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A picture a day

This column originally ran in ComputorEdge on December 7, 2007
(Issue 2549, Crime and Punishment)

It's a movement in the art world – sort of like Impressionism or Art Noveau.

It's called "Daily Painting," and unlike the impressionists or the abstractists, the daily painters might not be able to survive financially without the Internet.

The original concept of daily painting was to start and finish a painting every day. Since then, at least according to the Daily Painters Guild, the concept has been expanded to include those who finish a painting every day (not necessarily one they start that same day) or even just paint every day, and finish a handful a week.

An artist fully committed to this aesthetic would have 365 paintings at the end of the year. That's a lot of paintings to sell, even for Thomas Kinkade.

Finding enough potential purchasers of all those paintings is a tall order, no matter how busy your gallery is or how many others' galleries you sell to and from.

But online?

Your reach is basically global with an Internet gallery.

There are several hundred daily artists listed on the Daily Painters Guild site, and all of them have a link to their own Web site where you can purchase their paintings.

Glancing over their work, they dozen or so I visited all seem competent enough. They're all fairly traditional in approach, with landscapes a recurring theme. They're more representative than abstract, too.

The prices ranged widely – wildly, even. I saw art ranging from $40 for an original oil painting to prices up to $8,000. (To be honest, I didn't think the pricey stuff was really any better than the inexpensive ones – a matter of taste, I suppose. And if they can get eight grand for their work, power to them, I say!)

More movie sites

Reader Jeff Loeb wrote in to say that my columns of Nov. 2, 9 and 16, about tracking movie information, photos and trailers online omitted one of his favorite sites, Moviefone.

The film page of AOL has probably the best layout of any of the film sites I've visited outside Yahoo's.

Moviefone contains lots of news stories about movies stars and directors, in addition to links to current movies. You can also search the database for movies from throughout history. Each film's entry has an overview with synopsis, links to reviews, links to trailers and clips, and hyperlinked cast and crew info.

For instance, after searching for "Casablanca," I could think click on the cast and crew page from its entry and read Humhrey Bogart's biography or view a hyperlinked list of all his films.

It's well-organized with a nice, clean design. It's not as fully populated as you might like (no photos of Bogie? C'mon ...), but is still a useful resource and worth checking out for cinema buffs.

Yet another

Reader Stan Sexton wrote in suggesting I visit the site.

I'm guessing NNDB is a acronym, but for what, I have no idea.

It's bare bones in appearance (the home page is text only), and not particularly easy to navigate.

But the search function works nicely. Looking up William Shatner, I found a fairly deep biography, a color photo (nice toupee, Bill), and a hyperlinked filmography.

As Sexton pointed out in his e-mail to me, the biography section is a little different from that of most sites: it contains all spouses, any children resulting from each marriage (or non-marriage relationship), political leanings, and health risk factor – smoking, etc.

The site is somewhat hit or miss, though. While Shatner and Candice Bergen each has a full biographpy in their entry, neither Annette Funicellor nor Shelley Long does, instead having just basic info with no narrative.

Movie entries for the most part contain little info – hyperlinked cast and credits is about it on the movies I checked (both recent and classic). There are no stills, and only a handful of films had reviews.

The site doesn't seem to offer much info on itself, such as who owns/publishes it.

Still, it's an interesting approach – a bit gossipy, but informative and fun.