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Choosing the right sized painting for a room October 19 2014

This 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.

Steps

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.


Tips

  • 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.



Warnings

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.


Related wikiHows

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 2014

I 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.

For more info please email the author at anudarbha@paintandcraft.com

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

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Anu_Darbha

Art Collecting for beginners October 04 2014

Collecting 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.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Carolyn_McFann

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

silo-jewelry-charm

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 2014

The 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.

Earrings

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.

Necklaces

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.

Bracelets

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.

Rings

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

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jamie_Jefferson

How to Flatten Rolled Art Prints August 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.

Steps

  • 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.



Tips

  • 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.



Warnings

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.


Related wikiHows

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.


How to keep sterling silver and gold jewelry tarnish free August 12 2014 2 Comments

This is an article from Cow Art and More jewelry artist, Kathy McComb Swift

In the process of designing, constructing and selling sterling silver jewelry to customers, I am often asked how to keep the jewelry clean and free of tarnish. Here are a few of my recommendations along with customer mistakes (and how to fix them!).

1. The first thing you need to know is that "tarnish happens" when it comes to jewelry. Even gold jewelry, after many years, will eventually tarnish. Tarnish is caused by the reaction of the copper, in the sterling silver, to humidity and elements. Even perfumes, lotions, hair care products and sweat will accelerate tarnish on jewelry.

The remedy: Try to make sure all your "body products" (hairspray, lotions, etc.) are dry before putting on your jewelry. After you are done wearing your jewelry, wipe it clean and dry with a soft cloth (I prefer plush cotton or flannel) before storing it.

2. Leave jewelry sitting out, exposed to the air most of the time, tarnish becomes inevitable.

The remedy: Store jewelry in a place that is cool, dark and not exposed to air. Other jewelers advocate placing jewelry in a ziploc bag for storage. You must make sure your jewelry is absolutely dry and the bag is free of air when doing this. Otherwise, you create a "rainforest" in the bag and it will tarnish in a matter of days! If you want to do this, I would recommend wrapping the piece in a soft cloth first, then place in a ziploc bag. Squeeze all the air out of the bag before closing. For those that like having their jewelry in a box where you can easily see it, place a piece of chalk in the box. The chalk will absorb the moisture. Be sure to replace the chalk monthly.

3. My jewelry is tarnished. What is the best way to clean it?

The remedy: Always opt first for a polishing cloth to remove tarnish from your jewelry. I sell and recommend the Sunshine polishing cloths, but have also had good luck with Haggerty's silversmith polish sprayed on a soft cloth. (Do not spray this product directly on the piece.) Sometimes I will use the tarnish removing dip to clean a piece, but ONLY if the piece is metal only (no stones) and if there is no "patina" on the piece. (Patina is the intentional oxidation of the piece to highlight details.) These dips mush be used with care as they are removing the outer layer of metal on a piece (like the cloths) and can act very quickly!

4. I use a tarnish removing dip cleaner for my silver and now it tarnishes so much faster. Why is it doing this?

The remedy: While the liquid dips that remove tarnish will do so, they leave a sulfur residue that makes the jewelry react with the air and tarnish more quickly than before. If you are going to use the silver dip, the jewelry must be rinsed for a minimum of 15 minutes under running water to remove all the sulfur residue.

5. Someone told me to use toothpaste and/or baking soda to clean my jewelry. Is this okay?

The remedy: Using either of these is only okay only IF the sterling silver has a matte finish. If the jewelry has a shiny, mirror polish to it, these abrasives will remove the tarnish but will also scratch that shiny finish. Should this happen, they only way to remedy the situation is to have a professional properly polish the piece again, assuming the damage isn't too great.

6. What about ultrasonic jewelry cleaning?

The remedy: This is only an option for pure metal jewelry (no stones) or jewelry with stones hard enough to withstand ultrasonic cleaning. Stones such as coral, turquoise, tanzanite, and others are not ultrasonic cleanable. When in doubt, please consult the designer of the piece or a jewelry repair expert.