Sunday, September 21, 2008

21st September 2008 - Who's made a mark this week?

The Annotated Fuld
portrait of Dick Fuld
by Geoffrey Raymond
copyright and courtesy of Geoffrey Raymond

Geoffrey Raymond
(The Year of Magical Painting) is a 54 year old artist who creates portraits of big shots on Wall Street - and a few others. His approach is to do his drawing or painting and then to let other people annotate it with their thoughts on the individual.

The Final Fuld is a drawing of Dick Fuld, former CEO of Lehman Brothers, was posted on his blog last week (where you can see a larger version and read all the comments.).

He set up a separate blog specifically to sell this painting called The Annotated Fuld. The painting sold, on the street, for $10,000 on Tuesday afternoon.
I spent Monday and Tuesday outside Lehman Bros. HQ. During those sessions I asked people if they worked (or used to work) for LEH. If they said yes, they got a green pen. No--they got a black one.
You can watch a video of Raymond at work outside Lehman Brothers on Monday, read more about him in this Guardian article, Picture of wealth, if a little sub-prime, which was where I discovered him (plus there's a whole lot more coverage about him out there). Plus this Times Online article tells you more about Dick Fuld.
His activities brought him billionaire status and allowed him to indulge his passion for art collecting.
Times Online - Bruiser of Wall St Dick Fuld looked after his people, but didn’t know when to quit
Art economy

Carrying on for a few moments, with the theme of the economy and art, what does the instability in the financial markets mean for artists? Well Geoffrey Raymond has established there's still a market for selling direct to the customer - so long as your artistic output 'hits a nerve'.

It's also clear that generally within the UK and USA economies, spending is on a downward trajectory and people are certainly stalling on major items of expenditure. The main question is whether they'll still have the resources for spending on other items, particularly if they are discretionary. There is a school of thinking which says people 'makeover' instead of move when there's a recession! :)

However, at the top end of the art market, it appears that it ignored what was going on in the money markets. I commented twice on the topic this week
Art Blogs

Elsewhere there are different sorts of challenges..........

Art challenges:
I'm beginning to think I expand my art challenge section in my blogroll!
  • the new virtual sketchdate run by Rose Welty and Jeanette Jobson is posted - drawings need to be completed and posted by the 27th. This site is slowly building participants - there were about 20 people up for involvement this month last time I looked.
  • Karin Jurick (A Painting Today) has also started something similar with Different strokes from different folks. This started this month after Jack, Karin's dog, died at the beginning of the month. Karin painted her dog and then somebody else did too and then this is what happened Photo of the Week - My Jack. (see right for composite). The idea of the new blog is again one photo painted by many people. I'm planning to do a feature on this when it's a bit more established - in the meantime go and visit if you've not spotted it yet.
A week ago, I launched a new blog Different Strokes From Different Folks ~ the purpose is to provide one photograph and invite artists to draw or paint the image their way. This first week, the photo was of my dog Jack and I say this with a lump in my throat - I had 54 artists submit their work to my blog. Not only was this an unexpected response ~ it also helped heal the hurt of losing Jack and I thank you all for that.
Karin Jurick - Different Strokes from Different Folks - Week One
The American Election: Not being an American, I can only sit on the sidelines and watch the American Presidential campaign. Now and again it pops up on blogs.
Art Business and Marketing
ACEO watercolour paintings of the coast in changing lights and seasons
presentation in the Etsy shop of Vivien Blackburn
copyright Vivien Blackburn
  • There's no question Etsy continues to build its reputation and its traffic. Personally, I'm very much of the opinion that that one of the reasons for this is that its format allows people to display collections of their work to very good effect (see above) - and it might also be attracting people who understand the value of working with themes. Recent new Etsy shops include those opened by
    • Vivien Blackburn's (Paintings, Prints and Stuff) often paints large but her Etsy shop focuses on selling small affordable versions of her work - and very nice they look too! Vivien has just got back from a short holiday in a house in Sennen Cove, right next to the sea at the far end of Cornwall! See her blog post Cornwall - sketching and a zillion photos. I'm guessing we'll be seeing quite a lot more sea and sky work from Vivien.
    • Cindy Haase (Color On!) is a colored pencil artist who also does Fiber art - and her shop Littleton Studio features the latter. I like the idea of a shop having a name!
    • You can see the growth in Etsy traffic in the compete com chart
Etsy - unique visitors in the last 13 months
chart courtesy of

Art Collectors

Making A Mark Survey: Do you Collect Art?
results up to 21st September 2008

My survey Do You Collect Art? (in the side column) has another just over a week to run - I'll show you the results on 5th October.

In the meantime, this is what the interim results look like based on 55 responses so far. Click the chart to see the results more clearly.

The indications so far are that most of you either already collect art (42%) or have started to do so (20%) - while another 20% would do if they could afford to.

Art competitions

Competition Results:
  • For those who have been following Art competitions and copyright - the AWS Gold Medal debate, the American Watercolor Society has now removed the gold medal winning painting in question from the slideshow on its home page.
    • Interestingly this happened immediately after one of the participants in Copyright infringement at AWS?, the WC thread about this controversy (which has now reached 33 pages - as of this morning) emailed them to find out what was happening.
    • The participant in question had produced some very convincing photoshop demos comparing the painting with the photographs in question - see post 313.
    • In addition, it's now apparent that there are at least three other sites where use of the stock photograph of the man can be seen here, here and here. Ironically, two of the sites are about tutorials about how to paint from photographs.
    • Plus people who have actually physically seen the painting (commenting on this post - AWS Gold Medal Controversy) indicate that they found it very hard to believe it was a painting.
    • The only public statement issues by AWS so far is one that states the artist's perspective - that other images exist because somebody must have photographed her painting...............
  • On Thursday I provided an update about the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize - selected artists announced. Those selected include lots of well known artists and my post includes as many links to artists websites as I could find. The exhibition opens in November.
Call for Entries:
  • CPSA calls for entries for Explore This! was publishd by CPSA on Monday and me on Wednesday. I gather that the requirement that work for the online exhibition should not conform to the entry requirements for the normal international exhibition has some artists scratching their heads.
  • This is the Call For Entries for the Hunting Art Prize 2009. Its $50,000 award is the most generous annual art prize in the U.S. In the past it is helped to build the reputations, raise the profiles, and support the careers of distinguished artists. Entries are now limited to residents of Texas. The deadline is 30th September.
Art exhibitions

Exhibitions coming up include:
This exhibition features over 100 engravings and other relief prints selected from Britain and around the world, the Society of Wood Engraver's annual exhibition is recognised as the premier showcase for the engraver's art. This year's special feature display will focus on the teaching of engraving an the courses that are available across the country.
  • the 45th annual exhibition of the Society of Wildlife Artistsopens at the Mall Galeries on 24th September and continues until 5th October. There's a porfolio day for anyone with a collection of drawings or sketches – including a few finished works – on 24th September. Anyone is welcome to discuss their portfolio with the President Andrew Stock and Treasurer Mike Warren. Critical assessment, suggestions and general advice will be offered in the context of the exhibition and future submission.
The Society of Wildlife Artists showcases the very best in art inspired by the natural world and also, seeks to foster an awareness of the importance of conservation in a world of threatened wildlife and habitats. Bursaries are offered to young aspiring artists to encourage and enable the fulfilment of wildlife based art projects, presented at the opening of the Annual Exhibition, along with many other important prizes and awards.
Art History
Art Materials
Equine Artists

Maggie Stiefvater participated in the production of this amazing Mural Mosaic which is a testament to what can be done with a bit of community effort. It was unveiled recently at Spruce Meadows, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Crowds at unveiling at Spure Meadows
(photo credit Tracy Kolenchuk)

The image in question is 22.6feet H x 18.6feet W (6.9metres H x 5.7metres W). It's created from a matrix of paintings where each artist's painting represents a cell. You can see all the different paintings from 178 equine artists on this page.


You may follow up my recommendations but I also have blogs I read where I always go to take a look at what they recommend. Here's the latest recommendations from Cindy Woods (Learning Daily) These are all illustrators. The last three in my opinion need to find better hosts for their websites or check the size of the illustrations and sketches they're loading as their sites are very slow - but well worth looking at
  • Benoît Guillaume (benoît guillaume) is sketching the streets of Paris from life and displaying them on his blog - he's only just started his blog but it's getting a lot of comments from visitors sent by Cindy! :)
  • Barry Bruner has a wonderful website - although it's rather slow it's worth it. Check out his sketchbook from his trip to Europe and Africa in 2007. That one is going in my sketchbookroll on my sketchbook blog. Barry also has a blog (Barry Bruner Illustration )
  • Chris White and Neal Iwan do great illustrations and sketches - but you'll need to wait a while for both website as they are very slow.
Making room for more art supplies and more art books!!!

We are indebted to Luann Udell..........
and the rest.......

Websites and Blogging

  • First - thanks to all those people who have signed up as following my blog - I now have 9! :)
  • Yesterday I wrote about Seth Godin on The back list and talk about what I do (plus show you some new groups!)
What actually happens to all those pearls of wisdom that you laboured to produce and which then disappeared into your blog's archive? How can they be shared, again and again, with people who might value your knowledge and expertise?
Seth Godin - the Back List
  • Nothing to do with art - but thanks to Matt Cutts for alerting us to the fact that Sergey Brin (co founder of Google) has started a personal blog.
and finally.....

Monday 15th September was momentous in more ways than one.

On the one hand, the largest publisher of children's books in the world announced a new contract, won at public auction and in competition with other major publishing houses.

The contract is with my friend Maggie Stiefvater (Words on Words and Greywaren Art). Maggie has won Making A Mark Awards and has often had a mention on this blog.

You can read more about it in Maggie Stiefvater goes Scholastic!

Lament, Maggie's first novel
to be published by Flux on 1st October

photo courtesy Maggie Stiefvater

Then on the other hand we had Meltdown Monday. Involving rather a lot of ruckus in the financial money markets during which time a lot of grown men probably wished they'd actually aspired to be something other than a Hedge Fund Manager or working for the Federal Reserve.

I came across an astrology site on my surfing this week took a look at what it said for Monday.

It turns out there was a full moon in Pisces on Monday September 15th which according to the astrological forecast I looked at 'could cause some excitement about money'!!! I guess that only goes to show, that for every 'up' there is a 'down' and vice versa.


  1. Great posting Katherine!
    I am heading to a 'skins game this afternoon but I will take my time later this evening to follow your links.


  2. I've been refreshing all day waiting for you post. :)

    Just a comment on Etsy, because I've been prepping some figures for an application - my Etsy sales accounted for 25% of my art turnover (income before expenses deducted) in the last 12 months. Not too shabby, and shows it can be a relevent part of a overall sales strategy.

    Back to my forms now!

  3. thanks for the mention Katherine :>)

    and Etsy has been good for me in the short time I've shown work there - time will tell if it continues but I'm pleased so far - It would be nice to follow Tina's experience

  4. Thank you so much for the mention of my series about cleaning the studio. I'm so glad you enjoyed them!
    It was also helpful to see I'd numbered the posts wrong--oops!! That's been fixed. :^)


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