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Art collecting: Six Golden rules December 11 2014Art Collecting: Six Golden Rules
Successful art collectors observe several golden rules of art collecting:
1) BUY WHAT YOU LIKE
This should be obvious, but this golden rule is actually often given a low priority by novice art collectors, much to their regret later on. Remember, art is meant to be displayed and enjoyed. Don't buy anything which doesn't appeal to you.
You can never go wrong with buying any kind of art, as long as it gives you pleasure and it is within your budget. Buy what appeals to you. Art is individualistic, so go ahead and explore. You don't have to follow well-trodden paths and buy familiar art. Let art be an expression of your personality.
Do Your Research And Planning
For serious collectors who are interested in building a collection with some value, it's good advice to do some homework before you put your money down. Collecting is really about focus, or building a meaningful grouping of pieces, rather than just randomly acquiring and displaying pieces. Careful planning and research is what sets smart collectors apart from others.
2) EDUCATE YOURSELF
The more you know about the subject, the better. This is especially important if you're considering parting with a hefty sum of money for a piece of 'art'. You don't need to be professionally trained to make smart decisions about art. Anyone can become a wise collector with patience and discipline.
Know Your Subject
Ask yourself why a particular piece of art is worth acquiring. Keep this mantra going in your head:
Who is the artist?
How important is the artwork?
What is the artwork's history and documentation?
Is the asking price fair?
3) DEVELOP A MASTER PLAN FOR COLLECTING
If you're planning to collect art seriously, you should think beyond picking up just anything that catches your fancy. There are millions of collectors out there and plenty of piecemeal collections. What makes a collection superior to others and, therefore, more valuable?
Purpose And Planning
The smartest collectors plan every acquisition. They never collect in a haphazard way. Once they've decided what they like, they start planning some sort of order or characteristic for their collection. Smart collecting is organized. It is well thought-out so that all the pieces in the collection relate well to each other. Everything in the collection should work together to strengthen the collection, and not be out of place.
This is purposeful and planned collecting. A good collection should illustrate a point, or address a question, such as 'How has the use of colors in stone lithography progressed?' A good collection enhances understanding of a certain area of art, or even a certain period of an artist's life. It should have fine and, ideally, rare specimens of the subject. Brought together in a meaningful collection, each piece has more value.
You can organize your collection in various ways. Like an essay, it should have a beginning, a middle and an end. Using, as an example, the topic of colors in stone lithography, you can organize your collection under artists, regions, dates, styles, subject matter, and so forth. For instance:
- Artists renowned for stone lithography, which would obviously include master stone lithographer Edna Hibel. This grand dame is profiled in my art, collectibles and gifts website on this page: http://www.cherishcollectibles.com/site/1256072/page/525250
- American stone lithography masters
- 20th century stone lithography
- Stone lithographs with people as the subject
- Renaissance-style stone lithography
Be Your Own Curator
Have a 'script' in mind. Just like for museums, you should aim to present your collection in a logical, meaningful way, so that it educates and enhances appreciation. Because of your diligent 'curatorial' efforts, viewers should bring away a better understanding of the subject.
4) KNOW THE ART MARKET
Great collectors know the marketplace, and the marketplace knows them. Be informed and get plugged into the grapevine! Cultivate a good standing with art retailers and let them know that you wish to be informed when choice art pieces become available. You have to be tuned in to get the best finds!
Do your homework and get out there! I'll tell you how to have an edge in Part 4 of this series, titled 'KNOW THE ART MARKET'.
5) CARE FOR YOUR ART COLLECTION
I've seen valuable creations ruined because of careless handling and storage. Don't let this happen to your art pieces. Develop a system to protect your collection from hazards such as pollution, humidity, heat and light.
6) PLAN FOR POSTERITY
Your art collection is a valuable legacy. Don't allow it to be decimated when you are no longer around to take care of it. Make detailed plans for its future ownership.
Have Fun Planning Your Collection!
Building a good collection takes time, but you will derive much satisfaction with each acquisition, knowing that the effort will be worth it. In fact, the process of developing a good collection is often as fun as it is rewarding, as you hunt down choice pieces through gallery visits, research, social events, leads, auctions and various avenues. A whole new world will open up to you!
About The Author
Copyright © 2006 Carol Chua. Carol Chua is an ex-corporate warrior who is now an entrepreneur, avid writer and co-owner of Cherish Collectibles, an online gallery of art, collectibles and gifts by multiple award-winning American artist Edna Hibel. Visit http://www.cherishcollectibles.com to see this renowned artist's beautiful artwork. Carol also co-owns an online jewelry store with a nature theme, featuring the creations of another award-winning artist, at http://www.silver-butterfly-jewelry.com.
How to keep your artwork as fresh as the day it was created November 26 2014
Clueless about how to protect the beautiful acrylic painting you received as a birthday gift? Wondering how to mat and frame your new watercolor? Here�s a handy guide on how to care for your precious artwork, no matter what media it was created in.
Special care for different types of media
. Charcoal, Pencil, Colored pencil, Crayon drawings
. Ink drawings
. Digital art
Always use great care in handling artwork. Never touch the surface of the art with your bare fingers as the natural oils, acids and salts on your skin can transfer to the artwork and cause permanent damage. If you must touch the art, wear cotton gloves.
Artwork not displayed should be stored in a clean, dry, dark and well-ventilated area in moderate temperatures and humidity levels that do not fluctuate a great deal. Avoid storage in basements, attics or garages as extreme temperatures and moisture can damage the artwork.
Store unframed art flat with acid-free paper between each item, or store individual items in archival-quality envelopes.
Avoid storing art between cardboard, as it is highly acidic and can damage artwork over time.
Store art created with charcoal, pastels, pencil or crayon between glass to avoid rubbing and damaging the delicate artwork. Preferably mat the item first with an acid-free mat and then cover it with glass to protect the artwork from any kind of contact with its surface.
Never store unframed art in shipping tubes for any length of time. Remove the art as soon as possible and lay it flat until you are ready to frame it. If a painting has been stored in a tube for a long time, consult a professional who will use the utmost care and expertise in unrolling and relaxing the artwork to avoid possible cracking and damage.
Never store framed art directly on the floor. Instead, rest the artwork on blocks or on shelves.
Never leave artwork in your car for extended periods of time. Carry framed artwork by the sides and avoid resting canvas against any items that may damage the surface.
Roll prints carefully and insert into heavy duty shipping tubes. Remove the artwork and unroll as soon as possible after transport to avoid permanent damage.
Have your artwork matted with an acid-free mat board. Poor quality mats may damage art over time due to the chemicals in the board that can transfer to the artwork. The same is true for backing your art with cardboard which also has chemicals that may cause discoloration.
Never use rubber cement or white glue to adhere the art to a surface as it can cause damage to your precious artwork.
Art created with ink, pencil, pastels or charcoal should be framed under glass. You may use Plexiglas only for pencil or ink drawings as any pastel or charcoal artwork may be damaged by the build-up of electrostatic charge emitted from Plexiglas and similar plastics.
Make sure to completely seal the back seams of the frame and backing with acid-free tape.
To further protect your print from harmful UV rays you can ask your framer to use glare-free glass with a UV protective coating to cover the artwork in the frame.
The frame you choose should be slightly larger than your artwork. Humidity may cause the paper to contract or expand and the extra space between the frame and artwork will allow for these changes without damaging the art.
Never frame artwork without also using a mat board between the art and frame. Wood may hold humidity that can transfer to the artwork. You can use acid-free frame spacing instead of matting, if you prefer. Ask your art store to see what is available.
Also, if you have a glass insert to protect the artwork, make sure you add a mat to prevent the art from sticking to the glass over time.
Since nearly all laminating materials have UV inhibitors in them it makes sense to consider this option for protecting your prints, photos and digital art as well as other artwork such as delicate pastels and charcoals.
Consult a photo store to ensure that this process will not damage the artwork you�re thinking of laminating.
Either bring your print or photo to a photo shop to have it professionally laminated to a base, or use a laminating machine if you would rather use a frame.
A laminating machine that uses a heat process will protect the print more than a machine using cold lamination. Be careful of low-end laminators with fluctuating temperatures that can result in bubbles between the print and the plastic, incomplete lamination or variations in thickness of the plastic.
As an added protection, laminating pouches are also available with UV-resistance to protect against color-fade.
If you use low quality photo paper for your digital prints, make sure to test a sample print in your laminator as smearing of the photo may result.
Careful planning of where you�ll hang your artwork should lengthen its lifespan considerably.
Humidity, extreme fluctuating temperatures, direct sunlight, bright light, heating vents and fireplaces can damage your previous art. Avoid contact with fluorescent lighting that emits harmful high-energy rays that can deteriorate the artwork.
Hanging art on exterior walls may subject the art to temperature fluctuations and dampness in climates where temperatures vary greatly with the seasons. Avoid hanging artwork in kitchens or bathrooms for this same reason.
Attach small cork pieces to the back of the frame to prevent mold from forming, by allowing air to circulate behind your framed art.
Never use clip-on lights on frames. The area of artwork exposed to this �hot spot� will cause drying and damage over time.
Canvas stretcher bars may expand and contract with temperature fluctuations. This may make the canvas sag and/or crack the paint. A professional can correct this problem and save the artwork.
Dust frames regularly and inspect for signs of mold or insects. Make sure that all hangers and items used to secure the frame are still in good condition.
Never use commercial products to clean your bare artwork. Use a feather duster to dislodge dust particles from the surface. Cloth material may leave lint.
To clean the picture glass that protects your artwork, never spray cleaner directly onto the glass. Instead, spray your cleaning cloth and then wipe the glass to avoid cleaner from running gown and seeping between the glass and frame and damaging the art. Avoid using a cleaner with ammonia.
Use a cleaner specifically designed for Plexiglas or similar materials such as acrylic, or use a soft damp cloth and spot clean gently to avoid scratching.
A professional may be needed to clean your artwork if you notice color changes and dullness from contact with smoke, whether it was from cigarettes, heavy use of candles, or if the artwork was subject to smoke damage from a fire. See your professional if you notice any signs of mold or insects.
Special Care for different types of media
Not to be framed under glass, acrylics are fairly sturdy and can survive in various lighting conditions. Dusting the surface lightly will prevent any build-up. Be careful when shipping acrylics in the winter as extremely cold temperatures may cause cracking. You�ll have the same problem when storing your acrylics in unheated attics, basements or sheds if you live in areas that experience very cold winters.
Also not for framing under glass as these have to �breath�. Direct sunlight will fade oils over time. Choose its location with this in mind.
Make sure to dust frequently as build up may crack and peel the paint. Never spray commercial cleaners on your painting. Should the colors appear dull after awhile, you can have your painting varnished at your art store to renew the colors and protect the surface from possible cracking.
Transport your painting carefully wrapped in cardboard and protected with bubble wrap. Avoid leaving the artwork too long in the packaging as moisture may form and damage your painting.
Frame watercolors behind glass. Colors may fade if fragile watercolors are exposed to strong lighting conditions.
Oil Pastels and Chalk Pastels
Pastels are very delicate and must be handled with extreme care. Framing under glass as soon as possible is a necessity to protect the easily damaged surface. Full sun can fade the colors but they can survive strong light or indirect sunlight. Never touch the surface of the art or place anything on its surface to avoid smearing.
Charcoal, pencil, colored pencil, crayon drawings
These are just as fragile as pastels; therefore they must be handled and protected in the same manner. Do not touch the delicate surface of these drawings.
Also very light sensitive, fades quickly in direct sunlight. Frame under UV-protected glass.
Avoid touching the surface of your digital art. Mount your artwork behind UV-protected glass to reduce fading. Make sure that the artwork is dry before doing this. An acid free mat inserted between the artwork and frame will prevent the art from sticking to the glass. Aluminum frames should be considered as humidity does not affect them and will not transfer to your prints. Make sure to keep your digital prints away from excessive heat for long periods of time, high humidity, direct sunlight and extreme temperature fluctuations.
Taking extra care of your precious artwork today will ensure many years of enjoyment later on.
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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Heather_Diodati
How to start an art collection for your home November 23 2014
1. DE-CLUTTER YOUR HOME - Before you begin you need to start with a 'blank canvas'; I'm sure if you had booked an art consultant or interior designer to make their recommendations you'd tidy up, so make this your starting point. It is also a fundamental feng shui principle that de-cluttering your environment will de-clutter your mind. If you don't have the time or the job is too big call in an expert.
2. THINK LIKE A GUEST - Now walk through your home imagining you're a visitor or guest so you can understand the logistics of entering your home for the first time and what impression or atmosphere you wish to create. Important areas from a guest's point of view are: the entrance (this is their first impression) the path from the entrance to the main living/entertaining area and an outdoor area if you have one. Look for what you think they would notice: as you enter your home, is it obvious where the kitchen/living areas are from the entrance; are private rooms or areas such as bedrooms 'on show' as guests walk through the house to the living area. Can any outdoor areas be seen from the main living area?
3. DETERMINE ZONES - This time, when you walk through your home again, think from your own perspective and classify it the following zones; entrance (front garden, path, front door, entry) traffic zones (hallways, gardens) formal entertaining (dining room) informal entertaining (family room, games room) function-specific zones (home theatre, kitchen) private zones (bathroom, toilet, bedrooms) business zone (home office, studio). This will assist you to think about where to place art plus what purpose or mood you wish to create in each zone.
4. MAP WHERE YOU WOULD LIKE ARTWORK - List each zone and room and table the atmosphere you wish to achieve and the number of artwork to suit the space.
5. DO SOME RESEARCH - Through your own research you will feel more confidence to make an informed decision when you discuss your needs or view art with an art consultant, interior designer, gallery manager or artist. Plus as you regularly go back to research you will gain an increased knowledge about art and therefore a deeper understanding which will only enhance your appreciation of your collection. To begin:
'Google it' search online about art buying advice and tips
Browse online art galleries
Look for articles in your local newspaper about local artists, exhibitions and galleries
Visit local Art Galleries
Talk to local gallery managers and artists as you meet them
6. LIST YOUR PREFERENCES (STYLE, SIZE, MEDIUM) - Return to your planning chart again after your research to put in your preferences of style, size and medium. Style refers to if the artwork is classified within a broad category such as Abstract, Traditional (landscape) or (figures), Surrealism, Pop Art, Impressionism, Digital Art, Still Life, Realism and many more.
Size mainly described as dimensions in centimetres. Also be aware if the dimensions include framing or not. For an average home artwork around 60 x 80 cm would be considered a medium size and 80 x 130 considered a large size. Obviously this is completely subjective and the best thing to do is get the measuring tape out.
Medium is what the artist used to create the artwork. For example, oil means oil paint, acrylic means acrylic paint, watercolours, ink, pencil, charcoal and many more. Mixed Media is simply when an artist mixes mediums together. For example, some artists bind Acrylic paint and a texture medium (sand) together.
7. SET YOUR BUDGET - A fundamentally important step, however also be sure you're expectations are realistic, your earlier research should assist you in this area. This is important because if you 'blow your budget' then you are not going to view the artwork with a positive frame of mind but rather a resentful one. Also, ask if flexible payment options are available. Most galleries and art consultants offer payment plans over a 3 to 6 month period or an art rental service so you can 'try before you buy'.
8. RAISE YOUR OWN AWARENESS OF INVESTMENT POTENTIAL OF ART AND ARTISTS - When beginning a home art collection it is good to remember you need to live with the artwork therefore it needs to be appealing to you. However you can also begin to consider the future investment potential of the artwork you're purchasing. At the most fundamental level, check the artist is active i.e. is regularly producing new work for exhibitions and awards, have won any awards, received any reviews of note or are apart of art investors collections. This is important if your art collection is later to be considered as part of your investment portfolio and if you decide to on sell any of your collection in the future.
9. LESS IS MORE - Often when you're in the middle of this process and you've found a style or artist you simply love you can become quite excited and simply want more, more, more. While this is great, you also want don't want to 'overdo' it. Simplicity in most things is always a good rule including art. Therefore if you are deciding on three pieces for the one room and you simply can't decide on the final third piece. Then, purchase the two you're sure about and either hire the third or just take some time to think.
10. PURCHASE YOUR ARTWORK - Now you have completed your planning and research which has built up your confidence to go purchase the art that is right for you and your home. Remember you don't have to do it all at once. It can be a gradual process of building up your art collection - a journey you can enjoy. Or if you don't have the time, simply rent a collection and purchase the ones you love and continue to rent until you have all the pieces you want.
You will know when it is right because as you 'live' with a piece of artwork you become familiar with it and will also learn when is the best time of day to view it and the mood you feel when you view it. If you feel the atmosphere you intended to create has been achieved and your collection is a conversation point with your visitors and guests then you know it is right for you and your home. Please note, all of us react very differently to artwork often because of the emotion we are already carrying around in our heads, therefore a reason why art is such a great conversation starter.
© 2009 Interactive Arts
WANT TO USE THIS REPORT IN YOUR E-NEWSLETTER OR WEB SITE? Yes you can, as long as you include this complete statement with it: Online entrepreneur Fleur Allen publishes the popular quarterly e-newsletter Art Notes. If you're ready to find out more about art and collecting art for your home or office then join the Interactive Arts Creative Community with like-minded people growing their art collections.
Fleur Allen is committed to introducing Art to every home and office. Art is a life-long passion and Fleur educates and advises private and business clients of how to begin their art collection to transform their homes and offices and therefore transform their lives. As an Art Manager, Art Curator, wife, mother and the owner of a successful home-based business:
Interactive Arts offers articles, special reports, tips, exclusive art exhibition invitations, flexible art payment plans including our popular Art Rental Service. Sign up at http://www.InteractiveArts.com.au
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How to frame your art November 03 2014Why frame your art?
The main reasons to frame your art is (1) to enhance your work and compliment it and (2) to protect it from damage from elements like moisture and dust; and from physical damage from handling, touching and transporting. All works of art do not need to be framed. Often canvas paintings are gallery wrapped instead, which is where the canvas is wrapped around thick stretcher bars and secured to the back of the bars, leaving no visible attachment on the sides. While this may be good for some works art on canvas, works of art on paper and board will usually require framing for structure and protection.
How to Choose your art frame moulding
There are different schools of thought when choosing the style and color of moulding when framing your art. Most would agree though that a frame moulding should be selected that enhances and compliments the work of art first, and that the decor of the room is a secondary consideration. Then the art and frame combination may be chosen as one entity to compliment a particular decor. For example a traditional or classic style painting may best be suited by a wide gold leaf or wood tone moulding, whereas a contemporary or abstract piece may be better framed in a slim solid color moulding. A traditional or classic artwork and frame can also look very good in a modern decor and a modern artwork and frame can look good in a traditional decor.
Large works of art generally look better with wider mouldings, and smaller works of art generally look better with thinner mouldings, however this is not always the case. A large oversized frame can give a small size painting a look comparable to a diamond in a setting. If wall space is a limitation when framing a large work of art, then a floater frame may be used. A floater frame is a frame with a solid back to which the artwork is attached, so that the moulding does not touch the artwork itself, giving the illusion that the artwork is floating in the frame. A floater frame may add 1"- 4" to the height and width of the piece whereas a regular frame may add as much as 12".
More than one mouldings are often used to create a unique look. Oil paintings often use an inner frame called a linen liner that is covered in a white or neutral fabric and a fillet (pronounced 'fill-it'), a decorative moulding that fits inside the frame or underneath the mat. A fillet can be used with or without a linen liner. A frame moulding and it's linen liner should never be the same width, the frame is usually wider than the liner.
Choosing the color of the moulding is pretty much common sense, you want to choose a color that compliments and enhances the colors in the artwork, not something that is going to clash. You also wouldn't want a busy looking frame to go with a busy image.
Framing Works of Art on Paper
Special considerations must be made when framing works of art on paper due to the sensitivity to light, moisture, temperature, and restriction of movement. A practice called Conservation Mounting is used to protect the work not only from the elements, but also to avoid any damage to the work by the mounting method itself. You want to be able to remove the work from the framing without any visible indication that the artwork has ever been framed.
The artwork must be mounted on some type of support or mount board prior to being framed. The piece will be in direct contact with the mount board, so the choice of mount board is critical. It must be constructed of acid free material. Archival Foam Board is an excellent choice and will prevent moisture from entering through the back of the frame. All materials used when mounting the artwork should be acid free. Acid free adhesives and acid free corner pockets should be used to secure the artwork to the mount. Adhesives should be easy to remove, and should not stain or darken with age. An ideal adhesive is freshly made wheat or rice starch paste. Pressure sensitive tapes and masking tapes should never be used because they can permanently damage the picture and become difficult or even impossible to remove.
Framing works of art of paper usually requires framing under glass for protection. The glass or glazing as it called protects the picture from physical damage, moisture, pollutants, and damaging ultra-violet rays. There are several types of glazing used including regular glass, non-glare, museum, and acrylic (Plexiglass). Conservation glazing may be applied to glass which offers up to 97% UV protection.
A matboard,(also called a mat, matte or matting) is a paper board or sheet with a cutout window that separates the artwork from the glass, and also serves as a border around the artwork. Matting also serves in the presentation of the artwork. A spacer may be used instead of a mat. The spacer is placed in the rabbet to keep the artwork from coming in contact with the frame or glass.
Fitting the Frame
When measuring your artwork for the frame there is more to consider than just the height and width of the work itself. The rabbet or rebate as it is sometimes called, is where everything must fit. The frame moulding is routed slightly larger than the measurement of your art work so there is allowance for expansion and a little play. The rabbet depth should be deep enough to accommodate the artwork, mount board, matting, spacers, glass etc. The exception to this is when you want the frame to appear to "float" on the wall, held off the wall slightly by the mount board or canvas stretcher bars.
For more information on framing art, photographs, crafts, or memorabilia; and a large selection of wood picture frame mouldings, visit Artist's Wholesale Framing today.
Artist's Wholesale Framing was created to provide artists, photographers, crafters, and hobbyists with a fast, top quality, inexpensive alternative to over-priced retail art and picture frames.Frame mouldings are cut-to-order, usually ship within 24 hours, and assemble in minutes.
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Choosing the right sized painting for a room October 19 2014This is a question most often asked too late, while you are out shopping at a gallery, an artist's studio or at an art event. This should be decided first, while you are considering an art purchase. If you have the correct size and format orientation before you shop, you will be less likely to make a significant mistake, saving yourself and the artist heartache and disappointment.
Think about the orientation first. Would a square, horizontal, or vertical orientation work better in the room? If it is a large wall, would a pair of squares make a nice grouping side by side or stacked rather than one painting? Do you prefer an unframed contemporary style with panels or deep gallery wrap paintings? Do you prefer traditional wide framing? If you will be framing the work, allow for an additional 4-6 inches in width for the framing in each direction when planning the size on the wall.
Now that you have made these decisions, it's time to test out your desires before you shop. Go to an office supply store and buy a roll of brown craft paper and a roll of blue painter's tape. Use a measure and pencil to cut out painting sizes (don't forget to add the size of the frame). Tape the paper where you plan to hang your painting, then step back and see how the size and format will look on the wall. Try more than one to make sure you choose the best possibility. Now you can shop for paintings with confidence and be less of an impulse shopper.
How to flatten rolled art prints October 14 2014
How to Flatten a Rolled Map or Poster
from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit
Rolled wall maps or posters are hard to put on the wall if they're trying to roll back up. Here's how to get them to straighten up.
Roll your poster opposite from the way that it curls. Start loose and tighten it up as you go, to avoid creasing it. Sometimes this is enough to flatten it, depending on the paper and how long it has been rolled.
Wrap rubber bands around your opposite-rolled poster.
Let your poster sit like this for a few hours.
Remove the rubber bands and place your poster flat on a clean surface. Put it so that the side towards which it's curling.
Smooth out the poster and place weights on the corners and in the center of your poster for 2 to 4 hours. Books are a good choice.
Remove the weights.
Hang the poster.
- If your poster continues to curl after completing step 5, keep the weights on for longer.
- Good substitutes for paperweights include smooth rocks, glass jars, bean bags, and heavy books. Don't put heavy weights on the poster on a soft surface. The poster could crinkle.
- Work gently to avoid crinkling the poster.
- If you place the poster on the floor to flatten it, make sure it is out of the way so that nobody steps on it.
Ironing does not work for flattening posters.
If you want to flatten a vintage poster, please take it to a professional.
If you want to laminate a poster, flatten it first.
Do not use rubber bands that have ink stamps on them, as they may stain your paper.
How to Cover Your Room With Posters
How to Mount a Map or Poster Without Damaging It
How to Center a Heading on a Poster or Other Headline
How to Make a Poster
Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Flatten a Rolled Map or Poster. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.
Five steps to art appreciation October 06 2014I still remember when I was first invited to an art gallery by my friends and my instinctive reaction was a feeling of apprehension. It was a strange feeling as I have always loved art especially paintings, so why the anxiety. It dawned on me that I was not worried about experiencing the paintings but how to react to them, what to say and how to converse about them so as to not look like a complete moron to my friends.
This very unusual problem led me to explore and find a simple and down-to-earth approach to art appreciation. The idea is to demystify the process and make it easy to enjoy art. Here are some steps that I came up with to make it an easy learning experience
Tip No. 1 Make it a habit to observe and appreciate art
In order to understand your own specific interests and inclinations in art, develop a habit of observing seriously any art object that you come across be it a painting or a sculpture. We often overlook art objects sitting right in front of us. How many of us honestly take some of the free minutes in our office to look at the paintings on our office walls.
If we spend sometime in observing and appreciating art that we are exposed to in everyday life, we will learn a great deal about what things attract and appeal to us the most and also what are the things that you dislike. In a nutshell you will understand more clearly your likes and dislikes in art
Tip No. 2 Develop your own unique art sense
Once you have spent some time in examining your own preferences in art, you can move towards understanding the forms of visual art that connect with you most. For some it is the lifelike representations in sculpture and for others it is the ability of a painter to depict a memory in vivid colors. To many of us all art forms are a treat for the senses and a tribute to the efforts of the artist
As you organize your own reactions to different forms of art, you will learn to recognize small differences and minor variations of colors and shapes that make a painting likeable or not so appealing to you
Tip No. 3 Research the pieces that you like
Now that you have an understanding of the colors, shapes and styles that interest you the most you should research these further to see if they represent a specific art style or a particular form of art, for example in paintings it could be abstracts, figurative or a combination of colors and theme that represent a definite pattern and style of painting
As you progress further, this research will help you to find more and more distinctively the artists and the media that you like the most. Many a times the styles and colors that appeal to us have a special meaning for us and may originate from a specific region of the world or maybe an art form that we were exposed to early in life and has left a significant impression on us. Sometimes it is the art that you experienced on a great vacation that left great memories and gave you a strong liking for it for life, the reasons for liking some art form are endless some thought to it may give you some clues
Tip No. 4 Refine your art sense
You have already explored and created your own art personality and are equipped with the knowledge of the styles of art that appeal to you the most. Your research has provided you with enough information to feel confidant to give reactions to different styles and also decide what appeals to you in different paintings whether it is the artist's attempt to express his feelings or the emotions the painting evokes in you.
A very important tool that can help to refine your art sense is to keep an art journal. Before you get put off by this seemingly complex work let me quickly point out that it is the simplest form of keeping a dairy. It is a log of the art pieces that you see and your reactions to each piece, this log can be an important means in refining and enriching your unique art sense. Another important benefit of this art journal is that it can serve as a very effective way of relieving stress. No kidding...keeping an art journal is one of the key activities in art therapy which is a form of therapy that uses creativity and art in the healing process
Tip No. 5 Open up to new experiences in art
The last and most significant tip in the art appreciation process is to keep your mind open and receptive to new art experiences. One of the disadvantages of having developed a definite pattern of likes and dislikes in your art personality is to get trapped in this pattern. Do not cage yourself in this citadel of your own creation but remain open to new and totally different creations and art forms.
The whole purpose of art appreciation is to open your subconscious mind to be receptive to new experiences and creations. You will be amazed when you read your own art log as time passes to see your tastes change over time to different themes and styles. Always remember that the objective of art appreciation is to recognize and understand your own love of art and artistry.
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If you are an art lover please visit my art related websites http://www.artseden.com and http://www.paintandcraft.com for a unique art experience
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Art Collecting for beginners October 04 2014Collecting fine art is an inspiring and stimulating hobby for everyone, not just for the rich or famous. There are many forms of art to choose from, as the definition to what art actually is differs from person to person. It doesn't matter what form it takes, the choice is yours in what is attractive and how much your spending limit will be.
As an artist going to college in New York, it has been apparent to me that some aficionados of art may look down on others for their differing tastes in art. For example, there are those who only buy originals, and never prints. For enjoyment purposes, an original isn't necessary to own if the price is out of your budget. Prints are a great way to own framed art that looks lovely on your wall, as an original would, at a fraction of the price. Ok, you won't have the same texture to the painting (the surface of an original can show texture and dimension, whereas a print won't). But, a well printed piece of artwork is not settling by all means. My walls are graced with the art prints of other artists, bought fairly inexpensively online, at art fairs and galleries. They are tasteful and not cheap looking.
When you find a print or original that you like, you can either frame it yourself or have someone else do it for you. Frames come in a huge price range, from the lower priced metal frames to the ornate, hand carved wooden frames that can cost big bucks. Using a mat, which is a way of framing the picture inside the frame using illustration board or papers, can set off or detract from your print. For those who don't know framing, take your picture and have it framed first, then watch how they offer you various mats and frame styles. Take your time and choose what color combination of mat, frame and artwork would look tasteful and appropriate in your home. For a clean, contemporary look, a good type is the inexpensive but still elegant Nielsen brushed metal frame. They come in many colors, but black or bronze are safe to start with. When selling my artwork in galleries, I use bronze ones because they make my art look good, and don't cost a fortune. After all, many people who buy art in galleries have the art re-framed after they buy it, to match their home décor. If wood is more your style, there are some lovely, natural, stained wood frames. My preference is cherry or mahogany for my home, because they have a deep, rich reddish color that looks elegant. The style you choose is up to you, just remember that you'll be living with it for awhile, and so think of what you want to see on your wall for an extended period of time. You can re-frame later, of course, but to save money, choose something that you'll be happy with so that won't be necessary later.
Whether you like prints, originals or other forms of art, enjoy whatever you choose. To me, the purpose of art is to enrich our surroundings, add beauty to a room and convey a mood or interest. Everyone has their own views, so go with what stirs your emotions or interest. Have a budget in mind and stick to it, as most art is for personal use, not for investment. If you buy the work of someone famous, the piece may have value but who knows what tomorrow will bring. So, first and foremost, go with what interests you. That way, if reselling it isn't going to give you much (if any) profit later, it will still make your wall look beautiful, As a professional artist, I want my clients to love their purchases, and be happy that they own whatever they bought from me. Other artists want you to be happy too. Art is for enjoying, so don't be afraid to try collecting. Chances are, you'll be hooked once you do.
Carolyn McFann is a scientific and nature illustrator, who owns Two Purring Cats Design Studio, which can be seen at: http://www.cafepress.com/twopurringcats. Educated at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, Carolyn is a seasoned, well-traveled artist, writer and photographer. Clients include nature parks, museums, scientists, corporations and private owners. She has been the subject of tv interviews, articles for newspapers and other popular media venues.
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Photographing farm jewelry September 23 2014
This blog post is written by Cow Art and More founder and jewelry artist, Kathy Swift.
Full disclosure: I am not a photographer. I barely know enough to be dangerous.
This is a picture of my setup. I put my 'smarter than me' camera on a mini tripod, which comes up to my knees. I put the charm on a box, with some scenery to get the picture. (The charm may be hard to see, but it's at the end of the yellow arrow.)
In this photography session from a couple of weeks ago, I wanted something very 'farmish' and natural as the background. I decided some pretty, green hay was in order.
The problem with wanting pretty, green hay in Florida is that WE DON'T HAVE ANY! The stuff we feed here, quite frankly, are mini tree trunks and it's never pretty. It's that stemmy, ugly stuff that you have hiding in the back of your barn that you will use to bed with this winter.
So I tasked dear hubby with finding me some pretty hay.
Two hours later, he walked in with this:
Yes, it's a bag of Western timothy hay he got from one of those large scale pet stores. As you can see, it's meant for rodents and rabbits and such. What's the price for a bag of hay this pretty you ask? Why it was only $6 for the one pound bag. Not bad, until you start thinking about it in farming terms and realize it's $12,000 a ton.
Maybe I'm in the wrong business.
Nonetheless, I think it was worth it.
You can find Kathy and her jewelry charms at the World Dairy Expo, September 30 through October 4, 2014, Madison, Wisconsin.
How to Hang and Showcase Your Artwork September 09 2014
If the walls in your home seem a little too plain, try livening up your living space with some art. Framed photos or paintings are a great way to show your style and add personality to a home. Sadly, many wince at the tricky business of properly hanging art. Fortunately, you've come to the right place. These simple guidelines will help you get that artwork looking great and hanging level in no time.
To start, take your available wall space into consideration. Are you looking for a piece that will dominate the living room, or just something that will add interest to a small section of a hallway or staircase? There are frames and art for almost every situation, so be sure you know what you're looking for before you buy. You'll also want to make sure that the artwork doesn't clash with your existing furniture or color scheme. For instance, abstract works of art will generally fit better with IKEA furniture than a classic Victorian style, though of course the choice is up to you. Also, if you plan on being able to see the art, make sure the area you choose is well-lit.
Once you've got your artwork, it's time to figure out your placing options. Most experts recommend hanging art so that the center of the piece rests at eye level, usually around 60 inches from the floor, although this will obviously not always be possible. Measure and plan carefully before installing hanging fixtures, as you don't want your wall to end up full of holes from botched attempts.
If you're hanging a series or set of pictures together, place the most important one in the middle position, since the eye will be naturally drawn to it. Differently sized pictures will look more level if aligned along their centers rather than their edges.
Now that you've got your artwork and your location, it's time for the hard part, actually hanging the picture. You'll want the picture to rest flush against the wall, and of course, hang levelly. Your own gallery hanging system should be easy to use, simple to install, and most importantly, sturdy and reliable. Avoid using a wire hanging system, as they tend to slide around and become crooked, however, if you must use a wire hanger, try using two hooks instead of one for added stability. Hooks with more acute angles will also hold a picture better and rest flusher with the wall. If possible, though, try solid fixtures such as D-rings or triangle loops instead, as these are much more reliable. Another excellent option are bracket cleats, which securely lock the artwork in place, and are very sturdy. Double-check the fixtures to make sure that they're level. If they're not, you'll have to adjust your wall-mounted fixtures to compensate.
Carefully mark where the fixtures will end up on the wall, and install the other end of your fixtures. Make sure to use a level before and after installation to make sure that you are completely straight. If hanging your art from drywall, make sure your fixtures are well anchored in a stud in order to prevent cracking or tearing.
If you've done everything correctly, you should now have an attractive piece of artwork that looks great, straight, and steady. Enjoy!
Many thanks to guest author Steven Rosen for this post.
Steven Rosen is a marketing consultant and content writer for AS Hanging Systems. He has an educational background in marketing and communications and is quite the handyman in terms of home improvements and decor.
Cow Art and More to exhibit at the 2014 World Dairy Expo August 29 2014
Cow Art and More, the art gallery where 'art and agriculture' meet, will once again attend the World Dairy Expo. This year's exposition, held yearly in Madison, Wisconsin, will be September 30 to October 4. Gallery owner and jewelry artist Kathy Swift is excited to announce a new booth location in the exhibition hall. "We are excited to be in the Exhibition Hall this year with other arts and crafts vendors," says Swift. "While being the coliseum has always meant being closer to the cattle shows, we're looking forward to being with other exhibits similar to ours." Cow Art and More will have an array of art and craft at booth 6303 in the exhibition hall.
Find out more about the Expo at www.worlddairyexpo.com
Choosing Jewelry - Which style is most flattering for you? August 15 2014The right choice of jewelry can make you feel like a dazzling superstar, even as you do your daily errands. It can enhance your best features, while drawing attention away from others.
Here's an easy guide for selecting the jewelry style that is most flattering for your face and body type.
How would you describe the shape of your face? Is it round, oval, rectangular, heart-shaped, or square?
If you have an oval face shape, you can wear just about any style of earring. Everyone else needs to look for earrings that create a contrast with their face shape. If you have a round face, for example, don't go for a round-style button earring or a hoop earring because this style will actually emphasize the roundness of your face. You will probably find that a rectangular or square earring looks more flattering on you.
If you have a long or rectangular face, you'll typically want to opt for studs instead of long, dangling earrings.
If you have a square face, try hoop earrings or round styles to soften the lines of your face.
If your face is heart-shaped, you probably have a fairly narrow chin, so be on the lookout for triangular earring shapes that feature a wide base to balance the shape of your face.
Your choice of necklace can minimize or emphasize the size of your frame, depending on the desired effect.
If you are larger in stature, you can wear larger pieces. People with smaller frames need to be careful that chunky pieces don't overwhelm their frame and their look.
If you wish to create a taller appearance (or emphasize your tall stature), select a longer necklace and a V-shape. A jewelry piece that goes past your bustline (but ends above your waist) will create an elongated appearance. A shorter, U-shaped style that sits on the breast bone (such as a choker), tends to lead to a shortened appearance.
As with necklaces, your stature will determine your best look with bracelets. If you have an average height and weight, a wide bracelet may be most complimentary.
If you are petite, on the other hand, you will probably want to stick with more delicate pieces. If you are tall or full-figured, you will want to go with something a bit more bold. You can also pull off the look of layering bracelets of various sizes and shapes.
The rule of thumb here: if your fingers are short, try an oval setting. If your fingers are long, try a wide band with a round, simple setting.
Anything You Love
These guidelines are here to help steer you toward jewelry that compliments your face and body type, but the most important thing when selecting jewelry is to find something that you personally love.
When you purchase a quality piece of jewelry, it will last a lifetime, so take your time in considering your selection to make sure it is exactly right for you.
Jamie Jefferson publishes the latest online jewelry discounts and special offers for the web's finest jewelry merchants. You can also find diamond coupons and discounts at Susies-Coupons.com
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