Impressions don’t end at fossils or dental impressions.

Stamps ie. rubber stamps are a small tool that consists of a handle attached to a piece of carved rubber and that is dipped in ink and then pressed on paper to print an imprint (impression) like a date, name, symbol, etc.

Rubber stamping or stamping, is a craft in which ink made of dye/pigment is applied to a carved or molded sheet of rubber in the shape of an image or pattern. The rubber is often mounted onto an object like wood, brick or an acrylic block. It’s uncertain as to who actually invented the first rubber stamp, but it should be noted that the history of the rubber stamp is closely intertwined to dentistry and the use of rubber in dentistry molds. L.F. Witherell claimed to have invented it ‘by accident’ when cutting out stencils from thin sheets of rubber packaging. However earlier another man supposedly used a curved piece of wood with rubber letters on it to stamp bath tubs in NYC.  Its even suggested that rubber stamps were once used by Native Americans in order to imprint patterns like birds, flowers or tribal symbols on their bodies that they would later on tattoo over. Early stamps were almost always made from engravings, “a design etched into a steel die, which was then hardened and whose impression was transferred to a printing plate”. Interesting enough, temporary stamps with simple designs can even be carved from particular foods like potatoes.

Rubber stamps have recently gained a reputation in an art form (mainly in the United States). Those who choose to carve their own rubber stamps go about it either with old-fashioned gum erasers, eraser-like rubber, or pre-supplied carvings sets. The print/designed that is carved can be used to embellish a work of art or be viewed as a work of art on it’s own. Art stamps available in intricate designs are used now-a-days for decoration of useful tings like letters or greeting cards, and are often combined with other techniques to create original artwork.

It doesn’t stop there! In politics a rubber stamp is also considered “a person or organization that gives automatic approval or authorization to the decisions of others

  • Did you know there are over 1000 rubber stamp manufactures in the USA and most are family own?

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An Artistic Revolution

Impressionism

The Impressionism Period was a movement in art culture centered in France in the 1870’s and 80’s.The movement began in Paris where it went against all traditional views and is named after Monet’s early work; Impress: A Sunrise.Monet’s artwork was heavily criticized by art critic Louis Leroy; being viewed as controversial and a threat to the values that fine art meant to uphold. It wasn’t until Camille Pissarro (the first impressionist painter known as the “dean of the Impressionist painters”) died in 1903 that critics agreed that the movement was the revolutionary and the painters themselves were among the finest.

The impressionist style of painting is characterized chiefly by concentration on the general impression produced by a scene or object and the use of unmixed primary colors and small strokes to simulate actual reflected light.

Most well-known Impressionist painters: Claude MonetPierre Auguste RenoirCamille PissarroAlfred SisleyBerthe MorisotArmand Guillaumin, Frédéric Bazille who all worked together and influenced one another

Origin

The story behind the name of this era is for the theory that when painting, colour should be flat out dropped on a canvas instead of being mixed on a palette. As a-matter-of-fact, impressionism is for many for a state of mind rather than a technique; therefore artists other than painters are considered impressionists. These painters ignored all Law of Simultaneous Contrast created by Chevreul in 1823 defining how certain colour combinations affect our perception of art. Pictures are created from freely brushed colours using short “broken”strokes of mixed and pure unmixed colour to achieve an effect of intense colour vibration. Impressionists found that they could capture the effects of diffused sunlight by sitting outside under white umbrellas  painting en plein air

Opinion of the public

One artist unable to sell his works tried to display them in a local exhibit but was refused. At the time no one accepted the movement and many artists were being slammed by critics and the public constantly. Some well-known painters even held back participating in certain exhibits at this time due to the amount of criticism. Only a few people admired this type of artwork and for many artists’ life was uneasy and miserable. Slowly Impressionists were becoming more and more appreciated. Galleries were still very selective and how many/what paints they accepted, and in 1894 25 out of 65 artworks donated by painter Caillebotte to the Luxembourg museum were rejected. Then with Camille Pissarro’s death in 1903, everybody agreed that this movement was the movement was the revolutionary and the painters themselves were among the finest.

Ever since I saw my first Renoir, I fell in love with impressionism. The combination of patches of color and scattered light gave the paintings a kind of innocents. It moved me to discover rather than recognize what I was looking at. Here the familiar references were gone and I could wander.

 

Look familiar? Famous Dutch impressionist Vincent Van Gogh painted Starry Night in June 1889 which marked a turn turn towards greater imaginative freedom in Van Gogh’s art. Thought to be Van Gogh’s greatest painting, ironically enough he was extremely unhappy with the outcoming, complaining to this brother how most of it “says nothing to me, because it lacks individual intention and feeling in the lines.”

 

Don McLean’s song ‘Vincent’ (Starry, Starry Night) is based on the painting

Calm In Art

Whenever I need to relieve stress, or just settle down after a long day, I turn to my sketchbook. For some reason, drawing and sketching brings me to a calm state of mind that I often get lost in for hours. I don’t know why this is- Maybe it is the strokes of the pen or the monotony and repetition of lines being made, but it is nice knowing that I can always fall back on my sketchbook when all else fails.

I did some research to try and find out more on why art is able to bring such a calm feeling to me, and possibly others as well.

I found out that there is an “activity” referred to as art therapy, which is actually very beneficial on many different aspects. It’s roots come from the theories of Freud, who believed in the power of imagery to tap into the thoughts, memories, and feelings of a person. He worked with symbolism in dreams to help his clients uncover their unconscious thoughts and feelings. Then, when the early 1900’s rolled around, an educator, Margaret Naumburg, believed that “the symbolic communication of art would access feelings quicker than language”, and she then was able to develop art therapy into a recognized profession.

The practice of art therapy is proven to prompt an individual to express their deep feelings and provide a release of emotions when they often can’t find words to do so. A more clear definition of art therapy and how it relates to being calm would be “it is about getting feelings out in a creative manner without the filter of words. Art provides as safe place to explore feelings such as anger, fear, or sadness, that might be viewed as ‘not okay’ to talk about or feel”. For me personally, when I draw, it’s almost as if all of these bad feelings are released and I just get lost in the artwork, even if the art i’m doing isn’t that serious. “Art therapy is not concerned with how artistic or how well a person can draw, paint, or work with clay. It is about the process of self-expression, not the product”. The way the art relates to the feelings an individual is experiencing is through the right brain, which is being used when working with imagery. This is also where emotions reside, as opposed to the more analytical left side of the brain.

Art therapy is actually used in hospitals, clinics, rehab facilities, schools, private practice, and senior centers. There really is no limit in regards to the type of person, or the age of the person who is participating in art therapy.

“Taking part in art-making helps decrease anxiety, stress and depression and increase self-awareness, self-esteem and promote insight into ones’ life”. Although I am not officially practicing art therapy, by creating art out of my own will I am decreasing the bad feelings and increasing my level of calm.

“Before there were anti-depressants there was poetry and, before there was language, there were cave drawings.” -Unknown

 

Sources:

http://allhealthcare.monster.com/training/articles/3485-mending-the-heart–calming-the-mind-with-art-therapy

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