#ArtKnowItAll: Cubism

In one of the comments on my earlier #ArtKnowItAll posts, someone suggested that I feature Cubism next. I had a vague idea of the movement, associating it with abstract, geometrical art that seemed to almost resemble optical illusions. As always, I loved learning about the revolutionary art of the past… imagining the rebellious artists inventing new styles of art and defying tradition makes me slightly jealous that I missed out on all the excitement 😉 .signature

 

What is Cubism?

Cubism is an avant garde art movement that developed during the 1910s and 1920s, predominantly in Paris. This new, modern style of painting and sculpture both revolutionized European art and inspired the music, architecture and literature of the time. In fact, it is often regarded as the 20th century’s most influential art movement.

Main Features:

  • For the first time in centuries, perspective with a single viewpoint was abandoned. Instead, cubist painters used numerous and sometimes contrasting vantage points, showing objects from different angles and interweaving the background and foreground of the painting.
  • In fact, cubist artists turned away from depicting figures ‘realistically’, rejecting the idea that art should copy nature. Instead, they decided to emphasize the flat, two-demensionality of their canvases and reduce objects into geometric forms.
  • The early phase of the movement was called Analytic Cubism, characterised by the pronounced use of geometric shapes and use of monochrome colours.
  • The second phase was Synthetic Cubism, where artists experimented with ‘non-art’ materials such as newspaper.

Three Key Cubist Artists

  1. Pablo Picasso (1881 -1973) : Regardless of whether you’re interested in art or not, every one has heard of Picasso. The charismatic Spanish painter was a pioneer of Cubism, along with Geaorges Braque, and considered to be the most influential artist of the first half of the 20th century. He invented collage and was primarily a painter though he had an eclectic style and also worked with sculpture, printmaking and ceramics.
  2. Georges Braque (1882-1963) : After meeting Pablo Picasso, Braque went on to become another leader in the development of Cubism. He focused on depicting abstract still lifes, exploring different viewpoints, colours and textures to achieve dimension in his work.
  3. Jean Metzinger (1883 – 1956) : Though at first Metzinger was inspired by Fauvism and Impressionism, the french painter later turned to Cubism and became one of the principal theorists of the movement. In 1912, he created ‘Du Cubisme’, the first major treatise on Cubism, along with fellow french artist Albert Gleizes.


A revolutionary art movement


At first glance, Cubism may seem somewhat simplistic compared to more ‘classical’ art that strove to capture scenes completely realistically. But really, it’s just another way of representing the world around us and exploring different point of views. Plus, imagine living in a world where these abstract, geometrical paintings were virtually unheard of. Cubist artists weren’t just painters, they were innovators; inventing new styles of painting, as well as being acutely aware of and responding to current events (particularly World War I). Throughout Europe, offshoots of Cubism developed including Orphism, Futerism and Abstract Art.  And that’s only a few!

There are so, so many art movements – old and new – left to explore, comment down below or tweet me with the hashtag #ArtKnowItAll to let me know what you want to see next month.

. . .

I hope you enjoyed the third installment of my #ArtKnowItAll series. As usual, you can see my cubism-inspired artwork above, which I first sketched out in pencil and then coloured in digitally with  the aid of my graphics tablet. What do you think?

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How to paint a Shamrock

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Just a quick post to say Happy St. Patrick’s Day! As you may already know that I’m Irish, so I felt obligated to post something today. Here’s a quick tutorial for making adorable little shamrocks in about 30 seconds. They are perfect for decorations or face painting.

I’m headed off to a parade now, but I hope you all have a fantastic day!

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Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

I can’t believe it’s finally Christmas time! I don’t know about you guys, but Christmas is without a doubt my favourite time of year…. the food, the presents, a fat stranger clothed in red climbing down your chimney… what’s not to love?

Anyway, to get into the Christmas spirit yesterday I decided to make some cinnamon chocolate chip cookies. I was really pleased with the way they turned out and ended up eating all of them (with the help of my brothers) in one day.

To make the cookies a little more festive, I added some red cinnamon sweets to the cookie mix. If you can’t find these , don’t worry, just use some Christmas sprinkles or crushed candy canes instead.

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Ingredients  – Makes 20

  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/4 all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • cinnamon sweets (optional)

Method

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  1. Preheat oven to 180’C / 375′ F.
  2. Mix sugars, butter, cinnamon, vanilla and egg in a large bowl. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt. Stir in chocolate chips and cinnamon sweets.
  3. Drop 1 tablespoon of dough onto cookie sheet (make sure to keep cookies about 2 inches apart or they’ll stick together – trust me, I made this mistake).
  4. Bake for  8 to 10 minutes or until the cookies are light brown with soft centers. Leave them to cool slightly, then remove and place onto wire wrack. 
  5. Enjoy!

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My Lazy Day Checklist

You know those Sunday mornings when you wake up and its raining outside, Adele’s playing on the radio (finally – after five years, people!) and you’ve conveniently forgotten about the ten page essay due tomorrow morning? So then you lie in bed making sure you’ve made no plans and debating whether or not your parents will let you do absolutely nothing all day… Suddenly, you remember that Netflix just uploaded new episodes of your favourite show and that’s it – decision made. Today will officially be a Lazy Day.

Now, as it happens, I happen to be very experienced in the art of Lazy-Day-ing and so I decided to share the ultimate Lazy Day Checklist…


1. The Lazy day playlist
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Before even leaving your bed, you’ve got to make sure you have the perfect selection of relaxing tunes to set the mood. Whether you want to listen to autumnal acoustic covers or a playlist of your favorite band’s best songs, music is a must!
My Lazy Day Playlist:
She Will Be Loved – Maroon 5
 I See Fire – Ed Sheeran
Sweet About Me – Gabriella Climi
On My Mind – Ellie Goulding
Stole the Show – Sofia Karlberg
Knee Socks – Arctic Monkeys
Let Her Go – Passenger
Fallin’ – Alicia Keys
Hello – Adele
Take Me To Church – Hozier
3am – Meghan Trainor
Me & The Rhythm – Selena Gomez
Sweater Weather – Neighborhood
Love On Top – Beyoncé
2. The Dress code 
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So once you’ve finally gotten out of bed, its time to truly embrace the laziness with the ultimate comfy outfit. Now the internet will have you believe that this translates to a casual-chic over sized sweater, leggings, a messy bun and cute, ‘natural’ make up. The reality of the situation is that you’re going to be wearing an old hoodie and baggy sweatpants, looking like a sloth who hasn’t showered in six weeks. Honestly though, as long as you’re comfortable, who really cares?
3. The Food
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I think we can all agree that this is undoubtedly the most important part of the day.
Typically, a Lazy Day Menu should include a hot drink, pizza, crisps and chocolate. And if you dislike one or more of those things, you’re missing out on life man.
Easy Snack Idea
Ingredients: a selection of fruit (cut into bite-size pieces), chocolate chips, skewers
  1. Skewer fruit and marshmallows.
  2. Microwave chocolate until melted (making sure to stir at 30sec intervals).
  3. Pour chocolate over fruit skewers and leave in fridge for 5 min until set.

4. Movies/Books/Internet

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Now I’ve grouped films, books and the net into one heading because we all know the entire day is going to be spent combining all three, often simultaneously. Because no one’s better at multitasking than a teenager watching Netflix and scrolling down their Facebook feed while holding their kindle in the other hand.
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5. At-Home Spa 
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For the perfect end to the day, treat yourself to an at-home spa session. Take a bath with some bath bombs, paint your nails and try out the face mask DIY below.
DIY Natural Face Mask
Mix 1/4 cup plain yogurt, 2 tablespoons honey, and 1 medium banana. Gently apply to face and leave for 10 min before washing off.
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several hours later
 
 The Sad End (optional)
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This sad moment usually occurs in the middle of the night when you suddenly remember the ten page essay due tomorrow and proceed to cry . Or maybe you’re a really organised person and this is just me…

5 Reasons I Can’t Study

1. Lack of Motivation

Seriously, I can’t even find the motivation to run on a treadmill for 5 minutes, and teachers are expecting me to study for hours? Don’t be crazy. If I had that kind of drive I would be doing something useful with my life and not aimlessly surfing the internet with hopes of one day winning the lottery.

2. Time
Why is it that because I’m a teenager everyone just assumes that I have all this time on my hands? Between my non-existent job, Netflix marathons and serious procrastination, my schedule is pretty full.
3. Useless Information
OK, I know education is important and everything, but some of the things they teach us are just ridiculous. Why am I sitting over here memorizing a detailed map of South America when I can’t even find the local grocery store without a GPS? Honestly the systems just a mess.
4. Responsibility?
So let me get this straight Mum and Dad… you expect me to use my own initiative to go and study? Oh so now you’ve decided to start treating me like someone who’s responsible? That’s funny, because when I didn’t want to clean my room last week, then you called me an immature brat…
5. Distractions
Sometimes I sit down to start studying and it literally feels like the universe is conspiring against me. As soon as I open my  books that’s it, my phone starts vibrating, Mum’s calling from downstairs and aliens have invaded Earth. Next thing I know its 1 a.m. , my exams tomorrow morning and I’m possibly less intelligent than I was before I started ‘studying’.
Seriously though, all jokes aside, I wish you all good luck in your upcoming exams! Mine are coming up soon and I’ll be posting a few study tips over the next two weeks to help you get through the work load 🙂