Monday, January 28, 2013

Non-Obvious Art Tools

Art comes from everywhere: we perceive the world around us, take in details with our senses, and create art based on our impressions and interpretations. We can apply this process of artistic inspiration springing forth from our world to the things we use to create our art as well. Any object in your world can be used in art; we want to look at a few everyday things that can be used for specific art techniques to expand your artistic set of tools.

Old Toothbrushes are an excellent way to create spray and splatter textures. Dip the bristles in some paint. Then, while holding the brush bristles near your paper or canvas, run the thumb of your holding hand, or the index finger of your opposite hand lightly over the bristles. This makes interesting spray and splatters textures which can be controlled by the speed and pressure of the finger strokes over the bristles. The thickness of paint will create different splatter characteristics, so it's best to experiment on scrap paper or canvas before you spray on your working art piece. It gets even more interesting when you dip half the bristles in different colors.

Fruits & Vegetables make excellent pattern stamps, not just in their fresh form, but when dehydrated (by drying them out in the sun), their consistency and fibers allow you to carve them for some really exciting patterns of your choice. Take vegetables like cucumbers, okra, zucchini and slice them in half - let the moisture of the fresh cut dry out a little by dabbing the chopped end on a paper towel.Then dip the chopped end in paint and stamp away. The patterns usually tend to look floral, but if placed together in a planned way, can make some incredibly amazing geometrical patterns. Slices of vegetables such as carrots and potatoes can be dehydrated to be used as little blocks which can be carved to make stamp patterns of your choice. Dipping these stamps in paints of various consistencies and wetness, create endless possibilities of stamp patterns.

Rocks & Bark are incredibly unique sources of texture making. Even though they are available in abundance, each piece of rock or bark is one-of-a-kind. Therefore, if you have a collection of rocks and bark, you can not only print textures by dipping them in paint and dabbing them on paper or canvas, you can also use them to create actual relief textures by pressing them against paper.

Textured Cloth & Sponges can not only be used for pattern-making by dabbing paint soaked bunches and clusters on your paper or canvas, they can be used as brushes as well. You could bunch up some cloth and apply paint strokes while holding them in your hand, or bunch up some pieces of cloth and tie them to the end of a stick like traditional brushes.

Rolling Pins are very efficient pattern makers. Simply wrap a paper or poster board cut-out stencil of your choice around the pin, apply some paint on the stencil and roll away. We've seen some beautiful home-made wall papers and fabric designs created this way. Keep experimenting with different materials for stencils. Cloth stencils are not just great for patterns, they make some of the most characteristic textures as well.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Calling All Artists!

The sixth annual Fall in Furniture Love Art Contest is underway! The dates have been chosen and now we’re looking for talented individuals in Miami, Jacksonville, Tampa and Orlando to create and submit their original art. The concept for this contest is simple: use furniture as your inspiration to create an original art piece in any medium. Whether your interpretation is literal or conceptual, we just ask that it be creative and that it be yours. There’s no entry fee and art can be submitted at your regional Scan Design showroom from March 1 to March 17th.

When you enter you have a chance to win a Scan Design chair valued at over $1000 and have your art featured in a regional design magazine ad. Second and third place winners will receive $500 and $300 gift certificates from Scan Design. Art will be displayed in our showrooms and on our website.
Each entrant and their friends and family are invited to join us for a night of art, music, food and drink for the contest judging. The individual art events will also serve as fund raisers for Habitat For Humanity in our four markets. This is our sixth annual FIFL season and we can’t wait to see what art comes through our doors.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013





 The 29th annual National Black Memorabilia, Art, Doll & Collectible Show & Sale will be April 20-21, 2013 at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds, 16 Chestnut Street, in Gaithersburg, Maryland. This is the place to buy and sell fine art in the Greater Washington, DC area. Show hours are Saturday, 10 am - 7 pm, and Sunday, 10 am - 5 pm. Admission is $7. At this show there will be many vendors selling black memorabilia, educational exhibits, celebrity autograph sessions and appraisals. Vendors from across the United States will be selling black memorabilia, art and dolls including historical artifacts and documents, books, stamps, paintings, prints, textiles, autographs, toys, advertisements, photos, political and civil rights memorabilia, kitchen collectibles, coins, movie memorabilia, posters, sports and entertainment memorabilia, postcards and much more. Vendor space is still available. The educational exhibits will include slavery artifacts, Jim Crow era, the Buffalo Soldiers, Negro League Baseball, Marcus Garvey, Black Panther Party, Tuskegee Airmen, Malcolm X, George Washington Carver, Dorothy Dandridge, Madame C. J. Walker and others. There will be autograph sessions with Negro League Baseball Players and other celebrities. There will be onsite verbal black memorabilia appraisals for a fee of $5 per item. The show is indoors and will be held rain or shine. To reach the Montgomery County Fairgrounds in Gaithersburg take I-270 exit 11 and follow the signs. For more information or vendor space reservations, call (301)649-1915 or view the website

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Harlem Fine Arts Show has become the premier showcase for exhibiting modern art and African Diasporic Art. On February 7-10, 2013 the Harlem Fine Arts Show will host its annual exhibition in Harlem, attracting more than 10,000 visitors from across the world.