Thursday, December 17, 2009

Musical Art: America’s Favorite Song for The Holidays

This time of year Holiday music seems to be everywhere. From songs to symphonies, from sacred to secular, from sentimental to silly, your choices are endless.

As we browse this musical art form, we note that the best-selling record of all time is Bing Crosby’s 1942 recording of “White Christmas” written by Irving Berlin.

Berlin, a Russian immigrant, was born Israel Baline. When Berlin penned this Christmas classic, he was already a recognized American songwriting genius. His credits included hits like “God Bless America,” “Blue Skies,” “How Deep Is the Ocean” and hundreds more.

For “White Christmas,” Berlin uses just 54 wistful words to express an optimistic yearning for happier times. The song was originally intended as escapist Depression-era fare—a mournful satire, according a Wall Street Journal article. But instead Berlin decided to use it for the movie "Holiday Inn," which was in production when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.

Just days later, on Dec. 24, 1941, Crosby performed it publicly for the first time on the "Kraft Music Hall" radio program. The following September the Decca 78 rpm was released. According to WSJ’s Roy J. Harris, “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” sold more than 50 million records, with album and other sales taking the total above 100 million.

“What had inspired Berlin?,” Harris asks. “As a Jewish youth in Brooklyn, he experienced Christmas as an outsider, at neighbors' homes. But Berlin loved Christmastime, hating only how his film work often made for holidays away from his family back East.” With the nation at war, much of America shared that melancholy sentiment.

In 1942, American poet Carl Sandburg wrote: “This feeling is caught in the song on a thousand juke boxes and whistled in streets and homes, 'I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas.' When we sing that song we don't hate anybody. Away down under, this latest hit of Irving Berlin catches us where we love peace."

On that note, we at BINDERS sing out our Best Wishes to you for a Happy Holiday Season!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Every Artists Needs a Good Easel

“Give me a place to stand and I will move the earth,” said Archimedes. Or as most painters today would say, “Give me a good, easy-to-adjust, sturdy easel . . . please!”

Whether you prefer to stand or sit when you paint, your easel becomes part of you and your painting. Indeed, your easel’s potential can often liberate or limit your creative output.

At BINDERS, easels range from small table top easels to large, professional studio easels, plus everything between. The easel that’s best for you depends on your working methods and artistic goals. Here’s an overview:

Studio Easels are floor-standing easels designed mainly for oil and acrylic painting. They vary from small to extra large, with some being able to support weights of over 200 lb. and canvas over 8 feet tall. Studio easels make it easy to adjust the up/down position and tilt of your painting, and many include winches, multiple masts and casters. Pastelists favor easels with forward-tilt features to let the pastel dust fall away.

Paintbox Easels, also called French, Sketching and Pochade Box easels, are excellent for painting outdoors, en plein air. These easels, usually mid-sized or small, have telescoping, tripod legs and are easy to set up on location. Their built-in box is a handy place to store painting supplies. Most have a convenient handle or straps so you can carry it like a briefcase or a backpack. Paintbox easels are great for watercolor painting too. They are often the first easel for beginning painters.

Display Easels are lightweight, portable and easy to set up. They tend to be very simple in design with less concern for the stability needed by a working artist. They are ideal to display artwork when wall space isn’t available. At BINDERS, our very smallest display easels are just 5-inches tall.

Tabletop Easels are an excellent choice when space is an issue. Yet they are perfectly suitable for small and medium canvas sizes. Easy to set up, transport and store away, a tabletop easel can be placed on your kitchen table and folded up and put away when you are finished paintings. An excellent and inexpensive choice for beginning artists.

A new easel is a fabulous gift for any artist. And BINDERS offers a wide and wonderful selection of quality easels, work tables, lighting and accessories by some of the finest name-brand manufacturers: Mabef, Best, Winsor & Newton, Art Alternatives, Avanti, Cressida, Guerilla, Napoli, Testrite, Lyptus, Berkley Classic, BelAire Neuvo, Americana, CraftMaster, Creative Center, and more.

To summarize, painting easels are designed to hold your canvas while you paint. Stability is very, very important. You don’t want your painting to move around just when you’re laying down that final master stroke.

Visit the BINDERS website at!

This Week @ BINDERS - December 14-20


“Deck the halls with lots of bargains!” -- that’s the spirit at BINDERS again this week as the money-saving festivities continue. Remember that art supplies make wonderful gifts for that artist in your life. And our ever-so-versatile gift cards are always a welcome fall-back option. Now is also a good time to reserve your spot for January 2010 Art Classes and Workshops. On Saturday and Sunday, Rebecca Nagel conducts two separate Holiday Workshops for Children -- great times for kids and extra shopping time for parents. Best Wishes to you for healthy and happy Holiday Season from all of us at BINDERS!

Monday, December 14:
Guided Open Studio with Kay Powell
10:30am-2pm • Every Monday
Fee: $15/session. No sign up needed. Please pay the instructor.

Guided Open Studio with Kay Powell
6:30-8:30pm • see details above.

Tuesday, December 15:
Painting - Design and Technique with Charles Y. Walls
1-4pm • 6 sessions, Tuesdays, Nov. 3-Dec. 15 • Fee: $140

Bookmaking with Anne Elser
6-8:30pm • 6 sessions, Tuesdays, Nov. 3-Dec. 15 • Fee: $140

Painting - Design and Technique with Charles Y. Walls
6-8:30pm • 6 sessions, Tuesdays, Nov. 3-Dec. 15 • Fee: $140

Wednesday, December 16:
Copperplate Calligraphy with Anne Elser
6-8:30pm • 6 sessions, Wednesdays, Nov. 4 - Dec. 16 • Fee: $140

Thursday, December 17:
No special art events today.

Friday, December 18:
No special art events today.

Saturday, December 19:
Children’s Holiday Workshop Ages 5-7 with Rebecca Nagel
10:30am-3:30pm • Fee $95 • Please remember to bring a sack lunch.
Sign up now!

Sunday, December 20:

Children’s Holiday Workshop Ages 8-11 with Rebecca Nagel
11:30am-5pm • Fee $95 • Sign up now!

Please note: Classes on this schedule are in our Atlanta store unless otherwise indicated. For more information please email or call Eli Pelizza at 404.237.6331 ext. 203.

Check out the full list of our upcoming art classes and art workshops!


Winter Solstice Exhibition by Shadowline Artist Group, a coterie of Atlanta-area visual artists, runs through December 30.

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