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Creative Wedding Gifts And Ideas

Creative Wedding Gifts And Ideas

Many new couples receive more picture frames, candy dishes and candle stick holders than they can possibly use. While these are all lovely gifts, they are also very common and not likely to stand out very much to the new couple. On the other hand a gift that is truly creative is likely to be well appreciated by the bride and groom.

A collection of board games can be a very creative and useful wedding gift. Many couples enjoy entertaining and having a number of their friends over for dinner, drinks and conversation. While this in itself is a great deal of fun, introducing board games can be a competitive way to spice up the evening and bring laughter into the gathering. Everyone enjoys playing their old favorite board games and many people also enjoy experimenting with new games. Giving the couple a collection of board games as a wedding gift can lead to many nights of fun for the couple and their friends.

Theme baskets also make wonderful creative gift ideas. In creating a theme basket you are only limited by your imagination in what to include in your basket. You could create baskets that are cooking related, sports related or travel related. The key to creating a theme basket that is not only creative but also appropriate for the couple is to keep in mind their likes and dislikes. The couple that eats out every night of the week may not enjoy cooking and would therefore not appreciate a basket full for recipes and kitchen utensils, however, the couple with season tickets to a particular sport may enjoy a basket filled with DVDs from a championship series as well as memorabilia from their favorite sports team.

A couple is likely to receive countless picture frames on their wedding but you can put a twist on the idea of giving a picture frame to turn it into a more creative wedding gift. One way to do this is to purchase a large frame and insert an inexpensive print that the couple will appreciate or a blown up picture of the two of them. This creative gift stands out from the traditional picture frame because it includes a photo and is ready for immediate display. Many picture frames remain in the box for years while the couple tries to decide on the perfect picture to display in the frame but giving the couple a framed portrait or print eliminates this dilemma.

Another creative gift for a wedding is a personalized calendar. Many office supply stores will create a calendar for you if you provide them with the twelve pictures that you would like to include in the calendar. This creative gift idea can be created by an office supply store for a relatively low price or the wedding guest may opt to create the calendar themselves on their own computers. It is very simple and many word processing programs offer calendar templates. This creative gift idea is sure to be appreciated by the new couple for its practicality and originality.

There are many companies that will create a print that has the appeal of a watercolor painting from a photograph. Giving a gift certificate for this service can be a very creative gift idea. You may choose to give the gift certificate with instructions for the couple to redeem the gift certificate to have a water color likeness created from one of their favorite wedding pictures. If you have a copy of a picture that is flattering to both the bride and the groom you may want to arrange for this service using the picture you have in lieu of giving the couple the gift certificate. The one caveat to giving this gift is to allow enough time for the print to be created and returned to you so that you don’t have to present your gift to the bride and groom after their wedding date. If you plan to attend the wedding in person, it is appropriate to have the gift for the bride and groom either at the wedding or else scheduled to arrive via shipping prior to the wedding date.

A couple that already has children may appreciate a gift certificate stating that you would be willing to baby-sit for the couple’s children once a month for the first year of their marriage. This creative gift is extremely useful for the couple because it allows them one night a month to go out and enjoy themselves.

Creative wedding gift ideas don’t have to be expensive but they are often widely appreciated. A creative wedding gift is likely to stand out from the more traditional gifts. Creative gifts are also likely to be greatly appreciated by the new couple.

History Of Cuckoo Clocks

History Of Cuckoo Clocks

Cuckoo clocks are unique creations that are centuries old. The first cuckoo clock was produced back in the early 18th century in Germany’s region known as the Black Forest. Clock making in this area of Germany dates back to the early 17th century, almost a full hundred years before clockmakers and craftsmen produced the very first cuckoo clock. The father of cuckoo clocks in believed to be the German clockmaker, Franz Anton Ketterer, although there are a great many stories and lore revolving around this unique timepiece.

This early clock was thought to be inspired by a Bohemian design from the late early 1600s that came to Germany from a peddler from the modern day Czech Republic. This method of selling timepieces made the cuckoo clock even more famous, as clock makers all around the Black Forest area of Germany. In the next three centuries, peddlers would travel all around Europe selling these charming timepieces, further influencing different areas of Europe with the unique sound of the cuckoo clock.

Although the first cuckoo clocks were made of wood, they are a great deal simpler in style than the intricately decorated and heavily carved creations that are usually thought of to be cuckoo clocks. Instead of just the case being made of wood, early Germany clockmakers made every piece of the clock from wood, including the gears and other working parts. This is one of the reasons why these early clocks have fallen into disrepair or are completely lost. Furthermore, many of these early clocks were painted with watercolor paints, which do not have the potential to hold their pigments over time and are easily removed by simply cleaning the clock with a damp cloth.

Although these early clocks were more primitive than their modern day counterparts, they included the famous cuckoo bird instead of more traditional chimes to mark the hour. Native to Asia, Africa, and Europe, the cuckoo bird is a unique bird that lays their eggs in the nests of other birds, which in turn rear the cuckoo’s young as surrogate parents. This bird was commonly grey in color, although the female features a vibrant tuft of red feathers atop her head.

Also like today’s clocks, the early cuckoo clocks were decorated in schemes that showed families, military motifs, or hunting scenes. In the late 1800s, the production of cuckoo clocks became industrialized and began production for customers all over Germany, Europe, and the rest of the world. Soon, the cuckoo clock became immediately synonymous with Germany life and style, making the timepiece an incredibly popular souvenir. Three of the more famous clock makers in Germany began making cuckoo clocks, namely Theodore Ketterer, Fidel Hepting, and Johann Baptist Beha.

Unlike the industrialization in other parts of the world where large, noisy, dirty factories took over the countryside, the cuckoo clock factories were generally much smaller and housed in cottages where entire families would contribute one specific part of the clock. Each individual was trained in one aspect of clock making or decorating, with one family member working on the actual clock, another working on the case carving, another on painting the decorations, and another to completely assemble the piece. Over 13,500 men, women, and children worked in making cuckoo clocks during this period of time in the Black Forest village of Triberg.

Today, the cuckoo clock has made its way all over the world. Still made in many of the same traditions, the most historic cuckoo clocks are still produced in the Black Forest region. Whether you choose to decorate your home with a clock that houses the tiny bird or want a true German souvenir to remember your trip, a cuckoo clock is the perfect addition to any home.

Advanced Artistry Photoshop Tutorials

Advanced Artistry Photoshop Tutorials

If you’re a Photoshop user with a working knowledge of the basics, you may well enjoy the Advanced Artistry Photoshop tutorials. With this intermediate level training package you can hone some very advanced Photoshop skills. Here is what you’ll learn.

The Introductory CD will tell you all about the course and the instructor, including some tips on how best to learn from the Photoshop tutorials. You’ll learn about the technical aspects of the presentation and its variations from Mac to PC.

The next of the Photoshop tutorial CDS is called Utilities. Machine basics are included in this lesson plan, as well as PS preference and essential shortcuts. You’ll learn navigation shortcuts, as well as those for imaging, tools, and workspace.

You’ll get a quick review of all the keystroke and Photoshop super shortcut techniques and help setting up your own workspace.

The next of the Photoshop tutorials tackles the subject of retouching. In this CD you’ll learn the professional retouching techniques, how to assess the Photoshop image, how to analyze the histogram, as well as the contrast, lighting and texture.

You learn how to do an analysis of the focus and to manage the contrast controls. You’ll learn the ins and outs of contrast levels, and the use of each level. You’ll learn to use curves, to enhance color and the advanced techniques to avoid saturation.

These Photoshop tutorials will also teach you to use the patch tool and the healing brush, and to burn and dodge demos without destruction. You’ll also master the technique of red eye reduction.

Advanced artistry tutorials in this Photoshop lesson package will also include a CD that teaches how to adjust for focus and the center of interest, how to sharpen the focus, how to enhance the field depth and how to fish or burn edges.

In the fine art toning CD you learn intermediate and advanced techniques of producing black and white photos from color originals, how to work with and create sepia tones, selenium tones, digital cyanotypes and maps with gradients.

Fine art photograph effects lessons include soft focusing, angelic and dramatic posing, high contrast and high keys and cross processing.

Including in this Photoshop tutorial is mastery of fine techniques for people’s skin, giving them the look of perfect skin, of radiant and dramatically glowing skin, advanced techniques in metal skin looks, infrared and translucent skin, and the use of maps for displacement.

Natural media and landscape techniques are taught in Photoshop advanced artistry tutorials as well.

Enhancing the skies and adding sky from other photos are techniques taught, as well as using the history and art history brushes, and burning and dodging without being destructive.

If you want to create a professional hand drawn look you can master that technique through Photoshop tutorials, and can also learn watercolor, logos, and vector illustration too. Hand tinting lessons are varied and include painting in a color mode and adjusting of layers.

Grid and Tech glows, TV scan lines, pixel drags, and edges and borders that are soft, painted, beveled or burned are all advanced artistry Photoshop tutorial lessons.

Simple Instructions For Being Your Own Handyman (or Handywoman)

Simple Instructions For Being Your Own Handyman (or Handywoman)

As part of your financial worth and as your peaceful retreat from the world, your house is your single most important possession. We spend a lot of time in the home, so you should be sure it is the place you like to be.

If the caulking surrounding your tub is stained or mildewed, consider replacing it. With less than an hour of work, your bathroom will look much nicer. Use a screwdriver or other tool to remove the old caulking, and ensure that the surface is dry before applying the new caulking. Look for a variety specifically meant for bathrooms; many of these also resist mildew growth.

Keep your fans circulating, or invest in some if you do not currently use them. Rooms are kept more cool with the circulating air created by fans. In addition, if you use them instead of air conditioning on those days that are not scorching, the amount of energy you consume is reduced, allowing you to enjoy lower electric bills.

When using nails to join wood surfaces, such as those in door frames, try reinforcing them with glue or liquid nails. By doing this, the wood will be reinforced with a much tighter bond than normal and strengthen the quality of your construction, which will last for many years without the need for constant repairs.

If you’re painting your home, you should make sure that you paint the trim last. Moldings can actually be cut to size and painted before you place them on with a finish nailer in order to avoid any drips, but you should always wait until the end. Painting these first will result in you having to go back over them.

Sunrooms are a great addition to any home and they add both value and activity. Enjoy relaxation at its best and enhance the aesthetics of your home by choosing to build a sunroom. Let the sun shine through! A sunroom provides energy for your home and it is definitely a great home remodeling project.

To reduce the amount of water you use in the shower, install a low-flow shower head. Many varieties provide great pressure while using fewer gallons per minute than standard shower heads. Not only does this save you money on your water bill, but using less hot water means that your water heater doesn’t heat as much, either.

If you have watercolor paintings hanging in your home, try to place them where they do not receive direct sunlight. The sun, or any bright light, will cause the colors to fade over time. Your treasured paintings may lose their vibrancy–and value. Keeping them out of the sunlight will help preserve their colors.

If your room feels plain, add interest to it by choosing a heavily patterned rug. Stripes (horizontal or vertical), polka dots and swirls always make for a bold statement in your room. Don’t be afraid to try new things, even if at first glance they don’t match. Try small swatches of a design before you purchase the full product to make sure you like it.

Although it can be tempting to continually put off home repairs, or hire a professional to do simple repair work and, in doing so, rack up a costly bill, most people are amazed to discover how easily and readily they are able to do basic home repair work and maintenance themselves.

Folk Art Auctions

Folk Art Auctions

Folk art auctions feature a wide range of objects that reflect the artist’s craft traditions, and traditional social values. Folk art is generally produced by people who have little or no academic artistic training. Folk artists usually use established techniques and styles of a particular region or culture.

Folk art auctions include paintings, sculptures and other decorative art forms. Some artists also consider utilitarian objects such as tools and costumes as folk art. For the most part, the category of folk art auctions exclude works by professional artists.

It has been my experience that folk art auctions have something for just about anyone. I found a folk art painting of a cat in a peach tree that was done by the artist Tascha. The artist also noted on the folk art auction that they create unique ceramic tile art.

My mother purchased a blanket chest for me years ago that I listed recently in a folk art auction. The chest was made about two hundred hears ago and is very beautiful. The original painted decorations are still intact.

I found an interesting folk art auction for a carnival knock-down dummy in the shape of a large cat. It was made around 1930 and is twice the size of similar items. I researched the item on a non-auction site and found that it is worth a lot of money.

My heart is still swayed by Americana folk art auctions. I recently fell in love with a painting I found up for auction of Elvis on a Harley in front of a large American flag. It was spectacular! The stretched canvas was painted with acrylics.

I especially like the Halloween themed folk art auction I found that was offered by Sister Raya New Orleans Folk Art. The title of the painting was Little Spooky the Cat – Awaiting the Great Pumpkin. The painting was painted in classic vintage style and used gold maple, red sapphire, blue pearl, white, pumpkin orange, sable brown, amber rust and jet black. I would love to have this hanging on my wall all through the autumn months.

Another folk art auction that I found and was sad to bid up past my budget was a handmade set of miniature dominos. The set was in a folk art decorated maple case. The set dates from the mid to late 1800’s. It was really exquisite and I’m sorry that I missed out on it.

I really liked another folk art auction that I found for a modern fraktur. A fraktur is a specific kind of Pennsylvania German folk art. The fraktur I found was a watercolor of a marriage record. It was very colorful and looked like it held very special significance to its original owners.

I found a wood box from Maine in a folk art auction that really appealed to me. It was rather small, but was painted chrome yellow and was trimmed in forest green. The paint was crazed and worn and it was made in the late nineteenth century. There were no visible nails and the hardware was reported as looking original.

The folk art auction that I missed out on that was way out of my price range was for an Andrew Clemens sand bottle. The sand bottle was date 1887 and was covered in patriotic decorations. It was an apothecary style bottle with a stopper and it contained at least ten different colors of sand. The bottle ended up selling for eighty five hundred dollars. I’m sure that it has ended up in an excellent collection of folk art.

I found an amusing folk art auction for three wooden carvings. The name of the piece was Three Articulating Folk Art Whimseys and were all made by the same artist. The carvings were accented with sheet metal neckties. The first carving in the folk art auction was of a cobbler, a blacksmith and a gentleman with a donkey. The second carving was a diminutive soldier and the third was a cobbler smoking a pipe. I think that this piece of Americana was purchased at a low price of three thousand dollars and was worth much more.



Paint the Town

Paint the Town

Paint happens to be a craft supply that no crafter could ever be without. You will find that you can buy the paint at local craft store and you will begin to get familiar with the brands and colors of paints. You will also find that the wide range of products can be overwhelming and sometimes intimidating. You will find that you will want to take your time to choose the right paints so that you can save some money and so you can create good and enjoyable projects. You will also learn the difference in paints and be able to shop efficiently.

The most popular kind of paint happens to be watercolor.. Most children have a set of watercolors when growing up, and they are common in craft rooms as well. Watercolors are great because they can create a soft look if you use a lot of water or a very sharp, heavy look if you use very little water. You may be able to use this type of paint for all sorts of projects, but you will find that you can waste all your paints trying to make it even in coating or thick in coating. And, of course, watercolors are not good for outdoor projects, because they do not withstand the rain. Tempera paint, which is commonly sold with children’s craft kits and is used in school frequently, is basically very thick water colors, so use it as you would watercolor paints.

Acrylic paints happen to be something that is very common to use among crafters. You will find that these paints are not something for children to use, but children can use them. Although these are not used frequently with children as watercolors may be. When acrylic paint dries, it becomes a plastic, so you can use acrylics for outdoor projects as well as for indoor projects. This type of paint is thicker than tempera pain, but it cleans up easily with water. However, make sure that you clean your brushes and any spills before the acrylic paint dries-afterwards, the plastic-y remains are permanent.

Oil paints are used a lot in the market. You will find that they can require some dangerous chemicals to use for clean up and they aren’t among the favorite kinds of paints with most crafters. Oil paints are more common for artists to use than for crafters, but they still do have a place in the crafting world. If you purchase oil paints, remember that you’ll need to get special cleaning tools and liquids as well, and don’t use them around children.

There happen to be a variety of paints that you can use and purchase that will help you to do large projects and even special projects. You will find that there are edible paints for cakes or cookies and then there are fabric paints that will help you to decorate or design clothing. When you have decided on the type of paint that you would like to buy, you will then want to make a purchase and get at least five colors in the paint to help you to make your paintings or designs. You will need the primaries plus black and white paint to help you make every color. You may also want to get green, purple, and orange, but you can also mix colors to get every color of the rainbow. Mixing colors can be a fun aspect of painting.

Making a Big Change

Making a Big Change

Today, canvas is the most popular of all art media. From fine art reproductions, contemporary art, abstract art, original paintings and digital photos can be turned into canvas prints.

Although canvas is certainly the most popular and preferred medium of painters nowadays, back then the use of canvas for paintings was not prevalent. Until the time comes when the use of canvas was seen as a solution for oil paintings to prevent deterioration, it radically changed the nature of paintings.

Printing on fine art materials such as canvas and watercolor papers is often referred as Giclee which is a French term that means to spray or squirt, which is how an inkjet printer probably works. However, inkjet canvas printer is not the same as a standard desktop inkjet printer, and is much larger at over a meter wide.

Using the inkjet canvas printing process to create canvas prints can provide you a better color accuracy than other means of reproduction to satisfy the rigid print quality followed by the worlds leading artists and photographers in creating masterpieces.

Canvas printing process offer artists and photographers many advantages. For example, if you’re an artist you will put a lot of time and effort into a painting and experience joy selling it, but when it is sold you have to start all over again. However, if you use this inkjet canvas printer, you can sell your work of art paintings over and over again because you can reproduce your art work as much as more as you want. Great idea, huh?!

Inkjet canvas printing has also become popular to the photographers who are applying their pictures to stretched canvas and other digital art papers to give images a whole new quality. Photographers find the quality of inkjet canvas printing to be very appealing. They can also be reproduced to any size and onto other forms of media using inkjet canvas printing.

If you want to create a painting printed on canvas using inkjet printers I strongly advice that you must look for the printer that is using professional 8 or 12 color inkjet. For instance, Epson and Hewlett-Packard these printers are capable of producing very detailed prints for both the fine art and photographic markets. Using rolls of canvas, is another way, printers can produce prints up to 44″ in width and unlimited length. Even professional artists can have a difficulty in telling the original from the copy when printed at a high resolution of 2880 dpi.

Children’s Art Paintings

Children’s Art Paintings

Children’s art paintings are fun to look at. They bring me good feelings. I have had a lot of jobs the last couple of years buying children’s art to hang in various places. I have enjoyed every single job.

I bought two children’s art posters for the children’s hospital to hang in one of their waiting area. They were both from Maurice Sendak’s book Where the Wild Things Are. I loved that book when I was a kid and this art brought back some good memories.

I found a Jim Daly children’s art print to frame and put in the physical therapy lounge at a local rehabilitation center. They wanted to put together a friendly feeling place that would help keep kids entertained. I put the painting where parents can read.

I was asked to hang children’s art along a long hallway in a home I was decorating. I thought that this was an odd request because there weren’t any kids living there and the home had a very stark and cold feel to it. It was definitely the minimalist style this homeowner had that left me puzzled.

The children’s art paintings that I ended up choosing for the hallway were all from the same artist. The artist specialized in mini paintings and they were all so simple and beautiful. They actually fit with the owner’s style. I had each painting put into a simple frame with no matting and hung them all along the long hallway.

I actually liked this artist so much that I purchased twice as many children’s art paintings than I needed to complete the hallway job. I plan to give these paintings as gifts to people that I know with either a child or a whimsical spirit. I even liked the artist’s name, Lollipop Art.

I was asked to add some decorations to a family’s daughter’s room. The family was extremely active and bicycling seemed to be the primary family exercise. I thought it would be fun to find some children’s art painting that depicting cycling in a fun way. I found an acrylic signed by the artist of a woman on a bike with a child and a yellow balloon.

I had a client call me asking about buying a children’s art painting by artist Stephanie Bauer. The painting was called Dragonfly. I did find the painting and also found that it was not for sale. Fortunately, there is a fine art print made from this painting. My client was more than happy to purchase the print and have it framed in an extremely nice frame. It hangs in her daughter’s room now. She loves it because it is pink!

I was hired to find a painting for the waiting room at a local dance studio. I found that all of the classes were for children, so I looked for a children’s art painting to hang there. I found one called Little Girl Ballerinas. It was very colorful and whimsical. The owner of the studio loved it.

I was hired to redecorate three girls’ bedroom. The family had three daughters that all wanted children’s art paintings on their walls. Each had a distinct personality and interests that didn’t overlap with the other two. The first girl received an acrylic painting called Sports Girls. This sister is the one that is very athletic.

The next sister is very interested in entomology. She is very shy and quiet. I found a children’s art painting for her that she really liked. I could buy the actual watercolor from Pily Torres, so I bought a reproduction that looked great after it was framed.

The third sister was completely immersed into dancing. I found a gorgeous children’s art painting of a folk art ballerina that had several different pinks in it. It looked great without a frame and she was really happy with it.

The most recent job I had wanted something really unique. They wanted a children’s art painting, but they were more interested in an extremely large mural. I found one that the family really liked that depicted a fantasy scene. It looks like there is a castle in the background and a unicorn in the foreground is leaping. I liked what it added to the room, it was the perfect choice.



Buying Orange Paintings for Friends

Buying Orange Paintings for Friends

Buying orange paintings for friends can be very rewarding. This can also be a business if it is done properly. If you know your friend’s tastes, you can be very successful.

I have been finding the most delightful paintings in orange lately. I have been buying the paintings for friends. They have been very well received.

I found a seascape that had a beautiful red and orange sunset in it. The artist was Robyn Joy and buying paintings from her has been relatively easy. Her prices are reasonable and the quality is excellent.

There was a painting that I decided to buy for some friends that were getting married. The painting was enormous and perfect for the loft they just purchased. It was orange and red and had a very stylized heart represented in the center. The painting was shipped from Germany and arrived only three days before the wedding!

The painting that I chose for my son’s college roommate was of orange sneakers. He got an executive position at Nike and needed help decorating his office. He loves the color orange and was thrilled that I actually found some dynamic modern impressionistic art for his office that featured shoes.

My yoga instructor has been a good friend to me. I found buying a painting for her to be a very rewarding search. The painting that I ultimately chose was an abstract nude orange oil painting. She proudly hung it in her studio.

My love of orange paintings tends to lean toward the abstract. I keep finding paintings that really speak to me. Buying the paintings for my friends has been really fun. One of my oldest friends received a painting of orange blossoms for Christmas. I know that orange trees bring back wonderful memories for her.

While I was searching for just the right painting for my friend’s new home, I found a wonderful artist named Aileen. I bought her painting called Sunset Palm. It was an original acrylic painting on solid wood. It was breathtaking.

Folk art is something that I am not very good at buying. I found myself drawn to some pieces at a local gallery that were very colorful and fun. I even found myself buying one! The friends that I bought the painting for are cat lovers and this was a folk art painting of three cats.

The painting I bought for my best friend looks very stylish on her plain walls. It complements her modern furnishings and it makes an instant focal and conversational point. This painting is orange and burnt sienna has a dream like quality and, according to the artist, is born from our rich cultural heritage of myths, legends and poetry. It is full of atmosphere and evokes feelings of mystery.

Pop art is fun to buy for friends. I had a friend move to Southern California and buy a beautiful home. I found the perfect painting for his stark white kitchen. The painting is of an orange and a glass of orange juice. It looks so nice on the new wainscoting.

My niece is getting married later this year. I have spent quite a bit of time getting to know her soon-to-be new in-laws. I have found a lovely painting for them as a welcome to our family gift. They are involved in rose competitions and I found them a wonderful oil painting of a wild orange rose. I can’t wait to give it to them.

The most energetic painting I’ve purchased was for a friend of my husband. I found an art student at the local college that was trying to sell a wall painting she had done in orange and green. The painting depicted orange and green in nature and how they represented the moods of the day. I wanted to keep this one for myself.

I have a friend that teaches in a Montessori school. I found that buying a painting for the school was pretty easy. The classroom my friend teaches in is called the Iris room and I found a lovely watercolor painting of an iris that was very vibrant. My friend and her students sent me a very lovely thank you note for buying it.



All About Tole Painting, Learning the Basics

All About Tole Painting, Learning the Basics

There are different kinds or types of painting and for the ordinary indivudal, it can be rather confusing. You probably have come across oil paintings, watercolor paintings, body painting, face painting, and many others; but did you know about tole painting?

Tole painting is considered as folk art. It is the painting of wooden and tin utensils, furniture, and other objects in a decorative way. Objects may refer to metallic objects like coffee pots, kitchen utensils, and other household items. The wooden objects can be chairs, tables, chests, jewelry boxes, and even toy boxes.

When did tole painting started? It all started in New England way back in the eighteenth century particularly in Pennsylvania. It was done by the German immigrants at that time. The same thing happened in Scandinavian countries and its Swedes, Danes, and Norwegian immigrants. The Germans concentrated more in tin and metal tole painting. On the other hand, Scandinavians worked on furniture and wooden objects. There is a slight difference in the patterns of these two traditions.

Tole painting in today’s modern times makes use of long-lasting, sturdy, and inexpensive acrylic paints. How is tole painting done? First, the wooden objects are sealed and then primed. After that, the object is sanded and the paint is decoratively applied.

What makes tole painting valuable? Oftentimes, the skill in tole painting runs in the family. Therefore, the story and favorite patterns of the family are shown in the various tole paintings. The paintings are painted in freehand and it can be of humorous themes, various colors, family jokes, and illustrations of family stories.

There are expensive as well as cheap tole paintings. It all depends on the quality of the utensil, the personalization, the art, the work, and the story. There is a great advantage in tole painting especially if it is your craft. For instance, if you come up with a not-so-good painting, you can easily sand it off and then repaint the utensil. Experts though can tell if a certain tole painting is repainted – there is an indistinct background of a certain object. Repainting often occurs if the painter is still inexperienced. Some pieces of furniture, utensils, and similar objects are repainted because it is too valuable to the owner and they don’t want to get rid of it and so instead, they have it repainted.

Now, you can find tole paintings in various surfaces unlike before where you only see them in metal-ware and tin surfaces. If you want to learn more about tole painting, try to search the internet for important information regarding this type of art.

If you do your research, you can find tole painting resources like project instructions, tips on how to do tole painting, and your needed supplies. There are online tole painting shops that you can visit that sell handmade and tole painted items. You choose a utensil, furniture, chest, chair, table, or other objects that are tole painted. You can easily purchase them online as long as you have a credit card. Be careful though when making online purchases; just make sure that the page is encrypted so that you can protect yourself from online scammers.

Tole painting is becoming more popular nowadays. With the demand for tole painted items increasing, the price of such items can increase in the future. If you want, you can invest in tole painting and have a business of your own. You can even do the work yourself especially if you’re artistic and creative.

What you need to know about a paint brush?

What you need to know about a paint brush?

Most of us like to paint different things. Some of us are professional painters while some of us just paint for fun. If you are serious about the subject it’s very important that you have some knowledge about the different types of paint brushes.

Paint brushes are made up from stiff or soft hairs, which are either natural hairs or synthetic fibers. Soft brushes are specially designed for thin paints as they spread easily. Similarly incase of hard strokes you need hard brushes for creating brush marks in the paints.

Is natural hair better than synthetic?
Natural hair paint brushes are expensive as compared to the synthetic brushes. The modern synthetic brushes are excellent and have flexibility to beat even a Kolinsky sable. If you are considering buying a painting brush then synthetic paint brushes are the way to go.

Natural Hair used in paint brushes
• Sable: Sable brushes are expensive as compared to the other natural hair brushes; they are soft, flexible and form a point when they are put into a brush. Kolinsky sable brushes from Siberia has been off late renowned the best hair for watercolor brushes.
• Squirrel: Squirrel hair brushes are comparatively quite cheaper than sable hair brush. They are made of soft hair with a little bit of spring. If you considering buying a squirrel hair brush it would be advisable to go for larger squirrel brushes as they work better than the smaller ones.
• Hog/Bristle: This strange brush is made from the hair at the back of the pig. A hog or a bristle brush is string and springy with natural split ends. They are mostly used for oil painting and acrylics painting.
• Camel: Camel brushes are made from other types of soft hair. Camel hair is unsuitable as it is too wooly.

Painting your way forward!

Painting your way forward!

‘Painting is just a leisure activity , so it’s a waste of time!’ That’s what most people tend to think. But is it really?

When I started meddling with water colors, I was only five or so, but I still remember the joy of discovering new hues and ways to brighten my plain white paper. It was a magic touch of light that carried me away into a new realm of amazement and joy. My parents bought me some colors and a small brush hoping to keep me busy indoors for some time and out of mischief! But this device has been keeping me busy till now! I can’t imagine my life without it. It just would be so very dull!

It’s a pity some people have not tried to discover yet the joy of drawing and painting , or any other form of art. If you belong to those who believe that it is a waste of time, just think of so many things are a real waste of time, but not this one.

Being creative releases a part of your soul , you feel free ,you feel you can do everything , because imagination can do everything. You are a different person and if you have problems to solve, then this is the best way to do it. Let yourself be creative, release your energy on art and you will feel calm and confident to go on.
There is no wonder why some people use Art Therapy. They’ve found out the terrific advantages of this method on people’s feelings and behavior.

And beware. You don’t need to be an artist!
“I can’t draw a straight line,’ most people would say. ‘So, what?’ Practice makes perfect! That old saying applies so well in this case. You can discover your hidden talent and become an excellent artist , or you can simply enjoy yourself in a creative way! However, it doesn’t really matter how good or bad your creation might be, it is yourself you are displaying in it, not your professional abilities.

So, take the first step. Get a piece of paper and start now. Here are some tips to get you started.

And don’t forget to enjoy it!


watercolor: tips

First you need either a single sheet of paper or a watercolor block.
Directly before starting work, the paper is well dampened and stuck , or pinned down.

A single wetting is not enough. It takes a while for dry paper to soak up enough water.
While the paper is relatively dry before another wetting, you can lay in a few pencil outlines of your intended picture. The lead should not be too soft, H is about right.

After the drawing, dampen the page again and leave it to dry while you get the paints ready.

Always keep 2 jars of water at hand: one for washing out the brushes and the other, filled with clear water for the pipette or for clean brushes.

Brushes: No 6 is OK.
Paints: Keep them in a tin box. Pans are more economical, but it takes longer to soften. Tubes are simpler.

Sponge cloths or rags are needed to wipe palettes clean.

BLUE –prussian blue
YELLOW- Ochre golden ochre
RED- Mars red
GREEN – Viridian

560 wds

Upcoming Trip to Sotheby’s

Upcoming Trip to Sotheby’s

I am planning a trip to an auction at Sotheby’s in June. I have a real interest in 20th century British art and they have an art auction scheduled. I have spent a great deal of time planning this trip.

While I was browsing the Sotheby’s online catalog, I found a signed Sickert named South Façade of St. Jacques. I saw this painting once in London in 1971. It has been in Canada since its purchase around that same time.

The painting is thought to be painted around 1900 after the artist had been in the town of Dieppe for two years. He found a great deal of beauty in this medieval place. He loved the architecture and it was the subject of a lot of his work. Sotheby’s has several pieces of his work up for auction at this event.

I also noted in the catalog that Sotheby’s will be auctioning off a watercolor of a cat by the artist Gwen John. She painted a lot of cats and also portraits of seated women. She was known to paint the same picture over and over again like Monet did.

There was another lot listed in the Sotheby’s catalog that interested me. I really am partial to Sickert and there was a painting that he completed in Venice while he was there with his wife. There are stories of marital troubles between them and the trip to Venice is thought to have been taken to repair their marriage.

I can’t wait to see the painting Thunder in the Mountains by James Dickson Innes. His watercolors are really splendid. The painting is thought to have been painted in 1910 in the mountains of North Wales. Sotheby’s has such an extensive catalogue for this auction.

I’m anxiously awaiting my trip to London. I love Sotheby’s art auctions and going out to expensive restaurants at night. I plan to go to the Mango Tree while I’m there. It is the best Thai food, hands down, that I’ve ever eaten.

My business partner was really taken with the Landscape Near Lyons painted by Sir Matthew Smith. I liked this oil painting as well. The Sotheby’s catalogue reported that the painting was done in 1922 and that there is a still life of flowers on the reverse. My partner will be unable to make this trip and has asked me to bid on it for him.

I have a small private collection of pencil drawings. I liked the Flower in a Glass Vase that was penned by Christopher Wood in 1925. I think that it would display nicely with other still lifes that I have. I think that this pencil art may well go for twelve thousand dollars. My favorite pencil drawings have all been found at Sotheby’s auctions

I have a patron that is very interested in a lot at the Sotheby’s auction that contains Poppies by Ivon Hithchens. She has authorized me to bid up to sixty five thousand dollars for her. I hope that I am successful in acquiring it for her. I know that this Sotheby’s auction will be well attended because they all are. It is too much to hope for that no one will notice this fantastic painting.

After looking forward to this trip for so long and poring over the Sotheby’s catalogue so intently, I must say that I have my heart set on Broomswade by John Piper. I absolutely must have this watercolor. The person that is selling it has been the only owner. He bought it directly from John Piper in 1966. If I win nothing else, I will win this painting.

The only other painting that I plan to bid on at the Sotheby’s auction is one by William Turnbull. There is a collector that I know that desperately wants this painting. He owns several of this artist sculptures and has now started to collect his paintings.



Love of Asian Botanical Paintings

Love of Asian Botanical Paintings

I have a love for Asian botanical paintings. I’ve been seeking them out for a long time. I have many in my collection and love each and every one of them.

The first Asian botanical painting that I bought was Vietnamese. It was one of a series of twelve paintings that I bought that were created by Vu Viet Hung. I have them all over my home.

These oil landscapes by Vu Viet Hung are stunning. These Asian botanical paintings really set a serene tone in my home. The subtleties of the colors and the simple themes go so well on my walls.

I found a lovely Asian botanical painting quite by chance at a yard sale. I don’t usually make a habit of looking for paintings at yard sales, but this one was displayed out front and enticed me to stop. At first glance, I thought I was looking at a painting of a palm tree. At closer inspection, I found that the painting was of a bonsai tree.

My office has a more contemporary feel than the rest of my house. I have found that I like to have an abstract Asian botanical painting to ponder while I am thinking. I searched for a long time to find just the right piece to hang there. I finally found a piece by an artist named Soniei called Enlightenment.

Soniei has a collection called the New Zen Sho Collection. I love his work. The abstract that I bought is considered an Asian botanical painting because it features bamboo. In addition to the bamboo, there is beautiful calligraphy.

I have my eye on another Asian botanical painting by Soniei that has shades of sea-foam green. It is much more subdued than the one I bought called Enlightenment. This one is called Self-awareness and it is just lovely. It is another painting of bamboo.

My mother-in-law admires the Asian botanical paintings that I find. I found one that I really liked at a gallery in Hartford while I was on vacation. It did not fit with my home and so I bought it for her. She has really enjoyed it. It features two flowering trees in acrylic on two panels. The painting really is stunning with all of the shades of red. It looks great in her house.

My husband isn’t as big a fan of Asian botanical paintings as I am. They just don’t speak to him. He has allowed me to hang one painting in his office because he approved of the color scheme. The Asian botanical painting he chose for me to hang for him was a black and white.

Our daughter loves watercolor Asian botanical paintings on fabric. She keeps her eye out for advertisements in our local paper for people selling them. She has already purchased three. She is well on her way to her own collection.

Bamboo is the most popular subject in Asian botanical paintings. I have found so many paintings in so many different mediums that all feature bamboo. I catch myself buying so many paintings that I’ve started giving them as gifts for friends and family for house warming gifts.

My sister recently bought a condo and I gave her an Asian botanical painting of happy birds and bamboo. She liked the watercolor and asked me to find her two more to hang throughout her home. I was able to find several more at the same shop that were created by the same artist.

The other Asian botanical paintings were of snow bamboo in moonlight and green bamboo. I’ll keep checking back at that store for new paintings. She said that she could probably use one or two more.

I am planning to redecorate my kitchen. I do not like the French Country décor that the previous owner chose. I would prefer that my kitchen reflect my personality better. I will absolutely need an Asian botanical painting hung prominently in my kitchen.

I have the perfect Asian botanical painting in mind already. It is a nice Chinese painting that was done on rice paper with ink, water and color. It is mounted with nice silk border by an expert and is ready to frame.



Buying Impressionist Cityscapes

Buying Impressionist Cityscapes

I have been looking for impressionist cityscapes in various mediums to decorate my home. I prefer to hang art that was created in the last fifteen years. There are so many great artists to choose from.

I have decided that I want to have three impressionist cityscapes painted in acrylic. I will be buying one called Stormy Desert that was painted by an artist named JoanAnn. The piece is painted on a 40” X 30” canvas and has flowering cactus plants in the foreground.

The next impressionist cityscape painting I plan to buy is called Tuscan Waterfall. The piece is a triptych and is on three gallery wrapped canvases. The artist lives in Tennessee and supports herself with her art.

The last acrylic impressionist cityscape that I plan to buy is called Autumn Dream. Autumn is my favorite time of year and the painting captures every color of autumn. The artist painted the sides, so there is no need to have it framed. I can’t wait to see this hanging in my home.

I have found only two impressionist cityscapes that I liked in the Gouache medium. The first was from an artist named Joe Wojdakowski and the subject is an area located in Wells, Maine. I’m not sure why I am so drawn to this particular impressionist cityscape, but I am and plan to buy it.

The other Gouache impressionist cityscape that I plan to buy features Big Ben in London. The artist is an Englishman named Alasdair Rennie. The scene is rainy and I like it a lot. It reminds me of my time in London when I was a child.

The first oil impressionist cityscape painting I bought was called Koi Pond Reflections. I’ve seen this artist’s work before and I always really like it. The painting was completed using brush and knife. The painting has not arrived, yet, because the paint is very thick and needs to complete the drying process undisturbed. I cannot wait to get it!

I really like having various styles of impressionist cityscape paintings. I don’t just like variety in the mediums; I like variety in styles and influences. I really fell in love with an oil impressionist cityscape painting called En Sendero that was originally purchased in Oaxaca, Mexico. I purchased the painting for just over three thousand dollars.

The oil impressionist cityscape painting of Paris that I want was painted by a well recognized painter Radik Atoyan. He is Armenian and signed the painting in his Armenian language. He has a unique way of using color that just makes his painting look special.

I have also been interested in watercolor impressionist cityscape paintings. There is an original painting that depicts an urban rainy night that I think would be perfect for me. The painting just makes me feel good to look into.

I made a purchase not long ago that was painted by an Israeli artist named Yosef Kosssonogi. The use of color in this watercolor impressionist cityscape is so vivid. I could not wait to hang it on my wall. After the shipment arrived with the painting, my brother came right over with a level to hang it.

I found a painting that reminded me of a vacation I took to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The impressionist cityscape painting was created by Adam Maeroff and I think that it is the perfect painting to complete my collection.



The Soul of Painting – Themes

The Soul of Painting – Themes

Are you an art buff? Well, if you are, you and millions of other individuals surely don’t prefer the same style of painting. Each individual has his or her own yaste in art. A person who likes abstract painting may not like gothic painting. Water color and oil painting are very much different and so, you may not like them both. People are like this because of the soul of the painting – themes.

Each painting has a distinct theme. In fact, theme is considered of primary importance in each art piece including paintings. It is the painting’s life and therefore an essential element. If you can tell the theme of a particular painting, you can easily pinpoint how and why it was created. But of course, this will take time and expertise.

If you want to paint, make sure that you establish first the theme of your painting. Otherwise, your painting will be lifeless. You can choose among these various themes – animal figures, gods, goddesses, mythology, romance, nature, court scenes, folk lore, literature, and many others. It’s really up to you to choose. You see, painting themes are based from imagination and real life. Make sure that you choose one that you’re really interested in and can put it into life.

If you like nature paintings, your theme may be landscapes, skyscapes, seascapes, riverscapes, and many others. Suppose you choose landscapes. You can do abstract paintings of the landscapes, acrylic painting, American painting, oil paintings, Chinese paintings, watercolor, urban paintings, romantic landscapes, renaissance, and so on. If you made an oil painting of the landscapes, you can still create sub-themes.

Some painters base their themes according to the medium they use. You can use watercolor, oil, ink, pastel colors, and other naturally obtained colors. Based on the medium you’re using, you can do elephant, cats, or camel paintings or whatever it is that you desire.

It is believed that humans have souls and without the souls, man will cease to exist. This too can used to explain the themes of paintings. Without a theme, your painting will be lifeless. It will be in disarray and no one can appreciate it. Paintings come into life if you use the right medium and the right theme. This should be your first task as a painter.

Art admirers are always on the hunt for beautiful and meaningful paintings. As mentioned earlier, each individual has his or her own art preference. But despite this fact, the theme is still of great value for art admirers. Without a theme, art admirers will not be able to choose a particular work of art.

There are many resources online that you can use to help you in establishing a painting theme. New painters should also do some research about painting – how painting started, its evolution, the famous paintings, and many other helpful information. This wills serve as your guide as you start your painting sessions. Some individuals even enroll in painting schools to learn the basics of painting.

You too can enroll in painting classes to enhance your talent. Painting as a career is not a very easy task. You have to learn many things so that other people can appreciate your work. But there are also those who find painting a great hobby. It helps them to ease tension after a hard day’s work. Whatever your reasons are, just continue what you’re doing. Who knows, you may be the next Da Vinci or Michelangelo.

Acrylic paints can be diluted with water

Acrylic paints can be diluted with water

Acrylic paint comes in a tube, just like oil paint. However, since acrylic paint is water-based meaning it dissolves in water instead of oil-based meaning you need to dissolve it in oil or turpentine, it’s much easier to clean up after. You can soak your brushes and clean your hands in plain tap water, instead of smelly and flammable chemicals.

Another advantage to acrylic paint is that it dries much faster than oil paint usually overnight. If you’re working on a painting that needs to be done on time, that’s important. Acrylic paint was developed as a water-based alternative to traditional oil paints.
Acrylic paints can be diluted with water, but become water-resistant when dry. Depending on how much the paint is diluted with water, the finished painting can resemble a watercolor or an oil painting.

Acrylic paint is a fast-drying paint containing pigment suspended in an acrylic polymer resin. Different from oil painting as watercolor is different from oil painting. There are techniques, which are available only to acrylic painters, and there are also restrictions, which are unique to acrylic painting.

Acrylic paints can achieve an oil-paint-like effect, and do so in much less time. Applied to look like oil paints, acrylics are somewhat limited due to the superior color range of oil paints, and the fact that acrylic dry to a shiny, smooth.

Acrylics paints are sometimes used in place of watercolors because acrylics dry closer to the desired color slightly darker, usually, while watercolors dry lighter and often unpredictably, especially for beginning artists.

Great Techniques To Try On Your Next Watercolor Painting

Great Techniques To Try On Your Next Watercolor Painting

If watercolor paintings are your style then here are some watercolor techniques you should try.

“Washing” is a technique commonly used with watercolors. You start by wetting the area of the paper that will be covered with the wash. Then mix up enough pigment to fill the area and apply the pigment starting at the top and overlapping on any horizontal bands. The wash is then left to dry. Don’t work it as it will even itself out as it dries.

The technique called “dropping in color” is a process where an additional color is added to a wet area of the painting which is then allowed to naturally bleed without any interference by the artist. The results are unpredictable with interesting color gradations.

“Glazing” is a technique similar to a wash, but instead of application to a wet surface a thin layer of pigment is applied to a dry surface over washes that already exist. It is used to adjust tone and color on a wash, and it is applied in layers until the desired affect is reached. Just be sure that each layer is dry before applying the next layer. Auroline, cobalt blue and permanent rose are good transparent pigments to glaze with.

The “wet in wet” is a technique where you fill your brush with a very wet pigment that is then applied to a wet paper. It can be applied on top of existing washes that have dried. Just dampen these areas with a large brush. This technique provides soft subtle marks that are great for background areas.

The “dry brush” is opposite to the “wet in wet” technique. The brush is filled with pigment with the use of minimal water and then it is dragged across the dry paper, producing a very crisp mark with a hard edge. It is an excellent technique for front work and points of interest.

“Lifting off” is an interesting technique where the pigment is dissolved and lifted off after it has dried. Just wet the area you want to lift and then use a tissue to blot the pigment off. Reds, yellows, and blues can be more difficult to lift.

Watercolor painting is an interesting form of artistic expression and it’s a common choice for beginning artists.

Buying Watercolor Paintings

Buying Watercolor Paintings

I’ve been buying watercolor paintings for decorating jobs. I’ve found some really nice pieces on eBay. I recently bought a watercolor painting by an artist named Y. Gianni. The painting was produced in 1890 and depicted an Italian village. It was very vivid and pleasing to look at.

I was trying to find just the right watercolor painting for a client when I came across one by an artist named William B. Gillette. The colors were pastel, ranging from soft greens, browns, blues, purples and peach. The scene was that of a pebble beach and crashing waves. The hills on one side gave the beach a feeling of privacy. It really spoke to me and my client loved it.

There was a cabin that I was decorating for a discerning client that needed one more piece of art to complete the look I was going for. I found a wonderful watercolor painting that fit just right. It had a lot of mossy green colors and there was a lake with a lake house. The artist turned out to be Charles Dickens Wader. He is a well known artist from New York.

I have a client that collects art from Romeo Tabuena. I was fortunate to find two watercolors that the owners had purchased directly from Tabuena in the fifties when they lived in San Miguel. The owner settled with me for an even thousand dollars. My client was thrilled.

A lawyer friend of mine hired me to redecorate his office. I had a lot of fun putting in things that reflected his interests and tastes. He loves polo and I found a wonderful watercolor painting of two polo players on horses. My friend liked the paintings and they have become a conversation piece in the new office.

My friend’s dad liked the office I decorated so much that he commissioned me to redecorate his office. He is a hunter and I found a really nice watercolor painting of several mallard ducks flying above a marsh. The painting was done by Jim Killen and he has painted for Ducks Unlimited. His work is well known and respected. My friend’s father really liked the find and proudly hung it in his reception area.

I was really unsure where I was going to find suitable art for the program director’s office at a local radio station. When I went to visit with him for a consultation, his office was absolutely stark. I like watercolor paintings and that is my first choice for buying art. I found a fantastic watercolor painting of Bob Marley surrounded by sunflowers. It was awesome and perfect for this job.

There is a musician that I was working for a couple of years ago that wanted their studio decorated with paintings from the artist Raoul Dufy. Raoul Dufy made a whole series of paintings called Hommage to Mozart. I was able to purchase three watercolor paintings in this series. I have always been on the lookout for more paintings to purchase for this client.

A friend of mine asked me to find a watercolor painting to give to her mother. I found one by Henry H. Parker that was of cattle in landscape. The frame was what caught my eye at first because it is heavy gilt. It would never hang in my house, but it looked great at my friend’s mother’s house.



Watercolor Paintings – Why You Should Try It

Watercolor Paintings – Why You Should Try It

Paintings add up to the beauty of homes, offices, and business establishments. If you have the skill to paint, you should try to develop it. Learn more about painting by enrolling in painting classes or you can research about it online. Whether you’re an adult, teenager, or a kid, learning how to paint is not that difficult especially if you put your heart into it. While you’re trying to find a media to use, perhaps you might want to try watercolor paintings.

You can express your chosen subject matter through the use of watercolors. In fact, there are many advantages in using this media over other types of media. It is also a beautiful way to convey your feelings through your painting.

Here are some of the best reasons why you should try watercolor painting.

1. It is easy – as compared to other types of painting, watercolor painting is really easy and you can expect better results in a very short time.

2. Fast – there are certain techniques that you should learn in watercolor painting. Once you learn such techniques, you can do quick washes and spontaneous strokes. This is the beauty of watercolor painting and you can finish your piece in less than an hour and the greatest thing is that you will get satisfying results.

3. Great for people who are always on the go – if you travel often, carrying watercolor kits is not a problem. The kits are lightweight and come with compact boxes that you can carry around with ease. The paper used in watercolor painting can be purchased in blocks so you don’t need a lot of space. Preparing the papers needed is also not required.

4. Does not smudge – as compared to charcoal and pastel, watercolor painting doesn’t smudge.

5. Dries quickly – in several minutes, your art piece is already dry. But if you use oil paints for your painting, it would take days or even weeks before the piece dries up completely.

6. Watercolor is also a fluid – because of its nature, with only a few strokes, you can already fill large areas.

7. ‘Accidents’ can contribute to your creativity – you don’t have to worry about accidents during watercolor painting because it can magically develop into something beautiful. You can even pour the watercolor on the paper as you start your painting and see what designs it can create.

8. Watercolor painting is versatile in look and style – you can do illustrational works as well as abstract arts. You can experiment in some designs that you haven’t done before and it will all depend on your skill and creativity.

Experts say that using watercolor is hard because the artist or painter can’t control it easily. For beginners, here’s a good advice – let the watercolor’s magic work. Don’t interfere at first and see the designs it can create and start painting from there. Allow endless explorations and you can surely enjoy your creativity for the rest of your life.

As an art lover, you already know that sometimes beautiful paintings come as accidents. But this should not be the reason to stop practicing. If you frequently practice, in time, you will be able to control your strokes and create more artistic and unique watercolor paintings. Never stop learning because by doing so, you can develop more interesting and artistic ideas that you can use in your paintings.