The Times They Are A Changin’…

“Peaceful” oil 18×24″ $3000

On December 10, 2007 I published the first post on my new blog. Since then, except when I’ve been traveling, and sometimes even then, I’ve posted once a week and, for a year or two, twice a week. In the last few years, however, the way people get their information online has changed. Instead of sitting at a desktop or laptop computer they’re now mobile on smart phones and tablets. And they aren’t reading blogs much, as least as compared to the past. Long form is out, Tweets and Instagrams are in. My stats from the past few years show a steady drop in views. Super popular bloggers like John Scalzi have seen this happen too. So it’s time for a change. But….

One of the valuable things about my blog is the body of information that has accumulated about me, my art, my travels and whatever else has caught my fancy. I link people to various posts for a variety of reasons and for that it’s a resource that I will continue to use.

But it’s time to tweak my choices of the social media platforms I plan to use most in the coming years. My blog is now a “Journal”. I’ll post when I have information to communicate that requires the long form that a blogging platform is so great for. I plan to still post multi-part series on my travels, especially Mongolia, and I have some very interesting things in the works for 2018 that I’ll be announcing and discussing on my Journal.

I’m becoming much more active on Twitter (s_fox), Instagram (foxartist), LinkedIn (Susan Fox), along with my new Facebook group, FoxStudio, which you can find here. I’ll be closing down my public FB page on Dec. 31. You can also stay in touch with me through my quarterly newsletter “Fox Tales”. If you’d like to subscribe, just message me through my Contact page. Look for the announcement of the launch of my Patreon site in January!

Thank you to all my followers who have welcomed me into your inbox all these years! You’ll still hear from me, just not as often. I wish everyone the best in 2018!

Gallimauphry Friday- North Coast Open Studios Coming Next Weekend! Come Visit Me!

NCOS guidebook

2017 will be the nineteenth year of a Humboldt County event that I co-founded with another local artist, Sasha Pepper, who was the one who knew how to put an event like this together. We had 43 artists sign up the first year and it’s just rolled on from there, to my immense satisfaction. This will be my first time participating in a number of years and I’m really excited to be a part of it again. I’ll be open both weekends….June 3-4 and 10-11 from 10am to 5pm. The garden will be in full bloom, too, and I’ll have a selection of choice plants for sale along with my paintings, drawings, cards and prints.

Guidebooks, which include maps, are available at a variety of locations around the county, but you can also find out who’s opening their studio on the event website here. There are over 100 artists and fine craftspeople to choose from. Many people plan their weekend around visiting the artists in specific locations. I’m in Dow’s Prairie, just north of McKinleyville. There are seven of us in the area and three more locations just to the north in Trinidad and Westhaven, so make a day of it and come see us! We’ll all have signs out to direct you to our studios.

If you’d like to preview many of the participating artists’ work, there’s a show up now at Stonesthrow Boutique in downtown Eureka at 423 F St. My painting “Chronos (Khomyn Tal Takhi Stallion)” is there.

“A Fine Fall Morning (Hustai Takhi)”, the painting I have in the guidebook.

Humboldt County has had a vibrant art scene since the 1960s. You will be amazed and excited by the variety of styles and media we work in. If you’re coming in from out of town you can find visitor information here. Coastal Humboldt County is the place to beat the inland heat.

“Foal” I’ve been experimenting with a new style and approach. Come check out my newest work and hear the stories behind the paintings.

You can also always find my work at Strawberry Rock Gallery in Trinidad. My studio is open by appointment throughout the year. Just use the contact form on my website to set one up.

The Art Life: “The Primacy of Subject”, A Guest Essay By Andrew Denman

andrew rooster
“The Scrapper” 18 x 18″ Acrylic on Cradled Board, just off the easel and ready for “A Different Animal,” premiering at Astoria Fine Art in Jackson, WY, July 21st.
 Today I’m turning the blog over to my friend and colleague Andrew Denman, who works at the cutting edge of contemporary animal art. This essay “The Primacy of Subject” appeared in his March 2017 newsletter. It is “reprinted” here in its entirety with his permission. All rights are reserved to Andrew Denman. Thank you, Andrew, for allowing me to share this thought-provoking essay. You can see more of his work and sign up for his newsletter here.

In an interview with Wildlife Art Magazine many years ago, artist Ray Harris Ching noted that a poorly drawn bald eagle will sell better than a beautifully rendered snake. That statement is a very good example of a phenomenon with which I have long been keenly fascinated; I call it “The Primacy of Subject.”  Representational art, art which portrays a recognizable subject matter (not to be confused with “realism,” which is only one type of representational art), is easier for most people to connect with than the purely abstract because, quite plainly, there is something in that artwork that the viewer can instantly recognize and relate to.  Certainly, when we view abstract art, we can connect immediately with the color palette, the expressiveness of the brushwork, or shapes and quality of line, but none of these things impact us as quickly, decisively, or viscerally, as a thingwe can readily identify as belonging concretely to our own world and our own experience.  Of course, how the viewer relates to the image depends largely on what the subject matter is, and therein lies the rub.

For those of us who paint wildlife, what animals one chooses to paint can dramatically impact one’s sales, as Ching’s comment suggests.  We artists all like to think our decisions are never influenced by anything so crass as making a living, but in a world governed by practical realities, it’s a hard reality to ignore.   My own interest in wildlife art began in my early teenage years as a vehicle for exploring exotic and lesser known creatures I read about in magazines and ogled in nature documentaries.  That interest that has never left me, but as I progressed into the professional art world it was no longer appropriate to count National Wildlifeand Ranger Rick magazines as my source material, and I found myself focusing more on local flora and fauna that I could observe, sketch, and photograph myself.   My first several solo shows back in my Pacific Wildlife Galleries days (the gallery where my career began) included many unusual subjects along with the more familiar ones, and a surprising number of those pieces did sell.  My feeling then, as now, was that an artist’s enthusiasm for his subject shines through in the work, and that ring of truth attracts admirers (and buyers).  As Hemmingway once wrote, “The truth has a certain ring to it,” and that truth, in the case of painting, must always come from an honest and enthusiastic commitment to the work, and not the kind of “punch-card” drudgery that comes from painting a wolf because “wolves sell.”  I recall one time when my a very reliable collector purchased a painting of a Victoria-Crowned Pigeon, a very weird and flamboyant bird I had encountered in a friend’s aviary.  The collector confided in me that she and her husband had, upon looking at the catalogue for the show, ruled that piece out from their list of potential purchases because it was such an odd bird.  Upon seeing the show in person, however, they were shocked to be taken by that piece more than any other, and they bought it on the spot.  I had won them over, not by catering to their interest in exotic pigeons (there was none), but by impressing them with my obvious infatuation with an exotic pigeon.  Whatever it was about that painting that made it uniquely mine, it was strong enough to override The Primacy of Subject.  My friend Tony Hochstetler, who creates incredible bronze sculptures of insects, reptiles, and other less commonly explored animals, says that his favorite compliment to hear is “I hate that animal, but I love how you’ve portrayed it,” and I understand why.  What better endorsement can an artist receive than to know that it is his vision that is being purchased, not his choice of subject matter?

Within my own collection, there are some unusual pieces that I bought for no other reason than that I love the way the painting or sculpture was made, excluding all else.  Still, as I survey what my partner Guy calls our “big collection of little art” it occurs to me that the vast majority of pieces feature subject matter that speak particularly to our own loves and interests.  I had long admired the equine sculpture of Stephanie Revennaugh, but not being especially interested in horses, I never bought one of her pieces until she did an exquisite little sculpture of a whippet, the same breed as one of our beloved dogs, Enzi.  Guy and I love the landscape paintings of David Grossmann, but never made a purchase until he hung a series of small paintings of the Sonoran Desert, a place to which we feel a great spiritual connection.  For years I wanted to own a painting by my friend Barbara Banthien, but it was her portrayal of a Vulturine Guinea Fowl, one of my very favorite birds, that cinched the deal.  Of course, none of these pieces would have made it into our very discerning collection simply because of the subject matter; they are also exceptional works of art on multiple levels.  Still, it amazes me, being as aware as I am of The Primacy of Subject, and being as aware as I am that it is not always a force for good art-buying, that my own collection so obviously exhibits this bias.  However anecdotal, it is proof positive to me that The Primacy of Subject is something innate and inescapable.

What concerns me is that less discriminating collectors make choices all the time based almost exclusively on the Primacy of Subject.   I never want to be an elitist, but I have watched the art market closely enough and for long enough to know whereof I speak.  Certainly many a thoughtful and educated collector has bought a piece of art that I wouldn’t simply because it is to their tastes and not mine.  I’m not talking about differences in preference.  I’m talking instead about the deep and visceral power that subject matter exerts over the viewer, oftentimes to the exclusion of all else.  Every time I visit Jackson Hole, Wyoming, home to the National Museum of Wildlife Art (which houses four of my artworks) and something of a mecca for wildlife artists and wildlife art galleries, I am assaulted by an endless parade of gobsmackingly awful portrayals of elk, moose, bears, and bison.  There are, to be fair, some amazing artworks featuring sensitive and original interpretations of these subjects (mine among them, I like to think) but the sheer numbers of mediocre to outright terrible forays into banality, and the accompanying “sold” stickers, drive home just how much more difference it makes what you draw, paint, or sculpt than how you draw, paint, or sculpt it.  Elk, moose, bears, and bison are popular subjects, and there is no doubt in my mind that a good portion of the artwork featuring these subjects is not the result of great artistic inspiration, but rather what Robert Bateman has called (and admonished against) “painting to the market.”

Anyone who has painted wildlife for as long as I have knows that there are certain subjects that are statistically more relatable across the board.  Wolves are certainly one of them.  But there is also a distinct regional element to The Primacy of Subject.  While bears, bison, and elk, are popular subjects across the whole of wildlife art, they are especially popular in Western markets like Jackson Hole where these animals are common visitors, and thus foremost in the personal experience of art buyers who either live in that area or visit there frequently.  Friend and fellow artist Stephen Jesic lives in Australia, so naturally his work focuses on the colorful parrots and songbirds that are familiar backyard visitors in those parts, as well as charismatic endemics like Koalas, which are iconic emblems of his country.   This hardly means that Australian animals won’t sell outside Australia, or that Western Wildlife won’t sell when exhibited in an East Coast gallery, but it is important to recognize that, for instance, an African Elephant is more likely to sell to someone who has traveled to Africa and loves elephants, which means that an African Elephant exhibited in Jackson Hole, WY, is probably statistically less likely to sell than the moose hanging next to it, regardless of which one is a better painting.

When I was painting for Contemporary Wildlife: Modern Masters at Astoria Fine Art a couple of years back, I made a very calculated decision.  I had some concepts and approaches in mind that I knew would make this body of work my most modern and cutting edge to date, and I was adamant that I not blunt or soften that modernity in any way.  The question was whether or not these stylistic choices might make the work harder to sell.  Rather than letting those concerns soften my resolve, I simply decided to focus on the most familiar, popular, and recognizable subjects for which I had good reference material available, namely owl, elk, chickens, bison, cougars, and so on.  I only selected animals I was genuinely excited about painting, but there were certainly some more questionable choices that I could have pursued but instead edited out to focus on what I deemed to be more likely saleable.  Fortunately it paid off; not only was I enormously pleased with that body of work on an artistic level, but I sold every piece.  It would seem that either viewers bought these very modern pieces because the subjects won them over, or they bought them because they loved how I chose to portray the subjects, regardless of what they were.  I’ll never know which.  What I do know is that by acknowledging The Primacy of Subject, I at least felt like I was sidestepping a visible and easily avoidable pitfall.

It is both the curse and blessing of the artist that he has more artworks in his head than he will ever be able to bring into being during his lifetime.   We cannot afford to waste our time with paintings we don’t truly want to paint.  Nor can we starve if the work we produce does not connect with collectors.  Nor can we ever truly predict what will sell regardless of what we paint or how; that is certainly something my more than sixteen years of experience as a full-time painter has driven home. I would never recommend to any artist that he or she not take on a project simply because she is afraid that the painting might not sell.  In fact, it is those occasions when I feel truly nervous about a painting that I force myself to take a gulp and dive in, because that is how an artist grows.  Moreover, it is far better to put in the necessary effort to find the market for what you love to do than to shoe-horn yourself into a market that is a poor fit.  Still, if I have ten potential paintings in mind for a show, and five of them are subjects I think are more likely to relate to my audience, guess which paintings I’m going to prioritize?  The Primacy of Subject is something that all of us artists and art collectors would do well to acknowledge.  Inspiration, whether to create a painting or to own one, is largely subconscious, deeply visceral, and always a pure reflection of one’s innermost desires and deeply imprinted memories.  The feeling I get when the phrase “I have to paint that” comes into my head is almost identical to the feeling I get when “I have to buy that” asserts itself instead.  We want what we want, both as creators and consumers. Certainly, as an art maker, I am indulging in my preferences every time I create a painting.  The professional artist, however, as ultimately driven as he may be by the subconscious, hones his craft by becoming, through practice and hard work, as consciously aware as possible of the decisions he is making and why.  With so many pitfalls before us, we art buyers can surely train ourselves to be just as aware.  I often ask myself the question “Is this a good idea for a painting?  Am I painting this eagle because it’s a good idea or because I like eagles?”  We can all ask ourselves the same questions about why we buy what we buy, and in so doing make certain that when we buy a painting of an elk, it’s a damn good one.

-Andrew Denman, March 2017
“Andrew Denman is a California –based, internationally recognized, award-winning contemporary wildlife artist.  Denman primarily paints wildlife and animal subjects in a unique, hallmark style combining realism, stylization, and abstraction.  His dynamic and original acrylic paintings and drawings can be found in museum collections on two continents and in numerous private collections in the USA and abroad.  His clear voice, unique vision, and commitment to constant artistic experimentation have positioned him on the forefront of an artistic vanguard of the best contemporary wildlife and animal
painters working today.”

The Art Life: Storage

Drawing media and watercolor brushes stored in a variety of containers and organized in one unit of a stackable inbox

I don’t necessarily consider myself a neat and tidy person. But when it comes to my work, I’ve gotten borderline fanatical about having everything sorted and organized. I don’t want an idea to strike or find I need to have “x” right now for whatever I’m working on and have to break concentration and hunt around for it.

I’ve been in my current studio space at our home for over ten years now, using a couple of IKEA cupboards for supplies and some thin plywood boxes with dowel dividers my husband made for me years before that for canvas and painting storage. The IKEA units are doing great, the old canvas “racks” were well past their sell-by date. So a few years ago we were able to hire a contractor who was also a cabinet maker to build new storage units from birch plywood to my specifications. What a luxury! But also practical and financially sensible because properly stored paintings and canvases (I use RayMar geesoed cotton canvas boards almost exclusively) are less likely to get damaged. Plus we live in earthquake country. Every cupboard, cabinet and bookcase is attached to studs in the walls.

Come take a tour of how I store my art supplies and equipment…


These units are in the northwest corner of the studio. On the left is an IKEA cupboard which contains all my supplies that aren’t in use. The top shelf holds greeting and notecard inventory in, yes, IKEA boxes. Next is a variety of containers. The next three shelves are drawing media, brushes, varnishes, odds and ends. Second from the bottom is paper for printing. And at the bottom are old sketchbooks.  All the way on top is a speaker.

On the right is one of the custom storage units, designed to hold paintings up to 5×5′. The top two shelves have miscellaneous things that don’t fit anywhere else. The bottom holds all my oversize paintings and canvasboards. The curtain, just an old one I had around, is to minimize dust.

On the south wall of my studio are four units ranged next to each other:


These are two side-by-side IKEA cupboards. The one on the right, starting at the top, is blank sketchbooks, then small canvasboards and some stretched canvases with a gallery wrap so I don’t have to frame them.  Second from the bottom are canvas pads and oil paper pads, a few small toned canvases and my watercolor papers. On the bottom is my plein air carry-all, a plein air panel box and some large size drawing pads.

The left cabinet holds my old paintbox I’ve had since I was a kid, a pochade box from the Sennilier art supply shop in Paris, more plein air carriers, then various paper towels and brush holders, finished small works (see detail below). Next, drawings to be framed or referred to, below them a black plastic file organizer and binders for location watercolors and at the bottom old work framed and unframed. The two stacked boxes hold plein air oils.


This is the middle shelf of the cabinet on the left. I’ve used cardboard drawing pad backing for dividers, labeling them with a Sharpie, to separate and organize old paintings from workshops, projects, preliminary studies, in-progress repaints, available for sale, etc.


And here are the closed cupboards above on the left, next to my frame and painting storage units on the right. Of those, the one on the left mostly has the frames. It was designed to fit over my steel flat files. The one to the right of it is pretty much all paintings except for some big manila folders at the top right which hold working and finished drawings and next to them about a half dozen framed giclees. All the shelves are adjustable.


Finally, here’s my painting table set up and ready to go. I clean the palette off on Friday afternoons and put the paint into one of those paper-lined round storage containers. My current palette is a leftover piece of Swanstone countertop. I got the idea from the Underpaintings online magazine some years ago. I like it because it’s a neutral color, it’s not reflective and once a film builds up on to a certain point, my husband is kind enough to sand it off for me. It’s the same color all the way through. As you can see I have an eclectic collection of containers for brushes, pencils, etc. Some are souvenirs of our travels, like the fish pitcher, which I got at a Debenham’s department store in London, England. I also like interesting coffee mugs with or without broken handles.

So there you have it, how one artist organizes her work life. If you have any ideas or want to share what you do, please leave a comment!

Gallimauphry Friday…


“Gallimauphry” is great 16th century French term for “a jumble of things” or as we might say “this and that”. You never know what I’ll post on the final Friday of the month.

I tried an experiment last night on Instagram. I’d toned this 24x4o” canvas panel with raw sienna yesterday and plan to post the work in progress. Instagram has become known as a must-see/must-do place for artists and buyers since it’s the most purely image-oriented social media platform. So I thought it would be amusing to post a blank canvas and see what happens. In two hours I had eight Likes and this morning, about twelve hours later, there were fifteen, which is about what I get, give or take, for images of actual paintings. A few more will probably show up before it moves down the queue. What I think is going on is that people like seeing artist’s studios and watching their process, but I still think this is amusing. So if you’re on Instagram and want to follow along or if you’re not yet and are going to sign up, you can find me here. Come on along!

“African Lion” 13.5×9.5″ graphite on paper

In other news, my drawing “Relaxed (African Lion)” has been accepted into the Salmagundi Club‘s historic “Black and White Exhibition”! It was shipped off to New York yesterday.


Friday Thoughts And Bon Mots On Being An Artist

Alexander is a regular "helper" in my studio
Alexander is a regular “helper” in my studio

This is my 600th post!

There have been a couple of interesting posts and comment threads by fellow artists this week on my Facebook newsfeed. I thought I’d share some of the comments and see what you think. And I also found some appropriate quotes to offer.

1. Using photo reference- A professional artist posted this question yesterday and it led to a lively discussion. “What do you think about the difference between doing a realistic painting/drawing from another persons photo reference versus doing one from a photo you took yourself?” By far the other professional artists, including me, came down on the side of only using reference that the artist takes themselves with very few exceptions. Why?

My comment: “One might be stuck if doing pet portraits, but that’s only a tiny corner of the animal art world. Context, emotion and the knowledge of what went on before and after a particular photo was taken are always going to be missing when an artist uses someone else’s image. Superior work comes from using one’s own reference.”

A nationally known wildlife artist;”You miss out on the having had the EXPERIENCE. Artists shouldn’t be rote machines that copy someone else’s 2 dimensional photographs. We should feel, smell, hear, absorb everything about the animal and it’s habitat. That will come out at the end of your brush, or pencil, or scratch tool 🙂 or whatever and give that heart and soul to your work…”

Another nationally known animal artist: “if you faithfully copy someone else’s photo it is not an original composition. The design of that photo is the creation of the person who framed it through their viewfinder. Making the effort to see and experience your subjects for yourself is part of being an artist. As a professional artist…I chose to live where I do because of the opportunities that this region offers for viewing wildlife. It does not matter whether someone else will “know” you copied another’s art/photo (and photos ARE art)…what matters is your own integrity. NOTHING replaces the experience of viewing your subject for yourself…and it is those personal experiences and encounters that we should draw upon.”

From our “host”, in conclusion: “I love taking my own photos and feel the best investment I made was in my SLR digital camera and all of the lenses. The second best thing was my first trip to Africa. Some wise artist told me that too much time in the studio was not good. You have to get out there and experience what you will paint/draw. Yes, it costs time, but improves results 100 fold. You just will have to figure out how to raise prices to compensate!”

Unfortunately there were a number of comments from some other artists, some self-described as professionals (unlike the artists quoted above I don’t personally known them), who defended using or buying photographs from others. What came across to me were lots of excuses about why they couldn’t or didn’t feel the need to shoot their own reference or why it shouldn’t matter. But, as anyone who does shoot their own photos knows, it makes a huge difference as demonstrated above.

3. Insurance for artists- One colleague posted that she thought it was really time to seriously look at getting insurance for both her work and studio equipment, plus when she’s on the road. I’ve had a general business insurance policy for many years. It not only covers my studio equipment, but when I take art and things like camera equipment off-premises. There is also general liability coverage.

However, most of the other commenters noted that the premiums they have been quoted are far higher than what I pay and most have chosen to do without. Here was one comment from an artist who does have insurance:

“I am NOT covered for anything while my work is at a show or in transit, and I am not covered for “customer” visits if I had a gallery or open studio here (which I don’t…no room!). I’m also not zoned for a commercial business here, so if anyone wants to see my stuff, it’ll have to be at a show or gallery.

As far as theft, if your art is stolen and all efforts to recover it or get paid have failed, talk to your tax person. That’s a “loss” to your business and as long as you can document it (as with all things taxes), it’s likely to be a deduction for you.”

Another artist, whose work was recently threatened by a fire in the gallery where he was showing, chooses not be insured because he believes the resilience of artists and their ability to create more and perhaps better work if the worst happens more than compensates for the value received from paying insurance premiums.

Do you carry insurance on your art business? Have you ever had to file a clam and was the settlement satisfactory?

3. Quotes about the business of being an artist-

I paint for myself. I don’t know how to do anything else, anyway. Also, I have to earn my living, and occupy myself. Francis Bacon

The most common money-related mistake artists make is a reluctance to invest in their own careers. Caroll Michels

Artists often make emotional decisions. They can be so eager to be represented by a gallery that they neglect paying due diligence to the terms and conditions of the contract. Chris Tyrell

An artist is not paid for his labor, but for his vision. James McNeill Whistler

Rejection (It Sucks)

California Condor  10x8" oil I think this is a great piece and was hoping the small size would turn the trick for a first time acceptance. Uh, nope.
California Condor 10×8″ oil
I think this is a great piece and was hoping the small size would turn the trick for a first time acceptance. Uh, nope.

My colleague and fellow SAA member Sandra Blair has written a great blog post called “Salon des Refuses” taken from the original exhibition that a number of the French Impressionists and other “modern” artists mounted in 1863 when their work was rejected for the Salon of the French Academy, which was a bastion of traditional realistic painting and sculpture.

Sandra’s topic is the artists who were rejected by the jurors of this year’s Birds in Art competition, the most prestigious bird art exhibition in the world. And I’m one of them. For the eighth year in a row. I’ve never gotten in. But as you will see if you click through to Sandra’s post and scroll down, I’m in very good company indeed. And don’t miss the comments. Kathy Foley, the Director of the museum which hosts the exhibition, has posted some thoughtful observations.

Our respective posts are absolutely not intended to take away anything from the artists who have had their work accepted. Many of them are our friends and colleagues and we are thrilled for them. But rejection stings, particularly with social media like Facebook, on which one sees the happy announcements of acceptance while waiting with hope fading that the magic email will arrive in one’s own inbox. And doesn’t. Sigh. Another rejection.

Raven on Big Head Rock, Ikh Nart  oil  30x20" I thought this was a great piece and was hoping that a big "wow" painting would turn the trick for first time acceptance. Uh, nope.
Raven on Big Head Rock, Ikh Nart oil 30×20″
I thought this was a great piece and was hoping that a big “wow” painting would turn the trick for first time acceptance. Uh, nope.

The important thing to remember is that if one doesn’t get into a show it means…..that one didn’t get into the show. Life goes on. There will be more shows. It’s crazy to take an exhibition rejection personally. Don’t do it.

Also…don’t make excuses. I have always taken the rejections as a challenge to get my work to the next level. That seems to be incredibly difficult for many artists to do. But if you can face the fact that maybe the reason you didn’t get in is that your entry wasn’t good enough, it provides the opportunity for growth. Blaming the jurors for being “subjective” or excusing yourself because you don’t have an “in” with the “right people” will not.

So, here’s a plan. Let yourself utterly wallow in self-pity for, oh, say, ten minutes. Let all those thoughts about how unfair it is and how the jurors are blind idiots who wouldn’t know good work if they were smacked along side the head with it bubble up. Cry. Snivel. (Carefully) throw something. And then get back to doing the thing you most love in the world, making art.

Trying Out New Post Types

The WordPress template I use, Twenty Eleven, includes lots of features and widgets that I haven’t had time to fiddle with. But now that this site is going to become my website, I’m seeing what is there that I want to use. If you look at the right side column, you’ll see a variety of new content. The two posts below this one use the “Aside” and “Image” post formats. I can now do the same things I’d do on not only a blog, but also a website, Tumblr and Twitter.

Ch-ch-ch-changes for 2013

camel-head-8-27-12I’ve decided to consolidate my blog and my website into one here on WordPress. I’ve started the transition by creating a gallery page with my Mongolia paintings and also one with the pieces for the Sea of Cortez show. And I’ve created a gallery for the journal sketches that I did on my last trip to Mongolia in August and September of 2012. You can find all of them in the navigation bar.

The WordPress Gallery feature is, finally, everything I’ve been searching for and not finding for years and years as a way to present my art. I’m not impressed by what’s out there for artists and sites like Flickr and Google photos (which I also still use) are visually very cluttered. It’s super easy and fast to create a gallery, upload multiple images, add captions, add to the gallery, arrange the images in whatever order I want, delete anything I decide I don’t want and publish it when I’m ready. The thumbnails are nicely presented with a thin line around them and the slide show background is plain, uncluttered black, just what I wanted.

Over the next month I’ll be adding pages here with content from my website. Once I’m done, we’ll re-point the url so that it will bring you here, but to a new, static home page from which you’ll be able come to the blog or any other page.

I wasn’t unhappy with Sandvox, the app on which I built the current site. But the trend is towards using a platform like WordPress for both and these days there’s no reason not to. Now I will only have to update one location instead of two and I can certainly use the time saved for other things….like painting.