Saturday, August 28, 2010


To read or not to read they help or hinder?  Do they give me inspiration or make me feel like giving up because I've gotten such a late start and feel that I don't have enough time?

What's your take on them?  Which ones are your favorites that you couldn't do without?

Whatever it is, my friend Nick Simmons clued me in on a British artist, David Poxon, who just happens to have a nice feature spread in the latest  (October 2010) Watercolor Artist magazine.  (The magazine has a lot of good stuff, including an article I really enjoyed about Aussie artist Charles Sluga).

Mr. Poxon paints old wooden doors, rusty hinges and railroad ties, old pots and pieces of metal that have been weathered for years.  He is making a statement about the industrial aspects of life and how they are fading, rusting away.  Looking at his paintings, you'd think, "Great color, beautifully rendered textured pieces."  He wants you to connect with the souls of the things he paints...those things that are fading away (so isn't it good that he's saving them for us in his paintings). 

Mr. Poxon is a late bloomer, too.  Although he wanted to be an artist for decades, he spent his years doing something else for someone else and didn't go full force into painting until his retirement.  (So many artists have taken this well-worn path after raising a family, retiring from a career, etc.)  David is now getting the recognition he deserves and switches from painting larger paintings (27" x 36") to doing smaller ones of 12" x 12" (for the break they give him after completing a large one). 

I was disappointed that the writer of the article didn't list David's URL so we can go and see more but I'll give it to you here...

Go visit and enjoy, unless you're of the belief that you shouldn't view others' work all the time because it influences your own too much :)  I waffle back and forth between thinking both ways, and cannot make up my mind if it's a good thing or a bad thing to surround myself with artwork from others (in paintings I have on my walls, in magazines and on blogs I visit).


Vicki Greene said...

I enjoy looking at others art and find it inspiring. Since I am pretty set in my ways I don't often "use" the information but I do enjoy looking. I like Watercolor Artist Mag too and International Artist. Thanks for the link.

Gaylynn said...

Thanks for the website Rhonda. I now see where your inspiration has come for your rusty pieces. I too thought I would like to experiment with his process after reading the article.

RHCarpenter said...

Gaylynn, it just goes to show that great minds think alike - I had never heard of David before Nick clued me in and the latest mag arrived so...I was doing rusty pieces before that (maybe there are a few of us who like all rusty things, like Deb Ward and David Poxon and me? ha ha)

RHCarpenter said...

Vicki, I often see something I really like that sparks something else I may have already been thinking about but never tried - but I don't usually get the full blown idea from a magazine article. I could never paint like David P - he uses layers and layers to get that look and I'm too impatient for that!

Anonymous said...


I look thru all art magazines from the watercolor to digital mags and everything in between at my local Borders and write down the names of the artist work I enjoy in the magazine, and I then look them up online under there name or by the gallery that represents them I seldom take home the magazine considering most articles give little more then general information about the art/artist I never feel like I have to have the magazine.
I have bought a couple over the years that had articles about friends of mine but other then that none at all.

I would buy the magazine if I knew I could not see more of there work online but I find that if there in the magazine then 98% of the time they have something that allows me to see more of there work such as a website, blog, facebook,twitter or some other new form of contact to see more work.

I'm actaully finding that a lot of artist finish a painting and within a couple minutes of drying bam there it is up on the internet in all of its glory so no need to buy the article in the magazine telling me about the latest painting by so and so I all ready saw it a couple months ago.

Now if some of these artist could create a buzz about there work by not revealing it for awhile and making the article in the magazine something special.

I would buy the magazines more often if I knew I was going to see something new but I see the same things over and over subject wise just being done by a new name what do they not shake it up some how about a article about Paul Bonner,Daniel Merriam,David Christiana etc...... I love great florals and great landscapes etc.... but I do want to see it get mixed up.

Well I think I said enough sorry to have put anyone asleep with my rant.


Dolores said...

Thanks for the link. I will go and visit. I used to get Southwest Art but I no longer subscribe to magazines.

RHCarpenter said...

Paul, no apology necessary - your opinion is a solid one. But I just HAVE to HAVE those magazines...there is something wonderful about paging through them as I sit and rest from making art or blogging. I know I could find the work online and even more stuff online - you're right, though, about the same old same old and here I thought it was ME in that stage...thinking, it's all been done, said, painted, what am I to do now?? Wow, got off on my own rant there, eh? ha ha

Delores, thanks for stopping by and commenting. I really like your blogs - I love what I've seen of BC and would love to return.

RHCarpenter said...

Oops, sorry Dolores, I think I mispelled your name the first time around.

hope chest said...

I love art magazines. Because when I saw others beautiful creation. I got really inspired and through that I can make my own art pieces.

Jeanette said...

I used to subscribe to a couple of magazines, but not anymore.

I buy one occasionally if I see an artist's work that appeals to me and I want to examine more closely. But as was said, a lot of this is online now anyway.

Magazines are ok for browsing through but they are time wasters and can push to move you in too many directions. Rusty locks being one. Yes great to look at an wonderful art, but is that the niche that you want? Excellent if it is, but unless my subject niche is rust, why waste my time on trying to recreate something that may or may not resemble a piece from another artist?

Some magazines have interesting snippets on technique, but they rarely have any state secrets revealed, simply because there are none. Technique is technique and how it is applied is down to practice, not pretty pictures.

The benefits of magazines are that they introduce people to the work of other artists that one may not hear of otherwise and let you explore more. But all in all, they're not worth the money. I'd sooner be painting.

RHCarpenter said...

hope chest - I take them as inspiration, perhaps seeing something new once in a while, or maybe just realizing there are people out there who can make a living from their art.

Jeanette, I do prefer the magazines that talk about the artist's thoughts and how they compose a piece or go into the back story. At this stage, most of us know how something is done (whether we can do it, or not). But I don't find them any more time-wasting than being online as much as I am, looking at blogs and other artists' work. To me, we all "take" from one another whether it's consciously or the andirondack chair you're doing now because of the shadows of it on your lawn = similar to my chairs on the deck by the ocean, done for the shadow shapes. As artists we all love certain things...shadows, light dancing across an object, colors that sing together, etc. I never am inspired to do anything after seeing it in a magazine that I wasn't already inclined to do - hence, I never do landscapes even if I admire others' landscapes a lot! I appreciate your comments on this one and the talk generated here :) I love hearing the opinions of other artists - we are not all alike and it shows in our painting subjects, our styles, and our beliefs about art :) What fun!

Terry Banderas said...

I subscribe to one magazine only but see lots of videos online. Whenever I can see a local artist (like David Lobenberg) in my area, I try to do that. That is so much of a learning experience. Other than that, I practice drawing and painting constantly many times on small sheets. To really get confidence, put the pen and brush to the paper as I tell my students.

RHCarpenter said...

Well, Terry, thank you for stopping by and commenting. You are something of a blog celebrity, having been blogging about your watercolor and ink paintings for years now!! BUT you didn't name the one tell (Enquiring minds want to know)!

I, myself, subscribe to Watercolor Artist magazine and Watercolor magazine. If I had to choose just one, I'd choose Watercolor - it's fuller, more informative, has more art in it, etc. But that's just my leaning because I love watercolor - wish there was one just for acrylic painting, too that showed all the new stuff artists are doing with it.

Terry Banderas said...

I subscribe to Watercolor Artist and am inspired by the work that I see. Great hearing from you.

Deb Léger said...

Hi Rhonda,

the one magazine I buy regularly is International Artist. (I should just renew my subscription but I've been too lazy.) I also pick up Watercolor if there's something in it that appeals to me. International Artist ALWAYS has 'stuff' that I find interesting, inspiring and just downright eye candy.

But I do find lately, like Paul mentioned, you can see a lot of the same work online. I often look at a painting in one of the magazines and think, "I've seen that before".

International Artist is mostly new work to me though. Love that magazine.

RHCarpenter said...

Hey, Deb! I tried International Artist, buying a few copies here and there. But I want more in-depth articles about the artists and not just the contest winners each time like IA has. I do wish there was something focusing more on artists outside the US and Canada in the mags I get, though. More worldly :)

debwardart said...

Gotta have magazines (as you know!) Also have a lot of art (picture) books - and I use all of them for inspiration. I also write down ideas or sketch them out - and sometimes my ideas look a lot like one of those paintings in the magazines. However, I know it was my own independent idea. They say there is nothing new under the sun, and I agree! So often we paint similar things - something just catches our eye and we gotta paint it. Just as you painted a lock - I know it was done without any reference to David Poxon at all - mere coincidence that his work was just published!
Everything we look at influences us in some way - so why not look at mags and books for inspiration - to learn from them or just to enjoy looking at some great art. Why would we not???
My only objection (as you know!) is when artists directly copy another's style and technique - i.e. it's obvious they took a workshop and now paint in the exact manner and style of the instructor - and from what I see, simply for the purpose of gaining entry into a major show.
But as far as looking at and being influenced by art - it's what we do!
And - another coincidence - I've got a blog post typed up ready to post sometime about magazines! Just another coincidence!

RHCarpenter said...

Thanks, Deb, for your thoughts on this! And a big LOL - great minds do think we're thinking about art mags! ha ha See ya Wednesday.

Prabha N. said...

It was last week that i chanced upon a 2009 dec issue of American Artist Magazine in this part of the world. The shop owner must have been alarmed seeing me whooping with joy. Because you don't get ANY art magazines here as far as i know.

I have been following art blogs/ websites for 3 years now, so i am aware of a lot of the artworks put up in these magazines. But it feels good just to hold one in my hand that prints the art-talk i so love.

RHCarpenter said...

Prabha, we don't realize how lucky we are to have so many art magazines at our fingertips here!