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Earning Money at Art

December 23rd, 2014

I've been reading the discussions about art and earning money and somehow the two have almost joined together that is without earning money you are not an artist. I realise you need money to live and it's frustrating. However when you think of Turner and his famous painting The Fighting Temeraire it was in a shop window for many years without selling, would you say he was not an artist. Surely you are an artist if you have a great desire to produce art and can't exist without doing so. Just because the general public have not seen your art or don't understand your work does not mean you are not an artist. I think it is better to work in another job (if you can't sell) and not be constrained by general trends in "what is thought of as art" which is soul destroying. The general trend at the moment seems to be hands-on-work even if this is not of a high standard and digital art is somehow not art. People get mixed up and don't realise you do art from the heart and can't change merely because they want you to.

An example would be to take two cartoonists who are both skilled at drawing and look at their latest work. One may draw a cartoon well, but simply not be funny to you, at least today. So which one is the actual cartoonist? The answer is they both are it just depends who is looking at the cartoon and whether they see the joke.

Look After Your Hands

July 9th, 2014

Look After Your Hands

My experience used as a warning to all artists.

A few years back I was decorating and my hand started to be a problem. Well I thought I just need to work hard and finish the job. How wrong could I be, at night my hand would go numb. I was also working in medical research and did not want to complain as I was on a short-term contract. Eventually I decided to go to the doctors this was after many months. Then still not wanting to complain too much and hoping it would go away my doctor thought it was not too bad. More months went past and it was soon a couple of years.

It got to the stage two of my fingers were continually numb so I eventually went again to another doctor who suggested an injection but she could not do this and suggested another. Finally after waiting weeks to see the other doctor he finally sent me to see a hand surgeon, who suggested an operation. I had the operation but still my hand was a problem and I thought I had to give it time to heal and it did slowly get better but one year later I still had a problem. And was sent back to see the surgeon but I had always thought there was a problem near my elbow as well and it turned out it was my pronator teres muscle as well. After twelve physiotherapy sessions and deep massage and a slight improvement, I finally still have numb tips to two fingers and my hand goes stiff and I don't think this will ever change : (

I have told this story as I draw with this hand (or try to) and should have listened to my body. So to end this blog be warned if you are an artist look after your hands! Also if you work on the computer, screen breaks are a must!

Digital Art Decision Methods

July 1st, 2014

Digital art can take many forms and when you look at the marvellous digital art on Fine Art America you begin to realise how all the digital art produced is so different. This relatively new art medium is incredible in many different ways.

I have my technique and this revolves around decisions. Rejecting or accepting the gradually developing art that is happening in front of my eyes? I personally don't use stock photographs; it's just I don't find the need. Composition, colour and emotion are how I produce art. First I try one tool then other and reject, and alter then reject and alter again for as long as it takes. The colour balance is adjusted, and then adjusted again and again, until gradually the work takes shape, if I give meaning to the work and if I'm happy with the composition I finally place my signature on it. If I think that the result is not achieving a great deal then I go back in a ruthless way and start again from a point I was happy with. Compare this to other mediums and you can see immediately the difference, as with most you have to decide on the composition before hand or simply begin again.

To summarise you have to make decisions before you paint with most media while in digital art it's a continual process at least with my technique.

Why not give digital art a try.

Why Abstract Art is Powerful.

April 28th, 2014

Why Abstract Art is Powerful.

You have to ask yourself a question, what do you want from a painting? Do you buy a painting merely because of the skill involved? By this I mean the drawing and painting quality? You may answer by saying of course this is important. However if your child paints a picture you love it for another reason. The same goes for all art.

Abstract art does not give you all the details. No flowers, no landscapes, no animals and so what's its appeal? And why do I say it is powerful. If you see a still life work that is exquisitely drawn and painted, yes you cannot deny the skill. And there are hundreds if not thousands of lovely paintings. However combine this with a deep meaning of the objects presented and now you have a more meaningful work of art. In other words the reason behind the objects is vital as well.

Now to get back to abstract work, this does not give you the objects but allows your subconscious mind to take over. If you feel nothing then it is not art to you. Simple colour combinations for example can invoke a feeling and the skill comes from the artist's ability to create that feeling. Although, abstract artists don't create art just with a buyer in mind, they create art because of a strong desire to express their feelings and an obsession to paint. While abstract art lovers buy abstract art because of the feeling it creates in them.

This is why abstract art can be powerful because the human imagination is boundless.

Be Brave and Give Digital Art a Try

April 9th, 2014

Have you tried to create art using the computer, if you have you will know that it can be spectacular and if you have a creative spirit then the world is your oyster. Don't dismiss this lovely new way of working until you have put mouse to screen. Try to put aside your opinions until you have ventured into this new medium. I mainly use GIMP software which is free and is a joy to use. First make sure your screen canvas dimensions are large 3000 x 3000, at the least, and remember that when enlarged for printing it will appear simpler to the eye, therefore you can add more detail then you think.



Go on be brave and experiment you will begin to love this new way of working. Forget the problems from the drying times of oils, the buckling watercolour paper and the smudging of pastels and embrace the future.

Affordable Digital Art

November 11th, 2013

Normally oil paintings are expensive, which is out of reach of many people's budget; this is where digital art comes into its own. Therefore what are the benefits of digital art?

Digital art is completed on the computer using many different techniques from freehand drawing on a tablet or Ipad to the complex understanding of software. Once the artist is happy with the work it is declared finished just as an oil painting or watercolour. The file can then be used in a similar way to a photographer's negative or digital file stored on a camera. Just as a photograph can be printed once and the file destroyed, a digital work can also be printed once. Therefore it can be a unique work, a one-of-a-kind if the file is destroyed.

The work can also be printed on high-quality paper using archival, fade-resistant pigment inks. The fading of certain pigments can happen with oil paints if the wrong ones are used. Therefore digital art, printed correctly will last up to 70 to 80 years and in some cases longer. Another advantage is the use of conservation clear glass which blocks harmful UV rays and protects the digital work even more.

To make it affordable and give pleasure to more than one person you can allow 5 or 10 or even 300 prints to limit the number, or it can be called an open print, which means there is no limit to the number printed and thus lower the price further. You may say an oil painting can be copied and printed and I agree however the digital printed work is the art work. Compare this to a music CD (or download) it exists as a file and can be listened to many times and enjoyed. In addition a CD if signed by the artist (and also a rare CD) becomes more valuable.

Therefore digital works can have archival properties and be valuable although at a fraction of the price, thus making it possible for a private collection of art works.



Hot and sticky in the UK, therefore work outside

November 3rd, 2013

Hot and sticky in the UK and one major problem with Gimp is the fact to create a new work you do need a large screen and to be in-doors to see what you are doing. However, sketching ďen plein airĒ (outside) is good for the soul and can be used for a fresh design; therefore, I'm now going in the garden to get a bit of sun and a cold drink. Therefore, as an artist you can still get great pleasure from working with the pencil and I always work with a soft one, usually 9B. Try this if you donít already, as many people, when they first start to draw, use a HB and this is far too hard.

Below is a link to my website I would also love to visit yours, therefore a link in your comment would be great.

MODERN ART or TRADITIONAL

November 3rd, 2013

I was always a representational artist never painting anything abstract hence my large oil landscapes and portraits. Then my sister said something that changed my view forever. She simple said "why can't I like them" and this prayed on my mind. I was busy at this time uploading my photographs of paintings and drawings, and I needed to correct the contrast and colour due to my basic photographic skills! This started a long journey of discovery. I was worried at first I would ruin the works but gradually I began to enjoy the lack of restrictions.

Then I thought why don't I just try changing one of my drawings (scary) and ad-lib a bit. I had always thought that the chimneys weren't right so I got a new computer tablet and started to experiment and unlike normal drawings, I could draw, go back, and draw again until I was happy with the outcome. This meant I did not waste any paper, however, I found that it was imperative I save as I go, after losing some changes! Since then I have discovered more and more techniques and just adore the freedom it gives. Although lots of technical issues do arise such as dpi, knowing your file size and file extensions, however since I worked in computers (main frames) well before anyone had desktop PCs I did have a head start.

Now after a few years I have broken away from representational painting and have actually stepped into the Tate Modern. I immediately realised how these artists were changing. You can see at first how they were bound by what was then considered art and had to paint what was in front of them. As you walk around the gallery you can see the gradually pulling away from this idea and the struggle it caused, as my sister said "why can't I like them" or paint them in fact.

My art is now free of restrictions. I can paint what's in front of me but I can also enjoy beautiful colors, shapes, patterns and play with aerial perspective and mood and simply enjoy how my mind wants to see. If that means digital landscape or abstract paintings then that's OK too.


Below is a link to my website I would also love to visit yours, therefore a link in your comment would be great.

Digital Art A Sin

November 3rd, 2013

I have always been a traditional painter, painting in oils and pastels but recently I have started working in digital art mainly to correct some photographs of my paintings. Then gradually I realized how amazing it was, and sometimes while experimenting a spectacular effect would occur. I compare this with dropping paint onto damp watercolor paper and getting a result I did not expect. However I find a great deal of resistance to digital work as if it is a crime, and I'm just waiting for the digital art police to take me away.......

Why does it cause so many comments, if you take a photograph with great technical and artistic skill and limit the print number it seems fine and accepted and yet the action is to set the camera correctly (not easy) and click. It therefore does depends on the skill of the photographer, you could give a person an excellent camera and send them to Brighton to take some pictures and one person will take a few plain snaps and another will produce stunning works with great meaning and mood. This is similar to digital art you need technical skill and artist temperament. What I find wonderful about the digital artists on Fine Art America is their interpretation of art whether abstract or realism. No two artists or works are the same. Although you can see a trend in the way artists use the computer for their works. It's incredible how different they can be.

The main issue seems to be that people think you only need to press a few buttons and no skill is needed and the computer does all the work. When you paint in oils however you have to have great skill, but you don't make the canvas from scratch or the paints (not these days) are you therefore cheating? Why not use tiny brushes for large areas surely a big brush is again cutting out the skill. Surely the main point here is what is painted. You could for instance paint in oils using paint by numbers or produce several pictures all the same. The point is your vision, do you love producing works of art do you relish every work you produce? Digital art has opened an amazing door allowing an out-spilling of emotion and creating without restriction.

Therefore enjoy every moment whether you prefer oils, pastels, watercolor, sculpture, photography or digital art.

I here a knock on the door, I think they (digital art police) are coming to take me away.......


Below is a link to my website I would also love to visit yours, therefore a link in your comment would be great.

When to Display Your Work?

November 3rd, 2013

Hi Everyone,

The first thing, which is difficult with art, is trying to hold back your excitement as soon as a work is finished. I tend to rush to get it out in the public domain. I would love to know what you do. Occasionally however when I'm not sure about a work I sit on it for a while then have another look, a week or month later and sometimes it may need more work or frequently it looks much better and I'm happy to put it out there.

Tell me your thoughts by leaving a comment, which will help other artists who read this blog.

Thank you for passing by.

Below is a link to my website I would also love to visit yours, therefore a link in your comment would be great.

 

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