Yesterday a rather lush home decor magazine arrived with the newspaper.... lots of glossy pages of beautiful kitchens, expansive decks, glass-railed stairs and so on. However, there were very few paintings on the walls. In a number of cases, the rooms were verging on the bleak because there were no personal touches. As a contrast, I love the Saturday feature where some well-known personality shows a favourite room in their home and explains where the pieces came from and the personal significance. As an artist, I love to have paintings on the wall- and I can even switch them around for variety. I have a friend whose great-aunt had a closet with her "extra" paintings and enjoyed changing them around. Currently, I have the boats at Steveston in the entry hall- but it could change again. Maybe some people are afraid to commit - but a lot of artists are willing to have people try a painting out. Maybe some people feel the painting has to be really expensive -like Tobias Meyer's rule in the last blog- but it is more important to have something you enjoy and can relate to. After looking at those lovely homes with stunning architecture, I thought this statement by the interior decorator Ghislaine Vinas was applicable - "Art is the nods and winks that give a place personality."
Here is Rudbeckias I - which I did earlier this year and have now posted to a new album on the website- scroll down to "View Loraine's paintings"... So, I actually have some of 2014 posted already- a new record for being up to date. It is priced at my usual rates-haven't got to being a really expensive artist yet. It is interesting, however, to read about prices for the "superstars". There is a new book out "The Supermodel and the Brillo Box -Back Stories and Peculiar Economics from the World of Contemporary Art" by Don Thompson that is mostly about big names with big prices and the globalization of the art market. This is a world well beyond life here on the West Coast- where it is all in the name and the hype. One model of art pricing is Tobias Meyer's rule. Meyer said that art prices must be judged against an anchor price like that for a prestigious New York apartment. If the apartment costs $30 million, the Rothko painting that hangs over the fireplace in the living room can have the same value. Compare that to even inflated Vancouver-area house prices and we are nowhere near that kind of pricing. Even for a well-known, well-respected artist like Gordon Smith, the price for a large painting might be $40,000. Many of the Granville Street gallery artists sell for under $10,000 - and you would hardly get a shed, let alone an apartment for that. In fact, here the painting may well be priced less than the sofa it hangs over. Different worlds and different prices. Here, I think it comes down to people buying what they enjoy and they no doubt get more enjoyment from their purchase than the fellow in a $30 million apartment who is mostly buying a signature in the hopes of impressing others.
I thought it would be interesting to show these illustrations from Telling Time as we had the artist, Kathryn Shoemaker, as guest artist at the Guild May meeting. She was a very informative speaker and we got some insight into the complications of book illustration. This book begins with a grandmother telling the story of the last Purim celebration she had in Vienna. The font changes from when she is telling the story to when the rabbi tells the story of Esther from the special scroll. When the story comes back to the grandmother's tale, the slanting dark swastika slashes imply the Nazi threat. The rabbi in his white prayer shawl almost disappears against the snow- was there a miracle and did he get away? I bought this book for myself as I thought the illustrations were so well done- and I ended up doing a book review for Amazon. Kathryn works in gouache as the colours remain the same on the palette for the next session. She works larger than the finished size will be and does an incredible amount of research. I think book illustration is important and quality art work is important for children. Too many books are kind of cheap and cartoon-y. ---Not that there aren't good cartoons too - but I think it is a good idea to try to expose children to quality art work. Most people know the classics but it is good to see that work in the best tradition of children's book illustration is being made today too.
"Let's Play" is one of my three paintings that will be exhibited next week at the CACR sponsored juried show at Thompson Community Centre. Midsummer Dream Art Exhibition opens with a reception from 6 to 8:30 on Friday, July 18th and continues Saturday July 19th from 10 to 5 and Sunday the 20th from 10 to 4. You can vote for "viewer's choice' which means a cash award to the winning artist. Last year Annie Tsai won with a really beautiful large flower painting. This is a bit of a fun event as artists from all over enter. My three paintings are not large ones- and "Let's Play" is the smallest at only 9" x 12" - but I think the cat would like you to vote for her!
Loraine Wellman has studied art ever since she was a child and was recommended to classes at the Vancouver Art Gallery.She has a certificate from Vancouver School of Art (now Emily Carr) and a B.Ed from UBC. Exhibitions include Gateway Theatre, Richmond Art Gallery and Richmond City Hall.
Loraine is an Active member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, a member of Richmond Artists Guild, an a regular participant in a Life Drawing group. Her paintings are in collections in Canada, USA, Europe and Taiwan.