Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Bits & Pieces

A couple of shorter items:

Self-portrait blog
I got an email yesterday about submitting a self-portrait to a blog devoted to that genre. I did send an image of a SP I did in late 2006 (above), but found later that in order to be included, the actual physical artwork must be donated to the blog owner's collection. This made me raise an eyebrow for about 30 seconds, then I realized that it's in fact a perfectly ethical proposition. There is afterall nothing wrong with simply asking for the art, and in return providing a coherent, respectful forum for displaying the work.

I declined to make the donation since I'm attached to that particular painting. But, a blog devoted specifically to the self-portrait genre is a neat concept, and I did offer to do a similar smaller piece for him at some point in the future.

It's one hell of a brilliant way to build a collection, and a worthy blog, to boot: http://selfportraitgallery.blogspot.com/

Herndon VA Plein Air Competition.
I was recently contacted about a weekend-long plein air contest in Virginia. It's considerably out of my neighborhood, and I'm concentrating on still-life these days, but I'm sure there are plenty of people who would be able to get involved. Info is here.

Opening the eyes, opening the mind
Over the last 8 months or so, my life has been a little tumultuous, and I haven't made a regular effort to be a good art-blog consumer. There were the dozen or so regular reads, and sadly, that was about it. Yesterday I decided to change that, and spent from late afternoon until nearly dawn visiting blogs I knew from before, and discovering a whole lot of new ones. It was really refreshing, and I'm glad I did it.

I also added a whole bunch of links to the already-mondo blogroll on State of the Art. Links seem to mean different things to different bloggers; recognizing friends, making statements and boundaries about style and quality, and also mutual link-swapping (sounds durty, I know). I don't have much of an agenda with the links I keep. There's a really wide range of style, quality, and blogging aptitude, but in general there was something about each one that caught my eye. It's basically just a set of bookmarks for blogs I'd like to see again at some point in the future.

Other people's blogrolls are probably the best way of finding good new sites... and let's face it, who doesn't like to see their name on somebody else's list? If you're looking here for your blog, though, forget it. I am not gonna manage 2 separate link lists. Look here instead.

Roasting alive
It's been miserable in my studio the last couple of days. Really awful. The upstairs AC units (mid-century house, no central air) usually do a decent job keeping the ground floor comfortable too, and that's where the studio is. This winter, however, I reconfigured the lighting and added more halogens. They were desperately needed, but they really pump out the heat. With temps outside floating in the 80s/90s, it's been an oven in here, and I've been very cranky. Good thing I don't have to play well with others during my workday.

Fortunately, Sean picked up a new AC tonight, so hopefully tomorrow I should be working in serene coolness.

Restaurant Porn
I've never seen American Idol or most other reality shows and I'm ok with that. Somehow though, I got sucked into Hell's Kitchen last year and haven't been able to shake the habit. Tonight was the current season finale. It was down to a pair of total rockstar competitors. I was rooting for Petrozza, but Christina won, and she was eminently deserving too. Man... working in a professional kitchen seems like a rough way to earn a living.

Almost everybody hates Gordon Ramsay, but I've warmed up to him. It's like he's Mussolini with better hair and hidden charm. I suspect that away from a TV camera, he's actually a decent guy.

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