Yearly Archives: 2019

Letters Goshawk
Watercolour on paper
by James Fenwick Lansdowne (1937-2008)
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Up here in Alaska at the American Bald Eagle Festival, one of my fellow presenters is Glen Browning. Glen’s giving a course in digital wildlife photography, as well as demonstrating — from start to finish — his methodology for mounting an immature female Goshawk. I asked Glen how he came to be one of the world’s most respected — and busy — bird taxidermists. When it comes to turning a passion into success, it’s the sort of story I’ve heard before.

Letters Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro on the set of Taxi Driver, 1976
Steve Schapiro photo
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Dear Artist, Last month, director Martin Scorsese, when asked in an interview what he thought…

Letters An adult Bald Eagle that has been restored to health by the Juneau Alaska Raptor Rehabilitation Center is released on the Chilkat River, Haines, Alaska.
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Here at the American Bald Eagle Festival in Haines, Alaska, releasing eagles back to the wild is part of the program. This year there are five. Wounded or sick birds that have been revived by local animal shelters are brought here for this purpose. A prominent Chilkat Chief of the Raven Clan released one at dawn today. Dressed in full regalia — button blanket and traditional wooden hat — he said a few words in the Tlingit language. Then, on the count of three, he threw the bird into the air.

Letters Bruce Springsteen and his debut album "Greetings From Asbury Park" in 1972. 
Art Maillet photo
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This past summer, a few months before his 70th birthday, Bruce Springsteen released his 19th studio album. Western Stars he said, would be a character-driven collection of songs that spoke to the themes that had always driven his work — the loneliness of the highway, the cowboy sky, isolation, family and work, and life’s small miracles that keep us going. Set in California and reminiscent of the 1960s anthems of some of his childhood musical heroes and orchestrated with sweeping, elegiac string arrangements, Springsteen’s stories are laid out as a metaphor for an artist’s quest and the quiet, inward revelations that arrive in life’s last chapters.

Letters She-Goat, 1950
Bronze
46 3/10 × 56 3/10 × 28 1/10 inches
by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
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While wandering around in Romania, a question came into the inbox: “I guess I know the answer to this, but do successful artists pretty well sell everything they paint?”

I can’t attest for all artists, but in my case it’s a low percentage that sell quickly. My work is too erratic and varying. Also, as a lot of what I do is based on experiencing life and experimentation, all works aren’t “ships of the line,” and collector whiz-bangs.

Letters Quiet Morning, 1994
34 x 30 inches
acrylic on canvas
by Robert Genn (1936-2014)
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When my husband, Peter, attended his first Genn family gathering, he was delighted to find that after the meal everyone scattered to their respective rooms for what our family fondly and only half-jokingly calls, “quiet period.” No communal digestion, no idle chatter, no one’s company sought. Within minutes, everyone was under the covers in their own bed with a book or writing tool. Quiet period is when you get to go to your room to work on that thing you’re quietly working on.

Letters Drawing of Eugene Street (n.d.)
soot and saliva on found paper
by James Castle
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Last night I met with five of the 17 million artists who currently need to sell more of their art.

Two of my visitors came originally from a sales background. Two were young and disliked the subject of selling but were eager to get on with it. The other one had read a lot and taken courses — online, on the phone and in person. These courses included art marketing, eBay sales, art blogging, display advertising, selling yourself and your art, the business of art, licensing art…

Letters Sphère Tailèe, ca. 1970
marble sculpture
by Hanna Eshel (b. 1926)
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Olivia Remes, an anxiety researcher at Cambridge, has discovered that we can develop coping skills for anxiety through the things we do. She says the way we cope can actually have a direct impact on how much anxiety we experience. We can lower anxiety just by making a few tweaks to how we deal with stress in the first place.

Letters Ishiyama Temple Scroll, 1805)
ink scroll
by Tani Bunchō (1763-1841)
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On Friday we went to see What the Bleep Do We Know? It’s part documentary, part entertainment, part lecture. After being recommended by so many fellow artists, I knew it would be like no other film.

It’s about Quantum Physics. It asks and attempts to answer some of the big questions: Who are we, what are we made of, where are we going? The natures of intentionality, possibility, addiction, creativity, and self-love are examined and graphically demonstrated.

Letters CONGO_30th-Painting-Session-11th-December-1957_Paint_on_paper_37x51cm
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Before 1956, Desmond Morris was a surrealist painter who had recently completed a doctorate in zoology at Oxford. That year, he began studying the picture-making abilities of two-year old chimpanzee Congo, a resident at the London Zoo. As Morris had recently agreed to host a show on animal behavior for Granada TV, he caught the whole thing on film.

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