My favorite online source is Cheap Joe’s! Cheap Joe’s was founded BY an artist, Joe Miller out of Boone, NC. He started out as the local pharmacist who, midway through his career, decided he wanted to paint. Unfortunately, there was no place to purchase art supplies in Boone and he had to drive over 100 miles away to Winston Salem to purchase supplies. So, he decided to add a spot for high quality artist supplies to his shelves at Boone Drug Store. Why do I tell you this? Because, Cheap Joe’s is run like he ran that Drug Store… Super friendly and with Joe’s thumb in every pie. He keeps the prices low and the quality high. Customer satisfaction is paramount! And the Cheap Joe’s site is chock full of free online lessons, artist workshops, blogs, and tons of resources.
Second is Jerry’s Artarama. I’ve been dealing with them for at least ten years. Low prices & fast shipping (they are also in NC), they also offer many free resources such as art lessons, technique blogs, product demo videos, contests, etc. plus, they accept PayPal.
My third favorite is Dick Blick who has an unbeatable selection and fast shipping. Dick Blick also has many free resources and their own brand of very good paints. They also accept PayPal & Amazon Payments and have a Wish List and Shopping List for registered users. The prices are a bit more expensive; however, if you can’t find it at Cheap Joe’s or Jerry’s, Dick Blick is almost certain to have it.
For some really bizarre reason, society associates artists with the left supposedly because we are all about feelings and emotions and thus “care” more. I myself don’t get how stealing one person’s money and giving it to another equates to “”caring more”; but, there you have it. I myself prefer personal generosity. If I’m going to help someone, I am not going to reach into YOUR pocket to do so.
Anyway, there seems to be a dearth of non-liberal artists… Or is there? I keep my eye out for artists with a positive message and I like this guy. Check out Sabo.
In a LinkdIn post in the ART Professionals Worldwide forum, Brian Millard, artist tutor at Education Services (NZ), shared his concerns regarding art losing its connections with humanity. He asked, “Has art lost its way? Does it answer our innermost human needs? Is the disconnect too great or can it be revived literally with the kiss of life?”
Having recently viewed a piece of performance art which made me want to bleach my eyeballs, I can unequivocally answer to the affirmative.
Performance and Conceptual Art seem to be hellbent to desensitize us from the pain and horror of reality while ensuring that art is equated to nausea and disgust. The beautiful is no longer celebrated; but, is dismissed as irrelevant and our “institutions of higher learning” seem to be pushing the bizarre and the scatological as true art. And don’t even get me started about the millions in government grants being awarded to support this garbage!
And, oh my goodness, the explanations of the “processes” and “concepts” behind today’s artwork… I have a theory: the more elaborate the verbiage, the more full of bull hockey the artist. Art is THE communication in and of itself, requiring no additional commentary. It speaks for itself. So any time an artist must break out the thesaurus in order to communicate to the viewer, he or she has completely lost the way and missed the point.
But, thank goodness not all artists have sold their souls to the gods of mediocrity. As long as there are holdouts in the art world who believe that art is a tangible expression of our intangible spirituality, there is hope. The character, Fletcher McBracken, in the 1997 movie, Still Breathing, summed up my feelings perfectly:
“I have this terribly archaic notion that
art should be about beauty…
and passion… and, well,
redefining an imperfect world
in a perfect way
So, I need art. Sometimes, when the world seems too much, art is the only cure. Yes, for my religious friends, prayer is a daily (sometimes hourly) necessity; but, when there are no words, art is where I find God.
This is not to say that my art is effortless. The energy expended includes the pain of innovation and creation. Just like birth, art requires intense labor which rarely is uncomplicated. It must be pulled and pushed; molded and pummeled into an approximation of the intended design. I like to think that the “happy accidents” which transform my paintings somewhere between conception and birth, are God’s little messages to me: the Master Artist giving me a nudge to keep me on her perfect path.
Creative inspiration is the harshest master! When she wants something brought forth into the light, she demands it be done immediately with no respect for prior commitments, unfinished projects, or even my sanity. She is flaming passion which rewards me only upon completion of her vision. I am her slave.
The result always surprises me a bit and serves to remind me that I am not alone in my endeavors. My art is a tangible expression of my intangible spirituality.