## Sunday, November 28, 2010

### digital self portrait 2 (& photoshop)

digital self portrait (own work 2008, click on the image for an enlargement)

[this is actually the picture i use for my profile on blogger...ok, i know it's a little over the top but...it's got something which is really me, too]

digital self portrait as a photographer (own work 2007, click on the image for a slight enlargement)

you can see the heavy use of photoshop...but it opens new possibilities. i devote quite some energy towards photography...and it used to be impossible to get things right. but now in the digital age, i really achieve pictures that i wish to achieve. which is to me a true gift from our technical and ict-community, thank you all! i think i will put up some more of these digital pictures, to show what i'm talking about.

### intermezzo: digital self portrait 1

digital self portrait (own work 2010, click on the image for an enlargement).

i know, no relation to the previous post. but i wish to write more frequently, and there are still quite some subjects to tackle, like the possibilities of photoshop. an artist can use up multiple lives trying to master all the techniques available nowadays. nonetheless, visual training, or perhaps more specifically artistic training of one's own eyes remains the most vital key to mastering any technique in any worthwhile way, i believe.

something to come back to: the incredible amount of time and energy which i believe to be necessary in order to gain artistic mastery...in contrast to the sometimes limited time necessary to create a work of art.

anyone can create a wonderful work of art, i believe. many many people can be an artist, i think. but the time and energy needed to achieve artistic mastery will only be sacrificed by comparatively few people. this doesn't mean that works of art created by others are less magnificent necessarily...just less magnificent statistically.

this does explain why i occasionally find myself in awe of some unknown work of art created by a complete nobody' (not in my eyes, you understand). and i very much enjoy being awed in such fashion.

## Friday, November 26, 2010

### drawing, painting, drainting (st. frances 2)

portrait of st. frances drawing, mixed media on paper (own work 2010, 20 x 30 cm, click on the image for an enlargement).

compared to the later work in the 20 november post, this one is more direct, less refined, but that is not to say less expressive. [disclaimer: drawings' colours and fine details are hard to photograph]

this drawing can also still be considered a drainting...but has more obvious drawing elements than (oh let me just repeat it, that is easier:) the later work below:

st. frances drawing, mixed media on paper (own work 2010, 20 x 30 cm, click on the image for an enlargement).


now to start a thread on the shady distinction between painting and drawing, first a wikipedia entry:
Drawing is a form of visual expression and is one of the major forms within the visual arts. There are a number of subcategories of drawing, including cartooning. Certain drawing methods or approaches, such as "doodling" and other informal kinds of drawing such as drawing on a foggy mirror caused by the steam from a shower, or the surrealist method of "entoptic graphomania", in which dots are made at the sites of impurities in a blank sheet of paper, and lines are then made between the dots, may or may not be considered as part of "drawing" as a "fine art." Likewise tracing, drawing on a thin piece of paper, sometimes designed for that purpose (tracing paper), around the outline of preexisting shapes that show through this paper, is also not considered fine art, although it may be part of the draughtsman's preparation.

The word 'drawing' is used as both a verb and a noun:

* Drawing (verb) is the act of making marks on a surface so as to create an image, form or shape.
* The produced image is also called a drawing (noun). A quick, unrefined drawing may be defined as a sketch.

Drawing is generally concerned with the marking of lines and areas of tone onto paper. Traditional drawings were monochrome, or at least had little colour,[1] while modern coloured-pencil drawings may approach or cross a boundary between drawing and painting. In Western terminology, however, drawing is distinct from painting despite that similar media are often employed in both tasks. Dry media, normally associated with drawing, such as chalk, may be used in pastel paintings. Drawing may be done with a liquid medium, applied with brushes or pens. Similar supports likewise can serve both: painting generally involves the application of liquid paint onto prepared canvas or panels, but sometimes an underdrawing is drawn first on that same support. Drawing is often exploratory, with considerable emphasis on observation, problem solving and composition. Drawing is also regularly employed in preparation for a painting, further obfuscating their distinction.

this entry already shows that the disciplines of drawing and painting are not so easily separated.

### saatchi online: terms of endearment 2!

wow, i'm actually flabbergasted! saatchi online has changed its terms of use, on 19 november. very recently, and almost directly after i complained about it on this blog. (i also explained in my mail to them why i preferred deleting my account to accepting their terms, but this was a short explanation, and their reaction was non-committal).

their old terms:
License to User Submissions. You may submit content (including Works) for use and display on the Website ("User Submissions"). You grant Saatchi a non-exclusive, worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free, fully paid-up license to use, reproduce, create derivative works of, reformat, distribute, perform and display the User Submissions (in whole or part) and to incorporate the User Submissions in other works in any form, media, or technology now known or later developed (i) on the Website, (ii) in materials created to promote the Website and its contents, and (iii) in connection with online and offline events conducted in connection with the Website.

their new terms:
You retain ownership of all Content you submit to Saatchi via the Website. However, you grant Saatchi a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, license to publicly display and publicly perform your Content to make it available on the Website and to reproduce and reformat such Content only for the purpose of making the Content available on the Website.

in my older post on saatchi online i commented how they should narrow the terms of use in order to make them acceptable, and this is precisely what they have done.

[now a question remains (only due to my ego, i know): did this blog influence saatchi online? i really doubt this, on the other hand i received an anonymous comment on my previous post alerting me to the fact that saatchi online had changed their terms...well i suppose it's nice to dream that one can have some influence in this world, even as an insignificant artist...;-) thank you saatchi online!]

all in all good news. i will therefore go back to having an acccount on saatchi online only, now i have to mail them again to see if they can reinstate my account, without me having to upload all the texts and images again...

## Saturday, November 20, 2010

### some drawings of this year 2

some more drawings, without too much commentary (today, maybe i'll add something more later on).

[[repeated from a previous post: i'm always drawing...drawing to me is like poetry, and it is definitely a continuous source which pours over to painting. enough said, i'm just going to put up some pictures. (you can click on them for larger images.).

by the way, i invariably find drawings to be difficult to photograph well, my cameras nor my scanner are able to handle the contrasts and subtle whites and tonings that typically occur in a drawing. so although i put in quite some effort, the result is not as accurate as i would like it to be.]]

st. frances drawing, mixed media on paper (own work 2010, 20 x 30 cm, click on the image for an enlargement).

[later comment 26 nov 2010:] this drawing is the latest in a series of st. francesca of rome (st. frances drawing'). i worked on this drawing for 5 months, off and on. in fact, the word drawing' becomes a bit questionable in many of my works on paper, because many of these works can also be seen as painting. perhaps the most accurate description would be drainting' (since pawing' has quite a different connotation already ;-)). let's google drainting'! ...ok, having done so, as expected this observation and these puns have already been made by fellow artists...! but i will merit this discussion with another post. check out my posts for 26 november.

caught up in circles, mixed media on paper (own work 2010, 20 x 30 cm, click on the image for an enlargement) [from the lyrics of cyndi lauper's time after time'].

[26 november:] i'm working on putting my figures in some space. spatiality never was my strongest point, and starting out i didn't consider spatiality to be very important. a bit like paul klee perhaps. nowadays i'm puzzling on the question whether to devote more energy on achieving spatiality, or to continue to search for spiritual expression through other means, or...a combination, which is perhaps impossible. my problem with spatiality is that it already confers a touch of realism, and realism -its merits notwithstanding- has the decided disadvantage of taking the state of being as its foundation. all art derived from realism actually does this. so perhaps almost art does this, and it is the distance to / distortion of reality that determines whether something is classified as realistic'. however, the above drainting will not be considered realistic by most viewers. still, it is based on realism nonetheless.

the question also is: why not content oneself with the state of being as an artistic foundation? or even as a spiritual foundation? to me there is also some inner world -perhaps childlike, primitive,...primordial, primogenial,...; perhaps not- which strives for expression. by using spatiality techniques (from the strange endeavour of creating 2D-works representing (3D-elements of) a 3D-world) one already puts a large restraint on the expression.

anyway, this is a hard question for me, and i will not be able to provide any real answer, i'm afraid. caught up in circles, confusion is nothing new' applies here too. a very nice song...if you're lost you may look and you will find me, time after time // if you fall i will catch you, i'll be waiting...time after time'

detail of the above drawing

## Saturday, November 6, 2010

### saatchi online: terms of endearment

i recently found out that my artist account on saatchi gallery's website was moved to something new called saatchi online'.

License to User Submissions. You may submit content (including Works) for use and display on the Website ("User Submissions"). You grant Saatchi a non-exclusive, worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free, fully paid-up license to use, reproduce, create derivative works of, reformat, distribute, perform and display the User Submissions (in whole or part) and to incorporate the User Submissions in other works in any form, media, or technology now known or later developed (i) on the Website, (ii) in materials created to promote the Website and its contents, and (iii) in connection with online and offline events conducted in connection with the Website.

i was not in the best of moods (something that is statistically linked with being an artist, science tells us...;-)) and i suddenly rebelled. i don't recall having agreed to similar terms when i signed up for my original account. so, without my knowledge and without my consent, my works have been transferred to a new site, AND hidden in the terms of use, i suddenly have to grant saatchi a very broad license of use of my works.

i emailed saatchi online, and their only solution on offer was to cancel my account. an offer which i took, so you will no longer find my page there.

however, in the meantime, the saatchi gallery site has attracted tons of links from artists like me, and these links are perhaps an important factor in its having become a high-ranked site (i don't know this for sure).

i really don't understand why a gallery like saatchi needs to treat artists in this way. i used to be really enthusiastic about their initiative to give artists from all over the world a web page. (i was naturally skeptic with regard to their showdown competition, but you know, competition is mankind's paradise...). but this gives me a bad taste. it breathes disrespect for the artist. the artist has become like a goat in a flock: economical asset, to be herded in the right direction but not to be wasted too much time on (for instance when permission could simply be asked individually, for specific occasions, to use my works...no, i have to grant this permission for all future occasions, not knowing in the least what these occasions might be).

you might think i'm being a stickler, but please read the terms very carefully, and you will see that they are broader than the hangar doors of a large aircraft. if they were a bit more narrow, i could perhaps live with them.

anyway, i hope saatchi online will reconsider (but you know how it is with goats...a few strays generally don't bother the cattle magnate!) but for now i have to conclude that i cannot support their initiative any longer.

## Monday, November 1, 2010

### munch, van dongen and realism in rotterdam

lately i went to see two exhibitions in rotterdam: works of edvard munch in the kunsthal and works of kees van dongen in museum boymans van beuningen. the two museums are a walking distance apart, so the combination is not that hard.

however, the exhibitions themselves were mostly a disappointment. and expensive to visit too.

i counted 5 or 6 paintings by van dongen that for me showed real artistic merit. and only 2 paintings by munch with the same qualification.

of course, museums benefit from large visitor numbers. which is one reason why they produce endless laudations on the artists they show. it is all marvellous, unique and wonderful...but to the experienced eye, many artists have better works and lesser works, and better periods and lesser periods even.

what is on show in rotterdam at the moment is hopefully not truly considered as the better works of van dongen and munch...

\$

far more interesting was the exhibition international realism' at the kunsthal. although i'm not a fan of realism per se, this exhibition was thoughtfully put together, with many interesting works from a very diverse range of artists.