Friday, September 21, 2012

Charlie the Spaniel

Charlie, mixed media on paper, 10 x 8".
Isn't he cuuuute? I love my job.

I'll have animal portrait gift certificates at Art Crawl, by the way. Great for That Person Who Has Everything.

And on that note, I am off to La Patisserie to finish the big canvas. And get one of Deb's amazing little lemon tarts, if she has any left today. Lemon tarts were one of the joys I discovered while studying in Paris, and Deb makes the exact same kind I got there. I have a terrible weakness for them.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Dangerously Close to Done

This is a 48 x 60" canvas in progress at La Patisserie bakery, corner of Snelling and Randolph. If you haven't visited, I recommend it; great made-on-site baked wonders and the friendliest people anywhere.

The top image is where I left off today, and below is how it looked when I started. I won't be back there until Friday morning and should be finished by Friday around 5.


Monday, September 17, 2012

Bloomington Theatre & Art Center News

Saturday, this is where I was, at Bloomington Heritage Days with BTAC, doing a drawing demo:

The dog's name is Charlie and he belongs to Gail Weber of Twin Cities TOSCA. I'll post photos when the portrait is fully finished.

MY DRAWING WORKSHOP is on Saturday, Oct. 6th, and you can sign up here. One-day workshops are great if your schedule doesn't allow for a regular class. We'll be doing the same dark/light on tan paper method you see in my animal portraits. A very old technique and easier than you'd imagine.

I was at the event to publicize the BTAC's art classes. There are a lot of them, and we have excellent instructors!  Go check out the catalog

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Motley as a Pup, and the Trouble with Free Art

Motley at Rest, 11 x 11" mixed media on cotton rag paper
So, yeah. It's been a busy, busy few weeks! And now I'm gearing up for Fall Art Crawl at JA Geiger Studio, (note that, as of my writing this, the site hasn't been updated; Fall Crawl is October 12 - 14 and the hours and address are all the same as for Spring).

Meanwhile, there's a discussion I'm following about a well-known musician, Amanda Palmer, who has landed in the middle of a controversy for asking professional musicians to come play in her band, on her tour, for free. Except, she's going to pay the ones in NYC because the show there has to be top-notch.  Some musicians (and visual artists like myself) are deeply bothered by this.

Here's Amanda's blog post defending herself, and another person's take on the situation.

When and why to work for free is a constant question in the lives of professional artists. My experience is that if everything's about the money, about survival, it kills me; and so I do give out of my art to support causes I believe in. I have donated art to:

Enchanted Makeovers
Northern Lights Greyhound Adoption
Arts for ACT
The Bridge for Youth
Home for Life

and there are more, but you get the gist.

But Amanda Palmer is not a charity, and work donated by artists is not "free" for the artists. It is time, materials, and study. It is an opportunity cost.

I've lost track of how many people I have shocked by telling them I had to work for my gift. An innate aptitude for art was only the beginning, and the rest has been decades of study and practice, a constant quest to gain new skills. This shocks people who assume that if you have talent, it all comes easily.

Amanda Palmer, an artist herself, knows how hard it is for artists. She of all people ought to be finding ways to make it better, instead of perpetuating the same old toxic ideas we already have. I totally understand the reasons people will play for her for free, but it breaks my heart that she'd ask them to.