Sunday, October 21

The Lady with Good Tips for Gardening

It's not necessary (I'm not saying odd or ridiculous) that an visual artist finds his creativeness on the bookshelf gathering works of Cervantes, William Faulkner and Turgenev, but at times a helping hand and a bit of sympathy from the dead gone but not forgotten is more than welcome. Today, my angel of mercy shows up in the form of Virginia Woolf, who could be one of the most friendliest writers you could ask for if you chance to relax for a while in the Saturday afternoon and hear her talking temperately and eloquently as a life-time companion who is always within reach. I select a couple of paragraphs below from The Patron and The Crocus -- a thought-provoking, short essay teaching you not how to make a fortune but to communicate with your audience and develop yourself as an artist. If you wanna download the original essay 1 that I modified a bit so the texts would be more readable on an A4 sheet, please click this link.
...for whom should we write? For the present supply of patrons is of unexampled and bewildering variety. There is the daily Press, the weekly Press, the monthly Press; the English public and the American public; the bestseller public and the worst-seller public; the highbrow public and the red-blood public; all now organised self-conscious entities capable through their various mouthpieces of making their needs known and their approval or displeasure felt. Thus the writer who has been moved by the sight of the first crocus in Kensington Gardens has, before he sets pen to paper, to choose from a crowd of competitors the particular patron who suits him best. It is futile to say, “Dismiss them all; think only of your crocus”, because writing is a method of communication; and the crocus is an imperfect crocus until it has been shared. The first man or the last may write for himself alone, but he is an exception and an unenviable one at that, and the gulls are welcome to his works if the gulls can read them.
Granted, then, that every writer has some public or other at the end of his pen, the high-minded will say that it should be a submissive public, accepting obediently whatever he likes to give it. Plausible as the theory sounds, great risks are attached to it. For in that case the writer remains conscious of his public, yet is superior to it—an uncomfortable and unfortunate combination, as the works of Samuel Butler, George Meredith, and Henry James may be taken to prove. Each despised the public; each desired a public; each failed to attain a public; and each wreaked his failure upon the public by a succession, gradually increasing in intensity, of angularities, obscurities, and affectations which no writer whose patron was his equal and friend would have thought it necessary to inflict.


1 THE PATRON AND THE CROCUS is from The Common Reader, First Series (1925). You can read or download Woolf's works on Ebooks@Adelaide.

Friday, October 19

Reader Art: Orange & Green by Patrick Morand

Orange & Green by Patrick MorandI'm really happy to announce that I received the first submission real soon from a fellow blogger, Patrick Morand, who is really good at capturing the variety of lives and themes of nature - a great reminder when global warming becomes the one of the hottest topics after Al Gore's Nobel Peace Prize.

I'm a french photographer living in Provence doing mostly nature and landscapes photographs.
I love natural areas, vivid colors and nice contrast. I share with Ian the Orange passion.

This photograph was taken in a wild provence place : The "Rocher de Roquebrune".
It's a protected area with bush, trees, rocks and canyons.
I took the photo in a springtime morning when the sun rays where just illuminating one of the canyon's wall.
I love the intense orange and the popping greens.

Patrick Morand
BlogEtsy Shop :: French Landscapes

Note: Wanna submit your most orange work as Patrick? Check out this post for more details. ;)

Thursday, October 18

The Tale of Baby No.59's Life and Adventure

Energetic Baby No.59I rarely analyze my works or deliver lecture on my blog (yup that sounds odd!) for I always imagine that explanation could lessen the strength of a work, kind of like one imagines he has mastered Shakespeare after reading Samuel Johnson's marvelous critiques, but thanks to Josh Spear (name of the blog and the modertor), who kindly showcase Energetic Baby No.59 and says that "it looks like this stone this sweetheart of a guy randomly gave me once (sappy, I know), or maybe it’s the retro 60’s plywood furniture feel it has to it," it draws more attentions than it should have.

This work was done and finished when I was having this nagging depression thing, consequently, even though it still got the basic palette of Energetic Baby series, the hue had been darken a bit and the "strategies" which I refer to as "silent media" were emphasized more directly and intensely. For me, structure (i.e., composition) plays the most important rule of how an abstract stands or falls, whether it tends to diverge or converge, especially when you employ only basic elements to communicate, create or deconstruct: it is either the predominant object or the indicator that directs the motion of eyesight 1. As you see in the thumbnail, there are 3 lines that separate the image, the main indicator is certainly the black inclined gap splitting the image. On the top and bottom the graphics appear as heavy blocks collapsing towards one anther, but the inclination of divergence is reinforced again through the similarity of these separated twin.

What I break down above is just one strategy for this work. Like Karen Walker in Will & Grace said: a magician, like a prostitute, never reveals her secrets. ;) Well, I'm no magician and I would love to share more personal study and experience if I need to.


1 Of course those words are completely my personal viewpoint and theory, which may seem incomprehensible & amateurish for art academics & professional artists.

Wednesday, October 17

Followup of O'Range Is Hot!

TBeen a while since I published the news, but unfortunately I still haven't received enough of entries to get things started. I'm like a fish out of water when it comes to PR, so I owe you guys an apology. For those guys who thinks juried contests are cheesy and this whole idea is a marketing gimmick, I'm gonna do things in a different approach: submit your best orange piece of work then I will showcase it for ya! Please submit it in low res jpeg (72 dpi), with 400 pixels wide and height less than 640 pixels, including the title, a brief description about your work or yourself and links to your websites. If this plan B sounds fair enough for you, well, go hit me with an email! BTW, since I can't handle with all the submissions, I might have to choose the works closer based on my personal tastes.

Thursday, October 11

Article: An Artist's Grant That Even Pays for Glasses

An Artist's Grant That Even Pays for Glasses by STEPHANIE STROM
Published: October 10, 2007

The potter Sarah Jaeger is using some of her United States Artists grant for a studio and to study pottery in Spain.

Nearly a year ago 50 people around the country each received $50,000 fellowship awards from United States Artists, a new organization that argues that individual artists are generally shortchanged when it comes to arts patronage in America.

For more than 80 percent of the fellows, the money helped jump-start a new project. But interviews with the artists and a survey by the organization show that many used at least part of the funds left after taxes (yes, the gifts are taxed as ordinary income) simply to make ends meet or to pay for long-delayed health care.

“I went to the doctor,” said Lourdes Pérez, a singer and songwriter in San Antonio. “I had put off going for a while.”

Wesley McNair, a 68-year-old poet, had delayed buying a pair of glasses. “You need your eyes to be a writer, not only to see the words you’re writing but to observe the images that go into your poetry,” Mr. McNair said. “I figured the eyes were a crucial part of my work, which justified the use of part of this grant to get them,” he said of his new glasses.

All told, 26 percent of the artists reported spending part of their grants on health care. More than 60 percent spent a portion on art supplies, and 48 percent used some of the money to cover personal expenses like housing and meals... (more of An Artist's Grant That Even Pays for Glasses from The New York Time/Art & Design)

1 This is a good read which brings all the fancy thoughts related to ART to the reality. Knowing others' experience doesn't make us feel better or make our lives easier, at least a glimpse as this could keep us from ignorant and judgmental.
2 This article was on the list of ArtsJournal: Daily Arts News, a news feed I subscribe to.
3 Barney Davey has written a valuable article - Prosperity and Posterity in the Art World: Can Artists Have Both? - for Empty Easel, highly recommended for all the artists on the early stage of their career.

Sunday, October 7

Any Orange Fans Out There?! Attention Please!

UPDATE: Due to want of entries, I abstain from the notion of holding a contest. Sorry kids. :(

Orange is HOT!Orange is HOT! - visual art contest raised by Ian Yang, aka mitrmOr NOT?!

I was thinking about it for quite a while -- why not holding a contest on my blog/website for those who dig ORANGE as much as I do?! I even did some doodling for an exclusive, catchy logo of this contest when I was sipping a milkshake! My basic idea is that this is a competition exclusively for visual art, you choose the theme and subject but must employ orange as major color for your artwork, creepy painting or lovely photography, marvelous designs or ridiculous installments, new or old, blown or bellowed. After we have all the works from everyone after a month, a poll -- based on idea, execution and quality -- will be held for all the contestants (or my favorite artists who will volunteer as judges) and the final top 3 will receive my Energetic Babes prints as rewards. I will design a new page on my website as well to showcase all the entries so everyone can share your glory and get inspired. Sound fabulous, right?! But before that I need to hear your opinions & suggestions first 'cause not only it may take some time for me to manage all the details of this fair, but this whole idea could be a total failure without enough participations. If you feel tempted, leave a comment pronto so I can start this campaign as soon as possible.

Feeling like running out of steam? Don't worry 'cause I have got a bunch of marvelous works waiting for you:

Orange Is Hot! Collage Reference (thumbnail)
1 Dreaming 4 by *sinademiral (Photography, Urban)
2 Public Mutual AAN 2007 by ~yienkeat (Editorial Design)
3 chaos by *apricot8585 (Fantasy Drawings)
4 slow+steady by *H3AD3AD (Digital Abstract)
5 split. by ~gizmocrat (Photography)
6 1to10in35mm_complex by pr0jectz (Digital Paintings)
7 shun goku satsu by arnistotle (comics)
8 Deliquesce by Six3 (fractal)
9 Danton's Death - Part II by ~speedburger
10 Battle of Anghidingbums by Pergamon (Digital Painting)
11 Serpentine Soiree by 'jasinski (illustration)
12 The Party I Found Within A Pile of Leaves of by Niki Kelce (illustrations)

1 Please leave your comment HERE if you want to get involved for I have published this news on various places and it's easier for me to organize all the entries on a single page.
2 Credites: GIMP for banner design, finished in 2 hours, and an xcf file is availabe in case you need it; font entitled Prisma by Entworfen von Rudolf Koch.
3 That date thing is flexible, I haven't decided it yet.
4 The copyrights of the images belong to the artists/designers/creators. Do not use them for commercial purpose without permissions.

Saturday, October 6

Like A Virgin, Like A Dad...

Energetic Baby No.4 by Ian Yang, aka mitrm, 2007One of my entries, Energetic Baby No.4

A couple of days ago I finally sent my entry to the organization of a visual art contest -- my very first competition since I started learning digital graphic design. It's a baby step, and I'm as excited as a kid and anxious as a father (how hilarious that I submitted 3 pieces of my ENERGETIC BABY =D). The thrill of this enormous expectation is really killing me, and will keep killing me til October 25th when the final 20 is officially announced.

Like a normal parent looking forward to his first born child and managing to make his baby room as comfy and pinkish as possible, I have bought some frames from IKEA -- they call it CLIP, it's more like a big piece of glass with a board and you have those tiny pins attached on the rims -- and will have my prints got ready in a couple of days. This time I will take a chance on DeviantArt, and I pray that they are capable of making my works as brilliant as possible. You will see some photos after I receive them, including some close-up shots. Wish me good luck. ;)

I didn't make it to the final 25. I guess it's because no one has wished me good luck, including my mom. ;)