Search Results: b (1862)

Letters watermark-60-x-60-inches-oil-on-canvas-2014
45

A wonderful email appeared in my inbox recently, suspiciously arriving six times and from six different people. Here’s one of them:

“Hello There,
My name is George Barbara from California. I actually observed my wife has been viewing your website on my laptop and i guess she likes your piece of work. I’m also impressed and amazed to have seen your various works too, You are doing a great job. I would like to purchase one of your paintings “watermark, 60 x 60 inches, oil on canvas, 2014”, as a surprise to my wife on our anniversary.

Letters carl-rungius_in-the-clouds
13

A few blocks north of the Washington Square Arch in New York’s Greenwich Village stands the last surviving brownstone on lower Fifth Avenue, at Number 47. Built in 1853 as the residence of the first president of the Pennsylvania Coal Company, the house changed hands a few times after his death and then fell into disrepair. Eventually, it became a boarding house. In 1917, the members of a flourishing art club, having outgrown their nearby 12th Street rental, bought the house for $75,000 with a plan to pay off the mortgage with painting sales. They did it in just five years.

Letters robert-genn_valdelarco-in-the-sierra-de-aracena-spain
14

Although some artists may put me down for this, I’m pretty sure that the production of art has to do with a sense of well-being. I’ve found that art is at its best when the art more or less takes over your life. It’s great if you happen to be a fan. Other specifics contribute as well, like the ability to access both sides of your brain. I call this “bicameral wobbling.” Sometimes “BW” is automatic, at other times you have to put a cattle-prod in your ear.

Letters paul-gauguin_breton_girls_dancing_pont-aven
8

On the beach at Le Pouldu, near Pont-Aven, Brittany, there’s a leaning formation of rocks that could be organized a bit by looking down on it and laying the horizon fairly high in the composition. It took a while to get the position right. A few minutes into the painting I realized it would benefit with a figure or some other motif in the lower right. The next day I organized my daughter, Sara, to stand in as a model. This painting was among the ones I brought home that summer. Off it went to a gallery and subsequently disappeared into the great Diaspora where all paintings go.

Letters bouguereau_la-charite_1878
25

I’m willing to bet that lots of artists have never heard of William Bouguereau. He was, however, one of the most celebrated artists of his time — admired, collected, lionized — President of the French Academy, Head of the Salon, President of the Legion of Honour. He won the Grand Prix de Rome in 1851 when he was twenty-six. When he died in 1905 his reputation started to slip. His work disappeared into the basements of obscurity. Most encyclopedias stopped mentioning him, and those that did used words like “competent” and “banal.”

Letters jame-mcneill-whistler_nocturne-grey-and-silver
14

Let there be music. It could be any music. High brow, low brow. Music gives a key to what art is, to what art can do. For my desert island I’ll include the Sibelius Violin Concerto (D major, Opus 64). I’ll choose Pinchas Zukerman to play it. I’ll have to say it’s not the notes. It’s the spirit of the thing. As Zukerman says, “It has this incredible stuff happening everywhere.” Up and down, back and forth, the wonderful arbitrary quality of it all. Music, almost fully abstract, need not engage in realistically copying bird songs, wind, the sounds of traffic or falling coconuts.

Letters mark-rothko-red-on-maroon-mural-section-5
50

The phone rang early — it was an artist friend from the other side of Earth. A recent collaboration had left him feeling humiliated: “I compromised my vision, thinking I could get through it,” he said, “and in the end it didn’t pay off; I lost the job anyway.”

An early lesson at the bottom of my parents’ property came to mind, where I was learning to be a painter in a re-configured boat shed. A client, in search of a treasure, found the shed constraining and asked if she could commission something specific.

Letters delaunay-jules_sappho
20

Upon analyzing more than six decades of creativity-related papers, English scholars have isolated some recurring themes. Kent University computational scientist Anna Jordanous and Sussex University linguist Bill Keller suggest that fourteen interdependent components can be identified as the building blocks of creativity. As artists, we know them collectively as “the Muse” and, at the risk of spoiling our mystery, here they are:

Letters sara-genn_early-work2
29

Rolf Reichert of North Vancouver, B.C. wrote, “I am a hobby artist and would like to exhibit my art work at sometime or another, but don’t know what I should price it at. I don’t expect a fortune for my work, but maybe just my material cost and a little profit for my time would be fair. Is there a formula that I could follow to take the guesswork out of my head? Or should I look at other artists’ paintings and gauge mine from there? If you could give me a rough idea how I could go about pricing my paintings, I would be grateful.”

Letters agnes-martin_
11

A subscriber wrote, “Many online galleries these days have a money-back guarantee. I recall your father mentioning that if a buyer didn’t like a painting and wanted to return it, he would gladly take it back in exchange for another. When I think of business practices, this great customer service ranks at the top of the list. On pricing, if an artist has work showing in an online gallery and that gallery takes 40%, and she/he has work hanging in a local gallery at a 50% split, and then they also have work for sale on their own website, how does the pricing work for all those different venues?”

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