Friday, October 25, 2013

Should I stay or should I go.......

Gentle Giant
26cm x 39cm, Pan Pastel on Pastelmat
Original SOLD
Copyright Laura Hardie 2013
Please do not use without permission

Have been thinking a lot recently on whether to keep my blog going or not - I’m terrible at keeping it updated for a start and wonder if, because of that, I actually still have people looking in and seeing what I’m up to on here. Do I still have readers out there? I’m sure there are ways I can check stats to give me such information but, being the technophobe that I am, wouldn’t know where to start on that. Note to self, I really must try and embrace technology more instead of shying away from it. Been told on numerous occasions, for one example of many, that I should be tweeting on Twitter but always assume it will be complicated and frustrating to get my head around so avoid it. Anyway I digress.

I blame Facebook. Totally. Since having my page on there I’ve spent my time keeping that updated with new work and information and neglected my blog. I’ve also sadly neglected reading other blogs as I follow so many artists now on Facebook. It definitely appears to be the way most artists communicate with the world outside their studio. Staying on the subject of Facebook, if you haven’t yet seen my page and would like to follow my work there, I have a link to it on the sidebar to the right. Would be nice to see you there.

But then there is a big part of me that doesn’t want to scrap my blog. I’ve had it for seven years now and it’s nice to have that record of all my goings on both at the drawing board and away from it. It’s a bit like a diary in that way. So for that reason alone I’m going to keep it going – for now anyway.

Was just reading over my last post and see that I mentioned working in Pan Pastels and that I had started a drawing with them. Well, it’s finished and I can now share it with you, see above. I’m really pleased with the result considering it’s my first. I’m familiar with pastels and have used them on numerous occasions but never the Pan Pastels and it was the huge, fat sponge tool applicators that took a lot of getting used to for me. I say ‘huge’ and ‘fat’ because compared to the fine points of my pencils that’s exactly what they were and felt like. I thought there was no way I was going to get any sort of detail using them but the more I worked and played with them the more I learned and liked (also had the help of a couple of pastel pencils for the finer details but that’s allowed:)) Was really enjoying myself at the end and I’m looking forward to using them a lot more in my work.

I've also finished a couple of Clydesdale Horses using coloured pencil and will share those in my next post.


Screaming Feline said...

You still have at least one reader here, just one of those 'silent lurkers' :)

Your art work is amazing gorgeous by the way, and an inspiration. I don't draw completely realistic but I hope to come close to your level of skill some day.

I know how you feel when it comes to the blog, I have thought many times to scrap mine but at the same time I too like being able to go back and see progress I have done on other pieces and just to see how far I have come thus far.
Whatever you decide, wish you the best. Facebook and twitter are huge and easy ways for people to keep track of things, so to most it makes the most sense.

Danielle Feldman said...

Still here! I love seeing your latest projects. The draft is lovely!

Danielle Feldman said...

Still here! I love seeing your latest work. The draft is just lovely!

amosmoses said...

I love your artwork and your blog. I always look forward to seeing the progress on your artwork!

amosmoses said...

I love your blog. I love seeing the progress on your beautiful artwork!!!!

Sandra said...

Stay stay and I vote stay.

Karen said...

Hi Laura
I've been thinking the very same thing - like you I'm not very techie and only started using Facebook this past month - and still not sure about it :)

I'm a very private person too, and wish I could be more relaxed about social media, but also wonder what I could offer that is of use or interest to people, :)

I think, for now why not keep it going, as not everyone is on Facebook and maybe it would feel like you are shutting off one of your promotion avenues? Maybe you could start using the blog in a different way? Bok reviews/interviews etc, things that you can't do on Facebook?

Keep going in whatever you decide, you've worked so hard on your blog and maybe it's just needing a review, rather than deleting it.
Best wishes ~ Karen

Dora said...

ooo...stay please! I am always looking when you posted. I do not everytime give a reaction. but I am seeing you work very much!!!!
please stay.

Peter Brown said...

Facebook is certainly an easy way to stay in touch, and is not as demanding of our time as I know a blog can be. For quick updates, therefore, it's the social medium of choice, but it's obviously not ideal if you're keen to go into greater depth to explain your thoughts, techniques and processes. I hope you continue with your blog, and I look forward to seeing evidence of fresh posts pop up in the sidebar on my own (similarly neglected!) blog from time to time.

Margarethe Brummermann said...

I followed your blog, but now you tempt me to explore your facebook page. From my own point of view: on fb I post nature photography, insect stuff and personal photos (as personal as I want to get on a public page) but my (also neglected) watercolor blog keeps track of my shows, my new painting, releases of cards and prints...and it has links to my extensive flickr galleries. So if someone is really interested, everything is available within a few clicks. Not the greatest marketing tool, but if asked for a web site, there it is. You hardly appear professional if you have no web site. A professional fb page may do the job, though...I should try.

Teresa Mallen said...

Yup another reader! (and I apologize in advance for the long comment) I am guilty of letting my own blog lapse from time to time, not really intentionally - it occurs when my personal life gets overwhelmed with the unexpected and something has to give, i.e. computer time. Also, when I am taking some of life's hard hits, I don't wish to share that private part of my life and chatting about other stuff seems false.

For me, 2013 has had several difficult months so I haven't been blogging much. I recently resumed. I am committed to my blog and I hope that if readers have vanished, new peeps will eventually find me. I do have stats trackers and the stats provided by blogger conflict with my 'statscounter' account. I choose to believe the one that gives the rosier picture. :-)

Suffice to say that even when my blog is quiet, I am always being found and read by someone around the globe. That info helps keeping me plugging along. I am a diehard blog fan. I have a business facebook page but other than that I simply haven't got into facebook. I really enjoy the larger format, the longer writings and bigger pics that one can find on blogs. Some of the blogs I follow are people who write (beautifully I might add) about things that interest me. Facebook entries seem to be too much like life 'sound bites'. Having said that I will take the time to check your Facebook page out. :-)

I would add also that my blog fulfills a business purpose that I am proud of. I have a website and people can visit that to view my work, read my bio, find out about my classes, etc. My business facebook page is a place collectors can go to see finished new work and also get quick updates on shows and students can get info on new courses being offered. My blog is my personal place, where I can let my hair down and share my passions. I feel free to share a recipe, a goat picture or a work in progress -warts and all. Research shows that people prefer to buy from someone they feel they know and students are much more comfortable signing up for a workshop if they feel they 'know' the instructor. I have found this to be true in my own experience. So sharing me, the person behind the art helps me make a connection to my peeps. Don't we all love it when someone new out of the blue leaves a comment or asks a question?! The marketing experts tell us we have moved into a 'connection economy' so I am thinking if art is my bread and butter and not a hobby, why not keep making the connection?

Twitter - I am not a fan. Sheesh, people actually post stuff like how they just went upstairs and folded laundry. I don't have time for that. I might eventually have to start tweeting as a work necessity but for now, I shall struggle to keep posting to my facebook page.

Things are in a real time of flux and I have seen a lot of bloggers stop. And yet I see a lot of really great blogs coming on the scene that are quality through and through. Perhaps this isn't a bad thing - a sort of separating the wheat from the chaff sort of thing...

ANYWAY, about your art - this was done in Pan Pastels?? Woo-hoo, FABULOUS! You go girl!!! I have played with some samples at a CPSA convention a few years ago. So enticing - the textures and the blending, yummy. Still, I haven't invested in a purchase as my past attmepts at pastel haven't been successful. I always go running back to my cps! Would love to be standing over your shoulder to see how you work your magic with the gorgeous pans of pigment(the texture made me think of make up LOL).

Marie said...

I agree with Sandra, please stay, please please stay. Your work is a joy and UI love your blog.

Marie said...

Please stay ... stay, stay, stay ... love your blog and your work is a joy!

Laurene said...

I'm also a faithful follower who is guilty of reading but not posting. You're one of the most talented graphite artists out there, and now pan pastels too! I'd love to learn more about the process. This is another vote to stay!

Caroline B said...

I vote stay too - I really don't want to join Facebook ever, and find it annoying that so many things depend on belonging to it. It feels a little like Big Brother, but then I am a tad paranoid at the best of times!
You can keep an eye on your visitor statistics by using Google Analytics - not hard to set up, if I can do it anyone can. I think you might be surprised to find out just how many people stop by - I get over 100 hits a day and my blog is very small potatoes! A great deal of my commissioned work arrives through it too.
Good luck with whatever you decide.

Laura said...

A huge thank you to everyone for your comments, they are much appreciated. And it's great to know that I do still have people looking in on my wee blog despite me being :-)

Karen, I've thought about doing different things with my blog such as book reviews, interviews, etc, but, aside from finding the time, I'm not a great writer, so many times I wish I was. Probably one of the reasons I have taken to FB more :-) But it is still something I think about and may well still do.

Very true Peter and I do find FB less demanding of my time than blogging - except maybe from when I'm spending way too long looking at other artists work and what they are up to :-)

Teresa, great to hear from you again - you see, you're a great example of what I mean about neglecting reading other artists blogs. I have always been a fan of your work and will hold my hands up to not having looked at your blog for a good long while *hangs head in shame* I do feel FB has taken over, for me at least (can only have so much computer time) but now that you have mentioned you have a business page I must go and have a look. But I agree with a lot of what you said and I like how you view your blog. My problem is, as I've mentioned above, I am not a writer and I do struggle to express myself in words. I don't tend to 'open up' or go ito great depth on my blog ..... think it's more a confidence issue with me. But there are a lot of beautifully written blogs about that I really like for that reason. And as you say, it is important to share the person behind the art so I'm going to think about that a lot more in the future.
I am going to give Twitter a go but I can promise now I WONT be posting stuff like how I just folded some laundry :-)

Thanks again to everyone for the vote to stay - I am going to stay now and what's more will try and make a better effort to post more regularly xx

Laura said...

Ooops part of my comment appears to have gone missing in the first paragraph. It should have read....

And it's great to know that I do still have people looking in on my wee blog despite me being terrible at keeping it updated - nice to know too that I am not alone on this :)

Mary said...

Hi Laura...As a fellow artist who gets told to blog more often by my daughter, I understand your dilemma. I have just discovered your site and I am so impressed with your work! One benefit of a blog is that the people who do follow you, really get to know you...your thoughts and dreams, and sometimes your fears. It makes you more human and relate-able, so I guess there is value in it.

I haven't tried the pan pastels, but I do know of many people who love them. Every new medium takes a bit of practice, so keep at it. Looks to me like you have just about mastered it anyway.

So, keep painting your beautiful paintings....knowing that we are out here enjoying your blog...whenever you post. No pressure...just whenever.

Lovely paintings!

Laura said...

Thank you Mary - my daughter is the same :)

kelly lynn cronin said...

I am a new reader and a fellow blogger/artist. I was really inspired to find your blog. You are going on my list of favorite equine artists, so my readers may now be new readers for you. I attached a site hit counter and have never been happier. Easily done if you go to your widgets and search hit counter. Make it active and start feeling good about the number of folks looking at your site. (44,000 in three months for me- amazing) I will bet for talent like yours it is double. One piece of advice if you please. Once you get onto the blog or God forbid you are directed to the blog before seeing your actual website, there is no easily found link back to your parent website. I would hate to have your readers miss it!

Laura said...

Thanks Kelly, I'm trying Google Analytics so will see how I get on with that :) There is a link to my 'in desperate need of an update' website on the sidebar of my blog - is this what you mean? Do you think I should be making it more prominent?

Starr said...

Stay here. I love looking at your art.