Current events
I started a little school !

Previous current events
American Artist Article!
I'm in a Museum show!
Update to the ACLU case

Planning board
Budgeting time
-- Current career decisions
I found a nice studio classroom! Come see!
For the longest time, I [sadly] turned away students who asked for deeper training. I did not have a venue to provide it. The life drawing class which I teach at the Palo Alto Art Center provides a nice introduction, but because the program must serve beginning level students, the intermediate and advanced students are shortchanged. Also, as nice as it is to teach there, the lighting does not support the particular lessons which students should be exposed to. My new, very attractive, centrally located, large-enough classroom will enable me to do justice to my teaching ideas. Previously, I found myself teaching students who were not prepared to handle the material. For whatever the reasons, students often have not developed basic strengths for handling complex problems. For years, I dreamed about a program where I could lead students through the development of important skills and thought processes, starting with drawing, leading to painting. I would emphasize a well-rounded set of disciplines to ensure suppleness and confidence. It would not be a recreational program, but a serious one, a program for serious students. The serious students are the ones I always let down. I did not have a way to serve them, UNTIL NOW. Come see!




- One of many against the wall paintings

Sample Portrait
40 X 31
Oil on Linen

See History










Study for sample portrait:
Oil on Paper
10" X 7 3/4"

On account of taking on several other good prospects, I've put this unfinished portrait to the wall for now. I will come back to it soon, I hope.







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American Artist Magazine is publishing a feature article on my painting!
Wonderfully, American Artist has published a feature article on my portrait painting for the January 2002 issue. Written by Linda Price, this article outlines two of my painting techniques. The methods I use in portraiture are often similar to those that I use in figure or any other painting.

I am very grateful to the staff of American Artist -- and especially to Senior Editor Lynne Moss who first approached me about doing the article -- for this endorsement of my work. Further, I am forever grateful to my good friends Jim Smyth and Brigitte Curt for their enthusiastic recommendations to Ms. Moss. Without their unsolicited praise behind the scenes, I might never have enjoyed the honor that this article brings to my career.
The paintings shown in the article are available for you to see, and I have added extra detail for readers, particularly other artists, who want a more in-depth view of the article's content. I hope that you read the article in American Artist, and that it enriches your own ideas about painting.
Thanks for your interest!

I got into a museum show!
See my display on-line, and read about the show
This was just the thing. I am so pleased to have my paintings on display in a contemporary art museum! Naturally, I think my work is contemporary, and now it is shown in that context. At first glance, some might consider the look might have been painted 100 years ago. But this is not so. The theme and look are very appropriate for right now.

UPDATE (November 1999)

Testifying for the ACLU:
Date: Wed, 3 Nov 1999 11:17:10 -0500
From: "Ann Beeson"
Subject: Victory in ACLU v. Johnson!!

Greetings to all!
We just learned that the 10th Circuit issued a decision in our case, and we won on both First Amendment and Commerce Clause grounds! The decision affirms the preliminary injunction against enforcement of the New Mexico "harmful to minors" law. You can read the decision online at:
This is a very important victory, because it is the first Federal Court of Appeals decision to strike down a state online harmful to minors law. It protects everyone on the Internet from prosecution under the New Mexico law, and also sends a message to other states that these laws are > unconstitutional. We'll send out a more thorough analysis of the decision, and information about what happens next, in a few days. Thanks very much to all of you for your important contribution to the case.
Ann Beeson, Staff Attorney
ACLU Nat'l Legal Dept.
125 Broad St., NY, NY 10004

Inside Court

(from 1998) Testifying for the ACLU: We won this round
Read previous post for background
It's amazing where art can take you sometimes.

Monday June 22nd, I testified for the ACLU in the trial for the Complaint against New Mexico,
ACLU v. JOHNSON. A statute passed by the New Mexico State Legislature and signed into law by Governor Gary Johnson, would make it illegal for any Internet display or talk of nudity or sexuality -- whether photo, or simulated -- and sexual topic matter (including e-mail and talk forums) to reach a minor within the state of New Mexico. The law also requires measures to verify the age and location of all people requesting access to such materials, as a means of ensuring that minors in New Mexico could not receive them. In the Complaint, the ACLU specified that the "speech at issue in this case does not include obscenity, child pornography, speech used to entice or lure minors into inappropriate activity, or harassing speech."

The language of the New Mexico law is so inclusive that it left displays by fine artists like me, or medical sites for example, vulnerable to prosecution. Additionally, the user screening requirement simply can't be complied with, both because there isn't technology to certify the location or the age of the user, but also because even if there was technology, people like me haven't time to oversee the 1,000 plus hits we get every day. The law was scheduled to go into force July 1, 1998. But at the close of the two-day trial,
Federal District Judge C. LeRoy Hansen blocked the state's censorship law from taking effect.

Yet, the law is not stricken; it will likely proceed through an appeal process. Soon, transcripts of the trial will be available for us to read on the Internet. I am looking forward to reading them myself, because I was barred from the courtroom before I testified. Testifying was so overwhelming as an experience, I can't remember everything that I was asked or said. I was told by those attending that I missed an incredible series of cross-examinations (including mine, apparently!).

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PLANNING BOARD -- November 1999

Budgeting time
Since early on, my career plans have gone well. In practice, I always gravitated to jobs where people valued my best skills and if possible, paid accordingly. This tactic has changed for the first time:

In the past, as part of the long term plan, one area where I allocated less time was Fine Art. The reason for this was that I believed, as I do now, that Fine Art is reserved for important ideas. When younger, I knew that my ideas had not jelled. As visual statements, my ideas were not forceful enough to commit my life to. Meantime, I planned and prepared for the time when my vision and skills could come together as a forceful statement. I understood how great paintings affected me, so I emulated the careers of my heroes to parallel my development to theirs. They all painted portraits. This is how I trained myself while paying my way. I became a portrait painter to paint and improve while I matured. I planned this from early on.

I have another skill that strengthened, even as I painted portraits -- illustration. When I ventured into advertising illustration in 1993, I found that the idea skills I used working with my portrait clients served me very well with ad folk.

By the time I stepped into advertising, I had already found and committed to a sincere, personally compelling and vastly rich Fine Art statement. I discovered during the advertising digression that my idea power was admired and in demand commercially. My success with advertising illuminated my preparedness to manage visual ideas. It signaled that I was ready to set forth on a long planned-for Fine Art career. Starting this year, 1998, except for the occasional portrait commission, I am committed to refusing all commercial work and dedicating my time to the practice of Fine Art. In the years to come, will people come to value my best skills, in the form of Fine Art? How this turns out remains to be seen.

Career decisions since September 11, 2001

Strategy highlights, IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER
-- Preserve present career direction and status while re-evaluating priorities.

Career decisions before September 11, 2001
Strategy highlights, IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER
-- Develop frames for Threatened Landscape paintings.
-- Work on publicity materials.
-- Attempt to get a grant to execute, frame and show the project series.
-- Find a good rep.
-- Show Threatened Landscape series in a good museum.
-- Get reviewed.
-- After museum show, have arrangements with good gallery ready.
-- After museum show, gallery sells regular flow of work.
-- Get reviewed.
-- Get in museum tours, collections.
-- Get reviewed.
-- Paint a lot; speak, write, teach a little too.
-- Get reviewed.

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This page updated June 9, 2002
1998 by Rebecca Alzofon. All rights reserved.