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Monthly Archive for: ‘March, 2011’

  • Are these new Zodiac signs “official” or a fad?

    Question by Love giving the CA Howdy: Are these new Zodiac signs “official” or a fad?
    Basically, will they stick around with the new dates or in a few weeks be gone and out of everyones minds??

    Best answer:

    Answer by veronika
    Possible,
    though I think they’ll fade away, then make a comeback some time in the future.

    Add your own answer in the comments!

  • Andrew Wyeth – Famous American Artist

    Article by George Baxter

    Born in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania in 1917, Andrew Newell Wyeth is famous as a realist painter and portrait artist of the 20th century. He is the son of the famous artist and illustrator Newell Convers Wyeth, and the youngest in the seven member family. His eldest daughter Henriette Wyeth Hurd is also an artist.

    Due to his physical weakness in childhood, Andrew’s parents decided to teach him at home and gave him tuition on every subject including art. Andrew showed his passion for painting portraits on canvas and drawing at an early age and his artistic skills were nourished by his father N.C. Wyeth through proper guidance. Andrew mastered figure study and creation of portraits in watercolour and also learned egg tempera from his brother-in-law Peter Hurd.

    Wyeth’s career was launched in 1937, with his solo exhibition at Macbeth Gallery in New York. The exhibition was a success and all his canvases found takers.

    In 1940, he married Besty James and had two sons Nicholas and James, both of whom later became associated with arts. His father’s accidental death in 1945 was an emotional event in his life which influenced his career in a big way. It was after his father’s death that Andrew’s art saw a more mature style with more realistic renderings on canvas and more symbolic objects incorporated in drawings.

    Andrew’s style involves experimenting subjects in pencil or loosely brushed watercolour before being executed to finished painting on the canvas. Being a realist portraitist, his favourite subjects include the land and inhabitants of his hometown Chadds Ford. Andrew’s neighbours Anna and Karl Kuerner influenced him so much that both of them along with Kuerner’s farm remained one of his most important portrait subjects for years. ‘Christina’s World’ is one of Wyeth’s famous paintings portraying crippled Christina Olsen hankering for her home.

    Andrew’s first solo museum exhibition was in 1951 at Farnsworth Art Museum. Today, his collection of portraits can be seen in almost all major American museums including the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the National Gallery of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. A large collection of his art can also be found in Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania and the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland.

    As a portraitist, Andrew Wyeth received a number of honours and awards which include the 2007 National Medal of Arts. The first recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President John F. Kennedy in 1963, Wyeth was also the first American artist to be elected to the Royal Academy of Britain. In 1987 he received a D.F.A. from Bates College. In 1988, Wyeth was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, which is the highest civilian honour given by the United States legislature.

    For canvases to suite all artists from the expert artist to the beginner it’s worth taking a look at what www.artistsblankcanvas.co.uk have on offer. This site is also a good place to see many well written articles about famous artists. This article originally comes from http://www.artistsblankcanvas.co.uk/Art-Articles/Andrew-Wyeth.html. In the world of art there are many art resources that are hard to find using search engines alone. To help you find art based websites visit this Free Art Directory List.

    About the Author

    George Baxter is a retired art teacher who takes great interest in learning and teaching traditional art skills and techniques specifically in relation to oil painting, abstract art and fine arts.

    More Andrew Wyeth Articles

  • Maxfield Parrish: Knee-Deep in Parrish Blues

    Article by Amanda Barnell

    Maxfield Parrish was one of the most innovative painters of the early 20th century. His work cannot be boxed into any definitive category or school. He was a true art pioneer. The color “cobalt blue” was renamed “Parrish blue” to do homage to his penchant and proficiency in the use of the dazzling color.

    TechniquesParrish devised numerous unique methods of creation in his work, many of which have never been successfully duplicated by his contemporaries. One of his famous techniques involved the use of a large piece of cloth with a black and white geometric pattern. This piece of cloth was draped over a human model (often himself) causing the pattern of geometric shapes to be distorted. The model was then photographed. The artist would create a transparency of the picture, project it onto one of his pieces and, using black graphite on a white canvas, trace and fill in all the black sections of the projected photograph. The result was a remarkably realistic image of a person wearing a geometrically-patterned cloth.

    Parrish was prolific in his use of color, particularly cobalt or Parrish blue. He would achieve this unique hue by glazing. The technique involved alternating between layers of oil color and varnish over a base image.

    In the Throes of “Ecstasy”A stunning example of Parrish’s use of vibrant color is demonstrated in his work titled “Ecstasy”. It depicts a young woman on a mountain top with a blue expanse of water below her. The subject’s pose suggests the artist’s passionate nature. Her back is arched, her arms are extended behind her neck, and her chin is tilted upward toward the sky. Her dress and hair appear to be fluttering in a breeze. The woman seems to be leaning off the cliff, ready to set herself afloat in the air. It is believed that this piece was inspired by Parrish’s daughter Jean who, at the time, was growing into a woman and breaking free of family constraints. The use of Parrish blue in this painting is striking. It is in stark contrast with the white clouds, adding a dream-like and magnificent quality to the piece.

    Parrish Blue in “Dreaming”In 1928, Parrish painted “Dreaming” (or “October”) which depicted a nude woman seated at the base of a tree on the lower left of the painting. However, upon its completion, Parrish had a change of heart and decided to modify it, but never completed the project. Nevertheless, on the right side of the piece, Parrish did a remarkable thing that truly showcased his talent with color. He painted the cyan printing plate directly on the canvas. He skillfully assessed the blue components and painted them directly onto the white background in a thin, transparent glaze. As a result, when light hit the painting, it would pierce the transparent glazes, reflect off the white background and blended the colors in a way that could not be achieved with mixed pigments. The end product was an exquisite creation of a Parrish blue tree mirroring the tree to the left. It gives the piece a haunting quality, an illusive belief that the tree on the right is an ephemeral phantom.

    Maxfield Parrish was an influential and admired artist. He was not only a remarkable artist able to create spectacular landscapes with brilliant colors and original techniques, but he was also an illustrator. Moreover, his paintings had the underpinnings of a narrative just begging to be told.

    About the Author

    Amanda Barnell is an inspiring artist who provides original content for many newspapers and websites. This article was originally published in Maxfield Parrish Prints.

    More Maxfield Parrish Articles

  • Does anyone have any info on the the folk medicine topics of “Talking Out the Fire” or Fire doctors?

    Question by siete_diablos: Does anyone have any info on the the folk medicine topics of “Talking Out the Fire” or Fire doctors?
    When I was a youngster I burned my arm badly when I spilled a pan of boiling water on my arm. My Grandpa took to a man that lived back this small hollow that was known as a fire or burn doctor. He took my my arm and recited some verse (could have been from the Bible, but I was very and don’t remember all the details). After rubbbing his hands lightly over the burn the pain ceased and the blisters seemed to disappear before my eyes. I later asked my Grandpa if this guy was a witch or something and he just laughed and said some day he would explain it all to me. My Grandpa passed before I got my answers, as has the the old man at the head of the hollow. I have found that few people have heard of this type of “folk medicine” and would like to learn more.

    Best answer:

    Answer by Ohio Healer
    I found quite a few sites doing a google search of “talking out the fire folk medicine”; however, they all required subscriptions! Most of them were journals. Perhaps your library would have access to them either in print or on line. I hope you continue to research this, it sounds like a lovely tradition to pass on to your children.

    Add your own answer in the comments!

  • Starting an inside herb “garden”?

    Question by Amanda Byebee: Starting an inside herb “garden”?
    I really love fresh herbs, but since I live in an apartment complex I am not allowed to garden besides hanging some things on the railing of my balcony. Are there any kind of herbs that do well growing in a pot that don’t need constant direct sunlight? Thanks

    Best answer:

    Answer by shooter1
    Look at this site:

    http://www.herbkits.com/products.htm

    I have never used them so I can’t verify their seed quality or customer service adequacy. I’m sure there are other sites as well; I just didn’t continue the search.

    Good luck and enjoy!

    Add your own answer in the comments!

  • Cool Dharma images

    Some cool dharma images:

    HH Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche displaying the vitarka mudrā, Teaching, Giving Instruction, Reason, Preaching, Transmission of the Dharma mudra, after a visit to the Sakya Dharma Center, 1976, SeaTac Airport, Seattle, Washington, USA

    Image by Wonderlane
    Three Short Teachings
    By Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche:

    Thoughts and the Mind

    Like waves, all the activities of this life have rolled endlessly on, one after the other, yet they have left us feeling empty-handed. Myriads of thoughts have run through our mind, each one giving birth to many more, but what they have done is to increase our confusion and dissatisfaction.

    When we closely examine the ordinary habits that underlie whatever we do and try to discover where they come from, we find that their very source is our failure to investigate them properly. We operate under the deluded assumption that everything has some sort of true, substantial reality. But when we look more carefully, we find that the phenomenal world is like a rainbow—vivid and colourful, but without any tangible existence.

    When a rainbow appears in the sky we see many beautiful colours—yet a rainbow is not something we can clothe ourselves with, or wear as an ornament. There is nothing we can take hold of; it is simply something that appears to us through the conjunction of various conditions. Thoughts arise in the mind in just the same way. They have no tangible reality or intrinsic existence at all. There is therefore no logical reason why thoughts should have so much power over us, nor any reason why we should be enslaved by them.

    Mind is what creates both samsara and nirvana. Yet there is nothing much to it—it is just thoughts. Once we recognize that thoughts are empty, the mind will no longer have the power to deceive us. But as long as we take our deluded thoughts as real, they will continue to torment us mercilessly, as they have been doing throughout countless past lives. To gain control over the mind, we need to be aware of what to do and what to avoid, and we also need to be alert and vigilant, constantly examining all our thoughts, words and actions.

    To cut through the mind’s clinging, it is important to understand that all appearances are void, like the appearance of water in a mirage. Beautiful forms are of no benefit to the mind, nor can ugly forms harm it in any way. Sever the ties of hope and fear, attraction and repulsion, and remain in equanimity in the understanding that all phenomena are nothing more than projections of your own mind.

    Once you have realized absolute truth, then you will see the whole, infinite display of relative phenomena that appears within it as no more than an illusion or a dream. To realize that appearance and voidness are one is what is called simplicity, or freedom from conceptual limitations.

    Self and others

    As you wish to be happy, so you should wish others to be happy too. As you wish to be free from suffering, so you should wish that all beings may also be free from suffering. You should think, “May all living creatures find happiness and the cause of happiness. May they be free from suffering and the cause of suffering. May they always have perfect happiness free from suffering. May they live in equanimity, without attachment or hatred but with love towards all without any discrimination.”

    To feel overflowing love and almost unbearable compassion for all living creatures is the best way to fulfil the wishes of all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Even if for the moment you cannot actually help anyone in an external way, meditate on love and compassion constantly over the months and years until compassion is knit inseparably into the very fabric of your mind.

    As you try to practise and progress on the path, it is essential to remember that your efforts are for the sake of others. Be humble and remember that all your exertions are child’s play compared to the vast and infinite activity of the Bodhisattvas. Like parents providing for the children they love so much, never think that you have done too much for others—or even enough. Even if you finally manage to establish all living creatures in perfect Buddhahood, simply think that all your wishes have been fulfilled. There must never be so much as a trace of hope for any benefit for oneself in return.

    The essence of the Bodhisattva practice is to go beyond self-clinging and dedicate yourself to serving others. The Bodhisattva’s activity hinges on the mind, not on how your actions might appear externally. True generosity is the absence of clinging, ultimate discipline is the absence of desire, and authentic patience is the absence of hatred. Bodhisattvas are able to give away their kingdom, their body, their dearest possessions, because they have completely overcome any inner impoverishment and are unconditionally ready to fulfil the needs of others.

    Practice

    The teachings we need most are those that will actually strengthen and inspire our practice. It is all very well to receive teachings as high as the sky, but the sky is not that easy to grasp. Start with practices which you can truly assimilate—developing determination to be free of ordinary concerns, nurturing love and compassion—and as you gain stability in your practice you will eventually be able to master all the higher teachings.

    The only way to achieve liberation from samsara and attain the omniscience of enlightenment is to rely on an authentic spiritual teacher. An authentic spiritual teacher is like the sail that enables a boat to cross the ocean swiftly.

    The sun and moon are reflected in clear, still water instantly. Similarly, the blessings of the Three Jewels are always present for those who have complete confidence in them. The sun’s rays fall everywhere uniformly, but only where they are focused through a magnifying glass can they set dry grass on fire. When the all-pervading rays of the Buddhas’ compassion are focused through the magnifying glass of your faith and devotion, the flame of blessings blazes up in your being.

    Obstacles can arise from good as well as bad circumstances, but they should never deter or overpower you. Be like the earth, which supports all living creatures indiscriminately, without distinguishing good from bad. The earth is simply there. Your practice should be strengthened by the difficult situations you encounter, just as a bonfire in a strong wind is not blown out, but blazes even brighter.

    When someone harms you, see him as a kind teacher who is showing you the path to liberation and merits your respect. Pray that you may be able to help him as much as you can, and whatever happens, never hope for an opportunity for vengeance. It is particularly admirable to bear patiently the harm and scorn of people who have less education, strength or skill than you.

    Look right into it, and you will see that the person who is harmed, the person who does the harm, and the harm itself are all totally devoid of any inherent reality. Who, then, is going to get angry at mere delusions? Faced with these empty appearances, is there anything to be lost or gained? Is there anything to be liked or disliked? It is all like an empty sky. Recognize that!

    Once you control the anger within, you will discover that there is not a single adversary left outside. But as long as you pay heed to your hatred and attempt to overcome your external opponents, even if you succeed, more will inevitably rise up in their place. Even if you managed to overpower everyone in the whole world, your anger would only grow stronger; to follow it will never make it subside. The only really intolerable enemy is hatred itself. To defeat the enemy of hatred it is necessary to meditate one-pointedly on patience and love until they truly take root in your being. Then there can be no outer adversaries.

    Ask yourself how many of the billions of inhabitants of this planet have any idea of how rare it is to have been born as a human being. How many of those who understand the rarity of human birth ever think of using that chance to practise the Dharma? How many of those who think of starting to practise actually do so? How many of those who start continue to practise? How many of those who continue attain ultimate realization? Indeed, those who attain ultimate realization, compared to those who do not, are as few as the stars you can see at daybreak compared to the myriad stars you can see in the clear night sky.

    As long as you, like most people, fail to recognize the true value of human existence you will just fritter your life away in futile activity and distraction. When life comes all too soon to its inevitable end, you will not have achieved anything worthwhile at all. But once you really see the unique opportunity that human life can bring, you will definitely direct all your energy into reaping its true worth by putting the Dharma into practice.

    If you make use of your human birth in the right way, you can achieve enlightenment in this very lifetime. All the great Siddhas of the past were born as ordinary people. But by entering the Dharma, following a realized teacher and devoting their whole lives to practising the instructions they received, they were able to manifest the enlightened activities of great Bodhisattvas.

    Translated by the Padmakara Translation Group
    From Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
    Editions Padmakara

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