Monday, June 22, 2009

Book Review: Jackie Battenfield's The Artist's Guide - How to Make a Living Doing What You Love

I was recently asked to review Jackie Battenfield's new book, The Artist's Guide - How to Make a Living Doing What You Love. It was such an excellent book that instead of reviewing it, I ended up reading the whole darn thing. Highly recommended, the following is a repost of my review at ArtLOOK:

Jackie Battenfield's new book, The Artist's Guide - How To Make a Living Doing What You Love, is an excellent resource for visual artists at any stage of their career. Battenfield writes in a professional and yet easy manner and provides invaluable information, inspiration and resources on making a successful career in the art world.

Battenfield's words do more than just dictate the "how to" and "why for" of the business end of art. She speaks from the heart and addresses such topics as knowing when you are ready to circulate your art (the difference between nurturing your artistic soul and preparing for business), how to take charge of your professional life, your marketing kit, creating your own opportunities, Introducing your work, building relationships and maintaining your practice.

This former gallery director, artist and teacher has supported herself for over 20 years through sales of her art. She and her husband (also an artist) have successfully paid the bills, purchased life insurance, funded their pension plans, took vacations and put their son through college. Jackie attributes this success to diligent planning and pursuing opportunities. She freely shares this wealth of experience and knowledge with her readers.

Inspiring quotes and advice from dozens of art world professionals are sprinkled throughout the pages providing a "reality check" for the reader. Real life examples and step by step exercises will teach you how to self promote, network, build relationships, broaden your funding resources and explore a wide range of exhibition, commission and sales opportunities beyond the walls of the traditional commercial gallery.

I highly recommend this book as someone who works on a daily basis with artists and as a graphic designer seeking opportunities for myself. Battenfield's advice was helpful and smart. The biggest praise I can give is that in reviewing the book I found a new resource which helped me help a client submit to a call for entry in NYC. This book should be on every artists desk!!

Jackie Battenfield is represented in galleries throughout the United States and in over a thousand collections worldwide. She teaches professional practices at Columbia University and for the Creative Capital Foundation. Please visit her website at where you will find information on purchasing the book, interviews, events and speaking engagements.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Site Updates for

MYARTSPACE now offers a personal web address (URL) on the site for $29.99 per year or $2.99 per month as an alternative to full premium. Also, Premium Service on can now be purchased at $6.99 per month for those myartspace users that want more power, storage, and features. For a comparison of premium services versus the standard "free" subscription, see:

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Winners of the London Calling 2009 competition announced!

The results of the London Calling 2009 competition have been announced. The three top winners are: Marcy Mendelson, Lydia Panas, and Davide Monaldi. The three winners will have their work physically displayed at the Scream London gallery. Seventeen competitors were chosen to be digitally represented. In all 50 finalists were selected. For more information about the London Calling finalists visit,
The prestigious juror panel included Vanessa DesClaux ( The Tate Modern, London), Tom Morton (Hayward Gallery, Frieze magazine), and Francesco Manacorda (Barbican Gallery, London).
More info to come.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Mona Hatoum at Pallazo Querini Stampalia

Impenetrable by Mona Hatoum

The Pallazo Querini Stampalia is currently featuring a solo show of art by artist Mona Hatoum. The show, titled “Interior Landscapes”, is curated by Chiara Bertola and involves 29 works of art. The exhibit will come to a close on September 20th. For more information visit,

Friday, June 05, 2009

Robert Rauschenberg at Peggy Guggenheim Collection

The Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice is currently in the process of displaying obscure works by the late Robert Rauschenberg. The show, titled Robert Rauschenberg: Gluts, involves over forty works of art by Rauschenberg. The works explore the possibilities of metal as a medium and the social implications of metal in general. For more information visit,

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Tighter TWITTER Integration

MYARTSPACE has just released tighter integration with TWITTER for its premium service members.

MYARTSPACE premium service members can define their twitter account (login and password), and MYARTSPACE can automatically post to TWITTER when the user creates a new gallery, posts a new blog entry, posts a new store listing on NYAXE, posts a new event/press release.

This feature is ready and available for MYARTSPACE Premium Services subscribers now.

Personal Blogging... Coming next week to MYARTSPACE

MYARTSPACE will be introducing personal blogging for premium subscribers next week. This will allow users to create their own personal blog where they can post articles, images, galleries and movies into a free-flowing stream of thought.

Users can define set up their own visual header, define "highlighted" posts that they want featured, and post an unlimited amount. The product is closely integrated with the rest of MYARTSPACE, so they can, for instance, easily "embed" one of their galleries in the middle of their post.

We expect to roll this capability into production next week.

Art Space Talk: Resa Blatman (Part 3)

This is Part 3 of my interview with Resa Blatman. To return to Part 2 click, HERE

They Gather in Such Profusion by Resa Blatman

Brian Sherwin: What are your thoughts concerning the internet and utilizing the World Wide Web in order to gain exposure for your art? In your opinion, why is it important for artists to embrace the internet?

Resa Blatman: I think that it’s essential to have a web presence today. But my opinion about this may not be fully objective, as I make part of my living designing websites. However, I do believe that it’s important for anyone who wants their work to be easily and quickly accessible to have a website of some sort. It allows the audience to view anartist’s work privately, at their own pace, and without traveling -- I think this is what most people embrace about the web.

While there’s no replacement for seeing artwork in the flesh, the web can offer a personal connection with the artist and their work. Without my web presence I would not be having this interview with MyArtSpace.

BS: Will you be involved with any upcoming exhibits?

RB: Yes. I participate annually in my city’s open studios, which is one of the largest in the States. Somerville Open Studios in Massachusetts is the first weekend in May. Going on now is a small solo exhibit, “Luscious Bird Paintings,” at the Christopher Brodigan Gallery in Groton, Massachusetts until May 10th. After that, my three cut-edge triptych paintings will be on view at two juried shows in Massachusetts: Danforth Museum from June 1-August 1, 2009; and Tufts University Art Gallery, June 3-August 2, 2009.
Red Hot Peevish Birds by Resa Blatman

BS: Do you have any concerns about the art world at this time?

RB: As much as I am concerned about my work and it’s place within society, I try not to dwell too much on the art world. I find that getting too caught up in it only gets in the way of my work. That being said, I do think the recession is not as bad for the art world as many might think. These shifts within the economy have a way of clearing out the brush and leaving the art world to the dedicated artists who continue to make good work with serious intentions.

BS: There have been several stories involving copyright infringement in the mainstream press as of late. What is your stance on copyright? Do you see strong copyright as a reflection of artist rights in general? Or do you feel that copyright restricts creativity? Do you have a stance on this issue?

RB: My thoughts about this go back and forth. I do think it’s important for an artist to have ownership rights over their work, but I also think that we should allow others to borrow from our creations, with credit and limitations. I use photos and books for some of my source materials and without them I would have a difficult time finding the perfect ostrich, bat, or bird to paint.

Lavish Heronry by Resa Blatman

BS: As you know, the economy has been hard. Have you had to change-- or should I say adapt-- your practice due to the economy?

RB: I’ve been lucky. My design business has been busier than usual lately and we have several websites that we’re currently working on, which means I have a little less time to be in the studio at the moment -- one has to work when the work is there. At the same time, I was awarded a few artist grants in the last year and sold several paintings, which has allowed me to continue working as a full-time painter.

BS: Finally, is there anything else you would like to say about your art?

RB: The ideas keep coming and I am very grateful for that.

This concludes my interview with Resa Blatman. To return to Part 1 click, HERE

Take care, Stay true,

Brian Sherwin
Senior Editor
Myartspace Blog on Twitter

Art Space Talk: Resa Blatman (Part 2)

This is Part 2 of my interview with Resa Blatman. To return to Part 1 click, HERE

Mild Rapture #2 by Resa Blatman

Brian Sherwin: Can you discuss your process in general? Are there any specific techniques that you utilize?

Resa Blatman: My process is quite simple. I think about my work constantly -- while I’m exercising, when I’m driving, and before I go to sleep, it’s always on my mind. For me, this is like sketching. I have a very vivid imagination; I can see what it is I want to paint before I do it. That doesn’t mean that the paintings turn out how I originally imagined them, but this process allows me to dive into a new painting without fear or hesitation. In fact, I’m often thinking about the next painting while I’m working on the current one, and that fuels me to move forward and complete the current work so that I can continue my “visual story.”

I use a lot of source materials for my paintings -- photos, books, animal, fruit, and flower models, and the internet. First, I design the surface edges on the computer and then I send the files to the company that cuts the panels. Once I have the panels back in my studio, I gather all of my source materials and I start drawing out the composition directly onto them -- there is no preliminary sketching beforehand. The painting starts off with one composition, but I frequently change the subject, placement, and color, while I’m working on it. I let myself erase, paint over, and change my mind so that the painting remains fluid despite the careful, tight rendering.
Ravishing The Night by Resa Blatman

BS: What about other influences? For example, are you influenced by any specific artists?

RB: Yes. I’m a huge fan of and influenced by many artists, particularly John Currin, Tara Donovan, Walton Ford, Julie Heffernan, Martin Johnson Heade, Ernst Haeckel, the Baroque, Hieronymus Bosch, Lucas Cranach, the Elder, early Flemish painting, Pre-Renaissance painting, the Baroque, and Victorian Decorative Art.

BS: So what is the specific message you strive to convey to viewers? Do you adhere to a specific philosophy as far as your work is concerned?

RB: As I mentioned previously, my work is specifically about fertility. This is an issue I have personal epxerience with, and one that has offered me a great deal of creative ideas and energy. I suppose my philosophy is to be honest with myself and with my audience. I can’t escape who I am, what I believe, or what I’ve experienced in my life, which means it’s impossible to divorce myself from my work. This allows me to be personal with my work and subject matter, which drives my concept. However, I do my best to keep irony within my work, and to not take myself too seriously.

Three Flamingos by Resa Blatman

BS: What are you working on at this time? Can you give our readers some insight into your current work?

RB: If you look at my “gallery” on MyArtSpace or check out my website at you can see the cut-edge panel paintings. This is my newest work and the direction I plan to pursue for now. I’ve completed two triptych cut-edge panels (the third, “Lemon Spray,” is nearly complete), and I’m in the process of starting a fourth in this series, which will be approximately 20-30 feet wide and include six or eight panels.

My plan is to keep the cut edges elaborate and have each of the panels integrate more often with one another. As for what I plan to paint, well, that’s my secret for now. Only my husband knows what I’m thinking about putting on the surface, and that may change.

To read Part 3 of my interview with Resa Blatman click, HERE

Take care, Stay true,

Brian Sherwin
Senior Editor
Myartspace Blog on Twitter

Monday, June 01, 2009

how to write an artist statement (teaser)

This is a teaser for a longer post on implicit art. Please comment there so as to keep all discussion in one place...

Like making art, there are no steadfast rules to writing artist statements - and even the best of us fail sometimes - but there are of course some decent guidelines one might consider following....

Art work descriptions and statements should be about 300 - 500 words, and strictly address the following:

  1. What "is" the work? Describe it as an object, installation or situation in a way that enables visual and/or sensual comprehension. This is not what the piece is “about.” I mean it literally / physically: what are your art piece’s individual components and materials, and how do they work together as a whole?

  2. What do we see or experience? If it's an installation, consider a walk-through, a description of how it looks, sounds, smells, feels (again, not emotionally or conceptually, but physically), and what actions viewers have taken in and around it. If it's a situation, describe the relationships (and power structures) you are intervening in and how participants might perform them. Many works would likely need to address both what we experience and what we do as an audience or participants in front of it / around it / with it. How do viewers relate to the work, to the artist, to each other...?

  3. What's at stake? Why is this important to you? Why should it be important to me / others? You can briefly address or allude to conceptual issues here, but be specific rather than general. How does the piece itself address these concerns? How do we encounter them in our experience of it, and what value lies in that encounter?

7 guidelines to follow:

  1. This is not a mystery novel. Start with a one-sentence description that encompasses all of the above to some extent – especially what it is – then unpack each of the listed items as is needed.

Read more and comment at implicit art...