A podcast can be a great companion to a painting or drawing session. The variety of art podcasts to choose from is ever growing, covering art history, interviews with current practitioners, information on painting techniques and exhibition reviews. Some offer the opportunity to learn more about the ideas behind paintings you may know and love, and some give a platform to artists that you may never have heard speak before. We’ve put together some of our favourites for you to listen to this Spring.
Art Curious – Sargent’s Madame X
Art Curious is a US based podcast hosted by art historian Jennifer Dasal, telling often weird, funny, mysterious, enthralling and liberating stories behind well known artists and their masterpieces. Dasal’s account of John Singer Sargent’s painting Madame X takes a look at his palette, working methods, and reasons for painting the sensual master work, as well as the controversy it courted at the Paris Salon.
Artist/Mother – Studio Safety with Michelle Berg Radford and Amy Sacksteder
Artist/Mother is hosted by artist and curator Kaylan Buteyn, and is a podcast that deals with the issues surrounding juggling motherhood with being an artist. It combines practical issues of artist life with insightful interviews with practicing artists, delving into the ideas and techniques that form their work. In this episode all about studio safety, painter and collagist Michelle Berg Radford and multi-disciplinary artist Amy Sacksteder discuss why studio safety is so important to them and talk about how they integrate studio safety into their creative practices.
The Artist Entrepreneur – Finding your niche as an artist
The Artist Entrepreneur is a little different to other artist podcasts. The host, Catherine Orer, is a Business and PR Strategist for artists. With extensive gallery experience, Catherine is able to impart useful and practical advice to help overcome the fear of self-promotion and finance management that so many of us have, and navigate decisions such as whether to exhibit at an art fair, how to connect with potential buyers, and how to use social media to your advantage. In this episode abstract painter Nicola Bennett talks to Catherine Orer about how she found her identity as an artist and how she transitioned into becoming a professional artist.
Ask an Artist – Interview with Dr. Robert Travers
Ask an Artist is a British podcast run by professional artists Laura Boswell (printmaker) and Peter Keegan (portrait painter). It is a down-to-earth and candid look at all aspects of how to become a professional artist, from making to selling and everything in between. Peter and Laura often welcome experts such as gallerists, paint manufacturers and fellow practitioners to discuss their work and offer insights that may provide a better understanding of how best to operate as an artist today. This interview with the director of Piano Nobile gallery shares fascinating insight into the highly regarded Ruth Borchard Prize for self-portraiture.
Savvy Painter – Understanding Perfectionism
In their description, Antrese Wood’s Savvy Painter podcast states ‘the collective intelligence of the artist community is infinitely greater than the individual. Here’s how you can tap into it.’ Savvy Painter is a bi-weekly podcast about the issues that all painters face, everything from pigments to tonal value to promotion. In this episode the Savvy Painter podcast delves into the subejct of ‘Understanding Perfectionism’ in relation to a painting practice.
Talk Art – National Portrait Gallery (LGBTQ+ History Month Special Episode)
Actor and self-confessed art addict Russell Tovey and gallerist Robert Diament host the highly popular Talk Art podcast. Talk Art shines a light on the contemporary art world, presenting insightful interviews and informal chat with well known artists and collectors. This is really intended for contemporary art lovers rather than practitioners, but it does delve into the life stories and working methods of some of the world’s best loved contemporary artists, and highlight the movers and shakers among today’s contemporary art market. In this episode Robert and Russell visit the National Portrait Gallery to express their love for their favourite LGBTQ+ modern masterpieces and share the stories behind the works.
The Curator’s Salon – The Curator’s Salon Magazine
Gita Joshi is a curator and artist advisor, and was recently on the Expert Judging Panel for the Jackson’s Painting Prize. The Curator’s Salon is a regular podcast where Gita converses with artists, curators and authors working in the contemporary art world. The Curator’s Salon glimpses into the working methods of artists and their individual stories about why they make work, but also offers advice and information relevant to all practitioners. In this episode, Gita introduces her new magazine and calls for artist submissions for the publication. Additionally, she gives insight into the importance of applying to artist opportunities as a way of gaining bigger audiences for your work, and offers her opinon on what’s worth including in applications.
The Great Women Artists Podcast – Maggi Hambling
Recently included in Forbes ‘30 Under 30‘, Katy Hessel is an art historian and presenter who set up the Great Women Artists Instagram in 2015, celebrating often overlooked women artists working today or from art history. As as extension to the Instagram, Katy now hosts The Great Women Artists Podcast, and interviews artists working today as well as curators, writers and historians who shed light on fascinating women artists from the past. In this episode Katy meets the ever colourful and fascinating Maggi Hambling, who shares her life story and inspirations. It’s a fascinating episode that will no doubt get you reaching for your brushes.
The Print Cast – Linocut, my one true love, with Kari Kristensen
Something a little different, The Print Cast is all about every kind of Printmaking method – etching, screenprint, monotypes and relief. Episodes are released fortnightly, with each being an interview with a printmaker, sharing the ideas and working methods they love to engage with. In this episode Canadian artist Kari Kristensen extols her love of linocut, and offers useful technical tips, as well as ideas about why this medium fits her passion for landscape so perfectly.
How To Be An Artist – Idris Khan
How to be an Artist is a brand new podcast presented by head of collections at Soho House and Sky Arts Artist of the Year judge, Kate Bryan. The podcast will present a series of interviews with artists and delve into both personal and universal issues faced by working artists today. In the first episode, Kate interviews Idris Khan, a multi-disciplinary artist based in London whose work is concerned with layers, memories and traces of history and experience. In the interview Idris contemplates the importance of doubt, and living life with a fellow artist.
Art Against the World – Violence
Art against the world is the result of a collaboration between the University of Liverpool and the Liverpool Biennial. It describes itself as a ‘contemporary art podcast for the socially engaged audience’, and explores fascinating ideas surrounding art and politics, highlighting that art has the power to not only comment on contemporary issues, but actually alter the status quo. ‘Violence’ aims to answer the question, ‘how can artists show violence with sensitivity?’ and raises the point that depictions of violence can inadvertently glorify and condone violence when the artist’s intention is the opposite. The podcast is presented by Vid Simoniti, a lecturer in the Philosophy of Art at the University of Liverpool.
The Thriving Artist – Classical Skills for Modern Art Careers
The Thriving Artist podcast is produced by the Clark Hulings Fund, an organisation based in Santa Fe who strive to support the business side of being an artist. In this episode, The Thriving Artist talk to Mandy Theis, a painter and Director of School of Atelier Arts, about the value of visual literacy and the importance of teaching classical skills to artists, irrespective of the kind of work they end up making.
Cranfield Colour Like No Other Podcast – An Unlovable Rogue: Han van Meegeren
Last year, paint and ink makers Cranfield produced a number of fabulous podcasts and we hope that they will produce more in time. The episodes are presented by Michael Craine, the Managing Director of Cranfield, and Sarah Carnline, their US based sales manager and professional printmaker. The podcast series is an eclectic mix, presenting art history, technical issues relating to colour and paints, the art materials market and the very nature of creating art itself. This episode tells the life story of the art forger Han van Meegeren, who fooled the world in the early twentieth century with his convincing Vermeer and Hals forgeries.
Artful Painter – Shanna Kunz
Artful Painter podcast is focussed on the act of making paintings, taking a closer look at oils, acrylics, watercolours, gouache, pencil, ink and charcoal, their substrates and mediums…it’s a little like this blog in audio form. In this episode artist Shanna Kunz talks about her artistic practice, a landscape painter who evokes mood and a sense of atmosphere in her serene and romantic work.
Dialogues: The David Zwirner Podcast – Mamma Andersson and Jockum Nordström
The David Zwirner Podcast (created by the gallery of the same name), brings together artists for an open ended conversation. The conversations are hosted by Lucas Zwirner (son of David). In this episode Swedish artist-couple Mamma Andersson and Jockum Nordström discuss their life together and what it is like to create art in close proximity to one another.
Learn to Paint – Julie Gilbert Pollard
Another great podcast that focuses on the whole business of making paintings – the ideas you need to develop and address, how to get organised, tips on how to put the paint on, and an empathetic acknowledgement of the challenges we all face as artists. The episodes present conversations with an array of artists that work with a variety of media, from watercolours to oils, mixed media to acrylics. In this episode Julie Gilbert Pollard discusses her colour-filled, impressionistic watercolour landscapes.
Talking with Painters – Guy Warren
Talking with Painters is an Australian podcast hosted by painter Maria Stoljar. In each episode Maria interviews an artist, who reveals why they make, their favourite techniques, influences, and what is currently on their easel. Guy Warren is something of a national treasure, about to reach his 100th year. In this episode he discusses his love of landscape and his fruitful and fascinating life as an artist, talking of his experiences during the Second World War and the Australian Great Depression.
The Art of Slow Looking
The Art Of… is a series of podcasts from Tate, telling the human stories behind the art in Tate’s collection. From love and creativity, to failure and protest, each episode explores how art reflects universal experiences. Creatives, curators, gallery visitors and comedians chat about art and its relevance to contemporary life. In this episode, a psychologist and a former monk talk about how taking the time to slow down and look at art can significantly change your response and what you can get from a work of art.
Only Artists – Rose Wylie and Stewart Lee
There is something eternally fascinating about listening to an informal conversation between two artists, and understanding this, Only Artists brought together a number of creative people for an opportunity to exchange ideas and gain insight into their individual working practices, just two artists and no host. In this episode the painter Rose Wylie asked to speak with stand up comedian Stewart Lee, and end up discussing the parallels between comedy and painting.
Recording Artists: Alice Neel
Precious recordings of famous artists from the Getty archives, Recording Artists presents six revolutionary female artists from the twentieth century, including Alice Neel, Lee Krasner, Betye Saar, Helen Frankenthaler, Yoko Ono and Eva Hesse. Host Helen Molesworth also speaks with contemporary artists and art historians to make sense of what it meant, and still means, to be a woman and an artist. This episode with Alice Neel hears the artist discuss inequality, economic hardship, and her own mental health challenges.