It's really sad to see artists who have a lot to give - but who have not been able to find a way of making blogging compatible with the rest of their lives.
Interestingly when I find them I inevitably find that the rest of their blogroll is very often dominated by other artists who have also given up. It always makes me think it must have been a group of friends who decided to give it a go - but who have ended up deciding that their lack of impact meant that there was no point in blogging
Maybe we all need a "somebody" who provides the incentive to get going and keep going? Or possibly we just need to feel that someone out there is reading us and we're not just writing for the ether!
So here's some pointers for anybody who's feeling like that right now:
- This is what I wrote in Reviewing art in 2010 (#1) - the art blog and I really do believe it
Blogging art = improved art - it's the process which makes a difference and it really doesn't matter one jot if nobody ever reads it! Just writing it out and analysing what's going on helps us sort out how we think about our own art - or the art we are reviewing. It also helps us to be more articulate about art which in turn helps us talk to clients about our own art. It's a win, win, win situation!
- writing a blog post doesn't get you an audience - you need to work a bit harder to get that! If this is where you are I'd suggest reviewing Blogging for Artists to find links to tips about how to improve your experience.
- One of those tips is this post by me about How to improve your art blog. Although it's three years old it still has relevance today.
- Plus Notice Me! Creating a popular art blog also provides some helpful tips for how to get an audience for your words and pictures.
- my online cyberchum group which has been going for more than five years now - during which members have come and gone and all our lives have changed quite radically!
- the group of bloggers who contribute to Watermarks - which is a slightly smaller group than it used to be but we've passed our 2nd birthday and we're still going! and
- the bunch of exercise fanatics ;) with sketchbooks who are also Sketchercisers!
|Green Pastures by Susan Gutting (Consider)|
I'm going to start by giving myself a pat on the back for getting my 1,000th follower for this blog via the Google Friend Connects mechanism. I'm also going to thank Susan Gutting (Consider) for being that person! :) Do take a look at Susan's landscapes on her website Susan D Gutting Fine Art- I really like them.
Drawing and sketching
- The Travels with a Sketchbook Trophy winner Liz Steel (Liz and Borromini)
- had a 101225 Sketchy Xmas Day
- has been interviewed - Interview #2--Liz Steel (and Borromini!) by Cathy Johnson for the blog Cathy has created to support her latest book the Artists Journal Workshop. I recommend both the blog and the interview - they're both a really good read
- Paint Draw Paint has a series of posts about Drawing basics. It gets down to the technical eg recent posts have been about the anatomy of the neck
- See the results of the opiion polls about favourite brands of coloured pencils, watercolour pencils amd soft pastels in the Art Supplies section
- Susan Ogilvie (Susan Ogilvie's Studio Life) is a pastel artist I've long admired. Her blog is not very active but it does have super content in showing you the prelim study and the pastel painting produced as a result
- Marsha Hamby Savage's is another pastel artist and her blog is My Art and Me. She uses it to talk quite a lot about considerations re workshops, galleries and shows.
I discovered the BBC Wildife website is playing host to something which is called the SWLA blog. Here's a couple of art-related posts
I came across lots of posts this week. I guess it's a time when people decide to lick their business practices into shape and start thinking afresh about how they conduct business. In fact there's so many, I'll hold some of them over to future weeks.
- Joanne Mattera (Joanne Mattera) who won the Make Me Think Gong continues her Marketing Mondays series with a post about Empowerment! - which relates to taking charge of your iown career. She also references Do You Really Need a Gallery?
- Lisa Call has been writing about the benefits on a non-art day job
- Part I: Why I love my day job.
- Part II: The benefits of a non-art day job.
- Part III: Finding my voice and selling out.
- Proof that Twitter Can Help Your Art Career
- Seth Godin (Seth's Blog) highlights Five ingredients of smart online commerce. Is this what you blog looks like? Does your e-store do this?
Art and the Economy / Art Collectors
According to the Financial Times, women artists outperform men
when prices are tracked over 25 years, is that women artists are now going up in price much faster than their male equivalents: the Women’s Art 100 began to outperform the largely male Art 100 Index in 2000, and the compound growth rate for the Women’s Art 100 is running 4 points higher, at 11.6 per cent.People have been posing questions about art collectors:
- Mike Savlen (Mike Savlen blog) asks Why don't artists collect more art? The thing is - I think they do. It's just not a topic which gets talked about very much.
- Luann Udell (Luann Udell) has reprinted an article which first appeared on the the Fine Art Views” website - with RESPECT YOUR COLLECTORS Part 1 about the lessons you learn when you, the artist, become an art collector. Here's the other two
I've been having a major 'push' this week on surfacing all the deadlines for the various najor art competitions and exhibitions by national art societies in the UK - notwithstanding that I forgot to include the Scottish ones. Which I'd remembered to include in advance but forgot to write down - hence there will be another post shortly!
Here are the posts on this blog:
- UK National Art Societies: 2011 Open Exhibitions - dates and deadlines
- Major Art Competitions in the UK 2011 - a timetable
Art Galleries and Museums / Art History
The "talent" cult is wrong in itself. No worthwhile art has ever been made by talent alone......all true creativity involves danger
- Van Gogh would never have won The X Factor: Jonathan Jones comments in The Guardian on how art sits within the current fashion for talent shows. I thought I'd lob this one in the week in which I've been highlighting the major art competitions and national art society exhibitions in the UK! ;)
- Jonathan also has some interesting things to say about The Royal Academy's shameless self-promotion in relation to the upcoming show about Modern Sculpture. I'd never heard of Phillip King either!
- Saved for the nation: the £3m Brueghel masterpiece - is good I suppose - but I'd rather see funds raised so that we can see more of the art which gets shut away in the vaults of museums!
- Today - The Dulwich Picture Gallery celebrates its 200th Birthday with A Big Bang. There's lots going on and fireworks at 5.15pm
- I've only just spotted that the Museum of Fine Art in Boston has an exhibition on called Artists Abroad: London, Paris, Venice, and Rome 1825-1925 (November 20, 2010 - June 26, 2011)
A tour abroad exposed artists to new environments, historic architecture and monuments, and famous art collections. It also enabled them to receive instruction from continental masters and interact with daring avant-garde artists.
Art Exhibitions and Art Fairs
- A reminder if it is needed that Norman Rockwell's America opened at the Dulwich Picture Gallery and the exhibition continues until 27 March 201. The Observer has posted a slideshow of images of some of Rockwell's works which on display - a number of them made me smile. Must find a date in my diary to go and see the exhibition!
- There were two artists by the name of Pissaro. The father was Camille Pissaro and the son was Lucien Pissaro. Lucien became a British citizen in 1916. There's a new exhibition Lucien Pissarro in England: The Eragny Press 1895 - 1914 which opened yesterday (8th January 2011 to 13th March 2011) at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. It celebrates the work of painter, engraver and printmaker, Lucien Pissarro (1863-1944) with the first comprehensive display of his Eragny Press 1895-1914. This article in the Independent comments on the exhinbition and the artist Lucien Pissarro in England, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.
- It has a complementary exhibition British Drawings in the Age of the Eragny Press (8th January 2011 to 13th March 2011) which display a selection of drawings by British artists many of whom who were friends and contemporaries of Lucien Pissarro.The first part of the exhibition comprises drawings by John Ruskin, Sir Edward Burne-Jones and the English illustrators – notably Charles Keene – whose work inspired Lucien’s early work. The remaining drawings illustrate the growing impact of contemporary French art on a younger generation, many of whom were trained at the Slade School: Augustus John, Henry Tonks, Sargent and others.
- This is a video by Sotheby's which is about Gauguin and the current exhibition at Tate Modern
Paul Foxton (Learning to See) has been preoccupied with looking at Composition. As those who read this blog will know he,s nothing if not thorough. Here are his posts to date - and don't forget to read the comments which as always with this blog are also interesting.Can composition be learned? And if so, how?
- What Makes a Good Composition? asks questions about what to focus on
- Composition: Some Possible Approaches to Learning Pictorial Design - this focuses on guiding the viewer (paying attention to focus and eye paths) and design
The more I look at art from different cultures and periods, the more I think that a sense of design, pattern and harmony must surely be shared by all people no matter which culture or time they come from.
I'll be adding the links into my resource website Composition and Design - Resources for Artists.
Tips and techniques
I don't know why - but I've never seen a blog post or article before about how to clean museum glass. Here's one I came across this week - Cleaning Your AR or Museum Glass! by Liz Haywood-Sully (Liz Haywood-Sullivan Fine Art). The AR stands for anti-reflective.
- Lynne Windsor (Lynne E. Windsor Fine Art), who's a British artist living and working in Santa Fe, NM, has organised a workshop in Scotland - details on her website
- Kate Harper's (Kate Harper) has got a very nice prompt for starting the year with a clean studio. Take the Clutter Quiz: Start Fresh for the New Year. I shall be printing out the prompts and coming up with all sorts of reasons not to get rid of art books! I love the fact that she's also identified to what to do with the things you've decided can go!
On Making A Mark Reviews...... this week I've been posting the results of the 2010 Opinion Polls on my 'resources for artists websites relating to coloured pencils and pastels.
- The Favourite Coloured Pencil Awards! (2010 Brand Poll Results) identifies
- The Favourite Coloured Pencil in 201,
- The Favourite Lightfast (6901) Coloured Pencil in 2010 and
- The Favourite brand of Coloured Pencil Media in 2010
- The Favourite Watercolour Pencils Awards! (2010 Brand Poll Results) identifies three winners of different ways of looking at watercolour pencils.
- This morning I posted Which is your favourite make of soft pastels? (2010 Poll Results) which indicates the same top five are the favourite brands - but in a slightly different order this year. See if you can which brands and what order before you visting the post.
- Making A Mark's Top 10 Fine Art Books in December 2010 details the changes in the top art blogs during December - and I've settled on a new way of identifying the art business books.
- I'm really pleased to see thatthe 25th anniversay edition of Jeanne Dobie's excellent book about colour - Making Color Sing, 25th Anniversary Edition: Practical Lessons in Color and Design - is published on Tuesday in the USA. We have to wait until 7th March in the UK. I'm rather assuming that this will have the palette update which she has listed on her website.
- James Gurney's (Gurney Journey) new book Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter maintained its listing as the top book in three categories. I'm sure Christmas helped - I've heard from a lot of paper who made sure it was one of their Christmas presents!
- best selling book in Painting
- top rates new art book
- best selling new art book
- one of the things I know from the speed of response to this month's Making A Mark Opinion POLL: Are you a left handed artist? is that you're all interested to know "the answer". Take a look at the poll - it's already providing one! :) The results will be published at the end of the month.
- If you have suggestions for future polls please do not hesitate to contact me.
- see the results of my opinion polls relating to coloured pencils and soft pastels under 'Art Materials'
Websites, webware and blogging
- Techie: Ten top reasons to use tags on your blog provides some very good reasons to spend five minutes investigating what tagging involves and what it can do. Thanks for all the comments from people who said it was something they'd always meant to do but had just never got round to it - but would do now! :)
- The Mac Apps store opened for business this week - and apparentlythere were 1 million downloads on the first day. I can't remember whether mine was Day or Day 2 but I've now downloaded Art Authority for Mackintosh of which more in the future.
- Seth Godin tell us in In defense of RSS that he uses Newsfire as his feedreader. I tried it but I actually prefer Google Reader because of the scope to organise feeds by categor and ability to copy links and content to my blog posts for reference purposes - such as in this post!
I absolutely love reading about people who really enjoy their art and their painting. It really opens your eyes to the fact that it's an area of interest and an activity which has a far broader scope than many people appreciate.
Who would have thought that ex-Labour Party stalwart, heavyweight Cabinet politician and renowned Chancellor of the Exchequer Denis Healey (now aged 93) would be so devoted to painting. Read Denis Healey: the artist within written by his son Tim Healey to find out all about his artistic life. It's full of amazing stories about art and painting.
I did a little painting in North Africa and Italy during the warHealey had been the military landing officer for the British assault brigade at Anzio. Talk about painting plein air in challenging situations! ;)