Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Why It's RIGHT To Reject Charles Saatchi's Gift To The Nation

Why it's RIGHT to reject Charles Saatchi's gift to the nation

This blog is in response to the article in the Guardian today by Jonathan Jones. You can find it at this LINK.

Jones claims that “Britain's public galleries are spurning the generosity of Charles Saatchi

Well I would like to tell you why it's right!
It was Charles Saatchi who created the hype by backing the likes of Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin, which is the justification for the £30 million(!) estimated value on the collection. The real value of such items is difficult to say, but my estimate would be closer to zero... and I'll tell you why...

There is no longevity to the appeal of this “shock factor art”.

It seems we are caught in a movement of art which places more importance on originality of thought than aesthetic appeal. It has got to the point where shock factor replaces the aesthetic altogether.

The problem with this is that originality and shock factor fade as we become used to the exposure to it. Once that is stripped back, what is there left? This type of art has its place in a gallery at the time it is conceived, but it's hard to imagine it's appeal beyond that.

Impressionist paintings over 100 years ago were shocking and original. But the key to their longevity lay in their beauty, their aesthetic appeal and their craft. By all means put a dirty unmade bed in a gallery to push the boundaries of creativity and conceptualism, allowing us all to debate the deeper meanings.... but don't expect to sell it 14 years on for millions or expect it to be relevant for our contemporary galleries.

This modern obsession with originality (often just for the sake of being different or shocking) within the conceptual art world and our contemporary galleries is inadvertently compromising medium to long term appeal.

It is no surprise that the 'Young British Artists' are not named amongst the most influential artists as this survey from the independent suggests.

The YBAs  are  constantly showered with accolades by curators, collectors and critics, supported by an art market PR machine that ensures they are rarely out of the limelight. Yet, as this poll suggests, they fail to inspire other artists - one of the tests of great talent

Art should reach out to all of us. Those who may not look beyond the aesthetics should still be able to appreciate works with an intellectual content. To dismiss this promotes snobbery and elitism.

It's no wonder Saatchi can't give this stuff away!

Friday, August 17, 2012

'Transition' My 2012 Solo Exhibition of Scottish Landscape Paintings

2012 Solo Exhibition
Ian Kenny Gallery, Hamilton
Preview night
by Scott Naismith Scottish Landscape Artist

As I write this blog, its half an hour before the paintings for this year's solo show are available to view and buy online. This gives an online audience the opportunity to buy or reserve paintings 2 weeks before the exhibition previews.

Buying art online from a small image on a screen is a risky prospect for most people. Owners of any of my paintings will be familiar with the quality of work 'in the flesh' and will no doubt have no concerns about committing to buy in this way. If you're unsure, just contact the gallery and you could register an interest in a painting in order to better guarantee it's availability to you at the preview night. Please note that those wishing to commit to a purchase will take priority. Hope to see you all on Friday 31st August 2012.

In the mean time, here's a few teaser images...


UPDATE: Images for exhibition are now live and available >> TRANSITION

Friday, July 20, 2012

Artists: How to get your art into print

Art Reproduction

Websites like DeviantArt and Redbubble (and many, many more) have changed the opportunities available to artists, designers and photographers to have their work available as reproduction prints.

It used to be that capital expenditure on a print run would mean you had to be sure of a mass market for any image in print. But these days anyone can be a micro-publisher of their own art and make profits without any outlay at all. Not only will in not cost to offer your prints to the world, but it will be relatively hassle-free as the site deals with everything.

DeviantArt (based in the US) and redbubble (based in Australia) are the 2 sites I use to provide prints to a worldwide consumer base. DeviantArt is the biggest online artist community in the world.

Both these sites provide prints in various forms: canvas prints, paper prints, framed prints, greetings cards, postcards and so on. In addition to this, deviantArt also offer coasters, fridge magnets, jigsaws etc. while Redbubble offers iphone cases, t-shirts, hoodies, kid's clothes and seems to add different products all the time.

Photographing Your Artwork

I often get asked about the best practice for photographing paintings so here's an at a glance list of tips for recording your paintings in digital format;

>> Use a good quality dSLR camera (full frame sensor if possible but are pricey)

>> Use a good quality lens. (I use a canon 50mm)

>> Without professional studio lighting, outside on an overcast day is best.

>> Do not shoot in direct sunlight.

>> Clean your lens

>> Use a tripod

>> Use the 2 second timer so that when you press the shutter, that force won't jolt the camera at time of shot.

>> Use 'Av' setting and set to a mid range aperture (8-11), the camera will do the rest.

>> Set the lowest ISO possible (100 is fine)

>> Post production in Photoshop or any image editing software will likely be necessary.

>>Lastly, if your going to offer the really big prints (deviantArt do a 30" canvas) then even 18 megapixels might not be enough. For this you can pan the camera around the canvas from a tripod pivot point taking 6 or more photos which overlap. These can be seamlessly stitched using photoshop (file>automate>photomerge then select the series of photos). For this, make sure the focal length of the lens is a minimum of 50mm. The more "zoomed in" the better as it reduces the lens distortion of wider angle lens which can be a nightmare to stitch. The resultant file will be as many megapixels as you want for massive prints in high detail. Sites like deviantArt and redbubble will detect the size of your file and only offer print sizes appropriate to print clearly from. Do not attempt to just upsize the pixels of a smaller image, it will not be approved as good enough quality.

example of coaster from deviant art

Marketing Your Prints

Do not rely on the traffic from other users of the artist sites to sell prints. You will sell very few this way. Instead, gain the traffic to your prints through links from your own website, blogs, twitter and other social media etc. These will be potential customers already interested in your work.


So what's the quality like of these deviantArt prints? Well I've kindly shot a couple of videos reviewing deviantArt products I recently ordered of my own paintings in print in the form of a framed print and coasters, here they are...



You can View my deviantArt and RedBubble prints here:

 deviantArt  |  RedBubble

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Big Art Shipping Scam

It seems the scammers have found me again!!
Tip for artists: DO NOT ACCEPT Cheque. Don't even think that if you wait till the money turns up in your bank account and the cheque appears as though it has cleared that you're safe... YOU'RE NOT! It can take about 3 weeks for the bank to realize it's bogus, and by that time the scammer has got you to refund all or part of the cash for some inflated shipping payment or just because they've changed their mind. 

The scam isn't to get your paintings or artwork or product, they want your money. They will flatter you with badly translated complements about your work but they have no intention of even scamming it from you. 
I'd be flattered if a scum bag thought it was worth risking their freedom to own one of my paintings, but sadly criminals these days just don't have any taste!

I was immediately alerted to this latest scam thanks to a rather amusing blog from Edinburgh based artist Trevor Jones who had documented his encounters of the same art scam. This blog will be out there to warn artists that Paypal is your best friend! Insist your customer uses it, it's very safe. Other than that, pass the customer to a gallery who shows your work who will be able to take payment by credit card.

Here's the series of emails I received and my replies:

 Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2012 19:12:22 +0100
 Subject: Inquiry about your work

 Good day,
 The images on your website are so fascinating and so vivacious,looking
 at each piece of work i can easily see that you added so much
 dedication in making each work come out to life, unfortunately i lost
 the website where i first saw your work but i was able to save your
 email address.
 I am writing you because i need your assistant to get back to
 your website so as to beable to retrieve the details of your work that
 interest men or send me images of some of your new works.

- On Wed, 6/20/12, Scott Naismith  wrote:

From: Scott Naismith
Subject: RE: Inquiry about your work
Date: Wednesday, June 20, 2012, 1:10 PM

Hi Walter,

Many thanks for your kind words. The website you were on must have been:

Their are lots of links to see my work elsewhere from there, but I do recommend viewing my youtube channel where you can see the paintings being painted in the studio:

Don't worry if you get lost, I come up lots on search engines.

Best wiishes

Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2012 10:05:24 -0700
Subject: RE: Inquiry about your work

All your works are beautiful Can you get back to me with there cost prices...

-- On Sat, 6/23/12, Scott Naismith  wrote:

From: Scott Naismith
Subject: RE: Inquiry about your work
Date: Saturday, June 23, 2012, 4:52 AM

Hi Walter,
My prices are based on size:

20 x 20cm: £450
30 x 30cm: £595
40 x 40cm: £795
50 x 50cm: £1050
60 x 60cm: £1300
80 x 80cm: £2100
90 x 90cm: £2450
100 x 100cm: £2900

Landscape Sizes
30 x 60cm: £850
40 x 80cm: £1300
60 x 90cm: £1900

You could also look me up on to see available work.
There is also a list of gallery dealers on the following page of my website!about/component_14104

many thanks

Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2012 10:17:52 -0700
Subject: RE: Inquiry about your work

Dear Scott,

    I keep wondering how much time and effort you devoted into your work to make the following piece a one of a kind and as i can see from the images you sent to me your work as a pleasant and a suiting feeling and am so sure it will bring comfort and happiness into my home and to those that view it. I will be purchasing the following piece listed below

Landscape Sizes
30 x 60cm: £850

30 x 30cm: £595
40 x 40cm: £795

Payment for those piece will be made by UK bank cheque and the  money can be withdraw from my account i will be sending £4,300 to cover the cost of the piece and shipping of the artwork i also still have some things to be moved by the mover to me in Denmark.
I feel it will be will be better if the shippers picking up the my stuffs can come pick up the artwork from you so as to save time and money.
I would inform the movers about it after have heard from you.They will just come over to your area to pick-up the artwork and then have them delivered to me before i can write out the cheque i  will be needing your contact details and phone number to write and send the cheque to you.The address written below can be use to prepare the receipt of invoice for the artwork.

My address
Kastanievej 19       

AND FINALLY this was my response shortly afterward: 

 Hi Walter,

I would need to know the titles of the pieces you are interested in. Also your estimate of shipping costs is massive, I would be able to organize shipping for you at a far cheaper rate. If you are keen to use your own carrier then I would insist that the payment would need to be made directly from you. Unfortunately I do not accept payment by cheque but would be happy to accept paypal or most credit cards are fine.

Many thanks


NEEDLESS TO SAY I have not heard from him since! The scam here is to get you to forward a large payment to his shipper / carrier before you realize his cheque is rubber. As far as I know, the bank would allow you to spend the money in the few weeks it might take for them to discover the cheque was bogus and the bank reclaim the funds from your account. So even if any artists out there suspect a scam but think your ok because it shows up on your bank balance... THINK AGAIN. 

Don't accept a cheque at all! If you REALLY have to, then state in advance that no shipper will be paid and no refund offered until a minimum of 30 days.

It seems in these difficult economic times there are more people caught by these bar stewards, so I hope you find this blog before you're SCAMMED!

Monday, June 18, 2012

WIN an Original Oil with "Art Takes Times Square"

 Art Takes Times Square happens TONIGHT in New York!!! Thanks to some tremendous support for my work online, I'm now showing amongst many artists around the world on 9ft x 12ft screens on Times Square!


Today is the big day! In just a few hours, Art Takes Times Square will present thousands of works by artists from all across the world (including ME) in an immense art exhibition in NYC. 

Art Takes Times Square Monday June 18, 2012, 7pm - 11pm 
Broadway between 42nd Street and 44th Street Hosted by Questlove of The Roots Featuring brass bands, performers and works by thousands of artists (including ME!)

My work is estimated to be displayed on a 9 x 12 ft digital screen located on Broadway and 43rd Street between 

7:45pm - 8:15pm (New York Time) or 
12:45- 1:15am (UK time). 

 YES The Scottish Landscape will be donning the screens of Times Square Tonight! 

 See live webcams for two of the numerous billboard screens that will display my work at: If you watch it and see my work, hit screen grab (print screen), and post the image to my facebook wall. 1st to do this will get a FREE original oil painting 15 x 15cm! Worth over £100! 


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Art Scam: Abraham Lubelski NY Arts Magazine

This blog is designed to help prevent aspiring artists out there being exploited by money making scams promising valuable exposure at a high cost.

ARTISTS: Do not pay large sums upfront for your work to be shown.

This is the e-mail I received today from Abraham Lubelski:

Senders email:

Dear Scott,

I am pleased to inform you of an exciting opportunity to join an international publicity program based in New York City as well as exhibition in Broadway Gallery in SoHo, New York City.

My name is Abraham Lubelski, the publisher of New York Arts Magazine, and owner of The Broadway Gallery in NYC. I would like to invite you to join our publicity program that includes an exhibition in New York City in January 2012. I am interested in your work "Storm Cloud Study" and I believe it would be an important addition to our program. The brushstrokes dance and glide across the canvas, producing a palpable energy. The contrast between the grey and teal is sharp and creates a strong ambiance. By paying close attention to the intuitive works of each artist, we are hoping to construct an exhibition of works that truly speaks to our viewers and subscribers.

With this program you will get one year of publicity, full page in NY Arts Magazine (sold worldwide in major bookstores), an exhibition in the heart of NYC, in Broadway Gallery, a spread in Art Fair International Newsletter along with a year subscription, for a cost of $1,900. This is a media driven event and offers both emerging and established artists the broadest media coverage possible.

Abraham Lubelski
NY Arts Magazine
473 Broadway, 7th floor, NY, NY 10013 | 212-274-8993

After much research online, I am now satisfied that this is an outrageous scam.
Here's a link to a blog by artist Helen Ansell who seems to have done plenty research on this chap.!!/

Unfortunately it appears he's still at it nearly 3 years later.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The New Blurb Book of Paintings from Scott Naismith

My New book is titled 'Scottish Landscape Painting' and depicts a selection of work completed between 2009 and 2011. Alongside these images are a selection of my 'instagram' shots. Instagram is a photo sharing app for the iphone. I use instagram to document daily activities around the studio, in galleries and on location. In the book you are able to get not only great full colour images of the final paintings themselves, but an insight into my sketchbook work, inspirational photographs from my travels, and work in progress shots from the studio.

I would recommend Blurb books to anyone looking to record colour images in a book format. Their print to order method means books will be more expensive than 'off the shelf', but they're still surprisingly affordable for the quality. This latest one of mine retails at around £27 for softcover and £34.50 for hardback. The book is 7 inch square and its 120 pages are printed on premium paper and full colour.

You can get a virtual look at 15 of the pages using the widget above.

Limited copies of the book will be available at the preview of my Solo exhibition in Hamilton on the 30th September