Tag Archives: life

London – A Town for Art Lovers

Each year visitors from all over the world travel to London to see Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, Covent Garden, The London Eye, and Piccadilly Circus. But did you know that London is full of amazing artwork as well as landmarks? It’s true. In fact, art lovers are some of the main people who make their way to London each year. Here are just a few of the most famous pieces of art that are located in London:

Sunflowers, by Vincent Van Gogh

Located in the National Gallery, Sunflowers was painted in 1888. Sunflowers is a still life, oil on canvas painting that was created in Arles. Vincent Van Gogh reportedly painted Sunflowers with the intention of using it to decorate Gauguin’s rented home in the South of France. The National Gallery, Sunflowers’ home, also shelters other pieces of famous artwork from the 13th – 19th Century.  One of the best things about the National Gallery is that its artwork is free for viewing.

The Lady of Shalott, by John William Waterhouse

The Lady of Shalott was created by the masterful hands of John William Waterhouse in 1888. The painting is a depiction of Tennyson’s poem entitled The Lady of Shalott. The woman representing the Lady of Shalott in Waterhouse’s painting was, reportedly, his wife. This naturalistic painting is located at Tate Britain, which houses British art made in the past 500 years or so. Contemporary and international modern art can also be found at Tate Britain.

The Raphael Cartoons, by Raphael

Commissioned in 1515 by Pope Leo X, The Raphael Cartoons are said to be “among the greatest treasures of the High Renaissance.” Created by Raphael and his “assistants,” The Raphael Cartoons were used as tapestry designs for the Vatican. The paintings feature St. Paul and St. Peter. The Raphael Cartoons are currently housed at the Victoria and Albert museum, which is home to 4.5 million pieces of art, clothing, jewelry, ironwork, and much more.

English poet Samuel Johnson said, “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” Indeed, one of the finest things that life affords is art, and that can be found in abundance in London.

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The Creative, Artistic and Inventive Mind of Leonardo da Vinci

Being an artist also means having a deep connection with the world around you, viewing life with a different set of lenses. To an artist, creativity and beauty encompasses just about every facet of daily life. The amount of individual interests available to an artist are limitless.

Like many artists, Leonardo da Vinci didn’t just consider himself to be a man of one concentration. One fascination of Leonardo’s was that of invention and design.

Throughout his life, Leonardo had taken time to document ideas for inventions that intrigued and inspired him. He did this by sketching them in his journal. However, the ability to create prototypes and test each of these inventions went unrealized in his life. Unfortunately, Leonardo died before any of the world would know of his true genius. His works were scattered and lost, many of them not seen again for hundreds of years.

In the example above, taken from the Museum of Sciences website, we can see that Leonardo da Vinci had a vision for a flying vehicle nearly 500 years before the first manned aircraft would be designed and piloted by Paul Cornu in 1907.

In his drawings, it is easy to see Leonardo’s dead on grasp of where the future of technology was headed. From tanks and parachutes, to diving and aircraft landing gears, Leonardo would touch upon them all in his pen and paper interpretations.

Was it because he was a supremely intelligent and enlightened human being, or that he had visions of a future far superior to our own? In any case we may never know, but it was likely a pairing of the two that lead him to jot down so many innovative and profound ideas.

It is startling to note how severely under noticed the conceptions went until the incredible discovery of some of Leonardo’s works; drawings that would captivate the imaginations of so many throughout the world.

It is a lesson to us that an artist is more than artist, he is an instrument in the progression of the world and its many views.

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As an artist, you are probably aware of the effects that different colors can have on your state of mind and emotional well-being. In fact, in a past article we discussed the psychology of color and provided an overview of how each color can impact your mood.

In this article, we’ll take a look at color therapy, also known as chromotherapy, and how you can apply the basic principles of chromotherapy in your art.

Color therapy involves using, or meditating upon, specific colors to help you find balance and harmony, both inner and outer. There are many forms of color therapy, such as:

  • surrounding yourself with a color that represents characteristics that you feel are lacking in your life, to achieve balance
  • immersing yourself in a color that represents characteristics, or states of being, that you aspire to
  • using colors to “cleanse” your physical body and achieve physiological harmony (such as practiced in Chinese therapy)

While color therapy was once regarded as a New Age fad, today the effects of colors on a person’s mind, body and spirit are well-documented. Even commercial paint manufacturers recognize the connection; some offer a specific range of paint colors that are designed to promote healing and wellness.

To utilize the healing power of color in your art, you can create paintings or drawings based on specific colors to bring about a certain adjustment in your (or someone else’s) mental, emotional, or physical state of being. You can use a combination of colors to evoke a certain state of mind. Experiment with different patterns and compositions and take note of how the paintings affect you.

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