Monday, November 24, 2014

Plein Air Painting at Wilson's Vineyard

One of my students opened a gallery at her family vineyard earlier this year, and it has been a wonderful destination for painting en plein air. Painting and wine tasting -- a perfect combination! Wilson Vineyard is located in Oxford, Pennsylvania, and the gallery is open weekends and for special events. I painted these over the spring and summer at the vineyard. See one you like? Send me an email to purchase it. Price includes domestic shipping and handling, frames are not included.
Wilson's Drive, 5x7 oil $79.

Wilson's Trees, 8x10 oil $195.

Wilson's Vines, 8x10 oil $195.

Blue Door, 8x10 oil $195.

posted by Annie Strack @ 4:04 PM   0 Comments

Thursday, November 20, 2014

More PLein Air Paintings!

I painted ten paintings in the Plein Air Brandywine Valley competition last month, and these six paintings are still available. Prices include shipping and handling, frames are not included. All are painted with Rembrandt oils on Fredrix canvas panels. Email me if you want to get one!
Little Stone Shed, 8x10 oil, $195.

Auburn Heights, 8x10 oil, $195

Fredricks Pond, 5x7 oil, $79

Gahagan's Maples, 8x10 oil, $195

Neilsons Farm, 8x10 oil, $195

Morning Glow, 8x10 oil, $195

posted by Annie Strack @ 1:29 PM   0 Comments

Friday, November 14, 2014

Artist Tips: Original Work in Art Shows

Several artists have asked me in the last few weeks about “originality” and how it relates to entering artwork into shows. So many artists misunderstand rules in art shows because they are vague and poorly written, and often times, the art show chairmen don’t understand the concept enough themselves to write clear rules about it. So, I’ve posted a conversation I recently had with one of my followers in hopes that it will help clear things up for other artists and show chairmen.

 Dear Annie,
I haven't shown my work except for my art group's art show. However, the comments you mentioned in your article seem to be common sense to me. One question about source material. Can you use someone else's photo if you get permission from that person...say if it's a friend?

Annie Strack:  That would depend on a show's rules. Each show has their own rules, although you often see the same rules with just slight variations in many shows. For the most part, most shows put it in writing that the entry "must be the original creation of the artist," and many get much more specific and state that any reference material used must also be the original creation of the artist. Many smaller shows and non-juried shows allow artists to more leeway when entering, but competition is pretty stiff in the more prestigious shows, and artists are usually required to develop and work with their own reference material for their paintings.

(Students in an Annie Strack Workshop in Delaware)

 Question:  So...better just to stay with your own reference material and not have to worry about it, huh.
 Annie Strack:  Exactly! Although not all shows require artists to use their own reference material, it's better to always use your own and then you won't be limited from entering any shows.
(Students in an Annie Strack Workshop in Mississippi)
 Question:  Annie, I have another question about this. It is an argument I hear in my painting group quite often and it is something to the effect that it isn't "copying" if you change...I think it's something like 25% of the image used. So the idea is that you can crop an image substantially or paint only a portion of it. Does this hold any water with art show jurors?
Annie Strack:  I hear that all the time, too, and it's completely false. Most copyright infringement is a Civil law issue. If an artist thinks they've been copied, they can sue the copier. Each case is argued and determined individually -- there is no set formula like a simple math equation. If someone, anyone, can recognize the work of another in an artwork, then the artist could lawyer up and file a suit, or even just threaten.

(Students in an Annie Strack workshop in Madisonville)

But this has nothing to do with art shows -- despite what some ill-informed art show chairs believe. Art shows are not courts of law, and art show chairs and committees have no right to determine what is - or is not - protected by copyrights. Many show chairs and committees confuse the words "original" and "copyright." This is where the question of using someone’s photo with permission creates confusion -- is it copyright infringement? -- no, not with permission. But -- is it original? -- no.
Art shows must write concise rules and then follow them, and if they do not write something into their rules then they cannot punish an entrant for it. Show rules have to specifically state what can or can't be entered -- rules cannot be made up after the entries are received, nor can they be enforced retroactively. For instance, if an art show doesn't state that artwork must be original, then they must not reject something that is copied. Many artists are students, and they enter work in smaller local or school shows that they did in classes or workshops.  

(Students in an Annie Strack workshop in Baton Rouge)

Feedback from outside sources such as local shows is important for amateur and student artists so that they can continue to learn and grow. It is quite common for these types of shows to accept copied work, especially from students. My own students often exhibit work they’ve done in my classes, and I’m quite flattered by it (Although, I’m not flattered when I see copies of my paintings by artists who don’t acknowledge or credit me as the original artist!).  
Generally, the smaller local and regional shows are a little more lax on rules, Local and regional shows tend to have more amateur and student artists entering, and their shows are more to encourage these artists. The mission of local art leagues is usually more social and educational, whereas the mission of artist societies on the national level usually lean more towards rewarding established professional artists.
National and international shows have big money and credentials at stake, so they draw the big name professional artists. Competition is stiff, and the rules are stricter. They usually have very specific wording in their rules and go into fine details to describe exactly what is eligible, and what is not.

(Students in an Annie Strack workshop at Nunez College)

With regard to jurors -- that's a different story! If a juror recognizes the work as belonging to another artist, or if the juror thinks the work is partially copied, then she will likely regard it less and may even dismiss it. Jurors look for originality and creativity as well as other elements, and most will reject work that they think is not original, even if it is skillful. Occasionally an inexperienced juror will let copied work into a show, just as occasionally an inexperienced juror will let bad work into a show -- jurors aren't perfect. But for the most part, jurors will penalize work that appears to be unoriginal.
Any time an artist needs to defend their copying -- that is a sure sign that they've obviously copied too much. There should never be any question about the originality of an artwork.

posted by Annie Strack @ 8:07 PM   0 Comments

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Hands On Creativity Event at Plaza Art, Philadelphia

I really enjoyed the Hands On Creativity event at Plaza Art Supplies in Philadelphia! For two days, professional artists demonstrated the latest and greatest art supplies and gave out free samples. I demonstrated oil painting on Arches Oil Paper -- if you haven't tried it yet, you need to get some now! The paper is primed to use with oil paints, but it has all the best qualities of traditional 140# CP Arches paper. It has enough tooth to use with dry media such as pastel and charcoal, and it's is absorbent enough to use with watercolor, inks, or printing mediums. So besides being ready to use for oils, it's also perfect for multi-media artworks! Here's some photos form the event...
Sarah Hunter and the other employees of Plaza Art made me feel very welcome!

Oil painter Cathe Deets enjoying some of the Rembrandt paints I gave away.

It was a pleasure to meet Don Brewer of Philadelphia's Don Art News.

Besides demonstrating all weekend, I also gave away stacks of free art supplies from Canson / Arches and Rembrandt.
Plein Air painter Joe Rademan stopped by to try some new art materials.

posted by Annie Strack @ 3:13 PM   0 Comments

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Plein Air Brandywine Valley!

This is my "busy season" so I'm a bit behind on blog posts! Last weekend was the show and sale of Plein Air Brandywine Valley, which is the top juried Plein Air competition in the region. Artists have 4 days to paint up to ten paintings, which are then entered in the show for sale and compete for  $15,000 in awards. This is my third year competing in this event, and once again, it was awesome! I painted 10 paintings using Rembrandt Oils on Fredrix Canvas Boards, and these 4 paintings sold right away.
Neilson Farm, 8x10, sold

Shed at Gahagan Farm, sold

shed at Haskil's Farm, sold

Haskill's Farm, sold
Paintings have to be framed and turned in each day of the event, so these were still wet when I photographed them, resulting in the glare in these images.
Rosemary Connolly and Annie Strack
 This event is practically held in my backyard, so I always open my home to host an artist from out-of-state. Once again, I was happy to have Rosemary Connolly stay at my house during the event. Because we were both so busy running around to the various locations to paint, we hardly saw each other all week!

By the time I remembered to take a photo of my paintings in the show, several of them had already sold and were gone! The remaining paintings will be posted for sale online at the Children's Beach House soon, so there's still an opportunity to purchase paintings from this event!

posted by Annie Strack @ 12:44 PM   0 Comments

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