The Art of Halloween

It’s that time of year again: knit scarves, pumpkin spice everything, and, of course, Halloween. Inside every hard-working, sleep-deprived adult is a yearning for candy corn and costumes, a desire only to be released on October 31st, “All Hallows’ Eve.” And really, nothing beats winning the party’s Halloween costume contest for the most original and creative holiday garb or having the most decorative apartment in the building. It is an accomplishment with which your younger self would be impressed. The only problem, especially in this day and age, is the cost of and lack of originality found in store bought costumes and decorations. This year, avoid the countless trips to the local “party palace” or the over-priced costume shop and get creative; channel your inner artist. Remember, you don’t have to be the artist to be the artist.

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With simple products found in DaVinci Art Supply, you can save money and be a lot more unique than the crowd of girls in leotards, tights, and fake cat ears claiming to be “kittens.” Challenge yourself this Halloween and be bold! Paint, paper, tools, and various crafts can be found in DaVinci to create a one-of-a-kind costume that will turn heads and won’t break the bank. We even have face paint for the true Halloweeners who are determined to become the character they are impersonating. Get crafty and fun; isn’t that what Halloween is all about?

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And what about decorating your space—a place with spook and creativity. Making decorations is simple and homemade decorations almost always look nicer than cheap stuff found in the back of a discount store. One can never go wrong with a pumpkin, the ultimate staple of the holiday, because they’re pretty awesome to look at when decorated. Carving can be a mess, especially in a NYC apartment where the bathroom is in the kitchen and the kitchen is in the living room. Instead try painting pumpkins. Different types and colors of paint can lead to some really cool results.

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So this year, spruce up the season with some unique Halloween designs. Going homemade is guaranteed to provide more fun, better costumes and decorations, and fewer tears over the $65 dollar sheet you bought in order to resemble a sexy ghost for an evening. Halloween is just around the corner, so really think, who do you want to be this year?

 

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DaVinci Art Supply: The Art of Paper

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At all Art Supply Stores, paper is a material that is used everyday. We write on it, read it, paint on it, blow our nose with it, unwrap and rewrap gum with it and we use it as a form of currency making our wallets much lighter than carrying around 10 pounds of gold. There are hundreds of other uses for this amazing product but have you ever wondered where paper comes from? Maybe you already know or maybe you’ve never given it any thought thereby avoiding googling “the history of paper.” Well either way, just humor me and read on.

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Necessity is the mother of invention as the old adage goes and nothing could be truer than in the development of paper. In ancient Chinese times they used bamboo and tablets to scribe on which proved to be both cumbersome and heavy. Silk, was also used but became too costly to sustain. Would you really want to journal your daily thoughts on your silk Versace boxers? Suffice it to say, another more practical material was needed.

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The art of papermaking is known to have been traced back to Ancient China about 105 CE.  By mixing mulberry and other bast fibres, or plant fibres, along with fishnets, old rags, and hemp waste, a glorious concoction was created and once dried, voila! You have a sheet of paper! Well, as you know paper did not stay confined to China but it traversed countries eventually making its way to Europe via the Silk Road, referring to the Chinese trade route. Now, the word paper didn’t come from the Chinese. It is etymologically derived from papyros. The ancient Greeks used the cyperus papyrus plant, a thick paper-like material for writing long before the making of paper in China but this plant material was fragile and not durable under change of climate.  So the Chinese technique was truly the predecessor for the modern papermaking techniques used today. So there you have it! Your burning question about where paper comes from has been answered.
Whether you want to create a large rainbow colored unicorn piñata, design your own puppet theater from cardboard boxes paper or serve dainty petit fours from a paper plate, paper is your go to material. Let the creativity begin!

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Art How To: Paintbrushes

All artist and art supply shops know that removing dried acrylic and oil paint from brushes has to be the hardest/least favorite task. Here are videos on:

How to: Remove old and dried paint from paintbrushes.

How to: Revive old paintbrushes using vinegar.

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