Thursday, March 31, 2011

First really exciting painting of 2011

Occasionally I start out with an idea, and it works out very different to how I plan it - or, as is usually the case, the opposite of 'plan' it, whatever that is - and it transforms into something surprising and unexpected and rather beautiful.

This is the first large oil painting I've started and finished in 2011, and it worked out something like that:

It's called All Time, Everywhere, Anyone, and measures 100 cm by 100 cm. Funny how figurative and abstract can manage to straddle a fence, isn't it?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Crowdfunding - being a patron of the arts

I love this idea. It's also described as 'micro-philanthropy'.

Basically arts councils and governments don't have the means to fund art projects at the moment, but people do want to support artists, writers, musicians, actors, etc., so this idea of 'crowdfunding' was born.

I first came across it on the Irish 'Business to Arts' website, and subsequently on Facebook also, and now I'm thinking that it would be a marvellous way to both support friends in their endeavours and to get support for endeavours of my own.

The website is

I like the way that you give what you can - you're not asked to produce millions, you can give just €10 if that's all you've got. And there is often a reward system in place too.

So if you can, do. If you can't right now, that's okay too. Everyone is short these days. But when you can, please do. Be a patron of the arts.

Don't forget that such donations can also be tax-deductible.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

News of what's going on with my Sketchbook from the ArtHouse crowd in New York.

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2011 Sketchbook Project Tour

First stop: Austin!

March 12, 2011 / 12:00-6:00pm
Austin Museum of Art
823 Congress Ave
Austin, TX

March 13th, 2011 / 12:00-6:00pm
29th St Ballroom at Spider House
2906 Fruth St
Austin, TX

More dates here!
Hello Sketchbook crew!

The 2011 Sketchbook Project Tour kicks off this week! Thanks again to all of you for contributing such inspiring work – we can't wait to take it on the road.

Our first stop is Austin, TX. We'll be at the Austin Museum of Art on Saturday, March 12 and the 29th St Ballroom at Spider House on Sunday, March 13 from noon until 6pm each day. See you there!

For updated tour dates and to follow our diary from the road, check out the new 2011 Sketchbook Project page.

If you have any questions for us, please be patient as we'll be traveling for the next couple of weeks. The best way to get help with any issue is via our support board.

We're also busy cooking up all kinds of new ideas for 2012 – please take a moment to fill out our survey for members of the Art House community and help us to create next year's experience! We're using your feedback to build our new website, which will launch in late spring with a host of exciting new features.

Also, please note that we're still hard at work designing the virtual library and digitizing thousands of sketchbooks! We're bringing every book to every tour stop and digitizing each time we return to Brooklyn. We'll be uploading hi-res scans of every page and launching the complete digital archive later on this spring.

Finally, our thanks again to everyone who participated. We'll see you on tour!

All best,
Art House Co-op

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Daghdha Dance Company, Limerick

This morning I learned that, due to no funding whatsoever, the Daghdha Dance Company in Limerick will be forced to cease. This is a great pity. It is an institution that has brought great life and colour to the city, and which has influenced a huge number of artists in the area generally.

And not just dancers and choreographers - a fair number of performance artists, writers, painters, printmakers, singers, and people from so many other unexpected disciplines all came and experienced Daghdha events and performances. Their Mamuska Nights evoked many diverse reactions, and inspired many to think in different directions. Daghdha added a vital shot of something that stirred everything up, showed up new possibilities and interpretations, and made us look again.

We thought they were mad. But they made us laugh, wonder, and more importantly, made us think. I think it very likely that the institution will be reborn in some form, and I look forward to this new incarnation of the Daghdha Dance Company, wherever it is. It would be good if it was in Limerick, but the various people involved will have to go where the work takes them. Let's hope that it brings them back to Limerick from time to time.

And I would love to know what is going to happen with the Space?

Added 7 March: If you want to help save the organisation, sign the petition at