Yesterday I visited the Llewellyn Alexander Gallery in London to drop off a CDrom of my cat drawings which are about to audition for the catalogue of the Society of Feline Artists exhibition in September. While there, I had a chance to see the current exhibition of work by Jenny Wheatley RWS NEAC. Jenny is very much a colourist - akin to the Fauvists - and she works in a very painterly style in oils, acrylics and watercolour. I've long admired her watercolours in particular. The exhibition contains 50 new works and is well worth a visit before it finishes on 2nd May. You can also view her paintings in the exhibition online. She's an artist who really knows how to make great use of pink! There are some great views out of windows in Cornwall (where she lives) and Collioure - which I always think of as Fauve Central!
This week I launched my new blog - Making a Mark reviews...... with this post An introduction to "Making a Mark reviews......".
Many thanks to all the people who signed up to be subscribers or became a 'follower' in the first week - plus thanks to Teoh Yi Chie of Parka Blogs who did a review of the new blog in Making a Mark Reviews and Sherrie York (Brush and Baren) who also highlighted it!
Drawing and sketching
- Cathy Johnson has set up a new group blog Sketching in Nature - which I've added into the 'Nature Corner' section of my blogroll. At the moment the group is invitation only.
- Roz Stendhal (Roz Wound Up) has been writing about yet another Journaling Superstitions #5: You Can’t Cut Pages Out of Your Journal
- Sanjeev Joshi wrote about how to define a sketch? on Urban Sketchers - check out the sketches too!
- Andrea Joseph (andrea joseph's sketchblog) posted a work in progress in reverse! See all the things that you've seen will slowly fade away
- I like looking at James Gurney's (Gurney Journey) Art by Committee posts - this time it was Art By Committee: Tookah. Check out how many different versions there are of a Tookah with blue tentacles and three eyes!
Two interviews for fans of artwork in coloured pencil plus two book reviews (see below)
- I haven't done an interview with an artist for ages so it was nice to get started on my interviews with female artists with brand new author and awardwinning artist Alyona Nickelsen. See A "Making A Mark" interview with Alyona Nickelsen CPSA.
- Coloured pencil fans should watch out for my interview (tomorrow!) with popular coloured pencil artist, author and instructor Ann Kullberg - who also has a new book out!
- Duane Keiser's Process blog is recording the progress of his latest 'work in progress painting' Main Street Station
- Take a look at Tracy Hall's latest miniature painting of a snow leopard (on Watercolour Artist Diary ) and be prepared to marvel at what she can paint inside 1mm!
- Michael Chesley Johnson (A Plein Air Painter's Blog ) has a nice post about an Encounter: Nicholas Fechin
- I want to be able to produce prints like Sherrie York of Brush and Baren - just look at this wallpaper for her page on Inkteraction (a Ning group and international printmakers network)!
- Apparently a very active and engaged print club at Monterey Peninsula College has declared May 2, 2009 Print Day. You can read more about it in Print Holiday on Printeresting (and thanks to Amie Roman of Burnishings for the tip)
Join the MPC Fine Art Print Club for a Print Day in May! Just make the commitment to print somewhere, somehow, on Saturday May 2. Send us a note letting us know where and when you’ll be printing. A phone # if possible. We will let everyone know who is participating. We can call each other, blog about it or just revel in the fact that we are all taking some time to do what we love to do.Art Business & Marketing
- Art Dealer Edward Winkelman (edward_ winkleman) always has well considered and sensible things to say about how to get into a gallery. Here's two more in-depth blog posts which are a recommended read - I've added them into the Selling Art through an Art Gallery section of my information site The Art Business - Resources for Visual Artists
- Contrast that with the next blog. I don't normally feature blogs which are less than three months old (and I can't remember how I found out about this one) but a rather curious new blog emerged this month which is designed to help artists be successful in selling their art. It only started on the 7th April and so far has had 28 posts - that's a posting rate of 2.3 posts per day! Most of the posts look to have relevant content, however I'm just wondering how on earth the blog's Australian author will keep up that pace of posting in months to come without running out of material. Anyway the blog is called Tony Moffitt's Art World. It's strapline reads A site to help artists create realistic paintings, sell their art, and break into art galleries. There's no doubt that Tony Moffitt is a great self-publicist - take a look at his website.
- Hugh McLeod (gapingvoid: "cartoons drawn on the back of business cards") is using a very defined and structured approach to pricing his new digital prints - read the next gapingvoid print: "create or die": $265 pre-order. Hugh's very much in marketing mode at the moment - his new book "ignore everybody" launches June 11th, 2009. I like the sample highlights (see below).
* Selling out is harder than it looks. Diluting your product to make it more commercial will just make people like it less.
* If your plan depends on you suddenly being “discovered” by some big shot, your plan will probably fail. Nobody suddenly discovers anything. Things are made slowly and in pain.
* Don’t try to stand out from the crowd; avoid crowds altogether. There’s no point trying to do the same thing as 250,000 other young hopefuls, waiting for a miracle. All existing business models are wrong. Find a new one.
* The idea doesn’t have to be big. It just has to be yours. The sovereignty you have over your work will inspire far more people than the actual content ever will.
- Tina Mammoser (The Cycling Artist) has some good advice relating to The art business plan - it's that time of year!
- According to the Guardian last week, MPs plan to let artists take over empty shops to prevent ghost towns. The scheme involves grants to use empty shops.
Andy Burnham, the culture secretary, will announce a £3m plan to make thousands of small grants of up to £1,000 to people who find creative reuse for vacant shops.
- Jonathan Jones sounded off in his Guardian blog about art magazines last week in Why must art magazines be so glamour obsessed?
Art magazines operate in a sphere of journalism that knows none of the rules of logic, grammar, coherence or entertainment value that generally prevail in the world of the published. To get published in an art magazine you need to follow criteria that are almost the total opposite of what you need to write for general publications. Anything that might interest or enlighten the general reader - or any reader - is to be ruthlessly avoided.
Why must art magazines be so glamour obsessed?
- Etsy News announced that Etsy has completed its checkout updates - see Tech Update: Checkout Updates
- Ever wondered what an advert for your website might look like - try this tool to find out
- Art Info has a Timeline: Museums and the Recession
- More from Edward Winkelman commenting on market commentators who are espousing the view that "I've Seen the Future, and It Belongs to the Dead"... whereas he's not quite ready to write off contemporary art. I'm not however surprised to read a prediction that galleries closing quietly for the summer holidays may not reopen.
- Forbes Magazine had an article about Chinese Art: Tricks Of The Trade
"That whole Chinese collector cartel, it was kind of like a big Ponzi scheme," says Philip Tinari, an art critic and curator in Beijing. People kept recruiting new buyers to pour more money into the market, driving up prices. "It was quite clear what it was."
- While the New York Times reports that Bidders Clamor for Dwindling Art - but we're talking historical rather than contemporary
- Obviously business on Etsy is not fading away in the recession. A summary of Etsy Statistics: March 2009 Weather Report from Storque articles: ETSY NEWS indicates that sales volume and value was up between over 15% compared to February, new members joining are up 15% and views of the site are up nearly 20%
- Once a week, The Independent does an article about a great work of art. This is the feed for Great Works
- Lisa Call is getting near the end of her mega studio creation. During April she's focusing all her blog posts on building a studio - what she learned, what she did well and what she might do different. You have got to go to her blog Lisa Call - Contemporary textile art take a look at how she's progressing towards a finale - sorting, organising, hanging art - it's very nearly no longer a project. You can see the whole story on Smugmug New Home - Studio Construction
- An example from the The Independet's 'Great Works' series Great Works: A Corner Of The Artist's Room In Paris (With Open Window)(1907-1909), Gwen John. To me it looks as if it could have been painted last week. I love the mix of muted neutral colours.
- Golden have produced a new Silverpoint / Drawing Ground. It's supposed to be permanent, lightfast and more flexible over time than traditional preparations. Has anybody used it?
- Roz Stendhal (Roz Wound Up) has reviews of
All my future book reviews will appear on my new blog Making A Mark Reviews. I'm happy to say that early comments are suggesting that I'm hitting the spot in terms of my analyis of a book!
- The recent court decision on the Pirate Bay case seems to be indicative that action around copyright on the Internet is about to change. While this case related to music the principles are the same. Has online piracy reached a tipping point? on CNET News provides a useful summary of what's happening in relation to copyright rip-offs. Interestingly one of the reasons for this is that 'free' provision by social networks has not yet generated a successful and sustainable business model. (If you want to see the future take a look at the results of the vote connected to Would you pay $1 a month for Facebook?)
- The Shepherd Fairey/AP Press dispute is becoming quite bizarre. Fairey now asserts that the AP itself violated copyright laws when it used a photo of the artist's "Hope" poster without getting permission.
- For more detail see this LA Times' Culture Monster blog post It's getting uglier: Shepard Fairey one-ups Associated Press in dispute over Obama image.
- The Art Law Blog also has a long detailed post Who's more unclean? (UPDATED) about Fairey's defence
- On Monday I reviewed Wildlife Artist of the Year 2009 - the online exhibition. It'll be interesting to revist this post after seeing the real thing in June.
- I went to see a very good exhibition of Flemish painting at The Queens Gallery on Thursday and wrote Exhibition review: From Bruegel to Rubens - Masters of Flemish Painting. I also had Just time for a cup of tea - and a sketch
- The Belvedere in Vienna is staging the first large exhibition dedicated to Alfons Mucha (1860-1939). No microsite unfortunately - however you can read a review on Art Knowledge News. Slightly different versions of the exhibition will be on view in Montpellier (June-September 2009) and Munich (September-January 2010).
- Angela Fehr (writing on Empty Easel) has a good summary 8 Ways to Improve Your Paintings Instantly. Certainly the 'paint bigger' one was very true for me. Once I'd worked large I could come back and work small again using what Id' learned from working big. Angela also has her own blog Angela Fehr watercolour
- Marion Boddy Evans (About.com Painting) has some tips in response to a query What if I Don't Have Room to Paint
- Feedlitz News stepped up to the plate to explain On RSS Subscriber Counts and FeedBurner Metrics. I read to the end and I'm not sure I'm any the wiser other than that Google/Feedburner is messing up big time and, as the post suggests, it's hardly as if they don't have enough money to fix it if that's what it takes!
- For those who like webware it's worth taking a look at the pages of the finalists in webware 100. I find there's always something new I haven't spotted before which is worth investigating
- Is anybody else bored of reading twitterings in blogs? I've got no problem with those who take a twitter and expand on it and add value to it on their blogs but I'm afraid I just don't see the point of reproducing twitters on blogs. In the week that Oprah finally made it on to Twitter (but not without comment and yet more comment) I read a couple of articles which suggest another perspective on Twitter - Chris Cooper on CNET news wrote I'm officially dropping out of the Twitter gab fest and Cosmo Landesman has an entertaining article about Middle-aged ‘me’ mob reinvent Great British bore in today's Sunday Times.
I counted up my dead desktops and laptops recently and discovered I had five! I really must get their hard drives sorted so I can dispose of them!
Every time a computer dies, I am so glad that I use webmail. When your computer dies your webmail doesn't. You get the new computer, boot up, login and there it all is - with lots of missives from people symapthising with your problems (for which many thanks). Plus I'm always really grateful to be still able to access copies of documents that I've sent to people which didn't get included in the latest back-up.
I've been using webmail since the early 90s and I think that means I might officially qualify as a dinosaur! For those of you who have worked your way through different web options for email you'll be amused by an article about What Your Webmail Choice Reveals About You. According to this I am deceased (having been one of the very, very early Compuserve users) but have revived and morphed into a Thirtysomething who is trying to feel as cool as twentysomething and who also hates Microsoft!
For the record I'm still clinging onto life and won't be seeing 50 again!