Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Children's Art Explorers program at the library

For those of you who have artistic young children or grandchildren, please allow me a plug for our Tomball Library's Children's Department's monthly Art Explorers program.

This month at Art Explorers, we will take common household 'collectibles'--metal coat hangers and hosiery--and turn them into works of sculptural art!    Your child will learn about the history of modern/contemporary art and then twist a hanger into a free form design, stretch a nylon hose over it and paint it!  This program will meet on Tuesday, November 8th at 4:30 pm and Monday, November 14th at 1:00 pm in the Children's Department.  Each session is limited to 20 children (2nd to 6th grade) so you'll need to register about a week in advance.  Call 832-559-4235.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Marketing Your Art

Everyone tells us that if we want to sell our art we have to get out there and market it. Most artists I know would rather clean bathrooms than market themselves. Others of us, however, are doing an extraordinary job of it. I happened to bump into a YouTube video of just such an artist, a man with an amazing imagination for marketing. 
Matt LeBlanc is an abstract artist from Dieppe, New Brunswick, Canada. He has a background in advertising and talent and imagination for using social networking--Facebook and Twitter--for marketing himself.
He has made several YouTube videos but this one he made especially to compete for an Excellence Award in Marketing offered by the Moncton, NB Chamber of Commerce.

And of course, the library has art marketing books for you. Here are a couple of our more recently published ones:

How to Make Money as an Artist: The 7 Winning Strategies of Successful Fine Artists by Sean Moor

Selling Art without Galleries: Toward Making a Living from your Art by Daniel Grant

Monday, October 3, 2011

Leaving an Artistic Mark on Her City

Diana Kersey is a potter in San Antonio who, in 2009, was awarded a Public Art Commission in the City of San Antonio to design, build, and install ceramic panels for the Mulberry Avenue and Millrace Bridges as part of a drainage project at Brackenridge Park.
The city wanted her to depict the health of waterways. When the public were consulted about the Mulberry Bridge, they wanted a landmark, something distinctive. Diana took both those requests, linked water health with the health of amphibians, chose the local Gulf Coast Toad, and created 24 hand-crafted ceramic panels — most of them 2 feet by 6 feet, about 208 square feet of fired clay in all — on both sides of the bridge's two guardrails, telling the toad's life story.
Image above: Diana Kersey drew from the connections among the bridge, water and animal life for her first public art project, the Mulberry Avenue Bridge. STEVE BENNETT / EXPRESS-NEWS

See images of this project.

Read Steve Bennett's article in the San Antonio Express from June 23, 2011.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Installation Art at Rice University

Houston’s famous Rice University has an extensive art department and an art gallery as well. The gallery is "The only university art museum in the nation dedicated to site-specific installation art[.] Rice Gallery presents temporary, large-scale environments that visitors can enter and explore. Artists typically use inexpensive materials to create stunning works of art."
The next exhibition, by Mexican-American Ana Serrano, will open on September 29th. You are invited. The opening is free (parking, however is not!); it's from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, September 29th, and the artist will be there to give a talk and mingle with visitors. The gallery is located at 6100 Main Street, in 352 Sewall Hall. Here's a phone number: 713-348-6069.
Ana Serrano "Notices the parts of the urban landscape that most of us ignore...She creates small sculptures of buildings that cull together what might catch her eye on a morning walk: the hand-painted signage and illustrations on a local business, the blue and turquoise colors of a house with the cord of a satellite dish snaking down the side, or an auto parts shop adjoining a pink and yellow piñata store.
In Salon of Beauty, Ana Serrano will enlarge these details in a cityscape of buildings that playfully mix together her observations of the unexpected and ephemeral nature of a city constantly being made and unmade by its residents." 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Texas Clay Festival: October 22nd & 23rd, New Braunfels

Since I haven't blogged about pottery yet, I was traipsing along an electronic link trail about Texas clay artists when I found this advertisement for the Texas Clay Festival. Knowing how quickly people's fall calendars fill up I decided to get this out to you now.

"The 19th annual Texas Clay Festival will be held in the Gruene Historical District of New Braunfels on October 22 & 23, 2011. Featuring the work of over 60 Texas potters and clay artists, the festival offers the opportunity to view and purchase a wide variety of pottery, from traditional to sculptural by the top clay artist in the state. Take this unique opportunity to watch and learn as demonstrations are held in four tents throughout both days. From forming on the potters wheel to hand-building to raku firing, there is something for everyone."

Call Dee or Terry Buck at (830) 629-7975 for information or visit http://www.texasclayfestival.com./

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Summer Reads: Art Crime

I was reading Daniel Silva’s book, The English Assassin, a thriller about European art treasures stolen by the Naziis and hoarded in Swiss banks and it occurred to me to blog about art thievery. Little did I know how many books had been written, or, movies created, about art crime. Here’s but a few that we have at the library!
VENETIAN HOLIDAY by David Campbell (2006)
Art thief Kate Fujimori, formerly partners with her Japanese husband, Paul, has struck out on her own and is planning to steal a phony Mona Lisa from a gallery in Venice. What follows is a comedy of errors encompassing two other thieves after the same painting; a pair of bumbling monks trying to find the corpse of their abbot; and Kate's unwise affair with a police inspector, whose voodoo-practicing ex-girlfriend is hard at work stirring up mysterious potions. How readers react to this story will depend on their tolerance for violence--this is no cozy--and their feelings for Kate, who, despite being a glorified thug, is pretty darn cool.(Jenny McLarin from Booklist)
(Young Adult level) HEIST SOCIETY (2010) by Ally Carter
After a childhood spent assisting her father, one of the world’s most talented art thieves, Katarina Bishop tries to leave the family business behind when she forges her way into a New England boarding school. She quickly discovers, though, that her past is inescapable. Her father has been accused of stealing already stolen masterpieces from a dangerous Italian billionaire…(excerpted from Booklist)
(Young Adult level ) UNCOMMON CRIMINALS (2011) by Ally Carter
Katarina Bishop has worn a lot of labels in her short life: Friend. Niece. Daughter. Thief. But for the last two months she’s simply been known as the girl who ran the crew that robbed the greatest museum in the world. That’s why Kat isn’t surprised when she’s asked to steal the infamous Cleopatra Emerald so it can be returned to its rightful owners.

ONCE A THIEF by Kay Hooper
It had taken centuries for Max Bannister’s family to acquire their treasures, and now he’s been asked to risk his collection as bait for a master criminal…
ALWAYS A THIEF by Kay Hooper
The priceless, rarely displayed Bannister collection is about to be exhibited—and the show’s director, Morgan West, can’t ignore her growing uneasiness. She’s certain she hasn’t seen the last of the infamous cat burglar Quinn. But she never expected him to turn up at her apartment one dark night in desperate need of her help—help she can’t refuse. The mysterious master thief is playing a dangerous game, and it’s a game that just might get him killed.

(Children's book) FRAMED by Carolyn Keene
This is Nancy Drew, girl detective book #15
Nancy Drew tries to free a prince who has been framed for the theft of a painting

STEALING MONA LISA: by Carson Morton
This will be published in August 2011, but you can put requests on it in our catalog.
With all the careful brushstrokes of a classic, Morton gives us a historical tale of deception and theft surrounding the actual 1911 theft of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Great characters, a captivating tale, and vivid descriptions of old Paris…. (Excerpted from Library Journal).

RELUCTANT BURGLAR by Jill Elizabeth Nelson
If Desiree Jacobs knows anything, it's art. Her father, whose security company is internationally renowned, taught her everything he knew. Most of all, he taught her about honor, integrity, and faith. So surely God will forgive her for despising the one man determined to destroy her father's good name? Special Agent Tony Lucano knows Hiram Jacobs is an art thief. What he can't figure out is Desiree. Is she an innocent victim...or a clever accomplice?

RELUCTANT RUNAWAY by Jill Elizabeth Nelson
Museum security expert Desiree Jacobs doesn't mean to get in danger's path. But when a friend is in trouble you don't just walk away. No matter what your overprotective FBI agent boyfriend says! So when Desi and Tony's date at a presidential ball is interrupted by a frantic Maxine Webb Desi doesn't hesitate to jump in. Soon she's neck-deep in a confusing array of villains. Did Max's niece run away or was she taken? Is she alive or the victim of a perverse ritual?

A fictionalized account of the real-life theft from the Louvre museum in Paris in 1911 of Leonardo da Vinci's painting, Mona Lisa by an aristocratic Argentinian who masterminds the operation, his assistant who is a painter good at forgery, and a crippled urchin who is the actual thief.

PAINTED LADIES by Robert B. Parker
Called upon by The Hammond Museum and renowned art scholar Dr. Ashton Prince, Boston PI Spenser accepts his latest case: to provide protection during a ransom exchange-money for a stolen painting. The case becomes personal when Spenser fails to protect his client and the valuable painting remains stolen.

HOMEPORT by Nora Roberts
After an assault at her family home in Maine, Dr. Miranda Jones is determined to put the experience behind her. Distraction comes when she is summoned to Italy--to verify the authenticity of a Renaissance bronze of a Medici courtesan known as The Dark Lady. But instead of cementing Miranda's reputation as the leading expert in the field, the job nearly destroys it when her professional judgment is called into question. Emotionally estranged from her mother, and with a brother immersed in his own troubles, Miranda has no one to turn to...except Ryan Boldari, a seductive art thief whose own agenda forces them into a reluctant alliance. Now it becomes clear that the incident in Maine was not a simple mugging--and that The Dark Lady may possess as many secrets as its beautiful namesake once did. For Miranda, forced to rely on herself--and on a partner who offers her both unnerving suspicion and intoxicating passion--the only way home is filled with deception, treachery, and a danger that threatens them all.

Switzerland's shameful behavior in WWII provides the backdrop for this thriller that opens with Gabriel Allon, an art restorer and Israeli hit man becoming the apparent victim of a double cross. When he arrives to restore a Raphael owned by reclusive Swiss banker Augustus Rolfe, Allon not only discovers the banker dead but finds himself the number one suspect…
THE ART THIEF by Noah Charney
Three paintings disappear simultaneously in Rome, Paris, and London. It appears the thefts are linked.


STEALING REMBRANDTS: THE UNTOLD STORIES OF NOTORIOUS ART HEISTS by Anthony M. Amore and Tom Mashberg This is on order; you can place a request on it.
This is a detailed look at numerous robberies targeting works by the great Dutch master over the past century.

On March 18, 1990, thieves disguised as police entered Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and stole fabulous artworks including three Rembrandts and a Vermeer. By a bit of serendipity, a contributing editor at U.S. News, Ulrich Bosner, inherited the file of an art claims adjuster who had been investigating the theft, caught the investigative fever, and tells a gripping story of the search that still goes on today. (from Amazon.com)

This is a collection of essays by international experts about the nature and depth of the lucrative global business of art crime.

Jan van Eyck’s Ghent Altarpiece , often referred to after the theme of its center panel, The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, represents the fulcrum between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, and may be one of the most important artworks ever made. It is also the most frequently stolen artwork of all time.
Since its completion in 1432, this twelve-panel oil painting has been looted in three different wars, burned, dismembered, forged, smuggled, illegally sold, censored, hidden, attacked by iconoclasts, hunted by the Nazis and Napoleon, used as a diplomatic tool, ransomed, rescued by Austrian double-agents, and stolen a total of thirteen times.
In this fast-paced, real-life thriller, art historian Noah Charney unravels the stories of each of these thefts. (Excerpted from Amazon.com)

by Edward Dolnick (2005) 364.162 Dol
On a frozen February morning in 1994, two men in a stolen car skidded to a halt in from of Norway's national art museum. They grabbed a ladder they had stashed away the night before, and two minutes later, roared away with Edvard Munch's The Scream lodged behind the front seat. This is a true story of art, thieves, and the hunt for a missing masterpiece. This book won the Edgar award.

THE FORGER’S SPELL by Edward Dolnick (2008) 759.949 Dol
Han van Meegeren was a no-account Dutch painter during World War II who dared to forge Vermeer paintings and conned Hermann Goering into believing it was the real thing.


MUSEUM OF THE MISSING: A HISTORY OF ART THEFT by Simon Houpt (2006) 364.162 Hou
According to INTERPOL records, more than 20,000 stolen works of art are missing—including Rembrandts, Renoirs, van Goghs, and Picassos. Museum of the Missing offers an intriguing tour through the underworld of art theft. (Excerpted from Amazon.com)

A tight paced investigation of one the 20th century's most audacious art frauds, which generated hundreds of forgeries-many of them still hanging in prominent museums and private collections today. (from Amazon.com)

THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR, starring Pierce Bronson, Rene Russon, and Denis Leary. (1999) DVD
(We also have the version starring Steve McQueen, Faye Dunaway, Paul Burke, and Jack Weston)
Billionaire Thomas Crown, who loves courting disaster and winning, steals a priceless painting in broad daylight from one of Manhattan's most heavily-guarded museums. He meets his match in an intelligent, cunning lady insurance investigator.

STOLEN Starring Blythe Danner, Campbell Scott, and Harold J Smith (2006) DVD
This is the movie version of the 1990 heist on the Boston Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Art as a Response to Tragedy and a Catalyst for Change

This story is about two related paintings painted 50 years apart. Both were inspired by nuclear tragedies in Japan. The first painting depicts the devastation wrought by the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. The painting crossed Japanese cultural taboos so strong that the artist believed that only Mexico, where life and death are integrated in culture and art, could receive this work. 
The second painting was inspired by the uncontrolled spread of radiation from the crippling of the Fukushima Daiichi power plant by the earthquake and tsunami in March, 2011. It movingly relates back to the first one.

The Story of Taro Okamoto's Myth of Tomorrow

First, a backgrounder article in a November 18, 2008 Time Magazine article on Taro Okamoto's Myth of Tomorrow. It explains why it was painted and how it ended up in the Shibuya, Japan, train station. Taro Okamoto

The Story of the Atomic Artists

Second, you might enjoy a PBS Frontline video shown in July, 2011 about a group of young artists who are struggling against cultural norms to become a crucible of grief and transformation in light of the failure of the nuclear plants at Fukishima. The Atomic Artists 

You'll see a painting they created about the Fukishima meltdown that fits perfectly into the bottom right corner of Okamoto's painting in a spot he left blank in 1968 to describe the unknown future of nuclear power. Moving.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


From time to time I find things useful to the painting process. Here is a color acuity test you may enjoy taking (or agonize about).

According to X-Rite, the people who supply Munsell color products, one out of two hundred fifty-five women and one out of twelve men have some form of color vision deficiency. They've provided a free color test online that you can access here. You simply re-arrange each bar of colors in order from the one on the far left to the one on the far right. XRite Color Acuity Test (Hint: People score better using larger computer monitors!)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Artist as Civic Advocate

In a previous chapter in my life I belonged to an art society in another city. One evening a city planner came and spoke to us about the demoralizing and dehumanizing effects of ugliness in city environments. He believed that artists have a civic and moral duty, because of our talent and training, to advocate for aesthetic civic environments, and encouraged us to become active.

American author James H. Kunstler, in his recent TED talk, had similar things to say though perhaps more negatively. Here's the link.

In James H. Kunstler's view, public spaces should be inspired centers of civic life and the physical manifestation of the common good. Instead, he argues, what we have in America is a nation of places not worth caring about.

"The emersive ugliness of our everyday environments in America is entropy made visible.We can't overestimate the amount of despair we are generating with places like this. And, mostly, I want to persuade you that we have to do better if we're going to continue to project of civilization in America...."

Kunstler calls suburban sprawl "the greatest misallocation of resources in the history of the world." His arguments draw clear connections between physical spaces and cultural vitality.

I thought you might be interested...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Figure Drawing aids

Some people are naturals at figure drawing and the rest of us struggle. The library has a number of artists' anatomy books to help those of us in that second group. A particularly lovely one is Sarah Simblet’s Anatomy for the Artist. It has mylar overlays showing how bones, muscles, and skin affect each other. Sarah Simblet's Anatomy for the Artist

Recently I spent some time on the National Film Board of Canada's website. As I watched Norman MacLean's 1968 classic Pas de Deux, featuring two back-lit dancers, it struck me how useful this video would be for understanding the modelling of the human figure.                  NFB's Pas de Deux

Similarly, Ryan Larking's animated short, Walking, may be helpful for us drawing duffers. Larkin uses line drawing, color wash, and a keen eye for animation detail to illustrate the way people walk at various stages in their lives. NFB's Walking
And while you’re in that website, I dare you NOT to have a look at any of the other videos. Just like I dare you to eat one potato chip.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Nature as Medium: Eco-Art: Environmental Art: Land Art

Since the 1980's various artists, sculptors and painters mostly, have been communing with the land. Many use elements of nature such as stone, sticks, leaves, and flowers as their medium and regard the ephemeral nature of such art as part of its integrity. Others engage in architectural dialogs with the land, some with environmental issues in mind. Here are some resources for your creative dalliance...

"Earth Artists: Using Nature in Art to Raise Environmental Awareness". Eco Hearth: Come Home to the Earth

Art Nature Dialogues: Interviews with Environmental Artists by John K. Grande, 2004. State University of New York. (This book is in the Tomball Library collection.)

Wikipedia article on Land Art (This has the names of a number of other artists as well as a discussion of the philosophy behind the art)

Alfio Bonanno (Don't be deterred by the Finnish--just click on his projects!)
Gilles Bruni and Marc Babarit (Click on their 'catalogue' to see artworks)

Patrick Dougherty (Click on the link below his book to enter the site)
Andy Goldsworthy
Tomball Library has a copy of his DVD Rivers and Tides: Working with Time. The camera follows this gentle Scottish sculptor as he discusses his creative process. His rock walls that wind through the landscape, leaf chains that float on meandering waters, and ice sculptures that glow in the sunlight are but a few of the natural media he has used.
David Nash
Michael Singer
Bob Verschueren

Monday, June 6, 2011

Flower Painters, Botanical Artists, Botanical Illustrators

I'm looking at Siriol Sherlock's Botanical Illlustration: Painting with Watercolours, drooling over the shimmering translucent flowers and fuzzy matt leaves that are the dazzling stock in trade of  good watercolorists. Yum!  Flower painters, botanical artists, and botanical illustrators have a stunning history and an exotic future.

Here are some websites to explore, some clubs to join, some artists to enjoy. And of course, some books...

Botanical Societies
American Society of Botanical Artists
Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California
Botanical Artists of Canada
The Society of Botanical Artists (U.K.)
The Botanical Art Society of Australia, Inc.

Historical Illustration online
The Romance of Orchid Discovery by John Day. The Kew Gardens (a.k.a. The Royal Botanic Gardens) are featuring an oline version of the Victorian botanical illustrator, John Day.

Floral and Botanical Artists
Ann Blockley
Coral Guest
Karen Klugein
Anna Knights
Jan Kunz
Ann Pember
Billy Showell
Marney Ward
Janet Whittle

Wulf, A. (2009).  The Brothers Gardeners: Botany, Empire, and the Birth of an Obsession. New York: Knopf.
This is about how the obsession with botany and gardening got started in England. American colonies are involved...We have copies of this book at the Tomball Library.

Margaret Stevens (2004). The Art of Botanical Painting. London: Harper Collins.

Pierre-Joseph Redoute (2000). The Lilies. A reprint of one of the most famous historical botanical illustrators, who created these between 1802 and 1816.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Humor in Art

I love humor in art. The blog of Malaysian tee shirt designer Chow Hon Lam certainly qualifies. He's a terrific graphic artist with a fantastic sense of humor. If you need a dose of silliness, here's a place to get it...  Here's the link.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Mesmerizing Japanese cell phone ad

I try to post every kind of art I find that I think someone in the Tomball Art League will be attracted to. When I saw this fantastic video posted on Facebook, I immediately thought of Bob Trivers and his inspirations in wood.

This is an art piece with fascination.

It is introduced this way. "This beautiful ad was done by Drill Inc, a Japanese advertising agency, and it features a wooden ball rolling down the homemade marimba in the midst of Kyushu, Japan’s woodlands. Simply awesome."

And it is. Here is the website. I hope you love it.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Google Art Project

Warning: This website may devour hours of your life.
Opportunity: This website is a glorious passtime.

If you’ve used Google Maps or Google Earth, you’ll be familiar with that lovely feature that lets you tour down a street and see 360 degree views as you turn around.  In the Google Art Project, you will use the same technology to tour the inside of seventeen famous art museums.
You can walk along the halls of the Museo Reine Sofia in Madrid and notice the Juan Gris paintings on the walls. You can amble virtually from gallery to gallery in the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia . You can stop to look at a ultra-high resolution image of Birth of Venus in the Uffizi Museum in Florence or zoom in to check out Van Gogh’s brushstrokes on Starry Night in the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

The website even lets you create your own art collection. Capture full-size images of paintings or close-up details, add your own notes to your image, and come back to them over and over. 
But you might set an alarm before you begin, if you have anything else you need to do! 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Off-beat books to inspire your summer travel

Travel season is upon us! I'm featuring some hidden gems; some off-beat travel books to inspire your artistic experience of interesting places. The library has only one or two copies of each of these so you'll probably have to request them.

Georgia O'Keeffe and New Mexico: A Sense of Place by Barbara Buhler Lynes

This catalog for a 2004 travelling exhibition of Georgia O’Keeffe’s work features the genius’ landscape paintings and beside them, photographs of the sites she painted.  You’ll quickly notice that the macro textures of landforms carved by eons of erosion was O’Keeffe’s primary interest and that the micro-texture of soil and vegetation was not important to her at all. I thought it was a great way to get inside O'Keeffe's head. It combines paintings, photographs, and geological charts as well that describe the landscape in parallel scientific, visual, and evocative languages.  A great book if you’re an artist traveling with a geologist!

The book also contains tidbits of her life story that illuminate the person she was and her long love affair with the New Mexico landscape.

Metro Stop Paris: An Underground History of the City of Light by Gregor Dallas

Gregor Dallas, a historian, writes about key moments and characters in the human history of Paris through, of all things, its subway stops.  I hope it stirs your imagination as it did mine as you read about famous philosophers and poets, kings and citizens, life and death, and link them to the arrondissements of Paris.

At the first metro stop,  Denfert-Rochereau, in the part of Paris once called Hell, there are catacombs, and from 1830, the guillotine. The Trocadero metro stop elicits memories of French Cuban author Anaïs Nin and her Viennese psycho-analyst lover Dr. Otto Rank. The Gare du Nord neighborhood is where St. Vincent de Paul’s charitable relief happened. Saint-Germain-des- Près brings you to the heart of Paris’ intellectual soul on the Left Bank. And the last stop, Pere Lachaise, takes you to the famous cemetery where renowned cultural figures are buried, including artists David, Ingres, Delacroix, Corot, Caillebotte, and Ernst.

Leonardo’s Universe: The Renaissance World of Leonardo da Vinci by Bulent Atalay and Keith Wamsley

Whether or not you’re planning a visit to Italy or just trying to understand mathematical principals in art, this book is a treat. If I tell you it was published by National Geographic you’ll know that the photographs and diagrams are excellent. The geography of Leonardo’s life and work and the story are wonderful, too.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Cody Hooper: Abstract artist

When I viewed the website gallery of San Antonio abstract artist Cody Hooper, I found myself thinking of him as a southwestern Piet Mondrian. This talented emerging artist experiments with the glowing effects of layers of glazes. He also exhibits a brilliant sense of proportion. Lovely, evocative, beautifully composed abstract compositions. Just wanted to share him with you...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

"What We See Changes Who We Are"

I'd like you to meet JR. JR is a semi-anonymous French photographer and artist whose work lives in the tradition of England's Banksy. JR's art, while not intentionally political, is deeply political. And social, and provocative.

JR embeds himself in neighborhoods, favelas, and villages around the world, learns the stories of the people who live there, and photographs them. Then he pastes their massive images onto local canvases like buildings, buses, trains, and bridges.

His latest global art project is called Women are Heroes. The images above are from that project. He has gone into poor villages where the women, the mothers, are the only stability in the family, and honored them in this images.
In the next set of images JR has photographed Palestinians and Jews who do the same job--taxi drivers, dentists, writers, etc.--and placed them side by side. He asks the viewer: "Can you tell who is who?"
JR believes that "guerrilla art is about provocation and pushing limits to start dialogue. It has the capacity to engage and break down barriers in ways art in galleries or museums does not. The audience is often those who are least likely to be exposed to art." http://blog.tec/com/2010/10/20/meet-jr/
JR recently gave a talk at the annual TED conference. (TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and is about "ideas worth knowing".) Conference organizers invite interesting people to give an 18-minute talk about their work. JR's talk won the 2011 TED Prize: $100,000 and an invitation to make one wish to change the world. JR's wish? "I wish for you to stand up for what you care about by participating in a global art project, and together we'll turn the world...INSIDE OUT."

Monday, March 7, 2011

Literary Love: 12 Books of Art and Architecture

Here's a website with images of art and architecture created with books as the medium. A perfect match, says this librarian...
To the left is the art of Mike Smiley, shown on the website.

Friday, February 25, 2011

MARSHALL HARRIS: Welcome to my Sight

When my husband introduced me to his old classmate from Southwest High in Fort Worth, I had no doubt that he'd gone on to become a professional football player. Marshall Harris stands somewhere midway between six and seven feet tall and has the physique of a linebacker.

His art is equally distinctive. He creates architectural welded sculptures, installations, and amazing drawings. Marshall just finished his MFA and also just returned to living in Fort Worth. His drawings include nudes, but I think you'll find them unusual, in that Marshall "seeks the deeper underlying sub-context of people, places, and situations." Not too many artists draw middle-aged men...Here's a link to his website


Some days I stare at my monitor and wonder where I might find a glorious art site to inspire me. Then I remember my free subscription to StumbleUpon. It seldom disappoints and often entertains and inspires. Here's how it works. When people discover an interesting site, they recommend it to StumbleUpon. When you sign up for StumbleUpon you list your interests (arts, photography, gardening, science, politics, etc.) and StumbleUpon sends you those recommended sites periodically or you can search them whenever you want. Here's the link so you can explore it yourself.

Monday, February 14, 2011

ARTIST'S DATE: Read art magazines

When Julia Cameron wrote her now-famous book, The Artist's Way, she promoted the idea of regularly going on an artist's date in order to keep the soul fresh and inspired. Here at the library we have some great tools for artist's dates: art magazines and journals. We also have nice soft lounge chairs, coffee, and lovely light streaming through the windows. C'mon by!
Architectural Digest
Art in America
Art Journal
Communication Arts
Computer Arts
Computer Arts Projects
Digital Photography
Dynamic Graphics
Film & History
Inside Photoshop
Outdoor Photographer
Popular Photography & Imaging
PRO Digital Imaging
Southwest Art

Image from flickr: cc: Now Reading Computer Arts Magazine: by Bene

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Painter's Keys

The Painter's Keys website is a rich international online art community based in western Canada that includes a directory of participating artists, letters written by painter Robert Genn, musings in response to those letters by other artists, an archive, art quotations, international listings of art studios (in case you want to travel), and an online art gallery. See http://www.painterskeys.com/about.php for a better description than I can give.

You can subscribe to artist Robert Genn’s [free] twice-weekly thoughtful letters about living the life of an artist so they will appear in your own email account. Recent posts have been about Selection and Rejection, The Anticipation Response (how the release of the feel-good hormone dopamine helps our creative response to our work), and Art and Grief--how the recent loss of a loved one affects our ability to create art. Check the right sidebar on the homepage to sign up.

A Digital Book of YOUR Sketches?

On the web are a number of reputable companies that create photo albums and books. Typically, you upload your photo images into their software program, lay out your album pages, add text and ornamentation, and they print and bind the album and send it to you. For a fee, of course.

As part of the Digital Photography class I teach at the library I introduce my students to a number of these sites. The other day, when I showed them the blurb.com site, the company was displaying this wonderful book by Norman Shureman composed of his sketches. You like this idea?
By the way, the library has three scanners, in case you might need one for this or another project!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Art Competitions, Shows, and Juried Exhibitions

This artshow website features art competitions, art shows, and juried exhibitions across the world, across the country, and across Texas. I'm posting this now because some of the deadlines are coming up soon. There are five long pages to choose from, featuring every medium from paint to ceramics to fiber arts.

Two upcoming shows in our area will happen in Nachogdoches and in Richardson. The Nachogdoches show is the Texas national 2011 Art Show and Exhibition. The Richardson show is 19th annual Colored Pencil Society of America juried show.

Colored Pencil Society of America


The Colored Pencil Society of America sponsors two competitions each year. One, the annual juried show held in conjunction with its annual conference, is for works created exclusively in colored pencil. That competition's deadline is March 31st.

The other, the "Explore This!" competition, is for mixed media explorations that include colored pencil as one of the media. The deadline for this competition last year was November 15th, so I'm guessing it will be some time about then for this year also.

The library has a number of books on creating with colored pencil and mixed media. Here's a sampling:

Check the Harris County Public Library catalog for these and other books at our online website http://www.hcpl.net