Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Art Can Bring Water to Millions

Art Can Bring Water to Millions: "

Post image for Art Can Bring Water to Millions

image by Merida Hideaway

Since 2007 I have participated in Blog Action Day. It’s a worthwhile cause that brings attention to some of the world’s most important issues.

One of the most powerful things about Art is its ability to rouse people to take action. Art, quite literally, saves lives. The Theatre saved my life in high school by giving me a place to go and something to direct my attention toward. For the first time in my life, I was doing something that inspired and amused other people.

Earlier this week I was listening to National Public Radio and Richard Holbrooke, a US envoy in Afghanistan and Pakistan talked about the fact that 20 million people in Pakistan are without water. On top of that, of course, are the millions in Africa and Southeast Asia without potable water.

Blog Action Day this year happens on October 15th and the topic is Water.

What is Blog Action Day?

A day when bloggers everywhere write about a particular topic in order to draw attention to it. Last year thousands of bloggers, including the world’s leading nonprofits and the UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown joined the conversation.

Here’s my challenge to you:

Turn Blog Action Day to Art Action Day

On or before October 15, will you create a piece of art with the theme of water and post that art to your blog, linking back to http://blogactionday.change.org? If you’ll send me a link to your site or link back to this post, I’ll be sure to send a link back to your piece of art related to Water.

On October 15th, I will put up a blog post listing all of the art related to Blog Action Day.

I can’t wait to see what’s created. If you have any suggestions for how we can make Blog Art Action Day better, let me know in the comments or in an email.

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Arcimboldo, 1526-1593: Nature and Fantasy


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Giuseppe Arcimboldo
Giuseppe Arcimboldo's wonderfully bizarre blendings of nature and humankind, incorporating natural forms like vegetables, twigs and leaves as well as fish and other small animals in the representation of human faces, can still "turn heads" today, as they must have in the 16th Century.

Largely forgotten shortly after his death and re-discovered in the 20th Century, Arcimboldo is the subject of a new exhibition at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Arcimboldo, 1526-1593: Nature and Fantasy includes sixteen examples of his work, seen here in the U.S. for the first time. The exhibition also includes drawings by Da Vinci and Durer, along with other works intended to provide context for the paintings.

His hallucinatory arrangements of images within a larger image delighted the Surrealists, who saw in him a precursor to their dream inspired visions. His "still life" paintings (done at a time when still life was not an accepted genre) that only revealed their human face when inverted, have entered pop culture in the form of countless "optical illusion" variations on the theme.

The National Gallery has provided a very nice PDF Exhibition Brochure, that can be downloaded from the right hand column of the exhibition page, as well as a short video.

Arcimboldo, 1526-1593: Nature and Fantasy will be on view until January 9, 2011.

For more, see my previous post on Giuseppe Arcimboldo.

[Via Art Daily]


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Art of War

Art of War: "Soldier-Artists in Vietnam. Flack jackets, pistols, iodine pills, insect lotion, sketch pads wrapped in plastic bags... Jim Pollock was a member of the Vietnam Combat Artist Program and this is his story (click through the links within the links to learn more).

Saturday, September 18, 2010

How do you enjoy your art?

5.5x8" exacompta, pitt pen, altered
We're back from vacation, exhausted, full of art to share, but need to regroup and get shots uploaded, scanned, etc. It was a great trip and lots to share in the days ahead. Photographs, a new doodle design, my stitched travel journal, dynamic drawing with my daughter, a new book, and one mandala. It sounds like I'm doing the opening segment for a podcast.
How many ways do you enjoy your own art?


Friday, September 17, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A good place to start

A good place to start: "

Finding your way around Sustainably Creative

If you’re new to Sustainably Creative, or just want some help finding your way around, this is a good place to start.

Think of this post as a sort of guided tour of Sustainably Creative, a place for new readers and regular visitors alike to delve deeper into the large number of posts that make up the blog, as well as keeping an eye on what’s new and what popular.

A good place to start is with a few hand-picked posts to get a feel for the site:

Recommended Reading

  1. Sustainably Creative: an introduction...
  2. Staying focused
  3. Just do it. Advice for anyone with limited energy who wants to get creative stuff done.
  4. ME/CFS Awareness Month: Lessons for everyone from an artist with ME
  5. Don't compare yourself to others, just get on with YOUR important work
  6. Achieve (almost) anything you want with a pen, paper and a pot of tea
  7. Why a running minimalist business is perfect for an artist with low energy

As with everything else on this site there’s not need to rush. Why not make a pot of tea and pick one or two posts from the current top 20 of most read posts:

Top 20 Post of All Time (automatically updated)

Take things slowly and make a pot of tea

  1. Start to Draw Your Life is now available as a free eBook to download

  2. 20 Wonderful Drawing Blogs

  3. Take the 20 minutes a day challenge

  4. 75 Ways to Draw More

  5. Start to Draw Your Life

  6. Why focus is so important if you want to be creative but are low on energy

  7. About Michael

  8. The Beany #4 is now available as an ebook

  9. 10 ways to just get on with your important work despite being tired or having limited time!

  10. The Unconventional Guide to Art and Money

  11. 20 things to do to practice focusing on one thing at a time.

  12. 10 ideas for ways to be kinder to yourself (and increase your creative output)

  13. Don't compare yourself to others, just get on with YOUR important work

  14. 20 things you can do in 20 minutes (and create a sense of momentum)

  15. Can't wait? Make your own (drawn!) iPad

  16. Your Important Work: an introduction

  17. Guest Post: A simpler life for artists

  18. Achieve (almost) anything you want with a pen, paper and a pot of tea

  19. 10 reasons to just do something creative and not care about the result

  20. Thank you, nearly done…

I recently started to publish a microMagazine called Getting Your Important Work Done (if you’d like the microMag delivered to your inbox every couple of weeks you can subscribe by popping your email address into the box on the top write hand corner of any blog page), and have written some posts for the blog too:

Getting Your Important Work Done

Getting Your Important Work Done

  1. Your Important Work: an introduction
  2. Your Important Work: What it's not
  3. Your Important Work: A space of your own
  4. Your Important Work: Getting on track (and staying there)
  5. Your Important Work: Just get started (by stopping)

You can also explore the blog via it’s main categories:


If that lot isn’t enough to give you an idea of what it means to be sustainably creative you can also find me elsewhere banging on about working little and often and keeping it simple:



If you’d like to keep up to date with new posts as they come out you can subscribe to Sustainably Creative via email or RSS feed.


I hope you’ve found this beginners guide to Sustainably Creative useful. If you have I’d very much appreciate it if you could let other people know about it via Twitter. Thank you.



Vintage children's illustration

Vintage children's illustration: "Flickr user katinthecupboard has scanned and posted nearly 2000 vintage illustrations, largely from children's books. Luckily they have been organized into collections and sets, and extensively tagged. There's so much in there that I hesitate to point out any individual images I especially like, but here's a few starters: A foppish Mercury, freezing child Jesus in modern city, children playing with sunbeam, boy with a bone-whistle, dancing fairies, bathing silhouettes and sailing ship and merman riding a sea creature.


Monday, September 13, 2010

VIDEO: An Easy Masking Tip for Fabric and Paper Stamping


Sent to you by bodyartist via Google Reader:


via EmptyEasel.com by Dan on 9/13/10

In today's short video tutorial, Gloria Page demonstrates how easy it is to create a simple "mask" for your stamping projects, whether you're working on paper or fabric.

As you'll see in the video below, there's no need to spend a lot of time masking off areas of your paper. In fact, a minute with a pair of scissors is just about all that's required—take a look:

NOTE: I'd also recommend Gloria's full-length stamping DVD at Creative Catalyst.


Things you can do from here:


Friday, September 10, 2010

Never-before published photos of Lascaux paintings


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via Boing Boing by Mark Frauenfelder on 9/10/10

Lascaux painting photographer Bernard Sury focuses a camera on prehistoric paintings on the ceiling at Lascaux, 1947. Previously unpublished

Here's a treat from the archives of LIFE magazine -- the first photos of the cave paintings in Lascaux, including some unpublished photos.

September 12, 1940. A warm afternoon in southwestern France. As two schoolboys hunt rabbits on a ridge covered with pine, oak, and blackberry brambles, their dog chases a hare down a hole beside a downed tree. Widening the hole, removing rocks, the boys follow -- and enter not merely another world, but another time. Underground, they discover "a Versailles of prehistory" -- a series of caves, today collectively known as Lascaux, boasting wall paintings up to 18,000 years old. In 1947, LIFE's Ralph Morse went to Lascaux, and became the first photographer to ever document the astonishing, vibrant paintings. Here, on the 70th anniversary of the discovery of the cave and its treasures, in a gallery featuring rare and never-published photographs, Morse -- still vibrant himself at 93 -- shares with LIFE.com his memories of what it was like to encounter the long-hidden, strikingly lifelike handiwork of a vanished people: the Cro-Magnon.
Lascaux: Versailles of Prehistory


Things you can do from here:


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The 3 Most Critical Items on Your Facebook Fan Page


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via Art Biz Blog by Alyson Stanfield on 9/2/10

The best way to get your art online quickly and free these days is to create a professional PAGE on Facebook — a.k.a. a Fan Page.

Facebook pages are public and are indexed by Google. Think of them as another website.

"I don't have time to mess with another website!" you might say. Of course you don't. No one has time. You make time.

You make time because you know that Facebook has over 400 million users. You make time because many of those 400 million people using Facebook prefer it as their primary online connection.

I love Tim Bradford's short description about his art.

All artists' fan pages on Facebook should have three critical elements.

1. A short descriptive sentence or two about your art. This isn't your bio or about your family. This is about your work. Remember that it's a fan page for fans of your art.

Try out different words from time to time. Be creative!

2. Images of your art under Photos.
If we go to an artist's fan page, we expect to see art. Don't make us search, click off of Facebook, or scroll for it.

Facebook has nice-sized thumbnails, so we can get a good overview of your work by looking at Photos.

3. Credit lines!
The problem with the main photos page on Facebook is that there are no titles under the images. Scroll down and you lose the artist's name.

For this reason, it's critical to have a complete credit line below each image. Enter this information in the caption for every piece of artwork you post on Facebook.

I looked at 10+ artist pages that I thought would have this information before finding it on Lisa Call's fan page.

When you have a complete credit line as Lisa does here (as you should whenever you post any image anywhere online!), your name is with the image whether the reader scrolls or not.

Lisa Call's fine art fan page on Facebook

Lisa Call uses a complete credit line under her images in her Facebook photo album.

Note that a credit line isn't just a title, but also includes the dimensions (HxWxD), media, and your copyright. Savvy artists will also use the copyright date.

But Lisa goes a step further and also includes the credit line when she features images on her wall.

Lisa Call Fine Art on Facebook

Lisa Call also adds a complete credit line next to any image she posts on her wall.

Too many of you are uploading images with no information next to the art. Sure, it may be in the image caption in your photo album, but that doesn't show up in thumbnails or on your wall.

Want credit for your art? Post it, yes! But finish the job by adding the complete credit line in the caption. Just as you wouldn't hang your art without a label, you shouldn't post it anywhere without this information.


Things you can do from here:


Saturday, September 4, 2010

On the importance of art education

Taken from the Nigerian paper, The Compass, Kent Onah observes that teaching children a curriculum that excludes art does them (and by default the nation) a great disservice. Without creativity, innovation will not take place.

“…The polymer scientists needs some artistic knowledge to be able to come up with good polymeric innovations. The industrial designer must basically be an artist first if he/she can create useful and attractive products. The food technologist must first have a basic knowledge of art to perform effectively. The psychoanalyst or psychiatrist can not treat effectively all the time without employing art therapy.

As mentioned earlier, the medical doctors and surgeons depend on artistic illustrations to treat and to teach.

The environmental designers must basically be talented artists. The list is endless. The active presence of art in the curriculum will help the child to communicate better by exposing him/her to other outlets of communication beyond his/her mother tongue and verbal communication.

The creative process involved in the teaching or production of art helps to break the monotony in the study of other courses. As art is activity based, it adds variance to the teaching and learning process, thereby breaking boredom and encouraging more assimilation and better understanding. Art develops and improves the imaginative power of a child as well as encourage him/her to observe greater details in appreciating his/her culture and environment.

The inclusion of art studies in the school curriculum will help to discover as ‘well as treat or proffer solution to a child with psychological problem at its earliest stage. It will encourage resourcefulness among our youths and empower them toward self- reliance. It will expose the child to the endless potentials of art as a humanizing experience.

Above all, it will reawaken an interest in the visual arts which is the basic ingredient on which science and technology rely for their ultimate success…”