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Showing posts from 2007

Two Year Old Artist paints the Big Time.

The Painting on the right is called 'Sunrise' by artist Freddie Linsky. It's an acrylic on canvas and wouldn't look out of place in any modern art gallery. Yet the artist is only two years old.

Freddie's mother, a lecturer at the Hampstead School of Art and a freelance art critic, began posting Freddie's artwork online to collector, Charles Saatchi's online gallery, passing the work off as that of a more accomplished artist. Making up plausible descriptions such as this for 'Sunrise'...

"A bold use of colour. Inspired by the 'plein air' habit of painting by Monet, drawing on the natural world that surrounds us all."
You can read more about Freddie and see images of him at work in an article that appeared on the Daily Mail web site titled, Toddler fools the art world into buying his tomato ketchup paintings.

Whilst Freddie's Mum admits it was all just for a bit of a laugh, things began to get serious when Freddie's work started …

Dinostory: Dinosaur Sculptures made from Sand

Dinostory is an exhibition of sand sculptures, featuring dinosaurs, that my partner and I went along to view at Port Adelaide, South Australia. Unfortunately, the week before we'd experienced some very heavy, rainy weather, so many of the sculptures had been extremely damaged (very visible in my photo) whilst others had stood up to the elements slightly better.

I do hope that the creators of this exhibition, Sand Sculpting Australia, will attempt to make some repairs because at AU$9.50 for Adults, with eight severely damaged sculptures (one was almost unrecognizable), we did feel a little cheated. Whilst I understand that the weather can't be controlled it does seem like there was no plan to protect the sculptures should such weather occur. At the very least, a reduced entry fee would have been appropriate.

That aside, what remained of the sculptures, all extremely large I might add, were quite impressive and highly detailed.

Dinostory is clearly targeted at children and is inten…

National Treasure: Book of Secrets

National Treasure: Book of Secrets is a fairly easy to watch, fun movie. Like all treasure hunt movies the ending is largely predictable but what makes them engaging and fun is the journey following the trail. Watching just how everything comes together.

As per usual with my movie posts, this article is my thoughts on the film. If you're looking for a story outline try visiting the official web site or maybe read this review by Jason P. Vargo of DVDTown.com.

I haven't seen the first film in this series but I knew that because this was an entirely new adventure for these characters I wouldn't be at much of a disadvantage. There are some obvious references to the first film and maybe even some subtle ones that I missed but I don't think any were critical to my understanding of the plot.

Nicolas Cage plays treasure hunter, Ben Gates, a largely forgettable character in the movie world. Much like Robert Langdon (played by Tom Hanks) in The Da Vinci Code. A movie that both thes…

OurStage.com - Helium for Music and Video.

Although I haven't written for Helium.com in a while I've always been impressed by the way written articles are judged by other writers in a system that it hard to 'game' and seems reasonably fair. Generally the best articles are the ones rich in information and have good writing structure as opposed to ones that are viewed most often.

I've long thought that Helium's judging system and business model would be great for online video and I'm sure I even suggested that to the site's creators at some point in the past. Whilst I obviously have no idea if my suggestion planted a seed I'm pleased to find out that Helium have launched a sister site, OurStage.com, targeted squarely at original music and online video creators.

Finally there is a place where online video creators like me can post videos and have them judged by other original video creators with the chance of earning monthly cash prizes as well as some pretty nice non cash prizes too.

The only dis…

Painting and Drawing Secrets by Alfred Daniels

Since purchasing the Get Paid to Draw system and both products created by the two final contestants on The Next Internet Millionaire I've been following a trail of marketing freebies, ebooks, software and one time offers to teach you how to do anything, fast!

You've probably seen many of them, even amongst the Google ads on my blog; 'Learn how to create massive wealth', 'How to make mega money from home', you get the idea. Clicking on these links takes you to what's known as a 'squeeze page' which is usually a lengthy sales message with examples and testimonials explaining why this product will do everything it claims. Just enter your name and email and we'll give you a truck load of free ebooks as well.

I've got a pile of free marketing information clogging several folders on my hard drive so I've pretty much stopped following this marketing trail, however I continue to stumble across more art related products sold in this over hyped fash…

Canvas and Pen Recommends TET.

One of the best parts of being an independent artist is when someone comes out of nowhere and unexpectedly pays you a very nice compliment.

Canvas and Pen is an artist and writers inspirational web site with the admirable goal of motivating artists and writers to succeed through inspirational articles and recommendations to quality websites.

I must admit I was unaware of the site until I was emailed by Les Anderson, from the Canvas and Pen, to let me know that my site had been added to their Recommended Galleries page because they believe my art, creativity and web site to be an example of someone who is succeeding. Very flattering and much appreciated.

Whether I would consider myself to be successful quite yet is another thing but I will say I have gained some ground and I am certainly doing better with my art than I was around this time last year.

That aside, thanks to Canvas and Pen for the compliment of being a recommended site. If you happen to need a bit of inspiration or motivatio…

Working out how to install a Car Stereo

Many months ago - maybe even more than a year ago - my partner's son asked if I could help install a new car stereo system into his first car. I've never installed a car stereo system before but, like most things, I can usually work it out so I said I'd give it a go.

Unfortunately, before I got started, he took it upon himself to pull out the old system without making any notes about what wire connected where. This pretty much set back my ability to work things out quite drastically.

I did give it a really good try but found the instructions on the new system difficult to follow (due to them being a poor translation into English from either China or Japan). Plus the wires on the new system didn't seem to match anything that was left in the car after pulling out the old system.

Teenage boys, being like they are, things have to be done now. I was being overly cautious because the stereo was new and expensive. I didn't want to accidentally short something out.

In the e…

getpaidtodraw.com - Your Questions Answered.

Is it a scam? Is the sales message too good to be true? Can you really sit back, relax and get paid thousands of dollars in residual payments?

If you've discovered the site getpaidtodraw.com and have been looking for someone who has bought this product before taking that leap then this review will peel back the glossy sales message and give you the answers. Prior to buying this product I came across much distrust and misinformation about getpaidtodraw.com by people who hadn't purchased it. There was a real need for information so I decided to take the leap and make the purchase specifically so I could write this informed review. Note that I am not, in any way, a getpaidtodraw.com affiliate.

For this review I will be focusing on the getpaidtodraw system which includes; the ebook, instructional videos and database along with access to the systems author Jules Camber (who replies to emails as 'Jamie, President of Champ Entertainment, Inc and Beats365, LLC'). I'll touch …

Welcome to Utopia: Australia Votes 2007

It's the morning after the Australian Federal election and people all over the country are waking up to the realization that they've just kicked themselves (or been kicked by others) out of their eleven year comfort zone into a brave new era of Utopian Idealism.

Better the devil you know?

A new government means a new coat of paint, new carpets, new furniture and probably even a new corporate logo or name for every government department that is accessed by the public. Symbolic change, known as the 'transitional' period before the new government really gives us something to complain about.

Cynical?

Kevin Rudd replaces John Howard as our new Prime Minister. In his victory speech I heard him say that it was time to "write a new page in our nation's history". He said this again, later in the speech so that's at least two pages of writing just for starters. Well two pages and a signature on the Kyoto Protocol.

What I hadn't heard Kevin articulate before was …

The Da Vinci Code(s)?

When Dan Brown released his novel The Da Vinci Code he renewed interest in the artwork of Leonardo Da Vinci and opened much speculation on whether there was more to his work than meets the eye? Specifically that Leonardo was an artist who hid complex codes and hidden secrets within his art.

There is much evidence to support this idea as it is well known that many artists over the centuries have used symbolism to embed deeper meaning into their works than what can be seen at face value. Given that Leonardo was a 'thinker' on so many levels, including his complex ideas as an inventor, there is every chance that his art is filled with hidden meaning.

Whilst Dan Brown's book mentions more than one of Da Vinci's artworks it is The Last Supper, located in the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Italy, that gets most of the attention. Largely, I think, because Dan Brown ties it to one of the great mysteries of human legend, the search for the Holy Grail.

I have read Th…

TET's Comedy Art Video a Winner!

Blank Canvas IV - Art Critic
Video by TET

The above video is my first and only post on the Video, Photo and Music site, View Bug. Given that I only signed up to the site just over a week ago it's very nice to have been selected by View bug's staff as a weekly winner and a recipient of a US$30.00 cash prize. Instantly this video has just become my highest earning video - earning more than my entire collection across nine sites collectively (there's money in online video... apparently?). Screen shot of my win featured on View Bugs home page posted below (click to see larger version).


The video its self pokes more of my humor at the wonderful world of 'conceptual minimalism' - a phrase that I've coined for art that only barely skims the surface of creative potential. It's also a dig at art critics who elevate this work from obscurity, where it should remain.

Whilst I'd like to believe I was selected over thousands of entries, in some pretty stiff competition, …

Three tips for developing artwork ideas.

If you're an artist struggling with 'artist's block' then here are three tips that may help you get an idea or two out of your sketch book.

Keep it simple.

Many artists fall into the trap of thinking that art needs to be complex and thought provoking. Don't get me wrong it's great when it is but don't try to be complex when you're struggling just to get one idea (save the complex work for when you're on a roll).

Don't over think it.

Just like my first point but even over thinking a simple idea can cause you to abandon it. An idea doesn't need to be perfect it just needs potential. If you look at my previous post, The Creativity of Imagining Dragons, the Blue Dragon artwork may not have happened if I'd spent hours refining my sketch. To complete that artwork I did one partially resolved sketch and worked out the rest as I painted it onto the canvas.

Choose a recurring theme.

If there is one theme that really interests you then keep revisiting a…

The Creativity of Imagining Dragons

What does a dragon look like? Depending on where you live your description may vary. For example the European idea of a dragon is a fairly large, dinosaur like creature with a longish neck and huge wings that allow it to fly. Where as the oriental, Chinese style of dragon tends to be more serpent like in the body, retaining lizard like legs, but often does not include wings. The point being, you would still recognize both as being a dragon.

If you're ever stuck for something to get your creative juices flowing then imagining a dragon can be a useful exercise to pass the time. Think about everything you know about what a dragon looks like and then try to draw it. It's not as easy as you might think.

We all know the broad features that make a dragon recognizable to us but when it comes to filling in the details it can be quite a challenge. What does the mouth look like? Should a dragon have horns? What about the wings - could they be bat like or should they be more like pterodacty…

Student finds valuable art inside sofa bed!

In one of my previous blog posts, titled Art in your couch, I humorously suggested the idea of looking down the back of your couch to see if you could find any 'art'. Today, in a Reuters news feed, I came across this story Student finds baroque painting inside old sofa, which gives serious credibility to the idea that looking down the back of your couch for art may not be such a silly idea after all.

The story relates how a German Student bought a sofa bed at a flea market and, some usage time later, discovered a rather valuable painting hidden inside.

Titled "Preparations for the flight to Egypt," the artwork is believed, by experts, to have been painted between 1605 and 1610 by an unknown artist thought to have ties to Venetian painter Carlo Saraceni.

The student, who discovered the painting between the folds of the sofa bed, sold the painting at auction in Hamburg for 19,200 euros (US$27,660). A tidy profit on the 150 euros she paid for the sofa.

As a footnote to this…

Alternative Energy doesn't mean Nuclear Energy.

Recently in Australia there has been much debate about the need to find alternative energy sources to fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas. In terms of generating electricity the so called environmentally friendly Nuclear Power is often put forward as the one, clear and sensible alternative energy choice.

However I've always maintained that Nuclear Energy isn't environmentally friendly because no company has found a viable use for the nuclear waste it produces. Nuclear waste is usually stored which, given its radioactive nature and inability to biodegrade safely within a time period of less than before Armageddon, doesn't seem all that friendly to me.

Thrown out any bad art lately?

In contrast to my previous post, Thrown out any good art lately?, this story came to me through a members post on Australian Art Forum about the Museum of Bad Art. I just happened to read the backstory behind the museums cornerstone artwork and the similarities with my previous post demonstrate that even bad art placed in the trash may be more valuable than you thought.

I'm not going to retell the story of Lucy In the Field With Flowers (pictured) because you can read the details by Susan Lawlor, a family member of the painting's former owner for yourself. Suffice to say that this particular painting was recovered from the kerbside trash on a Boston street by the Museum of Bad Arts founder, Scott Wilson, who was promptly inspired to create the aforementioned museum.

The Museum of Bad Art now exists in both online and bricks and mortar form - with the bricks and mortar coming first. Interestingly enough the actual museum is, perhaps appropriately, located just outside the men’s r…

Thrown out any good art lately?

"Tres Personajes" by Rufino Tamayo, a 1970 oil and sand on canvas painting, in an undated image released to the media on Oct. 22, 2007. Source: Sotheby's via Bloomberg NewsWe've all heard stories of people finding extremely valuable items in kerbside rubbish collections but this one might get you taking a closer look at a few discarded paintings.

New York City woman, Elizabeth Gibson, was walking past a collection of garbage bags put out for collection one Saturday morning in 2003 when her eye caught a painting sticking out the top. Initially she walked right on by but a short time later she returned for a second look with a hunch that this painting may just be the goods for her apartments living room wall.

There must have been something about the painting that suggested there was more to it than would at first appear because Elizabeth began, what would turn out to be, a rather lengthy and difficult journey to find out the artworks history.

Fast forward four years later…

Radiohead - is this the future for commercial creativity?

The music world and the online world in general is abuzz with Radiohead's decision to let fans decide how much they pay for the bands new album In Rainbows before being allowed to download it via their web site.

This simple act has allowed the band to bypass the need for a record company. It's estimated, on average the band will still make about the same amount of money from downloads as they would have going the usual CD release route after the record companies have taken their cut. On average, I've read people are paying about US$8.00 for an album which you can, if you choose, download for free. It's up to you.

If you would like to read a deeper article on the repercussions then Maki from www.doshdosh.com has written a great article about Radiohead and Anti-marketing in the music industy.

What's clever about their decision is that it completely legalizes the free sharing of music. Something that is very web 2.0 where the new words for sharing on a grand scale is goi…

Sucking the moisture out of the air...Island Sky.

In my recent post A Tax on Rainwater I made the following statement:

"A tax on rainwater might be valid if we were literally sucking the moisture out of the air. Farming clouds."
Watching my local evening news broadcast tonight I was interested in a story about Australian owned company Island Sky who manufacture machines capable of extracting the moisture from the air and turning it into drinking water.

Island Sky's technology can be scaled depending on intended usage. From a 'water cooler' style model for the home or office through to being able to adapt the technology for commercial and industrial uses.

As much as the concept of Island Sky's technology is fantastic it does make me wonder if this kind of machine could affect weather patterns if implemented on a large and concentrated scale? For example could we see coastal cities sucking a larger proportion of moisture from the air to the detriment of inland towns?

The reason why I wonder leads back to my origina…

How do you paint in inches?

I recently received a message from an admirer of my art who suggested that I should also include the size of my paintings in inches to assist international collectors not familiar with the metric system of measurement.

My mind, being the way it is, winked at me and thought, but I only know how to paint in metric? How do you convert a painting to inches anyway? Is there a conversion chart?

I found a pretty good conversion tool online but when I typed in the title of my painting it didn't seem to understand and looked at me like I was some kind of fool.

Maybe I'll just buy my canvases pre-converted to inches to save me the worry.

I'm an Adult Now. I can do anything I want!

A common myth that teenage adults have as they start to get closer to that arbitrary line of being an 'adult' is that adults can do anything they want. I'm sure millions of parents have heard from their teen, at one time or another, "I'm an adult now so I can do what I want." A statement that clearly is a childish justification for poor decision making.

Why? Because usually your teen will come out with this statement if you won't let them do something that they really want. To be fair, sometimes it's just the parents being overly protective but, for whatever reason, being an 'adult now' is a childish way to say I don't care for your concern I'm going to do what I want. (Though in that last sentence you can exchange the word 'concern' for 'unreasonable attitude' or more likely yet just insert the word 'sh_t').

Apart from the obvious physical differences the key difference between children and adults is that adults …

Jack Nicholson, Anger Management and The Joker

I was watching the Jack Nicholson, Adam Sandler movie, Anger Management on DVD and I got to thinking just how good an actor Jack Nicholson is. That's no big revelation really. I'm fairly certain Jack's won a number of awards for his work over the years. However I'll continue on.

On the special features of the Anger Management DVD someone comments that almost everyone has a Jack Nicholson impression, because Jack's voice is unmistakably his. Team Jack's voice with the man himself and you have a living icon that few people in the western world would fail to recognise.

When you go to see a movie with Jack Nicholson, as soon as he appears you instantly recognise him as Jack, yet, in every single movie I've ever seen him in, he immediately becomes the character. You're no longer watching Jack Nicholson.

I particularly like his character, the unorthodox anger management therapist, Dr Buddy Rydell, in Anger Management. Nobody plays a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde charac…

Cy Twombly. Art you can love...or not?

The lawyer for the plaintiffs, Agnes Tricoire, presents to the court a reproduction of the kiss mark on a painting by artist American Cy Twombly.
Photo: MSNBC


In researching this post I'm happy to say that American artist, Cy Twombly's all white artwork, 'Untitled', is an exception to his art rather than the norm. Perhaps that is why the artwork is valued at just over 2.8 million dollars and lays some credibility on my rationale in pricing my own blank canvas in my video guide to Pricing your artwork for sale.

Regular readers will know my distaste for blank canvas artworks so I could not pass up this opportunity to comment on Rindy Sam, a 30 year old, female French artist, who loved Twombly's blank artwork enough to kiss it with fully, lipstick loaded, lips.

The incident happened on July 19, 2007, where the painting was part of a traveling exhibition on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art in the southern French city of Avignon. The kiss was described as an 'a…

Britney Spears, Going Down the Hard Road

Photo: Sun-Sentinal.com
I'm not one to follow the trials of drugged out celebrities but when someone like Britney Spears is getting so much media attention it's hard not to notice. So, here's a post with a lesson.

It seems that not even Britney can get away with doing whatever the hell she likes. According tho this article on E! News, Britney Comes Clean on Drug Test, Britney is finally complying with a court ruling in order to regain access to her children after the courts gave temporary, primary custody to their father Kevin Federline.

The lesson here kids is that no matter how much money and fame you have you still can't get away with doing exactly as you please if your actions are illegal or potentially dangerous to those around you. Sooner or later the law will catch up with you and bite you on the... well, if you're Britney it'll take away your children.

Because that is one of the reasons why we have laws. They're there to protect you from yourself and, i…

The World Wide Pluto Conspiracy.

Popular YouTuber Nalts recently posted this video rant about the planet pluto being downgraded to 'dwarf' planet status. Nalts video opposes the announcement on August 24th, 2006, by the The International Astronomical Union (IAU), that Pluto would no longer retain full planetary status due its size being considerably smaller than other 'planet like' objects found in the same region of space.

You can read about the announcement in this article from Science Daily which includes an illustration of other objects, amongst them a larger object called 'Xena', that some astronomers were hoping would achieve 'planet' status.

The Nalts video jogged my memory of an article that I wrote way back in 1996 that positioned my beliefs on the question of alien life forms and whether they do or don't exist. What is remarkable about the article is that it puts forward the idea that the planet Pluto may not actually exist. Here is an extract:

Just because you haven’t seen…

Mr. McGroovy's Box Creations like no other.

I'm not one to write sponsored blog posts so let me assure you this post is simply because I was very impressed with Mr. McGroovy's Box Rivets™ web site and more specifically the cardboard creations within it.

Mr. McGroovy sells special kind of Box Rivets™ (pictured) that allow your imagination to run wild on large scale box creations such as the pictured space ship. That thing is big enough to send your child into orbit (well if it had an engine maybe).

What I thought was really cool is that Mr. McGroovy provides all the plans you need to make the creations appearing on his site including Pirate ships, castles, fire engines and more. Even a Santa's Sleigh! Check out the gallery of things people have built using the rivets here.

I have a big refrigerator box sitting in my studio. I'm almost tempted to buy some rivets to see what I can turn it into. Better put my creativity hat on!

Photography and Semaphore Beach.

Semaphore Beach, Port Adelaide, South Australia is a favorite place for Enigma and I to visit. Especially around sunset (you know the walk on the beach, kind of romantic type thing that people like). Ever since Enigma bought a professional standard digital camera (of the kind that you can attach all manner of specialized lenses to) we've used our trips to Semaphore as an opportunity to improve our photography.

I've had some training throughout my three years at art school on the technical side of working a manual SLR photography camera. Hence I know about apertures, shutter speeds, depth of field and other such technical things but I'm very rusty in applying that knowledge. I never really embraced the idea of me being a photographer even though my teacher said I had a great eye for photos.

Tackling the workings of a modern SLR digital camera can be quite a challenge. Most of the principles are the same as traditional cameras but finding your way around digital displays, men…

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