Friday, 18 October 2013

Here we go again

Here we go again100x100cm,  Acrylic on canvas
£1,000/1 200€/$1,500
Abstract painting in acrylic - not portrait in oils. I'm still painting more than one thing in more than one style at the same time. I like to mix things up. Maybe I'm mixed up... They are two very different processes - one very calm, one very energetic. Both involve different levels of thought and idea, different mental processes to lead to the final piece of work. It's good to sit calmly and paint - and then to leap about listening to Talking Heads. Stop making sense!

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Portrait of a Gazelle, by Bigasso.

40x40cm Oil on Canvas
Carrying on my recent oil/portraiture, here's one I have completed of my son Marley. Not a perfect resemblance, but close. The digital reproduction here doesn't quite get the nuances of the original canvas - less texture. But I'm pleased with the painting on the whole. Getting the hang of using oils in a way I haven't really before, I think, and enjoying the manipulation of colour, paint and glazing.

By the way, if you don't get the reference in the blog title, you need to watch more episodes of "Thunderbirds".

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Cats and Gods

We live in Place de l'Eglise. For those of you with no French that's "Church Place". Our house is in a corner, next door to the boulangerie - which provides a far more useful social function than the church. It really does give us our daily bread. And croissants. The church is a simple old building, built probably originally about 600 years ago, but rebuilt several times since (with sympathy). One of its endearing features is its wonkiness - the front door doesn't line up with the middle of the roof, which doesn't line up quite right with the window etc. It's not a very busy church: there's the occasional wedding which clogs up the square, but probably it's used most by cats. Two of our cats - Milo and Earnie, joined by one of our neighbour's cats, Gus, enjoy running around inside, and a couple of times now have been locked in at night. Amusingly, the key is held by the atheist baker next door. Anyway, this explains my new painting below.

Cats and Gods
Oil on canvas, 40x40cm

Meanwhile, here's a recent Purple Cat I did for Tatiana and David, the bakers next door.

If you haven't taken a look at the Purple Cat website for a while, you should. There's always new things on there. Shortly the whole thing will also be available on as well as, and there will be a wide range of Purple Cat greetings cards available too.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Art Scams

This is actually something I wrote last year for a publication, but today I received an email which made me think I ought to stick this on line. Before the article let me tell you about today's email. The email that I received today was weird. It was from one of the New York scammers mentioned below.(Abraham Lubelski - 'The NY Arts Magazine' also 'Broadway Gallery' also '"Arts Fairs International also 'World Art Media' and some others)  I'd received the standard bullshit email saying how wonderful my work was and wouldn't I like to have my work in a gallery, in a magazine and representation ( for a fee), and I gave it one of my standard replies "Sorry. Abraham Lubelski's reputation goes before him. No thanks." Considering my less polite replies in the past, I thought this pretty harmless, but I received a personal reply. In it Abraham Lubelski insults my work "not too original and mostly self conscious and stylized" and insults the size of my wallet (!!). Apparently if I was a real artist I'd have more money and be happy to hand it over to him!

Anyway, there's loads on the internet about Abraham Lubelski's activities - search google for "abraham lubelski scam" and take a look at "Wet Canvas". Or just take a look at these links - which are just a small selection from the many that exist:

Anyway, here's the article

Art Scams

One of the down sides of being an artist and having an online presence is that you will inevitably at some point become the target of “art scammers” of one sort or another.  Scammers feed on artists’ egos, targeting our dreams that we hope we have been recognised by some foreign wealthy collector. Unsurprisingly, many of these emails seem to originate from an African country, but just as many – the more subtle ones – originate in the USA. Today, for example I have received the standard quota of three art scam emails. One of them has come via a well-known website that sells art online, from a person calling himself “Michael Pee” who wants to buy one of my works. It sounded like a scam email, but just to be sure I Googled the name – and sure enough, the name came up as one used on a regular basis by an art scammer.

This scam, one of the most common forms of scamming is carried out in the following way (as described by Kathleen McMahon on her excellent website):

“The scammer does everything they can to trick you into believing they want to buy items from you, a third party shipper is always involved, they often work or are moving to a foreign country, they send a check (often overnight to try and legitimize their scam) or even offer to pay via credit card (which will end up in a chargeback when the real person finds out their number has been stolen) and then pay MORE than the amount due and ask you to send the overpayment back to them, usually via Western Union which is then untraceable once its picked up. Very profitable activity if even only a few people fall victim.”

Another sort of scam comes from more respectable sounding people or organisations in the USA. These scams work in a different way, whilst at the same time appealing to artists’ weakness – their ego. In exchange for cash you are offered one or more of the following: artist “representation”, exhibition(s), publication in a “renowned” art book, publication on line, exhibiting opportunities throughout the world, access to collectors etc. 

There appear to be three main organisations carrying out these scams, one on the US west coast and two in New York. For around 1500€ (last time I checked) you’ll get “represented” by having your work appear on a website/in a book/in a gallery - or something. The west coast con-artist emails me on a regular basis asking me for hundreds of dollars to appear in one of their “internationally renowned” publications, and similarly I get regular emails from one of the New York scammers asking if I want to appear in their publication, or buy a year’s “expert” representation. A bit of research has led to a discovery that the scamming organisations actually take on unpaid interns and people working solely on commission to send out their nasty scamming emails for them – which explains why I keep getting emails from different people working for the same organisation.

But there is a third category of scam, which is much easier to fall for: the simple demand for money to exhibit your work – whether it be in a gallery or on-line. A scam? Well, put simply – remember that anyone who takes your money up front to show your work doesn’t care whether you sell anything or not, and have made no investment in your future or your work. There are plenty of websites that will show your work for nothing (although they will probably want commission if they sell anything), and if a gallery doesn’t want to show your work unless you pay them, I can only advise you to keep trying to find one that will. Good luck!

Meanwhile here’s some useful and interesting web links on the subjects covered: