Happy Birthday Rembrandt

A birthday wish to a true master

If you saw the google homepage yesterday, you might have recognized a familiar face. Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn is known as one of the greatest painters and printmakers in Dutch and European history and yesterday he would have turned 407 years old. So from all of us at Jerry's Artarama, we want to say a big, (little-bit belated) "Happy Birthday" to one of favorite painters! (Self-Portrait with Beret and Turned-Up Collar, pictured right)

During the early 17th century, Rembrandt was well known for

  • Portraiture
  • Landscapes
  • Narrative Paintings

Rembrandt's style often captured a very close attention to detail and a high contrast of light and shadow.  His paintings are famous for their rich colors and well pronounced brush strokes. He often painted serious religious and allegorical themed paintings where he would sneak a small portrait of himself into the scenes. Meanwhile, his etchings often captured the natural drama of landscapes often with themes like oncoming storms and uprooted trees. 

One of his more well-known paintings was The Night Watch (pictured left), in which Rembrandt broke conventions of painting a guard or company in straight profile. Instead, his perfect brush strokes captured a company preparing for a guard or mission, and because of the action and drama it captured, the painting was hailed as a huge success. 


His portraits were also known to break convention by capturing realistic expressions on his subjects. Instead of a typical stoic portrait, Rembrandt chose to capture every tiny facial line and curve. His staggering attention to detail and use of shadows to juxtapose the lighter areas of the face managed to capture a realism not seen before. It is these perfect expressions he was able to capture which made him a master of his craft! (The Man with the Golden Helmet pictured Right)


And that is why we choose to celebrate him. He has left an amazing legacy and it can still be seen today. Jerry's Artarama is proud to carry two great product lines named after Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn. First our wonderful Rembrandt Extra-Fine Artist Oils which contain the same purest quality linseed and safflower oils that Rembrandt himself used, and our Rembrandt Soft Pastels, which can blend so perfectly that Rembrandt himself would have approved. So today we remember a true Art Hero. Happy Birthday Rembrandt!




What your Favorite Color Says about You

Know thy true colors

Life is splashed with color. Anywhere we look, we encounter the dreamy blues of the sky or ocean, the gritty browns of the earth, and the vibrant greens of nature. We outfit our homes with our favorite colors. But how often do we stop and think about how these colors make us feel or how we perceive them? Did you know that studies have shown that certain colors do make us feel certain emotions? Advertisers and artists alike often put these colors in our way to exploit how we perceive them?  A brief lesson in the psychology of color could help to make us more aware of what is presented to us, may affect the future of our decorating decisions, and may even lend some understanding to our favorite art pieces and products.

Let's start with the basics.


Blue: Known to evoke a sense of peacefulness, tranquility and calming. It is often used for this reason as a color in bedrooms. But don't fall asleep yet! This color has also known to make people more productive and focused since it calms and de-stresses people. Fashion consultants often recommend wearing a blue suit to an interview because it can symbolize loyalty as well. 

Red: The most passionate color on the wheel. It is the color of blood, courage and sacrifice. It is also associated with the heart and red rose, making it the color of love.It is also a sign of hospitality and care which is why there are red carpets at fancy events and red crosses on ambulances and outside of hospitals. 

Yellow: The most difficult color for the eye to detect, yet also attracts attention. Yellow is an interesting color because it means different things in different parts of the world. In the western part of the world, yellow is associated with caution, betrayal and jealousy. People are more likely to get angry in yellow rooms and studies have shown that babies are more likely to cry in a yellow room. However in China, yellow represents happiness, wealth and pleasure. it also enhances concentration, and speeds the metabolism.

Orange: Actually more so than yellow, orange is associated with the warmth of the sun. Orange can increase a craving for food, and stimulates enthusiasm and creativity. It is also the color most likely to get noticed in dim light or against the water which is why the coast guard uses it as their go-go color.

Violet/Purple: Often associated with royalty, purple can suggest wealth and luxury. It is also the color of good judgment. Because of these connotations, purple can have a peaceful effect on the mind, even more so than blue. 

Green: The color of nature and fertility. Because of its symbolic ties to nature, it is also highly associated with growth, health, creativity, and innovation. In the middle ages, brides wore green rather than virginal white to symbolize fertility and growth.

Black: A fashionista's favorite, as it makes the body appear thinner. It is also the color of power and authority, yet is contradictory as it also implies submission. Notably, nuns and priests wear black to symbolize their submission to God. Policeman and security guards wear such a dark blue as to almost appear black. 

White: The color of innocence and purity. White reflects light and we have all been warned not wear it after Labor Day. Doctors and nurses wear white to symbolize sterility. White is dynamic as it is not only a color in itself, but it is also the absence of color and because of this contrast, white can be used to great effect in art pieces.

So there you have it: the meaning behind some of the basic colors of the color wheel. Use this guide to interpret your feelings towards your surrounding or to create new ones.



The Serious Studio, What yours can look like


Designing your perfect studio

Some people can be creative anywhere they go and sketch the perfect sketch or paint the perfect painting, others gather their creativity from the environment around them. Having an artist's studio is the perfect way to create a space purely for the sake of making art. They are completely customizable to the artist so that they can get the maximum focus, creativeness and stimulation they want or need. For those looking for their own artist studio or improve their existing studio, here are a few pointers, tips and things to think about:

Lighting is always a bright idea:

Lighting and color can play a large role in how you feel and how you are able to focus in your studio. Having natural light be able to penetrate your studio can be a big advantage to artists struggling to find their creativity. Studies have shown that having natural light in your studio or workspace directly enhances creativity. Since daylight synchronizes our circadian rhythms, or our sleep-awake cycle, having daylight available can make us feel more awake and focused, and boosts creativity and cognition. Many famous painters' studios like those of Georgia O'Keeffe (studio on the left) and Paul Cezanne (studio on the right) had large windows for this very reason. 

Color can be another influencing factor. Brighter colors make people feel more childlike, and therefore stimulates the more adventurous, imaginative and creative centers of the brain. And since different colors have different effects on people, painting your studio walls a certain color can be great for making you feel more innovative. For example, Green is the color most considered to promote creativity, although Blue is calming and can help you focus on your work.

Don't stress about the mess:

Keeping your studio organized and clean is also a great way to inspire innovation and creativity. A clean workspace leads to a clean mind after all. Try storing all of your paints, brushes and other materials in a taboret or organizer to keep your studio from getting cluttered up. And all of your canvases or finished paintings can be stored in racks or flat files, which are the perfect space saver to keep your studio open and flexible so you can take on any size of project.


Furnishing for functionality:

Finally, having the right tools and equipment can have a big influence on your art. Like to sit while you paint your masterpiece? Try a H-frame easel that lets you raise and lower the height of your canvas. However, if you like to paint at home and on the go, a French easel might be more your speed. Or if you prefer to sketch, an adjustable drafting table is the way to go. They come in a wide variety of styles from traditional to modern, so they can match virtually any studio! Having the wrong kind of equipment can definitely add to your stress and block your creativity, so make sure you do your research before you buy.

And remember, your studio is designed for you. So make sure it inspires you!


For more inspiration, here are some studios of famous artists and painters:


Jackson Pollock, Painter


Willem de Kooning, Artist 



David Hockney, Painter


Pablo Picasso, Painter


So what does your dream studio look like? Let us know in the comments!

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