59 Results

Creating an Art Studio on a Budget

Posted Apr 07, 2017
Tags: Blogs

Do You Really Need an Art Studio?An art studio is a place where you can leave normality at the door.   It’s a place where you can transform your initial ideas into material work.  It’s full of all your favourite books, sketch pads, past work, prototypes and various objects you’ve managed to accumulate over time.  In fact, it’s a microcosm of your creativity, knowledge, thoughts and expression.  A place of discovery where things resonate.  You probably know how hard it can be to keep innovating when you have to clear art materials off the dinner table!  Your studio doesn’t have to be a huge area – a little table away from distractions, surrounded by inspirational items might be all you need.  But many creators dream of having their own art studio, which can be a reality ...

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Adult Colouring

Posted Mar 09, 2017
Tags: Blogs

The Adult Colouring CrazeYou’ve probably heard about the adult colouring craze.  You’ve probably even seen adult colouring books in your supermarket, local bookstore or discount store and discovered tons of pencils and other colourful accessories in various gift shops or online.  But what is adult colouring all about?  Does it help to calm you? How are you supposed to go about it, and what supplies do you need to do it?  In this blog we explore adult colouring as an exciting new medium that anyone can give a go.  But adult colouring can also become very involved and almost a precise art, as most avid ‘adult colourists’ will tell you! When Did It All Begin?You might be surprised to hear that ‘colouring in’ as an art form is not that old.  The first colouring book was re...

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The Mystery of the Florentine Lady

Posted Feb 13, 2017
Tags: Art History

The other day I was down in our second shed getting some art supplies for an upcoming lesson.  Russ, our warehouse manager, was digging out my required supplies.  I figured a layman like Russ with interests other than art, may be able to give me a different perspective on art history.  I asked him, what he thought the most famous painting in the world might be.  Without a second thought he said, the Mona Lisa. It got me thinking that nearly everybody in the world must know of this magnificent portrait, but what do they really know about the tales behind the work?  Why didn’t Leonardo sign the work? What’s with that smile? And why doesn’t she have any eyebrows?  There are still so many unanswered questions.   So in this month’s art history blog we’re going to explore the ...

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History of Canvas – Early Beginnings to Modern Shapes

Posted Jan 06, 2017
Tags: Art History

The modern day artist is really quite spoilt these days regarding their art supplies.  They just go to a shop, pick up what they want, and generally don’t have to pay a king's ransom for it.  But buying art supplies in years gone by hasn’t always been this simple.  This was especially true when it came to purchasing canvas.  In Rembrandt's day the price of a medium-sized canvas was equivalent to the average person’s weekly wage.  If this was the case now, can you imagine forking out up to $1,200 for a canvas?  I don’t think so!Painters through the ages have painted on a number of different surfaces, most of these governed by what was at hand or accessible.The first surfaces were hardwood panels namely, oak favoured for its rigidity and stability.  Incidentally, a lot of the ...

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A Little History on Christmas Card Making

Posted Dec 12, 2016
Tags: Art History

Card making has a surprisingly longstanding history, being a popular way to share loving sentiments and well wishes for centuries dating back to the times of the ancient Chinese, as well as the ancient Egyptians, who would scribe their friendly greetings on papyrus scrolls.Handmade greeting cards were shared around Europe in the early 1400's; the Germans were known to create woodcuttings with their New Year’s greetings and fine artworks.The enhancement of Christmas tree decorating and even Christmas card making were officiated by Queen Victoria. She was encouraged by her German-born husband, Prince Albert to carry on with his traditional Germanic Christmas customs that had been firmly established since the early 1700’s. Illustrations of Queen Victoria and her family celebrating around ...

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A Short History of Fairy Art

Posted Nov 04, 2016
Tags: Art History

Everyone can remember a time when they have seen a piece of fairy art and been captivated by its beauty.  Fairy art is a mix of fantasy and realism, and it was really the first mainstream art form that truly did this.  The genre of fairy art often originally featured fairy tale settings, with intricate themes and extreme attention to detail.  The emergence of fairy art on the art scene connected nude figure study, pastoral landscapes, and mythological scenes in a sentimental narrative, making it quite revolutionary. Fairy art is most closely associated with the British Victorian Era.  It experienced high levels of popularity during this time as it was a way to escape the dull reality of existence most people were faced with.  Since then fairy art has experienced a resurgence and is n...

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An Art History of Gilding

Posted Oct 13, 2016
Tags: Art History

Is there anything more exciting than metallic leaf in art?  Regardless of this comment being ridiculous due to the fact that art is completely subjective, art that has been gilded really does have the wow factor!The roots of gilding date back approximately 3000 years ago.  Tomb paintings in Egypt depict goldbeaters beating gold into thin sheets of foil, used in the decoration of furniture, artwork and even coffins.  Historical references of gilding of gold on copper appeared in China by the fourth century BC and gilded vessels of Tibet in the seventh century AD.  There were also various gilding techniques and applications that emerged throughout South America, Peru, Spain, the Far East, Britain and Europe. Metal leaf in the early days was painstakingly beaten until it was paper thin....

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A Short History of the Humble Pencil

Posted Sep 09, 2016
Tags: Art History

How many of us take for granted certain elements of our daily lives?  This is certainly true in regard to the pencil.  This amazing tool is definitely taken for granted these days, but where would humanity be without it? The modern pencil’s roots lie in an ancient Roman writing instrument called a stylus.  A stylus was a thin metal rod that left a light but visible mark on papyrus.  Papyrus was an early form of paper and was used by Scribes.  Scribes were educated men who documented life proceedings and important events.  The stylus was made of lead, and this term is still used frequently to describe pencil cores, although nowadays they are made of non-toxic graphite.So where did this graphite come from and what is it?  Well…good question; humans have been familiar with graphit...

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A Short History of Early Landscape Art in Australia

Posted Aug 08, 2016
Tags: Art History

Visual art and the documentation of surroundings have had a very long history in Australia, with Petroglyphs and cave paintings featuring scenes in topographical format, journey maps and hunting vistas produced by Aboriginals. The European style ‘landscape art’ as we know it didn’t happen until 1788 in the time of white settlement, and the first artistic representations of Australia’s landscape were painted by convicts who were, unfortunately, unknown artists.  The most notable of these was one who was only known as the ‘Port Jackson Painter’.The most significant landscape painter of the Colonial Era (1770-1885) was John Glover.  Like all landscape painters of the time, he was heavily influenced by 18th century European landscape painters.  His work captured the distinctive...

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A Short History of Maritime Art

Posted Jul 13, 2016
Tags: Art History

Art, like many things in modern life, is highly fashionable.  Trends are constantly changing, but there are a couple of genres that haven’t seemed to have waned and ebbed through the ages.  This is definitely the case with maritime art, and it is certainly just as relevant now as it has been in years gone by. In practice, the term ‘marine art’ covers art presenting beach scenes and all other art featuring boats, without any rigid distinction.  One of the reasons maritime art is so revered amongst art lovers is due to the romanticism attached to the sea and water.  Unfortunately today, we work so much that sometimes we just have to make do with a nice image of the sea and imagine the smell of the salt air in our nostrils, instead of actually being there.Ships and the sea have bee...

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History of Acrylic Paint

Posted Jun 02, 2016
Tags: Art History

It’s hard to imagine the art world as we know it without acrylic paint.  It has so many fantastic attributes!  It is affordable, non-toxic and is also water based.  How did artists ever manage to get by without it?In terms of art, acrylic paint is still considered a fairly new product.  It may sound strange, but the art community was very reluctant to embrace this new medium, and to be honest it has only really become popular in the last 30 years.So when was acrylic paint discovered?  Well, acrylic paint can be traced back as far as 1934 – created by a German chemist called Otto Rohm.  Rohm developed an acrylic resin that was quickly transformed into paint.The first acrylic paints were designed as house paints and for use on military vehicles; the fact that the resin dried so qui...

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History of Oil Paint

Posted May 05, 2016
Tags: Art History

Painting has a very very long history indeed, apart from cave paintings and the like, (which we will leave to another art history essay), prior to the Middle Ages, the primary painting medium was egg tempera.  This difficult and temperamental medium was replaced by oil paint as the principal medium around 1500. You may not know it, but every single existing panel by Michelangelo was actually egg tempera.Now anyone who has used oil paints, will, no doubt know how beautiful, vibrant and unique they are to use. But what do we know of the history of this wonderful medium? In 2008 some cave paintings were discovered in Afghanistan that looked very different from the cave paintings that we have come to know. Scientists analysed these paintings, and it was discovered that they dated from 650 A...

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The Secret Life of Gustav Klimt

Posted Apr 06, 2016
Tags: Artists

I’m really happy to bring you this latest little Art blog, as the subject is one of my favourite Artists, the amazing ‘Gustav Klimt’.   I think Gustav Klimt was in all honesty probably about 100 years ahead of his time, and although he enjoyed great success, his bohemian life style and the themes in his art made him a little unpopular with many of the more conservative people of the time.Klimt will be most remembered for his association with the Vienna Secessionist movement.  This movement separated from the support of official academic art and its administrations.  They snubbed their nose at academia and embraced progressive themes and favoured the ornate Art Nouveau style over the prevailing styles of the time.   Gustav Klimt was born in 1862 in Baumgarten a rural suburb of ...

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The Sad Story of Van Gogh

Posted Mar 16, 2016
Tags: Artists

In the undertaking of writing my blog I always try to discover something new.  Now art history is my thing, but obviously one cannot know absolutely everything about a subject.This time we are exploring Vincent Van Gogh and primitive psychology.  During the writing of this I had a major epiphany!  I realised how for all these years that I had missed the point concerning Van Gogh’s art work.Yes of course I knew he was regarded as a master and his work a stroke of genius, but that just hadn’t been apparent to me.  I think it might be like, for example, when you taste caviar for the first time.  You know you’re supposed to like it, but when you taste it, although it’s not without its charm, it just tastes like slippery little salty balls.  It’s not the magic food of the gods l...

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The History of Jewellery Making

Posted Feb 24, 2016
Tags: Art History

In 2008 on a warm summer morning, a team of archaeologists excavating a cave in Siberia unearthed a beautiful green polished stone bracelet made of chlorite.  After some lengthy analysis, this striking piece of prehistoric jewellery has now been classified as the oldest known artisan piece ever to be found, and its age has been verified at approximately 40 000 years old. The Aboriginals of Australia created jewellery from feathers and carved wood, and European early humans created crude necklaces and bracelets of bone, teeth, berries, and stone.  These hung from pieces of string or animal sinew. In southern Russia, carved bracelets made of mammoth tusk have been found also.  In fact the oldest form of this tribal type of jewellery actually dates back some 110, 000 years to Afri...

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Cut & Paste: The Story of Scrapbooking

Posted Feb 16, 2016
Tags: Art History

Ctrl C & Ctrl V – arguably one of the most common keyboard sequences today.  As we sift through the internet searching through the plethora of information, images and products we continually copy, paste and collect the ‘best bits’ from our digital travels. We use social media to like, post and share these photos, stories and memories with our friends and family. It’s a modern method of filtering through the mountains of information we are bombarded with on a daily basis.What has this to with Scrapbooking you ask? Well, the hobby of cutting, pasting and collecting was actually introduced at a time much similar to today – the dawn of the 19th Century saw an explosion of media and information. The introduction of daily newspapers and the invention of photography left people str...

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An Introduction to our Art History Blog

Posted Nov 09, 2015
Tags: Art History

Hello there people, and welcome to our history blog!  Please let me take this moment to introduce you to this thing that I feel so strongly about.  I know what you’re thinking: ugh! Art history, what a snore fest!  You know, I used to think that too, but I have to tell you, I think that maybe some of us have these preconceptions from the uninspired treatment this subject got when we were at school.   The bland and boring representation of art history we received at school is so far removed from the exciting, inspiring and fascinating occurrences that actually happened in the lives of our revered artists.We have been given a homogenised and glorified, vanilla version of our favourite artist’s lives to be quite frank!  There is an elitist’s snobbery regarding artists. Yes, they t...

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