Finding Inspiration in Shanghai by Heather Goldstein

I was recently lucky enough to get to visit China and I cannot even begin to express what an extraordinary experience it was. One of the most special things I was able to do was visit the M50 in Shanghai.  The M50 is a new art district with over 120 art galleries and art studios.  It is the center of Shanghai's art scene.  It is also a testiment to China's progress and a miraculous showing of Chinese Contemporary Art.

The whole area is an inspiration.  There's something about the broken down walls and graffiti that just make me feel like painting.  And the artists I met were all very professional and polite.  Sometimes when you stay in the same place for too long and you see the same thing too often, it gets stale.  It was quite an experience to see how artists on the other side of the world are creating art and the differences in the way they paint.

I was supprised to find that most artists painted in oil and practiced western paiting techniques.  It was interesting to

see how our worlds are merging.

Each studio was packed with work and by the time I left, my mind was racing with new ideas.  If only I could have gotten to my studio right then!  I have nearly 1,000 pictures from the trip and I am more than ready to choose my subjects and start painting.  Since the beginning of the year, I have painted 30x40 and 36x48 as opposed to my usual 58x72.  I am now ready to bring out the large stretcher bars again and start attacking new, bold, large canvases!

To see my work, "Like" my page at


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Recycle Art by Miles Wickham

I came across a video on Youtube some year’s back that was a little documentary on an artist who used his old spraypaint cans to create sculptures. It looked like fun and a good idea to put the trashed cans to use, so I tried it myself. Over the years ive figured out a few things on how to make the process easy. And for those living in a place like New York City where you may have to create these indoors, there are a few extra things to keep in mind.
In his video, he used a shovel in his back yard. This cut out a few steps that I touch on.

*    You don’t want the paint fumes to fill up your house, especially if you’re living with mom or you care about your health as much as I do.

*    You don’t want to have spraypaint spatters be your new decoration and reason to lose your  $1350.00 deposit when you move out.

*     You want to use your hands, because a shovel isn’t within reach, and you also want your fingers to stay intact and not become part of the sculpture; the metal is sharp when you tear it apart!

So in this video I’ve gone o-ver a few points on how to make it easier on yourself, bypassing some trial and error I have gone through for you. Ventilation-    Make proper use of your fans to ventilate, along with using a respirator***, of course!

This is serious, I’m not just being Mr. Safety cheezball to save face in public. I Mean it.

-Spraypaint is a serious health hazard! 
(read up about it on my website

-A sloppy job-    Make sure the part of the can youre poking a hole in is pointed at something you don’t care about. Tarp your floor and walls, or do it inside a big paper grocery bag.

-Care-    In the video I am showing one method of setting a big screw on a wood panel, with paper under it to save the floor from impact and leaking paint. This method is especially good if you want the can to stay undamaged; maybe you want to paint it like a canvas.

-Poking-   A screwdriver or old steak knife will stab through the side of the can easily. Just remember: Paint will spray out when you poke the hole.

*Use those gloves, they’ll save you some cuts.

-Drying- I sometimes hang my cans outside the window in a paper bag, or right in the window with the fan blowing out to let them dry once ive punctured them. The smaller your hole, the less likely and timely the paint will dry.

Fear not-  the can won’t actually EXPLODE. I have even set the top of a can on fire, and it blazed for a good 10 seconds before I freaked out and put it out…..I was a teen testing life’s limits, what can I say.

Miles Wickham

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