Friday, March 30, 2012

Card Photo File for Paintings

The other day I was talking to an artist in Edmonton.  He is the one who in 1980 taught me to keep track of my paintings with card files.  Here is a photo of one:

Using 5x8 inch cards, I take a photo of every painting and staple it to a card.  I number my paintings by year, month, and then 1,2,3 and so on, and I put that number in the upper right corner.
The name of the painting goes on next.  Sometimes it is a temporary working title, which can be changed later.  I put the size of the canvas, and the dimensions, and the medium used (i.e. acrylic, or oil, or whatever it is).

If I have varnished the painting, I jot that down. When I sign the painting, I note on the card where the painting is signed and whether I have used initials or my whole name.  On the back of the card, I record when I send it out on consignment, what gallery it went to and when.  If it is sold and I know who bought it, I note their name.

It sounds complicated, but it has worked well for me.  I have sent off many paintings over the years; the galleries aren't always good at documenting the ins and outs of inventory, so I make sure that I know.

Here is a link to the website of Douglas Haynes, who shared this piece of helpful advice with me:

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Gauguin and Polynesia

Last Thursday I went with a friend to Seattle to see the  Gauguin & Polynesia exhibition.  We went on the train, and had a long pleasant afternoon there.

The Seattle Art Museum has done a beautiful job of hanging the show - the paintings are well spaced and lit, so that the colours shine brightly.  Gauguin said that he wanted the colour to vibrate like music and I felt that it does. It glows, with nothing strident or harsh or clashing.  The paintings aren't large, most 30 x 36 inches maximum.  As much as I don't think I would have liked the man, I do like the way he put down the paint.

If you look through images of his work, you see many self-portraits.  They are all done from the same angle, with his head facing to the right and his eyes looking sideways.  This is the way it has to be when you are doing self-portraits; it is awkward because you have to look in the mirror and at the same time  face your canvas.  This one that is in the show has a nice bit of yellow-orange on his shirt front, and a good dash of black below to heighten the other colours.  

Monday, March 05, 2012

Karen Wilkin Writes About Rembrandt and Degas

In the February issue of The New Criterion, Karen Wilkin writes about Degas' response to Rembrandt's prints.  When Degas was a young artist studying in Italy, the prints inspired him to do numerous self-portraits, in a manner that was a rejection of the strictures of the Academy that he was fleeing in Paris.
Karen Wilkin on Two Young Artists