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Where’s Waldo? a.k.a. Sylvia White Gallery

 

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In case you are wondering where we have been and what we are doing, here is a brief update.  The last six months have been quite a wild ride.  I am feeling very blessed and ready to tackle the New Year.  However, I must admit, I do enjoy the extra time that not having a full rotating exhibition schedule gives me.  Katy, Cameron and I continue to be busy doing the things that we do best…helping artists get the exposure they want and their work deserves.  We … Continue Reading

Houston, we have a problem…

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Remember that part of the movie when  Tom Hanks was stranded and  Ed Harris put everything Hanks had in his spaceship on the table and ordered his staff to make something that will fix it?  That is such a beautiful metaphor for life.  It seems like since closing the gallery I have had to look at all the pieces I have left on my table and see what I want to make.  I have always loved helping artists, and will continue to advise and consult artists as … Continue Reading

Thank you, Ventura

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Almost 6 years ago to the day, this article came out in Ventana Magazine describing the reasons why I decided to move Sylvia White Gallery to Ventura.  I feel exactly the same way today. It has been a labor of love and an incredible honor for me.  Ventura is unique in more ways than one. Small town vibe, beach weather, no traffic, reasonable rents, respect for the environment, architectural integrity and authentic living.  But, it is the very special art community … Continue Reading

What do Cruella deVille and Sylvia White Gallery have in common?

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It’s been 35 years of consulting with artists, 50 articles written and now blogged on ArtAdvice.com, 8 different offices/gallery spaces, hundreds of workshops, thousands of exhibitions and … Continue Reading

Art is a verb, not a noun

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“Art is not what you see, but, what you make others see,”  Edgar Degas

Most people don’t realize how much courage it takes for an artist to show their work to people. Courage, as defined by Mark Twain, is not the lack of fear, but rather being able to move forward in spite of it. In my previous article, If You Are Addicted, I introduce the notion that there is a difference between making art and making a painting (sculpture, photography, or whatever your medium is). … Continue Reading

Why Father’s Day reminds me of the importance of ART

 

 

My father was a quiet man.  An early immigrant from Russia, he came here as many Jews did, seeking the freedom and independence that America was known for.  Eventually, he became a successful business person, establishing the first jewelry store in a young, new city called Beverly Hills.  He was loved by all. He was kind and generous and treated important movie stars and store clerks with the same respect…he never discussed his politics. He lived through the extreme consequences that would be felt by … Continue Reading

What would Picasso do?

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“Do not let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one.”
John Wooden

I am faced with a difficult challenge in the coming weeks. Each summer, our gallery hosts a juried show that offers a solo exhibition or group exhibition to selected artists. Most juried shows, are by nature, an eclectic blend of a juror’s vision. By definition, this show is a subjective and singular vision, based on my personal tastes and aesthetic. So little research has been … Continue Reading

Miss Manners: Gallery Etiquette Guide for Artists

Screen Shot 2014-04-03 at 10.24.54 AMI love being a gallerist.  I love art and I love artists.  I’ve devoted the last 30 years to helping artists develop the skills they need to manage their careers.  Yet, still, after all these years, I just can’t believe some of the things artists do.  If you haven’t already done so,  please take a moment to read one of my archived articles, “5 Surefire Ways to Annoy a Gallery”.  I’ve updated the list here, with a few of the most egregious crimes I’ve experienced lately. … Continue Reading

Being an artist…trick or treat?

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“Who in the world am I?  Ahh, that is the great puzzle.” Lewis Carroll

 

It’s not something you can turn off. It bubbles up when you least expect it. If you would allow it, it would consume every waking minute of every day. You work hard to fit in to the normal world…family obligations, work, the challenges of everyday life. But, admit it, all you can think about is that unfinished painting, sculpture, poem, or whatever, fill in the blank. You know you are different. You may … Continue Reading

12 Step Recovery Program for Artists

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  1. Admit that you are powerless over your ARTmaking, and it is the only thing that makes your life manageable.
    Many artists describe the feelings they get from making art as an almost spiritual or sexual experience, feeling a complete and total sense of happiness and being at one with the world. Much like the feeling an athlete gets from hitting the ball in the sweet spot. But, instead of it being a fleeting moment, it is a lasting sense satisfaction and contentment. It is what keeps them the … Continue Reading

The Importance of Wasting Time

Screen Shot 2014-02-04 at 7.07.09 PM“Creativity is the residue of time wasted.” Albert Einstein

It’s summer, time for relaxing by the pool, laying at the beach, taking a vacation from work, spending time outdoors, with family and friends, reading junky novels and just doing nothing, if you feel like it. The only problem is…if you are an artist, you rarely feel like it. One of the most misunderstood ideas about artists, is the notion that they can work whenever they want to. Catch an hour in the studio after the kids … Continue Reading

10 Things Artists Should Be Thankful For

Screen Shot 2014-04-05 at 3.54.18 PM“Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind. ”  Lionel Hampton

By the time most artists come to see me, they are usually beaten down and depressed by the struggles of the artworld.  They have been abused by their galleries, taken for granted by their collectors, misunderstood by their families and exhausted from juggling real life with creative need. It is so easy to forget how special you are, when there is no one around to remind you, but you. … Continue Reading

A JUROR’S DILEMMA

Screen Shot 2014-04-06 at 4.03.10 PMA rejection is nothing more than a necessary step in the pursuit of success.”  Bo Bennett

Our summer juried shows are a mixed blessing for me.  Each year I marvel at the infinite and diverse ways in which artists find to express themselves.  I admire and respect each and every artist for the extraordinary effort they make every day to share their gift. Again, we were happily overwhelmed with a large number of excellent quality entries, and the competition for this show was very stiff. The … Continue Reading

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

Screen Shot 2014-04-05 at 4.15.53 PMDo what you feel in your heart to be right, for you’ll be criticized anyway . — Eleanor Roosevelt

When you look at a piece of food on your plate and decide not to eat it, do you know why?  You may be able to answer that question by saying you don’t like the taste, or you are not in the mood, but that doesn’t really address the root of the question, “Why?” Can you tell me why you don’t like the taste?  Can you tell me why … Continue Reading

Life is Short, Art is Long

Screen Shot 2014-04-06 at 8.22.47 AM“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count.  It’s the life in your years.” ~Abraham Lincoln

It’s not something we like to think about, but collectors, as well as artists, need to face the fact that owning art, regardless of whether it is yours, or it is acquired, comes with certain responsibilities.  There are the obvious responsibilities concerning documentation, insurance, protection, care and handling.  There are even laws that … Continue Reading

When Everything Is Not Enough…

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We humans are strange creatures. Even when you take the creative element out of the equation, most people are never satisfied. It makes sense that would be true for creative types, as the essence of creative process depends on the need to improve whatever was last. After all, if an artist felt they had created an ultimate masterpiece that could not be improved upon, what would motivate them to start the next project? The irony in this, of course, is every artist DOES feel … Continue Reading

Follow The Money: Treasure Hunt For Grants

Screen Shot 2014-04-06 at 4.33.27 PM“A bank is a place that will lend you money only if you can prove that you don’t need it. ” Bob Hope

There has been a lot of talk lately about the economy improving.  I don’t know about you, but not many people I come in contact with have experienced much change. Nonetheless, change is happening, maybe not as fast as everyone would like, but there is hope on the horizon. One … Continue Reading

Success: What is it? Who gets it? Why do I want it so badly…or do I?

Screen Shot 2014-04-06 at 8.12.59 AM“Success is not the key to happiness.  Happiness is the key to success.  If you love what you are doing, you are successful.”

If you haven’t taken the time to think about how YOU define success, you are doing your career a disservice.  With all the artists I have talked to over the years, I have found there is a wide spectrum of what an artist wants.  Some artists could care less about ever showing in a museum or gaining any historical significance, they just want … Continue Reading

The Money Stuff

Screen Shot 2014-04-06 at 3.56.19 PM“When bankers get together for dinner, they discuss Art. When artists get together for dinner, they discuss money.” Oscar Wilde

Maybe it was growing up in Beverly Hills that gave me an acute sense of monetary reality. Regardless, as a child, it became apparent at quite an early age that money was a central issue in most people’s lives and I needed to pay particular attention. So, it would naturally follow that “the Money Stuff,” would eventually find it’s way to Art Advice. If you are an artist, … Continue Reading

Who’s Got The Remote? I Want To Change The Channel

Screen Shot 2014-04-06 at 4.21.30 PM“Who in the world am I?  Ahh, that is the great puzzle.” Lewis Carroll

It’s not something you can turn off. It bubbles up when you least expect it. If you would allow it, it would consume every waking minute of every day. You work hard to fit in to the normal world…family obligations, work, the challenges of everyday life. But, admit it, all you can think about is that unfinished painting, sculpture, poem, or whatever, fill in the blank. You know you are different. You may have … Continue Reading

It’s A New Day, It’s A New Dawn, It’s A New Decade… New Year’s Resolutions for Artists

“Only put off until tomorrow, what you are willing to die left undone.” Pablo Picasso

The beginning of a new year always puts me in a pensive, introspective mood. It just feels like the right time to sit back and reflect on the accomplishments of the past year, and develop a plan to move forward towards new goals. But, being a creative thinker can have it’s drawbacks during this time of reflection. It’s easy to overlook how far you’ve come, unless you develop a quantifiable system of measuring. For a lot of artists, achieving a goal “doesn’t really count,” because by … Continue Reading

Face The Facts: Everything Your Mother Should Have Told You About Being An Artist

Screen Shot 2014-04-05 at 3.43.04 PM“Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.”  Mark Twain

Do you have any idea what your expectations are for yourself as a professional artist?  Most artists carry the same dreams and hopes…getting discovered, finding a patron,  being famous, selling work.  The reality is those things happen only for the very few.  So, if you have not given any thought to what your dreams are, please take a moment to read Success, What is it, who has it and why do I want it so badly. to … Continue Reading

Coping With The Post Exhibition Blues

Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 5.35.45 PM“But that’s what being an artist is – feeling crummy before everyone else feels crummy. ” ~The New Yorker

Almost everyone has experienced loss in one form or another at some point in their lives. After the tragedy on September 11th, most of us don’t have to look very far to find someone who has been touched by loss. For artists, learning how to recognize and cope with loss will help them in understanding the … Continue Reading

If You Are Addicted

Screen Shot 2014-04-03 at 9.51.01 AM” A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself.”  Abraham Maslow

Living with an artist isn’t easy, particularly if you are the significant other. So, after living with and working with artists for over 20 years I’ve put together a few suggestions for you to share with your partners. One of the first things most non-artists have a hard time understanding is the concept of addiction and how it is related to art … Continue Reading

The “Okay, I think I’m ready To Be A Professional Artist,” Checklist

Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 8.33.59 PM“To see far, is one thing…going there is another.” Constantin  Brancusi

Artists who regularly visit this website have acquired a lot of information on how to conduct their business practices. It’s not easy trying to keep track of all the activities necessary to become a working professional artist particularly since most artists are just not suited for the day-to-day practical aspects of running a business.

Making art and making an art career are two different things. A lot of artists are already pressed for time, trying to fit their … Continue Reading

Understanding Rejection

Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 6.35.49 PM“Listen carefully to first criticisms made of your work.  Note just what it is about your work that critics don’t like – then cultivate it.  That’s the only part of your work that’s individual and worth keeping.”  ~Jean Cocteau

There is no easy way to accept dealing with rejection. The only thing that may help alleviate some of the feelings associated with rejection is by understanding how and why it occurs in the first … Continue Reading