All images © Carol L. Douglas, Rochester, NY.
No reproduction or reuse permitted without
express consent of the artist.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Heading off to art school

A typical day in the studio means a mix of youngsters and not-so-youngsters.
Tomorrow, two of my students are skipping class to attend National Portfolio Day at Syracuse University. I wouldn’t be encouraging students to pursue a career in the arts if I didn’t believe it was a viable career path.

Ever since President Obama said that “folks can make a lot more, potentially, with skilled manufacturing or the trades than they with an art history degree,” educators have been falling all over themselves to point out the value of a humanities education.

If you're not willing to work hard, it's best to major in something less demanding.
Anyone who has ever paid a plumber knows that, strictly speaking, the president was right. Very few kids are encouraged to go into the trades in modern America, and these jobs pay very well. Nor should they have any stigma attached to them; a craftsman is a craftsman, no matter what material he’s working with.

There is nothing more fun than working with youngsters.
But money is only part of the job-satisfaction equation, and art majors are among the happiest of all professionals, scoring higher than lawyers, financial managers, and high school teachers.

Sadly, a recent comprehensive survey administered online to arts alumni seems to indicate less satisfaction among recent graduates than among old-timers.  This is no surprise, since they’re graduating into the worst job market since the Great Depression, and I’d wager that lower job satisfaction is true of recent graduates across all disciplines.
There is nothing more fun than working with youngsters, even when they are eating a deep-fried turkey leg in class.
Student debt is a specter haunting all new college graduates, but can be particularly crushing for those with arts degrees. Less than a third of recent art alumni graduated with no debt, whereas half the older students reported doing so. About 14% of recent graduates finished school with more than $60,000 in student debt.

So I want to see those high school seniors on the hunt not only for admission, but for scholarship money. The best way to do that is to produce outstanding portfolios. That is tremendously hard work. If they’re not willing to do it, it’s better for them to major in something less demanding. The art world is a ruthless culler of the unmotivated.

Message me if you want information about the coming year’s classes and workshops.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Use your power for good

The Canadian National War Memorial (also known as The Response), was originally built as a WWI memorial. It was designed by British sculptor Vernon March but modified in 1982 and 2000. It is a stunning evocation of wars throughout time.

Because the National Gallery of Canada has one of the world’s largest collections of Group of Seven paintings, I’ve made pilgrimage to Ottawa. It’s a lovely city—beautiful architecture, relaxed pace, and in a gem of a landscape. I was so impressed with it, in fact, that I asked my husband why we didn’t move there. Alas, Canada is not a belligerent nation, so it wasn’t likely he was going to get a job there in the military-industrial complex.

From a lifetime of living on the border, I believe a Canadian is far more likely to talk you to death than shoot you. Canada is safe, kind, dull, and neighborly. That—and hockey—is its brand.

Peace and Liberty stand at the top of the Memorial
When I was writing my essay about Death of Klinghoffer yesterday, it occurred to me that what the Metropolitan Opera of New York was doing was rebranding itself as edgy and relevant, and in a morally dubious way.  And now that I’m seeing everything through the lens of branding, I wonder about the two homegrown terrorists who attacked Canadian soldiers this week.

The WWI figures on the National War Memorial.
I’ve been thinking in these terms because one of my painting students (and pals) is branding guru Brad VanAuken. We often talk about branding in painting class, and I find it fascinating.

Memorials to all wars were added in 1982.
Yesterday’s Ottawa jihadist has been identified as 32-year-old Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, French Canadian by birth and a recent convert to Islam. He was apparently a “high risk traveller” and had his passport seized to prevent his joining Islamic terrorists overseas. What’s shocking is that Martin Couture Rouleau, who earlier this week mowed down and killed two Canadian soldiers in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, was also a disaffected French-Canadian who rebranded himself as an Islamic terrorist.

Memorials to all wars were added in 1982.
 Their personal rebranding efforts are a form of performance art—a fatal form, since you die before you get applause. It only works because Islam itself has succeeded in rebranding itself as a romantic, meaningful alternative for the young male loner. All it takes is a keffiyeh and a gun.

Meanwhile, what does this do to Brand Canada? Canada comes late to most social ills, but it generally gets there, as the stories of Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka and the École Polytechnique massacre remind us. And then it returns to its innocence, being our good neighbor to the north.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, where Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was gunned down, was added to the National War Memorial in 2000.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Artistic irresponsibility

Yesterday, I wrote about a church burning in Rochester, NY that could not derail a faith community or the steady progress of integration. I was glad to have that in mind when I opened Phyllis Chesler’s excellent critique of the  Metropolitan Opera in New York’s performance of Death of Klinghoffer.

The real life victim of the Achille Lauro violence was an old, wheelchair-bound retiree who grew up on the Lower East Side of New York.
It’s been argued that the production is not anti-Semitic, but the very timing of its revival argues otherwise. In August of this year, the Guardian reported:

In the space of just one week last month, according to Crif, the umbrella group for France's Jewish organisations, eight synagogues were attacked. One, in the Paris suburb of Sarcelles, was firebombed by a 400-strong mob. A kosher supermarket and pharmacy were smashed and looted; the crowd's chants and banners included "Death to Jews" and "Slit Jews' throats". That same weekend, in the Barbes neighbourhood of the capital, stone-throwing protesters burned Israeli flags: "Israhell", read one banner.

In Germany last month, molotov cocktails were lobbed into the Bergische synagogue in Wuppertal – previously destroyed on Kristallnacht – and a Berlin imam, Abu Bilal Ismail, called on Allah to "destroy the Zionist Jews … Count them and kill them, to the very last one." Bottles were thrown through the window of an antisemitism campaigner in Frankfurt; an elderly Jewish man was beaten up at a pro-Israel rally in Hamburg; an Orthodox Jewish teenager punched in the face in Berlin. In several cities, chants at pro-Palestinian protests compared Israel's actions to the Holocaust; other notable slogans included: "Jew, coward pig, come out and fight alone," and "Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas."

Nazi propaganda poster of the Jew as warmonger. Remind you of anything?
“The former mayor [Rudolph Giuliani] had a history of challenging cultural institutions when he disagreed with their contents – I don’t think that’s the American way. I think the American way is to respect freedom of speech, it’s as simple as that,” said current New York Mayor Bill De Blasio, repeating a canard that’s gotten amazing traction in this debate.

Marilyn Klinghoffer being escorted from the MS Achille Lauro after the murder of her husband. Actual suffering isn't nearly as romantic as its staged version.
This is not a free speech issue. Nobody has ever suggested governmental censorship. It’s a matter of abdicating artistic responsibility.

The Met has been suffering from declining attendance. They have a rising, multimillion-dollar deficit and labor problems. This is their version of Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction, a desperate bid for attention.  But we've had fifty years of pop stars being increasingly outrageous to get us to notice them. There’s very little civility left under our culture.

It’s a purely modern problem. Even in the dark days of the 1930s (when the Nazis had supporters throughout the west) this opera wouldn’t have been mounted in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, let along New York, which is home to the second-largest Jewish population in the world.  But despite it being very much our zeitgeist, serious artists ought to eschew outrage marketing.

The real-life murderers of Leon Klinghoffer.
“Would the Metropolitan Opera offer a work called ‘The Death of Martin Luther King Jr.’ with racist views in support of the assassination?” asked the Wall Street Journal. How about an opera that glorified the killers of Matthew Shepard? No, because even wardrobe malfunctions have their limits.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Rising from the ashes

End Times Deliverance Church, Rochester, NY, by little ol' me.
A few years ago, I wrote about painting the old Corn Hill Methodist Episcopal Church. I’d learned a little of its history by talking to passers-by and looked up a little more online, and I thought I’d go back and do a more complete painting another day. Like most of my ideas, it faded into the woodwork.

Corn Hill Methodist Episcopal Church in its glory days.
This week, historian Emily Morry wrote about the building in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle’s Retrofitting Rochester column. The graphic is one of those fascinating “then and now” sliders. It is the first time I’ve seen what the church looked like in its glory days. It was built of red Medina sandstone in the Romanesque Revival style. It was massive, squat and imposing; in fact it looked a lot like my own childhood church in Buffalo, Delaware Baptist Church.

As a long-time churchgoer, I know how precious and rare the truly desegregated church is. We cling to the “faith of our fathers,” but one unanticipated legacy is that we worship with people who look and sound the same as us. Several years ago, that started to be a problem for my family, which is how we ended up at Joy Community Church on North Goodman.

And as it stands today.
So I was amazed to read that Corn Hill Methodist was an early mover in trying to break the race boundaries in church:

Beginning in the 1950s, the ministry made a concerted effort to develop an interracial congregation to better serve its changing community. The campaign cost the institution some parishioners, but as Reverend G. Kenneth Tuttle remarked in 1959, those that chose to continue with the denomination “are spiritually stronger,” adding that, ““segregation is not a true expression of Christian fellowship.”

Seeking to meet both the spiritual and social needs of Corn Hill residents, the institution partnered with the Mount Olivet Baptist Church to run an annual interracial summer program for black and white youth. Further dedicating itself to the cause of civil rights, the church invited Malcolm X to speak in 1965. (Emily Morry)

That would be the last speech Malcolm X ever gave; he was assassinated five days later.

All of which makes the fate of the old church even more suspect. The original congregants, unable to make a go of it in the rapidly-changing neighborhood, gave the building to the Corn Hill A.M.E. Zion church in 1969. Shortly thereafter, the building suffered a series of fires, the last of which destroyed the main sanctuary.  The new congregation, restricted by finances, put up the modest frame sanctuary that is there today.

The empty bell-tower.
In the 1960s, the United States was galvanized by a series of race riots, set off by President Lyndon Baines Johnson signing the Civil Rights Act in July, 1964. Among the very earliest was one in Rochester, just a few weeks after the signing. Racial tension was very high. While the blame for those fires has never been established, in the context they seem very suspicious.

But fifty years later, there is still a church on that site. The mainline congregations of my youth are in decline, replaced by evangelical churches. And these evangelical churches—unrestricted by tradition—are far more integrated than the historic church. God is never the author of evil, but he can work in the ashes.

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Do as I say, not as I do

Winter coats thrown over chairs are the sketch artist's dream.
I advocate drawing anywhere you’re required to sit quietly: the subway, doctors’ offices, and especially in church. (‘Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.’) I have stacks of sketchbooks filled with drawings of unsuspecting people, but I’ve noticed recently that my drawing is falling off both in quality and quantity.

Part of this, I’m afraid, is because I got a smart phone at the beginning of summer. It’s too easy to pick it up when I have a few idle moments. But as dissolute as I am, I would never hang out on Facebook in church.

I’ve been letting my kids choose where we sit. Their inner WASP leads them unerringly to the back row. When church is lightly attended that’s not a problem; I can still see well enough to draw. But when it’s crowded (as it usually is) all I see is the hair in front of me. Unless the wearer has spectacular cornrows, that’s of limited appeal.

Even I get tired of always drawing people from the back.

But this week I was saved by the season. It was 40° F. when we left for church and our fellow worshippers were bundled up in coats. Our church being humble, there is no narthex, so winter clothing ends up thrown over chairs. And fabric tossed willy-nilly is the sketch artist’s dream.

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Why do we draw? (Part 3)

Two pieces of silverware and a coffee cup: a tricky thing to draw. But when you're done, you'll have the basic tools to draw anything.
Yesterday’s lesson on the pencil and thumb method was easy to teach in person, but difficult to write out in steps. Today’s lesson, on using angles, is easier to write, but will be a little trickier to master.

This has to do with how our brains are wired, not how “talented” you may or may not be. We simply don’t ‘read’ angles and negative space when we’re not focusing on them. This is why we use our pencil as a visual aide. It forces our brains to pay attention.

The good news is that you can rapidly teach your brain to notice angles and negative space.

Once again, close one eye and focus on the pencil, not the object you’re measuring. Hold the pencil along an imaginary plate glass window in front of you, and tilt it to match the angle you’re measuring. Then reproduce the line on your paper.

If at first you screw up, it’s probably that you’ve canted one end of the pencil away from you. Straighten it up and try again.

Once you’ve mastered measuring with the pencil and thumb method and learned to see and copy angles on to your paper, you can draw anything from portraits to animals to landscapes to figure. I promise.

Start by measuring the basic shapes using the pencil and thumb method we learned yesterday. Mark off the  heights and widths of all the basic shapes.
Use your pencil to determine the angles at which the silverware, the sides of the cup, and the handle are traveling. Draw them in as straight lines. This takes a little practice, so be patient and take your time looking at each one.
Use your measuring and angle hash marks to block in the major shapes.
Often, you can see distortions, objects that are too close together, etc. more easily in the negative space than you can in your drawing of the positive objects. It's best to check this before you go on to finish your drawing.
You can use angles to check your work. Here I checked the angle from the right tine of the fork to the handle of the cup, and the angle across the top of the two pieces of silverware.
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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Why do we draw? (Part 2)

Teachers often tell their students to hold the pencil fully outstretched. I disagree, because moving it up and down and sideways makes you move in an arc, as Sandy demonstrates, above. 
Many people tell me they would like to learn to draw, but they live too far away to take my class. Often they are going through some kind of crisis. From long experience, I know that drawing is cheaper than therapy, it always calms anxiety, and a tablet of paper and pencil are so small and benign that they can be carried anywhere.

I can teach most people the rudiments of life drawing in a single class session. Drawing is a series of actions, rather like dance. The best way to teach it is to sit next to the student and demonstrate the steps. Still, a half loaf is better than none.

Drawing starts with measurement. Get that right, and everything else is just details.

Instead, hold your pencil loosely and comfortably, as if there were a plate glass window along which you were running it. You will have to recheck your measurements frequently, but you should be doing that anyway.
1. Put yourself a few feet from the object you want to draw. Make sure you’re comfortable.

2. Hold your pencil between your thumb and fingers as shown. Most art teachers tell you to do your measurements with your arm completely outstretched; I prefer to have my arm loose and to visualize an imaginary plate glass window I'm running my pencil along.

3. Close one eye and focus on the pencil.

4. Holding your pencil upright and straight, align the point of your pencil with the top of the vase.

5. Slide your thumb down the pencil until it is at the bottom of the vase. This is now one unit of measurement in space.

6. Put marks on your paper where you want the top and bottom of the vase to end up. This is now one unit of measurement on your paper. It doesn’t have to be the same size as your unit of measurement on your pencil.

7. Go back and line your pencil up again with the vase so that it fills the pencil from the point to your thumb. Now raise the pencil so you are measuring the flowers. Are they as tall as the vase?  Twice as tall? Half as tall? When you’ve determined this, add another mark to your paper to indicate where the top of the flowers should be. This should be the same ratio on paper as it was in space.

8. Go back and recheck the measurement on the vase height. Then just flip your pencil sideways and see how wide the vase looks in comparison to its height. Is the object as wide as it is tall? Twice as wide? Half as wide? Once you’ve determined this, go ahead and put horizontal marks on your paper to represent the width of the vase.

9. Turn your pencil to the side and observe that the flowers are about 2 or 2.5 times as wide as the vase (depending on where you’re standing).  Make those marks on your picture.

10. Once you have the proportions of the objects marked out, mark in the big shapes with a light pencil and then start breaking them down into smaller shapes. You are well on your way to drawing the object. 

Tomorrow I will talk about using angles and negative space to measure.
Your pencil is your ruler. You are measuring ratios and then transferring them to the paper. (Note: my ratios look slightly different from what Sandy was seeing because I drew the picture later, from a slightly different angle.)

Recheck the height with your pencil and then flip it to see how the width of the vase compares. It's that simple. 
It really doesn't matter where you start measuring or what order you measure in. You will figure out a system that works for you.
Once you have the measurement hash marks in place, draw in the big shapes and start breaking them down into smaller shapes. The rest is just details.
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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Why do we draw? (Part 1)

Corroboree, 1880s, William Barak, Natural pigments over charcoal on paper
It’s only been in the last few years that drawing has been studied as a cognitive process along the lines of language and mathematics. I have written about the psychological resilience that making art helps to produce and its ability to aid concentration and memory, and I will return to that tomorrow.

In The Visual Language of Comics, Neil Cohn argues that drawing is related to language, and that comics are drawn using a visual language that uses patterns and repetition to support the story being played out in its word balloons. Although we artists think of drawing as primarily spatial, Cohn has demonstrated that reading comics causes the same neural regions to kick in as reading a written sentence.

Yinma - A gathering of people for ceremonial purposes, 1973, Yumpululu Tjungarrayi, Australia
Sand stories among the Warlpiri and the Arandic people of Australia are mostly told by women, and they seamlessly combine words and changing pictures. They use repetitive symbols (which also appear in Aboriginal paintings). Their intended audience understands them as easily as we understand the words on this page.

All toddlers go through a phase where they scribble. When they do this on walls, they’re mostly just irritating, but it does seem that their scribbles are similar from child to child. Are they a precursor to a drawing language, just as babbling is a precursor to a spoken language? And have we cut off the development of that language with our disdain for the visual arts?

 (See Are We Hard-Wired to Doodle, here.)

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

American Exceptionalism

Young Girl Singing into a Mirror, Jean-Etienne Liotard, 18th century.
There’s a lot of conversation about American Exceptionalism in the media today. This is the theory that, because of its unique ideology of liberty, equality, and individualism, the United States is qualitatively different from other countries.

It’s true that our colonial forebears were uncommonly interested in the written word, and that literacy and numeracy were widespread among all classes, in marked contrast to the European nations from which we drew.

Tis to ye Press & Pen we Morals owe
All we believe & almost all we know.
(George Fisher, 1748)

Buffalo Newsboy, Thomas Le Clear, 1853. In America, education was never limited to the upper classes.
In New England, about 60 percent of the population was literate between 1650 and 1670, 85 percent between 1758 and 1762, and 90 percent between 1787 and 1795.

And what were these people reading? Well, not technical manuals. Overwhelmingly, education involved ancient languages, ancient history, theology, and mathematics, and most people could sketch and sing or play an instrument because these were fundamental skills in a world without photography or radios.

These New Englanders went on to lead the Second Industrial Revolution, which started with the rapid industrialization during the Civil War and culminated in 20th century American economic hegemony.

Réunion de dames, Abraham Bosse,17th century. The salon was a mechanism for continuing education from the 17th century on. 
In other words, it was quite possible to build a technological empire without STEM classes. But is it possible to build the 21st century equivalent without the humanities?

Researchers at Michigan State University recently identified a link between childhood participation in the arts and adult success in business. As they put it, “A young Picasso or Beethoven could be the next Edison.”
A Young Girl Reading, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, 1776.
People who own businesses or were granted patents were up to eight times more likely to participate in music and art as children than the general public. “The most interesting finding was the importance of sustained participation in those activities,” said Rex LaMore, director of MSU’s Center for Community and Economic Development. “If you started as a young child and continued in your adult years, you’re more likely to be an inventor as measured by the number of patents generated, businesses formed or articles published.”

“The ability to make art is really critical to the creative mind and getting into the sciences,” added James Lawton. 

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Choosing a watercolor easel

My own contraption, easily assembled from off-the-shelf parts. It functions equally well for oils and watercolors.
This weekend I got a letter from a southern California watercolor artist asking about field easels. I’ve written a lot about oil-painting easels but very little about watercolor easels. However, the same fundamental rule applies: there is no single “right” easel for every person and every situation.

En plein air pro watercolor easel.
For me, a movable mast is an important consideration for watercolor, because I want my work surface to be able to go almost flat for washes. One commercial easel with that flexibility is the Anderson Swivel Easel. The trade-off for lighter weight in aluminum field easels is that they can be flimsy compared to their wooden counterparts, but this is a good alternative to a wooden box-style easel.  At 5’6”, I find it to be slightly too short for me to work standing. But if you work from a seated position, the small storage area and slightly shorter profile will pose no great problems.

Anderson Swivel Easel
I made myself a heavy-duty variation, using a mast from Guerrilla Painter, a shelf from En Plein Air Pro, and a ball-head tripod I had from back in the days when we used real cameras. This is the workhorse easel in my collection—it is virtually indestructible, very stable and easy to adjust.  And there’s no assembly needed: just buy the parts and put them together. If you already have a good tripod, you can assemble this easel for less than $120.

Mabef beechwood field easel has a pivoting head. Mine has been amazingly durable and is the first easel I grab for new painting students to try.
The trouble is, it’s quite heavy. That’s no problem for painting from the back of your car, but if you let your friends talk you into long hikes, it’s just too much. For a truly lightweight easel, I'd look at En Plein Air Pro’s line. As I noted above, the trade-off for their light weight is that they are less able to endure the shocks of truly extreme plein air painting.

I also have a Mabef field easel, which is an economical answer to the pivot-head problem for watercolor artists. Its major downside is that you need to bring a table with you, but it’s my most useful teaching easel, and has outlasted a lot of fancier alternatives. While the head doesn't pivot 360°, it can be turned flat, and that’s enough for most applications.

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Friday, October 10, 2014

Umbrella Revolution

Umbrella Man, by the artist known as Milk.
The ‘Umbrella Movement’ in Hong Kong may or may not be over but these have been the largest protests seen in China since Tiananmen Square. The protests demand free and fair elections, and public opinion polls during the protests showed about 60% support for the protesters.
A banner from the Umbrella Movement.
Unlike the Occupy protests in the United States, the Hong Kong protesters have been noticeably tidy, polite, and nonviolent. The term 'Umbrella Revolution' was adopted by the media because protesters brought umbrellas with them to protect themselves from pepper spray. However the protesters themselves rejected it, because they do not want to be seen as revolutionaries. Their request is a finite one: they want open and fair elections.
A nonviolent banner from the Umbrella movement.
This movement has been accompanied by a flowering of extemporaneous art. The most-widely reported example is a large statue created of wooden blocks, called Umbrella Man. He stands ten feet tall and clutches a yellow umbrella in his hand. His face is white, to represent the tear gas and pepper spray endured by student activists.
One of many thousands of Post-It note messages in Hong Kong.
Umbrella Man faces a wall of bright Post-It notes. News venues show these walls in many places, representing many thousands of hand-penned messages.
A "Lennon Wall" with Post-It note messages.
A protest movement so gracious that it has time for art—what a contrast with the Occupy movement in America.
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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Hobby losses

The Au Sable River at Jay, 12X9, oil on canvasboard. Painted on the side of the road in Jay, New York.
I once had the following discussion with an IRS auditor:

She: “Your mileage log doesn’t identify destinations. You need to show destinations.”

Me: “I’m a plein air painter. There are no ‘destinations’. I drive until I find what I want to paint, and then I paint it. The best I could come up with is something like ‘cows at the side of the road’.”

She (unmoved): “For the purposes of a mileage log, you need to show destinations.”

Teaching on the side of a road somewhere near Lincolnville, ME.
At the end of the interview, she suggested to me that I’d better start showing a profit or the IRS would consider my work a hobby. She was (contrary to popular opinion) very nice. But I am keenly aware that my tax returns are a red flag: we have high W2 income and Schedule C losses.

That’s actually typical for artists. Even the most successful of us usually do something else, like teaching or graphic design, to cobble a living together. But if you ask us our profession, we are artists. The big money on our work will be made after we’re dead. Denying us the tax advantages other businesses get is adding insult to injury.

Sunset over Saranac Lake, by little ol' me. Painted on the side of a road somewhere in the Adirondacks.
In 2010, the IRS accused Professor Susan Crile of underpaying her taxes by more than $81,000, saying that her work was not a profession but something she did as part of her job teaching Studio Art at Hunter College. (See Forbes’ coverage here and here, and the NY Times’ coverage here.)

The IRS’ determination was based on her lack of a written business plan (!) and the idea that she made art not primarily to sell but to keep her job as a teacher. Never mind that her work hangs in the Metropolitan Museum, the Guggenheim, the Brooklyn Museum, the Phillips Collection, the Hirshhorn, and at eight colleges and universities. 

Painting at the side of the road near Lake Placid, NY.
Mercifully, the judge saw it differently:

She has worked for more than 40 years in media that include oil, acrylic, charcoal, pastels, printmaking, lithograph, woodcut, and silkscreen. She has exhibited and sold her art through leading galleries; she has received numerous professional accolades, residencies, and fellowships; and she is a full-time tenured professor of studio art at Hunter College in New York City. (Judge Albert Lauber)

“Bottom line is that, in general, lawyers have much better educations than accountants,” wrote Peter J Reilly. He went on to note that Judge Lauber holds an MA in Classics from Clare College, Cambridge.

Painted at the side of a road in Camden, ME. (Available from Camden Falls Gallery)
While Professor Crile has prevailed on the Section 183 (hobby loss) question, she still has to answer the question of how much of the quarter million or so in losses she claimed over the last five years will be deemed legitimate. That’s a reminder to us to be honest, even conservative, in our bookkeeping.

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