Saturday, October 6, 2007

Blogging as Structure

"Near Zuni", Oil on Canvas, 12x17 inches
Jerry Lebo, 2006

Much to my surprise, this morning I discovered that my blog has been cited under "blogs of note" by eblogger. The result was that my usual 20-30 readers (on a good day) jumped to over 2000 overnight! Thank you for all that have stopped by to take a look. I have recieved a lot of feedback and I appreciate the time people have taken to send their thoughts. I don't blog to get attention, but it is nice to know that people have found my blog useful and inspiring.


So why do I blog? If you want, you can go back and read my first posting and find out. Otherwise, let me go back to reconsider one of the issues I raised in my very first posting--the need for a regular painting practice. I was talking with my friend Mitchell Johnson earlier today and we were talking about my blog, and why I started it in the first place--and an issue that I have been wanting to cover for some time came up, "structure". Painting is a strange thing, you do it alone (mostly) and then stand back and look at what you've done for a while... and then start all over again. It never ends--I suppose until you drop dead.

When I was painting full-time back in the mid-1990s, I remember having a hard time getting myself into the studio many days. There I was, trying to be a full-time artist and not even being able to paint. When I did get into the studio, I often would paint for a few hours and then go off and do something else. So, in effect, being a full-time artist ended up taking about 4-5 hours a day (assuming I painted twice a day). Now I have a full time job, and spend up to 12 hours a day at the office. It doesn't make sense, how can I spend so much time at my desk at a job I don't really want to be doing, but have a hard time spending more than 4-5 hours in the studio?


This dilemma is at the heart of why I started a blog and why I call myself "sixtyminuteartist". One of the key aspects of painting that I think undermines many artist is the complete lack of structure around the process. I mean, it is a wide open field. Blank canvas, plus hundreds of tubes of paint (potentially) and millions of possible combinations...it is a mixture for disaster from the start. And, it is this lack of structure that I think causes many artist to fail.


If you are an artist, the nice thing about starting a blog is that it gives you something on which to structure your practice, particulary your thinking. Most of what I write in my blog are things that I think about during the day or in the studio about art. Ideas that I want to explore or things I have discovered over the years. Remembering these things and writing them down gives me a small bit of structure when I go into the studio. Somewhere to start--something to start with.


In addition to a starting point, my blog forces me to consider my thoughts, my art, and my thinking together as a practice. To see it a bit more objectively as an output. And, it keeps me honest. Whatever paintings I post on my blog, or words that I write, seeing them up on the web for all to see makes me think twice about what I write--and helps me to see my work a bit more objectively--as a reader and viewer.

So, again, thank you to all who have visited and commented on my blog. If you are an artist, I hope you will be inspired to get back in the studio and spend at least 60 minutes a day. Start a blog to mark your progress and keep you thinking about art. Don't do it because you think it will bring you attention or sell paintings--do it for your own practice. The world needs artists--and if you are an artist, you need art.


All the best, sixtyminuteartist


27 comments:

Lego kid said...

Congratulations on being Google's Blog of Note for Oct 5th!

Mojo said...

It's kind of comforting to read your reasons for blogging - so similar to my own. I am a frustrated writer and used to write regularly (unpublished, except for a couple of local competitions). Then, a dry spell. Now, I know that to write, and, I assume to paint, you need to do it every day. So blogging became my way of writing. If that makes sense!

Thanks for the advice - and the inspiration.

sixtyminuteartist said...

Thanks for stopping by. Being the "Blogs of Note" has been quite an experience. Keep on writing.

Danielle said...

I just noticed your title when I logged into my blog, and it caught my attention. Glad I followed my curiosity... I followed the path of Illustration rather than painting mainly because I knew I would fail without at least a little structure. I think you are right on, and an encouragement to us artists! God bless, and I look forward to reading more!

Blockheadtv said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
manita said...

Love your oils. Am a busy mom of 3 teenaged boys and going back to school for a BA in studio art. Now taking oil painting and enjoying it immensely. Also, can identify with you about painting only a few hours instead the whole day. End up finding other things to do.

jlevel said...

Thanks. You are art.
jlevel.blogspot.com

thanks again, Jess

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Charli said...

Make sure you come to Melbourne, Australia. There are heaps of art galleries and there is plenty of beautiful places to paint and explore.
Have you been to the art galleries in Europe?
I heard they are amazing.

Everymatter said...

congratulation on getting selected for blogs of note by eblogger.

http://everymatter.blogspot.com
http://everymatter.blogsome.com

oldwhitelady said...

Just found your site! Nice work.

If you are an artist, I hope you will be inspired to get back in the studio and spend at least 60 minutes a day.

Thank you for that!

Josh Peterson said...

This painting really speaks to me. If anyone wants to learn how to make money online visit my blog at http://getpaidextra.blogspot.com/

enigma4ever said...

this is so wonderful...and your art has won us over...terrific...I love the oreos and the twinkie...sigh.now I am just hungry...and the farmhouse in maine..wow...
keep it up..

Kidicarus said...

Great information, I agree about the need for a regular painting process, I find that using a sketchbook really helps with this. If you don't feel like painting, you can just doodle in the sketchbook.

sharon young said...

Just found your blog, how wonderful to have somenoe put into words how I feel almost every day.

Thank you

seekerofself said...

your work is lovely! thanks for sharing it. what u write is also inspiring. i dabble with art too, and will soon post a few works. haven't painted in a long time.

Fıkra Merkezi said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
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