Saturday, February 17, 2018

Anna Boberg's Painting Rig

Swedish artist Anna Boberg (1864-1935) was a self-taught innovator, and she developed an unusual design for a plein-air easel.

Anna Boberg
The painting was held in a frame that attached to a waist band and propped up against her right leg.


In addition to her winter landscapes, Boberg was known for her writing and her Art-Nouveau ceramics.
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Anna Boberg on Wikipedia
Thanks Ricky Mujica and Gregory Dunham

Friday, February 16, 2018

Google Removes "View Image" Button

Google removed the "View Image" button from its image search results, with the goal of forcing users to visit the website if they want to copy an image file.



Google made the change because of a licensing deal with Getty Images. The change is frustrating to people who want to freely copy images (and many uses are copyright-free), but it's probably better for artists and photographers who want to control their copyrighted images. By going to the website, users will be more likely to see the usage requirements first.

There's a workaround, though. You can right-click the image when it comes up in results, and then select "View Image in a New Tab." Or you can select "Copy Image Address" to get the URL of the image. Paste that URL into a new tab and it takes you to the same place that "View Image" used to.

Another solution for getting better image searches is to use another search engine, such as DuckDuckGo, which gives you more usable image search results and doesn't track your search history for advertisers.
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More on "The Verge"

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Ed Vebell's Nuremberg Sketches

Westport illustrator Ed Vebell died last week at age 96. One of his most remarkable experiences was sketching at the 'War Criminals Trials' in Nuremberg in 1945.
Field Marshall Goering by Ed Vebell, 1945
His job was to record the proceedings of the trial and document the key players. From his position in the press gallery, he could see the defendants, starting with Hermann Göring

"Göring still seemed to be in charge," Vebell remembers. "He gave the feeling he was still running the show. He had his uniform on, but he had lost a lot of weight." He looked sunken in, reminding Vebell of a collapsed parachute. 

Vebell’s Nuremberg portraits of Nazis
Rudolf Hess (top) and Wilhelm Keitel. 
Vebell sketched with a fountain pen, which allows no second thoughts or corrections. Since he didn't have any water, he achieved gray tones by using his spit to dissolve the water-soluble ink.

In his written notes, he described their demeanor, with its mixture of a rigid military bearing and a sense of hollowness.

He sketched while looking through a pair of binoculars because he was a little too far to get a clear portrait likeness. 

He pressed the binoculars against his glasses, holding them in position, and then flipped his eyes up and down to switch from the view to the sketch pad. 


In this 2013 interview, he recalls the experience. At 9:00 in the video, there's some archival footage of a Russian artist who also documented the trials, with a more caricatured approach. 

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Learn more

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Tips for Selling Digital Products

Sellfy is one of the companies I work with for distributing videos and other digital content. Basically what they do is host the files and handle the payment processing and customer service.


They did an interview with me, and here's one of their questions:

Sellfy: You make a portion of your income from your painting tutorials. What are your tips for selling digital products?

Gurney: I think it’s important to think all the time about what makes a better product that really helps other artists on their journey. When my wife Jeanette (also an artist) and I watch other videos, we always talk about what we liked about it and how it might have been better.

I really try to listen to what customers want, and I study the metrics. With all that said, I go out there to have fun and try new challenges, and it’s OK with me if some of my videos have a smaller audience.

That’s one thing I like about the digital arts economy is that you can niche market to specific groups, and they can get information that used to be unavailable a generation ago.



You can read the rest of the interview here.
You can check out all the stuff on my Sellfy page here.

Illustration Research Center Proposed for Stockbridge


In what may turn out to be a Valentine's gift to illustration scholarship, The Norman Rockwell Museum is considering turning the former Old Town Hall of Stockbridge, Massachusetts into a study center for illustration.

The Town Hall building is currently not in use but it would need a major overhaul indoors to incorporate the Museum's archives, study gallery, library, reading room, and prep space for traveling exhibitions.

Exhibits and public events would remain at the current museum location. The plan would require raising a lot of funds and still awaits approvals.

Read more in the Berkshire Eagle: Rockwell Museum aims to turn Stockbridge's Old Town Hall into National Center for Illustration Research and Education

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Book on Coby Whitmore is in the works


Publisher Daniel Zimmer is taking preorders for a monograph on 1950s illustrator Coby Whitmore coming out this June. Coby is one of my all-time favorites, right up there with Al Parker, Jon Whitcomb, and Harry Anderson.

With this series of books, Zimmer has almost singlehandedly achieved something that mainstream art publishers have failed to accomplish: to document the legacy of the great 20th century illustrators in elegantly-produced monographs. The contribution he is making is so important for future generations who would otherwise never be able to see the work of these masters of illustration.

Preorder Coby Whitmore: Artist and Illustrator