by ALAN KESTNER
When the Booker Prize is announced and you want to read the book, you wouldn’t dream of writing to the author and asking for the original manuscript – you would be quite happy with a printed copy. But, for some reason, this is quite different in the world of art where the original is prized far above any copy. The Giclee method of making a copy of your painting involves photographing it very accurately and transferring this to a computer and then printing it out with a special large inkjet printer. Unlike your desktop printer this typically uses ten or twelve different light-proof inks and makes an extremely accurate copy of your artwork. It is printed onto high quality watercolour or art paper and if done properly looks indistinguishable from the original. Of course, not all art is suitable for copying and printing using the Giclee process, e.g. thick impasto surfaces. But many pictures do reproduce beautifully and, provided the printer adjusts the colour correctly, a suitable copy is produced. So why do so many people turn up their noses at this?
Is your appreciation aesthetic or commercial?
The original work of art is clearly more valuable as, by definition, it has scarcity value. But should you be judging art by its commercial value? After all, you can sit down and relax listening to a beautiful piece of music on CD rather than going to a concert and it doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg. So why can’t you do something similar with a giclee print of whatever painting takes your fancy? It is possible to do this with prints from famous artists, but commercially they are often of rather poor quality with quite a distortion of colour. Hence, prints are viewed as something a student might put on their wall but not a suitable decoration for your adult home. Unfortunately, this then rolls through to less famous artists whose prints, even though of very high quality, are shunned in favour of originals. And this then means that their working practice becomes un-commercial. No-one wants their prints, so their price is pushed down and they cannot recoup the cost of their originals because of the long time and effort expended in producing them.
Limited edition prints
One solution that is often tried is to produce a limited edition of the print. The buyer then thinks this is something special and exclusive and justifies a higher price. But isn’t this just pandering to snobbishness? The vast majority of people are not concerned about whether a book is a first edition or not, they just want to read and enjoy the story. So, as an artist whose paintings often take months to complete, my plea is – Buy the Giclee Prints!– these copies of mine are every bit as good as the originals and you can buy them very reasonably! If you would like to see them look for “prints” on my website at “ludwikart.com” or contact me via my “contact” page.
by KAY JAMIESON
Firstly, establish placement on the page, ie. Composition. Is the head in the centre or to one side, looking up or down? If it’s to be a profile then perhaps more space is needed on the side the subject is facing. Will the background be important? Maybe some tone behind the head will help in producing a 3-D effect.
Any emotions which are expressed will show in the face: sadness, joy, contemplation, smile or frown. Capturing these feelings will entail some concentrated study of anatomy, particularly around the eyes and mouth.
Basic measurements which help to establish placement of the features. The width of an average face equals approximately two thirds the length, but of course this will vary according to the individual.
Once the shape of the face is outlined with vertical centre line and horizontal halfway measurements marked, divide into three sections, the first line indicating eyebrows, the second line the end of the nose. Between the top third and halfway lines is the position of the eyes. The lower third is divided into three to indicate mouth and chin. Ears are generally situated between the brow line and tip of the nose in a frontal view.
Lastly, practice, practice and practice some more.
I hope my portrait drawing tips help you.
My passion is symbolism, particularly geometry. Over 20 years of in depth research across numerous subject areas has resulted in an accumulation of dozens of books! Books in quantity are very heavy and the growing piles in my loft needed to come down before the ceiling collapsed. These piles remained, plus those already on my shelves, after two boxes of 'not so noteworthy texts' headed to the charity shop.
It was like greeting old friends to see them all once more. Several are enticing me back into their pages. Can I remember everything...certainly not! But, it brought home to me how our minds and perspectives are fashioned by the information and knowledge we allow in. The more we read, the broader the scope of subjects, of opposing opinions not just those supporting our view, the more we open our minds.
Our universe is a vast place of incredible complexity and diversity that we are only scratch at the surface of in our understanding. My own journey has lead me down numerous paths of investigation as I mined for information. In my books my intention is to provide readers with accessible insights into a fascinating arena by distilling information and opening doors into areas they might want to delve into more.
With this in mind to encourage more reading and to support fellow authors I am posting a Recommended Read every week on my own BLOG, Instagram - KarenLFrenchSymbolism and Facebook.
Recommended Reads...so far
by KAMAL LATHAR
I have been writing children’s fiction for a while now, but then one dark and stormy night, it occurred to me that I had other things to say which did not come under fiction. These other things I have to say came under a completely different category than the fantasy-thriller for young adults. I would hazard a guess that it is probably more personal than any story. It is some of the insights, learnings and understanding that I have acquired in my life-journey and which makes me - me.
I have recently published
How to Find Your Inner Demons, Destroy Them and Set Yourself Free
As it is Christmas and coming up to New Year, when typically most people think it is a time to make new resolutions, to create a possible new game plan for themselves, make changes to their life, make changes to their bodies, make changes to their mental perspective. Typically we do these things to improve our life, typically we wish to nudge it closer to the life that we think we should be living, and mostly aspirationally speaking, closer to our inner dreams for ourselves.
So onto the self-help book available in kindle now, and in paperback in the new year.
I have always been interested in the mad world of adults where rational decisions often seemed to be made irrationally, or at least so it seemed to me as a child. This curiosity turned into more than an interest when I not only noticed that most adults behaved this way, but I did too.
It was a desire to escape from my pre-ordained destiny that set me on the path to search for something that works in helping me avoid it. On a personal level, I don’t wish to lie on a psychologist’s couch and have the ‘techniques’ applied to me when if ‘one can be truly honest with oneself’, you will find the gifts within that truth and honesty all by yourself.
This I can do. Anyway that works for me.
What do you write when you write and paint?
You write a children’s book – well, four actually!
That’s said rather tongue in cheek, because you don’t ‘just’ write it, it takes an idea, quite a lot of planning, a deal of knowledge and the advantage of being both a writer and an artist so you can illustrate it yourself too.
The idea came from my own pets:
They translated into:
Oh yes, and of course...
The knowledge to write the books from my many years as an ‘Early Years Professional’ before I started writing – in other words I owned and ran a nursery for children aged between 3 months and 7 years for most of my own children’s early years – as well as ran courses for the local further education colleges. Initially training as a primary school teacher after the indulgence of my English Literature and Fine Art degree, and then finding myself still surprised and mildly protesting at being sucked into a career in finance and management, when I had my own children, I rebelled. Kids were fun, finance and management were not! So for over ten years, I immersed myself in ‘fun’ – as well as becoming a one-woman tornado of training and teaching and nurturing everyone from the fifty-somethings who had decide to come back to work as a nursery nurse, to the few-month-old-somethings needing their care. It wasn’t all fun, of course – and as anyone who’s run a business knows, there’s an awful lot of management and finance involved in any of them, including one revolving around kids! But it was also a hectic, fun and uplifting time – and taught me so much about people.
Porlock. That tiny village near the Bristol Channel should indicate the subject of my new novel, The Second Person from Porlock.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, a poet who changed the way poetry should be read. A revolution in how it is understood. It has been said that his theory of the imagination has led to the establishment of English as an academic subject for university study, and I am inclined to believe this. Yet his life was chaotic. He was an opium-sodden wretch, he was deeply selfish, he deserted his wife. A multi-layered character. Greatness mixed with degradation.
You can’t just write about him. I composed a sort of riff about his life. This was a real pleasure for me. The starting point was a strange, ambiguous comment scrawled in a copy of “Kubla Khan” in the Old Library of Jesus College, Cambridge, his college and mine.
Who wrote it? A mystery. We meet two fictional characters, one searching for Coleridge, the other for himself. There is a touch of the supernatural in this, reflecting both his poetry and his life.
The book is published by Fairlight Books.
BUY NOW from all books shops - WATERSTONES
by ANN WARREN
by ROSIE PHIPPS
Ones personal truth is always mute – when it is truly expressed it is communicated in silence – and if one really has to speak what results is the translation of that silence into pictures, music, dance and other creative acts – personal, social and institutional.
Every dream is a plan that lends itself to enactment in the outside world, behind every enactment in the outside world there is a dream – or a picture, a note, a movement a thought, an idea – or perhaps something that is only waiting to be discovered.
Keats said – that which is creative must create itself. Creativity arises from itself, you can’t learn it, explain it, teach it – it comes upon one and creates stillness and a presence where the images and colours take on a life of their own. One becomes obsessed by it and it is creates an urgency and demands that have to be satisfied, one cannot avoid it, it has to be done.
Getting in touch with the imagination and the little people (internal objects) that inhabit it is rather like dreaming, the images are able to do as they please, one has to trust the voices, the images, and the sounds and allow them to come from themselves and not control what you want them to say. It is like a dream, one is always a player in a group, sometimes an observer and at other times taking command. Other people in the group are also of value. So what comes first in a painting may not be the final image, as one has to allow other images to speak for themselves. This may involve destroying what has initially been created to allow creativity to reform itself and to recreate itself. In painting a picture this process can go on, over and over again, so that one learns that the act of creation is also one of destruction. The creator and the destroyer work hand in hand. One has to learn to live with that tension.
The painting is a mirror that reflects who one is at a moment in time, the images and colours form the archetypal background to one's life and the relationship between the conscious and unconscious mind. The grid so to speak on which one is built, enabling one to battle with questions like chaos and control, black and white, dark and light, creation and destruction, duality and unity – the unification of opposites. These questions flow from out of the paint into being itself, so the work is both meditation on life and a meditation where paint becomes an extension of psyche: one’s battle with one’s soul.
ALAN KESTNER - Art Exhibition - Hamburg, Germany
Video of Poolhaus Exhibtion by Tanja Pfaff
Alan talks about his creative process
English website: ludwikart.com
German website: alanketner.com
38 South Parade, Oxford OX2 7JN
8.30am - 11.00pm Monday to Saturday
LiterArties, people who embrace, explore and capture their creativity in many ways.
Capturing Our Creativity
Karen L French
The Hare Trilogy
Wise Dog Next Door
Writers In Oxford
Writing For Children