Books Without Words: The Visual Poetry of Elisabetta Gut Through January 16, 2011 National Museum of Women in the Arts 1250 New York Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20005 phone: 202-783-5000
The exhibition will present 22 artists’ books, collage-poems, book-objects and object-poems by Italian artist Elisabetta Gut (b. 1934). Her visual poetry is inspired by her dreams, memories, and love for music and poetry. text: NMWA photo: Elisabetta Gut
The Art of Living: Textile Furnishings from the Permanent Collection Through January 9, 2011 (Open New Year's Day) The Textile Museum 2320 S Street, NW Washington, DC 20008 phone: 202-667-0441
Homes and furnishings shape the human experience of everyday life. Each culture designs domestic environments that reflect its own social traditions, aesthetic preferences, political and economic circumstances, and local climate.
The Art of Living highlights the historical and cultural breadth of The Textile Museum's collection through the display of textile furnishings, including hangings, rugs, chair covers, cushions and other materials made in societies ranging from the late Roman Empire and colonial Peru to Edo-period Japan and Victorian Britain. The varied furnishing textiles in the exhibition, made to provide protection, comfort, color and pattern in homes from the ancient Mediterranean world to 20th-century America, document the lifestyles enjoyed by their original owners as well as the technical and artistic accomplishments of their creators. text: Textile Museum : Qanat(tent hanging), India, Golconda; Early 18th century; The Textile Museum.
When we draw with graphite pencils, most of us start with an outline. The problem with this is that objects don't have outlines in real life. For more realistic, life-like drawings, try challenging yourself to drawing without using lines. Instead look for areas of value; define the edges of your object with the contrasting values of the background and foreground, or by letting the edge vanish. Look carefully and trust your eyes. Sometimes subjects we think should be dark actually have a lot of lighter tones in them, and vice versa.
Having the right tools will make shading a lot easier. Make sure you have a range of pencils with different grades of hardness/softness. and HB pencil is good for midtones, while H pencils are harder and B pencils are softer. The higher the number before the H, the harder the pencil (example: a 4H pencil is harder graphite and makes lighter marks than a 2H pencil). The higher the number before the B, the softer the pencil is (example: a 4B pencil is softer and makes darker marks than a 2B pencil). Start off using HB for midtones and H for highlight areas, with B or 2B for darker areas. Having a 4B or 6B pencil is useful to acheive very dark values. HINT: don't be afraid of dark tones! Many beginners shy away from dark values, leaving their drawings seeming flat. Having a range of tones from very light to very dark, with midtones in between, will give your drawing depth and life.
This week, two new exhibitions opened at Smithsonian Museums which display work from the permanent collections. Recently opened at the Freer Gallery of Art is the exhibition Seasons: Chinese Landscapes, a collection of works from the permanent collection as part of the series of rotating exhibitions Seasons.
Seasons: Chinese Landscapes explores the seasonal themes and activities that frequently appear in Chinese painting, such as wandering in nature, visiting friends, or composing poetry. The works also depict the unique moods and feelings associated with each season. To allow Chinese voices to inform the interpretation of the works, the exhibition features numerous translations of inscriptions, colophons, and other directly related poems and texts.
Upcoming: Seasons: Japanese Screens December 24, 2010–July 5, 2011, And July 9, 2011–January 22, 2012
Also recently opened is Watch This! New Directions in the Art of the Moving Image at the American Art Museum. Watch This! is a "new permanent gallery dedicated to the media arts," in which
the museum takes stock of the cutting-edge tools and materials used by video artists during the past 50 years. This installation features key artworks from the history of video art and works by a new generation of artists on the cutting edge of new media art practices. The works range from Nam June Paik's early, innovative experiments with video to Cory Arcangel's reworking of Nintendo games and obsolete computer systems.
Anyone can make hand made holiday cards easily and inexpensively. It's a fun crafting project, and the recipient will definitely be appreciative of the time and effort you put in to something just for them.
The first thing you'll need is paper. Some art and crafts stores sell blank cards, but you can also get a large sheet of paper and cut it to size. Choose a heavier paper, and think about the texture. People touch and hold greeting cards, so a nice paper will be appreciated.
4x6 inches and 5x7 inches are standard sizes that will fit easily into envelopes. If you want to make folded cards, cut the paper into 6x8 inch sections (for 4x6 inch cards) or 7x10 inch sections (for 5x7 inch cards). Fold the paper in half and using a tool with a dull edge, such as a bone folder or the dull edge of a butter knife, gently score the inside of the fold to make a sharp crease. Alternatively, you can cut the paper into 4x6 or 5x7 inch sections for postcard style cards (cards with no fold). Making postcards instead of folded cards will use half as much paper and therefore be less expensive, but they leave less room for a written message. You don't have to make rectangular cards if you don't want to; try using snowmen, evergreen trees, or any other simple shape as the base for your card.
Now that you have your blank cards, you have to decide what to do with them. Rubber stamps are easy to use and are available at most craft stores. If you're feeling adventurous, you can make your own small linocut stamp.
Collage is another option for the front of your card. You can cut shapes, like Christmas trees or snow flakes, from a different color piece of paper or a scrap of fabric and glue it on (hint: use fabric glue for fabrics). You can use glue to attach a photograph and draw or stamp a border around it, or mount the photo using adhesive photo corners. Ribbon and buttons also make great embellishments or borders.
Remember that sometimes less is more. A card with a few simple touches will be elegant and sophisticated, and will take less time and fewer materials to make. Also, don't worry about making it perfect! The person who receives your card in the mail will be thrilled that you dedicated time and effort into making something just for them, so don't sweat the small stuff; your handmade card will be more special than a store bought card no matter what.
From the day in 1899 when he was born, James Castle (1899-1977) was completely deaf. Though he went to school when he was young, he apparently never learned how to read, write, or use sign language, though it's disputed whether he was unable to learn language or just refused to use it. He was never taught about art, either, but that didn't stop him from creating it.
Using found materials such as scraps of paper from packaging or mail, and ink made out of soot from the wood-burning stove mixed with water or saliva, he depicted his surroundings with care and clarity. Undoubtedly, Castle's drawings and collages became his main form of communication, showing his sensitivity and acute understanding of the world around him, despite his inability to understand language.
Untitled (Barn interior), date unknown found paper, soot 8 x 9 1/4 inches Courtesy J Crist Gallery, Boise
Turkey, date unknown cardboard, white string, red and brown washes, soot-and-spit stick-applied lines and wiped soot wash, black wax crayon 12 x 11 1/2 inches
Untitled (Madeline), date unknown found paper, string, color of unknown origin, soot 8 1/2 x 3 5/8 inches Courtesy J Crist Gallery, Boise
Portraits, date unkown Soot and saliva on paper 6 x 8 1/2 inches
LAST CHANCE Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell from the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg Exhibition closes January 2
Telling Stories is the first major exhibition to explore in-depth the connections between Norman Rockwell’s iconic images of American life and the movies. Two of America’s best-known modern filmmakers—George Lucas and Steven Spielberg—recognized a kindred spirit in Rockwell and formed significant collections of his work. Rockwell’s paintings and the films of Lucas and Spielberg evoke love of country, small town values, children growing up, unlikely heroes, acts of imagination and life’s ironies. Text and image from Smithsonian American Art Museum. Click for more info.
Smithsonian American Art Museum 1st floor West 11:30 am - 7:00 pm daily Telling Stories will open at 10 am Sun., Dec. 26 through Sun., Jan. 2. Museum closed on Dec. 25.
LAST CHANCE American Modernism: The Shein Collection Exhibition closes January 2
This exhibition explores the advent of modernism a century ago through twenty important paintings, sculptures, and drawings by the first-generation American avant-garde. Among the artists represented are Patrick Henry Bruce, Stuart Davis, Charles Demuth, Arthur Dove, Marcel Duchamp, Marsden Hartley, Stanton Macdonald-Wright, John Marin, Georgia O'Keeffe, Man Ray, Morton Schamberg, Charles Sheeler, Joseph Stella, John Storrs, and Max Weber. All works are from the Edward and Deborah Shein Collection, which is distinguished by its remarkable quality and rigorous focus on early American modernism. Text and image from National Gallery of Art. Click for more info.
National Gallery of Art East Building, Ground Floor Mon - Sat: 10am-5pm, Sun: 11am-6pm The Gallery is closed on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.