Since this is my initial entry, I suppose it’s a good idea to explain why I am starting this blog. I am an artist who is not represented by a gallery, gets minimal exposure and receives little feedback on my work. Luckily, the intellectual dialog with my work is my foremost motive for creating images. Usually, upon completion, a new artwork is stacked along with other works in my studio and forgotten as I proceed to my next creation. Though I’m comfortable with this routine, I do, at times, miss the classroom critiques and spontaneous discussions about my work, specifically, and Art, in general, that defined my years of formal study.
It’s become clear to me over the past couple of years that the internet offers me a venue in which I can get exposure for my work and elicit discussion. I was pretty sure that a website devoted to my artwork would be the format that I would choose to establish a presence on the internet, but, after a number of false starts and aborted efforts, I began seeking simpler and less expensive alternatives. A friend, who many a time had listened to me bemoan my lack of progress on this endeavor, suggested that facebook might be a good outlet for me, so I signed up and began uploading digital images of my artwork to my homepage, often providing commentary specific to the image. Right from the start, my kids informed me that I was too wordy for facebook, that no one would read my entries, but I kept at it all the same. Of course, my kids were right; facebook functions like a tickertape, with posts traveling through an active viewing page rather quickly, depending on the current volume of activity, and, for all intents, once having passed off that page, being consigned to internet oblivion. It was a bit painful to see a post that I’d worked hard on and given some serious thought to zip off the active viewing page in less than a day (which, if my peripatetic participation is in any way representative, would mean that most of my postings commonly passed into the cyberspace void before anyone had a chance to see them). And another aspect of facebook is that my postings were only available to my embarrassingly small coterie of “friends”, many of whom were not particularly interested in Art. All the same, I stuck with it for over a year, my postings gradually becoming more general, documenting a host of activities not related to my artwork, like going out to dinner, taking a vacation or hiking with my dog. I did find it fun to give my “friends” a glimpse into my daily activities but also recognized that I had meandered far from my original intentions.
While exploring the potential of facebook, I’ve also visited a number of blogs posted by artists, photographers, writers, nature lovers and amateur philosophers. I found myself reading through countless entries and exploring a vast array of imagery, often amazed at the quality of the material and clarity of thought evidenced by the contributions of unknown and unrecognized people. Obviously, there are a lot of very talented folk out there who have never had access to an audience. Slowly (because everything with me happens slowly) it dawned on me that a blog offered the ideal venue to achieve those aims for which facebook was proving insufficient.
So I begin this blog with the intention of displaying images of my paintings, prints, drawings and photographs, offering some insight into my objectives, addressing technical issues and hopefully sparking productive discussion. I also recognize the inevitability that I will meander a bit, delve into topics off topic and offer up personal observations, Furthermore, I wish to make clear that I welcome criticism. For many years, on those rare occasions my artwork has been displayed, it has received only polite praise, which is gratifying but also a bit hollow. Seldom am I satisfied with a finished work. Generally I see a multitude of glaring faults. For me, painting is an endless learning process. That’s why I keep on doing it. Criticism is essential to this process and can only lead me to further discovery and exploration.
So let’s get started.