Saturday, March 26, 2011

Art Too Contemporary

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

It is interesting how growth with the passage of time aids in our understanding of so many things. I have been spending my evenings lately going through many, many files in my office and weeding out things I no longer need. In my “Gallery File” I ran across a printout of the Artists Submission Policy for the John Pence Gallery in California. I had contacted them in regards to an exhibition they were collecting art for titled, “The Nude.”

The bottom half of the page is full of my handwritten notes. I had e-mailed an inquiry and during my follow-up call, I was told that they had checked out my work online and my paintings were “too contemporary” and they had no need of sculpture. This was January 20, 2003.

I include here some of the works that they might have seen. I still have these, having rarely exhibited them as I kept creating newer and newer images. I must say that finding this paper made me laugh, for I rarely get labeled as “TOO contemporary.” Hindsight and much experience give me a better understanding of where I was at the time. These artworks all sell for $300 or less. They were all done from 3-hour life drawing sessions in Austin, Texas.

This is a primo example of an emerging artist who was simply not ready to be exhibited in a gallery. There is nothing particularly horrid in the work, it is just too early in my development and also, the prices are way too low for a gallery to even bother with, certainly not a gallery of the reputation and clientele of the John Pence Gallery. Anyway, I think their response is a keeper for my files . . . and maybe someday, I will again hear the criticism that my work is “too contemporary.”

If you would like to see more of my early paintings, visit these pages on my site:

Oh – I recently submitted an entry of two painting to an online self-portrait competition. I could really use your support - please vote (once each day is possible) to help me win the $2500 CASH People's Choice Award:

In the upper right hand corner, click on the star you want to vote for (left star is 1, a low rating, while the star on the right is a 5-star highest rating).

Thank you so much!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Que Imaging Cruse Scanner

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

I recently returned from a semi-whirlwind 24-hour trip to Houston, about a 2.5 hour drive from my studio in central Texas. My friend Tom invited me to see the Impressionists exhibit going on now at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston (“Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Masterpieces from the National Gallery of Art”). I had not had time to even read about the show, but I can say that it was better than I expected for some reason.

We both got to see some works by artists we had not heard of before. Surprisingly, I fell absolutely in love with two still lifes of peaches by different artists (Renoir and ___ [I cannot remember]). And, the main attraction, a Vincent Van Gogh self portrait, was rather unappealing to me. In that work and a floral piece across the room, he used a pasty bluish green that just made me think of ill health. Fitting perhaps and well done, but not something I wanted to spend time with. I also decided that Manet was a better artist than I thought.

Years ago, I began to change over to digital archiving of my 2-d artworks (vs. having professional large format transparencies shot). When New Era Publishing in Austin, Texas, stopped creating hi-res scans of artwork by artists not within their decorating business, I began to look elsewhere. All I found in Austin were scanners that consisted of placing one’s art between plastic sleeves and a roller! Sooooo not acceptable!

It took some digging (oh, I love the convenience of the Internet), but I decided that the Cruse Scanner was what I wanted to have document my work. Nothing would touch the original. I could scan almost any size and have everything properly aligned. I could create art on paper, canvas, or wood panels and get all of my hi-res scanning done in one place. And most important of all, I would get a high quality scan. The closest place I found to me was Que Imaging in Houston. Wow. All of these artists around here and NOTHING like this in Austin or even central Texas!

Here is an image of the Cruse scanner at Que that I took when I made my first visit there last November. You might notice my pastel on black paper “World Traveler” on the stand. He looks small in comparison with the size the Cruse can actually accommodate. The guys at Que (including the owner Bob Abbinanti) have been so informative about the technology and helping me to learn more about another end of the art business. They are very kind to work with, and I am grateful that thus far, I have been able to schedule an appointment and get my scans done in one business day, saving me a lot of downtime in travel to Houston. I recommend their customer service and their quality!

So what is the big deal about the hi-res scanning? Well, unless an artist outright (and on paper) sells her copyright with the art, she retains all copyright. And that means, for one thing, that if I get some hi-res scans or (as in the past) large transparencies of my work, I can create high quality giclée fine art reproductions of my work. This allows people who love the image, but cannot justify the price of original works of art, to be able to enjoy my art in their own home or office. And even if someone wants the original, it could be sold, and again, the giclée allows more people to share the joy. For example, the original pastel “World Traveler” sells for $2100 (25” long), whereas the large giclee (24” length) sells for only $275, with smaller sizes available. Why, that sounds downright affordable for gifts, too!

So, what exactly is a giclée? Want more information? Visit here:

This second image is a detail from the scan of my “World Traveler.” You can see the lines of the original black Italian paper and the texture of the pastels I used in the original. It is quite cool actually and I have been so impressed!

Another great reason for the hi-res scans are that once I get my big museum show, it will be so much easier to create those large promotional banners!
Yours in art! And working every single day . . .