religion. Every culture of art connects together despite the differences of style. Artists paint compositions using color, texture, emphasis, and a variety of brush strokes to express their moods and thoughts, to create a narrative. The substance of painting reveals the intellectual and creative side of an artist. The gift of painting has existed on earth for many centuries, distinguishing unique figures among every living and non-living creature.
    For instance, the Stone Age, which took place more than 31,000 years ago. Cave people frequently painted symbolic figures on cave walls, using pigments from minerals around them and capturing the activities of life, spirit, nature and humanity. They used a cornucopia of dull colors like browns, reds, yellows and blacks to depict images such as animals and weapons. They bonded the pigment particles by using spit, animal fat and earwax. Brushes were created from chewed sticks. Now, cave people are respected for their creative ways of expression, reinforcing the human instincts that tell us how to communicate our thoughts visually. Most artists began displaying their talents in different ways like a ship crossing a clear blue ocean. more advanced art dates back to the Middle Ages, where artists’ main focus was the interpretation of religion and dominant figures. Expressionist painting originated from Florence, Tuscany, during the Renaissance period from the 14th-17th century. Artists during that time often incorporated linear perspective and figures with dramatic expressions and lighting into their artworks. They made painting a part of their lives and culture. Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” captured a sense of mystery and dramatic lighting. Yet, Mona Lisa’s gentle smile overpowers her dark mysterious eyes, creating a calm mood and sense of peace. However, in Jan Steen’s painting, “The sacrifice of Iphigenia”, it portrays the feeling of drama capturing struggles of everyday life. He incorporates figures with torn clothing, and facial expressions of exhaustion and pain. These are some of the qualities that I value…
    For me, a masterpiece is an incantation, feeding the souls of its viewers. Like forsythia slowly blooming in early spring, painting is a gradual process. Close your eyes and visualize yourself as a painter. Searching for a subject matter, you choose a quiet place under an enormous oak tree’s protective shade, using the sense of sight to pick out a viewpoint. You place your index finger and thumb of both hands together, forming an “L” with another that is inversed to create a frame. Adjust the wooden easel, slowly twisting the knobs until they’re as tight as a black leather glove suffocating your hand. Gently sit the white stretched canvas on a wooden easel, as if placing a sleeping infant into a bassinet. Dip your thick brush into a cup of water. Then use your thumb and index finger to gently drain the excess water from the brush. Decide on a mood you want to convey. Do you feel content? Depressed?
     Upon establishing the mood, proceed to use a small piece of graphite to quickly map out the subject, analyzing the accuracy. Using a triangular palette knife, mix the oil paint colors on your tan, wooden palette. Studying your palette, you regulate the colors, making sure to have accumulated a variety of monochromatic shades, separating darks from lights. Dip your large black brush into the light blue paint, observing as you quickly move it across the canvas horizontally. Think of the light blue pigment as innocence: soft and delicate.  As you observe the clouds maneuvering across the clear blue sky, it feels as if a lovely matchmaker appeared from heaven and configured an alliance between your soul and realm of art. Choose a soft white, using your small brush and dabbing the paint capturing the significant details of the patchoulis (flowers) and columbines. Analyze how the colors on the canvas intercede, having the tendency to form one balanced and united composition. Study the quality of the thick oil paint, how every individual pigment intensifies the work of art. Think about the relationships of colors. Individually, having meaning and truth behind each complimentary color. You can mix every pigment with another, but it always results in one color in the end, each playing a different role. Through this process I express my freedom, artistic talent, and my interpretation of the world.
    Painting styles have changed dramatically over the decades. However, many artists continue to express themselves differently in their artwork. Artists today use techniques developed by previous painters and reproduce new ideas of their own. The diffusion of artistic talent enables people today to feel comfortable with revealing themselves to the public. Let the critics boast about what they like and do not like. Just be your own person, let your personality shine within your masterpiece that may one day create a legacy.

Allan Ramsay, An Analysis

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    Allan Ramsay, a Scottish portrait painter in the 18th century, had a unique style of painting. A majority of Ramsay’s work revealed many important elements, which reflected the royal society and beliefs of the 18th century. Most of which, was inspired by numerous Italian and French painters such as his good friend, David Hume; a popular philosopher during that time (Warburton, 40-41). Ramsay’s inspiration derived mainly from dominant figures in his life, so he decided to paint them.
      Allan Ramsay, named after his father, Allan Ramsay, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on October 13, 1713 (Martin, 355). Allan Ramsay’s father was a popular poet during the 18th century, so Allan Ramsay was exposed to great schooling and intermediate training early in life (p. 355). At the age of 20, Ramsay attended St. Martin’s Lane Academy in London. There, he studied painting as one of Hans Hysing’s students; a Swedish painter (p. 355-356). After Ramsay discontinued his studies at St. Martin’s Lane Academy, he traveled to France and Italy between 1736 and 1738. When Ramsay was in Rome, Italy, he began more professional studies with Francesco Imperiali and Francesco Solimena (p. 355). However, Pompeo Batoni, also an Imperiali student, grew to be a major influence on Ramsay.
      When Ramsay returned to London in 1740, he was appreciated for his immense talents in portraiture painting (p. 355). According to Alastair Smart, “Ramsay’s career was composed essentially of two phases, during the first of which he had been the principal founder of a truly national school of portraiture, faithfully reflecting the modes, manners and ideals of the beau-monde in the reign of George II, and during the second had created a new, natural style of portraiture combining intense characterization with unaffected grace” (p. 355). Most of Ramsay’s influence derived from Italy, including David Hume, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Voltaire, and Samuel Johnson (Martin 355). Ramsay began capturing his most important influences in his paintings, incorporating strong light sources to captivate the significance of the figures (Hayes, 190). Most of Ramsay’s work revolved around The Seven Years War and science, in which he incorporated neutral colors, and maturity to express the overall mood of the time period.
      War, politics, economics, religion, culture, and science were the main dilemmas during the 18th century, which made his art very popular (Crosland, 25-27). Due to Ramsay’s breath taking work, filled with such passion and intellect, he became known as “essayist and man of enlightenment” (Martin, 355). Many of his paintings revealed signs of inspiration. For example, many art critiques found that he dressed many of his models in Van Dyke clothing. An abundance of Ramsay’s work was inspired mainly by the Italian and French culture (Millar, 708). Ramsay had a great fascination with juxtapositions and directness, which always served as the important elements of his portraiture. His design quality conveyed simplicity, and he often described “Half-lengths in feigned ovals, which were forthright and pungently characterized” (Hayes, 190).
      Natural quality was demonstrated in his masterpieces, and often presented a state of sympathy. Ramsay’s technique appeared “stylistic”, and revealed a rich vibrant pigment throughout the compositions. The treatment of detailed clothing expressed his interest and respect for Italian fashion. However, many people began to notice a difference in his painting style during 1753 (Hayes, 190-193). The usual gray half tones in the figures’ flesh were no longer visible in the portraits. Instead, the chosen color palette appeared to create strong contrast, resulting in a tranquil mood. For example, in his painting, Lady Walpole Wemyss, gentle pale grays overlapped the flesh tones, creating a dull neutral color scheme. Ramsay’s new technique created a wide range of color, elegance, and demonstrated such care within the poses. The specified highlights around the eyes and lips, and detail in the hair and clothing convey emphasis (Hayes, 190-193).
      Along with Ramsay’s new painting approach, “The combination of French influence, eventually from a variety of sources, with that of Italian, chiefly Batoni, produced a style which flowered in the later 1750’s and was Ramsay’s distinctive contribution to British portraiture” (Hayes, 190). Ramsay also conveyed a distinctive use of expressive hand gestures in portraits, often to illustrate their royal status, moods, and personality. In addition to demonstrating such expressive gestures, he also captured the significance of family relationships and motherly love. Queen Charlotte and her two sons is a perfect example of Ramsay capturing the everyday emotions and life of the figures (Martin, 355). According to Alastair Smart, “Ramsay is among the most charming of portrait painters” (Woodward, 297). During that time period, artists captured exact proportions and often painted significant figures of high status. They also focused on form and identified light versus dark, using a rich bold palette, and exaggerated facial features, which Ramsay was best known for.
       Allan Ramsay will be remembered for his unique style of painting, and many people today still feel the captured emotions in his portraits, as they observe. Talented artists such as Allan Ramsay, introduced many new ideas, concepts, and forms of painting, which are greatly appreciated. He was inspired by artists during his time, learned, and experimented with a variety of techniques. Today, painters like Allan Ramsay inspire us to create and build upon the world of art.

My recent discovery of fluid painting

So, I’ve recently made a technical, yet highly addictive new discovery of fluid painting. By the sights of it, it seems as though this wonderful method of painting has been experimented with for quite a while now. However, it has become more and more popular. I have to say so myself…it is fun, but does require a bit of knowledge and trial and error. When I say trial and error, it’s nothing more than knowing what you expect out of the results and playing around with a variety of mixtures and chemicals to get the overall effect you desire…Oh, and documenting the techniques and mixtures you used.

I looked at a few YouTube videos, looked up a few techniques, and saw some of the gorgeous paintings others have done. I quickly went to purchase some acrylic paints, small condiment cups, silicone oil, and glue as a starter. I began by filling each of my condiment cups, each with a different color of my choice (I filled these half way). I then poured regular school glue into the same cups (I’d say maybe a few spoon fulls). After that, I began slowly pouring water into my paint and glue mixtures and stirred them up. You don’t want to put too much water in your mixtures at one time or it will get too watery. This is bad because when you go to pour your colors onto your canvas, your colors won’t separate very well and could potentially result in a watery muddy mess….I mean, not unless you want that.You want the consistency to be like a semi thick soup.

After I mixed each color, I then poured each one into a large cup one by one. You can alternate the colors as you pour them into the cup. You don’t have to pour each color inside until it’s gone. The order and alternation depends on your preference and the order you want the colors to show. Lay your canvas onto your large cup with the colors inside (white side of canvas facing down on top of the cup). Tightly holding your large cup and canvas together, flip them over so that the cup is now facing downward on your canvas. I usually give my cup a few taps before lifting it up.

I should’ve mentioned this in the beginning, but this is a very fun but messy process so make sure your surface is covered with newspaper or plastic to protect your surface from what could be a beautiful disaster. After lifting your cup, the paint puddle will run over the surface of the canvas. I recommend moving the canvas back and forth slowly until you reach your desire design and cell formation.

This technique folks, is the dirty pour. You can also do the same technique, but replacing the glue with silicone oil like I also did for some others. The silicone oil worked out a lot better in my opinion. You only need a few drops in each condiment cup. Here are some examples below of how mine turned out:

 

Here is a little video sample of how I complete the dirty pour process:

 

The Final result:

Here are some examples below of me just pouring my colors directly on to the canvas, as a regular pour. I mixed these with acrylic, water, and silicone oil (for better cell formation).

 

 

“The Photographic Message”

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    Roland Barthes’ semiotic theory focuses on a structured system of signs, specifically photographs, as social phenomena. His theory emphasizes how these signs are codes of cultural knowledge and ideologies. In order to fully comprehend all of the implied meanings in an image, one must understand the cultural background that is revealed to the viewer. According to Barthes’ theory, messages are composed through denotation and connotation. Denotation is the literal meaning or reference of a sign, whereas connotation is the meanings suggested or implied by a sign. Therefore, a photographic image by itself without a sign or code appears to be purely denotative. However, Barthes states that the denotated status of a photo “has every change of being mythical” (Barthes, 1977). His use of the word “mythical” is pertaining to the characteristic of a photograph that represents and conveys cultural ideological norms. As a result, there is a photographic inconsistency in which there is a co-existence of denotative and connotative messages in an image.

     Connotation is basically the obvious symbols that viewer sees when first looking at the picture. Denotation is the more significant meaning of analysis of the photo. For example, in Helen Levitts’ A Boy Drawing on the Sidewalk, one would immediately see a small boy drawing with chalk on a sidewalk, dressed in a coat and boots. The more significant meaning of the photograph, is to capture the lifestyle and hardships of people in New York City during the Great Depression. There are modes of connotation used to identify cultural ideologies and messages within a photo. The first mode is perceptive, where we automatically categorize what we perceive. The second mode is cognitive, where we recognize things that we know about, depending on one’s knowledge. And the last mode of connotation is ideological or ethical, where we recognize values that are depicted such as beauty ideals and fashion. Connotation relies on the historical and cultural knowledge known by the viewer; therefore misunderstandings rise as a result of different meanings due to one’s knowledge.