How To Use Wall Hangings Properly?


Wall hangings were used as decorators in homes, temples, churches, and buildings to decorate them, by various cultures from the early times. This trend is followed in contemporary times also. The wall hangings designed from different cultural environments exhibit a historical outlook and are very resilient as they are from textile background.

Now a day, wall hangings have become an important part of home decoration as they can be used in various exclusive ways. The wall hangings can be designed in a number of lovely styles like landscapes, modern art and flowery wall hangings provided the weaver knows his work excellently. The wall hangings are enjoyed by the art fans as well as the interior decorators as they are a good complement to the traditional art. In medieval times the wall hangings were prepared using wool but now high quality colors and latest fibers are used for this purpose. They can be used to make classical as well as traditional wall hangings.

In modern wall hanging tapestry, the use of chenille is popular. This is because this versatile material is soft and flexible. If you wish to decorate your home then the use of chenille will make your décor elegant, warm and adaptable. Chenille can be used for a wide variety of settings in home décor like tapestry throws, wall tapestries and cushions.

The high class wall hangings are very useful as they provide motivation to the decorators as well as historical and traditional sense to the viewer. They also make the living area look spacious.

A vivacious colored wall hanging makes your room more spacious and bigger than it actually is. But for a room that is already big, you can line up a number of wall hangings of different sizes to make it look smaller than it actually is.

The wall hangings differ a lot from the traditional posters. So, placing them at their right place requires a lot of intellectual skills and patience. A lean and high wall will be most suitable for a long wall hanging which will give it slightly active look and not the trifling looks.

But for a large wall hanging the wall with apparent display will be most suited which helps in displaying the charm and brilliance of the wall hanging to its greatest extent. The wall hangings are a very god choice to decorate your house and give it a royal look.

If you are having 2 wall hangings of self-effacing designs but only 1 rod, then you can hang both of them next to each other on the same rod with a gap of 3 to 6 inches. Be cautious about the dimensions because any exception in the dimension will create a kind of chaos that will not be pleasant to look at.

From decades, wall hangings have been the best choice for decorating the houses. Manufactured from modern stuff and knitting, they are the most handy, appealing and a displays the beauty of history and traditions. Wall hangings are truly the heritage for future generations.

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For more home decor articles, see Jessica’s latest article about using decorative mirrors.

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What is Shibari


The knowledge of the ancient art of is very incomplete. Research and knowledge development are still going on every day. There are many different styles, such as Fumo Ryu (the spiritual style) or Iki (the bare Zen essentials only style) and the individual styles of various rope artists.

Picture a room, lit by candles. Shadows will dance on the walls and create the atmosphere in the room. That is exactly what you want to achieve in Japanese bondage – the battle between contrasts: beauty and fear, love and endurance, desire and despair, mental growth and humiliation, pain and lust.

It is an intriquing art that involves different levels: physical, mental and metaphysical. For the Kizõshà (giver, donor, dominant, active partner) it is a balancing act, juggling with various different impulses. To the Ukétorinìn (recipient, submissive, passive partner – in Japan sometimes also called M-jo – “maso woman” – which can be anything from a female professional bondage model to a woman who just loves to be tied. The male recipient is sometimes referred to as M-o – “maso man”) it is the ultimate journey to paradise.

Weaving or wrapping

“Japanese bondage” is an inadequate, superficial translation. While most people are only aware of the bondages, the lifestyle and technique encompasses much more – in techniques as well as background. Shibari Do, as the lifestyle is called, has roots in Japanese lovemaking and courtship, Ki-energy manipulation, traditional Japanese rope torture techniques, martial arts, theater, even ancient fashion and aspects of Zen Buddhism. The erotic use of bondages is only one aspect of the lifestyle. The technique in modern days is also used as a performing art, has healing aspects and in general is also a way to train the body and mind.

Shibari best translates as either “weaving” or “wrapping in ropes”. Both translations refer to the interaction between ropes, the mind and the Ki energy meridians in the human body. Ki (or Chi in Chinese) is the energy of life; meridians are the channels, through which this energy flows. And since Ki – in Oriental philosophy – controls life inside the body as well as the interaction between the body and its environment, Japanese bondage has a direct influence on life. Ki can only flow and create a healthy situation through the eternal pattern of changes between Yin and Yang. The techniques strive to influence this pattern through magnifying both the Yin and Yang position on many different levels.

Origin

There are many myths and very few facts about the Japanese bondage origin. As a result, to date its origin remains unclear. A few references to what could be early forms of Japanese bondage provide some insight.

In the first half of the 17th century, during the Tokugawa Shogunate (Edo period) the dominant Japanese religion was not Shinto (that came about after the decline of the Togukawa dynasty) but a Shogun-backed form of neo-Confusianism. One of the most important Buddhist schools was the Nichiren Shu Komon School in Kyoto. It had eight temples in Kyoto (the 17th century capital of Japan) and was financed by members of the highest classes, including the Shogun himself.

The 17th High Priest of the school, Nissei, was a decadent, powerhungry man only interested in money, power and women. Under his reign members of the high social classes would gather in this school, tie up naked women in subdued and humiliating positions and leave them tied long enough to enjoy them and make drawings of them while in bondage, thus producing pornographic pictures. These gatherings were called “komon sarashi shibari”. Very rare examples of such drawings have surfaced in Ukiyo-e (17th century erotic woodblock print) collections.

While this is one of the very few documented ancient uses of bondage as an erotic technique, the fact that such gatherings existed in Kyoto supports undocumented rumours about Samurai in rural areas tieing up women and exposing them for erotic amusement. At these gatherings apparently bondage techniques were used, borrowed from Hojo Jitsu (the art of tieing and transporting prisoners), Japanese rope torture techniques (Kinbaku) and Sarashi (the public display of criminals). That is where the martial arts roots (if any) of Japanese bondage are believed to originate from. Although often portrayed as such, there is no evidence of a direct, linear connection between Shibari and what is known as “soft weapon techniques” in most martial arts, of which Hojo Jitsu is one.

Komon Sarashi Shibari in itself brought about another misinterpretation. Japanese words can mean many different things, depending on their context. Komon can be translated as “anus”, which lead to the misconception that Japanese bondage started out as a means to display women with their behind exposed. In this case however Komon means “advisor” or “consultant” (read: part of the temple staff and “follower of confusius”), which is a reference to the school where these gatherings happened and the participants.

Another intriguing source for the Japanese bondage origin and history are ancient Japanese police records. In the 17th century at least one traditional bondage was used by doomed love couples in ritualistic suicides. “Forbidden lovers” (usually lovers from different social classes) would sometimes use the “shinju” (a torso harnass) bondage to tie each other and next – firmly connected together – plunge into a river, a lake or the sea to drown together. For quite some time such ritual suicides were known as the “shinju suicides”.

This is what Washington State University notes about “shinju suicides”: “the most popular theme of both kabuki and joruri (forms of theater – ed.) was the theme of double suicide, shinju, as thwarted lovers, unable because of social restrictions to live a life together, desperately chose to kill themselves in a mutual suicide hoping to be reunited in the pure land of bliss promised by Amida Buddha. Many of these double suicide plays involved ukiyo themes, such as the love between an upper class or noble man and a prostitute. This is the theme of the most famous of the shinju plays (Sonezaki Shinju), by Chikamatsu Monzaemon (1653-1725). Such shinju plays often inspired a rash of real double suicides, so the Tokugawa regime in 1723 stepped in and banned shinju not only on the kabuki and joruri stage, but in real life as well.”

In Japanese psychology the word “shinju” (meaning either “pearl” or “oneness of hearts” depending on its context) is still used for multiple suicides involving people with a strong bond.

In Japanese bondage terms “shinju” is a torso harnass, tied to bring out and erotically stimulate the female breasts (the “pearls”). Amazingly the word “shinju” in Japan is also used for shoulder-string type halter tops for women.

Is there any sort of heritage?

The answer to that question is currently impossible to provide with any certainty. It might be, but due to the lack of any historical reference it is unlikely. Yes, there are references to the art dating back to the 17th century. That however is also where any attempt to trace it back any further stops. As an erotic artform it apparently existed in the very mondain upper classes in Japan. But it has no, as many claim, linear roots to any martial art.

In fact the following assumption is much more likely. Most ancient cultures have seen combinations of power, sometimes spirituality and mysticism, and eroticism. Courtley Love and much earlier Celtic and Saxon rituals in Europe and the Kama Sutra are only a few examples of this. And yes, in most of such rituals weapons and warrior culture were woven into the rituals of courtship, lovemaking and sexuality. Power eroticizes! It always has. There is no reason to assume it was any different in Japan.

Shibari today

Contemporary “Japanese bondage” pictures usually have an entirely different background which – unfortunately – is pornography. Most originate from 1950-1980 produced Japanese pornographic videos. Their only “raison d’etre” can be found in the fact that the combination of naked women and rope sells. These Japanese movies can be seen as the Japanese answer to the emerging popularity of bondage in the American pornographic industry since the 1930’s (John Willie, Betty Page and others).

The vast majority of Japanese rope artists from this period actually made their money rigging the bondages for these movies and some still do. Some, such as the late Osada Eikichi (a.k.a. “mister flying ropes”) and Denki Akechi, created their own style and performing acts.

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Source by Hans Meijer

The Art of Mixing Wines – Blend Your Own Wine


In simple terms, blending wine means mixing or combining two or more wines and coming up with something new. It is done for various reasons like

  • To obtain better color
  • To improve or enhance aroma
  • To adjust the sweetness, the pH of the wine or the levels of tannin
  • For the adjustment of the acidity level of alcohol
  • To reduce the oak flavor and get wine flavor

Once the reason for mixing is known, there are few simple rules to be followed. Mainly the aim of blending has to be fixed. Combining can be done for fun or to get a new one which can be reproduced in larger quantities for commercial purposes. Tips to be followed while amalgamating them are simple.

  • Wines of similar type are to be combined. For example, a red wine has to be combined with a red one and a white with white.
  • Do not use bad wine to combine with a good wine to make it tolerable. The resultant would be disappointing and over and above the good wine would go waste.
  • It is advisable to try with very little quantities so that the wastage is minimized. Until the desired result is obtained use wines in little quantities.
  • It is better to blend wines made in the same year, which will allow some shelf life to it.
  • While experimenting on various blends, it is good to keep notes to avoid repeating the combinations which are already tried and tested.
  • One can take help of a friend to judge the resultant.
  • One should take care to blend them in well lit rooms which are free of any other odor.

Combination of wines in fact has a scientific approach too. It is a very simple process which can be learnt easily. It is called Pearson square and by following the instructions one can easily get the desired blend. There is a set method to any kind of blending adjustment that has to be done.

It is better to blend wines before the aging process starts so that the two separate wines which were combined, age together. It is the right mixing which brings delicious taste to it.

As there are various reasons for combining there are also various types too.

Vintage wine blend is a type which is commonly used for champagne. It is made from different grapes grown on the same vintage or year. For a bottle of champagne to have a label of vintage it has to be made from grapes from the same year and vintage. Champagne made from different grapes or years is marked as “N.V” and cost less.

Bordeaux blend; it is the famous French wine where only certain varieties of grapes are to be used. If any other grapes are used the resulting wine can not be called as Bordeaux. As a practice use two to three of the approved varieties to make luscious variety.

Meritage is the kind of wine which is similar to Bordeaux but only wines made in Bordeaux can be called so. There are regulations to label a bottle as Meritage. The wineries should have acquired the approval of the Meritage association to use the name.

Red wine blends are found in vast numbers in the market. Of them, the most famous is the Super Tuscan which came into being in 1970s. Italy has very strict rule for wine making, which were broken by the maker of super Tuscan. They created the new wine from grapes of their own choice.

Summary

There are many aspects to wine making and later their mixing. Combining wines becomes easy once the aim for doing so is known. There are certain rules and tips to reach the desired goal. It also has a scientific approach to it which is as easy as additions and subtractions.

Learn More about Blending Wine

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The History of Bonsai in Buddhism


All over the world people have been growing and collecting bonsai trees as a hobby and a form of artwork. These tiny trees have long been cultivated in decorative containers, thus giving them their name; bonsai literally means tree in a pot. While many think of bonsai trees as Japanese, the art of bonsai originated in China as part of a spiritual practice linked first to Taoism, and later to Buddhism.

Bonsai was part of the ancient Chinese art of “penjing,” also know as “pun-sai,” which means the practice of creating a miniature landscape in a container. Chinese artists used plants, rocks, and other natural materials to craft tiny landscapes, often resembling sacred mountains, brooks, and other natural scenes, as well as dragons and serpents, all arranged on trays or in pots.

This practice of creating miniature landscapes and trees can be linked to China’s philosophical tradition of Taoism. Taoism proposed that thinking and living in a natural way and letting go of rigid, conventional beliefs would help one’s mind better tune in to the rhythm of nature. Being one with nature, going with the flow, and understanding how everything in life is interrelated are an integral part of Taoist teachings. The idea of yin and yang provide one example. Taoism also holds that even if something in nature is small, it will contain both power and strength if its age is advanced (and if it is confined to a small space). Bonsai trees become more valuable with age.

Monks from India brought a new influence to the Chinese Taoist tradition that became known as Chan Buddhism. Chan Buddhists began to include seedling trees in their miniature mountain landscapes. While working with natural materials, pruning and clipping the dwarf trees was part of the creative process, and Buddhist monks found themselves absorbed in a form of meditation.

Buddhism then advanced to Korea, and finally it made its way to Japan where it became known as Zen Buddhism. Diplomats traveling to China and Korea brought back Chinese art and culture to Japan, and the making of miniature landscapes, with its ties to Buddhist symbolism, was quickly adopted.

At first, it was only Japanese Buddhist monks and scholars that cultivated bonsai trees and tiny landscapes. The core of the Zen philosophy was refined to represent beauty in austerity, with all but the essentials removed to reveal the true nature of something. Ancient Japanese scrolls reveal that bonsai represented a fusion of traditional beliefs blended with other Eastern philosophies of the harmony between man, the soul, and the natural world.

By the fourteenth century bonsai was revered as an art form in Japan, and it is much represented in poetry and painting. At this point, bonsai trees were displayed indoors by the Japanese aristocracy, and the practice of creating bonsai became less associated with religion. A few centuries later, bonsai trees became commonplace amongst the general Japanese population as they are today.

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6 Facts About Oil Paint


1. The earliest known paintings that were done in oils date back to the 7th century BC. These paintings were Buddhist murals that were discovered in caves in Western Afghanistan. Oil paint didn’t become widespread for use in art works until the 15th century, when it became popular throughout Europe. Jan van Eyck, a 15th century Flemish painter, is widely believed to have invented it, though in reality he did not invent it, instead he developed it.

2. Oil paint is credited with revolutionising art. One of its key properties is that it’s very slow to dry. It gave artists a lot more time to work on their paintings and it allowed them to correct any mistakes they might have made. Oil paints allowed for artists’ creativity to flourish more because artists could devote more time to each painting. Many of the most widely praised paintings were done in oils.

3. For a few centuries artists had to store their oil paints in animal bladders. This was because the paint tube wasn’t invented until 1841. It was invented by John Goffe Rand, an American painter. Before the tube was invented, artists would have to mix their paints themselves before painting. They would have to grind the pigment up themselves, then carefully mix in the binder and thinner.

4. The most basic type of oil paint is made up of ground-up pigment, a binder and a thinner, which is usually turpentine. For the binder there are lots of different substances that can be used, including linseed oil, walnut oil and poppy seed oil; each of these gives the paint different effects and has different drying times.

5. There are modern versions of oil paint that can dry a lot more quickly than the standard version. The way that it dries is not by evaporation, but by oxidation, the process where substances gain oxygen. It is generally accepted that the typical painting done in oils will be dry to touch after about two weeks, though it can take six months to a year before the painting’s actually dry enough to be varnished.

6. Oil paint is very durable and tough, so it’s used as a finish and protector. It can be used on wood and metal and in both cases, it can be used internally as well as externally. It’s often applied to wood during building construction and can be found on metallic surfaces on things like planes, bridges and ships.

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Ballistics in Forensics – What Are Rifling Patterns on a Bullet?


When a bullet is fired from a gun, the gun leaves unique markings, or grooves, on the surface of the bullet as it travels through the barrel. These grooves help forensic firearms examiners determine a match between the bullet and gun type and perhaps to the actual gun used in a crime.

What is a Rifling Pattern?

A spinning bullet is a more accurate bullet. Therefore, many guns have spiral grooves carved into the inside of their barrels to make the bullets spin as they leave the gun barrel. The procedure for carving grooves into the barrel of a gun is called rifling. Cutting the grooves leaves high parts, or lands, intact between them. The grooves grab the bullet as it traverses the barrel and cause it to spin and thereby increasing its accuracy of hitting the intended target. Old smoothebore rifles were not accurate beyond 100 feet or more, but present day rifled firearms are highly accurate to several thousands of yards.

Accuracy is not at the top of the list of the Calleigh Duquesnes (a character on CSI: Miami) of forensic firearms examiners. Their interest is how the lands and grooves of the rifling procedure mark the bullet.

When a gun barrel is manufactured, the rifling is etched inside of it. The depth of the grooves, the width of the lands, and the degree and direction of the spiral vary among different types of firearms and different manufacturers. These qualities help forensic examiners identify the type of gun that fired a bullet found at the crime scene and its manufacturer.

As an example, let us say a .32 caliber Smith & Wesson handgun has five lands and grooves with a right hand (clockwise) twist, and .32 caliber Colt has six lands and grooves with a left hand (counterclockwise) twist. Browning firearms also have six grooves, but have a clockwise twist. Marlin rifles utilize a method known as microgrooving. Microgrooving leaves between 8 and 24 narrow grooves within the barrel. Suppose a firearms examiner is given a .32 caliber bullet taken from an autopsy, and he discovers grooves compatible with a bullet having traveled down a barrel with five lands and a clockwise twist, the murder weapon was likely a Smith & Wesson, and forensic investigators can exclude all other handgun types and target .32 caliber Smith & Wesson handguns.

To make the firearms examiner’s job easier, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) keeps a database known as the General Rifling Characteristics file to assist with making their determinations. It delineates the land, grooves, and twist qualities unique to known firearms. Similarly, bullet and shell casings can be matched with bullets and casings taken from other crime scenes that are listed in other databases.

Because smoothbore firearms like shotguns and older model firearms are not rifled, their bullets will not show any evidence of marking caused by lands, grooves, or twists. This makes the forensic firearms examiner’s job a lot harder.

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Source by Fabiola Castillo

Drawing and Painting Tips – The Layout Sketch


A layout sketch is the process of faintly outlining the key elements of an image on to paper (or canvas). The aim should be to get each component the correct size and in the right position before moving forward. However, this first stage is where most amateur artworks go wrong!

In a portrait for example, the layout sketch would merely ensure that the outline of the eyes (nose, mouth, etc) are the precise shape, correct size, accurately aligned and the right distance apart. The layout sketch requires no further detail, but get this wrong, and your artwork will be doomed to failure, no matter how good your painting or drawing technique is.

It is possible with a great deal of practise and care, to complete a layout sketch by eye alone, but is that how professional artists work? No they don’t! Time is money and professional artists use techniques and tools to get precise layout work done quickly.

Here are the most common tools and techniques for working from a photograph.

Measuring

The simplest tool is use of a pencil as a ruler and protractor. For example, when drawing a face, the pencil can be used to measure the relative size of an eye, the distance between the ear lobe and the corner of an eye, or the angle of the nose. This works best when copying from a large photograph, and reproducing an image at the same size.

The technique is simple: lay the pencil flat on the photograph. Place the point of the pencil where you want to measure from, and grasp the other end of the pencil at the exact point you wish to measure to. Without changing your grip, move the pencil to the paper and make a mark on the paper at the tip and point of your grasp.

Similarly, angles can be duplicated by laying the pencil on the photograph, say a roof line in a landscape, and carefully moving the pencil to the paper while retaining that angle. An easier method is to place you reference photo over your paper, so that the pencil can be rolled from one surface to the other without altering its angle significantly.

A slightly easier method is to use a ruler, and take absolute measurements. If you need to re-scale an image, the use of a ruler is preferable. For example, when scaling up to twice the size, you simply double the measurement (etc). But, this technique has become outdated.

Alternatively, it is possible to buy dividers that achieve the same measuring effect. Some even have a limited re-scaling function.

Most people now have access to a PC with peripherals, so it is easier to scan and re-print a photograph at the same size you want to draw or painting, rather than re-scale as you go.

The use of a pencil (or anything else) as a ruler is best employed for checking minor detail dimensions and angles.

Grid method

Another slightly outdated but effective method of laying-out is the grid. Briefly, you need to draw a grid over the reference image, and a grid on your paper. The layout is achieved by separately copying the contents of each box of the grid. In effect, your layout will comprise lots of tiny drawings that all fit together to make the whole.

Using a grid limits the potential for error, and the smaller your grid boxes, the more accurate your copy will be. If your grid is say 1cm squares, then your layout lines can never be inaccurate by more than 1cm (unless your grid is inaccurate, or you draw something in the wrong square), but the chances are your sketch will be pretty close to millimetre perfect.

You can use grids of different sizes for the reference photograph and the artwork. In this way, re-scaling (if you need to) is easy. For example, to double the size of your drawing, use a 1cm grid on the photo, and a 2cm grid on the drawing paper. However, for the system to work, both parts must have the same number of grid boxes.

Grids take a good deal of effort to use. The other down side is that the reference photograph must be expendable (you need to be able to draw lines all over it), and you need to remove the grid lines on your art paper when you have finished the layout. Grids are good for oil paintings, since they can be painted over.

Tracing Paper

Many professional artists use tracing paper. It is a really accurate way of completing a layout. I recently read an instructional article on the use of tracing paper, published on a major UK artist site. My recommended method of use is very different.

The first thing is to lay the tracing paper over the image to be copied, and mark its position. This is so that you can place the tracing paper over the image time and time again, and always in exactly the same place.

Although tracing paper is very transparent, it can be hard to see detail in darker tones. The best way to use it is with back illumination; do your tracing on against a windowpane (in the day time!), rather than on a desk or table.

Draw carefully around the key elements with a sharp pencil (step 1). Reverse the tracing paper and draw accurately over your pencil lines, to create a mirror image on the backside (step 2). Use a sharp soft pencil for this, and remember that an outline with be transferred to whatever your tracing paper is resting on (so use some scrap paper). Now place the tracing paper right side up on your art paper. Mark its position, so you can put it back in exactly the same place if you need to. Draw over your pencil lines again to transfer the image (step 3). At no point should you scribble. Use the minimum pressure on your pencil marks; the aim is to transfer a light (temporary) pencil mark, not engrave an outline into your art paper.

It takes some time, but you should end up with faint, but very accurate layout lines. Obviously, you cannot re-scale an image using tracing paper. Tracing paper works best on a smooth surface. You may struggle to achieve a transfer on watercolour paper, and toothed pastel papers, so aim to transfer the minimum detail you need for a layout.

When working with darker papers, a white pencil at step 2 gives better results. A white pencil also often gives better results with coloured pastel papers.

Tracedown Paper

Tracedown paper is a form of carbon paper for artists. I have never personally used it, but it works like tracing paper with steps 1 and 3 being performed simultaneously, and step 2 omitted completely. Briefly, you place the transfer down paper on your art paper, the photograph on top, and you draw around the key elements directly on to the photo. The pressure of your pencil makes a faint line on your art paper.

As with tracing paper, re-scaling is impossible, and I imagine the reference photo takes a bit of a battering.

Projectors

There are a number of specialist projectors that can be purchased. Briefly, this tool projects an image on to art paper, and allows layout lines to be drawn directly on to the paper (or canvas), using the projected image as a guide. They are fast, and designed to accommodate re-scaling, but they are expensive and aimed at professional artists. The projector is a modern take on a system of layout transfer used by the old Masters.

Finally: trying to do everything by eye alone is foolish and unprofessional. Get an accurate layout down using any technique or device available to you.

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Source by John A Burton

Mural Painting


Mural painting, as distinguished from other forms of decorative artwork is a painting applied directly to a wall. It is a concept that been used by humanity from the most ancient times up until the present day.

The earliest known history of this type of decoration was the cave drawings and paintings of the neo-lithic period. In this way early man used mural art to bring nature or fantastic-nature into his living space. In later times the Byzantines, Egyptians and almost all ancient civilizations used murals to describe not only the nature around them but also their interpretation of nature through sacred myths and stories.

A characteristic of this later, more sophisticated mural art was the use of decorative features such as frames, borders and geometrical patterns, which might accompany the theme of the painting and help it sit comfortably in the architecture that it decorated.

In modern times we still see murals being painted, but now often as political propaganda or commercial advertising. The availability of wallpaper and other commercial decorative features has made painting an expensive option but fortunately there still exists a market for purely decorative murals. In popular culture spray can graffiti has created its own heritage of mural art.

Trompe L’Oeil.

The late Greek and Roman period discovered the decorative the use of trompe l’oeil – that is making a flat wall surface seem as if it is 3D architecture, simply by painting it on with light and shade. Impossible architectural fantasies became possible in the hands of an artist. In Pompeii and Herculaneum there are many surviving murals using fantastic trompe l’oeil. The technique really came into it’s own in the Renaissance period. Ceilings became decorated as skies full of clouds and cherubs, walls had balustrades and pillars giving onto fantastic landscapes with battles raging and mythological creatures roaming. In the hands of the great Italian masters churches and palaces were decorated with masterpieces in this style at which we still marvel today.

Mural Techniques.

The techniques of the earliest painters were not necessarily best for the survival of their works. The cave painters most probably drew directly onto the rock with blocks of pigment or charcoal, using no medium to adhere the paint to the surface. Where examples survive, such as Lascaux in France, the limestone ground has become calcinated with natural dampness over time and has spontaneously adhered the pigment to the wall.

It is known that the Ancient Egyptians had Gum Arabic (resin from the Acacia tree – which we still use as the binder for watercolours). They also used egg tempera (pigment bound with the white of an egg). Most importantly where murals are concerned, they understood how to paint ‘fresco’. That is, painting raw pigment into fresh lime plaster before it dries. Most surviving murals of antiquity and the renaissance have used this technique. The great advantage of this technique is that the pigment colour combines with the natural calcination of the plaster as it dries, so it never fades. Subsequently, the technique of fresco was passed down from Greek to Roman and Roman to the Renaissance, so it has left us with a rich legacy of ancient art with which to understand the psychology and wisdom of our ancestors.

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Source by Paul A Raymonde

Sculptures and Art From the Philippines


Sculptures from the Philippines come in a variety of mediums. There are glass sculptures, marble sculptures, bronze and mixed medium sculptures. The themes, forms and styles used for Filipino sculptures run the artistic gamut from abstract sculptures to figure studies.

During the 18th century sculptures from the Philippines reflected Catholic themes. One of the most famous 18th century Filipino sculptures was the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception. This sculpture was created in ivory. It was decorated using polychrome, glass, silver and gilding.

Alma Quinto is a modern Filipino sculptress that works in a variety of mediums and art forms. Her Lolita’s Pet is a mixed medium sculpture that has been featured in several publications. It is currently valued at about S$500. If you enjoy the sculptures created by this artist then you may also be interested in the illustrations, paintings, textiles and installation pieces created by this artist as well.

Duddley Diaz is another modern artist from the Philippines who specializes in unique sculptures. He was born in the Philippines in 1962. His artistic education started at the University of the Philippines where he earned a BFA. It then continued at the Academia di Belle Arti in Florence, Italy. Here Diaz studied both painting and sculpting. One of the pieces that this Filipino artist created was the Preacher no. 3. This 1997 creation was formed from wood and other mediums. It was valued at S$7,000. In addition to wood, Diaz also works in bronze. His bronze sculpture Goddess with a Bough has been valued at S$7,000.

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Source by Sarah Freeland

What Do Tiger Tattoos Symbolize in Eastern Cultures?


Tigers represent various characteristics – virility, strength, power, arrogance, pride, passion and royalty amongst others. Tigers symbolize various things across cultures. But mainly, tigers have an important role to play in Indian, Chinese and Japanese cultures. Since tigers are such majestic animals, they are one of the top animals people wish to get tattooed on with.

Tigers in Indian Culture

They are found in the Indian subcontinent and are now an endangered species. Indians believe some of their gods used the tiger to travel on from place to place. It is a revered animal and is even considered India’s national animal. People who opt to get tiger tattoos in India hope to get some of their majesty and ferocity into themselves.

Tigers in Vietnam Culture

They were feared a lot in Vietnam and many villages had temples for Tigers as they were considered holy there. Tigers raided the villages and the Vietnamese believe that by worshiping the creature, they could save their village from its wrath. Tiger tattoos in Vietnam are used to ward off evil spirits and represent strength of character.

Tigers in Chinese Culture

Chinese believe the tiger to be the king of all animals, not the lion. Its represent the yang side of things and are associated with powerful energy. They also believe that the it is the protector of the dead, and often tigers are tattooed onto tombstones as well as a symbol that their soul will rest in peace now. Tiger tattoos in Chinese culture represent prosperity, reverence, power, energy, protection, generosity and illumination. Chinese myths say that there are five types of tigers that balance the energy in the cosmos and prevent utter chaos in the universe, these are:

  • Black Tiger – Governs the water elements of nature and rules during the winter season.
  • Blue Tiger – Governs the earth elements of nature and rules during the spring season.
  • Red Tiger – Governs the fire elements of nature and rules during the summer season.
  • White Tiger – Governs the metal elements of nature and rules during the fall season.
  • Yellow Tiger – Rules all the above tigers and is symbolic of the sun.

Tigers in Japanese Culture

Even though they are rarely found in Japan, they play a very important role in Japanese arts. Tiger tattoos represent different things in the different ages of Japanese culture. They gained dominance in the Edo period of Japan, where the Japanese men were struggling to form a name for them. Since Japanese artists dint have exact sightings of tigers, their art can be very abstract and unique. In Japan, they represent dominance, aggression or goal orientation.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg


Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg


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Source by Marvick Zack