Pop-art Calligraphy “Bali Dancer-I”

Pop-art Calligraphy

Pop-art Calligraphy "Bali Dancer-I" is done with "INKSCAPE" vector graphic program.

Pop-art Calligraphy can be regarded as experimental graphic design done by combination of techniques in pop-art graphic and abstract calligraphy.

Posted by Flickr POP-ART SKeTCH on 2011-08-05 10:12:58

Tagged: , Bali , Dancer , Pop-art , graphic , vector , digital , image

Is the Antique Business, Dying, Dead, Wounded Or Just Hybernating?

If you are a small business owner of a antique business, you have probably heard the “death knoll claims”, been deluged with discouragement from the “gloom and doom”crowd and look frequently out your window to see if “the funeral procession” is passing by…I am here to tell you that while antiques as well as all discretionary retail businesses are challenged…they are not dead and won’t be any time soon!

Almost every day I hear the constant comment from some customers and a lot of discouraged dealers saying that the antique is industry is dead, dying or disappearing. There rationale is:

1. The existing customer isn’t buying.

2. The existing customer has bought all they intend to.

3. The younger customer isn’t interested.

4. Everyone that might be buying is buying online.

I would like to give you “tough and committed” antique dealers who have store fronts some counter intuitive insight and contrarian opinion about the “state of things in the antique industry”.

For years the antique industry (like many other industries in America) became over populated with part time, marginally committed participants who saw there opportunity to turn a “passion for garage sales” into “off or on the books” profits with little day to day efforts through the proliferation of antique malls everywhere! These dealers would “plop down” a security deposit, load up the SUV, get a few tables and cloths together and open up a Antique Mall Space. The large size of this group proliferated a huge amount of antique malls popping up on many main streets and malls throughout the United States.

The fallacy of this concept was the space was expensive, add on percentages pretty high, and marginally committed staff not having the same “vested interest” as a owner of a mall space would have. The dealers in the malls were not “retailing veterans” and in many cases found out at the end of the month that instead of the “slush funds” that they thought they had created, a bill for the short fall between space rent and sales was waiting for them on the first of the month instead of the hoped for check. A new “harsh reality” sunk in to the mall space tenants and they soon said this is not a good idea and “bailed” in record numbers. The “bailing process” of mall space tenants created huge empty gaps in antique malls and led to a new reality for the antique mall owner “they are upside down on their rent due to the vacancies”. This has led to record Antique Malls closing their doors and hanging the “for rent” signs on the front of the buildings.

What is the post mortem of this process? “Bigger opportunities” for the surviving retail outlets for the sale of antiques by getting a bigger slice of a (economically caused) smaller pie. This is a moment to not lament the advent of online antique sales but take advantage of it. The internet gives a dealer a chance to reach millions of new customers and “start slicing up” their share of the smaller pie. The reduction in shopping malls makes your “brick and mortar” shop more appealing to the customer who enjoys a new adventure in a antique store (as long as he or she is welcomed with enthusiasm) and well priced and unique items to be tempted by.

Willl the antique industry and store survive and return back to life? I think so. The antique customer is first and foremost a “collector” not unlike a museum. They collect things that interest them, have intrinsic value to them and that they think will in time appreciate in value. The number and longevity of museums throughout the world is testimony that there is still interest in viewing and owning things of historical significance on the part of many individuals. A private collection of a “item of passion” for a collector is their private museum to be enjoyed by themselves and shared with friends…and perhaps ultimately sold for profit!

The traits that will determine the”winners and losers” in this antique industry “shakeout” are:

1. Perserverence coupled with tight expense control.

2. Exciting and unique merchandise flowed regularly to ensure newness to your repeat customers.

3. Good value. The days of “obscene profit” are over. $10 profit to $1 investment may happen occasionally but a more modest $3 to $1 sales price to cost ratio probably will give better value and motivate the thinning “customer count” to purchase.

4. A good attitude. The last thing anyone needs (or wants to hear) when they visit a store or business for some quality shopping time is “gloom and doom”. Motivation and enthusiasm are contagious…so is wining and growsing. If you want more positive customers… be a more positive shop owner!

5. Look for new ways to reach new customers. Pack up the car or truck and hit the high, low, or medium end flea market, antique show or swap meet with a load of business cards and great merchandise. Give the people who stop by a “preview” of your taste and selection and invite them to stop by for a visit of the larger assortment in your shop. Give them a discount coupon, if you want to fuel urgency, to be used on their next visit.

6. Finally keep you store fresh. If new merchandise flow isn’t possible with current cash flow challenges… Rearrange your stocks so that the same items are presented in new locations, with new adjacencies and with new ways to visualize their use. You will find a old item becomes a new sale by simply moving it to a new location.

In summary when the going gets tough…The committed antique shop owner should look at the situation as a opportunity to grow market share…Not toss in the towel!

The world is littered with businesses that would have been successful with a little more perseverance and patience! Quitting is easy…Winning is commitment!

Jasper Johns – Three Flags [1958]

Jasper Johns - Three Flags [1958]

Jasper Johns (born Augusta, Georgia, May 15, 1930) is an American contemporary artist who works primarily in painting and printmaking. He is best known for his painting Flag (1954–55), which he painted after having a dream of the American Flag. His work is often described as a Neo-dadaist, as opposed to pop art, even though his subject matter often includes images and objects from popular culture. Still, many compilations on pop art include Jasper Johns as a pop artist because of his artistic use of classical iconography.

Early works were composed using simple schema such as flags, maps, targets, letters and numbers. Johns’ treatment of the surface is often lush and painterly; he is famous for incorporating such media as encaustic and plaster relief in his paintings.

The simplest encaustic mixture can be made from adding pigments to beeswax, but there are several other recipes that can be used — some containing other types of waxes, damar resin, linseed oil, or other ingredients. Pure, powdered pigments can be purchased and used, though some mixtures use oil paints or other forms of pigment.

Metal tools and special brushes can be used to shape the paint before it cools, or heated metal tools can be used to manipulate the wax once it has cooled onto the surface. Today, tools such as heat lamps, heat guns, and other methods of applying heat allow artists to extend the amount of time they have to work with the material. Because wax is used as the pigment binder, encaustics can be sculpted as well as painted. Other materials can be encased or collages into the surface, or layered, using the encaustic medium to adhere it to the surface.

[Encaustic on canvas, 76.5 x 116 cm]


Posted by Gandalf’s Gallery on 2011-07-24 09:05:17

Tagged: , Art , Paintings , Jasper Johns

Learning How to Drive a Standard Audi

If you have been thinking about getting behind the wheel of a six speed Audi, then you may be in for a surprise if you are only used to driving a automatic transmission. If you have never driven a standard before, then chances are you are going to stall more than once. In the United States of America and other parts of the world, the standard transmission vehicle is not the common car. Unfortunately, we are not all gifted with someone that has knowledge on how to drive a Standard Audi. If you do not have anyone in your life that can teach you how to drive the standard Audi, then there are a number of ways you will be able to learn.

You could either get in the Audi or try to figure it out yourself, or you could watch an Audi video. That’s right, we told you to watch some Audi videos that will teach you how to drive the standard. The truth is that the Internet is full of knowledge, including how to drive a standard Audi.

We all know one of the best ways to learn how to do something is to watch videos on it. Many individuals make “how to” videos on driving the standard Audi and post it on the Internet. You will be able to find those videos by doing a quick search in the search engine or by going to some of those popular video hosting websites, such as youtube.com. Many of you are going to say that driving a standard Audi is hard to do, but after you get used to it, it is going to be very easy. The truth is, once you switch to the standard transmission, you are not going to want to go back to automatic.

If you have decided to find a video to teach you how to learn to drive standard, then you should watch it over and over again. Make sure you find a video that has an instructor that knows just what they are doing. The video should show you the driver’s feet and their right hand. Shifting gears is not that hard to do, as long as you got that H pattern in mind, you’ll learn it in no time. Most of the cars out there will shift between fifteen hundred and twenty five hundred RPM. Keep in mind that every engine has a limit whenever it comes to those safe RPM, you can easily put a lot of wear and tear on your clutch and pop it. Yes, clutches do not cost that much, but fixing it will not be so easy.