Morris Graves, Northwest Mystic Painter


Despite a prodigious creative output spanning six decades and being universally celebrated as one of the most important American painters of 20th century modern art, Morris Graves, who died in 2001, not only remains an enigma but is relatively unknown, especially to younger generations. In part, this is attributable to the fact that Graves himself retreated from the public stage; he eschewed fame. He believed that his artistic contribution had significance only as part of a larger vessel of creative visionary expression.

So it is not surprising that throughout his life he chose not to attend the openings of his exhibitions. Even as Graves continued to retreat into his beloved privacy, constructing his homes and gardens and making art, the extraverted world of abstract expressionism exploded in New York with bolder, brighter, and bigger images and their celebrity-seeking creators, all antipodal to the contemplative, visionary world Graves inhabited.

Graves was a true visionary, a painter who sought that which is eternal. But the search, however, was not without conflict. The burgeoning encroachment of industry and the machines and mentality of human conflict continued to invade Graves’ habitats. He continually sought out places of solitude, both in the United States and in Ireland, finally establishing a remote habitat hidden in the ancient forests of Northern California. His path as a “solitary romantic” from which he breathed in the communion of life’s extraordinary essence was one of natural wonder. From within his gardens, the universe spoke. The inhabitants-small animals, birds, and flora-fed his emplastic powers of cognition, the unifying gift of the imagination.

Recently, I was conversing with an artist who, a decade earlier, had received her bachelor’s degree in art from a credible New York university. When I mentioned the name Morris Graves, she appeared perplexed. She thought the name vaguely familiar, but she had no idea when or where he had lived and knew nothing about his work. Morris Cole Graves, who was born in Fox Valley, Oregon in 1910, was a self-taught artist who became, next to Mark Tobey, the most important visionary artist of the Northwest School. In the early 1940s, Graves’ work was selected to be exhibited as part of the New York Museum of Modern Art’s “Americas 1942”. This event catapulted him to international recognition. Even so, Graves continued to retreat into his beloved privacy, constructing his homes and gardens and making art, while the extraverted world of abstract expressionism exploded in New York with bolder, brighter, and bigger images and their celebrity-seeking creators, all antipodal to the contemplative, visionary world Graves inhabited.

During the Second World War, Graves spent time in a military prison as a conscientious objector. From these early anti-war sentiments evolved his deep interest in and exploration of the philosophies of the Far East, an amalgam of Hinduism, Taoism, and Zen Buddhism-all human constructs, nonetheless reflective of his personal thoughts on the universality and the singularity of nature, the wondrousness of the Way. The imagery that Graves produced was considered unique, but his reasons for making the art were not. They were ancient. For Graves, his animals and flowers represented inner visions of the unconscious, the Atman, symbolic of the potential “self.”

When Morris Graves began his flower paintings of the early seventies, a few critics suggested he had lost his great visual power. They accused him of painting only ‘pretty flowers.’ It no doubt amused him that that is all they saw. Graves’ ability to make palpable the unity of spirit through paint is clearly present in these later works. His form relationships and the inherent interstices, the subtle migration of hues within a single blossom, are things we can and do talk about. The “pneuma” of the art we cannot talk about. We cannot explain. We refer to the painting the way a title refers to the painting, and in fact, I believe, the way the painting itself merely refers to a generative and immutable, creative spirit. The gift is not the painting but the accrued love and generosity of the artist in making the painting and thus it is the act itself that holds the true value. The painting is simply a map for the soul.

2010 marks the centennial year of this remarkable artist. He is no longer here, but, through his paintings, his great longing and love for the ineffable still resonate, binding us one to another.

Galen Garwood

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Source by Galen Garwood

Dixon Ticonderoga Wood-Cased #2 HB Pencils, Box of 96, Yellow (13872)

Dixon Ticonderoga Wood-Cased #2 HB Pencils, Box of 96, Yellow (13872)

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With a rich heritage, and origins dating back to 1795, the Dixon Ticonderoga Company throughout history has made its mark through quality, integrity, respect and perseverance. Today Dixon Ticonderoga continues to make its mark manufacturing and marketing writing instruments, art supplies and tools for self-expression. The Ticonderoga is the world’s best pencil. A satin smooth finish enhances writing comfort while an exclusive graphite core formula gives you extra smooth performance. PMA certified non-toxic and crafted with premium wood from well managed forests, these top quality pencils feature latex-free erasers to provide easy, clean corrections. More than a writing and art products company, Dixon Ticonderoga empowers people to take conscious and subliminal thoughts, facts, ideas and dreams, and preserve them using tools that are simply extensions of themselves.Exclusive #2 HB graphite core formula provides extra smooth performance
Crafted from reforested quality cedar wood
Satin smooth finish enhances writing comfort
Top quality latex-free eraser provides easy, clean corrections
Includes 96 pencils comprised of 8 cases of 12 pencils each



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Digital Fantasy Art – Is It an Advantage or Disadvantage?


Digital fantasy art is becoming more popular, more skilled and more advanced than ever before. Is this relatively new art form worth learning or is it just a pain? Are you better learning it or better staying with traditional mediums?

The answer lies in several areas and depends a lot on you and your outlook to knew technology. Also it depends on whether you see this new medium as an actual art form or simply a technical way of painting by numbers. There are many ways to use this new medium. You can use it as an addition to your traditional art to enhance it in some form. You can use it to create something from scratch. You can use it with the many backgrounds, lighting and models available to you.

The advantages are that it can be used to create true 3D form, something not available in traditional painting mediums which are static forms. The biggest advantages to beginners is it is very forgiving. You can create something and remove it with ease making the creation of something worthwhile much more likely. You can also start with models and backgrounds to aid you in your creation, although you can choose to create your own. This is much more advanced and should be left until you are familiar with all the tools and techniques.

The disadvantages come in part from the advantages. The models can limit your creative process, at least until you have either enough knowledge or enough tools to change them to your liking. The fact that it is very forgiving means that you may over tweak your work or not really know when it is finished or what angles to choose. There are also a lot of avenues to choose from. Just as with traditional mediums you may not know if you want to use oils or watercolour, with digital fantasy art you may not know what equipment to use. As some of this can be expensive to buy it is not a mistake you want to make. Although some people do offer refunds or lite packages which at least gives you the chance to try things out before making a final purchase. Of course you will also need to be proficient on the computer and not worry about using new things. This can be a problem for many people who are at least in part technophobes.

It is possible to create great digital fantasy art with digital technology. Like anything it takes time, patience and a willingness to be open to and to learn new things.

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Source by Fay Swan

Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen 2 Pens Set

Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen 2 Pens Set

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Contains both the soft and hard tip Fudenosuke Brush Pens. Features a flexible brush tip for different lettering and drawing techniques. Create extra-fine, fine or medium strokes by a change in brush pressure. Great for calligraphy and art drawings. Barrels are made of recycled polypropylene plastic.  Soft tip and hard tip- water-based, pigmented black ink. Odorless. Non-refillable.Contains both the soft and hard tip Fudenosuke Brush Pens
Features a flexible brush tip for different lettering and drawing techniques
Create extra-fine, fine or medium strokes by a change in brush pressure
Great for calligraphy and art drawings
Soft tip and hard tip- water-based, pigmented black ink



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Full Sleeve Tattoo: Information and Tips


A full sleeve tattoo is one that literally covers the arm from shoulder to wrist. The most beautiful full sleeve tattoos are the ones that blend into one flowing tattoo.

In order to achieve this, one must try to envisage the end result before even going to the parlour. Discussing your ideas with the tattoo artist will also greatly help into achieving the look that you are after.

Things may get a bit tricky if you already have some tattoos on some parts of your arm. A professional tattoo artist will be able to offer you various options and ideas of how he can connect all existing tattoos and make them seem as though you had wanted a full sleeve tattoo from the outset.

A common technique that is used to achieve a flowing tattoo, is to add backgrounds to existing tattoos. Popular backgrounds include flame tattoos, smoke and swirls.

If on the other hand, you’re thinking of getting a sleeve tattoo from scratch, then the world is literally your oyster because you have total freedom as to what type of tattoos you can choose.

It is said that the most beautiful full sleeve tattoos are ones which revolve around a specific theme. Favorite themes for full sleeve tattoos include floral designs, Celtic themes, tribal tattoos, Japanese art, religious tattoos and much more.

If you already have a few pieces on your arm, it is imperative that the theme fits these existing tattoos otherwise you will lose the whole flowing effect.

Work closely with your tattoo artist so that you’ll get an idea of how the whole thing would look BEFORE the actual work starts. Have the whole design created on paper first.

If this is your first tattoo or you only have a couple of tattoos, try to talk to different artists so that you’ll get a good feel of what each one is capable of. Then go with the one who is on the same page as you.

A full sleeve tattoo will most likely take a couple of weeks to complete (sometimes even months or longer). This largely depends on how elaborate the design is and pain tolerance. It is important that you allow healing time from swelling to get the best results.

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Source by Marica Zammit

Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint Set, 18 Piece (2-Ounce), PROMOABI Best Selling Colors I

Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint Set, 18 Piece (2-Ounce), PROMOABI Best Selling Colors I

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Apple Barrel 2 oz Paint-Best Selling Colors

Features: Quality selection and value. Formulated for use on all surfaces including wood, styrofoam, plaster, terra cotta and tin. Colors glide on smoothly, dry quickly and stay beautiful as the day they were painted. Can be brushed, stamped, stenciled or sponged on. Easy cleanup with soap and water.

Apple Barrel 2 oz Paint-Best Selling Colors. Contains 18-2 oz bottles:

  • White
  • Black
  • Flag Red
  • Jack-O-Lantern
  • Bright Blue
  • Melted Chocolate
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  • Bright Yellow
  • New Shamrock
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  • Too Blue
  • Holly Branch
  • Fuchsia
  • Yellow Flame
  • Pewter Grey
  • Bright Magenta
  • Parrot Blue

Stocking is 18-inch. Made in the USA..

“Quality selection and value
Formulated for use on all surfaces including wood, Styrofoam, plaster, terra cotta and tin
Colors glide on smoothly, dry quickly and stay beautiful as the day they were painted
Can be brushed, stamped, stenciled or sponged on
Easy cleanup with soap and water
All-purpose acrylic craft paint is water based, non-toxic and dries to a durable finish
Suitable for most paintable surfaces: Wood, plaster, tin, craft foam, Styrofoam, terra cotta, and more
Deep, rich tones dry to a soft matte sheen
Easy soap and water clean-up
Can be brushed, stamped, stenciled or sponged on



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…isms: Understanding Modern Art

...isms: Understanding Modern Art

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Presents an introduction to modern art beginning with Impressionism up to the present, with details on the key concepts, methods, styles, and impact of each movement along with major artists and works.Isms Understanding Modern Art



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How to Remove Wall Stickers and Wall Decals


This article is about wall stickers and wall decals that are made of vinyl. Many websites talk about how to put these on the wall, but there may be little assistance for how to remove the wall stickers.

The method for removing wall stickers and wall decals will remain the same, but it might be a little more difficult on certain surfaces and depending on the size of the wall sticker. Let’s look at some of the methods for removing.

Removing from walls

Painted walls are at the highest risk from damage when removing wall decals. This means you need to take some care and focus on avoiding this damage. It is possible to remove wall stickers from even the worst walls.

The worst walls are those that had a poor paint job to begin with. One that has multiple layers of paint and these layers have not been prepared between paint coats. Or one that has air bubbles underneath the paint.

1. Work slowly and do not rip, snatch or pull the wall sticker of the wall

2. Using a hair dryer, heat the vinyl directly at the edge you are removing

3. When the vinyl feels warm gently lift edge ( you might need to get a finger nail under)

4. As you roll or pull the vinyl away from the wall, you need to heat the next section of vinyl directly in front of the piece you lifted. Basically you are working gradually heating and lifting.

5. If you can visually see or you can feel a bubble under the paint surface you need to take care lifting over this area. If there is a second person, you can ask them to control the hair dryer while you use your second hand to press down on the bubble as you lift the vinyl off.

6. Continue until all of the vinyl is removed.

7. If there is any gum residue (not common on walls) then wipe the surface with an acetate based cleaner such as nail polish remover.

TOP TIP: Pull or roll the vinyl back against itself like it is being folded back. Do not pull the vinyl out from the wall at 90degrees as this will put more pressure on the paint.

Removing from glass and metal

When removing wall decals from glass or metal, the issue is not normally related to surface damage. It can be much harder to remove from these surfaces because the vinyl sticks so well to them. If you have a paint scraper or metal edged scraper this will be useful, otherwise it will have to be your finger nails.

1. Heat the vinyl directly in front of the area you are removing.

2. Peel/pick at the edge and pull. The vinyl is likely to tear as you do this, then you heat the next bit and remove.

3. Removing from these surfaces is more likely to leave a residue. Deal with that at the end, first remove all the solid vinyl by heating and pulling.

4. To clean the surface you will need an acetate or orange based cleaner that can lift the remaining glue. There are lots of purpose built cleaners for this, or simply use nail polish remover.

TOP TIP: If you hold the vinyl closer to the surface it is less likely to tear. For example, if you are pulling and as you pull, the piece of “free” vinyl is getting longer it is more likely to tear, simply move your hand back down closer to surface to reduce the chance of breakage.

By working patiently and not forcing the vinyl from the surface you will be able to remove the wall stickers and wall decals with no problem.

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Source by Lindsay Frangs

Contemporary Art and the Church: A Conversation Between Two Worlds (Studies in Theology and the Arts)

Contemporary Art and the Church: A Conversation Between Two Worlds (Studies in Theology and the Arts)

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The church and the contemporary art world often find themselves in an uneasy relationship in which misunderstanding and mistrust abound. On one hand, the leaders of local congregations, seminaries, and other Christian ministries often don’t know what to make of works by contemporary artists. Not only are these artists mostly unknown to church leaders, they and their work often lead them to regard the world of contemporary art with indifference, frustration, or even disdain. On the other hand, many artists lack any meaningful experience with the contemporary church and are mostly ignorant of its mission. Not infrequently, these artists regard religion as irrelevant to their work, are disinclined to trust the church and its leaders, and have experienced personal rejection from these communities. In response to this situation, the 2015 biennial conference of Christians in the Visual Arts (CIVA) facilitated a conversation between these two worlds. The present volume gathers together essays and reflections by artists, theologians, and church leaders as they sought to explore misperceptions, create a hospitable space to learn from each other, and imagine the possibility of a renewed and mutually fruitful relationship. Contemporary Art and the Church seeks common ground for the common good of both the church and the contemporary art world.Contemporary Art and the Church A Conversation Between Two Worlds



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Wushu Chinese Self Defense Or Performance Martial Art?


Wushu is the official martial art taught in the People’s Republic of China. Wu Shu (“War Arts”) is practiced by millions in China, and is included as part of the training for all police and military personnel. Though it is a form of Kung Fu which has been taught in China for centuries it is a rigid system, and has no attachment to any of the mystical beliefs of the past. The government is more concern with physical aspects of the martial art and spiritual beliefs been replaced with propaganda, and political training which take up much of the student’s training time. When a student is not taking part in political training they will take part in group and partner exercises as well as weapons practice.

Contemporary Wushu was created in 1949 as part of the communist government’s attempt to create a national sport, and though the people were more than happy with the styles of martial arts they had already. All previous forms of Kung Fu were outlawed and even the Shaolin monks were greatly restricted. In recent years the government has tried to take the politics out of sports, but with limited success because of how repressive the government is in general. Still tournaments have been running since the early 1990’s, and the sport is practiced outside of China. The two Wushu forms that are practiced are Taulo and Sanda, but neither is suited for self defense.

The hand movements are called Ba Ji, tumbling moves are Di Tang, and Tung Bi is full arm movements. The animal katas are called Xing Yi. The weapon katas for Wushu includes a large number of different types of swords, the nine-section whip, three section staffs, spears, and other ancient Chinese weapons. The central Committee of National Physical Culture must accredited all students and teachers who must embody the ideals of communism. At first glance Wushu looks impressive with a large number of moves and a large selection of weapons in its arsenal to choose from in battle. The art would seem to be a good choice to study until closer examination. For all its flash this form of Kung Fu lacks substance and won’t stand up in real world conditions.

Taulo is considered to be a form of Kung Fu, but isn’t at all like any of the effective martial arts forms of the past and is like gymnastics. It is a point based systems where points are given out based on performances that can last from two to twenty minutes, and there is no contact. While traditional weapons like swords, butterfly knives, and staffs are used they’re light weight versions and they and the routines are useless in combat. The programs are broken up into barehanded, short weapons, and long weapons portions, but include jumps, flips and other impressive routines. This style of Kung Fu is completely useless when it comes to self defense, but is a good form of entertainment.

Sanshou or Sanda the Chinese combat sport based off of Chinese boxing, wrestling, and kickboxing. Originally, the military used it as a way to test martial arts, but it developed into a competition sport in the early part of the twentieth century. Sanda draws from Lei tai martial arts matches where competitors fought barehanded or with weapons on a high platform. Fights would continue until death, injury, or one of the competitors was thrown off the platform.

In Sanda today a competitor can still win a match by throwing their opponent out of the ring. Striking and grappling are allowed, and it is much more aggressive than Wushu which it is often paired with in tournaments in China. The military has their own version of Sanda, but the sport version restricts a number of moves including elbow strikes, chokes, and joint locks. When competing internationally Sanda practitioners have fought in many style-versus-style competitions against Muay Thai, Karate, and Tae Kwon Do fighters.

Unlike the Japanese art of Jujutsu which is pragmatic Wushu is more about looking good while you perform the art. A typical student will do many impressive leaps, back flips, and strikes, but while doing so leaving themselves open to attacks, because the art lacks any real defense. In dealing with an armed attacker a Wushu student will be unprepared unless they’re carrying a weapon themselves (it isn’t very practical to carry a Chinese broadsword or spear with you on your morning commute).

If a student of combatives and hand to hand self defense was to encounter a Wushu student the combatives student may take a few initial hits, but would quickly close with the Wushu student, and would throw or grapple them and take control of the fight. If the Wushu student was armed with any of their traditional weapons they would find themselves disarmed with their weapon in the hands of the fighter who used practical self defense techniques. In the end Wushu is a performance art, and at best a combat martial art that would only get you in trouble in a street fight. The art even has its critics among modern practitioners of Kung Fu who say the government has stripped all tradition and practically from the art.

This form of Kung Fu is a sport and shouldn’t be relied on for self defense. It should also be noted that Colonel Fairbairn who fought in 600 non-training fights during his time as a police officer in Shanghai China made an extensive study of many Chinese martial arts including Kung Fu didn’t incorporate them in his many books on fighting and self defense. Fairbairn would base his many books on his experiences, and what he learned at the Kodokan while earning his black belt in Judo. The lesson is winning the fight is more important then looking good and losing the fight.

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Source by Damian Ross