Sunday, January 09, 2011

9th January 2011 - Who's made a mark this week?

New Year Resolutions and thinking about new ways of doing things are still in the air.  I reflected this week on the fact that I keep coming across good blog posts - via a search for a topic - which are on the blog of an artist who has given up blogging.  The art is good, the writing is good, the techniques are well explained - but the artist has given up.

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:
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. 
Being an art blogger can also provide you with warm and wonderful communities of like-minded artist buddies who will provide support when required and give you the challenge you need from time to time.  I'd also like to take time out at the beginning of this New Year to thank:
  • 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!  
I can highly recommend small blogging communities as well as blogging about art! :)

Green Pastures by Susan Gutting (Consider)
Art Blogs
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
Coloured Pencils and Pastels
  • 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
    Art Business & Marketing

    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.
    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:
    Art Competitions and Art Societies

    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:
      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
      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
      Art Education / workshops / Tips and techniques 

      Art Education
      Can composition be learned? And if so, how?
      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. 

      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.

      Art Studios
      • 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!
      Art Supplies

      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.
      Book Reviews 
        Opinion Polls
        • 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!
        and finally........

        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 war
        Healey had been the military landing officer for the British assault brigade at Anzio.  Talk about painting plein air in challenging situations! ;)


        1. This is such a meaty post- I can't wait to explore your links! I just had to comment, first:

 really doesn't matter one jot if nobody ever reads it!

          This is a great reminder about why we do what we do- in blogging, in art, in living.

          ~~julie susanne

        2. Thanks for the great information. I'm an artist as well so found found everything very helpful. Also, you have yourself a new follower. =) Your blog is very nice.

        3. Thank you again for a link this week. I will finish that series about the day job but I got distracted by the new year and the need to write about goals - this week is going to mostly be about goals.

          Your posts are full of excellent info. I'm impressed, as usual.

        4. Dear Katherine, thank you so much for listing my workshop on your amazing blog. I really do appreciate it. Thank you.


        5. Thank you once again for such rich, diverse and useful, for me information. You create a fine service for artists. I am inspired.

        6. Great information in this post. As always, it gives me a good reason to do some productive procrastinating... so many links to explore!

        7. excellent post! I'm looking forward to reviewing all the links you listed they sound like they'll be great resources.

        8. Starting a blog was probably one of the best moves I made. I find it has encouraged me to paint more. And as well as being an outlet to show off my work I also think of it as my diary. I've also found so many other wonderful art blogs (many through your informative blog)and they in turn help me to develope as an artist. This is my third year blogging. It really doesn't matter if no one looks but is always nice when some has peeked over my shoulder and left a comment.
          Any infromation I need, I know which blog to come to...great work!

        9. Just wanted to thank you for the mention, I have your blog in my toolbar and read it often. Very informative and interesting to read. Thank you for all your hard work!


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