Monday, December 28, 2009

Blogging Since 2005

sheep painting by Lori Levin
"Autumn Sheep"
acrylic on panel

Soulful Studios' blog began back in December of 2005. At that time I was single and selling my work on eBay and other little online sites. Pet portrait commissions would come in one by one and I longed for the day my calendar would be booked at least a year in advance. My fine art style was still in its infancy and even framing required a great deal of experimentation. As each New Year approached, I would read the blog to review my progress. This project began as a way to increase my website rankings and to keep an honest record of my work habits. It became much more.

Here it is almost 2010 and much has changed since my first post. Early on I struggled to get anyone to view my blog let alone read it. Now, though my readership is small, it is global, constant and consistent. My readers are supportive and diverse in their backgrounds. I learned you need to be interested in others for them to be interested in you. By being forced to look outside myself I learned from others and grew.

I used to have a lot of time to post and to sketch. Now, with work and future shows mounting I have little time for blogging. Sketching is still part of the process but now I save some of that passion for the final work instead. Sketching helps me with composition and values but I've found saving my energy for the finish is vital for freshness.

Oils were my only painting medium. Due to health issues, I've taught myself to use acrylics. The funny thing is most people cannot tell the difference between the two mediums. I handle them both the same and use the same palette. The sizes of my works have gotten larger at times and their complexity has increased. Note, I still use oils but save them for when they are necessary or I think I can tolerate the aftermath.

Writing is not a natural outlet for me. This has taken practice. Originally, I would plan my posts and write about a certain topic and spend a lot of time editing. Now, I start typing and hope that I have "a point" by the end. I go with the flow more these days and invite the muse instead of demand her presence.

No longer do I use eBay or other sites to sell my work. Patrons now walk right into my studio to purchase art or they can find it in galleries or shows. As I've always believed, the better your painting the easier it is to sell it. Growth is something I push for constantly. I will never be satisfied and will always seek betterment. However, I can honestly say, the selling is getting easier.

My blog turned out to be a place that grounds and centers me. When I read old posts I can see where I was getting off track or when something in my personal life was making art creating difficult. It is not only a mirror of my art career but of my personal life as well.

This blog and my life have grown in obviously similar ways. Not only has my readership evolved, I clearly know who my friends are and have deepened those relationships. Just as my canvases have grown and mediums have changed, my world is no longer small or limited. Now I have a family and greater concerns beyond my own. Learning to be more selective with my energies, like that of sketching, has been my hardest lesson. Truly, that requires more practice. Not only am I more free with my writing but I am learning to be more flexible in the rest of my life. This is really difficult for my perfectionist and controlling sensibilities but I'm sensing it is a better way.

Certainly it makes sense that the evolution of my blog, art and personal life go together. I guess I just never really thought of it quite like that and since I am just writing my thoughts, I've shared it with you. There is no doubt in my mind that you have found these relative truths in your own life.

So, here's to another year in art, life and blogging! I wish all of you and yours a very happy and healthy New Year! Thanks as always for reading.

In case you have the need to read anything else by me (just a little humor there) please visit and check out my featured article. Christine of Websketching was kind enough to include me in this online magazine.