Monday, December 28, 2015

Gift of Inspiration -- Equine artists Jo Taylor, Lucy Kemp-Welch, Rosa Bonheur, Terryl Whitlatch UDPATED 8.22.22

why the horse? Is it the challenge of the anatomy? The power of its soul? The poetry of the horse in motion? Artists keep coming back to the horse as model, muse, motivation and inspiration...

I'm no artist.. but I love equine art. This year, I discovered two equine artists. One is contemporary. The other isn't. But they are both classics.

Jo Taylor (1969 - present)
I discovered her when Stuart shared a small catalog of her work with me. I was hooked. Fortunately, she is active on social media with a Facebook page (where she often shares works in progress)
She also has an extensive website
I love the scale of her work... and the sense of anatomy...

especially the really big pieces...
and the sense of motion..
 that the horses are flying past you..

The way she captures their momentum with line...
plus her horses can look like Thestrals and Patronuses at the same time!

Seven Fables is a bookstore in the UK. They sell blank greeting cards w/ Jo Taylor art. I ordered one of each image. They shipped fast and well protected. Worth the rate! Here's a link for the store:

and pics of the cards and packing..

UPDATE 11.28.20
Some stunning rough sketches from Jo's Facebook page, with this comment:
"Study Sheet for an exciting new commission to capture the power, expression and beauty of the Portuguese Lusitano horse."

UPDATE 2.2020 -- Link for brief interview with Jo Taylor

From her website:

As explained by Jane Wheatley of The Times
“Jo does a lot of watching horses; in racing stables and on windy gallops, in the Camargue marshes and at Portuguese Horse Fairs, out in Montana cattle country and on the South African plains. Watching looking, making sketches, remembering the lift of a hoof, the curve of a neck, the line of a muscle.”
“Jo works in a variety of media on a large unrestricted scale and her style is deliberately abstract with a bold use of colour. Her organic palette is scoured from the immediate landscape and the elements, reminiscent of the work of Prunella Clough and Graham Sutherland. Through her materials she describes muscle tensions and structures, which she was able to study during her residency at the Department of Veterinary Science at Liverpool University. This left Jo with an exceptional knowledge and understanding of animal physiology, leading The Times Art Critic Rachel Campbell Johnson to liken her use of anatomy to Stubbs.”
“These insights give Jo Taylor an understanding that is translated into paintings which contain a sculptural dynamism where the essence of the horse is exposed.
# # # 

Lucy Kemp-Welch (1869-1958)
 Not sure when her art popped up on my radar, but it took a few pieces for me to realize.. hey, all this work I like is all the same artist.. and it's a gal! Turns out she is well known.
One of her best known works, Colt-Hunting in the New Forest,  is in the collection of the Tate Gallery in London....
 Also at the Tate.. her work titled "Forward the Guns"
She also did the art for this war poster
a personal favorite is painting below...
Mixed Company at a Race Meeting, 1904
and appreciate the horsewoman featured in...
 The Riders, 1911
 She's also known for her illustrations for the 1915 edition of the Anna Sewell landmark work "Black Beauty." Popular modern reprints of the book have featured this Kemp-Welch art on the cover:

Monograph below.. "Lucy Kemp-Welch, The Spirit of the Horse" by Laura Wortley is from 1997.

You can view an excellent slide show of 42 of her paintings via this BBC site ....

UPDATE 2/16/16
ROSA BONHEUR (1822-1899)
This showed up on my radar.. and adding here to include with equine art...
Link here for anaylsis by Wayne Thiebaud of painting "The Horse Fair" by Rosa Bonheur

UPDATE 7/30/17
Link with more about Rosa Bonheur

Portrait of Rosa Bonheur, 1857, by Edouard Louis Dubufe
 Rosa Bonheur in her Studio by George Achille-Fould
Highland Raid 1860, by Rosa Bonheur
 Two Recumbent Tigers 1887, by Rosa Bonheur

UPDATE 3.21.19
National Gallery in London post on Rosa Bonheur for Intl Womens Day 2019.

Restoration of "the Horse Fair"

TERRYL WHITLATCH (1961-present)
Horses are the favorite subject of creature designer and scientific illustrator Terryl Whitlatch

Other equine artists highlighted here on the blog on these previous posts:
Sam Savitt:
Norman Thelwell
George Ford Morris
CW Anderson
more horse reference, Breyer Models and Sam Savitt poster

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Your art on display by another artist --- What would you do?

Another unauthorized use of images case study.... I learned about this online and got artist Angela's permission to share:

At a recent convention, artist Angela Li noticed her original artwork was being exhibited by another artist (we'll call them Artist X). That's right... at the same show.. at a nearby table.. Artist X was selling plagiarized prints. Angela brought this fact to Artist X's attention...

Here's how Angela described the situation (this quote from a social media site)...

 "....a fellow exhibitor decided it was a great idea to sell plagiarized work. My artwork was taken, painted on top of, displayed, and posed as theirs. Not only did this person steal, but took no care or concern at all to realize that the artist she stole from and whose artwork she is selling is sitting right in front of her.
When confronted, this artist shamelessly told me she had no idea what I was talking about, denied any wrongdoing, noted no resemblance and told me she painted this years ago (it was posted in June this year). While it was eventually taken down, it is insulting not only to have my own artwork being profited from right in front of me, but also to be lied to my face even when shown a blatant side by side comparison. As professionals, we should maintain artistic integrity and grow as our own artist. Be inspired by the art around you but don't steal and claim as your own."

Here are the photos Angela used to illustrate her objections:

Angela's situation is not rare. And Artist X's reaction is frighteningly common. This entire scenario is typical of the frustration artists have when trying to protect their intellectual property... AND the lack of education and/or etiquette when in comes to posted plagiarized work.. in portfolios.. on websites.. and at convention  tables.

On the social media site where Angela posted about this incident... many peers and fans commented with their reactions ... and suggestions of ways to take action.

We need to bring this problem.. and the solutions.. into a wider audience. Artists, convention organizers and fans need to have a ZERO TOLERANCE policy when it comes to plagiarized works.
For now, there are some good tips on this link (a 2010 online article "What to do if someone steals your design" written by Joshua Johnson) that was suggested to Angela via comment on her social media post:

Also helpful... this Copyright Guidelines for Artists and Crafters chart, by Ginger Davis Allman (

I'll be continuing to update this post on the blog.. and looking for ways to expand the conversation.

Amy commentary:

Companies that own licences to images/likenesses will shut down booths at shows if vendor is selling items with unauthorized use of licensed images. Companies that own and license images have vast resources to back up their claims.... but all their power still comes down to honoring copyright protections.

How can indie artists and patrons have impact? Respect for copyright needs to be enforced via education, outreach, conversation, and peer pressure.

Don't accept its "just gonna happen" with unauthorized use of images by indie artists ....  change will come with awareness and action...  and that includes on the exhibit hall floor. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Image by Ally Burguieres -- out foxed by Swift (unauthorized use)

One more example of art freely shared, then captured and used.... Would be interesting to host a coffee and discuss this and other cases. What are the best ways to react??

Are there panels at Cons on this topic???

Just because it's on Instagram etc., that doesn't mean you can trace it, use it, claim it. We need more education on these issues. People copy art without thinking about it. Art online needs to be identified and traceable to source. Others making SO MUCH MONEY from the wild west frontier of images online. Draw the line artists. Before it's too late...

Artist Alley Burguieres' open letter making the rounds on internet....

Art, Anxiety and ... 5 insights from research on Post-Traumatic Growth

World events .... stories of senseless violence... global warming... 
if you're an artist and  your job is to find beauty in things and inspire the rest of us... the task can seem daunting. Take a break from the news feed and check in with some restorative options.

One resource -- this article that showed up via the online version of Scientific American Magazine -- "How to Find Meaning in Suffering: Useful Insights from Research on "post-traumatic growth." by Kasley Killam. Here's the link for the article.

"According to the research, post-traumatic growth goes beyond resilience; by actively searching for good in something terrible, a person can use adversity as a catalyst for advancing to a higher level of psychological functioning."

The article covers these five positive changes that signal post-traumatic growth:

) Personal Strength
2) Stronger relationships, via social support and increased compassion
3) Greater appreciation of life
4) Personal beliefs can be re-affirmed or re-constructed
4) Crisis clears way for new opportunities (fired from job; found something better)

Not every trauma arrives as headline news. Trauma can surface as a personal, emotional, physical or mental upheaval. We are all subject to trauma... but we don't have to be subjects of it.
Your freedom to express yourself through art comes from a place of safety and strength. Know how to find your way there. Your work depends on it.

Monday, December 14, 2015

"Copyright Guidelines" chart by Ginger Davis Allman, with link to full article

This amazing chart "Copyright Guidelines for Crafters and Hobbyists" popped up on my internet radar over the weekend.

This chart is the work of Ginger Davis Allman. She has her own art business.. and is also a web and business consultant.

Like it or not folks... if you want to monetize your art and share and/or sell it on-line, you have to embrace some basic business skills.

I contacted her to thank her for sharing this online. Such great info here for everyone's education. I also asked her permission to cross post the chart there on my blog. Here's her reply
Hi Amy,

Yes, that would be fine to share my chart. Please link it to the original article and encourage your readers to consult my article for more clarity.

Thank you!

Ginger Davis Allman


Education is the key to resolving so many of these copyright issues. Yes.. it will also take decency and etiquette. If everyone plays nicely on the playground it will work out best for all of us. We can make it happen with communication and accountability.

Ginger's original article (see the link above) is an in depth look at the issues in the chart.


Consult it frequently. Share it with other artists... and also with your clients who are buying your art.. and the organizers of shows you exhibit at. We need to be an informed, united front.

The artists make the art... they should also have a strong voice in the rules about how it's used and protected. (I will also be including this post as an update to my "Copyright Info for Artsits" post from July 2014. This post is where I update with recent case studies of unauthorized use of images).

Monday, December 7, 2015

FREE BOOK from Bobby Chiu... gifts that give

Artist and instructor Bobby Chiu is a great example of paying forward with the gifts you have.
Bobby just announced, via Schoolism on Facebook, that he is giving away the mp3 audiobook version of his book "The Perfect Bait"... FOR FREE.. now through January 31, 2016.

 Here's the link:

"The Perfect Bait" is brimming with top tips on making it on your own as an indie artist.. but also applicable to all self-employed fields. Featured previously here on the blog:

Bobby is a designer based in Canada...

perhaps best known for his work on Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland...

Bobby's bio on Schoolism website here:

December is a wonderful time to reflect on all the gifts ... not just the merchandise in the shops and commercials... but the priceless gifts shared with us.. and even more important.. all the little gifts we have to share with other. Small gestures can have a big impact. (art below by Linzie Hunter)

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Unique LA Dec 2015

Attended my first Unique LA show...
This show was held indoors at the designer-focused California Market Center (CMC)... the show occupied the entire Penthouse floor of the building. Flat rate parking was available in the underground structure. After a short trip to the lobby, the main building elevators carried the crowd to the top floor for the ticket area and entrance to the show. A colored wristband served as your ticket, and allowed you easy access to the large exhibit space.

The CMC is home for designer wholesale showrooms, cafes, design schools, etc. so the building has a hip vibe, reflected by the urban crowd. Here are some images from the lobby:

I enjoyed the fashion show in the lobby ... and the contemporary urban LA wear in action on the busy exhibit are floor...
Wandering the aisles of the large space. You got a map with your entry...
 The flip side had a directory...
Here's a sample of some of the artists at the show...

Glad to see our pals at Cheltenham Road with a gang of happy patrons...

A bit of a retro vibe around the corner at the booth for Emmiebean.
Send a photograph .. pets, people, places... to Emmiebean Custom Portraits...
and get a unique work of art from your image...

STAR WARS!. super popular right now, and a great gift idea for the Star Wars fan in your circle....Prints from Mattson Creative...
Their bright booth and cheerful staff were a standout... and a great landmark to re-orient by while wandering around the show (set up more like a maze than a grid)
Here's a closer shot of the display item on easel above....
more views of the prints on display... 

And they had the most nifty metallic business card! 
I'm batty about bats!

 So the bright bat print at this booth lured me in....

Colorful Cactus Club prints were quite popular... 
I picked up these cheery cards....
One of the main reasons I attended this particular show..  I'm on the email list for Yes and Yes Designs.

When they announced they would be exhibiting at this show.. I put it on my calendar!

It was love at first sight when I discovered these charming accessory items -- all re-purposed from redundant books -- at a 2014 Santa Ana Patchwork show.

Her clever display includes hands-on example of how she uses the book covers to make the accessories. My photo didn't turn out.. so here's one from their website:
The colorful, large print price signs next to the items on their table were helpful. Also note how they use a simple rubber stamp on the bag to brand them... and they include details about the story behind their art on the large, post-card sized business card...

 Here are the Yes and Yes items I added to my collection...

A little cat image showed up on my internet radar recently.. an adorable kitten pillow (image below from this link)
 then I saw the same little Siamese cat here...
I got to meet the artist.. and pick up these cards Aggie at The Little Red House...
 Here's her business card...
 See how she does a great job using the back of the greeting card to share all her contact info. So important!!!
An array of felted fun at this booth for Vals Art Studio..
Sweaters... felted plush pals... paintings and cards too!
 This card set is images from paintings Val did of historical homes...

 A detailed view of one of the cards....
Another busy booth at Unique LA... this is Rock, Scissors, Paper...
Where I found a book-themed mug....

and some magnets..Look at the bright, big and useful postcard that came with my purchase... highlighting the artists and all the ways to reach them!
Many tables were along the windows of the room.. some artists, like Paper Wilderness, made use of the posts and pillars to add directional signage for their space..
Christmas Moose... and love bird...
 And making good use of branding with cards, stickers and a stamp on every bag!
I got to the show right after it opened.. and the crowd only got busier as the day progressed..
My new card artist find from Nov Santa Ana Patchwork show ...Le Trango was also at the Unique LA show....
 Audience participation Yeti card was brand new!
So many fashion and jewelry options!!! Lots to see at this show... also candles, bags, lamps, planters. This Booth for Fluent Flyers had travel themed designs...
Snowy Squirrel card from Clap Clap Design...
No time to eat at this trip.. too much to see. But there were lots of food booths.. and drinks too.. even beer. Here's a different s'mores vendor...
And all around.. amazing city views...

I started going to local artist fairs with photographer pal Sarah about a year ago. These excursions began as a fun day out with friends....and they still are, but have also branched out in interesting ways.

As a fan of indie artists... I started taking more photos and talking with more of the artist vendors.

Of course I enjoy seeing the venues and all the creativity at the booths and tables. And of course I usually find some fun items to purchase. But more and more, I've been observing how these artists market themselves and their art with the patrons at the event.

It's always challenging for artists to find just the right shows to exhibit at. Factors include: recommendations from peers; proximity and travel/exhibit expenses; seasonal/holiday tie-ins.

If you're considering exhibiting at shows or conventions, there are many benefits to exploring the show in person as an attendee first. Websites for the organizers give lots of tips on the amenities and types of vendors. When it come to exhibiting... first timers often partner up with a friend or colleague.

Shows are expensive to exhibit at... beyond the exhibitor fees for the table or booth space.. there is time, labor and material costs to get your art to the venue and to display it in a way to make it stand out in the crowd.

Be respectful of your own time and resources. If you're an indie artist doing all the booth work yourself... don't work for free. You can't afford to!!

Art isn't anonymous... or free. More on this ... here on the blog in 2016 :)