Newest DVD Release from Wilson Bickford

Jerry's Artarama has just released the second of several Oil Painting DVDs, which I filmed for them last Spring. "LAKESIDE BIRCHES" is now available as part of the World Of Art DVD collection.

There are dozens of videos featuring a troupe of very talented artists, encompassing every style and genre, so please take time to check them out.

My hat is off to Jerry's and Burning Oak Studios for allowing me to bring my lessons to you.

It is deeply appreciated!

Wilson Bickford, artist and art educator, has perfected the art of the "wet on wet" painting technique. This extremely popular painting style, for its ease of learning and fantastic results, has helped create new fine artists since its beginning. Bickford gives the viewer the ability to not only create a beautiful piece of art start to finish, but also teaches you practical and important painting techniques which will get you well on your way to becoming a fine artist.


Looking by Valerie (Valry) Drake

I will be attending Surtex in New York City this spring. Surtex is an art licensing trade show. The exhibitors will be artists who license their work and artist's agents. Surtex is held in conjunction with The National Stationery Show and my ticket to Surtex also gets me into NSS. NSS has exhibitors who are (predictably) stationery manufacturers - a large market for art licensing. There are also several seminars offered at the shows which sound extremely valuable.

If you are not familiar with the term, licensing is when artwork is used on manufactured products and the artist receives a percentage based on how many of those items sold. Think about how many things have artwork on them! Party plates, scrapbook stickers, tissue boxes, kitchen towels, school notebooks, t-shirts, calendars, greeting cards, etc. I think the going rate for a license is 5% of the wholesale price.

Since this is my first time to attend Surtex I am not expecting to walk away with a licensing contract. Then again, I can always dream! The cost for an independent artist to attend Surtex is $150. As part of my preparation for the trip I am spending hours researching the individual exhibitors, going to each individual web site and seeing if the exhibitor is a possible match with my work. So far I have targeted one manufacturer and six agents.

As an attendee I am not allowed to carry my portfolio into the show, which I think is perfectly reasonable since other artists pay a lot of money to be exhibitors. I also need to be considerate of the paying customers that are talking to the exhibitors. However, I can carry "tear sheets" and I can set up appointments to discuss my work.

Question #1: What is a tear sheet?
The best I can figure out is that a tear sheet is basically a single page flyer about ONE of my "art collections" (see Question #2). It should show the components of the art collection, various combinations of those components, and some "mock-ups" (see Question #3).

Question #2: What is an art collection?
The art which is licensed is not what I would really refer to as fine art, more like illustrations. An art collection is a themed set of various components that can be combined in different ways. For example my set of dancing stick people has three stick people and various border elements. Here are some of the ways they combine.

Question #3: What are mock-ups? Mock-ups are where I go one step further on my samples and merge the art onto merchandise graphics. So I will take the round piece above and merge it onto a paper plate graphic, and the square one onto a napkin. Or I might take the round one and make a sheet of mock stickers. You get the idea.

I am planning to take four art collections with me to the show. Consequently, I am a busy artist right now.

More about my Surtex preparations next time.


Reflection - Paiting a Portrait Inside my Mind by TMNK

I am now beginning my day the way I often end it, reflecting. Perhaps today I will paint a portrait, perhaps a self-portrait. Not of myself, but of humanity. Her vanity showing, I know she'll want me to capture her good side. A mirror will be of no use, reflecting only the slowly decaying image in front of it. To paint a great portrait I must challenge myself to look deeper.

Reflection. Yes, I've decided to answer the call to stare, inspect, reflect then paint a portrait of humanity. Slowly, methodically, peering in my mind's eye beneath the surface, I begin the search inwardly. Intrigued, fascinated by the possibilities of discovering a hidden treasure, I continue. Painting, even when my labors seem unrewarded. Reflection. I remind myself that I am the artist, yet I am also the subject, human, and representative in some small degree of the face of humanity. There is much beauty to be discovered and shared. And so I must continue to look, to search as I paint.

I know that there is so much more, we are so much more than the flesh and bones, reflected in a mirror. And there is more to society than the ugliness so often portrayed on the evening news. So when I paint a portrait, I first shatter this glass façade, and attempt to paint the soul beneath the surface. With quiet meditation, I attempt to capture a universal truth and express it with honesty. Reflection, we're more alike than different. Reflection, beauty is more than skin deep, even when ugly is to the bone. Today, as I painted, I chose to look past the ugly blood stained scars of poverty and violence, and create a small portrait of humanity's beauty. It won't be too difficult, if only I reflect inward, with both eyes and heart open.

I've recently finished three portraits,
Reflection, SatchMO, and Malcolm X.


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