David L's online art college

The Wire is Art on Television

Television has taken a long time to really assert itself as a medium worth attention from even the very most fickle of critics and people involved with the arts who usually just look down on it. But of course, there’s no reason to think that television should be considered any less of an art form than any other medium. Just as film and now video-games were quickly able to become art-forms, television has taken a longer road but it is getting there, and in recent years it has taken great strides in the direction.
New drama series, led by the HBO network as well as ABC and EMC, have shown that TV is capable of much more than just creating populist nonsense, or showing repeats of reality TV shows for audiences who advertisers and executives assume are fickle and unable to tell what makes good and bad television. The move towards art as television has been led in recent years by mega series like Six Feet Under and The Sopranos, both of which have pushed the boundaries of the medium towards art and away from popular entertainment. While they are not very likely to find themselves shown in art galleries they are quite likely to be revered just as much as novels and other works of art.
One particular development is taking them even closer to being like mega-movies that are closer to novels in their depth and storytelling prowess. The ability to buy every episode of a whole series at the click of a finger, either downloading them digitally or being able to buy the box set of the whole thing makes consuming the mega-movies easier. And it won’t eat into that chunk of money you made investing, perhaps with Galvan. The Wire is leading the way in this regard and you should go buy the five series straight away.

Going To Art School: Answer These Questions

Going To Art School: Answer These Questions

Each year thousands of students in high school and many others elsewhere consider and make the necessary plans to go to art school. Before you go there are and get yourself involved in Manchester airport parking, some important questions that you should be answering for yourself. Here are a few of the more significant ones.

Which School Will I Attend

These days the school you opt to attend is not so much important as the attitude you go with. Once you have the “whatever it takes” attitude towards learning all about art, you are well on your way. Many of the art schools out there offers just about the same or similar courses all administered by well qualified people. Big named schools these days are not that much better than other schools around the country.

Will I work My buttock Off

One would assume that this is a given but sadly for many who have gone to art school that is not the case. It does not matter where you go to school you will have to put in the hard work and then some. The harder you work to more likely you will be better than your classmates.

Why Should I Go to This Particular School

Often times we choose a art school simply because someone we know wet there ten years ago or we have heard about it in the news. This is not the way to go. You must pay a visit to the school and see its arts department and other facilities, to see if it is up to scratch. Speak to professors and even ask if they have art works of their own you can see.

Apart for the fees being charged, these questions are key to your overall decision-making process. Answer them well and you will make a good decision.


The Documentary Photographer Is Always A ‘Super Tourist’ In The World Of Others

The Documentary Photographer Is Always A ‘Super Tourist’ In The World Of Others

I would like to explore the concept: The documentary photographer is always a ‘super tourist’ in the world of others. This statement is premised on the understanding that within the medium of documentary photography, a photographer and the image he is capturing is composed of dual and opposite positions, an inside and outside.
The word ‘tourist’ defines an outsider visiting a foreign place away from home, usually traveling for pleasure. Therefore in this statement, a ‘tourist’ identifies the photographer’s role as an outsider whilst the ‘image captured’ exists as the local or embodied insider. This concept is applicable, although the phraseology in the statement, ‘always a super tourist’ marginalizes the stance that a photographer’s identity may also exist from within the inside position and not ‘always’ situated on the outside.
The art theorist and historian, Abigail Solomon-Godeau characterizes the insider photographer position as being: “engaging, participating, and having privileged knowledge and is the ‘good’ position” and the outsider position as: “producing an alienated and voyeuristic relationship that heightens the distance between subject and object.”1
Susan Sontag is the late author, literary theorist, and political activist who termed the photographer as a ‘super tourist’ in her book, On Photography. She reiterates the theme that a photographer’s attempt to mirror reality is merely an interpretation of the world as in a painting or drawing. She adds to this the notion that: “The whole point of photographing people is that you are not intervening in their lives, only visiting them.” She acutely believes that a photographer is an outsider-‘tourist’, similar to an “anthropologist [–] colonizing new experiences from familiar subjects.”2
‘Tourism’ can be seen as the extension of the post-colonial concern for compromising ‘the other’ through colonial discourse and domination. In effect, the tourist who is presumably in search of the ‘new’ even in the Newcastle Airport Parking structure is actually seeking the already ‘known packaged holiday product’. The desire for the exotic is most often found in underdeveloped countries made dependant on the tourist trade of external industries and multinational companies.
This relationship between the binary colonizer and colonized is of similar nature to Sontag claims that, “To photograph is to appropriate the thing photographed. It means putting oneself into a certain relation to the world that feels like knowledge-and, therefore, like power.”3
She seems to be insinuating that this imperialistic nature to a photographer and the subject matter photographed, renders the image as an objectification, an over-simplification of what is complex and as a result disavows it’s social reality. In effect, Susan Sontag’s concerns lie with what is ‘ethical, truthful and real’ in documentary photography, and this fundamental question bears much consideration.
While the result of photography work may simultaneously engage the viewer towards deeper inspection through various classifications of voyeurism or by presenting an exotic ‘otherness’, it does not necessarily indicate a given representation depicting the outside ‘world of others’ within the photographer’s reality.
If a ‘super tourist’-outsider were an exaggerated definition of a photographer who visits places away from home, would he remain an outsider to his work if it were: documenting his everyday life as a personal narrative within his own culture? The art of observing the everyday within any medium was recognized and encouraged by the French philosopher Henri Lefebvre who proclaimed, “–that most insignificant of categories, the everyday, to be worthy of theoretical attention” and “Wasn’t it in the nature of theoretical thought to investigate the trivial?”4
I suggest that ‘always a super tourist’ applied to an artist may exclude a set of insider positions that as a whole allows documentary photography of the everyday to be a legitimate multidimensional art form. Gregory Muir illustrates in his article Documentary Style, the outcome of artists defying the total outside status of a ‘tourist’ by observing and recording their everyday lives through their work.

– artists who seek to engage with reality through their own highly personalized line of inquiry [–] set against the stolid documentary format can lead to a blurring of the boundaries between fiction and non fiction, real and unreal, ordinary and extraordinary. In short, the documentary style slides somewhere between straight documentary film making (sic) and contemporary art.5


  1. Godeau, S. A. (1994), Inside Out in Public Information, desire, Disaster, Document, Exhibition Catalogue, p.49
  2. Sontag, S., (1977). On Photography. 10, 2002. Penguin Classics, pp. 41-42
  3. Sontag, S., (1977), p.4
  4. Ross, K., (1997). ‘French Quotidian’ in L. Gumpert (ed) The Art of the Everyday, The Quotidian in Postwar French Culture, New York University Press. (short extract)
  5. Muir, G., (Jan/Feb 2003). Documentary Style, Flash Art.

Get Ready Graduating Art Students: This Last Year Will Be A Fast Ride

Get Ready Graduating Art Students: This Last Year Will Be A Fast Ride

Important things to do before you graduate as a BA (Hons) Fine Arts Degree student will surely be overwhelming, but if you plan ahead you will be able to jump start on opportunities that maybe presented during the end of term Degree Art Show.
Most importantly beside the completion of your final artwork, building a website representing your very best works requires planning. The website will be your business card and makes it easily to refer interested curators or important art contacts to view your work as an online gallery.
Gather the necessary digital photograph documentation and if you don’t own a quality camera, query your college for one. Often there is a photography department with equipment or a media loan department, if these are not available start asking friends with cameras for a loan. The website should contain at least:

  • pictures and documentation your work
  • a short contextual paragraph describing your work (Consider referring to your art dissertation for writing clues and have a tutor proof read it with an opinion. This will also assist you in articulating verbally to others, who you are as an artist.)
  • your contact information

Again refer to you college to build the website. Ask the college media lab for access and support with Adobe Dreamweaver, a website building software. Another of many alternatives is WordPress, which is an open source blog publishing application allowing you to upload pictures and text. Start the inquiry early, as you will need to purchase a web domain name and decide on a web-host.
Before the final Art Degree Show, begin to research Galleries alongside Art Directors and Curators. Determine which galleries best suits your work, go to many art openings and collect names and contact information to add to your Degree Show invitation list.
Join a-n magazine (artist newsletter). As a Fine Art graduating student in the UK you qualify for a year’s free membership. Here you’ll find listings of art opportunities for exhibiting, jobs, residencies and much more. Near the end of the school year there will be many art exhibit calls and competitions advertised for recent art graduates, there is often a fee to apply but some are free.
If you aren’t too exhausted already and ready to park it in the Newcastle Airport Parking structure, it is beneficial to stage small art exhibits with art friends or other art students before the Final Degree Show. Building on an exhibition history will make an impact on potential art contacts by showing your have art experience.

Why You Should Use Acrylics

Why You Should Use Acrylics

Acrylics have always had a slightly lesser reputation than other paints, within artistic circles. Eclipsed by oil paints and considered less difficult to use than watercolour, acrylics have always suffered, to some extent, as being viewed as an amateur style of painting, even though, truth be told, most people find it very difficult to tell acrylics and oil paints apart from a few feet away.
With all this negativity towards the medium, it’s no wonder that some artists skip it completely and move straight onto oils, which is a shame: acrylics offer a number of advantages over both watercolour and oils, and while it may be true that they also lack certain qualities, it’s fair to say that the advantages in some situations are considerable. After recently doing a lot of work for Hotels in Looe I considered all my options and in the end found acrylics to really be the best choice.
Reasons why you should consider using acrylics.
1) Unlike oils, acrylics are water-based. This means they don’t smell half as much as oils, and they are a lot cheaper to buy (seeing as you won’t need to use turps which both smells and is costly).
2) Acrylics dry very quickly. In ten or fifteen minutes your paints are well on the way to hardening; this means that in an outdoor situation, where speed is of the essence, you have the advantage of leaving if the weather suddenly turns nasty.
3) Unlike poster paint, acrylics behave very similarly to oils. This means that you can practice for a while with these and then move onto oils knowing that you half understand the medium you are about to take on.
4) Because of the speed which acrylics dry at, you can add more layers faster; this is especially useful if you are looking to exhibit the work and speed is of the essence, if you are looking to frame your pieces.

Bulgarian Traditional Medicine

Traditions are inevitably a part of the culture of people - all traditions combined give the authentic look of every culture of every nation. This is the reason why exploring these traditions is what gives us the idea of uniqueness of every nation and people across the world, each one remarkable and different from the others.

Bulgarian Culture is famous for its history and traditions. However, little is known about a significant part of the Bulgarian cultural heritage - the old, almost ancient, herbal recipes for the unusual Bulgarian Traditional Medicine.

Bulgaria is a country rich in herbs - from Mediterranean to Oriental herbs, the land is quite appropriate for raising them and the traditional means for preparing medicines or authentic tasty and vitamin full products are a significant part of the Bulgarian understandings about a healthy life.

Since the ancient times when Tracians used to inhabit the lands of what is nowadays Bulgaria, there are thousands of traditional recipes for medicines, especially for skin care and skin diseases. This is the reason why during th development of Bulgaria, traditional medicine physicians established certain institutions to heal and prevent people such skin disorders - nowadays the dermatological complexes in Plovdiv and Sofia offer quite an extraordinary skin care procedures - the complete relaxation and cleansing of the skin is achieved through using the traditional herbs from the Rila and Pirin Mountains.

However, this is not the only sphere of application of the traditional medicine - as other types of unusual treatment ( such as the Chinese medicine), the Bulgarian medicine is famous for providing ingredients for almost every disorder in your body - from a minor cold to a broken arm. So if you are visiting Bulgaria, hoping you have no health issues, try the vitamin teas of Bulgarians or simply try the skin care procedures - you will see approaches used by ancient people brought to mmodern days and you would definitely experience the healing force of nature.

The OC Soundrack Album Cover

In music industry, album covers are not only the envelopes of the sound, they represent the uniqueness of the product to be sold and, for collectors and fans, are a pure piece of art equal to the music they are going to buy. This is the reason why both fans and music producers pay a lot of attention to the outlook of the albums since that represents what is the actual quality of the production.

One of the most impressive album covers that have actually made me buy an album of a genre that I am not particularly attracted to - The OC Soundtrack Album made such an impression on me that as soon as I saw it in the music store, I knew this would be a perfect piece to download to my Smartphones music library and add to my collection (which was mainly trance music, but I had no such cover).

The cover is made by a number of pieces of paper with drawing on them. Each cartoon represents a hero character that resembles the main characters of the OC TV production - it is like the artist is displaying comic book characters rather than TV starts. The whole cover looks like a just-drawn cartoon book, and the small pack of drawing papers and pencils lying around the cartoons made the cover look like the working area of a gifted artists.

You have no guess what would be the music like when you first see that piece of art - it lacks the hard images of metal albums, the mixture of rainbow colours for house, the discoball for trance or the image of the artists that is typical for pop music. It is just like the sketches of a comic book - this make you even more curious to get the product and add it to your unique collection.

Art Commision Pitfalls

Art Commision Pitfalls

Art commissions are one way of getting a guaranteed income for your art creations. However it is important to not get too exited when you land a commission, it may very well turn out to be the worst commission ever.

The best way to avoid a commission disaster is to follow some basic guidelines. One of the main things to look out for is to know who will approve the finished product. Will it be the person that just agreed your commission or will it be some kind of committee? This is not a time to just see the pound signs and power through with all your might expending energy and cash on materials, overheads and time.

If there is more than one person who will approve the finished art project this can be a sign you may want to turn down the commission. After all you want to be creating an artwork for pay, not to be out of pocket. If there are more than one or two people that will approve the release of the payment after they are satisfied the commission meets their requirements, it may be problematic as art is an intrinsically personal thing.

As they say you can’t please everyone all of the time. Here also, what one person might see as being representative of the commission guidelines another may not. Therefore it is essential that all parties have a clear picture of what the art commission should entail. It is advisable to get this in writing as well as at least thirty percent of the commission up front as a non-refundable deposit on materials.

A solicitor or independent party (such as financial advisors) should be called in to look over the contract. Ensure you are able to pay for one that can review the contract sufficiently to make sure as reasonably as possible that you won’t be left out of pocket.

The Creature From The Black Lagoon: a good example of how it should still be.

Sometimes, the most interesting thing can happen when you least expect it, like, say, when you venture in to someone’s bathroom and discover that your friend has a secret fascination that you were never aware of…

The bathroom in question belonged to a good friend of mine and had recently been re-done. I was expecting the usual nice new things, maybe photos of the family skiing in italy, that sort of thing. What I was not expecting was a full on homage to the legendary film The Creature From The Black Lagoon. I had no idea my friend was such a fan of this excellent (if ageing) cult movie.

Mark’s bathroom was indeed a masterpiece. Four posters adorned the walls – original posters in mint condition, framed to protect them from moisture and heat. Each poster is a work of art and features the creature in all his/its (?) terrifying glory as he fights the divers to keep a hold of his victim. Looking closely at the posters, its clear that more time was spent painting the creature than actually making the creature itself. But this doesn’t matter. There is a magic quality about these posters, and about the rubber suit that scared so many, as with many films from this forgotten era, that can not be matched by any modern photoshop work.

It’s saddening that there are, in 2010, only three or four proper full-time movie poster artists left in the world at the most; sadder still is the fact that virtually all posters today are put together in a marketing department in just a few days, from idea conception to completion.

But who knows? Perhaps this dying art will make a comeback? I’m sure there are many people out there who remember the creature who would like to think so to.


How to design a CD cover

Some may say we have no need for the movie poster of album covers any longer with all this digital technology. Today a simple image introducing you favourite image can be produced quickly utilizing such digital tools as photoshop. In no time at all you can have in front of you a lovely image that make you want to purchase your latest itunes selection or movie download.

DVD covers are not gone entirely even though today you can purchase music online and the same goes for movies. There are still lots of great album covers and movie posters out there you just ahve to search a bit to find them.

With itunes and photoshop technology taking over it seems those amazining paper introductions to our music and movies are a lost art. However have no fear of losing that nice paper CD cover, you can now make your own Bespoke Packaging!

One website details how the designer listened to the music of the album and then drew up a picture of how the music made him feel. There are illustrations and examples and apparently its a very easy process. The end product shows a multitude of different CD covers a in a variety of colours and type effects.

The way the letters are shaped and the colours used do seems to denote what type of music the CD consists of. Jagged letters in shades of red seem to suggest rock music whilst soft shaped rounded type in shades of blue seems to suggest more mellow relaxing style sounds. So for all you art buffs who would actually like to try your hand at making a cd cover you should check out the web page here.

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A painter paints the appearance of things, not their objective correctness, in fact he creates new appearances of things.