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John Smith, a Durban based artist writes a letter every second month entitled “Thoughts from my Studio”.  The current July/August letter can be read under the “Interesting Articles” header at the top of the page.  

This is John’s preamble to his Thoughts in which he has acknowledged SASA and Lynn Brown in particular.  This is what he writes: 
Dear Friends,
I was extremely pleased that my ‘Thoughts from my Studio’ article on “Are We Taking Our Artists Seriously?” was published in the S.A Art Times (business section) in their July edition. This means that many people who do not normally subscribe to my articles got to read it.

This is a wonderful tabloid edited by Gabriel Clark-Brown and can be found at or you can subscribe to it at

Again, thanks to all my regular readers for subscribing to ‘Thoughts’ and for your letters and opinions. They are much appreciated.

My last article on ‘What Has Happened to the Men in Art’, this current article on ‘What is Fine Art and what is Not,’ and the one following this one which asks if the arts is becoming a brothel with some of the galleries and others acting as the pimps, are really probing and asking deep and important questions, and I although I have tried to answer some of these questions there are too many that remain unanswered. Perhaps you have some of those answers or even questions of your own? Let us hear them! You can write to me at

When last I wrote we were in the midst of hosting the World Cup Football. Many thought that all the visitors would amount to a huge windfall for our artists but from the information that has reached me it was nothing more than a damp squib. Perhaps we can learn a lesson here? My experience as far as Fine Art goes is that holidays or similar events seldom if ever amount to improved sales of art. I think that art, not being an essentially a commodity, means that it cannot be seen or marketed as a commodity, and so we need to employ a slow and consistent/persistent marketing strategy that grows the numbers of arts buyers and supporters rather than looking for the big bang!

In recent months I have been following some very interesting art and marketing debates on a site called FineArtViews and  recently became involved myself by writing in to their blog. I found it extremely interesting and was delighted to find artists in the USA were very much like us with pretty much the same problems, aspirations and solutions. Please do have a look at this site at  There is a host of information, debates and art competitions. I’m sure you will enjoy it as I have done and can learn a great deal.
A second recommended site is Robert Genn’s twice a week letter. Robert is a Canadian artist who covers a variety of interesting arts topics. Find his site at

While on the matter of websites and links please do visit my website at
For those who do not want to receive my ‘Thoughts from my Studio’ articles please let me know by e-mailing me at  and I will remove your name instantly, but if however you have friends or know of people who would like to be added to the mailing list please let them contact me on the same e-mail address. They will be more than welcome.

I started with a vote of confidence and want to end with a huge thank-you to the President of the South African Society of Artists Lynn Brown who used my article on ‘Societies and Groups’ as an introduction to her August President’s letter. Thanks also for carrying my articles on the SASA Blogsite Lynn.

The South African Society of Artists (SASA) is one of the oldest ( 1902), largest and most successful Societies in South Africa and you can find a lot of information and learn a great deal by visiting them at

Once again thanks to all the many societies, groups, art shops and galleries who have, and still do carry my articles in their newsletters and on their websites.

I hope that you find the current article interesting and thought provoking. If it causes you to think and question then I have done my job.
Till we meet again next month
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