Face Painting: Birthday Party Favorite and Evolving Art Form

Face painting is a very popular kid’s activity at carnivals and birthday parties but more and more we are seeing a trend painting its way across different themes and party genres. While some things remain traditional in the world of face painting, many things are changing for the better! Professional and theatrical techniques are enhancing the potential for flare and detail, and the products are improving to meet that change in service.There is a wider spectrum of interest and demand for creativity in party planning, luckily there are equally creative people willing to supply their talent!

Now days the world of face painting is beginning to move away from the thick lines and gooey itchy paint that has long been the standard. With the introduction of finer products and safer, brighter paints, the bar has been raised on what separates an ordinary face painter from a talented face painter. A major improvement comes from the creation of quality, FDA approved products for face and body painting. Parents should be aware of the type of paint, adhesives and glitter your face painter uses, this is a big concern that you should confront when hiring a face painter. Acrylics are a no-no. Craft supplies are not for skin, there is a high risk for irritation and allergy.

Designs can be painted on your cheeks or on your full face to create a whole new character or if preferred, familiar and iconic characters. Most face painters will have photo’s to show you, but that does not always mean it is their work. A talented face painter will have their designs to show you and this is a good question to ask when looking for a genuine artist to define your celebration with a unique feature.

Arms, neck and legs are other popular areas to have painted, but in many happy mother’s opinions, no other form of body art can match the creativity inspired by the canvas of a Pregnant Belly. This is a hugely requested baby shower activity that leaves behind much more than a photo memory, but also gives a unique and fun expression of a momentous time of life that can be share with baby forever!

Cheek art is commonly intricate work and takes longer to create than full faces, but if you are looking for extreme pizazz in a full face piece, all talented face painters are going to take the time to give you the extra attention to make the full face design pop, sparkle or scare and always impress!

In the party supply planning services industry there are standards that remain traditional, most importantly that element of fun! Fun is enjoyed on both ends of the face painting experience. The artist always has a different canvas to work with and the person being painted always walks away from the face painting chair with a smile, if not, I’ve never met a face painter who will refuse to rework the design.

Almost anyone can be a face painter hobbyist, with instructions and practice they can make a bit of income. But when a skilled face painting enthusiast gets a hold of a willing face, the imagination is full of possibilities!

Personally, I have traveled all over Texas to work and had the honor of taking classes from one of the best in the industry. I have worked everywhere imaginable from street festivals to upscale gallery scenes and of course the traditional backyard birthday party or family reunion. Yet, I am still learning my trade through interacting with the kids and the young at heart alike, everyone I work with brings something new for me to add to my evolution in this art form. I am currently working in the very beautiful and richly creative Austin Texas area full time. The local Motto here is, “Keep Austin Weird”, and I have had much pleasure doing my part, painting a smile on, one face at a time!

Mark Rothko – An Abstract Expressionist With Complex Intrigues

Marcus Rothkowitz or Mark Rothko, as he was better known, was born on September 25, 1903, in Daugavpils, Latvia. He was one of the faces of the “Abstract Expressionist Movement” sharing stage with the likes of de Kooning, Pollock, Guston, Kline, and Newman. Belonging to a Jewish family, the Russian community never accepted Mark Rothko. Therefore, he left for the U.S. in 1913, where he led a simple life, until his father passed away in 1914. To support his family, he worked at his uncle’s warehouse, distributed newspapers to the employees. Rothko was a bright student at school and he completed his studies with honors from Lincoln High School in Portland, in June 1921. He enrolled for studies in Liberal Arts, from the Yale University, during the period 1921 – 1923, but dropped out without acquiring a degree.

Mark Rothko was largely a self-taught, highly appreciated artist to emerge from the New York art scene. He co-founded an organization of like-minded artists, famous as “The Ten,” in 1935. He also established an art school in New York, named “Subjects of The Artist,” in 1948. The early works of Mark Rothko mostly included ‘Expressionist’ portraits and urban landscapes. Later, however, he moved towards more ‘Surreal’ themes, under the influence of the works of Arshille Gorky. In 1947, he started painting his now famous, “color-field pieces,” characterized by simple bright or dark colors to convey his emotions. By 1950s, Mark Rothko started getting recognition as the master of “Abstract Expressionism.”

Most of Rothko’s works were unnamed or had forgettable names, such as “Black, Maroons and White (1958),” “Four Red (1957),” & “No. 6 (Violet, Green and Red).” In 1967, the artist joined hands with Johnson to make 14 related works on a church in Houston, Texas, which was posthumously renamed after him. For most part of his career, Mark taught in several universities and colleges, including Center Academy in Brooklyn, from 1929 to 1952, the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco in 1947 and again in 1949, Brooklyn College from 1951 to 1954, the University of Colorado in 1955, and Tulane University in the year 1956. In addition, Mark Rothko exhibited his work regularly in 1940s and 1950s. He was eventually allowed in Venice Biennale in 1958 & the Museum of Modern Art in the New York City in 1961.

Ironically, Mark Rothko had always maintained that he is not an abstractionist and is not interested in the relationship of color or forms. For him, his paintings displayed basic human emotions like anger, tragedy, loss, etc. Despite his professional success, Mark Rothko could not be considered a happy man. He had two failed marriages and throughout his life, Rothko had to struggle with penury. His heavy thinking also led him towards depression and alcoholism and eventually, he committed suicide on February 25, 1970, by cutting his wrists in his New York studio.

Robert Wood

I’m thinking that if anyone of us comes up with a way to do a search on paintings when we know the painting but not the name of the artist or the title of the work, we who design that reverse word search engine will be the next Google millionaires! That is, wouldn’t it be nice to put the picture in our heads into the search bar, and get back the date, title, and artist’s name?

Oh, well. In the meantime, there’s many a fine artist who deserves to be named and whose work should be discussed–by title and description. Today’s spotlighted artist is Robert Wood.

Considered a master of the American landscape, Robert Wood was for decades, says one scholar, America’s best-known painter of landscapes. Born to and raised by father W. L. Wood, who was also a painter of Victorian pieces, Robert showed skill and abilities early. He studied painting in Folkstone, a town near the White Cliffs of Dover and Sandgate (where he was born and grew up). He served for a time in the Royal Army, then immigrated to America, where he first worked on a farm, then traveled the country (moving with family, often) recording in splendid detail the environs he would later depict.

After traveling to and living in Florida, Los Angeles, Ohio, and elsewhere and after settling in Texas, Robert Wood would make “sketching trips,” according to one authority, on which he would detail the Cascades, the Grand Tetons, the High Sierras, the Rocky Mountains, and Yellowstone National Park.

For seventeen years Wood would engage in artistic activities, in what would become hundreds of paintings such as “Evening in the Tetons,” “Texas Spring,” “Texas Blue Bonnets,” and “Desert in Spring;” and would then move to Laguna Beach in California–to give us such stunning paintings as “Coast of Monterey,” “West Wind,” and “Pacific Coast.”

While each and every painting by Robert Wood is vibrant with blue spreads of blue lapin or dreamy in muted greens and subtle golds, for example, and while his work was constant and much appreciated in the original form, what also contributed to the painter’s popularity was the practice of reproduction.

According to Jeffrey Morseburg, artist, lecturer, and art dealer, Wood’s reproductions made their way further and in greater volumes than his originals–covering the whole of the US and finding homes in Europe and elsewhere (purportedly, even Africa!).

When you see a Robert Wood, then, you’ll know it. Or will you? Might it be a reproduction?

Quick Home Interior Remedies

The holidays are just around the corner, which means lots of opportunities for entertaining. More than likely, you will have many family members and friends that you have not seen in years stop by to visit. As much as we all hate to admit it, people judge. Your guests will look around your home to see what has changed in the last several years since they last saw you-or the lack of change. Just like clothing, home interior decorating styles change over time too. It is important to keep your home up-to-date. With a few simple tricks, you can transform your beautiful 90’s house into a stunning 21st century home.

Nancy Schoen has been an interior designer in North Texas for the last 20 years. She has seen styles come, go and come back, and many styles come and go, but continue lingering in many homes. According to Schoen, there are a few tricks to making your home really pop and show that it belongs in 2009. First of all, the most important thing is to get rid of the old. There’s a reason the saying goes, “Out with the old, in with the new.” It doesn’t matter how much new stuff you have, if you have one silk ficus tree or eucalyptus plant, your home will automatically lose some of it’s visual appeal. “Kick the silks to the curb,” Schoen said.

The next most important thing, according to this designer, is to add on to what’s already there. For example if you have a light fixture that you’ve had several years, but you want to add a little pizzaz, get some stylish lamp shades. You do not have to upgrade and get an entirely new light fixture, just make the current one pop by adding a little flare. However, if you still have a brass light fixture or chandelier, you should definitely try to upgrade. Baker’s racks in kitchens are totally hot to play with too. Schoen said she loves to see homes that use their baker’s racks as a source for a display; put some cornucopia up there for fall, dangle some big Christmas ornaments from it in the winter, just play with it and add a little something special to make it stand out.

Lastly, if you really want to catch the attention of your guests and add value to your home, add some metal work and sconces. “Metals and earth tones are the hottest thing right now,” Schoen said. Adding ironwork mustaches and finials above doorframes is a great way to accent the entrance to a room. Sconces are also a great choice on either side of artwork or in the corner of a room because you can do so much with them. Use it as a plate or plaque display, put a dried flower arrangement on top of it, or fill an empty sconce with decorative balls. Use your imagination. And when it comes to actually accenting the walls themselves, stay away from white and basic contractor’s colors. Use the muted earth tones to add warmth. Using the sage greens, raw umber, and browner shades will add to a complimentary flow throughout your home. Just remember it is vital that in painting your home, whether just an accent wall or the entire room, to pay attention to the lines. Cut in the paint to the corners and especially the ceiling. Taping-off before hand is the best way to prevent accidentally rolling or stroking paint onto another wall. If a paint line is not straight, it will distract from the beauty of the room, and detract from the value of your home should you ever want to sell.

So just remember Nancy’s simple steps; Out with the old, make due with the used, and then in with the new. It is necessary to keep these steps in this order. And if applied properly, your home can go from drab to fab!