# How to count on the Inca Quipu

Counting on the Inca's quipu, their ancient string counting device, is easy. Each hanging string represents a number. They used a base-10 system like ours, with the bottom group of knots being the ones (1 knot = 1, 3 knots = 3, 9 knots = 9), the next grouping above being the tens (3 knots … Continue reading How to count on the Inca Quipu

Ilya Repin's 1882 oil painting of Poprischin, the protagonist and narrator of Nikolai Gogol's famous 1835 short story 'Diary of a Madman.' After increasingly erratic behavior and thoughts, including believing he has found the love letters between two dogs, the lowly St. Petersburg civil servant wakes up one morning with the epiphany that he is … Continue reading

# interpreting sculpture

Did you know? Sculpture is often a reaction or response to earlier sculpture, so to understand and appreciate it you need to be familiar with sculpture history. When you know what a sculpture is responding to and why, you then can appreciate a modern work. PIctured is one of the most famous ever sculptures, a … Continue reading interpreting sculpture

# Trompe lâ€™oeil

Trompe l'oeil is an old painting technique for making flat images look three dimensional, our pop out of the painting. Considering this 1874 painting by Pere Borrell del Caso is titled 'Escaping Criticism,' the symbolism is obvious. The young bare footed boy leaving the artistic rules represented by the frame, looking beyond the painting.

Dr. John Davis Jr. (died 2002) was a Topeka optometrist and famed autograph collector, getting most of his thousands of autographs through the mail or in person (he carried personalized index cards with him). He got his first in person autograph when he was ten-- President Calvin Coolidge. When he was 72, a newspaper reporter … Continue reading

# Reductive Color Prints

Unlike normal color printing using multiple printing plates (a different printing plate for each color), reductive color prints are made from a single plate. You first make the design for the background color and print that color, then make the design for the second color and print that color, then make the design for the … Continue reading Reductive Color Prints

# Neuroaesthetics and Basic Qualities that Evoke Natural Aesthetic Reactions

Using brain scans, neuroscientists such as Semi Zeki of University College London and Vilayanur S. Ramachandran of University of California at San Diego have shown that much of our aesthetic perception of art is natural emotional reaction to basic sensory stimuli. Whether viewed on their own or incorporated into art or the physical world, many … Continue reading Neuroaesthetics and Basic Qualities that Evoke Natural Aesthetic Reactions