8 Insane (But True) Things about Painting

  1. 8 Insane but true things about paintingThe color purple became associated with royalty when the pigment became so expensive only the wealthy could afford it! The dye was so costly to produce. Queen Elizabeth also forbid anyone outside of the royalty circle to wear the expensive color.
  2. The White House is white because of the original lime-based whitewash that was used to protect its porous stone surface. Every year they paint the white house its original white to continue the tradition. Plus, who would live in The White House if it wasn’t white?
  3. The Greek philosopher Plato is credited with the discovery that you can mix two different paint colors together to produce a third color. Check out Plato’s Theory of Colours in the Timaeus for more information!
  4. The first interior painting was done roughly 40,000 years ago in what is now France by prehistoric cave dwellers, who employed stencils in some of the work and even “spray-painted” by blowing paint through hollow bird bones.
  5. Various paint colors can help the body heal itself. There are methods of color therapy with soothing paint colors that encourage healing spiritually.
  6. Among the Aztecs, red pigmented paint was regarded as more valuable than gold.
  7. Many Native American tribes used black paint to signify life and yellow paint to signify death.
  8. The “color wheel” is older than the United States! It was developed by Sir Isaac Newton in 1706. The color wheel creator Isaac Newton, also founded Calculus. The color wheel allows us to create palettes more attractive to the eye.

Inspiration from Georgia O’Keeffe

The Georgia O’Keeffe exhibition closed this past weekend at the Indianapolis Art Museum. For those lucky enough to have visited, they saw spectacular works from one of America’s most notable artists. O’Keeffe spent most of her life painting in the southwestern United States – a region which inspired her greatly. Her still life and landscape paintings brought to life scenes of beauty to generations of art admirers.

O’Keeffe was perhaps most famous for her beautiful paintings of flowers. She once said, “Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small. We haven’t time, and to see takes time – like to have a friend takes time.”

The Paint Cellar in Indianapolis is a great place to spend time with friends while creating your own piece of art to cherish. If you are inspired by the work of O’Keeffe and would like to create your own painting like the one shown here, please view our class calendars or contact us for assistance in scheduling a time and painting for you and your friends and family.

10 Best Art Museums in America (Part 1)

10 Best Art Museums in America (Part 1)

Many types of people visit art museums – those who are curious or interested in art and want to see a variety of works; those who are facilitating a visit for someone else or a group; those who are checking the experience off their “to do list;” those who are professionals in the art field; and those who just want to “get away” from it all (to name a few!). No matter which category you fall into, visiting an art museum can give you an opportunity to see things you have never seen before, open your eyes to different worlds and new ideas, or it can spark a new interest that you never knew you had.
If you want to experience the top ten art museums in the US, you only have to travel to five states: New York, Washington D.C., California, Massachusetts, and Illinois.

smithsonian#10: Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington, DC)
Located in downtown DC, this museum includes works from all genres and represents all regions of the United States. Georgia O’Keefe’s “Manhattan” is a must see here.



Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum#9: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York City)
Set in a distinctive Frank Lloyd Wright-designed building, this museum is known for its modern artworks, including abstract and non-objective works. “Paris Through the Window” by Marc Chagall is a must see here.


Los Angeles County Museum of Art#8: Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles)
The largest art museum west of Chicago, LACMA has an estimated 100,000 works of art dating from ancient times to present day. Since LA has such glorious weather, there are numerous outdoor installations for viewing. “Levitated Mass,” a boulder sculpture by Michael Heizer is a must see here.


de Young Museum#7: de Young Museum (San Francisco)
Located in Golden Gate Park, this museum is known for its American Art collection, ranging from pre-Columbian times to the 20th century. If you are interested in art specifically from California, this is the place for you! Wayne Thiebaud’s “Three Machines” is a must see here.



Museum of Fine Arts#6: Museum of Fine Arts (Boston)
With more than 450,000 works of art, this museum is one of the largest in the United States. The most well known collections here are American Art, Egyptian Art, and French Impressionist paintings. Japanese and Chinese art are also on display. John Singleton Copley’s portrait of Paul Revere is a must see here.


Art Around the World PT II

mexicanflagpaintingThis week, for Art Around the World PT II, we’ll continue our country series with Mexico. Because Mexico has such a long recorded history, we’ll divide this week’s posts into three longer periods: The Pre-Hispanic Period (also known as the Pre-Columbian), the Colonial Period, and Modern Mexico. In Mexico City, these three periods are celebrated in La Plaza de Las Tres Culturas. Continue reading

Art Around the World

US Flag PaintingLet’s take a look at art around the world.  This week we’re going to start a series of blog posts. We’ll pick a country and take a quick tour through some significant moments in its artistic history.

Art, like food, clothing, and religion, has been an integral part of human society since the beginning. If you study the changes over time in the art of any given country, you can learn a lot about that country’s history. Learning even a little bit about historical paintings, painters, and artistic movements is a beautiful, enriching way to feel connected to a country, a people, and humanity as a whole.

Up first: The United States

Continue reading