15 January 2009

Art Scam Alert

I had a sobering experience this week with some "collector" from overseas that wanted to purchase a painting, or so he/she claimed. "She" signed under the name of lindas_maicon@yahoo.com , clearly and alias, and claimed to be convalescing in London or some such garbage. She sent me a fraudulent check for some outrageous amount of money and expected the "excess" to be sent back to her. While the original letter she sent sounded plausible, I quickly assessed it was a scam but decided to confirm it waiting for the check. Also she expected me to receive some "movers" at my house to collect the painting. Sure, I'll be waiting with my dial on 9-1-1.

# Never respond to scams. Of course the trick is sometimes to be able to distinguish.

# Do not let the "sale buzz" (greed, excitement) overwhelm your "scam alert" sense. Cool heads prevail.

# Never send a check of your hard earned cash, excess or otherwise.

# Avoid at all costs giving personal info. Including addresses, phone numbers.

# Bad English or strange syntax. Red flag.

# Email your friends when you suspect a scam. Email account providers like Yahoo at abuse@yahoo.com with the whole email the scammers sent you.

# Wait for checks clearance between committing your art to shippers, movers or anybody else.
This can take a while.

# Always talk to your clients , not just email. A phone call can save you money.

# It is OK to be wary and "drag things" as much as they need to be dragged.

# Use PayPal or other secure payment services.

Happy sales.

07 January 2009

Pages of the Journal. Trip to Spain

I enjoyed myself in Madrid and lLisbon. I even had a few minutes here and there to sketch. I finished my first journal and even started another. Here are some pages.

04 January 2009

Ending the year in Sorolla's Museum

While vacationing in Spain, I had the opportunity to visit the new and improved Sorolla Museum. I frequented this museum before but the remodeled version is magnificent. What a treat to end 2008 with a visit to this museum, the house where Sorolla lived and created some of his masterpieces.

I include here some pictures of the entrance to the museum and the studio. In the enormous room that served as Sorolla's studio I enjoyed the detail of Velazquez's print of Inocencio X in the wall, a print of the painting that inspired the model to exclaim in annoyance:"troppo vero!" . I am sure the artist was greatly inspired by it despite the lack of color. The museum displays also the work-bench and palette Sorolla used and the many objects he collected, including the beautiful ceramic jars he used to place his brushes, many ceramics and sculptures of friends like Mariano Benlliure.

Noteworthy was the dining room which he adorned with his own wall paintings much in the manner Goya did albeit with much happier themes of garlands and his wife Clotilde and daughters peeking through the leaves. The garden , which he painted many times is samll but gorgeous and draws a lot of inspiration from Sorolla's native Valencia.