New Members

We are pleased to be able to present a number of new members to our Association Embracing Realist Art (AERA). Just browse through the members list and take a look at their biographies. Joined since September we can now welcome our new friends:

John McCartin from Australia
Charmian Hayes from the UK
Jose Higuera from Spain
Doug Zider from the USA
Michal Suffczynski from Poland
Graham Brace from Wales

We know that traditional artists will not be accepted with open arms by the art establishment. At a time when The New, The Outrageous, The Never Seen Before outclasses traditional values in art for fear of it not being modern we cannot expect to find a slot in the gravy train of modern contemporary art. Instead we must change history and demand reform, especially when public money is only spent on the very old and the extremely modern (partly quoted from a letter by Charles Harris).

A picture paints a thousand words in a universal language and it does not take a thousand words to explain a picture. Let us make sure that traditional art has a place beside the modernists.

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Thoughts on Modern Contemporary Art

artist Charles Harris

Charles en plein air

Charles Harris who once exhibited alongside Vettriano has been asked to write a series of articles for an online newspaper. In it Charles expresses his views on modern art and explains what can be done to breathe new life into modern art.

Click here to find out what Charles has to say about – The failure of contemporary Modern Art.
Click here for the follow-up article entitled – Trust your eyes! Viewing the disaster of 20th century Modern Art today

Click here for the next instalment entitled – Considering the inappropriate bias towards contemporary modern art

Click here for the next instalment – The necessity for new conventional traditional Art today

Click here for the next instalment – The necessity for reform in Art Education

Click here for the next instalment – The pursuit of excellence

Click here for the next instalment – The pursuit of excellence and the Turner Prize


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BBC4 Art Programme

creative commons licence click here

AERA members have received a letter by founder member Charles Harris telling about the BBC´s plans to stage a series of programmes on conceptual art this autumn. As traditional artists we should remind the BBC that realist art may not be as outrageous and provoking as conceptual art but at least it is easily understood by everyone.

Charles asks:
’ What Standards Exist in Art today?
’ What Values Should Art Offer Society, Especially With Public Money?’
‘ What Values are Offered in Deprived Areas, where these modernist ugly, cold, unnatural objects are erected? ‘
‘And what value Is there in making art videos for the public, with public money? ‘
’ Why Does BBC Television Make Programmes Glorifying this Corruption of Art With Public Funds Today?’

When will the BBC present a programme about contemporary realism? The BBC´s report about the new Tate Modern is yet another example of what to expect of art in our times. It was broadcast on the BBC world service a couple of days ago.

Please contact the BBC and tell them about your personal views. If you prefer here is a direct LINK to send comments to the BBC.

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Welcome New Members

We are happy to be able to present a number of new members to our Association Embracing Realist Art (AERA). Just browse through the members list and take a look at their biographies. Although it is not possible to mention all their achievements here, may I just name one or two of our friends like Charles Harris who has paintings in the Royal Collection at Buckingham Palace. Then there is Eric Armusik from Pennsylvania and Hamish Blakely from England whose works are featured in many museums and galleries.

All of us are dedicated to realist art making sure that the old traditions and skills survive and are no longer swamped by modernism.

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Charles Harris on Wikipedia

newspaper cutting

Charles Harris in the Dundee Courier 30th Jan 2014

Our founder member Charles Harris has made it to Wikipedia

Let us congratulate Charles on his achievement. If possible please install a link to his wikipedia entry on your website.

I have included a newspaper cutting about one of his en plein air activities.

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Is modern art really so bad?

Artist Robert Florczak explains the history and the mystery behind the changes that have taken place in the art world in the 20th an 21st centuries. In about 6 minutes he explains what´s wrong and what can be done about it. Some 1.4 million viewers appear to have found it interesting.

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Opinion on Art

Here is an interesting statement by Andy Rooney expressing his views on modern art. In just under 3 minutes he finds the right words which would support our cause. Some 1.4 million viewers appear to have found it interesting.

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Letter from IGOR

We are very happy to have received the following letter from the International Guild of Realism. They have since posted a link to AERA on their news page.
Their letter reads as follows:

Dear Pat and Charles,

Thanks for the note and we appreciate your kind words. Yes, the Guild has been very successful over the last 12 years hosting many major exhibitions for our artist members. We viewed your site and we congratulate that you are promoting realism in Europe. We would be glad to make a posting for your site on our Art News page. Also, thanks for having a link to IGOR from your site.

We have our upcoming 11th Annual Exhibition coming up in August at Gallery 1261 in Denver, Colorado. Your members might want more info about this international realism exhibition so here is the link: .

Let stay in touch with each other.
Best Regards,
IGOR Administration Team
International Guild of Realism

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Certificate of Membership

Members have now been issued with a certificate of membership. This will allow them to print it on their home printer to be displayed at exhibitions and presentations. In addition they have received a JPG file which they can upload to their own personal web site adding a link to the AERA web site.

Here is an example.

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Murray´s Reply

Hello Charles and Pat,

The dilemma of the modern practise of working from photographs is an interesting one as it has got easier and easier for people to snap away and print out their own photographs.

I do find it a necessary evil to use photographs as a part of my source material however I would qualify this with the following.

When talking to my students about working from photographs I point out the pitfalls and ask them to consider the following:-

The curve of the lens distorts what the eye sees and makes it especially dangerous to copy from, a great example of this being when showing them how distorted the perspective of a building or street scene becomes. Have they ever noticed how the printed image looks so different in terms of colour and tonal values from the image viewed on the computer screen and therefore what is the reality of colour and tonal value of the actual live scene and then the printer will print the colours differently again? I also point out that a camera has the unhappy effect of averaging out colour and tonal values and ask if they have ever thought about why black and white photography is so much more highly regarded than is colour photography? Look into the shadows in real life and then look at those shadows in your photographs, there is no comparison.

My advice is to ALWAYS sketch a scene no matter how quickly or slowly, make colour notes and then take some photographs for studio use. The act of sitting and making a sketch imprints more truth about the scene than any amount of photographs could and always best of all is to get out and paint from real life as often as is humanly possible. The truth in nature can only be seen with the naked eye and so much of that is missed when working from a photograph, often the result of which can look dead.

When I refer to a photograph I have all of the above in mind but will always favour working from nature!

I lead painting holidays for HF Holidays and my own in Europe and the main aim of these is to get people out into the great outdoors to paint. I am greatly looking forward to my next drawing and Painting holiday in France near Bergerac and then an HF Holiday ‘Landscape Painting In Artisan Water-Mixable Oils’ when I will be with the guests at Glencoe in May.

Best Wishes,

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