Category Archives: A TO Z’s OF ART

going through the alphabet one post at a time, Vickie explores the world of art from A to Z



“There are not more than five primary colors (blue, yellow, red, white, and black), yet in combination they produce more hues than can ever bee seen.” Paul Klee

It is a widely accepted theory that all colors, or hues come from the three primary colors, red, yellow and blue.  All other colors, or hues come from mixtures of these three primary hues, as shown on the widely accepted color wheel below.

Creating your own color wheel will teach you so much about the principals of color!

So, basically, the words hue and color are interchangeable.   If you are interested in the scientific properties of hue,  click here for the Wikipedia page.

What is your favorite color? Mine is green – hands down!


THE ORGANIC SKY – on canvas
print available in all sizes
©vickie martin

What is a giclee?  Basically it is a fine art print made on inkjet printers.  The creator, Jack Duganne, wanted a name for the new type of prints that were beginning to be produced in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s.  The prints were made using a large format, high-resolution industrial inkjet printer that had been adapted for fine-art printing.  Not wanting to use a  word that had the negative connotations of “inkjet” or “computer generated” he settled on the word GICLEE, which is based on the French world Gicleur, which means nozzle (the verb gicler  means to squirt or spray).

To get a better understanding, I asked my partner Joel Conison, a photographer who has been making prints for quite a while, to give me a brief explanation over dinner.

He told me that when digital files began being used, the giclee machines that were used were very expensive. Companies like Epson were not making personal printers that were that good.  Over the years, this has changed and today you can make a good print on a personal ink jet printer.  The only drawback is the size, most personal printers don’t make prints larger than 16×20 (his guess) you have to shop around for one that makes larger prints (I’m sure there are larger ones available, but you have to look for them).

The biggest mistake most people make is not taking the time to understand color management.  The digital file must be passed from your computer to the printer.  To do it correctly, not only should your computer monitor be calibrated to industry standards, but you need to create a profile for the paper you are using.

In his words, “color management is the one thing one needs to understand to get consistently good quality prints”.

I realize this is a simplified approach to giclee’s, so I plan on doing an in-depth interview with him, or have him write a guest post to take a little more of the mystery out of getting good prints of your work at home.









We all have them.  Fear is defined as “something that causes feelings of dread or apprehension; something a person is afraid of”.

So, one of my biggest fears is driving on the interstates around Atlanta, particularly I-285.  Don’t laugh – this is a real fear of mine, and if you live in Atlanta, you are probably nodding your head right now.

This expressway is referred to in Atlanta as THE PERIMETER, circling Atlanta and clocking in at just under 64 miles.  It ranges from 8 – 12 lanes wide.  In fact, what is referred to as Spaghetti Junction increases to 18 lanes.

Spaghetti Juntion

It is used by an estimated two million people each day, making it one of the most travelled roads in the U.S.

So, why am I so fearful of a road?  The drivers are aggressive, zipping across the lanes.  I have seen wrecks happen on more than one occasion, and when that happens, you can be STUCK for hours!

What has this fear cost me?  Time, time and then some more time.  I have driven 45 minutes to a destination in Atlanta when using the expressways would have taken half of that time!

What am I doing to confront this fear?  I’m going to get a larger car.  I haven’t had a car payment in 21 years, thus buying smaller (meaning cheaper) cars.  I never “loved” them.  They were just something to get me where I was going.  But, with my little car hitting 115,000 miles, it is time to bite the bullet and find a car I would be proud of, that will keep up with the traffic, and basically take me where I am going IN STYLE!   It will be big enough to carry larger pieces of artwork in too!


What are you fearful of that is holding you back?   And, yes – that picture above is typical rush hour traffic in Atlanta.


Jasper Johns, 4 The News
encaustic 1962

Encaustic painting, also called painting with wax, involves adding resin and pigments to heated wax (usually beeswax). Special tools can be used to shape the paint before it cools. I know – this is a very simplified definition of encaustic painting. It is kind of confusing that the word encaustic is used to describe both the paint and the process used.

This technique possibly began as early as 400 B.C. when Greek shipbuilders used wax to fill holes in their ships.  While wax may appear fragile, there are some encaustic paintings dating from AD 100 that have survived!

I find encaustic paintings beautiful.  The wax, resin and pigments creates a layered, almost transluscent surface that beautifully reflects light.  I find it very difficult to describe these works in words – how would you describe an encaustic painting?

Other than Jasper Johns, whose work is shown above,  other contemporary encaustic artists are:

Joanne Mattera

Paula Roland

Nancy Natale 

Tremain Smith

Elise Wagner

and Atlanta’s own – Helen DeRamus

Click on the names above and explore the world of Encaustic Painting!


How important do you think dreams are to creativity?  Do you have any your favorite quotes about dreams and creativity?  Here are some of mine.

“Why does the eye see a thing more clearly in dreams than the imagination when awake?” Da Vinci

“Only that day dawns to which we are awake.”  Henry David Thoreau  (I embroidered this in highschool and it has been on my wall ever since.)

“Man is a genius when he is dreaming.” Kurasawa

“From now on I hope always to stay alert, to educate myself as best I can. But lacking this, in Future I will relaxedly turn back to my secret mind to see what it has observed when I thought I was sitting this one out.  We never sit anything out. We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled.  The trick is knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.” Ray Bradbury

“Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.”  Emerson

“Dreams are like the stars…you may never touch them, but if you follow them they will lead you to your destiny.” Unknown

“A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he see the dawn before the rest of the world.”   Oscar Wilde

“I dream of paint and then I paint my dream.”  Vincent Van Gogh

“If I sit and daydream, the images rush by like a succession of colored slides.” Francis Bacon

“Objects seen in dreams should be manufactured and put up for sale.” Andre Breton

“When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream.” Paulo Coelho

“If you can dream it, you can do it.” Walt Disney

“You may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” John Lennon (and I bet you sang the line!

And – the one I’m going to put in my studio for the rest of the month:

“All dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”  Walt Disney

What are your favorite quotes, saying regarding dreams?   What words do you find inspiring?

Tomorrow – a post for a word starting with “E”!




A NEW SKY – 12×12 on Canvas
©Vickie Martin

Today I’m going to post some inspirational quotes about creativity that resonate with me.  But first, what is the definition of creativity? defines the word as “the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, orignality, progressiveness, or imagination”.

I hope these quotes get your creative juices flowing!!!!

“The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.” Albert Einstein

“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” Joseph Chilton Pearce

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes.  Art is knowing which ones to keep.” Scott Adams

“The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.” Alan Alda

“To draw, you must close your eyes and sing.” Pablo Picasso

“I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.” John Cage

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” — Maya Angelou

“A truly creative person rids him or herself of all self-imposed limitations.” — Gerald G. Jampolsky

“Creativity can solve almost any problem. The creative act, the defeat of habit by originality, overcomes everything.” — George Lois

“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” Mark Twain

“Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” Lewis Carroll

“Creative people are curious, flexible, persistent, and independent with a tremendous spirit of adventure and a love of play.” Henri Matisse

What is a favorite quote of yours?



David Byrne with St. Vincent

Yes, Byrne, as in David Byrne.  This type of post is a departure for me, but I am excited to see him tonight with St. Vincent (AKA Annie Clark). I saw David Bryne for the first time in 1978 with The Talking Heads,the band he was the founder of that was together from 1975 through 1991.  (Okay, I snuck into the concert somehow and sat behind Elvis Costello, who played there the next night!)

I am adding this paragraph late on Tuesday after seeing the show.  He didn’t perform much from the Talking Headss, but I saw a total collaboration between him and St. Vincent.  Using eight horns, from a tuba to a trumpet, and i swear I saw a flute at one time.   The show was totally coreographed, with the horn players marching around.  I enjoyed it, but still found it lacking.  I guess because I missed the Talking Head songs.  The highlight – her and David playing the THEREMIN!!!!!!  I’d never seen one played – the only instrument that is played without touching it!

David is a true renaissance man, working in various media such as film, photography, opera and non-fiction.  He has received a Grammy, Oscar and a Golden Globe Award and has been inducted into the Rock Roll Hall of Fame.


  • born in Scotland and apparently is not a U.S. Citizen
  • could play the guitar, accordion and violin before high school
  • is left handed but plays the guitar right handed
  • studied at The Rhode Island School of Design for a year
  • has collaborated as a solo artist with Brian Eno more than once
  • has an interest in world music
  • collaborated with Twyla Tharp for The Catherine Wheel
  • won an oscar for the score from Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor
  • Wrote, directed and starred in True Stories
  • collaborated with Fatboy Slim on Here Lies Love, a disco opera based on Imelda Marcos
  • a visual artist, he is represented by Pace/MacGill Gallery in New York
  • creates public installations, often anonymously
  • was in a relationship with photographer Cindy Sherman for five years
  • writes a regular cycling column for the New York Times

There is so much more to know about David Bryne.  I think my favorite project he ever did was “Playing The Building” installation done in the Battery Maritime Building.  He basically took the building and somehow hooked the entire building (pipes, heaters, vents, etc) to an old pipe organ which made a playable musical instrument.

David is on tour with St. Vincent, accompanied by an eight piece horn section.  St. Vincent has said her stage name is based on Saint Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center where poet Dylan Thomas died.  “It’s the place where poetry comes to die, that’s me.” she has said.  She has also said it was her grandmother’s middle name. The most interesting thing I found, she plays multiple instruments, including the theremin.

I’m looking forward to this show, she has been compared to Kate Bush and to David Bowie.   Her music features violins, cellos, flutes, trumpet and clarinets.

I feel this is a good collaboration, even though she is half his age (she is 30, he is 60).  But, David Bryne had a xylophone player for one tour, I’ll never forget the first pounding notes on that instrument for Psycho Killer!




Compared to other painting mediums, such as oil and watercolor, acrylic paint is a baby.  Originally used as housepaint, Mexcian muralists began experimenting with it in the 1930’s.  Then came the WPA artists in the 1940’s.  It wasn’t until the 1950’s that acrylic paint became commercial available to artists.

What are the advantages of using acrylic paint?

  • it dries quickly
  • it will adhere to any surface
  • no base coat is needed
  • it dries with even luster – if the paint is applied evenly, there are no shiny or dull spots

This new type of paint offered the artworld endless possibilities.  It can produce the soft effects of watercolor, as well as the layered effects of oil.  The artists that embraced this new paint began experimenting and thereby  created new approaches that hadn’t been possible before.


Andy Warhol

David Hockney

Bridget Riley

Robert Motherwell

Mark Rothko

Helen Frankenthaler

Larry Poons

Click on the links to the artists above and see what they achieved with acrylic paint.

Acrylic paint is continuing to have a tremendous impact on the world of art.  Can you think of any more advantages of using acrylic paint?

City in the Mist
Acrylic and Collage on Canvas