Why Do Martial Artists Make Good Dancers?

Over the years, I’ve noticed that some students excel very quickly, while others take some time to ramp up. Initially assuming that it was just differences in ability, I thought little of it. But after befriending these students and learning about their history, a common theme emerged: Martial Arts. Almost all of the better dancers at one time or another had taken Martial Arts classes. Coming from a martial arts background myself, I see the similarities inherent in both Kung Fu and Salsa. So I have explored this a little further.

What is Dance? Dance is an art form that refers to the movement of the body in a rhythmic fashion to music. Dancing can be social, ritualistic, spiritual, and expressive in nature.

What are Martial Arts? Martial arts are art forms focusing on the movement of the body as well as conditioning to maximize ability and are often linked with spiritual and ritualistic devotion.

Dance has thousands of variations and subcategories within a specific dance form. Just examining Salsa reveals many styles such as: New York Style, LA Salsa, Puerto Rican Salsa, Cali Style, Cuban, Cumbia, Palladium, etc. The martial arts also have numerous subcategories within form. Focusing on Kung Fu, there are Tiger, Crane, Snake, Monkey, Praying Mantis, Panther, and many others. Furthermore both dance and martial arts are open styles. By that I mean, over the years styles adapt, change, and are modified by those most skilled in them. Many Kung Fu styles were lost over the years as masters passed away or techniques evolved and changed. Similarly in Salsa, changes from the adoption of new and refinement of old techniques have created newly evolved styles.

A Comparison

Both art styles have a presentational aspect. In dance it is called choreography. An instructor constructs a routine that is effectual in presenting a specific style by epitomizing moves. In martial arts, they are called forms. Often handed down from previous instructors over the course of centuries (Kung Fu has been around for 1500 years), forms are routines practiced by students to develop an understanding of the motions. They are also presented in performances, showcases, and tournaments.

Both art styles have a social aspect. In dance it is called social dancing. Often two people engage in a dance with a leader and a follower; executing moves that they have been practicing. However, it is not an agreed upon routine but rather a conversation. The leader offers the follower a move and if the follower accepts, it is executed. Leading and following requires spatial awareness, restraint, perfected execution, and most important a strong connection. In martial arts, it is called sparring. In a bout, the leader and follower changes frequently. More appropriately we can call it aggressor and defender. The aggressor leads the fight by bringing forward attacks that the defender must thwart. When the defender then finds a window of opportunity to present itself the defender takes advantage and now becomes the aggressor; the roles thusly reverse. All the while the combatants must focus on being spatial aware, having restraint, perfecting their execution, and making good strong contact. Martial Arts and Dance in this way observe a Yin Yang relationship. The Leader presents the change whilst the Follower pacifies it. The Follower defends by counteracting the Lead with a move to alleviate pressure change.

How We Learn to Dance and Fight

Martial arts and Dance focus on teaching a student visually, by presenting the move and working through it. Most often the moves are taught in a progressive-partial methodology, meaning the teacher starts with one motion, then moves to the next, and so on. The moves are then strung together to complete a full sequence. When teaching a student, the technique presented can have three possible variations in anatomy.

First, a continuous action is something that is repeated over and over. In salsa it would be the regular basic. In martial arts, it is often said to become a master, you must master your breathe. This is where your power comes from and must be continuous in nature.

Second, a sequential action involves one step, followed by another, followed by another, etc. In Salsa, this is best related to the movement of the hands when leading a move. Each move, for example Leading the Right Hand Turn, involves a certain number of steps to complete. In martial arts, any move requires a number of steps; a spinning back kick requires, a shifting of weight, a pivoting motion, a leg extension, then leg compression, returning to a stance, and redistribution of weight.

Third, a sporadic action involves a recurring event separated by an undetermined length of time. The Cross Body Lead would be a good example of a sporadic occurrence in that the action can happen again throughout the dance without a specific period or recurrence rate. In Martial Arts moves are executed at odd intervals to keep the opponent on guard.

The Pop Culture Connection

Do you know how break dancing evolved? Have you ever seen those old Kung Fu movies from the 70s and even earlier? Look at those moves; they are synonymous. Break dancers saw these incredible moves being performed artfully by Kung Fu practitioners and translated it to dance. The Windmill has a significantly different purpose in Kung Fu than it does in Break Dancing. Even today with shows like “Dancing With The Stars” and “So You Think You Can Dance?”, many of the movements are not traditional to their styles but present some spice and flare to the dance. LA Style salsa is notorious for having high energy, acrobatic moves in their performances.

A More Intimate Connection

We’ve examined both dance and martial arts as being two separate things that have similarities. However, there are even more intimate relations between the two that show a fusing of art forms. Warrior nations such as the Zulus, often incorporated dances as a tool to strengthen the pride of their tribe. The dances were used as stories telling of the might of the warriors and the desolation brought upon their enemies. In Kung Fu, while the forms themselves could be consider a dance, the Lion Dance was used to entertain but also train the students. Often seen at festivals and celebrations, the Lion Dance required a well versed practitioner to perform artfully advanced techniques. In the New World, prior to the advent of B-Boys, there was Capoeira. Credited to the arrival of slaves in South America (namely Brazil), Capoeira is a dancing martial art. Slaves were not allowed to practice martial arts whatsoever, but they skillfully hid their training into a dance. Unique to Capoeira is the inclusion of musicians with their training, further demonstrating the connection between dance and martial practices.

Crossovers and Converts

Numerous martial artists have made the cross over into dancer or vice versa. The most famous of all martial artist/dancer, the penultimate figure of Kung Fu Sploitation era, Bruce Lee became the Cha Cha Champion of Hong Kong in 1958. Jeanne Claude Van Damme was not a trained fighter but actually studied ballet; which is a testament to his art because his kicks are very graceful yet menacing.


Dance and Martial Arts have a rich history with a very close connection. For Martial Artists, the movements of Salsa exist in a world that is very familiar; elbows, twists, spins, kicks, and throws (sometimes). For a Salsero, the power and potential harm inherent in the moves becomes clearer as their grasp becomes stronger. As we have shown, the fact is both embody similar characteristics, allowing for an ease of absorption on the part of the student. So if you are a dancer, take some martial arts classes. If you are a martial artist, take some dance classes.Study the similarities and cultivate your own style. But remember keep the fighting to the ring, and the dancing on the floor.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Ian Callanan

What is Shibari

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

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

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

Weaving or wrapping

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is there any sort of heritage?

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

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

Shibari today

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

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

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Hans Meijer

How to Paint Foam Crown Molding: DIY Techniques, Tips, and Tricks!

One of the smartest ways to add tasteful decor and depth to a room, crown molding is a subtle alternative to many of the over-the-top adornments some people fill their homes with. For years, molding has been almost exclusively made from wood, which results in a process that requires hyper-detailed calculations, expensive tools, and woodworking skill. Foam on the other hand, represents a newer, simpler, and more cost-effective alternative that can give you the same appearance as wood without all the work.

Lightweight and flexible, foam crown molding needs little more than adhesive to install, and is easily cut by hand with a sharp carving knife. Foam’s “squishiness” means you can be generous with your cuts, as the foam will compress when fit into a tight space, creating perfect joints and seams while hiding imperfections. Getting a spongy material like foam to look like a more solid product is what makes people occasionally question its ability to genuinely replace wood as a molding material. In reality, the process of painting foam molding gives an installer the ability to make the foam look like any other medium. In this post, I’ll give you a run-through on how easy it is to paint polyurethane foam molding and wind up with a beautiful new space.

There are two methods for painting foam molding, and it’s up to you to decide which is best: spray painting or brush painting. Spray painting requires less work, fewer materials, and is faster, but doesn’t give you maximum detailing capability. Brush painting allows you to replicate the design or look of any other molding medium, but is slightly more labor-intensive than spray-painting.

Spray Painting Foam Crown Molding

After measuring and cutting your foam molding sections, prepare a workspace in a well-ventilated area where accidental overspray won’t be an issue. Putting down a large drop cloth or tarp in the garage, basement, or even on the ground outside on a calm day works well.

When your area is ready and your molding is spaced out on the tarp, apply thin, even coats, taking care not to oversaturate the foam. As an absorbent sponge rubber, the molding will take longer to dry if you do. After painting all the pieces to your specifications and allowing adequate time to dry, your crown molding will be ready to mount.

As previously stated, spray painting has an advantage over brush painting in terms of speed and ease. Prepping the area, painting the foam, and allowing it to dry are the only steps before mounting. The drawbacks to spray painting amount to little more than personal taste. There will be limitations to spray painting based on the nature of its application; two-toned or intricate designs won’t be practical. Also, foam will retain its spongy appearance with the spray method. The polyurethane foam most manufacturers use has a cellular structure small enough that it will be indistinguishable from a solid at the distance from which it will be seen, but it is still a consideration to take into account.

Brush Painting Foam Crown Molding

For people who have an intricate or customized paint job in mind, or prefer to have a solid, smooth surface on their molding, brush painting is the right choice.

Unlike spray painting, brush painting requires the foam to be coated with thinned drywall joint compound as sealant before painting to create a smooth surface. Also different from spray painting, the molding will need to be mounted before sealing and painting. Mounting first gives you the benefit of foam’s compressibility to create clean corners and seams before you harden the material with sealant and paint.

After the foam has been mounted, protect the room from paint and joint compound with drop cloths and painter’s tape. When you’ve finished with the prep work, prepare your drywall compound mix. You’ll want to thin it down until it’s the consistency of paint.

Once you’re finished mixing, brush a thin coat onto the entire surface of the molding. The joint compound should dry quickly, so in an average-sized room, you’ll be able to start applying a second coat as soon as you finish the first go-around. Only two coats are necessary, but if you prefer to add more, do so. Once you’ve completed applying the drywall compound, give the molding a full 24 hours to completely dry all the way through.

The following day, the molding will be ready for paint. Sanding the dried joint compound should not be necessary unless you spot a flaw. If you need to sand the compound down, use the finest grit sandpaper possible, and utilize a respirator or face mask. When you’re satisfied with the coating surface, proceed to paint the molding however you desire. Once the paint dries, remove the drop cloths and tape and you’ll have a newly-transformed space that you upgraded with a fraction of the time, money, and effort needed for traditional crown molding.

Final Tips

Lastly, there are a couple tips that apply to either painting method. First, avoid oil-based paints for the foam. There is little reason to use them anyway, since latex paints are more affordable and you won’t need weather resistance inside. Second, the foam itself may be bright white when you first purchase it. If you plan to have white crown molding, you will still need to paint the foam, even if it matches your room. This is because foam will naturally yellow as it ages. This is purely an aesthetic change and doesn’t impact quality, but by painting it, you will ensure it will always be the color you want.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by CH James

Tips On Choosing A Sketchbook For Drawing, Journaling or Watercolor

Are you a student that takes sketching and drawing as a hobby, or you’re an artist who sketch and draws for a living in search of sketchbook suitable for drawing, journaling or watercolour. There are different types available in different sizes, paperweights, orientations e.t.c.

In order to make the right choice, we are going to show you the important tips on choosing the right one that suits your needs.

  1. Size – The size is the first thing to consider. Are you a beginner who is just trying sketching for the first time or you’re an artist who likes to draw frequently. For beginners, you can use a general purpose, like the A5 sketchbook. It is not very wide like the A4 one and can easily fit into a bag. You can create different drawings and watercolor paintings with an A5 paper. A pocket size is also good for use as a student because you can easily carry it about. If you’re an artist or someone that draws and make sketches frequently, a larger one like the A4 type is recommended. It has a wider space for drawing and it is more suitable for journaling and watercolor. There is more area to sketch different artistry drawings and intricate arts.
  2. Weight – The weight is another thing to consider. If you’re a student that sketches and draws, it is best to get the one that is lightweight because you’re going to carry it with you to and from different classes. Smaller ones and pocket size is good to carry around. If you’re an artist that draws and make sketches in one place, then you can get the one that is heavy. You can place it on top of a table and sketch without having to move it about, making you uncomfortable. The weight is measured in lb or gsm. The higher the gsm the thicker the paper. Lighter papers below 100gsm is good for dry color such as pencil while thicker papers are good for wet colors such as watercolor.
  3. Binding – Binding styles is another thing to consider. There are the types that have glue binding style whereby you can easily tear out a page in a clean-clear manner. There is also thread binding types and most commonly spiral binding types which are bound together by spiral wires. They allow you totally open flat for an easy and comfortable sketch. Artist prefers spiral binding type because the lay flat and don’t hinder drawing at any position. The best choice is to go for spiral binding because it is more easy to use and it is best for hardcover sketchbooks as it easily opens up flat. Most very wide sketchbooks come in spiral binding, so it is best for artists.
  4. Cover – The cover is another important thing to check. There are the types that have paperback while some have hardcover backs. If you’re a beginner or student, it is best to get a hardcover type because the hardcover type last longer and they don’t rumple. You can easily move about with it without getting torn. The hardcover type also provides support when drawing as you can use it even when standing, so you can draw on it anywhere you go. As an artist the draws in one place, the hardcover or paper cover is good because you can place it on a hard surface. The paper types are thinner and can be folded so it is better for artists as they are easy to showcase at exhibitions.
  5. Paper Material – The paper material used is also a very important thing to check. There are different materials used such as thick cotton paper which is good for watercolors and thin cotton which is good for drawing and journaling. Cotton paper is the best paper material used though they are not very common. Other types include normal paper, cartridge paper, and watercolor paper. Normal paper type differs in texture. Some are very thin while some are thicker, some are also very smooth while some are rough. If you want to use a pencil, you should get the one with a very smooth surface because the ones with a rough surface will wear down your pencil very fast. It is best to use watercolors for rough surface papers. The cartridge paper type of high quality and ideal for drawing with pencil, pen or ink marker. It is high-quality type of heavy paper that is used for illustration and for drawing. It is an ideal use for beginners or artist. Watercolor paper types are selected by weight and finishing. It consists of Rough, Cold Press and Hot Press. Most of the artists that uses transparent watercolors go for Rough or Cold Press types. For opaque watercolors, Hot Press type is best for drawing. For students that want to practise, Student Watercolor Papers is ideal for use. Student Watercolor Papers are not made of grade materials. They are acid buffered but will eventually be used up and the paper will begin to deteriorate and discolor. This is why it is only ideal for practice work.
  6. Color of Paper – Depending on your drawing and the color of your ink, choose paper with colors that brings out your best sketch. Some paper comes in cream color, light yellow, light blue and some other colors. Choose the paper color that best highlights your drawing and sketches.
  7. Paper Orientation – Paper comes in either landscape orientation or portrait orientation. Few papers come in square form. Depending on the kind of drawing and sketches you make most choose based on it. It also depends on your choice as you can make horizontal drawings on landscape orientation.

Make good choice depending on the rate and manner you draw and sketch. Also make good just depending on usability. If you’re a beginner who just draws for fun, you don’t need a very high-quality type as an artist or a professional who make sketches and drawing for commercial purposes.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Vinod Vullikanti

Q&A – Neiman Marcus Curator Julie Kronick Remains Focused on Company Goals

In 1951, Alexander Calder (1898-1976) was bursting onto the international art scene. Two years earlier, the Philadelphia native constructed his largest mobile, “International Mobile,” for the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Third International Exhibition of Sculpture. His works were featured in the best galleries and a retrospective was mounted at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Shows in Paris followed.

But before he began focusing on large-scale commissioned works — such as “.125” at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York and “El Sol Rojo” in Mexico City — Calder met Stanley Marcus (1905-2002). At the time, Marcus had just assumed the CEO post at Neiman Marcus, the department store founded by his father and aunt.

Impressed with the artist’s work, Marcus purchased a Calder mobile in 1951. “Today, it’s the most prized piece in the Neiman Marcus Collection,” says Julie Kronick, corporate art curator at the Dallas-based luxury retailer. “We like to say that’s when the collection officially started.”

“Stanley Marcus had impeccable taste,” adds Greg Rohan, president of Dallas-based Heritage Auction Galleries, “and that extended to his art collection.”

The Neiman Marcus Collection today includes more than 2,500 pieces spanning all mediums, including paintings, drawings, sculptures, mobiles and even ancient artifacts and textiles from across the world. Works range from Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo (1899-1991) to French artist and sculptor Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985). Unlike most corporate collections, pieces from the Neiman Marcus Collection are spread across the country, displayed at the company’s 41 full-line Neiman Marcus stores. “Most of the pieces are not housed in a warehouse or in the executive offices,” Kronick says. “The majority of the work is in our stores, on view for customers and associates to enjoy.”

Q: You first came to Neiman Marcus as a private consultant in 1990, correct?

A: I was initially hired on contract to work for four months. I had worked at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and then at one of Leo Castelli’s galleries. I came to Neiman’s as a consultant to work on new store openings. Mr. Marcus had already left the company by then.

Q: How has the acquisitions process changed since Stanley Marcus left?

A: There are two big changes. First, while Mr. Marcus was at the helm, he made most of the decisions regarding art acquisitions. Mr. Marcus had an appreciation for all types of fine art, from textiles to sculptures to mixed media. He was at liberty to buy what moved him, and he made some significant purchases. I could never acquire a Jean Dubuffet today or an Alexander Calder. When I first came to Neiman’s, I thought it would be more wise to acquire three to four important pieces a year and really highlight them within the company and for our customers. But I soon recognized that we have so many spaces and so many stores that it’s better to buy more work and cover more ground. The second big change is that Mr. Marcus bought art without particular spaces in mind. That is why I found a lot of artwork housed in a warehouse, awaiting the appropriate space to be installed. On the other hand, I buy art for site-specific locations.

Q: What is your annual acquisitions budget?

A: I am not at liberty to tell you. The budget does vary, and when we open a new store, the art budget generally is based on the square footage of the store.

Q: What is the most you’ve spent on one piece of art?

A: It would probably be an outdoor piece, something that is much larger in scale. We do not always have the space to accommodate these monumental pieces, but when we do, they make quite a statement.

Q: How many pieces do you acquire each year?

A: It depends if we are opening a new store or working on a major remodel. An average per store is approximately 100 to 150 works. We may acquire several pieces by the same artist, so we may have 25 to 30 artists represented in a given store.

Q: So explain how you go about looking for pieces to fill a particular store.

A: Generally, about a year before a store opens, I begin the process of networking in a particular region. I sometimes start with the gallery guide for a given city and call on galleries from those listings. I also approach art dealers who live in various parts of the country. The ones who I work with understand our parameters, as far as taste level, style and price point. Sometimes I contact the curator at a local museum and inquire about some of the younger local artists who are doing exciting work. In addition to the above sources, I visit artist and gallery Web sites. All of this legwork is done before I make my first trip to the area.

Q: So when do the artists start fitting into your store layout?

A: When I have artists in mind, I look at the scope of their work. I take that information and work hours upon hours on my floor plans, looking at wall elevations and different options. It is similar to fitting puzzle pieces together. Adjacencies are extremely important. For example, if the presence of designer shops create several walls which are seen in the same view, it is crucial that the art pieces are complimentary. The works of art in any given store need to flow. Once I’m comfortable with the fit, I then approach the artist and commission him or her to produce a piece of a specific size. Approximately 85 percent of all the artwork purchased is commissioned.

Q: Most artists must be happy to work with you to achieve your goals.

A: They are usually quite pleased. Neiman Marcus is honored to have their work included in the collection and they, likewise, feel fortunate to have their work featured.

Q: What about artists who don’t want to cooperate?

A: There have been times, yes. Several artists have declined, most likely, because they would rather have their work purchased by a museum or private collector rather than a retailer. We respect their wishes and move onward. There are so many artists doing interesting, sophisticated work in abstraction who are pleased to be a part of who we are and what we do. As for the others, if it’s not a right fit, it would not be a successful project.

Q: You must receive unsolicited portfolios from artists all the time.

A: I get hundreds of portfolios. If an artist sends a package or directs us to his or her Web site and it is not what we are interested in, they are at least owed a response. I typically explain that we work with regional artists, local to where we are opening a new store. We also focus primarily on non-representational work. If someone insists on presenting images of their Western art pieces or traditional botanicals, we politely reply that the work is not in our scope or focus.

Q: So you must get lots of artwork featuring pricey bags and shoes?

A: Occasionally we do. Generally, we don’t mix fashion with art. The more recent acquisitions certainly reflect my taste. If someone else came on board as curator, his or her stamp would be left on this collection, too. But I am not interested in fashion as the subject matter for the art. It is important that the works in our collection stand on their own integrity. They should have the same strong presence and validity, whether they are installed in a retail environment or any other environment.

Q: Are any other themes off limits when you look for art?

A: We focus on abstract, non-representational work. If someone brought you into our Hawaii store, and then 15 minutes later blindfolded you and took you to our San Antonio store, you would see a consistency. Nothing is cookie-cutter in our stores, especially the art. The high level of taste and sophistication are the consistent factors. While we want the work to be interesting and thought-provoking, we believe it can be beautiful and entertaining as well.

Q: But that doesn’t mean you don’t push artists. There have been times you’ve asked artists to do things they don’t normally do, right?

A: I think we sometimes stretch an artist in a way that he or she may not have been stretched before. About eight years ago we asked artist Richard Beckman to create a large sculpture for one of our focal spaces. He had never worked in this large scale before. After some hesitancy, he took on the task, conquering several engineering challenges. The finished piece is dynamic and quite breathtaking. Sometimes, as in this case, we believe that if we can stretch an artist and open them up to something they haven’t considered, the end result can be an exciting step into another phase of their work. If we can encourage an artist to reach beyond his or her potential, it’s a win-win.

Q: Who are some of the artists you’ve acquired whose pieces have now skyrocketed in value?

A: Of course the most noticed price escalations are seen with our larger sculptures, such as our Alexander Calder, Jean Dubuffet, Alexander Liberman and Harry Bertoia sculptures. Some of our limited edition prints have also increased in value over the years. A lot of our artists have certainly received national and international attention.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Hector Cantu

Sports Logos Clip Art Idea – Is It Worth Taking The Risk?

What exactly is this clipart?

People usually have misconceptions about readymade computer graphics design which are commonly known as clipart. The matter of the fact is that they don’t give in much thought about it once they know it is free of cost.

But they forget one thing that nothing in the world is free!

Everything comes with a price tag and so you have to pay for it. it can be in the form of a money or sometimes business reputation. Sports logos clip art is a very famous phenomenon which is mostly preferred by sports academies for they don’t want to spend their hard won cash on it.

For a graphic designer, this is something which is always available in libraries to be used by multitude of people again and again. The thing which deteriorates a brand mark created through this cheap medium is the logo quality it offers. There are thousands of drawbacks it brings in for a sports academy owner or whoever goes with this option out of which the biggest one is the copyright infringement problem.

These pre fabricated logo templates are very favorable for the people who don’t care about how it looks, rather the only thing which matters to them is what it is?

Are you using this free medium?

Really, are you planning to use this ubiquitous design concept? Now, let me inform you that it’s the best way to destroy your academy’s image in seconds. The real purpose of getting a corporate identity is inadvertently thrown on the back seat of importance which is not good for a company’s reputation of course. It is just like copying someone else’s work ignoring any legal issues which might come into your way.

You are not the only one who has this library; there are other thousands of people out there who might be using it as well. In other words, you guys are copying each other ideas.

Who exactly owns the right?

Frankly, no one does. It makes sense when thousands of people are using it. What’s more disappointing that you can’t claim it your own when you can see a number of companies using the same picture as of yours blatantly? They can be your arch rivals as well then where will you go?

Apart from this, what will you do if you can’t resize your image for if you want to use it on your business card, brochures, newsletters etc. it won’t work like vector sports logos design trust me!

So using clipart is not such a good idea!

Yes, it isn’t for it has several disadvantages associated with it which can also damage your sports academy’s reputation as well. The only thing which a company should seek is originality and creativity above all the aspects.

Therefore, one should look into every merit and demerit before going for any option whether its a logo maker, contest or a professional graphic design service.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Jesicca Thompson

An Introduction to Tattoos

Tattoos… Everyone has a different reaction to that word. It always got my attention. I think the first one I saw on a live person, was my cousins. I must have been 7 or 8 years old. He had a funny caricature of a devil on his arm with “born to raise hell” written over it. I was amazed by it and although it wasn’t until my mid 20’s when I christened my skin, I wanted one the second I saw that little devil.

Today, tattooing is far more accepted in society than it was back in the 60’s, still; there are people that frown upon the idea of marking your body with ink….forever. Whether it’s a religious issue, or their own personal preference, they can’t deny that the tattoo is almost as old as civilization itself.

The word tattoo is derived from the Tahitian word “tatu”, meaning to mark or to touch something. The earliest known tattooed person is the infamous “Iceman” found in 1991, in the Otzal Alps, located in Italy. Carbon dating proved that he had lived about 5,300 years ago. Fifty-eight tattoos were noted on his body!! Archaeologists think he was an important figure in his society. The tattoos were charcoal and water based.

Ancient cultures used tattoos to ward off sickness or bad luck. The Egyptians were the first to use needles to tattoo the body. Archaeologists exhuming tombs, have even found children’s dolls decorated with tattoos. Tattooing spread through Greece, and Arabia, and By 2000 BC., the tattoo had arrived in Asia.

The Japanese first used tattoos to identify criminals. Later it was transformed into an art form, producing some of the world’s most beautiful tattoos. The Yakuza (Japanese mafia) use their tattoos to intimidate their rivals. Japanese style of tattooing has influenced hundreds of artists today.

Polynesians have also contributed greatly to the art. Their instruments consist of sharpened pieces of bone, or ivory, tied to a stick. They “chisel” the ink into the skin by hitting the top of the instrument with a mallet type object. The tool might consist of one sharp object, or a whole row of objects, resembling a rake.

Members of certain tribes underwent grueling hours tattooing their bodies as a right of passage. Those tools are still used today, for those same rituals, but it is a dying art form, performed only by those preserving their culture. They also developed a facial tattoo called the “Moko”. This facial tattoo consisted of lines drawn about the face that would tell that persons life story.

Centuries ago in Europe, it was common to have family crests tattooed on the body, but when the Normans invaded in 1066, tattooing disappeared. 600 years later, a sailor named William Dempher, ran into Prince Giolo, known as the Painted Prince. He was brought from Polynesia to London, put on exhibition, and became a sensation.

In the 1700’s, on one of his many trips to the South Pacific, Captain Cook came across Oami,a heavily tattooed man, whom he also brought back to England. The English were amazed, and soon tattooing became a fad amongst the upper class. Still it would be another 100 years before tattooing would have an influence in America.

The first electric tattoo machine was invented by Samuel O’Rielly in 1891. It evolved from an electric pen that Thomas Edison had invented a few years earlier. This machine is very similar to the one used today. With this invention, it was very easy to obtain a tattoo, so the upper class gradually turned its back on the art, and by the 1900’s the glamour of being tattooed had lost its appeal. Tattoo artists found themselves working the seedy areas of neighborhoods, and tattooing went underground. Only by word of mouth could someone find a tattoo artist, or even see tattoo art. Tattooing became a secret society.

Once again, Samuel O’Rielly to the rescue. He moved from Boston to New York City and opened a tattoo shop in very popular Chatham Square, the Times Square of its day, and the birthplace of American style tattoos. There he met Charlie Wagner.

O’Rielly taught Wagner the art of tattoo until Sam’s death in 1908. Charlie then met Lew Alberts, a wallpaper designer. Alberts incorporated his designs into tattoo art, and started making flash designs. Tattooing flourished in Chatham Square for nearly 20 years, until the depression hit. The soul of tattooing then moved to Coney Island. Shops opened up wherever military bases seemed to be. Mostly sailors would get tattooed, and each tattoo brought a different story from a different place.

After the Second World War, tattoos were less popular. Their association with bikers, and jailbirds had a great impact on the decline of tattooing in American culture. An outbreak of hepatitis in the 1960’s brought tattooing to its knees. Needles weren’t being sterilized, and reports of blood poisoning flooded the newspapers. New York outlawed tattoos and shut down its shops in Coney Island. Tattooing moved to New Jersey, Philadelphia, and all the way to San Francisco.

Today, tattooing is legal again in New York, and just recently made legal in Massachusetts. Artists hold international conventions, where they display work, perform work, and give seminars on tattooing. Many have an art degree. Cleanliness is an unwritten rule in the business these days. Shops would not survive if the proprietors did not keep a clean place of business. Tattooing has once again reached the upper echelon of society. Movie stars, rock stars, and corporate executives now grace their bodies with tattoos. Every tattoo has a special meaning for the one who wears it. Whether it’s a tribute to a lover, or a child, mom or dad, a simple line or a detailed body suit, tattoos have made its mark in the history of the world.


Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Robert S. Desena

Her Most Famous Painting (Oriental Poppies) – Georgia O’Keeffe

The American painter Georgia O’Keeffe (November 1887-March 1986) was a pioneering ‘Modernist.’ Her unique approach defied all the accepted norms of painting and gave a new definition to the ‘American Modern Art.’ Owing to her competence, American Art attained fame and recognition in creatively competent Europe. Flowers fascinated Georgia and they were her favorite subject on canvas. O’Keeffe painted “Oriental Poppies” in 1928. This stunning work was declared a groundbreaking, art masterpiece.

Georgia O’Keeffe described her painting as a product of what she perceived in her mind and felt in her heart. In “Oriental Poppies,” she depicts two giant poppy flowers. Measuring 30″ x 40″, this oil painting is an explosion of brilliant colors on a vast canvas, lending a mesmerizing effect. O’Keefe used dazzling red and orange as the main color of the petals. The hollowed centre and the inner contours of the flowers are painted in deep purple. The skillful shading and velvety finish of the petals accentuates the vibrancy of the flowers. “Oriental Poppies” almost looks like a close up photograph. O’Keeffe did not give any background to the painting, to artfully draw focus onto the flowers. The absence of context in the painting presents them in a new light as pure abstracts. “Oriental Poppies” exudes a startling pull, as if casting a hypnotic spell on the viewer.

Georgia O’Keeffe believed that due to the fast-paced lives people live, they merely glance at flowers, but never really observed their exquisiteness. She wished to give such rushing people experience and the feel of the true beauty of flowers. In her words, “If I could paint the flower exactly as I see it no one would see what I see because I would paint it small like the flower is small. So I said to myself – I’ll paint what I see – what the flower is to me but I’ll paint it big and they will be surprised into taking time to look at it – I will make even busy New Yorkers take time to see what I see of flowers.” O’Keeffe chose to paint on a huge canvas with an outburst of bold colors, to astonish the viewers and to introduce them to the wonder of nature. In her bid, she managed to capture the essence of poppies with eloquence.

Many art researchers believed that O’Keeffe’s “Oriental Poppies” was an answer to the zoomed in technique adapted by Alfred Stieglitz in ‘Modern Photography.’ The magnificent painting speaks volumes of O’Keefe’s talent and artistic vision. Georgia’s delightful representation of two ordinary flowers generated widespread admiration and was considered as one of her most memorable works. It is now a part of a collection at the University of Minnesota Art Museum, Minneapolis.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Annette Labedzki

Youth Football Drills That Can Be Practiced Alone

When you have a passion for something, you want to pursue it at every available moment. Whether you’re a football coach looking for some practice strategies to assign to your players, a parent looking to give your kid a step up, or a player who loves the game and wants to improve, we’ve come up with some youth football drills that can be practiced alone. Every youth football player should learn to throw and catch the ball properly even if their position doesn’t require it on a regular basis.

Passing Drills That Can Be Practiced Alone

  • Practice throwing a spiral. Focus on your grip technique as well as your release. Practice at 50% of your throwing power and just concentrate on throwing perfect spirals. The football should roll off the fingers putting a spin on the ball.


  • Once you get the spiral down begin to develop accuracy. Again, keep your drills to half speed and focus on achieving the highest accuracy rating. Get a notebook to keep records in and try to improve each time out.


  • Once you can throw a perfect spiral at a target on a consistent basis you can begin to increase the power in your throws. Increase the velocity by 10% or so until you obtain the same accuracy rating you achieved at 50% capacity.


  • Now its time to throw while you’re moving to simulate game activity. Practice throwing from the pocket, rolling out, backpedaling to avoid the rush, throwing in the opposite direction…essentially, get ready for all game conditions.

Get plenty of rest for your arm. The problem with practicing repetitive activities is that they can cause ligament and muscle strain. Practicing football passing drills alone two or three alternate days a week is plenty.

Receiving Drills That Can Be Practiced Alone

  • Practice running your routes for each play. Drill these into your subconscious mind. Simulate game action and bring your hands up for the catch while forming a “pocket” with your fingers.


  • As a receiver it is important for you to practice “watching the ball into your hands” so that it becomes second nature. To practice this alone, lie on your back and spiral the ball a few feet into the air. Then “watch” the ball right into your hands. Be sure to form a pocket with your hands with your thumbs and index fingers almost touching. Catch the football away from your body and then tuck it in.

Of course, you can perform agility and conditioning drills alone as well. Every youth football player should be taught the self-discipline to exercise. Try these youth football drills whenever you can and watch your game improve.

You can also find many youth football drills on the Internet covering passing, receiving, rushing, defense and more Some drills are free and some require subscription or for you to order a DVD. Free football drills allow you greater flexibility in trying a variety and see what works best for you as the coach and your youth baseball team. Always remember that drills should be age appropriate. The right passing drill for a 14 year-old boy will not suit and 8-year old and vice versa.

There are many football coaching resources and communities like Weplay available to help with any questions you might have. Don’t underestimate the passion of the community around you. We are all here to help the kids.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Trevor A. Sumner

Can Venetian Blinds Fit Into Art Deco Design?

Art Deco and Venetian Blinds

Art deco design possesses a certain glamorous allure which leaves no one indifferent. The innovative combination of the traditional and modern and the use of extravagant materials and decorative elements brings memories of the Roaring Twenties, rise of industrialism, social changes, artistic movements in Paris and the increasing need among the world population to forget the devastation and the lack of basic means for survival during the harsh times of the World War I. The question is can Venetian blinds fit into an art deco design?

In order to answer this question, we will have to explain the basics of this decorating style, the color palette, choice of furniture, decorative elements and the materials and then explore the ways of incorporating Venetians into an art deco decor. Since the growing need to overcome the poverty and destruction led humanity to strive for a more prosperous and easy life, this was reflected in the way they decorated their homes (smooth lines, geometrical shapes, modern elements inspired by Industrialism, and the expensive looking fabrics and pieces of furniture).


Chrome, lacquered wood (for a shiny effect), bronze, aluminium, steel, and stained glass are used abundantly. The fabrics used for upholstery, pillows, curtains etc. have to look expensive (even if they are cheap). Avoid floral patterns and use those with geometrical shapes or those in bold, striking colors. Oversized furniture, bronze or chrome and glass lighting (chandeliers, Tiffany lamps, wall sconces), large wrought iron mirrors are some of the examples of the basic items which should be included in an art deco interior.


Color palette involves black and other colors, like green, red, white, chrome, grey, blue, silver and even some shades of brown, a introduced into this decor to soften its effect and open up the space. White blinds would, for example, be a perfect choice of window treatment in a home where a combination of black and white elements (white walls, polished black tiles on the floor, black and white carpet with geometrical patterns) is a dominant one. To bring more life to this decor (and avoid the resemblance to the black and white films), place an art deco painting in bold colors on your wall, or refresh the look of your sofa and armchairs with colorful pillows.

Wood blinds in different brown hues are very valuable for adding a dose of warmth to your ambient. Dark brown Venetian blinds would make a fine contrast to the white tiled floor and walls, whereas the color of your furniture remains brown as well. Adding wood panels to your walls or covering them with interestingly patterned wallpapers would help accentuate the splendour of your light brown blinds. This would look exceptionally well in a home with white marbled floor, and lacquered wood furniture upholstered with a cream or tan velour or leather.

To conclude, thanks to their design and straight lined slats, Venetian blinds are a perfect match to the geometrical shapes of an art deco design so there is no reason why the Venetian blinds and art deco could not go well together.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Mark Row

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