Today's postings

  1. [Baren 38143] Re: This is too good not to pass on ... (Jenn Schmitt)
  2. [Baren 38144] Re: Baren Member blogs: Update Notification (Graham Scholes)
  3. [Baren 38145] Re: Baren Member blogs: Update Notification (Dave Bull)
  4. [Baren 38146] Re: Baren Member blogs: Update Notification (Graham Scholes)
  5. [Baren 38147] Re: This is too good not to pass on ... (Frank Trueba)
  6. [Baren 38148] Re: Baren Member blogs: Update Notification (Charles Morgan)
  7. [Baren 38149] RE: financials ("Maria Arango")
  8. [Baren 38150] Good Post (Gayle Wohlken)
  9. [Baren 38151] RE: Good Post ("Maria Arango")
  10. [Baren 38152] Re: Good Post (carol Montgomery)
  11. [Baren 38153] Re: Good Post (eli griggs)
  12. [Baren 38154] no lawyers and printing (Barbara Mason)
  13. [Baren 38155] Re: Good Post ("Maria Arango")
  14. [Baren 38156] Re: Good Post (Charles Morgan)
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Message 1
From: Jenn Schmitt
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2009 13:17:44 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38143] Re: This is too good not to pass on ...
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I love this book and also Ted Orland's "View from the Studio Door".

Thanks Dave for reminding me to pull them from my shelf and leaf through
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Message 2
From: Graham Scholes
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2009 15:11:12 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38144] Re: Baren Member blogs: Update Notification
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> Author: Dave Bull
> Item: Financial statement : 2008 results ...

I was aghast to see this financial disclosure for all to see.... !!!!!

It is common knowledge that artist generally make less than minimum
wages and are at or below the poverty line... The Average in Canada
is $8000.00 The bottom line in the report (11,877.81 Can) is pretty

I can’t for the life of me understand why one would post their
personal finances....
The explanation and comments in the blog were self explanatory and
sufficient to make a point about our hard times.

I live by the saying.... “When goings get tough, the tough get going” - will illustrate what Marnie
and I did to survive the times.
We spent 3 months to get the once gallery/workshop area into an income

Colour me in shock.....
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Message 3
From: Dave Bull
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2009 15:21:36 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38145] Re: Baren Member blogs: Update Notification
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> I was aghast to see this financial disclosure for all to see.... !!!!!

Why? I don't get the other way around ... why people are always so
secretive about that sort of thing. Back when I was a manager in the
music store, I had our statements pinned to the wall all the time - it
was a good way to get the employees feeling involved in the course of
the business. I've been doing it for years:

I guess my basic view is just that honest people have nothing to hide

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Message 4
From: Graham Scholes
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2009 15:39:43 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38146] Re: Baren Member blogs: Update Notification
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I am even more aghast to see this is an annual practice....

It has nothing to do with “nothing to hide” but more to do with
personal pride and integrity. How on earth can a personal
financial statement motivate. You are either filthy rich or
disgustingly poor, or put another way, lucky you or poor you.

In the Vancouver retail music business of 20 odd years ago
maybe that was acceptable. In todays fine arts field of professionals
it is a very personal matter and is not laundered in public.

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Message 5
From: Frank Trueba
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2009 15:41:24 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38147] Re: This is too good not to pass on ...
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Hi all,

Ted teaches occasionally at a local (to me) community college
and I've been lucky to take a couple of his classes. As you might
expect from the quotes, he's a pretty interesting guy. As Arthur
mentioned, he worked under Ansel Adams for a time and is a
noted photographer in his own right. He's moved on to digital
photography (the subject of his classes) and uses a Holga frequently.
You can visit his work at

He's also recently written a follow-up book on creating art, The
View From The Studio Door (that as he puts it; " a book of practical
philosophy – written by, and for, working artists.") which is also very
interesting. As you might imagine, digital photography requires a lot
of technical knowledge which he imparts as needed, but he always
warns his students on the first day that his class is about creating
art which may require some technical knowledge (i.e Photoshop, print
commands, etc) but if the student's aim is to learn Photoshop, he
recommends the various digital media classes the college offers.

Ted is, as his books attest, as much a philosopher as he is
photographer/artist and a wonderful teacher with a sly, wry wit.
Both books are slender volumes but pack powerful observations.

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Message 6
From: Charles Morgan
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2009 16:14:40 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38148] Re: Baren Member blogs: Update Notification
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Jimmy Wright was a rather successful local artist here in Victoria.

When folks used to balk at his high prices, he would offer to compare income tax statements with them to see who was in the best financial position ... and it was no bluster ... he had his ready to show. Yep ... I watched him do it with a customer when he had his studio downtown.

Cheers ...... Charles
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Message 7
From: "Maria Arango"
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2009 16:48:29 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38149] RE: financials
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I have to agree with Dave wholeheartedly.
There are a number of reasons why working artists should be sharing their
income with each other on a consistent basis.

1. There is NO reliable income-average for artists "out there". The closest
is when I finish doing my taxes and Turbo Tax shows me the "reported"
averages for visual artists across the nation. I know many of my fellow
artists (whom I love dearly) tend to work a LOT on a cash basis, which does
not get reported. Therefore the "reported averages" nationwide in the US
tend to be iffy at best. Seeing what a working artist actually makes is
immensely helpful to every artist that hopes to make a living as an artist.

2. When artists start out in the art business they have NO CLUE how to price
their work, who is making money, who is boasting, who is plain lying about
both their sales volume and/or pricing.
Many unknown artists grossly over-price their works to match what they see
in galleries or what their "friends" are telling them that their works are
"worth". As a result they make very little money and cannot make a living as
a working artist. Seeing the price of the quality works that Dave makes and
how many are selling gives artists a solid figure to work with.

3. As in any business, it takes time to grow a business. The painful secret
of being an artist is that it is just as difficult to maintain a level of
income. To be able to follow Dave's business ventures (adventures?) is
hugely helpful to those of us who are getting tired of lifting up booths in
the wind.
Seeing Dave's finances year to year helps artists see what happens in good
and bad economies, with a diversity of products, and year to year
comparisons of income. Invaluable!

4. In an age of reproductions, I'm finding people will pay the same amount
for a quality hand-crafted woodblock print as for an ink-jet reproduction
churned out of someone's cheap HP...oh yeah, on "photo" paper. That is the
state of the market for the artist selling directly to the public. In my
mind, what Dave does is at the very extreme of upper quality for a product
that SHOULD be worth much more. In the public's mind, it is worth what they
pay for it. This is how you determine what something is worth. Woodblock
artists can see what the public is actually "really" willing to pay for an
exquisitely crafted woodblock print; the rest of us should be pricing
Seeing what people are willing to ACTUALLY pay for a woodblock print is a
huge help to someone who intends to sell anything similar.

5. There aren't enough working artists sharing with each other.
The art festival world is very cruel and I wrote the book on how to get
going so that perhaps artists would be more sharing with each other about
the industry. So far, my book has been blatantly paraphrased and published
by another author, photocopied in its entirety at least two occasions that
I'm aware of by people CHARGING artists $200 for a Business Workshop, and
quoted without permission and without credit by the editor in a trade
magazine who published a series of articles verbatim from my book.

My point is that we need more honest artists out there to share with each
other because there are enough people in the business lying and leading
artists to the wrong path, and probably charging them for it. In the art
festival world, very few of us share figures with each other and as a result
the festival "reported" income figures are greatly skewed. No way for an
artist to know "really" what to expect and the new artist is inevitably
disappointed when the "five figures" thing doesn't materialize.

Should we all have the, excuse me, balls to put our finances online for each
other to see, the world of the working artist would be much more predictable
and less shocking to the poor bastards that start out each year only to find
that they can't "make it." And the only businesses that would be failing
would be the "helping artists" businesses who bleed artists for knowledge
that should be freely shared.

In any case, thank you Dave for sharing!


       Maria Arango
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Message 8
From: Gayle Wohlken
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2009 17:06:15 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38150] Good Post
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Maria, that was a good, informative post. What did you do about those
who were lifting from your book and republishing as their own?

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Message 9
From: "Maria Arango"
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2009 17:25:27 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38151] RE: Good Post
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Sent the editors a letter and they quit and sent me money for the
"articles". The guy who basically paraphrased my book and republished it is
already out of business. The workshop people who copied my book sent me a
nasty letter back that basically said: "so sue us", but they are warned and
they know I know.
I plan to spend my entire life without ever having to hire a lawyer and
firmly believe in the adage: "what goes around...comes around"


       Maria Arango
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Message 10
From: carol Montgomery
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2009 18:03:47 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38152] Re: Good Post
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Hi, All - I want to put my two cents into this discussion because it has a bearing on a project of mine. I am trying to establish a percent for art program here in Helena, MT. In my discussions with other cities' and/or states' art committees that have established this sort of program, they have mentioned making ongoing surveys of artists that attempt to collate artist revenues. We want to know what artists legitimately make in their field and how they spend their revenues in order to understand economic impact. That helps in the argument for art spending to city managers and council members who decide on the basis of dollars and cents. Sincerely, Carol Montgomery, Helena, MT
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Message 11
From: eli griggs
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2009 18:07:01 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38153] Re: Good Post
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Maria, while I believe in karma as well, I think you are doing a disservice to other artists by allowing these people to back you down from taking action against them. Most artists are always under pressure to reap whatever income and recognition they can from their work and every time someone, some business or institution rips off an artist and gets away with it, our work as a whole is devalued. If they do it to you and get away with it, they'll do it to other artists and letting them off can't be good for your karma either.

Even if you never see a dime from these people, you should put pressure on them to stop and make things right. If I'm not mistaken, at the least you can get a court order to seize those materials and products which infringe your copyrights and if you file a complaint with the state or feds, they may take care of it for you.

I remember back a few years that a local charitable agency was the long term benefactor of seizures of counterfeit clothing, seized on behalf of the manufactures whom donated it to the clothing bank which removed the labels before giving it out. The government bore the cost of the legal action, all the manufactures did was point them in the right direction. Even if you can only get the state to threaten action, that might do the trick. I know there is considerable differences in clothing vs. images, but the principle is the same and worth standing up for, for yourself and every other artist out here.

My 2¢

Cheers, Eli
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Message 12
From: Barbara Mason
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2009 18:18:37 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38154] no lawyers and printing
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I applaud you as it seems only the lawyers make money on these things.
I am glad you took action, so often artists are plagiarized and beat up and do nothing about it.
Too often work is lost in galleries that have moved or closed or just don't pay you. I have decided to never show work in a gallery I cannot drive to unless I really, really like them. I have lost work three times in my life in galleries far out of state.
Not worth going after them so we let it go and just shrug our shoulders and make more work.

Teaching is way more fun out of state as you get to travel, see all the art happening there and people think you actually know stuff. I vote for teaching out of state and keeping you work closer to home.

I think Dave is brave for putting his financials out for all to see, but I do think it serves a purpose, no one thinks he is getting rich off his work. I think he does not charge enough, but he knows his market and what he can be successful at dollar wise from his customers. Making a living as an artist is very tough, as you know, and I have lots of friends who are just squeeking by. All hope we get some sort of national health insurance.
Enough of this an on to more pleasant stuff.

On my print for the last exchange, I used an outside kento and cut the paper extra wide, then cut it down at the end. This allowed me to not worry so much if I got a little ink on the edge. It seems almost impossible to keep them all clean. Also I used the method of printing the key block and gluing those pieces to the next blocks for registration and it worked so well I amazed myself. I only miss-registered one print and that was because I moved the block. Maybe I am getting better at it. I used Masa paper and it was ok, but I don't think I will use it again for this type of work as it was a little too soft so not the easiest to handle. I tried using my left hand to print with part of the time but found it really awkward. My shoulder got sore, I probably would not have noticed it except I am exercising found it hurting for several days. I know some people carve with both hands, but does anyone print with both? Once I had the print down I found I could
sort of finish with the left hand but the real printing had to be done with the right. It was fun to do this exchange and I am really anxious to see all the work, especially of those struggling with moku hanga for the fist time. Once you get it, the process is pretty addictive.
My best to all
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Message 13
From: "Maria Arango"
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2009 18:21:14 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38155] Re: Good Post
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Although I know you mean well, I'm not about to set off on a legal crusade
for other artist's rights, are you?
Easy enough for anyone to point out what I 'should' do. But it's my time, my
money, my headaches, my choice. Sorry, I don't speak "laywer" at all and I'm
hardly literate in "government".


       Maria Arango
> Maria, while I believe in karma as well, I think you are doing a
> disservice to other artists by allowing these people to back you down
> from taking action against them.
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Message 14
From: Charles Morgan
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2009 18:33:44 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38156] Re: Good Post
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Hmmmm .... the language of "leg breaker" or even of "hitman" comes to mind in these circumstances .... O.K., just kidding ....

Cheers ...... Charles