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September 17, 2022
View: 238


Reus is situated in north east Spain on the Costa Dorada. It is a historic city with a number interesting sights to visit and when you need to take some time out there are a great choice of bars, restaurants and shops.

Reus Airport is just 2km from the city and about 80km south of Barcelona on the CN-420 road to Tarragona. From the railway station in Reus there is a daily train service to Barcelona which takes about 55 minutes.

The best way to explore Reus and the surrounding area is by car. It is easy to drive to positioned near the Autopista del Mediterraneo which the principal motorway going north to south along Spain’s eastern coast. From the Autopisto just follow the T-315 which runs directly into Reus. If you are approaching from western Spain drive along the major E-90 motorway and join the N-420 towards Baden.

Reus is probably most famous for being the home of the famous architect Antoni Gaudi, but it boasts no examples of his work and the finest Modernist creations are by Lluis Domenech I Montaner which include the Pere Mata Institute, the Casa Navàs, the Casa Rull and the Casa Gasull.

Reus has for many centuries been notable for the production of wines and spirits (particularly brandy). Other products include olives and hazelnuts. A recommended tour of Reus starts in the Plaza de Prim with its beautiful Theatre Fortuny along Calle de Monterols to Plaza del Mercadal with the modernist Casa Navas which still contains all its period furniture, coffered ceilings and lamps. Plaza de Sant Pere has a sixteenth century Gothic church with an octagonal bell tower from the top of which you can see the whole of the Costa Dorada.

In the old quarter of Reus you will find the Gothic San Pedro church (Antonio Gaudi was christened here on 26th June 1852), and the Prim-Rull Museum. The Reus Tourist Office offers scheduled excursions to buildings which are generally closed to the public plus free entrance to the Salvador Vilaseca Museum and the Art and History Museum with paintings and drawings by Maria Fortuny and Joan Rebull.

In the month of June Reus holds its biggest fiestas with live music in the squares every night and street entertainments including Castellers which are the famous towers made of men. Once you have seen the main attractions that Reus city has to offer, you might like to consider a day trip to Tarragona, Salou or Montblanc.


Tarragona is very full day of sightseeing. It is only a 15km drive from Reus along the N-420A, C14, T11 and A7 motorways. It is the capital of the Costa Dorada, standing on a hill overlooking the Mediterranean sea. Tarragona has a large number of tourist attractions concentrated in a small area.

It was invaded by the Romans in 218BC and most of the monuments forming the city’s cultural heritage were built during the Roman occupation including the amphitheatre, the aqueduct and the Escipions Tower. The Roman city wall was built in the 2nd and 3rd centuries BC with a good part of it still remaining along with three towers from the same period.

Its imposing Romanesque-Gothic cathedral has one of Spain’s finest cloisters dating back to the 13th century. Nearby are the archiepiscopal palace and the archaeological museum. You will find almost everything of interest within the old city walls. The most important street is Las Ramblas which leads to a great viewing point called the Balcón de Europa which overlooks the lower part of the city and fishing neighbourhood of Serrallo.

Tarragona is a port and commercial centre exporting some Spain’s finest wines which are produced in the nearby Priorat region. Also the Carthusian monks who were expelled from La Grande Chartreuse in France in 1903 settled in the city and still produce their famous green chartreuse liqueur.


Is just 10km west of Tarragona and is 10km from Reus city centre along the C14 and C31B motorways.

Salou is fairly spread out and merges with the neighbouring resorts of La Pineda to the east and Cambrils to the west, all of which have l clean sandy beaches and secluded rocky coves. Salou is also packed with entertainment for all ages including watersports to an aqua park, go-karting and Universal’s Port Aventura which is a massive theme park modelled on Florida’s Busch Gardens.

Salou’s seafront promenade has beautifully landscaped gardens and parks with fountains which are lit up at night. It offers some very lively entertainment with a number of nightclubs, bars and British-style pubs.


Is a medieval town just 30km from Reus along the C14 and N240A motorways. Montblanc a former residence of kings and knights and is the place where St. George reportedly slayed the dragon. In the village there is a marker commemorating the deed.

The dukedom of Montblanc was created by King Juan I in 1387. In the Middle Ages Montblanc had its own fairs and markets and a notable Jewish community. It still have with two thirds of the primitive walled area from the 15th century, towers and the gates of Sant Jordi and Bover and it was designated a monument of historic and artistic value in 1947.

The majestic Gothic church of Santa Maria with its baroque façade has a stone altarpiece dedicated to saints Bernardo and Bernabe. You can also visit the 13th century churches of Sant Miquel with a Romanesque façade; the church of Sant Francesc and the church and hospital of Santa Magdalena with a Renaissance cloister.


Source by Linda Craik

September 2, 2022
View: 277


Hanging art has been and still remains an integral part of adorning our modern day man caves. We have always had an urge to make art an important element of our interiors dating as far back as the prehistoric wall cave paintings and base relief of the Egyptian tombs. Anthropologists have said ancient people thought art was magic that transported you from the mundane to the transcendent. I have to agree, because surprisingly, what we take in visually stays with us unconsciously, capturing us, and magically whisk us away to another place and time.

There are clues that will help you zero in on the type of artwork that compliments the scale and color of the room. Keep in mind the room’s scheme and try to match or contrast it. Is the room neutral, pastel, or vibrantly decorated? Don’t be intimidated when choosing art. It is nothing more than finding images that you like, ones that speak to you, perhaps stimulates reflection, relaxes your mind and uplifts your spirit framing your memories.

Art can be an anchor for a room’s theme; it relays a story of the occupant’s depth, style, humor and even their intellect. While hunting for the ideal pieces, keep in mind these images you are choosing will greet you on a daily basis. Others will be viewing it also, and the substance of your art has impact. If the impact is too much, it will drown out you theme but if it is too little, it will be lost. Discovering the art that reflects you and speaks to you can take some time to find, but once you have found the ideal pieces, how do you hang them and where?

Now that you found the coveted pieces of art, we need to find a way to properly display your artscape. This will involve identifying wall color, location, and framing/matting the artwork and then finally, highlighting each piece if needed with some accent lighting.

Wall Color:

-Consider a suitable backdrop against which to display your work.
-The wall color should not compete with your art.
-The color should either be neutral or in some way play off the colors in the art.
-Repaint the wall to compliment/accent the piece if needs be.
-Ensure back drop is smooth with unobtrusive textures.


-Allow generous amount of wall space around each work.
– Relate art to wall size-
(Choose smaller pictures for narrow walls and larger works for big wall spaces.)
-Relate Art to Furniture Size
(In general, when hanging art over a piece of
furniture it should not be longer than the width of the furniture- a general principle being about 75% of the table’s/sofa width.)
-Standard hanging height would be at eye level.
-Hang It Low-When hanging a large picture over a table for instance, the bottom of the frame should sit within 4-8″ of the tabletop
-Play with size for dramatic effects-try hanging large art pieces in small spaces such as a powder room.

Hanging art in groups to make a pattern:

-Stripes- symmetrically hung in a row to create a vertical or horizontal line of art
-Plaids- a square or checkered layout
-Herringbone/diagonal- an ascending slope/stepping rows up a stairwell adds excitement to the composition.
-Mosaic- a large cluster of works together serves to display many works in a limited space.
-Artful Grid- Use of the majority of the wall with pictures that are monochromatic, same in color, same frames (if not frameless), and of the same size this will create a dramatic wall of poetry.
-One vertically hung and one horizontal being aligned at the base of the frames.
-Oversized and hung low
-Horizontal lines tend to elongate, widen, and emphasize a casual decorating scheme.
-Vertical lines tend to be more formal giving the illusion of height; it can seem more elegant and refined.
-Avoid hanging matching pictures in a perfect line whenever you’d like to emphasize a casual atmosphere.
-Symmetrical Arrangements adds balance and formality to an arrangement and is generally pleasing and calming to the observer.
– Asymmetrical Arrangements create a very eye-catching grouping and is a casual fun look for informal settings.
-Juxtapose two artworks from different periods that have a common element (color, subject matter, etc.)
-Create a collage by grouping many small artworks together linking them visually in form, theme, or color. This will allow them to play off each other creating a harmonious single graphic effect.


-Don’t choose frames/mattes that will overwhelm a piece or fails to set it off.
-Mix frames that differ stylistically and in color giving them a sense of this is a “collection”.
-Try framing several items in one mat and frame.
-Varying frame shapes add interest to a picture grouping by hanging pictures with differently shaped frames.
-Pictures will have greater impact if matted in a contrasting color to the wall. Choose a dark mat for a light wall and vice versa.
-A group of pictures framed alike and hung together can have big impact.

Shelves and Alternative Wall Hangings

-Place art on a shelf creating a more dimensional effect and allows you to exhibit framed work along with other collected art, figures/pots.
-Look for objects to hang on the wall that give the impression of art such as architectural features
-Iron art is very popular and adds a great deal of interest with its 3-dimensional effect.

Accent Lighting:

Note: Beautiful artwork can be lost unless it is well lit. Illuminating the work it gives it more importance.
-The entire surface of a painting should be should be evenly lit without glare
-To light an individual piece and direct light evenly mount a picture light that has a long arm from the back of the artwork as to not damage the piece.
-Use a color correct, ultra violet-free, low wattage bulb.
-Light sculptures to enhance their forms to create a dramatic effect that cast shadows onto walls or floors.
-Use uplights and downlights of various sizes that suits each piece.
-Using track lighting above a series of pieces that perhaps run down the length of a hallway will dramatically highlight the art and light the hallway simultaneously.
-Light bookshelves and cabinets with mounted lights or clip ons

Alas, you are now armed with a holster full of new hanging art arsenal and now are officially equipped to tackle any room with your new artscaping design guidelines. Stick to your theme by supporting it with art that’s repeating in colors, motifs, and style of the room’s interior. Use the art as inspiration, search for pictures that move you and use their themes and colors as the foundation for other room elements. Allow the art to be humorous, fun, unexpected and whimsical. Look for themes that fit your decorating style by bringing out the colors in other elements of the room. Just remember that art endures because it releases us from repetition of habitual thought and allows us a fresh perspective; so be sure to display your work respectfully and artfully by putting some extra thought into it.


Source by Wendy Machen-Wong

August 18, 2022
View: 246


Synaesthesia (sin-uhs-THEE-zhee-uh) an automatic involuntary sensation arising from a stimulus to a different sense organ

We all have this to some degree – a soft caress in one spot can tickle somewhere else, scents evoke flavours, and we turn cold on hearing on a blood-curdling screech. These experiences are ordinary ‘wiring’, but some people are ‘wired up’ differently from the rest of us. For example they might see specific shapes picked out in distinctive colours, or see specific colours on hearing distinctive sounds.

A century ago, scientists, musicians and artists alike were fascinated by whether sounds could stimulate colour imagery. They found the waters muddied for various reasons:

* Evidently it is specific sounds that cause the colours, rather than the music as a whole.

* Different synaethetes see quite different colours when listening to the same music.

* A repetitive sound may cause flashing that is disturbing or even temporarily disabling.

* Musicians have always used the language of colour to describe tones, chords, modes and keys.

* To cap it all ( and disappointingly for composers with grand holistic ideas) the vast majority of listeners see, well, nothing really.

Even so, there is still massive scope for artists with this rare neurological condition – let’s call it The Gift – to explore the potential of direct visual inspiration from music.

One such artist is Mark Rowan-Hull whose nifty tagline “Hearing Colour, Seeing Sound” and dramatic technique of “Performance Painting” really caught my imagination when I saw his work at a small local gallery. Mark’s abstract canvases dazzled from the whitewashed walls of a simple Jacobean barn. A video screen showed Mark painting swiftly and confidently. In the video musicians from the Royal Academy of Music improvised ‘live’, but we didn’t hear their tracks. To set the musical scene, the gallery sound-system played a typical CD of abstract atonal music.

I admit not everyone was impressed: ‘completely pretentious crap’, ‘the images are nasty, as is the music’, ‘I have seen better efforts produced in the infant classroom’, but many were enthralled, ‘I really enjoyed the exploration of expressing sensations in physical form!’, ‘I love the energy I feel in response to the vibrant use of colour’ – you get the picture, as it were.

One thing struck me above all else – although the whole Selling Point of the show was Art derived from Sound, the pictures themselves were curiously silent. Not entirely; my favourite had a subtle suggestion of music in rippling horizontal lines akin to a harmony flowing across a stave. That really appealed to me, though I suspect Mark might be appalled if anyone suggested he should deliberately include ‘musical motifs’ in every painting. That little ripple did more than just draw me to the painting. It showed me that I was unconsciously desperate to connect each picture with the music Mark had been hearing while he painted it – music that I could not even imagine.

So I got curious about how – if I could afford the painting – I might display it at home. If you take a look at Mark’s website, you’ll see that a stark white wall with strong uniform lighting would be essential to let the image speak for itself as an abstract painting. If I were buying into the concept (i.e. swopping a huge wad of banknotes for, let’s face it, a brief flurry of panchromatic choreography), I’d want all my guests to pick up on the distinctive Story behind the Picture as well – and whether they liked it or not! But how? A printed Artist Statement is vital for Galleries and maybe public spaces, but pretentious in a home – and still just as silent. If I had the urge to ‘hear the music’, at least once anyway, then it’s likely that my guests would too. I could play a video of its creation alongside the picture, complete with the original soundtrack. That would show how it had been painted and, crucially, how each colour choice synchronised with the sound world. Yet I felt that to be un-domestic and overly school-masterly, “Come along everyone. Can you all see? Hush while I press Play”.

On reflection, I think I’d like a middle way, making just the music available, and for only as long as people were concentrating on the picture. Maybe an MP3 speaker behind the canvas, with a small but insistent Play button for the curious. If I had a big enough stark white wall, that is.

As ever, Wikipedia neatly summarises The Science Bit

Some questions for you:

* Do you think that idea could adapt back to gallery exhibitions?

* If so, should it be the artist or the gallery that solves the problems and provides the equipment?

* And would it be a good idea to offer purchasers the options of a sound kit, pre-loaded with the right music, to go with each picture?


Source by David Halfpenny

August 3, 2022
View: 296


It was a sunny, twenty-third day of December while the redbrick grandeur of the University College of Art & Design building was basking in the comfy sunshine. An ambiance full of romance and adoration was all inviting to all who could feel a stir in their hearts in this immaculate gaze the sun was casting.

The faculty members of UCAD were loitering around in the best of their wardrobe in wait for the Vice Chancellor who was to be the chief guest for inaugurating a unique show titled as ‘Dimensions’ displaying the creative lust of painters who happened to be the teachers of UCAD as well.

Artists need space to display their creations while all galleries provide proper walls to the paintings to be hanged. Ana Molka Gallery at University College of Art and Design did the same for an array of exclusively rendered work not by anyone else, but the faculty members of this prestigious institution.

It is always considered a great opportunity when the young lot of any tradition is provided with the prospect of being alongside the older one. This was an exclusive feature of that show where the mature hands were to hold the flair of young ones.

Entering Ana Molka Gallery has always been a matter of pride for me since my student days at the corridors of UCAD that now has become a nostalgic intoxication after being indulged in earning bread and butter. But as I entered the door, a strong whisper of deja vu was more than noticeable. Undoubtedly, it was a precisely curated show with all the display requirements given priority but what one could smell straight away, was the presence of frames against the milky walls of the Gallery, which, had adorned some other walls of different Galleries as well. And ironically, mostly by the mature and renowned artists, an attitude that could be a false rope to hold on for the younger and neophyte generation of artists.

But never the less, the work displayed was somehow had something to talk about.

The snowy rooftops painted in a very designed composition by Zafar Ullah who happened to be the principal of the UCAD was just synchronized with the freezing temperature of Lahore. Despite the fact that this frame was not new to the viewers even then, the geometrically conceived and coherently painted, mostly in zinc-white and rusty-browns, canvas was forcing every one to think that why the painter behind that freezing atmosphere could not put his new canvases on fire when all the fire is there within the little master?

While the surface of a canvas by Kehkeshan Jafery titled as ‘Simmering Woods’, was ruthlessly blazed with burning reds and yellows; a typical Kehkeshan painting with warm feel and depth, around and within the central part of the painting. There were strokes of blues and greens in some patches across the canvas but they were identical to the blue and green part of a flame.

These flames get wild in ‘Heaven of Another God’ by Maliha Azmi Agha who, for the last three or four years, has been obsessed with pure blues, reds, and yellows which by overlapping each other, seem to create secondary tones of green and orange. The energy and direction of strokes was giving the impression that the painter was trying to break all the shackles and canons that had been in practice for academic or institutional requirements. But the composition and the style of applied paints were satisfactorily poised with previous works of the vigorous painter.

Adjacent to all these blazing and burning frames, was hanging the soft, subtle, and flexible delicacy of Rahat Naveed’s pastels. If Renoir is known for his rosy skins of his nudes, Rahat is known for rose-like skins of her portraits. Although we have come across the new and abstract style of Rahat in recent exhibitions in town but with the glowing skin of female face in one frame composed purposely with a red rose and with the shine of a male face, rendered on a handmade paper, in another frame was something serene and peaceful, reminding the classic tenet of tranquility, especially in the western world.

It was a soft tone as far as female painters are concerned as a whole regarding their displayed work. Anila Zulfiqar with her Impressionistic cityscape reminded the times of late nineteenth century when French painters were trying to capture the changing light. Anila with her juxtaposed brush strokes and hazy ambiance tried to create the mist across which, the typical Lahore Bazar was stretched to the maximum depth.

Anila’s memory regarding cityscapes is snowed under the narrow streets, jharokas and tapered shades, and when she puts these elements in her unique style, especially when the fog of December clad them warmly, the canvas gets the depth at its central part; a feature which the young painter has developed recently.

But Sumera Jawad, contrary to the supple and feeble fashion of female painters, came up with her typical images of women that traveled through time. Sumera takes her female images from mythology and relates them to the contemporary female. In her displayed painting, she arranged some mythical elements vis-à-vis to goddesses while the concealed and unconcealed eyes from the background were staring the onlooker. As always, she put a modern image of contemporary female in the frontal part of the composition, which was more like a film actress of musical melodies of 1960s.

Miniatures are what Khalid Saeed Butt has mastery in and in this show; he emerged with a very lyrically poised female in the center of the frame with tree branches around. The softness of the curves of the twigs of a leafless tree was orchestrated with the curvature of the female figure, which was, in its rendering, more like the ‘Pahari’ school figures. Khalid crafted the rare part of the figure so precisely that the eye of viewer seemed absorbed within the dark area while when it journeyed along the half moon of the pelvic arch was an obvious display of the keen surveillance the artist was blessed with. The apple in the left hand of the female figure was suggestive to the well-known Biblical theme.

Tanvir Murshad is a renowned designer who loves to paint. In this show he put on show his vertical canvas with acrylic paints thrown across. The energy and the dynamism he produced from blue to yellow were symptomatic of his control over compositional requirements, which he got through geometrical vision.

But Amjad Pervez used his all proficiency regarding geometry and balance within his cityscape in watercolor. The typical ‘Darwaza’ of old Lahore was very well crafted. But the inert feeling was obvious apart from the skill that was screening the emptiness that a professional painter always can fill up.

The younger lot was marked with Ali Azmat, Mughees Riaz, Tasadduq Amin and Shehzad Majeed. Ali with his typical male nude was looking repetitive. Mughees presented his favorite Ravi Scene with boat while Tasadduq’s landscape with outsized foreground was all inspired by Zulqarnain Haider School of landscape. Shehzad Majeed’s experiment on ‘vasli’with meticulous pencil drawing was inspiring as far as skill could go. The composition and tonalities were exploited with precision.

No doubt, it was an excellent effort by UCAD. Only frequentative shows of this nature can answer the problems, seen between lines. There’s a hope and expectation that this show was just the beginning of a hale and hearty tradition.


Source by Nadeem Alam

July 19, 2022
View: 296


I like Pompeo Batoni’s (1708-1787) paintings. I consider him one of my friends despite the distance in time and space. Pompeo Batoni was one of eighteenth-century Rome’s most notable citizens. He was considered by his peers the city’s most eminent and honored artist.

Popes, Europe’s Emperors and Kings, and many rich visitors were received in his studio. Pompeo Batoni supported his numerous children and family and a open house for musical evenings and painting academy by painting very appreciated portraits.

In subject paintings the rich effect of color and complex rhetoric behind the attitudes, gestures, and expressions create very dynamic compositions. His humanized saints, Holy Families, and Madonna express a meditative approach to religious emotion.

I appreciate him mostly for his thinking, for his representations in allegory of hard and abstract ideas. The allegory is a work of art in which a deeper meaning underlies the superficial or literal meaning.

I am starting with three examples: The Time unveiling the Truth, The Truth and Mercy, The Justice and Peace because the message encrypted in colors and forms is less complicated and may stimulate the reader’s thinking.

  1. The Truth is pure light and Time is a young seeker. After unveiling the Light we are no more innocents. It is supposed to know the difference between good and evil. Sinning after we received the True is different. In time, through experience and study at the school of hard knocks, we get the chance to bring the Light and more personal responsibility in our life.
  2. The Truth versus Mercy is a totally different allegory. The Truth is holding firm and up a more material symbol, a tragic shiny face. From his attitude we feel the Truth is very important and self-centered. The kneeling Mercy appears as if she is one with the viewer, she demands compassion. The material, more earthly Truth, cruel and unforgiving, is facing us and the Mercy’s humble request.

    Is judging more important than forgiving? The viewer is involved, a mature person may decide different than a young one.

    The National Gallery, Special Features, Paintings from the Exhibition, picture #6

  3. The Justice is not blind in Batoni’s work. She has the instrument to weigh the arguments and facts in her left hand. Temporarily she stopped judging, because Peace is unfolding on her side bringing comfort and warmth. Again, what is the value of judging and criticizing all the time over the peace of acceptance? I brought these examples to gradually introduce Batoni’s thematic to you.

The Madonna and Child in Glory” fascinated me. The original is at Toledo Museum of Art (Ohio).

“The Madonna and Child in Glory” is the only painting I know which represents the Divine and the evil relationship from humans point of view on the same canvas.

Central, in full light, the Mother is holding with grace the precious Son of God. She is focusing up beyond the angels. The top space of the painting is open by the left angel who is calling for attention. The angels from top are emotionally involved in what is happening down there, where the Jesus Christ’s cross – spear is agonizing the devil. The baby’s gesture and representation are very humanized. The devil is represented according to ancient description with wings and here is holding on the Earth’s sphere. The very childish angels on the bottom hold each other leaning aside to avoid the evil’s horrible breath.

A group of five musicians close to Madonna glorify the divine mission. We the humans can identify with scientists and artists. On a deeper level we can perceive the Christ body in the crucified pose in Mother’s hands. Mother is looking up for help and understanding.

The viewer is involved in many ways on different levels of emotion, stimulating the mind to pursue more work. The line “But deliver us from evil” was my first understanding from the very first second I have seen this masterpiece of materialized meditation.

The recent book “Pompeo Batoni: Prince of Painters in Eighteenth-Century Rome” by Edgar Peters Bowron and Peter Bjorn Kerber (2007) contains all pictures discussed in my article.

This book is published in conjunction with the 300 years anniversary from Pompeo Batoni’s birth with exhibitions at:

  • The Museum of Fine Arts, Huston, 21 October 2007 – 27 January 2008;
  • The National Gallery, London, 20 February – 18 May 2008

You also may visit the website bottom link for more info and a mini movie I made at Toledo Museum of Art for you.


Source by Ernest Ionescu

July 4, 2022
View: 265


If you’ve been perusing the stores for artwork to add to your home, you may be a little bit frustrated with the pricing most art retailers are offering. Sure, the pieces are beautiful – but do you really want to pay hundreds, maybe even thousands, of dollars for artwork? Sometimes, it simply doesn’t seem like it’s worth it. Although the artwork is stunning, it doesn’t add that personalized touch to the home that so many homeowners strive to create. Instead of searching endlessly for a piece you like at a price you can afford – turn to some of these creative options:

1. Any craft store sells items called “shadow boxes” that are basically frames with some depth to them. They’re perfect for displaying pictures or even ticket stubs and the best part about them is that you can throw in other mementos to create an even more unique and personal piece. For example, if you have a prized set of ticket stubs from a big baseball game, add a baseball and a few pieces of “cracker jack” to the frame for a truly creative touch to any sports room or den. On the other end, adding a wedding photo to shadow box and pairing it with leftover pieces from the favors or centerpieces will give you a small reminder of your special day on a daily basis. By placing photos into shadow boxes, you’ll be able to personalize them more than ever.

2. If you have a large space to fill, a great idea is to invest in a series of portraits of your family. Many portrait studios offer packages where a group shot of the family can be taken, along with individual pictures of the kids and sometimes even pets! By picking out coordinating frames, you can space the photos out evenly on your wall and take up the space that would have been filled with one large painting. Instantly, your family room has truly become a “family” friendly space. You’ll achieve that customized look that you would never have been able to achieve with a painting.

3. For many families with children, your child may have achieved some goals in their high school or college career that are certainly worth bragging about. Whether they’re clippings from the local newspaper, highlights out of the school paper, or even letters of acceptance or recognition – pull them out of your “to be scrapbooked” pile and get them into a frame. Making a collage out of these items for each child, adding photographs, matting them, and then framing them can make beautiful additions to a family room or living room. They’ll truly become pieces that will last throughout your child’s lifetime. Having “artwork” like this that is truly customized to your family will add interesting, and truly unique, detail to your home.

4. If it’s young children you have running around your home, you can let them create pieces now that you and your family will cherish for a lifetime. A great project that makes a beautiful accent piece to a family room or even a bedroom is getting a small white solid canvas board at any craft store and some black acrylic paint. Have your child dip their hands in the paint and place their handprints onto the board. The contrast of the black against white will make a beautiful, bold piece and you’ll be allowing your child to put their personalized touch on a room. Although you may have their crayon artwork on the fridge in the kitchen, giving them a structured project for a room like the family room will leave you with a subtle, but charming, piece. Anytime you can involve your kids in the home decorating process, it’s a great idea to take advantage. As mentioned before – personal pieces like these will be able to be cherished for years to come.

5. Finally, getting some favorite photographs blown up and framed can turn into a great investment piece for your home. If you’re worried about adding a bright, colorful photo to a neutral room – ask for them to print your photo in black and white or a sepia tone (choose sepia for a room with mostly browns and warmer colors). You won’t have to worry about the colors in the photo clashing with your room’s décor and you’ll be able to see one of your favorite shots on a daily basis. Truly a personalized detail for your home.

So before you take out a loan to buy a painting for your family room, take into consideration your other options before going through with it. Wall accents and small details in your home is what gives it its personality and uniqueness. While the artwork is beautiful and well done, photos of your family, mementos from a special day, or custom artwork done by your child will certainly be more of a conversation piece. By creating and hanging these sure-to-be-cherished pieces, you’ll truly be making your home “yours”.


Source by Jonathan Brice

June 19, 2022
View: 292


While searching online for a true quiet island getaway, I happened across Long Island, Bahamas, a small island eighty miles long and only three miles wide, aptly named “Long Island,” one of the southern most out islands in the Bahamas.

As I began to read about the lack of tourism, the beautiful stretched out and secluded beaches on both the Atlantic and the Caribbean sides of the island, I found myself already beginning to relax and envisioned myself strolling down an incredibly beautiful beach for hours without a care in the world…

Continuing my education, I began to soak up the laid back way of life. I felt a major urge to get myself to this island and the sooner, the better.

Like a dream come true, as I begin to write this, I am sitting on the porch of a wonderful, romantic cottage, The Whistling Duck, located south of Clarence Town.

Our small 20 seats or so plane landed at Deadman’s Cay Airport (Cay is pronounced “key” in the Bahamas) at the southern end of the island. We were greeted by Nancy, the caretaker for the owners or our private cottage, who drove us to The Whistling Duck.

She was friendly, had a hearty Bahamian laugh, and offered to help us with anything (including a rental car which we took advantage of our second day). She said she was a phone call away if we had any questions.

On our flight from Nassau to Deadman’s Cay, we found ourselves already wondering what might be the best thing about what we would end up calling “The Other Long Island”…

It certainly could be the incredible water. There are the most beautiful hues of Caribbean and Atlantic blues from clear to light blue to aqua to turquoise to deep bluish-purple to varying oceanic shades of green, I have ever seen.

Then again it might be the amazingly secluded beaches with soft sands, good shell hunting and the constant soothing rhythm of crashing waves. Wait, it’s probably that Long Island has the most down to earth, friendly people on the planet.

If you have a craving for quiet adventure, there are many small roads angling off the single north and south main road, Queen’s Highway. Every one of the small, mainly dirt or sand “car paths” must lead to a new head shaking “Wow!” view and experience.

No, actually it’s got to be the water sports from snorkeling, diving, sailing, boating, fishing, to kayaking.

In hindsight, the best thing about The Other Long Island may be one of the sights or activities that we didn’t get to, such as caving or who knows what!

The most appealing aspect could be a combination of any of the above, or maybe it’s simply completely relaxing, being away from all the stress of work and city life.

This island takes your imagination back in time to what the Bahamas used to be like. Amenities are few. The food is great. Supplies are limited but available if you find out where and when to go. Bahamian and U.S. dollars are interchangeable. The people are warm, always seem to have a welcoming smile planted on their friendly faces and more than hospitable and helpful.

The Whistling Duck cottage was everything it had looked to be on the website and more. Our fowl feather namesake cottage had a perfect covered front porch with a double wicker swing, gas barbecue grill and two teak and canvas chairs to sit and soak up the views of the Atlantic and the harbor at Clarence Town.

We quickly discovered this was the perfect spot to sip morning coffee or tea, read to our hearts content, or simply relax.

There is another deck off the bedroom, complete with two chaise lounges and an outdoor shower, the one I used all week. Ceiling fans in the living room, kitchen area and the bedroom help keep the interior comfortable with constant man-made breezes.

There is a gazebo at the water’s edge where we hung out absorbing the water’s sights and sounds and spent time reading throughout the week. Nice bath and beach towels are included. A kayak is available for a small deposit. Laundry facilities are located at the Flying Fish Marina if needed. For an additional fee you can have Nancy clean the cottage each day.

Two bikes were included with the cottage and provided exercise and transportation for our first days’ adventure on the island to check out Clarence Town.

We filled our backpack with supplies from one of the two small stores and befriended a small boy, Horace, at the True Value food and sundry store. Horace seemed truly intrigued by my silver and blue Asics running shoes, shown by the awe in his big eyes when he reached down to touch them.

We quickly discovered that a car was a must if we really wanted to explore the island. Riding eighty miles on bikes one way to get to the northern tip of our quiet island getaway was simply too much.

By the way, be sure to take enough cash as some of the rental car operators do not accept credit cards. (If you think gas is expensive in the U.S., check out the $6.10 per gallon in the Bahamas, and this is in 2008!).

The tourist map of Long Island is like a cartoon and makes it look like all the roads on the island are paved. If you have an adventuresome spirit, don’t be surprised when taking one of the many off-shooting roads from Queen’s Highway to suddenly find yourself on a small, rocky, car-width path that looks like it is going nowhere.

Rest assured that slow going and patience will pay off with breathtaking rewards as the startling, beautiful ocean views provide stimulating visual overload, especially on the Caribbean side of the island.

Throughout our first week of July visit, there was a constant breeze. The various bird species were gaily singing each morning. We fairly quickly found out why the cottage was named The Whistling Duck! There is indeed such a flying feather friend on the island!

The hummingbirds were busy flitting from flower to flower during the day. My better half unknowingly imitated a flower one afternoon while wearing a bright yellow top and had to gently wave to get a hummingbird to leave her alone.

The humidity was very high and sweatily noticeable. The combination of being in the shade and the breeze was very nice and the best place to be unless we were in the water. Working out on the front deck each morning got me drenched within minutes. The ocean view definitely kept me inspired!

On day two, Nancy dropped off the rental car we had arranged the day before and we set out on our first driving adventure. Using the tourist map, we headed south to Hard Bargain, one of some thirty plus townships up and down the island.

We entertained ourselves by pretending to figure out how Hard Bargain got its name and came up with numerous possibilities. Turning east on a small gravel road, we headed toward the Caribbean side of the island and ended up by the abandoned salt fields of the Diamond Crystal Salt Company.

In the days before refrigeration, salt was used to preserve meats and fish for ships setting out to sea and had been a huge business. We thought we were lost when we rounded a curve in the road and simultaneously gasped at the incredible, stunning spectrum of light blue Caribbean waters. This may have been the most beautiful vision of ocean water either one of us has ever seen!

Following the sand and gravel road, we returned to Queen’s Highway (a fairly small, two lane blacktop road which runs almost the entire north-south length of the island) and headed north. For the most part, the drive is not very exciting. There are occasional ocean views on one side or the other. Taking almost any side road will likely lead to beautiful ocean views, a deserted beach, and a new adventure.

Wanting to check out the Stella Maris Resort, built in the 1960’s, we found ourselves standing on a hill in the middle of the resort where we could see the deep almost purple-blue waters of the Atlantic looking one way and the stellar, azure blue rainbow waters of the Caribbean by simply turning our heads 180 degrees, which was quite astonishing.

The Stella Maris Resort is large and is the only place on the island with tennis courts. We noticed several for sale signs in the front of a few of the homes located within the resort, and found ourselves wishfully wondering… Sigh.

Lunching at the resort overlooking the beach, we found the food and service were okay but could use some quality improvement. We did not get to see what are apparently some of the best plantation ruins on the island, which are located on the resort property.

We had hoped to make it all the way to the northern tip of the island to see one of the other two resorts, Cape Santa Maria and the Christopher Columbus Monument, but decided we were running out of time. We will make sure we see both on our next visit.

Wonderfully, the remainder of the week we had no plans whatsoever and each morning casually decided what we would do for the next few hours. No stress, no phones, no technology, no traffic, no rushing around. Simply the constant caressing breezes and soothing sounds of the Atlantic waves to relax us, stimulate our senses and soothe our souls.

We enjoyed taking long walks on Lochabar Beach. We quickly realized that getting to the beach from the gazebo was much easier at low tide, which had to be lower than high tide by at least three to four feet.

We found numerous small conch shells and two large conchs with the most beautiful deep pink on the inside, sand dollars, and lots of smaller shells throughout the week.

Walking to the right for about thirty minutes on Lochabar Beach, we rounded the bend and encountered a huge blue hole. Blue holes immediately plummet from the surrounding shallow sandy waters to fairly extreme depths.

One of our coolest adventures was to see the deepest blue hole in the world. Dean’s Blue Hole is located at Long Island and goes to a depth of around 660 feet! We were told that the second largest known underwater cavern in the world is at the bottom of Dean’s Blue Hole.

We had a wonderful picnic here one afternoon, just the two of us. I was rather nervous contemplating snorkeling out into Dean’s Blue Hole and I decided it must have been the extreme unknown of what lies in the depths below. Locals dive from the low cliffs on the backside of the hole and swim in its waters all the time.

My better and much prettier half, had no issues swimming out into the middle of Dean’s Blue Hole… and loves giving me trouble about being a chicken to this day!

The third morning, I called Nancy to find out where to get fresh fish, thinking there had to be plenty in the Bahamas. She mentioned Nick the fisherman and gave us his number. I left a message and he called us back a few hours later.

Nick the fisherman said he had grouper and red snapper he had caught the day before. It turned out Nick, his wife and six children lived at the end of our sandy, gravel road. It took five minutes to walk up the hill to his house where we were met by a welcoming version of man’s best friend, who ran up to us wagging his tail excitedly and definitely got our petting attention.

There was a fair amount of miscellaneous underwater sonar equipment and three fishing boats in the yard. It was evident this family spent a lot of time by, in, on or under the water.

Nick greeted us warmly and invited us in.

There were attention-grabbing shark jaws mounted on the wall in order from small and harmless looking, to, “no way you want to encounter one of these in the water,” holy sh_ _! large jawed, teeth filled specimens.

Nick shared a little about how they ended up on Long Island. We learned he was from Nassau. Nick and his wife Fiona have four boys and two girls.

Twenty-three years ago he came up with the idea to create a native Bahamian calendar, which the entire family now contributes to. It is sold throughout the Bahamas. The artwork is original and each month has native Bahamian tidbits including history and recipes for such things as soup and conch dishes.

We bought two copies at one of the local stores to bring back home with us. We plan to take advantage of some of the local recipes and use them for our next gourmet club dinner in the mode of a Bahamian theme dinner!

Nick started talking about a few of the ship-wrecks he had explored and showed us several items of interest such as one hundred year old antique gin bottles, four hundred year old olive jars, and more.

One of the wrecks he mentioned was a ship called the Southhampton, which prompted me to share that my godson was attending Southhampton University in southern England to get his masters in Marine Archaeology.

Five days later on our way to the airport to leave the island I noticed Nick’s royal blue pick-up truck coming toward us. His wife was leaning out the window waving her arms and trying to flag us down.

We pulled over and Nick ran up to our car. He said “I have something for your god-son,” and pulled out a small white pipe. He explained he had recovered the pipe from a ship that had purportedly been set ablaze by Blackbeard the Pirate. Nick thought my godson, Tim, would like it. No doubt, Tim will love it!

I have never before experienced this level of friendliness, excitement, exuberance and generosity on a vacation. What an island! Maybe we should keep it a secret. No way, this is a story to share as an example for how the world used to be, in some cases still is, and definitely the way it should be!

The Outer Edge Grill, located by the Flying Fish Marina in Clarence Town, ended up being one of our favorite spots. It is right on the water and is a wonderful place to experience a simple, local flavor for lunch or dinner or to have a drink and dreamily watch the boats, water birds and other creatures.

We had lunch at The Outer Edge Grill several times, enjoying each visit immensely. After one bite we concluded their conch fritters were most likely going to be the best on the island. Cracked conch and grilled grouper made for savory meals.

Everyone at The Outer Edge was very friendly. We enjoyed talking with Hermie and particularly with Stanlika. After my mentioning all the fried food on the island, Stan suggested to special order anywhere to have our food grilled, which was a great tidbit for the rest of our trip.

It was fun checking out the boats coming in and out of the small marina during the week. There were a few fishing boats and some rather large, luxurious vessels as well. Some of the names were Les Belles, Carcharia, Island Hope, Liquid Gold, Island Dream, and Endless Adventure. Home ports included Miami, Coral Gables, and Nassau among others.

Rowdy Boys at the Winter Haven Resort in Clarence Town is by the water on the other side of the small peninsula by the marina. The food was very good and the family that owned it was extremely friendly.

We met the grandmother Chloe and her husband, a granddaughter Justine who waited on us and one of the sons. One afternoon we offered to buy Chloe a drink. She chose a concoction called SkyJuice, consisting of gin and very sweet coconut milk. She soon began sharing some of her family history. She also shared that her son Ben had taken the owners of the yacht Les Belles (see above paragraph) deep-sea fishing. Ben had learned they had no plans and were simply planning their laid back adventure day by day. What a wonderful way to travel the sea!

Chloe and her husband had owned and operated a pineapple and banana farm, which had been destroyed by a hurricane a few years ago. She had tears in her eyes as she shared some of the hardships her family had experienced. Their three boys had argued somewhat loudly through their younger years and had been given the nickname of the ‘Rowdy Boys.”

Rowdy Boys Construction now builds throughout the Bahamas and had finished The Winter Haven Resort and Rowdy Boys Bar and Restaurant just over a year ago for their parents and family to run. We look forward to visiting Rowdy Boys and this family again.

The Forest Restaurant is three miles south of The Whistling Duck. We had a wonderful dinner of cracked lobster, cracked conch, peas and rice and mashed potatoes here one night. The proprietors, Dudley and Patty, were great.

One afternoon we called in to special order grilled grouper and chicken sandwiches, which were awesome by the way. When we stopped by to pick up our picnic lunch, Dudley waited on us. I shared that my stomach had been off all morning. He insisted on making me a club soda and blackberry brandy to fix me up. They were out of club soda, so he used ginger ale. I told Dudley I did not want any alcohol to no avail as he insisted I drink it straight down. I did so reluctantly and was pleasantly surprised at the taste. Thirty minutes later my stomach felt fine. Nothing like a good ol’ local Bahamian medicinal beverage to fix you right up!

We stopped in a few of the small roadside stores to buy water and a handful of food items during the week. Everywhere we went the people were genuinely friendly. We had nothing but extraordinarily wonderful “encounters” with Long Island folk the entire week.

The Oasis Bakery outside of Clarence Town has wonderful home-baked breads, including whole wheat and multi-grain, cookies and decadent local desserts. You can order sandwiches for takeaway (the island term for “to go”) or eat outside at the bakery. We observed it was common for small establishments to have a small bar onsite, and the Oasis was no exception.

Our favorite afternoon ended up being an impromptu stop at Max’s Conch Bar in Deadman’s Cay. You can’t miss Max’s as there are international flags waving on each side of the road and a few junk cars, one of which has been spray painted with “Max’s Conch Bar” on both sides.

We sauntered in for a tropical drink and lunch. We placed an order for a white wine and a tropical punch with Liz. Liz and her husband Gary own Max’s. She seemed truly happy to see us and to meet us.

Sitting and sipping our thirst quenching cocktails we watched ingredients being chopped for what turned out to be fresh, homemade conch salad, by none other than Gary, who wielded a machete sized, razor-sharp knife as deftly and swiftly as anyone I have ever seen.

We knew we just had to have some of this fresh island delicacy and placed two orders. Kathy had never had conch salad before. She loved it just as much as I did and it was the best I had ever tasted.

One of us asked how Max’s had come to be. Liz told us Gary had often used a spear gun when he had been a fisherman. When he missed his target he would retrieve his spear, often swimming right by sharks. His fellow diving mates thought he was crazy and nicknamed him “Mad Max” after Mel Gibson’s movie. Therefore, Max’s Conch Bar, named after the crazy fisherman!

People constantly came and went while we consumed our delectable lunch. We figured Max’s must be one of the spots for socializing, food and drink. The decor is about as native as it gets. The round, wooden shack has numerous posters of various Kalik and other island beer girls showing off their healthy, curvaceous bodies. Shells, coral, bright colors, and checker boards with bottle caps as game pieces are scattered about in island designer fashion. The bar is even a rare internet hot spot and there is no charge for signing on.

During our last afternoon we stopped to check out the Long Island Library and Museum. We enjoyed browsing through the various albums depicting and explaining various aspects of the history, culture and traditions of the island through the years. There are examples of some of the local craftsmanship, historical news articles for the Bahamas, and even some homemade condiments for sale near the exit. It was certainly worth the $3.00 fee for the educational and fun experience.

We decided we had to return to Max’s for dinner our last night on Long Island. This was without a doubt our best meal on the island. Grilled conch and marinated mutton were Liz’s suggestions and they were incredible. In the Bahamas, mutton is either sheep or goat.

Mutton this night was goat, which was a first for me and it was mout-watering. Gary whipped up some mango daiquiris, made with a secret blend of five rums and fresh mango, which were absolutely the best daiquiris I have ever tasted. The four of us had a wonderful time getting to know each other a little. We talked about all sorts of topics from the Bahamas to the U.S., to drinks, to food, to family and friends, and even shared a few personal fun stories about our prior lives. We were sad to say good night, though it was almost 11 p.m.

Even though our visit was only for one week, there are seemingly endless stories we could share from our week on “The Other Long Island,” truly an incredible quiet island getaway.

Though the island is laid back and peaceful, there are actually many things to do. Four activities we did not get to do were scuba diving, deep-sea fishing, snorkeling on one of the coral reefs, and touring one of the numerous island caves. These are already on our “to do” list for our next trip to the island.

During our all too brief visit, we took walks on several beaches, including Lochabar Beach, Galloway Beach, the beach by Dean’s Blue Hole, and a few whose names we do not know.

Incredibly, we saw a total of two people and a dog while walking on these beaches. They were the softest sand and most scenic stretches of beach, complete with various types of rock formations, I have ever seen.

Feeling the plush sand beneath our feet and between our toes, the colors of the water, seeing sea turtles, shell hunting, the scenery up and down the coast, and the miracle of no people, made our beach experience one that could not have been more relaxing, soothing and invigorating.

If stretches of secluded, quiet beaches are one of your prerequisites, the beaches of Long Island make it one of the best romantic islands I can possibly imagine.

If you require shopping, upper end amenities, constant service, and living in the lap of luxury, you probably want to look for a Four Seasons or Ritz Carlton type resort. These are not to be found on the quiet island getaway of Long Island.

If you prefer quiet adventure travel and dream of feeling like you have gone back in time, don’t care about updated or high-tech infrastructure, love beautiful desolate beaches, want to interact with real, friendly and unassuming people, and simply want to relax more than you ever thought possible, you will want to check out Long Island in the Bahamas.

Quiet and secluded are apt descriptive terms for Long Island, Bahamas. Keep this in mind if you’re considering a family vacation.

I have never felt so completely relaxed and filled with such inner peace as I did while on Long Island. This sentiment was echoed by my lovely soul mate. Kathy and I can’t wait to go back to “The Other Long Island,” an incredibly wonderful and beautiful quiet island getaway.

Note: If you’re looking for a secluded and romantic quiet island, start planning your trip to Long Island now! (See below to Book Empowered Travel!).

(The code for Deadman’s Cay airport on the southern tip of Long Island, Bahamas is LGI. The code for Stella Maris airport on the northern tip of the Long Island, Bahamas is MYLS).


Source by Peter Hobler

June 4, 2022
View: 297


The first President of the Royal Academy, Sir Joshua Reynolds, delivered fifteen Discourses over a period of 18 years to the Academy’s student body and faculty members. Orated in 1769 at the opening of the Royal Academy, the first Discourse introduces progressive advice on the subject of Art. The totality of Reynolds Discourses encapsulate the comprehension of an adept in his field. Rich with useful insights and poignant analogies, it is clear that he possessed an intellect of the first order with which he described the practical mechanics of painting. Upon analysis the lectures have great relevance for today’s artists and to that end a careful synopsis of all discourse will clarify and elucidate its key points.

The first Discourse is structured around the theme of diligence. Reynolds opens with words of praise to the reigning monarch and illustrates the need of the British Empire to have, “an ornament suitable to its greatness”, that is to say, an Academy of Art. With the customary platitudes fulfilled, Reynolds moves on to define his notion of the Academies purpose, namely to, “furnish able men to direct the student”, and to be, “a repository for the great examples of the Art.” These statements exemplify Reynolds conception of the primary function of the Academy, its means and its ends. Lamenting the loss to Britain of potential artists of noteworthy talent, Reynolds reasons that it was due, in part, to the lack of an Academy and the works of Art which such an Academy would be the repository for. He elaborates with a beautiful soliloquise placing the emphasis for artistic instruction primarily on the tangible examples of great Art in preference to tutorial direction. Reynolds adds;

“How many men of great natural abilities have been lost to this nation for want of these advantages! They never had an opportunity of seeing those masterly efforts of genius, which at once kindle the whole soul. Raffaelle, it is true had not the advantage of studying in an Academy; but all Rome and the works of Michael Angelo in particular were to him an Academy. On the sight of the Capella Sistina, he immediately from a dry, Gothic, and even insipid manner,..assumed that grand style of painting, which improves partial representation by general and invariable ideas of nature.”

Sir Joshua resolves his position explaining that an Academy should not thrust a foreign attitude upon the student, because such a forceful attempt will have the opposite effect, namely in deterring the student from adopting a view that they are not ready to accept. On the contrary, in Reynolds view, an Academy should be an environment within which a student can adopt the particular views and practices that are amenable to his or her own particular outlook and aptitude. Speaking on the subject he remarks;

“Every seminary of learning may be said to be surrounded with an atmosphere of floating knowledge where every mind may imbibe somewhat congenial to its own original conceptions. Knowledge, thus obtained, has always something more popular and useful than that which is forced upon the mind by a private precepts.”

With this said Sir Joshua delivers a cautionary aside. Observing the fact that Continental Academies had by his time collapsed, Reynolds outlines the London Academies distinguishing quality and its saving grace adding;

“As these Institutions have so often failed in other nations; and it is natural to think with regret, how much might have been done, I must take leave to offer a few hints, by which those errors may be rectified… The Professors and Visitors may reject or adopt as they shall think proper” (namely) “It will not be as it has been in other schools where he that traveled fastest only wandered farthest from the right way.”

What exactly was Reynolds idea of the right way? This he defined as an adherence to the “Rules of Art as established by the practice of the Old Masters.” On this basis he entreats the students of the Royal Academy to regard the works of the Old Masters to be the very acme of Art instruction, advising that they should use; “those models as perfect and infallible guides; as subjects for their imitation.” Continuing the subject of “the right way”, Sir Joshua had some very strong things to say in defense of the Rules of Art, in effect consigning those unversed in the procedure of The Rules, to the wastes of mediocrity. In this capacity Reynolds was a zealous advocate of the need for careful and disciplined practice along lines parallel to those of the Old Masters. Sir Joshua regarded this as the touchstone of Art instruction, adding;

“Every opportunity… should be taken to discountenance that false and vulgar opinion, that Rules are the fetters of genius; they are fetters only to men of no genius; as armour which upon the strong is an ornament and a defense, upon the weak… becomes a load, and cripples the body which it was made to protect.”

When fully acquired Reynolds adds that such, “Rules may possibly be dispensed with. But let us not destroy the scaffold until we have raised the building.” This analogy implies that before a student can advance towards a level concordant with that of the Old Masters they must first acquire a thorough understanding of the “Rules of Art”. The remainder of Reynolds first discourse centers on his warning which cited that, it was due to wandering from the, “right way,” by failing to properly observe the “Rules of Art”, that resulted in the collapse of academies in other nations. In this vein Sir Joshua advises the Academies teaching faculty to remain vigilant against its young students tendency to seek a short cut to excellence. The expedient to which he refers to is that of bypassing hard and careful craftsmanship due to the deterrent of the great effort involved in its regular maintenance and pursuit. Reynolds explains further that the student is;

“Terrified at the prospect before them, of the toil required to attain exactness. The impetuosity of youth is disgusted at the slow approaches of a regular siege, and desires… to find some shorter path to excellence, and hope to obtain the reward of eminence by other means than those, which the indispensable rules of art have prescribed… there is no easy method of becoming a good painter.”

Reynolds defines the students short cut as the desire to acquire; “a lively handling of the chalk or pencil” which “they will find no great labour in attaining” and “after much time spent in these frivolous pursuits, the difficulty will be to retreat; but it will be then too late and there is scarce an instance of return to scrupulous labour after the mind has been debauched and deceived by this fallacious mastery.” There is an obvious touch of irony in Reynolds use of the word “mastery” in this context. As a fitting contrast to those students who would seek mastery through less assiduous means, Sir Joshua proceeds to delineate the difference between the short path and the intensive labour exerted by the Old Masters in the production of their Art.

“When we read the lives of the most eminent Painters, every page informs us, that no part of their time was spent in dissipation. When they conceived a subject, they first made a finished drawing of the whole; after that a more correct drawing of every separate part, – heads, hands, feet, and pieces of drapery; they then painted the picture, and after all retouched it from the life.”

Reynolds goes on to explain how the effect of all this labour underpins a result that simply appears to be effortless in the finished painting. This appearance of ease serves to conceal the great exertions applied by the Old Masters to the task of painting, and deceives the eye and the intellect of the student into believing that a quick path will obtain an equal result. This, Sir Joshua explained, is an erroneous conclusion, one which seduces the student into following a route that fails to reach is intended destination. Sir Joshua observes; “The pictures thus wrought with such pains now appear like the effects of enchantment,… as if some mighty genius had struck them off at a blow.” Recall that this current precaution links back to Reynolds desire to avoid the source of other Academies failure. Driving the point home still further Sir Joshua entreats his students to avoid what he considered to be the main defect of; “the methods of education pursued in all the Academies.” Reynolds proposes that a student should first learn to draw exactly what he perceives, because otherwise he will risk repeating the errors of students in the failed academies. Such students, Reynolds claims, added extraneous artifacts to the subjects at hand, artifacts which being supplied by imagination served to distort the true structure of the visual form. Putting his case with eloquence, Reynolds states;

“The error is that the students never draw exactly from the living models they have before them. They change the form according to their vague and uncertain ideas of beauty, and make a drawing rather of what they think the figure ought to be, than of what it appears… grace and beauty… was not acquired by the ancients, but by an attentive and well compared study of the human form.”

Sir Joshua advances the pre-eminence of drawing, with an eye for precision, by giving as an example a particular drawing made by Raphael, entitled, ‘The Dispute of the Sacrament’. In this drawing Reynolds points out that in rendering the form of a hat upon the heads of different figures, Raphael does not deviate from the path of correct draftsmanship; “even at a time when he was allowed to be at his highest pitch of excellence.” Elaborating on the theme of precision and faithful observation, Reynolds begins to conclude his seminal discourse to the Royal Academy. Beseeching its audience, in the most delicate and unassuming manner, to regard the importance of diligent application to the task of acquiring the skills of true and precise draftsmanship. This, as has been demonstrated, was Reynolds conception of the basis of successful painting, one which he formulated into a “Rule of Art”, which he envisioned to be the principle that would save the Royal Academy from deterioration. Reynolds explains that;

“This scrupulous exactness is so contrary to the practice of the Academies, that it is not without great deference, that I beg leave to recommend to the consideration of the Visitors; and submit to them, whether the neglect of this method is one of the reasons why students so often disappoint expectation and being more than boys at sixteen become less than men at thirty”

As a final testament to the great and obvious concern expressed by Reynolds for the welfare of his students and Art in general, Sir Joshua finishes his first Discourse by expressing a moving personal sentiment. This being Reynolds final recorded word in a lecture on the subject of Art for almost a year, Sir Joshua considers the future course of the Academy, envisioning its potential to aid the development of civilization toward a new Renaissance, he states;

“Permit me to indulge my wishes and to express my hope that this institution may vie in Arts with that of Leo the Tenth; and that the dignity of the dying Art… may be revived.”

With these poignant words, Reynolds concludes his first Discourse to the Students of the Royal Academy.


Source by Michael P de Bono

May 20, 2022
View: 251


The adage that the smallest changes make the most impact is undeniably true, more so when it comes to interior design. A mirror here, a painting there or a plant near can bring a whole new look to the same four walls. It doesn’t matter if the home is brand new, old or just-moved-in; a few interior design tricks can breathe fresh air to any dwelling.

One of the leading architects in Chennai recommend a few tips to redesigning an apartment without putting a burden on the pocket.

  • Choose pastels and light hues.

The drawback of living in a metropolitan city like Chennai is the lack of space which means homes and apartments are getting smaller. Tiny rooms have the disadvantage of feeling claustrophobic and cramped-in. A manageable trick to give the illusion of space is using light colours for paint. Besides creating this visual impression, try to add mirrors which face windows. The reflection of natural light will convert any room into a magically massive place.

For those, who have homes with big rooms, try using darker shades on walls. It will bring a cosier and more intimate appearance to it.

  • Mirrors are for more than bouncing light.

Yes, mirrors can make a room look bigger than it is, but they are also brilliant ways to remodel a home. Instead of an average frame, choose a decorative and ornate one and hang the mirror on an empty wall. The frames will give the same impression as a painting or object of art. Another idea is to combine small mirrors in varying dimensions and make an art piece out of them.

  • Amalgamation is in vogue.

From patterns to colours, from art to décor, the ‘in’ thing for home interiors is mixing it up. Most abodes have a plethora of items tucked away somewhere. The idea is to take out those family heirlooms, or flea market finds and showcase them in all their glory. Remember a residence is a reflection of the person who lives in it. So, don’t be shy from placing an old pendulum clock next to a contemporary Ikea couch, if you feel like it.

Take the concept a level up by piling patterns on patterns. Mix a sofa furbished in geometric material with a cushion that has an abstract design. Throw pillows and rugs of subtly changing hues to bring warmth to the living space.

  • Slip covers can do wonders.

A simple, inexpensive and gorgeous way to transform a house is slipcovers. Without spending a lot, the entire character of the furniture can be modified with covers. Plus, they ensure that not a single worry of damaging, dirty or destroying the precious fabric enters the head. In a dwelling that is occupied by kids, furniture covers should be the go-to way to redecorate. The only condition is to choose a more comfortable and casual style rather than a sophisticated and chic one.

  • Natural material baskets for the win.

Space to store stuff is always running out in a home especially those that have children. A budgetary strategy to this conundrum that also brings a hint of sophistication is baskets made of natural material like wicker. They can be used to store toys, games, books, towels, etc. The organic touch and warm hue of the baskets weave a modest look. Over and above, they can also be utilised in the kitchen to store fruits and vegetable. The cherry on the cake is their sustainability!

  • Being eco-conscious is the best choice.

With the much-needed hue and cry about climate change, it is high time homeowners start taking more green steps to revamp their living spaces. The easiest method, as per designers, is to add plants to a home. They help renew the area while aiding in keeping the planet healthier. Small plants are not heavy on the wallet at all, plus they bring colour and texture to the blandest rooms.

Another advantage is that they balance the air and humidity in the space in which they are kept and can be used for small or large areas of the flat!

A Last Idea For Home Décor:

Architecture firms in chennai say that families always have some possessions that are boxed away and never given another glance. Even still, when the time comes to redecorate, they look for more new items. Their advice is – stop running to the mall, give a good look to what is already there. Side tables can be refurbished to make bedside tables. Old coffee trays can be kept on the dining table for extra dimension. Trunks can be employed as bookshelves. Antique plates can be hanged on walls.

The list of ideas and inspirations are endless when it comes to re-doing the interiors of a home, and most of them need not take a lot of time or investment!


Source by Uma Nathan

May 5, 2022
View: 274


Web-based artist networks, art marketplaces, and online art galleries are helping artists who are selling art online, a more and more common practice as time goes by. More often than not, selling your art online on your own can be an experience that disenchants many artists with the prospect of selling art online using any tool; even a personal website can be difficult to manage in comparison to an online gallery account.

The online art market is growing considerably, and with online art sales on the rise, it is proving to be an increasingly fruitful avenue for artists, even compared to traditional methods for selling art as an artist. Previously established networks like those used by online art marketplaces and gallery settings have many things going for them that personal websites do not, namely the ability to draw on greater authority rankings that help them appear higher on search engine results. Larger sites draw a large portion of the market of online art buyers looking for artists who are selling art online. These buyers are already seeking art to buy online, and are open to the prospect of purchasing directly from the artist. Selling your art online can be difficult if you are only selling from your own personal website. Increase the scope of the audience who can potentially see your work by including your pieces in an online art gallery or marketplace!

Traditional galleries have the problem that they are highly localized in their traffic, whereas with the online revolution, someone in England can buy a painting or sculpture piece from an artist in Hawaii, arrange for shipping, and pay the artist directly. Galleries also have limited wall space, which is not an issue when you’re selling your art online.

Many websites have sprung up to help artists with the task of selling art online; they often charge a nominal fee, some one time, some annual, and some taking a commission of each sale an artist makes, but no matter the payment model being used this is often much less than an artist would pay to display their work in a traditional brick and mortar venue. A virtual listing for a piece of art allows the artist who is selling art online to display at least one image, often more, of their work as well as a description of the piece that can be key word optimized for better search engine exposure, and contact information for interested buyers. The advantages of selling your art works online are numerous, and center around the several ways that you can save both money and time. Your worries over maintaining a physical gallery space are over if you decide to work on selling your art online! No more rent and maintenance worries, no more adjusting your schedule to fit that of the gallery, with online art sales it is all between you as the artist and your buyer, and that is as it should be.

Compared to selling art pieces online, gallery sales are a lot harder to come by. But just because there is greater potential for an artist selling art online to make more sales does not mean that these sales will come without a little effort on the part of the artist. The way the internet works for someone selling art online it is all about your ‘findability’. So when someone searches for something using a specific word or phrase, the websites which are ranked best for those terms come up in order of relevance and importance. The better you describe your work when creating a listing on an art sales website, the better chance you have of making a sale. Now this does not mean that you should find a list of popular search terms for selling art online and cram as many of them into your description box as possible, but rather select a few that are most closely associated with your piece or gallery as a while, and work those into your description text.

Making a sale using your new online gallery pages can be fun if you want it to be. This does not mean that marketing yourself effectively will not require a little effort on your part, but if you let yourself enjoy the challenge, it can be a very rewarding way to see the fruits of your labor ripening on the vine. Promote yourself and your work through social networking sites like Facebook and Google+ with links to your gallery and pictures of your work (make sure to use watermarks to protect your unsold pieces) and encourage your friends and contacts to share these with their contacts as well. Selling art online doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming if done correctly, so stay tuned for more information how to sell your art online and all the benefits you can expect to enjoy!


Source by Juliette Traversen

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