Friday, November 29, 2013

Currier and Ives

Admit it, you haven’t moved since yesterday.

Sure you did all of the work and all of the cooking and all of the cleaning and when the kids said they were going to the mall and you heard the sound of the television go on you heaved a huge sigh of relief and fell into the lounge chair or the sofa or the bed and haven’t moved since.

And why not? With all of the remains of yesterday’s leftovers stuffed in the groaning fridge and with all of the relatives doing nothing if they don’t want turkey they can damn well go out to the fast food joint and buy their own. Your work is done.

No it isn’t.

Even if you have done all of your shopping, hahahahahahahahahaha, sorry overcome by hysterical giggling, there’s the wrapping, the mailing and oh yes, if you are going to mail, where are the Christmas cards. (I know, I know, not all of you are folks who celebrate Christmas and I respect your traditions and have nothing but open-minded joy that you have your own paths to follow but for the sake of writing I am going to say Christmas cause I think Yule-time holidays is too labored and listing all of your seasonal celebrations is too lengthy and might keep me from harping on what I want to harp on so just live with the Christmas Card thingy and when you come to it read whatever you find more appropriate and we’ll just go on from there.) Now where was I? Oh yes, the cards. (See I got around the whole holiday thing and may just keep skipping over it until next year.)

It is at this time of the year that need is felt more keenly than at any other time and some of us have endeavored to provide delight and joy with cards which ooze saccharin and have wildly inappropriate messages or have boring and traditional pictures originally taken when Ambrotype was the chief method of developing film and haven’t been updated since or we went out at the very last minute last year and bought a box of cards on the markdown table at Wally World or we got whatever was leftover when everything went on sale in January and haven’t actually looked at them since and so we don’t know that they are copies of Currier and Ives prints from two centuries ago or more leaves turning colors in New England and since it is the time of the year when we have to do something or be put back in the same fix we were at this time last year we are just going to send them out anyway.

Well that’s a load off.

But is that really the way you want people to think about you and your art? Yes, your art cause if you aren’t using your own art for the cards this year you should go and stand in the corner for the next five months cause you have not only missed a chance to provide some new and diverting viewing for the people who you send cards to, but you have lost a golden opportunity to promote your own art by using it as the basis of your cards.

Now I can already hear the whining. Cards made on a home style printer always look cheap and I wouldn’t want to put my art on a cheaply made card and let everyone know that I am too cheap to spend the two bucks to buy normal cards or cards made on a home printer always look like crap and my art is better than that and I always go first class and would never cheapen my art by using a home printer to make cards.

You really are trying to weasel out of this.

If you actually believe that cards made on a home printer are too cheap looking for your art go to Staples or Vistaprint or Zazzle where they have a 4 x 8 flat card fit for photo printing which they will print and finish for you for five dollars.

Now, there’s no way out of this, five dollars is what you spent on that latte and you’ve been buying one of those every time you have to put on your big-person pants and leave the house cause you claim that without the caffeine you couldn’t possible do all of the intensive shipping that you have to do just to keep the family fed over the holidays and if you don’t feed them they will go out and spend you into the poor house and there will be nothing left to buy presents with and they will get nothing in their socks, (Yes, it does say stockings but there are family members who if they are wearing stockings then you have an all together different type of gift-giving conundrum.) but lumps of coal. Yeah, right and I suppose you are one of the nine percent which approves of Congress?

The fact is home printers do a wonderful job and it so happens I have run off two versions of the same card so I could print it on two different home printers neither of which cost over a hundred dollars and I scanned them in on the flatbed I bought for ten dollars you remember I told you to do that too and now I can show them to you and say with complete confidence there is no way you can claim that these cards look the least bit unprofessional or cheap and even if you send one to Pervy Uncle Earnie and he uses it to mark his place in the December Hustler and it gets found there by some grade-school child they will at least have the uplifting experience of seeing good art along with THOSE pictures which you keep asking Earnie not to bring when he comes for Thanksgiving dinner.

So, take a look at these.

They were created in Printshop but I could have done it in free Scribus or Photoshop Elements or GIMP which is also free so there is an easy and cheap way of designing your card and then you can print it on card stock which you can get at Staples for $11.95 for a ream and you will then have no excuse for the next five years cause you will not send out five hundred cards in that time so what are you waiting for?

Making your own cards is an important method for getting your art out where it can be seen and since you will give in to social pressure and send out cards anyway why not use the art you so lovingly created?

Then remember if you do this every year in just a coupla years you will have a stock set of cards which you can print off and bundle and sell and save someone else from buying those leave turning cards by Currier and Ives.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Staurday Evening Post Thanksgiving

Just imagine the whole family gathered around a table groaning with delights and then fresh from the oven the steaming bird carried in by the Long Sufferin and laid before the master of the house ready with his carving knife and fork.

And then tell me all about how you made the time machine which whisked you back to nineteen-thirty-five.

Norman Rockwell may have enjoyed this kind of family feast but it’s been a long, long time since Norman put brush to canvas and there have been one or two turns of the earth since then and let’s face it that sort of thing is just gone.

The whole family is more than likely scattered to the four winds. If the Great Recession didn’t rob them of their job and force them to migrate to somewhere like South Dakota where they can find a job and pay for the heating to stay alive in a South Dakota winter they went away to college and never came back or they married and the bread-winner was forced to move to South Dakota to find a job or they were getting on in years and they moved on along the great earth cycle and are no longer gathering anything but moss and there is just no one left to gather except you and that thing on the sofa with the remote in its hand and that is why there will be no huge family gathering this Thanksgiving.

And in truth those family gatherings where everyone came from far and wide were fraught with anxiety. If the meal wasn’t perfect the Long Sufferin went into a deep depression and didn’t come out until after Groundhog Day or Uncle Zachariah started a fight about whether the current NFL teams were as good as the Packers of old or the Bruins of old or the women on television were wearing less than any descent woman should be allowed out of the house in and the law school daughter allowed as how some people who get old should just go ahead and die and make room for the generation which is going to fix all of the damage they did and the environmentalist son-in-law is sure that eating turkey’s will cause the destruction of all feathered creatures and probably bring about the end of bee colonies and increase global warming and the grandmothers are dueling it out over the correct and proper way to make dressing and should it be in the bird or out and then there are the kids…

Maybe eating out alone in another city is the best plan.

But as an artist there is one thing that you should keep foremost in your mind; however it goes, no matter how many show up, each time Thanksgiving rolls around you have an opportunity to record the faces of a family which may never be together again.

Sure we've all seen the families on television and wish that ours could be so perfect but the fact is that when families get together they don’t always get together peacefully.

If the writers of television shows are any barometer, all of the Gen Xers are foaming at the mouth with bitter resentment of the reckless way in which they were raised and the parents of those same Xers are wondering how these children managed to grow up in a civilized home and have so little respect for manners?

Lord, send me a picture!

And that is exactly what you should do.

Let’s just suppose that you do have a perfect television family and that they gather in good cheer and never turn on the ballgame. Will all of them be there next year?

Sure you could and should take a picture. Pictures make wonderful reference material when you sit down to do a portrait.  But they don’t always have the life the people in those pictures overflow with and it is hard unless you are a professional portrait photographer with hundreds of dollars in lighting and thousands of dollars in camera equipment to capture the life in every single one of them. (This assumes you can get them to stand still and let you take the picture.)

Why not make this the year you get great reference pictures of all of the family which gathers and spend the next twelve months making them into magic with your brush/chisel/chalk or even crayon.

You know that you can in your own studio do a better job than any mall side two for twenty-five dollar photo booth. Make beautiful, thoughtful images of your beloved guys while they are still here to make those images with.

And if you do then you have next holiday season knocked. You can take those images and use your own masterful tactical family insight and distribute them to the family which will most enjoy and appreciate them. (The trick here is that the ones who get the portraits will laud it over the ones who don’t and make their lives so miserable that they will come begging more and you can supply them as well and stay busy all of the year just supplying the family with irreplaceable views.)

I come from a family which was older when I came along, my maternal grandfather had been dead for seventeen years, my maternal uncle nine, my paternal grandfather and grandmother were alive and doing remarkably well but there were no images of them as young people cause in those days film was hard to come by and working people didn’t take pictures, except at weddings and funerals. Fortunately my father was a brilliant, gifted pencil artist who captured both Daddy Mix and Brother in pencil and colored pen, so I not only know what they looked like but I know that Daddy Mix had those pale, almost transparent blue eyes that look so weird and that he could turn a kid’s blood to jelly with just a look and that Brother was a gut-busting, mother-loving Navy man, (Sorry Otto I know what the censors wouldn’t let you say and it think they were wrong but this is a PG sort of blog so I’ll just steal the line the way you reluctantly re-wrote it for the screen), who had his father’s eyes but didn’t use them like lasers, and I know this because of what my own father did.

So instead of complaining about Kmart opening on Thanksgiving Day or about forty-seven football games all being played and telecast at the same time or about how long you have to spend in the kitchen, why not capture those family faces in your art so that no matter how far away the clan gets there will always be those wonderful, treasured, loved faces around your house.

I hope to God I did right when it was my turn to save the family faces Dad.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Call to Artists

New Color Photography
Theme: Color Photography
For this juried group photo show Black Box Gallery will look at what is the possible diversity, complexity/simplicity and visual impact of contemporary color photography. How do photographers use color to captivate, compose and stylize their subjects? There is a strong tradition of color photographers from William Eggleston, Steven Shore, Nan Golden, Andres Gursky, Jeff Wall, William Cristenberry, Cindy Sherman, Annie Liebovitz and Gregory Crewdson.
Juror: Kelli Pennington
Kelli Pennington received her MFA in photography from Syracuse University. She is an instructor of photography in Portland, Oregon. Kelli works in both the fine arts and editorial fields. Her work has been exhibited and written about nationally and she has won fellowships and awards.
Deadline: December 11
Exhibition Dates: January 1-20, 2014
Opening Reception: Friday January 3, 5-8:00 pm
Each exhibition will have 24 photographs included by the juror for exhibiton at the gallery.
An additional 30 photographs will be selected for inclusion in our new On-Line Gallery Annex.
All photographs from the show will be included in a printed catalog availble through Blurb Books.
Rules/Guidelines: Black Box offers free framing, matting and printing for our exhibitions. The photographers who are selected into the exhibition by the juror will provide a high resolution Tiff or JPEG file for our gallery to print. If the photograper prefers, they can send in framed work or prints that we can frame for the exhibition.
We have 18” x 24” black frames. Our white mats are pre cut for 12” x 18”, 12” x 12” and 12” x 16” prints (we also have a few other odd sized matts). We print on an Epson Stylus Pro archival ink jet printer, on Epson Premium Luster Photo paper, in a color-calibrated environment. This is a very accurate custom print, just like a custom lab would print, we have over 20 years of custom printing experience.
All exhibition prints will be kept in a flat file after the show for future sale and promotion for the photographer, unless the photographer makes other arrangements. This will allow the gallery to further promote our photographers and exhibitions to collectors, curators, critics and to the general public. Black Box will return ship the exhibiton print to artist if preferred.
File agreement for accepted photographers who will be using our free printing services. Black Box will only print one exhibition print. If there is a sale inquiry, the photographer will be notified before a sale is confirmed, edition information will be discussed with photographer, the photographer will be sent a authentication document to be signed and go with the print to the collector. No sale or printing of file will happen without prior consent and agreement of photographer. All rights remain to the file and print with the photographer, to be used only with their prior consent. Exhibition print will not be sold, but used in our flatfile at Black Box Gallery only to promote the photographers work.
Black Box Gallery takes a 50% commission on all sales, 50% goes to the photographer. If artist prefers the print does not have to be for sale. Print will be for exhibition and promotion only.
Notification: All photographers will be notified 7-10 days after the deadline about juror selections.
Entry Fee: $35 per entry (an entry includes up to 5 photos). Use Pay Pal or send check to:
If sending a check: please indicate sending a check in the email submission.
Black Box Gallery, 811 East Burnside St. # 212, Portland Oregon 97214.
How to apply: Send in the entry fee and then send an email to:
Title the email: New Color Photography
In the body of the email please include the following info:
Your Name
Exhibition Name
Titles of Included Photos with corresponding file name
Attach up to 5 photos, as instructed below
File Set Up: Jpeg files, 1024 pixels on the longest side at 72 DPI, 2MB or less each (saved).
Name Files: firstname_lastname1.jpg, firstname_lastname2.jpg, firstname_lastname3.jpg, etc…
Eligibility: The exhibition is open to all photographers world wide, both amateur and professional.
Copyright: All rights to the photographs remain with the photographer.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Art Not Happening

You want something done ask a busy person.

That’s the saw and you could amend it to read, “If you want something done right, ask a busy person.”

Two of the busiest people I know are Ava Richey and S. L. Donaldson. Ava created Art Happenings and S.L. took the reins when Ava decided she had had just about enough fun for any one person.

Now you might think that publishing a newsletter isn’t all that hard. After all anyone who has stuff going on will tell you and all you have to do it copy their press release.

You still waiting on the Easter bunny?

It takes a ton of work and anyone willing to stick their head in the lion's mouth should be nominated for Sainthood right away and then get a really good award.

It takes hours just organizing the layout and fitting all of the items in. Then you have to navigate the deadlines so that all of the material gets to the printer and if you are doing it online then you have to put it in a .pdf cause there is always one who can’t read a Word file and they will whine to the heavens if it isn’t in a form that they can read the minute it lands in their in box.

Then there are the folks who believe that a deadline is really just a suggestion. They lag behind until after the very last minute and then they rush around getting their news in and are highly offended when it doesn’t get in cause it is after the deadline.

Any idea how long it takes and how much effort goes into doing all of that and then multiply it by every week when you could be out doing something that promotes your own art and might just bring in the money which you need to buy that turkey for the holiday coming right around the corner and even if you hate turkey there will be those who cannot live unless you have a turkey on the table and don’t care that you will be eating turkey well into March cause they will pack up and go home before even the dinner dishes are done and they won’t have to watch as the cranberry sauce turns green and the dressing becomes a block of concrete and the yams are reduced down to orange slime and you want desperately to run  out and get a Subway or a hamburger but your mother told you it was a sin to waste food so you know in your heart that you have to eat all of that damned turkey even if you never liked turkey and so you keep surfing the Internet for receipts for turkey pudding and turkey tofu and turkey meatloaf and all the while you are getting farther and farther behind and then there is that newsletter hanging over your head and the weight of the responsibility is like a 1954 Packard hanging over your head and you know it is your responsibility even if no one else would say so and so after all of the dishes are washed and the table cleared and the football games over you drag out the laptop and spend those wasted hours between midnight and dawn when you wouldn’t be doing anything besides sleeping and you finish the newsletter.

Is it any wonder that after a few years the one thing most newsletter editors want is for someone to come shoot them?

And Ava and S.L. did this week in and week out for all these many long years and never once whined nor complained and as the voice of art on the South Coast I thought I should do it for them.

But better than whining which is a wonderful thing to do and most of us have years of practice at it, why not tell these two hard working volunteers how much we appreciated what they did for the art community and how badly they will be missed and how even though it is a loss to the art community they should and certainly have the right to work on their own art so that they can enjoy the pleasure that a completed project brings.

Now it is true that the South Coast will be the poorer for not having Art Happenings and feel free to take up the challenge and do the work and receive the laurels for it, but remember that is all you will get along with a healthy dose of whining and complaining so if that appeals to you go for it.

And if it doesn’t then you will be in line with the majority and that isn’t a bad thing just a normal thing and one of the reasons why when someone does such and extraordinary thing we should always remember to thank them.

Ava Richey for creating Art Happenings and guiding it along for so many months and for S.L. Donaldson for taking over and keeping the newsletter going, you done real good. And that is a very special thing.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Umpqua Valley Double Down

AWNW 2014 Prospectus                      PWNW 2014 Prospectus 

Online Application                                  Online Application

Print Application                                     Print Application 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Umpqua Valley Call


2013-14 Purchase of Artwork for the Permanent Collection of Umpqua Community College

Approximately $45,000 is available to purchase existing artwork in two sections. Section A is comprised of $25,000 to be used to purchase existing works created by artists living in southwestern Oregon (Douglas, Coos, Curry, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, and Lake Counties). Section B is comprised of $20,000 to be used to purchase existing works by artists within the greater Pacific Northwest, outside of the counties in Section A.

Section A purchases will be made through a jury process. Section B purchases will be made through a combination of jurying and invitation. All selections will be made by the Art Purchase Task Force of Umpqua Community College.

Application Deadline: Friday, December 6, 2013 (11:59 pm Pacific Time)

The Umpqua Community College Art Collection seeks to add to its permanent art collection through the acquisition of contemporary and modern art that recognizes the artistic talent of artists in the Pacific Northwest. The artwork will be placed in College buildings for the benefit and enjoyment of the general public. The goals of this program are to collect artwork that:

1. Is high-quality and original in design and idea;
2. Showcases the wide range of excellent artwork created by Pacific Northwest artists
with diversity in style, medium, and concept;
3. Illuminates the aesthetics, history, culture, and/or traditions of this region;
4. Engenders a sense of the spirit of Southern Oregon and the Pacific Northwest; and
5. Promotes understanding of cultural values and perspectives of all people.

Approximately $45,000 is available to purchase for the 2013-14 Purchase Program. The artwork will become part of the Permanent Art Collection of Umpqua Community College, for initial display within the Danny Lang Center.

This opportunity is open to:

A. professional artists who live in and maintain an active studio practice within Douglas, Coos, Curry, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, and Lake Counties.

B. professional artists who live and maintain an active studio practice in the greater Pacific Northwest (Oregon, Washington, Idaho).


*  Artwork must be original and have been created within the last five (5) years.

*  Artwork should have a broad appeal for long-term use in a variety of situations, since as part of the UCC Art Collection, the work may move from one location to another including spaces that offer a variety of services to all ages and cultures.

*  Artwork must be professionally created using archival media, and installation-ready (meaning framed and/or prepared for hanging). Extremely fragile work may be excluded; the work in the collection must be relatively easy to move and re-install as necessary.

*  Two-dimensional and low-relief artwork including, but not limited to, drawings, paintings, textiles, quilts, photography, and mixed media will be considered. (Most artwork will be displayed on walls).

*  Low-relief artwork, that does not protrude more than 2 inches from the wall, will also be considered (ceramic, metal, glass, and other materials).

*  Sculptural works will be considered, both for interior and outdoor display.

*  Photographs and fine art prints (including, but not limited to digital prints, etchings, lithographs, woodblock, etc.) are eligible but must be signed and numbered and in a limited edition of 125 or less. No reproductions (including, but not limited to digital reproductions, giclée, iris, offset press, or inkjet copies) representing original artworks will be accepted. Only original artwork will be considered.

*  The Art Purchase Task Force is interested in purchasing individual, stand-alone pieces as well as multiple pieces created within a series of work. Artwork must have a minimum size of 11" H x 11" W. Maximum size is open, but in general, work must be easily installed with existing campus resources and staff.


Phase One: The Art Purchase Task Force, comprised of college staff, students, local artists and arts professionals, and community members will review the artists' application materials. The selection panel will review and rank the images in multiple stages. Only submit images of artworks that are immediately available for purchase. Following the review of images, the selection panels will identify artworks for purchase. The works chosen during this first phase will be purchased, as long as the qualities of the actual artwork have been accurately represented in the submission materials.

Phase Two: Those artworks identified for purchase must be delivered to the Art Gallery at Umpqua Community College and will be considered on loan with no charge until the artwork is purchased by the College or returned to the artist. The artwork will be on public display in the Art Gallery from Mid February to Mid March. The artwork will be insured while on loan to the College. The purpose of Phase Two is to introduce the work to the college community and to verify the quality of the work as compared to the submission images. The Art Purchase Task Force will review the artwork and then issue approval for purchase. Artworks not meeting the quality standards as represented in submission images will not be purchased and must be picked up, or return shipping arranged, by the artists. Payment for the artwork identified for purchase will be made to the individual artists by March 30, 2014.

Depending on the number of applicants and any other conditions that may develop, a preliminary review may be added to the selection process.

The artwork selection panels will use the following criteria during both phases of selection:

*  Artistic excellence and originality in design and idea and
*  Appropriateness of artist's medium, style, and experience as they relate to the project
goals and setting.


Send an email to (subject line Art Purchase Application) for an application packet. Applications must be submitted digitally; absolutely no physical entries will be accepted.

Applications must include the following:

*  Artist Statement (5,000 character maximum);
*  A minimum of three (3) and a maximum of ten (10) images of artworks available for
*  Annotated Image List: Descriptions of available artwork including title, dimensions,
materials, year of completion, brief description of artwork if necessary, and retail
value of unframed artwork.
*  Current résumé outlining professional accomplishments as an artist

Note for galleries and dealers: We are happy to work with those designated as the contact representative for the artist during the selection phase. However, payments for purchased artworks will be made directly to the artist. Any agreement that an artist may have with her/his gallery or representative must be handled between the artist and the dealer. Umpqua Community College will assume no responsibility for payment of fees or percentages to gallery dealers or other artists' representatives. All artists who apply will receive electronic notification of the results of the selection process. Notification will be sent to the email address supplied when applying electronically.


Artists must establish the retail price for the artworks they are offering for sale. Prices must be commensurate with the artist's current/recent sales. Proof of current/recent sales may be required. Work must be available for immediate purchase. Umpqua Community College will have first right of refusal of works offered for sale between the application deadline date and the date of the official notification to artists regarding purchase. During or after the review process, the Art Purchase Task Force may invite applicant artists (who have met all requirements for this submission program) to submit information about additional works that are available for purchase. This information may be used to purchase or commission additional artwork for this program or other projects. Emerging, mid-career, and established artists are encouraged to submit artwork for this program. There is no minimum or maximum retail value restrictions placed on the artworks submitted.

PROJECT TIMELINE (exact dates for notifications and delivery TBA; all dates subject to change)

Application Deadline: Friday, December 6, 2013 (11:59 pm Pacific Time)

1st Art Purchase Task Force Reviews (Review Digital Images): Early December 2013
Notifications sent to artist' whose work is being considered for purchase (via email): Early January 2014

Delivery of Artwork to the Art Gallery at UCC: Early February 2014

2nd Art Purchase Task Force Review and Purchase Approval (Review Actual Artwork): Mid February 2014

Payment for selected artwork: March 30, 2014

Installation of Artworks: Spring 2014

Submission materials must be received as a complete application before 11:59 pm, Pacific Time on Friday, December 6, 2013. Incomplete, non-compliant and/or late submittals will not be accepted.

For more information about this public art opportunity, contact: Susan Rochester, Chair of Fine and Performing Arts, Umpqua Community College. or 541-440-4692.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Solid Ivory

I’ve had a good six weeks.

It started when the Croaker finally decided he could cut me loose. That was only a slight relief cause they left in some equipment which had to wait for a whole month to be extracted but it got done and when it was finished the Quack pronounced me “completely resolved.”

Then I’ve managed to sell two photos in the weeks since that pronouncement and if you think getting free of the medical profession and selling art work isn’t a wonderful way to feel like you are on a lucky streak, you should try it. (Not the doctor part. You should avoid doctors at all costs.)

Now selling two photos isn’t going to buy me a condo in the South of France or an apartment in Manhattan, I won’t be rubbing elbows with The Donald or Paris Hilton or any of those cats and  I won’t be ordering a new Mercedes or BMW or even buying a Nikon or Canon.

On what I make from art I qualify for food stamps and sad expressions from high school chums who have done well and are in their declining years and think anything less than a Cadillac is just a sign of lack of effort.

But you know what? Two photos in six weeks are big doings for me and I am the only opinion which counts.

There are two lessons in there for any artist.

The first and most important is that making yourself happy and proud with your accomplishments is the most important thing you can do.

You do know that winning the top prize at any juried show is more about what the jury believes than about what you have done? You do know that and when they don’t pick the picture which they should namely yours it isn’t a black mark on your skill or artistic vision, it’s a sign about how their little,. tiny minds work.

And you can’t be responsible for how anyone’s mind works except your own.

So fight the good fight, keep submitting your art and let the jury do what they are going to do cause you are completely satisfied with what you have created.

You are satisfied, aren’t you?

If you aren’t that’s where you should be working. You can find a way to be satisfied even if no one else is. That’s the wonderful thing about art; it is unique to each person who chooses to create it.

Now I don’t approve of nor condone the work of Robert Maplethorpe, and if you don’t know who that is then that’s probably just as well, but Mr. Maplethorpe has the right to both make the art and be satisfied with it. I just don’t have to be anything at all with it and that is good.

Sure, that is an extreme example and to tell the truth I don’t much care for big eyed children either but again I don’t have to. The artist who creates those forms has to be and if they aren’t they shouldn’t be doing it and then I wouldn’t have to not like it but that is their right not to cater to my likes and dislikes.

You have to create art which satisfies just one person, you.

But you do have to get out and show it.

Art in a dark closet is just so much dust catching paraphernalia. Show it and let the jury do with it what they will and then go and do some more.

Now the next thing you can learn from this experience is that showing is critical to your well being. Not that you’ll win prizes or add lines to your resume or sell or get clippings, showing let’s the public see what you are doing and tell you how much they like or dislike it and allows you a chance to reevaluate what you are doing so that if you really want to be doing something that the public likes instead of what you are doing and liking then you can change but if you never show then you will just keep doing those pictures of dryer lint and that will be all you ever do and that will be enough and if you are satisfied then that is a good and proper thing and you should be satisfied.

But if it isn’t satisfying then you could learn a thing or two and change.

Now as it turns out both of my sales were things that I did because someone else said I should.

The first one was a landscape and I don’t really do landscapes and I’m not at all enthused about the wonders of Nature or the grandeur of the wilderness and so I just seldom look outside unless I see a pretty girl walking by and I can do it without the Long Sufferin catching me cause if she does there will be hell to pay and there is going to be something I will catch hell for anyway so why give her and opportunity to give me hell just because I like pretty girls. (Girls here means any woman under the age of 100 cause I do not discriminate on the grounds of age and will unashamedly ogle any woman willing to walk by and come into ogling range.)

So I don’t do landscapes unless some one I admire and respect as an artist says you should frame that one cause it is wonderful and people would like it or words to that effect and that is what happened and lo and behold she was right and I was wrong, like that never happens and the result was the first sale. So I learned something, something which was hard for me to understand, people like landscapes.

The second sale was almost as humiliating. I did the photo cause a pal wanted art for a thingy she was doing and needed a certain sort of thing to fit in with the theme of the thing and so I did the thing which was a photo of a thing which I never shoot and it did fit in with the thing and that was good cause it was what the thingy required and if it hadn’t I wouldn’t have gotten in the thing.

And you know what it sold too?

And now I have to wonder if I have been missing out on a whole bunch of sales maybe even enough to buy that luxury condo in Powers or maybe a 1978 BMW or an old Pentax and if I just wasn’t s narrow with my vision I could have all that the flesh pots of Coos Bay could offer?

Not likely even if there were flesh pots. But I did learn and you can’t believe how hard it is to cram anything in through sixty-six years of solid ivory. (Pre-ban and non-poached)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Cash on the Line

The Long Sufferin never leaves the house without commenting on how beautiful it is here on the South Coast. Now this is a mystery to me cause once you've seen a tree you've pretty much seen a tree. It's not like the unending variability of the architecture you see in any large city.

But it does seem that there are a whole bunch of folks who really like the wilds and the woods.

So here's a juicy contest just for hose of you who are out hugging the trees and paling with the owls, The U S a Landscape which covers a bunch of territory. I mean there are fruited plains and all sorts of sights and places to go and capture and what with the holiday season fast approaching here's not a one of us who couldn't use a coupla hundred extra dollars to buy turkeys and cranberries with. (Why is it that the President can take time out of his incredibly schedule to pardon the Thanksgiving turkey but no one gives a care for the poor cranberries slaughter across the country to make cranberry sauce which in living memory i cannot remember a single person eating.)

So take the link and have a look at the contest and see if it is something which you might be interested in and then come back to the trawler for one of my many posts about what to get for the artist in your list and make sure that even if they have been naughty instead of nice they get something they can actually use and not an old tie which they will never wear and in Coos Bay wearing a tie is a sure sign that you are a foriegner and no body wants to be an outsider from Eugene or Portland cuase all they do is stealk our resources and tax us and then out vote us on every issuie and you wouldn;t want to be part of the corrupt political machine so you'll check my suggestions out and buy something that anartist can actually use or want.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Foul Words

So yesterday I reminded you that it is not too early to start thinking about holiday cards. Now if you have been with me for several years this is an annual thingy which sort of explains why I said it was an annual thingy in the first place.

But it does need repeating every year or so, artists being a very focused and centered lot, they tend to ignore anything less than a slap in the kisser or a large object falling out of the sky.

Not having a large object handy and being a terribly cowardly sort I’ll stick with nagging and nudging and let the bold and the beautiful do all of the physical interventioning.

So it's that time of the year when you ought to be giving some thought to what image you are going to use on your holiday cards. Yes, you know you will even though the post office keeps raising the rates and you don’t really like that branch of the family that moved to Waukegan and you’d like to forget about them all together but then you’d have to explain to the sister who was bitten by Emily Post sometime around high school and never recovered and who will get royally pissed and will do the most terrifying thing in the whole world, she’ll rat you out to your mother.

Now you don’t want to start the new year with mother mad at you so you’ll trudge down to Wally World or Freddy’s and buy that ten dollar box of cards with scenes of New England, (Aren’t you ashamed? New England when the foliage around here is as turny and colorful as any New Englander and just because Currier and Ives convinced everyone that fall only comes in New England is no excuse for not using scenes of the fall in Oregon and why don’t you just give up and turn in your webbed feet and buy a New England Pats sweatshirt and then see how people treat you when you run into them at the mall when you are out shopping!) or with the jolly old elf himself and go back to the house and dig out the list and send them to all of those people that you don’t really like but you don’t want your sister to get and edge so you might as well and starting the new year with your mother mad at you is a whole lot worse than trusting in Congress to do the right thing so you’d better get a move on before all of the good boxes are gone and you are left with nothing but a choice between the Simpson’s’ Santa and those snowflakes which never look like snow flakes so you’d better get the lead out.

Now here’s a thought, why not pick out something you have already done, get it digitized, either by taking a high quality picture with the digital camera you bought at Goodwill cause you read yesterdays post or scanning it in on the scanner you bought way back when I told you to go out and buy a scanner cause they are dirt cheap and the flatbeds that everyone wants to get rid of make so much better scans than the Mouse-centric all-in-ones. (Had to say it that way cause Disney will get you if you use the mouse’s first name when referring to something that is less than good and might actually be ticky-tacky.)

And with that digital file you are ready to make up your cards.

But wait, there’s more…

You can take that file to Staples or send it to Vistaprint or Zazzle and they will make beautiful seasonal cards out of it and then you won’t have to run the printer night and day and use up ten dozen ink cartridges and have the Long Sufferin in high dudgeon about how much ink you are squandering.

That’s Vistaprint…

and that’s Zazzle…

and this is Staples.

And while you are there you might even glance at all of the other things you could do with those digitized files of your art work and maybe you’ll come up with an idea or two and get in the spirit early and get all of your presents made up for a change and not have to run out to the mall on the night before you know what and miss the football game because you don’t have a present for Uncle Ebenezer and you know what happens to you if you do that so if you don’t want to spend the whole night with a bunch of self-righteous spirits get the ball rolling and see if you can eat, drink and be Mary, no I suppose even though you can be Mary if you want to be in twenty-six states and Hawaii it really should be Merry.


Oh give it up, you knew there’d be one more whinge, when you have done all of that and are ready for some serious sugar plum dancing and deep nestling, think about this…

If you do get cards made with your art and if you do use Zazzle they will let you make the design for sale so maybe you can recoup some of the scheckles that you dropped getting the cards made but even better if you do this for a coupla years then you’ll have two or three or maybe even four designs lying around which you can have reprinted and boxed and then you can sell the boxes just like they do at Wally World and Freddy’s and then the reindeer will leave something besides guano on the roof and while you can make a buck or two from reindeer guano wouldn’t it be nicer and more sanitary to take the bucks from selling seasonal cards, seasonal cards with real art on them done by a real starving artist who would very much not like to be so starving in the next year?

And then you can turn up your nose and that designated finger when someone says those foul words, Currier and Ives.

Art Happenings

Regretfully, the Art Happenings newsletter has been discontinued. Thank you to all the readers and contributors.  Your support of the newsletter has been greatly appreciated.  Huge thank you to Ava Richey with whom the newsletter originated.  It would have never reached so many with as much information were it not for the countless hours she poured into it every week. Ava, thank you for entrusting me to carry that torch forward earlier this year.  I only wish I could have done so for a longer.......

Future editor/publisher?
If you are interested in taking over the email Art Happenings newsletter subscription, please contact me by Monday, November 18, 2013.

Current subscribers?
Should you prefer your email not be included in a transfer to someone who may desire to take over the newsletter, please click the unsubscribe link below.

Thank you to the following venues for permitting the distribution of printed copies at their locations:
Kathryn's Cone 9
Artist Loft Gallery
North Bend Public Library
Visitor Information Center
Coos Art Museum
Art Connection
Coos Bay Public Library
Spirit of Oregon
Art by the Sea Gallery & Studio
and the most recent addition, Sage Place.

With warmest wishes
Stephanie Donaldson

Blue Sky Call to Artists

Blue Sky 2014 Pacific Northwest Photography Viewing Drawers
122 NW 8th Ave.
Portland, OR 97209

Entry Deadline: 12/20/13
Days remaining to deadline: 35


Media Images: 10

View Site Details


Any photographer who is a current resident of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, British Columbia, or Alaska is invited to submit work for consideration. Please provide exactly 10 images (no watermarks) from a single series or body of work created within the last five years. If an applicant has previously been featured in the Drawers, the submission must be of new or different work. Submitted images must be the same as the original prints intended for inclusion in the Drawers. Only one entry per artist is permitted.

All accepted works must be delivered to the gallery matted and/or mounted, unframed in standard sizes. Due to the physical dimensions of each drawer, the matted sizes of accepted works are not to exceed 20” x 24”. The jurors welcome a concise artist statement, CV or resume, and details about each print including medium, size, and price. This material will also be made accessible to visitors perusing the Drawers. Blue Sky seeks to offer for sale all prints selected for the Drawers, with a commission retained by Blue Sky. Artists who are currently represented by a gallery are asked to ensure that a Drawers entry does not infringe on any standing agreements before making a submission. Blue Sky will not be responsible for negotiating commissions with an artist’s representation.

Blue Sky is accepting submissions for this call via Deadline for submissions is 11:00 PM (PST), Friday, December 20, 2013. There is no entry fee. Blue Sky cannot respond to inquiries about the status of a submission, nor are the jurors able to offer feedback or reasoning for rejected submissions.

All applicants will be notified of their acceptance by Friday, January 24, 2014. Accepted works must be received at Blue Sky to be deposited into the Drawers no later than 5:00 PM on March 14, 2014. Accepted work will debut in the Drawers to the public on First Thursday, April 3, 2014—the beginning of Portland Photo Month.


MICHELLE DUNN MARSH is executive director of Photo Center Northwest, an educational institution facilitating creation, conversations, and sharing of significant photography; she is also the founder of Minor Matters Books, a publishing platform for contemporary art. Her professional experience includes positions with Aperture Foundation in New York City and Chronicle Books in San Francisco; recent activities include teaching this past summer at Parsons/The New School in the MFA in Photography and Related Media program, and editing John Divola: As Far As I Could Get (fall 2013, Prestel).

TODD JOHNSON is the founder and director of Black Box Gallery in Portland, Oregon, a venue offering opportunities for emerging and established international photographers to exhibit in a juried group format. Johnson earned his MFA in photography from the San Francisco Art Institute and has been an active photographer, educator, and curator for more than twenty years. His recent photographic project, The Misadventures of Ansel Adams: Garage Sales, Geotracking and General Tomfoolery, was featured in a solo exhibition at The Art Gym at Marylhurst University. Johnson has worked as an independent exhibition curator for Linfield College (McMinnville, Oregon), Gallery Homeland (Portland), The Waiting Room (Minneapolis), 4X Gallery (Portland), and Floyd Watkins Gallery (Portland).

This free Call for Entries is made possible with support from the Oregon Arts Commission through a partnership with WESTAF.

The 2014 Pacific Northwest Photography Viewing Drawers program is generously supported by the Kinsman Foundation.

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Holiday Hijinks

From: ""
Sent: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 2:50 PM
Subject: FW: Christmas Show
Tickets are now on sale for "Old Befana," the Sawdust Theatre's 2013 Christmas Show, directed by Candace Kreitlow.  Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students, including college.  Shows are:

Friday, December 6, 7 p.m.
Saturday, December 7,7 p.m.
Sunday, December 8, 2 p.m.

Friday, December 13, 7 p.m.
Saturday, December 14, 7 p.m.
Sunday, December 15, 2 p.m.

Tickets are available at Bree's Upscale Resale
71 E. 1st St, Coquille
or by calling our ticket outlet number at 541-396-4563.

Please come see the show.  As a matter of fact, in order to help us fill the seats, please pass this information on to at least 3 friends that are not affiliated with the theatre.  E-mail them or call them!  Encourage them to come!  This is going to a great show, and we need to make sure the seats are full!!  Thanks.  


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Ready, Steady, Go

It isn't too early for me to start my annual plea for artists to use their own art for Christmas Cards. oh I'm sorry, I meant non-denominational greetings of the latter part of December cards, so I won't get in trouble with the folks who like to get people in trouble for mentioning holidays while on government property. You are aware that the Internet started life as a double secret black ops communications system and might still have those who think that it is as governmental as the Lincoln Memorial.  Watch out those black helicopters will be closing in any minute...

So before they do have a look here and see if it kick starts any thing in your little gray cells.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Plan B

About this time last year, way back before I fell into the hands of the Croakers, I figured the Long Sufferin ought to have a better camera.

The camera she had been using was my old Fuji FinePix S3100 which we bought on mark down at Target just before we made the journey with three dogs, nine cats and the Long Sufferin in an RV over Donner Pass and into Oregon.

The little camera served us well and lived to struggle on for two years after we settled in Coos Bay, and then I got a better camera and the Long Sufferin got my little Fuji.

The Long Sufferin being the Chancellor of the Exchequer never allows a spot of waste or a dollar spent when it isn’t absolutely necessary and that is a very good thing cause the Ole Trawler would easily fritter away all of our money and have us living in a cardboard box and eating dry cat food, so it isn’t a bad thing that the Long Sufferin keeps a tight hand on the tiller and the draw-strings of the family purse pulled tight.

So she got the old Fuji and lived happily with it until last year when the little devil made a break for it and fell, tragically three and a half feet to its untimely death.

In the meantime I was on to my next camera and so there was a spare and she took that one, but hated it and wouldn’t let go of any of the vast Trawler fortune to get another so there I was feeling extremely guilty and needing to do something to make myself feel better about having a camera while the Long Sufferin had none, you didn’t think this was motivated by unselfish desires, didja?

Fortunately in all of the years the Ole Trawler has been kicking around the photography world he has discovered one important fact, okay, maybe two or even three but this is the important one for this story so we’ll ignore the other two and go on to the heart of the beast, electronics work or they don’t.

Now this may not seem terribly important to you but it comes in handy when you are planning to do something which requires money not in the budget and you know that spending money not properly allocated without prior authorization is likely to have you sleeping on the deck and in this climate that is a rather frosty prospect and not wishing to wind up with frost on my pumpkins I tread carefully with non-budgeted items, so the knowledge that electronics either work or they don’t comes in pretty handy.

This means that you do not have to buy the electronic goody new and in the box, a reasonably treated vintage item will do the job and ninety percent of the time it will work just the same as the one in the box and you do not have to decide if recycling the box and all of the packing is the responsible thing to do or maybe this once you could just chuck it all in the compactor, but then the Long Sufferin would get you by the ear and drag you back to the compactor and wonder aloud what in the hell you think you are doing tossing recyclable materials in the compactor so it is best to just go ahead and put them in the right bin in the first place and save all of that drama.

So not having the packaging is a good thing and eliminates one more chance for you to screw the pooch and so doing the responsible thing and buying vintage is best all around.

And it happens that here in beautiful, downtown Coos Bay, (and North Bend); we have two great places to find that vintage item, Goodwill and The South Coast Hospice Thrift Store.

So off I went and as luck would have it I found a camera that looked like it might do and so I grabbed it and headed home.

It took only a day and a half to collect all of the necessary and missing parts to restore the Olympus Stylus 600 to prefect working order and get a snazzy, green, (The Long Sufferin’s favorite color) gift bag and the Ole Trawler was set for Christmas!

And you know what happens when you make plans without consulting the Fates? Yeppers, I got sick.

I’m sure you are sick to death of hearing how I fought with the Quack and the Croakers for my very life and that was just over the bills and had nothing to do with what was making me sick and so insert time-lapse, it was a year later, okay ten months if you want to be picky and there on the shelf was that green gift bag and on one had touched it in a year.

The situation hadn’t changed, I had a camera, the Long Sufferin didn’t and the budget still was shut down by House Republicans.

I fished out the camera and powered it up. It started after sitting on a shelf for almost a year without touch up charging! That’s some battery life.

I took the little plucker out for a spin and it does a good job for being smaller than the average Iphone and having no viewfinder just an LCD which is a pain and the camera makers should be ashamed that they would eliminate the viewfinder to cut costs and make people ruin their eyes squinting at the LCD any time the sun comes out but seeing as how this is Oregon that isn’t as big a problem as it would have been in Texas and that is why the little camera work out so well.

Now the point of this story is that if you don’t have a camera you can stick in your shirt pocket or if you are a non-shirt-wearing female lady type of person and would not want a camera banging around like a bell on a cat, you can stick it in a jean pocket and not look like one of those horror movie girls who get infested with the bug that ate Cleveland and have bulges sticking out every which way and you want one or maybe you just want something inexpensive which you can stick in the glove box so that you actually have it when you see the herd of elk cross the road and you have nothing but a silly grin or maybe you have a kid or relative or pal serving in that big sandbox and you’d like to get them reconnected with the homeland but you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg cause they might have to duck under a Humvee cause the folks over here are shooting at them, this is a way you can do it and not wind up in a long-term budget battle and have the shutdown loam or a default hanging over your head and that is a good thing.