Monday, January 31, 2011
Face painting is a great way to complete a halloween costume that has several advantages over the wearing of masks. One advantage, particularly important to kids out trick or treating. is vision. Halloween masks leave only a couple of small holes to see out of restricting peripheral vision, which can be especially dangerous crossing streets. Masks are also hot, sweaty, and uncomfortable. Most of all, though, face painting is just a lot more fun!
While halloween face painting can be a blast for both children and adults, there are some things you should know before starting a face painting project of your own.
Here are some tips to get you started.
- Use only paint designed for use on the face. Preferably water based paint which can be removed with soap and water.
- Keep your paint and supplies out of reach of small children. While painting the face of your six year old, your two year old might just be too tempted by the pretty colors.
- Avoid putting face paint on cuts, sores. or other problem areas. as this can result in irritation or rashes.
- When trying a particular paint or substance for the first time, try testing it on an arm or some other part of the body for a couple days to check for an allergic reaction. This is particularly important for very young children and people with sensitive skin.
- Be careful around the eyes. Some face paints will say they are specifically for use near the eyes, but even then, it's a good idea to go sparingly. especially with very young children.
- Wash off before going to bed. The longer the paint is left on the skin, the more chance there is of skin irritation, and clogged pores and such. Also, face paint can make a mess of your sheets, and possibly get in the eyes.
- Practice. Like anything else, you will be better at face painting your second or third time than you were your first time. So have some fun and maybe have a pre halloween party!
Face painting just seems to naturally go hand in hand with halloween. I believe there is something magical about seeing ones own face altered into an animal, a ghoul, or a fairy princess that children and adults just love. So go out there and have fun, and don't forget to take pictures!
Abstract Expressionism is a fascinating American contribution to the world of art. It was a movement that developed in New York during the decades immediately following World War II. Sometimes it is referred to as the New York School or as 'Action Painting'. It is characterized by an attempt to depict universal emotions. It is known as the first exclusively American movement to gain international recognition.
Artists who worked at abstract expressionism tended to concentrate on the physical process of painting, from which the narrower term 'Action Painting' was derived, often throwing paint at their canvases in an expressive and highly physical subversion of traditional methods of painting. Breton, Ernst and Masson, all leading Surrealists, moved to New York during World War II and were influential in its initial development. However, where the Surrealists explored the unconscious for means of disrupting society's cherished conventions, the Abstract Expressionists turned to the unconscious for symbols of universal meaning which could restore both art and society after World War II.
The psychologist Carl Gustav Jung was an important influence on these artists. He argued that archetypal, symbol-generating emotions and behavior can be found in every psyche and culture. The abstract expressionists believed that their painting expressed these universal symbols.
Within abstract expressionism is an interesting variant called Color Field Painting. It looks like an exact opposite of Action painting. Instead of having its rhythmic vitality, luminous and brooding colors saturate the canvas with contemplative stillness. If Action Painting captures the physical energy of dance, Color Field Painting evokes the psychic energy of contemplation.
By the 1960's, artist Philip Guston was one of a growing number who criticized Abstract Expressionism for having become a sterile, and decorative orthodoxy which was stifling creativity.
It is fascinating the way Abstract Expressionism often works to cause the observer to feel liberated from the burdens of individuality, class, nationality and gender. Significantly, it also helps to restore a much needed sense of common humanity. For example, Rothko's Untitled is characterized by luminous colors. When looked at directly, it has an iconic quality typical of many abstract expressionist paintings. The suggestion of a dark horizon in the center of the painting evokes universal feelings about distance and proximity, travel and arrival, containment and freedom.
Perhaps one of the most well known and revolutionary paintings is Jackson Pollock's Alchemy, 1947. In this painting, Pollock poured commercial paint directly onto his canvas with the help of a stick. This act dispersed with the traditional brush and easel and involved his entire body in the act of painting. The work has a physicality and energy typical of much Abstract Expressionism, Action Painting in particular. Alchemy refers to the ancient search for a means of transforming base matter into gold which Jung saw as symbolic of psychological transformation.
Abstract Expressionism is an intense, introspective, global type of art that elevates and informs. Obviously, it is subjectively experienced, yet objectively available. We bring our own backgrounds, insecurities, and other life experiences to an experience with this wonderful type of art. Something always worth the effort.