Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Painting: "Shoe Divas"

While the travelling Queensland Arts Council exhibition "Art Shoes" is in town, local artists and potters were invited to produce works on the Art Shoes theme to be displayed locally alongside it.

This is my contribution, entitled "Shoe Divas":

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Painting: "One Magical Day"

I painted this miniature painting over two days, for our local art group's Christmas break up dinner's lucky dip type swap:

Last year names were drawn by chance & each recipient got to choose from the wrapped gifts, one by one, which is a system I prefer.

This year our most famous local artist's husband chose a wrapped gift to hand to each recipient, & recipients just took their turns according to where they happened to be sitting.

Each attendee brought either a piece of their own art (or craft) or art supplies, for the Christmas gift table.

I hope the recipient of "One Magical Day" enjoys having it in her home?

Here is a detail:

Can you tell me what type of bird this is? Yes, it is a real bird, which exists in our real world.

The other bird, on the jersey cow's head, is a Gouldian finch.

The tree is a bottle tree, in case you're wondering why it's a peculiar shape. Here in central Queensland, Australia, we have bottle trees. I hadn't seen any until I moved here (from south east Queensland). I think bottle trees are cute, do you? Here's a photo of a young small one, from my own garden:

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Art Shriek!

An ever changing mosaic of links to art websites:

Click now or miss out!

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Do you have trouble with ... hands?

I came across this hands tutorial today, at WetCanvas:

It's a three page "Demonstration on Painting Hands" by Leslie Pease.

I just wish I had found it several weeks ago, when Maria was painting her dancer.

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Brigalow Arts Festival

Our annual local visual arts festival, the Brigalow Arts Festival, finished on Friday. The Opening Night was last Monday.

These are the two paintings I exhibited:

"A Twilight Flight of Fancy", mixed media on canvas.

"Self Portrait 2007", acrylic on canvas.

Friday, 12 October 2007

Article: Acrylic Painting on Paper

Winsor & Newton offer an article by Derek Massey, on Acrylic Painting on Paper:

Derek Massey has been a full time professional UK artist since 1987.

Mr Massey states in his article: "The end result is as good as a traditional oil painting, with the added advantage of a very fast drying little or none of the odour one associates with oil paints...has all the qualities of a water colour and the added dimension this paint has to offer..."

Click here to have the artist guide you with step by step photographs of his works in progress, explaining his techniques throughout.

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Get your art fix: Artabus

Getting your art fix is easy at Artabus!

Hold your mouse cursor over any of the 1,064 artists' names to see a preview of one of their artworks. Click a name to see that artist's biography with the option to see his/her gallery, etc.

Saturday, 29 September 2007

Free Success Course of the Arts

"Find a sanctuary where you can comfortably work.
Dedicate at least two hours a day to your art.
Have more than enough equipment and supplies.
Set short- and long-term goals and keep track of progress.
Think of your work as exercise, not championship play.
Explore series development and exhaust personal themes.
Work alone with the benefit of books and perhaps tapes.
Replace passive consumption with creative production.
Use your own intuition and master your technology.
Feel the joy of personal, self-generated sweat.
Fall in love with your own working processes.
Be forever on the lookout for the advent of style.
Try to be your own person and claim your rights.
Don't bother setting yourself up for rejection.
Don't swing too wildly and damage the well-being of others.
Don't jump into the ring until you're feeling fit.

If you can stick with this regimen for a couple of months, I
can pretty well guarantee your progress. If not, then at least
the exercise will let you know the job's not for you.

Source: Robert Genn Twice Weekly Letter

Friday, 28 September 2007

Collecting Art

SuperLiving Magazine has an interesting article entitled "Paint by Numbers" by Lynelle Johnson, about collecting art.

She says: "...Art is a funny thing. It gains significance and beauty because influential people say it is significant..."


"Today, according to Anne, if you are looking at collecting an artist you would be looking for significance in these ways:

They are represented by a major dealer
They have had solo shows
They are represented in public collections – state and national art galleries
They win major prizes and get grants
They get lots of media attention
And even better they had a life cut short!
Then you would look at the significance of the work within the artist's career

Top artists to collect now, according to Bonhams & Goodman's List of Living Artists Under $10,000 are:

Stephen Benwell
Lorraine Connelly-Northey
Peter Cooley
Emily Floyd
David Jolly
Amanda Marburg
Noel McKenna
David Noonan
Gwyn Hanssen Pigott
Lena Yarinkura

Click on each of the above to read about each artist/see examples of their work.

Which is your favourite?

Saturday, 22 September 2007

Helpful Posts

Today I've serendipitously found lots of Helpful Posts from "Artist, Emerging" (Deanna's art blog):

Deanna's generous articles include:

Writing an Artist's Statement
Writing an Artist's Resume
Pricing Your Artwork
Creating an Art Brochure
Creating an Exhibition Proposal
Calls for Proposals
Hanging Artwork
Juried Shows
Types of Galleries
Alternative Exhibition Spaces
Tax Advice (US)
Packing and Shipping Artwork
Writing About Art
Rejection Letters
Putting Images on CD
How Galleries Choose Artists

Let's benefit from Deanna's experiences!

Monday, 17 September 2007

Acknowledging other artists

Yes I know, I've been missing in action. I'll let you believe that I was so submerged in Etsy that I have only just come up for air. ;-)

I was just reading one of my favourite art blogs, Painting My World, by Lindsay Brackeen:

In her September 1, 2007 post, Lindsay writes:

"...By acknowledging my work, this woman gave me confidence & the shove I needed to pursue something I love. So almost 400 sold paintings later, I'm thinking of my beginnings, where I started, where I've come thus far, and where I plan to go...Where did your artful journey start?"

I'd like to ask you, dear reader, a similar question: regarding the first painting (or other visual artwork) you sold: who bought it, & under what circumstances?

Also, which artists do you support (by purchasing their artworks)?

The first painting I sold was to our music teacher of over a dozen years, Joan, a lady who is like a grandmother to our daughter. It was a commissioned pastel portrait of her late daughter. I am grateful to Joan for having such faith in me.

On my walls I have (original) paintings by: Sarah Larsen, Judy Vander-Have, Auda McLean, and Cathy McLean (Auda's daughter).

Your turn!

Sunday, 26 August 2007

You've Got to Explore: Etsy!

"I think that buying handmade is a way of expression and communication. You express yourself through the objects that you choose to live with and with the objects that you give to other people. Handmade objects have a different meaning compared to industrial objects because they carry a human energy. The thing that most impacts people is other people. That’s why we experience something nice when we get anything handmade. When you buy handmade you are not only buying an object but you’re also buying a concept, an idea that has to do with the appreciation of what’s human. By buying handmade you are saying in a subtle way that you care about other people and that you are open for them to bring something into your life, it is an exchange, it is human connection."

- elsita, on Etsy. (Elsita mainly sells prints and jewellery.)

Etsy is a marvellous website of all things handmade, by artists and craftspeople from all over the world!

Please don't think that Etsy is limited to craft alone: I searched for "original painting" only to receive over 2,000 results! These results include prints from the seller's original paintings as well as original paintings.

Items for sale on Etsy include: accessories, art, bags & purses, bath & beauty, books & zines, candles, ceramics & potter, (things for) children, clothing, crochet, furniture, geekery (!), glass, holidays (themed), housewares, jewellery, knitting, music, needlecraft, paper goods, patterns, pets, plants & edibles, quilts, supplies, toys, vintage, weddings, woodworking!

There are so many ways to explore Etsy! One of my favourites is the Geolocator, allowing you to see items for sale from almost anywhere in the world. You can also choose any colour, & Etsy will find items for sale to match! The "Recently Listed Items" updates every fifteen seconds! The whole design of the website is just brilliant.

It appears to be simple, quick, & inexpensive to become a seller on Etsy too, & buyers are encouraged to arrange payment via PayPal.

Take a look at Etsy, you'll be hooked!

PS: I found a fellow Queensland artist/craftsperson on Etsy: Nic Hohn!

Sunday, 12 August 2007

Painting: "Stoney Creek"

"Stoney Creek"
34.5cm x 22cm (13.6" x 8.7")
Acrylic on 300gsm watercolour paper

"Stoney Creek" is one of a series of paintings inspired by prints for sale at the Etsy shop "smallstump".

A creek winds through my parents' property. When we were children, we were allowed to 'swim' in the waterhole only when the creek was flowing with clear water.

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Pricing your art

How do you price your art?

Paul Dorrell, gallery owner, in his article "Establishing Prices for your Work" says:

"...I’m often asked by novice browsers why paintings and sculptures are always so “expensive.”...I typically answer by explaining that my artists have been working in their disciplines for anywhere from twenty to forty years. They’ve established, through decades of struggle, techniques that are unique to them–meaning that their work is uncommon. They have now reached the point where they’re due proper compensation for all the privation they’ve been through, and, in most cases, that their families have been through as well. To charge any less would be a disservice to the artist. I carefully explain all this, then finish by asking the questioner that if they’d been down such a long, exhausting, risk-imperiled road, what would they charge for the work? Invariably the answer is, “More.”

I say, “Very good,” then proceed to close a deal

There are 18 interesting artists' comments to follow that article.

Sonya Paz, a professional artist, has a commonsense guide to pricing your work here in the EBSQ Archives - such as:

"...Add up the materials and give yourself a humble fee, then times it all by three. For instance your canvas 15.00, usage of paints 6.00, your humble fee based on a four hour project 40.00. Sub totaling 61.00, times three 183.00. This is just an example, you can make your humble fee whatever you feel is fair for you..."

The pros and cons of pricing your art by the square inch, on WetCanvas includes two long pages of artists' opinions, including:

"...I had to put together a quickie price chart. What I came up with is Level 1 ($1 per square inch); Level 2 ($1.25 per square inch); Level 3 ($1.50 per square inch) and Level 4 ($1.75 per square inch). I decide the "Level" based on the complexity of the subject. As we all know, some paintings are very quick and some with a lot of detail will take much longer..."


"...A flat $ / sq inch doesn't work for me because either my small paintings would cost too little, or the large ones would cost too much. So I have a sliding scale of different rates for different size ranges. For example, if <= 80, then $4.50 / <= 200, then $4.00 / <= 300, then $3.00 /
... > 500, then $2.00 /

That works for my own style and method of work. I came up with that by first trying to think of a realistic price for the different sizes that I typically work in. Then I made a spreadsheet of square inches vs. $/ When I saw that the prices I had in mind fit a nice curve on the spreadsheet, I came up with that sliding scale

Alyson B. Stanfield, on her Art Biz Blog, has Pricing Your Art: 10 Rules, including artist feedback, and:

"...if you can't produce enough work to keep up with the demand, it's time to raise your prices..." (!)

Friday, 3 August 2007

Painting: "Blokes"

This is the follow up painting to "Inspired But Grounded", which I posted on the 12th of June - it's the second of this series. This one is entitled "Blokes":

Which of the two is your favourite, and why?

What would you suggest for the third painting in this series?

Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Painting demo on YouTube

This is the first of four parts of a painting demonstration by US artist and designer, Janey Kenoyer:

This is an artist who knows how to "make love to" the camera, don't you think?!

If you watch the whole four parts you might gain some painting tips.

Just in case you're planning to upload a video to YouTube: apparently the picture which represents your YouTube video is taken from half way through it, so if you're organised &/or rehearsed enough to know how long your video will be, you need to pose for a moment, or otherwise make sure there'll be a great, representative picture on screen, at the halfway mark.

Friday, 27 July 2007

Painting from memory

Do you paint from memory? I like good reference photos. I know I need to train my mind to remember details.

How would you like a memory, and drawing skills, like this?

Sunday, 22 July 2007

French woman arrested after expensive art kiss

"A Cambodian-born French woman faces prosecution for criminal damage after planting a kiss on a painting by the American artist Cy Twombly, leaving the imprint of her lipstick on the otherwise immaculate white canvas. "

Read the rest of the story here.

More on Cy Twombly here and here.

Keep up to date with news about painting, here!

Saturday, 14 July 2007

The Art of Procrastinating Art!

"You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do." (Henry Ford)

I envy those of you successful artists who truly enjoy, and relax by splashing paint around on a frequent basis.

Most of the time I have to think for a long time to decide what to paint, which is why a theme challenge works so well, ie when an art group, whether that be local or online, all create artworks on the same theme, to be completed by a deadline.

Our local art group, BAVA, (Biloela Area Visual Artists) did this recently, together with the Biloela Potters, to accompany "Coffee & Tea Works" by Corrie Wright, which is a QAC travelling exhibition. I've just been in to see it, in the Biloela Library this morning. Maria has some photos of opening night on her art blog.

If you find procrastination funny, read The Procrastinator's Creed. I can identify with #12: "I know that the work cycle is not plan/start/finish, but is wait/plan/plan."

I knew I could count on WetCanvas to have some interesting forum discussions on the topic of procrastination. Here's a quote from the "What Causes You to Stall?" discussion which I can identify with: "...anticipatory dread can paralyze me for weeks..."

It's amazing, the other tasks I can complete while procrastinating on painting! In this essay by John Perry, he calls this process "Structured Procrastination" - which, in my opinion, is so much more preferable than doing nothing/wasting time. Check out the funny author photo!

I've found two books to aid in kicking the procrastination habit: "How to Avoid Making Art" by Julia Cameron, who also wrote "The Artist's Way" [excerpt: "Make your first project really big"](!);

and: "The War of Art - Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles" by Steven Pressfield [excerpt: "...any act that rejects immediate gratification in favor of long-term growth, health, or integrity...Any of these will elicit Resistance.]

I wonder when, if ever, I'll be as brave as Rich Hawk: "I tamed my personal art demon – the tendency to think about painting rather than actually painting – by throwing the stuff on the blank paper and telling myself I didn't care about the end result. I believed it and was saved."

Sunday, 8 July 2007

Painting: "Tea or Coffee?"

I was waiting until after the Coffee and Tea art exhibition opening night to post this painting: "Tea or Coffee?".

This is the 'tea' half:

It's acrylic on 300gsm watercolour paper. The background was inspired by the backgrounds in paintings by Debi Hubbs, one of my favourite artists.

This gives you an idea of how it is framed (in a very dark brown frame), yes I know I didn't follow the correct art photography rules (see an earlier post), you can see the flash glare, and it's not aligned properly, tsk tsk:

Saturday, 30 June 2007

Gallery Representation?

Are you looking for gallery representation?

Alyson B. Stanfield at's "Art marketing secrets, resources and motivation..." offers some worthwhile tips, plus links to others, including:

"...sending full-color postcards with terrific photos of your work three or four times a year...think of this as a long-term process...Visit Art Galleries First...nothing is more annoying to a gallery than solicitations from artists who don't fit with their stable of artists and exhibitions...asking for artist submission guidelines is the only way to ensure you are sending in the correct takes an average of nine (9!) contacts for someone to buy something from you, visit your Web site, or just do business with you!"

Here's an interesting discussion on the WetCanvas forums, including:

"...The first thing I learned about galleries is that I have to be a professional. The second thing is that nothing else matters if they think they can make money off me. That is that you should try to present yourself and your artwork in the most professional way possible. Show them that you mean business and that you will still be around next year. They cannot make money if you decide you want to be a tractor driver next month, so prove to them that you are willing to invest in your art, and they will be willing to invest too. Get your art professionally photographed, get a professional resume, and bio, and follow-up, follow-up, follow-up!"

and: "...galleries require an artist's bio, or ..uh-hem... (using snooty tone of voice now)- a "Curriculum Vitae" that they have a ready sales pitch for the deep pocket but ignorant buyer. They want to know who of any importance, (if any), went so far as to purchase your work! This convinces the possible buyer they are not so far off base considering buying your work too!"

At, Douglas Ready,an artist and illustrator living in Seattle, Washington, USA, has some really interesting things to say: "The truth is that only a very small percentage of working artists will ever acquire gallery representation. A much smaller percentage will acquire adequate gallery representation. And, even if you're successful in finding that one gallery with which you can build a working relationship, the gallery won't do all the work. You need to check in regularly with the owner, build a rapport, meet potential buyers, attend openings, and reassure yourself that enough is being done to promote your work. In fact to insure success in a gallery environment you'll need to promote yourself at least as much as before you secured gallery representation..."!

and: "Galleries are only interested in art they believe they can sell, and there is only one known manner of proving your work will sell: somebody has to have bought some of it, preferably a good many pieces of it. An adequate gallery will work with the artist to build his client list, but very few of them are much interested in starting from scratch. Securing reputable gallery representation without an existing client list is virtually impossible."!

Douglas Ready's work has been used for advertising, iillustrated books and magazines, greeting cards, posters and colouring books.

A rather controversial article by Robert C Wittig at EBSQArt states: "...If a painter is to pursue his or her profession more than a few hours per week, in their spare time, they must find the means to bring their production to the public... to trade their work for food and shelter. If a painter is not a member of the ArtWorld culture, his or her chances of having their work represented by an ArtWorld gallery is vanishingly small... especially if that work is representational in nature..."

The Australian artforum's gallery representation discussion includes: "...Artist-run-galleries are a great starting point on the road to gaining commercial gallery representation. Before I got representation I had 3 solo shows and numerous group shows in ARIs and I believe it's the best way to gain experience and exposure... aris are ghreat for those who for whatever reason can't or don't want to gain commercial representation..." and: " the Art Almanac to see the Accepting Proposals ads - normally around this time of year and around Feb or March you will find plenty of ads..." and: "...In the meantime I have been researching galleries (art almanac, what can I say!) to find shortlists of ones I am interested, joined their mailling lists and am going along to openings and things. it's good to get out there, see what they have and work on nursing that one glass of wine while schmoozing..."

Tracy Dods, at the Australian ABC's Catapult's Ask an Expert, advises: "...document your work. Good photographic representation with size and medium underneath is a good habit to get in to also when you have many galleries representing you it helps you keep track of where everything is..."

Monday, 25 June 2007

Painting: "Marina"

Marina was a little girl with a lot of character, and a twinkle in her eye, a much loved youngest child. I hope that my efforts help her family to remember her the way Marina would like to be remembered. This was a commissioned portrait. Precious family photographs were my reference.

Completed in pastels and pastel pencils, on Colourfix/Colorfix board, double matted, in an ornate gilt frame.

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Your Artist's Statement

Perhaps you haven't written your Artist's Statement yet?

If you have, could yours now be stale and dated?!

Two of my favourite online artists' communities, EBSQ Art and WetCanvas, can help you with this task.

Other Artist's Statement resources to explore include:

* Molly Gordon, business coach.

* Marion Boddy-Evans, at

* Nita Leland, artist,

* Alan Bamberger, at,

*, three examples here,

* Incredible Art Department, includes tips from several different people,

- and lastly, here is Deborah Fisher's take on artist's statements (warning: language may offend)!

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Sculptors Queensland

I've just stumbled upon "Sculptors Queensland" via Googling the name of an artist, after visiting her art blog, which I've linked to in a previous post.

SOSQ (Society of Sculptors Queensland) was founded in the 1960s, and provides a newsletter, monthly meetings with informative speakers, workshops and exhibition programs.

We've had a Hebel workshop last month here in Biloela, and this Saturday BAVA (Biloela Area Visual Arts) are getting together with the local pottery group, so the two groups can learn from each other/share ideas.

My mother used to teach pottery and sell pottery at markets, and did do some clay sculpting. I might like to try sculpting of some sort 'one day' too.

Sunday, 17 June 2007

Coffee Art

Saturday, 16 June 2007

Art & Craft Markets in Queensland

Have you ever thought of selling your art at markets? If so, you may be in need of some kind of shade structure and a display system:

Shade Australia, based in Sydney, offer a small portable shade structure for as little as $95. A waterproof cover, and waterproof sides, are extra.

Shady Characters Pty Ltd, based in Archerfield/Rocklea, Qld, offer Easy Shades, which can be erected in less than 30 minutes - & they also have several Qld agents.

Star Marquees, based in Acacia Ridge, have marquees starting at $695(!).

There is a discussion about which colour to choose for your "canopy tent" here at Wetcanvas.

Phoenix Display Systems, based in Loganholme, sell Australian made Superlite Panel Displays, with easy one person no tool assembly in seconds.

FX Hanging Systems, based in Sydney, sell the Avanti Display System (not sure if this can be used in a portable art display?).

Art Show Partitioning, based in St Kilda, Victoria, hire out display boards, and their page may give you an idea how to diy, too.

Artward Bound hire and sell white display panels, free standing panels on castors, pedestals and lighting.

There must be cheap do-it-yourself display ideas online, but I haven't been able to locate them, yet.

Artists, please let me know what you've used, both for shade, & to display your art, at markets, fairs, or outdoor exhibitios?

Perhaps the most famous of Queensland's markets is Eumundi Markets, on Wednesdays and Saturdays in Eumundi, in the Sunshine Coast area. These are the art stallholders at Eumundi Markets.

There are several specifically art and craft markets on the Gold Coast, plus check out the links to markets in nearby areas, at the bottom of that page.

This is a list (with links) of artists from "Art & Craft Markets on the (Gold) Coast" website.

There are over a dozen Sunshine Coast area markets - in fact here is a list of 17 markets, sorted by days of the week - and this list of 24 Sunshine Coast area markets includes contact details.

Total Travel have a list of Qld markets, with each clickable to further information, including accommodation specials for each area.

Perhaps you are unable to travel to the market, but would like to be able to purchase art from market vendors, online?

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Painting: "Inspired but Grounded"

"Inspired but Grounded" was inspired by a masked abstract called "Wisps" by English artist Amanda Hone, who I found on EBSQ Self Representing Artists.

I didn't use masking tape for this. For the figures I used a cardboard template, which I first drew then cut out.

"Inspired but Grounded" is one of my most popular paintings, even though it took less time to create than my other artwork. Perhaps its popularity has to do with the fun/play factor - I painted it with more abandon than is my usual painting style.

It's acrylic on thick watercolour paper, professionally framed, 8 1/2" x 12 1/2" (21.5cm x 31.5cm), and is AUD350 (350 Australian dollars).

It's one of a pair of paintings actually: these are the ladies; the other shows the 'blokes'!

Sunday, 10 June 2007

Are you in a creative rut?

Are you feeling blah, and in need of inspiration?

Click here - for 100 ideas to spark your creativity!

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Painting: "Violinist in Scarlet"

"Violinist in Scarlet" was painted over a weekend, especially for the art auction on opening night of Brigalow Arts Festival in Biloela, with proceeds going to the Banana Shire Art Gallery Association.

This painting is of Amiee Groundwater, who performed for several years with the local orchestra "Strings Attached". She is also an artist.

"Violinist in Scarlet" is Winsor & Newton Finity acrylics on 300gsm watercolour paper. I like to use 300gsm because it's thick and absorbent, so there's less chance of buckling, even with washes. If I do see a slight buckle, once the painting is dry I sit it under a very large very heavy dictionary overnight.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Photographing your paintings

Here are some tips, from various people, for photographing your paintings, which I found online this morning:

"...I have photographed many paintings with no flash at all. The key is to photograph outside on a cloudy day so that the light is diffused. With this method, you will discover that textures in the paint medium come through, but without cast shadows that a bright sun or flash will cause. Another thing to be aware of is to keep your camera paralell with the work - whether you shoot horizontally or vertically, make sure the image doesn't look wider on either side, top, or bottom. If your camera allows it, bracket exposures - an under-exposed negative will give you loss of depth of color and contrast, and over-exposed can cause an increase in contrast..."

" of the best and easiest ways to do it is to use daylight balanced film (ektachrome 100 has fine grain) and hang the painting in bright shade OUTDOORS. You get extremely accurate color rendition, and the soft quality of the light is much like the ideal gallery skylight. You can set up a little studio outdoors, with seamless background paper, or simply hang the pictures on a white wall."

"...You can try to photograph your paintings during the day outside, "Late Afternoon". Or you can bounce your flash off a white wall."

"...I would go for daylight. Pick an overcast but bright day in an open situation, which should give you even and fairly neutral light...Probably the most important factor is making sure that the front element is absolutely parallel to the artwork."

"...shoot in bright sun with daylight transparency film. Galleries and juried shows usually want 35mm slides, although prints may be acceptable..."

"...To avoid reflections, it is best to coat your acrylics with a satin lacquer or artist medium prior to photographing...the farther back you are the easier it is to control reflection problem. Electronic flash can be used; however, no way to see problem reflections. If you don't want to purchase a lighting outfit, you could shoot in open shade; however, you probably need to use color correction filter to adjust for 'bluer'light."

These tips are from:

"Tips for Photographing Artwork
The presentation of your artwork is very important to you as an artist. When preparing images for display on the Internet, the resulting image can only be as good as the photograph from which it originates. If the photograph is of poor quality, digital enhancement can only do so much to improve the quality, and even then the results may not accurately represent the artists work.

The following are some basic tips that can dramatically improve your art photos:

Try to use diffuse natural sunlight. A room with large bright windows on a sunny day is excellent. But avoid having sunlight directly on your subject work. Outdoors on a bright but cloudy day can also be excellent.
If using artificial light use multiple indirect light sources. Do not use a flash mounted directly on the camera.
Photograph paintings un-framed whenever possible. Especially try to avoid photographing artwork which is mounted under glass.
Try to position your artwork securely on a flat surface such that you can photograph it straight on (at right angles).
Use a tripod for your camera if you have access to one.
Position your camera at a distance from the artwork such that the art fills most of the viewfinder without cropping any of the sides or corners.
When photographing paintings, check that the edges of the painting are straight (parallel) with the sides and the top/bottom edges of the viewfinder. If they are not straight then your camera is not positioned squarely in front of the piece, or your artwork needs to be tilted up or down.
Focus your camera as carefully as possible. Out of focus images are more difficult to correct than exposure problems. (On manual SLR's use a slightly higher F-stop if possible, to increase the depth of field and minimize the chance of focus problems.)
Many of todays smaller automatic focus cameras cannot focus at a close distance. Check the manual or instructions for your camera to see what the minimum focal distance is.
If you have a camera with manual exposure controls, take shots of each piece with slightly under and slightly over exposed settings in addition to shooting at the correct exposure. This will give you a variety of results to choose from."

Saturday, 2 June 2007

Australian Art Competitions & Art Prizes

My first art prize, as an adult, was for a funny little print experiment, in the local Show. Your local agricultural and pastoral Show may be the best place to start with art competitions. You'll have that sense of satisfaction that you've entered an art competition, and possibly the thrill of winning a (small) art prize. The entry fee will most probably be small, too.

Your next step may be a Shire wide competition, possibly run by your local Shire, perhaps in conjunction with a local art society.

I've recently spent several hours researching Australian art competitions & art prizes. I've added in the entry fees where I could find them, but remember that the entry fee will most likely increase each year. I've also noted in the state for each contest.

The following art competitions are listed in approximate order of entry closure:

* Hutchins Works on Paper Art Prize: TAS, $15,000 first prize, total prize money $18,000, entry fee $40, entries close 15th June.

* Touch of Red III: VIC, $1,000 prize, red must be present in every artwork, entry fee $15, entries close 10th June.

* Warringah Art Exhibition: NSW, $3,575 in awards, entry fee $10, entries close 26th June.

* The Basil Sellers Art Prize: VIC, $100,000 acquisitive, plus $5,000 People's Choice, open theme of sport, entry fee $33, entries close 29th June.

* Willoughby Art Prize: NSW, $14,000 prize pool, entry fee $25, entries close July.

* Mosman Art Prize: NSW, $20,000 major acquisitive prize, entry fee $40, entries close 16th July.

* He Who Dreams: VIC, prizes are exhibitions in three galleries, open to male artists only, entry fee $10, entries close 23rd July.

* Flying Arts Regional Art Awards: QLD, $3,000 acquisitive, $2,000 for 12-25 yrs, $1,000 Viewer's Choice, group exhibition, bursaries, etc, open only to REGIONAL Queensland and northern New South Wales residents, excludes artists currently residing in the Brisbane City Council area and south of Armidale in New South Wales, entry fee $27.50, entries close 27th July.

* The Memento Australia Awards: $30,000+ prize pool, create innovative, quality and authentic mementos for the tourism and retail gift markets that reflect the unique character and spirit of Australia, entry fee $55, entries close 31st July.

* Fleurieu Peninsula Biennale: SA, $50,000 first prize, awards total $90,000, Australian landscape, also smaller prizes for food/wine industry art, water theme,Fleurieu Peninsular landscape, etc, entries close July 2008.

* Hinchinbrook Acquisitive Art Competition: QLD, major prize $1,000 non acquisitive, entry fee $10, entries close August.

* Warwick Art Prize: QLD $5,000 acquisitive prize, $7,750 total prize pool, entry fee $27.50, entries close 10th August.

* Clemenger Contemporary Art Award: VIC, $30,000 prize, triennial, entries close August 2009.

* Banyule Works on Paper: VIC, $4,000 acquisitive prize, biennial, entry fee $25, entries close 3rd August.

* Artworkers Award: QLD, a $5,000 acquisitive prize, & two highly commended non-acquisitive prizes, open to all Qld visual artists, entry fee $20, entries close 6th August.

* Freemasons Art Exhibition: SA, $1,500 prize for art best expressing the philosophy of freemasonry. Entry fee for general exhibits (no prizes) is $20 per 8' x 6' single sided art frame (for as many of your artworks as will fit). Entries close 17th August.

* 2007 Border Art Prize: QLD/NSW, $5,000+ in prizes, open to all artists from these Shires: Tweed, Gold Coast City, Beaudesert, Redland, Lismore, Kyogle, Byron, and Logan City. Entry fee $20, entries close 31st August.

* Conrad Jupiters Art Prize: QLD, an annual $15,000 (or is it $20,000?)competition run by the Gold Coast City Art Gallery. Entry fee $20? Entries close in September.

* QRWN Cultural Competition: QLD, $400 first prize, Queensland Rural Women's Network, open to all Qld women, 16 & over, entry fee $11, entries close in September.

* The Corangamarah Art Prize ‘CONCEIT 07’: VIC, $5,000 acquisitive art prize, entries close 3rd September.

* Eutick Memorial Still Life Award: VIC, $10,000 major acquisitive award, entry fee $20, entries close 14th September.

* City of Whyalla Art Prize: SA, $25,000 prize money, biennial, entry fee $22? Entries close 28th September.

* Comalco Martin Hanson Memorial Art Award: QLD, $13,700 in prizes, entry fee $11, entries close in October.

* Metro 5 Art Award: VIC, $40,000 acquisitive, plus $10,000 People's Choice acquisitive, artists must be 35 years of age or under on 15/02/08? entry fee ?, entries close in October.

* Ergon Energy Central Queensland Art Award: QLD, $10,000 acquisitive major award, biennial, entry fee $30, entries close in October 2008.

* Paddington Art Prize: NSW, $20,000 acquisitive prize, contemporary paintings inspired by the Australian landscape, entry fee $40 , entries close 6th November.

* Stanthorpe Art Prize: QLD, $15,000 acquisition, $20,500 prize pool, biennial, entry fee $30.00, entries close 21st November.

* John Glover Prize: TAS, $30,000, Tasmanian landscape, entry fee $, entries close January?

* Bald Archy: $5,000 acquisitive prize, portrait paintings of humour, dark satire, light comedy or caricature, judged by Maude, a cockatoo?! Entry fee $?, entries close in January.

* The Archibald Prize: NSW, $35,000, + People's Choice $3,500, portrait of person distinguished in Art, Letters, Science, or Politics, entry fee $ , entries close in February.

* Wynne Prize: NSW, $15,000, landscape painting or figure sculpture, entry fee $ , entries close in February.

* Sulman Prize: NSW, $10,000, subject/ genre painting and/or mural work, entry fee $ , entries close in February.

* Outback Spirit Ergon Energy Waltzing Matilda Art Show and Competition: QLD, major awards of $7,000, entries close in February.

* Doug Moran National Portrait Prize: NSW, $100,000, the richest portrait prize in the world, both painters and subjects must be Australian citizens, now annual, entry fee $50, entries close in February.

* Sunshine Coast Art Prize: QLD, a $15,000 aquisitive prize + a 4 week Maleny residency (at Arley Farm) worth up to $5,000 + a People's Choice non acquisitive $2,000 award. Open to all Australian 2D artists. Entry fee $25, entries close in March.

* Camberwell Rotary Art Show: VIC, $20,000 first prize, prize pool over $56,000, entry fee $20, entries close in March.

* The Churchie National Emerging Artists Award: QLD, $5,000 prize, entrants must prove they are emerging artists, entry fee $30 for 1-3 works, entries close in March.

* The Gallipoli Art Prize: NSW, $15,000 acquisitive prize, art must depict the spirit of Gallipoli, entry fee $20, entries close in March.

* Emerald's Central Highlands Easter Sunflower Festival Art Competition: QLD, $ , entry fee $, entries close in March/April?

* Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize: VIC, $50,000 cash prize, biennial, entry fee $, entries close April 2009?

* Sarina Art Extravaganza: QLD, $13,817 prize pool, entry fee $, entries close in April.

* Pine Rivers Art Awards: QLD, $10,000 prize pool, entry fee $15, entries close April.

* Capricorn Coast Art Festival: QLD, $12,000+ in prizes, major prize $5,000 entry fee $15, entries close in April.

* Chelsea Annual Art Show: VIC, over $6,000 in prizes, entries close in May(?).

* Tattersall's Club Landscape Art Award: QLD, $20,000 acquisitive award, + $5,000 Members' Choice, $44 entry fee, entries close in May.

* The Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize: SA, $85,000 total prize pool, $30,000 first prize, acquisitive, $33 entry fee, entries close in May.

* Rotary Club of Blackwood Art & Photography Show: SA, total prize pool $4,250 non acquisitive, $10 entry fee, entries closed 1st June.

Please let me know of any major art competition - especially Qld ones - that you can see I've missed? Thank-you.

If you'd like to investigate further, Brad Buchel, site administrator of, has published this (incomplete?!) list of Australian art competitions:

Art on the Rocks
Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize
Australian Artist Magazine Art Prize
Bega Valley Art Awards
Berrima District Art Society
Blackheath Rhododendron Festival Inc. Art Show
Blake Prize for Religious Art Painting
Bunbury Biennale Painting
Burdekin Art Society inc.
Busselton Agricultural Show
Canberra Art Prize Painting
Canberra Contemporary Art Space
Canning Art Award Painting
Capricorn Coast Art Festival
Cardinia Yakkerboo Festival Art Show
Character of Bellingen Art Prize
City of Albany Art Prize
City of Belmont Art Awards
City of Hobart Art Prize
City of Ryde Art Award
City of Wanneroo Art Awards
City of Whyalla Art Prize
Coffs Harbour City Art & Craft Exhibition
Conrad Jupiter’s Gold Coast Art Prize
Cossack (Acquisitive) Art Ward
Cromwell’s Art Prize Painting
Cross Art Prize
Currabubula Red Cross Art Exhibition
Daffodil Day Arts Awards Painting
Darebin-La Trobe Acquisitive Art Prize
Downlands College Art Exhibition
Dromana Art Show
Echuca Moama Artists
Emerald Annual Arts Competition
Environmental Art Award
Ergon Energy Award
Ernest Henry memorial Art Contest
Fisher’s Ghost Art Award
Fleurieu Peninsular Biennale
Gatton Shire Art Awards
Geelong Contemporary Art Prize
Godfest Christian Art Prize
Gold Rush Art Competition
Gruner Prize
Harvest Art Award
Heritage City Art Festival
Heysen Prize for Australian Landscapes
Hichinbrook Acquisitive Art Competition
Hornsby Art Society Awards & Art Exhibition
Hunters Hill Art & Craft Exhibition
Inverell Art Prize
James Farrell Self Portrait Award
James Kiwi Watercolour Art prize
John Leslie Art Prize
Katanning Art Prize
Katherine Prize
Kempsey Shire Art Prize
Kenilworth Celebrates: Arts Festival
Kernewek Lowender Art Prize
Kiama Art Society Annual Exhibition
Kimberly Art Prize
Korumburra Rotary Art Show
Lane Cove Municipal Art Award
Leaf Art Prize and Exhibition
Liverpool City Arts Festival
Maleny Art Award & Exhibition
Mandorla Art Award for Contemporary Religious Art
Martin Hanson Memorial Art Awards
Matthew Flinders Art Competition
Meroogal Women’s Arts Prize
Metro 5 Art Award
Minnawarra Festival Art Award
Mosman Art Prize
Mount Waverly Art Show
Mungindi Art Competition
Muswellbrook Open Art Prize
Naidoc National Art Award
Newcastle Art Space Annual Emerging Artist Prize
Nifsan Gold Coast City Signature Art Award
Nillumbik Prize
North Midland Agricultural Society Art Exhibition
North Newtown Art Show
North Sydney Art Prize
Northam Art Prize
Parramatta Foundation Week Open Art Awards
Perth Royal Show-Open Art Exhibition
Pine Rivers Art Awards
Portia Geach Memorial Award
Red Ochre Award
Redlands Westpac Art Prize
Rotary Club of Alexander Easter Show
Rotary Club of Cobram Annual Art Show
Rotary Club of Portland Annual Art Exhibition
Rotary Club of Victor Harbour Art Show
Royal Melbourne Show Art & Craft Competition Painting
Royal Queensland Show
Sarina Visual Arts Competition
Sawtell Art Group Annual Exhibition
Scone Art Prize
Shell Agricultural Art Award
Shire of Mundaring Art Acquisition
Shoalhaven Art Society Open Art Exhibition
Singleton Art Prize
Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital Invitation Art Prize
Stanthorpe Arts Festival
Streeton, Roberts & McCubbin Award
Sydney Royal Easter Show Art Exhibition
The Alice Prize
The Alvaro Painting Prize
The Archibald Art Prize
The Bald Archy Prize
The Border Art Prize
The John Glover Prize
The Sir John Sulman Prize
The Wynne Prize
Thirroul Seaside & Arts Festival
Town of Basseden Art Exhibition
Town of Mosman Park Purchase Award
Tuggeranong Regional Art Prize
Tumut Art Show
Tyres Primary School Arts Festival
Wagin Woolorama Art Show
Walkom Manning Art Prize
Warwick Art Prize
Waterhouse Natural History Art
Waverly Art Prize
Weston Art Show
Willoughby City Art Prize
York Art & Craft Awards

ArtCare Courier Service shows a 6 monthly calendar of NSW & VIC art exhibitions.

This Australian art gallery website has a large list of art competitions, with details of prizes and fees, but no links.

Apparently the Australian Artist magazine features a pretty comprehensive list each month.

Australian Art Review publishes art competitions in calendar format, I believe.

NAVA (National Association for the Visual Arts), Sydney based, publishes a book of ALL art prizes in Australia.

Friday, 1 June 2007

Painting: "Childhood Memory Tree"

Today I'm taking the plunge - I'm showing you one of my paintings.

"Childhood Memory Tree" was exhibited locally in March.

My mother has always kept a wonderful garden. In this painting you can see some of the flora which made up my childhood, both in our garden and on our farm, in south east Queensland: guava, honeysuckle, frangipani, scotch thistle, pomegranate, dandelion, hibiscus, buttercup, and plumbago - along with a Wanderer (Monarch) butterfly, and a Willy Wagtail. That's me in the apron, with my younger sister.

"Childhood Memory Tree" is in acrylic on ready-to-hang 45 cm (about 18") square canvas, but is now in my sister's private collection!

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Featured Qld Artist: Anna Bartlett

Anna Bartlett is an artist based in Toowoomba, Queensland, who loves colour, and who delights in making art useful.

Anna creates a stunning range of art bags, handpainted in a bright, fresh style. I just love her frangipani painting-in-a-bag: "Frangis in the Sky"! (Anna uses her original paintings to make the bags.)

Custom orders are on hold just for the moment, but should be available again in future.

Anna can even make you a "Memory Bag" using your favourite photograph!

Check out Anna Bartlett's Shiny Happy Art!

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Art Blogs by Queensland Artists

I love (frequently updated) art blogs, so I've been searching for specifically Qld artist art blogs today. Please let me know if you know of any other Qld artists' art blogs?

* Sue Beyer: a fine arts student in Brisbane

* Pauline Adair: from the Sunshine Coast hinterland

* Serena Lewis: from Brisbane

* Anna Bartlett: from Toowoomba

* Kym Breeze: from the Darling Downs

* Jacqueline Alves: from Toowoomba

* Kylie Carney: from Brisbane

* Lesley Smitheringale: from the Gold Coast

* Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox: from Brisbane

* Maria Wiley: from Biloela

After hours of searching, that's all I've found!

If you are a visual artist living in Queensland, and you blog regularly, showing your original artworks, please comment with your details?

PS a 26 September 2007 update:

* Jean Burman: from Cairns

Monday, 28 May 2007

Art Galleries and Exhibitions in Queensland

Total Travel have a great list of Queensland art galleries online. Each entry is clickable to further information, some with photographs, contact information, & links to the gallery's website, if they have one. A bonus is appropriate travel information for each gallery's location.

Art Search is an excellent resource, with six pages of information about all types of Queensland art galleries!

Art Exhibition Guide has a list of Queensland art galleries.

This section of Art Exhibition Guide lists current Queensland art exhibitions.

Australian Women's Art Register invites women artists of Queensland to submit their exhibition brochures and information for inclusion.

Sunday, 27 May 2007

500 Years of Female Portraits

Watch the progress of 500 Years of Female Portraits in the Western World's Art:

This is so mesmerising. I kept recognising women I know: family, friends, acquaintances, famous women.

I found this video on All for Women, which I found via The Australian Index, which explores Australian blogs.