The Japanese Chef Knife – Which One Should You Have?


There are many things about Japanese cuisine that makes it stand out easily. Most of the Japanese dishes are both delicious and healthy. Many people even consider preparation of the dishes to be a form of art. The Japanese, when it comes to food preparation, are perfectionists. They have many different kinds of Japanese chef knives used to cut different kinds of food. The Japanese slice their sashimi so precisely because of the Yanagiba, a Japanese chef knife that’s used for cutting raw fish. If you want to attain the same precision, you should have at least one the Japanese chef knives below in your kitchen.

Santoku

The Santoku is a Japanese chef knife that is known for its convenience and versatility. Santoku is loosely translated as “three virtues.” Santoku has 3 uses: slicing, dicing, and mincing. The Santoku can be used for almost anything ranging from fish, meat, and vegetables. The blade size usually ranges from 5 to 7 inches, although there are smaller ones. The Santoku has a Sheep’s foot design and has limited clearance on the horizontal plane as well as minimal rocking motion. Santoku knives are well-known for their very sharp edges. They also have a granton edge release pattern that makes it easier to make thin slices with sticky food. Get a Santoku knife to jumpstart your kitchen knives collection.

Gyuto

This is the counterpart of the western chef’s knife. Like the Santoku, the Gyuto is also an all-purpose Japanese chef knife. The difference between Gyuto and Santoku is its size. The Gyuto is larger than the Santoku because it is believed that the Gyuto was originally made for cutting beef in large slices. In fact, the Gyuto can be roughly translated to cow blade. Gyuto is now known to slice meat, fish, and vegetables, just like the western chef’s knife. The difference between the two is that Gyuto is known for its harder and tougher steel construction. Also, Gyuto comes with a double grind edge.

Gishiki

Gishiki-Bocho, or simply Gishiki, is a specialty Japanese chef knife. It’s used for filleting the fish without having your hands coming in contact with the fish. All that the chef uses is the knife and silver chopsticks. Shiki-Bocho is the term that refers to both the process of filleting fish this way and the person that doing the work. This is a very old style of Japanese chef knife. It has been used for almost 1000 years. You will not find this model in too many consumer kitchens because it takes expert hands to manipulate. The Gishiki knife is usually single grind and has a blade length of almost 12 inches.

Kurimuki

If you need to peel fruits and vegetables, you’re better off using a kurimuki knife Japanese chef knife. The knife’s geometry is suited to accommodate different shapes of fruits and vegetables. It roughly translates in Japanese to mean chestnut skin peeling knife. If you need to peel a really small fruit or vegetable, Kurimuki is the best knife for this job. Unlike the standard knife, this small and compact Japanese chef knife will give you more control over the fruit or vegetable.

Now that you are familiar a few of the Japanese chef knives available you are ready to start slicing and dicing. Click the links below for the best deals on Japanese kitchen Knives.

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Source by Everett Woods

Advantages and Disadvantages of Acrylic Paint in Acrylic Art Paintings


Acrylic paints first showed up on the market in the 1950s. This revolutionary new paint helped to bring about a new form of art. Acrylic art which could be produced at a much faster rate that artwork created with other types of paint. The acrylic art soon became a paint of choice for many artists, but there were also those who saw some disadvantages to this new paint. This made them hesitant to use them and to create acrylic artwork.

Fast Drying

One of the top reasons why so many artists were drawn to the idea of acrylic art paintings was the paints fast drying time. Previously it could take weeks for a piece to completely dry when they were created with oil paints. That waiting time could become tedious when an artist simply wanted a piece to be complete. Acrylic paints offered a quick drying time and that was very appealing to artists. On the other hand, the quick drying time often results in harsh looking acrylic art. This is because colors can’t easily be blended or softened.

A Familiar Appearance

Acrylic art also have the ability to be diluted with water. When this is done acrylic art paintings resemble watercolors or oil paintings. They are easily used to replace watercolors and oil paint. In many cases acrylic paints are preferred over watercolors because as the acrylic paint dries the color does not change as it does with watercolors. This allows for a more predictable final coloring of a piece.

Durability

Acrylic paints, when dry, are resistant to water damage. This makes it much easier to preserve acrylic art paintings and other acrylic artwork. They also do not yellow as oil paints often do. They resist cracking and changing at all. Some may actually see a problem with the fact that this paint is resistant to water because it makes altering an acrylic artwork very difficult if not impossible.

Toxicity

Many artists prefer acrylic paint because using this type of art requires far less exposure to toxins. Acrylic paint can be thinned with only water and does not require any type of toxic substance in the thinning process. Also brushes can be cleaned in just water without the use of toxic substances. However, the paint itself may contain some toxins and if an artist is trying to slow the drying time then toxic substances must be used.

The advantages and disadvantages of acrylic artwork is something the individual artist has to weigh for themselves. Some artists may find the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. It all really comes down to what look an artist in trying to achieve. Acrylic paints have a specific look and even though they may be able to somewhat mimic watercolors or oil paint, when acrylics are used it is usually a very distinguishable look. Besides that working with acrylic paint is a much different process. So, it really comes down to the artist and their preference of which type of paint to use.

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Source by Nicole Roberts

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.

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Source by Marvick Zack

How To Paint Your Snowboard


If you are a typical snowboarder, you want to be a bit unique and stand out on the slopes. One way to do this is with your choice of snowboard apparel. However, another very popular ways to do this is to custom paint your snowboard.

You can do this yourself, if you have the time and patience. Basically, to do a good job, you have to follow four steps – preparing the board, priming the board, painting it, and sealing it.

However, to start with, you will need a good work area. There are advantages to painting both indoors or outdoors. If you have an indoor work area, make sure that the ventilation system is good enough to exhaust the paint fumes from the area. If your work area is located outdoors, your main concern will be finding a non-windy area where the air currents are small or non-existent so they won’t interfere with your paint job.

To ensure that the board is clean, wipe the dirt off the surface to be painted with a clean damp rag. You also want to remove any wax build up. Any good wax remover from your local hardware or grocery store should do the job. Then, you want to scuff the surface of the board with fine sandpaper. This will prepare it to receive the primer coat. And, finally, plug up the binding holes with q-tips to prevent paint or primer from clogging them.

Once the prep work is done, priming is relatively easy. simply spray it on according to the directions on the spray can. Basically, however, you want to avoid over priming the board. So, rather than trying to do everything with one pass, if necessary, do multiple light passes until you have covered the board well. The important thing is to keep the spray can moving so you don’t have primer build-up in spots. Then let the primer dry.

When painting the snowboard, first lay down the background colors – again using multiple light layers, if necessary instead of one heavy layer. When you are satisfied with the density and colors of the background, then you can use stencils to apply any designs or logos on the board.

The next to last step is to seal the board by clear coating it. This is usually a multi-phase process as you will want to apply three to four coats on the board.

Finally, to give your board that nice glossy finish, get some rubbing compound from your local auto supply shop and give the surface a nice buffing.

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Source by Jim Garza

Why Study Math? – The Fibonacci Sequence and Sex Appeal


Oh, that field of math. Don’t you just love to hate it? Yet you have to admit that when someone explains some of its beauty to you and you get it, you marvel at how amazing a field it actually is.

Such is the case with number sequences and in particular one called the Fibonacci sequence. For those who do not know what a sequence is, it is simply a list of numbers that follow some predefined rule. For example, the sequence 2, 4, 6, 8 is the arithmetic sequence which is defined by multiples of the number 2. The Fibonacci sequence is the following: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13…Do you see the pattern? Well hold on if you don’t; what is more important-or should I say interesting-is could you ever have guessed that this sequence has something to do with sex appeal? Indeed. Read on.

If you were not able to see the pattern within the Fibonacci sequence, it is this: each successive Fibonacci number after the second is obtained by adding the two previous numbers in the sequence. Thus 3 = 1 + 2, 8 = 3 + 5, etc. Aside from the unusual appearance of these numbers within the realms of nature, as for example, such quantities as the number of black and white keys that form an octave on a standard piano are all Fibonacci numbers, and the number of spirals in the florets of a sunflower head are consecutive Fibonacci numbers; the quotient formed by consecutive numbers in this sequence get closer and closer to the golden ratio, and this is approximately 1.618.

Artists, musicians, and classical architects have been fascinated with this famous number, which seems to have a sex appeal all of its own. The ancient Greek sculptor Phidias, who created and oversaw the construction of the Parthenon in Athens, is believed to have used this golden rectangle concept in the facade of this famous architectural feat. Luca Pacioli, one of Da Vinci’s mathematics teachers, aroused great interest in the golden number in his work De Divina Proportione. Da Vinci used this work to bolster his claims that various aspects of the human body incorporated this golden number. For example, Da Vinci showed that the human face had proportions in accordance to the golden ratio. In order to show this, Da Vinci traced out golden rectangles on the face of an average human subject. One could suppose, that the more golden rectangles that could be traced out, the more aesthetically pleasing a person’s face was.

Obviously good looks are associated with an aesthetically appealing face. According to Luca Pacioli and Da Vinci’s propositions, the more closely one’s face adheres to proportions dictated by the golden ratio, the more aesthetically appealing a person is. Gee, now math is connected to sex appeal. How strange and curious this subject is! Yes. Sex appeal and math. You’ve got one, you’ve definitely got the other. All this sexy stuff found within a sequence of numbers that probably was found by some curious chap who decided to add 1 + 1 to get 2, and then said, hmmm, let’s add 2 + 1 to get 3, and so on. Next thing you know, these numbers a popping up all over the place from the piano keyboard to the face of a sunflower to the sex appeal of the human face. Wow, don’t you just love math!

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Source by Joe Pagano

Learn How to Draw a Car – Top Two Tips For Car Drawing


Thousands of people every day are trying to find the best way to learn how to draw a car. So what is it that’s so hard and how can you learn how to draw a car properly and make it look real? I’ll be giving you some tips I’ve learnt that you can apply to your drawings and hopefully create a car that looks like it’ll drive right off your paper!

Most car drawings that I’ve show me that people lack a few key things when trying to draw a car. One of these is patience. It is obvious when someone has only spent half an hour on a drawing that they have tried to make up from scratch.

Drawing a car and making it look real is hard enough without having to make up every detail of your drawing. I highly recommend starting out drawing from reference picture. Yes you can trace right over pictures if you want, but this won’t help you much in the long run. You have to train your brain to look at lines and tones and be able to apply them to your drawings.

It’s a colorful world.. or is it?

One great tip that I use when I have trouble deciding what my drawing should look like is getting rid of the color. When you take out all the color of a car photo, you are just left with the black and white tones you need to replicate in your drawing. This makes it a lot easier to visualize what you need to do to make your car look real and accurate.

When your doing this, take note of how the light plays on different surfaces of the car. Is it shiny and metallic? Dull and rubbery? What makes it look different on a photo and how do you think you can represent that with pencil and paper? Getting a firm understanding of this process will allow you not only learn how to draw a car really well, but also you will be able to draw anything you want. Great artists have become great through practice and observation. You can do the same.

The tilt of doom!

What I notice in a lot of aspiring artists and something that I was also guilty of is the titling of your head. This might not seem like much but when you tilt your head without noticing it, you are effectively offsetting the position of your drawing and you will end up with a car that slants to the left or right. To avoid doing this stop every few minutes, stand back and look at your drawing from a different view point. Make sure everything that should be horizontal is and that it isn’t leaning on way or another.

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Source by Alex Simpson

Ninjutsu: The Benefits of the Ancient Art of the Ninja


What does the word “Ninjutsu” bring to mind? Black clad Ninja Assassins demonstrating miraculous feats of acrobatics and throwing around deadly “ninja stars”? If so, then you might have a hard time believing that Ninjutsu, the ancient art of the Ninja, is perfectly applicable and useful to someone who lives in the modern, fast-paced world – that the benefits of the ancient art of Ninjutsu might be directly useful to YOU.

While it is true that Ninjutsu teaches valuable armed and unarmed combat techniques that can be used to protect you from physical harm, the art encompasses so much more. Here are three of the many ways in which the study of Ninjutsu can help to enrich your life:

1) One of the modern benefits of the ancient art of the Ninja is the development of stress management techniques. The pace of life is all too fast and getting faster by the day. Stressful demands, from little day-to-day annoyances to major trials and tribulations, gradually mount up until they can feel overwhelming. Ninjutsu, by means of its meditation techniques, the promotion of an awareness of self and of a healthy mind and body kept in balance, develops invaluable all-round tools to help deal with the many stresses of modern life that threaten to drag you down.

2) Another of the modern benefits of the ancient art of the Ninja is the development of conflict management techniques. Conflict can take many forms and not all of them involve the threat of physical violence. Ninjutsu offers solutions for all of these; physical techniques enable practitioners to confidently take control of situations when things do get physical and the mental discipline required to learn the art of Ninjutsu gives practitioners the mental flexibility to quickly adapt to and take control of any non-physical conflict situations that life might throw their way.

3) Yet another of the modern benefits of the ancient art of the Ninja is the development of personal discipline. Mastery does not come easily – if it did, we would all already be masters of Ninjutsu! The reasons why some succeed and many fail are linked with personal discipline, the physical discipline needed to master the physical side of Ninjutsu and the mental discipline needed to truly understand and apply the underlying theories of Ninjutsu. This personal discipline can perhaps be best expressed as “strength of will” – the ability to push on when things get tough. Ninjutsu requires and develops this strength of will, this personal discipline, and this iron willpower can then be brought to bear on life’s many challenges, leading to greater success, confidence, and life-satisfaction.

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Source by Jeffrey Miller

Soil and Soul


Landscape painting has been a popular genre among the viewers of Pakistani art owing to its no-iconoclastic nature. Even a layman is a good admirer of landscape painting. This is one reason that we can find this style of painting, as a part of miniature painting, back in the times of the Mughals and then as a proper developing genre in the British era.

In early years of Pakistani art, we can find traces of landscape painting, used as a backdrop in the miniature-like paintings of Chughtai, while Allah Bakhsh, in pursuit to skill himself in the western technique, explored the complexities of this style.

Allah Bakhsh tried to capture his surroundings as they were appearing to his sight, in a realistic manner. Soon this realist approach was to be confronted with a more sophisticated ideology of modern realism; an avant-garde style of landscape painting that emphasized on capturing the atmosphere of a particular spot and its surroundings, and its effects on the painter rather than the objective appearance of that specific landscape.

Khalid Iqbal, the first male teacher at the Fine Arts Department of the Punjab University Lahore, during his stay at the Slade School of Art London, came under strong influence of his mentor; Sir William Coldstream who, at that time, was an important torchbearer of modern realism in England.

Later, when landscape painting was actually introduced to an academic level, Khalid Iqbal emerged as an exponent of modern realism in Pakistan in the early 1960s regarding technique and subject matter. Khalid, not only inspired the first generation of landscape painters in Pakistan, but also skilled and trained them to explore their very own styles in this genre. Zulqarnain Haider, Aslam Minhas, Ghlam Rasul opted this painting style for their very individual visual experience. These painters prefer to go on the spot to feel the atmosphere and its effect before painting anything on the canvas.

After the pioneers, the young lot, never lost interest in this panoramic style and kept on painting the colours, shadows, clouds and light of Pakistan. Ghulam Mustafa, Zulfi, Shahid Jalal, Mughees Riaz, Durre Waseem and Naela Amir established their names in terms of landscape and cityscapes.

Ajaz Anwar discovered the watercolour medium for the rendering of life and festivities of Lahore and Ijaz ul Hassan paid attention on the social issues through his symbols flowers and Amaltas trees.

On the other hand, Zebeda Javed with her distinct style, which can be titled as “Conceptual Landscape Painting,” added more colours and emotional strength to this genre. Zubeda’s style was different and somehow challenging in a time when ‘on-spot’ painting and modern realism were popular among landscape painters. The imagination, and emotional value, based on the impressions on memory, helped Zubeda to develop a more humanistic approach towards landscape painting. This style and technique received attention of many of her contemporaries and students, and the conceptual approach in landscape painting emerged parallel to the modern realism in this style of painting. Musarrat Mirza is another painter who adopted this approach in her landscapes while few paintings of Khalid Mahmud also display imagination and conceptual patterns; before he fell in love with impressionism in his later work. In a varied fashion, Moyene Najmi and Raheel Akbar Javed were also experimenting with this genre, although they preferred modern idiom of abstraction and non-representational approach in landscape and cityscape painting.

Kehkashan Jafri and Maliha Aga accepted and promoted the technique and style where the emotional and personal expression could get to vent in a strong way.

There are quite a number of artists, who basically are not landscape painters and have their repute in other styles, even these artists could not stop themselves from falling in love with this enchanting painting style. Iqbal Hussain, Saeed Akhtar, Rahat Naveed Masud and Quddus Mirza are such few painters who earned names in portrait painting, figurative painting or in abstract or non-representational art, but at one point or the other in their lives, they put their hands on this genre.

Interestingly, the energetic generation of young painters is all set to communicate through the colourful palette of landscape painting; Muhammad Arshad, Amjad Naeem, Munawar Mohiudin, Najam-ul Hasan Najmi, Mirza Matloob Baig, Anila Zulfiqar and Iqbal Khokhar are experimenting with their painting techniques as well as with their visual perceptions.

Art in Pakistan has seen many favourable and unfavourable circumstances during the last three or four decades; the figurative art was discouraged and new styles like calligraphic-painting evolved. However, the landscape and cityscape painting, owing to its non-iconoclastic nature, gained popularity and acceptance in our society and kept on its journey of success in splendour.

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Source by Nadeem Alam

A History of Japanese Xenophobia


Japanese xenophobia should be understood properly prior to jumping to any reactive conclusions. Xenophobia is not really racism, although it can occasionally cross the line in Japan and both are occasionally evidenced. For Japanese society any xenophobia is more of a fear of the unknown and a fear of being overpowered by that which is unknown. In all honesty, many people in Japan are rather intimidated by other countries and also their relatively large people. It may sound silly, but it really does stem from the most basic things like physical size.

Due in part to historically taking the offense on xenophobia, the Japanese government has historically made some rather unwise choices internationally. The results of such choices have made the nation feel somewhat guilty and also somewhat worried about belated retaliation from its closer neighbors, in addition to simply feeling defeated. To go from a state of megalomania to a state of apocalyptic defeat is obviously rather shocking and, as a result, Japan is now much more cautious about its role on the world stage. The nation of Japan was also occupied after WWII and essentially had its entire culture exposed before a relatively judgmental Western perspective. Apparently as a result, some people in Japan also seem to fear exposure and being misunderstood or judged for their lifestyles.

Many things simply are drastically different in Western and Eastern culture. Japan is even quite unique in Eastern culture. To say one way of doing things is correct and one is incorrect would likely be primarily based on the cultural background of a viewer and thus it would be an inaccurate assessment. There are many things considered normal in most of Western society that are not generally considered acceptable in Japanese society, and also certainly many things in Japanese society which would not be acceptable in most of Western society. It is easy to understand why it could be somewhat more challenging to open up completely if there is a history of being judged for some of the most basic aspects of a society.

In addition to concerns about average physical size and a historical tendency for Western cultures to misunderstand and judge Japanese society, there are also basic differences in the general psychology of various societies. Japan has what is most likely the most obedient modern society in the world. There is no modern history of revolution and there are no riots in the streets. People are generally quite polite and Tokyo, although the most populated metropolis in the world, is possibly the safest city for a child to be in at any time of day or night. Purse snatching and the like are practically unheard of and are certainly uncommon. People will stand in herds at a street corner and wait for the light on the crosswalk to change to green, regardless of there not being a car in sight. It is understandable that there could be some concern over people from societies in which the cars don’t even stop at stoplights, as is common even in other parts of Asia.

In a way, Japan is like a clock and Japanese society generally seems to like to keep things running like clockwork. Thankfully the introduction and adoption of new ideas is part of what makes has made that clock run so well, and so Japanese society is still quite open to careful introductions. It just isn’t so game for any oversized unhygienic elephants to come trampling through its delicate clockwork.

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Source by Jessica Spinner

Interior Decorating Ideas – Decorating Your Clinic with Wall Art


Have you ever been at the clinic, waiting for your turn to see the doctor, and all you see on the walls around you are posters on cancer prevention, reminders for you to do your annual medical checkups, dealing with rheumatism in old age, diabetes … the list goes on.

All around us, we're flooded with uncomfortable images and messages that remind us that we really need to take good care of our health. Although these posters are there for a reason – to inform and educate, they certainly add an unwelcome addition because they inject an element of fear into all of us. Here we are, waiting to see the doctor, worried sick that that illness could get worse, and all we see in front of us are images and information about illnesses and disease. We really do not need these at this time. Tell us these things when we're well, not when we're sick.

Having been a patient myself (and who has not), the waiting area at the doctor's office is quite a stressful place to be. As you're waiting for your turn to see the doctor, your mind is full of apprehension and uncertainty as to what the diagnosis might be. The last thing you want is to be bombarded with images and media detailing out a plethora of possible ailments you could have diagnosed with. It just adds to the stress.

Strip this entire media off the walls, I say. Remove every shred of evidence that this place is a clinic. Patients do not need reminders as to why they're there. Put in its place decorative art work. Surround the walls with art and beauty. Put some framed pictures on the assistant's counter top. Having a beautiful piece of art to look at will certainly make your wait a lot more pleasant and take your thoughts away from all things unpleasant. Art may also accelerate the healing process. This is the reason why some hospitals have beautiful art hung on its walls. This is what the patient really needs.

What kind of art to display, you might ask. Well, apart from movie or music posters, because they hardly seem appropriate, almost any other kind of art will do. A good choice would be abstract art. Pick something that has soft, pastel colors that calms the mind when looked upon. Abstract, or contemporary art, does not represent anything in its true form, but rather it is an abstract representation of it. Much of it is left for the user to interpret what it's all about. This will certainly keep the patients busy as they wait their turn. Abstract art will give the place a nice contemporary feel and make it seem less like a clinic and more like an art gallery.

There are many choices of abstract art to choose from. Prints of abstract flowers will add a nice, warm touch to the office. What about black and white abstracts? This will create an interesting contrast with the colors around it. You could also display abstract art of other genres, like collages, geometric abstracts, abstract landscapes and abstract figures, among others. The choices are plentiful. If you're not into contemporary art, why not use pictures of animals? A picture of a cute kitten or puppy can do wonders to encourage healing and comfort. If you can not keep a real pet in the doctor's office, then display a picture of one. The effect may not be the same, but it certainly is nice to look at and takes a great deal of stress off the patient.

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Source by Edwin Mah