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Archive for October, 2007

I have just completed editing an animation of the all the stills I took of the Nahlaot picture and I have uploaded it on YouTube. Here it is:

Cool!

I learnt quite a bit from the process of creating this and the next movie will hopefully be even better.

BTW, a point for WordPress bloggers. To embed a YouTube video in your blog, you can’t just use the embed code you get from the YouTube site. You need to use a special syntax otherwise the rich-text editor strips out your code. This is the article showing how to do this. Just one important point though. They have a space between the opening bracket and the start of the text. Leave out that space, i.e. “[youtube=” not “[ youtube=”.

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I saw this blog post today where she highlights this humorous but serious article about obfuscation that appeared in The Journal of Political Economy (not something I would have read generally). This is how many scientists, economists and experts work and nobody knows what they are talking about. When talking about art there is also a tendency to talk in big words and intimidate the audience. If you want to sell your art you need to learn to avoid this and engage your buyers.

A whole lot of good articles on this can be found at artbusiness.com. They have several articles on exactly this subject, for example “people need help buying art so help them”.

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I made more headway with the picture of the stream last night. Above you can see the progress. I am really enjoying this painting. My feeling that I needed to do something more energetic was right. I am really getting into laying the paint down freely – no washes, no fine brushes – just daub it on… well almost.

The underpainting in this piece is in burnt umber. I then painted on the rocks using a lot of black and the hidden submerged stones in more burnt umber, ochre, phthalo blue and raw sienna. That was in the last session. Now I covered the stones in phthalo blue mixed with white and then washes of burnt umber and phthalo blue. I beefed up the rocks in black, white and hints of (you guessed) burnt umber and phthalo blue.

I then worked on the highlights in more titanium white, added the foliage (light green) and finally went back over the water with burnt umber to prepare for the next layer of white and give depth.

More in the next few days.

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This is what most bloggers and other self-proclaimed web publicists are all about. These terms have been coined (here and here) by Hugh MacLeod in his blog gapingvoid.com, and the idea is to differentiate yourself (or your product) and become a brand, not a commodity.

That he says is why people write blogs and why people read them. By writing a blog you get your ticket to eternity. You get read and known by people all over the world, you’re not just another X you’re a world expert.

In terms of marketing products he talks about a concept he calls the “social object”. A social object is something that can become the hub of social interaction. It is the node in the network. His example is his “Blue Monster” branded wine. You may say “gimic”, but what’s the gimic? Not the blue monster, the wine is the gimic here. The guy’s selling blue monsters. He got you to buy one by putting it on the wine bottle. This is merchandizing.

The Blue Monster wine is also part of the “Smarter Wine” conversation. The main thesis is that it’s not the wine per se that is interesting, it’s the conversations that happen around the wine that is interesting. And that is true for all social objects. People matter. Objects don’t.

http://www.gapingvoid.com/Moveable_Type/archives/004284.html

OK I sell paintings not blue monsters. How do you turn a painting into a social object?

If the blog is the social object then the painting is the wine. However the analogy is not complete. The blog is free, it is the teaser… and I get back to where I started. This is going to take some more thinking.

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This is the reference for my next picture… I mean my latest picture, because I’ve already started it.

After painting an old Jerusalem alleyway in my last picture I wanted to do something a bit looser and freer. I was tossing up between pictures I took in the summer when we were in Ramat HaGolan and in the end it was between this image taken at the Darbashieh (one of the springs on the Gonen-Gadot road) or one taken at Tel Dan of a quiet and peaceful stretch of crystal clear water in the section there called Gan Eden. In the end I went for the running water.

This is where I stand right now.

Doesn’t look much, does it? The idea is to paint in the stones under the water and then paint the water over. I am trying to work fast and cover the whole picture all the time.

The base color is burnt umber (dark brown) as this is the color you would see if there was no water. The rocks are basalt which is black but when they are wet and all the more so through the water, they are a variety of colors tending from ochre and even sienna (red-brown) on the one hand through to phthalo blue (blue green) on the other. I suppose it depends whether they have iron or copper in them.

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I saw an article on the BBC news website about a special scan that has been done of Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa to discover changes he made as he was working and what color the paint really is under the layers of yellowed varnish.

The result if we can believe it, is quite stunning. The man responsible for this – a French engineer and inventor named Pascal Cotte – has exhibited his “original” Mona Lisa and has a website called Mona Lisa Revealed showing the results and promoting a documentary film about his work.

I certainly prefer the bright blue background in the “original” painting.

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As of yesterday, I am now represented at Nofim Gallery in Jerusalem! The five pictures you see above are all on sale there.

This is a personal milestone to be represented for the first time in a commercial gallery and hopefully the start of bigger things.

The Nofim Gallery is a relatively new gallery run by a fellow ex-Brit. It is located in the gallery (and trendy restaurant) area of downtown Jerusalem, literally a minute from the walls of the Old City in one direction and the bustling Jaffa Road in the other.

I now need to update my website and start up some publicity.

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