31 October, 2009

I had to dig deeper into soapstone carving

Talc Block -wikimedia

My curiosity about soapstone Carving was stirred after meeting artist Ron Ervin Disbrowe. In general, Sculpturing is by no means a modern art form. In fact, the Ancient Egyptians carved images and bowls to put in the tombs of their Pharaohs. Most of these sculptors were made of soapstone. Soapstone is a rock composed mainly of talc. Other minerals and salts are also present in its structure. The rock was such called as it is very slippery (like a soap). Its softness and malleability allows it to be easily carved. Because many minerals leech into such rock, soapstone occurs naturally in many different colors. These properties make soapstone the ideal rock for the art of sculpturing. Read More.

Soapstone Cutter - Flickr User Wwarby

Through reading up on Soapstone carving in Canada, I observed that Soapstone is one of the most popular medium of the Inuit carvers. The sculptures represent the rich cultural heritage of these people, their traditions, beliefs and myths. their striking symbolism, are related directly to both the Inuit’s physical and spiritual world and represent a way of life that has been passed down from one generation to the next. I also found a small video from the BBC documentary, A Boy Among Polar Bears, which shares Inuit ancient traditions including soapstone carving, handed down from generation to generation as a "way of keeping Inuit stories and survival techniques alive." See here!

Here is a simple process I found for carving soapstone:
  • Place some old paper on your work area to contain the excess soapstone dust and shavings.
  • Don't forget safety first. Put on safety goggles and a respiratory mask before you begin to carve to prevent inhaling or ingesting dust.
  • sketch out your design on your stone, using a pencil.
  • Use a small saw to cut unwanted sections from the stone. A hacksaw blade is ideal for this job.
  • Shape your sculpture using rasps and files of different sizes.
  • Apply a wet/dry sand paper to your soapstone. Start with a low grit paper and work up to a higher grit. Remember to Change the water occasionally.
  • Heat your kitchen oven to about 200 degrees F and warm your sculpture for about Ten to 15 minutes.
  • Rub furniture wax into the warmed soapstone. Use a soft cloth, applying more wax to the areas you desire to be the darker than others.
  • Buff to your preferred level of shine.
I also wandered about obtaining a chunk of soapstone. I found this page of Soapstone Sources which could help in that area.

I think I am gonna find myself a chunk of soapstone. Put my carving skills to the test. Well I'm off for now. Bye!! ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Appreciating writing skills and devices

Have you ever, having read a piece of Literature, taken the time to appreciate the various writing skills and devices the writer, be it a poet, author, playwright etc., has used to make his piece brilliant? We may not always notice but every piece of writing, like an art piece, is carefully put together, creating a perfect and unique expression of the writer.

Although this piece is rather straightforward, the writer did use a few literary devices. This includes the personification, metaphor and hyperbole among the most common ones.

World Take My Son By the Hand

My son starts to school tomorrow!
It's all going to be strange and new to him for a while
and I wish you would sort to treat him gently. You see, up to now he's been the King of the Roost.
He's been the boss of the backyard. I've always been around to repair his wounds and I've always been handy to soothe his feelings. But now things are going to be different. This morning he is going to walk down the front steps, wave his hand, and start on his great adventure that will include wars and tragedy and sorrow. To live his life in the world he has to live in will require faith and love and courage.

So world, I wish you would sort of take him by his young hand and teach him the things he will have to know. Teach him, but gently if you can.
He will have to learn, I know, that all men are not just, that all men are not true.

Teach him that for every scoundrel, there is a hero; that for every crooked politician there is a dedicated leader. Teach him that for every enemy there is a friend. Let him learn that the bully is the easiest person to lick.

Teach him the wonders of books; give him quiet time to ponder the eternal mysteries of birds in the sky, bees in the sun, and flowers on a green hill.

Teach him it is far more honorable to fail than to cheat. Teach him to have faith in his own ideas even if everyone tells him they are wrong. Try to give my son strength not to follow the crowd when everyone else is getting on the bandwagon. Teach him to listen to all men but to filter all he hears on a screen of truth and take only the good that comes through.

Teach him to sell his brawn and brain to the highest bidder, but never put a price tag on his heart and soul.

Teach him gently, world, but don't coddle him because only the test of the fire makes fine steel.

This is a big order, World, but see what you can do
He's such a nice little fellow, my son.

By : Dan Valentine ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

30 October, 2009

A Musical Array of Words

Photo compliments : imageshack.us

I was doing some reading, wondering what aspect of Literature I was going to write about next when I saw this question - " Are lyrics considered to be Literature?" Many people may ask this question simply because lyrics are most times sung and not read. But how different are the words of a song from a written story or poem or even drama? I personally think that they are not very different at all. In fact, the difference lies in the method of delivery.

The words of a written piece of work are a lot of the times more appreciated when read than when sung. This is especially so with the more contemporary, "up beat" songs about which many people will admit that it is the beat of the song that caught their attention and not the words. Even with the less "up beat" music such as soul, r&b etc, people are "taken away" by the background music without paying any attention to the words. Nonetheless the words of the songs are being sung and a story is being told.

The question still remains. Are lyrics a form of Literature? I think they are. Do you? ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

29 October, 2009

A Play of Words

Once upon a time, there were four people;

Their names were Everybody, Somebody, Nobody and Anybody. Whenever there was an important job to be done, Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.

Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. When Nobody did it, Everybody got angry because it was Everybody's job.

Everybody thought that Somebody would do it, but Nobody realized that Nobody would do it. So consequently Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done in the first place.

Author Unknown


The Beauty of Literature

Photo compliments : wikimedia.org

Hey y'all

Today I spent some time reading about Greek and Roman mythology as these had always interested me. I was scrolling through a list of Greek gods and heroes and their equivalent in Roman society when I came across the name Odysseus - a name which i came across while reading about ancient literature. His story is a very interesting one, and to my surprise I had already watched it dramatized many times in the movie "Troy". The bulk of his story was made known to us over the years through Homer's "Iliad" and "Odyssey". It is amazing how these epic poems written in the 8th century B.C could be used to tell the life story of the great Odysseus even up to today.

You can find out more about Odysseus and other Greek and Roman heroes and gods - Here . In the mean time, I'm off to finish read a book I picked up from my shelf yesterday, The Mineral Palace by Heidi Julavits.



Thou shall not covete a carved bear lol!!

Ron Ervin Disbrowe - Angry Bear©

Today I decided to search through Canada with the aim of meeting up with a carver. For some reason I wanted to have a look at some palm sized carved bears since I had been admiring one a few days back. Luckily, I met up with Ron Ervin Disbrowe.
Ron Disbrowe was born in Northern Manitoba. He is a self-taught artist who loves carving and painting with acrylic, some of which are aboriginal. All his life, he has always been associated with wildlife thus his work is greatly influenced by the beauty and excitement of nature. It was not until 2002 that he started taking his art seriously.

Ron Ervin Disbrowe - Morning Moose©

Most of his art contains animals in their natural environment, but he also undertakes portrait work and spiritual paintings. What really inspired me about his art is the way he uses the variety of colors for the backgrounds and the lighting effects that really brings out the beauty of the subject, and the posture of the sandstone carved bears. They would make a lovely addition to a wildlife carving collection. Check out some of Ron Disbrowe' s work - Here -
Really amazing! ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

28 October, 2009

My curiosity about the Rosetta Stone

Photo compliments : wikimedia.org

My curiosity about the Rosetta Stone was sparked by reading about Ancient Literature. Although not among the most ancient, the Rosetta Stone has been key in deciphering more ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. But what really is the Rosetta Stone?

The Rosetta Stone is a stone 3 feet 9 inches long and 2 feet 41/2 inches wide. It was originally thought to be composed of basalt, but more recent research has suggested a composition of granite.

The Rosetta Stone is dated back to March 196 BC. It is the inscription of a decree passed by a general council of priests which assembled at Memphis on the first anniversary of the coronation of the King of Egypt, thirteen year old Ptolemy V Epiphanes. The inscription on the stone begins with Praise of the Pharoah Ptolemy V. It continues with an acknowledgment of all he had done for Egypt during his reign including all the good deeds which he had done in the temples. The final part of the inscription established a cult for the king which granted him priestly privileges and gave direction as to how and where his shrine(s) should be set up. This decree also declared special days, such as the king's birthday and the days when special festivals would be celebrated.

The decree was inscribed on the stone three times in two languages, using three scripts, Greek, Demotic and Hieroglyphics, the two latter being of the Egyptian language. These were the three scripts used and known by the population at the time. Greek had become popular in Egypt after the Greeks had captured and started their rule in Egypt. Demotic was the common unofficial script used by the Egyptians. Hieroglyphics, which had already started dying out by that time, was the official script and was used by the priests in documenting important, legal, or religious text. The use of the three scripts on the stone was the key to deciphering the hieroglyphics. Since greek was well known at the time of the stone's discovery, it was used to translate the demotic script, which in turn was used to decipher the hieroglyphics. An English Translation of the inscription of the stone can be viewed - Here.

The Rosetta Stone has been exhibited in the British Museum since 1802 with only one break toward the end of the first World War when it was moved to a station on the Postal Tube Railway at Holborn for two years. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

27 October, 2009

A look into the past

Photo compliments:

Hi all

I've been doing some reading on the History of Literature itself. Quite contrary to what I believe(d), the Bible is not the first recorded compilation of writing. For a matter of fact, the Pentateuch, i.e, the Books of Law is only dated back to the 15th century B.C, while the earliest recorded Literature, Epic of Gilgamesh, is dated to 2000 B.C, 500 years before.

Ancient Egyptian writing such as the Egyptian Book of the Dead (also known as "Spells of Coming" or "Going forth by Day") were not at first recognized as "Literature". This was because Egyptian hieroglyphics were very difficult to decipher. However, with the decoding of the Rosetta stone, many ancient Egyptian scrolls could be translated.

Other early writings included Greek pieces such as Homer's Iliad and Odyssey dated to the eighth century B.C.

Much of the early works discovered were religious, and now form parts of what we now know as The Holy Bible. Others are writings, more specifically poems, which revolve around heroes of ancient society. For example, Homer's Odyssey's central figure is the Greek hero Odysseus.

There is much information that has been discovered about ancient Literature and its development over the years. But most of the writings themselves have no real significance in our lives today. The true significance of what was then is that these ancient writings served as the foundation on which the Literature that we now treasure today was built up on. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Meet my new friends

Hi all! Just been doing my general art search. Was kind of browsing through different Blogs and adding my usual comments. The weather has been kind of strange for the morning. We received a light dose of a thunderstorm with a lot of rain. Anyway I received a new blog follower of whom I found out had been inspired by this Blog. It is a Poetry and literature based blog and also involves the exciting and interesting search round the world. I am also interested in this so, of course I had to follow and I am proud to be the first follower of this blog. Yay me!! I know how important support in this is needed since I am a part of something similar. I do want to encourage my followers to follow along and give your support. Do visit the Poetry, Literature Blog. I also wanted to show you guys my two friends so I took some time like I promised, taking pics of my turtles.Two Red-Eared Sliders. The younger one is a little shy as you can see. Always quick to cuddle up into his little shell but the older one is a real pest. I have not thought of names for them yet tho. maybe you guys could help me out with that. Real fascinating pets tho. Hoping to do some portraits soon. You can click on the images for larger views of my little green friends. Anyway, I am off on my art search. See you guys soon! ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

25 October, 2009

The art of Literature

Photo : Flickr user - Guldisken

Literature can be defined as the body of written works concerning a subject. This written work can of course be written in numerous ways be it a prose, poetry, drama etc. It is indeed amazing to see the art of writing; how a writer can so skillfully put words together forming a masterpiece, an accurate expression of himself. This is an art that has absolutely captured my interest and as such, I am excited to dig deep into literature, ancient and modern, for my entertainment and, of course education, and also to share my findings with you.

There's so much to see with the world of "writings" ahead of us. It's going to be a long but fun and interesting journey. Hope you and I both can enjoy every step of the way.

Anyway, I'm off to learn about how this writing thing all started...
Bye!! ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

23 October, 2009

Six formulas of Jacques Maroger

Portrait of Jacques Maroger

Through reading up on how Bernard Safran taught himself to make and use the black oil medium rediscovered by Jacques Maroger, I just had to feed my my curiosity and dig into finding out what these formulas really were. This is what I found.

Six formulas of Maroger taken from his book on painting formulas
  1. Lead Medium - attributed to Antonello da Messina - One part litharge (yellow lead oxide) or lead white, combined by cooking with three to four parts linseed.
  2. Lead Medium - attributed to Leonardo da Vinci - One part litharge or lead white, combined by cooking with three to four parts raw linseed oil, and three to four parts water.
  3. Lead Medium - attributed to the Venetian painters - Giorgione, Titian and Tintoretto - One or two parts litharge or lead white, combined by cooking with 20 parts raw linseed or walnut oil.
  4. Lead Medium - attributed to Peter Paul Rubens -This medium was allegedly based on the black oil of Giorgione with an addition of mastic resin, Venice turpentine and beeswax. One or two parts litharge or lead white, combines by cooking with 20 parts raw linseed. A little more than one spoonful of "black oil" combined with even one spoonful of mastic varnish resulted in the "jelly" medium thought to be Megilp (another name of Maroger media).
  5. Lead Medium - (attributed to the "Little Dutch Masters") This medium was the same as the one used by Rubens, but did not include beeswax.
  6. Lead Medium - attributed to Velázquez - One part verdigris (derived from copper - this material is substituted for the lead-based metallic driers), combined by cooking with 20 parts raw linseed or walnut oil.

The majority of these recipes are not employed today, as there are few companies to be found that produce them. The primary form of "Maroger medium" known today is black oil ("Giorgione's" medium) and mastic varnish combined in approximately equal parts to form a gel. "Read More" (Compliments: Wikipedia.org )

You can also see what one of his discoveries looks like Here

I wander if I can successfully create one of these. Not sure how good I am with sticking to recipes Lol! Well I am off again. Later!!


Artist Bernard Safran

Bernard Safran - The Market©

I was undertaking my usual art search and honestly didn't know what my next post was going to be about, who I would feature, and what sort of inspiration I would receive. I opened up the Google search engine and I began searching for art depicting Life in the city. I was immediately drawn to a piece of art that lead me directly to this artist.

Bernard Safran was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1924. His father was from Russia and his mother from Poland. Safran grew up in the active community of Bensonhurst and memories of his childhood days were filled with the aspects of everyday life in the big city.
He somehow always knew he wanted to be an artist even at the age of five. At age nine, He was sent to an adult art classes by his grandmother.
In the years 1936 to 1939, He attended the High School of Music and Art in New York and
Pratt Institute Art School between 1940 and 1945 where he studied illustration.
It was there that he met his future wife Adele.
While at Pratt, his studies were put on hold when he joined the U.S. Army in 1942 to 1945 to serve in World War II. Even during this time he continued to produce drawings on sketchbooks and paper of images of the war. In 1945, he returned to Pratt and later graduated.
Safran then began a career as an illustrator in New York City and Adele decided to be his agent as it allowed him a lot more free time to concentrate on illustration. Eventually, Safran realized that he did not like being an illustrator, and decided to pursue a career as a fine artist.
He took a six-month leave from work and spent this time studying the masterpieces in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1956. He had a distinct admiration for the work of Peter Paul Rubens, which he felt displayed an "unparalleled vitality, fluidity and brilliance in the handling of oil paint."
It was during this time he taught himself to make and use the black oil medium rediscovered by "Jacques Maroger (the former chief conservator of the Louvre, who had dedicated his life to studying the painting techniques of the old masters)."
Later, Safran began working for the TIME Magazine In 1957 and between 1957 and 1966 Safran produced 73 cover portraits. Safran then could make a respectable living and the new income paved the way that allowed him to travel to Europe to study the masterpieces there and to pursue his own work. In the mid 1960s, Safran left TIME to pursue his own interest. He then decided to paint a subject that He first new - "the people and cityscape of Manhattan."
In 1973, Safran moved his family from New York City to a farmhouse, several miles from the nearest neighbor, outside of Sackville in New Brunswick, Canada for several reasons: one of them being, to provide a healthier life and education for his children.
Bernard Safran died in 1995 of a sudden heart attack. "The works he left behind are his legacy."

Bernard Safran has a real interesting Biography, and I certainly advise that you read for yourself here - Bernard Safran Bio - He also has an incredible collection of art work which includes, TIME Magazine Cover Paintings, New York City Paintings, Rural Canada Paintings, and pieces of many other subject, which I also advise you to view them here - Bernard Safran Paintings -

Real marvelous collection!! ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

21 October, 2009

Here's the Hidden Falls in acrylic

Mystery Artist - Hidden Falls in acrylic ©

Finally I got it done. Initially, I was simply going to project the art piece 'Hidden waterfall' using the same medium as before; charcoal. Somehow I was colorfully inspired to give the charcoal a rest and add some color to this piece of nature. It is a rather large piece tho. 30" x 35" acrylic on canvas work. Took me two days to complete thanks to the commitments of my everyday life. Hope you guys like it. I do. I also have been thinking of something new to introduce to the blog. I am planning on adding some of the artwork of artists from my homeland. I know it will be great to show you guys how culture influenced art in my country. Oh before I forget, I have also added a few changes to the art blog directory. You can now see the thumbnail of the most recent item on the blogs. It looks like a neat collection of art from various artist. see for yourself - Art Blogs - Well, I am off for now. Hope you all are enjoying everything. Cheers!! ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

17 October, 2009

You have to meet her!!

Molly Williams - Summer©

You have to meet artist Molly Williams!

Some young people spend a lot of their time drawing in their notebooks. I am sure that this was the case with a lot of artists during the early years of their lives, including myself. It was exactly the same with artist Molly Williams. It was at the age of five that she began her art journey by "filling her notebooks with drawn portraits."

Over the years, she has developed into an accomplished portrait artist and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration from Brigham Young University. Specializing in oil paintings of children she produces the ever so magnificent portrait pieces that leaves a lasting memory on the minds of her clients.
Her studio is located in Utah where she works as a full time painter
creating portrait works that are of extreme quality, accuracy and authenticity. She is also magnificent in working with children and that is a valuable ability that assist her in "familiarizing herself with the personality and characteristics of each child."
She states, "When you look at a child, you see their spirit. A painted portrait is unequaled because it is one human’s interpretation of another through the medium of paint. As I am painting a child’s portrait I remember their smile, the way they shine, the jokes they tell and the way they talk. As the artist, I am constantly aware of my role as the bridge between the child, the photograph, and the final portrait. I put the child into the painting."

Really love the work of this artist! See for yourself how splendid her portrait pieces are here - Molly Williams Children's Portraits - Have fun! ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

14 October, 2009

Charcoal a bit

Mystery Artist - Hidden Falls©

Hi all!! today I spent some time working on an art piece. It has been a while since I've worked with charcoal so I decided that I was going to have some fun with it. I liked it. This is what I came up with. The work itself is rather small but I am contemplating on whether or not I will go ahead with projecting it unto a larger piece of canvas. Hope you like it. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

13 October, 2009

Impressing "Impressionist style!"

Alexander Sizov - Under the Blue©

Today, I met the artist, Russian born Alexander Sizov. In 1975 he commenced his studies at the Moscow School of Arts and at the renowned Art Studio of Grekov and eventually received a Master’s degree in Moscow in 1981. One aspect about him that is really amazing is his fluency in the Russian, English, Spanish and Portuguese. He visited a number of countries and spent almost 9 years in Peru and Cuba. His artistic style has been influenced by the cultures of these regions. You will agree that Alexander's work is dominated by "a sense of dynamics, movement and color."
His oil paintings are mainly in the Impressionist style.
Now Alexander lives in Canada. Visit his website! You got to take a look at some of his breathtaking art here - ALEXANDER SIZOV Impress-Art Gallery

Thanks for the inspiration Alexander! ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

10 October, 2009

Missed a moment with nature

Mystery Artist - awaiting spring©

Hi all!! I had a real busy week. running here and there, working tirelessly on some painting job. It was more or less some community service painting and thankfully It is over for now. Already have a bad feeling that i will be contacted to do another one in another community thanks to Friends. I also spent some of my time doing a painting for my personal pleasure. I said before that I usually do most of my art on request because of other commitments. ( a lot of these commitments are art related lol!) but for some reason I decide that I am going to create my own gallery soon and add it to the blog. hope that I can also be an inspiration to others out there some day. As to what inspired me to do this one, hmmm... well I basically wanted to work with nature a bit. I kind of missed having my one on one moment with nature for the week so i decided to take it home on canvas with my acrylic paint. I initially wanted to create a spring scene, but while working on the sky, I received a phone call from someone special who i found out was wearing a white blouse at the time. That was when the idea of a snow scene came to me. It was quite easy to move into the snow mood lol! Hope you all like it. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

05 October, 2009

A part of our life

Dave Acton -Full Regalia©

Hi all! Today I decide to spend some time working on my own art. I recently started a acrylic painting and for some reason, a lot of stuff keep coming up to alter my focus on completing this piece. Hopefully I will get it done by the end of this week.

I also spent some time browsing and observing a few more Canadian artist and as usual, I just got to share my findings with you guys.
While doing this, I met artist Dave Acton. He said, "
Art has always been part of my life over the years." He is a Carver, a Painter, Portrait artist and also Draws. Dave gave me a little tip on the changes of Canadian art over some time where he stated that, "Canadian art seems to be changing but for so long we have been the oils and watercolors of trees and more trees lol." Through my search, I can see that the changing of Canadian art is really growing and also, into a wide variety amongst the artist.
Dave got a lot of interesting and magnificent works of art and sure is a brilliant artist! Check out some of his art here - Dave Acton's Art - Really beautiful!!

Thank you Dave Acton. Was really inspiring!