The Art Inquirer is your source of news for the artist and the Art appreciator
Established in 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Interview with Mike Carabetta Jr

Mike Carabetta JR. was born in Denver (Colorado) and in 2007 he moved to Wolf River (Wisconsin)
Starting to paint with 10 years old, at the age of 12, Mike won his first art contest, giving him the incentive to keep painting.
With no formal art training, the artist has extensively studied other artists, art books and publications, permitting him
to achieve a recognizable quality through the fact that his paintings are part of several private collections.
This dedication to art has permitted Mike to try several mediums, such as oils, pastels, watercolour and graphite.
Art appreciators and collectors can enjoy a variety of subjects such as portraiture (people and animals), sports, still life and countryside scenery.

Q: You started painting very young, at the age of 10.
Did you keep that passion through all these years or have there been any significant hiatuses?

I’ve painted steadily since childhood. It seemed that I could always find time for art in some way, shape or form It wasn’t until this year (2008) that I was allowed the opportunity to focus solely on my art. I truly hope that I never lose my passion for art.

Q: What themes/subjects first called your attention and have your preferences changed through your artistic career?

Animals have always been intriguing to me. I love painting and drawing them because of their many textures and colors, and also because of the intense feeling portrayed in their eyes. Something deep within them, their constant struggle with survival and life in itself.

Q: Tell us about the choice of your mediums, namely if you prefer to connect a certain medium with a certain subject.

I really love to paint human portraits in oils, animals in pastels and landscapes and still life in both. As far as all types of pencil work, I find it lends itself well to any subject matter. Pastels seem to me, to be made just for the textures of the fur in animals. To be honest, I really like to experiment in all mediums with any subject matter. I’ve yet to try sculpting, but it is a goal of mine to someday chisel a life form out of a piece of stone!

Q: Will you care to share with our readers some aspects of your techniques?

This is where my lack of formal training shows through….
I do what works for me. It takes me longer than most educated artists to get to the final work, and I struggle some times, but I just do what works for me. I’ve had artist friends try and teach me how it’s ‘supposed’ to be done, and try as I might, I always go back to what works for me. Not much help I’m afraid, but I’m just being honest here.

Q: What factors do you find most important for an artist to be able to achieve the quality of your work?

Simply paint or draw what you see and feel. I love detail, and I feel that is an important part of my art, so I use as much detail as possible. Color and light play an important role also. Above all, I try and tell a story with my art.
I’ve heard a saying that goes something like this…. ”See with your eyes, construct with your mind and hands, but paint with your heart.”
I think that kind of sums it all up.

Q: What advice would you like to give to other artists to succeed?

Practice, study any and all art material that you can find, experiment, listen to other artists and always keep an open mind.

Q: When an art collector is interested in buying from you or ordering a commission, what are the procedures and what can be expected ?

Initial contact is usually made through email. For commissions I request as many photos of the subject(s) as possible, one third of the fee as a down payment and enough time for completion without rushing the quality of the work. The client can expect my best work possible. That I take any and all measures to create a piece of art that can be passed down to future generations and knowing that I put my heart into every piece that I create.

Mike's paintings can be seen at his website.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Capriccio Painting ( in Art genres)

Fantasy paintings depicting architectural ruins and archaeological remains in combination with other elements, sometimes anachronic, grasp our imagination and makes us travel in time and space.
The placement of fictional elements of architecture in unsual settings, resulting in fantastical combinations, gives the name to an art genre: the Capriccio.
Said to be implemented by Sebastiano Ricci, it is his nephew Marco Ricci who perfects the genre.
However the best-known artist must be Giovanni Paolo Pannini.
From the XVII century and taken into the XVIII by Giovanni Antonio Canal (Canaletto), Capriccio finds its followers in the names of artists such as Giambattista Piranesi, Hubert Robert and Richard Wilson.

The Revolution Continues Breaks Record

The Revolution Continues, showcasing new art from China has broken the previous record of 300,000 visitors during the Sensation contemporary art show that took place in 1997, considered the most popular contemporary art show in the world at time.
With many chinese artists on the top of worldwide preferences ( 11 chinese artists are on the top 20), The Revolution Continues hosted by the Chelsea (London) based Saatchi Gallery has received around 525,000 visitors ( an average of 5,200 people per day).
Iraqi born and former advertising guru Charles Saatchi, one of the world's richest art collectors, is set to prepare the gallery's next exhibition called Unveiled, which will showcase the new art from the Middle East.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Where To Sell Art Online

Many artists, especially new ones, ask themselves where can they sell their artwork.
Being accepted into galleries is not an easy task and demands creativity, preserverance, and some connexions, as well as having a name in the market can also have a positive influence.
However if having one's work in a gallery is an objective to follow, there are alternatives that can also be a complement, like selling online.
Nowadays having a website or a blog (or even both) is accessible to most everyone with a computer and it can be a powerful tool to market your art.
But one can also use third party sites to sell the artwork since these are also easy to use and usually don't charge much. Two of the most well known are DeviantArt and Etsy, where one can find original art from many artists, including paintings, sculpture, fabrics, digital art and jewelry.
Other options are ArtFire, ArtByUs, DaWanda, NoBullART and Yessy.
However you must bear in mind that it's not a simple web presence that will sell your work, you will need a good and honest marketing strategy that will transmit confidence to the public, as well as continuously developing your artistic qualities.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Art Inquirer Gives Money

Today, December the 15th, one of the readers of The Art Inquirer was contemplated with $20 on his Paypal account.
This prize was the Christmas Gift to those who believe in the quality of this blog.
Readers of this art blog have the chance to win a free and original painting every month.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Interview with Dee Dee Murry

National award winning artist, Dee Dee Murry specializes in realistic animal portraits.
Horses, dogs, cats and wildlife are her preferred subjects.
Dee Dee works with several mediums and prefers to use smooth surfaces.
She has a constant demanding for comissioned pet portraits and her multiple award winning art is owned by clients world wide.
The artist also keeps a store featuring Dachshund Art.

Q - From what age did you find out about your taste for drawing or painting ?

A - As far back as I can remember, I was always drawing, mainly horses at first. I can remember being very young and watching my Mom color in apples in a coloring book (for me to watch and then color myself) and being fascinated. I also remember her drawing horses in a little notebook that I still have somewhere…and then trying to copy them. From then on I have always drawn or painted. My Dad had a lot of artistic ability as did some of his relatives behind him.

Q - Were animals always your favourite subject and how they influenced you to concentrate more in your art ?

A - Yes animals always were and always will be my favorite things to paint. I have always loved animals, I grew up with horses and dogs and spent time with them every moment I could, showing both my horses and dogs as well. So it was natural to want to paint them. I went from painting mainly horses, to mainly wildlife, then did a lot of dog commissions, then back to horses…and now I have more of a balance of painting all animals. I try to balance commissions of pets and horses with the paintings I want to do, from my own photos and putting together my own compositions.

Q - You work with several mediums, do you have a preferred one ?

A – These days I pretty much work exclusively with acrylics for painting (I do pencil work as well). I experimented with many different mediums and combinations of them but I am most comfortable now with acrylics. I have taken workshops from Terry Isaac, Dan Smith and David Kitler (all acrylic painters) and have learned some wonderful techniques from them.

Q - Is that the most preferred by your customers ?

A - Yes most of my commissions request acrylic.

Q - When you paint pets, you paint them from real life, photos or both ?

A - I always paint them from a photo. If they are in my area though, I always try to go visit them so I can get a feel for their personality and see things the photo may not show. I have also taken a lot of photos of stallions of different breeds (Friesian, Andalusian, Arabian, etc) at different farms and had them gallop them at liberty, as I like to paint action and more unusual poses if possible. (this for the paintings I do for myself not commissions).

Q - What about wildlife ? Do you work from photos, travel to places or go to the zoo ?

A - I always work from my own photos. I have a few zoo photos but I really don’t use them as the animals are often not in the best of shape as a wild animal would be and don’t strike too unusual of poses. We have a wonderful animal park here called Northwest Trek where the animals are free roaming and you can ride a tram through and get great shots of elk, mountain goats, bison, moose, caribou, bighorn, etc. Then you can walk through the rest of the park to see bears, cougars, lynx, bobcat, cougar, etc in large enclosures. I have been on several photo gathering trips to Yellowstone, Glacier National Park, and all around the pacific northwest here where I live. My best wildlife photos though I just got this September in Montana at Troy Hydes “Animals in Montana”. He has wonderfully trained animals, for movies and photo shoots, and he takes them out in the morning and evening when the lighting is the best, and they are loose in the wilderness with us with beautiful backgrounds. I got hundreds of photos of lion, tiger, grizzly, black bear, cougar, fox, wolves, black leopard, skunk, bobcat, porcupine, pine marten, and raccoon. He has them run, jump from trees, the grizzly swam and played in a river, the wolves howled and ran, etc. It was an amazing experience and I can’t wait to start painting them.

Q - When in the process of developing an artwork, what are you trying to achieve in technical and emotional terms ?

A - For commissions, I am trying to capture the essence of the animal as well as the likeness. I always ask the owner about the animals personality and what they would most like to have come across in the portrait. I love detail and realism (hopefully without crossing over to illustrative) so I try to get every hair right. For the paintings I compose myself, my goal is usually to capture a moment in time when the lighting is beautiful or dramatic, and the pose is very noble or a great pose in a gallop stride or a jump, etc…maybe with mane and tail flying in the wind for a horse…something that would make you wish you could have been standing there in real life to see this moment in time, without it seeming like fantasy, but something that really could have happened for at least a split second. I strive for realism and detail but more importantly I want to evoke an emotion (hopefully a positive one!) and create a bit of a magical atmosphere. I love wind and storms and the ocean so I like to have animals with longer hair, being blown about in the wind often. I don’t know that I always achieve all this but that is usually my aim.

Q - What are in your opinion the most important features that a portrait artist should have to succeed ?

A - In my experience, the people that hire me to paint their animals want realism. They want to capture their animal in a flattering pose and have every hair the same, and to down play any flaws they may have without changing them completely. So I think the most important thing to succeed would be to be able to capture the animals likeness as well as their personality and to portray it with a lot of detail. They like to be able to see the nobblies on a dogs nose or shine to the wet lips, the little striations in their irises, etc.

Thank you for granting this interview and I wish you the continuation of success with your art.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Bloggers United for World AIDS Day

The Art Inquirer again takes action supporting the campaigns proposed by Blogcatalog and its users.
On this December the 1st, bloggers are united to support the World AIDS Day in an attempt to make people aware of this global problem.
After many years, people keep thinking that it will only happen to others, disregarding the most basic safety precautions. In many countries, sexual education is still taboo and because of this the age of people infected with HIV has decreased significantly during the last years.
Years ago we would mention the risk groups and although there's still some reason to mention those, it's unwisely to think that one has little chances of getting infected if not included in one of those.
It's also important to educate those who for whatever reasons work in the sex business, namely in not incurring into practices that may leed into infection and many times "forced" by clients.
One last word must go to the differences in temrs treatements and the accessibility between the rich and poor countries and the need to "work around" patents and the huge profits of pharmaceuticals.
To know a bit more and to spread the word, please visit this blog.