Showing posts with label Art. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Art. Show all posts

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Hobby Time from the Review This! Contributors




hob·by - an activity done regularly in one's leisure time for pleasure. 

January is known as National Hobby Month.   The contributing writers here on Review This! each have their favorite ways to enjoy a relaxing pursuit and have written many reviews of various how-to books, crafting supplies and DIY tutorials, gardening tips, recipes & kitchen aids for the cook, photography lessons, reading or listening to music, sports, and a host of other hobbies. 

These are but a few of the hobbies enjoyed by the Review This crew. The list of hobbies is almost endless.  If you are interested in looking for what we writers here have reviewed, type in the name of your 'hobby' either in the box in the top left-hand corner of any Review This page, or in the search box down the right-hand side. By looking at the author's name, you won't have any problem figuring out which HOBBY is each writers' favorite! For instance, mine  (Wednesday Elf) is crochet and my hobby is shared by several other contributors here, so we learn and share with each other. A more comprehensive list is shown below.


National Hobby Month




Begun by the Hobby Guild of America in 1955,  National Hobby Month was celebrated in April until 1976, then in October until 1986.  Since then, it has been celebrated during the month of January. 

January was most likely chosen for National Hobby Month as it is the beginning of a new year and a good time to start a new hobby.  Many people have never had hobbies during their working years or while raising a family and begin one in their retirement or after the children are grown.  Others try many hobbies throughout their life before finding one or two that gives them the most enjoyment. 


Hobby Examples on Review This!



Hobbies can be passive (such as crafting, reading, writing, listening to music or watching a movie) or an activity such as gardening, cooking or participating in sports. Many people have more than one hobby and often combine them, such as listening to music while crafting. 

In addition to writing reviews here on Review This!, most of the contributing writers here write for their own blogs and websites.  Writers consider writing to be more work than hobby, so time away from writing is important. That's where the activities done in our leisure time become such a pleasure. It is also interesting to note that the passion we feel for our hobbies is shown in many of the subjects we write about.


  • Barbara Tremblay Cipak (Brite-Ideas) is crazy about country music and frequently writes about the artists and their music she is so passionate about.  She is also loves to experiment with color in home décor. 
  • Dawn Rae does crochet and participates in a group of fellow jeep owners.  She also enjoys gardening and lately 'learning about homesteading'.
  • Cynthia Sylvestermouse is a freelance writer and photographer who loves all different kinds of crafts, including crafting in the kitchen, creating fancy cakes and cupcakes. 
  • Barbara (BarbRad) is an expert on books and loves to read.  She is also a nature photographer who most enjoys photographing her central California area. 
  • Mary Beth Granger (MBGphoto) is a fabulous photographer who continually takes photography classes to learn more.  Photography has become her passion in her retirement, along with traveling.  Lighthouses and beaches are her favorite subjects. 
  • Wednesday Elf loves crochet and needlework, watching baseball and reading. 
  • Beverly Owens is busy researching her Native American Indian heritage and loves to write about spirit animals and the wisdom of her ancestors. She also enjoys crocheting. 
  • Olivia Morris loves gardening and following the fashion world.
  • Brenda Little (Treasures By Brenda) collects coffee mugs and researches the history of vintage cups and other vintage items which she shares in her eBay store.  She also loves reading, great movies, cooking, and pop culture. 
  • Diana Wenzel (Renaissance Woman2010) enjoys an off-the-grid lifestyle where she pursues her interests in animal rescue, wonderful nature photography, and DIY projects. She also loves to read. 
  • Louanne Cox (Lou16) loves reading, 80s music, zombies and dolls, among a host of other interests. 
  • Heather Burns (Heather426) is an artist, illustrator and graphic designer. Her hobby is her artistic accomplishments, including the colored pencils she has created for coloring pages and coloring books. 
  • Coletta Teske is a published book author and loves to sew. 

These are just the highlights of hobbies and interests I have observed from the articles they publish and the interaction we have as a team here on the staff of Review This!.  I am sure there are other interests each of them have.  


Quick View Home Page



By clicking on the Quick View Home Page button at the top of any Review This! page, you will have weekly examples of many of the articles your hobbyists here enjoy (plus many non-hobby reviews).  

Stop by the comments section and tell us your favorite hobby or activity. The Review This! staff would love to hear about what gives you pleasure in your leisure time.

(c) Written by Wednesday Elf on 1/20/2018







Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

A Unique and Easy Way to Add Art to a Room Without Painting, Art Prints or Wall Decals

Scenery Art Drapes Available on Amazon - Plus Additional Drapes Can Be Found Here
If you're looking for a quick and easy way to add art to a room without having to hire someone to paint wall murals or to go through the work of putting up vinyl wall decals, then try this; draperies that feature art on them.

When it comes to giving a room a facelift, we rarely think to use draperies ... Our minds normally gravitate to paint color and furnishings and the drapes are either omitted or an after thought; it's as though we're trying to do things the hard way.

If the window in your room is a fairly good size, you can use that full space to feature lovely scenic or artistic draperies. In fact, 3D Drapes are a stunning way to not only add art, but to add depth to a space. Because patio doors normally have to be kept clear, they're a good place to feature 3D scenery drapes.

Don't worry if the window is smaller either because you'll find artistic drapes in just about any size to fit: And hey, go ahead and use longer drapes on shorter windows, that way, when they're closed you get the benefit of a larger scenic display to look at.

The ease of interchanging draperies make them an excellent redecorating choice. With several artsy drape styles ready to go in your linen closet, you can change your room for any occasion or season. How about spring flowered drapes, then beached themed drapes, then autumn trees and leaves, and lastly, a gorgeous snow scene on drapes to end the season.

A major drapery change can absolutely alter the look and feel of the space. Since there are practically endless amounts of artistic styles to choose from, you can plan to use several season changes in just about any color combination to match your room.

Go ahead, give it a try ... When you're itching to redecorate but can't stomach the idea of all the work it entails, painlessly scratch that itch by putting up 3D scenery drapes.





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Why I Decided to Create Aurora Art Supplies™ Coloring Pencils...

Review of Aurora Art Supplies Colored Pencils

...And why I am writing a review of my own colored pencils.
Aurora Art Supplies coloring pencils
Aurora-ArtSupplies.com

Ever since I published my first coloring book last year I have been getting lots of letters from fans and questions about which colored pencils I recommend. I also color myself, and my artist husband colors his sketches before he paints, so we have a lot of colored pencils at our house. I wanted to find out which ones are best for which types of coloring so I bought a bunch of them. There is quite a variety of coloring pencils, so it can be an adventure to choose the right ones.

Then in the midst of this experiment, I read that due to the worldwide coloring craze going on, stores are having trouble keeping them in stock! Some people in my coloring groups were telling me that they had to wait for over 3 months to get the ones they want.
A light bulb went off in my head. What if I could create some really high quality coloring pencils that are not so costly as the ones available right now?

So I asked around in my groups for a list of what people are looking for in a coloring pencil. Not everyone wants the same thing of course, but there are some common themes. Colorists want creamy coloring pencils with colors that blend easily. They want a variety of colors. They mostly like hexagonal shaped pencils so they won't roll off the table. They want longer ones. Many coloring pencils come in 5 inch lengths, and people feel ripped off. By the time you sharpen them a few times you are dealing with a stubby pencil. And they want them to be strong enough that they won't break easily. A big request was that the pencils be usable as water color pencils by adding water. And they want them to be affordable. Whew! That's a long wish list!

coloring pencils


But I took my list and started talking to suppliers in China. (I really wanted to find an American supplier, but had no luck, so I went to China. Even some of the most expensive coloring pencils are made there, and the factories are already set up so all you have to do is give them your specifications.) One of the first things on my list of specifications was a larger lead inside the pencil so that the lead would be stronger, and the pencils would last longer. (Of course it's not real lead, and it's non toxic!) Then I made sure mine are 7 inches long. All of those factors mean you are already getting more for your money than you would with a lot of coloring pencils. Then I had the supplier give me lots of different formulas to choose from. I selected a formula that is wax based, but with less wax than a lot of them, and more pigment. This makes it possible to add a little water to your pencil and blend so the result is somewhat like the effect of water colors on the finished art.

For my first product, I chose a set of 48 colored pencils, which gives a variety of colors and since they blend easily you can make other colors by blending 2 or more of them. In the future I will add a set of 72, and a smaller set of 36. I will also add different types of coloring pencils, for example, very soft chalk type oil based pencils. (like Prismacolors) I also plan to add colored markers and high quality artist brushes to my line of products. Aurora Art Supplies™ is just getting started as a company, but it's here to stay. Stay tuned for many more products! You can see the company website here: Aurora Art Supplies™

Here is my first set of colored pencils, available now at Amazon. I already have happy customers. You can see for yourself they are vibrant! I included a mini coloring book of flowers hand drawn by me for the first 1000 customers. I hope everyone will love them!





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Site Review: Richard Burns Art Website

http://www.reviewthisreviews.com/2015/09/site-review-richard-burns-art-website.html
One of my favorite current day artists is Richard Burns.  Having his artwork available to purchase online is fabulous for those of us who prefer shopping at home.  It gives us time to really look closely and consider our purchases.  Of course, in the case of Richard Burns Art, I don't really need a lot of time.  I already know his style and artwork is exquisite. 

I have visited many museums in my lifetime.  Spent hours viewing and considering the artwork that is displayed.  There are times when I have wondered what the artist was thinking when they were painting a particular piece, and other times when I have thought I knew exactly what was going through their minds.  It is the latter style of art that I prefer.

While I am often intrigued by abstract art, it is the realistic art that speaks to my soul.  When an artists captures the realistic beautiful essence of a natural being or setting, that is real art to me.  When an artist can look at something and paint it on a canvas with such mastery that I completely feel I am there, or that I could reach out and touch a living thing, then I know I am viewing the work of an exceptional artist.



Animals by Richard Burns
Tigers Icy Courtship by Richard Burns


I love animals, so it will come as no surprise to anyone to learn that my favorite Richard Burns collection is his Animal art.

His wildlife art is fabulous!  The detail on the fur or feathers makes me believe I could reach right into the print and touch they magnificent big cats, wolves, coyote and fowl.

I can almost feel the softness of a tiger's skin or the course matting of the wolves thick coat.



Look at the eyes, the head and the tail of the wolf in the forefront of the painting below.  See how his head is lifted, his eyes are almost closed and how is tail is down, almost flush against his body?  That is exactly the way a wolf looks when he howls.  Perhaps, that is why I have always thought the wolf howls from deep within himself, expressing his heartfelt concerns.  Every part of his body "howls" with his voice.  I can almost see this one breathing.

Arctic Echoes by Richard Burns
Arctic Echoes by Richard Burns



Cottages & Houses by Richard Burns


The cottages, houses and lighthouse paintings by Richard Burns are ideal.  While we rarely see such beauty in this world, we can have the image captured forever on canvas.  Their serenity and elegance can grace our own homes constantly and the flowers will always be in full bloom.

Serenity Cottages II by Richard Burns
Serenity Cottages II by Richard Burns



Angels by Richard Burns


I am surrounded by angels.  Not just in the spiritual realm, but also in the artwork I choose to display in my own home.  I always look at the hair color, the facial features as well as the overall design.  Whimsical is fine, but I like the pretty angels.  I love the flowing gowns, the detailed wings and the accents, like the flowers in the picture below, in Richard Burns' Angel collection.

http://richardburnsart.com/
Moon Angel by Richard Burns



Originals and Prints Available


The very best place to view artwork by Richard Burns is on the Richard Burns Art website itself.  Select the image you desire and then move over to Amazon, Zazzle or Art.com to place your order.  His art is available on prints, wall decals and I even discovered a tapestry throw of the angel shown above on Amazon.

But, if you are seeking the very best, to own the original, some of Richard original works are available for purchase.   You can contact them for availability through their website by clicking here and simply leaving a message in the comment section.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Art of Tolerance

Get For All Good on a Pillow
The Virtue of Tolerance: Making an Effort with Empathy, Kindness, Goodness and Grace

Getting Better, with Tolerance.
A personal saying 'Kindness breeds Tolerance' ...Tolerance requires an accepting mind and a willing participant. It's not a spectator's virtue. To see life from another person's perspective suggests that we are attempting to live outside of ourselves, to mentally travel the journey of another soul.
This world is our home, we all live here, and we all deserve the best from each other.
Below you'll find a few of my works on Tolerance, Perspective, & Self Awareness.
I hope all your flowers grow

TOLERANCE



Hold my hand
then judge me
Or better
Feel my sameness,
Look me in the eye
then tell me I don't matter
Or better
See I am you,
Sit at my dinner table
Sharing food and conversation
then tell me I'm not worthy
Or better
Understand my hunger is like yours,
Take a walk with me
then hate where I live
Or better
Understand my plight,
Watch my children play
and tell me they are expendable
Or better
Love them as your own,
As I hold your hand
Look in your eyes
Eat at your table
Walk with you
Understand your plight
And watch your children play
I know I want to be better too
by Barbara Tremblay Cipak

PERSPECTIVE
From Your Perspective
What do you want me to know about you
I'm interested in your life
You're journey is my teacher
I'm wrong about so much
How can I make your day better
Show me what I can do
I am a willing spirit
by Barbara Tremblay Cipak

SELF AWARENESS


I can't judge you
I'm too busy judging myself
I can't hate you
I'm too busy learning about myself
I can't envy you
I'm too busy competing with myself
I can't expect anything from you
I'm too busy expecting the best from myself
I can love you
By loving myself
by Barbara Tremblay Cipak, Copyright

COMPASSION



Youtube Channel - DragedaPoemsLyrics
Drageda.com




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Mysterious Death of Tom Thomson - Canadian Artist

Path Behind Mowat Lodge Canvas Print by Tom Thomson
Path Behind Mowat Lodge Canvas Print
The Life, Death and Art of Famous Canadian Artist Tom Thomson

Tom Thomson is one of Canada's most famous Artists who died mysteriously, and whose death is still talked about today.
I can't quite put my finger on why I find the lives of famous artists so intriguing. However, I do think it has something to do with an artist's plight to fulfil their calling while their lives are plastered with difficultly. Added to the fact that, in many cases, their work isn't valued or appreciated until after they die - Upsetting and incredibly unfair.
Tom Thomson was absolutely one of those artists. He only lived to the age of 39 and died under mysterious circumstances.To this day the suspicious speculations of his death are still labelled inconclusive.
Northern Light
Tom Thomson:
Born: August 5, 1877, in Claremont, Ontario, Canada
Died: July 8, 1917 (aged 39), Canoe Lake, Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada

NORTHERN LIGHT - The enduring mystery of Tom Thomson and the woman who loved him - This is VERY Interesting!

The details of Tom Thomson's life story, Authored by Roy MacGregor in "Northern Light", are very intriguing. He speaks about Thomson's life as well as his untimely death and the mystery surrounding it.
If you appreciate the journey of artists you will enjoy listening to this.


Tom Thomson and The Group of Seven
Tom Thomson, The Early Years

At 22 years old he was an Apprentice at an Iron Foundry and was fired because he was always late. He then attempted to join the armed services that same year, but due to a medical condition was denied entry.

In 1901 he was accepted into Business College in Chatham, Ontario but dropped out after eight months to go to the business college his brother operated in Seattle, Washington. While in Seattle, he had a brief romance with Alice Lambert.

He returned to Canada in 1904 and in 1907 he joined a Toronto design firm named Grip Ltd where many of the future "Group of Seven" also worked.

The Group of Seven

The Group of Seven were a famous group of Canadian Landscape Painters in the 1920's. Tom Thomson was never an official member of the Group of Seven, however he is recognized as having greatly influenced them.
The members of the Group of Seven were, Franklin Carmichael, Lawren Harris, A. Y. Jackson, Franz Johnston, Arthur Lismer, J. E. H. MacDonald, and Frederick Varley.

Heffel's record $2,749,500.00 sale of Tom Thomson ~ Early Spring, Canoe Lake



Tom Thomson's Major Source of Inspiration & Art Career

Tom Thomson was inspired by Ontario's wilderness. His first visit to Algonquin Park was in 1912. That year he began working along side members of the Group of Seven at Rous and Mann Press, but he left later in the year to become his own full time artist.

His first exhibit was with the Ontario Society of Artists in 1913 and he later become a member in 1914. That same year the National Gallery of Canada purchased one of his paintings. His exhibits continued with the Ontario Society of Artists until his mysterious death in 1917.

He eventually moved to Canoe Lake in Algonquin Park. He worked as a fire fighter, ranger, and guide in Algonquin Park, but gave that up as he found it didn't give him enough time to paint. From 1914 to 1917 before he died, is when he created his most famous work; The Jack Pine, The West Wind and The Northern River.

Tom Thomson's Art & Artistic Talent

The Death of Tom Thomson
Tom Thomson was another one of those "mostly self taught" artists. He was very young when he began drawing and painting, but didn't pursue it as a career until he was in his thirties. Of course, his untimely death at the age of 39 would cut short the number of paintings he would become famous for.
He did produce hundreds of sketches between 1912 and 1917 (the year he died). Today these sketches are considered part of his portfolio of works and are featured in the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa.
He transformed from Graphic Designer to Professional Painter, with the help of Dr. James MacCallum between 1914 and 1917.
Many of his famous paintings began as sketches and later evolved into large oil paintings at his "Studio". His studio was an old shack, with a wood stove on the grounds of Studio Building.
With his use of broad brush strokes and his liberal use of paint to capture color, his art resembles post-impressionists, Vincent Van Gogh & Paul Cezanne.
Thomson was provided the same level of respect and prominence as Renoir, Picasso and The Group of Seven in 2002 when the National Gallery of Canada staged a major exhibition of his art.

The Mysterious Death of Tom Thomson

On July 8th, 1917 at the age of 39, Tom Thomson disappeared on a canoeing trip on Canoe Lake in Algonquin Park. His body wasn't discovered until eight days later. Although there were reports that he had his fishing line wrapped around his feet seventeen times, and signs of a head injury, the official cause of death was deemed accidental.
The speculation on the cause of his death continues today. Numerous scenarios have been put forth, including murder and suicide. 



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Two Reasons to Plan Your Visit to Brandywine Valley Area Now.

Longwood Gardens: Orchid Extravaganza
Some people would not automatically consider a day trip to rural, southeastern Pennsylvania in the winter.  In fact, I can almost hear you thinking, "Drive to Pennsylvania, in the winter? In the snow? Oh no!"  However, I don't think I will have to work very long or hard to convince you, there are two very exciting reasons to visit the Brandywine River area of Pennsylvania. Especially at this time of year.

Longwood Gardens: Orchid Extravaganza


The first reason to travel to Brandywine Valley, during the cold months, is the Orchid Extravaganza.  Longwood Gardens is an amazing botannical garden and is a highly recommended destination during any time of year. Last year was my maiden voyage to Longwood Gardens and it was just coincidence that the orchid extravaganza was in full swing at the time. It was amazing. I will never forget the sights and the scents. I was lost in a world of tropical flowers while there was still snow on the ground outdoors.

This year the Orchid Extravaganza at Longwood Gardens dates are January 24 to March 29, 2015.  I will return this year. I advise you to not miss it. 

Brandywine River Museum: Wyeth exhibitions


The second reason to travel Pennsylvania during the cold months is Brandywine River Museum and the Wyeth art exhibitions. If you like Wyeth art, as I do, you will be thrilled to learn that the Andrew Wyeth; Lines of Thought exhibition continues until March 15, 2015 and the Jamie Wyeth exhibition will be held January 17 through April 5, 2015.

I think Wyeth art (all three Wyeth's) is breathtaking and well worth the drive to see it in person. I've been to the Brandywine River Museum a handful of times and have had a wonderful experience each time I've been there.  I will go up for the Jamie Wyeth exhibit this year. 
Andrew Wyeth: Memory and Magic

If you aren't able to visit the museum in person, but enjoy Andrew Wyeth paintings, I highly recommend Andrew Wyeth: Memory and Magic.  It is a 224 page in-home art exhibit.  Clearly, seeing the paintings hanging on the wall just a few inches away is the best way to view them. but this is the second best way to see a wide selection of Andrew Wyeth's works. 

Snow and cold, or not, just go.  I don't think you will regret it.  Longwood Gardens and Brandywine River Museum are just two little nuggets of travel gold in this area of Pennsylvania.





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Cooper-Young Festival Art in Memphis

Cooper-Young Festival
Memphis, TN ~ 9/13/14
For several years, my daughter has raved about the Cooper-Young Festival in Memphis, TN.  She loves attending and often buys pieces of unique art for her home.  She invited me to attend with her, my son-in-law and their group of friends last weekend and I was simply amazed.  

The Cooper Young Festival is a free, outdoor annual event that features a myriad of artists and musicians.  Over the years, word about the fabulous festival has spread like wildfire and it has become extremely popular.  

The festival is held in the historic district of Memphis and the attractions literally line Cooper Street and Young Avenue.  This year, by midday those streets were packed by thousands of attendees.  I found the key to success was to arrive early, make my purchases and then stand back and enjoy the show.  



My Favorite Artist at the Cooper-Young Festival

Cooper-Young Festival
Featured Artist
It didn't take long for me to discover my favorite artist at the Cooper-Young Festival.   When she told me she had just opened an Etsy store online, I knew I would be featuring her here on "Review This!"  

Her artwork is vibrant, beautiful and quite unique.  It is also very affordable.  I do love affordable art!

Morgan is currently an art student in her senior year.  She joined the Cooper-Young festival this year and offered her latest collection, the birthstone series, for sale.  

Each beautiful piece is now available in her Etsy store.  


********************

Conjoined Twins Design ~ April Birthstone

Morgan's artwork certainly reflects the multicultural environment of the Cooper-Young Festival.  

The April Diamond seems to have a story waiting to be told.  A beautiful young woman waiting with her suitcase in hand.  

Is she waiting to be discovered?  Is she about to embark upon a journey?

The wonderful thing about art, it tells whatever story that is spoken to the individual viewers heart.  Often those stories are meant for your eyes only.

I suspect we each see and hear a different story here. 



Conjoined Twins Design ~ July Birthstone

The colors in Morgan's artwork are powerful and vibrant, very much like the women represented in her paintings. 

I also love all of the details in her work.  Just look at this dress.  The intricate pattern of the material is remarkable.  Clearly, the artist gave attention to the smallest of details.  There is even a tassel on the throw pillow. Wow! 

The July Birthstone beauty seems to have a certain frailty in her appearance, but don't be fooled.  I believe the look in her eyes reviews the inward tiger.  

I almost feel like I have known this lady personally.


Conjoined Twins Designs ~ March Birthstone
I am captivated by the beauty of this painting and swept away by the grace emanating from the March Birthstone print.


There is elegance and serenity in her countenance, but a sense of freedom and self assurance.

After hours of considering these prints, I have found that it is truly impossible to choose a favorite.  

They each have a place, a story.  They each speak to me in very definite ways, but all with the same message:  I am content with who I am.  

I also think they reveal the artist's heart.





View Morgan's Complete Birthstone Series prints on Etsy:  Conjoined Twins Designs Store

 



Article and CYF Photos by ©Sylvestermouse




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.