Download Google Earth

The past few days I have been completely addicted to Google Earth. It’s free to download and is probably the most interesting thing I’ve ever done online!
The faster your internet connection, the better the experience, but it would be worth waiting for on dial up too.Continue Reading

Art Scams

I haven’t been receiving any of them annoying email scams from people in Nigeria, China, or Russia looking to buy art lately, but they’re obviously still out there.
Proxima has left a comment here, asking what to do. He has received a check (cheque) for the work, it’s more than they agreed on, he can’t contact the buyer, and now he’s thinking of cashing it.Continue Reading

Rich Artists = Bad Art?

Vincent struggled for his art, so did Modigliani, but artists like Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, and more recently Damien Hirst could afford to pay an army of assistants to work for them.
Jonathan Jones of the Gurdian has asked if being rich makes you a bad artist? It’s an interesting question, with arguments for and against being rich. Dali is a good example of great wealth making bad art (his later works are really bad), but Monet, Picasso, and Rubens kept doing good work even though they could afford to buy the landscapes they painted!Continue Reading

Artists Sue NYC over Anti-Graffiti Law

A group of seven artists and the fashion designer Marc Ecko are suing New York City for being too hard on graffiti artists, claiming that their “constitutional right to free speech” is being violated. People under the age of 21 are banned from possessing broad-tipped markers or spray paint cans.
I’m all for graffiti art, but why not buy your own boards or canvas like most other painters have to? Graffiti is art, but it’s also vandalism if you’re painting all over a building you don’t own.
Artists sue New York City over anti-graffiti law
“City Councilman Peter Vallone, who sponsored the law and has sparred with Ecko over the issue, accused the designer of hiding behind free speech rights to promote his video game and brand name.” MSN
>> Art News, Controversies

Web Hosting Fun!

I’ve been having web hosting problems the past few days. So Art News Blog is currently being hosted on my friend’s account while I get a new account set up with a NEW host!
So if anybody has sent me an email the past few days, I won’t receive it. I still haven’t set up my email yet as I plan to move the site in the next day or two to another hosting account.
If you’re looking around for a new web hosting company, save yourself some stress and avoid using affordablehost dot com. I used to recommend them to friends until new owners took it over, which is something I now regret!

On a more positive note, I love Yahoo Hosting because it’s always online, and MidPhase hosting is also reliable and offers some good affordable hosting plans.

Update: Midphase hosting WAS good once upon a time. See my newer Midphase hosting review!

Joan Miro and Copyright Insanity

The Joan Miro logo that Google had on their homepage yesterday to celebrate the birthday of the Spanish artist was taken down early because of “copyright violation”. The Artists Rights Society represents the family of Miro (along with a bunch of other artists) and asked Google to take it down because “It’s a distortion of the original works and in that respect it violates the moral rights of the artist”.
It’s right to protect the rights of an artist if people are profiting from it or are using their image inappropriately, but is this just being silly? It’s not like Google were profiting from the logo, it was a tribute to Miro. The logo also linked to the search results of “Joan Miro”, which looks like free advertising for the name of the artist to me.
I seriously cannot see any reason for the Artists Rights Society to ask Google to do such a thing. They’re actually working against the promotion of the life and work of the artist.
There’s more on the story here.
>> Famous Artists, Controversy

Joan Miro Google Logo

miro - google logoThe Spanish artist Joan Miro is having a birthday on the 20th of April, so Google is celebrating the occasion with a Miro-esque Google Logo.
I think it’s probably one of the best logos they have done, even though Miro isn’t one of my favorite artists. It doesn’t stick to the Google logo so rigidly, like the Vincent, Lloyd Wright, or other attempts.
United Kingdom kids can also enter the Google Doodle competition to have their logo featured on the Google UK homepage, which will give Dennis Hwang a day off.
Would be nice to have an international competition, with no age barriers. With the winner having their homepage featured on Google.com for a day.
The winner would definitely have to upgrade their webhost for the day!
>> Famous Artists, Internet News

Being an Artist

Karl Zipser has started a new blog on all things art and has started a series of posts on being an artist. He has started with two steps so far..

  • (1) Keep the studio organized – I suffered from having a messy studio. I used to argue to myself that for every minute I spend cleaning, is a minute less I spend painting. But it really does make a difference when things are clean and organized. Francis Bacon’s studio shouldn’t be used as an example! (see image number 4 for a view of his studio interior).
  • (2) Be an Artist – It’s something that most artists have to deal with. So many artists become teachers, designers, or whatever else it is to put food on the table, while being an artist becomes a distant goal.

I’m not sure how much further Karl will take his series on being an artist, but it’s definitely not as easy as walking in the studio and picking up a brush each day. See his blog here.
>> Being an Artist, Art Blogs

Artists and Buddhist Monks

A friend and I was talking about what it’s like to be an artist and how it can be a really tough way to live. One issue that came up was dealing with emotions and sensitivity. I said that I often walk out of the studio feeling very vulnerable, very sensitive to everyone and everything around me. Then that slowly fades after an hour or so, before I start feeling more “normal”.
My artist friend had this more dramatic description of the same kind of situation..
“Buddhist monks seek deeply but need the padded comfort of a monastery and fellow seekers surrounding them, yet the poor artist seeks just as deeply and is bombarded with the harshness of everyday society. We walk around with our fragile fronts, trying to readjust to society, even though another layer is taken off the onion each day.
Our everyday human defenses are taken down in order to seek that which can’t be seen with the leather jacketed skin needed to operate in society. One cannot paint with a leather jacket on. One must paint with naked abandon and submission.”
>> Being an Artist

Most Expensive Australian Painting – John Brack

the bar by john brackAfter recently mentioning the most expensive British painting to be sold at auction ($35.8 million US dollars), Australia’s most expensive painting that sold recently by John Brack doesn’t sound that impressive.
“The Bar” painted in 1954 by John Brack sold last week at Sotheby’s auction house in Melbourne for
$3,120,000 Australian dollars (roughly $2.2 million US dollars). The previous high was Frederick McCubbin’s $2.2 million AUD painting, “Bush Idyll” that sold in 2002.
The painting sold to a Sydney businessman after 6 keen bidders fought for the work, with 5 of them still bidding past $2.5 million. One of the bidders was the National Gallery of Victoria that had publicly announced its intentions to buy the work. It walked away empty handed though as it only managed to raise $2.8 million for the purchase.
Sotheby’s head of Australian art Geoff Cassidy said “It is an outstanding result for a truly outstanding painting and dare I say The Bar has raised the bar for prices in the Australian Art market.” Sothebys