You are currently browsing the monthly archive for November 2008.

Christmas is coming…. time to think about presents for your pets!!

Nota good time to buy a pet however, remember “a pet is for life, not just for Christmas”. I saw one person with a new 1 month old puppy last week, and really some people have no idea about the commitment involved to have a pet.




However, for all the great pet owners out there, its time to start planning a Christmas present for your pets!!!

One Uk survey a couple of years back indicated that nearly three quarters of pet owners (70%) will buy their pet a Christmas present.

So, what to buy??

One suggestion I have, if you have not heard about this already or already have one, is a hand-painted picture of your pet or your friend’s pet. See here for some pictures, and here for more details!!!


My idea of a pig portrait is something like the picture below…


This is a watercolour by PAT WEAVER, of Dade City, Florida.

Its fairly similar to the kind of work Portrait Xpress Artists do as comissions of pets, from a photo.

This is art, and I like it. What comes below- really, this ain’t art.

I heard today about something very strange…. “pet art” by a Belgian Artist in China.

Belgian conceptual artist Wim Delvoye currently (Nov 08) employs workers to tattoo pigs in an “Art Farm” at the outskirts of Beijing, China. Delvoye has staff consisting of local farmers to raise the pigs.. and professionals to tattoo them with cartoons or symbols. The pigs would then be displayed at art exhibitions and their skins sold to collectors after they were slaughtered.


Very wierd, and actually I dont like it- putting a tattoo on a live animal has got to hurt, and even if they are sedated, it seems pretty cruel. From a veterinary perspective, this seems very unnecessary and quite sick. Any comments?


photo by opimentas

photo by opimentas


ive found an interesting website which gives details on some interesting art exhibitions about nature. Check out their exhibitions here.

“Living Art’s exhibitions aim to raise awareness of the beauty and wonder of our natural heritage, both in the UK and globally, while at the same time championing the benefits of the natural environment to our wellbeing and the need to protect and conserve that environment.

The exhibitions take an innovative, responsible and, above all, we hope entertaining approach.”

Also, check this, if you want to buy a topiary elephant for your garden?!!

And see this great blog about ART HELPING ANIMALS.

So, I was inspired by the ant art I discussed in a previous post (go check it out, on my site), what other living art is there?

Well, here is some art which is for sale, BY ANIMALS IN A ZOO!!!

The pictures here are just a bit of fun, not related to the links by the way…


by amy solovay

pinkfire: by amy solovay

The more I look, the more art I find out there inspired by FIRE. I guess this is not suprising given that fire is one of the basic components of nature and this planet.

But I have yet to find a painting which captures what a photo like the one below does. I guess this is because art is usually used to simplify and distill things into simple emotive images… so flames don’t really require simplification as they are already so weak yet so fragile, so simple….Im still looking for a powerful fire painting though!!


Okay.. Ive got it now.. the better Fire Paintings are historical really, rather than simply an ‘artistic interpretation of fire”. Such as paintings of the GREAT FIRE OF LONDON.

See here for the History of this and a famous picture by an unknown artist.

If you live in Hong Kong (okay, lots of readers don’t, but hey some of you do!) the have you heard about Digital Light Craft?

This venture is a workshop for budding photographers, ran by some of the most experienced and best photographers living in HK.

A fun one is the Flash/Glamour Workshop.

This will appeal to those of you who are more comfortable with your cameras and want to learn some more specialized skills involved in shooting with flash and other light sources in a studio setting.

Ike will go over the various light sources available and discuss the reasons for choosing one over the others and how to use it to its best advantage.  He will also discuss lenses and related camera equipment as well as filters and gels.  Directing models and how  to get the poses and expressions that best suit the project.

This will be followed by a practise portrait session using different lighting sources, during which Ike will be helping fine tune your approach and technique.

Before wrapping up for the day, Ike will answer questions about the shoot and the upcoming model shoot.

Sunday morning will involve photographing models under different lighting conditions.  The models will have 3 outfits each.

So…. interested?

If so, go along!!

Its run by Keith, he says

“I have decided to put together a workshop based on the lessons I have learned about digital photography over the last 6 years or so.  Combined with the relevant lessons learned while shooting with Film SLRs before that I hope to share some of the joy that Digital Photography has brought me with others looking to capture a slice of their lives in Hong Kong. Let the digital light shine!!”




Flames and fire are incredible, they are needed for life, they are needed for rebirth.



  What a feeling it inspires. No im not a pyromanic, but just looking into the light of a flame is a meaningful experience for most people! Live waves, it has immense power, a threat of danger, but yet an inner beauty. Fire regenerates in one way, by providing a catalyst for opening seeds, in nature.

Fire art is art involving flames. It can be people juggling with something on fire, or more aesthetic art pieces.


One real art using fire, is glassblowing. I love the ‘liveness’ of this art, how visual it is!!




See here for a link to some pieces in glass made by a Uk glassblower. Here is one piece.

peter-layton-glass-blowingIts a bit fancy for me, but maybe you like it?

Okay, and I have one REAL GEM for you.

See this Flikr set… and type GLASS into the search panel, to see some amazing glass blowing pics. This photographer also has a site at but I prefer the Flickr for the search function.

Have a great day. Fire! Friend or Foe?

Mosaics. Here are some nice ones below.

Mosaic is ‘the art of creating images with small pieces of colored glass, stone or other material.’

See wiki for some history!

Nowadays, people like to take photo’s in a mosaic layout, because it looks pretty fun way of grouping pictures together. See here for a good Flikr set of mosaic pictures: where each picture is a mosaic of many photos!

See here for some mosaic from the romans, on the BBC website.

Ive also found an interesting blog on mosaic contemporary art.. check it out!

In fact, the internet is a bit of a mosaic nowadays.. if you think about it 😉

photo by digithill

photo by digithill

photo by Mitatos'

photo by Mitatos

to do a good life-drawing, you need to have a good idea of anatomy. (Click the links to see the definitions).

I guess this is a thread linking my interests in art and animals- as obviously to understand the workings of a body, you need to understand how it is made up. And in a similar way, to make a good painting or photograph, you really have to understand the make-up of its composition, ie how the human or animal body is constructed, if its a portrait.

There have been some amazing paintings and sketches done of Anatomy over the years…




these last 2 are by Da Vinci.

reptile’s are amazing. I particularily love the colours and details of their skin. Here are some photo’s below. Im not alone in finding the beauty in these, seeing as snake skin has been used in clothes/shoes for many centuries. Read here about snakes scales on wiki!

The last one actually is a photo of reptile skin as seen microscopically. You like it? Pretty cool stuff I say!






Nowadays, its very easy to get a portrait made of your self, or your family, or your pet.

In the old days, traditionally, you needed to sit many times in front of the artist, to get a painting made. This is still probably the best way to do it, however its very time consuming and also very expensive!

Good on you if you have the time for all the many trips to an artist’s studio… it will be fun, but it’s not so practical nowadays! However, portrait paintings are still a very desirable thing to have: a great piece of art that can be treasured for ever, and it is highly personal also.

Most busy professionals, and corporate companies, are now chosing portraits of themsleves or their staff to be comissioned by a reputable artist, from a photograph of the client or clients.

One group of artists which are very experienced in this, are the artists at Portrait Xpress . (The information and entertainment on this blog is actually written by a staff member at Portrait Xpress, so we are biased !- there are other companies or private artists also, so please shop around! But we are sure that you will not find another company which has such good quality or service or a better price).

See here and click PAINTING SAMPLES/GALLERY (the button on the left) for  some of the artist’s past works.

See here for a fuller explanation of how to order, using just your digital image.

And see here for an explanation of different customisations which can be made to the painting, or different styles you may like to have the portrait painted in.

We hope you will pass this information on to anyone who may be interested in a Portrait Painting!

Have a great day.