Tuesday, January 29, 2008

create the art you want and nourish yourself within that art, You Suck at Photoshop

Great art is not the product of genius or produced by people with greater talent. It is what you see and how you see it that makes great art great.

"Making art is not difficult, but it can be frustrating. Often the work we have not done seems more real in our minds than the pieces we have completed. Most artists live with doubt and uncertainty, worrying whether there is an audience or reward. The result is the artist does not having a secure grounding before beginning to create. You must set aside your doubts and fears and push though YOUR own negative beliefs. Then YOU will be able to create the art you want and nourish yourself within that art. "


By Michael Orwick

Available from Dragonfire Gallery Cannon Beach, Or

503 436 1533

All the best,

Michael Orwick
Orwick Arts

my new store,


My art hints at a story and then invites you to finish the narrative. My style has been called Inspired Expressionism, which combines impressionistic brush strokes and a touch of realism to create the atmosphere and lighting woven into my work.

The easiest way to see my work is at http://www.michaelorwick.com/

Extra (not for everyone…potty mouth)
You Suck at Photoshop

“You Suck at Photoshop” tutorials by Donnie Hoyle. They are dark, hilarious, and surprisingly informative.
So watch them, laugh your ass off, and call it “work”. These tutorials are hysterical, maybe too crude for some, still educational.

- watch a poor guy’s marriage fall apart before your very eyes while you learn some useful Photoshop moves. ...rumor has it that Dane Cook is doing these (the voice does sound similar).

Monday, January 28, 2008

Art: Speak wisdom with every word. One must have something to say


Art is a Language
Part 3
by Keith Bond

"As an artist, when an idea or scene inspires me, I must decide which elements are essential to convey the message that I wish to convey."

Dear Michael Orwick
A few years ago I read a quote by the late Paul Strisik. I don’t remember it verbatim, but it goes something like this:

A man fluent in the English language and having a large vocabulary can have nothing interesting to say, while on the other hand a foreigner with broken English and a small vocabulary can speak wisdom with every word.

He used this analogy illustrate a point. Proficiency in art is not enough. One must have something to say (the debate on self expression vs. traditional art instruction will be saved for a future issue). I have seen many pieces of art which were masterfully executed, yet had no life to them. The level of skill was there, yet there was no emotion. The works seemed nothing more than a record of the artists’ labors - and often one could emphasize ‘LABOR’. I have also seen work by artists who are still ... (oh, how does one be politically correct?)...beginners. However, the works were very moving and had a lot of strength. I could feel something in the art. What is the difference? The sincerity of the artists’ message(s).

A work of art, deeply felt by the artist - even if the work is technically lacking - is a much stronger and more powerful work of art than a masterfully crafted piece in which the artist had no emotional connection to the subject. For a work of art to be truly meaningful, the artist must have something to say. The artist must mean what they say. The artist must be sincere.

I will admit, there have been times when I painted what I thought the market wanted. I painted what I thought would sell. Every time I did such a painting, it was a failure. I look at those paintings and there is no life to them (even if well executed). They were merely burdensome tasks to be completed. There was no joy nor magic.

On the other hand, my favorite paintings are the ones that I paint strictly for myself. Those paintings stem from ideas that I am excited about. As I paint them, I am excited. And I am proud of them when I am finished. I am also excited to display them. They are the paintings that resonate most with viewers. (Duh!)

In the last issue, I asked you to close your eyes and think of your favorite place. If you did the little experiment (I hope you did), you would have seen only the most essential elements of the scene in your mind’s eye. As an artist, when an idea or scene inspires me, I must decide which elements are essential to convey the message that I wish to convey. I must choose what is important to me. I then leave everything out that is not critical. That is how I communicate through art.

Best Wishes,
Keith Bond

This article is reproduced with permission. Copyright 2007 -Keith Bond.To get more of Keith Bond insights into the life of an artist, or to see his beautiful oil paintings, visit his web site at:http://keithbond.com/

All the best,
Michael Orwick

Orwick ArtsSign up for my daily paintings, art related musings and tips and techniques.http://michaelorwick.blogspot.com/my new store, items added all the time. http://stores.ebay.com/Michael-Orwick-

My art hints at a story and then invites you to finish the narrative. My style has been called Inspired Expressionism, which combines impressionistic brush strokes and a touch of realism to create the atmosphere and lighting woven into my work.

The easiest way to see my work is at www.michaelorwick.com

Monday, January 21, 2008

Art is a Language - Part 2

" What makes truly great art is its ability to communicate on some level with viewers."

Art is a Language - Part 2

Why do some works of art have the ability to bring us to tears while other works go unnoticed? Why am I drawn to some artworks while you are attracted to others? What makes truly great art is its ability to communicate on some level with viewers. For communication to take place, both the artist and the viewer need to engage in the conversation. Communication is not one sided. The artist needs to have something to say. The viewer also needs to have something to say. ‘Listening’ is likewise important in good communication. I will define listening as an attempt to understand and gain deeper insights through observation and study.

Today we will discuss the viewers’ side of artistic communication. Next week we will discuss what an artist’s role is in the communication process.

First, I would like to illustrate a point. Let’s try an experiment. Dear reader, close your eyes. . . ok, now open them (ha, your eyes weren’t closed were they?!). Actually, read the next paragraph and then close your eyes for a few minutes.

Think about your favorite place in the world. Is it the beach? Your childhood home? Your grandparents’ farm? The park where you fell in love? Wherever it is, think about that place. Try to picture it in your mind. Try to go there for a few minutes.

. . . are your eyes closed?

Now that you’ve thought of someplace, I want you to write down a description of the place. Go on, write. What does the place look like? What smells are there? What colors do you see? What sounds? What are you doing? What season is it? And most importantly, why do you love that place?

Now read what you wrote. Is there any mention of the number of grass blades or leaves on the trees? Is there any mention of any superficial detail? My guess is, ‘No’. You remember only the essential elements that are tied to your emotional memories of the place. The reason you love the place is because of fond memories there. There is certainly some element of emotional attachment.

You are the sum total of all of your experiences. Take this experiment and multiply it by every experience (good or bad) that you have ever had in your life. These are the things you (and I) bring to the conversation. How?

If an artist creates a work of art that communicates with you, it has most likely triggered a memory of something you have experienced or has struck a chord with your philosophies or your ideals. In short, you respond because of the cumulative experiences that have made you who you are. You don’t need to know exactly how or why a work of art spoke to you. The artwork may even appear very foreign to your life experiences, but something in the artwork communicated with something within you. A work of art is incomplete without your side of the dialogue. You as the viewer complete the communication process.

Now ‘listen’ to the artwork. The message that you are taking from the artwork is probably not what the artist was saying. Even if it was close, it would be viewed through your eyes, not the artist’s, and therefore would different (even if only slightly) from the artist’s point of view. Therefore, if you engage yourself in the process, you can gain deeper insights by listening to what the artist is trying to say. You may not be able to completely understand the artist’s intentions, but the conversation does not have to end with the first level of communication. Art has the ability to go much deeper. Look for it. There is no right or wrong.

Art is a very complex language, but it is magical. It does have power to speak deeply. If a piece speaks to you, engage yourself in the dialogue. Go deeper. Listen. Respond. It will enrich your life.

Best Wishes,
Keith Bond

Thanks again to Mr Bond,

all the best,

Michael Orwcik



my new store, items added all the time.


This article is reproduced with permission. Copyright 2007 -Keith Bond.To get more of Keith Bond insights into the life of an artist, or to see his beautiful oil paintings, visit his web site at:http://keithbond.com/

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Two new classes starting soon by Michael Orwick


Beginning Oil Painting
13 years - Adult
Students will work with water-soluble oil paints and will learn to paint figures,
landscapes and still life by learning to
measure colors and values. Some supplies will be provided,
but students will need to purchase additional supplies.
Michael Orwick
#16511: 1/28 - 3/31 (8 wks)
No class on 2/18 & 3/24
#16512: 4/7 - 6/2 (8 wks)
No class on 5/26
Day: Monday
Time: 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

8 - 12 years old
In this fun class, students go through the process of making a picture book.
They’ll develop drawing skills while
participating in games that promote creativity. Materials are provided.
Michael Orwick
#16450: 1/28 - 2/25 (4 wks)
No class on 2/18
#16451: 4/7 – 4/28 (4 wks)
Day: Monday
Time: 4:00 - 6:00 p.m.

Please contact

Stephanie Morrison
Administrative Assistant
Glenn & Viola Walters Cultural Arts Center
527 East Main Street
Hillsboro, Oregon 97123
(503) 681-5385

All the best,
Michael Orwick

Orwick ArtsSign up for my daily paintings, art related musings and tips and techniques.http://michaelorwick.blogspot.com/my new store, items added all the time. http://stores.ebay.com/Michael-Orwick-Arts

My art hints at a story and then invites you to finish the narrative. My style has been called Inspired Expressionism, which combines impressionistic brush strokes and a touch of realism to create the atmosphere and lighting woven into my work.

The easiest way to see my work is at http://www.michaelorwick.com/ and from there a list of galleries showing my art is available.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

the heART of Becca Bernstein, human relationships, aging, family and community

Redefining the art of portrait
the art of Becca Bernstein

I first noticed the painting's of and met the wonderful artist Becca Bernstein when she was the winner of the Portland Open Studio's Kimberley Gales Emerging Artist Scholarship in 2005. Her work was lined up along the walls of a small one car garage with the big door open for light. Instantly I was hooked, her depth of character and feeling was amazing, all the more so due to her young age.

Recently I received a little email notice of some of Becca’s upcoming shows. One in particular caught my attention,

"The Last Room" A public art installation by Becca Bernstein in the lobby of the Portland Building, 1120 SW 5th Ave,January 30th - February 24th.
"The Last Room"recreates the furnished apartment of an elderly,long-term care facility resident inside the lobby of the bustling downtown Portland Building.

After you learn a little more about this outstanding young painter and the spirit behind her creations I hope you well see why I thought I should share this and the rest of her work with all of you.

Her full artist statement for the show is at the bottom of this blog

Becca Bernstein is best known for her work focusing on human relationships, aging, family and community. She explores issues of human fragility and strength.She develops her work in series of 10-30 paintings,exploring each idea fully before exhibiting the group together. Bernstein often uses unusual surfaces like patchwork quilts and slate roof tiles in her paintings. She paints faces, figures and, most recently, objects in a realistic, expressive style.

"Becca Bernstein is a painter and a humanist who redefines the art of portrait, expressing the intimate personality of her models beyond their physical appearance," says Jean Luc Laminette of Portland's Galerie d'Art Sylvie Platini.

"In Piece: The Women at Pinewood Gardens"

For six years, the Becca worked daily with the elderly residents of a senior care home. The paintings reflect the faces of the senior friends she met there. The fragmentation of the varied fabrics, together with the expressiveness of every subject, helped illuminate who these women were. According to Bernstein, "Their lives are a mysterious patchwork, hand-stitched unevenly and imperfectly." The artist first selected and salvaged , being especially partial to hand-embroidered pieces that were torn, stained or practically unusable. "My hope is to compel the viewer to wonder about who these women are and were and to contemplate the quilted nature of a long life lived," says Bernstein.

"You Know Me" (acrylic on patchwork quilt) Dimensions: 24" x 18"
"So So Very" (acrylic on patchwork quilt) Dimensions: 24" x 18"
"Things Again" (acrylic on patchwork quilt) Dimensions: 24" x 18"
"In Piece: The Women at Pinewood Gardens." The 3 are still available through Gottlieb Gallery, 241-1070, gottgal@gottliebgallery.com.

In "The Locals" Bernstein captures the faces of the men and boys of the area, painted on wood, and Ballachulish slate – the traditional roofing material used in Scotland. Bernstein, who spent close to a year in Glenelg, recalls the place, its peculiarities, its people and their stories, thought this group of paintings. Rather than being nostalgic, the work is powerful, honest, and is presented with her usual uplifting clarity. For those familiar with her previous series of elderly women painted on patchwork quilting fabric, you may see the connection of the two surfaces. The slate shingles are pieced together like the patches of the quilts. Both are hand-crafted, coming together to create a sheltering whole – like a family, like a village.

"Duncan MacRae" Dimensions: 36" x 24"
"Robbie Burns Night" Dimensions: 36" x 24"
Available through Gottlieb Gallery, 241-1070, gottgal@gottliebgallery.com

"The Last Room"
A public art installation by Becca Bernstein in the lobby of the Portland Building, 1120 SW 5th Ave,January 30th - February 24th.

Again and again, my art is drawn toward issues of community, to the awkward dance of human interdependence.
For nine years, I have worked closely with the elderly residents of senior care homes in Oregon and Scotland. In this capacity, I am witness to the modern anomaly of dividing the tribe – of the separation of generations from one another, each to their respective institutions. As an artist, my interest in this subject has led me to seek out communities of all kinds for my work, both traditional and uniquely present-day, exploring the relationships we have developed or abandoned in this contemporary age.
Through my years of work in senior care homes, I have seen inside the one-room apartments of hundreds of elderly residents. Some rooms are like living museums; some are overwhelmed with piles of junk. Other rooms are sparse – furnished as if the occupant does not plan to stay long.
“The Last Room” is the furnished apartment of a fictional resident in a long-term care facility. Along with a twin bed, dresser, chair and nightstand are knick-knacks, framed photos and worn, hand-quilted bedding. There is also evidence of life: a current calendar, reminder notes on the walls, an on-time alarm clock, a dinner tray with dishes, greeting cards and a Mylar birthday balloon tied to a geriatric walker that faces a full-length mirror.
In my art, I strive to create an intimacy between my subject and the viewer deep enough that there is a spark of recognition and, ultimately, empathy.

About the Artist:Becca Bernstein is a 2008 recipient of the George Sugarman Foundation Grant for artists with a social conscience. She also received a grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council of Portland, Oregon for her February 2008 installation in the lobby of Building. Bernstein won the Lake Oswego Public Art Award at the Chronicle Invitational Exhibit of 2007 and the Kimberley Gales Emerging Artist Scholarship in 2005. She is a 2000 graduate, cumlaude, of Lewis and Clark College, in Portland, Oregon, where she studied drawing. She interned in1999 at the Museum of Modern Art, NY.Bernstein is represented by the Gottlieb Gallery in Portland, Oregon, the Phoenix Gallery in Park City,Utah, the Premier Gallery in Minneapolis, Minnesota,Gallery Heinzel in Aberdeen, Scotland and the Holburn Gallery in Aberdeen, Scotland.

Her Next show

Keyhole Miniatures

"Keyhole Miniatures"100 new paintings by Becca Bernstein at Gottlieb Gallery, 220 SW Yamhill St in Portland, Oregon,February 2nd - 29th. Opening reception Thursday, Feb. 7th 5-8pm. Intimate and mysterious, "Keyhole Miniatures" is a minute study of the personal and familiar.

All the best,

Michael Orwick



Journeys Waysides Passages The Kingstad Gallery and LRF FineArts present

The Kingstad Gallery and LRF FineArts present
Journeys / Waysides / Passages

An unparalleled offering of emerging artists from the Pacific Northwest
January 14 - February 29

Venture into the familiar and undiscovered, the inner journey and the journey of miles, through dreams, the wilderness at timberline, and remote regions of our planet.
Artists' Reception ... Last Tuesday 1/29/08, 6:30 - 8:30 pm

Interior 2 Daniel Ng acrylic

Melody Cleary journeys on the skirts of a dancer, the fin of a koi, or in the shadow of a magnolia; acrylic
Ann Fullertonbrilliant abstract thought patterns in acrylic glazes and textures

Brown Land Katie Todd acrylic
Shawn Garrison watercolor images from the Far East, Europe, and Central America
Rod Long digital photography from his passage through Amsterdam, the south of France, and the Puget Sound

Foster's Sarah Bowsma watercolor
Christine Pendergrassceramic journeys to other cultures, as well as a passage within the American car culture
Lori Presthusrich and detailed egg-tempera illustrations of the waysides of wildlife
Belize Roger Friedel oil
Dan Bronson fine art photography of remote coastal regions of the Pacific Northwest and the desert Southwest
Susan Kuznitskypastels of the people and colors of the Himalayan and Caribbean cultures

Vineyard Vista Paul Mathenia acrylic
Charis Baraschfigurative recollections from Africa in oil
Sarah Meyers fanciful silver and stone: adornment as art

The Photographer Michael Orwick oil
Philip Baraschthe landscapes of a dream-journey in oil glazes
Jan vonBergensolar print intaglio coupled with the artistry of Japanese silks
Theresa Weila fanciful mixed media journey into the human form
Jeanne Rogersoil abstracts of the high desert speak of the process of Earth's self-creation

For purchasing and artist information:
Lora R Fisher
LRF ... Fine Arts, LLCAgent • Broker • Curator503.647.2353 • 503.853.4716

The Kingstad Gallery

15450 SW Millikan Way, Beaverton, Oregon 97006

Friday, January 11, 2008

visual language and its power to communicate influence and hopefully change us

The Language of art 1.5
A small sidetrack

I just saw again this wonderful short talk and video presentation of "Ashes and Snow" and it got me thinking further about the idea of visual language and its power to communicate influence and hopefully change us.

Please click the link to Ted.com below and enjoy.

“Ashes and Snow”
A journey to “Ashes and Snow” is a journey to a world beyond—exotic, ideal, natural, foreign and fantastic.

“In exploring the shared language and poetic sensibilities of all animals, I am working towards rediscovering the common ground that once existed when people lived in harmony with animals. The images depict a world that is without beginning or end, here or there, past or present.”—Gregory Colbert, Creator of Ashes and Snow


Gregory Colbert: Gorgeous Video from

“Ashes and Snow”
Canadian photographer Gregory Colbert collaborated with animal species around the world to create "Ashes and Snow," a groundbreaking exhibit of photographs and films that explores humanity's relation to the natural world.

In a rare public appearance, photographer Gregory Colbert talks about the creation of his exhibit "Ashes and Snow." Colbert's work, which he calls "a 21st-century bestiary," captures the poetic beauty in our relationship to the animal kingdom. Colbert shows an 8-minute film, from the exhibit, of his epic swim with whales off the coast of the Azores. He then announces his new initiative, the Animal Copyright Foundation, which aims to collect royalties from companies using images of nature in their ad campaigns.

Despite the focus of the exhibition’s publicity on its documentary-like aspects—these are photographs and videos taken on his travels through more than forty countries and regions, images that have no been manipulated by digital technology, images exhibited in a “nomadic museum”—Colbert’s images are far from a documentation of human interactions with animals. Rather, the images are sculpted and arranged to suggest through form and tone a vision of cohabitation, an ideal in which humanity does not dominate the earth, but celebrates it together with its other residents.

The experience is religious and fantastic. Gazing upon images of an ideal from the darkness sparks the imagination to dream of adventures to an exotic, foreign world that is purer and more innocent than our own—an Eden from which we were banished, a paradise to which we aspire. In the darkness, we retreat into reverie, imagining ourselves as limber in the water as our brother whales, imagining ourselves conversing with the wisdom of elephants, imagining ourselves side by side with the dignity of the wild cat.
-Ian Chun.

All the best, Michael Orwick

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Art is a language that can communicate on a deep level with others

Art is a Language - Part 1

Dear Art Connoisseur,

Several years ago, I was in Scottsdale, Arizona visiting art galleries. There were many paintings which I enjoyed looking at and several that I liked quite a lot. There were also many paintings that I didn’t care for and some that I down right disliked. I am sure that there were many that I didn’t even notice. Of the hundreds, possibly thousands of paintings that I saw on that trip, there is only one that I remember - and it still haunts me.

Autumn Stillness by Keith Bond

Oil on Linen28 x 22 Sold

With my first glimpse of that painting, I was captivated. I stood there across the room just staring. I couldn’t move if I wanted to - but I didn’t want to. I felt something. I felt a profound connection to the scene.

It was not a grand or majestic scene. It was not one that shouts for attention. The painting, about 30 x 40 or so, was mostly sky. Only about an inch or two of the bottom was dedicated to the ground plane - and being in shadow, commanded little attention. It served only as a reference for scale and place. The sky, however, was captivating. A large thunderhead was billowing in the evening sky, illuminated by the sun. I could almost smell the rain, I could almost feel the wind. I must have studied that painting for 30 to 40 minutes (both up close and at a distance).

It has probably been 6 to 8 years since I saw that painting, but I still remember how it made me feel. I know that I don’t remember all the details, but I remember the important elements.

On another occasion, I discovered a bronze entitled “Sustaining the Prophet” by Ben Hammond. Again it was not so much the subject, but rather the interpretation and handling of the subject. It was a biblical story of Moses holding up his arms while the Israelites were at battle. If he lowered his arms, the Israelites would lose the battle, but while his arms were upheld, they would prevail. To help sustain him, Aaron and Hur supported his arms. In the bronze you could feel the tremendous weight and fatigue - the extremely heavy burden. It was a powerful image. I have thought of that bronze for several years - hoping to one day acquire one.

I also remember vividly a charcoal drawing by a grad student while I was at Utah State University. Entitled “The Dirge,” the charcoal was a very powerful depiction of a funeral procession. You could feel the sorrow and pain. You could sense the loss and mourning. Yet the drawing was quite vague - almost dreamlike. There was little, if any detail. It was mostly shapes and gestures. It has been over 10 years since I saw that drawing, but I still remember how it moved me.

Art is a language that can communicate on a deep level with others. Those pieces which communicated to me may not communicate to others. Likewise, much of the artwork that I overlook may touch others deeply. In the next issue of my newsletter, we will explore why and how art speaks to us - and why it may not. If you have any insights, comments, or questions on this topic, please post a comment.

Best Wishes,
Keith Bond

Keith Bond's passion for the outdoors, especially the untouched, pristine wilderness areas, inspires his artistic direction. This passion stems from his youth; growing up in rural Cache Valley, Utah, where much of his time was spent exploring secluded and remote areas.

Printed with admiration and thanks,
part two soon.
Copyright, 2007, Keith Bond
All the best,
Michael Orwick

Monday, January 7, 2008

Gallery staff should feel a genuine fascination for what you do

I have gotten what looks to be very good news!
Lee Freed of the Freed Galleries likes my work and I am now doing two different series for them for upcoming representation. With that in mind I have posted the following essay/blog and the online discussion. Thanks again to all of you for your support and help as I continue to search for one or two new galleries to start showing my work in 2008.

You’re In a Gallery: Now What?
By Paul Dorrell Author of “Living the Artist’s Life”

Firstly, I don’t feel you should expect miracles. Give the dealer time to work the market, and find out which of your styles sells best. If she makes suggestions about how to make your work more salable, listen to her—assuming that she knows her business, and you respect her. If she’s urging a subtle change, play with it, see if it inspires you. When you work with your dealer in a spirit of cooperation, and when that dealer has talents similar to those of a skilled book editor, the results are almost always good. This does not mean, however, that the more shallow aspects of the art market should dictate how you work. If you allow that to happen, you’ll wind up creating work that lacks soul, integrity and passion. Always stay true to your vision, and always work within the guiding parameters of your intuition. If you let other people sway you too far with well intentioned suggestions, you’ll get off the track of your own instincts, which will lead down a very dissatisfying road. In the end, only you can know what it is you want, or need, to create. No one else can fulfill this role for you, and no one else should.
Passion By this I don’t mean yours, but the gallery’s for your work. Maybe they’ll call it enthusiasm, appreciation, or sheer love. However it’s termed, the gallery staff should feel a genuine fascination for what you do. Why? Because collectors will sense their passion, and in turn become infected with it. This will lead to sales, and a broadening reputation. Available at Dragon Fire Gallery 503 436 1533 Adversely, if the staff are indifferent to your work or, worse, blasé, this too will be sensed by potential collectors. The next thing you know, you’ll become one of those non-selling artists whose pieces are ignored, then begin collecting dust, then are relegated to a back corner or shelved in the storage racks. There is also the possibility that, no matter how impassioned the staff are, and no matter how hard they work, your stuff simply won’t sell. It could be you’re in the wrong gallery, the wrong region, or it could be that no one has an answer for this unfortunate, but all too common, failing. Nobody can really predict the art market, just as no one can really predict that other market based at the corner of Broad and Wall Streets. Even so, the combination of a gallery’s energy, and your mastery, will normally bring good results. Try to ensure that each gallery you work with functions on this basis. If, after all good efforts, the work still isn’t selling, always be willing to try another gallery. Each of my more successful artists has had to do this.

From Michael Orwick
Dear Paul,Great article and perfect timing as I have just picked up two new galleries by the same owner. She looked through my portfolio and picked her favorite ones and we began to formulate ideas from there in what direction or subject we could most effectively focus on for her galleries.

In regards to the galleries I show at currently:
I have found that when I tell a background story about a painting to the sales staff or get to know the staff when possible on a personal level. They then gladly pass on that feeling to the viewers, people like to feel like they can get an idea of the artist behind the work. I give them a Bio with a few odd or funny things about my up bringing as well as an artist statement that explains my art theory and what I striving towards.

I have had the same problem of representing two styles because of my background in illustration and a large body of more whimsical images. I have two galleries that show a bit of both but we keep it separate as to not confuse anyone, but for the most part we have learned what sells what I can produce best most consistently and what I enjoy...Landscapes with an illustrative quality or sort of a highbred of my work.

All the best,
Michael Orwick

From Paul Dorrell
Michael, Good point about background. My staff is informed of same, because clients–or potential clients–value that. Doesn’t matter what part of the country you live in, this holds true for all collectors. And there are few things more gratifying in this biz than taking a beginning collector, and helping them become an passionate about your artists. Where before they may have assigned that passion to BMWs, they now assign it to artists of their region. This is a great thing, whether you live in San Diego or Birmingham.

From Alyson B. Stanfield http://www.artbizblog.com/
"You're an artist and artists make art. When they're not making art, artists think about making art. Artists talk about making art. Artists read about making art. Artists must make art in order to feel whole. Without the art, you are miserable and are without a career. Without your devotion to the rituals surrounding making art, your art suffers."

All the best,
Michael Orwick
Orwick Arts


Sunday, January 6, 2008

95% of art being sold on the art market is rubbish

I wanted to post this essay and my short response to start the dialogue about art the art world and the "emperors New Clothes" syndrome that is all too prevalent.

I spend most my time on this blog talking and writing about the joys of collecting, an enjoyment that should only increase as one begins to trust your gut, learn what they like and continue to educate themselves about the artist and their art.

I want to warn new collectors against being swindled, nothing I can imagine would turn me off more then realizing that I had been fed a line and took home “art” that sits in storage. Collectors should remember the event of buying a painting as a special experience. We artists should feel confident that when we are selling or our work is being sold for us that the buyers are having a great time, one they can remember each time they look at the painting.

It is important to find people you trust and to learn to trust yourself.
The first rule of collecting is to buy what you like, I would be very wary if an artist or a dealer tried to sell art on investment purposes alone.

It’s True, 95% of Art is Rubbish !!!

Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.

Posted on January 4, 2008.



I am here today to tell you that 95% of art being sold on the art market is rubbish, yet only a small percentage actually gets recognised as being rubbish. The fact that there is so much shit art on the market could be a good thing for the art market because it makes the good art look even better but there is a problem in that people actually buy the rubbish art.
One of the main reasons that there is so much rubbish art on the market, and so much rubbish art being sold, is that people are afraid to say anything negative about an artwork. The reason that people are afraid to voice a negative opinion of an artwork is that they think that other people will think that they are naive, stupid, or not culturally advanced enough to be able to appreciate or understand the artwork. Because everyone is so afraid of looking stupid they say that they like an artwork even when they don’t which has a snow ball effect to the point that so many people say that they like an artwork that they actually begin to believe it, which causes other people to believe it, and so on..
One of the tactics that galleries, auction houses and other art sellers use to create the impression that an artwork is better than it really is, is to create over-intellectualized, complicated and indecipherable descriptions or analyses of an artwork that are designed to sound extremely impressive yet be so complex that people don’t realise that what they are reading is complete rubbish. For some reason people seem to think that what a gallery or dealer says about an artwork has to be true and that an artwork must be good if the description or analysis of an artwork is complex and sounds impressive.
When investing in art is of the utmost importance that you stick to the factual information and statistics that can’t be manipulated because almost any artwork can be made to sound good.


This blog could so easily come off as mean spirited and angry, but you have really nailed something that has bothered me for as long as I have been looking at art. When I read long and esoteric explanations of what is in essence a form of visual language it often becomes obvious that they are compensating or worse yet even trying to trick or guilt an audience into examining a not very good piece of work.

I would like to learn what your thoughts are on the place of beauty as a subject and celebration of is in art.

All the Best,
Michael Orwick

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Artist of the Month at the LookingtoDraw.com by Michael J. Barnes

Since this is the premier of The ILTD Blog Featured "Artist of the Month," I was hoping to find a talented and gifted artist to kick-off this feature. Upon viewing Michael Orwick's artwork on his website, I knew right away he would be the perfect choice. I enjoyed viewing his artwork. I could absolutely see a story in each piece.

Artist of the Month — January 2008.
Posted by Michael J. Barnes. Category Artist of the Month.Bookmark this post. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.
Michael Orwick and daughter Elena.
Artist Michael Orwick Combines Pictorial Storytelling With A Hauntingly Familiar World.“There is a reason we are drawn toward beauty, it is the language of God and nature. To me there is nothing more provocative than beauty, it inspires deep reflection and motivates me to create,” says Oregon artist Michael Orwick. “I mix from a primary color palette, painting wet into wet and with layers, to both reveal and hide what lies behind; in this way I entice you into the painting. I love it when people share the feeling and stories my paintings evoked.”Michael Orwick is an award-winning artist who utilizes strong lights and darks, along with a simple color pallette, to create unique tales where the viewer infers distinctive yet universal stories.
Born in 1975, Orwick spent his childhood in the Pacific Northwest. His parents moved quite often throughout Oregon and Idaho. Very early it was discovered that he had dyslexia. Michael had a hard time in school, so he turned to pictures to help him understand the written word and help him communicate with others.
“Sokolblosser Vineyard”30″x40″.
“School was difficult, but in hindsight this was one of many blessings that have led and helped shape my artful existence. I was also lucky to grow up surrounded by beautiful creeks and evergreen wilderness, and within a family that loved to travel, encouraged curiosity and following one’s heart. And my heart has always told me to create,” says Orwick.
Michael is an award winning artist. In 2004, he was awarded first place in Duirwaigh Gallery’s Emerging Artist Competition. He was also listed in Epilogue’s “New Masters of Science Fiction and Fantasy” publication in 2004 and 2005.

“His skill as a landscape artist creates compelling views of our world that move beyond time and place –full environments for your mind to explore, your senses to imagine… places as mysterious as Oregon’s craggy coast, as unpredictable as a glacial view of Mount Hood, or as serene as an Oregon waterfall. His works can remind us of Remington in his most enamored moments with the majestic West or of the Impressionists as he paints a dance of light on a pond or snow,” says Cannon Beach, OR studio Dragonfire Gallery.Michael resides just outside of Portland Oregon perfectly placed between the coast and the mountains. When not painting, Michael spends much of his time exploring the trails and playing at the beach with his wife Gabriela and daughter and their silly red dog Shamy.
“Penguin Wings”
For more information about Michael Orwick and his art, view his website at http://www.michaelorwick.com/, or his blog at http://michaelorwick.blogspot.com/. You can also purchase his artwork at his website or through his store site at http://stores.ebay.com/Michael-Orwick-Arts.

Thanks again for your participation, and good luck with all your endeavors. Hopefully, we can keep up a line of communication between us.

Michael J. Barnes