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Showing posts from November, 2007

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…