Thomas Kinkade FBI Investigation

Thomas Kinkade or the “painter of light” is reportedly under investigation by the FBI. It’s not the first time the saintly painter has been in hot water though.
Kinkade and senior executives have been accused of fraudulently inducing investors to open Thomas Kinkade galleries (selling just Kinkade paintings), and then financially ruining them.Continue Reading

Helping Artists and Replying to Emails

Hazel Dooney has a new artist blog up and has been thinking about what it is that offends her about getting requests from artists that want help selling their own work.
Firstly, she says..
“There’s nothing in their emails that is actually about art, theirs or mine, and they imply that my focus is more on marketing and sales than creativity and plain old hard work.”Continue Reading

Record Brett Whiteley Price

One of my favorite artists recently broke his own sales record at a recent Sotheby’s auction in Australia. The four meter wide painting by Brett Whiteley sold for $2.04 million in Sydney lastnight.

It might be big and it might have the Brett Whiteley signature on it, but I think it’s a very poor painting by the man. “Frangipani and Hummingbird” has all the elements of a Whiteley, with the ultramarine blue, the flowers, and the bird, yet it still falls way short of his good stuff.Continue Reading

Selling Art Online

USA Today has wrote an article about how artists are taking advantage of the internet to sell their work.

They talked about a few artists making a living by selling paintings from their website..Continue Reading

Toothpick Portraits

For those that are thinking about getting their portrait painted, but want something a little different, why not get a toothpick portrait? ;-)
The San Francisco based artist Steven J. Backman creates sculptures and wall pieces made of toothpicks.Continue Reading

Artist Belinda Eaton Interview

I recently asked the contemporary artist Belinda Eaton a few questions about her art. She was featured on the Star Portraits with Rolf Harris television program from the BBC.

1. You were recently featured on the “Star Portraits with Rolf Harris” program on the BBC. How was that experience?Continue Reading

Irv on Artists and Life

Irv has left a comment on the “Crazy Artists post” that deserves to be a post, rather a comment. So I’m hoping you don’t mind Irv! (I would of linked to your site, but I’m guessing that you don’t have one?)
People that use blog aggregators like BlogLines to read their favorite blogs probably miss a lot of comments that readers have, so here’s Irv’s..

There was a time when the commitment to work above all was accepted as appropriate for a wide range of occupations. Today it is to be found among members of a smaller percentage of occupations but the total number has grown so greatly that it is hard to judge whether the percentage of people involved is greater or lesser than in the past.

What has changed are the norms, that is the ethical expectations, applied to all members of society. Some of the older among us may remember the social reports and novels (made into film) which portrayed the clash between the traditional work ethic and the newer family ethic coming into ever greater influence. This was seen to have maximum impact on the role of worker and the role of husband (we are speaking of the late forties and, in particular, the fifties) vis-a-vis his wife, and, even more strikingly, between the husbands job and the needs of his children.

Of course, the tension of role conflict not only became greater along these lines, but the new expectations favoring a career for woman versus the wife, and, most particularly, the mother role, has added dimensions of conflict beyond what we imagined in the fifties (with the beginning of which I became a professional). The artists role is archetypal in all these respects. Artists are given greater leeway for deviance from the norms when they are “geniuses”, GREAT ARTISTS, but I doubt (but do not know) whether the vast majority of serious, dedicated, often quite skilled, artists are given the same latitude. I would guess that not being a Van Gogh, Picasso, or.. (insert the names of your choice) the artist who puts his work above his family roles is defined as egocentric, lazy, irresponsible or whatever characterization has been developed in the particular subgroup. In fact, I would hypothesize that those with the greatest ambition for success, whether scientist or artist, is unable to function normally in the family, if normal is defined as consonant with the most generally accepted norms for the general society.

To turn to the question of eyesight and type of art produce, or any of the many statements one sees proliferating in the media, you must remember that the media now assigns people to read the key professional journals, almost every university, research organization now has publicity agents (whatever their label) and the public, increasingly committed to fact not fiction, has an omnivorous hunger for information about itself and its special members. That being the case, hypothesis is treated as fact, what are essentially pilot studies are treated as if they had demonstrated the TRUTH, and anyone, wise, foolish, informed, ignorant, can be cited as an intellectual Messiah.

The process of science has many safeguards against all these, and more, abuses, as artistic work-groups have when the are well organized (and when are they) against the charlatan, the fake, the fraud.The Truth or science is not the truth of art, though both have learned much from the other (at least, if we think of the social sciences, I would not say the same of the physical or natural sciences). Neither is the TRUTH of religion or the many forms of thought, such as Myth,which have enabled people to live in an ever perilous world.

I suppose what I am saying is that Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, Durer, and company, had a much clearer path, no matter how difficult, because they knew themselves to be workman turning out a product, and that their commitment to the family, which was primary for them and everyone, allowed them to concentrate on the work role because it contributed to the family’s welfare in the best way possible for them. The artist today is beset by conflicts of commitment far beyond what they faced. We face many more situations in which society has not yet created an accepted order of priority leaving the individual lonely and afraid, inevitably guilty through no self-fault because faced by irreconcilable (at this moment, in this place) social expectations.
Tennis Anyone?
(Trivia question, what film actor of cult status spoke that line (and many like
it) in his earlier Broadway career?)
By Irv

>> Being an Artist

Crazy Artists

Robert Genn has interesting newsletter online this week, where he asks “How Sick are you?”
The crazy artist is a common stereotype that a lot of artists have to deal with. Some artists have truly deserved the label of the “mad artist”, some of us have mad moments, and some of us are happy, well adjusted members of society.
I think I fit into the middle category, but not because I think I’m sometimes mad. I think continually accessing our creative self opens artists up to feelings that a busy office worker or laborer wouldn’t usually experience. It’s a bit like meditating all day while holding a paint brush.Continue Reading

My Favorite Artists

The Australian blogger Darren Rowse has a list writing project going, so I thought I would do a list of my favorite artists and why.
It’s hard to narrow it down to just a set list of artists as I have been influenced by so many artists over the years. I also fall in and out of love with particular artists, but a certain few always remain close to me.Continue Reading

Portrait of Adele Block-Bauer

Mario Naves of the New York Observer has written an interesting article about his experience with the most expensive painting in the world. His first thoughts of the $135 million painting by Gustav Klimt were of a piece of cloth covered with colored mud..
Overpriced and Erotic, Klimt’s Idealized Adele
“Once upon a time, a fellow billionaire asked Mr. Trump why he’d never amassed a collection of art. Why, in fact, wasn’t he interested in art at all? “You know what a Van Gogh is?” asked an annoyed Mr. Trump in return. “It’s a piece of cloth with some colored mud on it.” NY Observer
>> Famous Artists, Art Collecting