Guest Post: Art, How I See It


Hi, everyone! My name’s Elm, and I blog over at Just Call me Elm or Something. I’m collaborating with the lovely Maya, which honestly makes my day!

Before anything, I want to tell you what I can see – or rather, what I can’t see. Far be it for me to define myself by this, but I’m blind. I can see nothing out of my right eye, and only light, contrasts and a few shapes out of my left. I couldn’t see faces, beautiful landscapes or anything of the sort. I despise getting pity for it; I’ve always been blind and have never seen anything different from what I do now, and so I view it as normal. To set the scene, I needed to tell you, so that you understand.

Because of my lack of vision, it may be surprising to you that art is actually quite important to me. There are beautiful paintings, filled with life and sweeping brushstrokes; there are natural landscapes, intricately carved with the path of water and faces of rock that hold swirling patterns. Captured in ink, paint or photography, it is ever present and unchanging, an image that could be interpreted in a thousand different ways.

That is art to you. Doesn’t it appear beautiful? To me, it is; I’m always fascinated by what people can do to make a picture come alive, to their eyes, to make it appear striking, stunning or just real.

What many people don’t see is that art isn’t just visual. A blast of trumpets, an angelic voice singing or buskers on the street is what I consider to be my paint, my canvas, my pencil. It may seem stereotypical, that a blind person talks about music as if it’s the only thing that they appreciate, but I still have ears.

If you pick up a book with glorious writing, you think, “I wish I could be there, though the author has done an amazing job of helping me visualise it.” The same could be said for me: I’ve never seen a stream tumbling over the rocks, but I can almost imagine the sound, the way it would feel. Now I think on it, THAT is another form of art. To take the written word and to transform it into something else, for even only a few people, helps people to know what something out of their understanding would be like.

They tell me, “Isn’t it a shame that you can’t see the amazing art work she’s done?” I say yes, and then no. I’ll never experience it, but I can be told how beautiful it is. I can be transported into the world of colours and sight, only for a second: a bystander, but still there.

Everything is a form of art, when you look deep enough. To a deaf person, a drawing may be appreciated so much more: who knows? I have never been told, not by someone who could show me the world of what it’s like to not hear sound that I take for granted. That’s why I’m telling you my version, so that you can at least see one perspective.

What I want to show you is that every single person’s version of art is different. Perhaps you suspected that I would talk about music, or writing, but if you think that’s the stereotypical blind notion of what art is, you’d be wrong. I’m different, you’re different and the closest person to you is different.

Even if you don’t get a single thing out of this post, I want you to remember that some people don’t have the things you have. Be that vision, hearing, an arm or a house. This isn’t just about art; it’s about realising that even when someone has a disability, or has something “lacking”, they still continue on with their life. It’s not the end. I may get upset sometimes that I can’t see the stars, or pictures on somebody’s blog, but it doesn’t stop me from finding creativity in other places.

What do you think art is?

I’d like to thank Maya for having me on her blog. She’s a truly wonderful person, and for her to ask me to collaborate put a smile on my face. I really hoped you enjoyed reading, because whilst I was writing, it helped me to think about my own perceptions and judgements.

From Elm ūüôā

Some Sketches


It’s been a while since I’ve posted any of my artwork, so I thought today I’d share a few¬†of my most recent sketches with you guys! I drew these¬†with¬†my HUION Graphics Tablet using a digital painting application called Krita. I usually do these sketches in 4 steps/layers. First I draw a quick ‘skeleton’ of my sketch in a light colour, then I fill out the skeleton in the same light colour. Next I outline the whole sketch in black and finally, I colour it in.¬†¬†Let me know what you guys think in the¬†comments below and which sketch is your favourite! If you want to see more of my drawings and paintings, check out my Artwork¬†page.


standing sketch 1



headphones girl

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#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 ūüėČ .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 ‚Äď 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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Attention All Artists…

I know a lot of my followers are amazing art bloggers and I really want to give them a chance to showcase their talent!

So¬†this week¬†I’m inviting all aspiring artists to send me their latest artwork!¬†On Monday, 28th of March 2016,¬†I’ll post my 5 favourite pieces on Artsy Teen.

I can’t wait to see your work! All artwork will of course be credited to the artist, and if you’re a blogger I’ll include a link to your blog as well.

Before sending me your work, please read guidelines below.


Guidelines for submitting Artwork to Artsy Teen

  • If you are a minor, please ask your parents for permission before submitting artwork.¬†Note: you don’t have to be a teen to submit artwork, all artists are welcome.
  • You may submit up to 3 pieces of artwork.
  • Artwork must be your original work.
  • You retain all copyrights of your work.
  • You must state in your email that you are giving me permission to post your material on¬†Artsy Teen¬†blog.
  • Please note that¬†Artsy Teen is a family friendly blog and¬†inappropriate/ explicit material¬†will not¬†be posted.
  • Submission of artwork¬†does not guarantee¬†publication. Publication will be at the discretion of¬†Artsy Teen.
  • Please email artwork as a jpeg/png attachment to



#ArtKnowItAll: Impressionism

The artwork above is called ‘Poppy Fields near Argenteuil’, by¬†Claude Monet¬†(photo courtesy of

Welcome to¬†the¬†second post in my¬†#ArtKnowItAll series. For those of you who are new to my blog, this is basically a series where I post about a different art movement on the first Monday of each month, along with some of my own artwork that was inspired by said-movement.¬†After last month’s #Popart post, I decided to travel back in time to¬†the 1860s, where the¬†radical¬†artists of Paris founded¬†Impressionism.

What is Impressionism?

Often seen as the first ‘modern’ movement in painting, Impressionism developed in 19th century Paris, later spreading throughout Europe and the United States. Much like Pop artists did a hundred years later, Impressionists challenged traditional rules of academic painting, seeking to capture the momentary impression that objects and nature made on the naked eye.
  • The first characteristic that set Impressionism apart from conventional European art was that the focus was taken away from realistic depictions of scenery. Instead, artists tried to capture human perception and reflect the optical effects of light and colour in their canvases, particularly at twilight and dawn.
  • Impressionism was all about personal response to scene, a fleeting impression of a moment in time. To truly experience this, many Impressionists left their studios to paint ‘en plein air’ on the crowded streets of Paris and in the sunny french country side.
  • Impressionist work¬†can be easily recognised by the¬†looser, detached brushtrokes and pure, vibrant colours. Traditional linear perspective was abandoned, while unusual angles and open composition were incorporated into the artwork.


Three Key Impressionist Artists
  • painter-62934_640

    Claude Monet

    Claude Monet (1840 ‚Äď 1926) was one of the founders of Impressionism. During the late 1860s, his artwork was rejected by the conservative Acad√©mie des Beaux-Arts but, refusing to accept defeat, Monet and a few like-minded artists organised the ‘Anonymous Society of Painters, sculptors and Engravers’ to display their artwork
    independently. In 1874, they held their first exhibition, where¬†the term “Impressionism” was coined by a harsh critic¬†who derived¬†it from the title of Monet’s¬†‘Impression, soleil levant’ ¬†(Impression, Sunrise). Monet’s¬†best known works include a series of haystacks and cathedrals painted at different times of day and his late Waterlilies.

  • Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)¬†was also a leading ¬†french painter in the development of Impressionism. Also rejected by many Salon Juries, he too¬†joined the Anonymous Society and slowly gained recognition as a true master of light, shadow and colour. His works typically featured nature scenes and large gatherings of people.
  • Berthe Morisot¬†(1841¬†‚Äď1895) was the only female artist who managed to successfully integrate herself into the Impressionist circle. As the daughter of a bourgeois family (with a long history of successful painters) it was customary for her to have an art education. She exhibited regularly in the Salon de Paris, until she joined the ‘rejected’ group of Impressionists in 1974. Morisot paintings emphasised the cultural restrictions of her class and gender at the time, focusing on everyday domestic life.
Society’s reaction
During the mid-19th century, Paris was hugely renovated and transformed into a modern metropolis, including new railway stations, wide boulevards and massive apartment buildings. Times were changing and Impressionists saw this. They bravely rejected the official, government-endorsed exhibitions and were in turn rebuffed by powerful art institutions. Their new painting techniques gave their artwork an unfinished appearance which was at first hugely critised and labelled as ‘amateur’. Still, they¬†soldiered on¬†and eventually, Impressionism gained global recognition and respect, marking an enormous change in¬†European painting.
My #Impressionism inspired artwork
paris impressionism 2

So¬†I clearly I’m no Impressionist artist, but for this months #ArtKnowItAll artwork¬†I tried to incorporate different elements of Impressionism into my painting,¬†such as the detached brushwork, vibrant colours, bright lights and if you look closely, the eiffel tower’s silhouette in the background paying homage to the city where impressionism was born. I’m not gonna a lie,¬†this artwork was a bit of a fail (let’s just say¬†I grossly overestimated my artistic abilities when planning this article¬†and did¬†not give myself enough time), but I decided to share with you guys anyway because hey…you win some, you loose some ūüėČ Maybe you guys have some helpful tips you’d like to share with an aspiring artist who sucks at time management?


Let me know what art movement you want to see next in the comments below or on twitter using #ArtKnowItAll !

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