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Art Maintenance Advise

For many of us art is an important part of our decor, and some consider art as a worthy investment. Regardless of how you see art, restoring and preserving art pieces is important in order to maintain their beauty and value. Painting restoration is a serious matter; that is why most people prefer to have their paintings professionally restored. However, if you like the thought of restoring your own pieces, lots of practice and familiarity with techniques are necessary. According to statistics, more paintings and art works are destroyed each year by inept restoration and cleaning than by accidental burning or fire. Clouded varnish, dirt, and smoke are the usual culprits that cause paintings to become dirty. Restoring paintings by cleaning it is the logical step of most owners. However, wiping paintings with rags or some sort of liquid is damaging. Art restoration professionals recommend researching restoration techniques on the internet or attending seminars on restoring paintings before embarking on a restoration mission. Art works look more elegant and classic when preserved in their original frames. As it is, detaching paintings from their frames is necessary and important before the actual cleaning. Non-removal of the frames not only causes discomfort and unease in cleaning, it also causes scratches and abrasion. Remove the frames by laying the picture backside up on a flat surface layered with foam or cushion to avoid scratching the frames. Vacuum accumulated dust on the frames' back and remove nails gently with a metal ruler and pliers. Secure the nails on board with labels of their previous positions. For example, secure and label the nails plucked from the lower right side of the frame as "lower right". This way, each nail fits exactly on its previous place without causing added strain on the frame. Marking the frame is also a good idea to be able to return it to its original position. After removing paintings from their frame, it's a good idea to inspect the kind of dirt build-up on the paintings. Knowing the kind of dirt to be removed is necessary in finding and using the right product and tools. Anti-mildew solutions remove mildew build-up or "foxing" effectively. However, soaking the painting in these solutions damages the colors. To prevent this, soak or spray the solution on a cotton pad and wipe on the area affected with foxing. Follow up with a water-dipped cotton pad and wipe dry. Periodically check cotton pads to see if some color or paint was dissolved. For dirt build-up that requires light to medium cleaning, try slicing an onion in half and dipping it in lemon juice. Then, remove grime and dirt off the art work. Rub paintings with lemon-soaked onion using a circular motion for even application. Slice the onion regularly to expose a fresh layer. An alternative is using warm water with lemon detergent or washing soda. Finish either treatment by wiping the painting with a moist sponge and leaving it to dry. Art works respond to this treatment with improved depth of color. Experts recommend leaving varnish removal and painting repair to the professionals. Art works do not sell well or look good if extensively damaged. As these types of restoration require complicated techniques, the chances of botching the job are high if done by amateurs. The job is expensive but make the value of your paintings appreciate. You love your paintings, and if you maintain them right, you will continue to love them for many years to come.

 


Let’s Get Savvy - Art Savvy

Want to sound like someone that is a least a little art savvy? Make sure you don't use the following common art "faux pas." 1. Using the word "seriagraph" - Actually, there is no such thing as a seriagraph. What you are attempting to reference is a form of printmaking known as a serigraph. To be correct, you may refer to a "screenprint" or "silkscreen print". 2. Using the word "sketches" - Those who are knowledgeable about art use the term "drawings" instead of sketches. 3. Using the word "picture" - The word picture suggests an item that is more decorative in nature, while the word "painting" denotes a valuable work of art. The word decorative tends to be used as a put down when commenting on the desirability of a work of art, somewhat akin to the word "interesting". 4. Using the words "it's just a print" - There have been prints that have sold for several hundred thousand dollars. For example, works by Mary Cassatt, Pablo Picasso, Hokusai, and Sharaku. Aside from value, some artists did not create paintings, so their entire form of expression used printmaking. Sometimes effects achieved with printmaking cannot be accomplished with painting or drawing directly. If you meant "just a reproduction or a reproductive print", then you are commenting on a photograph of an existing artwork, which does not constitute an original work of art. This is entirely proper. 5. Falling into the "art trap" - Whenever you are asked what you think about a painting, check to see if there are similar paintings in the room before responding. A family member or close friend may be the proud artist. This is what I call the "art trap." A sharp observer will recognize that each piece is signed with the same name. Find something positive to say. Life in the art lane can be treacherous, but it is just like functioning as an expert witness. Think before you speak.

 


The Art of Framing Art

We all know that a picture is worth a thousand words. But, what about picture frames? The main function of a picture or photo frame is to protect and highlight the content it holds. But, an equally important function is to accent the picture inside. A beautiful work of art can be made to look drab by framing it improperly, or using wrong materials. Similarly an excellent frame can definitely enhance the beauty of the picture it holds. There are frames, and there are frames. To select which is most suitable for the picture or photograph that you have in mind is not always an easy task. A poor choice could cost you the contented feeling you get when you look at a work of art. Occasionally, pictures are abnormal in size so you need custom picture frames which are quite expensive. To complement the picture, to get a perfect look and merge with ambience of the room where the picture is display one should be willing to commission a professional to build the perfect frame. Picture and photo frames of standard sizes are not expensive and they can be bought from your neighborhood store. To suit our individual style and also to enhance the quality of the pictures, care should be taken to incorporate these factors when we selecting picture or photo frames. Picture frames come in hundreds of colors, different shapes and a wide variety of materials which will complement the decor of whatever room they find themselves in. Photo frames are made of pewter, stainless, ceramics, composites and crystal. Your budget is the first criteria to select the best available design and material. Picture frames can be artful in their own right with wide borders, bright and bold color, but try to avoid a picture frame which overwhelms the image it carries. For the contemporary home select metal frames in darker shades such as black, copper, gold or silver. To get a Mediterranean style select bold white frames. To create an antique Victorian look ornate gilded frames are the best choice to highlight beautiful art and special prints. The children's room will get a youthful atmosphere by using plastic frames in vivid colours. Avoid metal frames to encase valuable pieces of art. They are priced moderately and sold as kits with their backs open. This makes the contents exposed to dust and moisture. With proper tools and after little practice you can make your own wooden picture frames and it is a correct choice for original arts, limited edition prints and other valuable photos. Whatever frame you choose for your picture or piece of art, just be sure to stop and think first. Try to visualize it in your home, and you are sure to come away with a winner.

 


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The Beauty of Oil Paintings

Paintings are arguably among the most beautiful creations of man. They have a special power to tug on the soul of the observer. Oil paintings are a particularly beautiful art form, and their ages old elements continue to mark their stand through generations. Why oil painting? The great painters and the artists of the past chose to work on oil paintings because it rendered a very realistic output. The paintings differed from those produced by water colors, because the oil paintings looked especially rich and attractive. Oil paintings originated during the middle ages, when the necessity for waterproof paintings was all important. Great artists opted for oil paintings because of their durability and long lasting resistance. Thanks to use of oil by great artists of the past, people today are able to enjoy a huge collection of timeless oil pieces. The hard work that goes into oil paintings Behind the beauty of oil paintings is the hard labor of the artist. A classical work may take several weeks to months to be completed. Color pigments and binders are the constituents of the oil paints. Linseed oils, poppy seed oils, safflower oils and walnut oils are some types of oils that are mixed with the pigments. Oil painting is said to consume a lot of time and energy because oil does not dry easily, and if the artists wants to paint in layers, he must wait for the paints to dry at each level. This process can quickly devour days or weeks. One advantage to this process is that the artist is able to make changes during the dry period of the painting, which is impossible in water paintings. Oil paintings do not dry through evaporation, they have to be oxidized. Once that is accomplished, usually after six or eight months, the paints are varnished. Some art conservators consider an oil painting to be dry only after it's 60-80 years old. Oil paintings reached their pinnacle during the renaissance, where artists began to select wooden panels as their base medium. They would stretch their canvas over the wooden panel before setting to work. Artists used a variety of brushes to produce different kinds of unique effects, and knives and blades were also used. Some artists chose not to use any tools at all, and painted with their fingers. Oil paintings today Oil painting is an astonishing art form and even today there are many artists who work fabulously on oil paints. But now there are more sophisticated tools used to produce oil paintings, such as water miscible oil paints. These paints can be thinned and cleaned up with water rather than using turpentine. Turpentine was commonly used as a cleaner in oil paintings, but water miscible oil paints reduce the deep and dangerous odor of toxic chemicals. Oil painting have been, and may always be, one of the most strickingly beutiful forms of art created.

 


Dada Surrealism is a Response to War

Dada was an Art movement with its peak in 1916-1920s. This movement was established as a position against the War, and particularly World War I. Artists of this period saw all the negativity and horrors of the war. They also rebelled against the art that predominated thier time. It was a protest against beauty, because art didn't save civilization from wars. The members of that movement organized demonstrations, propagandas, and wrote brochures and manifestos against the cruelty of war. They drew from ideas of Arthur Rimbaund in poetry, and the critical ideas of Max Jacob (who later died in the Nazi concentration camp) and Guillaume Apollinaire. They established the new journal where they wrote anti-war and anti-terror articles, sometimes by using satire. Also the group made different absurd theatrical performances highly criticizing the first World War in Cabaret Voltaire . Tzara, one of the leaders of that group, wrote a lot of articles to different European newspapers trying to point out the tragedy of war. As with the Dada movement, Surrealism was also a reaction to World War I . One of the predominant facts for both movements to create something irrational and surreal. Surrealism inherited a pessimistic and revolutionary mood because of Dada movement . Dada's main artistic idea was to explore various activities and theories, instead of producing actual representational art. The followers of Dada came up with the ideas of irrationality and accidentalness. The 'Law of Chances' created by both Jean Arp and Marcel Duchamp found the artists throwing pieces of paper on the floor and gluing it to the background medium where it fell. Dadaists were very experimental and broke all manner of artistic order and conventions that were established by the masters in art before them. Surrealism inherited ideas from Dada about an anti-consciousness, anti-controlled way of thinking in the process of creating pictures. They preferred to focus on the subconscious mind and feelings. They believed in the power of dreaming (Dali), in intuitive associations, and in the idea of chances (Ernst). Some Dadaist Surrealists used a lot of ideas that most would find absurd and illogical. Dada was a precursor of Surrealism partly due to the fact that some Dadaist artists and poets became Surrealists in their future artistic careers. Examples include painter Max Ernst, the photographer May Ray, and the poet Tristan Tzara. 'Invasion of the Night' is one of the most well- known pictures by Roberto Matta. He was one of the members of the Surrealist group. This rather large (96.5 x 152.7 cm) oil painting was made in 1940, when the artist moved to New York from Paris. Invasion of the Night was made in the biomorphic or abstract Surrealistic style. The use of organic shapes, the absence of strong contrast lines, and a warm palette choice all create the illusion of a dream state. The composition is very unique: it is visually reminiscent of a chessboard. It is not made by lines, but by the smooth transitions of the main two yellow forms in background, and two main blue- greenish forms painted as chess squares. The painting invokes an eerie fear because of the luminous saffron color with white spots in between, and the half-divided horizontal lines causes the canvas to appear as though it has holes in it. Despite the dark connotations, this masterpiece is undeniably amazing. Dada and Surrealism immerse themselves fully in darkness and the unknown, and the genre that eventually took shape has an enduring following of admirers.

 


A Closer Look at Photo Mosaics

Photo Mosaics are actually a very new invention, believed to be first created in the 1990's. Photo mosaics have become widely popular around the world, though, for their unique appeal. A Photo Mosaic is a photo made up of many smaller photos. To say it another way: A photo mosaic is a photo that has been divided up into small squares or rectangles. Each rectangle is the replaced by a separate photo that closely approximates the color the rectangle was. A picture is worth a thousand words in explaining what a photo mosaic is like, though. Go to Google Image Search or Yahoo Image Search and search for 'photomosaics', and have a close look. One of the first creators of photo mosaics, Robert Silvers, patented the production of and name photomosaic. However, Mr Silvers patent does not give him the exclusive rights to make photo mosaics. There are many companies around the world using various methods and technologies to legally create photo mosaics. There are several ways to create or obtain photo mosaics. The first method is tedious, to say the least. Using photoshop, or any other editor, you can manually cut and paste images together to create the larger image. This technique is very time consuming, though, and there is really no need to employ this method. The second method is to use photographic mosaic software. There are many versions of free software that can help you much more easily create photo mosaics. Of course, there will be at least a short learning curve, but most are not too difficult to use. The third and final method to obtain a custom photo mosaic is to pay a professional photo mosaic designer to create one for you. This is obviously the most expensive option, but it will probably also give you the highest quality finished product. Really, it's all up to and what you need and want! Happy photo mosaic-ing!

 




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