10 January, 2009
Art Blogs & Art Blogging - Blog Styles
What is your blogging style? If you are like me, you will begin with a concept, and after the blog is established (perhaps six months into it?) you may have a better idea of what the blog really wants to be. That is a natural process for the first time blogger.
The styles I am examining in this series are from blogs written by artists, and not arts professionals. This is to get you, the art blogger, closer to the style you want to emulate. There are some terrific blogs about art collection, and art news, but you want to blog about your art and establish a format. But what will your format be?
What is your blogging style?
In the post, Yard Birds, we discussed three art blogging styles: social, art form and spare. This time, let's discuss three others, which are art didactic, D'autre (other), and medium-based.
Katherine Tyrrell at Making a Mark has this set of publications about blogging for artists. These are a must-review if you wish to step-off on a good foot at art blogging.
so ubiquitous that it is hard to find any peer blogs
The aforementioned Making a Mark is the ultimate example of an art didactic site. Katherine Tyrrell, who is nearly a daily poster of her own watercolors, pastels and colored pencil works, has developed a site so ubiquitous that it is hard to find any peer blogs. Who else packs so much valuable information into one place? Actually, Katherine's MAM blog needs multiple blogs and websites to contain her ideas, and so she has diversified by adding many different resource and art sites.
I want to start giving you multiple examples of a style, but it is hard to do with this one. Marion Body-Evans at Painting.About and Linda Blondheim Art Notes are in the same style, I think. If you wish to be "another Making a Mark", I would review these blogs,too. And study up.
By D'autre blogs, I mean a blog by an artist that spotlights other artists.
Charley Parker is another ubiquitous art bogger, with the blog Lines and Colors. It is also hard to find another blog that equals his depth and scope. L and C is a format where Charley, an artist himself, features other illustration and mostly realist fine art sites. Emphasis: quality work. Charley is thorough, covering every artist from soup to nuts.
Another way to help understand the style of a blog may be to review their well-crafted blogroll. Parker's has the following categories: Art, Painting & Sketch, "Painting a Day", Illustration, Comics & Cartoons, Animation & Concept, and others as well. One good hint for blogrolls: when you have non-art links that you can't do without, establish an other or "off-topic", or friends category.
Review the blogroll
Other D'autre art blog examples may be artist interview blogs. Angela Taylor had one of these at one time, but she is never one to stay in one place! BTW, she gets my mention for special purpose art blogging, where a cause is paramount. Her delightful art is spirit-lifting.
The thing to watch out for if you're going to do a D'autre blog, is that your own art may become lost in this format.
A medium-forward blog is one where an artist focuses the style of their blog around the subject of their art medium. My own blog, Pastel, is one of these. The reason that I began pastelsblog dot blogspot (Pastel) is that I was labeling so many posts "pastel", and the medium itself was a star player here at The Colorist. Some times, too, one's medium (or your art genre) can over power the message. Colorist art is not limited to pastel work, only, and I wanted to make that clear. In some ways, I needed to refine the direction of this blog by sorting out that aspect.
A number of blogs are named for the pastel medium, and also the watercolor medium. See Eden Compton Pastels and Watercolor Artist's Diary (Tracy Hall).
These genres can be a help as well as a hindrance
In some ways (my opinion here) the daily painting movement was being identified as an oil painting style of blogging. I don't think anyone ever intended that, but the strength of Duane Keiser's and Julian Merrow-Smith's daily painting blogs of oil paintings was so great that it took other non-oil painters coming on the scene to dis-spell that. Nonetheless, mediums do create groupings of bloggers.
Another grouping other than medium is genre, such as the drawing and illustration genre. These genres can be a help as well as a hindrance, IMHO. No art should ever be about its genre or medium only.
Lines and Colors may be drawing and illustration based, but Charley Parker pushes the genre upward and outward, giving illustration the broader fine art appeal that it deserves. Another artist who defies the fences that genre can impose is James Gurney, of Gurney Journey. This fantasy illustrator is actually one of the foremost painters and teachers online today. Charley and James are the mode-breakers - will your medium-based blog transcend the medium?