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October 16, 2014 | Posted by | No Comments

City Life

There are a lot of advantages to living life as a Big-city Dweller; Seamless is a religion (it’s not just pizza at 3 a.m. anymore….it can be sushi, steak, salad, or even a meatball sub delivered to your door!), “mowing the lawn” is a foreign concept, and the cable guy doesn’t have the “you’re too far away” excuse. However, some big cities tend to catch a lot of flak for being menacing, bustling, smelly eyesores to their inhabitants.

“New York Reflections” by Richard Silver on

A city setting can be an artist’s greatest fantasy or worst nightmare. It’s true that metropolises lack lush forests and babbling brooks, but there’s always something to pay attention to, whether it’s a teenage girl decked out in head-to-toe retro:

“North Side Kids, Pittsburgh, PA” by Joel Degrand on

A cluster of fallen leaves on the sidewalk, marking the beginning of Autumn:

“Autumn & 84th” by Lorenzo Laiken on

Or a scowling woman braving the city’s whistling winter winds on a dreary weekday morning.

“Commute” by Debbie Pacheco on

Besides, now that Fall has officially arrived, long gone are the days of lounging by the beach or hiking in the mountains. People are locking up their rural-setting summer homes and throwing away the keys—until May, that is. Life will resume as normal September-May, so cities are back in the spotlight until the temperature hits 75 degrees again.

“Soft City: Broadway Windows” by Marilyn Henrion on

The opportunities for city inhabitants are endless. You never know who you’ll run into on your way to work, Starbucks, or the local bar. There’s never a shortage of events to attend or movie theaters to inhabit on rainy Saturday afternoons. If your favorite band is touring, they’re bound to make a stop in your city. And there’s no such thing as “driving two hours to the big mall to shop at Nordstrom or Saks”; you have every coveted retailer at your fingertips—or just a subway ride or bus stop away.

“Los Angeles Golden Bridge” by Anyes Galleani on

“Parisian Woman with Shopping Bag” by Warren Keating on

Other “perks” aren’t so enticing to some country-lovers. Many necessary evils of city life may seem like dreams come true to some, and torture to others. Public transportation, for example, has pros and cons. Pros? No car payments, sky-high gas prices, or worries about car accidents. Cons? Unreliability, commuters with B.O., and rising subway prices.

“Underground Beauty” by Gordon Webb on

At times, it’s almost impossible to escape loneliness in the big city. The buildings are vast, the streets are never-ending, and the monuments are menacing. It’s easy to feel insignificant and overlooked among the watch-gleaming investment bankers, stick-thin runway models and aggravated, exhausted service industry workers.

“Still” by Sarah Lapp on

But, it’s just as easy to find your niche, that place where you belong. Somewhere among the millions and millions of city-dwellers, commuters, and tourists lies a group of trustworthy, like-minded friends who will make you feel right at home in the otherwise-intimidating city.

“MOMA” by Kevin Brewerton on

Lastly, for the artist within us all: the city has more to offer than one might think. Though there won’t be miles and miles of blooming meadows come Spring, a bright city evening is a breathtaking, nightly occurrence. If you’re ever feeling out-of-touch or overwhelmed, try taking a trip to a borough to see the city for what it truly is—beautiful, boundless, and, above all, your home.

“Skyscrapers in Montreal- Cityscape” by Cristina Stefan on


October 14, 2014 | Posted by | No Comments

Think Outside The Frame

When we think of Art, often the first thing that comes to mind is a painting on a canvas. These standard size rectangles have served artists well for hundreds of years. However, for artists today, the sky is the limit. Many creative individuals have found innovative ways to break free of the standard flat canvas.

This work, made up of painted wood strips arranged on canvas, creates a simple yet engaging 3D pattern:

Scaling Condescension by Rich Moyers on

Reminiscent of the stunning altarpieces of the Renaissance, this modern take on a classic adds visual allure to the collage with a pointed wooden panel:

Broken Hearted
by Darlene Olivia McElroy on

This circular photo is printed on silk, adding a soothing sheen to its already serene shape:


Portal 2- Reflection by Marilyn Henrion on

This assemblage of found industrial equipment has stimulating layers of depth, color and texture:

Take It Or Leave It by Michel Keck on

This vibrant, lyrical sculpture composed of a myriad of painted wooden sticks would add life to any setting:

Sticks Sculpture in Wood & Multicolor by Rosemary Pierce on

This lovely abstract work is made all the more captivating by its unusual half-circle shape:

Orb 7 by Hayden Phelps on

This fun and colorful work uses painted wood pieces to break the plane of the canvas and create a compelling silhouette:

All That Jazz by Betty McGeehan on

Channeling Mondrian, these colorful wooden panels are playfully arranged like LEGO blocks to create an interesting and unusual shape:

Construction 12.12 by McCain McMurray on

Shake up your original art collection with something unexpected!

October 9, 2014 | Posted by | No Comments

Your Teenager’s Mood

Louder by Sergio Lazo on

Reported by Kashmira Gander at The Independent: Teenagers may not be irritable because of supposed attitude problems, but because early school hours affect their biological clocks, scientists claim. New research shows that early starts can affect mood, and changing when the school day begins can perk up our teens, benefit their health and enhance their ability to learn.

Mia (Portrait Series #2) by Katia Zhukova on

The team leading the study published in the journal ‘Learning, Media and Technology’ suggest that “our ability to function optimally [and learn], varies with biological time rather than conventional social times”. Our sleep-wake cycle, or circadian rhythm, is the result of a complex balance between states of alertness and sleepiness regulated by a part of the brain called Suprachiasmatic Nucleus (SNC).

North Side Kids, Pittsburgh, PA by Joel Degrand on

When a child’s biological time and school hours are closely aligned, like at the beginning of their school careers, their faculties are not affected. But during adolescence, the consequences become drastically clear, when “‘the conflict between social and biological time is greater than at any point in our lives” according to the academics. This is because during puberty, shifts in a teen’s body clock push the optimal time for sleep later into the evening, making it difficult for most teenagers to fall asleep before 11.00pm. When early schools starts are coupled with a teen’s biological clock, the result is chronic sleep-deprivation, and low grades and health problems.

Afterthougts by Dan Lavric on

Academics added that there is there is a body of evidence showing the benefits of synchronizing education times with teens’ body clocks. They conclude that while studies “consistently” show adolescents benefit from waking later, there is no evidence to show that early starts have a positive impact on how healthy or how academically successful school students are. Examples harnessing this body evidence include the United States Air Force Academy, where a later start policy saw the grades earned by a group of 18–19 year olds soar.

October 7, 2014 | Posted by | 1 Comment

Color Theory

Basic color theory is useful to consider when picking colors to decorate your home.

In the 19th Century, the Impressionists (a group of artists including Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Edgar Degas) studied the science of color theory and applied it to their paintings. Specifically they noted that when complimentary colors are placed next to each other, the individual colors become more vibrant. Complimentary colors are directly opposite each other on the color wheel.

color wheel

Here in one of his famous sunrise works, Monet takes advantage of the complementary colors Blue and Orange to make this painting glow. The orange sun shines much more intensely surrounded by a patch of blue sky.

Impression, Sunrise 2 by Claude Oscar Monet

This works for all complementary combinations, with any imaginable shade or hue.


The contrast of the vivid red-orange poppies and the soft blue sky makes each color pop and creates a visually stunning work.

poppy passion

Poppy Passion by Carole McClintock on

The striking combination of brilliant sea blue-green with rich earthy orange draws the eye into this piece.

Sailing the Blue by Janice Schoultz Mudd on

The soothing mix of dark midnight blue with bright yellow-orange adds visual interest and flow to this dream-like image.

Sleep 1 by Valerie Vescovi on

Yellow/ Purple:

Nature utilizes complimentary colors well, as illustrated in this simple, stunning photograph.

#45 by Beth Bloom on

The thick brushstrokes and golden background help make the purple eggplants come to life.

Eggplants by Stephanie Berry on

The dark purple rust tones make the splash of yellow pop in this abstract-like photograph.

Grape Crush by Vanessa Prestage on


The soft mossy green colliding with the surge of dark crimson make this a visually appealing work.

Overgrown With Moss by Lisa Carney on

The bright lime green background creates the perfect backdrop for each vibrant ruby leaf.

Dreaming Tree – (green w/red) by Michelle Han on

The dark olive tones contrasted with the fiery red set this work aglow.

Believers In Red by Katina Desmond on

October 2, 2014 | Posted by | No Comments

Peace in Art

by Betsy Cochrane on

Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated as a National Holiday in India to mark the birthday of Gandhi, the ‘Father of the Nation’. Gandhi was born on October 2nd, 1869; therefore each year Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated on this day. It is observed in all states and union territories of India as one of the three official declared National Holidays of India.

Winter Park by Nicholas Bell on

In 2007, The United Nations announced that October 2nd would be established as an International Day of Non-Violence.

Aspen Meditation #3 by Marco Aurelio on

Gandhi had a natural love for ‘truth’ and ‘duty’. With dedication and confidence, Gandhi freed India from British Rule and proved to the world that freedom can be achieved with non-violence. For Gandhi, truth and non-violence was his entire philosophy of life.

Meditation Space 2 by Maciek Jozefowicz on

Mahatma Gandhi was a man with simple tastes and values. With that in mind and in honor and respect of Gandhi, the festivities on this day are very minimal.

A Spot of Light by MaryAnn Cleary on

The President and the Prime Minister of India along with other political leaders, pay homage at Raj Ghat, a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi in Delhi. To honor Gandhi’s respect for all religions and communities, representatives from different religions take part in a prayer meeting held at Raj Ghat. Prayers and verses are read out from Holy books of all religions. Mahatma Gandhi’s favorite song ‘Raghupati Raghava‘ is customarily sung at all meetings associated with him.

Frozen Melody by Tai Zhang on

Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated all over India in both government and non-government organizations. Since it’s a national holiday, all schools, colleges and offices remain closed. Hopefully, you’ll find this selection of peaceful artwork an apt honor in remembrance of Gandhi today.


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