Friday, January 8, 2010

Inspired by Art (Art Beat and Art Supplies)

I am a fan of Oregon Art Beat on OPB (Oregon Public Broadcasting). This week I was completely dazzled by the extraordinary beauty of Maria Simon’s painted bas relief work. To see the video (which is available streaming on the web), click here.

I mentioned in an earlier blog post that I have begun to paint in pastels. The list of supplies I needed for my class sent me searching for bargains. That’s how I found Dick Blick, an online source of art materials. Let me admit here that I love art supplies. As a child, there was no greater gift than a really BIG box of new crayons. In college, my design courses required many and fascinating (not to mention expensive) supplies - many of which I still have and use. As a craftswoman, my supplies and tools are my favorite toys. So, visiting this website makes me feel like a kid in a "candy"shop.

When I first visited the site, I was so intrigued by the variety of offerings, the types of pastels, the paper textures, the prices, and the colors of everything that I didn’t even notice something else. In addition to selling art materials, this site is LOADED with information, for artists, and for teachers. In the forms of curriculum and instructional videos, there are “over 200 ideas to browse. Geared for a wide variety of age and skill levels, our Lesson Plans are designed to meet the National Standards for Visual Art Education and bring the value of creativity to any teaching experience. All original. All free. Help yourself!”

Which brings me back to Oregon Art Beat. After watching the video featuring Maria Simon carving and painting in clay I want to know more about painted bas relief (a form of sculpture in which a solid piece of material is carved so that objects project from a background.) Imagine my delight when I discovered a video that takes the viewer through the process of carving and painting linoleum blocks (instead of the clay Simon uses). It has excellent information about high and low relief, tools, safety, texture and more. Step by step instructions and a list of materials (available on the site of course) are available too. The finished products are beautiful and inspiring. I can’t wait to try it … after I get my new supplies of cours