Art & Audiences - An interesting article

Emerging photographer Ed Hahn (website here) shared the following article by Alain Briot with us.

photo by Alain Briot


Ed -Thanks for sending the article! Let's see what everyone thinks ... maybe someone will comment on it.


Art Festivals 2009

Hello Artists & Art Lovers:

Happy New Year. During this time of planning for 2009 activities, goals and dreams you might be thinking about shows and art festivals that you either want to enter or attend. For your enjoyment here are two websites that list a large number of festivals accross the US.

The first site is a great place to find fairs:


The second site makes it easy for artists to register for a fair:



A Painting A Day - Porcelain Globe

Daily Painting - a Series of porcelain globes with blue hand painted designs. I'll be using a project like this to teach my students basic glazing. 

Study with Vicki Blum!

Opportunity to Study with VICKI BLUM!

Taught by Artist Vicki Blum
7 weeks, Thursdays 7pm-10pm
ArtSpace Herndon
Starting January 22nd – March 12, 2009
(no class February 19, 2009)

Class Description: Learn classical methods of painting. Work will be done from your photos or a still life set-up. This class will focus on how to begin and finish a painting. Starting with toning the canvas and drawing your subject, students move quickly into painting thick alla prima layers of light and shadow colors. This will be followed with refinements to value and color in a series of thick and thin glazes. Come ready to paint your favorite person, place or still life. Recommended for beginning and intermediate painters who want to improve the realistic appearance of their work. $187

Location: ArtSpace Classroom 1 @ 750 Center Street, Herndon VA 20170

To register: Contact Vicki Blum at 703-618 6070 or email her at info@vickiblum.com.

Visit Vicki’s website, www.vickiblum.com and www.mosaya.com/vickiblum.


St. Nicolas Icon - Happy Christmas Eve

Walter has an extensive knowledge of icons (among an amazingly long list of other things) - today, he a this study of icons of St. Nicholas.

Artists would have begun painting icons of St. Nick in 300AD. Examples of these icons were combined/morphed with the skull of the guy buried in his tomb to yield this result. (The computer generated image of St. Nick is the one with the black background.)

For more info visit the following website: www.stnicholascenter/Brix?pageID=743 


Margaret Bowland "Murakami Wedding"

Upon entering Klaudia Marr gallery, this detail of a painting and the others by Margaret Bowland (website) with it drew my attention. Immediately, I connected with the investigation of our ideas about women, femininity, beauty and other themes. In particular the obvious idea of the bride in a white dress uncovered in white makeup ... a play on the elizabethan/victorian holdover was illustrated so objectively as something the viewer might reconsider. But, that's only a superficial glance - There is obviously so much more!

Noting the complexity of deeper themes, I went home and looked up Margaret's artist statement here and found more detail.

Painting by Margaret Bowland, Murakami Wedding, 2008

One of the reasons I enjoy these paintings is that they don't attempt to demonize society but instead seem like an attempt at objectivity. While the artists own feelings are captured in these stories, they ask us to face our own assumptions in full view without judgement.

The images are so engaging that I found myself lost in study of the paintings on her website 4 or 5 times while attempting to write this post. I even struggle with calling them paintings because I'm experiencing them as stories.


Possible Change in Tax Law impacts artists

Artists, Museum Curators and Collectors, you may find the following article interesting. It illustrates that a new tax law is being considered which would allow Artists to donate their work for it's value rather than the cost of materials. My association with the new ArtSpace Herndon art center (gallery and event space) in our town has made me more aware of the issues that Arts organizations face - including different types of limitations on cheritable contributions that might help the organization. I'm curious to know your thoughts. Drop me an e-mail after you read the article from "The Art NewsPaper" (click this link)

My husband quickly photoshopped this image as I mentioned needing a photo of people donating art and was laughing the whole time. Good thing I married for love =) 


Yikes! - Charles Pfahl

My husband Walter - who is the adventurous type - has no interest in even  hanging out in the same room with Charles Pfahl's newest work. We saw it in the Altitude gallery recently where Pfahl's "Archetype" is hanging prominently by the entry of the main room. 

When I saw it, I reared back my head with a brief but grotesque movement of my face and started laughing as the sheer size of the image ... respectfully of course because anything that gets such a strong reaction is a curiosity. Walter grinned with what I know was hidden laughter as he left me in the room with the gallery docent explaining the painting to me. It illustrates the idea of a mother god archetype that is considered in many traditions to be responsible for birth, death and renewal. 

While studying the paintings, I also studied the reactions of people entering the gallery. Many raised their eyebrows or seemed to intentionally withhold a reaction before promptly leaving the room unless the gallery docent maintained their attention. Others specifically approached the docent for deeper inquiry. I sincerely wish it had occurred to me to catch their reactions on my blackberry - it would have been good for a few laughs later. 

Walter joked "I wonder if people who work there go home with a touch of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder". 

Neither of us are easily offended so we sent about 4 or 5 different curious people to the gallery to check it out. 

Today - Walter sent me this note:
My old Experimental video professor Gene Youngblood once told the class when asked to define art "Who cares it it's 'art' as long as it makes you crazy."
So, take a look ... enjoy a good laugh ... be traumatized ... or ponder the deeper meaning. (That's a real corpse of an infant that Mr. Pfahl imported during a trip overseas) 


TOP 5 Artist Blogs

I love to visit artist blogs - they are a great way to learn, see what others are sharing, find great paintings for our home and enjoy fresh artwork. I think of blogs as a simple art movement. Just as the invention of the box easel and tube paints changed painting by making plein air sketching popular - I think blogging has made quality, miniature, original fine art available to everyone. But, that's only one impact. Blogs are also a sincere way to share our "favorite" discoveries with friends who enjoy art. There are so many - it's hard to keep track. So, I've selected different kinds of blogs that I enjoy visiting and find most useful. 

Favorite: TOP 5 Artist Blogs

Little People Blogspot (consistently brilliant ... on street level)  
Jeff Hayes (In addition to buying his artwork, you can easily reach about 50 other great blogs) 
Katherine Tyyrell's Making a Mark (Art news and support for pastel, drawing, pen&ink artists) 

And, a new blog I just learned about today: 
Art News Blog (Unusual, educational and possibly food for thought) 

Feel free to reply with a comment on your favorite art/artist blog - I'm interested! 


Jill Banks ... a new blog worth viewing

Jill Banks of Great Falls Virginia has been blogging for a few months and I enjoy her content because it's informative, colorful and she is transparent about sharing both her recent work and her experiences as an artist. Check it out and let me know what you think!



Gallery Styles

The style of the galleries is as much of an artistic exploration to an easterner as the paintings themselves. After our first year, I didn't notice the architecture and interiors as often but looking at these photos I realize you might enjoy seeing the different southwest details and gallery styles.


Plein Air in the Winter?

Yes - particularly in the high desert. This gentleman was painting a few blocks from the front door of our bed and breakfast.


Etching & Sketching Suprises

A funny play on the historic art of etching ... and sketching. Here is an "Etch a Sketch" artist:

Apparently Etch a Sketch contests (related article) are a whole subculture. 

"Walk-In Bloggers" whatever that is

Eli Levin picks up the phone and relates to the caller"... Hey Joe, guess what I'm doing, I'm giving a demo of all things ... yeah ... they're walk-in bloggers ... whatever that is.."

Eli is an artist / printmaker working in an open studio on Canyon Road today. When we wandered into his studio, we discovered him laying down paper to print an etching and continue work on an area he is slowly adjusting to perfect the image. Here, he's turning the wheel to press a print onto paper. Follow by photos of him studying the print and making changes.

One of my secret admirer readers, "Joe Pilgrim" was kind enough to send this link >> to Eli's bio. THANKS JOE~!

Apparently, he has also published a book ... view the comment below for more info about both. 


Canyon Road - Santa Fe Vacation

We're relaxing in Santa Fe this week and have plenty to share over the next few blog posts. Here is a shot of a fraction of the hundreds of galleries in the canyon road and plaza area at twighlight. It's always a pleasure to visit this area because one can see so many different styles of fine art within a few blocks. Even after spending all day here - we always run out of time!


Something to look forward to

Each season I look forward to the subjects it brings to paint. For those artists who are enjoying pumpkins, colored leaves but looking forward to spring ... here's a reminder


Atelier Classes (Great Falls / Herndon / Reston )

Seeking high quality art classes in Northern Virginia?

Call 703.593.6444

- Drawing
- Oil Painting
- Realism
- Still life, floral, figure / portrait and landscape



Painting of the week

Hi Everyone,
I'm painting so actively this year that it's hard to keep my website up to date. So, if you enjoy seeing the "latest", please visit my new blog and see weekly (or even daily) paintings as they come out.

Tricia Ratliff's Painting Blog: www.TriciaRatliff.Blogspot.com

- Tricia

Detail of John in color