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Friday, February 23, 2007

Your Own Poster

Art enthusiasts adorn their walls with the greatest artwork they can find. Vintage art, photos of celebrities and limited editions bring in some pretty big money at auctions and they look great on a wall. But, art isn't a mystery. It might be intimidating to plenty of people, but it is no mystery.

What's saying that you can't put your own art all over your walls? I started out with motivational sayings that I would put on photographs I had taken. But, there's even an art to that. I started blowing my pictures up to 4X what they actually were. Then, I would embed the digital image of the motivational saying I wanted to use. It doesn't even take the greatest photo imaging software. All I needed to remember was to keep the wording separated in one of the four quadrants of the picture. Don't embed the wording until after you have blown the picture up to its final size. You don't want to make the wording all distorted. Now, you can print the picture out and it will come out in four separate sections. Place those four sections in a picture frame after matting them with a small 1/4" border between them. It looks great. Your artwork on your wall.

It's not hard. There are more ideas every day. I'll make sure I keep you posted.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Artistic Genre

What people fail to remember sometimes is how far art reaches. They try to keep it boxed up in a small box. Art to some is simply the paintings on a wall, the drawings in the sketchpad. But, look how far art reaches!

Art is dance. An expression of self through the forms of the body. How a person expresses a story through the art of dance. The growing of a tree. The ending of a season. The anger of a father. And the motion of the sea. All these can be expressed through body movements during a dance recital.

Of course, music is art. In all retrospect, music is probably the most popular of the arts. People love listening to music. Musicians will never be at a loss for audience members. But, music is more than the singer. It's the musical instruments creating sounds that tell a story just like the dance. When the wind blows, the wind instruments can make the audience feel it. When there is action, the drums and the bass can act together to create tension. Music is more than just blaring guitar, rhythmic drums and a voice wailing emotions.

Art is in everything from building motorcycles to remodeling homes. Landscaping is a form of art. Art is actually in everything we do if we make it that important to us. Some people use terms at work like, "Got it down to an art form." That means they've mastered it.

So, all this to say that art is complete communication. Way beyond anything that words can express, art allows us to communicate concepts, ideas and notions. Through the use of our bodies and the instruments we invent, art has its way of entering our lives from any direction.

Monday, February 19, 2007


The other morning, as I was looking out the window, I noticed a hawk land on the tree outside. It had a fresh bird in its claws. I had an instance where I thought the hawk was looking at me through the window. But, I soon realized that it had no idea I was even there.

So, I moved slowly in case it could see movement through the window. I found my easel and my palette. Then, I started painting. I didn't know how much time I had, but I was moving as fast as I could.

The hawk started to eat the bird and some might find that revolting. But, I looked at it through the artist's eyes. I was looking at nature and the cold, hard truth outside my window. Several times, I do believe I caught the hawk looking at me and it just might have been. It might have wanted this truth to be captured. It might have wanted this moment to become part of a historical documentary like it had been through it before.

Whatever it's purpose was, I couldn't believe how blessed I was this morning. Not only was I painting, but nature had given me the theme. How many times have you wanted to paint so bad, but you couldn't come up with an image to put on a canvas? We love when we are inspired by an image that hits us, but we have so many blank moments where we have no idea what to paint.

When that happens, there is a little technique anyone can use. I like freewriting. Freewriting is when you place a few minutes aside and you grab a piece of paper. Then, you write everything that comes across your brain. Sometimes you have to actually think about what is on your brain. Sometimes you have to begin this writing episode by simply writing, "I have nothing on my brain...I have nothing on my brain."

Keep repeating that until something starts to come across. Here are your rules. Don't worry about spelling or grammar. Don't make corrections to anything. Just keep writing and writing until you have filled up three pages or five minutes have gone by. Now you are ready to find your theme. Look through your rambling for a hint of what is on your mind. You'll find it. It's right in there.

Not all of us can have an inspired moment like a hawk landing outside our window. But, to keep the creative juices flowing there are plenty of strategies. Freewriting is the most effortless.