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Review: The Big Painting Challenge - Episode 3

More commentary on The Big Painting Challenge - which this week was in Oxfordshire. Episode 3 was all about Still Life - which I personally think might have been more accurately described as being... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]


Earlier this week, tenor Nicholas Phan spotted [Dame] Mitsuko Uchida on BuzzFeed. Yes, you read me right: Dame. Mitsuko. Uchida. Was On BuzzFeed.   And there she is: right in front of Gerard Butler and Bradley Cooper (…in…matching suits?). It’s just really too amazing.     Photobombing is, of course, a time-honored tradition (animal photobombing […]

Return policy

ArtsJournal is all fancy and new! So I thought I, too, would emerge phoenix-like from the ashes of lots of work, a carb-free + personal trainer attempt to look good in my first-ever bridesmaid dress ((lasted two weeks)), and a lot of retweeting of baby animal photos. I have a whole post about buying Balanchine […]

Keeping company

On Monday nights, I watch The Bachelor/-ette in Brooklyn. This started about three years ago, when a friend tried to set me up with a guy who “just dropped off the face of the earth.” Turns out, he had been taping the show, so of course I had to watch my once and future husband…make-out in a […]

Till there was you

Last sunday, Lang Lang played, inexplicably, with Metallica at the Grammys. Tonight–out of all the singers and lip-synchers in the land–Renée Fleming will sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl. A great or terrible week for classical music, depending on how you slice it, but it remains that, in any industry, there is usually […]

Stream come true

I was recently at a party (not drinking because I’m on this tragic cough medicine that promises a face rash if I mix it with booze – or maybe the doctor lied about that when I seemed vain?) and an artist was complaining that his album only sold 400 units (digital and physical) in its first […]

New years

It’s the start of the concert season, which is essentially the gym in January. There’s a run on PR firms in the fall, because artists–rightfully so–are deciding, this is the year I bump things up to the next level. Once the season starts rolling along, the focus–also rightfully so–goes back to art-making and performances, but in this […]


It has been predicted that Taylor Swift’s 1989 album will sell 800,000 copies in its first week. All seems to be going well, despite or perhaps because of the fact that the record includes an unexpected Stockhausen tribute in its digital Canadian version. Go girl – push those genre boundaries. (Read the ‘Track 3? review here.) I’ve long admired Taylor […]

You can’t spell culture without “cult”

I’m mildly embarrassed to be reading a new book on entrepreneurship, because I’ve always thought “entrepreneurship” is an “if you have to ask…” situation. That said, I’ve been a superfan of Peter Thiel’s, author of  Zero to One, since his 2011 New Yorker profile. The tagline of one of his companies, Founders Fund, is “We wanted flying cars, instead […]

Public art

Two weeks ago, I wrote about why culture isn’t more of a cult: why, through merchandise, we don’t see more insider pride and, as a result, free advertising. One usually can’t even get into a hall’s gift shop without buying a ticket to a concert there. Lincoln Center is my favorite place in the world, and I couldn’t […]

Andrew Patner

Some memories of Andrew Patner, who will be missed.

So you think you have problems painting?

Every now and again we're all apt to hear from fellow artists who are having a problem with their current painting or have hit a 'painting block' - and just can't paint anything. It's something... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

Update re: Nelson Shanks portrait of Bill Clinton

Daphne Todd OBE (Past President of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters and currently judging the BBC programme on 'The Big Painting Challenge') was invited to speak on yesterday's Today programme... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

A Creative Idea for Unloading Earlier Art

There’s too much art hiding in studios, basements, and garages. If you have a problem with overflowing inventory, especially a lot of earlier art that you aren’t excited about showing, how about finding new homes for that work? At the same time, you’ll create room for new art, support a good cause, and earn income. Show More Summary

Book signing: Books on Sketching at the Mall Galleries

Book signing Tomorrow you can meet me, see some of my sketchbooks and get your copy of Sketching 365 signed at a "Meet the Author/book-signing" event in the bookshop at the Mall Galleries between... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

Can a portrait artist play fast and loose with a commission?

Do you think Nelson Shanks has been rather underhand in his portrayal of Bill Clinton? Is it ever OK for a portrait artist to undermine your client or subject? The big art news story today is that... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

The Big Painting Challenge - Episode 2

This continues my commentary on The Big Painting Challenge and focuses on the second episode which was about drawing and painting people. In fairness to the contestants, it also features some of my... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

Revitalize Old Content On Your Blog

This blog is more than ten years old. Blogs were different in 2004 before social media took off. In the early years, I posted a lot of little snippets before Facebook and Twitter were the place for these. That means there’s a lot of crap on my blog. Show More Summary

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