31 August 2006

Do's and Don'ts: volume two, The Don'ts


Back to trying to fix the Art world, the rest of the world can worry about itself for a while.

In the on-going series of Do's and Don'ts, my I present,

The Don'ts

Don't assume that you need huge amounts of cash to start collecting.

If you have a passion, commitment and an eye for your tastes, you can find good work for a reasonable amount of money.

Don't think that you should only buy original works.

There are some wonderful works that are very collectible that are limited edition prints. Prints will and do, go up in value. They are almost always much less expensive than originals also.

Don't buy Names.
Buy objects. The true test of your taste is if you are willing to buy a work that has no reputation. The work moves you, you would like to have it.

Don't be limited by your home.
Meaning, don't buy art for a spot on your wall. Buy art for a spot in your heart.

Don't involve an interior designer.

Let them pick you furniture, pillows, curtains etc. Art is personal and needs to be your choice. If you love it , it will work with everything else.

Don't be concerned with the age or location of the artist.

It has nothing to do with whether you like a work or not.

Don't think about investment.
Buy works you love, not works you think will make you money. Keep in mind you have to sell them to make money. It is hard to sell works you have fallen in love with.
But if you are thinking investment, think top of the line. Art at this level will appreciate the most, even in a down market.

Don't play games.

Don't do things like taking pictures and then showing them to other dealers to see if they can get it for you for less money.
It hurts the integrity of the art and it's not fair to the dealers.

Don't feel pressured to buy.
Most galleries are willing to talk and share information about their art and artists with anyone who is serious.

This one is important.

Don't try to fool the IRS.
It is not fair to ask a dealer to ship an empty box out of state for you to avoid tax. It is also very illegal.
The art has to go where it will be displayed and appropriate taxes must be paid.
The consequences can be devastating.

30 August 2006

More of "WTF" are we thinking?

August 31 Update to this post:
The part about killing those who kill, I take that back. It was the heat of the moment. I am not in favor of killing in any fashion, even for punishment. Death lets them off too easy. The should have to suffer and live with it.

I stand by everything else.


********


Today was going to be the things "Not To Do" when looking at and or buying art. However, there are just some days when the world just drives me MAD something fierce.

My problem today is with democracy.
When everyone gets a say, nothing gets done. Why? Because you can not please everyone.
It is not possible.
There are too many bleeding hearts, as well as too many fanatics, and the people in between just sit with their heads up their butts and do nothing.

Ok, you're asking, "MW, what brought this on?"

I'm glad you asked.

I was reading a story(msnbc.com) about the rise in violent crime across the country (not to mention the world)and what can be done about it.

Everyone has some sort of wussy plan to put more police on the streets and for communities to get involved. Blah, blah, blah,

All of this is coming from a bunch of people who have never had first hand knowledge of the US justice system.
I am here to tell you all that our system is SERIOUSLY flawed.

This is how you slow the spread of crime.
Partial list.

1) Stop listening to anyone who says convicted criminals have rights. They don't! From the second they are convicted they give up all rights that are afforded to civilized society.

2) Make punishment an actual punishment as well as a deterrent to crime, not the play group for malcontents that jails and prisons are today.

I hate to break it to you, but criminals get three square meals a day, cable TV, movies, libraries, medical, dental and vision check ups as well as free prescription drugs, work out rooms, recreation time, regular visiting hours, phone privileges, jobs that pay, weekend passes out of confinement and early release for 'good behaviour'.
Does that sound like punishment? Not to me! Keep in mind that 80% or more of people incarcerated are coming from no education, no jobs, drug use, living on the streets or in slums. Prison is a better life than they had before. What are they going to learn? Crime pays!

You make prisoners spend 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, turning big rocks into little rocks with a hammer, no TV, no special privileges, hard physical manual labour.
Trust me, that will be a deterrent to crime. Criminals are lazy. They would rather try to fit into society than have to work their asses off.

3) You want crime rates to go down, put much more money into public education and make it mandatory to the age of 21. No dropping out, no quiting, no flunking out. You do the work, you learn things, you contribute to society. No ifs ands or buts about it.

4) Punishment needs to be "Eye for an eye". There is no such thing as cruel and unusual punishment. The more cruel and more unusual, the better it will work!
You take a life, you lose yours.
You rape or molest(this is almost always men) you lose your balls.
Every time you steal, you lose a finger.
You drink and drive, you never drive again.

No warnings, no second chances, no three strikes, no early release.

We are too F***ing soft and the criminals know it!

5) Hold parents responsible for the actions of their children. Too many kids have no adult supervision and run amok which leads to drop outs, criminal activities, drug use, and God knows what else. Start holding parents accountable and that will change.

I have said it before and I will continue to say it, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

We have tried it their way, and it doesn't work. It is time to try something new.

29 August 2006

Do's and Don'ts, volume one: The Do's


Because I had started this site in order to educate the world about art and galleries, I thought it was time to actually write something about art.
So here is a brief list of things "To Do" when looking at and buying art.
A list of things "Not To Do" will come later.



The Do's


Keep an open mind.
There are new works coming out all of the time. You might miss out on something very cool by dismissing it.

Take time to see what's available.

There are endless amounts of galleries and even more choices of works.
Try to create a relationship with a gallery. One that will take the time and effort to educate you and help you find the best work for your budget.

The art business is about relationships and the experience of looking at and enjoying art.

Get to know the art, intimately, just as you would a partner or friend.
A painting or sculpture needs to be approached, sniffed, touched and looked at from different perspectives, up close and far away.
If you are not physically attracted to the work in the first place you should not be involved at all.

New York is not the only place to find art!
There are wonderful galleries all over the world. Use the web, shop around, and do some research.

Be up front about your budget.
This is very important. Be up front about your budget. No dealer wants to waste their time or yours showing you things that are out of your price range, or not at the level you want to collect.

If you agree to buy something, pay for it.
This seems like a no-brainer, but you would be amazed at how often people say "I do!" then back out of the deal. It is usually beginners.

Treat galleries and dealers with respect.
Should be another no-brainer, but people love to make fun of things they don't understand or just be rude thinking the gallery should be their personal playground. It isn't!

Haggle with caution.
Most reasonable galleries will price a work and stick to it. The secondary market is different.
But if you do make a lower offer than the asking price, be willing to follow through. This isn't a game! Your offer needs to be real.
If you must haggle, keep in mind that your attitude can be fatal. whether or not I haggle with someone depends on whether I like them or not. If you offend me or are rude, I will not do business with you. I don't need your money that bad.

28 August 2006

Toast...

Where have I been all my life?
Mid-western, corn-fed, gypsy boy.
Public school...after school...after school...

Oh yes, bonding has become an issue!
Constantly on the move, running...running...running...
Too afraid anything,
Too afraid of anyone, everyone!
Afraid of becoming attached,
More willing to to take my own life,
To die...by my own hand...
The ultimate, I QUIT!

We all die and turn to dust.
Sooner or later, we're all toast!

A constant dreamer.
Waiting, praying, working to hit the big one.
One more long shot so go for it.
I'm do dammit!

No one can lose every time...
No one can lose every time...
NO ONE CAN LOSE EVERY TIME!

Or maybe they can.

Why even play any more?
Is the "prize" that important?
Does it drive you to go on...
And on...
And on?
Does it consume you?
Do you even know what the prize is?

It's a torment, a cancer, a never ending...
PAIN!

A pain deeper than Hell itself.
Beyond something physical...
A mental anguish,
So completely silent that it's deafening!

I'm not playing any more!
This game is no fun!
They're my balls,
I'm taking them,
And I'm going home!

Do you want a rematch?
Do you want another piece of me?

Maybe later Lou!...Lou-zer!
Can you handle my rules?

My code...it's how I stay...sane-ish.

From one moment of time and events,
To the next,
It has to change in order to stay fresh.
To keep me from feeling;
Wrong, guilty, evil, uncaring...like a loser.
I change the rules of play
To suit my needs...
And I'm sticking to it,
Or not!

Why don't you just give up,
You will most likely , never win.

A pattern forms, after a while.
By the time you have detected it,
It's too late...
It's too late.

A perfect record, still intact,
O fer Life!

27 August 2006

Oh Boy and Who Are You?

Oh Boy!
My baby boy
Something so small
more alive than a doll
much more fragile
don't drop him
Oh baby boy

For you, I will care
I can't help but stare
or mess up your hair
I do not dare
Look away

You might do something new
A discovery or two
You grow everyday
It's amazing to say
You're my baby boy.

************

Who are you?
Have we met?
Side by side
For so many years
Play
Work
Play
What did you say?
Where did you come from?
Welcome to Earth
Let me set you straight
Make a few things clear
There are certain ways we do things here

What do you mean, you got that from me?
Where am I?

26 August 2006

Bound, but not gagged

I am feeling trapped! I have been without internet service at my home for the last 4 days. The Fathead in India who I always end up talking with when I call to bitch, keeps telling me nothing is wrong. If nothing is wrong, why the hell doesn't it work!

I did finally figure it out, on my own mind you. So now I"m having to plug my laptop into the cable which is driving me Mad(er). I enjoy being wireless. I demand freedom while blogging or doing homework or just goofing off.

The problem is my airport base station. I can not believe how much trouble I am having with my Apple products this year. This will be the third time I have had to replace my base station. I wont mention my photo problems again (other than that). An in the last 11 months I have gone through 2 ac adaptors. The first one melted.

Last night I was told to buy a new laptop. That would fix my issues. Sure, what's 2 grand to drop on another computer when this one is only 3 years old. It is a dinosaur after all. I hate I&T people. She actually said,"Your computer is old and out of date, maybe you should buy a new one to avoid any further problems."

*****



Just in case I had not mentioned it, I have a way cool wife. Precious is a blast. She spent the day with Mr. Man and the Dog at the beach while I covered the gallery. She stopped in and brought me lunch and told me how much she liked my new paintings. Which just came back from the framers this morning.
She is damn sexy too. Which is nice. Sorry I just like to brag about it.

This is one of the many paintings I have done of her.





*****




Just so you all know. Pay attention here. Rubber clogs are not to be worn outside of the garden. I see people everyday wearing these with all types of clothing from shorts and skirts to slacks and yes I have even seen one guy who decided they would look good with his suit.

THEY DID NOT!

23 August 2006

To beta, or not to beta...

I have been reading about blogger going beta. I did switch my site over so to my three readers, I am sorry for any temporary problems with viewing and or comments.

They say it will be easier to make changes to the layout, but I would have to save my template and upgrade. Which means I would loose any changes that I had mad to the original template that I started with.

It took me a month and a half to figure out the html and now they want me to loose what I've done. Ok, I know, it should be easy to put it back with the new upgrades but I am sentimental, or just mental, the jury is still out.But I am liking the way the site is looking for the most part and I don't want it looking generic again until I figure out the new stuff.

Sure they say I won't loose any of the content. Apple told me that about my photos too and you know how well that worked out. A Couple thousand shots of my life lost in cyber space. Excuse me if I say,"Sha right!"

I am a sucker for new stuff, so I am sure I will make the switch one of these days. But until then I will have to wonder and wait to hear how the rest of you blogspoters are getting along.

22 August 2006

First day off this month...

This morning I was jolted awake from a great, deep sleep by the sound of Mr. Man crashing into our bedroom door at 3:30 am. I think he was sleep walking. I guess we need to leave the door open at night. Scared the crap out me. I was up and had him in my arms before I realized What was even going on. He was sound asleep before I could ask if he was alright. I let him sleep in our bed until I was ready to go back to sleep, about 4:30 am. It freaks me out how you can love something so much.

I am headed to the nearest, and only photo lab in this area today. 30 minutes away. Life in the sticks, isn't it grand. I have about 500 photos to be printed. Before I loose them too. Stupid iBook. No, I'm sorry, good iBook, I still love you. (stupid iBook)



When I finish my photo adventure and Mr. Man goes to day care, I get to go for a ride. Last month I bought bikes for Precious and I. It was like I was 8 years old again. I wanted to ride around the hood and show it off.
I try to ride everyday. Today is my first day off from the gallery in almost 3 weeks so I am trying to make the most of it.

On a side note:

I have never been a fan of the Baldwin family of actors. But yesterday I watched "The Cooler", again. I like William H Macy. Anyway, As I was watching I could not help but laugh thinking about "Schweaty Balls". OMG! One of the best SNL skits ever. Alec Was at his best on SNL. I am looking forward to the new "30 Rock" with he and Tina Fey. Is it just me or she hot? Sorry where was I?
Oh ya. What brought all of this up was Alec Baldwin. As I was laughing,I noticed that I had heard the voice before, in an odd place. Alec is, or was, one of the story tellers on "Thomas the Tank Enginge". It is one of Mr. Man's favorite things to watch.(the few things he gets to watch)
Maybe I am a sort of fan of one of the Baldwins.



This isn't Thomas, but we have a great time with our, his trains. This is a Geo Trax. We rebuild it about once a week. Mr. Man makes a very convincing Godzilla.

21 August 2006

Lost Photo update...


For the three readers I have, you may remember my post "Technology Breakdown". iPhoto on my iBook went kafooy and miss placed my entire photo library, again.

The first time it took me almost 4 months to go through all of my hard drive to find the missing photos. This time it only took about a month.

This time I know much more about this stupid box than I did the first time and I have learned a few things along the way. Such as, not all of my photos are still on my drive. I even took it in to a "Pro" who searched it as well. $45 to tell me what I knew already. I have lost approximately 2700 photos between the two malfucktions.

For some reason not all of the photos I was importing from my camera to iphoto were being saved on my hard drive. And of course, nobody can figure out why. I keep hearing, "that is not supposed to happen". No shit? Once again, I knew that already!

I have been pacing back and forth in my studio for the last hour pulling my hair and cursing under my breath(I don't want to wake Mr. Man or Precious, who are upstairs sleeping).

And yes, I was backing up my system. Problem is that I was backing up the same thing I was seeing and did not know that not all of the photos were being saved until I lost the iphoto library.

So, from now on I go back to saving all photos onto a disk and having all of them printed, as well as saved, and double checking every thing I download.

I so hate loosing things. Especially photos!

17 August 2006

Children and strangers...



You can always count on children and complete strangers to show you that, no matter how bad you may think things are, they really aren't.

So, Escapee, this is for you. I already am where you suggested I go. It's where my gallery is. It is very easy to forget about the beauty that is all around us.

I drove down this morning to shoot this photo and thought of what you said. I stood there and took it all in and left with a much better attitude.

My wife and I take our son to this spot at least once a week. It is a magical place.

Thank you for the reminder. I hope you(or someone) is around the next time I need another one.

15 August 2006

Did I mention the Mercedes?


After 20 years in the art business, the only thing I know for sure: No one knows anything about art.

Oh, and a lot of the people in the art business are frigin nuts.

One afternoon in a gallery that will remain nameless, I was doing what ever it was we told ourselves we do, when the owner of the gallery came in.

The following is what went on between he and a fellow staff member, word for word, to the best of memory, start to finish.

Owner:(no hello, how ya doin, nothing)
When you are handling My art, keep in mind that it is My art!
Everything should be treated with the respect that I Deserve! You should wear cotton gloves when handling My art!

I am a visionary. I know the art world because I have owned a successful art business for the last 25 years.
When Mercedes sells S class cars for ten years and then they come out with the M class, some people are going to want the new M and some people will want the S.

That is why I print Russian historical figures from Serg even though they don't sell.
That is how business marketing works.


Staff member:
But owner? Serg is best known for his softer, children with pig tails and regal looking women with intricate details and layered backgrounds.
Even our Russian clients do not care about Russian historical figures.
We cannot give those images away, let alone sell them.


Owner:
You don't know the business!


Staff member:
I have been in the business for 18 years and worked for some of the best galleries in the country...

Owner: (interrupting)
You don't know the business. I know the art business. I have run this company for 25 years. We need to create a thumb print of an artist and only then can we show the public something new.
The general public can not handle work from an artist if they are not ready.


Staff member:
The public knows the artist already. They are the ones asking for these other works.


Owner: (interrupting again)
They don't know the business. You need to create a thumb print and then we can show these other works.
That is the way that business marketing works.


Staff member:
But owner, You have done "Peter the great" and it flopped.
You did "Anastasia" and it flopped.
You re-did "Peter the Great" and it flopped again...

You took Colleen's work, that was selling well, made her change it from what her collectors were used to, then printed limited editions of the "new" work and it flopped. Then you lost the artist, and she sued you.

You took Gwen's work, which was selling well, and for the prints you made her change it and they flopped. You lost her and she sued you.

In fact everyone of the artists you have dealt with over the last 15 years have come to you with a good career going, you took their work and changed it until nobody wanted it anymore, you pissed off the artists and they left and had to sue you in order to get paid.

Have you ever thought about listening to your staff, who work with the collectors on a daily basis?


Owner:
Have I told you about the Mercedes?


Owner then wonders back out the door and is not seen for the rest of month.
Entire staff stands and shake their heads in a state of bewilderment.

And this was one of the more coherent conversations.

I can't make this up, I'm not that good.

OMG!



No matter how bad I feel from time to time, I can always find something in the blogging world that makes me stop and laugh my ass off. This is why I wanted to start blogging in the first place. You guys are too funny. Even the ones who are not trying to be funny tend to crack me up. Maybe it just a sick sense of humor on my part but thank you all anyway.

13 August 2006

Woe is me...


I am feeling sorry for myself today. The art business has been non-existent. I am not used to having so little to do. I have sent cards, photos and emails to everyone I have ever talked to in the gallery. I have called them all as well just to say hello and hope that one of them just wanted to chat for awhile. I have re-hung all of the art twice this week.

The part that I hate most about being so slow is that it is taking away time that I could spend painting or shooting photos. The only perk so far is that I have time to do this. I can blog at work without fear of The Man sacking me, for here I am The Man. So I can do what I want. (insert light bulb above my head) Maybe I should bring part of my studio to the gallery!?!

I could paint on location. What a brilliant idea. Except I can already see the problem with this. I would not like people interrupting me while I tried to paint, and asking stupid questions like,"Did you do that?" Hello, I am at the easel with brush in hand.... I need my personal space. At least three feet is preferred, with a few exceptions, and then closer is better. Sorry, different post.

The rest of my woes come from the fact that I seem to have fallen into a time warp. The entire Oregon coast is stuck in the late 70's early 80's. It's freakin me out man!

The only radio station we get plays nothing recorded after 1984. Ahi(tuna) is considered an exotic fish. They did just open a sushi bar, without an actual sushi bar in it. And they only have three kind of fish. Is it just me, or does this seem wrong?

The big hot spot here for night life is decorated in brown plaid, glass and mirror light fixtures, and it smells of cigarette smoke and desperation. It reminded me more of a Denny's than a lounge.

Pity party anyone? Alright I'm done.

10 August 2006

And where did you study art?


Or Where did you study anything for that matter?


I have had the pleasure of knowing many very talented artists. I have studied art from the time I was in high school.(26 years of study so far) To be any kind of artist takes a life time of hard work, dedication and sacrifice.

So why is it that everyday some yahoo walks into my gallery and proceeds to tell me that their kid could do this, or that the artist should have used more of something or less of something or how dare we ask that much for this work?

Do they tell Emeril how to cook, or F.L. Wright that his buildings are childish? Do they go to concerts tell B.B. King how to play the blues?
Do they tell banks that their kids can add and count. Do they tell a pilot how to fly a plane? Do they tell Barry Bonds how to hide drug use or Nascar how to be redneck?

NO! They do not do any of these things. Why do they think they can come into galleries and make fun, and be-little my life? That is what they are doing. They are mocking me.
And the worst part is, they are too stupid too know it. They seem to think it's funny to mock things they don't understand and they expect me to giggle along with them.

The next time you look at a work of art and think to yourself,"Duh...I kood do dat...", go try it wise ass. Then get back to me.

09 August 2006

Spam...More from WTF file!

Ok, I guess I have arrived. My blog has been hit by spammers.
What the hell is wrong with you people? Do you have nothing better to do with your sorry pathetic lives than to try and muck up the rest of us?

Isn't it about time for the rest of us to get together and put an end to these vermin of society?

OUTLAW SPAM!

Do we like to get email about making your cock bigger? Adds for free porn? Buy drugs at a discount?

ENOUGH you shit heads!

I am a nobody in the world of blogging and you stick a link on one of my comments for some crappy product that sticks in your browser if accidentally opened.

A slow painful festering death to all of you stinking bastards!

06 August 2006

WHEN? But I digress....

Maybe I should not work with the public....
Safeway store checkout line, 11:30 pm

Checker:
Hello, Blah blah blah, something else, Blah....

ME:
Is it just me or are humans the dumbest animals on the planet? Never mind answering, no matter what you say I have to go with yes. We are stupid!

Why don't humans ever learn from our mistakes? With every generation we teach our kids to make the same mistakes we made. Over and over and over!

If it were not for one or two individuals every 100 years or so, most humans would have died off, or at least learned to be a little selective with their breeding habits.

In the wild, only the smartest, strongest, healthiest ever have off-spring. This ensures that the species as a whole will get stronger, smarter and live on. The weak, the dumb, the slow, become part of the food chain, as they should.

Humans no longer have to be selective when it comes to having children. Anyone and everyone can and usually does have children. I don't mean this to sound cruel, but people, stop! Think about what you are doing to the planet and the rest of us. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

Haven't any of you thought that maybe you are swimming in the shallow end of the gene pool? We know how to prevent pregnancy now days. Sex is fine, have all you want, but wrap that rascal. For the love of God. When he said "Go forth and multiply..." There were only a few hundred people on the planet. I think we can give it a rest.

I know what you're thinking. I can hear you. "How dare you be so arrogant to tell people they shouldn't have children." "What if someone told you not to have kids?"

You're right, I myself have a child. "A" child as in one, only, no more. And I WAS selective about it. I waited until I was able to support a child. I have an education, I'm healthy, I am athletic. I selected a partner that also has these same qualities.

We have to think about the greater good of the planet and what we are leaving behind. Our actions influence everyone and everything. All of us! Have you never heard of; Habitat carrying capacity? Global warming? Deforestation? Famine?...

We over use, over waste. We are destroying the planet in the name of greed and power, oil and money.

Wouldn't you think that after several thousands of years of recorded history that we humans would have learned that none of the possessions we live, kill and die for mean jack shit! We continue to waste our potential on petty crap.

Think for just one minute about what this world could be like if we actually thought about our actions, and what those action will do. Humans are capable of such greatness, and we are pissing it away!

When are we going to say,"ENOUGH!" No more killing each other. No more letting our friends and neighbors starve while we live in grotesque excess. No more greed. No more over populating. No more senseless waste and destruction.

When are we going to start thinking about the greater good of the planet instead of our selfish, greedy, glutinous, narrow-minded selves? WHEN?

Checker:
I'm sorry, I said, Paper or Plastic?

ME:
Um..Paper...

03 August 2006

Be Gone!

I came home to find you exactly where I left you. I knew you would still be there.
I was hating myself for loving you. When I thought of sending you away, years of memories filled my mind. Some good times as well as bad. But mostly of time, years of my life I gave to you. Years of my life I wasted. It is why I left you to begin with.

Now that I have had time to think about you again, to be with you again. It is not a love I feel for you. You are a bad habit. An addiction I could never admit I had. Like many before me I was too cool to admit that you were in control and not me.

Even after I left you once, I saved pieces of you as reminders. Souvenirs of a past I thought fondly of. I do not see those days so fondly anymore. I see you for what you are.

I gathered up your things and threw them away. All of the little reminders are in the bin. This is MY LIFE, and you can not have it anymore. No more wasted days and nights thinking you made me better. I am a much better person without you. Now I know I always was. Now I know you for what you are. I know me for who I can be.

I couldn't ask you to be done with me. It wasn't up to you. I had to be done with you because it was always up to me.

Be gone, and know that the next time we meet I will not stop to reminisce. I am taking back what's mine. My self respect.