Oct
20
2010
0

What is Rock Art?

rock artArchaeologically, “rock art” is a term applied to any human made marking on a ‘natural’ stone surface.  Relief carvings on a temple wall, for example, cannot be included regardless of how primitive they seem as the stone surface has been ‘prepared’ to receive the sculpture and is no longer ‘natural.’ Rock art is divided into [&hel[more...]

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Jun
05
2010
0

Who was Odalisque?

ingres-adalisqueIngres’ painting, La grande Odalisque, is the image that comes to mind for most people when they see the word, and usually assume that the artist was representing a harem concubine. Maybe he thought that he was, but “odalisque” is a French transliteration of the Turkish word “odaliq,” a slave servant in the harem, not [&hel[more...]

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May
20
2010
0

What is the Art Loss Register?

bad artists imitate great artists stealThe recent theft of paintings from the Paris Museum of Modern Art which included works by Picasso and Matisse, will concern all gallery owners and private collectors. Stolen works of art and antiques often disappear never to be seen again, or if they do re-emerge, it is often several years later. In an attempt to [&hel[more...]

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Mar
14
2010
2

Is a Glasgow Rose the same as a Mackintosh Rose?

Mackintosh stained glass roseLook at Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s designs for furnishings, textiles, stained glass etc. and it won’t be long before you see a characteristic rose: typically pink, and less symmetrical than classic rose motifs. The petals often have strong outlines, perhaps the leading of stained glass, or the white space of a stencilled image. Is it right [&hel[more...]

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Mar
12
2010
1

What is reverse graffiti?

reverse-graffitiI have only once in my life created graffiti. in 1980, a  friend and I were visiting Melbourne where the City Council had just installed a public graffiti wall. We thought this was a great idea, so we bought a couple of cans of spray paint and set to work on our masterpiece. We were [&hel[more...]

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Jan
25
2010
0

What is steampunk?

Steampunk art by D Mattocks (CC-BY)Steampunk is a label applied to a certain form of literature, and also to the subculture that has arisen from it. Before we go further, let’s deal with the “punk” part. “Punk” is just a naming hook that pigeonholes steampunk as a literary movement by analogy with cyberpunk. The “punk” hook, perhaps originally a cheeky [&hel[more...]

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Jun
23
2009
0

What is the history of book cover illustrations?

Old book covers, mostly from the Ohio Preservation Council: "The World" 1848, "Drifting" 1881, "Huckleberry Finn" 1885, "Their Canoe Trip" 1889, "Two Girls" 1900, "House Behind the Cedars" 1900, "Candle-Lightin' Time" 1901, "The Sky Blue" 1903 (PD)Perhaps surprisingly, book cover illustrations don’t go back very far. Not so long ago, before the 1820s, books were usually sold without any cover. Just a stack of unbound printed sheets. You would then go to a bookbinder and commission a binding and cover. Books were expensive, and the additional cost of a hand-crafted binding [&hel[more...]

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May
10
2009
0

What were Polaroid cameras and Polaroid photos?

Polaroid photos (photo by allyaubry - CC-BY)Polaroid cameras produce self-developing photos, so that you can see the photo within a minute or so. The technology was developed by Edwin Land in the 1940s. The cameras and film were sold by his Polaroid Corporation, and later by others. The earliest of these cameras, the Polaroid Land Camera, used rolls of film and [&hel[more...]

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Mar
30
2009
0

What are the primary colors of light, paint, and printing?

Black, red, green, blue, yellow, magenta, cyan and white (image by Duncan Hull - CC-BY)Primary colors are the colors we mix to produce all the other colors. Because there are different ways to do the mixing, we need different sets of primary colors. The primary colors of light are needed when we are mixing different colored light together. This is done in a computer monitor (whether using LCD technology, [&hel[more...]

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Feb
16
2009
0

What is fractal art?

Small portion of Mandelbrot setFractal art is art by formula — literally. The dictionary definition of a fractal (short for fractional dimension) is a geometrical shape that is repeated at ever smaller intervals, so that even small portions of it are similar in appearance to the whole. Although there are naturally appearing fractals (for example, a map of a [&hel[more...]

Feb
09
2009
3

What is meant by “Life Imitates Art”?

Life Imitates Art (photo by chascow - CC-BY)The curious notion of life imitating art was expressed by Oscar Wilde as “Life imitates art, more than art imitates life“. It’s a turnaround from the usual situation in which the artist creates art inspired by the life and world around them. When life imitates art, reality reflects what had previously been expressed in art [&hel[more...]

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Jan
27
2009
0

What is HDR photography?

High Dynamic Range (HDR) photo by Gabriel Pevide - CC-BYHigh Dynamic Range (HDR) photography, also known as High Dynamic Range Imaging (HDRI), is a way to combine multiple photographs of the same scene into a single photo that has better brightness detail. The technique can be used to produce more realistic photographs, or it can be used to produce surreal photographs which look like [&hel[more...]

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