Tuesday, August 24, 2010


If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change
-Hindu Prince Guatama Siddharta, founder of Buddhism

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Art of the Steal

This is a thoroughly entertaining documentary about the way art and art collections are appropriated.  BUT... the viewer must know that one of the main people funding this film, Lenny Feinberg, had attended the Barnes for classes.

NY Times Review and further information

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Music- Bolero

I think the first time I heard this piece was in music class in junior high. Loved it then, love it still.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Simon, the Shark, and the Show

As written in a prior post, I've been thoroughly engrossed in reading The $12 Million Stuffed Shark by Don Thompson. I have learned a great deal about the art world from it, and highly recommend it to anyone who enjoyed Freakonomics (also another fantastic read).  Recently, the chapters have focused on the workings of auction houses, mainly Christie's and Sotheby's as they are the front runners in the auction world. There is another auction house mentioned, Phillips de Pury, and the author lists it as being "a distant third-ranked auction house in the Christie's-Sotheby's battle" that "guaranteed losses for a very long time". Phillips de Pury had to find a way to differentiate itself and succeed. A few days ago, I had a bit of an Aha! moment when I read this passage:

"Phillips now focuses on first-time buyers in their twenties and thirties, from the hedge-fund millionaires to rookie collectors. It wants to avoid being seen as number three....instead positioning itself as number one its own blue-chip, emerging, super-modernism segment. As part of the change, Phillips auction catalogues were re-designed to resemble fashion magazines. "   

And.... "Simon de Pury was portrayed in press releases as a sort of rock-star auctioneer."

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Work in Progress, and the goldfish

This is one of the paintings that I am currently working on. It is 24x48", and acrylic. It is a still life representing my brain injury story. You can 'read' it from left to right. There is a bowl of cherries, a broken vase, a goldfish, prescription bottles, a painting.... and so on.  

I had to break a vase. So, I went to my favorite local thrift store and found something inexpensive. I brought it home, put it in a few large ziploc bags, and commenced to hitting it with a hammer. It didn't break.  So.... I took it outside and threw it at the ground, repeatedly. Nothing.  Eventually, the little vase just gave up in a rather satisfying POPpsssh sound.   This is odd considering any other time I break something (not on purpose), I've only sneezed at it. 

Another little story.. the goldfish. I included the goldfish because they have short memories, and this is applicable to me.  I don't have a goldfish in the house. I couldn't fathom buying one (just for this painting?.... and take it with us on trips??).  So... the goldfish...    isn't real.

I painted a goldfish on the lid of a ravioli container. It was then varnished to withstand being put in water. It was in the water for about an hour or so, while I took reference photos for the painting. After the photo shoot was over, the goldfish was given to G as a cubicle pet.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bringing It All Together

H.M. Craig, "Bringing It All Together", approx 32x20", acrylic on canvas

G and I have a great friend (B) we met through rock climbing. He's one of those guys that gets along with everyone, is really fun to be around, and has a really great perspective on life. He has helped us out a great deal.  

I wanted to do a quasi-portrait of B, something that captured him without being a full on portrait. I had an intent of doing something that would always remind him of one of his favorite things...rock climbing. So, I asked to borrow his trad rack (climbing gear). He loaned me all 437 pieces (I exaggerate, but he's got a lot of 'tools'). I took a whole lot of reference pics of carabiners, ropes, slings, prussicks, nuts, cams........mostly a lot of metal and rope-type things. I ended up settling on a bunch of carabiners...I was always enamored with the colored metal, but the function of the carabiner (brings everything together) coupled with B's identifying markings (blue and yellow tape) kind of fit in with my idea of being a portrait without being a portrait. B brings it all together for everyone.

 G lovin' some rock (see the house in the upper left corner?)

B and G do what is known as trad climbing. They climb places where there isn't protective gear, they put it in (and take it out) themselves. They carry all their gear with them as they climb. So, not only do they have to know how to climb, they also have to know how to set proper gear so they don't fall off the rock (and take the other person with them). They smoothly move up rock faces that are hundreds of feet high. Me? I am scared of heights, but am always thoroughly impressed with their adventures!


The fairest thing in nature, a flower, still has its roots in earth and manure.
-D.H. Lawrence 

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Tim Fraser

Tim Fraser,Morning Bridge, oil on canvas

Oh, look at the beautiful glowing organic forms! It's interesting to see the primary colors and how the very real atmosphere affects the mass of 'tree' and 'water'.  See Tim's site here.

 TimFraser, "Seawall bridge at dawn", 27"x48", oil on canvas

Tim Fraser, "Suspended seawall", 27x48", oil on canvas

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Paul J. Stankard

Paul Stankard, "Summer Memories", glass

It's amazing that there is such a talent that can create a whole natural world, inside a glass paperweight. Do you see the honeybees and their lacy wings? Do you see the delicate frills on the end of the blueberries?

Oh, hey... movie time!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Evan Wilson

Evan Wilson, The Peacock Kimono, 34x40"

As you all know, I'm a sucker for lots of color. I'm also dazzled by kimonos. Evan Wilson puts them both together in this painting.   Evan's website is here.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Postcard- Yours for the taking!

Hello All!
I have a great new shipment of postcards, all complete with some of my artwork and name and colors and .... magic. Ok, maybe not magic. But I can have my wonder-dog Beans carry them to the mailbox.

If you would like one, send me an email with your address, and I'll send out a card! Deal?

my email      HMCraigArt  at gmail.com

$12 Million Stuffed Shark

If you've ever been curious about what the high muckety mucks have shelled out millions of dollars for in regards to contemporary art... do yourself a favor and grab "The $12 Million Stuffed Shark: The Curious Economics of Contemporary Art" by Don Thompson.

It is an incredibly interesting read filled with .... Art! Money! Branding! I know, I know, I know... living artists and money don't go together..tsk, tsk, tsk, silly artist (again, the myth). Read this book and see how they do.

A review on Amazon with which I agree wholeheartedly:

I will not attempt to add to the growing number of positive reviews of this wonderful book, save to say the following: It is a thought- provoking study in how two seemingly different and disparate fields, art and finance, are closely and intimately linked.......ONE GREAT READ!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Alice Neel

 Alice Neel, self portrait

I watched a documentary about Alice Neel today. It was fascinating with regards to how she straddled roles of mother/wife/girlfriend with the role of the artist. Also... the myth of the artist was discussed, which I will go into at another time.