Tag Archives: artist

Welcome new artist Laura Slade to Vitreus Art @ Wakefield Country Courtyard

We’re delighted to have three original watercolours from Milton Keynes artist Laura Slade.
Take a look at these beauties!

  1. Vixen – £195
  2. Pip – £165
  3. Soren – £195

Laura tells us:
“I have always had a love of animals and nature.
Growing up surrounded by wildlife and rugged landscape has provided me with lots of inspiration. I began experimenting with watercolour after the birth of my daughter and developed my own expressive and colourful way of painting. I use the unique qualities of watercolour, with vibrant colours and soft brushstrokes to portray the natural world. I take great pleasure in applying bright watercolour to paper and watching the paint take on a life of its own.  ”

Pop in the the gallery and see just what Laura means, in the flesh!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So you’d like to really get in to making stained glass?

There’s no question – stained glass can be beautiful to look at and enjoyable to make.

The popularity of Vitreus Art’s one-day beginners classes tells us that there are plenty of you out there who fancy having a go.
And the fact that our 5-day courses sell out each year suggests that some of you want to develop your skills or work on substantial projects in a learning environment.

So what advice would we give to someone aiming to build on basic skills, and what learning progressions are available to the student?

We know from our own experience, and from observing how some of our own students have progressed, that there are three areas to think about when discussing this sort of learning process.

  • What do you want to achieve?
  • Learn by doing, but with feedback
  • Design your own projects

Let’s look at these in turn, starting with…

 What do you want to achieve?

We often ask our students this – it’s a great way to open any conversation with a student and the range of answers is wide!

For example, some are considering getting in to stained glass as a lifestyle business; I guess they’ve seen our fleet of Lamborghinis outside the gallery and correctly guess stained glass is a path to riches!

Others seek a stimulating artistic hobby, while others yet have a specific project – replace a window in their home is a common project.

The other aspect to this question is – how good do you want to get?
Good enough to make that window, good enough to sell work at galleries or craft shows, good enough even, to make a living?

It’s eminently possible to have fun making stained glass without some higher purpose, and really – you can get as good as you want.
But to get to a standard where you can sell your work – that takes more practice.

It’s also necessary to have an understanding of failure modes so that you don’t sell pieces that will fall apart.
A common issue of this kind is soldering hanging loops to the foil on the edge of a piece; it won’t be long before the foil comes away from the edge of the glass as there’s only the adhesive on the back of the foil to keep it there, and that ain’t that strong!
Better to solder your loops in to a bead (a solder line between two adjoining glass sections).

Or for leaded pieces, a long stretch of U came around the edge of a piece with no joining H cames will also come away from the edge of the glass, no matter how well cemented. Again, don’t solder hanging loops to these cames. Solder them to corners, or to H cames where they meet an edge came.
And we suggest you use silicone glue to secure that long piece of U came to the edge – like on a mirror, for example.

These sorts of tips are often shared in our workshops – we’re always happy to exchange ideas and make suggestions.

If your goal is more lofty than just ‘I want to make glass for fun’ then some business acumen is desirable – and if you’d like to make a living creating glasswork then it’s essential, along with marketing, accounting and selling skills. A realistic perspective on how good your work currently is will help in the long run, even if it seems a bit harsh right now.

Take a look at the work on sale at good craft shows, watch other artists at work if you can (open studios are a good opportunity for this), and ask questions. How does the design, execution, presentation of the pieces you’re looking at compare with yours? Better? In what ways?

Be honest with yourself and don’t be disheartened to discover you’re not there yet – every successful artist and craftsperson had to start as a beginner!
Like all artists, Jenny and I made plenty of pieces while we were novices that wouldn’t pass muster. Even now, sometimes a piece doesn’t work out well enough to sell, but luckily that’s rare or we’d go out of business!

And this follows on to the next element – getting good enough to sell your work if that’s what you want to do, or good enough to make a window that doesn’t let in the rain!

Learn by doing, but with feedback

We’ve been watching the rise of the distance-learning programme for art and craft subjects for some years now.

Indeed, we’ve often thought about setting up our own online course – a structured system with pre-designed projects, each designed to help the student work on a particular aspect of stained glass. Maybe we’ll actually run a course like this one day!

For now, though, there are a few questions we don’t have answers to.

How does the student get real-time feedback on their progress, or on their techniques? I guess the student could send photos of work in progress and finished pieces or share in a closed group, but that just doesn’t seem to provide the degree (and kind) of feedback we like our students to have.

We really enjoy sitting with a student, talking through what they’re doing, showing, demonstrating, observing and providing constructive feedback.
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We also enjoy having our own work on display in our gallery – we can use pieces as examples of design features, setting a standard of execution, and, we hope, inspiring students on their journey.

We find that it’s so much more effective to give feedback and guidance as the student is working – this is giving feedback the student can use right there and then, rather than after a piece is finished and before the next one is started.

We’ve found, for example, that being able to watch a student position their glass cutter as they prepare to make a score allows us to help them adjust the angle, pressure and placement right there. I don’t know how we would work on that vital skill at a distance!

I could give dozens of examples of this kind of ‘up close and personal’ teaching but I’m sure you get the idea.

As students progress, and especially as they get really confident, or practice at home, we still offer a critique of their finished work at any time – and are always available to talk about displaying or mounting or framing their work too.

Both Jenny and I get a buzz from seeing work produced independently by students past and present.
And we take pride in the amazing pieces many of them have created – often using styles and techniques and materials we haven’t tried ourselves!

Design your own projects

Yes – design your own projects. They don’t have to be complex, or massive. They don’t have to follow a style, or an art era’s visual language, they just need to be yours, like this lovely window, made by Sally on a recent course with us in Porthleven.
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There are (literally) millions of projects to find on the internet, many made available free of charge by generous creators. These offer a great opportunity to develop the mechanical skills required for stained glass in your own time but before long you’ll want to make your own designs.

You’ll have to learn about cuts that are impossible or at least very hard to accomplish in glass, you’ll learn about design weaknesses resulting from lead or foil lines that cross the whole piece. You’ll have to learn about balance, colour, manipulating space and creating flow.

This post isn’t the place to teach these skills – they take time, and are often best acquired in the company of skilled tutors,

You could start with a main design element – like a rose or tree, or sun – and build a design around this – one way to design from scratch.
Study existing designs – why do the cut lines go where they do, how are the spaces and shapes balanced, do the proportions please the eye?

Read up on  golden ratios, learn how to draw circles, and find the centres of those circles (use the ‘box’ method – Google is your friend here), and get a book or two on the subject.

Maybe take elements from existing designs and incorporate them in to your own designs and discover how those elements themselves were created

And one further recommendation – learn to make those tricky scores work. Practice cutting deeper and deeper concaves, learn to cut circles accurately; this way your designs won’t have to be limited by your mechanical skills.

We often encounter novices who’ve avoided having to learn these skills by only making pieces with straight lines. Feel the fear and do it anyway!

If you lack confidence at first, use a flexi curve and a French curve, or circle stencils to develop abstract designs to make and thereby hone your skills. Some of the best stained glass we’ve seen was conceived this way. If it looks good and you enjoyed making it, nobody needs to know how you designed it in the first place!

Learning progressions with teachers – where Vitreus Art comes in!

We love what we do, and we want to help others get enjoyment from making stained glass.
This is the ethos behind out programme of classes and courses – take you from beginner to whatever level you aspire to reaching.

You won’t be surprised that  we suggest a beginner’s class to start with. In most counties you’ll find stained glass makers who offer classes – some off classes as an occasional adjunct to their main business while others (like Vitreus Art) run programmes of classes as an integral part of their operation.
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At the risk of appearing to sell you two classes where one might suffice, we usually recommend trying both traditional leading stained glass and then sampling the more modern ‘Tiffany’ or foiling  method. Unless you only intend to make foiled pieces we feel having at least a little competence in both methods hugely broadens the range of projects you can take on, as well as growing your appreciation of the history of stained glass, giving you more confidence in your abilities and aiding your understanding of the design constraints of stained glass.

But then what?

If you already have a project in mind you have two options with us –

If you’re feeling confident in your abilities you can hire a space to work in and the tools you’ll need by the day – as many days as you need to finish your project. These sessions are un-tutored but of course one of us will always be on hand to offer guidance or encouragement. You can buy your own materials or use ours, charged at cost.
Many of our students have made some fantastic work in this way and we like that way our gallery feels when students are working here!

If you’d like to combine working on your own design with a full workshop level of tuition, and with all the glass you’ll need provided, we offer weekend project workshops twice a year (and at other times by arrangement). We set a maximum size for your project in these courses to ensure you can achieve your aims without too much pressure!

We’re flexible about the kind of project you choose to work on  during our weekend workshop but we do ask that you’ll have done at least a beginner’s class in the method you’ll be using for your piece. We’re always happy to talk through your plans before you book to make sure you’re getting the best value from your course place.

And then we have our legendary 5 day courses – held in Porthleven, Cornwall and at our gallery-studio in Northamptonshire, near Milton Keynes.

Open to beginners and those with all levels of experience, these course give you the scope to tackle some really adventurous projects, or make a number of smaller pieces to develop a whole range of skills in one week.

On recent courses students have made projects ranging from highly complex mandala designs, to kaleidoscopes, to prairie-style 4-sided or 6-sided lamps, garden sculptures, windows of many shapes and sizes through to a life-size stained glass sheep to be displayed in the student’s garden!
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As with our weekend project workshops, our 5-day courses are fully tutored – and with a student to tutor ratio of 1:4 at the most there’s the scope for a really intensive learning experience.

Our course in Porthleven can be equally thought of as a artistic retreat, a creative holiday and a stained glass course!
We love teaching this course as the range of challenges our students bring to us broadens our own experience, and the environment of our studio right by the sea in a delightful Cornish fishing harbour inspires us as well as our students…

And back at our studio, our October 5-day course gives us the scope to host smaller class sizes for even more personal attention, usually for the most sophisticated projects. As with our other courses, we’ll work with you on your design in advance – to make sure it’s achievable and will withstand transport, hanging or mounting.

The final option for budding stained glass artists is to work with us to develop a programme of learning focused on achieving exactly what you want to achieve – which may involve exercises to develop skills, joint projects where we work with you on your project (like the 4 door windows below) or a weekly or monthly series of projects to test particular aspects of the art (and craft) or stained glass.
Dscf0733So there we have it – if you want to get in to stained glass – for a hobby, to make a project with sentimental significance, for your home, or even to sell, get in touch and we’ll help you get started on your journey!

Mike

 

 

 

 

I don’t need a website, I’m an artist…

I’m still rather surprised that many artists don’t yet have their own websites. This comes up in conversation quite often in our gallery, especially when an artist is presenting their work to us. Often the work is great, but the artist isn’t aware of why they need to promote themselves online.

Others have a website but it’s out of date, or a lash-up, or it just looks out of step with the standards of presentation expected these days. Sorry if that sounds harsh, or dismissive, but let’s be completely frank for the avoidance of doubt!

The ‘explanation’ tends to be one of these:

  • ‘A friend built my website but he never has time to update it and I don’t like to hassle him.’
  • ‘I did it myself but it took me a long time and I’m not very happy with it.’
  • ‘I have a gallery page on an art site but I don’t know if it’s really working and I can’t really update it very easily.’
  • I use Facebook / Instagram / Flikr / social media platform du-jour
  • ‘I had a site built for me but updates are expensive so I don’t really use it.’
  • I sell on Artfinder so why do I need a website?
  • Or – quite often – ‘I haven’t got a website’.

So let’s consider some of the reasons why it’s essential for people like us to have our own websites. And to keep them fresh and up to date!

Make it easy for your customers to find you and your work

Your future customers are searching for information about art. Some of them are looking for work that’s like yours. Some of them may even be Googling for you, your work, and for ways to buy from you. Let’s make that as simple and rewarding as possible. Whether they already know about you or not, your objective is to make it possible for them to find you!

The cost of having a basic website is probably about the same as doing 1 or 2 shows or craft fairs. And your website is open for business 24 hours a day, 365 days a year…
Even plumbers have websites these days; you’re a creative visual person – what you do needs to be seen much more than a plumber’s work!

Reach your customers yourself

When you have a website you’re proud of, you can use it as the reference point for your newsletters, update emails, social media activity….and so on. Emails and social media posts can link back to pages, or specific pieces on your site, or to your ‘events’ page instead of going nowhere.
This is far preferable to sending word docs, PDFs or images as attachments to your database. Nowadays attachments are highly likely to get trapped in your recipients’ spam filters. You can easily produce visually rich emails that do justice to your reputation as a creative person!
Services like Mailchimp (which we use for Vitreus Art’s newsletters and I use for newsletters for clients) make managing your circulation list and creating and sending your emails very easy and professional-looking.

In our world, once someone has bought from you, they’ll probably buy again.
Provided they can find you, and you continue to nurture the relationship!

Build your reputation – aka your artist brand

Your website is a great place for showing off your design skills and your artistic ability. It’s where you get to show how your work is the result of years of experience and dedication; you can sell the unique aspects of your work; you can emphasise the hand-made nature of what you do. Use your site to ‘sell’ the value and uniqueness of what you do, helping to distinguish you from the far-off factories that churn out cheap alternatives and the charlatans who cut corners!

We know plenty of gallery owners who won’t consider artists and craftspeople who don’t have a website. It’s an indication of the seriousness with which you take your work.

Sell your art online directly

It’s a long time since ecommerce was the preserve of established businesses, who paid web developers to have their own bespoke ‘e-commerce engine’. With the advent of PayPal, and simple ‘self administer’ shopping carts, you can have a highly-secure website shopping and payments facility at little cost and minimal hassle. If you elect to use PayPal no special technical know-how is required – just your time and a bit of organisation.

Showcase your work at a distance

Unless you have the time to attend shows or seek trade buyers & galleries further afield, it’s very difficult to achieve recognition and gain sales overseas or even in your own country. There’s a whole world of art buyers and potential artistic partners out there and a decent website brings them all closer to you! And with inexpensive courier services(be careful which ones you choose though – cheapest is usually worst!), and simple e-commerce systems available, selling to overseas customers is hardly any more difficult than selling to someone in your own town.

Make your shows, exhibitions and press releases more successful

Perhaps you send out invites to your shows or private views? Being able to highlight these online is the first step. You can then get yourself listed on the many ‘what’s on’ sites, local arts and tourist info sites, and on all sorts of other listings websites, with links back to your site. Experience shows that the people who use these sites often do follow the links to further info – to get times, dates, venue details, maps and an idea of what’s on offer.

If you send out press releases, being able to point editors and journalists towards more information increases the chance your release will get used.

A further thought – if you publicise your shows (of course you do!) – people who can’t attend but want to know more can see some of what they’ve missed on your site. It’s like having a permanent exhibition, open to all!

Own your art ‘brand’ and control your presence

As an artist selling your work (and yourself) online do you have a cyber-home, or are you in the equivalent of a squat in a friend’s house?

After you spend (probably) too much time ‘interacting’ with people you don’t really know on Twitter and Facebook do you have a home for your work to direct people to visit? Where they can see a good selection of your best work? Where they can judge your skills and get a feel for you as an artist?

It seems that you can’t go anywhere on the internet without bumping in to a gallery website or craft sales site promising to sell your work. There must be tens of thousands of these sites now, with more being created every day. All make essentially the same promise – to sell your work in return for a commission and a little of your time to upload your images.

You wouldn’t only exhibit at one physical gallery or sell at just one craft show. It’s effectively outsourcing the selling aspect of your job, right?

It’s also abdicating control of your online presence – your artist’s brand. When you upload art to a gallery site, you upload your control too. You need your own online space with your name on it!

This is a fundamental point – if your work is only seen on other people’s sites, they have the control over what you can show and how you sell it.

This isn’t just vanity – it’s about retaining control over your brand, determining the presentation of your work, and getting your own message out about why you do what you do. This is your virtual identity and that’s too valuable to just hand over to a website owner or social media site.

The naked truth is – when you put your work on other people’s sites, it becomes their work. They’ll sell it for you (according to their terms). They may show it, they may reject it. They may show it alongside work from other artists, and ultimately you’re one of many other artists on the same site – all jostling for attention.

This is why it’s important that artists have their own online presence that they have control over.

This is not to say you shouldn’t use other art sales sites, but you definitely should have your own site – and use it to promote your own work and your own artistic practice.

And another important point – make sure you own your domain (like www.vitreus-art.co.uk) and arrange for your website to be hosted on that domain. Again, it’s about control. If you opt for a ‘free’ or low-cost package that gives you a domain like www.mikesart.greathosting.net that domain actually ‘belongs’ to someone else. They get the benefit of the search engine traffic, while you get to look unprofessional and lose control over what happens with that domain.

Happily, when you have your own online space, you’ll have the ability to develop it as you develop as an artist.  You’ll have to pay upfront to purchase your domain and find a decent hosting company, but the long-term benefits for your artistic brand will hugely outweigh the cost.

Use all the outlets you can – always be selling!

At the risk of seeming contradictory, the argument for having your own website is not undermined by the availability of other selling sites. Use those other sites, enjoy, choose wisely and make sure you manage what’s on sale where, and for how much. But don’t let any success you enjoy on those sites be an excuse for not having your own home on the internet. It’s not an either-or!

So there you have it – take control of how you’re found, presented and sold on the internet by managing your own website. Especially if you’re serious about your art!

P.S. for a bit of fun, head over to http://www.artybollocks.com/ to create your own highly pretentious and totally made-up artist’s statement. It’s a bit naughty and somewhat irreverent!

So you want to get your art in to a gallery?

So you want to sell your work in a gallery?

As Jenny and I approach our anniversary of running a gallery, and having been submitting and selling work through galleries for more than 10 years we have some experience of both angles.

Just how does an artist get their work shown in a gallery, and what can an artist do to help promote their work?

 Are you ready to sell through galleries?

Before even thinking about which galleries to approach, it’s time to think about what stage of your artistic career you’ve reached. Do you have an identity as an artist, does your work have a style of its own? Do you have a body of work that the potential buyer would recognise as the work of one artist?

It seems harsh to say this but…. if your work looks like a random collection in different styles and media when shown on the same wall, then perhaps it’s not ready to be sent to a gallery.

Do you have a website (with a proper domain, not www.angelcakes21.wix.com), up to date with your latest work and great photos? Proper business cards?!

Next – do your research. Find galleries that have work at a similar price point or feel or subject as yours – don’t expect a fine art gallery to take watercolours of local scenes, or prints. And high-end work isn’t likely to be suitable for a gallery that majors on affordable art.  Visit galleries, figure out which look to be a good match, and pay attention to their stock and artist selection.

 Presenting your work

We see this as two related but different subjects – getting your work ready to be shown (and sold) and getting your work in to a gallery.

Firstly – it’s an old cliché but it’s true – the frame (at least partly) sells your work; a good frame, sympathetic to the art, well made and stylish, will significantly enhance the saleability of your work.

The converse – a frame that doesn’t fit the shape, size and colour of the work, or one that is cheaply or poorly made – cheapens the work, and reduces its wall appeal.

We often see work shown to us in a varying range of frame styles.To the gallery owner this says – doesn’t care about the work sufficiently, doesn’t imagine it being bought and hung in a customer’s home, isn’t serious about selling their work.
I’m sure that’s not you, is it?

Take a look at art by known artists in local galleries. Now compare the standard of framing with yours. Be honest with yourself!

And where you’re offering mounted work without frames – how is the quality of the mount? And does the cellophane wrapper look neat? Have you included a card or some info about you in the wrapper?
Un-framed or un-mounted prints are meant to be lower in price than originals, but not cheap-looking!

And what about photos? Great photos really help sell art – on your website, on artfinder, when pitching to galleries or submitting work to exhibitions. A photo of a framed and glazed piece with poor lighting, reflections, keystone distortion or a distracting background will do the opposite!

Even established artists sometimes forget to take photos before they send off their work to be framed but new artists can’t afford to make this mistake.

In our gallery we rarely accept work from artists who can’t supply good photos. Once a piece has been framed it’s very hard to get a decent pic to use on websites, social media and promotions.

And as for getting your work considered by a gallery….

Most days in our gallery an artist will call in with work they want to show us. And almost every time, we’re busy with customers, or working on a piece of our own on the workbench, or up a ladder, re-hanging….

The chances are, if you call at a gallery without an appointment the gallery owner won’t be able to take the time to talk to you and look at your work.

A much better approach is to call or email and ask how the gallery likes to be approached. At least you then know how best to get an audience! Most galleries will ask you to send a few photos and a link to your website.

The photos you send may well be the determining factor so we suggest do as you’re asked, and send good piccys!

If the gallery owner likes what you send you’ll hear from them – galleries are often looking for new work of sellable quality so make sure your photos do justice to your work.

Remember – the gallery only makes money on art that appeals to customers enough to get them to part with money; work that is unlikely to sell isn’t going to be accepted!

A response that is guaranteed to fail is – ‘my work can’t be photographed / has to be seen in person / I’m worried my images will be copied’. Really?

If you’re invited to call in with examples, make sure your work is ready to sell – framed, mounted, wrapped, clean, un-marked and your best current work. Work that is old, marked, damaged or just lack-lustre may well shut that opportunity down before you’ve got started.
And be prepared – artist statement, expected wall prices, stock list, info and photos the gallery can use to promote your work…

 Pricing and commissions

Here’s a thorny one a lot of artists get wrong – offering the same work for sale in a gallery and on their website at different prices. Don’t do this please! Decide on a price that leaves room for the commission the gallery charges, and make sure that price is THE price – wherever else that piece is pictured.

And if someone contacts you and asks if you can offer a reduction by trading directly, we suggest you politely decline and direct the customer back to the gallery. You may get a sale this way, but you’ll damage the relationship you have with the gallery for the long term.

It’s important to be clear about prices – low priced work generates such a low commission any respectable gallery is likely to turn the work down – it generates too little income for the wall space occupied.

Most galleries charge 40-50% commission on sales – make sure your wall price (the price the piece will be sold at) allows enough for that commission and for you to make what your work deserves.

If the gallery puts someone in touch with you to commission a bespoke piece, paying the gallery a finders-fee will keep that relationship sweet. We don’t charge a ‘contact’ commission in these circumstances, but many galleries do.

And while we’re on the subject of commission, let’s deal with that question we’ve all heard – what does a gallery do for its 40 (or 50)%?

  • It provides a safe place for you to display your work to the public, including potential buyers
  • It covers its rent, rates, staff costs, insurance and utilities
  • It promotes both your work, and you as an artist to buyers – working to bring in new potential customers for you
  • It provides feedback – what’s being looked at, what’s not, what you could sell more of, what not to make more of
  • It often will provide advice and pointers towards enhancing your professionalism as an artist
  • It takes credit card payments and deals with the admin of sales and artist payments
  • And many more intangibles….

Professionalism

We encourage you to also consider your approach to being an artist.

Have you registered as self-employed, for example? Even if you have a ‘normal’ job being registered as self-employed means you’ll be keeping on top of taxes, expenses and your business admin.

Have you run your own shows or open studios, or done some local press work?
Is your work well-presented and ready to sell?

Do you understand your market, and work to reflect the tastes of that market?
Are you organised with stock lists and prices?

Do you turn up to appointments or exhibitions or promotional events on time and do what you can to promote yourself AND the gallery you’re working with?

Promoting your work and the galleries you work with

That last point above prompts me to delve a little more in to this subject in another post.

For now, ask yourself – am I doing a good job of promoting myself?

  • These days a personal, up-to-date business website is the minimum required.
  • An active presence on social media promoting your work and your gallery partners is expected too these days.
  • Do you email your contact list when you create new work, or get work accepted by a new gallery?
  • Do you look for ways to mention your work and the galleries where it can be seen?
  • It’s certainly not enough to get work accepted by a gallery and then forget about it.

The more you do to expand your audience, to engage with new customers and to direct art lovers to your galleries the better your sales will be, and the faster your reputation as an artist to be followed will grow!

Galleries have finite wall space – artists that actively work to boost sales will get more of that wall space, and will be invited to share in joint promotions, events, private views, and all sorts of other ways to grow sales and reputation. Don’t miss out!

I hope this is useful to you; good luck and happy selling!
Mike

Won’t get fooled again? Let’s hope not. And here’s a suggestion…

_72731124_72731123From the album ‘Who’s Next’ by The Who, the loosely political ‘revolution’s coming’ song written by Pete Townshend:

Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
We don’t get fooled again
Don’t get fooled again

I’m not thinking of Heston Blumenthal who quoted the line in connection to the latest outbreak of norovirus at one of his restaurants. Especially because it wasn’t the first time, so clearly he was fooled again!
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-26006223

No, I’m thinking about Martin Lang, the business man who has discovered that the Chagall painting he bought is a £100,000 fake. and he may not get to keep it either, as according to French law it should be burned to prevent it from being passed off as genuine to another punter.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-26081005

My suggestion to Martin Lang (and anyone else who loves art)

Maybe Mr Lang isn’t too short of cash and he can afford to buy something else to fill that annoyingly vacant space on his wall?

Well, Martin (may I call you Martin?)….here’s my suggestion to avoid getting fooled again.

Buy a piece of art from an artist who’s still alive to vouch for the piece. Yes, I made it, yes it’s not a copy, yes, thanks for your patronage!

From my admittedly non-objective point of view quite a few benefits accrue when somneone buys a piece of art from a living artist. Add your own if I missed any:

  • You help an artist make a living, thus contributing to the viability of a community of creative people who havent harmed any nation’s finances, unlike some
  • You get something with a story behind it – you can tell people about this great artist you know
  • It might go up in value – and if you help to widen the audience for the artist’s work the worth of the piece may increase more
  • You show people you have not only great taste but also originality and that’s cool
  • Members of the opposite sex may find you more desirable because of your humanity (this is not guaranteed though)
  • You’ll be a genuine patron of the arts without having to pretend or be an oligarch
  • Above all – you’ll feel good about your decision, with little likelihood of buyer’s remorse and no chance you’ll have to burn it because the French government says so

So go out, look at some new art, maybe make an investment, and enjoy.
Will your purchase repay you generously over time?

You better you better you bet!
Apologies to Pete Towshend (again).

Happy hunting
Mike