The Art Edge with Brian Sherwin

Technical Skill as a Painter is Not Everything

Solid technical skills and the ability to work beyond them-- beyond what is known as 'the right way to paint'-- can often make a powerful statement when expressed on canvas. In that sense, an individual new to painting can create a work of art that is more 'powerful' than a painting created by an artist who is considered a modern master due to technical prowess alone. [...]

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Letís Have an Ar(t)gument: Do artists need a unified pricing structure?

If people can't afford to own your art... they wonít bother with it. End of story. They will buy what they can afford if they wish to have art in their home. They won't magically start saving for more expensive pieces based on some form of unified / regulated pricing structure embraced by artists. I personally think that failing to acknowledge that audience is a missed opportunity. [...]

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Donating Art: Art donations and charity auctions

With the emotion-driven reasons for donating aside... what do YOU think? Should artists expect more from organizations when donating artwork? Should organizations do more to support the artists they approach? Again, I want YOU to explore these issues with emotion cast aside. I'm not looking for 'you should only donate if you believe in the cause' type of answers Ė because that is a given. Art collectors, for example, donate to causes they believe in... AND benefit from tax incentives -- shouldn't artists demand the same? Food for thought. [...]

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The Way we View Art has Changed

The way we view art is not changing. It has already changed! We must accept it. The business-minded artist should strive to embrace this change. Think of it this way: Physical gallery doors may close for any number of reasons (most are lucky to reach the 5 year mark). On the other hand, your artist website can be viewed 24/7. [...]

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Letís Have an Ar(t)gument: Online gallery representation

I'm willing to bet that there are millions of artists -- scattered throughout the world -- who deserve gallery representation at this very moment. The problem is that there are only so many art galleries to go around. Additionally, each gallery can only physically represent a handful of artists (most have a roster of between 10 and 20 represented artists). We need to find a remedy for this problem. Online gallery representation may be the 'cure'. [...]

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How Salvador Dali handled a portrait commission gone wrong

I was reminded recently about a story involving artist Salvador Dali and power art collector Stavros Niarchos. In the 1950s Stavros Niarchos was one of the wealthiest men in the world -- he had made a fortune in shipping -- and had established a reputation for being an influential art collector. The wealthy Niarchos commissioned artist Salvador Dali -- who by that time was famous in his own right -- to paint his portrait. Dali agreed to take on the commission for $15,000 -- and was eager to finish the portrait. Unfortunately, the portrait sitting did not go the way that Dali had intended -- and Niarchos would pay the price. [...]

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Commissioned Artwork: What rules do you follow when accepting / pricing a commission?

I want to know how YOU handle commissions. What rules do YOU follow when accepting a commission? How do you determine the overall price of the commission process? How do you keep prices down for yourself AND your client? Can you add to the list of basic factors? Share your tips and experience. [...]

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Letís Have an Ar(t)gument: Should copyright law be reverted back to pre-1970s rules?

I've been made aware of hundreds of copyright infringement issues over the years. In the majority of cases the copyright in question was not registered by either party -- and the 'online blitz' mentioned earlier tends to die down within a week or two. People lose interest with the storyÖ they notice that all the 'lawsuit talk' is going nowhere. The alleged copyright infringer almost always walks away -- and I think failure to register copyright BEFORE the alleged infringement plays a HUGE role in that. [...]

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I Want You to Fail

I recently read a post by artist Rick Rotante on FineArtViews. His article, titled Freedom to Fail, noted the fact that many artists are burdened by a Ďcreate for the galleryí mentality. In other words, an artist can easily forget about the power of studio play if he or she believes that every piece should be a gallery worthy masterpiece. This soul-draining aspect of the art business should be discussed further. You DO need the freedom to fail! [...]

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A Cry against Copycat Mediocrity and Mechanical Art

Artist Mark Edward Adams recently cautioned against adhering to art market trends. Mark made the following statement on FineArtViews: "Galleries, friends, and other artists will often come to me and tell me what is hot. This can range from a certain color to a particular subject. It can be very easy to fall for this trap. Soon, you are following the market trends and chasing the money. I never do it for the money. I don't follow what is hot because I know you will lose your identity." I'm in full agreement with Mark! We need to see a higher level of individuality within the art world of today. [...]

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