Sunday, July 20, 2008

20th July 2008 - Who made a mark this week?

Many congratulations to Gayle Mason (Fur in the Paint ) who has had work accepted into and shown at the National Exhibition Of Wildlife Art (NEWA) on the Wirral in Cheshire for the second year running.

This is the biggest wildlife art exhibition in the UK outside London and competition to get accepted is getting increasingly fierce. Even well known animal artists are finding it more and more difficult to get in and to get more than one work accepted for display.

The Hunter
copyright Gayle Mason

What is good wildlife art? - Gayle attended the Private View on Thursday. I should have been going as well but for the fact that my travelling/driving is currently very constrained by a seriously dodgy foot/ankle.

However we all have an opportunity to view the works by visiting the exhibition website - which has an excellent online exhibition of all the works in the exhibition - plus Gayle's blog which has a post about the National Exhibition of Wildlife Art - NEWA.

Gayle includes a number of useful tips for animal artists about subject matter, design and impact of the works accepted for this important wildlife art exhibition. Gayle and I both agree that there are an awful lot of birders/twitchers out there are who like looking at paintings and prints of birds as well as birds in their natural habitats!

How to achieve good exhibition sales - Despite the UK's current economic difficulties, it looks like the exhibition is doing really excellent business on the sales front judging by the online exhibition of all the works in the exhibition.

The NEWA website is well organised and has an online purchase system - which I, for one, would like to see on many more art association/society exhibition websites. I just want to underline the point that exhibitions which seem to do best business in terms of sales are all those which also have online websites and online purchasing facilities. This just echoes the very many successful commercial galleries which now have private (ie registration/identity required) websites for viewing images in their exhibitions and auctions.

For all animal artists interested in exhibiting you can find more information about NEWA if you take a look at my blog post last year Gayle Mason exhibiting at the National Exhibition of Wildlife Art.

Art BlogsArtists
Art Business and Marketing
  • Alyson Stanfield (ArtBiz Blog) sent me a couple of interesting posts in her e-mail to all subscribers yesterday. One was an item about 10 Keys to Copy That Sells! by Alexandria Brown. Ali has an award-winning weekly ezine “Highlights on Marketing & Success” with (according to her bio) 28,000 subscribers! Alyson's preface comment to this is I read so many (sorry to say this) BORING emails and newsletters from artists, that I couldn't resist passing this along. Pay close attention. Much is applicable to your copy. The second of Alyson's posts was one about A lesson on using your email list.
  • while Seth Godin (Seth's Blog) writes about If you don't want to get email
  • Dan at Empty Easel followed up my blog last week about the acquisition of Imagekind by CafePress with CafePress Buys Imagekind: Is This A Win-Win or A Lose-Lose?
  • The Imagekind Blog alerted me artist and gallery owner Tim Nyberg who has an interesting take on how liven up the dog days of summer. Fair skin and red hair means he can't joinin with the plein air painters so he's having an indoor Plain Error Festival at his Gallery Forty Two in Juddville, Wisconsin. He describes this as an 'extreme makeover' approach to paintings which have not sold. He paints over the painting and creates a new one - in the gallery. Tim's whole approach to marketing through his gallery website is rather different to what one normally sees - check out his website to see what I mean. Bear in mind he has 30 years of commercial art and design as background experience and will be pretty savvy about how other products get marketed!
  • Finally, thanks to marketing guru Seth Godin for highlighting this riveting read Viral Marketing Review: Using and Identifying Design Patterns from Ship's Biscuit - which anybody seeking to brand their image and thinking about best to do this might just want to take a peek at...........What do you mean - you're an individual and a creative person not a brand? ;)
Art Competition
Art exhibitions, fairs and festivals
Art History
  • I've been updating my Art History and The History of Art - Resources for Art Lovers site - it now has two new modules for Museums and Art Galleries in Europe and Australasia as well as one for the UK and USA. If you're interested in art history or have a kid who is, check out the resources which are now listed on this site.
Art education, tips and techniques
Art Materials
The Art of Politics
  • There's been a massive surge in online (and offline) comments about the New Yorker cover featuring Obama and his wife. The link is to a collection of political New Yorker covers - which starts with the one which generated the comment. Here's the Guardian's Steve Bell's take on it all Can cartoonists go too far? Yes. Should we go too far? Yes
  • For another take on the Obama story so far - see The CafePress perspective on who's going to win the American Election - but make sure you read the comments too - and my note which says this is NOT political comment. I live in London folks - I don't get a vote in any election in the USA! What I found interesting was trying to work out what sort of figure 20% of CafePress earnings would be and whether CafePress has any plans to continue with features telling us all about the nature of buying trends on their site! (I asked them and the short answer is 'no'.)
Colour - and The Colour Project

Here's my posts from this week's contribution to The Colour Project. Even with the big push this week, there's no way I'm going to finish this project by the end of July! Maybe end of August - if I get busy - maybe?
Plus here are some sites and blog posts which I found related to colour
  • I found a neat site - the Color Selector Site which gives you the code for website colours - you select the colour for background, foreground, text, links etc and it delivers the code for CSS, html and hexadecimal colours.
  • James Gurney posted about the colour of reflected light in Croquet Balls
  • Charley Parker (Lines and Colors) had a post about COLOURLovers website which is a is a resource that monitors and influences color trends based on an open source and common license concept plus its associated COLOURLovers Blog. 30% of all profit from COLOURlovers goes to HOW, to support disaster relief projects and the volunteers.
  • Moira McLaughlin (Dog Art Today ) has a post highlighting the vibrant colour used by Andy Warhol in Andy Warhol's Ginger (Update: apologies to Moira for getting the spelling of her name wrong on initial publication)
Don't forget to let me know if you've been blogging about colour - and I'll link to the good posts in my round-up at the end of this month.

Copyright and Orphan Works
  • I came across the Copyright Advisory Network website (for librarians copyright scholars and policy wonks to learn about copyright and seek and provide feedback). This provides a really neat tool for providing an indicaiton of where or not copyright permission is required - check out the Digital Copyright Slider. You just move the slider at the right and it automatically provides an indication of what sort of copyright issues you're dealing with. Note the disclaimers in the copyright notice plus the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike Licence - and that goes for me to!
  • I'm adding both the above links to my Copyright and Orphan Artworks - Resources for Artists site. You can 'Bookmark and Share' this site using the facilities at the bottom of the entries in its right hand column. Rating the site is good too! ;)
  • The list of Groups Opposing the Orphan Works Bills as Written is now very, very long - but is your group listed? For those who have still to send a letter try this page which makes it very easy to tailor a letter to your particular circumstances.
  • Tomorrow I'll be publishing a post about the publication last week of a green paper about the knowledge economy by the European Commission. Yes folks - we've got something to study over this side of the pond as well!
Websites and blogging
and finally..........

Just a reminder that I'm very happy to take a look at a blog if you think you've been blogging about something which may be of interest to others and worth sharing.

Here are a few pointers:
  • I like, on the whole, to recommend people go look at the blogs of people who have been blogging for some time (in other words please don't ask me for a mention as a way for your brand new blog getting links!)
  • I often give a mention to a well known artist if they have recently started a new blog. This is mainly because I know others would want to know they now have a blog. I'm also very happy to receive tip offs about new blogs by well known artists - where 'well known' is something I can validate using the Internet.
  • For the rest of us less well known artists, I look for frequency and consistency in the quality of your blogging, and in particular........
  • I look for people who have original content and/or present a new angle on art, art materials, blogging, marketing their art - any of the topics which come up regularly on this blog. (I confess! To be very honest - it's very difficult to choose between posts which do NOT find a new angle on 'same old, same old' and much more interesting to read about your views)
  • I very much like blogs by people who are on a learning endeavour. This is often about sharing the experience of being a continual student rather than about displaying great art. It's sharing that might encourage others to learn new skills, find new materials, try new things and develop their art - rather than continuing with the (guess!) 'same old, same old'. It's also the people who don't mind sharing their mistakes! ;)
  • The rest is all the things that interest me and catch my eye as I'm surfing (a technical term for virtual travelling which is the only kind I'm experiencing right now while confined to home with the wreckage created by the connective tissue in my right foot plus a triangular foot support. OK I've whined about this twice now and will now stop!)
I'm also very happy to have my attention drawn to interesting posts which you may have found on other sites. I don't mention all that get mentioned to me - but that's mainly because this blog reflects my interests rather than your interests. However on the basis that my readers probably share some of my interests I'm always willing to take a look at anything you recommend - but I don't reply to spammers. Nice people write first and ask if they can send me something related to their own sites!

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