Tag Archives: canvas

Fireworks Celebrate Cai Gou – Qiang’s Bold Art

China native Cai Gou-Qiang has exploded the conventional rules of art with his firecracker productions and visual art pieces.

You may recognize the name, Cai Gou- Qiang from the 2008 Olympics. Cai was the mastermind behind all special effects for the opening and closing ceremonies. He is recognized all over the world for his ability to create breathtaking firework displays. While many people can light firecrackers, only few can orchestrate such awe inspiring scenes.

Are you wondering how he acquired such a fascinating and seemingly dangerous talent?

It all began when Cai was young. Fireworks were easily accessible and he played with them often. The fun soon turned into an artistic experiment. However, Cai couldn’t have achieved such heights of success without a few errors.

His first attempt to create art using firecrackers came from his curiosity to see what would happen if he simply fired a rocket into a canvas. As you can imagine, this process only served to burn the canvas to pieces.

On Cai’s second attempt he removed the gunpowder from firecrackers. He then arranged the gunpowder on a blank canvas and lit it. The effect was stunning. It created an art form all its own.

Since then, Cai and his adventurous style of art continue to gain popularity. He has literally exploded conventional rules of art and how it can be created. Cai’s images of space, nature and time are supernatural in their fiery distortion.

For Cai, this artistic journey has been a personal one. His style serves to break conventional rules, and the world recognizes the uniqueness he brings to the art community. For Cai Gou- Qiang, this style of art is suspenseful and rewarding. He enjoys the adrenalin pumping process of working hard and hoping his pieces will turn out. You can bet, his audience agrees. Nothing can diminish the beauty or the sheer emotional thrill of watching Cai’s firework displays. Likewise, his gunpowder designs are just as intriguing and mesmerizing.

The artist, now 54, resides and works in New York.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-et-0404-fireworks-artist-20120404,0,4212742.story

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Chalk Art Transforms the Sidewalk into a Canvas

For many, chalk brings back childhood memories of scribbling figures out on the sidewalk, playing hop scotch in self-made disproportionate boxes, and being saddened each time the rain washes everything away. Today, many professional and amateur artists never leave the driveway. There are many different mediums to work within, but one of the fastest expanding niches of chalk artists transforms the sidewalk into a canvas. Concrete is still king.

So what exactly is chalk and where does this stuff come from?

Chalk is a form of limestone, a soft, typically white, sedimentary rock. It forms from the accumulation of mineral calcites -which also makes it a porous rock, similar to pumice. This quality can make chalk a challenge to work with, leaving holes and unfilled patches on the canvas or pavement from a seemingly solid and even stroke. Still, chalk has a variety of uses: teachers use it on blackboards, gymnasts use it for grip, pavers use it for painting evenly lined parking spaces, and artists use it in a variety of forms from varying degrees of hard and soft chalks, to chalk pastels and even liquid chalk.

Using Chalk for Art

Working with the challenge of this porous mineral, artists have envisioned and developed increasingly complex and abstract ideas that have been executed by such famous sidewalk artists as Kurt Wenner. In fact, the work of Wenner and other artists like Ellis Gallagher and Julian Beever have created an overnight cult following in some major cities such as New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Their work has been the center of many email chains, sparking interest all across the globe in their incredibly intricate, three-dimensional works of art.

Techniques for Chalk Artists

Some noteworthy techniques employed by many artists include various approaches to blending and the use of the “Wet Effect”. Dipping or soaking your chalk in a container of water for up to 6 minutes achieves this effect. This softens the chalk, making it malleable enough to work like paint. From here, the possibilities for blending and shading become endless.

So get inspired, grab a bucket, and give it a shot! If you don’t like what you come up with, there’s always the hose…

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Learn How to Safely Pack and Ship Your Art

Whether you’re shipping your artwork to a gallery or preparing to move your art collection to your new home, your number one priority when transporting art is to make sure that it arrives in perfect condition at its destination. Follow these tips to ensure that your artwork arrives undamaged and ready to display:

  • Wrap paintings, drawings and sculptures carefully in a protective, pH neutral covering, such as glassine. This will protect the surface of the artwork from being exposed to the harmful chemicals that can be found in packing tape, cardboard, and anything else that may come into contact with the artwork. Never allow cardboard or packing tape to touch the surface of your artwork directly.
  • For inexpensive works of art on paper or canvas, you can create a “sandwich” by placing two sturdy pieces of heavy cardboard or foamboard on either side of the artwork, sealing the two halves together using an acid-free tape. Make sure that the cardboard or foamboard is several inches longer than the artwork on each edge. To ensure that the artwork doesn’t move around while in transit, use acid-free tape to secure the glassine-covered artwork to the cardboard or foamboard.
  • Consider using a box that is specially-designed to transport art, such as Strong Boxes by Air Float Systems. These boxes contain an acid-free foam insert that form a protective shell around your artwork.
  • If you need to transport an expensive work of art, use a professional art packer and mover, who will expertly pack and ship your art. You can find one in your local phone book. They will also be able to advise you on purchasing insurance for your artwork, which is a wise idea when shipping expensive (and/or irreplaceable) artwork.

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