Monday, April 30, 2012

Tubs of Paint

 Michael King makes an interesting point about supply efficiencies on his blog:
Gamblin Cad Red :: Mmmmmmmmmmm, yummy!!!
I wish all manufacturers offered their oil paints in cans. Gamblin bucks this trend and lucky for me, I enjoy Gamblin paint and find it of high quality at a very good price.
Every acrylic brand you find in your local art store sells their products in tubs. Wander down the oil paint isle, though, and you won’t see any cans of paint.
Gamblin sells all their colours in 8oz and 16oz cans. Their whites are also available in 32oz cans. The caveat?  The chances of your art store carrying these cans are slim to none.
The rest is here

Friday, April 27, 2012

YAY! Etsy Police.

From the Huffington Post:

In January, e-commerce site Esty.combanned Tracy Robertson from selling goods on its marketplace after discovering that she had outsourced some of her work....
Etsy, which promises shoppers handmade items, stood by its action. Robertson had delegated too much of her operation to other people, leading Etsy to flag her items as "factory made" and revoke her right to sell on the site....
This year, Etsy nearly doubled the size of its now 16-person detective staff whose sole job is to investigate if merchants are breaking its rules. 
Read the whole post here.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Getty Images Opportunity for Canadian Photographers

GETTY IMAGES  ... Hit us with your best shots.

Getty Images has partnered with Flickr to bring you one cool contest. We're looking for your best Canadian shots: summers at the cottage, a busy Toronto street, the rush of the water lapping at your toes on a Vancouver beach.

You know your country better than anyone – it's your home, your happy place – so celebrate it.

Show us what Canada is made of. Submit your photos for a chance to win these great prizes and more:
–  Opportunity to distribute your content through
    Flickr collection on Getty Images
–  Canon EOS 7D DSLR camera
–  A print of your best photo

Ready to show us what you've got? You've got till May 19, 2012 at midnight to submit your shots.

  Enter Contest  
View terms and conditions

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Helping CARFAC

We invite all CARFAC BC members in good standing to participate in our inaugural postcard fundraising event, Wish You Were Here taking place on Friday June 22 at Woodward’s Atrium, 111 West Hastings Street, Vancouver from 10 AM - 6 PM.
All work by members will be exhibited and priced at $50 each. The cut is 50/50 between artist and organization. There are no extra fees past the necessary self addressed stamped envelope (SASE). If you would like to renew or become a new member to be eligible to show, please go to:
To participate:
  1. Send in up to 5 original images for sale on a 5" x 7" (12.5 x 17.7 cm) surface (ie; canvas board, paper or panel) using any media. The image itself may be smaller, as long as the outward dimension is 5" x 7".
  2. Remember that every art piece will be priced at $50 so create accordingly!
  3. Print on the back of the artwork where the address on a postcard is traditionally placed: 
    • your name
    • the title of the piece
    • the materials used d. the date of completion e. contact info for the buyer (ie; mailing address, phone number, website) f. you may also provide a P.S. (personal statement) for the new owner.
  1. Mail or hand-deliver your unframed and unmatted pieces in a sturdy envelope with a SASE by June 8, 2012 to: CARFAC BC Wish You Were Here Fundraiser, Suite 100, 938 Howe Street, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1N9
  2. Please also fill out the on-line form at our website: and email to:
  3. If you would like your work to be posted in the Wish You Were Here preview page as part of our promotional packaging, please also include a 72 dpi jpeg of each image in the email. If you need us to scan and post your images, please indicate in the email that we have your permission. Unfortunately, we cannot afford to pay copyright fees for on-line use, so denying permission is well within your rights.
Cheques and any unsold work will be mailed out in the SASE provided by the artists within 30 days of the sale. Any unsold work that is not accompanied by a SASE and is not picked up by December 15, 2012 will become the property of CARFAC BC.

We will be sending participating artists jpeg invitations which we hope you can forward to your contact list. 

We wish to see many of you at the show too! 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


ARABELLA Canadian Landscape Contest:
Early Bird Call to Artists Ends April 30th!

Enter the ARABELLA Canadian Landscape Painting Contest!
This juried landscape-painting contest is open to all North American artists who wish to share their representations of Canadian landscapes, cityscapes, snowscapes and seascapes, from coast to coast.
Over $100K in Prizes and Awards!
Winning submissions will share in over $100K in prizes and provide the content for a major collector's edition book: The ARABELLA Canadian Landscape Collection (2013), among many other rewards and promotions!
Register Now!
Artists can register at Early Bird Registration pricing in effect until end of April 2012. Save $85.00.
The final deadline for registration is October 1, 2012, but there are major advantages to registering and participating before April 30, 2012 – so enter today!

Media Contact:
Brian Usher
Tel: 289. 296. 4345;
Mobile: 905.246.7694

Monday, April 2, 2012

$60,000 Plastic Skulls

From The Beast:
The skull, daubed with "household gloss" paint, is entitled Hallucinatory Head and comes in a limited edition run of 50. 
The eye-watering prices were unveiled days after critic Julian Spalding dismissed Hirst's work as "con art" and urged owners of his spot paintings to sell quickly before "the penny drops" and they plummet in value. 
For those who cannot stretch to the £36,800 skull, there is a set of 12 china plates for £10,500, a spotted skateboard for £480, a deckchair for £310 and a butterfly-print umbrella for £195. Butterfly-print wallpaper costs £700 a roll. 
The gift shop is the final room in the Hirst exhibition, the first major retrospective of the artist's work in Britain. 
It includes all of Hirst's greatest hits, from the shark suspended in formeldahyde to the bisected animals and spin paintings. 
Visitors will be assaulted by the smell of A Thousand Years (1990), an installation in which flies emerge from maggots and feed on a rotting cow's head. They can also catch a whiff of Horror at Home (1995), consisting of a giant ashtray filled with cigarette butts. 
In And Out Of Love (1991) features a room filled with live butterflies feeding on bowls of fruit. On the preview day for the show, at least one butterfly escaped by settling on a visitor's coat and accompanying them out. 
Downstairs in the Turbine Hall, visitors queue to enter a pitch-dark room housing two security guards and For The Love Of God, the human skull covered in 8,601 diamonds and said to be worth £50 million. 
Hirst, said to be Britain's richest living artist, defended the price of his work.He said: "A painting probably has the most shocking increase in value, from what it costs to make to what you sell it for. But you'd never look at a Rembrandt and say, 'That's just wood and canvas and paint - how much?!'"It’s all about how many people want it. It works on a pair of jeans as well - they're just material and stitching and as soon as you walk out of the shop, they’re worth nothing." 
Asked if the gift shop skull would hold its value, he replied: "Maybe on eBay you might be all right for a bit."
Damien HIrst runs from 4 April - 9 September at the Tate Modern.

Selling Myself to Raise Funds

I am "living" a great fundraising scheme  that I think others may find it worthy of consideration.

Last Spring, I wanted to spend a lot of time in France. I am a born-again Francophone. And I wanted to lose weight and get out of some of our cold weather, and being retired and self-pensioned, I could afford to go for a longish time.  So I decided to walk from Paris to Marseilles on a lark. I had never done anything like that before: at 63, it was a considerable challenge and good for a man who has had 2 heart attacks. At the last moment, and on a whim, I wrote to a most all of my friends to say I was taking on this challenge of walking 1200 K and losing 40 pounds and I asked them if they would make a pledge to PAL Vancouver, and pay up if I made it.  Long story short: many problems, didn't turn out the way I had hoped, but I walked the1200 K and raised 18 grand for PAL. 

Last Fall, PAL hosted a "thank you" party in their theatre for all my sponsors. I presented my slides and PAL had lots of great refreshments and my donors/sponsors met some residents and saw the place. They were delighted all round. Their donation helped PAL, got them access to my blog that recounted the whole journey and they were proud and happy to have helped me achieve MAJOR goals that really, really fulfilled me!!!  I had a fabulous experience and lost 40 pounds. It was win/win/win (donor/charity/me).

Now, having been a technical writer all my life and having ALWAYS wanted to write a script, I have reserved a week in the PAL theatre and I am going to stage six performances of a piece I am working on (in collaboration with many coaches) in April 2013 and every single cent of box office will go to PAL—not net profit, GROSS box office because the cost is worth the experience for me just as the walk was.

The "idea" here is that I, a reasonably comfortable fan of a charity, had a self-challenging bucket list—many of us want to lose weight, stop smoking, take a degree. Many of us harbour dreams that we really want to achieve but that we lack the drive to get done. So I found a way to achieve anything I want: declare my goal to all my friends publicly; the bonus is that my challenge becomes a huge benefit for my charity. 

The show is another challenge and all my friends and their friends are enthusiastically promising to attend my show. They are as excited as I am about the project and I am about to start another blog tracking the development of this project as well. 

The elephant in the room here is my self-esteem. I have suffered all my life from a lack of self worth that has prevented me from achieving my greatest dreams, but when I take on challenges for PAL and ask for the support of my friends, I feel like what I am doing is for PAL not for me, that my projects are about PAL, not me. That PAL is the big beneficiary and that I am asking for their help for PAL, not me. But it all really helps me achieve major dreams. Can you understand what I mean or see how magic this is for someone like me. I feel like the biggest winner on the planet, but so does PAL and so do my friends.

My fiends all make fairly modest donations—the largest were $66; most were $200-$300; many, many were modest. And many said things like: "I can not afford large donations, so I do not donate because I am embarrassed to make small donations." But they saw their small donations add up to 18 grand (I had 121 sponsors and I knew every one except one of them). One of my sponsors said at the thank you event: "Wow, I gave you 50 bucks but tonight I got treated like I donated all 20 grand!"

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Student Resources, Part 3

One of the assignments in my classes at Emily Carr University of Art & Design, is to submit some resources that we do not discuss in class. Below is part one of some of the resources submitted by my students; all comments are theirs, not mine

.Facebook "We Make Stuff" Christian Creative People Page

YouTube  In addition to blogging, producing regular videos can be a fantastic way of promoting yourself online and building an audience. If your videos prove popular enough you can even become a YouTube partner and start monetizing your channel through advertising. A compliment to your blog, not a replacement.

The "How to Make Webcomics" book, augmented by the "Webcomics Weekly" podcast and the "" website. All three are produced by four cartoonists: Brad Guigar, Dave Kellett, Scott Kurtz, and Kris Straub. These guys are all extremely successful online entrepreneurs, and even though they obviously have comics bias all of the theory and business they explore are easily applicable to artists of any kind trying to make a living online.

The Artist’s Journal is the quarterly newsletter listing a huge volume of calls for entry for BC artists who paint or draw. For subscriptions: 

Pinterest is a series of electronic pin boards - a site where you pin your favourite things, usually furniture and clothing. I've seen more and more people pinning art, allowing for opportunities for self-promotion of art, and displaying your art in the context of an electronic pin board for a room where the art works with the furniture and design elements selected. 

Behance is a good on-line resource to put up a portfolio and projects, as well as look at other artists' and designers' portfolios and projects. I'm also on their mailing list, where they send me articles on how to improve my art practice. Although it's mainly set up for designers, Its still a good site and has helped me a lot (especially the articles on the mailing list).

Photoshop CS5: Visual Quickstart Guide by Elaine Weinmann and Peter Lourekas. I bought this as a textbook for a Photoshop class I took. It is easy to follow, as it has lots of images and screen shots to illustrate the different steps to use. I use Photoshop mainly just to touch up images I take of my art.

 Emily Carr Writing Centre is a great resource for information about writing about art. I have attach some PDFs to this email that might be of use to the students in the class.
NY Times Lens is a photo blog centred around essays of various photo journalists.

Magnum in Motion is Magnum's photo essay blog is a brilliant source of inspiration.
Digital Truth and Alternative Photography are two great sites with information, techniques, and formulas to do with all things photographic.

WordPress Forums is an invaluable resource for anyone considering the task of building a WordPress site.

Artist Magazine, American Artist Magazine, Drawings Magazine: These magazines showcase practicing Artists who shares tips and approaches to paintings in different mediums.  The magazines focuses mainly on representational Art but the techniques and information can applies across the different genre.  These are good resources for people that have the developing their skills.  A cost effective way is to purchase past publications.  The annual CD collection can be purchased for a few dollars depending on the year through the on line North Light Shop.
Expressive Drawing: A practical guide to freeing the artist within”  by Steven Aimone:  The book is based on a drawing workshop which guides the readers through various exercises as well as comparative analysis of works.  The focus is on expressive mark making. 

Surface Treatment Workshop by Darlene Olivia McElroy & Sandra Duran Wilson: This book is a good reference for mixed media techniques.  The book solely focuses on the methods for creating various surfaces and is useful for those that may not have taken mix media and want to experiment in building up surface textures.
How Successful Artists Study by Samuel Adoquei: This book provides insights and ideas how to approach the learning and the development of an Artist.  It provides guidance on the issues and thought process that is needed to be effective through the growth process.  This is good reference book for those want to don’t know how to approach the learning process or lacks a development plan.

Boooom It's a great art focussed blog and features contemporary artists, many young and emerging, like myself. It's written by a local Vancouver boy. The blog is image-centric, created for visual people. 

Craftzine and Makezine  are great places to get inspiration for projects and new DIY technology that can be included in artwork. Superbly written. 

Georgia Straight Listings Not exactly a blog, but an arts event listing. Getting out and meeting people, creating community, making friends, meeting fellow artist and networking are a vital part of being an artist. This is my go-to event listings for Vancouver. I haven't found more complete listing yet. I also check  out Artsy Dartsy Events. is an extremely user friendly website that allows you to create a variety of advertising products such as business cards, stickers and brochures. You can upload your personal designs easily and the site takes you through the process step by step. The product is delivered in a timely manner and is not only affordable, but high quality. I used this site twice but plan to use it again and with other products for effective and attractive advertising.

Art Threat Art Threat is an online publication devoted to political art and cultural policy in Canada and abroad.. Articles are about art that seeks to interpret, influence, or reflect upon society. The authors discuss policy as it pertains to culture and we showcase artists whose work inspires social change.I believe this site is an important part of being an artist in Canada

Painters' Table is a platform for exploring blogs directed towards painters . Part journalism  and part artist statement, it is updated daily and provides an entry point for painting  sites that are of interest to me.

Art Framing is a site directed towards painters who would like to use professional techniques for framing. The tips are helpful for using standard formats as you highlighted on your blog

Art Market Blog Nic Forrest  started this blogin response to the misconceptions and lack of understanding of the art market that he experienced during his time as an art broker. I enjoyed these independent commentaries of the art market throughout the world.
Terminal City Glass Blowing Cooperative. The arts services that are easiest to endorse and support are initiatives that operate as non-profit societies like this great new local resource in Vancouver for artists interested in exploring glass as a medium. (I was born passionate about glass.)

TV Worth Watching Tonight

From Art in America:

Two decades ago, 60 Minutes's Morley Safer brought philistinism to new lows with his "Yes . . . But Is It Art?" segment, asking whether a vacuum cleaner or a urinal could be worthy of the name.

This Sunday, CBS will air an update in which Safer visits Art Basel Miami Beach to pose the question in market terms, as contemporary art sales are booming even as the larger economy is in shambles.

Jeffrey Deitch, LA MOCA director, was among those interviewed, and he rubs Safer's nose in the fact of a skyrocketing art market.

"In the art world, we remember very well that famous program that you did 20 years ago. It was almost a send-up of the contemporary art market," he tells Safer. In the original broadcast, the commentator mocked Jeff Koons's Equilibrium, consisting of three basketballs suspended in an aquarium. "I think at the time," Deitch points out, "Jeff Koons was very well sold for $250,000. As you know now, Koons's works have gone for $25 million or more."

In the program, even dealers find themselves flummoxed at contemporary art's success; as CBS points out, contemporary art has outperformed the Standard & Poor's list of 500 common stocks since 2003.

Los Angeles gallery owner Tim Blum says, "It's the Wild West. . . . It's an unregulated, utterly bizarre place to conduct business."  What sustains it against the odds? "It's inexplicable . . . almost unexplainable," says Blum. "When we begin to talk about it, we sort of drop the subject," says Blum. He goes on to admit that no one wants to rock the boat. "Because it almost feels like you should just let it . . . keep rolling."