studioNOTES: support for artists/ideas and information

Number 22

October - December 1998

Short takes

INFO WANTED: Tobi Zausner has been studying and writing about the impact of physical illness on creativity in the lives of artists, and is now writing a book on the subject. If a long period of illness preceded your choice of a career in art, or illness has ever affected your art positively or negatively (e.g., by causing you to change your approach, medium, or even to stop), she would like to hear from you at: 137 East 38th St, 6J, NYC 10016.

IMPROVEMENT: Any artist must practice severe discipline. Even the top pianist practices the C Major scale, so it is inconceivable that a visual artist would declare, "Oh, I don't do those things anymore, I've moved beyond that," or "All of that stuff is boring and gets in the way of my creativity and self-expression." This sort of thinking is very wrong. Innovation must come from skill and knowledge. I cannot think of any valid shortcuts besides work and study. Too much is made about art being something soothing and therapeutic and so forth. People who think this way are not cut out to be artists. They should become New Age Li-censed Crystal Healing Chiroquactic Aromapractitioners or Tarot card readers. Neither is art for dabblers who want to sit around with their friends and exchange banalities about Life and Death and Darkness and Society, and paint or scribble once in awhile, expecting to break new ground with their angst-ridden statements. Art is for those who can work hard and want to get better all the time.    - Erik Keilholtz

INFO WANTED: I am trying to compile a resource that includes business software for fine artists, collectors and galleries. I am particularly interested in programs that run on Macs like ArtStacks. If you know of any programs that work well, please let me know. Thanks, Alan Urban,

FREE & USEFUL: Benjamin Grosser (Champaign, IL ) has designed a large easy-to-build studio easel that can be put together for under $100. He has graciously has made the detailed plans and a materials list available for free on his web site:

ASSOCIATION: The International Society of The Arts, Mathematics, and Architecture (ISAMA) is now being developed by Nat Friedman, the founder of Art & Math. He says, People interested in the arts related to mathematics should join so they can keep up with developments during the year. ISAMA99 will be in San Sebastian, Spain, June 7-11, 99. It will include a one-day trip to Bilbao to see the new Guggenheim. There will be a call for papers in Architecture, Sculpture, Two-Dimensional Art, Computer Graphics, Music, Tesselations and Tilings, Computer Design, and Fabrication in Architecture and Sculpture." They plan to have a website up and running soon. For more info, contact Professor Friedman at

STUDIO TIP: Dried out brushes can be restored to life by immersing them in hot vinegar, while errant bristles can be encouraged to return to their proper place by spraying the brush head with hairspray, smoothing and leaving to dry.   - Valerie Hardy, Napa CA

CAREER TIP: Slides you send to a gallery should be color correct and easy to see. I recommend using a solid back-ground to shoot against rather than masking the slides. Masking is tough to accomplish successfully. Make sure the image fills most of the image frame. Use a professional photographer if you have no aptitude for photographing your own art.    - David Lusk, Ledbetter Lusk Gallery, Memphis TN

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Unclear on the concept: Harbor Edge Fine Art (via Publishers Inquiry Services, a catalog of catalogs) offers "Fine Art at Wholesale Prices! Classic prints transferred to canvas by artists who hand brushstroke each one to recreate the original work or art for every decor or taste."

Your status as an artist clarified: A prospectus from the Wind River Valley Artists' Guild, Dubois WY, defines a professional artist as one "who has sold $2000 or more in artwork," an "advanced amateur" as one "who has won ribbons or sold $500 in artwork," and an amateur as an "artist who has not won ribbons or sold artwork."

Seen at a recent Open Studio weekend: Ed Ching, E. Zull, Len Skaype, Lynne C. Doyle, Jess Oh, Matt Cudder, Lith O'Gwaff, N. Talleo, Po Smadurn, Al Frezko, and Cy D'Vu. The first person to identify all of these gets a free one-year studioNOTES subscription or renewal.

Irresponsibility is part of the pleasure of all art; it is the part the schools cannot recognize.
- Pauline Kael

Twentieth-century art may start with nothing, but it flour-ishes by virtue of its belief in itself, in the possibility of control over what seems essentially uncontrollable, in the coherence of the inchoate, and in its ability to create its own values.
- A. Alvarez

In all science error precedes the truth, and it is better it should go first than last.
- Horace Walpole

Lying is speaking about things that one does not know; this is the beginning of lying. It does not mean intentional lying - telling stories, as for instance, that there is a bear in the other room. Man does not know himself, he does not know anything, yet he has theories about everything. Most of these theories are lying.
- P. D. Ouspensky

It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.
- Oscar Wilde

If I didn't start painting, I would have raised chickens.
- Grandma Moses

The reward of art is not fame or success but intoxication: that is why so many bad artists are unable to give it up.
- Cyril Connolly

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