May
12
2010

Three Artist Must Haves by Angeline Marie Martinez

 


There are three items that I always have with me and I would like to share them with you. Most are curious about how I can work as an artist but not be obvious about it. Here are my "must haves" as an artist:

1. Observation Skills
The first item is what my boyfriend Andy refers to as the "Shiny Thing Syndrome." I just have to walk around looking at everything and anything! It doesn't matter if I'm at a hardware store (it's really an artist toy store) or at a park. My head does the 180 degree swivel and my pace is a stroll. Observing the environment is source of inspiration for me. Sometimes I do not know where I get my ideas. But some ideas have to be from looking at "shiny things!"

2. Camera
I try to always have a camera with me. Sadly, it is not always possible to linger observing an interesting scene, place, person, animal or item. It can be impossible to stop and sketch, too. Since the existence of digital cameras, it is super easy to build a reference photo library where YOU own the copyrights. If you can't build one for any reason, Wetcanvas has a free wonderful priceless library. A photo library is a great place to look for ideas for your next project.

3. Sketch Book & Pencil
This is very simple to do if you are fine with a small sketch book. I have three sizes of books all over my home and studio: 8 x 11 inches, 5 x 7 inches, and 3 x 5 inches. All of them are hardcover book binding, not spiral bound. The last sketch book size, 3 x 5 inches, is my favorite! Tuck in a #4B pencil, throw the book into my purse, and I am a happy sketcher! Who says an artist has to lug around a big, heavy sketchbook? You can find my favorite, Reflexions Sketch Books

Got a comment about one of my blog posts? Feel free to post a comment! I have fun reading your comments, & will respond.

Smiles!
Angeline-Marie of
Angeline Marie Fine Art
ammtz2008@gmail.com
May
12
2010

A Simple Guide to Photographing Your Paintings by Jeanne Bessette

Because of my previous life as a photographer, I am often asked how to photograph your paintings. I can't stress enough how important good images of your work is. You spend endless hours creating beautiful paintings and if you follow a few simple steps, it will make all the difference in your presentation to the world. You will get into more shows and you will look like a professional.
But first I want to make a small list of things not to do.
1. Do not take pictures of your work lying down on the floor with your feet in the bottom of the image.
2. Do not ask your spouse to hold the painting for you so he or she can also be in the picture.
3. Do not frame the image so it will look nice in the picture.
4. Mostly, do not put the camera on a timer and step into the picture to create a self portrait unless of course you need an image of yourself.
These may sound like silly examples of what not to do but believe me they happen.

There are several reasons we need photographs of our work and each situation warrants a different approach. For today, I am going to address low resolution images for your website and email applications. This of course starts with a relatively good quality digital camera. You can use any point and shoot for this as long as it has at least 4 mega pixels. I find the lower quality cameras just don't cut the mustard. You will also need a computer and a way to upload your images. I use Picassa because it is quick and pretty idiot proof.
A good quality, sturdy tripod is a must. Do not underestimate the need for a tripod. It keeps your camera steady and allows you to perfectly align the painting in the viewfinder, which is essential.

Most digital cameras have more than one setting for resolution. I like to shoot my paintings in the higher resolution (1600X1200 or more) in case I decide to use an online postcard company or send my image off for advertising. You can always lower the resolution on the computer for your website and emails.

Now that you are more familiar with what you need, here are the steps that I use for actually photographing the image.

1. I shoot all my paintings outside on a sunny day. I shoot either midmorning or mid afternoon and put the sun at a 45 degree angle behind me. So in photographer's terms, I have a giant light box of warm light spilling onto my subject. If it is a cloudy day, you will get a blue cast on your painting and good luck getting the blue out later.
2. I have created a black velvet back drop. I have glued the black velvet to a large piece of plywood. (Black velvet is pure black and absorbs light.) And I hang my painting on a nail. Ultimately, I crop to the exact edges of the painting once I upload it. But if I have a square painting and I do not want to crop to the edges, the black background will fall away to the viewer and the painting will "pop."
3. I set up my camera on the tripod and make sure that the camera is exactly perpendicular to the painting and the height is exactly in the middle of the painting's height. Double check all edges to make sure you are square and fill the view finder as much as possible with the painting. Check for hot spots or glare from the sun and adjust the painting if necessary. It is better to photograph your paintings before the final coat of varnish to help with glare, but I have photographed all my paintings after varnish with success and adjustments.
4. Set your camera on point and shoot or if you feel savvy, set it on fstop 60. Shoot more than one image.
5. Upload your images to your computer. Keep good files of your work and don't forget to create backups often.
These simple steps will help elevate your photographs to a place that you can feel confident in shooting your own images.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at jlbartist@gmail.com.
See you in the studio!!!

May
12
2010

Devil & Angel


The Fountain Marcel Duchamp 1917

Prompt: Is this Art?


JOE DiGIULIO: One can argue about the entry of Duchamp's "The Fountain" into a 1917 exhibition as to whether it should be considered Art. As a 3 dimensional sculptor, I have always sought for the harmony between form and function and within this criteria, I would have to say "No" it is not considered as such due to it not being functional in its state within a museum setting.
By turning the piece on it side, The Fountain, has resembled the imagery of a sitting Buddha or a veiled Madonna figure with its sweeping downward curves. From that standpoint I would consider it as Art. So that's one for and one against. I would also, and most importantly, consider whether the piece elicits a response from the observer. Although the Fountain was hidden from view in the exhibition one would have to believe that the public response to the piece's inclusion would have been one of shock. With this in mind, I would contend that YES it is Art in the fact that it caused an emotional response from the observer. Whether good or bad, if the observer is emotionally drawn to the piece, then it is a successful piece of Art. Found art or fabricated from the artist's hand, when displayed within the museum setting the final work stands to be observed and judged by the eye of the beholder. It is from there that beauty is conceived.

SHARON DiGIULIO: NO! This is not art. This is some crazy person's attempt to get a reaction from the art community. I believe Duchamp was using this as a futile attempt to cause a stir. Now, sometimes the art community needs a little stir, but this urinal is more of a disaster in my opinion. Picking something up out of the trash or purchasing someone else's creation (or design or manufactured item) and calling it your own or calling it art is ridiculous! I do, however, believe that when you do use "found objects" in an art piece, you can call it your own when you alter or manipulate it or incorporate other items with it and present it in a new way or tell a story, that it does eventually become art. But when you have a urinal and sign the manufacturer's name to it and submit it for public display, that's a little weird in my opinion.

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