May
12
2010

Good Night, Sweet Prints by Wilson Bickford

Okay, ........so I know I'll probably ruffle a few feathers with this week's entry, but I'm just going to state my own personal opinions regarding art "prints". I've never been an advocate of the print market and here's why.
Is it just me or has greed taken over the print market? And I don't mean just recently, because it's always seemed that way to me.
The concept is simple enough; take an artistic image and reproduce it for mass sales at a more affordable rate to the common man.
But I fail to see the sense of charging $400 - $500 for a sheet of paper with an image of a painting on it. Especially when there are 2 or 3 thousand of them in existence.
Now, the consensus is that, "The price of the print is relative to the price of the original." The bottom line is that it's still a sheet of paper with an image of a painting on it. I can't get past that, I'm sorry.
In the old days, we had offset lithography as the main means of reproducing artwork. To get the "best price per unit," the artist had to order a very large quantity of said image. I know of several fellow artists who have stacks of prints left in storage, having sold 20 or 30 out of 1,500. Why? Because with that many around they are not really considered rare anymore and they were priced too high.
With the advent of the Inkjet printer and "Giclee’s," it seems anyone with a desktop printer is trying to make their own prints now. Of course, the advantage of this type of printing is that you can print 1, 50 or 100 and not be forced into a huge lot. You can literally "Print as you go." But, as a result it seems there are nothing but "open editions" whereby this image can be printed indefinitely and exhausted until there's no demand left whatsoever.
Does THAT add to the value?? Knowing that it's possible to replicate an unlimited number of copies kind of takes away the appeal, doesn't it?
Well, at least it does for me. Hey, it's just a sheet of paper with an image of a painting on it!

www.wilsonbickford.com

May
12
2010

Art Careers by Chris Cudworth


Career and art do not seem to go in the same sentence for most people. I get asked what I do for a living and I answer"“I am a professional artist." If you are an artist, chances are you will hear "I can't draw" or "I cannot draw a stickfigure." If I were a mechanic instead, the first response would be "Where do you work." Why is this? Are artists some mysterious unemployed lot? Do we have stigma as being untouchable? Art has had to fend off the media splash of being "Controversial" in the 80s and has had backlash since. I find there are many who seem to really love art but have not stepped into a gallery in years ….. or ever.

This is such a big question for me, why do people who do not consider themselves artists feel this way?
It brings me back to running themes within the art community: where does one go with a degree in the arts? How do you market your art when you get out of school? What is the definitive of an art community? I think community is the biggest key to why the general public is removed. Unavailable and often frustrated, artists need a community like everyone else.
Lets face it, we live in a very commercial and product driven society. Unless you live on an isolated island, this world revolves on research driven pre-selected demographics and spoon-fed advertising. Artists who are involved in advertising usually promote whichever client they are catering to, not art in general. Why is this important?
Despite art generating billions for advertising, usually promoting the very thing that drives the product is not what ads are driven by. There may be demographics for "Arts lost," "Art programs needed," but loosely generated ideas that cater only to flashy headlines. Visual art is part of an entertainment genre and has held fast to traditions of a society that had free time to spend. Time constraints and skewed thoughts about art from the media has poisoned the well that so many artists took for granted and drank deeply from.
We need to use the sources that communicate for us. Mainstream media, internet and finally, relationships with people makes art a forefront. Letting people know that a great day out can mean they can relax and love and hate different art with the freedom to do so.
That even if they cannot make "Perfect art" what really is perfect art?
Who are they competing with? Do they need to compete and have a constantly flowing wellspring of creativity to make art? No. They just need to know that art, is truly for everyone. Relaxation or pursuit, artists, in general, must accept all levels and be patient with those who wish to be a part of a vibrant movement.
Get a group, have some coffee, and dispel some myths about art. Grassroots can become a healthy lawn if those who for wish change just tend it!
May
12
2010

Playing with Canvas by Heather Goldstein

 


Do you ever feel stuck? That may be a ridiculous question because I can't think of any artist whose creative juices are always flowing. One of the best things an artist can do, in my opinion, is to PLAY and try something new! Sometimes I find that I get so involved in developing my concepts and making sure the painting I am working on will fit in the series I am trying to create and say what I want it to say, that my brain just shuts off and says, "NO MORE!"

Every once in a while I need to take a break and I found that playing in different mediums are the best arenas for me to do just that. One of the most inspiring classes I took in school was Fibers! I have used the medium for a number of different things. First, I love dye work and silk painting! Working on silk is a nice change from canvas or paper because of the hand (how it falls) of the fabric. Silk paint is wonderfully fluid and I always enjoy beautiful abstract qualities I can achieve and the great things the paint does on its own.

The best thing that I have done, however, is play with my canvas!! I'm not a huge fan of waste and I admit to being a total pack rat! I stretch my own canvas so when I am cutting away the extra, I put it to the side to sew it together later! You can use it to make yourself a Frankenstein painting! It is always fun to stretch your boundaries. Working on a canvas like that forces you to rethink your composition and work with limitations.

The other great thing you can do is to stuff your canvas! I started making dolls in Fibers and then decided to combine the best of both worlds and make stuffed heads for painting. I sewed canvas together and then stuffed it with doll stuffing (you can use newspaper too). Then, I just gessoed and painted! They were later used as part of an installation, but sometimes you need to take a breather and try something new in order to get inspired. I was having a horrible time and stressing out trying to finish a painting and oddly enough, painting stuffed heads helped me clear mine!

How do you play?

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The Execution of Humanity
Mixed Media
2008

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