I'm starting with Karin Jurick (A Painting Today) because there is nothing quite like getting your work on the cover of a journal! Karin has one of her paintings as the cover of the February 2009 edition of American Artist PLUS she also has a four page feature article about her in the same edition. For a readable view of this article - which includes explanations about use of photographs and how Karin works - click here.
Plus Karin also has an item covering her new blog Different Strokes From Different Folks in Southwest Art (see Good publicity almost by accident ). For a readable view of this article, click here.
Next congratulations to the readers of this blog for voting Zen by Nicole Caulfield (Nicole Caulfield Art Journal) of Keene, New Hampshire the first prize in the The Making A Mark Award for Best Portrait by a female artist for Zen. You obviously spotted a winner....
...because we now need to congratulate Nicole again as this piece has now also won Nicole "Best of Show" ($500) prize at the Biennial Regional Juried Show at the Thorne Sagendorph Gallery! Having noticed last year that her small pieces were not getting looked at by people she decided to go big this year and succeeded in catching the jurors' eyes! You can read about the Private View in her blog post aptly and succiently titled OMG! in which you can also see Nicole with her child models and the paintings.
Meanwhile Kirsty Hall (Up All Night Again...) has had her first ever London show at Prick Your Finger, which is a haberdashers crossed with an art space, in Bethnal Green. Kirsty had a great PV yesterday afternoon. I love PVs where you get offered cups of tea, banana cake, choccie biccies and also get to sit down! Kirsty is showing some of her pin work including Quiver which is absolutely amazing! (It's the gauze hanging down in the window. The pins are stuck completely through which makes this shape into something akin to a wonderfully soft hedgehog experience. Yesterday she was giving a performance of Pin Ritual.
I got to meet Felix Ford (The Domestic Soundscape) who focuses on sound as art. It's weird when you think about it that everybody takes photos of their home and everyday surroundings - and these are not recognised as an art form - but few people make recordings of their homes and everyday activities. I also met numerous other people who will have to wait for a subsequent blog post! I loved her flier and also No-nonsense knitting commission price guide. All in all it was a very entertaining afternoon!
The death of Tony Hart
Tony Hart, who has died aged 83, made a substantial and original contribution to art education in Britain by entertaining children at such a breathtaking pace on television that they overlooked the fact that they were being educated at all.This was a slow burn item. I think some of the papers were maybe surprised by the number of people who started blogging about how much their art owed to Tony Hart and how fondly they remembered him. I never knew he was the man who designed the Blue Peter logo! There's Tony Hart: A YouTube tribute plus a slideshow put together by the Guardian
The Guardian Obituary: Tony Hart
- There's a nice piece by M. Stephen Doherty Remembering Andrew Wyeth on the American Artist website.
- Deborah Paris (A Painting Life) has recently had a couple of blog posts about her "artists statement". In the first she explains why she has not had a good attitude towards them (ie so many of the ones she's read have been both "incomprehensible and pretentious" which is a description I'd very definitely agree with (and I guess I wouldn't be alone!) and in the second Artist Statement Part II she explains why she is revising it, how she went about it and provides the 'before' and 'after' versions.
- Dan (Empty Easel) has started a series on Overcoming Fear: An Inspirational and Practical Series for Artists. He's planning on doing four articles covering the following topics (and I've included the link to the first):
- Overcoming the Fear of Confrontation
- Overcoming the Fear of Rejection
- Overcoming the Fear of Failure
- Overcoming the Fear of the Unknown
- Sarah Wimperis (The Red Shoes) has developed a lovely triptych of the sea at Kennack and is having a wonderful time sketching her local coastline
- Gesa Helms (Paint and Pastel) has a lovely post about Wolf Kahn and his colour palette - see A bit of learning: Wolf Kahn.
- Gesa has been lino-printing this week as has been Jeanette Jobson (Illustrated Life) - see Ripples who has also been combining them with coloured pencil. I think lino-printing is going viral!
- Cindy (Skating on the edge of infinity) is the requisite 'nothing whatsoever to do with art' post this week. She went to The Western States Inaugural Ball eat rubbish food, lost her coat and acquired a very odd looking partner ;) but all in all seems to have had a really good time. She's also decided to split her blog in two and have all the political posts on a new blogspot blog so that this one can be just for her art.
- Brenda (Serendipity Patchwork ) in Australia has been playing around with online colour generators Different palettes
- Being creative on Blue Monday was my contribution last Monday to thinking of ways to stay creative when the mid-January blues begin to hit home.
- Selling art online became a mini theme last week and will be a big theme in the course of this next week (galleries online / print on demand etc). Posts included:
- What do want to know about selling art online? which had an interesting discussion which verged on a debate (NOTE - this is NOT a debating blog. All comments between bloggers should be written on the basis you are having a friendly discussion and are sat facing the people you are speaking to.)
- "Selling Art Online - Resources for Artists" (is a WIP) which introduced my new resources for artists site Sell Art Online
- Selling art online - email newsletter software which focused on the operational software end of sending out a newsletter - while reminding us of a couple of key facts. Which left me feeling quite good as the average visit to this site is hugely better than the first indicator below!
- users spend an average of 51 seconds reading a newsletter and
- only 19% read the entire newsletter
- Clint Watson responded to my post with this post Do You Want Traffic or Do You Want to Sell Art?
- Note also Deborah's very clear and transparent statement about pricing in the side column of her sales blog Deborah Paris Fine Art. Note also how Deborah has effectively created a gallery in Blogger by removing all references to dates.
- Do artists understand what a niche is? Should style come under marketing? Maybe not - on the other hand it might be what makes your work sell. Empty Easel has an article by How to discover your niche and style by Aggie Villanueva who uses computer-manipulated photography - which was then referenced by the Imagekind blog. My main reason for including it here is that I'm afraid I have to take issue with her definition of niche ("your niche is what you know"). The use of 'Niche' in marketing is actually about identifying the market segment you serve - in other words it defines the answer to "who are your customers?"
a small specialized group identified as a market for a particular range of products or services.
- Imagekind referenced the article because it has a thread running at the moment in the Imagekind Forums which is about "What sells here?" . This should definitely not be read any anybody who gets agitated by the notion of decorative art or wall art!
- Daily Painters Art Gallery also got a mention by Southwest Art this month.
- Alyson B Stanfield (Art Biz Blog) noted Increases in shipping rates by FedEx.
- Results being reported and overall prospects in the markets as a whole generally continue to be pretty bleak and gloomy. As I've said before, the worst is yet to come............which is what makes the focus on selling online in an efficient and effective way so pertinent and is the reason I'll continue to focus on this next week.
- The figures have finally been published and in the UK we're now officially in recession
- Current expectations are that there will be very significant reductions in the prices of contemporary art. For all of us who always said the contemporary art market had been hyper-inflated at the top end this will come as absolutely no surprise at all. According to ArtTactic in its Art Market Confidence Survey there has been an 81% drop in confidence in the art market since May 2008. You can read the summary by clicking the link - it includes an interesting list of what are being termed blue chip contemporary artists. It also provides some parameters for long term planning.
ArtTactic - Art Market Confidence Survey
- Confidence hits rock bottom: US & European Contemporary Art Market Confidence Indicator drops 81% from May 2008.
- Recovery will take years: 52% of the respondents believe it will take more than 3 years for the market to start picking up, and more than half of these believe it could take more than 5 years.
- Bottom falls out of the high-end of the market: The confidence has weakened in all of the higher price segments (particularly above 0,000) since the last reading in May 2008
Komala said prices will tumble 30-40 percent this year, partly because auction houses concentrated on promoting a small number of contemporary artists, whose prices became inflated.
Bloomberg: Art Auction Prices May Fall 40% in 2009, Larasati Chief Says
- On the auction front:
- After the recent Christies announcement (in this post last Sunday), it appears that Sotheby’s Amsterdam is set to cut two-thirds of its 60 employees.
- Online auctioneer and aspirational storeowner eBay is struggling to cope with the economic downturn. It reported a significant drop in both revenue (7% decline) and profit (31% drop) for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008 compared to the same period last year. However it beat analysts' estimates of the expected decline. Marketrap announced that that eBay Reports Results and Investors Continue to Sell. The notion is that eBay will continue to be hit so long as merchants continue to go out of business. On the other hand if I were eBay I'd be wondering when Obama is going to get to grips with monopolistic providers like Google and eBay.
- the inaugural Grand Canyon Celebration of Art is scheduled for September 14-19 and includes include the Grand Canyon Modern Masters Invitational, a juried art competition and show, as well as Plein Air on the Rim (which has managed to invite the Editor of American Artist!) and Quick Draw events. Anybody recognise any of the other names?
- The major event has been the Googlisation of the Prado - see Online gallery zooms in on Prado's masterpieces (even the smutty bits)
- The Flickr Blog announced that The Commons on Flickr now includes a selection of photos from the National Galleries of Scotland. There are 7 sets showcasing 107 photos (to start) currently housed in galleries across Edinburgh: Scotland’s National Gallery, Portrait Gallery, Gallery of Modern Art and Photography Collection.
- Bullrushes on claybord - work in progress is the beginning of my assessment of the pros and cons of using coloured pencils on Ampersand Claybord
- Oil Pastels 101: A Comprehensive Guide to Painting with Oil Pastel by Robert Sloan on Empty Easel is really good article on oil pastels
- Prick Your Finger, where Kirsty has her show and PV has a website (soon to be revised) and a blog called Prick Your Finger. It's an amazing place - they source UK yarns which are produced by small independent producers in an appropriate way (eg Cornish Organic, Blue Faced Leicester and English Alpaca) and also spun in this country rather than being sent away to be spun. No Rowan on the premises. A complete treasure trove for any yarn addict.
- I also saw buttons produced by The Glass Pingle. It was very weird standing in a shop in Bethnal Green looking at beautiful buttons with an etsy store address on them!
- Dan at Empty Easel has written 5 Simple Copyright Rules for Bloggers. . . That I Wrote Myself.
- I wonder how many wildlife artists have been sketching birds for the RSPB's 30th annual birdwatch weekend. Tracy Hall (Watercolour Artist Diary) has - see her sketches an hour at her window yesterday.
- Tracy is also a miniaturist and from her blogroll I learned of Rachelle Sigrist's blog Life under the Maginfying Glass and all about The Miniature Art Society of Florida’s show opening weekend.
- I found a whole bunch of new botanical art references this week which have all gone on Botanical art - Resources for Artists. there was a very distinct antipodean flavour and the best one was the 2008 Exhibition at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne
- James Gurney (Gurney Journey ) advises that Moleskine Loves Schmincke. Mind you he was talking about how his opened up Schminke tin fits one of the pages of the landscape format Watercolour sketchbook! I've counted the pans - and that's the same size as my Schminke tin!!! Now I'll have to try a watercolour Moleskine!
- Sarah Wimperis is demonstrating how she makes her felted figures in Muddy Foot Prints. Here's the sequence:
- Wool and Pointy Needles
- The Armature
- Starting The Head
- Head and Neck
- A Reinforcement
- and I'm not too sure what comes next! I'm sure there should be some woolly muddy foot prints though!
- Richard McKinley (Pastel Pointers Blog) has been doing a short series on the switch from film to digital photography. I found it a very neat summary of aspects of photography that we all need to know if we're taking a photo for a serious (commercial) purpose.
- The Switch to Digital: Part 1
- The Switch to Digital: Part 2 - which introduces some of the terms used and focuses on taking photographs
- The Switch to Digital: Part 3 - which looks at how digital files need to be saved
- The Switch to Digital: Part 4 - which looks at the conversion of a digital file to a transparency
- He also has an excellent post about Out, Out, Damn Spot! - what to do when you've just crushed a pastel into the carpet
- Lindsay (Non-Linear Arts) has been doing
- Fine Art Views had a post about Hazard Pay by Jeffery Sparks which is about making time for your art career
- This morning I provided an update on Feedburner in Feedburner: Techcrunch and transferring my feeds. (For those having difficulties with feeds you might want to try referencing A Making A Mark Guide: Subscriptions 101 (Feedburner)
- Flickr is hyping its new uploadr (v.3.1.3) - BUT why oh why didn't I read the forum first where there are huge numbers of complaints about it not working?! I downloaded it and it doesn't work just like the last "improved version so I decided to go back to version 2.5 - the only one what works all the time. Except they're removed it from the site - so at the moment I can't upload anything to Flickr.
- I don't know about you but I am very decidedly NOT in love with Google's new favicon - and the BBC obviously must think along similar lines because they're inviting people to design a new one!
Here's a satellite image of the Capitol - before and after people arrived for the Inauguration this week. Wasn't it really amazing?
I tried to tie into the Inauguration with my post on Tuesday Living the dream - how conscious are you of your own competence?