Feature Friday 3: Back in the Saddle

There is an old saying about how if you fall off your horse, the best thing to do is to get back in the saddle and finish the ride. Y’all probably noticed I missed a couple of Fridays in a row, but not to worry … I even have the perfect sketchbook page to share for this! I’ll likely be doing similar post beginnings, though I can’t guarantee I’ll have the appropriate drawing to share (or maybe I will?).

first drawing using my new tinted charcoal - a horse saddled up and waiting for the rider
saddled up – sketchbook page, first drawing using my tinted charcoal

Some of you might recall the little teaser I dropped at the end of my charcoal drawings post where I mentioned getting the Derwent tinted charcoal set – first the small six-color set to try it out, then the biggest set of 24 pencils before I even got this far on my first drawing because I love how they feel on the paper along with really loving the resulting drawing. I stopped messing with this particular sketch as I realized I stumbled across the first practical lesson for tinted charcoal: use the lightest shades first. See that saddle blanket? While waiting for the big set of charcoals to arrive, I had picked up a black charcoal pencil and doodled in the border design. When I got the big set and pulled out the one called sand to pencil in the rest of the blanket, I realized as soon as I try to blend it with a paint brush, the black will smear. So, like Bob Seger sang, it was time to turn the page. I’ll be revisiting that reference photo in the future, because I really do like it, and will certainly be doing a color version, though I might do a monochrome version just because it looks like a good piece to do in only one color. I just have not yet decided whether that will be black or one of the brown charcoals.

Blog posts I’ve enjoyed over the past couple weeks

I’ve been doing a lot of reading and listening to videos and podcasts on the subject of blogging, partly as a refresher course and partly to see what has changed over the decade I wasn’t blogging. The fundamentals are still the same: write your blog for people to read and enjoy, and the search engines will follow. Some of the stuff we used to do back in the day (like this link roundup feature I am trying to resurrect) just fell by the wayside, and I am not seeing a reason why other than the “oh, that’s so 2008!” statement. If gas station prices are going to look like ’08, then why not blogs?

Another thing I see that hasn’t changed is that the good blogs all have a “why” for their existence. This dovetails neatly with the recent article I read about how an artist’s statement helps the fans and viewers to better grok the artist’s body of work. I wanted to link to this article, but apparently that is one of the email-subscription only pieces, as the Inside Art site skips that day in the post sequence. The short version of this point is I am giving the concept some thought about how to expand my artist’s statement beyond, “I make art to bring some beauty into the world.”

So why am I blogging again? I got frustrated with Facebook. It’s (*bleep!*) difficult to link back to previous posts – and most days it’s (*BLEEP!*) difficult to even find a post again unless you leave a tab open with it. Facebook may be “more” interactive than blogs (which is a very debatable point, IMO) but it is not what I think user-friendly ought to be. (I should note that I never intended to have a FB account, but it seems to be expected, and a good portion of my family is on there. I’m just trying to set up a lemonaide stand with the FB lemon.) Last summer, I got frustrated enough with trying to find something again on FB that I announced to hubby, “I am going back to blogging!” And after a brief stint over on blogspot, I made my way here, back to my own domain and even back to WordPress. Now, it’s time to work on improving the site. If you are not already a subscriber, now would be a really good time to subscribe, either through a reader or by email, because I am only getting started here.

Speaking of starting, on Monday I’ll be participating in a new three-day art challenge, where the theme is “fire.” I’ve done it in colored pencil, twice, so I will be experimenting with other media. Right now, I think I’d like to break out the oil pastels for this, though I might try my brush with either watercolor or acrylic. Stay tuned!

17 thoughts on “Feature Friday 3: Back in the Saddle

  1. Wow, that’s a real indictment of Facebook. Sadly, I am in total agreement with you and is (also) one of the reasons I am spending more time on my photography blogs and lest time on “the book.”
    On another note, that tinted charcoal is interesting. Nice horse, sketch, too.

    1. Thank you. As low as my starting number is, I am griping about only 15% impressions for the first 24 hours. I know as a follower of other pages, I get quite irked when FB waits until after the event or offer is over before it shows the post in my feed. Welcome to my comment section.

  2. My facebook time is mostly spent on blogging and FIRE groups. I personally love round-up posts, I think they are fun and enjoy seeing different opinions posted.

  3. I really like the sketch above and I totally agree with how Facebook is expected but it limits what needs to be. I will look for upcoming blog post you put out.

  4. Always interesting! Thanks for the mention! You have a very readable style, although I will have to look up the meaning of “grok”! I thought it was rum, although that might be grog! I enjoy these Friday round ups.

    1. Grok comes from Robert Heinlein’s A Stranger in a Strange Land. Not only did I read it in high school, but I let my son read it when he was in high school. Grog is the alcoholic beverage on old British navy ships.

  5. I share your frustration with Facebook. But mostly what I feel is disappointment. It started out with so much promise and was a great opportunity for photographers. And within a few years it had become a corporatized wasteland. Blogging has to come back, because people still want this sort of interaction. The problems are technical – a major one being, how do bloggers find each other, when Google isn’t motivated to help? But solutions may emerge over time.

    1. I think a larger portion of the internet in general is becoming corporatized wasteland every couple years. How to get the word out to other art-related bloggers? I am exploring options in FB groups, of all places.

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