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Archive for the ‘Artist’ Category

I”m looking to build a page on this blog containing links to quality blogs about art, artists, art history, art discussion – everything art really.

The intention is to build something a little more detailed than a simple blogroll tucked away on a sidebar. If you think you would like to see a mini feature on your blog please click on the tab at the top of this page to Links/Blogs and submit your information to us there. We will review all sites sent to us and send you a confirmation once we have inluded your details. This does not imply that we guarantee to list you nor how long it might take!

The only condition is that you add Arteccentrix to your blogroll or links list. I know there are a lot of art blogs out there and how difficult it can be to get noticed, hopefully this will help us all!

Nickola
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Always on the lookout for third party comment on this blog I thought I would share the following article with you – I think it will be of interest to artists and ‘non-artists’ alike. Your comments, as always, are welcomed.

On Becoming An Artist by Charles Griffith

How does one become an artist? It makes sense to start with this broad topic, rather than the fundamentals of drawing, painting, etc, because this is the basic framework for everything else. To say that a person is “born” to be an artist is a romanticized cop-out. Some people may have a greater aptitude for learning the craft, but the inclination towards art is shaped by a person’s experiences and the influences they encounter in life. I could easily be a jockey today if I had grown up around the race track. Instead I grew up in an environment where artistic and intellectual pursuits were encouraged.

In it’s most basic form, the desire to create art is all that’s really needed in the beginning. But to pursue art as your life’s work, to be a “serious” artist, requires a well-rounded foundation, one built upon a broad range of knowledge and experiences.

Art reflects the world around us, and often the world within us. The old advice to “paint what you know” is certainly valid, but just what do you know? Most take this maxim to mean that you must paint or draw your backyard, your neighbor or your dog. I “know” these things too, but I also “know” history, literature and mythology. I have traveled in a number of countries; I have been in the military. I know my life, and I know something of myself, too. This knowledge is reflected in my work.

Writers are encouraged to write as much as possible from their own experiences so that it sounds authentic. Why should a visual artist be any different?

The wider the range of your knowledge and experiences, the deeper and broader your art will become. Exposure to great works of literature and philosophy have given me new ways to look at life and the world, as well as giving me ideas for new artwork. It has allowed me to see how others have viewed these things before me. Some artists have been optimistic; others cynical; but every age has had both optimists and cynics, demonstrating a continuity in human affairs. Both art and psychology tell us that whatever you feel, others have felt the same way you have. The more you read and study, the more you’ll see this too.

The more well-rounded a person you are, the finer an artist you’ll be. It’s “cross-training” at its most intellectual level. This also applies at the more technical level, when developing the actual skills for creating art. To create fine art requires mental focus, patience, discipline, superb hand-eye coordination, well-honed decision-making and problem-solving skills. It requires you to be a good student, one who knows how to study and practice. It also demands the ability to look at your work objectively, not an easy task. I spent a year or two playing and studying chess many years ago, and found that it improved my drawing ability, probably because chess demands so much concentration and foresight. And if you are an artist that works in a representational style, try studying and working in a more abstract style for a while, and vice versa. You’ll gain a greater understanding of both.

Da Vinci and Michelangelo were remarkably well-rounded individuals who could think logically, practically and analytically, thanks to their activities in engineering, architecture and the sciences. They applied these skills to their art, and the results speak for themselves. I can think of no better proof for my contention than of these two extraordinary men.

I think it would be helpful now to address the merits of being a formally trained artist, as opposed to being a self-taught artist, such as myself. There can be no doubt that a school trained artist has a considerable advantage over one self-taught; you have someone knowledgeable to ground you in proper technique and help you to correct your mistakes. The self-taught artist must go to great effort to be as constructively critical of his work as he can, concentrating extra effort on the areas in which he is weak, something that will be difficult for some.

But I think all students are ultimately self-taught; no one can make the effort for you. And I have seen many works by academically trained artists that are so formulaic that they look like they came out of a paint-by-the-numbers kit. The self-taught student may fall into improper practices if he isn’t careful, but he may be freer in his artistic expression than his school trained friend. Keep in mind that Van Gogh was largely self-taught, receiving only minimal classroom instruction.

I don’t want to scare anyone away from pursuing art; as I said before, all you need to start with is the desire to start. But gradually, bit by bit, you may find that expanding your sphere of knowledge and experience will improve the quality of your work, and your life. This all reminds me of the criticism that students have perennially made — why should I study geometry, French. Latin, etc., when I’m going to wash dishes or mow grass for a living? You’re right — you don’t need these studies for everyday accomplishments. But creating fine art is not an everyday accomplishment –it is an extraordinary endeavor that requires extraordinary abilities. I hope that my thoughts here can be of help to you in developing these skills.

The artwork of the author, Charles Griffith, can be found at
http://charlesgriffith.tripod.com and he can be contacted at
charles_griffith@lycos.com.

Charles Griffith’s interest in art began in childhood, and was encouraged by his family. Later, while serving in the U.S. military in Europe, he was inspired by seeing firsthand some of the treasures of European art. Today his art focuses on traditional realism, often with elements of Expressionism and Surrealism.

Article Source: ArticleRich.com

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Tired of checking back on the blogs you like to read for updates? – make things easier with RSS feeds.

If you don’t know anything about RSS, don’t be put off – here is a quick explanation of how to use the feed for Arteccentrix Art Blog.

1) Email subscriptions – look at the sidebar to your right and you will see a “Feedblitz” icon. A new page opens, fill in your email address and click on “Subscribe Me”. Check your email and confirm your subscription. You’re done – each time the blog is updated you will receive a notification in your inbox and you can read new content from there. No software needed, just a couple of clicks – easy!

2) Use the wonderful new subscribe button, top right of the sidebar. Click on it and follow the simple directions – however you organize your feeds this will take care of it.

The url for my feed is http://feeds.feedburner.com/pheedo/WfpR for anyone who prefers to do things their own way 🙂

(RSS, or Really Simple Syndication, really is simple and can save you so much time. For people using feed readers you probably don’t need this information, but if you would like to use a feed reader rather than one of the options outlined above a good place to start learning about the whole RSS revolution would be A Non Technical Explanation Of RSS – simply written for those of us who are not internet geeks 🙂 

Hope this helps those of you who have been asking.

Nickola

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In recent weeks The Morgan Gallery has featured heavily in my posts and I thought it about time to dedicate a little more space to their business on these pages.

The gallery is owned and run by Geraldine Morgan and her husband Steve Byars and is situated in the Galleria Plaza on Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman. They established the premises post Hurricane Ivan, having moved to the island in August 2004.  The gallery was soon attracting attention and was featured in the CayCompass in August 2005  which was around the time I was leaving the island for my extended stay in the UK.

Concentrating very much on fine art, the gallery space is very clean and bright and it strikes you when you walk through its doors that the one thing it lacks is the sense of intimidation that often accompanies high end galleries. Its doors are open to everyone who cares to step inside and view the artworks on display, and the floor to ceiling glass frontage encourages you to look inside and see what is going on. The relaxed atmosphere is further enhanced by Geraldine and Steve who welcome visitors with a friendly and professional approach – both are knowledgeable about the art and the artists they represent – they will freely discuss the exhibits and answer questions with a confidence and insight which is refreshing, and their love of art is very evident in their conversation.

Geraldine is passionate about both the business and the art she sells, and although initially the focus of their efforts was to bring fine art from Europe across the Atlantic and into Cayman, they have also embraced many of the local artists; as can be seen from their website. Their involvement and willingness to nurture local talent has been hugely beneficial for the local art community, and has enabled Caymanian artists to experience the pleasure of seeing their work displayed side by side with some well established European talents.

Currently the gallery has work by several local painters – my good friend and fellow Native Sons member Randy Chollette  is enjoying a successful working relationship with the gallery, as is another Native Son, Gordon Solomon. To list all of them here would be a little too much but you can find the current roster of talent at the gallery’s artist pages.

In addition to their exhibits at the gallery several of the artists have an online presence of their own. You can view the work of local artists Avril Ward and April Bending online, and Scottish painter Ian Elliot , also boasts his own website.

Since my return to the island I have been pleased to work with Geraldine and Steve, having granted them exclusive rights as the only private gallery selling my work on the island during my time abroad. I am delighted that since coming back to Cayman, my dealings with them have been mutually beneficial and my decision to continue the association has left me with no regrets.

In addition to selling original works, they have now expanded their business and made the invaluable service of giclee printing available to the artists who are interested in producing and selling high quality reproductions. This is a really excellent service which not only provides an additional income stream for both artist and gallery but also means that buyers who would like to own their own slice of fine art, have every opportunity to do so, even if the original piece is no longer available. Because the gallery produce all reproductions in-house, quality control is first class, and artists will often hand finish prints to ensure the best finish for a buyer’s money – giclees are normally hand signed by the artist too.

If you are planning to visit the islands and love to see fine art, a visit to the Morgan Gallery should be high on your list, and if you are a business looking for art for your premises, or a resident seeking something just that little bit special for your home, why not see what they can do for you? All the artists represented will consider commissions, and all can be contacted via the gallery, so even if that special piece is not on display at the time of your visit, you may still secure that much coveted and dreamed about unique slice of fine art.

All the contact details for Geraldine Morgan are available on the website.

(I was watching an interview on local television before I sat down to write this – April Bending was talking about her work on a local arts and culture programme and to my shock and surprise some of my paintings were nicely displayed over her shoulder – some filming had obviously taken place in the gallery and I was delighted to receive such free publicity 😉 I shall leave my scribblings on that note and sign off for now with a small painting I recently completed called “Catboats and Fishpots”. 

Please do leave your comments on the blog…………….my plea is a genuine one as although I’m seeing a lot of visitors my comment count has gone way way down andthe interraction is one of the things that make blogging fun!

Catboats and Fishpots

Until next time……….Nickola 

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A quick posting today as I have been working so hard on the painting front!

Three more paintings were delivered to the gallery last week – “Vertigo”, “Peek-A-Boo” and “Walks On Water” now reside at the Morgan Gallery. You can view them there or at my Arteccentrix online gallery. and I’ve includeda shotof Peek-A-Boo below to brighten things up a little.

 Peek-A-Boo 

I also took them two new paintings today, one named “Icarus” and the other entitled “Newborn Tide”. The reactions from people, as ever with my work, seemed mixed, but I am very pleased with them both and think they are some of the best I have done recently. I did expect some reservations, but I’m confident in their merit.

As I omitted to take any pictures before leaving them at the gallery there will be a delay in showing them online.

“Blue Moon” has finally been sold to one of my very loyal private collectors on the island – as it was a direct sale I was able to give him a keen price too. I’ve had this painting for a while now and in some ways I shall be sorry to see it go because it was one of the first pieces I completed in England.

The sale made me think of a conversation I’ve had with a few people lately – since I started selling through the gallery most of my work is displayed, unframed, on a stretcher.  Because of the lighting system, glass is not a good idea and they prefer to display paintings with no adornments. I found this difficult at first because I have always liked to present my work “finished”  (and to my own exacting standards).

It has been put to me that a lot of buyers prefer to frame paintings to their taste, and, that is as subjective a choice as the artwork itself. I suppose it is, although I like to feel I will choose the best framing options for my own work. After all, we all believe we have good taste, do we not? I have begun to see however, that where a painting is going to hang, what a person considers tasteful or stylish, what their interior design may be like etc. are all things that will  affect framing/display choices. I concede that maybe it is sometimes best to leave it to the customer and save myself the not inconsiderable expenses involved. My husband told me to think of it along the lines of madly decorating a house before putting it on the market, despite knowing that as soon as new owners move in, they will want to change it all anyway – yep, he may not be private school educated but he loves an analogy! I’m kidding of course……not about school….the comparison is likely a valid one.

On the other hand, some buyers are totally put off by sloppy presentation so I guess the old adage of “know your market” applies in spades. I have a lot of faith in Geraldine at the Morgan Gallery who seems to know her customers very well and have become a lot more comfortable with her making the decision when it comes to the gallery exhibits.

So what do other painters feel? To frame or not to frame, what are your preferences?

Nickola

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I finally got tired of the amateurish looking page on this blog where I had posted one or two pictures of my artwork!

I am pleased to say that thanks to my clever hubby I now have a completely new gallery hosted on a different server – there are still a lot of paintings to be added but it’s up and running for anyone who would like to take a look. If you click on the Arteccentrix Gallery tab above the link is posted there, but, for the time being you can Visit The New Gallery By Clicking Here (opens a new window and uses Flash so please be patient if  your connection is a slow one).

Please let me know what you think of the new layout and if you encounter any navigational difficulties!

Nickola 

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