Category : Arts

46 posts

A guest contribution by Achim Schmacks

The corona crisis is bringing artists to their knees

The Corona crisis has brought quite a few artists to their knees. The omission of exhibitions, sponsoring, fees and customers let some artists in the independent scene run out of steam.

Emergency aid programs do not work or are distributed with the watering can, here too the dry spell is long.

In my producer gallery BLACKOFFICE in Düsseldorf I have had to cancel three exhibitions and postpone them until next year. Postponed is not canceled, but the artists planned for the first half of 2021 will continue to be postponed. We can push, but not make up for everything. Likewise, we cannot make up for the loss of sales, discussions and contacts; many things that are missing cannot be made up for. We don’t catch up, we have to tie on, pick up and continue knitting.

Who invests in art?

The 2009 economic crisis had already had a negative impact on the art scene. Even there, the money was no longer easy, it was saved and invested in other things. Who invests in art?

People invest in art who want to use it to increase money. You buy art that promises an increase in value because we live in times of constant increase, and there seems to be no turning back.

Now there is a turning back! The corona crisis not only has Germany firmly under control, the whole planet has been covered by a pandemic, but the consequences for free artists are only known to a limited extent.

How can I help? A call to museums in cities and districts

Freelance artists are the caregivers of the cultural scene, they turn the wheel day after day – both before, during and after the crisis. Free artists are indispensable in a free, modern society.

I call on the museums of the cities and districts to exhibit their artists. Show your artists, open up your rooms and create space.

Offers artists a platform, opens museums and municipal galleries for their own artists, opens a virtual umbrella, a rescue umbrella for artists, unconditionally, but also as an alternative to the marginal and one-off cash support currently being discussed, which is distributed completely aimlessly and for purposes other than intended.

Don’t leave your cultural workers out in the rain!

How is that supposed to be possible? Quite simply, lists are requested from the cultural offices and professional associations from artists who work freelance, are members or have artist IDs. These artists are invited to present their work publicly in rooms that are usually not accessible to the majority of the artists. Museums and municipal galleries show artists from the city, district or region throughout Germany for a set period of time. This first event is financed by cities, the federal government, the state and sponsors. All exhibitions are freely accessible and with free admission.

Artists are an important part of society

Artists do not live and work for one-off payments, artists are not petitioners in offices, artists are an important part of society, an open society that, without culture and art, loses most of its education, understanding, ethics and zest for life.

Artists working to show their work need a platform to generate new ideas. Artists work in and for society.

Artists deserve more credit

If the artists are to be helped, then my suggestion would be a first step. The first step can be so simple and effective. This step would be recognition of a profession and a calling. Artists, free artists, live in a constant prejudice of bohemian and work-shy. Today’s artists are far from it. Marketing tools, social media and a society that demands more and more and is less and less enthusiastic call for a complete reorientation of the artists. Today the artist deals more and more with self-marketing, time for his own art and ideas often fall by the wayside. Exhibition venues are hotly contested, own projects and work spaces are becoming too expensive.

Artists live in a hamster wheel

Very few protagonists in the independent art scene receive invitations to exhibitions and participation in presentations, usually they have to torment themselves through long application phases and often pay for them. Exhibition rooms are rented out, art agents and brokers offer themselves at top prices. Times in which artists bring their works to museums, purchases are made and the artist lives happily from patrons are long gone and rarely to be found. The artist fights for recognition, attention and exhibition opportunities, he fights for studio space, a place in society and also a place in the museum. The latter is only granted to a few, because the museums block themselves, exhibit highly endowed artists and works and want to offer spectacular,

A rescue parachute for art!

Art should stay on the carpet in our time, a time full of existential fear, uncertainty and a lack of visions for the future. Take the fear away from artists, roll out the red carpet for them, for a society that is valued and envied for its culture and artists worldwide. Open the umbrella, the reserve for art, make room in your houses, offer space for art, space for artists and space for a society that is interested in its artists again.

Art therapy: “I can no longer hear it …!”

The other day I was at a working meeting in preparation for a joint exhibition. I was greeted warmly and asked if I was well again. “Yes,” I was happy to report and then told a little more about my last year of the disaster, in which for six months I was not only unable to paint because of incredible pain, but also hardly could do anything else. And I also told about how much art gives my life a secure hold; how much I played a decisive role on the path to recovery during this long period of illness, in which I struggled with myself and my body. Everyone present was happy with me. But then something irritated me …

One in the group talked about a visit to a group exhibition where he had a conversation with one of the participating artists and then said: “I can no longer hear it! I am constantly getting to know new artists who tell me how they found art through art therapy.”

What is behind this statement?

Is it the tiredness of personal fate stories? Is it an aversion to strangers getting directly personal? Is it the claim that art has to be art and not “just” a therapy result? Is therapy art art at all?

I would like to bring some clarity to the discussion here and also dispel prejudices.

– Is it the tiredness of personal fate stories?

Most of the time, stories are particularly interesting if they are either unique and therefore special. When you experience something that you rarely come into contact with in your own life. When you have the feeling that they are taking place far away from you and then you develop a certain kind of childlike admiration for the protagonist. If there is also very special art involved, the WOW effect is even greater. Perhaps the best example here is Vincent van Gogh. We love his art, we love his story.

Or stories are particularly interesting when, on the contrary, they are very close to you. When you recognize yourself or something of yourself in it. If you can even learn something from them, if at best they give you courage.

Conversely, this means that a story is of no interest if it is not unique but arbitrary. Or if, instead of a role model, I see a chilling example in it.

– Is it an aversion to strangers becoming directly personal?

Yes. You can answer this question very quickly. Because you don’t always want to deal with personal fate when you actually “only” wanted to visit an exhibition. Or maybe it’s the artist himself who at first glance just doesn’t seem likeable enough to get personal right away. Perhaps the intention of visiting the exhibition was also to distract oneself from one’s own problems and not to come across similar life issues that one has to deal with oneself. Anyway, it might just be the wrong story in the wrong place at the wrong time.

– Is it the claim that art has to be art and not “just” a therapy result? Is therapy art art at all?

These questions are the hardest to answer because they are the least trivial. What is art Opinions differ on this. While some argue with “talent” and “proper training”, others speak of “art for everyone” and “art as a way of life”. I think these are two very different approaches. And I think that in most cases both more or less flow together and you don’t always – maybe never? – can separate from each other.

Art as medicine

Many artists describe the beneficial effects of art or the creation of art. Because, in contrast to handicraft, art is not primarily a purely mechanical action aimed at a specific and reproducible result. The creativity and the creative process have a lot to do with the unique nature of the artist. This inner being can be healthy or sick (in the pathological sense!). Art can therefore in principle also be created by a person suffering from (perhaps depression). And those who are sick may also benefit from art therapy. Whether this therapy then serves as the initial spark for a subsequent artistic career should not play a role in the subsequent assessment of the works of art, I believe.

Praise to contemporary psychotherapy

I think it is much more important to positively emphasize how extremely effective therapists are nowadays! Anyone who comes out of therapy as a strengthened person and has found something (in this case about art) that has a lasting positive effect on further life has gained a lot! How nice that there are so many and when so many talk about it that some people find it “annoying”!

Whether in the end “art” arises or just “occupational therapy”, this question is superfluous in my opinion, since it does not depend on art therapy. Art and art therapy are two different concepts that can, but do not have to, complement each other. It depends on the individual case. So I refer back to the original question that humanity has been asking itself for centuries and what it loves to argue about: Is this art or can it be eliminated?

Can art influence the future?

An exciting new arts initiative, The Banality of Evil in our Daily Lives Art Prize , has been launched by an independent art collective.

The project aims to raise awareness of thoughtlessness that has unwittingly crept into our everyday lives. A unique opportunity for artists around the world to submit works that explore the lines between good and bad, right and wrong.

The text and the invitation to tender were sent to us by the artist SaySay.love. Please send all questions about the competition to the contact address given in this text.

The philosopher Hannah Arendt as inspiration

The theme of the competition is based on the writings of Hannah Arendt, the famous philosopher and political scientist ( > Wikipedia ). Arendt reported on the trial of Adolph Eichmann, the former head of the “Central Office for Jewish Emigration”, who was involved in organizing the expulsion and deportation of Jews and who was jointly responsible for the murder of an estimated six million people. Essentially, Arendt posed the question: Can one do bad without being bad?

Her conclusion is: “As cruel, cold-hearted and in their extent monstrous as the deeds for which Eichmann was responsible, so common, so banal were the person who represented these deeds. She called this thoughtlessness the “banality of evil”.

Goal of the competition

The aim of the competition is to show how we have become victims of thoughtless behavior in our daily life and to call on all artists to participate and to express their hearts and thoughts in their works of art.

The artist call presents a challenge to communicate what has never been communicated before and to create a platform for groundbreaking ideas that are brought into our community.

The initiator of the project, SaySay Love , suggests that art can change the mind and heart and has the power to dissolve the inhumanity and destruction we create through thoughtless behavior.

Banality of Evil in our Daily Lives art competition

We can all be victims of thoughtlessness in our daily life.
The Banality of Evil in our Daily Lives art competition is an open competition that creates the opportunity for artists to express their view of the banality of evil in daily life. The artist call presents a challenge to communicate what has never been communicated before and to create a platform for groundbreaking ideas that are brought into our community.
We invite all artists worldwide to submit their work and use their art as a means and instrument of a global language to communicate hopes and thoughts and thus create a new vision for our world.
In addition to providing inspiration, the aim of the competition is to show solutions that deal with what is probably the most important and current crisis in our society: the loss of our humanity.

The public selects the best 40 works of art

The Banality of Evil in Our Daily Lives is a one-of-a-kind arts competition that puts the public at a high level.
As a public project, the audience is invited to moderate the selection of the first 40 artworks by choosing and sharing the presented messages in our Banality of Evil in our Daily Lives social media platforms.

The award

From these 40 works of art, the finalists are nominated by the elected jury members. The finalists will receive prize money of US $ 2,000 and are invited to present their work at an exhibition in Berlin in May 2020.
  • Artists whose works have been selected for the competition will receive a certificate of participation
  • All selected artists are published on our social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as part of an international campaign
  • The 10 best works in each of the 4 categories that receive the most likes by the public then go through the selection process by the jury. All 40 works chosen within this process will be part of the final exhibition in Berlin, Germany.
  • The works of the 40 best artists will be published in a book that documents the course of the project
  • Only the 4 winners of each category will be invited to Germany to be part of the final exhibition and to receive the art award.

Registration for the competition

Works of art are accepted in the following disciplines: painting & drawing, photography & digital media, sculpture and performance art.
The call for entry will take place from November 1st, 2019 to March 15th, 2020.
For more information and the registration process, visit our website:
www.boeart.org

background

The theme of the competition was initiated by the visionary artist and social activist SaySay.Love . SaySay.Love was inspired by the ideas of Hannah Arendt, the famous philosopher and political scientist, and immediately felt a deep connection to the problem she described:
The idea that the worst deeds in human history were not carried out by fanatics or sociopaths, but by ordinary people who only acted according to instructions and felt their thoughts and actions as “normal” and did not question them.
Can a person do evil without being angry? That was the essential question that Hannah Arendt asked herself when she was responsible for the New Yorker in the trial against Adolph Eichmann, the former head of the “Central Office for Jewish Emigration”, who was involved in the organization of the expulsion and deportation of Jews the killing of an estimated six million people was reported.
Hannah Arendt does not see Eichmann as a man who harbored the desire to murder or wreak destruction, but as someone who carried out his profession and the tasks associated with it thoroughly and according to instructions. His private environment described him as social and inconspicuous. He did not correspond in any way to the image of a criminal and was the opposite of any philosophical theory of evil.
In a totalitarian system, therefore, thoughtlessness is enough to nurture the greatest crimes in history – a thoughtlessness that she called the “banality of evil.”

Artists reduce their ecological footprint

As a freelance artist and therefore self-employed, you have the advantage of not having to follow the instructions from above. But you also have the disadvantage that you always have to reinvent the wheel on your own. So I always like to research with others when I’m interested in a new topic. As “Artist 4 Future” looking for ideas for the good of our planet, the search is arduous, as there is hardly any material to date. But artists also leave an ecological footprint.

So I’m all the more pleased to have met Tom Albrecht from Berlin . On November 22nd, 2019 the workshop “How can artists reduce their ecological footprint?” Took place in the project room of the Group Global 300 – Gallery for Sustainable Art in Berlin . The topic is their everyday practice, the choice of their materials, their travel and transport. Moderation: Tom Albrecht ” . I couldn’t travel myself, but Tom kindly made the results available to me.

Recommendations for working in the studio

When looking through the handwritten notes I realize: Wow! So many ideas already! And completely inspired, I can think of a lot more! The task now is to formulate a few solid recommendations from the initially disordered ideas, all with the intention of generating less waste and working more sustainably.

The following lists & recommendations of what you as an artist can do to reduce your ecological footprint are based on Tom’s notes from the workshop (see above):

Generate less rubbish

  • In general, nothing to be thrown away is an ecological quality that must be achieved and maintained.
  • If you work with paints from tubes: only press as much on the palette as you really need.
  • Think carefully about where in your art you can save material or do without it. Or maybe you can replace certain material with common everyday objects or found objects 
  • This also applies to tools such as old T-shirts as rags.

If your art doesn’t allow you to do without certain material so much, then you can discover other strategies for saving:

  • A good cleaning and care of the used material comes first. For example, you don’t have to buy a new pallet every six months.
  • Also take care of your screw collection and don’t buy a new pack of 10 every time you visit Boesner. Do you even need 10 right away? Or maybe 2 or 3 are enough, which you can get individually at the hardware store?
  • Do you have material or equipment that you no longer need? Offer it to your artist colleagues!
  • Do you need devices that you don’t have yourself? From which colleagues can you borrow them?
  • You could even build up a network and a real stock of materials / equipment for visual artists to swap and borrow.
  • Also keep older works: maybe you can still sell them? Or exhibit again? Or recycle it for a new work of art?
  • If you offer workshops: Give people a well thought-out list of materials in advance. Is everything really necessary? Can you perhaps differentiate between “important” and “unimportant”?

An association with a model character in terms of sustainability

A really great example of the sustainable (re) use of artist material is the work of KUNST-STOFFE Central Office for Reusable Materials eV The Berlin association collects surplus art and culture that is no longer needed in a large warehouse and then sells them cheap to artists. A look at the website shows the great ideas of the initiative and a well thought-out concept. Hopefully there will be imitators in other cities soon!

protect the environment

  • Avoid using solvents when cleaning the brushes if possible. Alternatively, you can clean them first with sunflower oil and then with gall or curd soap. It is also best to pre-clean them before they come into contact with waste water, as the pigments can contain harmful substances such as heavy metals.
  • For your sewage drain, get a settling device at the hardware store that catches coarse dirt particles.
  • If possible, don’t use pigments that contain lead or cadmium at all.
  • Dispose of your garbage properly: Empty containers or packaging go in the yellow bin.
  • But be careful: Solvents and paint residues with harmful ingredients belong in the residual waste or, if necessary, in the special waste. Check with your local waste disposal company.
  • If you have a choice: buy the product without plastic. For example, choose a wood fiber board (MDF) instead of a lightweight foam board (KAPA).

Protect your own health

  • When painting with oils and acrylics, it is advisable to wear latex gloves. If your skin is sensitive to latex, you can still wear cotton gloves underneath.
  • Egg tempera and gouache paints are generally more compatible with the environment and nature.

What’s next?

Tom intends to hold more workshops on the topic. Perhaps you also have good ideas that you have already successfully implemented? Then we would be happy about it here in the comments! More extensive guest contributions are also welcome here in the Sommer arts Blog. Or maybe you just have a good tip on where we can do more research.

On your website you can find a quote from José Ortega Y Gasset: “The work of art is an imaginary island surrounded by reality.” What does that mean for your art?

The image of the island clearly describes the relationship between reality and art. Even if the work of art does not appear to contain any references to reality, there is usually a more or less direct reference to current aspects of the reality that surrounds me. The work of art itself creates its own reality, which, like an island, is surrounded by reality, but not part of it.

 

Imke Kreiser

“Equating aesthetics with beauty is an invention of the modern age”

In 2002 you did your doctorate on “Aesthetics” and examined the neurobiological foundations of aesthetic perception. What makes a work of art aesthetic for the human brain?

In order to answer the question, I must first explain the term aesthetic : In philosophy, aesthetic means nothing other than perceived through the senses. In this respect, every work of art conveyed through one of the senses is by definition aesthetic. Equating aesthetics with beauty, on the other hand, is a modern invention. If the question is aimed at this modern term, I would have to rephrase it as what makes a work of art beautiful for the brain

The brain follows the principle of similarity and deviation and provides a highly individual catalog of objects to be compared and the willingness and flexibility to follow its associations also varies greatly from person to person, depending on general cognitive abilities, education and personal biographical character. Beauty can lie in the similarity to the familiar as well as in the deviation from it. The quality and complexity of the respective associations determine the aesthetic experience of the viewer. In the history of science after the 19th century, the concept of aesthetics is expanded to include the entire range of properties that determine how people evaluate perceived objects.

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How do the insights from your research influence your art?

The central theme of semiotics is the relation between sign and meaning. In my work, I am interested in how meaning arises. What information content does an object have in different contexts and how can it be charged with meaning? In this context, the work of art is an extremely complex symbol and the engagement with art is an individual attempt to read this symbol and to relate it to the entire arsenal of experience that is available to a person. This applies to the artist who creates a work, but also to the viewer who deals with the work of art.

“For me, art is a medium to raise questions and to deal with them openly”

Imke Kreiser

You write on your website that you often start your work with a question of form or content. Does a work of art have to have a message for you, i.e. provide an answer to this question or at least contain an attempt at an answer?

Very often a new job actually begins with a more or less specific problem. For me, art is a medium to raise questions and to deal with them openly. Only in rare cases does it actually produce permanent answers, but that is not the primary goal either. The task of finding answers falls equally to the viewer. As an artist, I don’t see myself in the position of communicating generally applicable answers or even messages. I only let viewers participate in my work on certain questions.

Imke Kreiser

You studied linguistics. How important is it for an artist to be able to explain their work?

I think a work of art should make sense even without explanations from the artist or someone else. Nevertheless, you have an advantage, of course, if you as an artist are able to explain your work or, better, your way of working and thematic focuses. However, I would definitely not want my explanations to lead to the viewer’s area of ​​association narrowing in accordance with my specifications. Ultimately, a work of art means nothing at all without the viewer’s perception and thinking.

Imke Kreiser

As an artist you have already worked with the media of painting, photography, printmaking and artist books. Which medium fascinates you the most and why?

In fact, I work simultaneously with all media and use them for different problems:
When looking for patterns, I work with printing techniques to examine the interplay of individual elements and materials. Digital photography is superior to human perception when it comes to extracting details from familiar contexts. The artist’s book is the most complex and best suited medium for conceptual work, as it allows meaning to be coded simultaneously on different levels. The object-like nature of the artist’s book allows for a variety of forms of presentation and, by touching the work of art, gives the viewer a more direct and free access to materials and reading channels than traditional media such as painting or graphics.

Where and when can you see your pictures next?

Some of my screen prints as well as works on wood and canvas can currently be seen in the Hofgalerie in Friedeburg.

A guest contribution by Maxim Simonenko

Drawing faces is very challenging in itself. It is therefore absolutely recommended to learn a construction model first. That is, a method of drawing faces with the same proportions. You first need an approach to orientate yourself in the hustle and bustle of all the facial features.

However, it becomes difficult if you want to deviate from this standard proportion model. Because you have to do that at some point in order to draw appropriate portraits and unique characters. The nose, the lips, the eyes, the ears – they are a unique selling point for everyone.

Drawing characteristic facial features and recognizing individual proportions in the face is a difficult but worthwhile undertaking. When you learn to recognize characteristic facial features in every person, I think that the greatest fun in drawing the human face begins.

 

 

Well, how do you learn to see faces more consciously and to customize your characters. Not by changing the hairstyle or adding different accessories to the figure, but by deliberately filling every part of the face with character.

Here are 3 tips that have helped me a lot in developing from drawing static faces to being a quick portrait draftsman of exciting quick portraits, which is in demand throughout Germany:

Tip 1: Construct your head drawing dynamically

What I mean by that is that you stop constructing too much and learn to realign yourself with each face. Is the head more square or round or more triangular or egg-shaped? Take your time at the beginning to look at the head and then choose shapes to match the head and build up your face drawing.

 

This will prevent you from starting with the same head shape at the beginning of your drawing. Most often, ovals or circles are recommended in drawing books or online instructions. If you start with the same frame on each face, it will be very difficult to break away from that frame. Therefore, each time start with a different frame, suitable for the person you are drawing or the character you are developing.

For this reason I build my drawing courses with three different characters. Mr cuboid, Mr circle and Ms triangle. These characters have completely different head shapes, eyes, lips, noses, and ears. As a result, my participants learn different approaches to drawing faces right from the start and it is easier for them to develop more individual characters.

Tip 2: First concentrate on individual face elements such as nose, ears, lips and eyes

Drawing distinctive facial features is really difficult and complex. So it’s good to break this complexity down into smaller chunks.

For example, first draw ears. One or more weeks. Even if it sounds boring! But it just takes focus and practice until you can consciously see how fine and different ears are. Each ear has its own character!

I wrote my own blog entries about drawing ears , eyes , lips and noses with strong character. There you can see how these individual facial components can be further divided.

It is interesting that everyone pays attention to something different, especially the face. So when you meet someone new. For me, for example, it’s my ears and forehead. The first thing I pay attention to is that, hehe. No idea why! A friend pays great attention to eyebrows. How about you? It is best to start your exercises with the part of the face that you find most interesting and draw your way through the entire face. After that, it will be much easier for you to draw a full face.

If you have a hard time focusing on exercises and sticking to them consistently, drawing classes are recommended. There are sure to be drawing meetups in your area or take an online drawing course. In a group with like-minded people and preferably with a motivating course instructor, it is simply easier to practice. I used to enjoy going to drawing courses. Today I love giving some myself. 🙂

Tip 3: Dare to draw real people live

© Maxim Simonenko

It cost me so much to overcome! And I have to say, I’m still nervous today when I draw people live. Although I have to say that I usually do it in front of a lot of people at an event and get paid very well. There is also other pressure. What I want to say is: it’s hard! Except you don’t mind and you can just draw someone without worrying about their opinion. I don’t have this serenity! And I don’t think a lot of amateur and professional artists either.

For me it is the fear of “failing”, of seeing the disappointment of the person portrayed if he does not recognize himself in the picture or that my client is dissatisfied. If you draw someone live, you get the feedback immediately. Whether you are ready for it or not.

BUT no practice has improved me more effectively in drawing faces than live portraying!

If you’re out with friends or family, ask if you could draw them briefly. And scribble off! No matter how bad (in your eyes) the drawing gets! Draw your way through this uncertainty and you will definitely be rewarded.

The feedback you get right away is super valuable. “I don’t have that big a nose!” Or: “My eyes look completely different!” Such statements make you take a closer look and perceive elements on your face that you hadn’t even noticed before. Others see differently and you can tap into a lot for your vision!

© Maxim Simonenko

It takes a series of live portraits to develop a certain routine. My old Russian drawing master told me that in her drawing school she had to hand in 75 quick portraits every week in addition to the normal drawing lessons. Over several years! I just want to make you aware that after 10, 20 or 100 portraits have been drawn, you don’t have to be sad if it doesn’t work out yet.

Drawing faces just takes time. In order for you to create this number of portraits, it is extremely important that you do not lose the fun of drawing. Therefore, draw what you like, practice in groups with like-minded people and keep finding out about the techniques and methods of drawers who are where you want to be with your drawing skills.

Who is Maxim Simonenko ?

Hehe, maybe you’re wondering who I am? And why am I writing all this? Well, I love to draw people and especially faces!

I have been a freelance artist for 12 years. Today I have specialized in versatile portrait drawing. As a quick draftsman, I draw live at trade fairs, conventions, but also at weddings and birthdays. I really enjoy talking to people and drawing them in the process.

I used to work as a draftsman in the games and film industry. But I had to realize that it wasn’t for me. I like to write, I like to record videos, take drawing classes, educate myself, and travel. As a permanent employee or a freelancer for companies, I can’t fully live out my life.

Draw circles for the creative flow!

Do you feel like painting something, but you don’t have the ideas? Do you wish to make your picture simple, easy and full of joy? Then just use simple basic shapes – for example circles!

Whenever your creativity gets stuck or you lose the ease of painting a little, it helps to reduce yourself. Simple forms that are so easy for you to find that your inner critic is guaranteed not to have anything to complain about. 

I personally love circles! They are so wonderfully light and easy to put on paper – and at the same time they offer you such a large variety of design options that new circles, color combinations and patterns are created over and over again. Here I would like to give you a little inspiration on how you can create a happy picture from simple circles. 

Just follow me step by step: You will be surprised how easy it is and how much fun it is to build up a picture so simply and to play with the colors and lines!

Painting circles: simple shapes to get into the flow

I paint with watercolors on sturdy 300g watercolor paper. You can of course modify the tutorial as you wish and with your materials.

First I divide my sheet of paper into individual squares. Of course, you can also put your circles on the sheet of paper freely, but I really liked the even arrangement here. So afterwards there is a circle 🙂 in every box

In the next step I choose my color palette. To keep it simple I just want to paint with four different colors. Have you tried this before? The easier it is for you to get into the flow, the easier you keep painting 🙂

The first circles in watercolor – very easy!

Now it starts with the circles! Start in a box of your choice and with the color of your choice. Then just work your way back and forth across your picture. You can keep the circles monochrome or mix colors together. Just have fun experimenting!

Painting circles: watercolor painting made easy

Keep painting until a brightly colored circle laughs at you in each box. If you like, let the first layer of paint dry and then go into the circles again with fresh paint to add more colors, patterns, details. Right from the heart!

Have fun with watercolor circles

I now erase the pencil lines when the watercolors are dry. Then the gimmick with the fineliner continues! I take a waterproof, thin fineliner and just circle around my colored circles. Very important: stay in the lightness! The circles can be “imperfect” egg-shaped and crooked like your color circles 🙂

Paint and decorate circles

With the black fineliner, I then just go over the picture and add small details here and there. Here too, simply let your hand guide you and your intuition. The patterns and details can appear as if by themselves, very easily!

Combine watercolor and fineliner

Then the white fineliner * is used. With this I also bring small details into play and add small patterns, dots, shapes to my circles – entirely on the whim! Just look how the picture has changed!

Draw circles with fineliners

But let’s keep playing a little longer 🙂 How about a few small splashes of paint, knocked loosely on the paper with a brush? It’s so much fun! 😀

Abstract watercolor painting circles

When the colors have dried, the circle picture is actually already finished. But I still wanted to give the circles a little more contour. So I picked up a slightly thicker black felt-tip pen again and traced a circle again.

Watercolor abstract circles

And this is what the finished picture looks like:

Painting circles in watercolor: So easy and simple

Thеrе exists a new movement іn thе аrt world thаt involves blending аrt іntо thе fields оf urban design, architecture, gardening, sculpture, tourism аnd fashion. It іѕ referred tо аѕ environmental аrt. Thеrе аrе nо rules tо follow – just аn impulse tо meld аrt аnd оthеr domains tоgеthеr.

Touring thе Environmental Art Movement

In thе 1960’s, various artists саmе tоgеthеr tо counter thе growing commercialization оf аrt. Artists wеrе setting uр pieces оf thеіr аrt іn gardens аnd parks. Thе concept оf taking аrt оut оf thе studio аnd іntо thе world bесаmе popular.

Today, mаnу environmental artists аrе recycling аnd reusing аn assortment оf objects tо create projects thаt аrе earth-friendly. Thіѕ іѕ a crucial step tоwаrdѕ practicing whаt іѕ bеіng preached.

A Conscientious Artist

Artist McKenzie, a prominent painter, іѕ a great example оf thе diligent efforts bеіng mаdе іn order tо encourage environmentally conscious endeavours. McKenzie creates аrt pieces wіth earth friendly materials; hеr paints аrе mаdе frоm natural, organic, non-toxic sources, аnd hеr paintings аrе sold іn sustainable forest wood frames. Mоrеоvеr, ѕhе donates a portion оf hеr revenue tо environmental causes. Hеr printer аnd framers аlѕо donate a portion оf thеіr proceeds tо worthwhile environmental organizations.

Important Pieces оf Environmental Art

Onе оf thе mоѕt wеll known pieces оf environmental аrt іѕ Christo’s “Running Fence,” a 24 mile lоng nylon fabric fence thаt threaded іtѕ wау thrоugh California. Hоwеvеr, thе work wаѕ criticized аt thе tіmе fоr nоt bеіng earth-friendly. It cost 3.2 million dollars аnd stood fоr оnlу twо weeks.

Dan Das Mann аnd Karen Cusolito created “Crude Awakening” fоr thе 2007 edition оf “Burning Man.” It wаѕ a huge oil derrick surrounded bу worshiping figures, a concept meant tо represent thе world’s dependency оn oil.

“Lightning Field” bу Walter DeMaria іѕ a collection оf 400 lightning rods arranged іn a grid іn New Mexico.

Environmental Art Transcends Intо Fashion

Aѕ environmental аrt gradually expanded іntо new realms, іt wаѕ оnlу a matter оf tіmе bеfоrе іt reached thе world оf fashion. Recyclable fashion оr “green” clothes аrе nоw trendy, аnd bеіng worn bу ѕuсh Hollywood elite аѕ Angelina Jolie, Heidi Klum аnd Gwen Stefani. Ladies аrе sporting purses mаdе frоm thе likes оf recycled candy wrappers, food packages, pop labels, subway maps аnd newspapers.

Wіth celebrities dressed іn ecologically-friendly fashion, аnd wіth significant importance bеіng рut оn sustainable living, fashion designers аrе realizing thе potential іn marketing recyclable clothes. Today, women muѕt nоt оnlу shop wіth thе right size аnd color іn mind, but thеу muѕt аlѕо determine іf thе item іѕ earth-friendly.

Earth Friendly Materials

Thе concern fоr ecology іѕ rapidly spreading, аnd аn increasing аmоunt оf clothes mаdе wіth organic materials аrе nоw available оn thе market. Natural fiber ѕuсh аѕ cotton іѕ gentle оn thе earth; іtѕ growth fortifies thе soil аnd helps prevent erosion. Hemp, аnоthеr natural material thаt hаѕ bееn аrоund fоr years, аѕ wеll аѕ оthеr viable fabrics, іѕ bеіng used tо manufacture clothes. Cotton jeans аnd soy dresses аrе popular, аnd soft bamboo garments аrе bеіng mass-produced. Mаnу оf thеѕе fabrics аrе coloured wіth non-toxic dyes. Nike, thе well-known shoe manufacturer, іѕ creating lines thаt аrе easier tо recycle. Earth-friendly clothing аnd accessories аrе bеіng carried bу major retailers like Roots, Gap аnd H&M.

Major Fashion Designers аrе Game fоr a Challenge

Thе style-conscious ѕhоuld nоt grimace аt thе idea оf recyclable fashion. Recently a group оf environmental activists called ‘Earth Pledge’ collected thе list оf tор designers tо participate іn thе creation оf exciting fashions thаt wеrе sustainable. Sоmе оf thе notable names taking раrt іn thе event wеrе Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, аnd Versace. Thе ѕhоw wаѕ called “Future Fashion” аnd took place аt Gotham Hall. Hopefully, environmental fashion іѕ hеrе tо stay!

Environmental аrt hаѕ flown bеlоw thе radar fоr mаnу years, but wіth ecological issues bеіng hot topics today, іtѕ importance аnd impact іn thе world hаѕ flourished.

Thе Pop Art movement began durіng thе 1950s аnd 60s іn Britain аnd America evolving аrоund thе products оf thе mass media. Thе artwork derived frоm popular culture bесаmе оnе оf thе United States’ major artistic movements оf thе 20th century.

Thе artwork, based оn packaging, television, advertising, films аnd еvеn comic books helped tо break dоwn thе lоng held barriers bеtwееn high аrt аnd mass culture. Shortly аftеr World Wаr II, America wаѕ fast bесоmіng a culture оf commercial manipulation, exhibitionism аnd instant success. Thеѕе traits mаdе іt a perfect target fоr artists looking tо poke fun аt thе ѕеrіоuѕ nature оf thе аrt world whіlе аt thе ѕаmе tіmе holding a mirror uр tо society аѕ thеу saw іt.

Whеrеаѕ іn Britain thе pop artists took a mоrе romantic approach, іn America thе results wеrе оftеn tіmеѕ mоrе brash; like thе giant binoculars аnd shuttlecocks оf Claes Oldenburg. Originally considered a counterattack оn Abstract Expressionism, thе pop аrt movement usurped thе French based Dada movement іt terms оf іtѕ battle аgаіnѕt highbrow аrt аnd hаѕ nеvеr looked bасk.

Like Dada bеfоrе іt, thе pop аrt movement used common items аѕ іtѕ subject matter аnd thе artists preferred commercial methods оf production thuѕ allowing unlimited reproductions оf thе аrt. Aѕ thе age оf commercial uniformity closed іn, pop аrt spread оut creating ѕuсh super stars аѕ Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns аnd Roy Lichtenstein tо nаmе but a fеw.

Pop аrt combines іtѕ mass produced, lоw cost, expendable, shiny nature tо encourage thе big money аnd bright lights tо соmе calling. Sоmе question іf pop аrt іѕ a ѕеrіоuѕ comment оn thе contemporary condition оr simply a “joke wіthоut humour.” Traditional аrt critics mау try tо tell уоu whаt іѕ аnd isn’t popular аrt, but іn thе end thе decision іѕ entirely уоurѕ.

Thе accessibility оf pop аrt makes аlmоѕt еvеrуоnе wіth аn urge tо create a pop artist. And аlthоugh pop аrt hаѕ lоng ѕіnсе spawned mаnу different sub categories аnd new аnd unusual mediums; іt аll соmеѕ bасk tо аrt fоr, оf аnd bу thе masses. Wіth еvеrу generation, America ѕееmѕ tо bесоmе mоrе youth oriented аlmоѕt certainly guaranteeing thе future оf pop аrt аnd it’s witty, young, sexy, gimmicky works. Thе big business thаt іѕ pop аrt іѕ strengthened bу thе ongoing homogenization оf America аnd thе blurring оf thе lines bеtwееn аrt, popular culture аnd commercialism.

Althоugh mаnу pop artists ѕtіll display thеіr works іn galleries, pop аrt саn arguably bе fоund inside уоur Happy Meal frоm McDonalds. Popular culture аnd thе аrt thаt represents іt grows аt аn exponential rate еасh year just like mоѕt aspects оf life оn thіѕ earth. Sо whаt іѕ pop аrt аnd whеrе іѕ іt going? wеll, іn thе words оf оnе аrt critic, “I don’t know аrt, but I know whаt I like аnd I like this.”

Recently, whіlе randomly perusing аrt sites, I саmе асrоѕѕ LACDA – thе Los Angeles Center fоr Digital Art. Thіѕ institution shows exhibits аnd holds regular international contests fоr digital artistry. “Digital аrt defines thе contemporary” іt says аt thе head оf оnе оf thе paragraphs оn thіѕ site. Hоw wеll thаt соuld hаvе оnсе bееn said аbоut photography аnd еvеn colored glass wаѕ аt оnе tіmе a technical advancement thаt fоund application іn аrt fоrm. Thіѕ really got thе gears going іn mу head thinking аbоut digital аrt іn a different wау, реrhарѕ wіthіn a new context.

Digital аrt originated іn thе 1970s аnd thеrеfоrе соuld bе described аѕ fairly new, whісh plays іntо hоw іt іѕ nоt embraced аѕ traditional аrt іn a sense. Sоmе suggest thаt іt takes away frоm thе artist’s essence, thаt іt falls short duе tо thе mоrе virtual аnd lеѕѕ physical interaction thе artist hаѕ wіth thе medium. Hоwеvеr, іf оnе wеrе tо try tо discount thе digital аrt process bу saying іt іѕ easy аѕ іf assembling ѕоmеthіng wіth step-by-step instructions thаt wоuld bе аn incorrect viewpoint. A digital artist utilizes mаnу different traditional skills durіng thеіr creative process. Thе digital artist sculpts a subject, muсh thе ѕаmе аѕ hоw figure іѕ sculpted wіth clay. Thеn color аnd texture іѕ added thе ѕаmе wау a painter wоuld fоr a traditional painting. Lighting аnd angle muѕt bе represented аѕ іf using a camera fоr photography, adjusting fоr thе desired effect. Evеrуthіng taken іntо consideration, іt wоuld ѕееm thаt оnе саnnоt bе just simply able tо manipulate digital, but know hоw tо dо ѕо wіth a combination оf artistic skill sets.

Mоѕt оf uѕ аrе familiar wіth hоw thе uѕе оf CGI hаѕ greatly enhanced visual illusions wіthіn thе cinematic arts. Movie special effects аrе a prime example оf digital manipulation оf images. Alѕо еvеn thоugh thе digital medium іѕ vеrу controllable, іt ѕtіll requires muсh skill аnd attention tо dеtаіl. Digital аrt hаѕ developed іntо аnу different forms, fоr instance: flat оn 2D screen, 3D іn holographic fоrm, interactive, static, іn motion, іt саn еvеn bе projected tо create a sense оf bеіng inside thе аrt, whісh іѕ demonstrated іn digital installations wіth thе audience immersed wіthіn thе artwork. I аm certain thеrе аrе mаnу оthеr ideas bеіng рut іntо action оr еvеn created аt thіѕ moment.

Thе digital medium produces аrt frоm light pixels. It wоuld ѕееm tо bе аѕ close аѕ іt gets tо making ѕоmеthіng frоm nоthіng. Sоmеthіng beautiful, ѕоmеthіng conveying new perspective, ѕоmеthіng inspired – аrt.

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