"For years I've been telling artists to do it now, not later"
I'm sure a lot of people were as shocked as I was this week to hear that Robert Genn (The Painter's Keys) got some very bad news of the terminal kind last weekend - see 'The bomb'. The results of his CT scan mean he's currently going through his studio sorting through work into piles of 'destroy', 'sign' and 'keep' - and working out what's going to happen to the letters and clickbacks - and how he plans to spend the rest of his days.
For me, I've always tended to regard Robert as one of those sages who one comes across from time to time. He tells a good story and almost invariably has some very good advice to offer. One only has to sit and listen to increase our knowledge of good things to know - or in our case 'read' - and I certainly I read his letters as they landed in my inbox every week. I'm personally very pleased I bought one of his books - The Robert Genn Twice-Weekly Letters
For many artists his words have been very accessible - he talks in language we all understand. The fact that he's been passing on accumulated wisdom twice a week for years and years means he's going to be leaving behind a pretty big legacy. Here are the links to all the clickbacks - 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001 and
Also, here's just one of the videos Robert Genn: Painting as Tribute (White Rock Gallery) which you can find on his website - see Videos
Here's another one which is just a video of Robert painting a scene in the forest. I always think of him as a master of negative space.
Also this week we heard of the death of the eminent sculptor Sir Anthony Caro OM CBE RA.
Caro was one of the most important sculptors of his generation in the world and his sculpture is represented in more than 175 public collections all over the world. He was also the 'design brains' behind the Millenium Bridge over the Thames. He's received many fulsome tributes.
- Here he is - In pictures: Sir Anthony Caro
- Alastair Sooke writes - Sir Anthony Caro: 'gentle, considerate and generous'
I asked Caro one of those unanswerable journalistic questions: what is sculpture for? His answer was pin-sharp: “To please the eye and feed the soul,” he shot back. “Human beings dance, they make music, they carve little pebbles, or stick pieces of clay together. Animals don’t do it. It’s just a natural human thing.”
- As Anthony Caro passes away, we remember a sculptor of great humility and humanity
- Sir Anthony Caro, one of Britain's finest sculptors, dies aged 89
PaintingThis apparently is a technique suitable for a rainy messy art day in the studio! The post by Erin Duquette is called rainy day Gouache and Ink
- These are links to:
- Monet's palette - preserved at the Musee Marmatton in Paris. A rather more hyped up version can be seen at Painter's Palettes
- Matisse’s palette at the Matisse museum in Le Cateau-Cambrésis
- Renoir’s paint box and palette at the Musée d’Orsay
- John Singer Sargent's Palette at the Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum
- the colours in Vermeer's palette
- the palette of Anders Zorn
- On the Gamblin website, it has a series of pages of different types of palettes
Art Blogs and Podcasts
- RECOMMENDED LISTEN: Here's the link to Grayson Perry's second Lecture in his series of Reith Lectures for the BBC Grayson Perry: Playing to the Gallery: 2013 Episode 2 of 4 - This one looks at 'What kind of things do and do not qualify as contemporary art?'.
- Charley Parker (Lines and Colors) has profiled David Leffel - and the post has some gorgeous images of his paintings
Leffel has an extraordinary sensitivity to edges, texture, color harmony and value relationships, that makes his still life subjects simultaneously lively and deeply contemplative.
- For those in or visiting New York who'd like to see where Banksy has painted during his one month residency, here's a map - Banksy Better Out Than In map: see where the street artist has painted. If you click the jade green splodges you can see what's the image he's left behind.
Who painted this
- "Who painted this?" has now reached #50 - and we're still going strong! What else do you know about this artist and artwork? Answers on the blog post please. Yet again (how does she do it!) the first person with the best answer to Who painted this #49? was Bernadette Madden who only got the details correct but also added to our knowledge with this comment.
- The Society of Wildlife Artists have a new book out - see Society of Wildlife Artists - a new book and a bursary for my review of it.
This book demonstrates very clearly that this is an art society which places a lot of emphasis on observation. Most artists spend a considerable amount of time on observation of their subject matter 'in the field' (or the sea or the sky!) and the collection of information for making art before they get to the studio. This to my mind is what marks out the type of artist who gains admission to this society.
Art Business & Marketing
CopyrightThree different perspectives on issues relating to copying
- Recommended reading for all those concerned about COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT. The viral online copyright storm re. Congdon vs Cody Foster (as outlined in my blog post Copyright for Artists - Congdon vs Cody Foster) continued last week as the comments on Lisa Congdon vs. Cody Foster: What about the photographers? continued to climb. They now stand at 333 comments. It makes an interesting read.
- Jeanette Jobson (Illustrated Life) has an excellent post about copying and being copied - see Take it!
- Digital artist Susan Murtagh had her painting used for a new Apple advert which showed a new bit of kit using SketchBook Pro for their website. No they did not ask. Yes she is thrilled! They got the art from the SketchBook Pro team. Susan had previously a release for the painting when the app updated with it's new smear tool. So be aware that if you agree that an app can use your artwork created using the app for publicity purposes that it might end up on an advert seen by the whole world!
Marketing you and your work
- There are some very definite pros and cons to sharing your work and efforts for free. This New York Times Opinion piece - Slaves of the Internet, Unite! - makes a cogent article for why artists should not undersell themselves or their work - and has 652 comments to date. However I've been sharing 'for free' for years and I have to tell you I've very definitely had 'payback' and in more ways than I could have possibly imagined besides the financial! More about this next week....
Getting into Galleries
- Professional Article has had articles on getting into galleries
- Juried Shows for Artists, From the Inside Out By Matthew Daub is a 2011 article on Professional Artist
- Adrian Searle of The Guardian opines on the Turner Prize - this year's Turner prize show is all about life-class models peeing in a bucket, Mad Hatter's tea parties and the market economy
Art Exhibitions in London
- A week late - here's my review of the new exhibition of paintings, etchings and lithographs and drawings by James McNeil Whistler (1834-1904) at the Dulwich Picture Gallery - Review: An American in London: Whistler and the Thames It's an absolute must for those who enjoy fine art prints - etchings and lithographs in particular.
|Beverley Allen - with Bambusa Vulgaris 'Striata' from the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney|
Part of the The Alisa and Isaac M. Sutton Collection and the Botanicals exhibition
at the Private View for the two exhibitions last week
- I went to see two new botanical art exhibitions at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery at Kew Gardens this week - both excellent. I'll be writing reviews of both of them very soon. Above and below are images from the Private View and Isaac Tour of the Exhibition.
- Current Exhibition: Botanicals - Environmental Expressions in Art - This is a travelling exhibition of botanical artwork from the collection of Alisa and Isaac M. Sutton. I really enjoyed the tour of the exhibition by Isaac Sutton on Wednesday afternoon last week. It was great to see so many familiar faces at the Private View - and I had the pleasure of meeting Beverley Allen who had flown in from Australia for the exhibition.
|"The Two Sues"|
Sue Wickison and Sue J Williams display works which belong to the world of black and white blooms
- Current Exhibition: Black and White, in Colour - artwork by Sue Wickison (a natural history fan and formr Kew Gardens illustrator from New Zealand) and Sue J Williams (Fellow of the Chelsea Florilegium Society - lives in Kent) is for sale and it's excellent! They both had pieces bought by Shirley Sherwood and Isaac M Sutton and Sue Williams also sold a piece to Kew!
|Each of the artists in the 'Black and White' Exhibition has a display case of their studies|
This is part of the display case belonging to Sue Williams
- It looks like 2014 is going to see a lot of art exhibitions about the start of the First World War. I've recently had two invites to previews of:
UK Art Society Exhibitions
- The 50th Annual Exhibition of the Society of Wildlife Artists opens to the public on 31st October at the Mall Galleries (open every day). This exhibition always has some of the very best drawings, paintings, fine art prints and sculpture that I see all year. The SWLA is very good about having SWLA members in the gallery to advise aspiring wildlife artists who want advice. Some of the artists will have also sketchbooks and portfolios or show their work in progress or demonstrate drawing and painting methods.
- Thursday 31 October, 11am - President's Tour of the exhibition with Harriet Mead PSWLA
- Thursday 31 October, 12pm to 3pm -Portfolio day. Bring in your portfolio and have a critique of your work from President Harriet Mead, Chris Rose and Michael Warren.
- Saturday 2 November, 11am to 3pm - Printmaking - Max Angus will be on hand to discuss the print making techniques used in the production of her work.
- The Society of Botanical Artists have an exhibition called "Arts Butanica" opening next week at Luton Hoo Walled Garden (30th October - 6th November) - 2 miles from Junction 10 of the M1. The artworks are inspired by the 3rd Earl of Bute, who founded the garden in the 18th century. The original 5 acre octagonal walled garden at Luton Hoo was designed by Capability Brown in the 1770s for Lord Bute and is in the process of being restored. Bute was also Prime Minister under George III and a noted botanist and arts patron.
- Following on from my comments about the numbers of current exhibition about the male body beautiful last week, Jonathan Jones has written Man up: European art and the male nude - a critique of exactly why the male nude has been lusted after for centuries!
Art Exhibitions in the USA
- David Leffel: Life and Still Life can be seen in an exhibition at George Stern Fine Arts in West Hollywood, CA, until November 9, 2013.
- The same gallery also has an exhibition called The Sumptuous Still Life - which is a
virtual exhibition of some of great Modernist still life painters.
|The Sumptuous Still Life|
- Hokusai Exposed: why great art should never be digitally remastered A new show at London's Old Truman Brewery recreates the Japanese master's art so it looks like it did when it was originally made.
- Demo - Neocolor II and colored pencil on Canvas is a very interesting - and very well produced - demonstration of how to create a boxed canvas work - using coloured pencils! It's a step by step video by Ranjini Venkatachari, CPSA (Ranjini V's Colored Pencil Diary)
- Teoh Yi Chie (Parkablogs) has a Review: da Vinci Series 1573 Cosmotop Spin Round Travel Watercolor Brush. He compares it to the series 1503 Maestro watercolour travel brushes which he has been using for years. The latter have a sable brush and I wasn't aware that you could get waterbrushes which use sable!
- I'm looking at WeTransfer Plus - wondering about the pros and cons of a paid service for the transfer of large files versus Dropbox. Does anybody have experience of WeTransfer or Dropbox - which would you recommend?
- Comments on my blog have gone back to being 'registered users' only - because I am just so tired of having to moderate/delete spam when I had it set to 'anyone' while I did a test of opening it up to 'anyone' for the last week or so. Test failed my patience levels and I have reverted to the normal setting - which means you can now only leave a comment if
- you're signed into a Google account
- or have a OpenID. The latter are very useful - here's the link http://openid.net/get-an-openid/
- Next time you get a troll on Twitter (or Facebook or a a forum) why not deal with them the James Blunt way - Take note everybody, James Blunt is a stone cold troll killer and James Blunt exposes Twitter trolls. I do like a man on a mission with a good sense of humour and a lethal wit.
- Here's an advent calendar for artists!