Artsy Now Public

The great resource that is known as has just been made open to the public. states:

We provide one of the largest collections of contemporary art available online. Thousands of works from all cultures and time periods are accessible for study and enjoyment, and select works from our gallery partners are available to collectors. By making all the world’s art freely accessible, hopes to foster new generations of art lovers, museum goers, collectors, and patrons.

What I like about is that it allows you to search by various subjects, movements and more (as pictured below). It can also make recommendations for you too. Start browsing!

My List of Art Sites for Inspiration

Is your RSS reader overcrowded? Do you skim over several sites looking for inspiration or browse endlessly for ideas? I do. Here’s a list of sites that I often frequent for examples on contemporary work. Not all are hugely professional on the artists featured, but I like them nonetheless. They range from street art to illustration to fine art. If interested, I also have this list on a Google doc here. Please do share some of your favourites in the comments section below. It gets lonely here all by myself.

MAGAZINES (with good websites to boot)

  • Art in America (Fine Art)
  • ArtNews (Fine Art)
  • Juxtapoz (Grafitti, Street Art and Illustration)
  • Hi-Fructose (Grafitti, Street Art and Illustration)
  • ArtIT (A bilingual Japanese-English quarterly print publication, that links contemporary art events happening in Japan to those taking place elsewhere in the region and around the world. )


  • is a new way to discover art you’ll love, featuring work from leading galleries, museums and private collections around the world. Browse by subject matter, art movement, medium & region. NOTE: In private beta. Request invite needed. Excellent resource!
  • Drawn A collaborative weblog for illustrators, artists, cartoonists, and anyone who likes to draw.
  • Pikaland (illustration) A blog about art & illustration.
  • Grain Edit is focused on classic design work from the 1950s-1970s and contemporary designers that draw inspiration from that time period.
  • Koikoikoi Dedicated to featuring the world’s most amazing art, graphic design, advertising,photography, web, tattoo art and videos.
  • Booooooom (a little bit of everything here)
  • This is Colossal A blog that explores the intersection of art, design, and physical craft.
  • Print & Pattern A website that celebrates the world of surface pattern design.
  • Nowness is the digital leader in luxury storytelling. Each day, NOWNESS showcases an exclusive premiere of the most inspiring stories influencing contemporary culture and global lifestyle, previewing the latest in fashion, gastronomy, art, film, music, design, travel and sport. Also has short videos of artists working.
  • Blue Canvas An international, multi-genre, online community of artists and art lovers. Bluecanvas magazine is a quarterly publication that features artists from its online community. We hope everyone will be able to find inspiration that reaches across genres, and hope that Bluecanvas can provide the right tools for our users to inspire everyone, artists and non-artists alike.
  • Explore A discovery engine for meaningful knowledge, fueled by cross-disciplinary curiosity.
  • Sparked Culture, design, illustration etc
  • It’s Nice That exists to champion creativity across a whole host of disciplines. We publish exciting, original and engaging work from both established names and talented newcomers.
  • Teach Art exists to help teachers stay in touch with emerging trends in contemporary art, and bring new curriculum strategies into the classroom.
  • Art Orbit


  • Art:21 PBS series that demonstrate the breadth of artistic practice in the United States today. Each one-hour program is loosely organized around a theme helps audiences analyze, compare and juxtapose the artists profiled. Each episode revolves around a theme such as, compassion, time & transformation.
  • Off Book A web-based series that explores cutting edge art and the people that make it. The 13 episode series focuses on the process, motivation and meaning of a new generation of artists.
  • Time and Space: Artist Series (Grafitti, Street Art and Illustration) There’s a time and place for everything. The Vans Off The Wall TV crew makes sure they’re always there to cover the finer details of the creative genius at work. Get an inside look at Vans supported artists doing what they do best. When the creative juices are flowing, all an artist needs is “Time and Space.” NOTE: some videos contain expletives
  • New York Close Up An Art:21 documentary web series on art and life in New York City.
  • CraneTV The premium online video-magazine for contemporary culture (art, design, fashion, lifestyle & travel).
  • The Painting & Drawing Channel on YouTube (Take a guess what this one is about!)
  • PBS Idea Channel Here’s an idea: a PBS show that examines the connections between pop culture, technology and art.

Three cheers for you! You’ve either read or skimmed all the way down to the bottom. Omedetou! (Don’t forget to leave a suggestion in the comments.)

UPDATE: A few more sites have been added to the google doc.

Even More Good Art Books

OK, hopefully this will be the last in my book referrals. Here are some more art books I found whilst on holiday:



“This new title gives art students and hobbyists a complete course in the many different techniques applicable to watercolor painting. An introductory chapter describes the pigments, brushes, papers, and other needed equipment, and shows how to use them to best effect. Following chapters present 14 distinct approaches to watercolor art, each approach starting with an example of a finished work by a famous watercolor artist. Among them are a Cézanne painting of a woodland scene that emphasizes the transparent effects that can be achieved with watercolors. A strikingly different exercise shows a Turner seascape, and demonstrates how he achieved dramatic effects by applying pigments to wet paper. A watercolor portrait by pop artist Chuck Close demonstrates the pointillist technique, and Robert Delaunay’s Hommage à Bleriot, demonstrates use of watercolor in abstract art. Students are presented with step-by-step exercises to master these and the other creative techniques shown throughout the book. Full-color photos, reproductions, and illustrations on every page.”



“Titles in Barron’s Aspire Series offer students of the arts self-teaching tutorials in the form of progressively more challenging projects for them to complete. Carefully structured lessons encourage students to develop their own styles and aspire toward professional careers. In this book, author John Easterby describes photography as the art of storytelling through visual images. Focusing primarily on digital photography, he discusses cameras of different types and sizes and the uses of supporting photographic tools, such as tripods, interchangeable lenses, and lights. He advises on studying the work of professional photographers in galleries, books, and magazines as an important first step in understanding how to look at photos. Tutorial projects include “remaking” a well-known photo by a famous photographer, shooting a natural light portrait, using backlighting, shooting scenes at night, expressing movement in photos, freezing action, keeping a photographic diary, photographing sports events and crowd scenes, using a series of pictures to tell a photo story, and many others. Readers learn how to set up a desktop studio, edit images, and build their portfolio. The enlightening text is supplemented with more than 400 instructive illustrations.”

You may also be interested in 200 PROJECTS TO STRENGTHEN YOUR ART SKILLS.

If you are a teacher, perhaps request an examination copy?

Drawing Fun with Carla Sonheim

carla sonheim bookFollowing on from my previous post, here’s another new book by Carla Sonheim (website / blog). It’s Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists: 52 Creative Exercises to Make Drawing Fun. It does pretty much what the title suggests and is rather good.

Don’t think you can draw? It doesn’t matter. The book offers seven inspiration units ranging from animals, people, famous artists, children, imagination, nature and books and culture. These units have 52 drawing activity labs in total.

In her words, “This book is designed to get you started drawing again, and excited about it!” It’s playful and sure to get you going and/or lead you in other directions. It’s not your traditional step-by-step or how-to-draw book.

Some of the activities are imaginary creatures, Picasso dogs, scribble drawings and traveloguing. Again, for those classroom teachers that find themselves having to teach art with no background training, this book may prove an invaluable resource. For others, it will get your creative juices flowing. I may also consider using this as the basis for my after-school club activity in the upcoming academic year.

2 Great Books on Collage

masters collage

With summer vacation in full swing, I’ve been trying to catch up on all the books I have ordered this year. The first book on the art of collage I highly recommend is Masters: Collage: Major Works by Leading Artists, which was compiled by Randel Plowman, who also runs the popular Collage A Day blog. This collection doesn’t offer any how-to’s, but provides rich examples from 40 different artists and serves as a valuable resource for inspiration.

collage lab

The second is Collage Lab by Bee Shay. This one offers 52 experiments, investigations and exploratory projects in the field of collage. It explores texture, surface design, imagery etc. Very useful if you teach a unit on collage or wish to investigate the medium further. I highly recommend both very much. Now I have to get back and continue with the other orders.

Drawing with a Stick

Jules Feiffer is featured in this video (below) discussing how he developed a style using sharpened dowels. This is great as I have tried using twigs with ink versus pen and ink. It forces you to be more expressive and I recommend this activity with students. Below is a quick 10 minute sketch done with a tree twig and ink. (The video is good too.)

twig drawing


drawto Screen shot 2010-04-20 at 08.22.33

Draw.To is a basic online drawing tool. They write about themselves as:

Draw anything you like and share it instantly.

Create and share simple drawings — like those you do on a napkin in real life. Draw for fun or to communicate an idea. When you’re done you can share your drawing with a single click.

* 100% free — no signup required.

* Share drawings on Twitter, Facebook, email and more!

* Embed drawings in your blog or website.

* Add to existing drawings.

* Works in your web browser, no downloads required.

* Also works on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

I have lists of other online drawing tools here.

Creative Exercises for Artists

Creative Exercises For Artists

Benoit Philippe contacted me offering the above ebook as a resource. He describes it as:
…a collection of 17 practical exercises for artists. I have learnt some of them over the years and designed some to fulfil my own needs. I am a painter, so most of these exercises are visual ones. However, many of them do not require specific artistic skills and are suitable for anyone regardless of their age or level of artistic ability.

These exercises are varied and you probably already own most of the required materials.

You can use them as warm-up before you start a new project or as a way to explore new avenues. I also hope teachers will use these exercises in their classes as they are great fun.

Thanks Benoit!

Sketchblog Reflection

sketchblog thumbI wrote before that I was going to start a sketchblog. My goal was to do art daily. This could entail drawing, painting, photography, whatever. I have been doing it for a month now and have mostly focused on doodles. It’s not necessarily “art” but it did get some creative juices flowing and inspirations for larger ideas. And well, it seemed safer ; ). I made approximately 50 pieces and realised I love pen and ink. There’s something enjoyable about feeling the pen scratch upon the surface of the paper.

You can view December’s output in the slideshow below, through Flickr here or actually visit the blog. I was going to ditch Posterous in favour of WordPress but have decided to stay. If you are interested in doing something like this, Smashing Magazine last month posted Design Something Every Day! which offers some advice. Also check out Sketchbooks in Schools if you need examples, inspiration or ideas for yourself or for your students. Let’s hope I can keep up with it.

How to Engage Your Children in Art

From The Art Institute of Chicago:

Learn tips and techniques that help young visitors make the most of their museum visit and enriches their encounters with art, both in the museum and at home!

(I’ve also placed this video under the “Arts, Learning & Talks” tab at the top of this site as well as on my Art wiki, that also has other museum links.)