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Facts about Japanese Calligraphy

Facts about Japanese Calligraphy

The Japanese calligraphy has its roots in the calligraphy  that originated in China. Its history can be traced back to the period of 28th century B.C. This makes it quite an ancient art. Traditionally, the art of calligraphy in Japan was practiced on mulberry leaves with the help of ink. This form of calligraphy has an alternate name in Japan and i.e. shodou. The word ‘shodou’ means way of writing. In Japan, calligraphy is taught to people right from the childhood. The influence of Buddhism had spread in Japan in the period around 7thcentury. Scriptures associated with Buddhism were mostly documented by means of calligraphy.

Interesting Details about Japanese Calligraphy

The specialty of Japanese calligraphy is that in this fine art, the strokes need to be drawn in a certain order. This art is unlike Roman calligraphy where the order of drawing the strokes is not specific; it is just arbitrarily done. Important styles of calligraphy in Japan are the Gyousho, Kaisho and Sousho. Here is more information on these styles.

  • Gyousho: This is a semi-cursive style of writing in which you find the script to be flowing or fluid. This style makes the characters to appear rounded i.e. with curves. If you go with the literal meaning of Gyousho, it is translated as ‘travel writing’. The Japanese people generally make use of this style of calligraphy when they have to take down notes. The style is commonly used by educated people in Japan.
  • Kaisho: The Kaisho style is characterized by the clear letters which resemble the ones seen in printed documents. The literal meaning of Kaisho is ‘correct writing’. You have to be very careful while using this style because it needs to be written correctly without incorporating any cursive strokes. This is the reason why Kaisho is taught to students. The fundamentals of drawing and sketches can be understood through the art of calligraphy Once they learn the correct usage of strokes in Kaisho, they can easily move on to semi-cursive and cursive writing styles.
  • Sousho: The Sousho is a cursive style with flowing strokes. This style is also referred to as ‘grass writing’ owing to its flowing strokes. One of the characteristics of this style is that the brush hardly leaves the paper. However, it means the readability is compromised to some extent. The Sousho and Kaisho are on two extremes where the former is characterized by flowing strokes and the latter by a clear/correct writing.

The art of Chinese and Japanese calligraphy had a great influence on artists of the West. Artists like Picasso and Matisse have admitted to be influenced by this form of calligraphy. In fact, Picasso went to the extent of saying that had he not been a painter, he would have loved to become a calligrapher.

All these facts about Japanese calligraphy underline the importance of this art form. They also highlight the fact that, it had great influence on other cultures of the world. It is therefore, necessary to preserve this style of writing and make useful contributions to it.

Fundamentals of Drawing

Fundamentals of Drawing

Every form of art has its own beauty. While carrying the special beauty, every art requires certain basic fundamental principles to be observed while doing the same. So the art of drawing has also a set of fundamental principles. Along with the growing practice of doing practical training, it would be necessary to know these art fundamentals, too. Here are some of the fundamentals of drawing.

Seeing The Shapes

Basically the visual art is matter of seeing. So an artist has to see very well the object to be drawn or painted. The shapes, yes, the shapes of the objects are of much importance. Once you identify the shape of an object well, you can think about its lining that would recreate the shape on paper or canvas. You can start drawing after getting exact idea of the shapes.

Light Effect

The intensity of light falling on an object indicates the areas of your operation. The light decides where to move your pencil or brush. Lighted area would take the lighter colours and the spaces getting lesser light would be darker. That is called the ‘value’ in the language of art. A good drawing would have the full range of the values, meaning all types of shades should be depicted as per their values.

Control and Consistency

Consistency is the maintaining of a particular style of drawing or painting. If you can do it, your artwork would be like your signature. People would see an artwork and they would recognize it immediately as yours. So to keep working on your own style is crucially important in the world of art. Moreover, if you have good control over the pencil, you can draw precise lining and shading. The structure of the objects drawn and their relative size would render an artwork aesthetically beautiful. At later stage, it would help in exploiting the fullest value of colours and creating rich textures.

No Room for Deviation

This applies to the portrait drawing. When you are working under a commission and are required to draw or paint the portrait of a person, a slight variation would ruin your entire work. A slightly bigger eye or a lip thicker than the original one could displease the person being portrayed. In portrait drawing, there is room for artistic imagination, but you will have to honour the reality, too.

Get Together All the Helps

An artist uses various resources while doing his or her pencil drawing or a painting. You can use your sketchbook or the photographs of the object or the scene to be drawn. Instructions available in and on videos would be a great help for the beginners. Finally, if you can spare regular hours of time, thinking about to attend a painting or drawing course would be a great idea.

Stable hosts photography exhibit

Stable hosts photography exhibit

The flowers are in full bloom, the vegetables look ready to eat, the beach scenes beckon, and there is a glimpse of European travels, all inviting the viewer to “Through the Lens 11,” photography by Anne Holland. Anne Holland has returned to The Stable for the second time in the last three years to exhibit her photographs.

The exhibit is Holland’s second at The Stable. There are 45 new pictures in this show.

“I sold 40 pictures at the two-hour reception at The Stable in January 2007,” Holland said.

Holland’s life as a photographer began eight years ago. She was moving from her home in Wilton, Conn., to a condo in Danbury, Conn.

“When we put our house on the market I made a little photo book of our perennial gardens. Then it took off from there,” she said. “I started making greeting cards with my photos and now my total sales of cards is 11,000.”

When she first started taking photos, she borrowed her son’s camera; now she uses a Canon film camera and also has a small camera in her car.

Holland discovered The Stable while visiting her daughter’s family, who are village residents.

“There is nothing like this [The Stable] in Connecticut. It’s my favorite space,” she said.

It takes five to six months to prepare for the show, she said.

Morning and evening are the best times to photograph, for the light, commented Holland. She said flowers are her favorite thing to photograph, especially roses.

“Wagon/flowers” was photographed in Palm Desert, Calif., with most of the floral photos shot in Descanso Gardens. “Yellow tulips,” “Pink/yellow poppy,” “Sunflowers,” “Sepia rose,” “Peach poppy,” “Orange tulips,” “Gerber daisy,” “Orange zinnia,” and “Purple daisy” are also being displayed. Orchids were photographed at the New York Botanical Gardens, as was Chihuly glass. A photo of water lilies was also taken at the Botanical Gardens.

During a trip to Siena, Italy, hats and the flowers adorning them hung outside of a flower shop that caught Holland’s eye.

“Whenever I shoot, I have an idea what people are looking for,” she said.

“Blue/yellow pansy” was photographed in Myrtle Beach.

“Restaurant/bike” and “Pizza restaurant” show street scenes in Rome. The Food Court in Barcelona provided vibrant colors for “Cherries/peaches,” “Radishes” and “Tomatoes/garlic.” “Peppers/lemons” was photographed in Corsica.

Holland called “Tart,” taken at Zabar’s Bakery in Grand Central Station, a fun food shot.

Beach scenes photos in the exhibit include “Pilings/seagulls,” and “Two canoes” from Martha’s Vineyard, with “Sea shells” her granddaughter brought from Cape Cod. Atlantic City, Myrtle Beach, Cape May and Westport, Mass., also provided interesting shots. She photographed “The Alabama Pilot Boat,” an early 1900s vessel, while on a ferry from Oak Bluffs in Martha’s Vineyard.

There is also a look at an Annapolis, Md. home called “Green Shutters.”

Holland’s greeting cards are sold throughout Fairfield, Conn., and her photographs are on display at businesses in both Connecticut and New Jersey.

She is a member of the Candlewood Camera Club of Connecticut and has received outstanding achievement awards from the International Society of Photographers, first place in Westport magazine’s photo contest, and first place in the Orlando Sentinel’s photo contest. Her exhibits have been featured at Candlewood Camera Club and three libraries. She will be displaying at another library in April.

G Fine Art in Northeast Washington opens ‘Naked,’ featuring works by AB Miner

G Fine Art in Northeast Washington opens ‘Naked,’ featuring works by AB Miner

With all the galleries sprouting up along H Street NE, the neighborhood may be on its way to becoming Washington’s next big arts district, and another addition this weekend will certainly help the area’s credibility. G Fine Art, formerly housed along 14th Street, is taking up residence in the up-and-coming neighborhood.

The gallery celebrates its move to Northeast Washington on Saturday with a new exhibition and an opening reception. The work of A.B. Miner goes on display in “Naked,” a show that strips down in more ways than one. In one diptych, Miner pulls back the curtain on his creative process, while a massive 12-panel painting shows a year in the life of a post-surgery expanse of skin from a landscape of stitches to a healed, though scarred, chest. Meanwhile the video piece “Fly 08” — a riff on Yoko Ono’s “Fly” — features the interaction between an insect and a reclining nude figure.

2 Pittsburgh Graffiti Gang Members Arrested

2 Pittsburgh Graffiti Gang Members Arrested

Police have arrested two men in connection with $4,200 worth of graffiti damage throughout the city of Pittsburgh.

Police said their investigation began when graffiti displaying “CCK,” “3311,” “DRAMA” and “SLAVE” started appearing in the city in October 2008.

Police concluded that “CCK” was an abbreviation for “Crazy Cracka Killas,” a known graffiti group. Police said “3311” was the numerical value of each first letter in the alphabet, with both Cs equaling a “3” and K equaling “11.”

In February 2009, police said the graffiti was found in a men’s bathroom stall at a restaurant. The IDs of those inside were checked and Stephen Wadlow, of Pittsburgh, and Patrick Walsh, of Dormont, both 22 years old, were identified as suspects.

Police said both were interviewed the following month and received summons arrests.

Police said the men were responsible for damage to 10 different sites in the city, totaling $4,200.

Both men have been charged with $2,100 in damages and face seven counts each of criminal mischief.

Sell Your Art Online – Why You Should Consider It

Sell Your Art Online – Why You Should Consider It

Being an artist myself, I know how hard it can be to sell your art in the real world that is one reason you might what to try to sell your art online. A few years ago I decided to start selling my art online and I’m glad I did. Now, I’m not getting rich doing this, but I have made more sells online than I ever did in the real world. Plus I don’t have schlep my artwork from place to place.

Lets just take a look at some reasons you should consider selling your art online.

Convenience In the real world you have to sale your art in galleries, art festivals, fairs, libraries or any place that will allow you to place your art and sell it. Now consider you have to pack up your artwork and carry it to these places and in some of cases hung the work yourself. Also consider that the pieces that don’t sale you have to take them down, pack them up and carry them back to your home or studio

However, when you sell your art online you just put up some photos of your artwork on a website with some information on the size, medium and price and depending on where you put it you may be able to keep your artwork there indefinitely. Even if the artwork doesn’t sale on a site where it has to be removed, all you have to remove is a photo and some information. No packing and no carrying bulky paintings back and forth.

You Have Total Control By selling your art online you take over total control of your art career. No more middlemen telling you how much to price your art for and then taking a cut of your money when the art sells. Galleries will take anywhere from a 40 to 50% cut of your art sales. Art Festivals will charge any where from $200 to $500 fees just to be in the festival and demand that you have a certain amount of inventory, which you have to pay for. If you don’t sell anything at the festival you are just out all of that money.

If you sell your art online you can decide when where and how long you have your art up on a website and although there are some sites that may charge you to have your art on them, most of the places are free and the ones that do charge it’s usually a very small amount. Also most places where you can sell your art online will let you set your own price and won’t charge you a commission. So you can keep 100% of your art sells. Also on most places that allow you to put art on their sites, you can put up as many or as little as you want.

A Worldwide Customer Base When selling your art in the real world your art sales are usually limited to the place where your art is at the moment. If you are exhibiting at a gallery your art sales are limited to that gallery and the people that come into that gallery. If your art is being shown at a fair your art sales are limited to the people that see your art at that fair. I think you get the picture. For the must part in the real world your art sales is going to be limited to local or regional sales.

On the Internet you have a worldwide audience to market your art to. Because of selling my art online I now have my artwork in Japan, France, Great Britain, Canada and other places that I would not have been able to reach in the real world. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world you will be able to reach people from different countries. An artist in Italy can sell a piece of art to a buyer Russia or an artist in India can sell a painting to a buyer in the United States. Your online presence is your art gallery to the world.

Phillips County Art Show set March 25-28 in Holyoke

Phillips County Art Show set March 25-28 in Holyoke

The annual Phillips County Art Show will be held Thursday, March 25, through Sunday, March 28 at the Holyoke High School Commons, 545 E. Hale Street. The show will feature the work of regional artists of Colorado and Nebraska.

This is the eighth year the art show is being sponsored by the Phillips County Arts Council. Area artists, from beginners to professionals, and students are encouraged to enter their work.

A collection of the work of local artist Jessie Scott will be on display during this year’s art show.

Scott was born in 1912 and lived most of her life on a farm in the Haxtun area. Her interest in art began at an early age and continued into her 90s. She was a prolific painter, sculptor and stained glass artist. She created a series of stained glass windows located in the Haxtun Church of the Brethren, depicting the ministry of Christ beginning with the Nativity and ending with the Ascension.

Her artwork is well known in this area and around the country and is held in many private collections throughout the United States and in England. Scott died earlier this year. A limited number of prints of her work will be available for purchase.

Artists may enter their work on Thursday, March 25, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Accepted media will be acrylic, china painting, creative stitchery, collage, colored pencil, drawings, fibers, hand-thrown ceramics and pottery, jewelry, mixed media, oil, pastels, pen and ink, pencil, photography-traditional, photography-enhanced, scratch art, sculpture, stained glass, tole painting, watercolor, weaving and wood carving.

Judging will take place on Friday morning, March 26, and an oral critique for artists and anyone interested will be offered from 1:30 to 3 p.m. An oral critique for students will also be offered at 1:30 p.m. The show will be open for public viewing on Friday from 3 to 10 p.m., Saturday, March 27, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on Sunday, March 28, from 1 to 4 p.m. Many art pieces are available for purchase and the public is encouraged to visit the show and appreciate the work of area artists.

This year’s entries will be judged by John Cross of Sterling. Cross is assistant professor of fine arts at Northeastern Junior College. He received his bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and his master’s in fine arts from Fontbonne University in St. Louis, Mo. He has taught drawing, painting and design classes at colleges and universities in the St. Louis area. Mr. Cross refers to himself as an image maker.

While primarily a painter, he uses an eclectic range of techniques, media and imagery to create art works that reflect his thoughts on contemporary culture and the power of the individual. His work has been displayed throughout the U.S. and is held in several private and public collections.

Susan Reber of Sterling will judge student entries. She will be offering a student critique on Friday, March 26, at 1:30 p.m. Reber has been painting for 30 years and has taught art in grades K-12, as well as at the college level. She prefers watercolor and paints in both realistic and impressionistic styles. She also works with collegiate sports design and interior design.

Spate of Graffiti Sprayings in Lakewood

Spate of Graffiti Sprayings in Lakewood

Several incidences of spray-painted graffiti in Lakewood, NJ, have residents on alert, though, sources say, the graffiti does not appear to gang-related or targeted at any specific group, but rather simple vandalism.

Graffiti is not a new phenomenon in Lakewood, where anti-Semitic writing has shown up in various neighborhoods, including Coventry Square, over the last few years.

In the more recent incidents, a new house on Ridge Avenue, at New York Avenue, was blatantly sprayed up in an act of vandalism.

In a second instance, a non-Jewish house of worship was sprayed with graffiti as well.