Art Deadlines List

If you're an artist searching for juried competitions, fellowships or grants, this list is sited by the Foundation Center in Washington DC:

Art Deadlines List


Yet another interesting medium

Nina Katchadourian clearly has a sense of humor and/or a lot of patience. She did a 6 week series on spider webs. By "on" I don't mean "about spider webs", I mean literally, as part of the web. But, like much "outsider art" her work was rejected.

Nina's Website on the project

I love the fact that this "news" story just hit boing boing (and my blog) but occurred 10 years ago.

Cast Drawing

I still enjoy the cast drawings and thought I'd share this one because it was one of my first complex cast drawings from the Winter Palace Studio and has a funny story. After working on it for what seemed like forever (9-11 hours), I told Natasha (the teacher) that it was like going to the gym and working out too hard on the first try only be too sore to work out again the next time" She seemed to think that was funny and told me that I should work one more day on it ... then if I wanted to "give up", she would give me another project. At the end of the day, the drawing was at the point you see here. Considering it was one of my first, I assumed it was as complete as it could be. She reluctantly agreed to start me on a "simpler" project drawing cloth. Well, as I worked on that cloth, the other students spent two more classes "finishing" their drawings of this cast and I saw how much more I could have done. It was a great psychological exercise; for that two week period I wanted dearly to improve enough to "return to the group" and was more faithful as a student after that.

Portrait Drawing

I usually spend only 15 minutes - 45 minutes on a "sketch". This drawing took about 5 hours of sitting time. My realistic drawings take anywhere for 3-14 hours depending on the level of precision required.

I didn't know I could draw like this because I had been "sketching" my whole life until I encountered Tony Ryder's description of the difference between sketching and drawing. Then, I took Natasha Mokina's classical drawing class where we studied from casts and life. That classical training dramatically changed my view of drawing and my work noticeably improved under her mentoring.


Thank you to the client who asked if I would create a drawing for you. Yes, here are some samples. I'll follow with another example in the next post.


Performing Art - on the fly. (Robin Williams)

This was an earlier post that got stuck in draft mode. For me, it's a reminder that if you practice constantly, you'll eventually get to the point where your art comes to you on the fly and can be a welcome relief to others. Here, a few weeks ago - Robin Williams spontaneously helped cover during BBC technical difficulties

Watch Video Here

Another tile for the "Likeness" project

I love her coloring.
This tile was completed on Tuesday of this week (oh ... maybe that's why I've been too busy to blog ... that's my excuse).

Confession and new project

Ok. Whew! - I confess - it isn't as easy as it looks. When I set out to create this blog, I thought "I see something new and interesting every day. Why not capture and share it?" Well, it turns out that I see about 1 new thing every week that makes me stop and exclaim "Wow - that informs/inspires me as an artist and I have to save that somewhere". The good news is that *you* readers seem to be having a similar experience as you occasionally encounter new things and send them in. This is good stuff. Please keep it coming for everyone's benefit. I don't post everything. Instead, please be encouraged to keep sending items because I do choose to post about 1 out of 15 cool, unusual, art related items you send. Often, it's the "Now who would have thought of that ..." criteria that gets my attention.

But today ... I got nothin!

So, I digress to focusing on what's happening in my little world. Here's the "Likeness" project I'm working on. It's a series of 10-15 miniature portraits on 6x6 tiles completed in only a few weeks to exercise my ability to accurately capture different likenesses. At the end, I'm hope to get a picture of many of them because they look kind of cool lined up together in a row with no barriers.


Contact me if you'd like to be included in the project.


My Five Year Old Could Paint That

When I was in high school, I followed the artwork of a fabulous painter in my home town. He worked in bright colors and brought some of my favorite landmarks (an old factory, the "has been" 1950's diner etc.) to life in compositions that seemed like a visual version of jazz. Although his work was representational, it was also fun. He once told me that he was astounded when people remarked about his work "My 3 year old could do that". He said "I want to respond ... that's great ... produce your three year old ... I'd like to see this ..."

I thought of his remarks immediately when we heard Marla's story.

Easels, Pochad Boxes and other Plein Air resources

It's that time of year.

I've been Plein Air Landscape painting a bit lately and doing some research on different easel options. Here are some of the useful items I found.

Pochade Boxes & French Easels:
Ben Hagget's Pochad Boxes 
Soltek Easil This is a high tech version of the french easil. Often referred to it as "the Cadilac of French Easels". It's heavy but has a very stable base and is remarkably easy to set up on-site. It's great for tall painters but has a large footprint.

Plein Air Groups:
Mid Atlantic Plain Air Painters Association
Plein Air Painters of America


The New Guy in Nambe

Nambe is the name of a company that makes serving dishes and other modern metal wear. Nambe is also a small town in New Mexico.

Here, the new guy is a shiny black lava rock who has moved into Nambe (the silver dish). Most of the organic brown eggs are afraid of him but one independent thinker has ventured out to befriend the new guy. Everyone is exposed here by the spare space around them and the reflections of polished metal - there is no where to hide. We're left with a question: Will the new guy (a river rock) harm or break the delicate egg or is the new guy already the one being harmed by the reaction of the crowd of eggs.

More on the social life of eggs

Well, Some of you got a kick out of the last painting I posted from this winter's "Social Life of Eggs" series. So, if you can bear a little pontificating here's another one. “The social life of eggs” series is about birth, life, independence and freedom. In this painting the brown eggs on the left are separated from their brother who has found a home in a fake nest-like structure. The “wreath” he’s using as a nest is dangling freely in space but is tethered with a dark shoelace. His apparent freedom and superiority is in fact precarious. The feather is a symbol of the physical absence and psychological presence of a protecting parent when youth ventures into the world. I just finished entering this into a grant application and thought you blog viewers might enjoy it.


New Painting - "The Social Lives of Eggs" Series

Personally, this is an exciting time for me as an emerging artist. So, it's a lot of fun to share new paintings with you. (Thanks for all of your encouraging e-mails and notes) Here is one of my favorite recent paintings of two ostrich eggs and a tiny sparrow's nest with a discarded feather. The enormous ostrich egg is juxtaposed with the tiny nest of a small bird. The Ostrich egg can’t possibly find a home in this delicate nest, gracefully perched atop an antique vase. Instead, the discarded downy feather reminds us of the ungrounded absurdity of comparing one life to another. I find sweet humor in this composition and hope you enjoy it as well. Over the weekend, I dropped it and other paintings off to be exhibited from April 29th - May 11th at the Burwood Morgan Mill, Boyce VA.


Feel inspired to clean? Make a statement!

Here's a different take on "light touch" drawing. Instead of toning paper with vine charcoal ... "reverse graffiti" is rendered by cleaning "highlights" into the soot on city sidewalks and walls.

Article on "Reverse Grafitti"


Paul Curtis' Website

Watch Alexander Orion cleaning his creations on u-tube


Is it Art or Garbage - Share your opinion

In a recent NPR article, Justin Gignac talks about the art of selling garbage along with another personal project making money to buy the things he wants by selling paintings of those items on his website www.wantsforsale.com . Read the NPR ARTICLE and post your response as a comment on this blog. What do you think? Is this art? Performance art? just garbage? a clever barter? or something else? You decide:

"People have this kind of preconceived notion of certain things and how much they should be, whether it's art or how much garbage shouldn't cost," he says. "I think it'd be great if we have a gallery show at some point to do like a 6-foot-by-8-foot painting of a taco and still charge $1.99 for it, because that's how much a taco costs."

(A painting of "Financial Security" is available for $1,000,000.)

Thank you to Walter Ratliff for this submission


Artwork of Julian Beever - On the Street

The street art of chalk/pastel artists has really taken off. The coke bottle above looks 3 dimensional, but is a 2D illustration on the street. I'd love to see one of these in person in order to really appreciate the perspective.

Julian Beever's Website

Thanks to Naz Akbar for submitting Julian's name. Naz doesn't have a website but is a student of realism at Winter Palace Studio.


Laughter Clubs (LOL)

Laughing Out Loud

If you can't see the video here, watch it on u-tube:

Curious? Find a laughter club nearby (They are all over the world) or host a laughter party

Have a good time.


What Did Leonardo Davinci Look like?

This is an exciting Video ... it's kind of an art world version of watching someone prove Fermat's Last Theorem for the first time.



Juried Exhibits and Competitions in DC/NoVa/MD

Artists & Art Lovers,
This blog entry is a short list of area (VA/DC/MD) Juried Exhibits and Competitions. If there's a juried show you think should be added to this list, let me know.

Aldie Mill Art Show & Sale
39401 John Mosby Highway Aldie, VA 20105
T: 703-327-9777
F: 703-327-000
Email: aldiemill@nvrpa.org

Art at the Mill
15 Tannery Ln, Boyce, VA 22620, USA

Fall Into the Arts - Leesburg
Historic District in Downtown Leesburg

Four Seasons Oatlands Art Show & Sale
20850 Oatlands Plantation Lane Leesburg, VA 20175

Meadowlark Photo Expo
9750 Meadowlark Gardens Ct Vienna, VA 22182-1992
Event Coordinator: Corey Hilz, corey@coreyhilz.com

Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival
12001 Market Street Suite 103
Reston, VA 20190
Phone: 703-471-9242
Fax: 703-471-0952

Once Again, Again
McLean Project for the Arts
1234 Ingleside Avenue, McLean, VA22101

Paint Annapolis
PO Box 5832
Annapolis, MD 21403

Plein Air Easton
40 East Dover Street,
Easton, Maryland, 21601

Riverbend Park Paintout /Jan & Dan Laytham
Artist in Residence
Riverbend Park
8700 Potomac Hills St.
Great Falls, VA 22066

Something Hot - Juried Show at Gallery 222