Today's postings

  1. [Baren 38229] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V46 #4722 (Feb 24, 2009) (Shelley Hagan)
  2. [Baren 38230] Re: valuing art... so many ways... so little time (J Cloutier)
  3. [Baren 38231] Validation? (Eileen Corder)
  4. [Baren 38232] Re: too many artists ("Murilo Pereira")
  5. [Baren 38233] Re: Validation? (Dave Bull)
  6. [Baren 38234] Baren Member blogs: Update Notification (Blog Manager)
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Message 1
From: Shelley Hagan
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2009 22:05:58 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38229] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V46 #4722 (Feb 24, 2009)
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I do not sell my work so I cannot comment too much on this topic. I have a
good friend who is constantly pushing me to try to sell my prints (what few
of them I've done) and the idea makes me very uncomfortable. Perhaps I am
still so new to the process of printmaking? It is such a laborious method
that I feel very emotionally involved with the outcome and am not ready to
put it out on the auction block. Also, it goes back to something discussed
previously - I know what was intended versus what I actually produced. It is
hard to imagine selling my work but hopefully with lots more practice and
patience I will arrive at that point.

I know a lot of people who seem to get stressed out about buying original
art. They have a misconception that it is "too expensive" but in the same
breath will order a giclee (inkjet to you and me ; ) print from pottery
barn for $300. Maybe some of it is marketing. When people see art at a fair
or even in a gallery it is not in the context of a matching sofa, rug,
window treatments and coffee table also conveniently offered for sale. Other
people seem to get hung up on understanding the art instead of liking it.
Many of you have commented on this already. And most people I know think of
art in a very static way - it must be a fixture in the home and therefore
given much consideration in terms of long-term appeal and function. I like
art to be a more fluid part of my life and am inclined to move pieces
around, take them in and out of circulation, and keep some in portfolios
kept in bookcases. When I look at a piece of art I don't think about whether
it matches my library chair. A lot of people do though - they buy art
because there is wall space above their couch and they want something to
fill it.

I do agree that all people in all stages of life need to be engaged in
creative expression. I have known many people who are very artistic but do
not perceive that about themselves. My father, for instance, took years of
convincing that he was an artist. When I was a kid he was in to model
airplanes. He'd take kits apart, modify them and add these itty-bitty
details then put them in equally elaborate diaramas. I remember never having
any green, red or yellow light-bright pegs because daddy would melt them
down to create running lights and cockpit accents. For several years now he
has been carving and painting these beautiful wooden scultures and puzzles
which he sells to an ever-growing market. He is finally willing to admit
that he might be a little creative.

I like the open studio concept. And I do agree that by sharing in the
process, your art becomes more valued. They see the time, skill, and
equipment involved to produce such art and recognize what gives the artist's
work that extra spark. Also I think it demystifies it - it is not so
intimidating anymore and people feel more comfortable just buying a piece of
art because they like it.

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Message 2
From: J Cloutier
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2009 23:34:25 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38230] Re: valuing art... so many ways... so little time
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ArtSpotiB said
"I've heard it said for many years that there are too many artists...
that the
field is bloated. What does everyone say about that?"

But everyone should be an artist! To me, that just means having the
confidence to make stuff that makes your eyes happy! Or ears, or soul.
Whether it's drawings or paintings or home furnishings or a garden - or
composing music or writing stories or building snowmen!

So many people have weird ideas about capital-A Art - that it's
something only a special, talented few can do; that people need special
training to Understand it; and that there is some magical dividing line
between Real Art and just playing around. Isn't it all, at some level,
just playing around? We want to make the very best piece we can, but
that's joy and recreation and satisfaction to us - isn't that the best
kind of play? People have different tastes, and what's tacky to one
person is lovely to another, but if it gives someone joy - that's what

There may well be too many artists, if by "artist" you mean someone who
hopes to make a living at selling what they have created, and if by "too
many", you mean too many for the market to give them all a living. But
too many creative, confident people, happy in what they make, whether
they get a living from it or not - Never!!

That said - I do intend to keep my day job!
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Message 3
From: Eileen Corder
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2009 02:29:56 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38231] Validation?
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Mike said of printmaking:

"Why else make an edition of 10 or 30 or 100 of something? Not something
most of us do solely for our own pleasure and enjoyment..."

I had to think about that. I've never sold a print and donšt expect to, but
my art of choice is printmaking because it is so slow. In that way it is a
religious act. It takes a lot of thought. It goes through many steps. Even
if I got only one print, for me it would be worth it.

I know some people want to fancy themselves "artists" and/or exchange a
bothersome job for doing what they like. Surely, the more you dedicate
yourself to an art, the further you'll go with it. On the other hand, if you
insulate yourself you'll suffocate and not only will your art suffer but
your life will suffer, too. Having a different "job" from your art is, in my
opinion, very healthy. Diversity feeds creativity.

Many people think that money somehow validates them and what they do (or
conversely, the lack of money invalidates them and what they do). The idea
that: "the more money you make the better you must be" is all too pervasive
in our society. This is sad.

My husband suggests that we all watch Orson Welles' "F is for Fake" and see
where the discussion goes from there.

What is art? What is creation?? Who gets the money??? We all die anyway...

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Message 4
From: "Murilo Pereira"
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2009 02:43:55 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38232] Re: too many artists
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I agree with Mike Lyon
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Message 5
From: Dave Bull
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2009 04:28:55 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38233] Re: Validation?
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> Many people think that money somehow validates them and what
> they do (or conversely, the lack of money invalidates them and
> what they do). The idea that: "the more money you make the
> better you must be" is all too pervasive

It's very difficult to separate the sales/money thing from the 'just
make stuff' part of it. Given that our society is based on division of
labour and an exchange (via currency) of the things we all produce,
it's inevitable that money becomes kind of a 'score', and not just a
medium. If we aren't careful, the money becomes the marker of success,
and not just a tool for organizing the exchange of our productions.

But even after having said that, when my income goes up in any given
year, I of course take that as a measurement of 'more people enjoying
my work'. So in that sense it is indeed a 'validation' of what I do. I
hope that I never get to the point where that is the _only_ reason that
I make these things ... but I doubt that will happen.


Digest Appendix

Postings made on [Baren] members' blogs
over the past 24 hours ...

Subject: Hiroshige's 53 Stations on the Tokaido - video documentary
Posted by: Julio

Today's Baren blog brings a short documentary (total running time about 20 minutes) depicting the best known work of the last master of ukiyoe - Ando Hiroshige (1797-1858). The documentary goes in depth into Hiroshige's artistic perspective and liberal artistic license.
Part 3 describes the effort put forth in 2001 to do a reprint of the complete series (actually 55 prints) using restored blocks carved in the 1950's. Interviews with printers Okuyama Yoshito and Tetsui Takayuki.

Visit for an in depth look at Hiroshige's work, including many variations on the Tokaido series, articles, a comprehensive bibliography and old photographs of the Tokaido stations.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

This item is taken from the blog BarenForum Group Weblog.
'Reply' to Baren about this item.