Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Annual Review: 2012: Flickr, Blogger, Facebook, Saachi, Deviantart, Art and Artists

Spines of pochade carriers


The year went reasonably well, with trips to Tunisia, Chile, the UK, Italy, and Pernambuco in Brazil.

These trips were all too short, and all too crammed, emphasising the necessity to allow passages of emptiness and to risk boredom during the trips. Boredom, or some form of mental  irritation is necessary for creativity.

My expectations of destinations were nearly always confounded. Probably the best place to paint was for me Valparaiso, but not for the Whistlerian, nautical inspiration I had expected, but for its crumbling stucco and steep hills. Italy was good but not as good as I had hoped, failing to surprise me, surprise being the essential ingredient of inspiration. But how can you plan surprises for yourself?

The next trips to come will be to Egypt, the UK, Bolivia  and perhaps Finland.

There were a about twenty sales altogether primarily through The Union Gallery, Edinburgh, and Rose Issa Projects, London.

I experimented with larger formats: this was not entirely successful and I will return to the smaller size, which is a little smaller than a postcard.

Disappointment and frustration are normal in the pursuit of the creative arts. This is either the disappointment of abject failure, or the slow mindlessness of mediocrity.

The former at least has the virtue of announcing their arrival boldly, the second is more common, less obvious, harder to combat. I`d say the good ones make up about 20 % , then there is a massive grey area of about 60% and another 20% of abject failures.

There`s no way of avoiding either of these, no pill, or technique. You can try to come up with broad creative theories but these have their limits. What is inspiring one day becomes tired and pointless on Friday. And so on..

So, like fishing, painting is largely a game of patience: regardless the weather.,you put in the time, and  hope something good comes of it eventually, and that someone else likes it. 


There are 612 followers, up from 545 last year. I make no special effort to find followers, though all pictures are shown in about ten groups.


This time last year there were 59 followers: now there are 70: not as many as I had hoped. But sites such as this necessarily have a very limited public.

 Also, there have been changes to Blogger which make it harder for people simply to "click" and receive the blog automatically.


I continue to show work here, and occasionally to sell work through this site. It is a very good site for artists to use: others image hosting sites are very specific in their publics, reaching groups of people with particular interests in art, painting or photography. Facebook sends the work into a wider network of people.


51 people watch me here: it`s not much of a site. It`s messy and thinks of itself as being very trendy and smart, when in fact it is simply messy and nerdy and teenage.


 I stopped posting here: it is a waste of time as it is entirely dominated by the sort of people for whom art is a career.

If you are going to seek a career, chose something in which there is a clear career structure with reasonably objective assessments of ability: the law, medicine or academia.

If you wish to make money then stay away from the creative spheres: sell toothpaste or car tyres, something for which there is a settled constant demand, which doesn`t require careful  storage or transportation, go out of fashion, become irrelevant at the say so of some lisping pantyhose in New Yorknecessitate interpretation or, worst of all, involve ego on such a massive scale.

Art and Architecture

I more or less stopped posting here as well: it didn`t seem to go anywhere


I started posting little reviews again, just for the hell of it.


I received a fair amount of encouragement and assistance, and must thank those who bought pictures and let me stay with them over the last year, and those who offered feedback, positive or otherwise.

Painting is often a fairly solitary business. Being  misanthropic, that is part of its appeal: nonetheless the expressed interest of others is always welcome.

Specifically, I thank Lise and Felix Colyer, Chris Anderson and my parents.

Urubici, boys playing football, detail.

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