The Art Life: Rainy Day Browsing Ideas…

rainy day
Radar at 11:10 am PST Saturday morning

I’ve been down for two weeks with a really nasty chest cold. Finally over the symptoms, but still need to take it easy, which is why there was no Friday post. Much better today. Now we have a heck of a rain storm rolling into northern California, so working in the garden is out. Internet to the rescue!

Here’s some sites to check out if you’re sick or weather-bound:

Looking at art: The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has recently created what it calls Open Access, through which images of 375,000 (yes, that’s right) works in their collections are available for use without restriction. More information on that here.

Learning to draw: If you’re interested in drawing and want to learn the basics or pick up new skills, Pencil Kings may be what you’re looking for. They have pro instructors from a variety of backgrounds. Access to everything is $29.95/month or $299.95 a year. If you sign on and take any courses, please let me know what you think. Painting instruction is easy to find, drawing not so much.

Competitions, courses, community and more: The Artist’s Network site has plenty to poke around on. It’s run by the company that publishes The Artist’s Magazine, Watercolor Artist, Pastel Journal, Drawing Magazine, Acrylic Artist and also runs North Light Books. They’re also the home of the well-known art forum Wet Canvas.

Learning about art: Underpaintings is an online art magazine which publishes articles on contemporary and past artists, art materials and overviews of upcoming art auctions, which is my favorite feature since it’s a chance to see a wide range of work from working artists, some famous, some not so much, that is good but not museum or art book quality. One can take comfort in realizing that even the best didn’t hit a grand slam every time or even a triple, but mostly it’s a fun way to see a lot of art which has been gathered together for auction from private collections that would otherwise not be seen by the public. He includes illustration also, which, since my formal training is in illustration, is a bonus. There is free content but full access is worth the $24 a year. The “proprietor” Mathew Innis, is himself an accomplished artist.

Finally, there’s a ton of art groups to check out on Facebook, of course. I created one last week “The Art of Animal Fieldwork” which is for artists who draw and paint from live animals, surprisingly a quite specialized part of the animal art genre. There’s already been some extraordinary work posted by some of the over 50 members from the USA, UK, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Greece, Israel, France, India and Denmark, including field studies done in Ladakh of a wild snow leopard.

griz cpzoo
Brown bear, Central Park Zoo, New York. 2016


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