Don't rest on your laurels just yet, fellow artist bloggers. You will note from the list of important bloggers in the Wikipedia entry, that only about a third of those considered important are authored by artists, and even then, these are not all formatted as blogs where the artist posts their art on a regular basis. The bulk of the list are arts professionals, such as writers, gallerists and critics.
But, if the fire burns in your belly to share your art and ideas on the Internet, nothing comes close to artist blogging for achieving that. Think of it as the modern equivalent to van Gogh's letters-a journal of your direction, art and beliefs.
We have been describing, in loose terms, the types of art blogs that you may use as a departure point in starting your own blog. The blogs typed so far are much more than the sum of these descriptions, but observing them closely may give you some guidance.
To date, we have described these types of artist blogs: art didactic, D'autre (other), and medium-based. And, lifestyle, art-form and spare.
Now, I want to discuss the Instructional, Process and Art-for-Sale art blogs.
Already mentioned in a previous post, James Gurney's Gurney Journey is a one-over-the-world instruction blog for artists. Ever wonder if illustration and fine art jive together? Gurney provides the answer: yes. His paintings are very fine, and I particularly enjoyed his reports on his recent trip to North Africa. See Port of Tangier and Rabat Alley.
Another two notable instruction blogs are Richard McKinley, who blogs at Pastel Pointers, and Michael Chesley Johnson, who offers A Plein Air Painter's Blog. Both are pastelists and oil painters and their blogs are regular reads for a broad audience of artists.
Adam Cope at Dordogne Painting Days creates his blog around his art, his locale and his near influences. Subjects, such as musicians, family, and market vendors are sketched in a lively manner. The south of France, well known for its art foundation, provides the landscape for his colorist oils and watercolors. But Adam's thinking about the painting process is the textual copy of this blog. Not surprising, as Adam teaches workshop painting holidays in this painter's paradise.
"This blog is about my life as an artist- my work and random thoughts about the creative process," Deborah Paris says at A Painting Life. In this post, Old School-New School, she gives some of the reasoning behind her current style. No blog today is as rich with beautiful landscape paintings as Deborah's.
Vivien Blackburn's Paintings, Prints and Stuff features her excellent works of these types from coastal Great Britain. Vivien uses widgets to promote her art that is for sale, such as imagekind and Etsy, and also Blurb which carries her book.
Art for Sale
Tracy Helgeson, also of Works By Tracy Helgeson, has created a simple and clean design for how to sell your art from your blog. See Tracy Helgeson dot blogspot. The concept is that one's blog can be so active with context, that patrons sometimes may not see a path to purchasing the fine art displayed. Enter the Art for Sale style of blog. Keep in mind that this type of blog will work best if supported by another web presence driving traffic to it.
My newest blog is a direct spin-off of Tracy's: Casey Klahn dot blogspot. In a "just the facts, ma mm" manner, each post is one artwork, with description, and a big Buy Now button from Paypal.
This series has many of us established art bloggers wondering aloud how we each have styled our blogs. My advice is to not think too hard, as we are each ourselves. This study is an attempt to sort out broad styles as a path to new art bloggers. And, what about The Colorist? What style does this blog fit into? Stay tuned!
Tip: Dip your toe in the water by creating a Beta version of your art blog. One way to do this is to limit the viewership to invited readers only. OTOH, my opinion is that a new blog will have very minimal readership, anyway. Especially if you avoid commenting at other blogs for a while.