Art Cards, Editions and Originals (ACEO), and Artist Trading Cards (ATC) are highly collectible pieces of art in the form of trading cards, similar to baseball cards. ATCs (or art cards) are traded, handed out, or swapped; and when they are sold, the cards are called ACEOs.
Art cards are actual works of art handcrafted by artists that are tiny in size. They measure 2.5″ x 3.5″ like a sports card, except these cards are not mass-produced.
ACEOs and ATCs can be kept in a binder as part of an art card collection or proudly displayed by framing them and placing them on a shelf or hanging them on the wall.
Advantages of ACEOs and ATCs
They are easy to collect, trade and display.
Art enthusiasts can acquire an extensive collection of artwork at a small cost.
Their small size means your art collection isn’t limited by the amount of wall space you have available in your home or workspace.
They make great gifts!
For additional information about the history of ACEOs and ATCs, and how this art movement got started, click here.
Art cards are perfect for gifts, collecting, trading or selling.
These cards are limited edition artist trading cards, and each one is individually handmade by the artist. Each tiny painting is an original, one-of-a-kind, handmade work of art suitable for framing and display or collecting as part of an art card collection.
Have a question?
If you have a question about ACEO and ATC Collectables, please contact us, and we’ll be happy to answer any of your questions.
Why is varnishing your oil paintings so important? Let’s find out.
Now that you have acquired that beautiful oil painting, you will want to take measures to ensure that it stays that way. One important thing to do is make sure it has received several coats of artist-grade non-yellowing varnish. Varnishing their oil paintings is something every artist should do before their artworks leave the studio.
Varnish is a final, transparent protective layer applied to a painting after it is finished and completely dry. It is an important first step in preserving the work of art, so it lasts for generations to come.
Why varnish an oil painting?
1. Varnish saturates the colors, making them pop. It brings out the vibrancy of the colors and gives them that just painted look and shine. In addition, varnish helps to keep those beautiful colors from fading as the years go by.
2. Varnish creates an even sheen over the entire surface of the painting. Oil paint colors dry very differently because of the different pigments that make up each color. When completely dry, some colors appear matte, some satin, and some glossy. A layer or two of varnish will even out the final appearance of the painting, giving it a consistent overall look.
3. Varnish protects the painted surface from atmospheric elements and makes the surface easier to clean. All paintings will require cleaning as time goes by; however, the varnish will reduce the frequency of those cleanings and reduce the risk of any possible damage to the painting. If the painting isn’t varnished, over time, dust, grime, dirt, grease, moisture, and pollution in the environment will change the look of the painting. These can dull the colors, causing them to crack and chip off as the years go by.
When should paintings be varnished?
An oil painting should be allowed to dry for a minimum of 6 months before applying varnish. Depending on how thick the paint is applied, it might even need as much as 12 months of drying time. It’s crucial that the oil painting is thoroughly dry before the varnish is applied; otherwise, the varnish may crack. The reason for this is that varnish dries before the oil paint does. As oil paint dries, it moves slightly, and since the varnish is already dry, it begins to crack.
If your painting has never been varnished, you will need to wait at least a year and then take it to a reputable frame shop. They may be able to varnish the painting for you; however, it will probably be for a fee. Or, if you know of an artist in your area who is an oil painter, they can varnish the painting for you as well.
One final solution is varnishing oil paintings yourself. However, I wouldn’t recommend this if your painting is a valuable piece of art. If you do varnish the painting yourself, be sure to use varnish designed for fine art oil paintings. And make sure to follow all instructions on the label. It is not recommended that you use varnish obtained from a hardware store as this kind is too harsh for the painting and could wind up damaging it.
Additional information on how to preserve the beauty of your oil paintings can be found here.
Have a question?
If you have a question about this article on the importance of varnishing your oil paintings, please contact us, and we’ll be happy to answer any of your questions.
Choosing the perfect oil painting for your home or office doesn’t have to be daunting. Here’s what you need to know.
Are you looking for some oil paintings to adorn the walls in your home, workspace, or corporate office? Before heading out the door to find that fabulous canvas art to accent your décor, there are a few things you will need to consider first. Here are some tips on choosing the perfect oil painting for your home or office.
5 Tips on Choosing the Perfect Oil Painting
Tip #1. Size
The first thing that needs to be considered in choosing the perfect oil painting is the size of the space where your artwork will be displayed. This can be done by taking measurements of the wall space or area. If it is a large area, you will want a larger size painting; a smaller area requires a smaller one. This is an important step that should not be neglected. If you purchase a painting and it doesn’t fit in the space, you will be unhappy with your selection. Too small, and the painting look lost and out of place in all that empty wall space. Too large, and the painting will appear crowded in the space or won’t even fit the space at all. Hence, it is a good idea to measure your wall space before shopping for a painting.
Tip #2. Color
The color scheme in your home or office needs to be considered as well. Your painting should complement the colors in the room unless you are going for harsh contrasts. You might not be happy if the colors in your new painting clash with your sofa instead of complimenting it. Also, keep in mind that colors play an essential role in setting moods. Choose calming colors, such as light blues and greens, for bedrooms and areas where relaxation is essential. Bold colors work well in rooms and spaces where conversation and entertainment take place.
Tip #3. Style
The next thing to consider is the style of your décor. Is it contemporary, traditional, or a combination of both? Why not mix and match? Not everything in your home needs to match or be the same. Think about mixing up patterns, textures, and even eras. If your home is an older home with traditional décor, a piece of modern art might look great! And the same goes for a vintage-style painting in a contemporary setting. Remember to have fun; at the end of the day, all that matters is that you love it.
Tip #4. Subject
Next, think about what types of subject matter interest you in a painting. Still life, landscapes, seascapes, or wildlife? Paintings of faraway places or local hangouts? People perhaps. Art can be a great conversation starter between you and visitors. You can choose a painting that is different or makes a bold statement. It can be fun to see what type of reaction your family and visitors will have upon seeing the painting for the first time.
Tip #5. Purpose
Make sure you buy something you love. Take your time to decide what it is you like in a piece of art. What type of paintings are you naturally drawn to? Is it a particular style, artist, or period? Browsing through galleries, museums, art books, and websites will help you to decide. This will be necessary to know if you are considering buying art as an investment. Keep in mind that paintings will take a long time to go up in value, so it is best to buy a painting because you love it rather than waiting for it to be worth a lot of money someday.
Once you have something in mind, you will be able to find just the right oil painting to suit your needs and bring you and your family years of enjoyment.
Have a question?
If you have a question about choosing the perfect oil painting, please contact us, and we’ll be happy to answer any of your questions.
Oil paintings are created on a variety of surfaces known as “supports.” They are called supports because the material used to create the canvas surface supports the medium used to paint the image. Oil painting surfaces are made from materials such as canvas, panels, paper, wood, metal, and various others can be used.
Below are some interesting bullet points about the more common types of oil painting surfaces.
Stretched Canvas is:
the most common support for oils used by modern-day artists.
a tightly woven flexible material made from cotton, linen, or other synthetic material stretched across a wooden or metal stretcher bar frame.
can be purchased already primed and stretched onto stretcher bars, or it can be purchased in bulk rolls that the artist cuts up into smaller pieces and stretches onto the frame.
comes in three varieties of textures—
Fine: extra smooth surface for finely detailed paintings, such as portraiture. Medium: bold texture surface for expressive paintings with broad brushstrokes, like the Impressionists. Rough: abrasive “toothy” surface to enhance adhesion for collage. Note: The more refined the canvas texture is, the less the surface of the canvas will show through in your finished painting.
is available in two styles—
Traditional-style Stretched Canvas: the pre-primed canvas is stretched across and attached (side-stapled) to the sides of wooden stretcher bars using staples. Artists create their paintings on top of the canvas surface. The sides of the canvas are left raw or unpainted. Paintings composed on traditional-style canvas will require a frame before being displayed.
Gallery Wrap Stretched Canvas: the pre-primed canvas fabric is stretched across and wrapped around the wood stretcher bars. It is attached to the back of the stretcher bars using staples (back-stapled) or spline. Gallery wrap stretched canvas allows artists to paint on the sides or edges of the canvas and to hang it without a frame.
Neither gallery wrap nor traditional stretched canvas is superior. Some artists and collectors prefer the look of framed art, while others prefer the more contemporary look of unframed art.
Canvas Panel Board is:
a rigid surface covered with primed canvas glued onto heavy-duty, lightweight cardboard.
approximately 1/8″ thick and takes up less room than stretched canvases.
more durable, resistant to warping, and less fragile than stretched canvas.
easier to frame than stretched canvases.
preferred by many artists for their smaller paintings.
an ideal option for painting on location because they are lightweight, and also sunlight will not shine through the back.
Canvas Paper is:
a flexible surface primarily used for small sketches, color notes, and other purposes.
not a good surface to paint on because it is too fragile and will not last through the years. Note: Works painted on canvas paper must undergo extreme restorative and conservative treatments, usually within a few decades.
available in various paper qualities—
100% cotton: top of the quality scale, the paper is made entirely of cotton. Rag paper: some rag content is included in the paper, often mixed with wood cellulose. Wood-free or high alpha cellulose or wood sulfite: the highest grade of wood pulp paper.
Wood Panel Canvas is:
a rigid surface for artists made from poplar, oak, linden, pine, cedar, or various other hardwoods, like mahogany or walnut Note: Other types of woods these panels are made from include plywood, fiberboard, Masonite, and particleboard.
the best for painting when they are well seasoned, air-dried quarter-sawn hardwoods to avoid warping and shrinking, as this causes them to hold paint better Note: Wood panels need to be well-aged to prevent shrinking and warping from exposure to the water content present in some paints.
Metal Panel Canvas is:
a rigid surface that requires an oil primer to prepare it to support artist paints. Note: This type of surface does not fair well with liquid (water base) primers.
comes in various types of fine art metals — aluminum, brass, and copper.
Hopefully, this concise article will provide a little bit of information regarding the many types of oil painting surfaces available to the artist.
Georgia O’Keeffe was a modern-day fine artist of flower oil paintings born in Wisconsin in 1887. She attended the Art Institute of Chicago in 1905-1906 and at the Art Students League, New York (1907–1908). During her art career, she became one of America’s distinguished female artists. O’Keeffe revolutionized modern art with her paintings of nature. Many consider her the “Mother of American Modernism.”
O’Keeffe’s favorite subject to paint was the flower. She seemed to like the calla lily, poppy, canna, iris, petunia, and jimson weed the most when it came to flowers. O’Keeffe frequently painted flora in large-format paintings with enlarged close-up views of flower blossoms. This close-up perspective gave the viewer a sense of looking at the blossom under magnification. Georgia O’Keeffe chose this approach because she believed no one really looks at flowers. Her large-format paintings would require the viewer to take a real look at flowers.
During her lifetime, Georgia O’Keeffe painted many flower paintings. Some of her more well-known floral masterpieces include “Black Iris,” “Blue Morning Glories,” “Jimson Weed,” “Oriental Poppies,” and “Red Canna.”
Flower Paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe
Some of her most loved flower paintings include:
Black Iris (1926) O’Keeffe’s famous irises were an important preoccupation for many years; she favored the black iris, which she could only find at particular New York florists for about two weeks each spring. The flower’s enlargements and abstractions have frequently been interpreted in gynecological terms. O’Keeffe, on the other hand, rejects the idea that her flowers are sexual metaphors, believing that this is something that is generated by the observer, who assigns his own connections to the works, not hers.
Blue Morning Glories (1935) This oil painting features a close-up of blue morning glory flowers and is one of the most popular paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe. The colors are brilliantly used, giving the painting a vibrant and bright appearance. This picture is an example of O’Keeffe’s Precisionism style, which he was well-known for. The flower portrayed has been enlarged in size, and the colors utilized used are even more enchanting.
Jimson Weed (1936) This oil painting depicts a large blossom of jimson weed, or datura, and is part of a series of paintings O’Keeffe did of this plant. She was immensely fond of jimson weed, and ignoring its toxicity; she allowed it to flourish around her patio. O’Keeffe paid tribute to the bloom in this painting, originally entitled Miracle Flower.
Oriental Poppies (1928) This painting depicts two giant poppy flowers. The original painting measures 30″ x 40″ and is an explosion of brilliant colors on a vast canvas, creating a mesmerizing effect. The petals were painted in dazzling reds and oranges, with a deep purple center and inner contours. There is no background to this painting that artfully draws focus onto the flowers.
Red Canna (1924) This painting depicts a red canna flower. O’Keeffe composed it using abstract patterns derived from nature and defined using restrained brushwork. The vivid and bright colors that were so beautifully chosen evoke an energetic and natural vitality while uniquely complementing each other. One of the main features that make this painting fabulous is the intense red and orange hues subtly changing into pearly whites.
The flower paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe are a favorite of Teresa Bernard. If you enjoyed these floral paintings, you would want to check out more fine art paintings in this genre of art. See Flower Oil Paintings by Teresa Bernard.
Vincent van Gogh was a Dutch-born impressionist and post-impressionist artist. In his lifetime Van Gogh painted a lot of paintings. Among these were still lifes depicting flowers. Van Gogh loved nature, and flowers offered him the opportunity to portray nature at its best. He often used ordinary flowers that grew in the countryside near his home as subject matter for many of his flower oil paintings.
Some of this floral art is considered among his most famous masterpieces. For example, his sunflower series is perhaps the most famous of all his works. The flowers he chose to paint were put into floral arrangements standing in vases and flowers laying down on the ground. He also loved to paint flowers in their natural habitat, the countryside, and gardens. From van Gogh’s depiction of sunflowers, irises, roses, poppies, cornflowers, myositis, and chrysanthemums, he brought life and emotion to his work, putting his unique perspective on it.
Today Van Gogh is loved for his passion which is indicative of his work. His sunflower painting is one of the most loved of his flower oil paintings. Other favorite flower paintings by van Gogh are of irises.
Flower Paintings by Vincent van Gogh
Some of his most loved flower paintings include:
Sunflowers, 1888, oil on canvas
One in a series of sunflower oil paintings by Vincent van Gogh. The series show sunflowers in all stages of life, from full bloom to withering. The paintings were considered innovative for their use of the yellow spectrum, partly because newly invented pigments made new colors possible.
Irises, 1889, oil on canvas
This is one of many paintings of irises. Irises were painted while Van Gogh was living at the asylum at Saint Paul-de-Mausole in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France. Each one of Van Gogh’s irises is unique. He carefully studied their movements and shapes to create various curved silhouettes bounded by wavy, twisting, and curling lines. The cropped composition, divided into broad areas of vivid color with monumental irises overflowing its borders, was probably influenced by the decorative patterning of Japanese woodblock prints.
Almond Blossom, 1890, oil on canvas
This painting of delicate almond blossom against a clear blue sky is from a group of several paintings of blossoming almond trees. Van Gogh painted this to celebrate the birth of his nephew and namesake, son of his brother Theo and sister-in-law Jo. He chose the branches of an almond tree – a variety that blossoms as early as February in the south of France, where it announces the coming spring. The subject, the bold outlines, and the positioning of the tree in the picture plane are borrowed from Japanese printmaking.
Still Life: Red Poppies and Daisies, 1889, oil on canvas
Between the years 1886 and 1890, Vincent van Gogh completed seven different paintings featuring poppy flowers. Van Gogh did not have money to pay models, so still-life painting became more practical.
Still Life: Vase with Pink Roses, 1890, oil on canvas
Van Gogh painted this particular painting shortly before his release from the Saint-Rémy asylum. As the end of his stay in Saint-Rémy and the days ahead in Auvers-Sur-Oise neared, Van Gogh conveyed his optimism and enthusiasm by painting flowers. The painting reflects the optimism Van Gogh felt about his future, both in his choice of flowers as a subject and the colors used.
Oscar-Claude Monet (14 November 1840 – 5 December 1926) was a French Impressionist artist who lived around the turn of the 20th century. He is best known for his water lily paintings and many other oil paintings, including sunsets. Monet loved to paint the same location during the different seasons of the year and at various times of the day to experiment with how light was shown across the sky and other objects within his paintings. His sunset paintings are most noted for their bold use of reds, yellows, oranges, blues, and purples that make up his complex and lively sky scenery. Sceneries of sunsets and sunrises were perfect opportunities to introduce vibrant color balances to tried and tested locations giving them a fresh look.
Some of his most famous sunset paintings include:
Grainstacks At Giverny, Sunset
In 1890 and 1891, Monet painted a group of pictures of the stacks of wheat (referred to as grain stacks or haystacks) in the fields near his home. This sunset painting is part of the Haystack series and one of three grain stack paintings. The grain stacks represented the prosperity of the village near where he lived.
The Church At Varengeville Against The Sunset
The view in this painting is across a gorge to the cliff-top church at Varengeville. This sunset view of Varengeville is from a series of four paintings by Monet. The light from behind the church dissolves its form and catches the foliage in the foreground.
Valley of the Creuse, Sunset
Monet spent all of the spring of 1889 in Fresselines, a village along the Creuse river, exploring this world through his artist’s eyes. He painted a series of nine canvases inspired by this landscape between March and May, which he described as “a place of terrific and savage beauty.”
This painting depicts the port of Le Havre at sunrise, the two small rowboats in the foreground and the red sun being the focal elements. Impression Sunrise is generally acknowledged as one of Monet’s most influential of his paintings.
Houses of Parliament, Sunset
This painting is one of the 19 known paintings by Monet in the Houses of Parliament series. This painting represents a pallet of purples, reds, and yellows to create an inspiring skyline. A feature present in many sunset paintings painted by Claude Monet.
Twilight Venice This work is the most reproduced of all Monet’s paintings. The reason for this is apparent when one observes the splash of color across the sky and reflects in the water below. It is highly artistic and features the beautiful city of Venice, Italy.
Sunset on The Seine in Winter This sunset painting is a stylish and charming one because of its colors and contrasts. It includes a nice blend from sea to sky with a red sun which captures your attention. The landscape is featured with neutral green colors and blue tones, making the entire work hold together quite nicely.
Artist Claude Monet is considered one of the most significant oil painters of all time. His paintings are highly favored and sought after by art collectors worldwide. Claude Monet’s sunset paintings can be viewed at art galleries around the world.
The visual arts include all the fine arts, in addition to the following:
New media – digital art, computer graphics, computer animation, virtual art, Internet art, interactive art, video games, computer robotics, 3D printing, and art as biotechnology
Contemporary forms of expression – assemblage, collage, conceptual, installation
The term plastic art includes artworks that are molded and not necessarily plastic objects. This category consists of three-dimensional works like clay, plaster, stone, metals, wood, and paper (origami).
This classification consists of an art form that refers to public performance events that occur mainly in the theater. Performance arts include:
Traditional performance art – theatre, opera, music, and ballet
Contemporary performance art – mime
Hyper-modern performance art – happenings
This category encompasses the application of aesthetic designs to everyday functional objects. Applied arts are intended for the use of a career. It includes architecture, computer art, photography, industrial design, graphic design, fashion design, and interior design.
This classification refers to functional but ornamental art forms, such as jewelry, ceramics, mosaic art, and other embellished items by ornaments and other designs. It also includes works in glass, clay, wood, metal, textile fabric, furniture, furnishings, stained glass, and tapestry art. Interior designers often use this art form for home, commercial and retail outlets, and office décor.
Art appreciation is an understanding of the qualities that identify all great art. It involves having a knowledge of art movements, art history, and art styles or techniques.
An art movement is a distinctive style of art typified by a collection of artists practicing or following the same artistic idea, philosophy, objective, style, or method within a specified time frame or region. Each art movement is subtly or distinctly different than another movement of art. However, other art movements have influenced some movements as they show obvious similarities while others seem to defy them. It is interesting to study the differences between the art movements and study the different periods of art.
Art history is a historical study of the development of artworks in painting, sculpture, drawing, architecture, and other visual arts. The history of art spans a time from the earliest cave paintings to today. Art history presents two primary concerns (1) to determine who made a particular work of art and when, and (2) to understand the stylistic approach or school of thought used by artists in creating the work.
Art Styles or Techniques
The style or technique of a particular artist or school, or movement. It is that ‘thing’ that makes you recognize a specific painting as being by a particular artist before you’re close enough to see a signature or to read the image label. A painting style can be how the paint is handled (such as Pollock) or the brush strokes (such as Van Gogh). It can be the way a subject is dealt with or simply the choice of subject(s). It can be the range of colors used or a particular color that’s used in every painting.
Part of the appreciation of fine art is the range of art painting styles to admire and choose from. As a fan of art, you will enjoy the experience more when you understand which particular art style you happen to be viewing at the moment. Here is an overview of the seven most popular art painting styles in no specific order.
Popular Art Painting Styles
1. Realism is a style of art most people consider to be “real art.” This is because it attempts to depict the topic as it appears in real life but stops short of appearing like a photograph. Realism art is without stylization or following the rules of formal artistic theory. Instead, the artist spends a fair amount of time and effort paying attention to creating an accurate depiction of life forms and objects, perspective (creating the illusion of reality,) good composition, lights and darks, and color and tone.
2. Photorealism (a.k.a. super-realism, sharp focus realism, hyperrealism) is an art style where the artwork looks as realistic as a photo. The illusion of reality is so minutely fine-tuned that the painting looks exactly like a large, sharply focused photograph on canvas or other paint support. It’s a look that includes meticulous attention to detail, right down to the last grain of sand on the beach or the pores and wrinkles on a person’s face. Nothing is left out, and nothing is too insignificant to be left out of the composition. That’s how realistic photorealism is.
Photorealism as a style of art became a movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s America. For more information on this art movement, click here.
3. Painterly art is distinguished by visible brushstrokes and texture in the paint. This style can be created using oils, acrylics, watercolors, gouache, and any other medium where a brush is used.
In the past, early painters took great pains to eliminate brushstrokes or texture from their paintings by working and blending their paint, not so with painterly artists. However, they do not attempt to hide their brushwork that has been loosely and quickly applied. The paint doesn’t have to be applied thickly either; thin layers of paint work just as well using the painterly art style.
4. Impressionism is a style of painting that has the appearance of being rough and unfinished and is characterized by small, thin visible brushstrokes. The subject matter is usually common and ordinary subjects, emphasizing the accurate depiction of light.
Impressionistic paintings are often painted outdoors to capture the natural sunlight and color of their subjects. Black is rarely used since impressionist artists prefer mixing and using dark tones and complementary colors. Impressionism is more a representation of an artist’s impression. It does not try to be accurate in its detail, but rather, it is more like an expression of the heart.
5. Abstract art is artwork that doesn’t resemble anything from “real life.” It’s an art style that is intentionally non-representational and seeks to achieve its point or subject using shapes, forms, colors, and textures. Every object on the canvas is represented by either colors or shapes. For example, colors can represent emotions, and shapes can symbolize objects.
The purpose of abstract is to let the viewer interpret its meaning for themself. At its worst, abstract art looks like an accidental mess of paint. At its best, it has an impact that strikes you from the moment you see it.
6. Surrealism is a modern art style that juxtaposes various abstract concepts to give a startling effect. Fully recognized images are realistically painted, then reconstructed or structured within an ambiguous, contradictory, or shocking framework, removed from their usual settings and circumstances. Surrealist paintings are often illogical and express imaginative dreams with visions that emphasize the subconscious rather than rationale.
Surrealism originated in France and flourished as an art movement in the early twentieth century. For more information about the surrealist movement, click here.
7. Pop Art is a modern art style that started back in the 1950s and drew inspiration from commercial and consumer aspects of everyday life, especially in the American culture. Such imagery included advertising, mass media, comic books, celebrities, and elements of popular culture, like magazines, movies, and even bottles and cans.
Pop art paintings tend to focus on bold colors and realistic imagery. There is usually no hidden meaning in the composition either. Pop artists rarely use any of the traditional techniques of perspective to create an illusion of realism in the painting. Some pop artists use mass production techniques such as silk screening to replicate their works, mirroring the manufacturing process of consumer goods. Because of its commercial imagery, pop art is one of the most recognizable modern art styles.