Today's postings

  1. [Baren 38157] Re: Good Post (eli griggs)
  2. [Baren 38158] Re: Good Post ("Maria Arango")
  3. [Baren 38159] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V46 #4712 (Feb 18, 2009) (Marilynn Smith)
  4. [Baren 38160] Re: Good Post (Ruth Leaf)
  5. [Baren 38161] Re: Good Post (Dave Bull)
  6. [Baren 38162] Artist patronage (Barbara Mason)
  7. [Baren 38163] Re: Artist patronage (Dave Bull)
  8. [Baren 38164] new member (Plannedscapes #
  9. [Baren 38165] Re: Artist patronage (Barbara Mason)
  10. [Baren 38166] Re: Artist patronage (Dave Bull)
  11. [Baren 38167] Support for transparancy (Rosposfe #
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Message 1
From: eli griggs
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2009 18:47:15 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38157] Re: Good Post
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Maria, I apologize if I upset you. You are correct when you say it is easy to point out what others' should do, but when you share online, not all those reading it will see things as you do and might even offer feedback, welcomed or no.

I suppose that part of my faulty thinking was that I've come to see you as an able promoter or advocate of artists interests, helpful with your website, tips on printmaking and selling and newsletters. Viewing you in that light and thinking you would be interested in righting an important wrong against not only you but artists rights in general, a crusade as you say, was wrong of me; a bottom line rarely benefits from acts of principle and you are certainly the better judge of where that line lies.

Cheers, Eli
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Message 2
From: "Maria Arango"
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2009 19:34:05 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38158] Re: Good Post
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If your statement weren't absolutely correct in pointing out I should pursue
those idiots, it wouldn't have ruffled my feathers. I know I should. I know
I won't.
No apology necessary and thank you.


       Maria Arango
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Message 3
From: Marilynn Smith
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2009 19:51:34 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38159] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V46 #4712 (Feb 18, 2009)
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I get the digest, so don't get into the fray as fast. Dave I applaud
your open, frank and honest income statement. I also agree with
Maria. It is easy to say one should go after those who steal our
imagery or written works. It does however take both time and money.
Maria is busy churning out beautiful work and certainly not wealthy
enough from her art work to hire a fancy lawyer. She stepped up and
told them to cease the practice and did receive some compensation.
She did go after them and that does say that she will not just sit by
and let this type of thing happen. Maria is far from a meek person,
but she rightfully seeks to spend her time and money making art rather
than chasing after these frauds.

Personally, I do not think it is any ones business whether Dave
chooses to publish his art income or not. To me that is a personal
decision, certainly not illegal, rude or in any way harmful to others.
Just the opposite, it shows other artists what they might expect to
make in their given field and it tells the clients that they are not
over paying for the work.

Happily my exchange #40 prints are dried, numbered and signed. They
will be in the mail as soon as I find a willing friend to take them
across the border to the states. WHEW! I enjoyed reading the post
about the book Art and Fear. It sure makes me feel a lot better when
my work is not quite as good as others I see, but is getting
better!! Every time I do an exchange I learn more. In fact every
time I do any printmaking, or painting I learn more. One can't become
better or more experienced if one does not get busy and do it.

I'm off to take a walk on that warm sandy beach, have a happy art day.
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Message 4
From: Ruth Leaf
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2009 20:39:07 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38160] Re: Good Post
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Maria, All this talk about a book you wrote. I would love to buy
it. Where can I get it? Ruth
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Message 5
From: Dave Bull
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2009 23:18:34 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38161] Re: Good Post
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> Maria, All this talk about a book you wrote. I would
> love to buy it. Where can I get it?

Nobody's answered yet? Here's my chance!

Maria's book is here:

There may be other places to buy it as well, maybe direct from her?

It might seem 'funny' to say this after Maria jumped in to support my
previous post so strongly, but anyway it's true - her book is a
fabulous treasure for anybody even _thinking_ about getting involved in
the art festival business. If you are, then _not_ to get this book
would be the biggest mistake you ever made. :-)

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Message 6
From: Barbara Mason
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2009 23:27:27 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38162] Artist patronage
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I have figured out how you can double your income. You need patrons. Not just those who buy your art but those who believe in what you are doing and will support you because of your talent and dedication, like Wagner had. All needed is 10 people sending you $100 a month. They will get the satisfaction of knowing they are your personal patrons and of course you will send them art as you do it in gratitude, but it will not be contingent on receiving work. I think you can find 10 people to do this or 20 to send $50.
It seems like a doable thing to me. Why not try it. If it fails, well, at least you gave it a shot. I will be number one so you have 9 or 19 to go and we will see what happens in a year. I think this is an age old way to support artists that has sadly gone by the wayside.
My best
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Message 7
From: Dave Bull
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2009 00:41:07 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38163] Re: Artist patronage
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Barbara wrote:
> I have figured out how you can double your income.

Isn't that what Madoff said to potential clients? :-)

> You need patrons. Not just those who buy your art but those
> who believe in what you are doing and will support you because
> of your talent and dedication

I'm supposed to be headed downstairs to work this morning, and you
side-track me like this! You open a _huge_ topic, and I can just touch
on it for a moment ...

The question of what word I use to describe the people who are
supporting my work by purchasing the prints is an interesting one. Here
are a few possibilities:
- customer
- subscriber
- collector
- supporter
- patron

On the face of it, 'customer' is the basic word. I offer things for
sale. People buy them. They are 'customers'. In the case of the small
'one-off' prints that I have available - my gift print page, for
example - this is perhaps an accurate description of the relationship.

But for the people who are getting my subscription prints, I simply
don't think that way, and I suspect they don't either.
Is it because the purchase is 'repeated', that we move away from using
the word 'customer'? I don't think so. I've been a 'subscriber' to the
Japan Times for more than 20 years, but I would still describe myself
as a 'customer'. So the first two words on my list of five seem to be
terms that keep the relationship basically neutral. Swap money for
stuff. Advantageous to both sides; equal value for both sides.

'Collector' is the term I use inside my own head when thinking about
the people to whom I send the prints. It covers the content of the
first two terms, and adds a level of personal interest. This person
_likes_ my work, and feels some kind of communication. I feel it is
extremely important to cultivate this level of the relationship, and
that's where the newsletter, the stories, the disclosure, etc. etc.
comes in. Those collectors who care to - and some don't - become
'friends'. Our communications lose the business formality, and we feel
comfortable when speaking with each other.

Before they know it, they have moved up a level, and become a
'supporter'. They now start to feel a 'stake' in my activities. When
one print series comes to a close, and they have to decide whether or
not to take the next one, considerations other than simple 'Do I like
the prints?' now start to come into play:
- do I want to stay part of this 'group'? I'll miss being part of this
- does Dave need my support? His daughter is still in college ...

(None of this was pre-calculated by me; I'm just describing the way
that it has 'grown to be' over the decades ...)

Some people stay; some leave. And of course, their own financial
situation also may play a significant role, as it very much will in the
coming years.

But there is one more word in that list of five - patron. And this is
where things get difficult (for me). The way that Barbara phrased her
idea - "those who believe in what you are doing and will support you
because of your talent and dedication" - implies nothing negative at
all, but I myself do have trouble when wrestling with this concept.

Let me try and explain by 'jumping ahead' a minute, to a sixth concept
that could have appeared on my list, but which I left off ...

I have real problems with this. In some cases, subsidizing an activity
may make good sense; I (helped) subsidize my daughter's college
education, for example. That's a no-brainer. In fact, as you are
already thinking to yourself, "That's not a subsidy; that's an

But how do we tell? Where do we draw the line? And - my basic point -
who _decides_ what is worth subsidizing, and what should be left alone?
Within a family - as with my college example - we make our own
decisions, but out in the wide world, there is really only one way to
know, and that is to let the 'market' decide. (I well know that some of
you will disagree with this, but anyway, I can only speak my own
opinion ...)

By putting one's work 'out there' into the marketplace, you are - by
definition - going to find out exactly what value you are bringing to
society. If there are enough people willing to exchange their work for
yours (with currency, of course), then you can fly. If not, then you

But what I _cannot_ do, is say to the world "I have talent and
dedication and _deserve_ to survive. Give me some of your money,

(Barbara, please don't be upset at me for this clumsy explanation of my
thinking on this; I mean no disrespect for you at all ...)

Here in Japan these days, because of the swift changes taking place in
society, the government has become quite active in supporting
'traditional crafts'. The largest print publisher is heavily subsidized
(through their 'foundation'), and nearly all the other craftsmen are in
a 'Preservation Society' that receives frequent handouts from the
Culture Ministry.

I have not joined that group, and will not. How can I face my neighbour
Mr. Ishida when I see him on the street, knowing that my hand is in his
back pocket, reaching for his wallet? If he doesn't 'produce value' for
his company, he will be fired. I have to work to the same standard. No

Barbara didn't use the word 'subsidy', but rather talked about
'patronage'. Maybe I'm wrong to try and equate the two; maybe I'm
making a big deal out of nothing. Maybe this is all stupid 'pride'. I
don't know.

But thinking about all those tens of thousands of prints I have shipped
over the past twenty years - each and every one of them going to a
customer~collector~supporter who felt that it was worthwhile to make
the exchange ... _That_ is what makes me feel like my work has value
to society.

Sorry for bending your ear so much ... and now I really _do_ have to
get downstairs to work ...

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Message 8
From: Plannedscapes #
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2009 00:46:38 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38164] new member
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Hi all
I have been dabbling in art, block prints, nature photography, various arts
and crafts, since I was a kid, but only on a hobby basis. In 2004, 5 of us
started a co-op art gallery in Warrenville, IL where we each worked one day a
week. In 2005, my business partner in the venture took me to Mineral Point,
WI to show me the town and a building that was for sale. I really only went
along to talk her out of it, but made an offer on the building 4 days later.
I fell in love with the town and the people and the building. Shortly
after, she quit to open a newspaper and the co-op fell apart. So now I have this
little seasonal weekend art gallery 3 hours from my permanent home. I sell my
own stuff and buy or sell consignment for about 3 dozen other artists. I
run it as many weekends as I can and my artists help with running it on
weekends in exchange for using the living quarters all week. You can browse the art
and artists and town at _www.prairieoakartisans.com_
( or look at a newer in-progress site at
_www.prairieoakartisans.blogspot.com_ ( .
I am also a landscape designer, so my nature photography tends towards
native IL/WI plants and ecosystems. I volunteer at prairie restorations and give
prairie tours. I do a little linoleum block printing, wool felt fiber art,
silk scarf painting, pastel floral painting, beaded jewelry, and whatever other
little silly stuff I can make to sell to pay the light and heat and water
and tax bills on my little building. Followed the discussion on financial
statements with interest: Breaking even at this point on the artist commissions
and profits from sales of purchased art and putting most of what I make on my
art into the upkeep of the building. Doing it cuz I love it and for other
artists to give them a storefront. And hoping for actual profits someday. I
own the building so I am building 'wealth' if it appreciates.
The building was one of the first commercial buildings in town, built in
1828-9, has about 20 feet of sidewalk frontage, and is about 50 feet deep. The
ground floor front 20x40 feet are gallery, the back 20x10 feet are 'studio'
where I do much of my work, and the top floor is 20x50 feet of living space.
Anyone in the vicinity of Mineral Point, WI? Stop in and visit me!
I want to learn better printing techniques, which assumes I am even doing it
'right' in the first place, as I learned from a booklet my art supply store
sold in 1979ish, and I want to try wood block, since I have an idea it is
more 'authentic' than linoleum block. Opinions? Or send me to the archive
number where that was discussed?
I also have a personal blog, _www.goprairie.blogspot.com_
( that covers such topics at the lake house we are helping
build for ourselves in WI and the fact that yes, Karma is my real name.
Talk to me!
Karma Grotelueschen
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Message 9
From: Barbara Mason
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2009 01:02:52 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38165] Re: Artist patronage
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You are wrong about this, patrons feel differently about your work than customers, they are one step up from collectors.
Collectors might get work because they like it or because they want to keep their collections going. Patrons want to support art in general and they spread their dollars around among artists to support them and usually a particular art form. They believe in what an artist is doing and want to be sure that the artist has the opportunity to keep doing it. It is something like what you did for the scroll print, but with less of a commitment from the artist to make a particular print. Pay by the month. I have done this several times, sending so much a month to an artist and usually getting some work at the end, but the money was not contingent on the work. It is to support art and an artist. You are way too humble here to be in this business. If you are worried about having your hand in your neighbors pocket, only offer it to your off shore collectors. I see it as a way an artist can survive, you are barely eating at this level. What if you have some type
of emergency? Those of us who want to support your work feel we should be "allowed" to do so and you might reconsider this from that viewpoint. There is nothing like the feeling of accomplishment knowing you have had a direct impact on someone's life and career for their advancement. Everyone who had done this feels great about doing it. We did a patronage for one of our artists at our gallery when he had a bad year, we got 10 people to send him $100 a month. They did not miss it much and it was the difference between him succeeding at his work and not succeeding. A huge satisfaction to my way of thinking. So turn this around and what is wrong with subsidy? It only has a negative connotation if you see it that way.
My best again and sorry for the second post
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Message 10
From: Dave Bull
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2009 04:22:31 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38166] Re: Artist patronage
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Barbara wrote:

> I see it as a way an artist can survive,
> you are barely eating at this level.

That was 2007! 2008 wasn't quite as bad!

> What if you have some type of emergency?

The irregular income, and the 'danger' from having no safety net at all
(no pension, etc.), were all things that I considered in early 1986
when pondering whether or not to make the 'big leap' - quit the music
company and head off to Japan with my two little kiddies.

I of course thought long and hard about those things, and in the end,
decided to go for it. And for 23 years I have lived in a condition of
'absolute freedom'; I work when I feel like it, laze when I feel like
it. From the point of view of the 'David' of _24_ years ago, I am
living a dream. Sure, money is tight; I have no pension; if I fall off
my bicycle this afternoon on the way to the post office and break my
wrist, I am in _big_ trouble. Those things can't be helped. But
'satisfaction' is in pretty good supply ...

But because this was a choice I made willingly, it means I have no
right at all to 'cry the blues' and ask society (or individuals in it)
for support. Whenever I hear about people doing 'grant writing' it
makes me cringe. (I suppose there are people on this group who do that
kind of thing. I hope they understand that I am simply expressing my
_own_ opinion, and not passing judgment on their opinions.)

> Those of us who want to support your work feel we should
> be "allowed" to do so

Barbara, you have indeed supported my work ... for years now. And this
support has been received thankfully, and warmly appreciated! As I
touched on in the previous message, there are many motivations for
people to collect my work, and a simple desire to own that particular
piece of paper is sometimes not uppermost in their minds. I am sure
that 'helping to support' Dave is a major motivation for you, but I can
only accept such support if it is clothed in the form of an open and
honest exchange. I make prints; you have purchased them. Hopefully,
both sides are happy!

> ... sorry for the second post

I'm sure that multiple posts in any given day are no problem when they
are part of an actual meat-and-potatoes discussion like this. That
'rule' is intended to reduce casual 'scattershot' postings ... I think

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Message 11
From: Rosposfe #
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2009 04:50:09 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38167] Support for transparancy
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I too thank Dave for being so open about the financial aspect of his
woodblock ventures and I
am suprised that anyone would feel threatened by it?
It is a great help to others hoping to survive in part or in total as
artists to see real numbers and Dave's clarity and organizational skills are
also revealed in his careful bookkeeping.
If you practice an honorable profession honorably then there is no reason
that the results of a year's work should be shameful or an embarrassment. On
the contrary, the openness of Dave's books, in my mind would induce buyers to
participate in his peculiar venture as there is no sense that one is being
"duped" or tricked into buying something for less than it's worth.
A far more useful discussion would be, faced with this openness, to
discuss how it is that one who clearly manages to create beautiful work, carefully
crafted and thoughtfully marketed still has but a modest income for so much
work? What are the price points for color woodcuts? At what point will a
8X10 well-done work sell easily? What is too cheap. What is too expensive?
--Andrew Stone