April 15th World Art Day

It seems fitting that World Art Day comes on Tax Day here in the US. How many of you bought art and gave it to a museum to get the tax deduction? Okay, probably not too many of you but if you did, did you appreciate the art before parting with it?

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The weird part about what is considered great art by the experts is that most of us look at it and can’t even figure out what it is! It’s all about color and texture, theme and style, the artist and a critic that thinks the weirder it is, the better!

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So, one of the all time greats painted a can of tomato soup. It apparently made everyone hungry! Well today was created by the IAA general assembly, proposed by the Turkey delegates to the International Association of Arts. They picked April 15th because it is Leonardo DaVinci’s birthday. They were in Guadalajara, Mexico at the time.

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Now I do love art, maybe not so much the Elvis painted on velvet but most art. That said, there are a lot of works of art that I do not understand. I also do not uderstand how they put a value of a piece of art. At auction one bring $10 while others bring $10,000,000 dollars! (And more) They both looked pretty good to me, sometimes I even like the $10.00 one better.

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How to celebrate – Study the gret works of art. Try painting your own great work! See how many of the great artists you can name without looking them up.

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January 31st National Inspire Your Heart with Art Day

Art affects every one of us no matter what you may think. It doesn’t have to be appreciated as one might think. Picasso for some is outstanding, for others they look at the work and don’t get it at all. Even a can of beer has artwork on it designed to make you want to drink it.

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Certain colors heighten our awareness and inspire emotions, a true artist knows this when creating their work of art. You don’t want to use reds if you want to inspire peace, you do not use pastels if you want to create anger. If you are selling beer in America use red, white, and blue, in Italy it is better to use red, white, and green.

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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And no one can tell you what you see as what is good and what is not. If you enjoy it, it is good, if you don’t (for you) it is bad. It’s as simple as that. It truly is what’s in your heart.

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In the world today we spend so much time trying to impress others by what we think in accordance with what they think. We have to like a piece of art (or anything else) because they like it and admire it. We think that if we don’t like something and they do that it will influence their opinions of us. Maybe it will, but it shouldn’t.

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So go to an art show and admire what you like, what moves you, and hold to your honest opinion whether it makes friends or loses friends. It is your heart that needs to be filled with joy before you can even worry about sharing it with someone else.

How to celebrate – Go to an art show. Stick up for what you like! Give a piece of art your full attention at least once before determining your final thoughts on it.

May 5th Cartoonists Day

Cartoonists work in a large medium that includes animation, comic strips, comic books, editorial cartoons, graphic novels, manuals, gag cartoons, graphic design, illustration, storyboards, posters, shirts, books, advertisements, greeting cards, magazines, newspapers, and video game packaging.

William Hograth is credited with pioneering the Western sequential art. The cartoon we know best is the comic strip.  Many of us remember  “Peanuts”, “Blondie” and  “Beetle Bailey” from the newspaper every Sunday. Some comics came in single panels, reflecting the deeper thoughts of society at the time, such as the featured comic above done by Thomas Nash during the American Civil War. Most are funny, some are political, others are very serious. Nash covered the war from its highs and lows, saying in the newspapers, what others were afraid to say out-loud. He could also be humorous, such as when Nash created the Elephant for the G.O.P..004tnast

Among other great political cartoonists were James Gillray and Thomas Rowlandson in 18th century England. In the US, Ben Franklin is credited with being the first editor to put a comic in a newspaper.

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The twentieth century was filled with freelance cartoonists such as Charles Addams, Irwin Caplan, Chon Day, Clyde Lamb and John Norment, and of course, the comic strips which we are all familiar with such as those created by Mort Walker, who preferred to produce his comic strips with a studio, and Bill Watterson and Charles Schultz, who enjoyed doing their work alone.political_cartoon_by_queenmari

Marvel, D.C. Comics, Classics Illustrated, and so many other comic book companies have hired, and in some cases still do, so many cartoonists that it would be nearly impossible to list them all. Yet each one of them is truly an artist that creates a world we may not be able to live in, but we sure enjoy looking at.

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How to celebrate Cartoonist Day: Look over the comics in the newspapers and magazines that you read, but this time, be sure to make a mental note of who the artist was that created it. Watch an animated movie, make sure you pay attention to the credits at the end of the film.  Try drawing your own cartoon, see just how difficult it can be!