Thursday, July 17, 2014

Pablo Picasso - The Variation of a Master

Pablo Picasso is conceivably one of the most well-known artists today and is widely considered to be the founder of the most important art movement of the 20th century- cubism. He also can lay claim to creating a collage and helping define developments in the “plastic” arts: painting, sculpture, printmaking and ceramics. Despite his immense childhood talent, Pablo Picasso was willing for experiments and changed his style and art theory many times during his life, the mark of a modern day master.

Picture of Pablo Picasso
He no doubt owes his lifework in part to his parents. His father was a classical art teacher and gave his son formal art training, often to the detriment of his academic work. Another important landmark in his early years was the death of his sister that prompted him to move and quickly become accepted at an art college at only 13. There he was given an apartment by his father, a teacher at the same school, who kept a close eye over Picasso. His work, like many of the modern greats, is divided into periods based on his style.

His early years are tinted heavily by his father’s demand for him to study classic styles and human anatomy. Although not classic realism, the figures in his early paintings did always have mostly logical anatomy and shading. Later symbolist influence occurred, and he spent a good bit of time painting landscapes in non-natural violet and green tones. When he left for Paris, he experienced extreme poverty, and many of his paintings were burned in his own apartment for warmth. A few cartoons from him survive in a published magazine that depicts the harshness of being poor.

His experience led him into his blues period. During this time, human figures were depicted with more structural anatomy which balanced out the somber coloring. Picasso paid greater detail to signs of human wear, such as wrinkles and thing figures with long hands and barely skin covered bones were put front and center in his works. Gaunt mothers with children were a frequent motif.

The rose period was ushered in by Picasso finding a mistress. He found the warmth in the city of Paris as well, and began painting many circus people. He was accepted into art galleries and as the warmth of human experience came to his canvas, he became less bound by his depiction of the human form.

Cubism followed after a few years of experimentation. Despite being what he is most known for, the period lasted less than half a decade. Picasso would later experiment with more styles until the bombings caused by war returning him back to surrealism.

Wassily Kandinsky - Composition to the Founder

The Russian artist, Wassily Kandinsky, is credited with creating the first abstract works. Kandinsky is unusual among artists as his painting studies began in his thirties after a life of studying law and economics. His entire life as an artist faced severe opposition from communism’s less than pleasant opinions on art, Nazis closing down the school he taught in, and working as an artist during the rationing of World War One. He spent his last years as a French citizen in Paris where he was able to create some of his most prominent art.
Wassily Kandinsky went through six different artistic periods. His youth’s paintings were inspired by regional folklore and his childhood love of colors and theorizing on the symbolism behind them. His earlier works were influenced by the impressionistic style of Monet and often featured broad brush strokes. He was particularly struck by Monet’s haystacks and the fact that the color had taken life beyond the subject, which was almost an afterthought.

After this, he turned down a promising law career and entered art school. He enjoyed the time greatly, considering the period to be one of the easiest in his life. He followed Monet’s example capturing landscapes in wide swaths of bright color. Fauvism had become apparent in these early works. The few examples of humans in his paintings rarely had a hint of the standard skin tone. Humans were mostly absent from his work during this time or when present became almost unimportant details.

After the creation of Blue Rider, a mostly unimportant piece in skill but rather of the direction Wassily Kandinsky would take, his paintings began to move away from lines. It was at this period he started to use musical terms to identify his works, seeking to express his art to the feelings of the soul. He began writing during this time, defending the tenants of abstract painting; he quickly found an audience in the English speaking world for both his written and painted works.

When he returned to Russia, he was able to paint little. During these years, he found the love of his life and experienced harsh rejection in his homeland. Wassily Kandinsky finally decided to leave Russia for Germany due to an invitation to come to the Bauhaus to teach. Here he was able to express his views to students and host workshops to augment his color theory. Geometrical elements began to flourish in his work during this time. This era was highly productive for him until the smearing from the Nazi party and the scariness of the World War ultimately prompted him to leave Germany for Paris.

In the last ten years of his life, Wassily Kandinsky created from his apartment. His geometric shapes eased into softer biomorphic forms, and he returned to the color palette from Slavic art. He also began to experiment with texture- using sand to give a rustic feeling to his paintings. During this time, he merged the thoughts of his earlier periods to create layered works that appealed to the observer’s soul.

Some of Wassily Kindinsky's Most Famous Paintings

Composition X was completed in Paris, France 1939

Painted in Alten, Germany 1925

Painted in Munich, Germany 1913

Using Art in the Bedroom

Our bedroom is a place to enjoy ourselves. It is an extension of who we are. Our bedrooms generally have a more personal feel, while sticking to the design incorporated throughout the rest of the home. Modern bedrooms tend to have fewer pieces of furniture; displaying a clean, non-cluttered look. It is due to this simplistic design that is why contemporary art is such a great choice.

Once you bought your bedroom pieces from a furniture manufacturer, choose your paintings by looking around your room. What colors and shapes do you want to accentuate? You also need to consider size and quantity; how big do you want your abstract pieces and how many pieces do you want to hang? Once you have decided these features, concentrate on what it is you want your art to do. We all know a painting cannot do your vacuuming or cook your dinner, but it can most certainly set a mood. This is more crucial than one may think; you need to feel comfortable in your home. 

Think about what you do in your bedroom; do you want it to be a place where you feel calm? Perhaps energized? Paintings can really affect the vibe in which your room provides. No matter what you choose, make sure that your room is balanced. You want harmony throughout the design; this includes your painting choices. This is why a contemporary painting is such a great option. You can find all types of mood enhancing, calming or lively options. 

Beach Painting on Wall

Take your time while choosing, there is no rush. Do not pick a painting simply because you think it goes well with your bed. You need to enjoy it. After all, that is why art is created.
Don't be afraid to place paintings where you will be able to enjoy them the most. If you spend most of your time facing a specific wall, than place your favorite piece of abstract art there. Some have even been known to place their favorites on their bedroom ceiling. I can see why a picture that brings you a sense of calming would be beneficial to view as you try to sleep.

No matter what abstract painting you choose; make sure it adds enjoyment to your room. You also want a piece that is going to make an impact; whether it be through the color or intensity. Adding splashes of color through an abstract painting, can add a lot to your modern bedroom. Look into contemporary art; you'll be happy you did.

Painting on Wall over bed

Art Decorating Choices for your Home

Many of us spend a substantial amount of time within our living rooms. This area is generally meant to relax, entertain or spend quality time. Before you are able to properly choose a painting to fit your living room; you need to have an idea of what look you're trying to portray. Modern living room furniture is simple; displaying straight edges and straight lines. Since modern living spaces tend to be quite neutral in color; an abstract painting can be the perfect addition.

Within ones living room, color scheme is crucial to the design. Since neutral colors are the preferred choice, bright color variation should be left to a minimum. The maximum recommended vibrant color scheme is around three (maximum) colors, although there are clearly exceptions. Once you decide which colors will accompany your black and white furniture; choose paintings and pieces that compliment the modern design and each other.

The size and color of a painting are the main factors. If a painting is too large it can become overpowering, while a small painting may get lost. Larger wall art tends to be best, especially over the sofa. Just remember that the bigger and brighter the piece, the more room it needs to 'breathe'. Let the painting shine, do not crowd it with other pieces in which do not fit.

If you do have cohesive pieces surrounding a painting, make sure your a focal piece sticks out. Get funky with it; perhaps hang the focal piece on an angle. It will draw your eye to the selected piece.

In the living room, it is a great idea to create an 'accent wall'. This wall may be painted one of your color choices, or it may display a collection of smaller abstract art. Just make sure that there is cohesion; not only across the abstract pieces, but throughout the room. By carefully choosing your abstract painting(s), the selected pieces will make colors throughout the room 'pop'.

Modern living rooms are perfect for abstract canvas art. This is not only because of the neutral color scheme throughout the design, but due to the walls as well. When you have a wall that is white or off-white, it will allow for your paintings to really stand out, as they're intended to do. It is also ideal to have a good amount of light coming into the room. Vivid, bright pictures, will have a much higher impact if they're properly exposed.
Painting on Wall

Painting on Wall

Abstract Art - It's Popular For a Reason

Homes are living spaces, which are decorated according to the home owners taste and style. Our homes reflect who we are; through the decorative decisions we make. Art is a common display of our personality and style. More modern spaces tend to have a neutral color scheme which can be accented by bright, vibrant decor.

Abstract paintings convey shapes and lines to portray feeling. They are extremely popular within modern spaces because it adds a dynamic, focal point. Abstract paintings do not allows reflect something found in the physical world. Some think that it does not require much skill, which could not be further from the truth. A painting does not need to portray real-life objects, there is something much deeper in terms of abstract. That is what's so beautiful about it; pieces are left to interpretation. These paintings are visually stimulating and can kick-start quite the conversation. They also tend to set the mood and display the home owners personality.

The use of abstract paintings has become very popular; paintings are so diverse and there are pieces to fit any room or any style. There are so many color variations and designs that you're sure to find one that fits your needs. A lot of abstract art deals with lines and shapes, which compliments the lines associated with modern design throughout ones home. Geometric forms are frequently seen when designing a modern room. These abstract paintings can be an extension of that modern concept.

Artists whom paint Abstract, portray feeling and emotion. A painting can make a room feel calm or lively; they're also readily available (both in-store and online). You are able to find great pieces at Artemaximus. There are extremely powerful pieces; they can truly move you. When the artist painted a selected picture, he/she was expressing themselves or a theme. You will feel that through their use of colors, lines and intensity.

When selecting a painting, make sure you focus on;

  • Color: Do the colors used within the painting match the color scheme throughout your design? Also, do the colors portray the mood your design provides? 
  • Size: Whether you are looking for one big piece, or smaller pieces for an accent wall; be aware of size. 
  • Use: If your room is made up of clean, sharp lines; look for a painting that accentuates this. 

The above suggestions are just a few of the features that you should look out for. At the end of the day, you need to like the chosen piece. It was made to be enjoyed; so choose wisely. here are some great examples of abstract paintings.

Wave Abstract Painting

Watercolor Abstract Art

Defining Abstract Art and What it is Today

When you think of the expression “abstract art," its repertoire is quite extensive. Indeed, it encompasses a range of artworks that include using the canvas to solicit imagery. Artists, through the use shapes, colors and lines, create abstract paintings that may, at-first-glance, seem intimidating and unorganized. At closer inspection, however, the viewer forms their own opinion of what imagery the artist is trying to convey. One description of abstract art may liken it to an artist’s emotions or feelings, revealing itself on canvas. There is no black and white when it comes to abstract paintings. The characteristics of it are dynamic and do not conform to the normal standards of classic art; but, instead create emotive sensations in the viewer, encouraged by the un-detailed display of geometric shapes and boldness of colors.

Suffice it to say that art, specifically abstract art, is a form of imagery being communicated to our inner emotions on a higher level. Many aspects of our daily lives can be attributed to abstract art. Our values, doubts, passions and our reactions to coming in contact with the environment, animals or music are all received and expressed in a distinctive fashion, unique to each individual.

The artist is tasked with the job of stimulating us to interpret and express our own responses to their abstract art. A feat not easily accomplished as some abstract art will be lost to those hesitant to look further that what they plainly see – as a relationship with abstract art is a very personal one.

What are the origins of Abstract Art?
Opinions vary greatly concerning the exact origins of abstract art. Some will claim that it was the answer to a period in the 19th century when artists felt that a new type of art expression was warranted. It was during that time that art was uncomplicated and simple; a painting of a person, place or thing. A new society of artists in 1870s Europe would emerge and bring forth Impressionism through art. Through Impressionism, paintings would take on an abstract appearance, rendering object art to be more intangible. Thus, abstract art was born.


It is obvious in today’s modern abstract art, that there have been some changes along the way. Expressionism would enter the art scene, coming by way of Germany at the start of the 20th century. Several artists, including Marc Chagall, Paul Klee and Edvard Much, started to inject emotion and overt moods into their paintings. The canvas became a vessel with which the artist could portray their state of mind at the time of painting; one that was not always realistic. Shapes

would become more imprecise, and colors would be increasingly vivid and bold. A new art genre, expressionism, would purposefully gravitate the art world towards embracing emotion through painting, as opposed to tangible objects.

After expressionism followed Post-Impressionism and Cubism. Post-Impressionist era artists, Paul Cezanne, for example, expanded on impressionism by deliberately altering color and shape to more closely mimic his own interpretations of the world as through his eyes. Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque would initiate Cubism; an artistic undertaking to express objects and scenery in the same fashion that the human mind brain sees it, on canvas. In a cubist painting, there are multiple perspectives addressed. A painting showing a woman holding a child is expanded on by being shifted and reassembled in the most abstract way possible, with the use or color, shapes and lines.

Paul Cezanne Abstract Painting
One of the creators of abstract art, Paul Cezanne was called the solidifier of Impressionism, one of the earliest artists of modern art.

Georges Braque Abstract Cubism
Another early form of abstract art was Cubism like this painting by Georges Braque

The Surrealism Movement
About the mid-20th century, surrealism would be the answer to artists’ need to visually interpret the unrestrained, subconscious mind. A highlight of modern art, surrealism focused on irrational and dreamlike objects and scenes, representative of the mind’s eye. The Surrealist movement is still today a legacy in and of itself and a great contribution to abstract art.

Abstract Expressionism
In the latter half of the 20th century, Abstract Expressionism would surface among a swiftly changing art world. Abstract Expressionism, a successor to surrealism, is a style of art that is more non-objective. That is; it is more concerned with intense emotion and expression of self, like that of the German Expressionists. In New York, a collection of artists that included Franz Kline, Jackson Pollock and Dutchman William de Kooning, started to push the envelope of past art movements and focus on using their paint medium, the paint itself, as the focus of the artwork. Larger pieces of canvas art soon would center on the artist’s intensely emotional approach to art. With zealous brushstrokes and deliberate paint spatters, drips and smears, the painting would transform itself to an expressive masterpiece.

After stretching Abstract Expressionism to its limits, a myriad of art movements would emerge; all expounding upon earlier concepts of abstract art. Artists like Ellsworth Kelly and Frank Stella would break away from using paint as the concept behind the art and embrace the more metaphoric and at times repetitive, minimalism movement. In the latter part of the 20th century, abstract artists would express themselves through Pop Art, Conceptual Art and Performance art – introducing consumerism and political views into their representative works.

Modern Abstract Art
In today’s 21st century, modern abstract paintings can be difficult to summarize, as the current movement is still emerging - almost impossible to classify. Additionally, current abstract art is not readily the result past art movements. Modern abstract art hints of realism and countless art genres from different periods, making today’s abstract art more pluralistic in character than ever.

Have fun and explore! You will find abstract paintings in art galleries, modern furniture stores and online.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Modern Sculptures in the Home - Great Decorating Ideas

The artwork that you choose to display can really set the overall tone of your home. Choosing the right artwork for your space is just as important as choosing the right furniture. Modern homes are full of thought-provoking art that stimulates the senses. Hanging abstract paintings and other wall art is one way to incorporate modern home decor in your space. Another idea is displaying modern sculptures, as they can be a unique and interesting addition to your modern home.

Modern sculptures are very popular today. You can see this if you visit a major metropolitan area. Many large cities feature larger than life modern sculptures in their cultural centers, and these works of art have become major tourist attractions. For example, Cloud Gate by Anish Kapoor, nicknamed The Bean, in Chicago is a huge tourist attraction in the city’s downtown area. Modern sculpture is also proudly displayed in museums around the world. And though this may lead you to believe you have to visit a large city or museum to enjoy this artwork, many people proudly display modern sculpture in their own home.

Modern Home Decor

The first thing to consider when choosing a modern sculpture as part of your home decor is to be realistic about the size of your space. Modern sculptures for the home can be the size of a sofa, or they can be small accent pieces placed on a side table. How much room do you want to devote to this sculpture? Do you want it to be the centerpiece of the area? Or do you simply want it to accent the other furniture in the room? Once you know the size of the area you can devote to displaying your modern sculpture, you can choose how you want to display it.

Another consideration for choosing sculptures in the home is how you want your room to feel. A large modern sculpture in an open loft space would create the feel of an art gallery. Conversely, a smaller sculpture would fit well featured on the coffee table in a living room with modern design and leave the room feeling more laid-back.

There are many ways to display a modern sculpture as part of your home decor. You can place them on mantles, bookshelves or end tables, or in the case of a larger sculpture, you can have a display case or platform built just for the sculpture, making it a prominent talking point in your home. A good idea for homes without a lot of space for a display area is utilizing the walls of the room. For smaller sculptures, you could create a lighted alcove in your wall, or hang shelves much as you would a painting and set the sculpture there.
The great thing about modern sculptures is that they can be of almost anything. You get to choose a piece of artwork that truly speaks to you. Modern sculptures stand out amidst the muted tone of minimalist, modern furniture and so can be a great addition to your contemporary home.