Welcome to the Artists Exchange

Welcome to the Artists Exchange - NOW LIVE!

They say some of the best ideas come out of nowhere. Last weekend I thought about how social media reach has been declining for those who cannot afford to pay to boost their post. I had also noticed that whenever I shared other people’s posts, the reach was extended. More people were seeing content that I had shared, than seeing the content I had created.

As a digital artist, most of my business is conducted online. Sometimes I put hours into a piece of work, list it on social media, and the result is sometimes that only three or four people see it. When I share content from others, more often than not hundreds of people see it. It’s not that my content is bad, I have even been asked to let people know when I post content so that they can keep an eye open for it, and it’s not necessarily that other people’s content is better.

Services such as Facebook use algorithms that determine the reach of any particular post. The algorithm seems to favour the sharing of other people’s content, and whenever a group of people comment and like content, suddenly the counter goes up.

So, with this in mind I decided that maybe creating a new group on Facebook could be the answer to making artists posts reach much further. The idea is that artists promote other artists and in return other artists promote your work. Essentially meaning that every artist who participates can help to extend the reach of other artists, and in turn their own posts are also extended.

The Artists Exchange
The Artists Exchange-https://www.facebook.com/groups/940723089340284/


So far, it seems to be working. Already people are suggesting that they are seeing their reach extend, becoming visible on someone else’s timeline, and in turn becoming visible in new territories.

Within 48-hours of starting the group, I had managed to amass over 200-people who wanted to join, and four admins to make sure that everyone could be approved in a timely manner.

So the group is now live and you can join it by logging in to Facebook and going here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/940723089340284/

Very soon I will be introducing some group activities, including a community art project that everyone will be able to become involved with. I will also be holding regular live Q&A’s, offering some art tips, and there may even be a community video in the works!

Leading up to the Christmas break I will also be giving details of a pop up community art project that will take about a minute of everyone's time, but I'm sure everyone will be pleased with the results!

So please do come along and join the group, share with friends, like, comment, and let’s see if we can get new and emerging artists, and those who are as yet undiscovered, discovered.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my four admins, Leah, Pavan, Samantha, and Candice, for all of the ideas they have brought forward so far and the great work they have been doing.



The Coliseum
No more Centurions!


If you visit Rome, you will notice that just around the Coliseum costumed Centurions abound. Usually posing for a Kodak moment for a few Euros. Every time I have visited Rome in the last five or six years, they have been a staple. Not now, Rome has banned costumed Centurions in a move aimed at protecting tourists.

Yes, they could be annoying, not quite as annoying as the many people trying to sell me a lace umbrella, if anyone should be removed, it really is the umbrella seller.

Roman Centurions were military officers, known for elaborate ranks, and carried a high degree of political power. Today they pose and pull rickshaws and anyone who dons a costume is a Centurion.

Officials have claimed that dismissing the Centurions is critical to protect tourists from their sometimes aggressive sales pitches. The move comes ahead of the Jubilee of Mercy, a year-long Catholic event that is expected to bring millions of pilgrims to the Italian capital.

The historical impersonators are already suggesting that the move will cast them in to Italy’s growing unemployment base, and Reuters reported that one had scaled the walls of the Coliseum in protest. Reuters have written, "The fact someone had evaded security at one of Italy's most-visited sites and police were powerless to intervene caused concern about whether the city is ready for the Jubilee."


Despite my protest that there are twelve days of Christmas and none of them fall in November, I was tasked with the job of putting up the Christmas tree, on the 29th November. Honestly though, I wish I had received the following information much sooner. Last week I wrote about the emergence of Li-Fi, a new technology promising speeds up to 100-times faster than Wi-Fi, this week I am writing about fairy lights. Yes, I am living the dream. On Saturday the outside lights will be carefully placed.

Christmas Lights
Not looking forward to replicating this on the house!


If your Christmas tree is positioned close to your wireless router, those fairy lights are most likely the culprit behind constant buffering of Breaking Bad on Netflix. OK, so not just Breaking Bad, anything that is reliant on a strong Wi-Fi signal. UK communications watchdog Ofcom has warned that the lights can slow down your Wi-Fi speeds.

There is a list of electronic devices that have the potential to interfere with wireless speeds, microwave ovens, baby monitors, in fact pretty much anything with a plug. Electromagnetic interference can be caused by low-cost lightbulbs, that could present a particular issue when we eventually see Li-Fi technology, but they are a constant bug-bear when dealing with domestic Wi-Fi issues.

Ofcom have said that some six-million homes and offices across the UK could improve their wireless broadband by optimising their indoor Wi-Fi equipment, and they have produced an app that can now indicate potential wireless problems and give some useful advice as to how you might be able to fix a poor connection.

Ofcom’s Wi-Fi checker app also ties in with Ofcom’s Connected Nations 2015 report. The report says that more than a quarter of UK homes now have superfast broadband (30Mbit/s or more), whilst broadband availability in rural areas of the UK continues to improve.

So if you need to make sure you have a buffer-less Christmas, make sure your Wi-Fi router is set up in a location that is away from potential sources of interference. The app itself will give you an indication of issues, and will give you generalised information, but the reality is that the information is not something that either you do not already know, or could easily get from a quick search on the web. That is of course, if you can already connect.


Magnificent jewels: the auction, December 10

Rare and unique jewels from the estate of Carroll Petrie

Christie’s online jewels boutique, December 11-21

New York – Christie’s is proud to announce its upcoming schedule of Winter Jewellery sales in New York, starting with the live saleroom auction of Magnificent Jewels on December 10, and continuing with a companion online boutique of Holiday Jewels from December 11 – 21. Both venues offer a multitude of outstanding jewels at every price level, including fancy coloured and colourless diamonds, rare gemstones, natural pearls, and signed creations from the most coveted jewellery houses. Auction highlights, along with informative videos, buying tips, and Christie’s specialists’ Holiday Gift Suggestions are available for browsing online at Christie's now.

The Magnificent Jewels auction on December 10 features more than 500 lots, including signed pieces from Boucheron, Cartier, David Webb, Harry Winston, Van Cleef & Arpels, and more. Prominent private collections comprise the most important jewels offered this season, with jewellery from the estate of New York philanthropist and socialite Carroll Petrie crowning the evening session.

Estimates range from $2,000 to over $4 million and the entire Magnificent Jewels auction will be on public view December 5 through December 9, at Christie’s Rockefeller Center galleries.


From a young age, Carroll McDaniel Petrie had a strong passion for beauty and great design and an early inspiration came when her first marriage to the Marquis de Portago brought her to Paris. There she became enamoured with the fashions of Christian Dior, and even collaborated with the designer in the creation of her wedding dress. Her great love of beauty and keen eye allowed Mrs. Petrie to build a remarkable collection of fine and decorative art, haute couture, and jewels.

From the late-1950s, Mrs. Petrie established herself as an icon of international society and philanthropy, living and mingling among the elite in Paris, Hong Kong, and New York. Many of the pieces presented in this sale were worn during her meetings with notable figures such as President Ronald Reagan and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, just to name a few.

Carroll Petrie patronized many of the great jewellers of the twentieth century, including Van Cleef & Arpels, Jean Schlumberger, and David Webb, all of which are represented in the auction.


Christie’s is proud to present an impressive selection of exceptional emeralds, rubies and sapphires this December. Key highlights include rare sapphires from the Estates of Beatrice Goelet Manice and Gladys (Patsy) Pulitzer Preston, an important ruby and diamond ring from Harry Winston and an extraordinary cabochon emerald of over 50 carats.


Natural pearls formed part of every royal and state collection for centuries and continue to remain in high demand. The Magnificent Jewels auction provides beautiful examples of necklaces from Cartier and Tiffany & Co., matched drop earrings and an elegant antique brooch formerly owned by Nancy Witcher Langhorne Astor, the first woman elected to serve in the British Parliament.


Christie’s continues its reputation for offering the most important historical and rare diamonds available in the market today. We are proud to offer once again the famous “Victory” diamond, named to commemorate the Allied victory in World War II. The “Victory” was last offered at Christie’s in 1984 as part of the famous Collection of Florence J. Gould.

Other notable stones include the “Petrie” diamond ring, a D color stone of 24.34 carats by Harry Winston, and a beautifully cut diamond pendant of 103.66 carats as well as an impressive selection of fancy coloured pinks, blues, oranges and yellows.


Unique signed pieces from top international designers including Boucheron, Cartier, Graff, Harry Winston, Van Cleef & Arpels and more are among the key highlights of the sale. A top lot from the selection includes an iconic art deco coral bracelet by Cartier, with additional highlights including a diamond and gold ballerina brooch designed in arabesque pose, and two ‘Mystery Set’ flower brooches by Van Cleef & Arpels.


DECEMBER 11 - 21, 2015

Continuing with the theme of jewellery, The Crimson Flame ruby has sold for HK$ 142 million / US$ 18 million at Christie’s Hong Kong. World Auction Record per Carat for a Ruby

Christie’s Hong Kong sale of Magnificent Jewels realised HK$747,894,000 / US$96,904,062, selling 80% by lot and 83% by value.

The Crimson Flame, an exceptionally rare Burmese ruby, sold for HK$142 million / US$18 million, setting a world auction record per carat of US$1.2 million.

A flawless gem, the Afghan Emerald fetched HK$17.6 million / US$2.2 million, establishing a world record price for an Afghan emerald at auction. The sale attracted 160 buyers from 16 countries across 3 continents.

Vickie Sek, Deputy Chairman Asia & Director of Christie’s Asia Jewellery department, commented: “It’s the year of the ruby at Christie’s Hong Kong. Following the record breaking sale of a ruby necklace in June, the Crimson Flame has established a world auction record per carat of US$1.2 million. Totalling US$97 million, this sale brings our Hong Kong jewellery auctions total up to US$215 million, the highest annual result ever achieved for the category in Asia.”


A further auction on the 8th December will see works by Hans Hoffmann, Ambrosisus Bosschaert I and Francesco Guardi go under the hammer in the Lead Christie’s Old Master & British Paintings Evening Sale.

London – Christie’s Old Master & British Paintings Evening Sale in London on Tuesday 8 December 2015 will offer an exceptional selection of pictures from private collections, several of which have never before been offered at auction.

The sale is led by an exceptionally rare work, in excellent condition, from a private collection: A hare among plants by Hans Hoffmann (Nürnberg 1545-1591 Prague), (estimate: £4-6 million). Monogrammed and dated 1582, just three years before Hoffmann went to Prague to become court painter to Emperor Rudolf II (1552-1612), at the time “the greatest art patron in the world” (Karel van Mander, 1548–1606, Het Schilderboek, 1604), the drawing is inspired by Albrecht Dürer’s magnificent Hare of 1502, today in the Albertina in Vienna.

One of Hoffmann’s largest drawings and greatest masterpieces, the present work can be seen as a paragon of the so called Dürer Renaissance, an intense revival of interest in Dürer’s work at the end of the 16th Century, about fifty years after the artist’s death. A hare among plants is not a direct copy but an inventive adaptation and variation of Dürer’s iconic Hare.

Hoffmann represents the hare among plants while in the Albertina drawing the background is left blank. Every species is individualised and the artist excels equally at representing beautiful flowers in full bloom, lively insects, a lizard and a frog as well as faded, diseased, or pest-eaten foliage.

Cobwebs and a faded dandelion and even a tick attached to the hare’s fur are drawn with extraordinary detail. A hare among plants was part of the extraordinary collection assembled by Nürnberg born trading businessman Paulus Praun (1548-1616), very probably its first owner and the artist’s most important patron.

After 1801 it was acquired by Johann Friedrich Frauenholz, Nürnberg, and after 1945 sold to the Stapf family in Tyrol, from where it was acquired in 1975 by the father of the present owner. Christie’s is proud to be able to offer international collectors the rare opportunity to acquire a technical tour de force in remarkable condition, which stands as a perfect embodiment of the Dürer Renaissance, a movement that lasted not more than twenty years but certainly helped fix the perception of Dürer’s work and affected the way in which succeeding generations were to receive him.

From Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder (1573- 1621), who along with Jan Brueghel the Elder and Jacques de Gheyn was the pioneering founder of European flower painting, Christie’s will offer a hitherto unknown, jewel-like panel (estimate £600,000-800,000), which constitutes a significant addition to the artist’s small oeuvre, of some seventy accepted works.

Despite the seemingly anecdotal nature of its subject, Bosschaert’s still lifes encapsulate the two key transformations of the early modern era: the dawn of the scientific age, marked by a new curiosity and inquisitiveness about the natural world, and the discovery of the Americas, which resulted in the arrival of a series of exotic plants in Europe.

This painting is an archetypal work of Bosschaert’s maturity, when he was able to orchestrate a substantial number of flower species into a relatively small space while creating a real sense of volume, movement, and tonal harmony. At the heart of the picture is a mature rose, soon to crumble, beautifully framed by a group of lively narcissi, a delicate viola and an exuberant red and white carnation Bosschaert’s subtle modulation of light creates a remarkable sense of depth and by setting the crisply designed and meticulously painted flowers against a dark background, he generates a stark contrast of patterns and colours that proves strikingly modern.

The panel is closely related to one of Bosschaert’s masterpieces dated from 1614 now in the National Gallery in London. According to Fred Meijer of the RLD, who dates the present panel to the same year, the two pictures were probably painted side by side, a common practice for Bosschaert who would sometimes repeat his most accomplished compositions. Parrot tulips, a rose, a fritillary, daffodils, narcissi and other flowers in a Roemer, with a Meadow Brown butterfly and a fly, on a stone table will be offered from a private collection.

Also offered for sale at auction for the first time is an exceptional nocturne, The Agony in the Garden, by Jacopo Bassano (1510-1592), (estimate £500,000-800,000). Bassano was a contemporary of Titian and Tintoretto and was hugely influential on El Greco. This picture, which was first published in 2004, dates to the 1570s and is a key example of Bassano’s speciality and talent in depicting nocturnes. It has previously been on loan to the Museo Civico in Bassano, the artist’s hometown, and was included in an exhibition at the Louvre, Titien, Tintoret, Véronèse, Rivalités à Venise, in 2009-2010.

Jacob van Ruisdael's (1628/9-1682) a wooded river landscape with figures crossing a bridge is offered for sale for the first time in over 100 years (estimate £250,000-350,000). It was once part of the collection of Alexander Hugh Baring (1835-1889), 4th Lord Ashburton, of the legendary Baring dynasty of bankers, philanthropists, and art collectors.

Ashburton’s collection included paintings by Greuze and Weenix now in the Wallace Collection and Murillo’s The Infant Saint John with the Lamb today in the National Gallery in London.

The reappearance of this picture, known through an engraving, but untraced since it was sold in Paris in 1879, returns one of Ruisdael’s celebrated wooded landscapes to his documented oeuvre. This classic subject by the greatest landscape painter of the Dutch Golden Age depicts a transitional space, where the wild forest and the cultivated cornfield and nearby hamlet meet.

From the Baring collection the painting went to the collection of Max Kahn in Paris before entering the collection of Léon Emile Brault (1825-1910) in 1879, in whose family it has remained ever since.

The sale also includes a beautifully preserved view painting by Francesco Guardi (1712-1793), The Island of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice, (estimate £1,500,000-2,500,000), one of his and his patron’s most celebrated vedute.

This view, taken from the Molo and showing the island monastery of San Giorgio Maggiore with its façade designed by Andrea Palladio and the eastern end of the Giudecca, now the site of the Cipriani Hotel, is a work from the artist’s full maturity. Throughout the 1770s and 1780s, the period when this picture and its pendant, Santa Maria Della Salute with the Dogana di Mare (now Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena) can be dated, Guardi gradually developed his technique to what was to become his most admired style; the brushwork became looser and freer, his palette lightened and his images softened into a suffused pale glow.

The sale will also feature a Holy Family by Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665), (estimate £400,000-600,000), formerly in the renowned collection of Lucien Bonaparte, a rare still life by Jacques de Gheyn II (1565-1629), (estimate £100,000-150,000, one of only five surviving flower pieces by the artist, and a fine version of the Birdtrap by Pieter Brueghel the Younger (estimate £1-1.5 million).



Raspberry Pi
If you thought this was a bargain..


The British tech company that brought you the Raspberry Pi has just unveiled its new model. Measuring 6.5cm by 3cm, the new model is a fully functional computer board that sells for $5. Raspberry Pi Zero, comes with half a gigabyte of memory, provision for a MicroSD card, and a mini-HDMI port, oh, and the processor is 40% faster than its predecessor.

The original Raspberry Pi Model B and those that followed allowed anyone with around $30 to own a programmable computer. The new model runs on Raspbian, a version of Linux that was specifically built for the company.

This new entry will make it possible for more people and especially children, to learn and develop their skills at actual computing. Raspbian is a real Operating System, and just a quick glance around the internet will give you an idea of the problems that have been overcome with the Raspberry Pi.

Numbers are likely to be limited initially, and the device is currently only available in the UK and U.S.


Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, made two announcements in one day. First that they are now parents to a baby girl named Max, and secondly that they are giving away a vast majority of their shares in the social media giant, to charitable causes.

Currently worth around $45bn over the course of their lives, the donation will be to help advance human potential and promote child equality. The initial areas that will benefit will include personalised learning, curing disease, connecting people, and building strong communities.


I am not too sure just how many levels of wrong this is, but there’s a new trend. Wait, I can’t even count how many levels of wrong this is. Baby names come from many different origins, naming a baby after a grandparent, a friend, or just randomly drawing out the name of the new-born from a hat. All seem to be more socially acceptable than naming the baby after an Instagram filter.

BabyCenter recently noticed that amongst the top names for babies were “Sophia” and “Jackson”, they also noticed that there was an increase in names shared with Instagram filters, such as “Juno”, “Ludwig”, and “Valencia”.

BabyCenter also pointed out that “Lux” had rose in popularity by 75%, and that filter that makes colours pop, “Amaro” rose 26%. Now I think we need to await the arrival of “Selfie” or the double barrelled name of “Selfie-Stick” to the list of names. No doubt some poor child will grow up “exposed” to the world with some name that I can almost guarantee will never be available on a personalised gift product.

So that’s all for today. I will be spending a little time over the weekend doing the Christmas shopping. I normally have everything done in a single day on one day usually at the beginning of November, this year I don’t seem to have had a minute to spare. Oh, and I also have toga get the Christmas lights outside.

But rather than wait until the last minute, I am going to make myself tackle the crowds, become overly stressed after around the first fifteen-minutes, find the first Starbucks, and probably sit there for a while filled with dread and caffeine before I tackle the shops. Only problem is, I have no idea what to buy for my dear friend Blur, and her brother, Emboss.



Now shipping from Europe
Now shipping from Europe!


Also, just one more piece of exciting news. All of my framed art available on Fine Art America or from http://10-mark-taylor.artistwebsites.com/ can now be despatched from a European fulfillment centre. That means that you will no longer need to pay import tax on European orders, and the postage is much cheaper. Please bear in mind that this is one of the most busy times of year, so head over to http://10-mark-taylor.artistwebsites.com/ and place your order as soon as possible to avoid any potential delays as we head rapidly towards the holiday season.



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