Saturday, January 26, 2008

Resources for Art Lovers - Hockney, Turner and Hokusai

A Turneresque sunset
coloured pencil, 4" x 4"
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

Yesterday I published the latest in a series of sites I'm developing for specific artists I've studied or will be studying this year. These are:
I comment on these below - together with comments about a couple of tasks involved with setting up a new lens
  • Each new lens requires a mini picture. This needs to be clearly associated with the subject of the lens but also recognisable when small - and hence distinctive within the lensroll. I've started doing my own mini versions of something distinctive about individual artists and I've included new icon images for four lenses in this post.
  • At the end of this post, I've included a tip about the use of tags for all those people who are developing their own squidoo lenses.
I hope those who are interested enjoy the new lenses.

David Hockney - Resources for Art Lovers

As a number of people will be aware I rather like David Hockney and have posted about him, his portraits, his exhibitions and his sketchbooks on this blog a few times.

The new site provides the holy grail - otherwise known as the link to his authorised website which I spent years looking for on the internet! There exists a small group of Hockneyphiles - of which i'm a member - who swop links to good sites about Hockney when we find one and these are included too (but please do check to see if I've left any out inadvertently).

The icon for this one was kick started by the graphic format used for the title of for his book about his early years. I just couldn't work out how to do a mirror reflection of the letters so did this instead!

J.M.W Turner - Resources for Art Lovers

This is an artist I'm aiming to study later this year - although he'll probably crop up earlier in relation to both the composition and colour projects. It includes enough links to be published but will be acquiring more as the year progresses.

I'm rather pleased with my rather loose Turneresque sunset (see top) and am quite taken with the idea of trying a few more! I think Turner's style is going to work very well with my preference for optical mixing. It also works rather well as an exemplification of some of the elements and principles of design!

Hokusai and Japanese Art - Resources for Art Lovers

As I indicated in one of my weekly posts, I published two lenses in December which relate to the next project on Japanese Art, Ukiyo-e and Japonisme.
However, as of yesterday, I finally managed to get rid of their squid icon images and they acquired their own images for their iconic pictures and so have now been added into my Group Lens as well - Artists in History - Resources for Art Lovers.

I've used the Giant Wave for the Hokusai lens and another of his works - a view of Mount Fuji - for the Japanese Art lens.

Crops of images of the 'Great Wave' and one of the views of Mount Fuji by Hokusai
4" x 4", coloured pencil

copyright Katherine Tyrrell

I think the thing which I find interesting about the icons as tinypics is that it really reveals which are strong images - in design and composition terms - and which 'lose' the viewer irrespective of the quality of the work used. Of course, this is a lesson which can be equally applied to artwork

A tip for those developing Squidoo lenses

My main reason for using and publishing squidoo lens is so that I have a safe and organised way to store all my links to topics I'm interested in. And everytime I have a computer which fails I'm thankful that I now am able to store information outside my computer. So I'd be using this webware even if it didn't publish to the world at large!

However I also like sharing information and it's always seemed pretty silly to me to collect information for future use if you don't then share it around with those who are interested if there is an easy way of doing this. Which there is and therefor it's what I do - and why you see the links to the squidoo lenses in the right hand column of this blog.

The importance of 'tags'

One of the interesting tasks when publishing a lens is to think about which 'tags' to use so that others interested in a topic can find a lens.

Tags work in much the same way as categories or labels on blogs - tags are one of the things which help to get your lens found by people interested in the topic. Search engines like them as they effectively act as key words - so long as they match content and are a way of the search engines finding the sites most likely to satisfy the search queries. See these two posts for why labels are important when using Blogger
In Squidoo, you can have up to 40 tags for each lens.

At the outset I try to think of all the ways I'd describe the topics covered in the lens and include what seem to be the more important ones as tags. Periodically I then do a review of all search terms used in the previous 30 days by people who have visited the lens and compare these to the tags in use and revise as required. You'll find that the traffic screen in the admin section for each lens provides the data about how many people use which terms.
  • To find your tags: check the right hand column in 'edit' mode and then click on the 'edit' icon next to the tags
  • To review the statistics and traffic for different search terms - click on 'check my statistics' in the toolbox or access via the dashboard - and then review the traffic menu. Stats for the last 7 days are shown automatically. Use the drop down menu to change the number of days of visits you are viewing.


Lindsay said...

Katherine, I love your painting today and thanks so much for the Hockney site. I'm a groupie too.

Tina Mammoser said...

Katherine, I presume you have seen "Hockey on Turner" at the Tate Britain then? :)

ed turner said...

hi , i really like this site, thank you, i'll visit again. ed turner

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