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August 3, 2022
View: 7

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: 12

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: 21

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: 19

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: 38

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: 30

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: 38

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

April 20, 2022
View: 33

An easterly drive on Long Island’s Route 25A reveals an opening in the foliage just over the Nassau-Suffolk County line on the left side and a splotch of water known as “Cold Spring Harbor.” That water, of both the fresh and salt types, defined it, sustained it, and became its raison d’etre.

“Water is the defining characteristic of the place now called Cold Spring Harbor,” according to Robert G. Hughes in his Images of America: Cold Spring Harbor book (Acadia Publishing, 2014, p. 7). “To the indigenous inhabitants, it was known as Wawapex, or ‘at the good little water place.’ The European settlers of the 17th century named the area after its abundance of freshwater springs.”

Like a mirror, that water reflects its changing color and character as it does—slate gray on cloudy days, cobalt blue on clear ones, and orange and reds near its shores on autumn ones. It also reflects its history. It served as a draw and became the means to sustain the lives of those who settled there.

Only a few hundred yards beyond this view, the road arcs to the left and threads its way through the hamlet, which is very small. But so, too, are gens. This one sparkles through its harbor and exudes its history through its nature, museums, and restored buildings. It is a living example of how its purpose has evolved as a result of time, transportation, and technology. And a day spent here will demonstrate that.

Cold Spring Harbor History:

Located on Long Island’s North Shore-specifically on the western edge of what was once Huntington’s 1653 First Purchase-Cold Spring Harbor arose because of its water artery, providing the many means by which it developed over the next three centuries.

Power, the initial one, turned the mills that cut the locally grown trees, supplied the wood to construct farms, and ground the grain they grew, all made possible by the dam across from the Cold Spring River that John Adams erected in 1682. Aside from these saw and grist mills, there were also those that wove and created paper.

“Dams at the edge of large ponds and lakes generated power to run grist, saw, paper, and woolen mills where local grain, trees, and wool were transformed into food, logs, paper, barrels, and woven materials, such as broadcloths, blankets, and coverlets,” according to the CSHFHM News: The Newsletter of the Cold Spring Harbor Fire House Museum (Winter 2015).

Water also positioned Cold Spring Harbor as a delivery port, its next significant role, when an Act of Congress appointed a surveyor of customs on March 2, 1799. He was entrusted with the “power to enroll and license vessels to be employed in the coasting trade and fisheries and to enter and clear, and grant registers and other usual papers, to vessels employed in the whale fisheries.”

Devoid of any appreciable land-based infrastructure, the country relied on rivers and seas for passenger and cargo transport during this time. In the case of Cold Spring Harbor, water served as its channel for schooners to deliver rice, coffee, sugar, wood, coal, sand, and gravel to New York City and destinations beyond, specifically those along the East Coast and as far as the West Indies in the Caribbean. The integral role Cold Spring Harbor played in coastal trading is reflected by the 99 ships registered there in 1883.

And its waters became the threshold to the whaling ships that sailed even further afield.

“From 1836 to 1862, nine ships sailed from Cold Spring Harbor, all on voyages lasting up to two years,” according to Hughes (op. cit., p.8). “Wool from the local mills, barrels from Bungtown, produce and meat from local farms, and other local products were used to outfit the ships for their months-long journeys to as far away as Alaska.”

Although the discovery pf petroleum in Pennsylvania soon obviated the need for whale oil and its associated products, along with the whaling industry that hunted it, the Long Island hamlet continued its blacksmith, shipyard, and sail-making activities.

But its idyllic, water-side setting gave rise to another of its significant purposes-tourism-during the Gilded Age. Escaping summer heat and seeking leisure-oriented pursuits, they traveled by water-supported steamers from Manhattan and stayed in elegant, multiple-facility resorts, such as the Glenada, Forest Lawn, and the Laurelton for weeks at a time. Water, again, provided swimming, boating, and fishing sports.

Seafood, needless to say, was abundant in the form of oysters, fish, and clams-so much so, in fact, that the latter’s bounty was reflected by the very “Clamtown” designation of the harbor’s east side.

While the grand resorts have since disappeared, its tourist industry, primarily of the day trip type, continues in a compact town which brims with significant sights, colonial shops, and restaurants, and whose entire business district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Cold Spring Harbor’s diverse sights serve as its natural and manmade imprints.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory:

Founded as far back as 1890 when the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences established a field station on Cold Spring Harbor’s western shore so that students could study nature instead of books, the laboratory offered it first course in biology and has since shaped contemporary biomedical research and education with programs in cancer, neuroscience, and plant and quantitative biology. It spawned eight Nobel Prize winners.

“(Its) education programs introduce students to the newest ideas, discoveries, and technologies in biology and the life sciences, and allow them to work alongside some of the most innovative scientists in the world in an open, collaborative environment,” according to its website. “We offer programs for children, teachers, college, high school, and graduate students, as well as established scientists.”

For the tourist or day-tripper, 90-minute campus tours are scheduled.

Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery and Aquarium:

Founded in 1883 by the State of New York and now a nationally recognized historic landmark, the Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery and Aquarium took up initial residence in two leased woolen factory buildings at the head of the harbor.

“The fish hatchery was an immediate success,” according to Hughes (op. cit. p. 32). “Its first superintendent, Frederic Mather, introduced brown trout from Germany. Soon, thousands of pounds of fish were being grown and released into local rivers and lakes.”

In 1982, it reinvented itself as a nonprofit environmental education center, aquarium, and working trout hatchery dedicated to increasing the awareness and understanding of the state’s freshwater ecosystems. It contains its largest collection of aquatic reptiles, fish, and amphibians.

Several exhibits enable the visitor to gain greater understanding.

The Fairchild Exhibit Building, for instance, serves as the facility’s entrance, gift shop, and aquarium. In the latter guise, it displays blue spotted sunfish, bowfin, black bullhead, and crayfish, and, in its larger turtle tanks, spotted, bay, snapping, spiny softshell, wood, and northern diamondback types. Its “New York Amphibia” exhibit, featuring frogs and salamanders, is the largest living collection of native amphibians in the northeast.

Outside are trout, warm water, and turtle ponds covered with nets to protect them from hungry heron and osprey attacks.

“The hatchery and aquarium’s turtles and warm water fish are kept in water that originates in St. John’s Pond, located south of the hatchery and east of St. John’s Church,” according to the facility. “This water flow is raw lake water; no processing or filtration is used. The temperature of the water ranges from 34 degrees in the winter to over 80 degrees in the summer. The warm water fish thrive in water which reaches such temperatures.”

Two round, self-cleaning ponds hold brook and rainbow trout that ranges between 1.5 and 2.5 years in age.

Visitors may either feed or altogether catch fish in the Tidal Raceway, whose water empties into Long Island Sound. Bait is available for purchase and there is a per-pound fee for any catch.

The Hatch House and rearing pools, located across from the main facility, serve as the incubation and hatching areas of brook trout eggs that are taken in early November and produce life the following month. After a four-month period, they are moved to the rearing pools themselves, which are considered the intermediate facilities between the Hatch House’s troughs and the larger, outdoor Trout Ponds.

The Walter L. Rose II Aquarium Building, the fish hatchery’s second such indoor display, houses more than 30 different species of freshwater fish native to New York State, such as smallmouth bass, yellow perch, channel catfish, brown bullhead, chain pickerel, green sunfish, and lake trout. Newly hatched turtles from the outdoor Turtle Pond are also displayed here.

Behind the building is one of the five artesian wells that supply the hatchery with fresh water.

Bungtown School:

A wooden marker behind the fish hatchery faces the upper parking lot of St. John’s Parish, location of the so-called “Bungtown School,” or the first West Side Schoolhouse at the head of Cold Spring Harbor. Built in 1790 and initially measuring 24 feet long, 14 feet wide, and 14.5 feet high, it gained additional notoriety when President George Washington, traveling from Widow Platt’s Tavern in Huntington to Oyster Bay on April 23 of that year, passed through Cold Spring Harbor and observed its construction.

According to the now-legendary story, he stopped, lent a hand in raising one of the rafters, and even left a silver dollar for the workers.

The single-room structure was functional, but hardly opulent: long, wooden benches on either side faced equally-wooden plank desks that were fastened to the wall beneath the windows. Warmth was provided by a large fireplace. Grades varied according to age, which ranged from five to 21 years.

While the curriculum consisted of reading, writing, grammar, spelling, arithmetic, and geography, and employed both slates and copy books, it also included religion. The day, in fact, began with either a prayer or a Bible verse reading after students, who themselves chopped the wood, warmed themselves at the fire.

Increased enrollment soon necessitated increased size-in this case, to 51 feet in length. Aside from education, the school became the breeding ground for those who ultimately entered the whaling industry. The stoppers used to seal the wooden whale oil barrels, or “bungs,” earned it its “Bungtown School” name.

Nevertheless, serving its purpose for more than a century, it was closed in 1884, its last class taking place on December 21 of that year.

St. John’s Episcopal Church:

The Bungtown School briefly served a secondary purpose-namely, as a location for Cold Spring Harbor’s Episcopalian services until the definitive St. John’s Episcopal Church was constructed there in 1835 after area founders had each pledged $2,000 for the project.

Fabricated by means of the post-and-beam method, with hand-hewn timbers fitted with mortise joints and pegs, it featured plastered indoor walls, cedar shingle-sheathed outer ones, and Tiffany stained glass windows. It was consecrated two years later, in April.

In 1950, it was relocated further north and 40 feet east of the landfill. Twelve years later an addition enlarged it.

St. John’s Pond and Nature Sanctuary:

A seemingly oval gem of blue tranquility surrounded by dense greenery and dotted with ducks gliding across its glass surface, St. John’s Pond and Nature Sanctuary, to the side of the church, not only reflects the sky, but almost appears to mirror the souls above it.

Created by the lower dam and surrounded by steep, farming-prohibitive terrain, it features some of Long Island’s oldest woodlands. It is the perfect setting for solitude and communing with nature.

Cold Spring Harbor Library and Environmental Center:

Propped above the town with commanding views of the harbor, the imposing, 26,500-square-foot Cold Spring Harbor Library and Environmental Center occupies five acres of Cold Spring Harbor State Park and reflects the ever-increasing size of community patrons, now representing some 8,500 local residents.

It traces its origins to 1886, when it stored its book collection in a tenement house. At the turn of the century, the Post Office served this purpose. In 1913, it moved into a brick structure and 73 years later it took up residence in the East Side School. The current rendition opened in 2006.

A carpeted Reading Room, almost resembling a study in a palatial mansion, is located on the left side after entry. Its atmosphere is further completed by its leather easy chairs, marble fireplace, and Stokely Webster’s painting, “Punta della Dogana,” hung above the mantel. A rocking chair-adorned outside terrace offers views of the harbor and its moored boats.

The oil-on-linen “Reflections II: Lloyd Harbor View” painting by Pauline Gore Emmet in the Quiet Room expands the facility’s gallery-feel, but of historic significance here is the wooden plaque that lists the 43 names of those from the two Cold Spring Harbor school districts who fought in the Civil War between 1861 and 1866.

The three-floor library’s other facilities include a Children’s Room, a Storytime Room, a Hands-On Learning Center for Crafts, a Tween area, an Environmental Center, a Local History Room, an Archives Room, and the newly-opened, teen-targeted Underground.

Cold Spring Harbor State Park:

Both part of and next door to the library is Cold Spring Harbor State Park, which, according to its own description, “is comprised of 40 acres of hilly terrain that offer scenic vistas of Cold Spring Harbor. It features a mixed hardwood forest with notable large oak specimens that measure three feet in diameter, as well as thickets of wild mountain laurel.”

Topographically steep, it requires a rigorous climb of dirt and wooden steps to reach and continues up a slope, passing giant tulip trees and mighty oaks that loom over gnarled groves of mountain shrubs before descending to the pond on the other side, offering views of horned owls and red-tailed hawks. Various songbird migrations can be seen during the spring and the fall.

As the northern trailhead of the Nassau-Suffolk Greenbelt Tail, it extends to Bethpage State Park and, eventually, to Long Island’s South Shore.

Along the Waterfront:

The Town of Huntington ramp is located across Main Street (Route 25A) from Cold Spring Harbor State Park. But a walk to it may be met with an olfactory waft of fish-scented air before the water surface and the slowly moving boats rounding the sandspit are actually viewed.

Like floating buoys, they mark the threshold to this North Shore Long Island hamlet. A small parcel of grass serves as the ideal place for a picnic here. Fishing poles protrude from those hoping for the day’s catch and the evening’s dinner.

A walk further into town reveals another harbor-eyes-view, but its tranquility is a sharp contrast to the commemorative cross-of-sorts encountered-a World Trade Center artifact dedicated to the memory of local victims lost during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and erected by the Cold Spring Harbor Fire Department. “All gave some, but some gave all,” it philosophically proclaims.

Closer to the sidewalk is another, but more ancient reminder-an historical marker advising that “Israel Ketchum of Cold Spring Harbor, while jailed for counterfeiting, revealed a plot to assassinate Washington in June of 1776.” Ill-intentions apparently always existed, regardless of how far back they occurred.

Another historical marker, on the corner at the beginning of the town’s c luster of shops and restaurants, reminds of its once-prevalent mills.

“Paper Mill, built by Richard Conklin circa 1782, produced fine linen paper–site at (the) end of Mill Dam and Bridge, northerly 250 feet,” it advises.

While the mill itself no longer exists, much of the town’s architectural heritage has been preserved.

“Cold Spring (its original name) was, over 200 years ago, much as it is today,” according to the Fall 2019 edition of the CSHFHM Newsletter. “The same harbor, the same hills, the same valley through which Bedlam Street and Black Street ran and which today are known as Main and Spring Streets. It was a community where commerce was strong.”

Aside from the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery and Aquarium at the entrance to the town, there are several other important attractions here.

Cold Spring Harbor Fire House Museum:

Like the public library, the town’s fire house had several locations before it occupied the present one, and the museum building that preserves and interprets its history survived more than a century before it could do so.

Its first location, in the Harness Store, but known as the Teal Building, was chosen on April 11, 1896 by the Cold Spring Harbor taxpayers, and its Hook and Ladder Company #1 served a one-mile fire district. Moving to a new, larger fire house constructed in 1906, it became a co-resident with the Phenix Engine Company, which itself had protected the community since 1852.

In 2007, local citizens saved the original Teal Building from demolition, at which time it was acquired, relocated, restored, and preserved, and, as the front portion of the current museum, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

“We invite you to step into the past,” its brochure states. “Visit our nationally registered firehouse. See and feel the texture of the wainscoted walls and ceilings. Delight in the tiny sounds of the museum’s century-old nickelodeon. Let your imagination take you back to a time when neighbors stood side-by-side in this small whaling port and fought the ravages of fire.”

The museum’s equipment includes a Phenix hand tub, a Ford Model TT chemical truck, and a 1939 American La France Engine. Other artifacts and displays encompass a Pompier ladder, signal lights, balls, copper and brass extinguishers, fire grenades, leather buckets, and fire gear.

The cupola that adorned the fire house as far back as 1930 is located outside, behind the museum. Discovered in pieces after the District’s Board of Commissionaires voted to have it replaced it with an aluminum one, it was painstakingly restored to its present condition.

Methodist Episcopal Church and Preservation Long Island:

Across Main Street and not far from the Cold Spring Harbor Fire House Museum is the Methodist Episcopal Church, another of the town’s buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Constructed in 1842 by Israel Valentine, a local craftsman, during the whaling era on a site acquired from Judge Richard M. Conklin, who himself was one of the Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Company’s partners, it was subjected to various architectural modifications, particularly to its front façade and steeple configuration, throughout the years.

At the time, the town’s Main Street, reflecting tis pre-motorized days, was a path only wide enough for a horse-drawn carriage to occupy and it passed right outside the church’s front door.

After serving the congregation for 149 years, the building was closed and acquired by Preservation Long Island in 1996 for use as an upper-level exhibition gallery and a lower administration office.

Founded in 1948 as the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities, but amending its name in 2017, it states its mission is “to work with Long Islanders to protect, preserve, and celebrate our region’s cultural heritage through advocacy, education, and the stewardship of historic sites and collections.”

With more than 8,000 objects, it possesses one of the most significant regional assemblages of material culture in New York State. Its exhibition gallery has showcased four centuries of fine and decorative arts, architecture, and historical documents. Some of its past exhibits have centered around landmarks, maps, photography, and antiques.

The Whaling Museum and Education Center:

Of Cold Spring Harbor’s many attractions, the Whaling Museum and Education Center ranks as one of its more significant ones. This is aptly reflected in its very mission of “engaging the community in exploring the diversity of our whaling heritage and its impacts to enrich and inform our lives.”

It totes itself as “the only museum open year-round which explores the whaling history of Long Island.”

‘Long Island boosts a particularly vibrant whaling heritage,” according to its website. “Historically, whaling was one of Long Island’s most important commercial industries, significantly shaping the economic development and social foundation of the region, as well as contributing to American’s emergence as an international power in the 19th century. One of the three whaling ports on Long Island (along with Sag Harbor and Greenport), Cold Spring Harbor… offers a microcosmic view of the quintessential 19th-century American whaling town.”

Cornerstone of the museum is New York State’s only fully-equipped, 19th-century whaleboat. Constructed of white oak and featuring canvas sails and American hemp ropes, the 1,000-pound vessel is 28 feet long and six feet wide. Typically crewed by a half-dozen, it was provisioned with18 to 22 oars, and was last used by the Daisy, a New Bedford whaling brig, during one of the final American whaling voyages from the Caribbean to South George Island in the Atlantic between 1912 and 1913. The more than 143 whaling ships that made some one thousand voyages from Cold Spring Harbor, Sag Harbor, and Greenport during the era were each equipped with between three and five such boats that were only lowered to the water after a whale sighting.

“… (The full-sized) ship had three masts, carried four or five small boats, and had the largest crew,” according to the “Golden Age of Whaling” article in the Amityville Record (July 13, 2021). “There were six men per small boat, and ship keepers (steward, cook, cooper, blacksmith, or carpenter) stayed aboard the vessel when the small boats were chasing whales. The ship was built to travel the longest distance and could stay at sea for three to four years.”

Crew occupied their time during long stretches by etching images into whalebones.

The last Long Island-based whaling ship sailed in 1871, but never returned.

Other museum exhibits include a ship model of the Charles W. Morgan, the skull of an orca whale, a diorama depicting Cold Spring Harbor during the 1850s, maritime art, and one of the northeast’s most significant scrimshaw collections. The era is brought to life with re-creations, such as “James General Store,” “Chores on Deck,” and “Life Below Deck.” Other displays include “Waterproofing a Whaleship,” “Whale Oil Barrels,” and “Cooking with Whale Oil in a Trypot.” Video monitor films enhance the experience, with documentaries like “The 38th Voyage of the Charles W. Morgan.”

The museum’s 6,000 object and archival holdings preserve Cold Spring Harbor’s maritime history and its 2,800-strong library collection consists of primary and secondary volumes and manuscripts from the town’s whaling fleet, ship logs, journals, records of Long Island coastal trade, and documents from the Cold Spring Harbor Custom House.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s DNA Learning Center:

The DNA Learning Center, the educational arm of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, is the town’s last major attraction, but is considered the world’s first biotechnical museum.

“Since the DNA Learning Center was established in 1988,” according to its website, “we’ve been advancing genetics education for students and families. We deliver biotechnology instruction through laboratory field trips for students in New York and beyond. More than 700,000 middle and high school students have experienced our hands-on approach to science instruction over the last 30 years. We offer in-person field trips and summer camps on Long Island and in New York City.”


While shopping may not carry historical connections, Cold Spring Harbor’s very structures prove to be preserved pockets of its past.

“… Many of our shops and businesses are located in buildings that once served as the homes of ship captains,” the Fall 2019 edition of the CSHFHM Newsletter explains. “Our beautiful harbor now welcomes visitors who arrive by yacht and serves recreational boaters, baymen, and fishermen.”

Antiques, art, souvenirs, trinkets, and candles are all sold in shops that line Main Street, which almost exudes a New England atmosphere.

Country Club Studio, for instance, bills itself as offering “gifts with a Tiffany touch.” A waft of scents and fragrances meets the visitor as he enters the Heritage and Candle Home. And Kellogg’s Dolls’ Houses displays and sells meticulously-assembled, museum-quality doll houses made from 3/8ths-of-an-inch birch plywood.


Cold Spring Harbor dining depends upon the meal and the monetary means. The Gourmet Whaler, for example, offers lighter, lunch fare, such as tacos, wraps, burgers, sandwiches, salads, and quesadillas. Sweetie Pies on Main, serving “fine coffee and incredible edibles,” offers croissants, mini-pizzas, bagels, quiches, and salads, along with sweet-side satisfactions like muffins, cookies, scones, and pastries with cappuccinos.

Two restaurants offer more elegant selections.

Grasso’s, the first, was established in 1994 and takes the diner “on a journey from a quaint 1850 town to a hip, New York-style restaurant and jazz club serving New American cuisine,” according to its self-description.

Its menu includes appetizers of grilled hearts of artichoke and Prince Edward Island mussels; Gail’s grilled peach and classic Caesar salads; grilled Atlantic salmon, chicken parmesan, and Long Island duck entrees; and tartufo, gelato, tiramisu, and triple chocolate mousse cake desserts.

Harbor Mist, billed as “Cold Spring Harbor’s finest steak, Italian, and seafood restaurant,” is the second local upscale eatery. Its menu features items such as clams on the half shell, mozzarella caprese, Mediterranean salad, sesame seed encrusted yellow fin tuna, pork chops Michelle, filet mignon, and rack of lamb. Both restaurants have extensive wine lists.

Although it is compact, a day in Cold Spring Harbor is naturally, historically, and culinarily rewarding.


CSHFHM News: The Newsletter of the Cold Spring Harbor Fire House Museum, Winter 2015.

CSHFHM News: The Newsletter of the Cold Spring Harbor Fire House Museum, Fall 2019.

Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery and Aquarium website.

Cold Spring Harbor Fire House Museum website.

Cold Spring Harbor Library and Environmental Center Newsletter, July-August 2021.

“Golden Age of Whaling.” Amityville Record. July 13, 2021.

Hughes, Robert C. Images of America: Cold Spring Harbor. Charleston, South Carolina: Acadia Publishing, 2014.

Preservation Long Island Biennial Report: 2019-2020. Cold Spring Harbor, New York.

Preservation Long Island Notes Newsletter. Cold Spring Harbor, New York: Fall 2020.

The Whaling Museum and Education Center website.

Source by Robert Waldvogel

April 5, 2022
View: 40

If you fell for a gorgeous slab, pair it with a backsplash material that will show it at its best.

You’ve chosen granite countertop for their beauty and durability. Are you still stumped about what to use for your backsplash? We have accumulated a few popular choices made by various designers, home-owners and builders.

Granite is tricky. There are so many different color and pattern choices. Some are very busy with wither movements or tones, while others are subtle. Some are dark, others are light. Some have large natural blotches (which some of us just love it for being “natural”) while others are dotty or splattered.

Each granite or marble slab is unique, so it’s impossible to make sweeping generalities about what will work with every color of granite. But if you look at why and how these pairings are pleasing and important, you’ll get some good ideas for a material to pair with the particular stone you’ve fallen for.

1) The same granite or marble, all the way up:

Full high backsplash are pretty common. Not only you get to see the beauty of the stone vertically (and match veining horizontally) to create a book match, it also makes it easier to clean and maintain. Just a regular swipe with soap water does the magic. When you are considering a full-high backsplash (as they call it) choose the part of the slab (whilst selecting) that you would like to highlight. It could be a particular section of colors or a dramatic mica or a pretty consistent movement. Think of it as an art painting on a kitchen wall.

2) The “standard” 4-inch backsplash in the same countertop:

This is usually called the “standard” as most fabricators provides these with the countertop to hide the gap between the countertop and the wall. This helps them complete the transition. If you prefer the white wall or just paint the wall to your color theme instead this is the way to go. You can always add glass mosaics or subway tiles later when you are ready.

3) Large rectangular tile:

Large subway tiles are in fashion now. 4×12, 4×16 even 6×12 or 6×24 planks. They make the room look larger. Coordinate these subway tiles and mosaics in travertine, porcelain and ceramic or even glass to create the kitchen backsplash that’s minimalist and warm.

4) Subway tiles:

The evergreen 3×6, 4×4 or 6×6 subway tiles comes in travertine, slate, glass, porcelain and ceramic and takes you back in time when they were first used in New York subway system. You could pick a color from your granite or marble countertop or the color which is dominant to choose the shade of your subway tile.

5) Glass tile:

The gloss finish of glass tile complements many granite and marble countertops. Consider a neutral tone that’s a close match for the main color field in the granite.

6) Interlocking mosaic tile:

It is a beautiful combination of glass and stone or glass and stainless steel mosaic tiles. Not only they are newer and modern they help you create or carry on the theme into another room. Match it with your living room fireplace or bar in the next room. The changes in tone in each of these handmade mosaic tiles are quiet and lovely. It’s easier to cut and install mosaics with meshed backing. The interlocking mosaics locks in place for the next piece for a smooth grout line finish.

7) Brick mosaic tile:

This one may seem counter-intuitive (no pun intended), but the 2×4 or 1×3, and other sized brick mosaic tile in are elegant mosaics which plays nicely with your color combination. It might seem like they would be two busy patterns, but the material and coloring of the backsplash is a calming counterpoint (pun intended).

8) Metal inserts and listello accents:

Plain subway tile might have been too plain here, but the dotting in the eclectic tile pattern plucked from the range mosaic adds a playful touch. Use chair rails and pencil liners to complete the project in style. Using metal inserts with natural stone backsplash such as travertine mosaics and marble tiles gives the look for richness. If you’re looking at a palette that has a lively travertine pattern but feels like simple white or cream blocks of tile then you should consider livening things up over the range. Creating a frame within the backsplash (behind cook-top) using chair rails or pencil moldings gets oomph effect.

9) Tumbled marble tile:

Tumbled subway tiles comes in marble, travertine and slate mosaics. The uneven edges creates that mid-century look on your backsplash. With wide grout lines they have no competition. When choosing your backsplash tiles, you’ll have a few places to pick up the right hues. Look to the range of colors in your countertop pattern to find the right darker tones. Look to your cabinet color as well. Tie the cabinets to the countertops with these tumbled subway tiles.

Now that you have seen some designers’ ideas, you can start to play with the colors, sizes, shapes, scales, materials, finishes and patterns of your backsplash-countertop combination until you get it right. Remember to pay attention to the colors and materials of the cabinets and walls too.

Source by Rahul Dewan

March 21, 2022
View: 57

I teach students how to paint and draw light. I am also a lighting specialist. My fascination with light encompasses, not only the commercial, retailing aspect, but the artistic as well. Once drawing and painting skills are developed to the point where students can accurately put down what they see, creating light and shadow is studied and faithfully delineated subject matter emerges in a world of space and volume.

Basically, the depiction of light and shadow is accomplished by using dark and light colors in painting and tonal gradations in drawing. For a beginning student this often requires some visual skills.. First, I tell the student it is necessary to convert what they see to a two-dimensional vision that they can translate to a two-dimensional surface like a canvas or a sketchbook page.

Seeing objects two-dimensionally can be done in several ways. The easiest (and most time-tested) is to construct a grid in front of the subject matter–that could be actual objects, a photo or a picture. This can be done most simply by holding a pencil vertically and horizontally against the viewed objects, comparing their shapes to the vertical and horizontal lines of the pencil.

Another time-tested method is to literally construct a grid on plate glass or Plexiglas and place that grid in front of the objects. Now the viewed objects are intersected by many squares (depending on how large or small the squares in the grid are.) Each quadrant (square) of the grid can then be painted or drawn independently and upon completing the entire grid, the composition of objects is finished to compose an accurate picture of the objects.

Light and shadow are more easily discerned and created with this grid method. How objects are illuminated can be defined on paper or canvas by observing and re-creating light and shadow at play in each quadrant. In accomplishing this by shading and highlighting, illumination and therefore, volume is created, the illusion of the three-dimensional space is created, reborn on a two-dimensional surface.

Accuracy, as well as light and shadow were not always the motivation behind depicting artful images. Before the Renaissance, art works in Europe depicted objects ( figures, landscapes, buildings) in a flat space. There was no light and shadow. Figures were delineated and colored in a style much like a coloring book. These images translated well to stained glass windows and mosaics. Their simplicity of line and color contributed to the strength of the iconography, often of religious significance.

With the discovery of perspective, space and volume became important to artists as well as the depiction of light and shadow. Symbolic icons and images described by line gave way to depictions of illuminated space. In perspective, objects recede and advance in a two-dimensional space that is totally visually believable. To augment the receding and advancing figures with directional light and shadow completed the believability, creating a world the eye could explore as a simulated, illuminated three-dimensional environment.

Spiritual light, the vehicle of infinity was often expressed with the use of gold leaf in Medieval altarpieces. The warm, glowing, reflective surface behind religious figures imbued the work with a rich and reassuring statement-the glory of heaven and God’s power. A more earthly light replaced gold leaf in the Renaissance. Spiritual figures were bathed in sunlight and swathed in shadow. The light that illuminated the humble shepherds was the same light that shone on Jesus and his followers.

It is interesting to me that the journey a beginning drawing or painting student takes often replicates the historical transition from the Medieval use of line and color-in style to the Renaissance application of illuminated space and volume. And, with more advanced students, their journey often continues to repeat the contemporary return to line and color-in, the preference for depicting flat, shallow space and solid color.

I find this reassuring. The art world is wide open, brimming with many styles, images, materials and skills. For today’s artist, everything is available, to use towards a creative purpose. All of history as well as the latest technological/digital images are ready to be researched and developed.

Source by Lois Dewitt

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