Friday, November 14, 2008

Our Littlest Visitors

At McGowan Fine Art we have entertained Brownie Troops, Elder hostel, high school art classes, college level classes and more. They come here to learn what a commercial gallery is all about, what is art or how to be a professional artist. I have always enjoyed these groups- it is a break from my normal routine and I get to do one of my favorite things- talk about art.

I think having groups of younger kids exposed to art is very important. It teaches them to make it a part of their every day life. I think of it as teaching them to be cultural consumers.

This past Wednesday I hosted the World School from Nashua, NH. I had about 20 4-year olds in the gallery along with 8 adult chaperons. They were a fabulous little group of well behaved children- my favorite kind! I think they may have been overwhelmed by the experience but it may come back to them at a later date as having been a fun day. They really focused on the "why you shouldn't touch" speech I had given them earlier and had many questions on my reaction if one of them damaged a piece.

Hands down the most admired item in the whole gallery was my dog Henry. This is a picture of Amanda helping a young boy admire him. They tended to want to crowd in and lay hands on him all at once. He was very patient with them but I think he was a little distressed by the hubbub.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Jane Ryan Reception, October 24, 2008

Maine artist, Jane Ryan shown talking to one of her fans. Lots of people came to the opening,
but I forgot to pull my camera out until the last minute... as everyone was getting ready to leave.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Peter Milton Round Table Discussion October 11, 2008

McGowan Fine Art hosted a round table discussion on Peter Milton's latest print, Tracking Shot. About 20 of Peter's collectors attended to help him tease out the implications of going digital. It was a lively discussion with many of the attendees, some artists in their own right, interjecting with good questions. For those who are unaware of the controversy- Peter recently published his print both as a digital edition and as an intaglio. Purists are not quite sure what to make of this.

Peter has started using Adobe Photoshop to create the composition of his piece. Previously the compositions were created through painstaking photocopying of images after much tinkering with enlargement and reduction. Peter had reached the limits of this method and thus turned to "the beast" Photoshop.

After the discussion led by Mary McGowan the guests stayed for an opportunity to talk in more depth with Peter and look at his prints.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Children's Illustrators Opening- September 12, 2008

So the evening started off slowly... I plan these events so far in advance but who was to know that it was a race weekend bringing in fans from around New England and that Barack Obama was speaking at the Tech. Both conspired to clog the highways heading North keeping most of the artists from arriving on time. Tracey Dahle Carrier was first and is shown here speaking with a collector.

Beth Krommes showed up next, shown here in the green sweater talking with a fan. Both Tracey and Beth are from NH so were able to get around some of the traffic.

Soon the crowds really started showing up - there was barely any room to move (although it doesn't seem like it in these photos. People had so many questions for the artists. Mary, Amanda & I were kept busy introducing fans to the artists and shepherding the artists downstairs to sign books that Gibson's Bookstore made available that evening.

Sheila Smallwood, children's editor at Houghton Mifflin, is shown here on the left of Rebecca Bond-yet another illustrator! Sheila was instrumental in getting this show off the ground so long ago. She pointed me in the direction of an Studio Goodwin Sturges who reps so many wonderful children's illustrators. It was difficult to choose just the the seven that I did.

Sheila's pocket puppy, Riley, is shown amusing one of the many young fans who turned up to meet real, live artists! (photo credit Michelle Johnson)

Here is Scott Magoon standing in front of his prints. He arrived 45 minutes late because of traffic. As soon as he walked through the door he was accosted by a young reader who was very concerned that he wouldn't get his book signed. Scott was originally from NH but has since moved to the big city to be an editor for Houghton Mifflin.

This is Amanda chatting with Wade Zahares. We have worked with Wade on some larger projects so it has been wonderful to meet him in person and share his stunning pastels with everyone.

We also had many people from the Currier Museum of Art come to see this show thanks to Tracey Dahle Carrier who works there. This is Susan Leidy, deputy director of the museum. I think I have captured her in a more serious moment as she was chatting up many.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Karl Drerup Opening at St Anselm College, September 11, 2008

It was a very crowded evening at the Chapel Arts Center at St Anselm College. Father Iain Maclellan and assistant curator Jessica Pappathan did a marvelous job of putting the show together. The photo to the left shows lecturing curator, Jane Port and her husband Alan talking with longtime Drerup family friends Larry and Pia Sunderlund.

Pictured at left is Gerry Williams and his wife, Jenny. As a young man Gerry collaborated on some impromptu animal sculptures with Karl Drerup while teaching at Plymouth State University.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Melissa A. Miller Opening, August 8, 2008

The Opening on August 8 was well attended. This is Melissa speaking with NH Home photographer, John Hession.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Day One at the Lakeside Living Expo

Day one at the Lakeside Living Expo and lots of people have been through the booth. It is a little steamy but everyone is very pleasant. I think everywhere is hot.

Little River Oriental Rugs of Concord is our neighbor in the lodge.

Peter Ferber, a local artist is demonstrating around the corner.

Set up at the Lakeside Living Expo

McGowan Fine Art is exhibiting at the Lakeside Living Expo in Guilford, NH at Gunstock Resort this weekend.

Mary and Sarah set the booth up yesterday... with only a few glitches. I'll take photos throughout the exhibit.

Hope to see some of you here!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Maya Ofir & Marcia Herson Jewelry Trunk Show, May 30, 2008

Friday evening was a fun and successful event. The Manchester Jewish Federation as part of the sister cities program is hosting the Israeli jeweler, Maya Ofir. As part of the exchange McGowan Fine Art had a trunk show featuring the work of Maya and one of the hosts, Marcia Herson. Here Maya sets up some of her jewelry in a case.
Maya going over her cases of jewlry to choose pieces for display.

Marcia Herson & Maya Ofir, in front, at end of evening. It was so much fun to meet a craftsman from another country that, at least I, know very little about. Her designs are definitely inspired by her ancient land- featuring ancient glass, raw stones and gold. Maya was lovely and so knowledgeable about her materials. Marcia Herson is a treat, as always to be around.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Sandy Wadlington Reception on May 9, 2008

There were a lot of people in to meet Sandy Wadlington and look at her new work. Fun was had by all!

Talking to the artist.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Insuring Your Art

Homeowner’s policies do not cover art, antiques or jewelry. For these you will need a rider. Depending on what you have purchased, these riders are not too expensive and may offer you piece of mind. Call your agent to find out what they require to purchase a rider and how much it will cost.

The first thing you need to decide is if your art will need to be insured. If something is really valuable I highly encourage you to have it insured. Repairing or replacing something that is costly is more onerous than doing the same for an inexpensive piece. Your homeowner’s policy probably covers many of your items with a “decorative” value. The average homeowner’s policy covers $50,000 for household contents which may cover many pieces. It certainly does for me! I have purchased many pieces of pottery and inexpensive prints for under $300.

You will need an invoice or valuation from a gallery or appraiser to present to your agent in order for a piece to be insured. It will need to have to be an invoice that states the name and contact information of the gallery or appraiser. Some insurers prefer that it be on letterhead. It should state the replacement cost of the piece so you will need to get these prices updated every couple of years to reflect the most current values of your artwork.

I do these valuations for my clients every couple of years, but I am only qualified to state current prices for artists that I represent. For everything else you will need to see an appraiser. I am happy to provide names of qualified appraisers in the area.

Hanging Artwork

So you have purchased a piece of art- Congratulations! If it is a work on paper it will need to be framed in order to preserve and protect it. If it is on canvas or panel, talk with the gallery about protecting the piece and presenting it properly. Some pieces do not require framing and are enhanced by a simple, frameless presentation. We can help you make that choice.

Choosing where your purchase will be hung is an important part of proper presentation. A couple of things need to be considered when hanging art.

The space should be the appropriate size to accommodate the artwork. That means that it should not be crowded with very little wall space around it or have window frames encroaching on it. The opposite can be true too. One of the most common mistakes is to buy lots of small pieces that can make a room feel all chopped up and lacking a focal point. People are intimidated by large paintings. They think they will be too overpowering in a room. A large piece or two will be an anchor for a room and give it a focus. It is best to vary the sizes of the items you purchase. If you are not sure about the large painting in your home, ask to take one home and try it.

Another way to fill a large space is to group several small pieces together. It is important that the pieces relate to each other. This can mean finding a common color, line or theme. One of the easiest solutions is to group several pieces by the same artist- perhaps a series, but finding the connections between different artists and styles can be exciting. They often inform each other and cause people to take a second look.

Another common mistake is to hang artwork too high. In general the focal point of the painting should be at eye level. Another rule of thumb is eyelevel should fall about 2/3 the way up a painting. If I hang pieces next to a desk I will frequently lower them a little so that the person at the desk can enjoy them while sitting.

There are of course exceptions to every rule. One time I hung the artwork for a couple who were both 5 feet tall. Their eye level and my eye level differed by almost a foot! I adjusted the height of everything accordingly. I have also seen someone’s home where large pieces were crowded by the small rooms and low ceilings. It was a charming space which reflected the owner’s taste. Remember that ultimately it needs to look good and not strain someone’s neck to view.

Prints and Reproductions

A confusing issue for art buyers is the term “print.” It can be used to refer to a reproduction and to a fine art print.

A reproduction is a copy of an original piece of art. Even though a print has an artist’s signature does not mean that it is an original. The signature could have been reproduced from the original!

A fine art print is the original art. The artist will create an image on a plate or block (matrix), which will be inked. The image is then transferred to a piece of paper. These prints can be in editions as small as 1 (monoprint) and up to 250-300, although most range in the 50-125 size. Because these prints can be produced as multiples, they are frequently less expensive than paintings. The price will be based on both the artist’s reputation and the size of the edition. On occasion an artist will use a master printer to print their work. There are many reasons for this. The printing process can be physically difficult or the technical nature of a print requires a very skilled hand to bring the artist’s vision to fruition.

A new process for reproduction has further muddied the waters. Giclees (pronounced zhee-clay) are produced on very high quality ink jet printers from very high resolution images of the original artwork. Because the image is on a computer it gives the artist much greater control over the colors than any other reproduction process. This process is expensive as reproductions go, but gives buyers an in-between price point on an artist’s work without forgoing on quality. These are frequently hand signed by the artist, but are nevertheless a reproduction.There are a number of photographers and digital artists who use the giclee process to print original works. These are originals and not reproductions as the originals exist on computers until they are printed. The giclee process is perfectly suited to their mediums.