Friday, December 30, 2011

Most Popular Blog Posts of 2011

Roundup of my most popular blog posts in case you missed them!!
by Miriam Schulman, @schulmanArt

Watercolor Fashion Illustration Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty

What inspires me to create my art, August 5, 2001
Have you ever wondered where artist like me get their ideas? This blog posts includes a montage video of how I take my ideas from conception to realized finished painting. For this look into my artistic process I focused on my Alexander McQueen inspired watercolors. Whether you were one of the half million people who saw the Savage Beauty exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or if you missed it, you will love this blog post about the fusion of artistic ideas.

Picasso Painted Watercolors, November 17th, 2011
Are you celebrating New Year's in the big apple? This blog is a review of the exhibit at the Frick Collection in New York which continues until January 8, 2012 in case you haven't seen it. A great outing for this weekend if you are in New York City  to see the ball drop and want to sneak in a little culture.

African Art, original watercolor paintings for sale
Decorating Inspiration, can you imagine these walls without art?
Are you looking to spruce up your home in the New Year? This video montage gives lots of great ideas of how to use art to decorate in you home.

Do you love art and decorating? Get art you love and decorating inspiration delivered straight to your inbox! Click HERE.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Artistic Symbols of Unconditional Love

Interview with Israeli Jewelry Designer Sagit Levi.
by Miriam Schulman, @schulmanArt

Sagit Levi on Etsy
SchulmanArt: Where are you from?
Sagit Levi: I live in Ein Vered, an agricultural village at the Sharon, located in Central Israel.
SchulmanArt: Where did you study art and jewelry design?
See all rings by Sagit
Sagit Levi:I graduated The Design school in Tel Aviv on 1991.

SchulmanArt: Do you make your living as an artist ? Where else do you sell your designs?
Sagit Levi: My Art is my sole mean of income. My clients get to me by word of mouth which exposes me daily to many new people.  In the last few years I e-market my art via the internet to all over the world. Up until recently, I was connected to few galleries in San Francisco.
Sagit at work in her studio
SchulmanArt: What are your inspirations?
Sagit Levi: Living in the country, so close to nature with its vegetation and animals, is the main source of my inspiration. The music I listen to, the different people I meet, the poetry I read, the Kabbalah I study and the Bible, the book of all books, are big part of my creation as well.

SchulmanArt: I love the spirituality in your work and how you incorporate jewish mysticism in your jewelry designs. Could you please tell us more about how Kabbalah influences your jewelry designs?
Sagit Levi: For quite a long time I reside across the street from a Synagogue. Seeing people wearing white, praying, singing, rejoicing and celebrating their belief, deeply affected me. It brought me closer to the Bible and made me quote sentences from the Book as part of my Art.
Find Sagit on facebook!

SchulmanArt: What rituals do you have to get ready to create?
Sagit Levi: I begin my day by lightening a candle, brew my own coffee and sit to work at my own studio, at home. It is a spacious room, with big windows, open to the back yard with its trees and flowers. The room is a source of quietness and inspiration.
I listen to music from all over the world. The music is an essential essence of my life, drives me forward and certainly plays a great role at my inspiration.

Silver Heart Pendant - Unconditional Love
Being efficient and diligent, I can easily combine my work with my everyday tasks . Among my daily obligation I find the time to serve my kids lunch, to walk my dog and take care of the household.

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Friday, December 23, 2011

Decorate with African Art for Kwanzaa

Celebrate the Unique Heritage of Africa
by MIriam Schulman, @schulmanArt
Art of Africa
Everyone has heard of Kwanzaa, a unique holiday that celebrates African culture, but do you know that the holiday includes the celebration of arts? Kwanzaa is a week-long holiday that is celebrated around the world that takes place between December the 26th and January the 1st every year. The holiday celebrates African culture and history. The Kwanzaa originated in the U.S.A as a holiday  just for African Americans. 
African Art
People decorate their homes in African colours and put up pieces of African art. Some people attend a Kwanzaa ceremony that has African drumming and music. One of the most important parts of Kwanzaa is a special feast called a karamu. Family and friends get together and celebrate who they are. If you go to a karamu, you should say “Habari gani,” which is Swahili for “What’s news?”

Tribal Art of Africa
Kwanzaa celebrates Nguzu Saba, which means "The Seven Principles of Blackness". Each of the seven days represents a different principle. The principles are unity, self-determination, working together, cooperating in business, building the nation, creativity, and faith. People who celebrate Kwanzaa light candles in a special candle holder called a kinara.

The African tribal paintings featured in this blog were created from studying an original African art sculpture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The original charcoal drawings were painted with watercolor, The tribal wall art has a wonderful abstract quality giving it a modern sophistication. The watercolor paintings were given an additional texture to add to the visual appeal. Check out all the African art available for sale online.

What's news?
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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Handcrafted Hannukah

Order these special treats and get them by the last night of Chanukah!
by Miriam Schulman, @schulmanArt
Chanukah Party, fine art print for sale
Tonight marks the first night of Chanukah, and if this holiday crept up suddenly on you and you are unprepared have no fear. This traditional celebration lasts eight nights so you still have a full week to order presents and decorations for your holiday table. Many Jewish people make a bigger deal out of the last night when all eight candles light the menorah. Some interfaith families combine Christmas and Chanukah celebrations. Tomorrow is the United States postal deadline for priority mail shipping to receive by Saturday December 24th so be sure to fill your virtual shopping cart with some great finds for gifts or your home.
White Porcelain Menorah
By Ceramic Artist Celeste Welch
This one of a kind, very special Hanukkah candelabra has been beautifully designed, sculpted and signed by the artist.  The glaze finish on this piece is a glossy white which catches the light and reflects it beautifully.This menorah has an heirloom quality and will be cherished and enjoyed for years to come. The copyrighted image on this hand crafted sculpture from renowned ceramic artist Celeste Welch has adorned living areas across the country and has been featured in the giftshops of both the Hirshhorn Museum in (Washington, DC) and the LA Museum of Modern Art.

A great gift appropriate for people of all ages are these dreidel soaps! They are about 2 inches wide and about 2 inches tall. They would be great for your decor, kids' bath time or for an unusual Hanukkah hostess gift!

Iced Gingerbread Chanukah Cookies
A delightful set of Hanukkah cookies will make the Festival of Lights even brighter! Order a set of delicious gingerbread cookies iced in pale blue, gold, and white almond royal icing, accented with glittering sugar! This set includes cookie menorahs, Torahs, dreidels, and Stars of David. All cookies are made fresh to order and decorated by hand.The cookies are wrapped in cello bags and safely nestled in tissue and all tied up in a recyclable box. This is a great gift to have shipped direct to that faraway grandchild.

Another great gift idea are candles! What ideas do you have?

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Monday, December 19, 2011

Watercolor on Canvas Painting Demonstration

Dragonfly art takes flight
by Miriam Schulman, @schulmanArt
Dragonfly Art great gift idea for garden and nature lovers
Would you like to enjoy the beautiful luminosity of watercolor without having to display the art under glass? I noticed a lot of collectors did so I worked hard to develop an archival technique for creating fresh and colorful watercolor paintings on canvas.

Check out this video for all the secrets and how-tos for painting watercolor on canvas. Whether you are an artist or just an art appreciator, I think you will enjoy seeing the behind the scenes creation of these dragonfly paintings. If you order by December 20th you can still get one in time for Christmas since I ship all packages priority mail. Click here to see all dragonfly art available in my etsy store.

What do you think makes a good gift for a garden lover? 
Dawn Chambers from etsy shop  BeachDawn curated this beautiful collection of garden inspired items for yourself, home, garden, and for gift giving

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Symbolism in Figurative Painting

"Garden Path with Sophia"
by Miriam Schulman, @schulmanArt

Garden Path with Sophia
The watercolor illustration of an Alexander McQueen design makes a great fashion gift for the fashionista in your life.

The abstract interpretation of a fashion illustration also is a chic decorating idea to enhance your room decor with modern wall art that is a conversation piece as well has a fashion statement. The fashion drawing can be displayed on its own or collected and displayed in groups. Fashion sketches are an affordable way to enjoy couture style in your home.

Alexander McQueen on display

The watercolor illustration is derived from the runway show Voss which featured a turbaned woman in a ornately embroidered red dress. (actual dress to the left) This dress was on display in the Savage Beauty exhibition during the summer of 2011 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The dress on the model in the runway show had a hem of black feathers. in another show. This fashion design reminded me of two of Gustav Klimt paintings, Garden Path with Chickens and also The Girlfriends. The dominant colors in this fashion painting are red, green and gold. There is also metallic gold acrylic details in addition to the luminous transparent watercolors.

Garden Path with Chickens by Gustav Kimt
There is a lot of symbolism in this piece. The title "Garden Path with Sophia" is derived from the Klimt title "Garden Path with Chickens" Sophia is a name of a girlfriend of a friend of mine who is represented by the rooster in the right hand corner. 

The Girlfriends, by Gustav Klimt
This rooster imagery is derived from the Klimt painting "The Girlfriends." The Girlfriends painting is a homoerotic piece depicting a nude woman with a turbaned woman and a rooster. The black chickens on the garden path symbolize other women who are in my friends life. Although the art is rich in meaning, you will enjoy this artwork for simply for its beauty and rich color.

There are more watercolor fashion illustrations in this Alexander McQueen series where art meets fashion and fashion meets art.
Details of Artwork:
Title: Garden Path with Sophia
Size: 7.5x11" watercolor
Media: Watercolor on Paper
Frame: Frame is not included. your choice of framing will increase the size of the overall artwork. A simple black one would complement the art nicely.
Woman in Turban, detail from watercolor
detail flowers from watercolor painting
detail of black chicken from illustration
detail of rooster from artwork
What do you think is a great gift for a fashionista?
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Monday, December 12, 2011

Decorating Rooms that are Peaceful and feminine and nostalgic

Dragonfly Decor Takes Center Stage
by Miriam Schulman 
Dragonfly Decor in room decorated by Nick Olsen
A set of four original dragonfly paintings hang over a white love seat in an apartment decorated by Nick Olsen for his friend's studio apartment. The original photo by Bj√∂rn Wallander appeared in House Beautiful July 2011. In this version, the client's large photograph is replaced by the soft and feminine dragonflies. You can get a similar look at home. Start with painting your walls in Ocean Spray by  Benjamin Moore  You can slip cover your old sofa with cotton twill fabrics from New York Elegant Fabrics.

Green leopard print pillow by Cody and Cooper Designs
The pillow in the room above was custom designed with leopard pillow fabric in  Sabu in Green by Rose Cumming for Dessin Fournir. You can steal this look with a pilllow by Cody and Cooper Designs on etsy! The plug-in swing arm lamps are a look you can get yourself without calling an electrician. Order "Brushed Steel Plug-In Swing Arm" directly from Lamps Plus. The lamp shades add the essential touch of black that every room needs. The shades are paper Empire shade in Black from Just Shades.
Silver Nut Bowl by One Half Dozen on etsy

The silver bowls on coffee table are from Ralph Lauren but there are so many vintage silver nut bowls from etsy, I suggest you go there instead. I particularly like the home decor finds from One Half Dozen.

To take of a tour of this fabulous studio apartment led by the designer, check out this video courtesy of House Beautiful:

Dragonflies are not the only insects that make for interesting art and decor...
mentioned in this article: @housebeautiful, @benjamin_moore, @nyelegant, @lampsplus

Do you love art and decorating? Get art you love and decorating inspiration delivered straight to your inbox! Click HERE.

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Friday, December 9, 2011

Soar with the dragonflies!

On The Wings of Dragonflies
by Miriam Schulman, @schulmanArt

I stumbled upon this beautiful story on a website for eulogy poetry. The story  is very comforting to think about our loved ones who have passed on this spiritual way.

dragonfly art | discover more dragonfly decor on
Dragonfly Painting: Starry, Starry Dragonfly!
Once, in a little pond, in the muddy water under the lily pads, there lived a little water beetle in a community of water beetles. They lived a simple and comfortable life in the pond with few disturbances and interruptions. Once in a while, sadness would come to the community when one of their fellow beetles would climb the stem of a lily pad and would never be seen again. They knew when this happened; their friend was dead, gone forever.

dragonfly art | discover more dragonfly decor on
Dragonfly Decor: Sugar Plum Fairy!
Then, one day, one little water beetle felt an irresistible urge to climb up that stem. However, he was determined that he would not leave forever. He would come back and tell his friends what he had found at the top. When he reached the top and climbed out of the water onto the surface of the lily pad, he was so tired, and the sun felt so warm, that he decided he must take a nap. As he slept, his body changed and when he woke up, he had turned into a beautiful blue-tailed dragonfly with broad wings and a slender body designed for flying.

dragonfly art | discover more dragonfly decor on
Dragonfly Art
So, fly he did! And, as he soared he saw the beauty of a whole new world and a far superior way of life to what he had never known existed. Then he remembered his beetle friends and how they were thinking by now he was dead. He wanted to go back to tell them, and explain to them that he was now more alive than he had ever been before. His life had been fulfilled rather than ended. But, his new body would not go down into the water. He could not get back to tell his friends the good news. Then he understood that their time would come, when they, too, would know what he now knew. So, he raised his wings and flew off into his joyous new life!

dragonfly art | discover more dragonfly decor on green
Original Dragonfly Artwork: Dragonfly Dance!
Click HERE to view all my dragonfly artwork

Do dragonflies have a special spiritual meaning for you?

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Time to Refuel the Creative Well

A day in the city to recharge creative batteries....
by Miriam Schulman, @schulmanArt

Grand Central Station in its Holiday glory
Every once in a while I make a point of going breaking with my regular routine and going into the city to refuel my creative well. Today was a misty rainy day but that doesn't stop me. I find rain, especially unseasonable warm December rain, refreshing and with a big umbrella an a huge pair of boots I don't mind.

Dick Blick in the Village
My first stop after Grand Central was a quick subway ride down to the Village to Dick Blick art store. Now, I normally buy from this retailer because they have the best online prices anywhere. Unfortunately, their tiny print on the website says that" prices on the website may differ" from  in store prices, so of course that meant that New York store was more expensive. Still, a fully stocked art supply store to an artist is like a candy store with cool supplies beckoning. When preparing this blog I noticed that there is an in store coupon that I could've used. Ah well, next time.

Drawings from the Louvre
Next on the list was the Morgan Library Museum on 36 and Madison. Unfortunately I somehow missed the Ingres exhibit, but there is still a wonderful drawing exhibit with dozens of works drawn by French masters from the Louvre. These drawings are beautifully executed, framed and presented. I particularly was intrigued by the back story behind a portrait by Prud'hon. A brief blurb next to the drawing hinted that the subject was his lover. In the catalog available for reading in the glorious marble room next door, I learned that Prud'hon had an intimate partnership with another artist Constance who eventually committed suicide when he coldly told her he wouldn't marry again. After her death he wouldn't look at her portrait again.

Public House on 41st and Lex
My final stop was lunch with an old high school friend at the Public House. This is a really cool restaurant/bar that must of once been a bank with its double vaulted atrium space. We sat up in the balcony section. Full of food and loaded with an arm full of art supplies I made my way back to Grand Central to catch a train back home

How do you recharge?

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