So, Which One is “Art”

I never had a problem with Thomas Kinkade’s paintings, although much of the “art world” did. If you love his work, fine with me. Art has always been judged in the eyes of the beholder. Technically, he was a good traditional painter and loved by a wide swath of Americans.

I never knew him personally, but a number of my friends have and all said he was quite a nice guy. I did have problems with some of his companies business practices and sales techniques (aka pressure), but as John Lennon famously said “whatever gets you through the night” (Yoko Ono quoted that phrase when asked if Lennon would be bothered by the “hucksters” profiting from his death).

I made the above graphic of two pieces of “art”. On the left is a piece attributed to Marcel Duchamp, a urinal, some consider a landmark in 20th century art. On the right is a Thomas Kinkade painting. You decide which one, both, or neither are “art”.

BTW, here is another weblog entry from a fellow artist, Kevin Courter about Thomas

We’re Mobile Now!

Just added a mobile feature for this weblog so it can easily be viewed on most smartphones. If you use wordpress, I would highly recommend using the WPTouch plugin. It’s free and actually only took a few minutes to load and install. Not sure why I didn’t do it before!

You can find info about WPTouch here– http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wptouch/

Nick White , in Memoriam

A good artist & painting buddy of mine passed away last week.  I had known Nick White about 5 years and he was one of the nicest, no nonsense, down to earth guys I have ever known.  Nick was the leader of the Los Gatos Art Association plein air group, and it was primarily his effort, energy, and care which kept the group going.  Besides painting together in the local area many times over the years, we took several painting trips together, such as one to the Eastern Sierras in October 2006 to paint the fall colors.

There were no memorial services for him, but a group of friends gathered at his home today in remembrance. Below are a few photos of the gathering–

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Next are a few photos of Nick during some of our painting adventures together.  I didn’t have any closeups of him, but mainly just pictures of him doing what he loved doing!! —

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Lastly, here is a picture of Rebecca, Nicks wife at the recent Touch My HeART show.  Rebecca is also an artist and frequent paints with the group–

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We will all certainly miss Nick & wish the best for Rebecca.

Artists Deduction Bill

For all of you who are looking for fairer treatment with art auctions and tax write-offs, you might want to go online and sign this petition:

Artists’ Deduction Bill:

This artist deduction bill (S.548) would give artists the right to deduct the fair market value of their work when donating it to a charity. We artists are always asked to donate work to charitable causes for fundraising purposes but when our work is auctioned, the buyer gets the benefit of being allowed to deduct their contribution above the market value, whereas the contributing artists and artisans can only deduct the amount of the material costs of creating their work (the cost of paint, canvas, clay, paper…).

This bill is non-partisan and fair. Please click on the link above and type in your zip code; a letter of support will be sent to your senators and congressmen.

Please forward this link to all of your artist and art loving friends.

Carmel and Big Sur Postscript…Sadly

Yesterday’s blog was about a wonderful and unique day at Big Sur. Storms in the Pacific Northwest sent ferociously high surf down the coast and created a unique situation for many of us by the California coast. After almost 30 years living in the area, I have never seen the coast quite like it. It was a unique painting experience.

The wonderful surf I enjoyed painting yesterday, also a surfers ‘paradise’, was also deadly for one highly experienced surfer, and dangerous for many others. The news of the waves and tragedy, plus the many rescues, was one of the top stories in the local newspaper, the San Jose Mercury News. You can read about it here.

The surfer, Peter Davi, drowned while we were painting not much more than 10 miles north of where we were. My condolences to the family and friends.

I searched through my photo archives and found a photo at one of the same spots we stopped just to take a picture yesterday. Here is an older photo when things were calm–

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Here is a photo in almost the same spot from yesterday…remember there is no fog, just mist kicked up by the violent surf —

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Once again, sorrows to Peter Davi, friends and family.

Earthquake!

Many of you have heard and some have inquired about the earthquake we had in California last night around 8:00. It was only 5.6 on the Richter scale, but we were almost on top of the epicenter, so really shook the house for 10-15 seconds. Everyone and everything here is fine. We had a couple knick-knacks fall in the kitchen, but that was it.

More info can be found here:
http://quake.wr.usgs.gov/recenteqs/Quakes/nc40204628.htm

Here is a map of the San Franciso Bay Area, the big blue box showing where the earthquake was centered. We live right around the bottom of the big blue square.

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Weblog Hacked

I just returned home from a week in Texas celebrating my parents 65th wedding anniversary. Trying to check my weblog, I kept getting all kinds of errors. Coming from a tech background, I poked around a little and noticed one of the critical files in my weblog software had been overwritten by a bunch of  garbage. To make a long story short, my web hosting company, catalog.com restored the files from backup and so the weblog is back up again. Evidently a hacker had gotten in and replaced the files. Catalog.com also did some changes to prevent future attacks…at least of this sort.

I don’t know how many read my weblog regularly, so my apologies for the outage.