Tuesday, November 16, 2010


What do you think about this:

If you show only the art work that is finished and ready to hang on the wall, are you doing a disservice to those artists out there trying to learn more about the process - and the pitfalls and ugly paintings that happen?  Or is it better to only show those finished paintings you would want everyone to see in order to further your status? 

If I never see a bad painting from you, will I think you never paint a bad painting?  If I show something every day, am I oversaturating people who would want to pop in once a week or so but not every day?

Just some things I think about every now and then.

What about you? 
What's your take? 
How is your work set out for public viewing?  Are you a daily painter and show it all?  Or do you post only the good stuff - the finished paintings that comes out of your studio, never showing the mistakes?


Gretchen Bjornson ART said...

What great questions. I'd be lying if I hadn't thought about the very same questions. My main concern is always, if I post something I'm not happy with and it's not my best work, but just want suggestions on how I can improve or do better, will people still respect me as an artist? Will they think "hmm....she's not always that good". Of course, I'm not and I truely believe, there aren't many artists out there who can claim to have perfect work every time. Although I have come across a few blogs by artists who never seem to have a bad piece. Maybe they don't post their unsuccessful pieces. Maybe they don't feel the need for the feedback and critique. I, myself, feel I have established a great group of fellow artists willing to help each other out through good and bad painting periods. They are there to cheer us on when we post our masterpieces and they are there to lift us up and help us get through our painting dilemmas.

I'm going to stop babbling now. Hope I could shed a little light on the subject. I'm curious about what everyone else has to say.

Teresa Palomar Lois said...

Oh wow, talk about food for thinking Rhonda, the answers to this are probably as many as artist netizens out there.

I guess there's not a "better" way, it all depends on what's the purpose you have in mind when sharing your art.

As a viewer I enjoy both, the pages that are mostly a portfolio showing just finished good pieces and the pages that share the processes or simply tips, ones are inspirational others motivational and others a source of knowledge, all of them a possible new friend.

I find that the precious finished paintings are portfolio material which is great (br it in a form of a blog or a personal webpage), but for comunicating with fellow artists, as a blogger, sharing the process is most entertaining and fulfilling for me so I like to share that fun, be it the joy of the successes, the happy accidents or the depresing failures, yes, the failures too, I'm not talking about step by steps of paintings that are already finished and are winners (what is more like a tutorial than a wip), I'm talking about an actual work in progress, unfinished, but then I blog to interact with people, to share what I know and what I don't know, to learn and have fun, so as I said at first it all depends on your goal as a blogger. Look at that, how much text I could have saved with just that one sentence :P

So, what about you?

Irina said...

When I was starting the blog, I promised to myself that I would post every one of my works, true and clear. So you see the whole picture of ups and downs. Only two months ago I started my Russian livejournal and there I am not that honest, I prefer only the best ones to be posted in LJ. Looks like I have some ambitious plans now)). The long story short - different aims give different ways to present one's art.

RHCarpenter said...

Thanks so much, Gretchen, Teresa, and Irina, for jumping in with your thoughts on this. I do like seeing those WIPs people share - but maybe I have a few blogs that I visit every day and others I visit once a week (those, I often don't even comment on so I guess seeing finished work there is fine). Visiting blogs can be time-consuming but can teach you so much. I appreciate everyone willing to share their good and their bad stuff - sometimes it does help me to know that those pros out there still make mistakes once in a while because it gives me hope that someday I'll be one of those pros!

debwardart said...

I usually fall into the "showing the better ones" but some flops do show up!
We can pop in whenever and just enjoy a few days' worth of posts! If you have something to say and the time to say it, post daily! I'm too slow of a painter and can barely keep up with once or twice a week!

Joan Sandford-Cook said...

I don't really know how to answer this one. I certainly don't upload work daily - in fact its beginning to be once a week as I now run a flickr account as well. I often show work in progress and not always the finished work, but whether they are classified as my 'best' work or not I am not sure. Work going wrong, I usually don't finish and simply put away in the cupboard for another day or destroy and never photo or scan. So I suppose I am my own critic.

Great work in lightening the datura flower background. Find the female version rather strange.

Watercolors by Susan Roper said...

Like the others, Rhonda, I find your questions to be very thought-provoking and had to "think on 'em" for a bit. When I started my blog, I entered into Blogdom with the idea that I had thoughts I wanted to express in this net journal format and that it would force me to organize my thoughts and processes better if I publicized them. In order to remain faithful to this, I have felt I had a responsibility to express my triumphs, joys, and...yes, frustrations. So, you do get the Good, The Bad, and The Ugly with me.

If we never show our less-than-perfect attempts then how will we learn what magical suggestion might fix a bad painting, or what will help us prevent doing the same dumb things over and over?

Regarding how often we blog, it all depends on what is going on in our lives. I would love to be able to paint every day and post what I paint each day, but my situation currently will not allow that. So, I post as I can and hopefully my readers will not forsake me during periods of less activity. I do know that there are a handful of blogs I try to look at every day, yours being high among those. I appreciate your willingness to share your thoughts, messes, news of other artists and YOUR triumphs with us all. I find your blog very inspiring and it always makes me think...something I need to do more often!

RHCarpenter said...

Thanks so much, Deb, Joan and Susan. Some good thoughts on this. I guess we all do what we feel comfortable doing - for us - at the time - which could change :) Reminds me of that old Red Green show and the Man's Prayer: "I'm a man. But I could change. If I have to." ha ha
Sorry you found Datura strange, Joan - just a little Southern Gothic for you!

Christiane Kingsley said...

I ask myself the same questions all the time also. I am always in awe of the "daily painters" who have a new painting for sale almost every day. Does it mean that all they do is of high quality? or do they paint enough in one day that they can still upload one painting that is of high standard and hide the rest? or again, is it more a question of showing everything, good or bad?
Like Irina, I promised myself long ago that I would show on my blog everything I do. When I compare my blog with those of the "really selling" artists, I see that I have more WIPs than they do, I talk about my doubts and my errors, while they seem to present "finished and perfect" works only. What is better?
I really don't know; I only know what is better for me :-)and that I enjoy a blog like yours that is down to earth and not "staged"...

RHCarpenter said...

Christiane, I guess I'm considering this because I wonder about more professional (selling and showing) artists who may not share much but finished works compared to those who show everything as WIPs and ooops and wonder. But then, I'm not sure I could just post a good painting once a week - I'd miss all the back and forth I have by posting almost every day on the blog!

Prabha N. said...

I started blogging to keep track of my art journey. So there are WIPs, paintings which looks good initially but then after a few months doesnt look so good LOL, my thought process etc. So i appreciate all the work you put up Rhonda, as it leads to better understanding of the mediums, processes and your take on it.

For me its a struggle to paint often. I do feel stressed when i see artists putting up beautiful work on a daily basis. If one day i do paint as good and often as them, i wonder if the struggles i face now, i will face then too.

RHCarpenter said...

Prabha, I started mine to share and to keep me working continually and not giving up - having the pressure of posting means I have to get off the sofa and paint :) I think as we get better and more accomplished, we'll just exchange other anxieties and fears for those we have now - I think it's a constant thing and it keeps us on our toes, always trying to be better and better. I can't imagine ever feeling like I've learned everything I need to know about watercolor!!