Should Works of Art Be Repatriated to Their Places of Origin?

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Art repatriation refers to the return of works of art or cultural objects to their country of origin or former owners. These items were forcefully taken away from their original owners or creators in their homelands as a result of war, colonialism or imperialism. Repatriation is a hotly debated subject which is ongoing and its fire has little hopes of entirely dying out. Staunch giants and scholars and people in authority such as art curators, art critics, art historians, art teachers, politicians and other well meaning personalities have expressed their views on this controversial subject of restitution of creative products to their places of origin.

The issue of art repatriation and the conflicts it’s engulfed in is deep and vast. Some argue in favour of the repatriation of artworks to their former owners while others strongly object due to equally sound high currency opinions. This essay seeks to discuss the subject on the repatriation of works of art and the efforts put in by global agencies and associations for the repatriation of works of art and the challenges that have ensued. It will then probe the discussion further from both angles on whether to repatriate these African art and cultural artifacts currently adorning the Western museums and stately house of the upper European class to their countries of origin.

Several efforts have been put in place by the various global bodies and agencies in charge of human welfare and inter-national peace to repatriate objects that were illegally acquired by their current owners. Various conventions and declarations have been laid to ensure that the restitution of these cultural artefacts is securely returned to their places of origin. These efforts have met some subtle successes while the challenges are herculean and heinous.

The first effort to repatriate works was the institution of the Lieber code (General Order #100) in 1843 designed by Francis Lieber who was tasked by the US president Abraham Lincoln to propound a set of rules for governing the confederate of prisoners, noncombatants, spies and property thus cultural objects. It is sad that the code allowed the destruction of cultural property under military necessity resulting in the abolishment of this code.

In 1954, the Hague document was developed following the great devastation of the World War II and the great looting of cultural objects and art. This document also met various criticisms because it favoured ‘market nations’ thus wealthy countries over the ‘source nations’ who are mostly poor.

Another effort of repatriation was undertaken by the UNESCO Convention against Illicit Export and the Intergovernmental Committee for Promoting the Return of Cultural Property to its Countries of Origin or its Restitution in case of illicit Appropriation in November 14, 1970. Like its predecessors, the terms in the convention were highly rejected because it was too broad and not specific. Also, it prompted black market deals on the selling of these cultural objects.

Recently, most countries are embracing the settlement of repatriation issues with the ‘Mutually Beneficial Repatriation Agreements (MBRAs). This document calls for the settlement of disagreements by opposing parties flexibly in a manner that is beneficial to both sides. This mode of arbitration between owner countries and keeper countries of items will certainly have its downsides.

Some of these obstacles are:

1. Poor legislative approaches developed among signatory states.

2. Failure to establish a system to resolve issues of ownership and compensation.

3. Some works of art and cultural objects do not have clear information on the history to help in ascertaining its place of origin.

4. Sometimes there are several speculations regarding the origin of the work of art making it difficult in knowing the original owners.

5. Legal battle for repatriation of works of art is lengthy and costly.

The question is why are some countries campaigning vigorously for the repatriation of the arts to their homelands? Numerous reasons are often cited. Analyses of items that are called for by their countries of origin are generally famous and valuable works that are paramount to the historical and cultural documentations of those countries. These cultural objects are a symbol of cultural heritage and identity and the return of such historical artworks is a hallmark of the pride of every country and thus must be repatriated. A return of such works calls for a special welcoming ceremony as if a long standing member of the society who has been imprisoned and is now freed is returning home.

Furthermore, advocates for the repatriation of works of art to their places of origin argue that the encyclopedic museums such as the British Museum, Musee du Louvre and the Metropolitan Museum of Art who are the main keepers of the prestigious artistic creations of various countries house them out of the view and reach of the cultures that owns them. It is also very distressing that the encyclopedic museums that house most of the world’s artworks and artifacts are located in Western cities and are the privilege of European scholars, professionals and people. This is quite unfair because the keepers are shielding the works from their owners which is not appropriate and civilized in a free democratic world in which we find ourselves.

Again, some ethnic societies and nations dare need some repatriated works to be able to reconstruct their national history which is a stepping stone for any country’s survival and hope of sustenance in the future. This has been the case of the Benin court ritual objects which the Nigerians need to write the histories of their forebears. Wouldn’t it be illegal and even a crime to deny the return of works of such great significance to their rightful owners?

In the same train of thoughts, items are best appreciated and understood in their original and cultural context. Many artifacts have special cultural value for a particular community or nation. When these works are removed from their original cultural setting, they lose their context and the culture loses a part of its history. Owing to this, objects have to be repatriated back to their homelands. This accounts for why there are false interpretations associated with some of the African masterpieces that find their homes now in ‘foreign’ lands.

Also, the taking away of the creative products permanently destroys the archaeological sites which could have been set as a tourism site to generate income for the owners or countries of origin. This in the view of the author could have added to the economic strength of the country of origin which in Africa is mostly financially pulverized.

Moreover, the possession of the artworks taken under the sad conditions of war, looting, imperialism and colonialism is unethical and still suggests continued colonialism. To portray and ensure total liberation and freedom from colonized states, these creative objects must be returned.

In addition, when objects which are in fragments are repatriated back to their homelands, they can be consolidated with their other parts to achieve a whole for the meanings of the works to be properly gleaned. This is the case of the Parthenon’s marble sculptures of the Athena Temple which is now in the British Museum in London. The ancient Greeks who are the owners believed that sculptures bring their subjects to virtual life, and therefore completeness or wholeness is an essential feature of an imitative or representational art.

There are many scholars and other well meaning educators and individuals who vehemently disapprove and even oppose the repatriation of items and other cultural objects to their countries of origin. One of their arguments is that art is a part of a universal human history and that ancient products of diverse cultures promotes inquiry, tolerance and broad knowledge about cultures. To them, having works of diverse cultures would help in erasing cultural monopoly which is a chief causative agent against global unity. Curators and directors of museums of art assert that when a museum has works of many cultures, it introduces visitors to a diverse range of art to help deface the ignorance people have about the world.

Artistic creations transcend national boundaries as well as the cultures and peoples that created them. Therefore a deliberate lineation or segregation of an artwork to a particular country limits the scope and understanding of the work.

Also, it is believed that the Western Art museums are dedicated to the professional stewardship of the works in their care. They are believed to have the proper infrastructure to house the items. Therefore, the security and protection of the works are guaranteed. This cannot be said of the seemingly poor African states who are asking for the repatriation of the arts. They lack the infrastructural structure to protect the works when they are repatriated back to their home soil.

However, this is an understatement because much of the artworks transported out of colonized countries were crudely removed and damaged and sometimes lost in transportation. The issue of security and protection of works of art is still subject to debate. Owners of the objects might have the necessary infrastructure available to keep the repatriated works. However, judging correctly little can be said of this owing to the heap of economic load already resting on the feeble shoulders of these ‘source nations’.

Another important issue that bars the repatriation of creative works is with respect to the claimant of the total ownership of the works of art. This issue is aggravated when many countries, cities, and museums are in the possession of parts of an artwork. Where should be the designated “home” of the reunited work? Who should be the ultimate owner of the creative masterpieces? To curb this challenge, many scholars, art directors and curators opines that it is best not to repatriate their items back to their homelands.

It is a hard truth that must be accepted that African works lavishly displayed in the museums and other public views in the Western lands especially Europe may never see their homelands again. The debate to repatriate artworks will be ongoing though some efforts are made by some nations and agencies to return products that were acquired illegally to their original homeland.

The author opines that cultural objects that have historical significance and could assist in the reconstruction of a country’s history must be returned. However, those that are locked in encyclopedic museums for the consumption of the populace which are not indispensably needed in rewriting the history of a country should not be repatriated. Their correct interpretations must however be inquired from their original owners. Since income will be gleaned, the original owners of the works must be compensated or remunerated so that they can share the gains with the museum that is keeping the arts.

Again, there must be mutual understanding and agreement between the original owners of the works and the museum to arrive at a consensus that is favourable for all of them. It will also be prudent that parties involved must lay out measures of displaying the products occasionally to the citizens of the country of origin so that the viewing of the creative pieces so that they would not be just the preserve of only the privileged Europeans but also the poor owners of such marvelous creations.

A combined effort with the view of reaching amicable consensus on the part of both the host nation and country of origin if mapped out well could help in reducing the hunting menace of restitution of artworks to their countries of origin.

REFERENCE

UNESCO (1970, November 14). Convention on the means of prohibiting and preventing the Illicit import, export and transfer of ownership of cultural property.

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Source by Dickson Adom

A Brief History of Pet Portraits and Pet Paintings

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Pet portraits and pet paintings are something we see everywhere in this day and age. However it is not a new idea that we have beautiful drawings of our dearest pets done so we can cherish them forever.

The first known examples date back to over 17000 years ago when a number of ‘pet portraits’ were found in some caves in Altamira, Northern Spain. The paintings were discovered in 1879 by a little girl called Maria. She was out with her father who was an amateur archeologist and a Spanish nobleman. Maria’s father was investigating a cave he was hoping to find ancient tools that his ancestors may have abandoned on the cave floor from many thousands of years ago. He didn’t have much luck and Maria was getting bored, as she shuffled her feet through the dirt she happened to glance up at the ceiling. “Look Papa”, she said, “Bulls!

In 1903 long after the Spanish nobleman had died a young priest from France called Henri Bruil began documenting the paintings in the cave. Until that time academics had thought the paintings in the cave were no more than 20 years old, but over time as they were studied the world became more aware of the caves treasures.

Another famous example of pet paintings would be the caves of Lascaux in the South of France that were found in 1940. A bold and powerful horse portrait drawn on the wall of the cave. When Picasso first saw them he said ‘We have learned nothing’ He was astounded by the beauty and the strength of the images.

Cave paintings were the first pet portraits or pet paintings that man had created, it shows us all that although the people living in these caves where fully integrated into the natural world they were some how apart from it expressing themselves and communicating with their art and showing the importance that animals had in their lives.

I feel that this lives on today with animal art being a big part of our lives and has been throughout the ages. If you look for example at ancient Egyptian art in many of the tombs of the great pharaohs there are always portraits of cats or dogs these are a powerful symbols showing how close we are to our animals.

The more animals we domesticated the closer we got to our pets the stronger our relationships and bonds became and thus we see pet portraits created for the monarchs of England. King Charles being a famous one for example with his King Charles Spaniels. Charles had many pet paintings created of his beloved dogs.

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Source by Sarah Z Leigh

The History of Anime – Where Did Anime Start?

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Are you interested in Japanese filmmaking, have you ever wondered, while watching their anime, drama or manga, where it all started? Anime first started off in Japan in the 20th century briefly after the boarders were opened in the late 19th. This made the animation techniques that developed in the West easy to transport to Japan by 1914. “The very first three animated films created in Japan fit on one reel and were between one to five minutes long.”(Patten) The content of these works were primarily of old folk tales and samurai legends. Japanese animators were greatly influenced by American animators so the black and white style was a must but the rounded heads and animal adaptations of people was Japan’s first signature to making a style all to their own.

Many animators were urged to produce animations which enforced the Japanese spirit and national affiliation as a result of cultural nationalism, that japanese government began to enforce. Anime started to gain more appeal. The one to five minute shorts about common folk tales gave way to a more Western like style. The change in style meant that Anime was now going in a comedic fashion used to lighten people’s moods on intense topics like war.

In 1970 Anime introduced its most popular style of work yet: Mecha. Mecha, which is short for mechanical, involved large robots that were used in times of war. Also a theme variation started to show itself through Anime. Writers began to twist the good guy/bad guy roles and relationships. The idea of a troubled hero presented itself in shows like Lupin Sansei where a human infected with a demon had to use the evil inside him to defeat other demons.

If you are interested in watching anime, its just one click away.

philjohn84@gmail.com

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Source by Phillip D John

Wallace Nutting Hand – Colored Photographs

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Wallace Nutting sold more hand-colored photographs during America’s 1900-1940 “Golden Age of Hand-Colored Photography” than any other photographer of his time. It is estimated that between 5,000,000-10,000,000 of his pictures decorated the walls of middle class American homes during the early 20th century. Why was Wallace Nutting so successful? And why are his pictures still being widely collected today? This article represents a basic introduction into the world of Wallace Nutting Pictures.

It was shortly after 1900 that Wallace Nutting retired from the ministry due to ill health (he was a Congregational Minister in Providence RI at the time). As part of his recovery, he began touring the New England countryside by carriage or car, taking photographs of rural New England. Nutting was one of the first to recognize that the American scene was changing. Industrialization was altering the way our country looked and our pure and picturesque landscape would never look the same again. He seemed to feel it his divine calling to record the beauty of America for future generations.

Beginning first in Vermont, then Massachusetts and Connecticut, and eventually throughout the rest of New England, Nutting began photographing country lanes, streams, rivers, lakes, orchards, blossoms, birches, and mountains. Wallace Nutting would take the photograph, assign a title, and instruct his colorists how it should be hand-tinted. Each picture that met Nutting’s high standards of color, composition, and taste would be affixed to its matting and signed by his employees with the distinctive “Wallace Nutting” name. (He hardly ever signed any pictures by himself). Those pictures that did not meet his strict standards were destroyed. Beginning first with outdoor (Exterior) scenes in New England, Nutting eventually traveled throughout the United States and Europe, taking photographs in 26 states and 17 foreign countries between 1900-1935. Overall, he took more than 50,000 pictures, 10,000 of which he felt met his high standards. The balance were destroyed.

It was around 1905 that Nutting began taking his first indoor (Interior) pictures. Supposedly one day while it was raining outside, Mrs. Nutting suggested that he take a more “Personable” picture indoors. So, he set up a colonial scene, near a kitchen hearth, had an employee dress up in a colonial fashion, and took several different pictures. These sold relatively easily which encouraged him to expand more into this area. Nutting’s love of antiques, his passion for the pilgrim period, and his unquestionable desire to turn a profit led him to eventually purchase and restore five colonial homes:

  • Webb House, Wethersfield, CT
  • Wentworth-Gardner House, Portsmouth, NH
  • Cutler-Bartlett House, Newburyport, MA
  • Hazen-Garrison House, Haverhill, MA
  • Saugus Iron Works (Broadhearth), Saugus, MA

Nutting purchased these homes because he felt each represented a different period of early colonial American style and taste. It was here, along with his own homes Nuttinghame (Southbury, CT) and Nuttingholme (Framingham, MA), that the majority of his Interior pictures were taken. Nutting’s desire to provide the most correct and appropriate settings for his Interior scenes led him in his quest to gather one of the best collections of early American furniture ever assembled. He would use the best examples of early American furniture in his Interior scenes and, when he couldn’t find it, he would reproduce it. (We’ll focus on his reproduction furniture in a subsequent article).

Working in Southbury CT from 1905-12, and then in Framingham MA from 1912 until his death in 1941, Nutting sold literally millions of his hand-colored photographs. He claims to have sold around 10,000,000 pictures although, knowing his habit of exaggeration, that number is probably somewhat high.

Whatever the true number, it was large. Wallace Nutting pictures were sometimes called “poor man’s prints“. Sold throughout the first quarter of the 20th century, well before the invention of color photography, these pictures initially sold literally for pennies. His market was primarily the middle and lower middle classes…those households which could not afford finer forms of art. Because of their low price, Wallace Nutting pictures were purchased in large numbers. By 1925, hardly an American middle-class household was without one as they were purchased as gifts for weddings, showers, Christmas, birthdays, and for just about any other reason imaginable.

Nutting sold many pictures directly through his studios where he also provided his own framing services. But he also sold his pictures through many other outlets as well: department stores, drug stores, and gift shops, all around the country. He even had full-time salesmen on the road whose sole job was to sell his pictures to these retail establishments. Salesmen whom, he claims, sold enough pictures to retire quite handsomely themselves.

The height of Wallace Nutting picture popularity was 1915-25. During this time Nutting had nearly 100 colorists in his employment, along with another 100 employees who acted as framers, matters, salesmen, management, and assorted administrative office personnel. Let there be no mistake about it…Wallace Nutting’s pictures were big business. But by the late 1920’s, people began to tire of Wallace Nutting. As with any other fashion or style, tastes began to change with time. Wallace Nutting pictures became passé and sales showed a steady decline. Even the introduction of different matting styles, greeting cards, pen-type silhouettes, and lower priced machine-produced process prints could not rejuvenate sales.

The Wall Street crash of 1929 and the following depression all but sealed the fate of the Wallace Nutting picture business. Although it remained in operation even after his death, the output was inconsequential after the early 1930’s. Over the years, millions of Wallace Nutting pictures were probably thrown away. Many of those that remain show the signs of 60-90 years of wear after being stored in attics and basements, with water stains, broken glass, dust, dirt, and mildew.

As the original owners of Wallace Nutting pictures have grown older or passed on, their Wallace Nutting pictures have also been passed on to another generation. Some were given directly as gifts, others were inherited by children and grandchildren. Those that weren’t passed along to families were sold at auctions, estate sales, tag sales, and flea markets where they re-entered the collectibles mainstream during the 1975-2000 period.

What are collectors looking for? Just as in Wallace Nutting’s time, Exterior scenes have the widest appeal. Interior scenes have a more limited appeal, but since they are rarer, they typically command a higher price than Exterior scenes. However, we have seen that as America’s fascination with the “Country” look has diminished over the past 5-10 years, interest in Nutting’s Interior scenes has softened as well.

The most desirable pictures to serious Nutting collectors are Miscellaneous Unusual Scenes. These are pictures which fall outside the more standard Interior and Exterior scenes: Architecturals, Children, Florals, Foreign, Men, Seascapes, Snow scenes, and a select few geographical rarities. Nutting’s original sales in these categories were significantly lower than with his Exterior and Interior scenes, hence their “/i>rarity” attracts collectors. Just as in other areas of collecting, the rarest examples, in the best condition, are the easiest to sell, regardless of price. But just as important as rarity and subject matter is condition. Collectors want pieces in excellent condition and imperfections such as water stains, blemishes, poor coloring, or damaged frames can all significantly reduce value.

As of 2010 the Auction record for a Wallace Nutting hand-colored photograph stands at $9,300.00, which is quite reasonable within the high-priced world of Antiques & Collectibles. However, as the economy has softened, so too have Wallace Nutting prices and perhaps 90% of Wallace Nutting pictures are selling in today’s market for less than $150-$200. And many can be had for $50-$75 or less. Which means that if you appreciate Wallace Nutting Pictures, this is probably the best time to buy them in the past 25 years.

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Source by Michael Ivankovich

A Brief History of Teapots

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We are all familiar with the mains functions of the teapot. But there is more to a teapot than it’s handle and spout. In fact, this humble vessel has a grand, rich history which started in Ancient China.

The teapots humble beginnings 

The first teapots originated in Ancient China and were made from cast iron. Over time they started making teapots from porcelain and decorated them with designs of fruit and flowers. As the notion of decorating teapots grew, the more it became a decorative piece in the home as well as a functional item in the kitchen.

The first teapots arrived in Europe in the 17th century along with the arrival of tea from Asia. Although these items were originally only available to the upper class, by the 18th century the Europeans started to make teapots from bone china which made them more affordable and therefore accessible to all people.

The oldest teapot still intact today dates back to 1513 and originates from China. It currently resides in the Flagstaff House Museum of Teaware in Hong Kong.

The evolution of teapot materials 

The first teapots as stated before, were made from cast iron and clay. The Tetsubin are cast iron teapots which originated in Japan. They are used for traditional tea drinking ceremonies which are an important part of Japanese culture.

The use of porcelain and silver to make teapots came about a few decades after the cast iron and clay models were designed and began a new trend of using teapots for decorative purposes.

The Brown Betty is a terracotta clay teapot which was made in England from the 17th century. It is iconic in the history of English tea drinking as is the classic silver tea set.

Over the last 50 years the glass teapot has been popular as tea connoisseurs enjoy the fact that glass does not retain the flavour of tea so therefore it can be used to brew several types of tea without ruining the taste.

The tea drinking culture 

During the mid 18th century in England, hosting tea parties became a huge trend. Silver tea sets and highly decorative and elaborately designed teapots were very popular amongst the upper classes. Tea also plays a huge role in Japanese culture with ceremonies dedicated to the art of drinking it.

Even today, English High Tea has become a popular event for many people, with major hotels and cafes offering high tea events, which entails a sampling of teas, sandwiches and petite cakes.

Next time when you’re preparing your teapot with some delicious tea to be shared with friends you can impart your knowledge on to them and let them know too that there’s more to the humble teapot than meets the eye.

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Source by Lily T Chanel

Understanding Space in Painting – Pictorial Space

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Space is an essential knowledge in the understanding of design. Human beings live in space but a picture combines only of a 'flat surface' with no actual space. It would be foolish to disregard this 'flat surface' as something insignificant in the context of Art. In fact this 'flat surface' can be transformed into what is known as 'pictorial space'. Pictorial space is a virtual space created by the artist in which the viewer is able to orientate himself to the art work.

This is no different from the space that architects and designers work with. Space is the first creative act of any drawing or painting scrawled on a piece of paper. Like an architect, a painter needs to determine before hand the manner in which the space can be depicted.

The way in which space is created tells us a lot about the painter's style and technique. There are several ways in which pictorial space can be composed.

1) Flat vs Deep

Flat surface works are pretty much decorative while the invention of light, shade and shadow give art a whole new dimension.

2) Overlap

Overlapping image gives us an idea of ​​what is front and what is at the back

3) Diminishing Sizes

The contrast in size of similar object such as a rock will suggest that the smaller piece is further away from the larger one

4) Planes

The movement of planes and the relationship of one plane to another create a powerful 'push' or 'pull' effect in which depth is immediately recognized.

5) Positive and Negative space

Within a composition, an expert artist is able to plan and handle positive and negative space effectively

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Source by Tan Ruixiang William

Outlets For Emotional Pain When Grieving

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Pain, whether emotional or physical, is a condition of existence. No matter what your station in life, you are bound to confront relationship separations, work conflicts, medical difficulties, or the death of a loved one. No one escapes these circumstances of life and the pain they bring.

However, there is an old Chinese proverb that states, “You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your heads, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair.” In other words, you must deal with losses of various kinds, yet you can find a way to let them work their way through you, and eventually reinvest in life. One way to prevent nest-building is to manage emotional pain. Here’s how.

1. Reduce self-critical thinking. It is normal to be critical of yourself for a variety of reasons as we are all prone to second-guessing how we should have responded in a given set of circumstances. This behavior is not only detrimental to the immune system; it is part of the downward spiral that often results in depression. Self-condemnation is a major source of unnecessary suffering because most all of it is based on false appraisal of the self, and the assumption that you miraculously should have been all-knowing in the situation you are thinking about.

Sort out the truth and reality. Test the basis of your false appraisal. You have a right to feel sorrow at your loss; that is legitimate suffering. You do not have to put yourself down for imaginary deficiencies or errors that you think you made in distressing personal circumstances. It’s not you; it’s simply the process we all have to confront. The best way out is to share and examine these feelings in-depth with a trusted friend or counselor.

2. Give your body a time-out. It has long been known that for every thought we think there is a physical counterpart of that thought within the cells of the body. Sad thoughts mean sad cells: you will physically feel terrible. So give your body some daily down time. Learn some visualization techniques or use two of the most important stress reducers: deep abdominal breathing or a brisk 20 minute walk. You will notice a difference immediately. Never forget: what you think always translates into physical feelings.

3. Change the scene. What keeps reminding you of your loss and triggers your emotions? Do you have to keep looking at the reminders? Do whatever it takes to cut down on the repetitive behaviors that keep reminding you of your loss. Temporarily avoid a particular place or rearrange the furniture in a room. Perhaps put a favorite chair in another place, if it is a reminder of the absence of your loved one. Changing routines can be a big help here, as well as developing new routines to replace old ones.

4. Work to change your perception of the event. Perceptions are the personal meanings that we create from experiences; they are highly individual. Several people can experience the same event but perceive it (give it contrary meanings) differently. Perceptions are based on past experiences, beliefs, and assumptions. That is why, although everyone grieves, we grieve in a variety of ways. Grief consistently, and wisely, results in altering beliefs about life, death, and the world we think exists. What new meaning can you give to your great loss? There are many to consider and apply. The quality of the relationship you build with your loss is critical to emotional release.

5. Take diversion side trips. Become an expert in diverting painful thoughts. Write down three or four positive affirmations (like “I am good and have the ability to cope with my loss.”) and repeat them as soon as your mind wanders to the unwanted thought. Or, cut out a favorite picture from a magazine and place it in a spot where you will see it often. Be sure to put a positive reminder on the dashboard of your car. Think of a time when you especially felt loved; recall something that you are grateful for. Get up and move to another room or go outside. Focus on the best thing that happened to you yesterday. It’s perfectly okay, and wise, to divert your attention from waves of sadness for various lengths of time, and then return to your grief work. You need the energy it brings.

6. The ultimate outlet for emotional pain when grieving is accepting the loss. Letting grief do its job is really all about eventually acknowledging what has happened (deep in your heart and not just in your head) and adapting to the new conditions of life. The goal of grief work is accepting the fact that your loved one is no longer physically present, but will forever be a part of you and your family. Love never dies. Acceptance is facilitated by establishing a new relationship with the beloved based on memory and traditions.

It is healthy to talk to the deceased, pray for assistance from him/her if you so believe, and celebrate the life of the loved one. For example, when my mother-in-law was still alive, she would take my wife and me out for dinner on her husband’s birthday. She would say, “This is on Al.” And, it was said in his honor and we would talk about him. You can create your own ways to keep the memory of your loved one alive on birthdays, anniversaries, or family reunions. And, let the tears come as they may.

All of the above will help you modify and find outlets for the normal emotional response that is bound to come from the death of a loved one. Reread the above. Pick out one of the suggestions and start implementing it today. You cannot change the past, but you can always change the way you react to the past. Psychological health depends on emotional expression, both verbally and symbolically. Let your emotions out; it is a normal human response. It is all good.

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Source by Lou LaGrand

5 Tips To Sweep The Board In Tattoo Design Contests

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Tattoo design contests are everywhere, especially all over the Internet. For tattoo hobbyists, arranging a design contest is a great of way to find the best designs at a very competitive price. For artists also, these contests are a very effective way of showing their skills to the tattoo enthusiasts across the globe.

If you are a tattoo designer, you may find tattoo contests quite frustrating. The reason is that there is no limit to the number of participants. Any number of artists can take part and submit designs based on the tattoo ideas of the client and their instructions. So, to help create award-winning designs, here are five effective tips from an expert tattoo artist:

Read the complete rules of the contest: Before anything else, you need to keep in mind the fact that you are required to make tattoos according to rules specified by the contest holder. Your tattoo design may be outstanding, but if it does not meet the contest’s criteria, there’s no point in submitting it because that is not what the client is looking for. Reading and understanding the complete rules will help you come up with a design that suits the judge’s preferences. For example; check if they have to be traditional, tribal or contemporary. Knowing the theme of the tattoo contest will make your work stand out.

Make your work look unique and fresh: When someone starts a contest, it means that he or she is looking for a design that is other than regular and is uniquely creative and has everything that a client wants. Majority of tattoo contests put uniqueness at the top of the judging criteria. Everyone knows that there are millions of tattoo designs available. Some are used more often than the rest, so know which ones are common and try to avoid them. Remember, that while traditional tattoos are still appealing, contest holders want to see unique designs.

Put yourself in the judge’s shoes: When making a design for a contest, always think of the contest judges. Since you’re not the one who will be wearing your design, you need to follow the rules closely. Always look at it from the wearer’s perspective. Ask yourself; will this design look great on my client’s skin? Will the judge like this design? Tattoo design contests are just like a tattoo shop, where the client talks and you listen.

Do your own research: Whether you are doing a tattoo design for a contest or not, research is important. You can find lots of design ideas by checking out designs created by artists in various categories. Incorporate the most inspiring details into the design you have in mind. It is a good idea to think of all possible designs that fit the contest rules and then merge them into one. Contest-winning tattoo masterpieces are a decent mix of different ideas. Just remember that your designs must always retain uniqueness, and you should never compromise on it.

Take your time: Tattoo design contests, both online and offline, attract hundreds of entries. As such, the chances of winning can be very slim. Take your time designing your entry. You need to spend time in creating, reviewing and improving your contest entry. Only after several reviews and revisits will your design have a chance of winning a contest.

On a last note, practice is as equally important as these tips. Now that you are aware of these expert tips, you are definitely on your way to winning a tattoo design contest.

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Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

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Der Immoblienmakler für Heidelberg Mannheim und Karlsruhe
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Source by Kristen Dunn

Far East Painting – Hua Niao – A Chinese Ancient Painting Style

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Hua Niao – The Concept
Chinese Bird-and-Flower Painting, known as Hua Niao, is a kind of painting named after its themes that cover flowers, birds, insects, and fish. The artists have the leeway to understand flowers as plants, and to include pets in their artwork.

The History
Hua Niao Painting inserted since quite early Chinese eras. It graced bronze pots, potteries, and phoenix work of arts on silk, during the War States Period (7th-4th centuries BC). The images depicted corroborate that ancient Chinese flowers and birds were the favorite topics of the Hua Niao artists. Simple and plain initially, this Chinese Painting style historically graduated to a mature and significant art form, with the help of developed schools, techniques, and well-established theoretical background. Hua Niao works became an absolute study of art through the Tang Dynasty (618-907), growing until the end of Five Dynasties Period (907-60).

The Details
In pre-Tang and Tang Dynasty, emotions, moods, feelings, and the temperament of the human figures were the identifying features of the Bird and Flower Painting. The characters rarely looked at each other. The 'flowers' they held, the 'trees' they sat near to, or the 'birds' flying around them, would symbolize the relationship existing between them. This symbolic representation of human feelings was an important turning point in the history of Chinese Art. Soon, Hua Niao became an independent Fine Art form during the mid and late Tang Dynasty.

The Varieties
– Ink and Wash Painting
– Fine Brush Painting
– Fine Brush with Ink and Wash Painting
– Fine Brush with Heavy Color
– Fine Brush with Light Color
– Fine Brush with Freehand Style
– Freehand Style
– Great Freehand Style
– Slight Freehand Style

The Artists
Many famous artists emerged during 618-960, with Huang Quan and Xu Xi being the representative names along them. Quan Huang was a court painter and his paintings focused on rare flowers and birds in the court. His depictions were lively and looked full-fledged luxurious and beautiful. 'Sketch of Rare Bird Scroll,' portraying many kinds of birds, was a masterpiece by Huang.

Artist Xu Xi also associated with the same dynasties and was not involved in any kind of politics. Xu used ink for his artwork. Thick strokes, wild themes, and branches & leaves were a couple of key features of his paintings. Xu would use a small amount of colors to avert any impairment to the ink. 'Snow Covers Bamboo' was one of the unique works by Xu Xi.

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Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

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Der Immoblienmakler für Heidelberg Mannheim und Karlsruhe
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Source by Annette Labedzki

How to Prepare Your Palette for Oil Painting

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In oil painting palette has two meanings. The first refers to the surface on which your paint is mixed; the second meaning is the array of colors employed for painting.

Most artists prefer a wood palette. Some use a thick piece of glass placed atop a sheet of gray paper. But a glass palette is restricted to studio use and working from a taboret, which is a small table that holds the bulk of your painting gear.

My preference is for the wood palette. Wood palettes come in a variety of shapes and sizes; the most popular is the oval shape that is designed to fit in the crook of your elbow and is gripped with your thumb through the hole in the palette. The wood palette can be either a small, dinner-plate size or a large platter. As a teacher I recommend that beginners use the smaller size palette.

Before the palette can be used for painting it needs to be prepared with a sealant. Unsealed palettes will leach the delicate oils from your paint and rob them of their lustre.

There are three different methods for preparing a palette for painting. One can lightly apply a few coats of shellac letting each coat dry thoroughly before the next. Some artists who have invested in an expensive, counter-weighted palette will painstakingly seal it with a French polish giving it the look of a fine antique. There is, however, a serious drawback to these two preparations: the warm, umber hues of varnish make it difficult to accurately gauge color mixing.

The better method is this: invest in a litre of linseed oil. It needn’t be artist grade. Raw linseed oil that is available in hardware stores suffices well.

Pour a couple of tablespoons of linseed oil onto your palette and with a clean cloth rag evenly spread the oil over your palette. Let the oil sink in for about an hour then repeat six to eight times. To keep your palette from warping it is not a bad idea to work both sides evenly.

The goal is to saturate the wood with oil. Once fully saturated set your palette aside and allow it to air dry for several days. Even after a week, however, your palette will still feel oily. This is a good sign. It means your palette is ready to begin its journey.

Even though your palette is now fully laden with oil it will still leach the delicate emollients from your paint. But only for a little while.

At the conclusion of every painting day you should clean your palette. NEVER, EVER use turpentine to mop up your paints. Turpentine is a solvent and it will strip your palette like a thief run amok in a foreclosed housing development.

Instead scrape your paint off with a painting knife and rub the remainder into your palette with a cloth. In a short time a soft, wax-like surface will develop that will literally love your oil paint. This waxy surface also acquires a neutral gray color that enables you to accurately mix and gauge your color’s hue, tone and temperature.

Your painting palette is an indispensable tool and like your brushes should be well taken care of.

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Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

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Der Immoblienmakler für Heidelberg Mannheim und Karlsruhe
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Source by Michael R Britton