Oct 05 2011

Art in the Media

Posted by admin in About

It is amazing how art has changed through the last several decades, much less, over the last several centuries.  It used to be that art was a form.  It was something that required a canvas, a palate of colors, and typically paint.

Now, however, art in the media presents itself in a totally different light.  It still shares many of the same components of the olden day art forms, but is typically constructed using a computer and vector images and graphics.

One may arguably say that art in the past was more complex, and one may say that today’s art is more difficult.  However you want to look at it, it is all still considered art.  It is amazing to take a look at how much art has advanced over the last, say 50 years.  From hand drawn, or hand painted images, to what we see today, with graphically designed images that are representative of what depicts near real life images, it is awesome to see the sheer growth.

In the media, cartoons have gone from being drawn by hand, to being made by computers as well.  Anime, as it is referred to is so lifelike, it is almost uncanny.  There is no telling what the next generation of art will look like.  For now, we can only dream of how art will look in yet another 50 years!

Aug 19 2011

Making My First Artistic Investment—Sort Of

Posted by admin in Investments

When my husband and I got married and bought our house, we decided that we needed some well placed pieces of artwork on the walls to brighten up the place. We had already purchased a few odd, inexpensive pieces to add some color and life to our ho-hum living room. Now we agreed we should make an investment by purchasing a professional piece of artwork. There was an art gallery we liked a lot that was not too far from our house so we decided to go and see what they had to offer.

We roamed through the gallery admiring many paintings by several different artists. We finally agreed on one piece that had a frame which matched our décor and loads of color in the picture. The artist was Schluss, an Israeli artist, and his painting was exactly what we were looking for in terms of style, color and price. My husband and I could not wait to hang it up on our newly painted wall. We paid for the piece, got our certificate of authenticity and brought it home. I remember staring at it after we hung it up and feeling so proud that we made a smart investment—something that will one day double, triple or quadruple its worth.

Nearly ten years later, after watching a show about art, I thought maybe it was time to get my painting appraised to see what its current value was. I went back to the gallery where I had made my purchase, showed them my certificate and gave the owner some additional information about the piece. Well, there was good news and bad news. The good news was that my artwork had not lost any of its value. On the other hand, it was priced exactly what I paid almost a decade ago. So much for making a smart investment, I thought. When I told my husband, he laughed. He told me ahead of time that it probably did not increase much and, if it did, by a very small amount.

I am not disappointed about making the decision to invest in a piece of artwork. Perhaps my particular piece is not as valuable as others. Maybe it will increase after the artist is no longer living. Or maybe I don’t know how to choose a work of art for investment purposes. In any case, what I do have is a beautiful picture that complements my home and provides just a bit of culture to my family. I guess that is the true value of any art.

Aug 01 2011

My Appreciation for Art: Better Late Than Never

Posted by admin in Art Opinions

They say you don’t learn to appreciate things in life until you are older. I can definitely agree with that—especially when it comes to art appreciation. I always loved art as a kid. All the painting, coloring, finger painting, sculpting and drawing were tons of fun. But nothing I made was a masterpiece (except in the eyes of my parents). As I got older, I enjoyed art less. Since I was never really good at it, I figured there was no point in continuing something that produced mediocre results at best. I would look at famous works of art and just shrug my shoulders and walk by. Art galleries and museums held very little interest to me as well. But that all changed once I became a parent.

My daughter loves art. She, like her mom, is not very good at it, but she tries, and that is all a mom can ask for. She loves every type of art too—molding and sculpting, sketching and drawing, painting and coloring. Her love of art prompted me to enroll her in a fancy art class where every week they experiment in a different medium of art. She cannot wait to show me what she did and how she did it. Her enthusiasm, I admit, is infectious. It is that appreciation that she has for art that has now rubbed off on me.

I have now become the mom who whisks both my children to the nearest art gallery to view the works inside. My daughter especially loves looking at the bright colors that the artists use as well as the “cool” designs they make. She marvels how the artists interpret people in different ways putting their faces in odd, sometimes contorted poses. She shows me the beauty of the art through her eyes and I have learned to appreciate it once again. My son, at only two and a half, even looks and asks what the paintings are, and names the colors in high excitement as we gaze at the pictures.

My mother always told me that when I became a mom, life and all it has to give, comes full circle. I just never expected that an appreciation for art would be one of those things.

May 09 2011

Keep Art in a Child’s Education

Posted by admin in Education

The United States education system is constantly under scrutiny. And with the inception of the No Child Left Behind law, schools are under more pressure to have students meet certain standards. If they do not, then vital funding is lost. What this means is that many classes that are considered nonessential will be cut from a child’s education. Classes like music, physical education and art will no longer be part of the curriculum. While the emphasis should be on the reading, writing and arithmetic, the importance of nonacademic programs should not be overlooked.

Art is one of those nonacademic subjects that needs to remain part of a child’s education. For one thing, kids need a creative outlet and art provides them that. They can paint, draw, color or sculpt their cares away even if it is just for a half hour. For some kids, art is something they excel at—more so than the reading and the math. There is nothing better than building a child’s confidence than by giving him or her a chance to shine at something he or she is great at. Finally, art is culture. Many kids do not get exposure to any type of culture. Why can’t art do that for them? Let kids know there are so many wonderful things in the world and art is one of them.

For some troubled kids, art can be a source of comfort and security. Having the opportunity to draw, sketch or mold whatever comes to mind is expressive freedom and for a child who is having problems, art may be the outlet he or she needs to say what is on his or her mind. Kids who are having difficulty with certain motor skills may use art as a way of therapy. Simply holding a crayon or a paintbrush is challenging enough for them, but knowing they can create their own piece of art may be what motivates them to try harder.

It is easy to write off art and other extracurricular classes as irrelevant, but it is not doing today’s students any good. Without exposing them to a little bit of culture and an even greater amount of creativity, schools are depriving students of having a well-rounded education. After all, everyone wants their children to be the best they can be whether it is in reading, writing, math or art.

Jun 28 2012

Teaching Kids About Modern Art

Posted by admin in Uncategorized

Art is all around us, in varying mediums and concepts. Art appeals to each one of us on a different level, you may be young or old, male or female, we describe or see art in differing ways. As an adult we may be more inclined to have a love for contemporary art where a child will be drawn more to modern art. Modern art is exploding with primary colors. Bold, big shapes that catch the child’s eye. Allowing your child to explore modern art is a way to enforce learning by counting objects they see to learning colors presented in the piece.

A great way to spark interest in leaning about art is to look at works of art in a book or even online then go visit a museum. Show your child modern art in person.

As you stumble across works of art that you child seems to find interesting don’t just pass by saying, oh that’s nice. Take the time to engage your child. Talk about the piece. Ask questions about what is used in the picture. Are their different colors, what art they. Do you see shapes? How many shapes? Can you name them? Take what the art has and use that to explore the piece. If your child isn’t keen on looking at art, to them it may be boring but with a few questions it will then become a topic of discussion if you take the time to ponder over the work.

You know your child. Find a piece of art you know will appeal to them and start asking questions or talking about what you see and before you know it you are teaching your child about modern art.

Apr 12 2012

Do You Have a Business Plan?

Posted by admin in misc

Many new businesses start and fail each year. Entrepreneurs have great ambitions of a flourishing business, but many of them fail to do one of the most important parts of the start up process: creating a business plan. A business plan is more that just words on a piece of paper, it’s the skeleton of your business, and a strong one will help to build a strong business. Here are some reasons a business plan is important:

# A business plan outlines your basic goals and aspirations with the business. It describes the product or services you are going to offer, and the markets where you will promote them. It shows any research that you have done on your particular industry and why you think your business will be a good addition.

# A business plan shows how you’re going to set up your business, from the day to day operations to the financial side of the business, too. Even if some of the things may seem like minor details, go ahead and include them. Later on, you may be glad you thought ahead about how to deal with issues that might come up.

# A good business plan also includes ideas about expansion, or changes that might occur in the business with market changes.

Finally, a business plan may determine for you if a business is even worth starting up, after you look at it all on paper. The old saying “failing to plan is planning to fail,” holds true here – a good business plan is going to be a strong start and foundation for your business, and will be a good reference point as your business grows.

Oct 02 2011

The “A” Does Not Stand for Art in My DNA

Posted by admin in My Thoughts

All through elementary school, middle school, and even some high school, I remember having the best projects. Whether it was a poster of the French and Indian War, building a bridge made out of balsa wood or creating a science experiment, mine were always top notch. The reason for this was because my father was an architect who could easily sketch a plan on a piece of paper and bring it all the way to the finished product without blinking. And what productions they were. Of course, for dad, the bigger the better and all my projects had to be perfect—there was no skimping, coloring outside the lines or quitting before the project was passed completion. As good as my father was at anything artful, I was horrible.

It certainly was not easy growing up with a father who could create just about anything—and he did. For my sister’s graduation from elementary school, he created an exact replica of the Statue of Liberty that stood about seven-feet high. I remember watching him make it over a period of a few months. It was truly inspiring. I also remember him creating all the background scenery for every talent show, recital and play my sister and I ever did. He even made many of our Halloween costumes. I do have fond memories of all of this, but it was also frustrating every time I was in art class and the art teacher would see my stick figure people and the one Smurf I knew how to vaguely draw (although now that Smurfs are popular again, my daughter finds my drawings quite impressive). The teacher knew who my father was and was quite familiar with his work which made my artwork seem very amateurish.

As I got older, I often joked with people that I did not get the “art” gene. My sister got some of it, but neither one of us are even close to the artistic abilities that our father has. Now my dad has found a new life in school projects once again. My daughter has now become his new muse. Luckily, she loves art and I enrolled her in real art classes. Maybe this art thing skips a generation. Time will tell. For now, I am hoping that stick figure people become popular because I have those down pat!

Aug 17 2011

You Call That Art?

Posted by admin in Art Opinions

We have probably all been there before—we visit an art museum or gallery, walk around and look at all the sculptures, paintings, watercolors, drawings and more only to find that one piece that just does not seem to make any sense. We stare at it, tilt our heads thinking a different angle will help us understand it and then we just shake our heads. Yes, some art is, to say the least, inartistic. The question then becomes, how do these pieces wind up in upscale galleries and prestigious museums?

I often wonder if the artist was having a bad day or just lost the will to finish the piece and left it as is thinking half a would-be masterpiece is better than a never-will-be masterpiece. Perhaps the painter or sculptor purposely made such an odd specimen of art out of spite or to make some type of statement that no one but he or she gets. Whatever the reasons may be, I am still convinced that some of it is just not art.

My thinking is somewhat traditional when it comes to art. I believe it should have some sense of beauty with a hefty dose of thought-provoking creativity. But it should not be the type of thing I would look at it and then think that I could do the same thing—or better. Randomly splashing a wet paintbrush on a canvas or putting together metal pieces to make a dog does not inspire me nor does it do much in the way of provoking thought—at least not intelligent thought. What it does do, however, is make me stop and think that this artist is taking advantage of his or her status. Since most artists who are in galleries and museums are pretty successful at what they do, maybe they feel that anything they create, no matter how sloppy or inartistic, will be looked at with awe. I am thinking there is probably more shock than awe with some of these so-called works of art.

For now, I will just have to accept the fact that art is very subjective and what I view as art, someone else may not. By the same token, some people think the more absurd something is, the more artful it is. I guess any way you look at it, it prompts an immediate response from those looking at it—and that is probably what the artist had in mind in the first place.