.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}
   Welcome to my blog! I'll be posting thoughts about art, photos, happenings, and other things that strike me--and hopefully my readers--as interesting. And please visit my website by clicking the link to the right--thanks!

   Also please check out my second blog, The Painting Archives to see older (pre-2004) paintings for sale.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

I've written almost 400 blog posts since the fall of 2005, and in that time I've had a lot of conversations about art blogging. The most common questions I get from other artists who don't write blogs are: is it a lot of work, is it worth it, and do you ever run out of things to talk about? The answer to all three is "yes" and in order to go into some detail, I'm devoting this entry to the topic of blogging itself.

There are many ways to blog, but I'll focus here on my own approach--which is to write from my perspective as a full time painter about my life as an artist--the ups and downs, pleasures and frustrations, and ideas that I mull over in relation to my work. I try to stay off personal, political or family topics, although once in a while I'll venture in that direction if I see a connection to my work. I prefer a tone that is friendly but not overly confidential....the person I picture as my reader is an interested acquaintance, most likely another artist. Because of that I'm likely to be pretty open about anything art related, and more circumspect about other topics. My blog is basically a look at my professional life, with just personal stuff to be engaging (I hope.)

I mention this aspect of blogging because some people believe that to write a blog is to surrender basic personal privacy, and they recoil from the idea. A typical comment to me is, "how do you handle being so out there?" But it's up to the blogger to decide about how much to reveal, and I think that having an idea of who my readers are helps natural boundaries come into play. Some of my readers make enough comments (thank you!) so that I do feel I know them, and in my mind they represent the many others who simply read and enjoy.

As for the work load, I try to write at least once a week, often twice, and usually I post an image. I really appreciate comments, and try to respond to all of them. Not only that, but if I want people to read my blog, I need to keep up with other art bloggers and leave a few comments on theirs--so yes, blogging is definitely time consuming. I put the priority on my own blog, and fit in others as I can--nowadays relying heavily on Facebook to know when someone else has posted (If you have both a Facebook account and a blog, you can set up an automatic appearance of your post on your profile page and friend's home pages.) Over time I've fallen into a rhythm that seems natural--every 4-5 days I'll get the urge to write. Sometimes a week passes and I suddenly remember to write, and figure that's OK. But I don't have any kind of schedule or calendar to remind me.

Is blogging worthwhile? For me it is, because the writing itself is an activity I'm drawn to. I've always kept journals and notes on my work, and I enjoy the process of exploring an idea through writing. I find it really satisfying to see where my thoughts and words take me, once I start writing a post. The exploratory nature of this kind of writing is a bit like painting, in that I usually don't know where I'm heading beyond a general idea. I love it when various threads coalesce into a coherent statement--much in the same way a painting eventually reaches a meaningful conclusion.

So, I do recommend blogging to other artists, but with a rather obvious caveat--you have to enjoy writing. If not it will be a chore and chances are good the blog will fade away. (I should mention that art blogs can be well done with few words, mainly images, and that's a great way to go if you don't care for writing.)

Besides the pleasure of writing and recording activities and thoughts, blogging is also worthwhile for its networking potential--for forging connections with other artists and art lovers. Through this blog, I have made good friends (and spent time with them in "real life"), sold paintings, found workshop participants and venues, and travel opportunities. Other connections and spin-offs are less easily traced to the blog, but having an online presence is part of the mix of factors that makes things happen.

The final question, the one about running out of ideas, makes me squirm a bit. Sometimes I know I want and need to post, but when I cast about for a starting point, nothing comes to mind. I have heard that you should have a list of back-up topics to turn to, but that doesn't appeal to me. I want to write about things that are actually on my mind, relevant to my immediate situation, and those kind of lists seem stale. All I can say is that I hope the posts that were hard to get going on are not too obvious in that respect (I'll admit though that this was one of them.) Again there are parallels to painting--getting started can be half the battle, and once the journey is begun it achieves its own energy and momentum.

The painting above is Lake House #3, 10"x10", oil and wax on panel, 2010.
Good post re blogging~

This painting is one of my favorites. I love the dark linear strokes beneath the softer applications. The mystery represented reveals just enough information to pique one's imagination.
Good stuff!
As always a great post Rebecca! I find writing a blog on a regular basis helps to put the work days into a sort of focused perspective. I fought the idea of blogging for a long time but the benefits far out weigh the work involved. I am with you and highly recommend blogging for artists as a valuable creative tool! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
Beautifully said Rebecca. Things are only as hard as we make them. The rewards of blogging have been fabulous for me - I have connected with many like-minded people, learned things, shared art work and processes. I am uplifted by these connects with other artists. Thank you for this post!
Lake House is rich.
my good friend Leslie (above) talked me into starting my blog last August and you are right--- it has really opened up my world to wonderful artists, online friends, support, inspiration and sharing of ideas.
It does take time away from my studio sometimes but it is well worth it.
Thanks for all these comments! I have been prompted to visit each of your blogs as well. It's really so wonderful to be able to share our art, ideas, photos, thoughts and experiences with people around the world--what a time we live in!
A very interesting post Rebecca. All questions that I am sure most bloggers get and perhaps even ask themselves. Your thoughts resonate with me!
I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on blogging, and live the accompanying image. I think blogging 'forces' us to write about our work, and I believe coming up with the words to go with the images is a good thing. It also helps to connect us with the rest of the world; again a good thing. And you are right, how public or private we are on our non-art selves is up to each one of us.
Yes it almost seems a shame to not take advantage of that connection to the world through blogging. It's an amazing opportunity for connection.
Love this painting. It has a collage-y feel.
What a jerk. Besides, I don't find your work particularly Rothko-esque. It's you.
Rebecca, I've been following your work for some time now and enjoyed reading your thoughts on blogging (with which I agree wholeheartedly). You have to enjoy the craft of writing itself, but, if you do, it is one more way to connect with others, artists and non-artists alike, about the practice of artmaking. Sometimes, I think it creates a bridge to the artwork that the experience of viewing it that much more intense and vivid.
Post a Comment

<< Home


     September 2005 /      October 2005 /      November 2005 /      December 2005 /      January 2006 /      February 2006 /      March 2006 /      April 2006 /      May 2006 /      June 2006 /      July 2006 /      August 2006 /      September 2006 /      October 2006 /      November 2006 /      December 2006 /      January 2007 /      February 2007 /      March 2007 /      April 2007 /      May 2007 /      June 2007 /      July 2007 /      August 2007 /      September 2007 /      October 2007 /      November 2007 /      December 2007 /      January 2008 /      February 2008 /      March 2008 /      April 2008 /      May 2008 /      June 2008 /      July 2008 /      August 2008 /      September 2008 /      October 2008 /      November 2008 /      December 2008 /      January 2009 /      February 2009 /      March 2009 /      April 2009 /      May 2009 /      June 2009 /      July 2009 /      August 2009 /      September 2009 /      October 2009 /      November 2009 /      December 2009 /      January 2010 /      February 2010 /      March 2010 /      April 2010 /      May 2010 /      June 2010 /      July 2010 /      August 2010 /      September 2010 /      October 2010 /      November 2010 /      December 2010 /      January 2011 /      February 2011 /      March 2011 /      April 2011 /      May 2011 /      June 2011 /      July 2011 /      August 2011 /      September 2011 /      October 2011 /      November 2011 /      December 2011 /      January 2012 /      February 2012 /      March 2012 /      April 2012 /      May 2012 /      June 2012 /      July 2012 /      August 2012 /      September 2012 /      October 2012 /      November 2012 /      December 2012 /      January 2013 /      February 2013 /      March 2013 /      April 2013 /      May 2013 /      June 2013 /      July 2013 /      August 2013 /      September 2013 /      October 2013 /      November 2013 /      December 2013 /      January 2014 /      February 2014 /      March 2014 /      April 2014 /      May 2014 /      June 2014 /      July 2014 /      August 2014 /      September 2014 /      October 2014 /      November 2014 /      December 2014 /      January 2015 /      February 2015 /      March 2015 /      April 2015 /      May 2015 /      June 2015 /      July 2015 /      August 2015 /      September 2015 /      October 2015 /      November 2015 /      December 2015 /      January 2016 /      February 2016 /      March 2016 /      April 2016 /      June 2016 /      July 2016 /      August 2016 /      September 2016 /      October 2016 /      November 2016 /      December 2016 /      January 2017 /      February 2017 /      March 2017 /      May 2017 /      June 2017 /      July 2017 /      August 2017 /      September 2017 /      October 2017 /      November 2017 /      December 2017 /      January 2018 /      March 2018 /      April 2018 /      May 2018 /      June 2018 /      August 2018 /      September 2018 /      October 2018 /      November 2018 /      December 2018 /      February 2019 /      April 2019 /      May 2019 /      June 2019 /

       Rebecca Crowell