Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Take your time: a day for giving art the attention it deserves - Visual Art | News and Articles on Visual Art |The Irish Times - Tue, Apr 08, 2014

Take your time: a day for giving art the attention it deserves - Visual Art | News and Articles on Visual Art |The Irish Times - Tue, Apr 08, 2014

Scamper around galleries? Check. Take in this? Check. Glance at that? Check. Go around and have another quick look? Been there, done that.

When I was in art college in Limerick, we did a day in Dublin at least once, and did a whistle-stop tour of galleries. Well, we had to. We only had one day, and several galleries to visit. The longest one was an hour in IMMA, and I spent most of the time there in the café meeting my brother who happens to live quite near it.

The more I think about this, the more I realise that this running around and glancing at pictures actually defeats the purpose of making art in the first place. You have to get yourself out of bed, out of the house, into the bus or car, and off to the city where the art venue is located .... and then run around. There's no time to really look. So course, if you're not looking, you're not seeing what's there, and if you're not seeing what's there, you're not able to appreciate the work you're looking at. And why would you buy something, why would you shell out a humongous amount of cash for something you cannot stop to see and appreciate?

The irony is that artists make art so that it will be placed in someone's home, and not so much become part of the furniture as part of the family, and even generate conversations over the years. It can become more than an 'investment'. Those who buy it, buy it because they've seen something in it, and want the chance to see more, and contemplate the work ... and so have a kind of long-term conversation (for want of a better word) with the piece. When I had my exhibition in the Law Library in Dublin, I had my enormous work Truth Universally Acknowledged hanging there, in rather a prominent position. One of the legal professionals who had an office in the building, upon hearing that I was there, came out to meet me and to tell me how much he enjoyed that particular painting. "I come by and look at it for half an hour at a time," he told me "and every time I find something new in it. I love it," he continued "but if I brought it home, the wife would kill me." The painting is six foot long by four foot wide, you'd need a large room to hang it, and yes I suppose the wife has a point .... it's hanging right behind me as I tap into my laptop.

And I'm also guilty of giving away pieces for free to friends, because I know that those friends will appreciate the works and hang them where they can be admired. I can't help thinking I know people who would give a dog or a cat away to someone they know and trust, because they know that dog or cat will have a happy life with that person. Sometimes I think that way about my paintings. (But then I mentally slap myself and tell myself to cop on.)

But back to the whistle-stop gallery visits thing: does this mean that blogging your art is the way to go? And using online sales portals like Saatchi and all the rest? And Flickr.com?

I've viewed a lot of work on those websites. Would I look at them if they were hanging in galleries? I like to think I would. But would I give them the proper attention they deserve in a gallery? Honestly, I'm not sure I would - not if I knew I could have them up on my computer screen for as long as I liked, and could admire them sitting in the comfort of my own home. But you don't get the same quality, obviously, and it's difficult to see certain ways of painting when the piece is reproduced this way. Impasto kind of loses its impact.

I want to look at the work of other artists. But I live far away from Dublin, and sometimes even Limerick is a bit problematic to get to, logistically speaking. And as for London, Paris, Berlin .... so many other distractions when I go on trips to those cities - but I do visit galleries when abroad. I can see works online, but I can't experience the impact that a large Rothko canvas can have ... one of these days I'll get to see those works for real. For now, though, it's online. Realistically I don't have time to view them properly any other way.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Delighted to announce over 30 thousand views!

Yep, over thirty thousand of you have visited my blog here, read the posts, looked at the pictures and the links, and ... then did whatever you usually do after you've visited a blog of someone you've never met, but whose blogs you may or may not find engaging, for whatever reason. You might think I'm mad, brilliant, ridiculous or all of the above. You might actually like my artworks. Which I hope is the case, and why many of you have returned.

You'll have excuse me. I've been reading Marion Keyes again. Her novels are so full of great, effortlessly chatty dialogue that it just spills over into whatever I end up writing.

Last time I looked at the flag counter, the most recent visitor was in the United Kingdom - greetings, neighbour! and the latest country was still Brunei. Now that 143 different countries have visited, it's possible we're running out of 'new' countries, hahahaha.

But seriously, I'm thrilled at this. I wouldn't get this exposure if I was in a traditional art gallery setting.

Oh, and to update you all on the Saatchi online thing - more paintings have been uploaded, but I have decided, for the purpose of being organised, to systemically go through ALL of my works on canvas, weigh them and measure them, and put the whole lot onto a spreadsheet, and think about a price for each piece. (Yes, I want to sell the originals. But as the maker of the works, I'll retain the copyright ....) Then, when I am ready to upload images onto the Saatchi website, I will also have the information to go with them.

Not sure yet what I want to do with all my large works on paper, would love to sell them as they are too, let the buyer sort out the presentation to suit their own setting. Or settings. Huh. Some grammar issue with that sentence. But however ....

Now, have I a picture to celebrate? Let me have a nose through my files ....

From the 2011 Sketchbook Project, # 18. Very intriguing, because for the life of me I can't remember what I wrote on the reverse.

And the inside of the forge, # 39. I didn't examine the old pile of stuff there too closely, it was a bit dark and there might have been rats .... eek. 

Thanks everyone for visiting, and thanks to those decided to follow, and thanks to those who have left comments. Until the next! 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Right, well, the Saatchi Online Gallery portfolio is being redone ...

and it's available to view here. Still no prices or whatever up, but there will be soon.

It's going to take me a few days to get all the pieces up there, and I have to go sort out weights of the individual works, so that the cost of shipping them can be calculated. And I also have to look after tax stuff too, apparently this all takes place out of the US, so I have to sign something stating I'm not a resident of that country. I dislike the bureaucratic side of it, and so have to force myself to deal with it ... and I'm finding that it might not be that bad. The few I've uploaded are this one, and the two below.

Campo Dei Miracoli IV

Ten Minutes

I've loads more to upload, but need to do it during the night, when the internet is not so busy. Can't tonight, but maybe tomorrow night. 

I want to sell art not only because I have bills to pay, but also because I would like my other half to get the nice camera he wants. And by the way, his blogspot page is here, please do go and check him out. His photography is beautiful. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Greetings to viewers in other parts of the world

I just noticed now that the most recent viewer of my blog is in China, and the most recent new country is Brunei. I love it that my work is seen all around the world.

Thank you for visiting and looking, and thank you also for sharing my blog with your friends and family.

I am in the process of updating my Saatchi online page and sorting out the official stuff to sell original large-scale paintings on canvas. More about that when it's up and running.

I am also investigating Etsy.com, to sell small unframed works on paper, am as of yet undecided whether or not I'll go through with this. I'll keep you all posted.

Art can be many things, but for me it's sharing, it's friendship, it's story-telling, it's learning. It's also discipline, beauty, peace of mind, celebration. And it can feed into other activities.

Please keep visiting, keep sharing, and leave me the occasional comment. I moderate comments before posting them. :-)