Happy (Belated) New Year and Art Walk is Coming Soon!

I didn’t participate in any art events last year (see previous couple of blog posts) and am planning to do only two this year.  I’ll be at the Whyte Avenue Art Walk in front of the Scotia Bank a couple of doors down from Tim Horton’s (back on the street this year to avoid the laborious tent-setting-up and hauling process).  Hope to see you there, Friday July 7, all day Saturday July 8, and Sunday July 9 (afternoon only).   I’ll also be at the Strathearn Art Walk on Saturday September 9 on beautiful Strathearn Drive overlooking the river valley, the prettiest location for an art walk event in the city!  My 2016 paintings will be available for purchase, and some newer work as well.

I’m slowly getting back on track and finally finished a painting I’ve been working on for months. About nine of them.  If I count from the time I first set up and photographed the composition, it’s been closer to two years.  (It’s been a real challenge. I like to work quickly and tend to take at the very most a few days to complete a painting, whether in pastels or other media, and often only hours.)   It was inspired by the classic style known as “Veritas” or “Momento Mori”, with a little modern twist thrown in.  (If you’re familiar with The Game of Thrones books or TV series, you’ll recognise the reference.)

Until next time, here is “Still Life With Skulls”:

"Still Life With Skulls" (c) Lorraine Young 2017 acrylics on canvas

“Still Life With Skulls” (c) Lorraine Young 2017 acrylics on canvas  16″x20″  $300

 

Thanks for sticking around!

Cheers,

Lorraine

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Posted in Pastels | 2 Comments

Staying in touch…

Well it has been a long time, hasn’t it?

It’s been a helluva year, but it’s almost over now, and with the end of the year, I have reason to hope that the “hell” part is over too.  My husband’s many months of dealing with lymphoma and chemo are done and a mystery-mass in his lung remains to be diagnosed with certainty, but he’s doing really well and we are very hopeful.

I have been painting (mostly therapeutic) but not sharing until very recently.  I’ve been slapping acrylic paint down on canvas, avoiding the dust of my beloved soft pastels (I’ll return to them as soon as I can.  They are calling me!) and not taking them or myself too seriously.

Here is one from a few weeks ago, titled “Polonius”.  I like it because it’s playful (but it also references (a bit obliquely) Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet”.

"Polonius" acrylic on canvas 16" x 20" (c) Lorraine Young 2016

“Polonius” acrylic on canvas 16″ x 20″ (c) Lorraine Young 2016

 

I hope to be back soon with more paintings.

Thanks for sticking around.

Cheers,

Lorraine

 

Posted in Pastels | 6 Comments

When Life Happens…

I make no apologies for being away for so long.  It’s what happens when Life happens, especially in the “when you’re making other plans” sense.

I’m just posting this as a quick and brief update before I go away again.  Due to a serious and now ongoing family illness that literally had its beginning the day I wrote my last blog entry, I haven’t kept up posting although I have been painting.  At least until a couple of weeks ago, when I stopped painting/drawing completely.  I don’t know when I’ll pick up a pastel or a brush again, and for what it’s worth, at the moment painting isn’t high on my list of priorities.  I hope to be back painting and sharing one day, perhaps in a few weeks or maybe it will be months.

 

Posted in 2016, Artists, Dry Media, Edmonton, Pastels | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Bold Plan! (or Am I Biting Off More Than I Can Chew?)

It seems that in the last several years, the concept of creative types setting a time-limited challenge for themselves to get some work done has become more and more popular.  For writers, the 3-Day Novel Contest and NaNoWriMo come immediately to mind as the earliest examples I can think of.  I’ve attempted the gruelling 3-Day Novel Contest once, and completed NaNoWriMo successfully once – and a single print edition of my NaNoNovel “The Secrets of Marian C.” sits on my bookshelf as proof :-).

The Secrets of Marian C., Lorraine Young, Front Cover

The Secrets of Marian C., Lorraine Young, Front Cover

 

The Secrets of Marian C., Lorraine Young, Back Cover

The Secrets of Marian C., Lorraine Young, Back Cover

 

The Secrets of Marian C., Lorraine Young, Front Cover

3-Day Novel Contest 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

Similar concepts have invaded the world of visual art as well, with Daily Painting and Daily Sketching groups or challenges everywhere you look.   They are all well-intentioned, with the ultimate goal of getting the work done and eliminating excuses procrastinators like me often use to avoid the writing or the drawing or the painting.  And a lot of writers and artists benefit from the challenge.  I’ve been daunted by the idea of doing a painting a day, or even a simple sketch a day, but I like the idea of the challenge.

So, I’ve given myself a couple of art challenges for 2016: first, a painting a week  and second, a sketch a day (or more likely every other day).   I need to be as forgiving to myself as I would be to anyone else: “If you miss a day, don’t beat yourself up! Carry on, do one the next day, it’s not the end of the world! Just don’t give up and you’ll be fine.”

So far I have been on target with my paintings, and here are the three I’ve completed for the first three weeks of January.  (I’ve been posting my sketches on my Facebook page, and won’t post them again here.)

"Shinny at Jackie Parker Park", soft pastels on Pastel Premier 400 grit sanded pastel paper, 15 1/4" x 10 1/2", $250 unframed Lorraine Young

“Shinny at Jackie Parker Park”, soft pastels on Pastel Premier 400 grit sanded pastel paper, 15 1/4″ x 10 1/2″, $250 unframed Lorraine Young

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Last Christmas", soft pastels on Pastel Premier Italian Clay sanded pastel paper, 9" x 12", $210 unframed Lorraine Young

“Last Christmas”, soft pastels on Pastel Premier Italian Clay sanded pastel paper, 9″ x 12″, $210 unframed Lorraine Young

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"A Light for 2016"_soft pastels on Pastel Premier Italian Clay pastel paper_9"x12"_Lorraine Young 2016 $210 unframed

“A Light for 2016″_soft pastels on Pastel Premier Italian Clay pastel paper_9″x12″_Lorraine Young 2016 $210 unframed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And that’s it for now.  Cheers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in 2016, charcoal, Dry Media, Edmonton, Figures, Landscape, Pastels, Still Life, Urban Landscape, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Artists’ Copyright”, or “How I Learned My Lesson”

A few years ago, when I was still painting just for fun, had just discovered soft pastels, and was not yet thinking of selling my work, I had a brutal awakening regarding artists’ copyrights.  It’s a story about a bully, a photographer who shall remain nameless (I saved the emails, and I will never forget that horrible man and his threats).  But because of that experience and previous familiarity with literary copyrights, I educated myself.  And you know, he was right. (He’s a horrible excuse for a human being, but he was right.)

Friends of ours had recently been married, had honeymooned in the Maritimes, and I wanted to give them a painting that would recall their trip to the East coast. I had no photos of my own to work from, so I found a beautiful photograph on the Internet of a Nova Scotia village I knew they’d visited, and decided to use it as my reference.  I changed the composition very slightly and imagined my own palette for colour since the original photo was in black and white.  Before having it framed as a gift for our friends, I got the idea (I can’t recall how or why) to contact the photographer and share my humble tribute to his beautiful work with him, and to let him know that I’d credited his photo.   His response was swift, furious and brutal.  He ranted about copyright infringement, he threatened legal action, and finally, he demanded that I send him my painting immediately so that he could personally see to its destruction!  I felt like he had punched me – hard – in the solar plexus.  I didn’t understand – I had given him and his photo full credit!  I wasn’t pretending that the image was mine, just the ‘tribute’ painting.  That didn’t matter, and it wasn’t the point. Because there was one thing he said that wasn’t entirely malicious:  he said that if I’d asked him for permission first (“even without payment”), he would likely have said yes.  (Did he mean that? I don’t know.)  I wasn’t young, but I was ignorant, although I did know enough to give credit where it was due.  And that began my self-education about basic artists’ copyrights.

Simply put, unless you are a student working on your own or in a classroom, and do not intend to sell your work or show it in public,  you need to know that the works of visual artists (including photographers, painters, sculptors, etc.) are under copyright (in the same or similar way a writer’s work is copyrighted) and may not be used or reproduced without prior permission of the original artist, and full credit given.  And if you ask for but don’t get permission, you just can’t use it.  (It’s pretty darn simple:  You can’t just take someone else’s artwork and call it yours, whether or not you make changes to it (aka “derivative” art). It is also why juried art shows will not accept student work created in the classroom: the work is directed by an instructor and is not original to the student-artist.  And copying or using another artist’s original work or image and calling it yours is the same idea.

The only solution if you want to show and/or sell your art is to create work only from your own imagination and experience (self-evident), or from your own reference photographs (if you use photographs).  Even if you choose to use “public domain” images, give credit to the original artists and their image or photo. It’s just a classy thing to do.

This might be taught in art colleges and in university bachelor or master level programs, (I don’t know, because I am basically self-taught), but if it isn’t, it should be.  I suspect, but could be entirely wrong, that the majority of artists who copy the works of others to show and sell as their own, are also self-taught, but this is not in any way a comment about talent or skill or ability. (Some of the most talented artists have been self-taught.)  It is about the idea that art education, whether or not you are self-taught, shouldn’t stop at just learning skills like basic composition, how to draw or how to mix and apply colour; it should also include learning about basic artists’ copyright law, ethics and the rights and responsibilities of the artist.

Oh, to finish the story about the copyright-infringed photographer:  I took the advice of some sympathetic artists at WetCanvas, refused to send my painting to that jerk so he could destroy it, and I never heard from him again.  I almost feel sorry for him. His photographs really are stunning, but he’s such a nasty character, really a bully, that I imagine he must be a very unhappy person inside.

Here are a few links if you’d like to know more about Artists’ Copyrights and stuff:

Know Your Copyrights (CARFAC)

Copyright Terminology (Copyright for Visual Artists)

Copyright Law of Canada (Wikipedia)

P.S. I’m still working on my second “Painting a Week”…. it’s coming along, will post ASAP.

 

 

 

 

Posted in 2016, Artists, Artists' Rights and Copyrights, Photos, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments