Brief Account of Life and Work of Shahnawaz Zaidi

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Shahnawaz Zaidi is one of the talented and well-known artists of Pakistan. He was born on 24th May 1948. His parents migrated from India, Muzafarnagar, and Uttar Pradesh to Mandibahaudin near Gujarat, Pakistan. Zaidi was the fifth of eleven siblings. Till class five he was not allowed to go to school but studied from a tutor at home, after that he was sent to a corporation school from where he did his matriculation. In 1962 his family shifted to Lahore, here he got admission in pre-medical in Islamia College. In 1964 he joined Punjab University and in 1968 he completed his masters in Designing. In September 1969 he participated in a graduating student’s exhibition of graphic design at Punjab University and in the same year he began as a lecturer there.

In 1971, he married one his class mates, who was a painter. After completing his masters Shahnawaz was appointed to Punjab University where he taught for five years then in 1974, he was appointed as Lecturer in Nairobi, Kenya. After one year he got promoted and became head of the department. He spent eight years in Kenya but then decided to come back to Pakistan, in 1982. Here he opened an advertising agency and worked there for two years. Since 1984 he has been an associate professor and later principal of Department of Fine Arts and remained at this institution until his retirement May 2008, he became the principal three times, first in March 1990 and remained for nine years till 1999, then for the second time in the same year October 1999 till 2002 and then after two years in February 2004 till May 2008. Now he is working as an adviser in Comsats Institute, Lahore. He was awarded “Tamgha-e-Imtiaz” in 1998.

Zaidi has been interested in painting and drawing since childhood. His eldest sister Arjumand Shaheen was also interested in art and she was a fine arts student at Lahore College for Women (University). Zaidi use to copy her drawings. During his matriculation period he was punished for making a drawing on this mathematics copy, which was the first “recognition” he received for his art. When he enrolled in graduate school he was very much interested in painting, but at that time Anna Molka Ahmed was the head of the art department at Punjab University and she refused to give him admission in painting, instead she offered him admission in design which he took despite of his real interest in painting. There was a competition of designing that Zaidi participated in and won first prize; soon after this he became interested in designing.

In 1984 when Zaidi joined Punjab University as a senior lecturer he started painting professionally. Before this he uses to paint occasionally. He was highly inspired by Anna Molka as she was among the first painters of Pakistan who painted in every genre. Zaidi did paintings of imaginary personalities, but he was mostly interested in portraits. His earliest achievements were the portraits of Ibn-e-Sina and many other portraits of historical personalities like Umar Khayam, Al- Razi, Al-Ghazzali and Quaid-e-Azam. All these are now displayed in Aiwan-e-Iqbal, Lahore on the second and third floors. All these portraits are in Flemish style with dark background and dramatic light which emphasize on the character. Those parts that are away from the face are painted with less detail. Thick over thin paint is applied with bold, curved and confined brush strokes.

Like the Italian Renaissance painters, Zaidi worked in all fields of art. His different works show different moods and influences. When he paints female figures he seems to be inspired by the French Impressionists. He also painted cultural scenes that can be called group portraits. Zaidi had worked in many mediums like water colors, pastels and oil. He also did some watercolors and Chinese brush technique and subjects. Zaidi participated in thirty-five national and regional exhibitions in Pakistan and abroad and one solo show in 1996/7, of portraits in Al-Hamra. He did commissioned portraits one of which is of Dr. Junaid Vice Chancellor of Comsats institute where Zaidi is now an advisor.

As Zaidi was inspired by Anna Molka Ahmed, his work somehow relates to her in terms of theme and technique. Both of these artists liked to paint social themes. Anna Molka used palette knife as her medium and Zaidi also used this medium not as a whole but he used it in some parts of his paintings and he also has done some portraits completely with palette knife. He was more inspired with Anna Molka because during those times when art just started flourishing she was the only lady who worked in every genre, with such a bold medium and in bright colors.

In addition to his painting Zaidi was very much interested in poetry. He translated the poems of Abinranath Tagor, which was rewarded a Noble Prize. He wrote a few books of poetry for example “Aiana Dar” and “Gita bijli”. Aiana Dar presents a variety of themes where colors of nature, truth of human relations and reality of the modern world seemed mingling up in various forms. Thus not only his paintings but his poetry also revolves around the social issues in our everyday life.

According to Zaidi “He is a painter basically and art teaching is his profession. Music and poetry are his affections.”

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Source by Fariha Rashid

Yubinuki – Japanese Thimbles

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I once read somewhere, that many things involved in Japanese life and culture have an aesthetic component to it. I too truly believe this. It is important to remember and not simply take for granted the beauty that surrounds us; particularly the things that Nature herself provides us in our environment, to be found and admired.

Even for man-made things, it’s almost a requirement that it needs to be made aesthetically pleasing, as well as functional. You can find the concept of aesthetics even in the simplest items of everyday life; items as simple as a thimble.

A thimble, in Japanese is call yubinuki. And, like most thimbles it is used to protect the fingers when sewing, whether is it something as thin as silk or as thick as denim.

Though they serve the same purpose of protection, in Japan, thimbles are used differently than their common fingertip thimbles of the West. Instead of being worn on the fingertip, Japanese thimbles are simple rings worn on the middle finger, between the first and second knuckle.

You see, the way we stitch in Japan is different from how you stitch here, in the West. We use a running stitch. It is called a running stitch because the needle stays in the fabric until it reaches the end of the stitching line. The needle is continuously pushed, using the thimble on your middle finger.

Guided into position using your fingers and fingertips, the needle is pushed through the layers with the yubinuki taking the “brunt” of the force. This helps prevent injury and irritation to the hands and fingers that would be caused by the eye of the needle. Having the thimble to help push also provides extra force to move it; which is much easier than continuously trying to grasp the tip of the needle to pull it.

Although the main purpose of wearing a thimble is practical, it is also a fashion statement of hand-stitching lovers. I always wear a leather thimble since Sashiko consists of simple running stitches. These leather thimbles are stretchable and also come in different colors.

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Source by Miho Takeuchi

Picture, Picture on the Wall – How Art Can Affect Your Feng Shui

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Every day we are influenced by what is around us… the words that are said, the smells we smell, the sights we take in. The goal of feng shui is to promote beauty, harmony, and aspiration, the raising of our sights toward lofty, noble, and worthwhile goals.

The poet Maya Angelou said that we must be careful about the words we speak because the words will “hang on the walls.” Of course, she is talking about what we do in the figurative sense. However it is also true of what we hang on our walls in the literal sense. That’s why it is important that we surround ourselves with uplifting sights.

Feng shui encourages the application of beautiful, sustaining images. Pictures and artwork of depressing subjects, violence, or pictures whose presence makes us sad or unhappy are not suitable or appropriate for the walls of our home. Instead, only those images that are inspiring, uplifting, and beautiful should be placed on the walls.

Fortunately, you can practice symbolic feng shui by the selection of certain images, such as people, happy occasions, beauty, wealth, or power. Particular pictures in feng shui have special meanings and can be used wherever you desire more interest. For instance, a poster or painting of a water fall is an excellent way to boost career feng shui — and income!

When you are looking to improve your feng shui, consider simply looking around. Then, see if the images you are looking at are saying what you want them to. If not, consider replacing those images with pictures that make a positive, uplifting statement. Check the tips below for more ideas of positive feng shui images.

1. Use beautiful water images for career or wealth help. When placed in the north sector of the home, living room, or office, these images can provide an immediate boost to the career. To boost career chi in the bedroom (or anywhere!) consider adding an image of a tortoise.

Images of waterfalls and lakes are also appropriate for the southeast wealth sector. For more career or wealth help, consider adding a picture of a ship sailing INTO your home or office. Ships are especially auspicious harbingers of coming wealth. Do consider adding a ship picture in the southwest, where it will help with relationships AND wealth because water is beneficial in the SW until 2023.

2. Gain recognition, friends, and beneficial relationships with images of happy people. Looking for more friends or a more active social life? Maybe even FAME? Pictures of happy occasions and happy people are EXCELLENT ways to bring more people into your life, as well as happier relationships, and greater social recognition. Pictures such as the ones below are excellent for enhancing your social status, both personally and professionally.

These can be hung in the south or southwest corners. Other good choices for the south and southwest are horses and birds. Horses hung in the southwest sector can offer a good chance of travel, so be prepared if you hang a picture of a horse here!

3. Receive help from mentors and influential people with images in the NW. To receive help from those in the position to offer you advancement in your career, studies, or life in general, you need to enhance your “Power People” sector. This is the NW corner of your home, living room, or office.

Images of international scenes such as the Eiffel tower, the tower of London, the pyramids of Giza, and other scenes are excellent for receiving help from all corners of the globe. Likewise, images of metal structures, circular images, and golden or metallic colors are all excellent choices.

Maps, pictures of maps, globes, etc. are all beneficial for the NW sector of your home, office, or living room. Because this is the “heaven” location, this is also a wonderful location for pictures and images of religious figures or deities, angels, or religious locations such as Jerusalem or Mecca. Grand people such as Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King, Gandhi, or world leaders are also wonderful choices for increasing Powerful People help.

Be sure to surround yourself with pictures of people or places that you aspire to and that inspire you. We must all have something that lifts us up and makes us want to achieve more and aim higher in our lives. Find a picture that symbolizes that FOR YOU.

4. Avoid depressing, negative, or violent images. Do you have images in your home that remind you of something sad, mean, violent, or failure? If so, these images are constantly reinforcing these negative messages. Look around and if you have any pictures or elements like this, consider replacing them. Otherwise, these images will continue to imbue your home with negative energy. Yes, even if your picture is considered “fine art”, it is not worth sacrificing the energy of your home for this investment in negativity.

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Source by Kathryn Weber

What Are The Most Popular Tattoo Languages ​​You Can Use? Find Out Inside!

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A popular trend over the years has been different words and language designs for those looking to get a tattoo. Some people like to have a tattoo in memory of someone, or often times there are those that love to have a saying on their body that only they know the meaning too because of the foreign origin of the language. Let's go over a few of the most popular words and languages ​​for tattoo design.

Greek Wording

A new popular trend is Greek wording. The letters look really neat and it generally looks good in ink. A common place for these are on the bottom part of the forearm or the calf or shin. Definitely ask your tattoo artist if they can translate your favorite name, quote, or saying in Greek and see what it will look like on you, you may like it!

Japanese Wording

Obviously this is most popular in Japan, but here in America these is becoming more and more used because of the intricate Japanese wordings and designs. A lot of this language is drawn in what looks like words pictures so they usually end up look pretty cool. Most things can be translated so research a little and check it out!

Chinese Wording

One of the most popular yet is the Chinese style of writing. Much like Japanese, this language when written, looks great! Most Chinese images tell a story, so there's much to be told by getting one of these works of art ink'd on your skin!

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Source by Marc Sumner

How to Create a Reverse Painting on Glass

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Introduction:

Glass is a non-absorbent painting support which does not allow paint to easily adhere to it – apart from through the paint's own drying process.

For this reason the outlines of a subject painted on glass need to be simplified when applied to an extremely smooth glass surface. Simplifying a subject does not necessitate detract from the end result after the painting is completed and the final result can often have an appearance similar to that of naive art in relation to composition and form and a certain number of other details. Many artists may find that such simplification can actually be very appealing.

Working the paint or changing outlines without smudging the surrounding areas of undried paint may require some concentration in the beginning, as well as a certain amount of skill, but with patience and the development of their skills using this painting technique, artists will find that applying and mastering the use of glass as a support will become easier as time progresses.

MATERIALS REQUIRED FOR PAINTING ON GLASS

Glass

Choose clear unflawed glass (or plexiglass) in the shape and size you wish to use. In order to begin mastering the technique of reverse painting it is advised to choose smaller sizes to begin with.

Paints

It is important to use a paint that will adhere properly to the surface of the glass. Oil based paints or acrylics are often used for this reason.There are also opaque and transparent ceramic artist colors that have been specially manufactured for using on a non-absorbent surface. Metallic colors (eg. Gold, silver or copper) can also be interesting to work with. There are an increasing number of new art products available today that may be suitable for painting on a non-absorbent surface such as glass.

Paintbrushes

To begin choose a selection of small or medium-sized paintbrushes with fine, flat and pointed tips. Larger brushes can be used for working on a larger scale. Artists can also use less conventional tools for applying paint if they wish, depending on the effects obtained through experimentation that may interest them.

A penholder

Used for outlines (if required) and finer details. It can be an advantage to use interchangeable nibs suitable for creating both thick and thin outlines.

Ink for creating lines on glass

The inks used need to be suitable for applying to a non-absorbent surface such as glass. As an alternative paint can also be thinned down into a more liquid form and used for creating lines in which case attention must be given to to creating the right mixture of fluidity and thickness.

A painting palette or something similar to mix your paint on.

A palette knife – (optional) for mixing paint.

Artists paint cleaner or thinner – used for cleaning or sometimes for thinning, and depending on whether oil based or water-based paints are used.

A paint-drying agent – (optional) For mixing with paints to help speed up the drying process

Paper toweling or some clean rags

A mirror – (optional) can be used to check the progress of your painting while you are continuing to work. Place the mirror in a position where it will reflect your artwork from its viewing side.

Cellotape – or a similar average-width sticking tape

An easel – (optional) to prop your work on

A glass-cleaning product

PREPARING THE GLASS

Choose a piece of clear glass in the dimensions you would like to work with and check carefully to make sure the glass is either scratched or flawed. It is worth remembering that a flaw in the glass itself will often detract from the finished appearance of a painting and may be impossible to remove after the completion of your artwork.

The sheet of glass that is to become your artwork constituents the following:

(1) The 'painting side' – which is the side you will be painting on.

(2) The 'viewing side' – which is the side you will be looking at (or through) as you progress with your work and after it has been completed.

To render the cutting edges of the glass safe take a length of celotape that will correspond to the length of one edge. Apply it carefully along that length (ideally so that it is folded evenly over each side of the glass).

Repeat this procedure for the other 3 glass edges. The edge of the cellotape will also help mark the outer limits of your artwork.

Clean the surface of the glass thoroughly with a glass-cleaning product. Use paper toweling or any cleaning material that will not leave dust or threads on your painting surface.

Store the glass where it will be safe. If placed between sheets of newspaper it will be protected from scratches and dust.

CREATING OUTLINES

Art products in liquid form that are suitable for creating lines on glass may be readily available in some countries. Oil-based paint, water-based acrylic and ceramic paint can also be used for this purpose.In order to create fine lines these paints must sometimes be thinned down in order to use with a pen nib or similar line-drawing tool.

To prevent lines from being effaced too easily you can use a paint that is oil based for creating the outlines of your subject if the paint you will be applying over the top of it (after it has properly dried) is water based. Reverse this procedure if your outlines are created with a water-based paint.

Always use a liquid paint product that will provide the best adhesion possible to a glass surface.

Due to pen nibs clogging reliably easily, attention must be paid to cleaning the nibs regularly.

OUTLINE METHODS

Method 1.

If you have a steady hand you can use a freehand method for applying envelopes directly onto the surface of the glass.

Method 2.

Use an original subject for your painting (eg a drawing) and place this under the glass then copy it onto the glass surface.

Method 3.

Place a layer of carbon-paper on top of the glass then place your drawing on top of the carbon paper and with a pointed object trace the subject onto the glass. Be careful not to damage your original image (the image being copied) when using a pointed object.

Method 4.

A tracing table can be used for creating lines. This is a table with a sheet of clear glass inserted into the top and with an electric light source located benefit it. For those who frequently need to trace their work a tracing table can be very practical and useful.

Method 5.

You can omit outlines alike.

APPLYING THE PAINT

Most artists have a preference for how to work when creating an artwork. Once it has been decided whether to work on a table or use a table-easel or a standing easel, it will be necessary to view the artwork regularly from its observation side in order to see its progress.

Some artists simply take the glass in their hands and turn it around to look at it directly from the observation side. Others prefer to use a mirror placed directly opposite their working area so that they can observe their progress while they paint.

Mixing and blending

If you are blending colors always do so on a palette or similar flat object before applying them to the glass. If colors are not well blended or mixed the result will be a streaky appearance in the paint on the observation side of the glass.

Avoiding smudges

When creating a reverse painting on glass it is important to watch out for smudges or particles of dirt or dust that may inadvertently be transferred onto unpainted areas of your artwork as you are progressing. None removed these may appear as flaws that will show when viewing the artwork from its observation side. If they are also inadvertently covered with a layer of paint removing them afterwards may become very messy and difficult. When lifting off any smudges always be careful not to damage lines or other areas of paint you have already applied.

Applying the paint

Once the outlines of your subject have thoroughly drawn you can begin to apply paint to fill in the reminder of your artwork. Begin with the smallest and most detailed or intricate areas first eg eyes, faces, small figures or objects etc – and always keep in mind that your artwork will be observed from the opposite side to the one your painting on and that you are painting in reverse and that therefore foregrounds preceded backgrounds.

When applying the reverse painting method it is a good policy to reflect carefully on the sequence in which your painting will develop before beginning to apply your paint. This will create a methodical attitude that is essential for this particular interesting but also intricate painting technique.

Wishing you many pleasant hours of reverse painting!

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Source by Mayanne Mackay

Integrity – The Iceberg Analogy – Below the Waterline (Part 2)

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What is integrity? Integrity is like an iceberg. We can easily see the visible part above the waterline, but the larger part is below the water. “Above the waterline ethics” are usually very clear and written. Violating codified ethics can get you fired, fined, or thrown into jail.

While there are few grey areas above the waterline, integrity goes much deeper. What’s under the waterline is grey and not immediately visible. There are no laws, bibles, regulations, or company ethics guides to lean on. You won’t go to jail, you probably won’t get fired or maybe even promoted for compromising your integrity. But colliding with the invisible part of an iceberg can sink a person, an organization, or an entire nation. The Titanic sank because the iceberg popped rivets far below the waterline that held together the hull plates of the “unsinkable” liner.

Integrity and intellectual honesty ultimately determine your value as a human being, the trust of society, friends, and family. The cultural integrity of an organization is a strong factor in its long-term results. Success requires vision, being in the right business at the right time, innovation, resources, and a good bit of luck. But without integrity the right ideas can’t flourish. Without integrity, the wrong initiatives are funded for political reasons when it is impossible to have an intellectually honest discussion.

One of the telltale signs of an organization that has lost its integrity is forecasting. I have observed organizations that quite frequently missed their projections by a wide margin. Good planners often develop plans with optimistic and pessimistic assumptions, and then run the business with a realistic plan somewhere in between. But some organizations tend to present an overly optimist plan to their stakeholders. Unless everything goes perfectly the company is forced to announce missed earnings and usually layoffs. I have observed the most glaringly optimistic “hockey stick forecasts” in declining businesses, projecting a bright future where none exists, to postpone the inevitable downsizing. The same is true in government, in this case to protect positions and budgets for services that are no longer important.

Another symptom of compromised integrity is evident in new product development. Product programs are launched with unrealistic cost targets and revenue projections until “make or buy” decisions are settled in favor of “make”. By that time, the company invested too much to abandon the project.

Missed forecasts are often the result of a culture that lacks integrity, from the individual sales rep and product manager up to the CEO. Everybody knows that the projections are unrealistic, but over-commits to obtain funding or save their job for another quarter. This culture avoids “fessing up” until the CEO has to announce quarterly results, and then the stock takes a dive.

Integrity does not mean that forecasting is an accurate science, or that intellectually honest organizations never miss their projections. A trustworthy company can miss their objectives, and that presents an opportunity for the smart investor. The key question to ask is whether the underperformance was caused by one time, unpredictable and temporary market conditions, the delay (not loss) of a key deal, weather – or due to more fundamental problems. Investors may accept a quarterly earnings shortfall, or an “extraordinary charge”, and the stock recovers, but the market is astute enough to sense a downward spiral.

The downward spiral of many companies can be linked to a culture of compromised integrity. It starts with unrealistic projections leading to disappointing results, R&D cuts, layoffs, low morale, the avoidance of innovative risk taking, outdated product lines, the loss of key talent, more layoffs… the cycle continues.

In the downward spiral, organizations reward compliance rather than promoting an open dialog that is needed for success. A sign of trouble is frequent reorganizations, designed to show activity to stakeholders, but without a clear vision on how the change deploys resources and talent more effectively and makes the company more competitive. In survival mode, weak management often sidelines the brightest talent that may challenge the status quo. These reorganizations accomplish nothing more than rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Without a radical change in management and culture, the slow and agonizing downward spiral caused by a missing integrity culture can be more damaging than “above the waterline” offenses. Changing top management alone usually does not solve the problem. A low integrity culture that has spread throughout the organization is like cancer. It requires radical and painful surgery and a long recovery.

When caught, organizations that violated laws usually end up in bankruptcy, or pay the fines and recover. But companies who lack integrity, especially technology companies who rely on innovation, seldom recover. They are sold at bargain prices, dismantled, or shrink to a fraction of their former value.

The most admired and successful companies are in a similar but positive cycle: Apple, Google, Berkshire Hathaway, and Amazon. Google gave up market share and potentially billions in revenue to avoid censorship in China but the stock is at near record heights. Winners attract the best minds, who seek not just big paychecks and stock options, but belonging to an organization they can be proud of.

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Source by U Bockli

Duane Bryer's Hilda – First Illustrated Plus Size Pin Up Girl

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The Pin Up Girl

Before we talk about the curvy, swervy, plus-size-bikini-clad Hilda, the stage is going to be set with a little history of the pin up girl. I'll take you back in time now, with a short story about a few of the most talented and popular Pin Up illustrators in American history.

Earl Christy, (1883-1961)
We'll begin with the prolific Earl Christy, who's porcelain-doll-like illustrations appeared on everything from Hollywood magazine covers and commercial advertisements to sheet music and postcards. His work can be found going back as early as 1906. His movie posters and covers are painted for "Photoplay" and other Hollywood magazines are now valuable collector items.

Earl Moran (1893-1984)
Earl Moran's artistic genius appeared on everything from Sears and Roebuck catalogs to Life magazine and millions of Brown and Bigelow Calendars. How he remembered most is through his pin ups. Moran's stunningly rendered pastel "visions" offer more situational variety than any other major illustrator. Of his most enduring legacies are his 1940s paintings of a breathtaking
young model named Norma Jean Baker. He painted more images of her than any other artist.

Rolf Armstrong (1889-1960)
Rolf Armstrong was another famous Brown and Bigelow calendar artist. After arriving home from a trip to France in 1919, he opened a studio in Greenwich Village where he painted the Ziegfeld Folly girls. Later, while in Hollywood, all the great stars of the era posed for him. Popular actresses like Mary Pickford, Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich and Katherine Hepburn were all painted by him. He even talked Boris Karloff into placing for him on the set of the original "Frankenstein".

He refused to work from photographs and was always on the quest for the perfect model. When asked why he preferred a live model over a photograph, he said, "I want the living person in front of me. All the glow, exuberance, and spontaneous joy that leaps from a young and happy heart. "

Armstrong's pastel pin ups of his idealized, scantily clad, "girl next door" have a distinct, luminous and shimmering quality to them. His paintings of healthy, nubile young women are some of the most memorable of all the famous illustrators. He was really a man of rarefied talent.

George Petty (1894-1975)
The Pin Up finally exploded into the popular culture with Esquire Magazine's introduction of s "Petty Girl" in 1933. Slender, flirtatious and extremely shapely, the Petty Girl became an American institution, capturing our hearts and minds for more than twenty years. From 1933 to 1956, her images were seen in tens of millions of places; every where from magazines and billboards to playing cards and match books, even aircraft "nose art" in WWII. In 1950, she was made into a movie starring Robert Cummings and Elsa Lanchester.

Gil Elvgren (1914-1980)
No pin up gallery is complete without displaying the breathtaking talent of Gil Elvgren. His enchanting, dreamy renderings of the nubile female form can not be eclipsed in genius by any other artist. He was sublimely talented! A student of the Minneapolis Art Institute, he liked to paint girls who were new to the modeling business. He believed the ideal pin up was a girl with
a fifteen year old face on a twenty year old body, so he combined the two. During the forty two years spanning 1930-1972, he produced over five hundred paintings of beautiful young women, almost all painted on oil and canvas. Today, his fully developed, finished works of art are second only in value to the paintings of Alberto Vargas.

Alberto Vargas (1896-1982)
The most prolific and famous glamor illustrator of all time is Alberto Vargas. The son of Max Vargas, a famous and talented photographer in his own right, Alberto learned to airbrush from his father before he was a teen. Most do not realize he was actually born in Peru, and did not come to the US until 1916. He arrived on Ellis Island via Europe, where he had been since 1911. While
there, he had studied in both Geneva and Zurich, and by the time had made his way here, he was already a gifted talent coming into bloom. Within three years he had hung his own shingle and was painting store fronts and window displays for New York City merchants.

One warm afternoon in May 1916, while painting a window display for a downtown merchant, he was approached by a employee of the Ziegfeld Follies and asked to show his work to the great Ziegfeld himself. Within forty eight hours, he was commissioned to paint 12 portraits of the leading stars of the 1919 season of the Ziegfeld Follies. They were for the lobby of the New Amsterdam Theater.

From that first commission on, Alberto Vargas was an artist in high demand.

He painted every major star of the Ziegfeld Follies and later major Hollywood stars like Betty Grable, Jane Russell, Ann Sheridan, Ava Gardner Linda Darnell, Marlene Dietrich, Loretta Young, and even Marilyn Monroe all posed for him.

In 1940 he replaced the great George Petty at Esquire magazine and by 1945 was the most famous glamor illustrator in the world.

Baby boomers all know him as the creator of Playboy Magazine's Vargas Girl. He painted over 150 of his Vargas Girl masterpieces for Playboy.

He was married over forty years to the love of his life, Anna Mae Clift. When she passed away in 1974, he lost most of his creative drive and worked just a few more times doing The Cars "Candy O" album cover and two album covers for Bernadette Peters. He passed away in Los Angeles in December, 1982.

Now, the reason this article was written … to talk about the most shapely, wondrously round, perfectly proportioned, plus size, pear shaped beauty in Pin Up girl history: Duane Bryers' "Hilda"

One night, while prowling "Google Images" for curvaceous content, I found myself at Les Toil's Big Beautiful Pin Up Gallery. I clicked through and followed his fun and curiosity titled links looking for the well-nourished, feminine imagery I had started out that night looking for.

After I got done admiring Les' talent, I went back to his homepage and clicked on a cheerful teal and yellow banner with the name "Hilda" written across it. I clicked on it, not prepared at all for what I was about to see.

As soon as the page opened, I stopped and looked in wonder. It was one of those moments when you're seeing something with which you're completely taken; the world around you seems to disappear, and everything goes completely silent as your focus narrows, taking in what's in front of you.

Discovering Hilda was like discovering lost treasure. I recognized her right away. I remembered her as a perfect likeness of what I had for years idealized in the feminine form; round, soft, pear-shaped, plump, and shapely to the extreme.

If one's natural male instinct is to respond to the rounder, softer, more generously proportioned woman, you will understand why there is so much to like about her. From her long, soft legs, girlish face, plump, inviting arms, to her hips, round and wide, you see a vision of femininity forming in front of you. Add to all that her ample, well-developed breasts, soft, yielding tummy and glorious hip-waist ratio, and you discover she is an ideal example of full-figure perfection. The perfect plus size, pear-shaped,
nubile beauty.

Unlike the stick-thin, female icons so popular today, Hilda has not one angular feature. She sublimely embodies the old fashioned womanly ideals of "round and soft". She is feminine to the nth degree.

Duane Bryers was the first illustrator to use plus size models as subjects in his pin up art. Sometimes he did not use a model at all and painted from memory or fantasy. A feat, according to pin up artist Les Toil, "most impressive!"

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Source by Howard Bott

Early Christian Art – An Evolutionary Tale of Pagan to Roman Styles

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The beginning of Christian Art is slated to the end of the second century or the early third century AD. The Early Christian Period, ranging from the year 100 to 500, witnessed spectral growth in the development & growth of Christianity. During this phase, almost all Christian Artworks were 'Symbolic,' used mostly to educate & instruct the masses. They also served as religious mediums, spreading the words of God. Religion was one of the key forces, influencing most art forms, created after the birth of Christ.

Until the year 200, in Rome, religion was a practice of low class and the strong & mighty did not support it. Therefore, the Early Christian Art was restricted to the decoration of hidden places, like Roman catacombs, where Gods were worshiped secretly. 'Pagan Iconography' and 'Roman Art' style were in a way the foundation of the Early Christian Art, such as the Catacomb Artwork, "The Good Shepherd." These cryptic places were fashioned to respect the memory of the dead. Constantine, the great Roman emperor, however, issued his 'Edict of Milan' in 313 AD for religious tolerance, and declared Christianity as the Roman Empire's state religion. Now, the Christians could fearlessly come out from the hiding, without the risk of being persecuted.

Post 313 AD, in the 4th century AD; Constantine built several huge, well-built churches and shrines. Usually five-aisled basilicas, these buildings had a nave in the center, with an aisle on both sides, while an anse acquired one end of the structure. Together they formed an elevated platform for bishops and practices to sit on. Basilica buildings, concentrating on a round or polygonal shrine, like "Church of the Nativity" in Bethlehem, "St John Lateran," Rome; "St. Mary Major," Rome; and "Old St. Peter's Basilica," Rome; are some key complexes of this era.

The Early Christian Art employed 'Symbolism,' for example the fish, represented Christ; lamb, Jesus' sacrifice; lambs, Christian sacrifice; cross; Jesus' crucifixion; anchor, hope & steadfastness; garden, paradise; bird, soul; dove, peace & purity; and so on. The art forms practiced were graffiti, paintings, or carvings, using the same artistic media as that of the 'Pagans,' such as frescos, mosaics, sculptures, and manuscript illumination. A carved marble relief, "The Throne of God as a Trinitarian Image," (c. 400 CE) is an ideal example of this 'Early Christian Symbolism.' Later however, the 'Pictorial Symbolism' graduated to the 'Personified' one, such Jonah in the whale's abdomen, Orpheus with animals, and Daniel in the lion's den.

The Christian Art after 313 AD Consistent of messages glorifying God, the words of God, the Gospels, and the Acts of the Apostles. The art was not so much about 'Realism' or technique, as much it was about the content, conveyed through the mosaics, which embellished the interiors of the early Christian basilicas, like the "Church of St. Maria Maggiore" in Rome. The paintings also carried the messages from liturgical books and other manuscripts, such as Vienna Genesis, Rossano Gospels, & Cotton Genesis. In addition, the art was even advertised with the help of ornate sarcophagi, illustrated with religious symbols, biblical figures, and narratives, such as "Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus" and "Dogmatic Sarcophagus."

As the Early Christian Art transitioned to Romanesque and to the great gothic cathedrals, it subtly departed from 'Naturalism,' getting more sophisticated until the 'Renaissance Period.' During this time, humanity and Christianity came together, bridging the early Christian Gothic sensibilities and the Renaissance, reflecting an interesting perspective about the Early Christians.

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Source by Annette Labedzki

How to Choose a Martial Arts School – Considerations For Making the Right Decision

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Martial Arts Houston: How To Choose A Martial Arts School – Considerations for Making the Right Decision

Whether you are a parent wanting to sign your child up in martial arts classes, or you are interested in training yourself, the basic principles in choosing a martial arts school are the same. You first have to decide what you want to gain by taking martial arts, and then you have to find the best school and instructor that best matches that need. Let’s take each step one at a time.

STEP 1: DECIDE CLEARLY WHAT YOU WANT YOU OR YOUR CHILD TO GAIN FROM MARTIAL ARTS TRAINING

This is a crucial step that is sometimes overlooked. People have different but very good reasons for wanting to take up martial arts training. There are quite a lot of benefits that martial arts training has to offer – here are just a few:

  • Self defense
  • Develop an overall sense of well being and self confidence
  • Lose weight
  • Gain flexibility and coordination
  • Acquire more discipline
  • And more…

Why do you want to train in martial arts? Maybe your reasons include all of the above, and that’s fine, but try to find the one or two reasons that are most important to you. For example, are you looking for just a little light recreation? Then a community center program may suffice. However if you want all of the benefits martial arts has to offer, like self-defense or personal development, then you are going to need a full-time professional school. Deciding what you really want is a very important step in choosing the best school for you.

STEP 2: PICKING THE SCHOOL AND INSTRUCTOR THAT BEST MATCHES YOUR NEEDS

After you have decided what you want from your training, the next step is to find the right place. There are several factors you should consider in choosing a school. You will want to consider things like; finding the right instructor, the cleanliness and distance of the school, the price for classes, finding a suitable style of martial art, and safety considerations. Let’s look at each of these factors a little more closely.

What is your impression of the instructor?

You should realize that a big factor in choosing the right school is really choosing the right instructor. Here we are talking about the instructor’s personality and teaching style. It’s tough making an informed judgment about a person in a brief meeting, but usually you are going to have to trust your gut here. Intuition and first impressions, while not always correct, often turn out to be true. Be sure to visit the school, meet the instructor and have a look around.

How does the instructor greet visitors and how do they treat the students?

A professional school will have a friendly atmosphere, lots of smiles and be well kept. You’ll feel comfortable with the personnel and the facility. While this may not end up being the closest school to your house, when it comes to your safety or the safety and education of your child, an extra ten-minute drive can make a world of difference in the outcome.

How advanced should the instructor be? Should they have a lot of titles and trophies?

Contrary to popular opinion, finding the best martial arts champion doesn’t mean you have the best teacher. Just because an instructor has a lot of competition wins does not always mean the person is a good teacher. Likewise, just because someone has received a high rank within an art doesn’t make him or her a good teacher. This is a critical point to understand. One can be a “natural” at martial arts, meaning they just pick it up really quickly. This type of person can go on to be a great champion with many medals and trophies, but of course, this is no guarantee at all that they will be able to effectively communicate and translate to others what comes to them quite easily. There are many examples of great competitors who are actually poor teachers. Clearly, a school owner or chief instructor should be a black belt or the equivalent depending on the art. Beyond that though, the rank of the instructor will actually mean very little to your classroom experience or the quality of your classes. What an instructor has accomplished is not as important as what he or she can do for you. It’s a whole lot more important to find an instructor who cares about the students and makes them the focal point instead of seeking all the attention for himself or herself. Titles and trophies signify excellence in competition. So titles and trophies are great, IF that same person is also a good teacher. So if you can find an instructor with great credentials, medals, belts, etc., who ALSO cares about his or her students and is able to effectively transmit that information over to them – then you have the best of both worlds.

Is the school clean?

This is an important one. Dirty gyms can transmit staph and a lot of other nasty things that you would rather not find out about. Good gyms however are vigilant about sanitizing their equipment on a regular basis. Don’t be afraid to ask how often the instructor has the equipment cleaned and sanitized. Sometimes you’ll know everything you need just by looking around. This doesn’t mean that the school has to be as immaculate – a little dust here or there doesn’t hurt anything. But if you see filthy mats or blood on the walls, it’s time to look elsewhere.

How far away is the school?

The best school in the world won’t do you any good if it is too far away for you to make classes regularly. Consider the traffic as well. It might even be a good idea to make a “trial run” drive during the times you will be traveling to class. Is the class schedule suitable? Ask to see the schedule and be sure that you are able to attend comfortably at least two times per week. Also pay attention to the duration of the classes. In today’s world, it’s just very difficult to devote more than an hour to an activity for any length of time and studies on attention spans have shown that 30-60-minutes is about the max for most people.

How much should I expect to pay?

Paying for martial arts lessons is really a lot like buying a car or anything else. You frequently get what you pay for. Cleanliness, professionalism, quality, safety and individual attention is what usually separates the higher end schools from the cheaper schools. Most schools charge what they think they are worth. So if you want the best instruction, you should expect the price to be higher than normal. So what’s normal? In 2007, the average price in the United States for martial arts training was approximately $100 per month. Schools in smaller towns will charge less, and in cities where the cost of living in general is a little higher, so too will be the case with martial arts classes. For those who want the very best for themselves or for their children, expect to pay around $120 a month or more. Just like private academic institutions and universities exist for a certain group of people who want the best academic education, in a similar way these higher end martial arts programs are for those who want the safest and most professional service available for their martial arts training.

You should also be aware that offering classes with 6 or 12 month agreements is common practice in the martial arts industry. In fact, in our experience, schools that have such agreements are usually better maintained, better run, and of all around better quality than the cheaper “monthby- month” schools.

What style of martial art should I choose?

This answer here depends on what your goals are. If you just want a little light recreation, then most tae kwon do schools would be fine. If you only want a cardio alternative and don’t care at all about self-defense, improving your self-confidence, and things of this sort, then a typical “cardiokickboxing” class at your local health spa might be just the thing for you. If you are only interested in preserving an old oriental art form, with perhaps a little self-defense as a side consideration, then a traditional kung fu, karate, or tae kwon do school would suit you.

However, if you are looking to really increase your fitness level or get serious about self-defense training, here is one word of advice: When it comes to serious conditioning & self-defense, martial arts styles are NOT “all the same”.

This is a controversial question, and there will certainly be those who disagree with what we say here, but we think the style or discipline taught matters a lot if you want serious training that can give you the best in conditioning and self-defense. Perhaps the most famous martial artist ever, Bruce Lee, recognized the limitations in the more traditional forms of karate, kung fu and tae kwon do. Lee thought many of these arts held on to outdated, impractical techniques and training methods out of a groundless respect towards “tradition”, while ignoring the fact that there might be newer and better ways to do things. We agree with Bruce Lee’s assessment. In our opinion, the more contemporary martial arts like Muay Thai, Jeet Kune Do, Krav Maga, Kickboxing, Grappling, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Judo, Boxing and Wrestling are a great deal better when it comes to conditioning and realistic self defense.

Is martial arts training safe?

Generally speaking it is, yet it can vary depending on the school you choose. Most schools are very safe and go to great lengths to insure the safety of its classes. Other schools are rougher and can have a military-like atmosphere where only the strong survive. An almost exclusively adult male student body and “fighters gym-like” atmosphere can help you recognize these schools. You should know that past insurance ratings rank martial arts as safer than golf in the number of injury claims. That doesn’t mean you’re not going to get sore or occasionally bruised, it just means that serious injuries are not very common in most martial arts schools. This can be particularly true for schools belonging to a professional organization which emphasizes the importance of safety.

Finally, while claims against schools are very rare because the training is very safe, many schools are not insured, which is a mistake. Make sure your school is insured and the instructors are attending seminars and workshops on teaching safe classes.

If you are interested in moving further, feel free to check out the resources at www.MartialArtsDVD.com for home based training martial arts training programs.

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Source by Scott M. Sullivan

Translation of Tattoos and Body Art – Make Sure You're Not Free of Charge!

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Foreign language tattoos that include authentic and exotic characters can form a beautiful design with a substantial, individual and personal meaning. But unless you get your tattoo professionally translated, you may end up with a permanent embarrassment on your skin. To help you avoid a tattoo disaster, here are some tips you should consider when choosing a tattoo in Hindi, Arabic, Hebrew, Japanese, Chinese, or any other language you're not familiar with:

Whatever you do, do not use an on-line machine translator to get your tattoo translated. The results can be extremely embarrassing, like having "sanitation" tattooed instead of "purity"!

Explain fully to your translator what you want your tattoo to say and provide them with a description and context to work within. Remember that there is no such thing as word for word translation. A professional translator will ensure the meaning of your word is translated accurately and approbably. Do not rely on friends who claim to be fully conversant with another language. Even someone who is bilingual may not be able to translate accurately.

If you see your tattoo as a form of self-expression, make sure you understand what it means, otherwise the whole exercise becomes rather pointless.

Ensure that your design is not misaligned, mirrored or applied upside down – a mistake often made by tattooists who do not understand the characters they are working with. Make sure with images you understand what meaning lies within. For example animals represent different emotions and histories whereas numbers represent luck – 88 for example is a lucky number in Vietnam while it also represents an elite squadron of Hitler's army.

Still not convinced? Here is an example of what can and did go wrong:

A woman wanted a Chinese tattoo so she went to her local take away shop and asked one of the staff to translate the word "free" into Chinese. He wrote it out for her and she took the design to a tattoo artist. Unfortunately, just like in English and many other languages, the word "free" has a double meaning in Chinese. It can mean freedom, or it can mean free of charge. You can guess which version the waiter translated into Chinese!

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Source by Eva Hussain