In Memoriam by Jacob Joubert

"In Memoriam" is a massive undertaking of twelve 10x10 feet paintings, one for each major conflict of the United States military. I am painting one line for each United States service member killed in war, nearly one and a half million lines in all. The project was started on Memorial day and is expected to take six months working at least four to five hours per day, concluding on Veteran's day.

This project is designed to provoke thought.  These paintings are anything but polite.  Using the simplicity of a single line repeated, slashing like a machete into the canvas, I want to reveal with a simple abstract gesture the cost of war on America.  Just as the deaths blur throughout our country's history, these lines blur as the viewer is shuttled along at great velocity within the canvases.  The juxtaposition of the work will allow the viewer to come to terms with the sacrifice, life, death, and cost of freedom.

Unearthing a specific subject in the work would be a slippery task out of context.  I'm not using this series to lecture about a specific idea but instead to provoke thought.  My desire is to guide the viewer toward a certain kind of imagery that ultimately encourages them to connect with the often ignored subject of war.  In this process I allow the viewer's curious mind to investigate further and uncover their own meaning upon and about our culture.

As human beings it is difficult to conceptualize large numbers.  The underlying goal of the "In Memoriam" project is to help people process the sheer magnitude of what has been sacrificed and force them to question the value of a single life.  Often times it is easy to relegate the lives lost to history, forgetting the impact they have on us today.  My goal is to create a piece of work that forces the viewer to come to terms with the massive amount of lives lost to warfare and to feel that loss on a personal level in the way loved ones feel when a single life is lost. I don't want the viewer to see lines, I want them to see sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, cousins, neighbors, and friends.  I want them to see heros.







July Artist of the Month - Lauri Blank

" My art is innate in my soul.  Creating something beautiful everyday and bringing these images to life on my canvas is not only my profession, but my passion in life as well. The beautiful and compelling complexities of painting sultry, yet innocent women has always been my inspiration that fuels my work."
-Lauri Blank

Lauri Blank was destined to be a creative soul with a burning passion for art. Raised by an artistic mother who attended design school in NYC, and grandparents that are still performing musicians (well into their 80’s), Lauri was constantly engaged by creativity and artistic expression; the foundation of a future art career.

The world’s first acclaim of this talented artist came when she was just seven. Blank’s Mother, having recognized the talent she possessed at such an early age, submitted Lauri’s sketch of Betsy Ross to the local newspaper’s bicentennial art competition. Her work placed first.

Looking to expand her artistic horizons, Lauri began experimenting with different types of media. A few years later, at the age of 12, Lauri was honored by The Norton Museum of Art who included her three-dimensional painting of a young woman aging slowly in their prestigious national exhibition.

Continuing on her path of creative exploration, Lauri became a successful model at 14, still painting whenever she could. Lauri absorbed all the written material she could acquire on the arts. She spent the next several years honing her skills privately while gracing the covers of magazines, catwalks and advertising campaigns. As is commensurate with most artistic souls, Blank wanted to move away and try something new; also in the field of art and design. Turning her creative sights on the fashion world, Lauri moved to Bogota, Columbia. After establishing her own couture dress design and manufacturing business, it seemed that the canvas beckoned for her return as each day abroad passed.

Lauri returned to the US and embarked on full time painting career, "I felt the need to create something new, each day, whether it was a painting, interior design, or classical music. You couldn’t do that in fashion - once successful, the business becomes more about production and less about creativity.”

As her talent grew, Blank found herself naturally drawn to the imagery and complexities of the human form. She especially focused on the female form, learning to capture its very essence on her canvas. Uninhibited by conventional or formal training, her talent took on an original life of its own. Blank's artwork exhibits an unblemished romantic realism long forgotten by commercially driven, modern day trends. The appeal of her work is timeless. She continues to evolve her passion, taking great care in developing each individual composition. What is most remarkable is that she does not use live models. The images create themselves.

Her talents were immediately recognized by patrons in Washington D.C. and the Miami area, where she accepted numerous important commissions. And then in 1999, Lauri’s career would take a different turn, one that resembled one of the masters she studied for most of her life. Lauri Blank was commissioned to paint the ceiling of an 18th century church in Old Montreal. For months, the artist worked day and night painting the Cathedral’s ceiling while standing on scaffolding that had a five-story drop onto the marble floor below. It was the most magical experience she has ever had and is most proud of this work.

Blank received national coverage within Architectural Digest and her Old Montreal Cathedral work was featured on HGTV. She has been called "The Ft. Lauderdale areas own Michelangelo".

Blank's work has been exhibited in galleries throughout the nation. She receives frequent media attention and has appeared on numerous magazine covers throughout the Miami area. In 2002, Blank was selected as the artist for the 2002 Grammy Awards. Her "Post 911" Grammy work symbolized the patriotism of a nation blended with our love of music.

Lauri’s style of melding the techniques and icons of the old master with today’s cultural ideology, has won her acclaim. Her powerful images, along with her passion and devotion jump off the canvas and transport the viewer into a by-gone era. Her own imitable style, which the artist refers to as “Romantic Figuratism,” brings a sense of peace and reflection to the modern day world. “The passion in my heart…influences and fuels my love of art and my profession” says Blank of her accomplishments.
















Heaven's Embrace                                       La Femme















Venus                                                           The Kiss


Copyright by Valerie (Valry) Drake

(Before reading this article you should know that I am not qualified to give legal advice. I’m just telling you what I do.)

I expect that am just like most of you, I have never seriously considered copyrighting my artwork. But I am trying to get my artwork licensed, and the licensing industry is one of the fields where theft of artwork is not uncommon. I was dreading the process. I set aside a whole day to research the subject.

The first thing I found out is that, yes, my work is automatically copyrighted without registering it. However, there are no “teeth” to that automatic copyright. If someone decides to steal the work I have very little recourse because it is difficult to prove that it is mine and, without a registered copyright, I do not have the right to collect reimbursement for my legal fees.

I eventually found my way to www.copyright.gov where there is more information than any sane person wants to read or has the time to read. Besides, after spending a considerable amount of time trying to make sense of it all, it still had me confused.

Next step: I called the copyright office, 202-707-3000, expecting to be on hold for hours. Surprisingly, after only a few minutes a very pleasant and helpful person came on the line. I found out that all of my artwork could be included in one copyright registration and that I could complete the entire process online using the eCO.  See the large letter “e” with the blue circles around it? That’s the link to the electronic filing site.


US Copyright Office Web ShotI did have a very small amount of trouble getting registered to use the site because it requires a very strong and complicated password.

Back to my phone call the news kept getting better. The very nice representative told me that I could group my artwork and register the group all together. The group could be as large as I wanted it to be. I could, for example, copyright all of my artwork for the year, or the last 10 years, in one filing. All I had to do was include pictures of every piece. The hardest part was taking the digital versions of my artwork and reducing the file sizes so that they could be uploaded as one group.

Last, I was told that the filing fee was $35 – for all the artwork included in the registration.

All of this changes the idea of copyrighting my artwork from a subject I avoided thinking about, to an easy job that is high on my to-do list. Did I fill out the form correctly? I have no idea. Actually, I’m fairly certain that I did not. But even if I made mistakes on the form, the artwork is still copyrighted. It may be a year down the road that someone from the copyright office may contact me to clarify the mess I made of the form. At that time we’ll work out all the details and I will finally receive the paperwork back. Which doesn’t matter a whole lot because, regardless of the correctness of the paperwork, the art is legally considered copyrighted as soon as it is filed.

WhooHoo! It’s done!





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